Donnelly: Star is Born in Sporting KC Win Over Chicago

melia-tim0302_0481

Tim Melia

After allowing eight goals in the previous four matches – including a whopping four at the Houston Dynamo last week –  Sporting Kansas City boss Peter Vermes decided it was time to bench his brand new, Chilean, starting goalkeeper, Luis Marin

In Marin’s place, Vermes inserted 6-year MLS benchwarmer Tim Melia against the visiting Chicago Fire on Sunday.  Over the years, Melia bounced around between clubs as a pool goalkeeper, and before that he had a couple year stint with the horrible Chivas USA – a team MLS euthanized in late 2014.

So when Melia was announced as the starter, it certainly looked pretty bad for Marin.

It’s not like Peter Schmeichel was waiting in the wings.  What I’m saying is that Vermes must be pretty pissed at the Chilean to abandon him this early in his first season in KC.

But then something awesome happened. Continue reading

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Leftridge: Here Comes the Fight of the Century (Is What People Said on Saturday When This Was Originally Written)

Pacquiao-vs-Mayweather

***This piece was originally scheduled to run Saturday, May 2nd. Oops.***

There’s a boxing contest tonight, and according to those who know these sort of things, it’s the biggest match since “Gentleman” George Gagland fought “Irish” Mickey O’Syphilis for two consecutive days at the Poughkeepsie Fairgrounds in 1909. (RIP O’Syphillis.)

You’ve probably heard the staggering numbers—winner AND loser each stand to make nine digits, Vegas is expecting $70mil in bets, 3 million people will shell out of the pay-per-view—but really it is only the last fact that is of any consequence to you.

Will you be one of those 3,000,000 people dropping $100 to watch two small, solidly built men pound the shit out of each other for upwards of 12 rounds? Well, you shouldn’t be. Here’s why this whole thing sucks. Continue reading

Posted in Brandon Leftridge, Sports | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

New Jack City: The High Costs of Business Travel

 

thumbs-upThey’re in, Business Travel News’s cost measurements for the top 100 domestic markets this year…

These indexes are used by Corporate America to judge the cost of lodging, food and car rentals in various cities. They also often determine the per diems paid by businesses to traveling employees.

The highest per diem averages are for San Francisco – as in $509.50 per day.

The lowest at No. 100 was Shreveport where a mere $241.16 should get you through a business day.

So how did Kansas City fare? Continue reading

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Glazer: The Scribe Analysis & Prediction That Almost Got Away

floyd-mayweather-jrManny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather will each make more than  $100 million…

It’s the fight of THIS century, at least money wise and 2100 is a long way off. Are they both undefeated? No. Are they the two best ever in their weight class? No. Are either of the two the best pound for pound fighters of all time? No way.

So whats the big deal?

Because these two are the only real big names in today’s boxing world.

Five or six years ago they were considered the best pound for pound fighters out there.

Now maybe not.

But the fight world wanted to see this fight, badly. So everyone waited.

May weather kept winning and in the meantime he got five domestic violence charges and sent one lady to the hospital he beat her with his fists so badly and then he pulled a weapon on her. Nice.

For all that he got like 90 days in jail.

OJ took back some paintings and memorabillia, got 15 years and he’s still in prison.

Nevada’s not a liberal state.  Continue reading

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Hearne: The Move from Heck is O-V-E-R

FullSizeRenderSorry about that, gang…

However I just undertook a ridiculously difficult move – all of like four miles – to new digs here in Lawrence. And while that’s an infinitesimally small step for mankind, it was a gigantic pain in the you-know-what for me and an emotionally crippling trauma for Craig Glazer.

More on that in just a min…

One wouldn’t think moving across town would be that big a deal, but it was enough to grind KC Confidential to a halt for a long weekend.

And aside from moving into an elegant “gated community” – Hutton Farms West – it was an opportunity for me to sort through thousands of odd documents (in an effort to try to thin out my move), which I plan to share with you as the smoke clears from this mess.

As for the poor Scribe, turns out he submitted a column before the big fight Saturday ( I still don’t know who won), but apparently as always, the Glaze was dead on.

As such, he was desperate to lay down his big touchdown dance and put Harley in his place.  Continue reading

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Sutherland: When Bad Things Happen to Good People

why-do-bad-things-happen-to-good-people-blog-postMichelle Johnson, the Kansas City Star’s ‘Diversity Diva’, was able to put succinctly into words an idea that I had struggled with for some time…

Johnson drew on her experience as an employment lawyer to explain why some types of lawsuits were easier to win than others. She learned that jurors are reluctant to hold an employer liable for discrimination against the handicapped because they are reluctant to attribute such base motives to someone else. It’s disturbing to think, after all, that a person could be harassed or fired through no fault of their own, i.e. because of their physical disability.

