When a friend with inside knowledge told me on Tuesday (before it was being reported elsewhere) that free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran was visiting Kauffman Stadium and being wooed like a five star recruit—replete with the highlight real on the scoreboard and the shining number 15 below it—I went through something akin to the Kubler-Ross Model, only without the grief, and with a couple of less steps.
What I mean to say, I suppose, is that I had a lot of sweeping, mixed emotions.
First, I was jubilant. I texted my friend back with lots of nonsensical letters strung together, misplaced exclamation points, and more than a few incoherent curse words. CARSLOS BELLLLITRAN!@!@@$$!!!!!, R U KIDDING ME? HOLY FLUCK!!SHT,,,
Something like that.
Then, I heard what someone—not necessarily the Royals (the Seattle Mariners are courting him heavily, as well)—was offering. 3 yrs/$48m. Three years, forty-eight million. Dollars. USD. THREE YEARS. Continue reading
I’m thankful for the Star’s religion writer Bill Tammeus…
I read him – don’t know him – but he always gets me thinking. This morning he posted a piece that struck a chord concerning – my words – The Craft Store vs. SCOTUS.
David Green, the founder / owner of Hobby Lobby is fast becoming the face of the new martyrdom for Christians across America.
In his battle with the Supreme Court Green is quoted as saying, “We’re Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles. I’ve always said that the first two goals of our business are (1) to run our business in harmony with God’s laws, and (2) to focus on people more than money.
“But now, our government threatens to change all of that. A new government healthcare mandate says that our family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance. Being Christians, we don’t pay for drugs that might cause abortions, which means that we don’t cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception.”
Fine with me. Continue reading
The big news this weekend is not the Chiefs but the Missouri Tigers…
The MU football team has surprised everybody with its 11 and 1 win-loss record. And we all know they’re one good kick away from being undefeated. We also know the national press is looking at MU with a skeptical eye since this is the first time in modern college football history that they are true contenders for a national title.
It’s pretty simple, MU must defeat Auburn Saturday, which would make MU the SEC champion. That, in and of itself, would be Missouri’s greatest achievement in football ever. If Ohio State is defeated by Michigan State – a game that will come on after Missouri has played Auburn – then MU, without argument, would face Florida State for the national title.
And yes, Florida State will crush Ivy League-like Duke. Continue reading
Let’s talk wrestling…
Pro wrestling, of course, which all but limits us these days to World Wrestling Entertainment, the Stamford, Ct. company that drove just about everybody else in this country in the grappling game out of biz.
Sure, sure, sure, there’s a local outfit in KCK that goes by Metro Pro Wrestling, but judging by the fact that its last known match was a “dog collar” bout last summer between two dudes named Adam Pearce and Jeremy Wyatt at Turner High School – I ask you – are they really a factor?
That was a rhetorical question; the answer obviously is no, so let’s move on.
Because since the WWE has a virtual monopoly, once again it’s raising the stakes – as in the ticket prices. Continue reading
OUT OF THE FURNACE is a dark, violent drama that fires on all cylinders…
And with a cast to die for—literally.
Written and directed by CRAZY HEART filmmaker Scott Cooper, OUT OF THE FURNACE is a gripping tale of family, fate, circumstance and justice.
The setting is 2008 in the small town of Braddock, PA where Christian Bale is following his family’s tradition of working in the steel mill.
But younger brother and Iraq vet Casey Affleck has no interest in joining Bale in the mill. Instead, he’s hanging with the wrong crowd and ending up in a local gambling fight ring. But that’s not bringing in enough money to pay off his ever growing gambling debts. Continue reading
Well, the MLS Cup is finally almost upon us.
By the way, thanks MLS, for stretching Sporting’s last several games out over approximately 5 weeks.
If you don’t have tickets already and want to go, expect to pay quite a premium. You’ll have to go through a third party or just a straight up scalper – the stadium sold out in a matter of hours, and they can only cram about 20,000 in there, including standing room.
To get ready for the big game, try one of these…
Anybody else do a double take when they saw that list of former Chiefs players suing the team for head injuries?
Because lo and behold, smack in the middle of that Gang of Five, stood former Chiefs star and respected attorney and man-about-town Joe Phillips.
Phillips is the defensive tackle that went from hero to zero and dropped from sight seven or so years ago. Here’s what Kansas City Star sports reporter Randy Covitz wrote about Phillips in July of 2006:
“Today Joe Phillips is a wanted man. Continue reading
Bill O’Reilly does Mary Sanchez
One of the most discouraging things you can do if you’re interested in public affairs is to go to town hall meetings with your local member of Congress or one of your state’s U.S. Senators. I went to such a forum with Kansas Rep. Vince Snowbarger during his one and only term in the House and it was a revelation.
A member of Dr. Bob Meneilly’s high tech hate-group, the former Mainstream Coalition, berated the Congressman for his supposed support of school vouchers.
The questioner insisted that this was the opening wedge of theocracy since vouchers could be used at schools with a religious affiliation. When Snowbarger reiterated his OPPOSITION to school vouchers, pointing out how he’d always voted against such proposals while in the Kansas legislature, the questioner was non-plussed.
