Glazer: Jayhawk Upset Should Make Things Interesting

The Big 12 may have its best conference group in decades…

With more than four teams in the Top 10 right now…yes including Kansas. KU won a mega big game on the road at West Virginia last night on ESPN’s game of the week.

KU had lost four in a row at W.Virginia the last several seasons, but won the Big 12 title anyway. Kansas was a decided underdog and trailing by 17 at one point. It was their biggest comeback since they did it to West Virginia last year at home.They did it again but this was much bigger on the road to a team that was just ranked No. 2 in the nation to KU’s No. 10.

And yes, it was probable All-American Devonte Graham that who led Kansas back late with his defense. The entire KU squad gave it their all down the stretch to do what looked nearly impossible. Kansas looked like dead ducks in the first half with little chance to even lose a close one let alone win the game. It was by far their most impressive win this season after losing three home games – two at KU and one at Sprint.

A loss to Bob Huggins and his outstanding team would have surely brought in the cry “not this season.”

 That in regard to a possible 14th record conference title. Kansas and UCLA are tied with the longest run at 13, a 14th for Kansas could last a lifetime or more in the record books for Bill Self and KU.

So why the alarm? Continue reading

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Glazer: Pigskin Playoffs Ponderings

We have four games this weekend before the AFC and NFC title games and Super Bowl…

It’s no secret that NFL observers for the most part like New England and Tom Brady.

How could they not?

Brady is the best quarterback in NFL history with 7 Super Bowl games and 5 wins. He played well enough to win all seven. So it’s hard to pick against the Pats.

Today we have Atlanta at the Eagles with the Falcons a 3 point favorite.

Why? Simple, the quarterbacks.

The Eagles Nick Foles vs.Matt Ryan. We all watched Foles in Kansas City two seasons back. He was not impressive. The Chiefs had hoped he would be here a few years, perhaps replace Alex Smith at some point but nope.

The Eagles have a solid defense and a great new coach, former KC guy Doug Peterson. Foles has played well but I like Atlanta with their super bowl experience from last season.

New England plays the Chiefs victor Tennessee today as well.

The Pats are a 13 point favorite. I don’t like the spread and would have to tease these two games. All the talk about dissension between Brady and his coach over Tom’s ‘trainer’ issues and more, but I don’t buy it. Bill Belichick is the man in the NFL.

I see the Pats winning a closer game. Continue reading

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Hearne: A Tale of Two Cities – The Pitch vs. Riverfront Times

David Hudnall

Return with me now to the dawn of alternative journalism in KC…

To those formative first years when I began running a record store rag known as the KC Pitch. A time when the alternative newsweekly that inspired me most was St. Louis’s Riverfront Times. That was the dream, the goal…to rise as closely as could be to the level of journalistic excellence publisher Ray Hartmann had attained.

It wouldn’t be easy, but if we could even come close…

The Pitch never made it, of course.

I never made it, nor did my successors Chuck SaultsBruce Rodgers, C.J. Janovy and most recently Scott Wilson. 

In no small part because even during it’s 100 page issues economic peak the Pitch never became truly profitable and with rare exception a force to be reckoned with journalistically. Not for lack of trying and not without scattered successes.

But not like the Riverfront Times.

It’s not like the St. Louis alt weekly didn’t endure the same jarring economic challenges the Pitch and the Kansas City Star have gone though and continue to suffer from.

As former RFT editor Chad Garrison wrote not long ago, “Part of me wishes I had worked at the paper during the Hartmann years — back before Craiglist and OkCupid (and dozens of other free online platforms) took away the paper’s once-lucrative classified ads. Instead, I spent much of my time at the RFT weathering budget cut after budget cut.”

Sound familiar? Continue reading

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Glazer: A Look Ahead to the Chiefs, Royals 2018

As Kansas City sports fans, we all know that our Royals are toast for the years to come…

They are in rebuild mode, meaning they will finish near last for the nest several years. Even if they do get Eric Hosmer back.

Therefore our only hope of any post season action in the pros are the Kansas City Chiefs. So let’s look at where we’ve been and where we’re going.

