Lefsetz: Ringling Brothers Death Sign of the Times

I went at the old Madison Square Garden twice, maybe three times…

The last time I finally put my foot down and told my mother I didn’t actually like ballet and wasn’t going to go anymore.

Then my father took me to Madison Square Garden.

They used to have a sideshow. Well, not really – as in freaks and geeks – but in the low-ceiling basement you could walk by the chained elephants and gawk at the giant and I’d never been so scared in my life. Because this was 60 years ago, when safety laws were not as strict, when the only thing separating me from the animals was a couple of feet of air.

And I took a ring off the finger of the giant, I think the fee was 50 cents. I kept that gold plastic circle forever, at least until my mother turned my bedroom into her office and threw out not only that ring, but my World’s Fair hat, my baseball glove and…

I just heard it was the 50th anniversary of the first Super Bowl.

I remember it vividly, it was a curio not a must-see. I was at my friend Marc’s house, with him and his father and a buddy – that father and the buddy are gone – but it seems like it was yesterday. No one expected the AFL to win, but then only a couple of years later Broadway Joe showed us who’s boss and football eclipsed baseball and the Yankees sucked and it seemed like everything I knew was changing. Continue reading

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Glazer: Same Old, Same Old from Same Old Chiefs

Were you shocked that Pittsburgh beat us?

Was anyone? Of course not!

Yes, the Chiefs were a slight Vegas favorite – 1-2 points – and hey, we lost by 2. So it was close, right? Not really.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid is 19-2 after the bye week; Alex Smith‘s quarterback rating is 5th all time in playoffs; we were at home; we had Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce,..and we still lost.

Face it, the Chiefs stink in the playoffs. They totally do.

Which comes as no surprise to anyone that we lost.

The Steelers are simply a better football team.

Hey, they never even scored a touchdown and they still WON! Wow. Why? The Chiefs have no offense. As usual really. The opening Chiefs drive was perfect, then came the rest of the game.

Not much, huh? Continue reading

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Glazer: Bogus Fear Mongering by Weather Wonks Continues

Once again the weather media in Kansas City demanded YOU STAY HOME…

We for sure would be having ice storms and heavy snow. Roads would be shut down and  road conditions horrid.


Yet the city was shut down starting Friday with school closings and events being cancelled.


The weather people on TV and the front page of our KC Star. Doom and Gloom. It’s the reason we stay glued to TV news all day and night. Yet they cost the city MILLIONS of dollars every time they’re wrong, which often they are.

Friday passed with no major street issues. NONE all day, no snow, no ice.

The winners are the  grocery stores that were packed.

The losers were the evening events, restaurants, entertainment places and pretty much anything open for business outside of getting food and drink for the snowed-in, iced-in weekend that wasn’t.


They did this just a few weeks back with little bad weather hitting same result. Do they do it to protect us? Is it for ratings and eyeballs on the tube? Did we need to close all the schools before we saw a snow flake or any ice Friday? NO. Continue reading

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Glazer: Scribe Saddles Up for NFL Playoffs

The playoffs are down to eight teams in the race for the Super Bowl

And yes, our Kansas City Chiefs are one of the eight. Most would say that makes this season a big success. But I don’t think so, not for KC.

The Chiefs have not been in a HUGE game since Joe Montana took them to the AFC title game in 1994 and we lost to the Bills. Our last Super Bowl was with Hank Stram and Len Dawson in 1970 – half a century ago.

That’s practically a lifetime.

So Andy Reid and the Chiefs need to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday to be looked at as once again, an elite, post season playoff caliber unit. Better than just good.

Because right now Reid is “Marty light.”

Both are or were playoff head coaches but no cigars, no Super Bowl rings.

In Kansas City the honor of best head football coach still goes to Hank Stram.

Reid will need a win Sunday here and one in New England next week to get into that conversation of who’s best. Or is he even better than Marty? Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: ‘PATRIOTS DAY’ *** Boston Strong Tribute Thriller

Terrorist attacks on society today are sadly turning into common events.

So when a filmmaker like Peter Berg  sets his sights on a rather recent such occurrence like the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, some people may feel it is still too early to fully digest.

However this director has taken its gripping subject matter and has turned it into an edge-of-your-seat Docu-thriller.

PATRIOTS DAY begins with the events leading up to and exhaustive aftermath manhunt by the FBI, State Police, Sheriff and Boston police.

