Another college football week of “Who the #%*$ knows”…
The top teams seem to be coming together, but picking them with points taken away at large numbers is so damn hard. The NFL is more clear.
We have New England, the Packers and Arizona on the top row. Then the Bengals, Carolina, Denver and a couple other decent squads. Now Andrew Luck may join the “I’m hurt” group of quarterbacks. My lord, by season’s end only Alex Smith may be a first string starter.
Unfortunately, that’s the Chiefs only hope.
I think the Chiefs are really bad team now.
They have no energy at all. All week they’ve been quiet in the media after the Green Bay death game. Everyone blames Alex Smith, but its more than just him. No O line and a terrible defense. No pass defense at all. Nobody. Anyone can throw on us all day. Our vaunted pass rush is B.S. Even Justin Houston is not there when we need him. Kinda like former Royals “star” Mike Sweeney. Houston gets good numbers but no important sacks that win games. NONE. Not in Denver or Green Bay.
But yippee! At least we’ll have 10 all pro defenders. Continue reading
How many times can this happen until there’s nothing left of a once, legendary local employer?
And now the real facts about the Sprint layoffs you won’t find anywhere else.
Yesterday, word began to leak that Sprint was going to announce more cuts.
Cuts of Biblical proportions.
Early reports pinned the number at $1-1.5 billion with a capital B!
Sprint is notorious for floating trial balloons to lessen the blow of the real numbers, however this morning we awoke to various press releases that place that number closer to $2.5 billion, all to go down in the next six months.
Five conversations I had with senior management lead me to believe that may be a hair inaccurate. The real number being bantered about inside those walls comes closer to $8-$10 billion over the coming eight months.
Not even Harley with his enormous business brain can tell you the devastating effect cuts of this magnitude will have on the local employment picture.
But it validates my two year claim that we’re headed for the Left Coast, kids! Continue reading
In the wide world of universal truths, death more often than not is an ugly affair…
Seems like it seldom comes quickly and cleanly.
Such appears to be the case with one of Kansas City’s most vaunted annual events, the American Royal. Was a time – long ago – when local businessmen wore those cute little American Royal lapel pins with pride. When local big shots competed to buy Grand Champion steers and were haled for their civic mindedness by local media. Blue jacketed, teenage Future Farmers of America roamed the Plaza and downtown Kansas City and top notch entertainers and musicians packed Kemper Arena. The barbecue contest turned the West Bottoms into horrendous traffic jams and the entire affair was punctuated by a festive, downtown parade attended by tens of thousands. Even the boring livestock and horse shows drew reasonably large crowds. And high society types vied to get their daughters presented as “debutants” in the annual Belles of the American Royal Ball.
No kidding, the American Royal was a really big deal.
However, so were horse drawn carriages, bell bottom pants, pay phones and VCRs. Times change; people move on. You-know-what happens, and things die and go away.
And at this stage of the game the American Royal would have a hard time drawing a crowd to its horse shows if they flooded the entire city with free tickets. Because nobody much really cares anymore. Continue reading
The owner of the Plaza, has put KC’s CROWN JEWEL up for sale…
Yep, it’s come to that. Highwoods Properties has owned the Country Club Plaza for 17 years and put a truck load of money into the area to reboot what was once one of the busiest places in our city day and night.
Highwoods says it wants to to put its money into other developments around the nation. They also owned Prairie Village shopping district and sold that to Lane4 in 2009.
And today that area is booming with hot restaurants and more traffic than we saw back in the Toon Town days of the 1970’s, so maybe a new owner for the Plaza will be a good thing. Right now nobody knows what’s in store for the future of one of America’s nicest shopping and entertainment districts.
Just a few months ago I wrote about the Plaza’s problems.
They remain the same. Continue reading
Try Googling, “violence on the Country Club Plaza”
You’ll get 822,000 hits. Scroll down that lengthy list and you can read stories from every media outlet known to man. The Daily KOS, The Blaze, WaPo, HuffPo, USA Today, TIME, KCC and every major TV network and blogger in the nation. Everybody’s covered it.
Why? Because it’s a big eff’ing deal.
