Hearne: Sports Pundits, Are There Really Any Experts?

87_dtSome of you guys can’t stand it when a local celeb weighs in here with a sports opinion… 

Contrary to your own opinion, of course. Hey, that’s understandable.

Who does whoever it is think they are? What kind of journalism is that, letting a die hard KU fan air his thoughts in a public forum? And what does an effing comedy club owner know about sports, anyway? On and on it goes.

Well, newsflash: what does anybody really know about sports?

It’s not like there’s a gene or academic degree that somehow endows someone with the ability to divine the truest essence of football, basketball or soccer.

Unless of course the so-called “expert” happens to be a learned player of the game, like Matt Donnelly. But does that rule out former yell leaders like Kevin Kietzman of WHB sports talk radio?

Face it, the gift of gab or the ability to write and a basic interest in the subject at hand is easily amounts to the lion’s share of the “sports expert” game.

5_25SSJWHB’s Steven St. John, for example, was little more than a boxing, wrestling and mainstream sports groupie who called into countless local sports talk shows under the pseudonym MU Dog (Dawg?).

St. John’s ticket to ride was being hired for peanuts by another talk radio ingenue named Greg Hall, who went by handle Husker. I helped convince the Star to let Greg write a weekly soundbites column which lead to the shortest career in the history of talk radio before Hall was fired by the WHB guys for joking about former Chiefs QB Len Dawson and announcer Bill Grigsby.

Yep, the big, bad, self-proclaimed local sports talk radio kings were such wussies they didn’t dare risk offending a couple of over-the-hill sports oldsters .

Go figure.

That left MU Dog – a glorified intern – to pick up the pieces on Hall’s newly-minted radio show and later try to keep former Star sports scribe Jason Whitlock on message and out of trouble. Whitlock’s subsequent free agency again left the Dog in the catbird seat at WHB and the rest is history, as they say.

Rendering St. John’s status as a sports expert basically accidental.

a joeLet’s keep going.

Practically everybody in the Star sports department felt that Hall was a poser who didn’t deserve to be there. But you know what? Hall could write and he had a clever way with words and taking soundbites out of context and then making fun of or hammering them.

Posing the question of whether this green thumb gardener-turned software staffer is God’s gift to sports journalism? 

You make the call.

Bret-MosimanThe bottom line being that what really makes someone a worthy sports scribe or pundit is how entertaining they are and can be.

Kevin Kietzman, Brandon Leftridge, Gary Lezak, Greg Hall, Steven St. John, Craig Glazer, Brett Mosiman – who among them are the least or most worthy? Obviously those of them that are fortunately enough to land full time jobs pursuing their hobby have the upper hand information-wise.

I say, take your pick – it’s more fun to hate on them anyway, isn’t it?

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41 Responses to Hearne: Sports Pundits, Are There Really Any Experts?

  1. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    I don’t mind other’s opinions as long as they are well thought out and informed. Brett Mosiman’s are neither. He’s by far the most worthless one you’ve ever quoted on this site. Especially when it comes to anything concerning Mizzou.

    • William "Dick" Afflis says:

      Nice disclaimer to start out with. Little gun shy are we ??

    • admin says:

      Well, as a neutral party – who went to Arizona and has KU pouring out of my ears, eyes, nose and throat since moving to Lawrence – I think he makes some quite valid and interesting points.

      They may not be the points frustrated MU fans want to read but…

      • William "Dick" Afflis says:

        Thanks HC. I meant that comment for you but hit “reply” instead of “post comment”. Sorry, GWSWOT. So many people jumped on you after earlier sports posts that it appears that this blog was to meant to respond to that previous abuse.

      • admin says:

        No, I wanted to put the focus on KCC, being as how I was poised to unleash a Gary Lezak sports opinion.

        Gary is a huge Chiefs fan and while he didn’t smash any atoms, his 10-6 prediction is worth mulling

        Everybody’s favorite Scribe’s forecast for this year’s Chiefs:

        “I won’t make my official prediction until AFTER the preseason. But our division is the worst division in the league other than Denver. But based on the fact that the Chiefs have a much easier schedule because they’re a last place team and have an improved QB and coach, of course they’re going to do better.