It is the story of heroism by survivors, first responders and investigators of how despite incredible odds this Boston strong force was able to capture the perpetrators within an incredibly short time span in neighboring Watertown.

In the words of police commissioner John Goodman: “My cops are running on fumes.”

The film is an almost hour-by-hour insight from just before the shocking events right on through to the end.

It’s the STORY you know but the characters you DIDN’T! Continue reading

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Lefstez: Debbie Reynolds & The Game of Life

The thing about life is it can always get worse…

We like to believe God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, but do we even believe in God?

We believe there’s a master plan, that it all makes sense…

But it doesn’t.

This is what they don’t tell you growing up, after they say that anyone can become President. That life is an endless series of losses and the key is to keep putting one foot in front of another.

Not so much to be optimistic, because bad stuff is gonna happen, but to try and jump from rock to rock, because although you might slip into the river and get wet every once in a while – even float downriver to a wholly different, unforeseen rock – even though some might never find another rock at all, they were right there next to you laughing and now they’re gone. When you do get to the next rock not only do you breathe a sigh of relief, you gain a sense of wonderment, you’ve got a whole new perspective.

And that’s what makes life worth living.

First of all, there’s touch. And sex. After all, we’re animals. Try and hug someone every day, not in a perfunctory way, but in a style more conscious, like life is hard but at least you have each other. My parents never touched me growing up, could be a 1950s thing – I don’t know – and I struggle with flesh on flesh, but I do know when done right touch roots me, and you.

Second, there’s art. And let’s put nature in that same category. I was out in a miserable snowstorm the other day and I never felt so alive. Like it was just me, the trees and the sky. It’s when you’re most alone that you feel most at peace, assuming you can forgo the anxiety of being disconnected forever.

And in art there’s books and movies and music and painting and sculpture and when they’re done right, they make us feel so not alone, they reflect our humanity back upon us. And it’s hard to do this. Not only in terms of skill, but to let go of precepts and create via your inner tuning fork, what we feel inside.

Too much of what is called “art” today is pandering pabulum. And we know the difference. It’s like “Pulp Fiction” versus the latest “Star Wars.”

As in how did Tarantino come up with that? Kinda like Sgt. Pepper… What were they smoking, where were they at that the Beatles decided to cut a concept album with no singles.

Can you imagine that today? Katy Perry or Taylor Swift Continue reading

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Glazer: Scribe Gazes into His Ball & Sees Chiefs Victory

Chiefs coach Andy Reid ‘s made the playoffs three of his four seasons here in KC…

Yet the true measure of his success will be a win or a loss this Sunday at Arrowhead against Pittsburgh.


The Chiefs last saw an AFC title game in 1994, against Buffalo with QB Joe Montana going out early with an apparent concussion. The Bills went on to destroy the Chiefs and go to their fourth straight Super Bowl…and lose.

The Chiefs have NEVER won a home game playoff since the year, when we beat – guess who? – the Steelers at Arrowhead in round one of the playoffs. We then went to Houston and beat Warren Moon. 

Yes, it was that long ago. Damn.

If Reid and the Chiefs win this game Sunday and go to the AFC title game against New England it will be considered a big step for KC and the Chiefs. Of course, we all want to go to the Super Bowl, but just getting to the AFC Title Game would be nice. Can KC beat the Steelers?

We can, but few outside of KC think we will.

First, we have to deal with what may be the league’s best running attack. We don’t have a for real middle linebacker, no Derrick Johnson. So yikes, that’s a problem. That means Dontari Poe will have to step up and Eric Berry will have to move up to assist him.

Trouble is, that leaves Antonio Brown, AFC’s top wide out, more open for a Big Ben bomb. Against Miami it only took short throws to Brown to move the ball. Ben didn’t need to go deep against the Dolphins. ‘For sure, he’s banged up, that boot he was wearing was not for looks. Continue reading

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Hearne: Chiefs’ Drunken, Dawn Tailgate Plan Recipe for the Obvious

Talk about barbarians at the gate…

Word that the Kansas City Chiefs are opening the drunken floodgates of Arrowhead Stadium’s parking lots at 6:30 am Sunday should send chills down the spines of kinder, gentler Chiefs fans.

Because as anyone who’s attended a Chiefs game in forever knows, the fan atmosphere (with the possible exception of the high dollar club level section) at Arrowhead on game day is rude and crude to the tenth power. Widespread public drunkeness, loud, profanity laced lingo and boorish behavior make for family unfriendly environs.

