It has been 17 long years since the Chiefs won a playoff game. Much has changed since the season of 1993. Here are a few thoughts of what life was like here in Kansas City back then. My wife of ten years at the time was seven-months pregnant with our now almost 17-year-old son. Please add your own in the Comments section below.
George Brett made $2.75 million as the Royals DH that season. We had both Brett and Joe Montana in Kansas City uniforms. Not too shabby.
Mark Gubicza, David Cone, Kevin Appier and Brian McRae were also on that Royals’ roster. Think we could use those three pitchers in this season’s starting rotation and B-Mac in center?
Lee’s Summit had one high school not three.
Don Fortune somehow ruled KC sports talk radio with his afternoon sports talk show on 980. KMBZ was known more as a news station and Fortune’s show ran in the afternoon.
810 AM was still KCMO and Conrad Dobler and Tom Dore were on together during afternoon drive. Their show replaced the semi-popular Ed Superfan Bieler but never quite caught on. Pete Enich served as a parttime guest host and a recent Syracuse grad by the name of Soren Petro was an intern for the Dobler and Dore.
610 AM was WDAF and one of the highest rated AM radio stations in the Midwest with its all-country music format. As Fishbone used to say, those days are gone.
Kansas City Star columnist Hearne Christopher ignited a storm of controversy when he divulged the Nelson-Atkins museum’s plans to place giant shuttlecocks on the museum’s lawn.
Kevin Kietzman was a third-string sports reporter at Fox 4 behind Al Wallace with Frank Boal as his boss instead of the other way around.
Steven St. John was attending class (occasionally) at UMKC.
Todd Leabo had graduated from Oklahoma one year before, where his Sooners were coached by Gary Gibbs. Leabo could still be spotted occasionally hustling food/drink as a vendor at Royals and Chiefs games.
Jason Whitlock was writing for The Ann Arbor News and had never heard of Carl Peterson…or Joe DiMaggio.
Nick Wright was nine years old.
Jack Harry was a sports anchor/reporter at KCTV 5 who was rarely if ever allowed to offer his own commentary during his sportscasts. This was just before William Action Jackson’s arrival at KCTV 5 in August of 1994.
Carl Peterson was considered a savior to Chiefs’ fans as he and Marty Schottenheimer were in their fourth season of reviving the NFL fan base in Kansas City. Remember, Whitlock was still in Ann Arbor.
The KC Star sports columnists were Gib Twyman and Jonathan Rand. Has it really been that long ago?
Joe Posnanski was writing for the Augusta Chronicle.
From May through September in 1993, it rained like never before in Kansas City and beyond. The flooding caused $15 billion in damage around the Midwest. I still remember stopping in Riverside on my way home from work one night to help fill and toss sand bags to stem the rising waters of the Mighty Mo.
Hal McRae, the Royals manager, threw a fit, a phone recorder and a fifth of Jack Daniels in the single greatest one-man meltdown ever recorded in KC sports. Thanks, John Doolittle for the question.
Jeff Granger was the Royals top draft pick in 1993.
Ewing Kauffman dies in August and Royals Stadium is renamed Kauffman Stadium due to the efforts of The Squire’s editor, Tom Leathers. Leathers and I argued often over my nickname for the stadium, The K, which the Royals officially adopted in 1994. Leathers felt it was a slight to shorten the name but I thought a man who went by the name Mr. K would have had no problem with it. I miss those arguments with Tom, who died in September of 2005. Hard to believe he’s been gone that long.
Bill Snyder and Kansas State, led by Chad May and JJ Smith, went to their first bowl game since 1982, the Copper Bowl, where they crushed Wyoming 52-7. And the Snyder era was officially in full big-time-football mode.
Mitch Holthus was the play-by-play voice for Kansas State. He has never called a Chiefs playoff victory in his 17 seasons with the Chiefs. Mitch, I sincerely hope that streak ends for you on Sunday.
Bob Stull’s Missouri Tigers went 3-7-1 and were bounced 28-0 by Kansas in their final game.
Greg Gurley and Scot Pollard played hoops for Roy Williams at Kansas. Adonis Jordan was drafted by Seattle. Coach Roy had been named AP COTY in 1992.
Emanuel Cleaver was in his second year and first term as mayor of Kansas City in what would prove to be one of the most corrupt administrations since a guy named Tom Pendergast strode into town.
Carol Marinovich was a member of the KCK City Council and just starting to form her strategies to become the first female mayor of KCK in 1995. She would eventually lead Wyandotte County into their most productive decade of growth that still continues today. Go Sporting Kansas City!
The Woodlands in KCK was four years old and already showing signs that the new Argosy Casino and other casinos to come would put an end to horseracing in Kansas City. The Legends at that time was nothing but farmland and fence posts.
The Broadway Bridge was only a couple years removed from charging a .25 cent toll. When did the 18th Expressway in KCK stop charging a toll?
Your local TV news anchors were Larry Moore (TV 9), Phil Witt (TV 4) and Wendall Anschutz (TV 5). Those male TV news anchors have better job security than a Supreme Court judge.
Mike Thompson was in his second year as FOX 4’s main weatherman. Gary Lezak was his fresh-faced weekend replacement. Those TV meteorologist guys don’t change much more than San Diego’s weather.
The last official Chiefs’ Red Friday was held in Westport and hosted by the Chiefs, the Westport Merchants and the Chiefs’ Red Coaters. A falling out between King Carl and Craig Glazer resulted in the Chiefs pulling their support in 1994 and Glazer renaming the Westport event Outlaw Red Friday.
I know many point to Whitlock’s arrival in Kansas City in 1994 as the reason the Chiefs have been in a 17-year funk. Could it be that the same year Pork Chop departs The Kansas City Star and our town that the Chiefs get their mojo back and win a playoff game? Sweat! I mean, sweet!
Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24