Hearne: KU Students & Fans Celebrate Basketball Coach Bill Self’s Rug

You know what they say about, if it ain’t KU basketball season in Lawrence, it ain’t happening…

And while it’s not like every single thing in Larry revolves around Allen Field House, it does seem that way at times. Take the recent student newspaper Top 20 "KU Bucket List" of stuff the kids want to do before graduating.

No. 10: "See Bill Self without his toupée: ‘That’s something I’ve always been interested in. It looks so real. I think he has the sides still, but not the top.’ — Killian Cull, a sophomore from Overland Park."

KU fans and foes have argued for years about whether the KU basketball coach wears a rug or not.

And while both sides are passionate – some even suggesting he can’t because there’s a bald spot – nobody’s ever really pinned the tail on Self’s donkey and laid down a definitive account as to the rug’s existance.

 

Until now.

Because for what it’s worth, I’m going to give it to you from one of the horse’s mouths and tell you Self does indeed wear a hairpiece.

How do I know for sure?

Because former Kansas City Star director of retail sales and group publishing Steve Curd told me so several years ago. Curd, who later became the publisher of the Independence and Blue Springs Examiner (he left in January), knows because he was an eye witness to Self’s hairlessness when the two attended Oklahoma State University in the early-mid 1980s.

Notice the crop on the online publicity pic of Self from his playing days at OSU?

And while it may seem silly – and let’s face it, it totally is – to dig on someone’s wig, give Self credit for having a nice enough one to divide the speculation so evenly as to have people arguing about it online.

In fact, Self’s toupée even has not one but two Twitter accounts.

"I’m the hairpiece of NCAA Championship winning basketball coach Bill Self, and I have stories to tell," reads one. 

"Bill Self doesn’t wear me. I wear Bill Self. Bill Self’s head (sometimes)," says another.

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 6 Comments

New Jack City: Movies on the Silver Screen Still the Best Bet

No matter how you slice or dice it,  movie theaters continue to be the least expensive out-of-home entertainment…

And for the record the five year U.S. screen count—from 2007 through 2011—has risen from 38,803 to 39,718. That’s an increase of 2.35%.
 
Here are some interesting stats courtesy of the National Association of Theater Owners—N.A.T.O. for short.
 
Since 1981, ticket prices have increased, on average, less than the rate of inflation.
40 years ago the average 1971 ticket price was $1.65. In 2011 dollars that ticket would cost $9.16.
 
In 2011 the average U.S. ticket price was $7.93 including premium pricing on 3-D films, then falling to $7.92 during the first quarter of 2012. And that’s despite the nation’s exhibitors investing hundreds of millions of dollars over the last decade to remake the moviegoing experience with stadium seating, digital sound, digital projection and 3-D.
 
So how does today’s average movie ticket pricing compare to other major out-of-home entertainment options?
 
Let’s take a look.
 
* Broadway Theater Shows average: $89.11—Up 4.06%
* NFL football games average:         $77.36—Up 1.16%
* Live concerts average:                    $67.02—Up 10.0%
* Touring Broadway Shows average: $61.37—Down -1.3%
* NHL hockey games average:            $57.10—Up 5.25%
* NBA basketball games average:      $48.48—Up 1.72%
* MLB baseball games average:         $26.91—Up 1.2%
* Movies in theaters average:             $  7.93—Up 0.5%
 
Oh, and the parking at the movies is free. Try doing that at the stadiums or show and concert venues some time.
 

Posted in Jack_Poessiger | Tagged | 3 Comments

Donnelly: Sporting Self Destruct to Drop 3rd in a Row, Vermes Rips Refs

 

Sporting Kansas City played a decent first half Saturday at the Chicago Fire

Bobby Convey notched his first goal of the season with a one-timer that was set up nicely by Roger Espinoza’s cut back cross and KC went to the locker room at the half up on the home side 1-0.

The second half was a completely different story. By the time the final whistle blew, Sporting had conceded a penalty, been shown a red card, and saw one of its alleged leaders attempt a fancy juggle inside his own 6 yard box which resulted in the go ahead Chicago goal.

Yeah, total nightmare.

So after starting the season 7-0, KC now sits at 7-3. Sure, the results have been disappointing, but more troubling has been Sporting’s play of late.

Again the defense got caught napping which allowed a Chicago attacker to get in behind them.  Just like last game, Aurelien Collin made a last gasp sliding tackle that may have been unnecessary due to the poor angle.  And just like last game, the tackle may actually have been clean.  And just like last game, the ref signaled for a penalty.

But that’s not the point.

The point is that when the attacking player feels contact on a breakaway in the box, he’s going to go down.  And the ref is almost certainly going to blow the whistle.  Collin should know these things, yet he continues to make the same mistakes.   

A few minutes after Chicago buried the penalty to tie the game, KC’s Espinoza went airborne and struck Chicago’s Sebastian Grazzini in the face with a fore arm, which resulted in a straight red.  The Sporting bench protested vigorously, and continued to show their displeasure with the call after the game.

"I can’t comment on the penalty kick, but the red card is not a red card," complained KC boss Peter Vermes.  "Two years now here, in a row, we come here and we have two red cards which aren’t red cards, which completely changes the outcome of the game."    

After Roger was sent off things REALLY deteriorated.

KC looked aimless and ineffective as they tried to just hold on for dear life and escape Chicago with at least one point.  Then one of the most careless and baffling plays I’ve seen in quite a while occurred to stab KC in the collective heart. 

Kei Kamara tracked back into his own goal box – a good thing for sure, especially when you’re playing a man down.  A high ball was served into the box and Kei attempted to bring the ball down.  But rather than clearing the ball, Kei swiveled, popped the ball up on his knee and attempted a more difficult clearance. 

You can guess what happened next. 