Let’s do a little math: Since the stadium gates won’t open until 10 a.m. for the just after noon game, that gives the Chiefs faithful nearly four hours – six until kickoff – to get crocked.

“I don’t think everybody’s going to get drunk the entire time, but a lot of people will,” says Chiefs stalwart Craig Glazer.”But opening things up that early is just asking for poor behavior. Maybe the business brains at  Arrowhead think this is kind of a bonus since they’re charging so much for parking.”


Advance parking for Sunday’s game is a whopping 35 smackers, with cash at the gate parking bumped from an already lofty $40 per car to a money grubbing $60!

A price for which Chiefs president Mark Donovan half heartedly apologized.

“I don’t want anybody to pay $60 to park here,” Donovan told the Kansas City Star. “Buy in advance.”

Such sincerity! Continue reading

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Hearne: Tyreek Hill Story The Star Didn’t Bother to Report, Chiefs Would Rather You Not Know

Crystal Espinal & Tyreek Hill’s son Zev

They say the devil’s in the details…

That said, if you’re relying on local sports media or the NFL to report the sordid details of rookie Chiefs star Tyreek Hill’s dastardly treatment of the mother of his young son, you best not hold your breath.

The Kansas City Star’s Sam Mellinger and other local media gave lip service to Hill’s shameful behavior last year -but glossed over the specifics of his reprehensible abuse of the mother of his toddler son Zev.

Hill’s official statement: “I was in a fight with my girlfriend that turned physical between us and I wrongfully put her in a headlock, putting external pressure on her neck that compressed her airway causing bodily injury.”

That’s how Mellinger watered the story down.

“I — I did something that — I did something that I shouldn’t have done that night, which was I just let my feelings take — take control of me,” was Hill’s 2015 courtroom testimony. “I wasn’t thinking. I just — I just reacted and hit her, choked her. I’m real sorry for that.”

Sam the Man’s take: “The Chiefs are also betting that the initial anger won’t last more than one local news cycle.”

Fellow Star sports scribe Vahe Gregorian put it this way:

“If he continues at his current pace, Hill surely will become a candidate for NFL rookie of the year — which would provide yet more to process about his visibility even as he pays his debt to society during his suspended sentence.”

Debt to society?

Hill got off with a wrist slap for a heinous crime that could  and probably should have resulted in a felony conviction punishable by one to three years in prison and/or a $3,000 fine. Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: ‘Hidden Figures’ Has the Right Stuff 

You can’t make up stuff like this…

Yet just about everything about this movie is true.

HIDDEN FIGURES is the fascinating, little known story behind America’s space race telling of how three spunky black women served as “The Brains behind NASA’s” greatest operation ever—the launch of astronaut John Glenn’s flight into orbit.

These women were NASA’s mathematicians who proved themselves invaluable  during the racially suppressed times of the early 1960’s when our space agency was desperately trying to keep up with the Soviets’-then superior space program.

Matter of fact John Glenn (played by Glen Powell) so much respected the task being performed by this math unit that he actually refused to enter the space vehicle unless this special Space Task Group signed off on it.

If all this sounds a bit trite—it ISN’T! Continue reading

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Glazer: Scribe Weighs in on Playoffs Picture

The NFL playoffs start Saturday…

And for once – after all these years – the Chiefs are actually talking of SUPER BOWL. Nice to hear.

However the Chiefs are a mystery team – meaning nobody really knows what to expect. They’re 12-4, third best in the NFL, but only lately have they shown a consistent offense with QB Alex Smith running the ball much more. Tyreek Hill is a monster but needs more touches, and of course Travis Kelce is a big target along with Jeremy Maclin and Chris Conley.

The Chiefs will need a ground attack to keep Pittsburh’s Big Ben on the sidelines longer and that’s where HIll can help. I hope Hill gets sweeps and even runs up the middle.

Of course, that’s next week.

And yes, I fully expect to see the Steelers at Arrowhead.

Miami has small shot at winning the game at Pittsburgh, but not much more.

As for the other games, Oakland at Houston is a strange playoff game, huh?

Neither team has the quarterback they want playing. I like Houston at home against the rookie QB from Michigan State playing for the Raiders.

I’m concerned about his ability to hit his good receivers short and make this a close game. Continue reading

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Glazer: Chiefs to Face Stiff Playoff Competition But…

Happy New Year!

The Chiefs got their wish, a No. 2 spot in the playoffs! A wounded Raiders team got run by Denver and ended up as a wild card, likely one and done. Meanwhile, the Chiefs with their best offensive point total of the season (37) won the division.

