Glazer: Ladies & Gentlemen, the Next Tom Watson

0Budding American tennis star Jack Sock is just 22 years old…

He went to Blue Valley North here in Kansas City. And those who follow local tennis knew that Sock would go pro. He skipped college after he graduated high school because he was 80 and 0 and nobody could beat him.

Not since Tom Watson has our city had a big name star outside pro or college baseball,football or basketball.

Jack Sock well may become our city’s biggest name in sports outside of team games ever. Continue reading

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Sutherland: NC-17 Rated Urban Myths of the Heartland

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.11.05 PMEvery culture has its myths and legends…

These establish societal norms that are passed on from one generation to the next, reflecting the values which govern that particular community.

In Kansas City, one of the most enduring popular folk tales is that of the prostitutes who “aren’t really prostitutes.”

What do I mean?

Thirty-five years ago I was having lunch with another lawyer downtown in a restaurant known as The Haberdashery. (It was on Baltimore, in the space formerly occupied by Harry Truman and Eddie Jacobson when they had a men’s store there.)

An older gentleman struck up a conversation with us. He said the place reminded him of another lunch place in the 30’s and 40’s downtown. Our narrator/ relator said the latter was known for the respectable married women who frequented it on certain days for lunch. These ladies were there to be picked up for lunch hour trysts by any man who was interested.

Our raconteur stressed the eminent respectability of these ladies who lunched, who were supposedly all from ‘good’ families, all lived in good neighborhoods (i.e. south of the Plaza), and were all married to businessmen and professionals. They weren’t whores, he stressed repeatedly.  Even at the time, my buddy and I knew we were dealing with some kind of pathetic male fantasy, but we listened politely.  Continue reading

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Hearne: Will a Glazer Be KC’s Next Tom Watson?

1902200P BRITISH OPENSo I’m gathering my thoughts after a week on the road when Craig calls…

“Are you into tennis and the French Open?” the Scribe queried.

Before I could even fathom the motivation for the question – let alone come up with something clever or coherent to say – I found myself knee deep in a phone filibuster about world’s No. 1 tennis player, complete with play-by-play of a televised match between two dudes named Novak Djokovic and Richard Gasket.

By the time I realize I’ve been kidnapped, I more-or-less learn that Craig’s tennis playing nephew is thinking about going pro. And that maybe he barely lost to one of the aforementioned dudes and could be Kansas City’s next Tom Watson.

Hold it – please stop – I begged…

This was the most boring, one-sided conversations I’ve had like ever.

By all means, please write about it, I suggested, but spare me the hay ride.

Kidding, I then asked Craig how he’d like it if I called him out of the blue and started blathering about something like curling?

You remember curling, that’s one of those sports they used to show on ESPN in the channel’s early years. Before they figured out how to make Paul Wilson happy by going  24/7 with mainstream sports on like 10 channels.

But wait, I stand corrected. Continue reading

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Leftsetz: Step Aside Headbangers, Country Rocks America Today

1c5ca970e0a83e16dba4318f_215x280It’s a ROCK format!

So, are those heirloom or cherry tomatoes?

It even made the LA Times, the statement by country music consultant Keith Hill that he advises stations not to play two women in a row, that males are the lettuce and women are the tomatoes in the salad.

And the women are up in arms.

On the surface I get it, artificial rules are anathema. You play what’s good. And good reacts. But the truth is country radio is not your dad’s format, it’s something totally new, it’s the AOR of the 21st century – it’s all about ROCK!

How often do you hear Joni Mitchell on (album rock radio)?

Now I’m not saying Joni doesn’t deserve to be heard. In almost all cases, she’s better than the rockers being played on (AOR which )is appealing to a certain demo – a demo that wants to rock out.

Do you want to rock out?

If you want to hear new music (today) you do it on the COUNTRY station!

That’s right, Active Rock drove itself right off the cliff. If you’re not deep into that scene you don’t want to go there, it’s too hard-edged and atonal. Continue reading

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New Jack City: Tampax To My Rescue

Tampon_Run_Picture1_8555Now that film is no longer used in most theaters, my dirty little secret can finally be told…

 I used to use Tampax at the movies.

OK, but hold it, I’ve got an explanation.