A Chicago attacker swooped in, stole the ball, and touched it across the goal mouth to an onrushing Dom Oduro.  Oduro slid the ball into KC’s net putting Chicago up 2-1 for good, and leaving Jimmy Nielsen and the rest of the Sporting defensive line shaking their heads. 

"On the second goal, mistake on Kei," said Vermes.  "He should have cleared it and heads up to their player for making a quick play that we could have easily cleared it, and we would have been out of there with no problem.”

I can’t believe Vermes didn’t bench Kei right then and there.  That play was simply unacceptable in my book.

Instead, Vermes directed copious amounts of venom at the ref, who was centering his first MLS game. 

"The referee is there to ref the game, not to be part of the show," said Vermes.  "And today, that’s what he made himself.  He made himself part of the show.  And that’s disappointing, because players, they work hard, they are the ones who are the entertainers on the field, not him, and unfortunately that’s what the game was like today.  He changed the game.” 

While the officiating in MLS is nothing if not wildly inconsistent, those are some harsh and pointed words from Vermes.  But the bottom line is that KC has dropped 3 in a row now, they aren’t scoring goals lately, and they’ve been breaking down defensively. 

KC needs to focus on the things they can control- like defensive shape, like finding some offensive creativity – and get back their winning mentality that was so present early on this season.    

Posted in Sporting_Kansas_City | Tagged | 4 Comments

Glazer: Scribe Wishes His Mom Happy Mother’s Day

Like many of you, I lost my mother a few years back..

We only have one real mom and one real dad, so when they’re gone it hurts. I think of my mother Rita Trantham every day. Yes, she was once Rita Glazer, but my father and mother divorced long ago. Her second husband John, was a great guy, but he too passed away this year.

On mother’s deathbed she said she was proud of me and we had that long last talk.

It was painful, but I’m glad we did. You readers all know the "Glazer Boys" stories, so clearly we had many issues. My mother had far more sad days with us three kids than good ones. No doubt. I wish my mom would have lived to see King of Sting come out, but she died in 2007 when the book was done but not yet printed. She knew it was being published though. My mother also died just short of the opening of Stanford and Sons at the Legends. She did visit the complex and saw it being built before she was bed ridden.

What I most remember about my mom was how well liked she was in Kansas City.

My mother was on about every charity board she could be on. On her 70th birthday she had more than 200 ladies attend her banquet at the Fairmont. I was shocked to see so many of her friends fly in from all over the country and world to be there. She was quite a lady. I said at her funeral that my father and I got way too much attention, my mother was the best of us and deserved it more than we did – much more.

Well Mom, your grandchildren, Jake and Alex Glazer, would have made you smile. Both are A students. Alex is finishing 8th grade and Jake is a Junior at Shawnee Mission East. Both have 4.3 averages and are top notch athletes.

In fact, Jake made the Star sports section all week. He won in boys 6-A tennis the region, district and area. And he was favored to win at state yesterday but lost in the doubles finals to another team they’d  beaten in three other events.

Mom would be so proud of both boys.

Neither Jake nor Alex has ever been in a second of trouble at school or anywhere else.

My brother Jeff, for all his many issues, has been a wonderful dad. He goes to almost all their games and events, as does his former wife Kris. Which proves that even with a broken marriage and some severe issues that children can end up being better than those who raised them.

So Mom, that’s the best present we can give you today.

Jake will be on his way to college after next year, possibly with a nice scholarship and Alex will continue to be an A student and follow in his brother’s footsteps.

I spoke at my mother’s funeral:

"I don’t believe in God or Heaven or Hell, but my mother did," I said. "For her sake, I hope she’s right, because if there is a heaven she deserves to be there. She earned it." 

Happy Mothers Day, Mom. I love you.

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged | 3 Comments

Leftridge: Mother’s Day Gift Ideas (Because Every Other Day is About You)

Look, we’ve all got mom’s, you know? (unless your mother is dead—in which case, I’m very, truly sorry for bringing it up. What happened, anyway? She was so young!) But anyway, moms… gotta love ‘em. Be they biological or a step, in-law or kidnapper, they’ve been there for you your whole life. She was there when you graduated high school and accidentally shit your pants with the compounded nervousness of being on a stage in front of thousands of people. She stuck up for you when you were learning to ride a bicycle and you accidentally crashed it into your douchebag neighbor’s Ferrari and put a scratch in it and that greasy Mexican screamed at you and called you a worthless piece of shit, berating you until you felt like ending your life at the tender age of 5.

Moms: God bless each and every one of them. But the truth is, you haven’t done enough for her. Trust me… you haven’t. But the good news is, you can start this coming Sunday. Selecting an appropriate gift is one way of beginning to build the bridge you burned when you stole $15,000 from her savings account and ran off to Thailand where you met a chick who didn’t turn out to be a chick at all (not that you knew that before you married it in a regrettable opiate haze).

Choosing a gift can be tricky, though. What kind of mom is she? Is she a nice mom, or a really nice mom? Does she like to sing, or does she like Singer sewing machines?

Mom’s are like snowflakes; no two are alike and an accumulation of them can cause car-accidents. Knowing your mom is the first step in selecting the perfect gift. If you don’t know your mother at all, and shudder at the idea of learning more about her, why don’t you just buy something I suggest? Problem solved.

For the mom who likes to golf:

Buy her some golf tees. They’re cheap, useful and sometimes, you can find tees painted to resemble teeny little penises. Wouldn’t that be hilarious? Your mom hitting the links with a bag full of baby penises? What a hoot!

For the mom who likes sex:

Get your mom a prostitute. (but don’t skimp!!!) The options here are limitless. Does she like greased up black dudes? That can be arranged. Needle-marked, unwed teenaged mothers? Check. Little Chinese boys who have been sold into sex slavery? Sick.

