“Sure I want half price Susan Boyle tickets, who wouldn’t?”
Let’s see, you’re sitting on a you-know-what load of soft ticket shows and you want to save face – what to do?
Well, there’s always the option of “papering the arena” as they say. Concert biz insiders are all too familiar with that term. In short, it’s when promoters and artists quietly flood the marketplace with freebie tickets to a show or event to try and save face. Because the last thing an artist and its management want is to play to a half empty (or worse) concert hall.
My first direct experience with the papering phenomena went down in the mid 1980s when Frank Sinatra played Kemper Arena. The smart money would have been for Old Blue Eyes to rock the Midland or Music Hall – venues that seat between 2,400 and 3,800 as opposed to 17,000 or more.
Never underestimate the power of greed though – or you know – over-optimism.
Sinatra could have easily sold out the smaller venues, put on a more intimate show and charged darn near whatever he wished. Instead he chose a venue that shortly before the show date appeared would be well under half full. Continue reading
Talk about eating my words…
With a monster win on the road against a very good team, you have to count the 3-3 Kansas City Chiefs in the hunt for post season play. Just about everyone who mattered agreed with me after the Titans loss week one. That the team was among the worst in the NFL. They had a ton of starters hurt, poor off season moves and a horrible preseason, mixed with the league’s worst defense that this season needed a rebuild.
The Chiefs looked like they’d be lucky to win six or seven games – or far less even.
However beating the San Diego Chargers on the road has fans thinking, “HEY KC ROYALS PART TWO.
Who knows? I don’t think so, but I thought this team was toast and one of the league’s worst. Head coach Andy Reid has done an excellent job of holding together a patch work team on both sides of the ball. Continue reading
Does Sports Illustrated still matter?
A handful of years back the editor at the Kansas City Star told me in no uncertain terms that it did not. It was a joke, the dying embers of an outdated dream.
Seems SI had been doing a bit of fishing in the Star’s pond – and a year or two later it actually succeeded in catching big fish, sports columnist Joe Posnanski. So it must have mattered even then – at least to Joe – back in 2009 when the newspaper was hemorrhaging both journalists and journalism in a free fall that continues to this date.
Posnanski has since moved on from SI, although he was quoted not two months back in a somewhat prophetic SI cover story about the MLB team the entire world is now breathlessly talking about – so much for the so-called cover jinx.
And with a circulation of more than 3 million – versus the Star’s 200,000 – one could make a case for Sports Illustrated still mattering. Continue reading
So I was wrong about the Royals…
Look, I’ll admit it. In the piece I posted before the ALCS, I suggested that Kansas City would win the series, but Baltimore would rack up two victories in the process.
Jesus, Mary and JoJo is my face red.
Apparently I failed to realize that the Royals were some sort of unearthly juggernaut incapable of failure. (Call me crazy, but I don’t think I was the ONLY person who was a little surprised by a second series sweep.)
I mean, they were still the ROYALS, right?
THE KANSAS CITY ROYALS. Continue reading
What to do while we all wait on the Kansas City Royals…
I know! The Chiefs have a big game in San Diego, a place they’ve had very little luck winning any games the last 10 years. Most of the scores lately are very high so I will put my dough on the over here at 44 1/2.
I think the Chiefs, who have improved way beyond anything I expected, have a shot to win. They have the best ground game in the NFL and their short passing attack is dangerous as well.
The Chumps defense has improved getting rid of dead weight like Eric “Over Rated” Berry. However, I see San Diego winning a close one and sending the boys in Red to 2-4. However if the Chiefs get to 3-3 look out they could end up with 8 wins. Way better than I expected but I would still win with my under bet of 8 1/2.
Sorry. Continue reading
Concerning the Ebola crisis…
I use the word crisis because if President Obama is canceling appearances at fundraising events to meet about a problem it must be a CRISIS!
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Chief Thomas Frieden danced like a politician avoiding the hard questions before the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Frieden’s reasoning as to why travelers from West Africa should not be allowed in the USA made absolutely no sense and provided plenty of fodder for comedians.
America has sent over 3,000 military personnel to Liberia.
And to think that none of our military personnel has a chance to be exposed to Ebola is unrealistic. Continue reading
Monday, October 20th
Ryan Adams at the Uptown Theater in KC
Once the darling of the alt-country rock craze, for about the last decade Ryan Adams has been putting out decent records that never could quite live up to Heartbreaker, or even Gold. To be fair, it would be tough for anyone who has had such success with his first two records to stay on that high course. The bar was just set a bit too high, perhaps.