However people do understand someone acting on a personal grudge or resentment, because they are more candid in recognizing that they themselves have acted from such motives. Thus, Johnson, said it’s much easier to win a verdict based on a claim of retaliatory behavior, which they will admit is understandable, even though wrong.

As Johnson puts it, “People don’t like to believe that unfair things happen.”

She cites articles which show a widespread belief that since “the world is basically fair and just, thus, people who have horrible things happen to them involving other human beings must have brought it on themselves.” Facing Uncomfortable Truths Means Opening Ourselves To Pain, 2-9-15. Continue reading

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Lefsetz: The Great Cable TV Ripoff Coming To An End

The Discovery Channel's Naked and Afraid

The Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid

Nobody wants to watch the Discovery Channel

Only 2.9 million people viewed Naked and Afraid. But a 100 million paid for it. More than a buck a month. The CEO made $156 million. Now what?

Lawsuits.

Verizon is following the customer, allowing its FiOS TV subscribers to pick and choose channels. And the content providers are going nuts!

Sound familiar?

Let me analogize for you.

A CD cost $12. But people only wanted to hear one song. Continue reading

Posted in Bob Lefsetz | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Steele: The Star’s Odd Take on Terrorism

2013 3_21 PMHaving milked the Bishop Finn resignation for every merciless drop, and having no new 30-year-old altar boy scandals to embellish, The Star has returned to its one true love, domestic terrorism…

No, we’re not talking about the fact that the ISIS-loving Nation of Islam, in cahoots with the Crips and the Bloods and the New Black Panther Party, has been center stage in the burning and sacking of Baltimore.

We’re talking about white right wing terrorism…once more.

The number two headline on the Star’s Thursday email blast reads, “Domestic terrorism: Landscape of white nationalist groups is changing.”

Click on the headline and one confronts the new face of this terrorism, an older, bespectacled man in a jacket and tie and his middle age daughter standing under a billboard for their Internet radio station, WhitePrideradio.com. Continue reading

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Starbeams: ‘No Means Bud,’ Royal Bonkings, Chiefs Feeling a Draft

UnknownBudweiser says it “Missed the mark” when labeling its ad campaign with “The perfect beer for removing the word NO from your vocabulary.”

Maybe they really are unfiltered?

                                                             *******

The Royals are repeatedly being hit in the head with nasty pitches from other teams.  Alcides Escobar was hit this week with a 96 mph fastball that knocked him out of the game and tensions are high.  The fighting has gotten so bad the Royals remaining games will be televised on Pay-Per-View.

                                                             ******* Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: ‘Avengers’ Dropping the Hammer on Ultron

avengers-marvelNo synopsis, plot or spoilers here!

Instead here’s my overview of what will likely be this summer’s top performing movie:

While AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON is the follow-up to the third biggest grossing movie of all time (the others being AVATAR and TITANIC) it actually picks up where 2014’s CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER left off.

To say fan expectations are through the roof would be a gross understatement. But one doesn’t have to be a 30 year old nerd still living in his mom’s basement to enjoy this living comic book-in-overdrive outing.

And I say that confidently, having observed a screening audience which consisted of a healthy male mix of just about all ages within the 10 to 54 year old demographic with plenty of females as well.

Right from the start this franchise blockbuster sets the tone. Continue reading

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Glazer: Baltimore Riots Torpedo Stanford’s Comic

Rain Pryor

Rain Pryor

Freddie Gray was just hanging out when cops made eye contact with him… 

Gray has a lengthy criminal record with over 20 arrests since 2007 for selling drugs, burglary,making drugs, assaults, the list goes on. Clearly he’s a low level thug at age 25, with two arrests just weeks before an incident in March.

Gray ran when cops just looked at him. He had a concealed weapon on him, a knife. And that’s pretty much all we know thus far.

Gray was placed in the back of a police van, cuffed. 

And he was reportedly injured in a wreck the week before.

Did police cause the spinal cord issues that lead to Gray’s death, or was it the wreck and ride in the back of the van? 

Nobody really knows at this time.

One thing is clear, Gray was not an innocent young man on his way to work or school or anything close to any of that. Did he deserve to die or be killed? Of course not, but what actually happened remains unknown.