For the mom who likes Don Cheadle:

This one’s easy. Hyperion’s Don Cheadle Collection on Blu-Ray. Featuring 8 of Cheadle’s best known works (Traffic, Boogie Nights… um, that one where he plays that guy… was he a cop? Shit. He was really good in it! You know the one I’m talking about). Anyway, if your mom likes Cheadle, she’ll fucking go nuts for this shit. Each movie has a commentary done by Cheadle himself and the collection comes with an autographed 8 x 10 photo of the Donster.

For the mom who doesn’t like Don Cheadle:

Sex in the City on Blu-Ray. Are you kidding? Who doesn’t fucking love Don Cheadle? Your mom must be a world class idiot.

For the mom who likes the outdoors/wildlife:

The possibilities here are wide open. You can get her some fishing lures. Or bug repellant. Maybe she needs some new waders or some hiking boots. Who knows? The folks over at www.daddybear.com have some great info, I’m sure (I’m not positive, though… I didn’t check it out, but it’s the internet. What could possibly go wrong, you know?)

For the mom who likes to read:

Kindle out of your price range? Get her a library card. She can check out VHS copies of forgotten 80’s classics like ‘Gung Ho’ with the delightful Michael Keaton, in addition to all of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books her feeble mind can handle. The gift that keeps on giving (kind of).

For the mom who likes cars:

Check it: get her a Hot-Wheel of her favorite classic car. Include a card with it that says some bullshit like, ‘If this car were as big as the love for you in my heart, you’d have the real car.’ That’s pretty fucking lame, but sometimes, moms like that.

For the mom who likes food:

Get her a gift certificate to Don’s Tacos in Belton. The tacos there are really cheap, so even though you’re only spending $10 ($20 if you’re a real money-bags) she can take her boyfriend and that asshole’s daughter and only end up spending like, $15-$20 out of her own pocket. Just tell her to stay away from the margaritas! Don mixes them strong and the last thing your mee-maw needs is another DUI!
 

For the mom who likes her family:

Spend some time with her. Maybe you can grill out in the backyard or watch a dance competition on the television. It’s free—which means you won’t be spending any of your hard-earned plasma-selling money—and she’ll appreciate it. (you cheap, sad, son-of-a-bitch)
 

Posted in News_and_Views | Tagged | 7 Comments

Hearne: And Now the ‘Rest of the Story’ on the AMC Entertainment ‘China Crisis’

It’s one thing for the hometown paper to get scooped on a huge story like AMC Entertainment selling out to the Chinese…

Quite another to pull up short on its front page followup. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened earlier this week when the Star rolled out its version of the New York Times scoop on AMC being in talks to sell the company "or a significant stake" to China’s Wanda Group.

How serious is Wanda? Apparently very.

"The Chinese group has reportedly been eyeing an acquisition since president Wang Jianlin said in a speech at Tsinghua University in Beijing in 2011 that his company would ‘shock the world’ with an acquisition to be made within the year," the news organization Want China Times reported yesterday.

Now a little much-needed background and perspective.

Having laid off the business reporter that covered AMC four years back, the Star was forced to play news catchup by drafting into service reporters from its real estate and "human resources" beats. The net result begetting largely a rehash of old news with a couple quotes thrown in from a local AMC business associate rather than an independent third party.

"I was curious about that myself," says one local movie insider. "Why were they asking that guy? It just seemed kind of incestuous."

Also missing in the Star coverage were specifics, perspective and questions regarding the how and why of AMC having "gone private" years ao and subsequently being unable to cash back in via public stock offerings in three attempts. The most recent coming last month and leading up to the potential Chinese sale news.

So let’s take a look, starting with AMC’s going private in 2004.

"Private equity firms are notorious for taking public companies private only to sell shares to the public again down the road," explains B. Simmons of Investing Answers. "Private equity groups generally use leveraged buyouts or buyouts financed by large debt levels to fund their acquisitions, but the result is the same: The shares that are currently public will go away."

Later to return, hopefully generating enormous profits.

It may be worth noting that Bain CapitalMitt Romney‘s old firm that shuttered a more than 100 year-old Kansas City steel mill and laid off more than 700 workers in the early 2000s – is one of AMC’s private equity partners.

In short, the practice of going private, restructuring the company and then taking it public again is often a means of cashing in and/or out on the private equity partners’ investments?

"You’re basically correct," says one close follower of AMC’s business dealings. "They took the company private and they’ve been looking for an exit strategy for the last five years."

When AMC’s owners first tried to cash back out in 2007 via a $500 million stock offering, they were heading into the current recession and the timing couldn’t have been worse. But even then there was more to that story.

"We have a significant amount of debt," AMC’s offering at the time read. "We have had significant financial losses in recent years. Prior to fiscal 2007, we had reported net losses in each of the last nine fiscal years totally approximately $512 million."

So while the Star‘s AMC-friendly business associate largely placed the blame for the company’s triple failure to take the company public again on market conditions, there appears to be far more to the story.

"The problem is all of the money they’ve been trying to rasie goes to the investors and not to invest back into the company," says the AMC watcher. "It’s a legitimate deal, it’s just not particularly appealing to investors."

In a perfect world taking a company public would raise money to position it for growth rather than to merely "retire debt."

A number of other significant details went missing from the local account of AMC’s foray into China.

For example, "The last few years have been extremely difficult for theater operators. Last year, attendance in North America fell to 1.28 billion, a 4 percent decline from 2010 and the lowest total in 16 years," the New York Times story reported. "Ticket revenue for last year totaled $10.2 billion, a 3 percent decrease."

And aside from market conditions "not being right," AMC may have pulled the plug on its IPO to focus on China "to allow the three firms to recoup an investment they made when they bought the company AMC in 2004," the LA Times reports.