His most recent effort dropped several months ago, is self-titled, and mixes the tender vocals of his earlier work, with some of the blaring guitar that was featured on Rock N Roll. If you’ve never seen Adams live, it’s kind of a trip. He’s a great live performer, and he generally chain smokes, drinks, and cusses his way through the “set list,” sometimes stopping songs in the middle, yelling at audience members and the like. Good times.
Eight playoff wins in a row – never been done before…
Our Kansas City Royals are UNDEFEATED. What a story. What a team. What a fan base. Everyone in Kansas City is a Royals fan now. Hell, most of the nation is wearing blue or a Royals hat or t shirt. It’s a true Cinderella Story. Longtime losers turned HUGE WINNERS.
And yes, we all know they’re going to win the World Series – they can’t be stopped.
Strange how everyone is on the wagon now, huh?
Well, everyone but me.
I can’t be on the wagon because I wrote, IT’S OVER, IT’S OVER AND IT’S OVER.
When the Royals fell to Detroit n their final couple critical chances to win the division, I wrote that maybe they’d qualify for a wild card game. Maybe.
Boy, was I wrong and boy is this town happy. Continue reading
The Allies are making their final push into Nazi Germany. Just then battle worn tank commander Wardaddy—in a terrific performance by Brad Pitt—is assigned to assist in a rescue and mission behind enemy lines.
An embattled tank battalion, heavily outnumbered and outgunned, fighting against all odds by balancing their hatred for the Nazis against the sheer power of the human spirit.
The film is called FURY and truly delivers on the pure horrors of war.
FURY is directed by writer, producer, director David Ayre of TRAINING DAY fame and engulfs the big screen with a deeply effective and often gruesome depiction of those horrific last days of World War II.
Hollywood has been shy when it comes to depicting World War II of late. Only two very impressive movies of that era filmed in halfway recent times stick with me.
One is Steven Spielberg’s SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. The other Quentin Tarantino’s INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS.
Now there are three. but be forewarned that deeply realistic FURY isn’t an easy sit. Continue reading
It was bound to happen…
After days of smashing pies in one another’s faces and chanting and waving signs reading, “We Won’t Stop,” the Baltimore media and to an arguably lesser extent its fans are starting to devolve into nitpickers and sore losers.
Case in point, today’s headline in the Baltimore Sun that reads, “Jeremy Guthrie Apologizes After Post Game T-Shirt Sparks Outrage From Orioles Fans.”
After three games in which one of the mightiest teams in baseball has gone down in flames to the lowly Kansas City Royals, “Charm City” gets its panties in a bunch over a pitcher they traded away two years ago wearing a T-shirt to a press conference after last night’s game that read “These O’s ain’t Royal.”
And suddenly the entire city of Baltimore is supposedly “outraged” because why? Continue reading
It’s really quite surreal watching playoff baseball and seeing dudes with the words “Kansas City” etched across their chests….
I can’t think of any sport – with the possible exception of curling or log rolling – I’ve watched less of for the past however many years than Kansas City Royals baseball. And frankly, I know I’m far from alone.
That said, I was supremely disappointed yesterday to learn that the Royals-Orioles game had been cancelled and can’t wait to watch tonight’s game…and tomorrow’s and as many more this dream sequence allows.
And as good as the Kansas City Star‘s coverage of the team’s playoff run has been – and it’s been damn good – my curiosity got the best of me, wondering how the former Twin Towers of Kansas City sports were handling the Royals ascension. Continue reading
President Obama’s in an unwinnable position…
He’s boxed himself into a corner from which he cannot escape. Because if he sends ground troops to fight ISIS his legacy will be destroyed and the Democratic Party will not win in the upcoming elections. Yet to stop ISIS is going to require ground troops.
So Obama cannot beat them without American troops on the ground as fighters or advisers to some other country’s troops.
And the problem with using another country’s troops is the Iraqi Army will not fight and I can’t see any other country supplying boots on the ground in this war.
Obama’s critics are blasting him for not sending troops to Iraq again, but they also know that he can’t because the American public wouldn’t put up with it. And those who support Obama’s position of not using troops also realize ISIS can’t be defeated without the use of US troops. Continue reading
This week’s news brings word that KU Med is hosting a guest…
And not just any guest, mind you, but one who could become the third person in this country diagnosed with Ebola. While the hospital refers to the patient as “low to moderate risk,” they’re paying big time attention because, let’s face it, no one knows all that much about this disease.
