Hearne: Time for Sporting Kansas City’s Front Office to Deliver the Goods…or Else

It’s gonna be an uphill battle…

The KC soccer team formerly known as the Wizards – now Sporting Kansas City – face a disturbing dichotomy. On one hand the team is in the well-heeled hands of the main men at Cerner.

New name, new stadium, a couple concerts, better media coverage and an army of suits selling tickets and attending to every sports marketing and operational need imaginable. A front office that rivals – if not exceeds in some ways – that of the Chiefs and Royals.

Trust me, these guys are s-e-r-i-o-u-s.

Former owner Lamar Hunt was a piker by comparison. Sporting has bucks to burn and is not afraid to burn them. On the other hand Lamar – frugal though he was – delivered results on the field.

From the Wizard’s inception in ’96, Hunt fielded a competitive, fun to watch soccer squad. He delivered where it mattered, on the field. Preki, Alexi Lalas, Tony Meola, Miklos Molnar, Uche Okafor, Nick Garcia, Mark Chung, Diego Gutierrez, Mo Johnston, Chris Klein, Frank Klopas, Richard Gough. And many, many more.

Rare was the season Hunt’s Wizards fell short of delivering competitve soccer, playoff appearances and under the guidance of general manager Curt Johnson in 2000, a Major League Soccer championship.

That was then.

The Wizards / Sporting, of the well-intentioned current regime, has failed to make the playoffs two years straight.

And not making the playoffs year-after-year in MLS is an embarrassment.

There’s more…

Star sports scribe Sam Mellinger ‘cannily warned, in the afterglow of the Lance Armstrong stadium naming deal, that serious steroid allegations pending against Armstrong could prove embarrassing. And that game is now afoot.

So as we approach the unveiling of Livestrong Park and Sporting’s first-ever home game this coming week, here’s the bottom line:

It’s time for the well-paid pilots of the Cerner soccer machine to deliver on the field.

It couldn’t and shouldn’t be stated more simply…

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7 Responses to Hearne: Time for Sporting Kansas City’s Front Office to Deliver the Goods…or Else

  1. smartman says:

    Can’t Buy Me Love
    SKC is a joke. The Cerner boys got money to burn and they are burning it. Big difference between medical software and futbol. Need to revamp the whole front office, GM, Coach(es) and get people with winning in their DNA.

    While SKC has wealthy owners they are not in the class with Mark Cuban or Jerry Jones who are on the frontline every day trying to make their organizations better. I’d wager that more sports fans in KC could name Jones and Cuban as the owners of their teams then could name one of the owners of SKC. The fish rots from the head down and until the SKC owners get front and center and get their hands dirty with something other than ink from the greenbacks they’re shelling out this team is a rotting carp.

    Same for the Royals and Chiefs, wealthy owners with hands off management style. How’s that workin for ya?

    Our sports teams are so awful they should PAY US to watch them.

  2. mark x says:

    ????
    …what is this ‘Sporting KC’ you’re always talking about? … they’re some sort of team? … here in Kansas City? … what sport is it?

    Hey, western KCK & Johnson Co are busy this week end … lots and lots of visitors in town it seems … crowds of folk spending $$$$ … oh, yeah … a NASCAR race!!! … wow, them rednecks sure are loyal to their folk .. you can’t miss’em … $$$$$$ … I’m sure there are a lot of businesses in KCK & JoCo very happy this week ….

  3. bschloz says:

    Interesting SKC
    Not sure it really matters if they win or not?
    …..I’ve never been to a Comets game or Wiz game …but will go see SKC as soon as LiveStrong is open. Not sure I really need to see a win? Since I have nothing invested and can’t name 1 player…I will go for the experience and see if the action and nights entertainment stands on its own. I like their marketing team. #bringbackcharliefinley

  4. Super Dave says:

    Once Again
    Once again smartman says it like it is. SKC will I am sure be another melt down like the other two so called major league teams here in KC. They disgust me so much have stopped say their names, well at least PC correct names.

  5. Hearne Christopher says:

    For casual fans or people who just want to check out the new digs and sample the experience, it may not matter if they win. But if the team intends to get you to come back and widen local interest in the team – and they do – they have to perform.

  6. newbaum turk says:

    soccer
    I was going to go see the new place but then I realized a couple of things. One, I’ve seen a new building before. Two, soccer sucks.

  7. clownsuit says:

    Name is still an issue
    The Cerner group built a great stadium. Partnering with livestrong (steriods or not) is huge. Bringing in the National team is a great grab. However they wiffed on the name change. Soccer has an uphill battle to win over the masses. Die hard soccer fans know of the Euro roots of the new name. However this is not Europe. The majority of Kansas Citians feel the name is stupid and thus have no feeling of a link to the team. As bad as the Royals have been, they are ours. The Chiefs are ours. They are both original and clearly identifiable with Kansas City. A name change would have been fine, however the name they chose is lame and unoriginal. And the only people who will disagree are diehard soccer fans. So they are limiting thier fan base.

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