It’s no secret that our franchise has been an embarrassment when we get to the playoffs. The Chiefs have overall the worst postseason record in the history of the NFL. Going back to the days of Marty and beyond.


It all starts with the head coach and quarterback.

In this case with Andy Reid, a 19 year veteran and a man with one Super Bowl appearance with the Eagle that he lost.

Now he’s comfortable just getting to the post season and that’s it. Yes, we have four playoffs in five seasons but all with miserable results with Andy and starting quarterback, Alex Smith.

Even in games where the Chiefs have solid leads by the third quarter, Andy tends to step off the gas peddle and play not to lose.

The play calling is less aggressive and calls for runs and short throws for the most part. Play it safe, don’t turn the ball over and let’s get a field goal maybe.

Well, as we’ve seen that doesn’t work in the post season. Or even in regular season much with good teams or on the road.  Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: ‘THE POST’—A Race Against Deadlines

Some might call it timely…

Others will point out that things haven’t changed much since the Richard Nixon era.

Whatever your politics, you may find a fascinating insight into our s0-called freedom of the press  in producer-director Steven Spielberg‘s new historical drama, THE POST.

The political thriller pits Katharine Graham, the first female publisher of a major American newspaper against the Nixon administration after the competing New York Timeshad first exposed the so-called Pentagon Papers –a secret study and cover-up of our involvement in Vietnam..

To say that Nixon was furious would be an understatement as he threatened imprisonment of the Times‘ management if it continued to publish the secret papers.

Well the Times caved to the threats leaving the Pentagon Papers to be leaked instead to The Washington Post.

Would its management fold as well?

Guess again. Continue reading

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Hearne: Can Local Saviors Save The Pitch?

Looks like it’s back to square one time for the alternative magazine formerly known as Pitch Weekly...

The circa 1980s record store rag is circling the wagons (and possibly the drain) under its spanking new fourth owner, while mounting a desperate attempt to make it through the most difficult business conditions the Pitch has ever faced in its more than 30 years of publishing.

Just how bad off are things now that former owner Nashville-based SouthComm has bailed after seven money-losing years?

Here’s longtime Pitch writer / newly appointed editor David Hudnall‘s take in his inaugural column:

“The bad news is that local media is a very difficult place to turn a buck. Over the last decade, Craigslist, Google, and Facebook have essentially destroyed the business model of publications like ours. We’re working with pretty limited resources over here.”

Not a pretty pic.

Even the deep pocketed Kansas City Star has struggled mightily (and unsuccessfully) with those same circumstances for decades. Unfortunately the Pitch is unlikely to have anywhere near that kind of time to figure out how to turn its red ink into black.

Which is a sad prospect for the city of Kansas.

If the current issue’s any indication, they’ve got their work cut out.

With only 48 pages in the January issue – 18 of which appear to be paid ads (with two of those looking suspiciously like trade rather than cash) – the Pitch is a long way from the 24 to 29 ad pages needed to – as Hudnall put it – to “turn a buck.”

Two other significant things worth noting: the core area nightclub and concert ads that have been the editorial and financial backbone of the Pitch lo these many years have all but disappeared. And trust me, that one really hurts.

The new owners need to pull out all the stops to try and lure them back into the fold if they hope to, again as Hudnall says, “continue to do all the same stuff we have always done.”

The thing the Pitch needs to stop doing that they always have is lose the half page of tacky sex ads in the mag’s calendar section.

Won’t be easy.

When you’re starving for cash it’s hard to turn away from your highest paying advertisers. Continue reading

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Lefsetz: The Truly Lame, Forgettable Golden Globes

Whenever Hollywood gets together to pat itself on its back it fails to realize it’s lost touch with America…

That’s right, no one cares what an actor or actress has to say. They became unmoored from the public consciousness the day America got broadband, and could see their shenanigans on TMZ, ignorant hustlers inured to lifestyle, and you expect us to care?

Ironically, musicians have much more power. Or to quote the great Eddie Rosenblatt, movies when done right are larger than life, music when done right is life itself.

But the musicians have abdicated this power.

Playing it safe, worried about their brand, being such outrageous outlaws that they take themselves out of contention for believability. You got shot, beat someone up and you expect us to respect you? No, you’re just a cartoon, entertainment before Adult Swim, we’re just watching the movie, we want to see how this all plays out.