Headlines include –
“KANSAS CITY BLUES: VIOLENT BLACK MOBS”
“Man says brother was surrounded and shot at by teens near the plaza”
“Kansas City police hope to lay to rest to the violence, supercharged by social media, flash mobs and memorialized in online videos”
“Teens say fun night on the Plaza took terrifying turn when woman brandished gun”
“Everyone arrested was black. Everyone kicked off the bus was black.”
“The Plaza in Kansas City is an entertainment district under siege.”
Then a week ago, “Police search for suspects accused of brutally beating 37-year-old Army captain outside Plaza restaurant.”
I grew up on the Country Club Plaza. Continue reading
THE MARTIAN: This could actually happen, you know?
A mission to Mars being disrupted and going awry due to a sudden and violent wind storm on the red planet.
The exploring astronauts having to seek refuge in their spaceship—except one: Matt Damon. He is struck by a satellite dish and knocked out far from his Mars-exploring team.
Now rushing to save themselves, and presuming that Damon has been killed, the rest of the crew is barely able to evacuate the angry red planet.
But wouldn’t you know it, with just a little oxygen left, Damon regains consciousness and figures out a way to keep it together and stay alive.
There’s his rationing of the remaining food at the base station. However it’s not enough to keep him going until a rescue space mission can reach him—which would take four years!
The big question now is how to grow edible food in a land where nothing grows. Continue reading
Kansas City has some great football fans…
We all love putting on the Red and filling up Arrowhead. Fans wear jerseys with names like Gonzalez, Thomas, Charles and several other players who never won a playoff game. Our fans love the Chiefs. Why? Good question.
Maybe because of the distant memory of Marty Schottenheimer, Hank Stram or even Len Dawson and Otis Taylor for those old enough to remember the 1970s.
Yet the Chiefs haven’t won a meaningful game in decades.
Their last big win was back in 1994 against the Houston Oilers and Warren Moon. Our quarterback was Joe Montana. Our star receiver was tight end Keith Cash who’s been long forgotten. That was over 20 years ago.
Since then. Nothing.
Schottenheimer had some good teams in the 1990’s but none went on to win a playoff game after Montana in 1994.
Why? Because our general managers can’t draft players. Continue reading
NASA confirms Mars has limited flowing water on the surface…or as we like to call it: California.
Madonna recently dedicated a song to the Pope at one of her recent concerts. We’re guessing “Like a Virgin” or “Papa Don’t Preach.” Possibly “Like a Prayer.” She does so many hymnals.
******* Continue reading
For the second time in as many years, the Kansas City Royals are going to the Major League Baseball playoffs, this time as winner of the American League Central. They’d never won the Central previously, and hadn’t won their division since 1985, the very year they won their only World Series title.
These are all things you probably already know.
You’re probably also aware that they haven’t been having the best September and that a lot of people are anticipating some sort of postseason crash-and-burn. (Hopefully you’ve listened to enough people to realize that they didn’t have the best September last year, either, and neither did the eventual world champion San Francisco Giants, may they forever burn in all of Hell’s eternity. But I digress.) Continue reading
Well, its week three and for some colleges week four…
The NFL is not putting out a great product this year. There are way too many key injuries and off-field issues. And losing starting quarterbacks is major. Dallas, who otherwise would maybe be one of the NFC’s top two or three teams, loses Tony Romo and Dez Bryant.
New Orleans is done – with a wounded Drew Brees soon to be not playing at all. And the list of other key players out early seems endless.
All the new rules to protect players haven’t worked at all.
There are more injuries than ever. The other key issues leading to substandard play have to do with MONEY. A few players on each team get $10 and $20 million a year while other key players make a fraction of that big payday.
There’s just not enough go around, thus the number of holdouts. And hard feelings show up on the field. Add in off the field problems from Tom Brady to Chip Kelley and the failed Eagles and there are a ton of problems.
And the season just started.
Hell, the Chiefs may benefit from all this just by staying healthy. Continue reading
He was a team player in a world where stars dominated…
The press was all about Mickey Mantle, but it was Yogi Berra who we loved. And kept on loving long after his playing days were through, because although he was a member of the jockcracy, Yogi danced to the beat of his own drummer, he was not beyond feuding with Yankee’s owner George Steinbrenner, because winning isn’t everything, it’s how you play the game that counts.