        “But I still think having a winning season will be difficult. We have no offensive weapons, none. We have no one to help Alex get in the end zone…yet…maybe someone will show up.

        “So given that, at this moment this team is a 7-9 team.”

      • Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

        Uh no he doesn’t. The only point he has, is the one sticking out of his misshapen skull. He has about as much idea about MU fans are truly thinking as any random bar owner in Columbia MO has about what KU fans are thinking.

        • Hearne says:

          Sounds a little dismissive. Thin skinned?

          Any time you take an individual and brand him with a group of others totally unknown to you, your argument is lost.

          Living and working in Kansas City lo these many years and meeting and dealing with thousands of people each year, having discussions, listening nonstop to local sports talk radio and being a thinking class individual means nothing to you apparently…that is when you happen to disagree with someone else’s opinion.

          And that probably is what and how a lot of other people think – hence you assumed name – but I’d hardly classify that as an enlightened opinion.

          • Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

            But I’m also not being quoted in a blog and presented as some sort of expert either. Sorry, but some dickwad in Lawrence putting forth that he some sort of insider about what MU fans and administration are “really thinking” on the inside is just flat stupid. It would be the same thing if the situation had been flip flopped, and you quoted some guy from Columbia about what the KU fans and administration is really thinking inside their heads.

          • admin says:

            Hmmmm…

            Dickwad? Expert?

            Read it again, he was “presented” as neither. Methinks you might be a paper thin skinned MU Tiger fan.

  2. harley says:

    you’re wrong hearne….watch some of the real intelligent sports show….
    jon grudens show where he works with college quarterbacks and football
    is a science…involving everything from physics to aerodynamics….
    from anatomy to physiology…all of which 99% of the so called sports
    experts know nothing about.
    Watch some of the science shows aboutsports and its nore than
    just a few called plays and a few passes.
    Baseball…frank white taught me things I never knew about technique
    for throwing and the science of playing second base…and it was a
    science.
    When mr. mossiman comes on and speaks for mu fans that’s not
    sports…that a piss poor and weak attempt by you as a journalist
    to get your readers riled up. Who were all the people who said mu
    made a bad move…you named no one…and gave none of their
    reasons.
    Most of these sports experts never played a down or ran a play so
    they don’t know any of the psychological or physical parts of any
    sport.
    Yes…sports is entertainment….and this comment section is entertainment.
    You could pick up some of the more educated sports people who have
    been on thefield…in the game…or maybe get someone like mitch or
    a former chief who knows the inside part of the game to write for you. FRANK WHITE?/??????
    I like most of the sports people on radio…don’t listen much….I prefer
    the comments section of tkc and kcc to get all my pertinenet and vital
    life information….

    • admin says:

      Let me get this straight…

      The man who has launched a billion or so unsubstantiated, anonymous opinions has a problem with a highly successful entrepreneur who basically launches but one? Who are the people who say MU made a bad move?

      Can you read?

      Mosiman made it quite clear last time I checked that MU fans would not dare to admit that.

      Of course, they did play quite poorly in major sports like football and basketball that they experienced far more success with in the Big 12. Could that be a reason?

      Or perhaps as Mosiman points out, the travel schedule is kicking many of their team’s asses. Could that be a reason?

      As for sports experts, you point out Jon Gruden and I agree. Did you not read where I said the exceptions might be people like Matt Donnelly who played amd understand the game better?

      So you are agreeing with me here, huh?

      Grazie

  3. PB says:

    News, sports…knowledge and facts don’t really matter anymore. It’s all more about opinion, speculation and cause & effect scenarios.

  4. chuck says:

    Steve St. John and Randy Carver used to do spots for us at Roscoe TV many years ago. Great guys, funny as hell. Steve was a very motivated guy (Randy died in the ring.) and like many of us, his success is due to circumstance in addition to hard work.

    Your premise, “Are there really any experts?” is, in my opinion, answered by gamblers who win.