The Los Angeles newspaper cited other difficulties facing AMC in another story late last month.

"It’s a tough business,” one of the paper’s sources was quoted, "citing the long-term challenges faced by the exhibition industry, especially from the threat posed by shrinking theatrical windows — the period between when a movie is released in theaters and when it can be viewed in the home."

"The biggest issue (AMC’s) facing is how to navigate the collapsing of theatrical windows," the source told the Times.

So while the movie biz is up sharply this year and headed into what hopes to be a boffo summer, there’s far more to the AMC China story than reported locally. Until now, of course.

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 12 Comments

Whinery: MITT ROMNEY FOR PRESIDENT

Went to the Mitt Romney fundraiser at the Westin last night and – you heard it here first – Romney is going to win in a landslide in November…

Fifty-five to forty-five to be exact…

I know, I know. Everybody thinks Obama’s got it in the bag, but I don’t think so. What has Obama done except continue the policies of W that he said he’d rescind? Last time I checked we’re still in Iraq.The popular belief is that Americans have left – but we still have tens of thousands of boots on the ground.

And while I commend the President for getting Bin Laden- If that was the goal in Afghanistan – what are we still doing there?

Unemployment is only going “down” only because the government’s numbers are hopelessly cooked.

They don’t count American’s as unemployed who’ve stopped looking for work. We have fewer Americans employed now than we did in the 80’s. REAL unemployment is close to 20 percent, far higher than the 8.1 percent the Government says it is.

Look around, this Country’s infrastructure is rotting, our education system is failing.

Let’s face it, the American Empire is crumbling.

So what can Mitt Romney do?

I think this Country desperately needs a President who has had a real job and and has created them. We need someone who’s not gonna wage war on coal, fossil fuels and pipelines. Energy is building block one for a national economy and Romney understands that.

Romney knows that the rich are not to be punished either- they are the job creators. Have you ever gotten a job from a poor person?

 And lets get one thing straight, I’m not some rich lawyer trying to protect my income.

Being of a very rare breed- an “honest” lawyer- I do OK. But not well enough to buy a ticket to the Romney fundraiser, a friend couldn’t go so he gave me his.

The people there were entrepreneurs and business owners – in other words, Employers. And by talking to several of them, they weren’t so much worried about their own incomes, but about having to let people go due to the President’s health care plan, high corporate tax rates (which are now the highest in the world), regulations and other policies which are hostile to business.

Romney understands real world economics.

He undertands that the private sector and free enterprise are the engines of growth- not the Government spending money it doesn’t have. Obama has racked up $5 trillion in deficits in 3 years, with no end in sight. Romney has turned around failing corporations in the past, and that’s exactly what the USA is right  now- a failing corporation in desperate need of a turnaround.

And the Man for the job is Mitt Romney.

Posted in News_and_Views | Tagged | 38 Comments

Glazer: Add Gay Marriage to Obama Legacy of Ending War, Depression, Offing Bin Laden

In a bold move, President Barack Obama says he’s ALL FOR GAY MARRIAGE…

Some may think this was merely a political move to stay out front of Republican challenger Mitt Romney.  The Republican candidate immediately jumped on it and said, "Marriage is between a man and a woman only!"

And with Obama is only slightly ahead in the polls that matter – far from where he’s been in the past – many think this will be a very close race. Most observers feel the President’s position on gay marriage will not help him much and in fact, may cost him valuable support.

Let’s face it, this much of this nation still leans away from gays getting married. Me, I say live and let live. If two people want to marry that are of the same sex, and it doesn’t hurt anybody else, let it be.

Besides, those divorce cases will be a hoot!

If Obama wins –  and I think he’s still unbeatable barring a major turn of events or scandal – he will likely one day go down as a great president. I know many of you don’t agree, but he will probably get credit for STOPPING A MAJOR DEPRESSION, ENDING THE WAR, KILLING OSAMA BIN LADEN & GETTING HEALTH CARE FOR EVERYBODY.

Yep, it all will have happened on his watch and that’s how it works.

The bad news is the economy is still weak, money is tight for most people and jobs are scarce. Good ones that pay anyway. However, he wasn’t the president that got us into this mess.

The best thing the President has going in this race is Mitt Romney himself, a major millionaire, who was born into money. Mitt has little first hand knowledge of economic pressures a family faces. He doesn’t have a strong platform, other than to attack Obama and fingerpoint. His saying, I will fix this economic nightmare is simply talk, there seems to be no plan.

I think all these economic issues are simply going to take time – years unfortunately.

Hey, with Obama behind gay marriage, can legalizing marijuana be far behind?

The truth is both of these will happen, but like the troubled economy, it will take years.

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged | 17 Comments

Jack Goes Confidential: ‘DARK SHADOWS’ Serves Up Retro Weirdness

Never having been a fan of ABC’s old TV soaper my expectations of Tim Burton‘s movie adaptation were at best "in-check."
 
And guess what DARK SHADOWS the movie pretty well delivered on those expectations. Not more. Maybe even a little less.
 
Twisting the shows storyline just a bit, Warner Brothers’ big screen adaptation maintains the basic plot of Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) who in 1752, along with his family, set sail for America where he became quite the heartbreaker.
 
But when he broke the wrong woman’s heart—she got even!

 
She also happened to be a jealous witch who cursed him, destroyed his family, turned him into a vampire and buried Barnabas alive chained to his coffin.
 
Now move up to 1972 where Barnabas is freshly dug up by an ill-fated construction crew and resurrected in Collinwood only to find his old family’s descendants in ruins. There’s disco, microwaves, Chevy’s—even The Carpenters performing on television for this vampire fish-out-of-water to face.
 