The result:. The worst riots seen in Baltimore since Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in 1968.  Continue reading

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Hearne: Unanswered Questions Linger in ‘Duke’s on Broadway’ Rape Story

Dukes-on-Grand-windows-smashed-SIZED_1429570753144_17118131_ver1.0_640_480Don’t expect the Duke’s on Grand rape story to go away anytime soon…

There are just too many crazy twists and turns and unanswered questions. Starting with the gaggle of employees who hung out illegally drinking after closing hours to party with owner Dennis Skeen, a former hot dog salesman and the alleged perpetrator.

And that the 23 year old woman victim had been drinking illegally for nearly three hours with Skeen and the other employees who left only minutes before Skeen did the nasty.

In another odd twist, it was three homeless men who say they spotted Skeen taking advantage of his passed out employee and who called the police. One of the homeless gents told KCTV that Skeen threatened them by waving a gun after he dragged the woman’s lifeless body out of sight into a back room. Continue reading

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Hearne: The Second Coming of Joe Posnanski?

UnknownTalk about too much of a good thing…

Now that the Kansas City Royals are requiring locals to pay much closer attention, I find myself perusing their game stories in the Kansas City Star far more often. Which generally entails reading what beat writer Andy McCullough has to say – which trust me, is usually a mouthful.

Take today’s game story account of the Royals win at Cleveland:
“A desolate ballpark came alive as Mike Moustakas traipsed back to the Royals dugout. A series of high-pitched catcalls echoed through the barren confines of Progressive Field as Moustakas searched for fresh lumber. A lone voice implored him to hurry up. He did not listen.”

Or Sunday’s loss at Chicago:

“Edinson Volquez handed the baseball, the object that betrayed him in the sixth inning of Sunday’s 5-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox, to Royals manager Ned Yost. 

Before he exited the diamond, Volquez turned and patted the chest of third baseman Mike Moustakas, the other principal participant in an inning marked by agony.” 

Maybe I missed it, but when did Royals wrap-up stories morph into soap opera style melodramas? When did covering what happened in a game take a back seat to over-the-top, breathless nerd overkill?

Former Star sports scribe Joe Posnanski was the master of this genre. Continue reading

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Hearne: Bill Self Teams With Former KU Wild Man for Lawrence Eatery

Scot Pollard

Scot Pollard

Maybe Bill Self  will stick it out here in Lawrence after all…

I still have my doubts. However it is possible that the KU basketball coach’s philandering days are behind him. And that coaching at the level of an NBA practice squad is starting to grow on him. Hey and living in a $2 million plus mansion wearing, a really snug rug and getting Botox treatments is enough for a dude who came humble origins. Living in a fishbowl with only a small handful of decent restaurants might suffice.

Which may explain why Self is teaming with former KU star Scot Pollard, reportedly to start a new biz at 18th and Mass just south of downtown Lawrence.

Rumor is Polard and Self are planning to open a restaurant there.

And while at first blush a sports bar might make sense, all that glitters in that category ain’t gold. Just ask former KU football star David Lawrence about his year-old, ghost town eatery Legends.

What makes more sense would be to open a second Salty Iguana. Continue reading

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New Jack City: No Obamacare for Comcast-Time Warner Deal

ComcastTimeWarnerCableMerger053114I thought I’d never say this but a tip of the hat to the Feds for putting the squeeze on Comcast’s proposed buyout of Time Warner Cable

A merger that was good for consumers?

If you believe that then just look at what these type of mergers have done in other industries.

Take the airlines where Delta gobbled up NorthwestUnited acquired Continental. USAirways took American (but kept the AA name.) And Southwest landed AirTran.

Has the public benefited?

Of course not. In most cases the opposite has been the case. Continue reading

Posted in Jack Poessiger | 6 Comments

Glazer: Royals Fever Sweeping KC, Killing Area Nightlife

eric-hosmer-alex-gordon-mlb-tampa-bay-rays-kansas-city-royals1Kansas City is in a DEEP love affair with the hometown baseball team…

When the Royals play it’s stop what you’re doing and watch the game time.

Kansas City wants to ride the Royals bandwagon in the worst way to try and gain some damn respect. That’s pretty clear. Now we’re a town that loves our two big pro teams, the Chiefs in the NFL and the Royals in MLB.

Both teams have been trapped in Nowhereville for decades.

While the Chiefs sometimes back into post season play, they haven’t won a playoff game in more than two decades. And for the Royals until last year, make that three decades.