Ebola’s airborne, Ebola’s not airborne – the CDC doesn’t have a clue. Continue reading
It took a little longer than usual, and at times in the middle of the season Sporting KC looked downright awful.
They struggled through a ton of injuries, including the season ending variety to Chance Myers and Ike Opara, and the career ending type to Peterson Joseph. National team call ups also wreaked havoc with the roster, with Matt Besler, Graham Zusi, Lawrence Olum, Soony Saad and others missing extended periods of the MLS’ marathon season.
But with just three regular season games left, and a must-have playoff berth hanging in the balance, the boys in blue came up big against the visiting Chicago Fire, winning 2-0 on the strength of an 80th minute Zusi left footed bomb from about 25 yards out.
And that was after Dom Dwyer missed an early PK over the bar. No doubt, as the game neared its end Sporting was gripping a bit. Continue reading
One of the most oft asked questions I receive as a travel agent pertains to the best time to purchase travel….
For cruises and vacation packages—both domestic and international—the further out you book, the better the price. Many suppliers offer extra ‘early bird’ booking savings.
This is especially true for vacation packages around holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break and summer getaways.
Booking air travel? That’s another story. Continue reading
Happy Christopher Columbus Day. Time to party like it’s 1499!
I’m hoping the Royals play the Giants so we can have an All-Christopher Elbow Chocolates World Series.
******* Continue reading
The New York Mets were the laughing stock of baseball through the 1960s…
In the club’s first year in 1962 it posted the worst regular season record since Major League baseball went to a 162 game schedule and the team never finished above second to last until.. the worst regular season record since Major League Baseball went to a 162-game schedule (two games were canceled). The team never finished better than second to last until THE MIRACLE METS of 1969.
Even their manager Casey Stengel was famous for his comments about how bad his team had been but that they would win a World Series soon. Of course, nobody believed him. The joke at the time was which would happen first, a winning season by the Mets or Apollo 11 landing on the moon. Well, both got there the same year in 1969.
This year’s Kansas City Royals may be our version of the 1969 Miracle Mets.
Maybe that’s what we should call them, the Miracle Royals. Continue reading
An unexpected trip to the bank this morning reminded me that it’s Columbus Day…
Upon landing on these shores, Columbus journaled, “The Indians are so naive and so free with their possessions that no one who has not witnessed them would believe it. When you ask for something they have, they never say no. To the contrary, they offer to share with anyone. They would make fine servants. With 50 men we could subjugate them all and make them do what ever we want.”
Never in the history of our nation has a wrong been committed against a people that compares to that of the American Indian. Continue reading
In 2012, Steve Kraske, the Kansas City Star’s political correspondent, quoted approvingly from liberal authors’ James Steele and Donald Bartlett’s book, “The Betrayal of the American Dream”:
“We have created the world’s newest financial aristocracy, a class that has successfully put itself beyond the reach of government constraint and can do pretty much whatever it wants…in pursuit of its own personal gain.” Kansas City Star, 9-21-2012
More recently, the Star has had nothing but good things to say about Greg Orman, the “Independent” candidate for the U.S. Senate this year in Kansas.(It endorsed him Sunday!) This is a little surprising since Orman is a very wealthy man, with a net worth of upwards of $80,000,000 and an annual income of somewhere between one million and four and a half million dollars, i.e. the top tenth of the top 1%.
Orman has filed only the minimal financial disclosure required by law so it’s hard to understand the exact extent of his wealth. It’s pretty clear, though, that by any measure he qualifies as a member of the “new financial aristocracy” that Kraske, like other writers for the Star, finds so deplorable. Continue reading
Jarrod Dyson “Thou shall not jinx”
Forget about not changing your socks…
If you really want the Kansas City Royals to prevail over the Baltimore Orioles and go on to win the World Series, read my lips: t’s not about the good luck charms or ritualistic behavior, it’s about not jinxing.
Take today’s front page newspaper story about baseball superstitions. It was all about Royals fans not messing with the team’s good juju by varying the everyday things they wore, did or ate. Too narcissistic, like people can merely stay the course in their lives and send the team on to victory.
Just don’t jinx them would be the better advice. Continue reading