    Last year I was wrong on the NFL about 2/3rds of the time. The prior 3 to 4 years I was right about 2/3rds of the time (I bet 20 to 60 bucks a week and play fantasy football where the payout for the winner is 500 to 700 or so, depending on trades and pick ups.).

    It is actually pretty simple, you have to put your money where your mouth is, bet the money and if you win, YOU ARE AN EXPERT.

    Glazer (OK, I am gonna piss every one off here, and I fu*kin miss smarty’s comments more than I can express.) is an excellent prognositcator of the NFL.

    I have followed his bets (I am not gonna get into the TEASE bets, the validity etc etc sorry.) over the last three years or so and he is really on the fu*kin money.

    His college picks are better than his pros, but his pros are way over 60%, maybe 65%.

    Go ahead and hate on me, but I always tell the truth.

    Just to prove it, I am bald, short, fat, ugly and have a lousy attitude.

    Glazer is now, has been to this point, the best sports expert on the NFL and College football in KC and matches up pretty well with the national guys as much as I have bothered to compare.

    It is what it is guys.

    Chiefs were 7.5 2 weeks ago, I have to go to Coaches right now, but I gotta believe that they win 8 games.

    Just my opinion, and boy did I suck last year.

    🙂

    • Super Dave says:

      I have friends that float back and forth on wins and loses. Not a single one would bet anything based on what Glazer says. Outside of Kansas City neither does anyone else. They all go to on-line Vegas sports pickers and odds makers as I am sure so many of the so called experts do for helping in the end on their picks. Myself I always check and see what the folks who are taking the bets are saying what’s going on just as I do at the horse track. Sure I sometimes bet on the long shot and once in a while I collect and more than not I don’t. Who are the real sports experts? I don’t think anyone really is an expert but many are in the business who all have their own opinion of what’s what. I follow NASCAR very heavily and have for many years. Seen drivers/crew chiefs come and go. And every week I laugh at the so called experts who are wrong, wrong, wrong on their picks of what’s going to happen that week. The so called sports experts to me are like weather forecasters, a job where you can be wrong more than 35% of the time and still have a job.

  5. CG says:

    Thank you Chuck for being honest, we were over 70 per cent with the teases which do count at the boxoffice…

    • chuck says:

      Truth is, you don’t have to thank me for anything.

      The truth is what it is.

      You obviously spend a lot of time and effort on this sh*t, and you are really good at it.

      Once again, it is, what it is.

    • Jess says:

      Who is “We”?

      Same person that ghost writes for you also makes your bets?

  6. chuck says:

    HEARNE, lets try this, and put it to bed. 🙂

    Superdave I luv ya, but your anecdotal opinion is just like mine, and, that is way cool.

    I do not have in any way, substantive facts (or the initiative to go back and look at Blogs, posts etc etc) to back up my premise.

    What I do have, with the greatest respect, is my memories, reinforced with a lighter or heavier wallet, and my explicit wish, that most of the time, Glaze was right on his picks.

    In fact, as time went on, I would make sure to see if I picked agaist him so I could torture his azz in the comments section.

    It happened a couple of times, but most of the time, as I said, the fu*ker beat me.

    This is of note. I still did ok, but he was better at gambling than I was.

    Once again, lets get past the TEASE sh(t and look at his predictions with respect to individual teams, the spread, the weekend, the weather, the ebb and flow etc etc.

    Again, Dave, I luv ya.

    The guy is pretty good at this.

    Lets cut the sh*t.

    Lets track the Glaze, lets track me, lets track us all.

    HEY LEFTY!! LETS INCREASE TRAFFIC!! YOU ARE A GREAT SPORTS GUY AND VERY INNOVATIVE–

    There must be a way, to put an end to the BS and pony up predictions for the NFL on a week to week basis, that the readers of KCC would like, and, would reveal the truth.

    Lezak would not be afraid, Glaze would not be afraid, Harley would not be afraid, and many commenters indeed, would love to post their reasons for who would win and who would lose on any given weekend.

    Commenters are only 1% of readers, but, in my estimation, they might indeed like to crucify idiots like me who make stupic pics.

    We are talking fun stuff here.

    I am IN!!!!