You think there’s not a cost for making vapid high concept flicks?

Or awards season fodder that no one cares about?

That respect for Hollywood royalty is so deep in the past, the hangers-on and barely-breathing don’t realize it. If we want to respect someone, it will be a banker or a techie. At least they’ve got real money; at least they change the world. As for all of Hollywood going high tech, did you see that Jessica Alba‘s Honest Company is tanking?

That’s right, if your goal is to utilize your celebrity to extend your reach into businesses other than the one you are famous for, give up, that paradigm is so aughts. If you think you can compete with the Big Four you’re delusional. Then again, they do call Hollywood the Dream Factory.

Hell, if it wasn’t the dead of winter no one would be watching this show.

People are home, in their cocoon, they’ll wrap themselves up and watch this meaningless dreck, an awards show even more fake than those perpetrated on us by Dick Clark.

How many members are there of the Hollywood Foreign Press again? As for “Mrs. Maisel,” I watched it, and it’s one step above sitcom – and not a big one. Great sets, great acting, bogus script. Remember when “Mozart In The Jungle” won? That’s the last time I heard anybody mention that show.

As for Queen Oprah Continue reading

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Glazer: KC’s Not So Loveable Losers Do What They Do Best

My heart goes out to the Kansas City football fans…

People who just love the Chiefs and are punished every year with a playoff loss in round one and now six straight losses at home, an NFL record.

Why do we lose?

Because our organization is incapable of winning big games. Head coach Andy Reid has had four playoff seasons out of five here and we stunk in every post season game…as usual.

We lack the needed talent to win!

Saturday KC did its usual failure, even after looking like it would be a blowout early with a 14 point lead in the first few minutes. Why did we lose? Because the Titans were tough, we were not!

Our defense can’t tackle and we were even unable to tackle their quarterback, Marcus Mariota. Hell, their only star player, a running back was out with injuries and they still ran all over us.

QB Alex Smith looked very good early on as usual, but like in most big games a la last year’s Steelers loss at home, he was unable to score any points in the second half after leading 21-3 at half, and then losing 22-21.

Was it all Alex Smith’s fault? No.

Terrible defense, save Marcus Peters and a great game from at the end of his career Derrek Johnson. Tyreek Hill was the offense as usual. Travis Kelce did well until he got hurt and out for the game. So likely Kelces would have been out for next week too.

Not available in the big games when needed…sound familiar? Continue reading

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Lefsetz: The Michael Wolff Book

I bought it…

This was the breakthrough Kindle moment. Not that you’ve seen any press about it. I doubt there’s enough physical inventory in stores. They’re gonna run out…if they’re not reprinting right now.

This is the world we used to live in in music.

All that money wasted on printing and supply chain, shipping, returns, it’s gone with digital. Along with gatefold covers and credits, but you lose something in every revolution, the march forward is always imperfect.

And no one talks about record stores anymore.

For so long every magazine had an owner lamenting the passing of his dream. I remember a story in Newsweek, where the owner said selling records was the only thing he was good at. Better prepare for the future, because it involves change. And if you don’t adjust, you’re gonna be left behind. The truth is they’re making new people every day, and those people need jobs, and they’ve got fewer encumbrances and newer knowledge and the fact that you’ve got experience…doesn’t always trump them.

So I didn’t have to go to the store to buy Fire and Fury. Thank god. Do I really want to get in my car, fight the traffic, park, and then hopefully find the book in stock when I can just click to download it?

This is like when a musician dies. Most famously Elvis.

He was on the back nine, no one was paying attention,  He passes and there’s no inventory. Now when someone dies their tracks zoom up the Spotify chart. And I’d be stunned if this isn’t one of the best selling Kindle titles ever. Not that we can get that info. Funny how the music business is moving towards transparency – you can see the exact number of plays on Spotify – but the number of books sold?

Good luck. Continue reading

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Glazer: Here Come the Ch Ch Ch Chiefs!

Ready for an earth shattering confession?