Back when I managed theaters for Commonwealth Theatres in Nebraska and Kansas, digital projection was unheard of. Movies were shown using either 35 mm or 70 mm projectors. There were no high power Xenon lamps either. We used carbon arc “flames” for brightness on the big screen.

But there was a problem.

Many of the older movie auditoriums—especially those with high balconies—had projection booths way, WAY up there. And the projected picture usually demanded a steep downward angle.

So far, so good.

The problem was with the heavily downward tilted projectors at both the Junction and Colonial Theatres in Junk City. Continue reading

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Leftridge: Royals’ May Recap

royals-3-1920For a wondrous, magical period in May, the Kansas City Royals held the best record in baseball. And maybe we’ll look back on it like we look back on 2003, when they were the best team in baseball! for the month of April. Maybe that week in May is as good as it gets, and there’s nowhere to go but down. But then again, maybe the end-of-the-month slide was the fluke, the ship will be righted, and the Royals will once again triumph over all baseball adversaries.

Or maybe the truth is somewhere in between.

Because this is baseball and the season is impossibly long, and rarely are teams as succinctly good or bad as their last ten games would indicate. Continue reading

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Hearne: How to Take a Driving Vacation to Orlando…


Who drives anywhere anymore besides me?

On one hand, I remember being in the back of station wagons and cars while my parents shuttled my sisters and me to places like Michigan and the Ozarks. On the other, my dad had been a flight instructor in the Navy and co-owned an airplane with a doctor friend at St. Luke’s, so I was airborne probably more than most from a very early age.

But following a rash of commercial airline incidents and the birth of my twin daughters Liza and Savannah in the late ’90s, I decided to roll the dice and save a few bucks by sticking mostly to the highways and leaving the skyways to high rollers like Craig, Jack, Paul Wilson and Harley.

It’s a habit I’ve yet to fully shake. Continue reading

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Starbeams: Spelling in Olathe, Burning in Nevada


Vanya Shivashankar

Vanya Shivashankar of Olathe advanced to the semifinals in the National Spelling Bee.  She was able to advance because she successfully spelled Shivashankar.


A new text message is becoming a huge problem for people who own iPhones.  The message shuts down your phone and there’s nothing you can do. I got that text from Sprint.  It said. “Dear Mr. Urich.  You haven’t paid your bill.”

                                              ******* Continue reading

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Hearne: Star Editor Defends Realm on KCUR FM


Gina Kaufmann

Tap dance, anyone?

Talk about interesting timing, three days after my column calling out Kansas City Star editor Mike Fannin for failing to deliver a quality newspaper, up popped the devil in the form of a kid gloves interview with KCUR FM host Gina Kaufmann.

What are the odds?

Understandingly, Fannin sounded a little uncomfortable.

Frankly I’m surprised he agreed to the interview at all, regardless the timing. After all, how easy can it be to try and convince people that all is well at 18th and Grand after a death march from 2,000 employees to maybe 500-ish, with less of pretty much everything imaginable journalistically with the exception headstones.

Don’t get me wrong.

None of that’s on Fannin, he just happens to the captain of Kansas City’s Titanic. Which healthy salary aside, is mostly an unenviable position.

My point in calling Fannin out was to point out the obvious. Continue reading

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Glazer: Stanford’s Reality Show Pilot Attains Liftoff

IMG_5502The LA folks busted their butts on the Stanford’s reality show pilot…

Hey, I was impressed by their 20 man staff that went all out to get the goods on Stanford’s staff, my brother Jeff and I and all things Kansas City.

Getting this opportunity had me watching some of the newer reality shows as well as ones that have been on for years. I know many of you don’t probably watch these, but lots of people do and they dominate the air waves today.

Many of the reality shows today are game show type programs.

Some, like Pawn Stars, attract interest due to some of the more interesting items we see coming into the shop that people sell.

Was that guitar really signed by all the Beatles in 1964? Is it worth $100,000? Is it real?

Other reality shows focus on the people or actors. Like Dog The Bounty Hunter and of course The Kardashians.

My pal Mo Mandel hosts Barmagedden where you see two bars trying new things to see which works and makes the most money. And Shark Tank, about who will have the next million dollar idea.

With Stanford’s the focus would be an out-of-control family that’s – well – kinda funny and a whole lot crazy. A family that runs a biz that just happens to be a comedy club (and all the crazy stuff that goes with it).