And his parents old cannery now belongs to Angel Bay Foods controlled by Angie Bouchard (Eva Green) a.k.a. Angelique. She’s the witch who cursed Barnabas to his fate of the living dead, preventing him from marrying his beloved Josette (Bella Heathcote) who just happens to be the new Collins family governess.
 
Come to think of it, this still plays like a gothic soap opera.
 
Is it creepy? Not so much. But Johnny Depp, who also co-produced the movie, sure gives it a try here.

My biggest beef with the picture is that it’s uneven. Like they couldn’t make up their minds whether to make it campy or play it straight. And some of the scenes go on too long and way beyond their expected ‘wink-wink’ time limit.
 
For example, Alice Cooper‘s appearance – who Depp’s Barnabas refers to as "the ugliest woman I’ve ever seen" outlasts its welcome.
 
The trailer for DARK SHADOWS would have you believe that it’s a comedy along the lines of THE ADDAMS FAMILY or THE MUNSTERS.

It’s not.
 
Which is not to say it’s not entertaining!
 
Johnny Depp as Barnabas, who even in death has a weakness for flesh, is definitely in his element here. So is Michelle Pfeiffer as family matriarch Elizabeth.

Pfeiffer told me at the recent CinemaCon conclave in Vegas that she was a huge fan of the old TV series and openly campaigned and finally persuaded Tim Burton to give her the movie role.
 
Others in the cast include Helena Bonham Carter as child psychiatrist Julia Hoffman. Carolyn is played by Chloe Grace Moretz while Jackie Earle Haley is the family’s hired helper.
 
Add Danny Elfman‘s bewitching score and The Moody Blues‘ "Nights In White Satin" and you’ve got a DARK SHADOWS whose main character’s curse is finally broken. But not before a battle of werewolves, witches and vampires.
 
The reinvention raises 3-1/2 out of 5 foreboding fingers.
 
JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES Friday mornings at 6:40 a.m. on NewsRadio KMBZ Am & Fm and anytime on Time-Warner Cable’s K.C. ON DEMAND, Channel 411.

Posted in Jack_Poessiger | Tagged | 1 Comment

Hearne: The Gloves Are Coming Off for Next Year’s ‘420 Day’ Bash in Westport

Westport sparkplug Bill Nigro learned a very important lesson last month…

That when it comes to pot smoking, you can’t be just a little bit pregnant. If you’re going to localize and promote an annual celebration like 420 Day – the day that honors all things marijuana – you’ve got to be all in.

No pussyfooting around.

Not that Nigro’s faint-hearted first off 420 Day blowout was a, you know, bust.

"Well, we had 1,200 paying people and we had another 200 comps," Nigro says. "But I just thought it would be busier."

And well it might have been, had Niro not chickened out in promoting the event with weak-wristed quotes like, "Well, we’re not calling it 420 Day. Our event’s called the Westport Smokeout and we’re going to do some fun things."

See what I mean?

Fortunately, Nigro learned his lesson and next year’s 420 Day blowout will be a no-holds-barred, balls-to-the-wall affair – a full-blown celebration of p-o-t. No more mincing of words. No more apologies to the powers that be. The full, pure, unadultrated spirit of smoking marijuana will be right up front in anybody’s face who cares (or dares) to attend.

"Next time, we’re going to embrace it," Nigro says. "This time we kinda did it with smoke and mirrors. We downplayed the whole 420 thing. All the bars that were involved were kind of afraid of going too public with it. I think we had to just do that first one to kinda just show everybody there wasn’t anything to be over-worried about."

So mark it down potheads, April 20, 2013 – be there or be square – 420 Day in Westport, the 2nd Coming.

All of that said, far be it from Nigro to suggest (wink) that anybody come-a-tokin to the big smokeout.

"It’s really more of a recognition of what’s going on in the United States with marijuana," Nigro hedges. "It really should be a controlled substance and instead it’s the modern prohibition. And I think it’s going to be a runnaway train across the United States to legalize it. A lot of states that have medicinalized it have realized that they don’t have to condone letting it be a black market anymore. And that they can profit from the tax revenues."

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 11 Comments

Starbeams: The Top Five Signs You’re at a Chinese (AMC) Movie Theater

Kansas City based AMC Theatres may be sold to a Chinese company.  AMC recently broke ground on its new headquarters at 117th and Nall.  However, if they’re going to be based in China, they’ll need to keep digging for some time.

THE TOP FIVE SIGNS YOU’RE AT A CHINESE BASED MOVIE THEATER:

#5. Romantic comedies involve someone getting kicked.

#4. You can save the popcorn bowl for a hair cut.

#3. Instead of popcorn, you get itty bitty ears of corn.

#2. All the movies are about engineering and math.

#1. One ticket admits you and a dozen in-laws.

Kelly Urich is the morning show host on The Point 99.7 FM

 

Posted in Starbeams | Tagged | 4 Comments

Sounds Good: Spring into Summer@Replay, Delbert McClinton@Knuckleheads, Tennis@RecordBar, Truckstop Honeymoon@Barnyard

All my picks this week are on Saturday, so you’ve got some touch choices to make…

Plus there’s a Sporting KC game Saturday at 7:30.  The boys in blue are away at rival Chicago, so if you can’t park it in front of the tube at 7:30, make sure to set the old DVR. 

In other concert news: the much anticipated James Morrison concert that was scheduled for the Granada tonight has unfortunately been cancelled.  I believe Mr. Morrison will be hitting up Jay Leno tonight instead.  His loss, right?

On to the picks!

Saturday, May 12th

Spring into Summer featuring Hearts of Darkness, Fourth of July, Up the Academy, Mouthbreathers and more! @ the Replay in Lawrence.

This should be a cool day of music, starting at 4:00 pm outside on 10th Street right next to the Replay.  And it’s only $5!!