    • Hearne says:

      But no teases, right? Teases bore me

      • Super Dave says:

        I agree no teases

        • chuck says:

          I hate teases, we need clear cut victory and the commensurate spoils, which in this case would be crowing for years on this blog about what a sports gambling maven you are.

          🙂

          • chuck says:

            By the way, in my opinion, we should just do the NFL. There are a jillion colleges and betting against the spread with all of them would be confusing.

            Against the spread, every week in the NFL. The readers could pick that up really easy and would be able to torture the hell out of us for picking wrong.

            🙂

            I am already laughing.

          • admin says:

            Chuck, your words do not fall on deaf ears.

            I’ll look into assembling a pool of “experts.”

            On one condition, that the comments guys who happen to disagree with them don’t label them “dickwads”

            Just kidding. You guys can call them (within reason) anything you want.

  7. chuck says:

    Lefty, straight bets, no tease, most folks are not interested in codicils, but clarification and I am sure Glaze will be ok with that.

    Maybe pic 4 wins every week, something like that.

    You tell me, you are younger, smarter and funnier.

    🙂

    I think the entire city will get into this and I am not kidding.

    Lezak?

    Lets do this!!!

    🙂

  8. Arte says:

    Which one in the picture is Keitzman’s wife?

  9. chuck says:

    🙁

    No takers?

    Jeeze…, no money on the line.

  10. harley says:

    THE TRUTH ABOUT THE SPORTS PICKERS YOU ALL PAY SO MUCH
    ATTENTION TO….
    ITS A FARCE…A MAJOR SCAM…..A HUGE SCAM TO TAKE STUPID
    PLAYERS MONEY…
    HERES HOW IT WORKS…
    these so called experts get on radio/tv/print/internet and sya they that they
    have 3 sure winners or they have the big money gameof the week. They know
    all the injuries…the starters…who’s not making curfew…who’s doing what
    on the team…how the qb’s mistress is doing….all the inside info and then
    they charge you a ffor this valuable information. They claim huge stats which
    can’t be verified….they’eall the same…vegas con men.
    Here’s what they do.
    they get the suckers who fall for this and theso called expert vegas pickers
    have a forumula. If they get 100 calls they’ll suggest to 50% of the people that
    team A wins. To the other 50% of thesuckers they’ll suggest Team B wins.
    Lets say team A wins…50% of the callers who got sucked into paying big
    money have a winnerand are ready to go another week. The losers from team
    b get a scripted song and dance and the so called expert vegas picker and his
    phone team can probably keep 75% of those who bet team paying them money
    for picks. This goes on all season and these con men make big money.
    they’re no better than the odds makers behind the doors at any book house.
    Anyone who thinks differently is a fool….and the house knows that they’re
    take is bigger on football than on most table games!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    So these expert pickers are nothing more than money making machines…
    theres a guy named danny….he’s in usa today….take his record and a blind
    woman with a dart board is as good or better.
    But remember this fact….nate silver who is now moved into sports from
    politicis made some great points about the last 2 years in the nfl.
    There were very very very few upsets….justthe way theleague played out.
    So the conservative player made money…a guy trying tobeat the numbers
    with upsets gets his assed kicked.
    My family was one of the top group to run vvegas in the 60/70/80’s and early
    90’s….you’re notgonna beat them…hae some fun making a few bets but
    no matter what glaze or chuck or danny or the expeerts say….THE HOUSE
    ALWAYS WINS IN THE END”……..
    ITS LIKE OPENING A BUINESS KNOWING YOU’RE GOING TO LOSE MONEY…
    and if its from vegas….you know it’s stacked for the house/casino to clean out
    the poor old guy whothinks he’s smarter than the super computers and the
    inside (info )these guys know.

  11. Orphan of the Road says:

    I say take chuck and put his picks up against the experts. Pick all the games, comment if you wouldn’t touch the game or why it is a sure thing. Add in a (gasp) woman to make it real interesting.

    Who are the experts? The average joe, or chuck, is just as good, if not better. The sports readers in KC have jock-straps around them like muzzles. Too buys sniffing butts to make any real calls.