In other words, all we had to do was be ourselves. Continue reading

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Glazer: Royals Elite Young Guns Go Uncovered by KC Star

BzoyqbbIQAAGrUbIt’s finally happened…

Kansas City has an elite pro sports team that matters.

Many will argue the Kansas City Royals are baseball’s best team as of today. Why? Not only do they have the best record in baseball, they’ve beaten the best – St. Louis, New York, Detroit. Yes, it’s early still, but the handwriting is on the wall.

Hey, I admit I’ve down on these guys for years.

Why? Because they weren’t any good. The young players were all below where we’d hoped. Eric Hosmer, Moose, Gordon and crew just were not becoming stars.

Until NOW.

And all of a sudden, we’ve added Cain and Sal Perez. Wow.

KC’s pitching overall may be baseball’s best. Our starters are still up and down, but the bullpen, damn. And finally the team is hitting for good power and getting clutch hits when needed.

I look for the Royals to have the best winning record maybe ever for a KC baseball franchise.

But where’s the hoopla? Continue reading

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Leftridge: How to Spend Your Memorial Day

MDcoverMemorial Day. A day when we are to memorialize those who paid the greatest price while serving our country. And plenty of people do it right—they lay wreaths on graves and look at the flag and watch a lot of Discovery History channel programming. They take cake to elderly relatives who fought in WWII and lost buddies named “Bugsy” and “Flagstaff” and “Flappy.”

But plenty of people do it wrong, or they don’t do anything at all.

So what’s the best way to spend Memorial Day? Let’s take a look. Continue reading

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Lefsetz: Then & Now

8643695315_3e439ac324_bThis “then” and “now” column from Bob Lefsetz totally channels former Squire publisher Tom Leathers.

Check it:




Everybody knows everything and despite protestations, (people) provide this information willingly, on Facebook, Instagram… We all want to be known, until we don’t.


Skirts had to cover the knee.


Young women raise their shirts to show their boobies and sext their friends. Pornography used to be underground, now all you have to do is Google it.


You went to the club to hear live music, cover bands or record company supported acts.


You go to the club to dance. Live music is a special event in a large room, it’s rarely even at weddings.


Saving the world came first, then you focused on money.


Everybody’s out for themselves, and if you don’t screw others you’re left behind, leading to a coarse society wherein the winners extricate themselves from the masses and the masses fight amongst themselves. Continue reading

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Hearne: Jock Sniffing Tom Brady & The ‘Border War”

Slavery_Free_Soiler_cartoonIs there anything jock sniffers love more than hyperbole?

Especially the sports media. If they can rile up the faithful by pissing them off or exaggerating to the tenth power, 9 times out of 10 they’ll rock with it.

Even normally clear thinking dudes like Kansas City Star columnist Sam Mellinger.

Mellinger unleashed a pair of doozies the past week or so, starting by aligning himself with KCC scribe Craig Glazer in grousing that the NFL came down way too hard on the New England Patriots and Tom Brady for cheating.

“Somehow, despite the existence of common sense, there is enough hysteria or schadenfreude that many adult humans are taking this seriously and as just punishment,” Mellinger wrote.

“There was no proof that Brady did or knew about anything that violated the NFL’s rules,” he added.

Seriously, Sam?

The prisons in this country are teeming with people convicted of crimes on circumstantial evidence. Since when did the NFL or anybody else have to have photos of Brady himself letting the air out of the balls or emails from him instructing someone else to do so?

That’s not the only way justice is played out in this country. Continue reading

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Hearne: The Poker Game’s Over, Time for the American Royal to Fold

2011AmericanRoyal(Shelby)Poker, anyone?

Just last fall the hot shots at the American Royal laid a huge bluff on Kansas City, threatening to move the Royal and its vaunted barbecue contest somewhere else.

Unless of course, KC would rubber stamp a deal to cough up $50 million in public funding for a new, smaller venue for the American Royal’s horse and livestock shows that hardly anybody attends (or even thinks about).

Businessman Terry Dunn, of J.E. Dunn Construction – a Leawood, Kansas resident last I checked – fired off a letter dissing a competing plan for Kemper Arena that wouldn’t have allowed his company to get its fingers in the pie for tearing down Kemper and building a replacement.