Expect to see some drunken ass scenesters purposely wearing tank tops as the likes of Fourth of July pumps out their catchy indie folk pop and shows off some of their new tunes from their much anticipated new album.  Closing down the outside stage is KC’s HOD, which brings the party with them everywhere they go.

Then at 10:00 p.m. the bash moves inside, for Dry Bonnet, Mouthbreathers and a few other garage-trash rock bands to close out the night.

Delbert McClinton @ Knuckleheads in KC

 You probably know that Delbert McClinton grew up in Texas, played with legends like Howlin’ Wolf, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Jimmy Reed.  You also probably know about the Grammy Award he scored with his duet with Bonnie Raitt.  And you might even know that McCLinton’s latest album, 2009’s Acquired Taste, hit #1 on the Billboard Blues chart.

But did you also know he sang the opening song from Groundhog Day?

Yeah, the weatherman song.  Weird, right?  And that he’s in the business of taking old people on Caribbean cruises with a bunch of other old musicians who play shows for a week while the boomers sip on fruity drinks and do god knows what else?  I bet those cruises get freaky.  Seriously.
 

Tennis @ the RecordBar in KC

What if I toldyou that this cuter-than-cute, husband-wife duo come to town with a new record that came out a month or two ago called Young & Old…nothing?… Well what if I told you it was produced by Patrick Carney?  Still nothing?… Well what if I told you that Patrick Carney makes up one half of the Black Keys?  Ah…

That’s what I thought.

Truckstop Honeymoon @ the Barnyard in Lawrence

After being washed out of NOLA post Katrina this duo found Lawrence as a new home.  Since arriving several years ago, the banjo pluckin’ Mike West and stand up slappin’ Katie Euliss have become a mainstay of the local music scene, combining their funny and poignant lyrics of white trash dirt merchantry with gritty porch music.  Put it all together and you’ve got a bluegrass-y, booze-y, filthy good time.

 

Posted in Entertainment | Tagged | 13 Comments

New Jack City: AMC Theatres Selling Out to China?

The New York Times is reporting that one of China’s most prominent theater operators may have its eyes set on Kansas City based AMC ENTERTAINMENT.

The newspaper claims that according to sources briefed on the discussions, that China’s WANDA GROUP is in talks to buy part or all of AMC.
 
The WANDA GROUP is a Chinese conglomerate whose portfolio includes commercial properties, luxury hotels, department stores, film production and distribution. It also operate a movie theater circuit of 730 screens in 68 multiplex locations that account for about 15% of China’s fast-growing movie ticket sales. WANDA is also one of IMAX’s major Asian customers with 47 of the large screen installations presently throughout its Chinese circuit.
 
If the speculated upon deal occurs it would give WANDA a commanding presence in the world’s two largest movie markets—namely China and the United States where AMC is this nation’s second largest theater circuit after REGAL ENTERTAINMENT.

AMC presently operates about 350 theatre complexes with approximately 5,050 screens and remains headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri but is relocating to Leawood, Kansas where construction of its new headquarter is currently under way.

Stay tuned…

Posted in Jack_Poessiger | Tagged | 3 Comments

Hearne: KU Students Fly Down Mountain, Through Fire & Into Potter Lake

Good, clean fun alert…

Slot this one atop on your "Don’t try this at home"  to-do list. From the Lawrence Journal World‘s Andy Hyland comes the followingg newsworthy nugget from the bucket list of Totally Ridiculous Things College Kids Do.

Perhaps you’ll recognize it from your young adulthood past.

"While walking on campus on Friday, I happened on one of those little moments that ensures that walking around a college campus is never dull," Hyland begins.

"A small group of students had come up with an inventive way to celebrate Stop Day. Namely, they were taking bikes up to the very top of the hill near Memorial Drive, and then were riding them down the hill to a ramp, and then jumping into Potter Lake."

For the uninitiated, that’s some serious downhill, cross country sledding.

"Oh, and also, they were using lighter fluid to light the ramp on fire," Hyland adds. "A good way to get a reporter’s attention is to set something on fire and then use it to leap into Potter Lake."

Turns out the "event" if you will is called Ramp Day and has been going down for some six years, according to a KU student Hyland interviewed.

Turns out the KU jackasses are Christian types into "responsible fun," and at one point included former KU basketball player Christian Moody.

"At first, the group had ‘Float Day’ where they all used floatation devices to swim in Potter Lake," Hyland writes. "And wasn’t that gross, especially before the lake was dredged?"

"Super gross," the kids shot back.

But even the harrowing bike banzai ride got a little "too boring" until the fire element was later added.

Hey, in the world of good clean fun it beats the heck out of binge drinking and fraternity hazing

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 9 Comments

Glazer: Kansas City Royals Fans are the World’s Biggest Suckers!

Kansas City Royals fans just love their Royals…

And why not? We’re going to games this season in near record numbers. Thats right, last year at this time the Royals had drawn 248,000 fans. This year over the same time period, 329,000 fans. And the way, with the same number of games, 15. So we’re ahead of last year by 80,000 fans or almost two Chiefs games. Wow.

Which tells David Glass this: Go ahead and lose, we got nothing better to do. We will still come in droves to watch one of baseball’s all-time worst franchises.

That’s the truth, too!

Only one team in the league has a worse record than the Royals, the Minnesota Twins. They’re in our division by the way. And in all of baseball only one other team has but nine wins, San Diego.

The Royals have played only 28 games, but already are 10 games under .500. That’s not easy to do folks.

The Royals – who many of us thought would be a scoring machine – were supposed to be second only to Texas in hitting and home runs. Right. And let’s not even talk about pitching. OK, let’s do. Luke Hochevar, our No. One draft pick six years ago, has an ERA above 7.00 this season. The good news is his lifetime record ERA is only 5.46, which is still one of the five worst in 100 years of baseball (for a starter with over 100 starts).