I know I’ve been down on KC during the season owing to the long losing streak and poor play during that stretch. However, now they’ve won four in a row defeating two good teams, the Chargers and Raiders. So with better defensive play, Marcus Peters on fire, Alex Smith in touch with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt running the ball well…it looks like KC will handle the Tennessee Titans Saturday.

Now about that nine point spread…tough call, but I like KC for the win.

With a win the Chiefs likely will travel to New England and face the Super Bowl champs and Tom Brady again. And perhaps the Pats will look past KC to the Steelers, but I doubt it with the Chiefs big win in week one at New England.

Can KC win, yes will they? It would be an uphill battle as we all know.

Will Alex Smith return to Kansas City if he gets us to the AFC title game?

My opinion is not likely.

His value will be very high, and we can trade him for perhaps a No. 2 draft pick or say a 3 and 4 pick. We don’t have many picks due to the Pat Mahomes move up last year.

KC needs linebackers, a new left tackle, another back to go with Hunt, another wide out perhaps and defensive backfield help. An aging Alex is perhaps not in the cards barring a Super Bowl appearance.

Mahomes is this teams future and I believe his time is now.

This is a crazy season for sure. Most assume New England or the Steelers will be the AFC Champ, but in this offbeat year a KC run or perhaps a Jag’s run seems possible. Don’t count on it but we can all hope for the best. 







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Jack Goes Confidential: Aaron Sorkin Directs Poker Princess Crime Thriller

Screen writer Aaron Sorkin has quite a way with words…

His past writing has resulted in movies like THE SOCIAL NETWORK, A FEW GOOD MEN and THE WEST WING crackling onto the screen.

With MOLLY’S GAME Sorkin expands his talents to include directing his own screenplay.

And as made up as the basic story sounds, it’s based on Molly Bloom’s book entitled ‘MOLLY’S GAME: From Hollywood’s Elite To Wall Street’s Billionaire Boys Club, My High-Stakes Adventure In The World Of Underground Poker.’

Talk about a mouthful!

MOLLY’S GAME is the bio-thriller of Olympic skiing hopeful Molly Brown (Jessica Chastain) who rose to the top of her game—until an accident.

But Molly wouldn’t give up and instead climbed to the top of another sport—namely high-stakes underground poker.

Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars and business titans…

And before long the Russian mob.

Life was better than good for at least a decade.

Until one night when some 17 FBI agents came calling and shut her down. Continue reading

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Glazer: Time for Chiefs to Bet the Farm on Patrick Mahomes

Chiefs rookie Patrick Mahomes showed us everything we needed to know Sunday…

The young quarterback threw for just under 300 yards. More importantly, when he had third and long andwas in trouble with the pass rush, he threw downfield and hit his targets.

Near the end of the game head coach Andy Reid took Mahomes out to take a brief look at 3rd string quarterback Tyler Bray. What could go wrong, right? After all, we had a two touchdown lead. Then our little used fullback fumbled the first handoff and suddenly the Broncos were just one score back with five minutes left and they then drove the field to score again.

So with just over 2 minutes left, Reid put in the very confident Mahomes to save the day and the game. With the score tied 24 all, he drove deep, hit big 3rd down throws and put the Chiefs in easy field goal range for the game winning kick with no time left on the clock.

Chiefs WIN!

Now you can say, hey it was only lowly Denver and the game meant nothing but pride for the Broncos. Well, they still had the top defense in the AFC and the league; they played their starters all the way; and the Chiefs played 2nd and 3rd stringers all the way with Mahomes.

On top of which it was very cold, Mahome’s first regular season start and he not only won but shined.

OK, yes, Mahomes had one INT, but otherwise he was outstanding.


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Lefsetz: Disinformation & The Road Ahead

Blame it on distribution…

This is the year we discovered that Facebook and Google were the enemy. We were taught for so long that content was king that we forgot he or she who presents the news is the ultimate arbiter.

And what we’ve got is a skewed picture.

Meanwhile, the traditional news organizations impacted society greatly after they were completely written off. The New York Times started the #MeToo movement by exposing Harvey Weinstein and the Washington Post prevented the election of Roy Moore by amplifiying of the stories of the women he abused.

Where does this leave us?