“This is no time to engage in wishful thinking or jeopardize the long-standing Kansas City asset that thrives in the West Bottoms, like the American Royal,” Dunn’s letter concluded.

Hold it right there…

When’ s the last time anybody characterized the American Royal as thriving? Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: ‘Tomorrowland’ Serves Up Disney Fantasy Saga


imagesDecades ago Walt Disney envisioned a futuristic place where today’s problems would no longer exist…

He called it that place TOMORROWLAND.

Like many other Disney creations that have become attractions at the company’s theme parks, they were eventually transformed into major motion pictures. The most successful probably being THE PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN franchise.

Now the Mouse House gives the movie treatment to TOMORROWLAND and hands the project to filmmaker Brad Bird who’s credits include THE INCREDIBLES, RATATOUILLE, THE IRON GIANT and MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL.

So one would hope for a great movie outing here.

Sadly that was not the case for me as I found the film to be plot-heavy, preachy and on the verge of spinning out of control. Continue reading

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Star beams: Traffic Cone Capital, YRC CEO Pay & Mark Hamill

Couple placing traffic cones around tree

Couple placing traffic cones around tree

Kansas City ranks #2 nationwide in Glassdoor’s survey of best places to find a job.  The survey was conducted among people who enjoy placing orange traffic cones.


The CEO of Overland Park based YRC made over $10 million last year.  YRC now stands for Your Rich CEO.


Has anyone thought about what the new Hyatt convention hotel will do to your view of the Power & Light tower from Liberty Memorial?  Move it a little to the right? Continue reading

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Hearne: Memphis is Kicking The American Royal’s Butt

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 10.08.14 AMNo two ways about it, the American Royal is on the ropes…

Not only are its bread and butter horse and livestock shows drawing infinitesimally small crowds, the vaunted World Series of Barbecue is getting its ass handed to it but the good people of Memphis, Tennessee.

Forget for a moment how dumb it would be to plow tens of millions of dollars into a new, smaller venue for an antiquated event that barely draws flies. One of Kansas City’s most prized possessions – the bragging rights to being BBQ Capital of the World – is on the line and in trouble.

That’s because Memphis in May is blowing our World Series away.

Example: USA Today crowned Memphis’ World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest last year as best of the best over KC’s.

Meanwhile, the jury’s still out on what moving the American Royal’s BBQ contest to Arrowhead Stadium will actually mean other than egress and more parking. But it had better include some killer concert action if it hopes to even begin to catch Memphis.

No more all-girl Kiss cover bands. Heck, Kiss themselves wouldn’t come close to what Memphis is offering – a world class, month long month celebration. Continue reading

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Sounds Good: Jason Boland @ Granada, Turnpike Troubadours @ Crossroads KC, The Sluts @ Replay

Jason Boland Austin Texas April 1, 2009

Thursday, May 21st

Jason Boland and the Stragglers at the Granada in Lawrence – Free Outdoor Show

The Granada has been doing this a few times a year lately, throwing a free outdoor event to try and lure folks to downtown Lawrence after the students have evacuated, leaving a trail of broken grills, burned couches, and coconut water.  It’s a pretty cool thing to do because a) no students, and b) Jason Boland can easily sell enough tickets in these parts to merit a full-on $15 – $20 per head show.  It’s something for nothing, folks, come and get it. Continue reading

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Hearne: Fixing Kemper Arena No Laughing Matter

Kemper_ArenaKansas City Star features writer Tim Engle is a great guy – charming, personable, quick witted – self-effacing and honest even…

The flip side of all that good stuff: He’s no pit bull.

Far from it, in fact. It’s just not Engle’s mission in life – nor in his skill set – to bowl folks over with deep, probing thought and iron clad logic. The sort of instincts it sometimes take to tackle an intricately reported, hard news story.

But when it was time for the newspaper to call on readers to offer up goofy-beyond-belief suggestions for how Kemper Arena could be repurposed, Engle was Johnny-on-the-spot.

Unfortunately, serving up a bunch of madcap ideas for Kemper  is the last thing KC needs.

Oh sure, turn the historic, landmark into a multilevel go-kart complex. Hilarious. Or maybe a social services center? Deep. Indoor dog park, anyone? Why didn’t I think of that?

Here’s the deal… Continue reading

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