More good news – we also have Kyle Davies as one of the top five worst in baseball history. Nice. Yep, we sure can say our farm system is coming up aces, huh?

Not to worry, we have several young position players who can hit the hell out of the ball, especially Eric Hosmer.

But Eric has one of the worst batting averages in baseball for a starter at .179. He managed to go 0 for 4 last night at home against Boston, who beat us 11 to 5. Our other ace, Johnathan Sanchez failed to record one out in the fourth before being yanked. His ERA stands at 6.75. Nice.

Back to the hitters, no starter that matters is hitting over .288 except Mike Moustakas at a meaningless .313.

Oh, they tell us the Royals have the fourth best batting average in the American League. Really? Maybe that’s why we never seem to score more than 3-5 runs in any game. I thought this team would have tons of 9-8 and 11-7 victories. Why?  The vaunted hitting attack. But I guess not.

Hey, I bought into this year’s Royals like many of you guys.

I even told you I bet a few bucks in Vegas on the over at 78 1/2 games. Meaning the Royals would win at least 79. Now it looks like losing less than 100 would be just swell.

However none of this matters.

Our fans love the Royals. We enjoy the nice stadium, and it’s very family friendly.

They sure spruced that puppy up, huh? Who cares if we watch our team win or lose? It’s summer, it’s fun.

Here’s something for David Glass to consider; buy the T-Bones for a few bucks, sell off the pretender Royals, drop the ticket prices a bit and BANG – move the Bones into Royals Stadium and start printing money, baby!

We don’t care. We just love our baseball. We love anything in pro sports at Arrowhead and Kauffman. Why? Because only our parents and grandparents remember George Brett and Len Dawson. The guys who used to actually win like 40 years ago.

It’s summer and losing most of our games is fun!

Lets buy some tickets for the Cleveland series. That’s going to be so cool. What a blast.

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged | 33 Comments

Starbeams: Tornado Decorating, Socialism, Univsion, Al Queda & Angry Birds

Tornados were spotted in Olathe and Raymore Sunday.  Both tornados did over $30 worth of improvements.

*******

An 18 year old Blue Valley senior is building a hydrogen fuel cell that may eventually allow you to power your car with water.  When I was 18 I successfully used water….to remove stains from the back seat of my car.

*******

France just elected its first Socialist president in 20 years.  Some say it’s a giant step backward. I say, they’re just following our lead!

********

ABC is now a sister network with Univision.  Or maybe it’s a cousin network.  Regardless, they will share the same social security numbers.

*******

Al Qaeda is reportedly trying to develop an underwear bomb.  Details are sketchy, but it secretly involves me drinking milk.

*******

This year I hung our bird feeder inside the window with hopes of creating more angry birds.

 

Kelly Urich hosts the morning show on The Point 99.7 FM

Posted in Starbeams | Tagged | 7 Comments

Hearne: City Market Concerts Reportedly to Relocate to Berkley Park in August

One local concert venue’s loss is another one’s gain…

So it is that the recently cancelled to save the Steamboat Arabia museum, "Buzz Under the Stars" concert series will magically reappear in August at the Richard L. Berkley Riverfront Park, sources say.

The word on the street being that the fest (August 9 or 10?) will feature a kickass bill thought to include headliners Fun and Garbage with Silversun Pickups and Alabama Shakes.

The Buzz fest will follow in the footsteps of the Dancefestopia Music Fesitval in June at Berkley Park, which incidentally will be going head-to-head with Entercom’s Buzz Beach Ball at Livestrong.

No word on whether Dancefestopia is being allowed to buy ads on The Buzz, which if you recall, last year hung KanRocksas out to dry by not allowing it to advertise because of a "competing" Buzz concert two weeks later.

The shows bring Berkley Park full circle from nine years back when it hosted one of the most cursed concerts in Kansas City history, the innaugural Kansas City Irish Fest. The three-day, $250,000 blowout took a shillelagh to the kilt on Day Two courtesy of an all-day drenching.

The Irish suffered mightily and never returned to the scene of Mother Nature‘s crime, opting instead for the tentable confines of Crown Center where its 10th go round will go down August 31st to September 2nd.

As for Buzz Under the Stars, the move from City Market will benefit not only Steamboat Arabia but be a vast improvement over what many consider the worst venue to see a concert in Kansas City.

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 3 Comments

Glazer: 610 Sports Nick Wright Escapes Gravitational Pull of the Cowtown

I began backing 610 Sports host Nick Wright two years ago…

Wrote several stories saying he’d be THE GUY in sports radio soon. However many commenters on this site didn’t agree. Some even said Nick’s career would be short lived in Kansas City. Meaning he’d be fired and replaced. Turns out I was right on the money.

Word today is that Nick may be headed to Houston.

That’s not confirmed, but if true, that’s a far bigger market than KC. Years ago Houston was after Johnny Dare. Johnny made a good call and stayed put because he’s from here like Nick and loves the city. Dare feels comfortable in KC.

Dare’s’s also is happy with the plum contract he got with 98.9 The Rock, so all is well with the other big gun at Entercom. But Nick’s a very young man still and undoubtedly wants to go out and spread his wings and find out what more is out there for him. At 28, that makes perfect sense. I think if Nick were older he might stay put.

Remember Wright has only been in his seat two years and is already THE GUY in sports in town.

Fast moves.

Hearne touched on why many people don’t like Nick on the air – they’re older usually and they just don’t get him.

Nick changes his positions quickly if he sees something wrong with them. And he’s high energy and on top of almost everything sports.

Nick’s competition at 810 WHB are the "down home" guys.

It’s highly unlikely K.K. or Soren Petro will ever leave this market for something bigger.

