Life goes on, right?
In the wide world of cliches, they don’t get much better than that. The girlfriend dumps you, a parent dies, the cat takes off – you’re bummed. So you cry in your beer for a bit, take stock, suck it up and get your ass back in the game.
That’s pretty much what Star sports scribe Sam Mellinger attempted to do today re the all-but-inevitable departure of Missouri from the Big 12. For weeks, Mellinger wrung his hands and cursed the sky, lamenting how bad it would be for Kansas City. Over and again, like a dude getting dumped. he tried to rationalize and/or guilt trip MU into not leaving.
Like that was going to work.
Having more than exhausted that theme, Man Sam decided today to go from grieving to grooving.
"KC Will Be Just Fine," reads the headline to his column. "Missouri may be leaving, but the area sports scene will continue on stronger than ever before."
Not so fast, Sam I Am...
I agree the time is right to set the hand wringing aside, I’m not so sure about Mellinger’s main premises. The first being that the Big 12 will be just fine with the addition of TCU, West Virginia and whomever else. Because, as pointed out here on KCC and by just about anybody that gives a flip (nod to Roy Williams) about area college sports, the Big 12’s future is about as uncertain as it can be because of Texas and Oklahoma.
The fact that they got shot down by the Pac 12 and crawled back to what actually is the BIg 9 – tails firmly between legs – hardly bodes well for the long term stability of of what’s left of the Big 12. That’s why MU is so anxious to bail.
So there’s that…
Now let’s take a look at Mellinger’s irrational exuberance over us locals catching all those kickass SEC games up close and personal in Columbia. Games like Kentucky basketball (instead of KU) and LSU football (instead of OU).
Unlike Sam and other members of the local sports media who get their expenses paid and free courtside seats and eats, the average local MU fan will have to ante up bigtime for nosebleeds – if they can even get ’em. Especially if those games "matter" and MU is not having its ass handed to them.
In the real world, local MU fans are far more likely to be stuck watching the games on TV.
Either way, how does that help Kansas City again?
More to the point, in a case of the right hand not appearing to know what the left is doing, the headline for the Star‘s front page business section story today reads as follows:
"KC would lose $14 million if Mizzou left Big 12, business group estimates."
That business group being the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. On closer examination KC’s loss is expected to be "at least" $14 million, the chamber says.
"Departure by MU from the Big 12 would have an adverse impact on Kansas City companies large and small…" chamber head Jim Heeter wrote in a letter to MU chancellor Brady Deaton.
"In 10 years (Kansas City) would be less an MU town and more of a KU town if this decision goes through," adds a board member.
Mellinger on the other hand thinks KC should hold out "hope" that we pick up the SEC basketball tournament.
Sounds like Sam’s been out smoking something with the editor.
Take a gander at the "conference geography" map of Big 12 and SEC schools in today’s Star. It will be a cold day in Hell bfore the SEC hauls its 14 team ass all the way to KC. Which is more than 100 miles east of its closest school. Not to mention north.
The bottom line; You’re right, it’s time to get real, dude. And I know you mean well. KC has to move on but there’s no point in getting delusional. It’s a bitter pill – a $14 million plus bitter pill – that we’re going to have to swallow. And then do our level best to pick up what’s left of the pieces.
Have fun chowing on the free food in your courtside seat at MU-Kentucky.