Vince explained his position that government funding meant government control and that private and parochial schools had to maintain their independence, even if that meant foregoing financial support from the government. All the questioner could say in response was, “I don’t care what you say, I know how you really feel about supporting religious institutions with tax payer money!”
I thought of that vivid example of opinionated ignorance recently when reading two recent pieces in The Kansas City Star.
The first one appeared on October 15th written by the inimitable Mary Sanchez. Continue reading
It’s all the buzz…
No, not cops shooting firemen; and no, not killings in the Chiefs parking lot at Arrowhead. The town is abuzz with talk about hometown phone company Sprint moving its headquarters moving to California.
Imagine that, Softbank execs not wanting to have to fly over Silicon Valley and its growing 1,000 person R&D facility to have meetings in here Kansas City?
In flight, Son can look out the window of his G5 as he crosses the coastline at 40,000 feet and see his 9-acre, $117.5 palatial estate below. Why would he want to do that? I doubt he does. But will Sprint move?
All the armchair quarter backs and talk show hosts are playing Madam Cleo; prognosticating possible future outcomes, weighing in and opining away. One of the worst examples I heard is the line, “They moved the headquarters once before when they merged with Nextel, they could do it again!”
Well, no they really didn’t. Continue reading
Let’s leave the tears and hollow eulogies for the family…
Because when it comes right down to it, the blame for the death of Fast & Furious star Paul Walker lies directly at the feet of the slain movie star. Walker was a passenger in a ridiculously fast and ridiculously driven 2005 Porsche Carerra GT this past weekend. The car burst into flames with Walker and his race car driver pal on board after striking a streetlamp in Santa Clarita, just north of Los Angeles a 45 MPH zone.
After which friends and associates of Walker, 40, and his race car driver pal, 38, played dumb for CNN and other news networks when asked if they thought speed was a contributing factor in the crash and Walker’s death.
“Don’t give me that shit, he was going too fast” says local race car driver Brian Haupt of Carriage & Motor Works on Southwest Boulevard. “They’re denying the obvious, because he was going really fast. You don’t wad a car up like that and kill yourself without going just incredibly fast.” Continue reading
Missouri’s Nefarious Antlers
photo credit: Karen Mitchell
It’s one thing to write a stick-in-the-mud story saying poor taste is a reasonable excuse for denying college students their freedom of speech…
Which is pretty much what Pitch entertainment writer David Hudnall did this past week under the headline, “The Mizzou athletic department should continue to eject Antlers from games as long as they’re acting like terrible people.”
Terrible people, eh?
There’ve been plenty of folks who thought the “Back Page” ads the Pitch and other alt weeklies accepted for years from adult businesses trafficing in minors were acting like terrible people. I digress.
The Antlers are the over-the-top of Missouri students who attend MU basketball and football games and engage at times in off color antics and/or speech.
However in sticking it to the Antlers, the Pitch appropriated a copyrighted photograph of the group and ran it without permission. Which is a fairly big journalistic no-no for a for-profit media organization like the Pitch, which is owned and operated by large corporation. After all, the Pitch takes in hundreds of thousands of dollars in ad revenues, it’s not like Tonys Kansas City, sweating it out from dawn to dusk just for for the ego trip.
Or like KCC, for that matter.
Unfortunately the pic the Pitch poached belonged to none other than a University of Missouri journalism professor. Continue reading
Bob Dole is teaming with Sam Brownback to lobby the GOP for Kansas City to get the next Republican National Convention. Nothing says, “Presidential Winner” quite like the team of Dole/Brownback.
Kansas City IS ranked #21 on the “Livability Index” for the under-30 crowd. Global social news network Vocativ ranked the top 35 cities and KC came in ahead of New York, Miami, Dallas and San Diego. We were popular on the list because so many parents in the metro have an extra bed in their basement.
OBSERVATION OF THE DAY: Shower romance is always better in the movies than real life. For example, I always slip…and I’m also lonely. Continue reading
This year’s Missouri football team is good but not great one, says scribe Craig Glazer…
That could change if the MU beats Auburn. And that now is a must win game if this year’s Missouri football team wants to earn the respect of national sportswriters and fans.
“Missouri is about to play the game that could define them,” Glazer says. “because if Missouri loses, they could get knocked out of the BCS bowl games completely and get stuck going to a lesser bowl.
“Let me say this about Missouri; if they beat Auburn – and Auburn is a legitimate team – that would make them the best Missouri football team in history.” Continue reading
Look, we all bleed Chiefs red -one way or another – right?
However some are a little more thin-skinned, and that’s okay. It’s understandable to be tragically bummed when your woman runs off with some Duck Dynasty wannabe or the home team loses. Shit happens.
And make no mistake, there’s no sin in reexamining the NFL team of your choice midway through the season after having more time to evaluate them. And that’s what football Scribe Craig Glazer is guilty of.
But who doesn’t reassess things after receiving further information? Continue reading
Diane Disney Miller tours DIsney theme park with Art Whatshisname
Get me rewrite!