Hey, I don’t blame them. With all the crap we sling at high profile people in KC, those guys do work hard and are rock solid. Nick was the new rising star, the young gun, and that’s always fun. So he jacked with people on the air, but mostly just in a joking fashion. Nick was rarely mean spirited.

Kansas City is a very conservative town. The Star pointed that out – THE MOST RIGHT WING STATE – just this weekend. The fact that this city has accepted Johnny Dare as its radio guru might seem a bit odd, but he’s a homegrown star and does many nice things for the city. I’m sure Nick will do the same in Houston, if thats the spot.

It’s no secret that Kansas City has to sell the town to incoming star athletes or media people that matter.

The city has almost no national identity other than maybe being a cow town. I know that’s hard to swallow, but it’s true.

When I travel people always look at me when I say I’m from KC and say something lame like, "Oh, is it like Pittsburgh with all the smoking factories?" Or "Kansas City is mostly farms, right?" 

Of course they haven’t been here and our airport is in middle of nowhere.

Our leaders have gotten an F- in promoting this city.

Our sports teams are on the low side of importance and thus when growing up we always heard friends say, "Boy, I’m gonna get the hell outta this boring town."

I don’t agree with that. I think this city has much to offer. I moved back from LA and Arizona and I really don’t miss those cities much. KC has so many great areas and people. We just have nobody promoting this place which is so damn sad.

So yeah, Nick wants to get involved in a bigger market – who can blame him?

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged | 26 Comments

New Jack City: ‘AVENGERS’ Shatters Records as New Premiere Weekend Champ!

Walt Disney‘s been dead some 45 years…

However this weekend he’s probably having a heavenly party up there somewhere with St. Peter and the gang. Matter of fact, I’ll bet they’re spiking the holy water for the occasion.
 
Why all the celebrating?
 
The company he founded with his brother (and a mouse) has just generated the biggest grossing movie opening weekend in the history of the Industry!

MARVEL’s-THE AVENGERS has sold an estimated $200.3 million in tickets domestically during its first three days out of the box.
 
You may recall I had predicted $160 million. So I was off by $40 million—but in a good way.
$18.7 million of this rather shocking three day gross came from the Thursday night/ Friday morning 12:01 a.m. midnight shows. Add to that the film’s wordwide performance and the total 12 day take to date stands at a shattering $641.8 million.

(Note that the film had a nine day foreign head start prior to its North American openings.)
 
 So who got kicked out of first place?
 
That honor goes to the final chapter of the Harry Potter franchise—specifically last summer’s HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS-PART 2 which enjoyed an opening weekend of $169.2 million.
 
Industry insiders are now revising their predictions for the tentpole blockbuster’s eventual all-in numbers to $1 billion.
 
In all fairness, it should be pointed out that 3-D and IMAX  up charges have certainly contributed mightily to THE AVENGERS phenomenal performance to date.

Can you imagine what THE DARK KNIGHT RISES could and WILL do beginning on ?????
 
So who’s going to see this super hero smorgasbord?
 
Looks like just about everyone. Exit polls indicate that 50% of the audience is made up of people under the age of 25 while the other half is 25-54 and beyond. And audiences seem to be split fairly even between men and women.
 
So from Walt to his descendants at the Mouse Factory in Burbank, hey all about JOHN CARTER is forgiven—for the time being. 

Posted in Jack_Poessiger | Tagged | 6 Comments

Hearne: Nick Wright Leaving Grumpy Naysayers, 610 Sports, Kansas City in the Dust

The days of the George Bretts and Johnny Dares are long gone…

If they ever existed in the first place. Nobody today really cares if the home team has any hometown heroes on it. Or if they bend the rules or cheat a little bit – long as they don’t get caught.

Just win, baby…am I wrong?

So maybe it was naive to think 610 Sports rising star Nick Wright would be a homegrown, hometown institution.

You know, like the Raven, forevermore.

Don’t forget, Wright vowed to topple WHB superstar Kevin Kietzman. All while infuriating aging Baby Boomer, AM band, sports radio listeners and comments section bottomfeeders. Sporty types who never really "got" Wright’s youthful, hip-hop ways.

To many of them, Nick Wright’s words, thoughts, voice and on-air music beds were finernails on the blackboard. Wright was like soccer – it was never enough mrely to ignore him and change the dial, they had to hate him. Yet truth be known, given Wright’s ratings success, they probably loved to hate him.

Though they would doubtless be loathe to admit it.

But now Wright’s going, going and soon-to-be-gone…

"This is true, leaving 610," Wright Tweeted Friday, later adding, "But it isn’t a bad thing, and I’m not leaving just yet. Got a great opportunity I couldn’t turn down. 610 has been absolutely great to me."

To which he added, "I’ll be here a little bit longer and will be able to give details on where I’m going down the road. But it’s all good things."

Good things for Kietzman and WHB perhaps, but even Wright’s long-in-the-tooth haters will probably miss bagging on him day in and day out.

So how did Wright’s leaving leak out?

"I heard somebody confronted him on the air and he sort of hemmed and hawed and finally admitted he was leaving but wouldn’t say where he was going," says one local radio insider. "I talked to somebody who heard him say it on the air."

With Wright’s destination unknown, there’s been chatter about his fill-in stint on Fox Sports.

"It wasn’t aired locally because there was a Royals game on," the insider says. "But I talked to two people who listened to it online and they said he did a great job on the network – that was about two weeks ago."

Kansas City’s loss will likely be a larger market’s gain.

A market with a younger, more vibrant, hipper sports radio listenership. One far less vanilla and Denny Matthews-like than Kansas City. And just maybe, one that airs their sports radio on FM band, not the stodgy-beyond-belief AM dial that we Cowtowners are stuck with.

Hey, good luck Nick – do Kansas City proud.

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 17 Comments