    What are the most FOS people doing to earn a living? Best the ham-and-eggers here know without looking.

    http://www.cracked.com/article_18380_the-6-most-statistically-full-shit-professions.html

    Next to the National Enquirer, this place has the best news and analysis.

    • chuck says:

      Thanks Orphan.

      Gotta have some chicks in the competition, makes it way more fun.

      We have a weekly PGA bet up at Bobby’s, 20.00 to get in, pick 4 golfers after the second round is over and the cut is established. My wife won last week. Oh my god it is hilarious the sh*t she is giving the boys!

      🙂

      • Orphan of the Road says:

        Jersey color or whatever is often better than all the touts combined.

        Hearne picks a panel and then holds it up against the local experts.

        While the commenters rip the flesh from your body weekly, sounds like a good time. I think I’m having an elective circumcision then.

  12. b12 says:

    Hearne, the reason you got blowback (in my opinion…) on Mosiman was that his opinion was supported by facts he got wrong. A credible opinion isn’t one that states Mizzou plays Indianapolis; when they play Indiana. Or that Mizzou blew out the two bottom feeders in the SEC, when they squeaked past Tennessee in a couple of OTs.

    Quote somebody that gets mundane shit right; and I’ll be a lot more likely to accept his opinion as something that’s not just pulled out of left field. Doesn’t matter if he’s started 12 successful businesses or he’s living under a bridge.

    You want hits and comments? Quote him again.

    • admin says:

      The Indianapolis was a typo on my part.

      I still say that’s nit picking because you disagree with his contention. I’ll take it a step further.

      I know there are Missouri fans who wish they would not have left the Big 12 for the SEC because I’ve spoken to some. And read those opinions expressed elsewhere.

      Next?

      • Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

        I’m sure you have Hearne. There always dissenting opinions, especially within individual fan bases. But for Mossiman to put forth that it’s a widespread truth that no Mizzou fan will admit to, is just plain dumb.

        • admin says:

          I disagree.

          I think he’s entitled to that opinion and he made a nice case to back it up. The fact that it pissed off disappointed MU fans suffering thru an unkind transition is to be expected. Doubt me? Look in the mirror.

  13. chuck says:

    One more thing you guys should know, I am not letting Kevin Keitzman get over on me, I promise to shave my head if I don’t win this kcconfidential competition.

    Thats right, I mean it, I will do it!

  14. gerald bostock says:

    When you dismiss factual errors as “nitpicking,” you undermine any claim you have to be a journalist. Credibility is a tightrope walk, and a slip can cost you dearly.

    • admin says:

      Typos are typos. The Star used to have ultra few of them, way less so now.

      However, since pretty much anybody and everybody who is even slightly interested in this topic knows the college is Indiana, not Indianapolis, it’s silly to try and critique an entire complex opinion on the basis of a single typo.

      And one that wasn’t even Mosiman’s.

      I think that put’s it in perspective, G Man.

      Slipping on a tightrope can indeed cost you dearly, but likening a MINOR typo like this to a near death experience bterre demonstrates your appetite for exaggeration more than it does anything else.

  15. PB says:

    “I know there are Missouri fans who wish they would not have left the Big 12 for the SEC because I’ve spoken to some.”

    No matter what any of them say publicly, they ALL really feel this way. They must because they can’t STFU about playing KU. None of the other schools in the SEC give two craps about them now and the one boost of self-esteem that came from their one game over .500 record against KU in football along with the occasional basketball victory kept them off collegiate suicide watch. I feel for them though, it’s got to be frustrating as fck to be tied to a sports program that has pretty much alwats epitomized mediocrity and subsequently generates feelings of total ambivalence from literally everyone not associated with their institution.

  16. Al Harris says:

    Unfortunately, I have had the opportunity to be around some of these guys.
    Kietzman knows a little about sports but has gotten the big head. Thinks everyone in town should know him and was apalled that one member of our group didn’t know his name or what he does for a living.
    Right on the money about St. John, knows nothing about mainstream sports and even though he got his position by default, is cocky as hell.
    Petro by far is the best sports jock at that station.

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