We’re used to never hearing or seeing much about our teams on ESPN because they haven’t been important enough.

Well, now one of them is.

And not just because the Kansas City Royals were in the World Series last year, they started off this season with seven straight wins – and even better – now they’ve become controversial with big, bench clearing brawls.

Now the Royals have got a little bad boy in them, like me. Continue reading

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged , , , , , | 33 Comments

Lefsetz: Music First, Stardom Later

1428707766_katy-perry-467I can’t get an Apple Watch, but every celebrity known to man has been seeded one to make them look cool…

Who’s using who? And if you think it’s the musicians who are coming out ahead, you own no Apple stock.

Used to be different.

Players weren’t rich. They were in it for the dope, the sex, the hang and the music. It was a lifestyle. What did Donald Fagen sing in “Deacon Blues”?

“I cried when I wrote this song, sue me if I play too long”

There are no blues in popular music today. No one’s crying, unless it’s about the loss of recorded music revenue as they charge a zillion dollars for a ticket.

Once again, watch this video:

In it you’ll see how rich Jay Z and Madonna and the rest of the Tidalites truly are. Turns your stomach, makes you lose sympathy. Continue reading

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Steele: Why Did Anti-Sprint Tweet Become The Star’s Top Story?

Marcelo Claure & J Lo

Marcelo Claure & J Lo

About that dustup over Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure‘s use of the king’s English…

Apparently, Brett Schulte, an LA-based social media consultant that no one had ever heard of, tweeted the following:  “I think they meant @marceloclaure for an MVNO. He’s so outclassed he can barely speak the language. @sprint sucks.”

For those who might not be aware, Twitter is designed for people who like to send moronic insults. I have received a few already today, but I lack the ethnic mojo to take out my tweeting morons.

Claure, by contrast, seems to have it. He tweeted back, “YOU are an ignorant racist. You should be ashamed of yourself and your dumb comments.”

Incredibly, this trivial exchange resulted in the top story on the Kansas City Star’s Friday Email blast, headlined, “Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure calls writer of Twitter comment ‘an ignorant racist.'”

For the record, Claure is a Bolivian native with a seemingly French name. He hails from a wealthy family going back several generations and speaks with a slight accent.

As to his race, I haven’t seen a DNA breakout, but he looks pretty white to me. Continue reading

Posted in Rich Steele | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Hearne: Skeen & Wife Wanted to Buy ‘Duke’s on Grand’

Dennis Skeen Selling Jersey Dogs in Westport 2012

Dennis Skeen
Selling Jersey Dogs in Westport 2012

Saturday’s downtown sports bar rape story just keeps getting weirder…

For starters, turns out alleged rapist Dennis Skeen is married. Add to that, sources say that Skeen and his wife Michelle have been trying to buy Duke’s on Grand, the downtown bar where this sordid whole mess went down last weekend. On top of which, Duke’s liquor license has now expired – all of which may make it a cold day in hell before Duke’s reopens…if ever.

But before we delve into the particulars of those new details and more, let’s clear up some embarrassing misinformation put out earlier today by Kansas City Star columnist Mary Sanchez.

“Many will probably question what the woman was doing having drinks alone with a man after hours,” Sanchez wrote. “Maybe she was an employee. Maybe she was a customer. Maybe she was too gullible.”

Maybe Sanchez should have checked with police before she wrote her column.

Because according to Kansas City Police, the 23 year-old woman in question was indeed an employee of the downtown sports bar where the unseemly event went down. Nor was she having drinks alone with Skeen, as other Duke’s employees left the bar only minutes before the alleged assault took place. Continue reading

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Leftridge: Ventura Poised to Destroy Royals’ Season

volquexfightKansas City Royals’ ace Yordano Ventura needs to knock this shit off…

In case you missed the highlights from last night’s late inning victory against the Chicago White Sox, here’s what happened: In the seventh inning, Chicago’s Adam Eaton hit a comebacker to the mound that Ventura fielded cleanly before throwing to first for the out. In the middle of the play, however, before Ventura threw to first, he unleashed a very clear “FUCK YOU” as Eaton made his way down the line. This resulted in an altercation at the end of the inning in which both benches cleared, and several players from both sides were ejected. This was the second ejection for Ventura in as many games, and the third incident sparked by the pitcher in the past month.

Yordano Ventura is acting like a total dipshit and someone needs to tell him to fucking cool it. Continue reading

Posted in Brandon Leftridge, Sports | Tagged , , , , | 24 Comments