But back then the Yankees were winning everything.
It was so different from today.
No one flew, never mind went to spring training camp. But we couldn’t wait for the season to begin. We’d camp out in damp basements watching exhibition games when the snow had already melted but it was still too cold to go outside. We flipped baseball cards. We bought books. Baseball was the National Pastime.
Before the players grew moustaches and gained free agency. Before we discovered their foibles. Sure, Joe Namath transcended the stars who preceded him, he played both on and off the field and won in both arenas. But before that athletes were two-dimensional.
And then there was Yogi. Continue reading
Yes, Donald Trump still leads in the Republican presidential polls…
However Trump’s lead has dropped a bit while others have risen. He still has 24% of the vote, but that’s down from 32% a few weeks back, prior to last week’s debate.
Carley Fiorina is the big news.
She’s in second with 15% while Ben Carson has fallen to 14%. Marco Rubio is now in the thick of things at 11% with Jeb Bush up to 9%. Scott Walker dropped out and the rest of the field is weak, with most with under 4%.
And it seems unlikely any of the other candidates will climb enough to matter.
So is Trump in trouble?
He may be. He did OK in the debate but he still has no firm plan like did Fiorna. Rubio is a young, handsome, hard-nosed man with a plan as well. Bush came off as a nice guy with lots of heart and passion but just not a powerhouse.
How crazy would that be: two women nominated for the presidency of the United States?
Hillary vs. Carley! Continue reading
Someone asked me the other day about the movie EVEREST…
He’d seen that it was playing only in IMAX and thought of it as a documentary of sorts—like something NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC might have produced.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
EVEREST is a harsh adventure drama inspired by the incredible true events surrounding a treacherous attempt to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain.
The movie follows two separate commercial expeditions which found themselves challenged beyond their limits to fulfill their mountain climbing-client’s goals of ultimate achievement.
However getting to the top of Everest was one thing.
Making it back down to their combined base camps presented an entirely different obstacle during one of the fiercest snow storms to ever hit Mount Everest. Continue reading
Remember when cutting edge Kansas City Star columnist Mary Sanchez swacked that two bagger a couple weeks back?
Where in a single column she exonerated K-State’s band for its marching penis formation, then served up a non sequitur chastising everybody for not focussing instead on a spate of on-campus robberies.Huh?
As if paying more attention to the more mundane robbery reporting should have blotted out the higher profile football fuss.
So then where were Sanchez and the Star last week when a Lawrence news story headlined, “Police stop men taking unconscious women to KU frat houses” broke?
Um, nowhere I can find, so let’s take a look. Continue reading
It’s like there are two internets…
One of skeptical consumers doing their best to navigate their lives and the other of scumbag providers doing their best to win through subterfuge. Then again, in a world where brands are revered and Volkswagen cheats why do we expect people to bend over backwards for businesses?
We can talk about ads slowing down mobile loading times, we can reference Apple making its money on hardware, but what we’ve really got is a public that’s sick and tired of getting the short end of the stick. If Republicans were advertisers they’d tell people to just pick themselves up by their bootstraps and be just like them, winners. But is it a winning economy when we’re inundated with messages that aren’t relevant that intrude upon our everyday life?
But websites will tell us there’s no free lunch.
Which brings up the question of payment. Everyone on the corporate side believes no one will pay. But the truth is we pay all the time, when you offer convenience and a desirable product. But when you do your best to put one over on us, we get angry. And if there’s any way we can get retribution…
Kind of like Napster. Sure, tunes were free. But they were also unlocked from overpriced albums with few good tracks. Furthermore, now radio was no longer in control, we were able to sample wares based on our own desires. The irony is the major labels and music business honchos will STILL tell you radio is in control! Ain’ that a laugh. Radio is where you can reach the most people easily, but it means less than ever before. How do we know? Because most of the public is clueless as to the Top 10, they just don’t care about it. In other words, it turns out the music industry is not giving people what they want.
We’ve all got to focus on giving people what they want. That’s internet 101. The consumer is in control. Win by serving them, not by corralling them to fit your own desires. Continue reading
The Pope is coming! The Pope is coming!
Yet he’s making Cuba his first stop—AHEAD of the United States.