In a country where the will of the people does not prevail. Where 80% are for net neutrality yet it is scrapped. They want health care but it is decimated. Meanwhile, the fake news of those perpetrating these crimes against humanity are amplified.

That’s the story of Brexit. That’s the story of the United States. How falsehoods were given sunlight and the public was snookered.

Brexit was gonna save the NHS. Trump was gonna drain the swamp. Untruths have existed for all time, but in the Internet era the waters are muddied and what is not true is perceived to be.

We are in a crisis of truth.

Isn’t that funny? Wasn’t digital supposed to eliminate the fudge? Make it so we got accurate numbers? But it turns out paper ballots were more accurate than voting machines and the story of the coming year is this gap between truth and falsehood and who will arbiter it. Continue reading

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New Jack City: Is Kansas City Really An INTERNATIONAL Airport?

Who says KCI isn’t an international airport?

After all, our MCI departure schedule lists non-stops (via American, Delta and Frontier) to Cancun.

Vacation Express takes us to Punta Cana. And Air Canada provides non-stop service to Toronto.

That’s four international destinations!

Question is, how does that compares to our big competition to the west –Denver?

No comparison whatsoever.

DIA lists roughly 25 international non-stop destinations out of the Mile High City. They include cities in South America, the Caribbean, Mexico and several in Canada. Continue reading

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Glazer: Best Chiefs Playoff Team Since Marty?

Dare I say it?

This 2017 Chiefs unit is arguably the best playoff team offered up by the team since the Marty Schottenheimer era.  Let’s be honest folks, none of our former playoff teams after the Elvis Grbac debacle in 1998  have been Super Bowl type teams.

We had the phony Dick Vermeil team in 2003 that went 9-0 to begin the season, then they found out they had a high school defense when they met the Colts in the post season. The Colts never had to punt, not once. We had the back- into-the-playoffs Herm Edwards joke after that one. We had the Todd Haley team led by Matt Cassel who were trounced in round one.  And then the Andy Reid teams which did win our one and only playoff game in the last 10 against the Texans on the road before getting clipped by New England.

Yes, not since the ’98 playoff loss to Denver – where had we started Rich Gannon we may have landed in a Super Bowl –  havewe had a great team with a 13-3 record.

Reid has now had four playoff teams for the Chiefs in his first five seasons, a first for KC.

But none of those past teams were considered a real threat to even get to a Super Bowl or an AFC title game and they didn’t.

So what makes this playoff team our best hope since 1993 and Joe Montana? Continue reading

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Lefsetz: The United States of Christmas

And the Trumpers are saying the holiday’s been stolen…

If you look at the Spotify Top Fifty your eyes will bug out. Nine of the top ten are Christmas songs, the only exception is #10, Post Malone‘s “rockstar.”

But the next 10, that’s right, from #11-20, are all Christmas songs.

And of the next 10, #21-30, only Lil Pump‘s “Gucci Gang” is non-Christmas.

There are four non-Christmas tracks in the bracket from #31-40.

And half of the last 10 of the 50 are Christmas cuts.

Meanwhile, if you look at the iTunes charts, you’ll see none of this reflected.

The people want Christmas music.

The move to streaming is an even bigger game changer than the move to SoundScan.

You see it’s all about consumption, that’s how you get paid. We want to know what people are listening to.

And we have no way of knowing consumption with sales. Did you buy it and file it or play it incessantly? Continue reading

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Glazer: Scribe’s Game Day Analysis & Look Ahead

Once again Marcus Peters is the star of the Chiefs defense…

With two strip fumbles and a recovery Peters stopped two likely scoring drives with his outstanding ability to take the ball away. Yes, Peters should be on the Pro bowl squad of course. He isn’t but might be added with an injury or someone who can’t play.

The Chiefs won their 1st back-to-back division titles in KC history.

Head coach Andy Reid takes his Chiefs to the fourth playoff  trip in four years, missing only once. They talk will soon begin as to if he is our second best all-time coach behind Hank Stram, passing Marty for the two spot soon. Reid could be THE MAN with a Super Bowl win of course. Or maybe we just get there.

