Recent events related to well-known residents have led me to a rather obvious conclusion that still needs to be highlighted. The warning is simple: Local residents who identify too closely with Kansas City will ultimately find themselves at a disadvantage.
I’m calling it: The Kansas City Curse of Mediocrity.
Let’s explore this phenomeon together and I’ll provide some rather frightening proof.
While I detest Peregrine Honig with the fire of one thousand suns and in a way that nearly consumes every fiber of my being, I have to admit she’s pretty talented and that makes last night’s second place finish just a bit disheartening for folks who watched Bravo’s art reality show that were less biased in their estimation of this artsy she-devil. In such a subjective judging process, at some point I simply think it was her association with this town that aspires to greatness but never achieves it that sunk her. Just like Kansas City, she came in second best.
Go ahead and assign that as a fluke but there are more examples.
For instance, Jason Whitlock is a sports writer who has taken his fame to a national stage at times and to the cable TV sports scene which has pretty much defined the masses of bored white guys in this nation age 25-75. Kansas City and America loves to hate Whitlock and even Oprah put him on to support a reactionary but interesting viewpoint. Yet, Kansas City is bringing him down as he reportedly squabbles in a petty salary dispute with this town’s failing newspaper.
And most frighteningly, those with a memory longer than 15 minutes might remember David Cook who was a national sensation on a failing TV show and then quickly forgotten by everyone but local newsies looking to produce something, anything before deadline.
These are just three examples out of so many which demonstrate that a close association with Kansas City can ultimately ruin careers. The Cowtown mentality that encourages mediocrity instead of challenging people to do better is mostly to blame. But shifting social mores across a society is far too difficult for people pursing other goals. The Kansas City Curse is just one of many reasons why I understand and sympathize with Zack Greinke’s frustration with Kansas City.
Without question this is a town that mercilessly kills otherwise promising careers. And to stifle greatness rather than encouraging it to evolve and move forward . . . Which is why Whizzo the Clown never made it really big among so many other injustices related to this city.