(Bet that won’t happen again if Trump ends up at the controls.)
But that’s not all that’s different about this week’s Papal visit.
In better days the Holy Father flew on TWA charters which had Shepherd One outfitted, complete with a luxurious Papal bed.
The aircraft was an AMERICAN built Boeing 767.
And once on the ground, Papa was ferried through the streets in the Popemobile, a modified Mercedes-Benz.
Some of the older M-B Popemobiles are still on display at the Mercedes Museum in Stuttgart.
But, oh how times have changed. Continue reading
Bit by bit.. putting it together…
You have to wonder if Rep Artistic Director Eric Rosen didn’t lose more than a few night’s sleep over those lyrics. After all, he had to figure out a way to shoe-horn Stephen Sondheim‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning musical SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE (now thru Oct 4) into the confines of Atkins Auditorium, the part of the Nelson-Atkins Museum you’ve never been to (so that’s why it’s called that).
The good news is that Eric and his gang of artists and artisans got it done, hammering together a new production of this cerebral show to open the Rep’s 51st season. “Art isn’t easy,” Sondheim tells us; but this SUNDAY IN THE PARK rises to the challenge and finishes the hat.
I have to admit, I saw the Broadway original, wherein Mandy Patinkin, who was nominated for a Tony for his performance, tore the place down with his intense portrayal of French painter George Seurat, an artist obsessed with combining dots of color (pointillism, it’s called) to create paintings of shimmering light. When Mandy assembled the actors into a re-creation of Seurat’s masterpiece “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of the Grand Jatte,” it was one of the most thrilling act one finales I’d ever seen– still is.
Didn’t see that at the Rep’s production– there was no room for it (and the actors didn’t really look like the painting’s characters anyway). While that was a mild disappointment, the Rep SUNDAY IN THE PARK more than made up for it in act two, in which Seurat’s great grandson has to deal with his own challenges making art in the 21st century. I actually liked the Rep’s act two –and the whole experience, over all– better than the Broadway production. Continue reading
Well, football season is well underway, and the Kansas City Chiefs are a firm 1-1…
They are, depending on which Craig Glazer article you read, either “… in the mix this season for the postseason” or they will “…lose to Green Bay and then chase our tail to be 8-8 or 9-7 season, in what will, as always, be a meaningless season. Haters.” (I added the haters for emphasis and stylistic purposes. Because it’s Glazer, you know?)
Regardless, we are civically obligated as a United Nation Under Price Chopper (is Chiefs-N-Chopper even still a thing?) to support the Chiefs in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. (Even if they now have a “national rep as jerkoffs in big games” to once again quote our good friend Glaze.) And what better way to show your support than with terrible, stained, shoddy merchandise and apparel from Craigslist.
Let’s see what we can find! Continue reading
Well, are we over the Chiefs yet?
Not quite yet, right? Well, they have 14 more games, but hey folks, with that offensive line being a different group of guys nearly every week, they’re going nowhere.
I feel like coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey have had three years to fix it. They haven’t. So in my opinion, that’s not a good job.
Thus the Chiefs will not contend for much as usual.
They have other issues as well. That Thursday night game was an ugly loss. Next Monday Night at Green Bay – I don’t think so.
College area teams have no heros this season. Missouri has a solid defense but lack offensive weapons. They will go to a bowl game but I see this as a lesser year than the first two in the SEC. K State will also go bowling but not compete for a title in the Big Twelve and Kansas. Need I say anything. Outside of Ohio State the rest look like we won’t know for a couple more weeks. Alabama has a big game with Ole Miss ant that will tell us if they are big time or not this year.
WITH THE CHIEFS loss we are probably starting out behind. 3-5 overall lets get rolling. Continue reading
To think I picked them to win…
I thought this was going to be a much better year for KC. I felt the Chiefs were a post season team, based on their preseason, Jeremy Maclin, and a new beginning.
Was I ever wrong. LOSERS LOSE.
The Chiefs are for sure a loser. Again. They have no ability to win big games. None. They were a disgrace last night.
They gave away a 14 point lead in the second quarter in mere seconds to Denver’s Peyton Manning. Manning decided to take the game over from his new head coach. He went back to running the offense. And from that point forward we got our butts kicked. Continue reading