The first thing I thought when I read Diane Disney Miller‘s obit in the Star a week ago; somebody screwed up. With so many staff shortages and veteran reporters and copy editors laid off, no one caught the fact (or remembered) that Miller spent considerable time and energy here in the early-mid 1990s being courted by Screenland movie dude and attorney Butch Rigby.
Ah but Rigby remembered.
And he was granted an “As I See It” column in the newspaper five days later (he’s pals with columnist Mary Sanchez). A column that provided him the chance to accomplish two goals; a minor rewrite of history and an opportunity to kiss up to Miller’s heirs and maybe land a donation for his 20 year-old plan to erect a monument and/or museum here to the beloved animator who spent part of his early years in the Cowtown.
Mission accomplished, except for one thing; it was a faulty accounting.
Because Diane Disney Miller’s visit in 1994 was little more than a schmooze trip to attempt to get her to contribute to Rigby’s group’s original plan to build a statue of her father Walt. Continue reading
Anybody else think the word “glitch” has been way overused lately?
First officials in the Obama administration – and shortly thereafter, the media – glommed onto the word in an effort to downplay the myriad problems with the Affordable Care Act website. A mere “glitch,” they said.
But two months worth of problems hardly qualifies as a “brief interruption.”
Which brings us to the mysterious case of Dan Meers aka the Kansas City Chiefs mascot known as KC Wolf. And what the Kansas City Star labeled a “glitch” that resulted in Meers being seriously hurt and having what could be career-ending back surgery while attempting a practice bungee jump from the stands to the field at Arrowhead Stadium.
Meers did not return calls for this column. Continue reading
With rare exception, flimsy reporting on the Plaza Lights have been the rule…
You know the game; mindless television news reporters breathlessly painting word pictures of hundreds of thousands of spectators at the Thanksgiving night ceremony, with endless miles of strung out Christmas lights – enough to reach Sedalia (maybe back).
The bigger the yarn, the better and who’s to say different?
Enter intrepid Kansas City Star reporter Jim Fussell and the FYI section. Continue reading
The battle lines are drawn…
Massive companies like Walmart, Best Buy, Kohls and McDonald’s have effectively declared war on Thanksgiving and, as Phillip Brown says, it’s up to consumers to sort things out. Either we given in and flood the store’s Black Thursday sales today – all but insuring they’ll not only continue in future years but grow – or we draw the line and hold off shopping until, you know, Black Friday.
The choice is ours, and Brown could not have laid it out more plainly.
With that in mind as I began my other Thanksgiving ritual – culling out and recycling the multitudinous ad inserts in my Kansas City Star and Lawrence Journal World newspapers – it came to me; that somewhere in those ads was the dividing line between the good merchants and the bad.
The good, being those respectful of the Thanksgiving holiday and the ritual of families gathering in thanks once a year; the bad being the corporations trampling on America’s most sacred holiday in the interest of getting their mitts on the almighty buck one extra day out of the year. One measly day, for crying out loud.
Look, I know this is hardly a scientific tally, but at least it’s a start.
And hey, why not reward the merchants who waited for Black Friday and punish those guilty of trampling on Thanksgiving?
Now on the tally: Continue reading
Well, what was supposed to be THE big game this Sunday at Arrowhead has lost a bit of it’s luster…
Chiefs fans are down in the dumps after two losses in a row. Now Denver and Peyton Manning are coming to town with what is likely to be the gutshot that gives them the western title and forces the Chiefs into a low level wild card game.
We all know the Chiefs lost their top two defenders in the loss to San Diego. And without their two stud linebackers, the Chiefs’ defense is horrible.
What’s odd is that QB Alex Smith would have gotten all the praise nationally and locally had the Chiefs won last week since the victory would have been chalked up to his passing skills. Having said that, with Denver’s severe injuries to their defense and a couple of receivers, the boys in a red now have a slight chance to pull off an upset victory that otherwise would have been nearly impossible.
For the Chiefs to pull off the miracle victory, Smith will have to have a repeat passing performance from last week, plus a strong attack from Jamaal Charles on the ground.
Hey, it’s nearly Christmas, maybe we get an early gift. Continue reading
Ever since European Pilgrims began settling the American continent, they commemorated a day in November as a time of Thanksgiving…
It’s a time where we put aside our mundane, everyday responsibilities, avert our eyes from our struggles for a better future and just appreciate the fortunes of the present. This is the day when we gather those close to us, be they family, friends or neighbors, and give thanks for the riches that fate and our struggles have bestowed.
It’s a celebration that has existed in some form or another in every culture since human beings discovered the art of agriculture some 10,000 years ago. Obviously, there is a primal societal need for this pause from the routine.
Now America’s big retailers and fast food franchises think they can improve on that idea.
Just as the harvest celebrations in history have shrunk from a period of several weeks to just one day, they think their employees have evolved to the point that they can satisfy this basic yearning for appreciation and renewal with a mere break of some 4 to 8 hours.
Then –BACK TO WORK!! Continue reading