The Chiefs beat an average Miami Dolphins team 29-16 today behind an offensive line giving Alex Smith time to throw. Kareem Hunt got a few short yard pick ups and a couple good runs, for  just under 100 yards rushing, Travis Kelce had a rare red zone 3rd down TD catch and of course the insane great play of All Pro, superstar, Tyreek Hill with one TD and a couple other athletic catches for over 100 yards. Continue reading

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Lefsetz: Sticky Fingers-The Jann Wenner/Rolling Stone Book

“Rock and roll then was real, everything else was unreal.”

John Lennon

This is the most depressing book I’ve read all year.

There’s always been music. It’s not like the Top 40 was blank before the Beatles. A few good groups dominated the airwaves prior to 1964. Like the Four Seasons and the Beach Boys, but culturally, it was a vast wasteland.

Then the British Invasion began.

It wiped out everything that came before it. Oh, the Beach Boys Brian Wilson rose to the challenge – his band still had hits – but almost no one else did. Bobby Rydell? Fabian?

Everybody who sang before suddenly no longer had a career.

It’s kinda like Kodak, decimated by digital photography. Although in the case of the Rochester based company there was fair warning. Nobody saw the Beatles coming.

It was a revolution. We were invaded. Buzz was rampant. Radio jumped on board and when the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan three times in February, it was over. Just that fast, a new world existed.

And it wasn’t only the Beatles…

New bands followed in their wake. It was all you talked about, what was on the airwaves. Your records were precious and you spun them over and over.

Then came the San Francisco sound and underground FM radio and it was like the gods of music doubled-down. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, it did.

And Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner decided to chronicle this. Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: Santa Delivers—And Then Some!

I’m frequently asked, “What’s Good at the Movies?”

Here are my top four picks from among all the current Christmas offerings:

Please note that I’m taking STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI out of the equation since it’sin a class all of its own (and yes I’m recommending it).

Also not included are some earlier Thanksgiving releases which are playing through the holidays.

So here then my four recommendations:

* DARKEST HOUR, the terrific biographical war drama depicting Winston Churchill like we’ve never seen him before, facing crucial decisions against Hitler’s mighty army.

Think of it as the flip side of DUNKIRK!

Not only will Gary Oldman be nominated as Best Actor for his spot-on portrayal here, he most likely take home the Oscar.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Continue reading

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Chuck: Holiday Wishes to KCC Faithful

From the Christmas author who shaped this holiday season, more, in my opinion, than any other…

“Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings

My work takes me into many homes here in the metro.

My customers and their families, as the days go by (and sometimes weeks and months as I work on remodels, new houses etc. etc.) reveal, to me in what I take as a privilege, their hopes, dreams and as time passes, the fears they have for the future.

The masks come off. My incessant presence, on a day to day basis, in a shared endeavor and consistent conversation turns, as one would expect, to confidential matters as the phatic surrenders to the personal.

Arguments are heard, kisses and hugs, some deserved, some not so much, are given to family members as I stand by, drill or hammer in hand, smiling and marveling at how similar we all are. A confidence here and there, a nod, a look, a smile, a frown, a secret knowledge that is entrusted to me, now, while yet still on the periphery, I come closer, I am accepted, I am now, a proud co conspirator in the hoped for success of my new friends, and, part time, temporary family.

It’s an honor, it really is.

Driving home, I hope for Jeff or Johnny to get that new bike, for Melissa or Terri to make better grades, for Max to win his tennis tournament, for Andy to stop being so mean to his sister, for parents all, to continue to be patient, to have success and for their beautiful families to survive sickness and never see the downside of advantage.

It doesn’t always work out.

Sometimes, those folks, who were originally customers, who became your friends, decades ago, leave, unexpectedly.

This year, a long, long time friend and benefactor was murdered on the Indian Creek Trail.

He was a singular individual whose character was an example to all, I mean ALL that knew him. His family, of course, was and is devastated. His legion of friends, will, as long as they live, me included, never forget his generosity, great humor and unfailing efforts to make all of our lives a better place.

This Christmas my prayers and the prayers of my family, go to his family and his memory.

As for our commenting cognoscenti – I wish you all, a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a great Festivus.

To Glaze a Sabermetrics NFL chip implant. (Insert the appropriate jokes here about “implants”.) 🙂 Continue reading

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