That’s the good news.

The bad:  We likely will have to face the Steelers at home after the bye week, Then, if we can handle them, we will have to face New England at their home field. Yikes. But hey you have to beat the best to be the best, right!

The Chiefs big play was once again the unmatched in talent, TYREEK HILL‘S 95 yard punt return to sew up the win. Without it, the Chiefs may have been in trouble. Because they really were not stopping Phillip Rivers and the Chargers. Without an INT in the end zone and Hill’s long run, Chiefs could easily have lost this one.

Our defense was giving up tons of yards in the air and on the ground.

Chiefs QB Alex Smith could have wrapped it up in the third quarter, but yet another interception in the red zone that was returned by San Diego for a touchdown, put the game in jeopardy.

Hill fixed that with his electric, 95 yard punt return. He even had to run over one of his own guys on the sideline to score. His football IQ is uncanny and he has no equal in NFL history of this rare talent.

However the Chiefs have to find a way to use him more often in the post season because he’s the one guy who could help KC beat anybody. Continue reading

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New Jack City: Cutting Through the Cinematic Clutter

There’s a lot of film product in the movie marketplace right now…

So WHAT to see?

Let’s cut through the clutter.

My five Best Bets at the Box Office:

First, of course, there is ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY because—well just because….even though this spin-off is filling only about half as many seats as last year’s regular STAR WARS movie did.

(Star Wars Light, anyone?)

Here then my other picks in no particular order: Continue reading

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Glazer: Best Chiefs Team in Forever Looks Ahead to Playoffs

With last night’s big win over Denver the Chiefs are in a position to get the No. 2 seed in the playoffs and a bye….

That is if a wounded Oakland – they lost their quarterback for the season –  loses to Denver at Mile High and KC beats the Chargers.

It’s really all up to Denver to upend a badly injured Raiders squad next week. Of course, we have to beat Chargers as well. If that happens, the Chiefs have a real shot to go deep in the playoffs, if they play like they did last night.

It’s funny, but when the Chiefs win and it’s a solid win.

And naturally, after a big win there’s far less noise from the fans – fewer complaints and less to talk about.

Clearly, head coach Andy Reid listened to the media, fans and his players. Continue reading

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Glazer: Scribe Picks Hill, Chiefs Over Broncs


Well, Chiefs coach Andy Reid has heard the noise from pretty much everybody – fans, media, blogs – even Travis Kelce,…


Clearly Hill is our most dangerous and best weapon on offense. We all have seen and know what he can do…and he’s got more TD’s – 10 – than all the rest of our offense put together!

Give him the ball as a back as well as a receiver.

I’d like to see Hill get about eight or more handoffs, including short yardage, sweeps, screens and just runs. And I’m sure he’ll break a couple for big yards or a score. More important the defense will have to watch him and that opens up throwing lanes.

Our D is badly hurt now without Justin Houston and Derek Johnson.

Sounds like last year.

Unfortunately, this year Alex is not as good, with only 12 td’s and 6 INT’s – three that cost us recent games. Alex and a poor O line are the two big reasons the Chiefs are really not a Super Bowl contender anymore this year. Sure. it’s possible, but highly doubtful. Uh, not as a wild card, maybe a 2 seed gives us a chance.

Oakland could lose to Indy today.

And the Chiefs should handle a weakened Broncos team playing for pride on Xmas night here in KC.

Their quarterback is worse than ours with no running game, sound familiar? Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: ‘FENCES’ Promises—And Delivers!

It is not often that we are treated to this calibre of acting…

Adapted from August Wilson’s stage play where it won a Pulitzer prize as well as a Tony award, director Denzel Washington elevates FENCES to even greater heights.

It’s hard to imagine how Washington was able to direct himself as well as his co-star Viola Davis to this degree of excellence.

But believe me, it’s all up there on the big screen.

Set during the racially volatile 1950’s Washington plays a middle-age family man who was unable to fulfill his dream of become a major league baseball player who rides on the back of a garbage truck emptying trash barrels.

He’s been married to Davis for what seems like forever.

However now he’s been promoted to actually driving the truck—as his marriage begins to show cracks.

What happens next must be experienced by the serious moviegoer in a theater.

Suffice it to say Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress nominations are awaiting this cinematic showcase in the upcoming Academy Awards race. Continue reading

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Lefsetz: This Year’s Lessons

Stuff happens to interrupt your plans…

The more you look into the future, the more you’ll be interrupted by the present. Screw being here now, screw mindfulness, just know that life is about unexpected interruptions and the older you get the more they relate to health.

While you’re thinking about achievement, nature is throwing a wrench into the works. You can try to stay on track, but recovery is a more useful skill than the ability to plan.

The older you get the less possessions mean to you.

When you’re a kid you need the latest toy, the newest cereal, you’re all about accumulation. Get older and not only is your stuff an impediment, suddenly it doesn’t get you high like it used to. You treasure experiences, if you can remember them. And now this is impacting the younger generation, with so much of our lives being virtual. Kids are the first to give up cars, they don’t need their license. They’re willing to live in shoeboxes in cities, in order to have community. Maybe child is truly father to the man.

People believe the news they want to.

The right wing has turned the New York Times into a joke. The establishment is up for grabs. Bedrock is a fictitious place for Fred and Barney. We live in a Tower of Babel world. Not only do we listen to different music, watch different TV shows and pray in different houses of worship, we don’t even agree on the same facts. This is not about fake news, this is about a schism in society, which no one is willing to address as they’re busy pointing fingers at each other.

History is prologue.

Why did the Democrats believe they could defeat Donald Trump when no Republican could come close to doing so? Continue reading

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Glazer: The Incredible Lightness of Being a Chiefs Fan

I was talking with Hearne the other day about being a Chiefs fan…

And he told me he used to go to almost every Chiefs game from team’s earliest days to the early 1990s. Then one day he just decided he wanted more in his social life than football, football and football.

Then he pointed out that I’d traded going to movies, concerts and other social events for watching pro football and other sports on TV. He knows I like to bet on the games and do pretty well, but he’s right. Sure, it’s an escape for me and for many KC folks.

Too many of us live and die with our Chiefs every week and to what end? 

Years ago- when the Chiefs were truly terrible – I made my biggest money betting against them – won almost every time. Today they’re much more unpredictable and not a safe team to bet for or against. They’re definitely fun to watch though. And yes, I want to see them do well, like most of us.

Hearne’s right though, what good does it do me or us for the most part?

It’s just a game. We don’t get paid if they win or lose; we don’t have a financial investment in them – unless you count spending money on tickets and parking.

We really get nothing back for except bragging rights if they win.

As K says, the franchise has been overall a downer for decades.

No Super Bowls since 1970 – that’s nearly a half century ago! Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: Tinseltown Turns ‘La La Land’

It may take a little prodding to get your guy to come along to see something called LA LA LAND

And once you get him into the theater and he sees the opening sequence taking place on LA’s busy ‘405,’ his first thought most likely will be WHAT IN THE HELL AM I DOING HERE?

For the record, those were my initial thoughts as well.

But guess what, once I got into it, the movie won me over—and then some.

And I’m certainly not alone because LA LA LAND just danced away with SEVEN Golden Globe nominations including Best Picture (musical or comedy), Best Actor Ryan Gosling, Best Actress Emma Stone and Best Director Damien Chazelle!

So exactly what IS this picture?

It’s a dazzling musical love letter to Tinseltown.

A fairy tale of sorts drawing from various emotions of real life. A modern take on the classic Hollywood musicals that has aspiring actress Emma Stone drawn to jazz pianist Ryan Gosling.

These two being drawn together by their common desire to do what they love.

But along the way faced with decisions that tear at the fragile fabric of their budding love affair.

It’s really not the story here that makes this film so special. It’s the way director Damien Chazelle pulls it off on the screen. Definitely a welcomed holiday gift to fans of vintage Hollywood. Continue reading

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Glazer: There Goes the Chiefs Super Bowl Chances

Well, the Chiefs hopes of a Super Bowl are all but gone…

Their luck ran out at Arrowhead in a game they should have easily won. They had countless chances to end it. Four times inside the red zone, one TD that Alex ran in…two stops at the one yard line. Spencer Ware just doesn’t have it. We have no running game unless Tyreek Hill gets the ball.

Oh, they chose not to use him hardly at all even though he is nearly the team’s entire offense.

QB Alex Smith and head coach Andy Reid tried to run the clock out from the second quarter on, just as they had done with Oakland. Resulting in zero points in the second half of either game.

TheTitans with less than two minutes and no time outs easily drove to our 35 yard line to try a 54 yard field goal – a miss – however we called a time out and they hit the next one.

We lose 19-17.

But we deserved to lose with no offense all year. Continue reading

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