New Jack City: ‘Twi Hards’ Reshoot Update

There’s no denying it…
The TWILIGHT saga has been hugely successful with its fan base.
How successful?
The first Twilight back in 2008 had nearly $192,800,000 in domestic ticket sales.

One year later NEW MOON shattered the original’s take with a boxoffice total of $296,600,000 plus. Then
ECLIPSE during the summer of 2010 broke the $300 million mark.
And then came last year’s BREAKING DAWN-PART 1. Not only did it garner some of the worst reviews from the critics, but its boxoffice take fell to $281,287,000.
BREAKING DAWN 1 was directed by Bill Condon who’s also doing the franchise’s final chapter—BREAKING DAWN-PART 2—set for release on November 16th.
Read whatever you want into what follows.
Deadline Hollywood reports that Condon and some of the Twilighters are heading back to Vancouver for some reshoots, pick up shots and additional technical work.

Here’s part of what Condon posted on Facebook about his fine tuning of the final chapter:

"Our part two puzzle is finally coming into full view and in a few weeks we’ll be heading back north to pick up some additional shots—the last tiny missing pieces.
"We’re not shooting any new scenes or dialogue, just some technical work with some of our cast and stunt actors.
"Before too long we’ll have another trailer for you to decode. And wait until you see the first posters—they’re unlike any TWILIGHT images you’ve seen before…"
Should we be reading anything (serious) into the announced reshoots?

That would depend on whether you believe in black helicopters, I guess.

Posted in Jack_Poessiger | Tagged | 4 Comments

Glazer: They Said It Couldn’t Be Done, but Nick Wright is The Man in Sports Radio

A year ago there were some questions from some of you oldsters about would Nick Wright make or even to be on the air in a year or two?


I wrote several times, not only would he be on the air in KC – that is if ESPN didn’t grab him – he’d be THE MAN, in local sports talk radio. And, guess what?

Step aside, naysayers because, a year later, Nick is THE sports guy in Kansas City, no argument.

610 Sports and Entercom, has built their ENTIRE day around Nick. "That’s Wright."  He comes on any show he wishes, just about whenever he wants too, day or night. When a big scoop occurs, it’s Nick to the mic, baby. Anytime, anywhere.

He’s talked about daily by all the other on air guys at 610, Bob Fescoe, Danny Parkins, Josh Klingler, Carrington Harrison, and Nick’s gang…Mark Carman and Jared Carter.

Yep, Nick is the go to guy on sports in KC pretty much. And 810, you wonder, what is their position? While the unofficial numbers show them as leading here and there, it’s kinda not true. Those radio surveys are somewhat bogus to begin with.

WHB, led by Soren Petro and Kevin Kietzman, are becoming the Mike Murphy‘s of sports radio. In other words, tired, yesterday’s news.

Now Mike had a damn nice career, but in the last few years was a geezer guy – meaning older listeners, not at all hip, etc. That often happens as guys get towards the end of the line in broadcasting. "Same old noise" – or so it seems.

Nick has become the No. 2 man in the building at Entercom, trailing only Johnny Dare in power today.

Dare has ‘building power" – something Nick is moving towards. He has sway over things that happen in general around Entercom is what that means.

Wright’s co-stars talk, well, kinda in some awe of him.

They say he has a big ego, is kinda a know it all and  is wrong on his sports picks, but he’s still the king.

And they are all under his watch. Yes, Nick pokes fun at Jarad and Mark, his on air crew, and often makes some insulting comments about other day part guys. All of this to effect his "personality" to the station.


Wright is a graduate of Syracuse University with honors.

Considered one of the top media colleges in the nation. Wright started with 610 in 2007, he did 6-9pm, then 9-11am and now he has the cherry spot for sports radio in KC at 2-6pm.

Wright’s career seemed to take off to the top when he interviewed Jason Whitlock two years ago about Jason leaving the Star and KC completely.

Whitlock still makes on-air visits with Nick every now and again. In fact Nick’s guest list is impressive and modern from Sam The Man Mellinger at the Star to every big time, online sports site writer in the nation. And of course, all the name sports stars from KC and beyond.

Nick had the inside track with former Chiefs Coach Todd Haley. Hey, the guy’s smart, fast and on the money.

I used to go on as a a guest Nick’s first couple years and I enjoyed it. But now he’s all about HIS trademark and HIS crew.

Hey, it works. Nick is THE sports guy in KC today.

Even the Pitch had him "Sports Personality of The Year" in one of those otherwise bogus "best of" issues.

Make way for the new King of Sports in Kansas City and his name ain’t Whitlock, it’s "What’s Wright With Nick Wright"

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged | 67 Comments

Hearne: Yeah We’re Fat, So Rank Us

Enough with the phony surveys..

A funny thing happened during yesterday’s breakfast interview/meeting with Mancow in Chicago. In what came across quite innocently – at least at first – Mancow called out the women in Kansas City for being overweight.

Fat, actually.

"Are you shocked by how big the women in Kansas City are?" he mused. "They are so huge."

Hey, it’s not like this comes as a news flash or anything.

The Cowtown’s been on the receiving end of countless "Fattest Cities" surveys over the years.

Personally, I don’t put much stock in these "reports." Fittest, fattest, best place to raise kids, start a family, retire, party – the list is endless. The way I view them is as contrived means for magazine’s like Men’s Fitness to bolster flagging readership and sales by working up phony formulas that they know will get picked up, reported and discussed by local newspapers, magazines and radio and television stations.

Instant PR.

Aside from the contrived hype, it’s not like there’s zero basis for reaching some of these conclusions. Take Men’s Health‘s 2010 ranking of KC as the country’s 6th fattest city…

You needn’t go much farther than the Plaza to support that case, but have you been to Topeka lately?

And after spending a few days wandering around Chicago I can see where Mancow’s coming from. The sidewalks are crawling with people of every age and stripe here, who with rare exception appear far skinnier that the people we see waddling about in KC.

So yeah, from my observations there are far fewer women of great weight roaming the streets of Chicago than Kansas City. It’s fairly obvious.

That said, after assigning an F to Kansas City in fattness, Chicago barely eeked out a D from Men’s Health, coming in as 22nd fattest. Frankly, I don’t get it?

Most of the fat people I see in Chicago here look like they’re from out-of-town.

Like from Kansas City or Topeka.

Or that state I rambled through on the way here – what’s it called? – oh yeah, Iowa.

You can’t get much fatter than Iowa. Yet the only city out of like 100 to move Men’s Fitness’s Fat Meter was Des Moines with a C- and in 39th place.

Look, I just have one question:

Who is Men’s Health trying to kid with these bogus rankings?

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 22 Comments

Hearne: My Breakfast with Mancow; Death of Radio, Fat Girls, Andrew Breitbart’s Death & $4.69 Gas

You know you’re in Chicago when the drive in from the outskirts is 10 times worse than the entire rest of the trip…

Turns out there’s something to be said about quality of life and all that falderol we take for granted in KC. Somebody remind me to check out the train accommodations here next time. Speaking of checking something out, get a load of the gas prices here, fellow flyover types. My nine gallon Fiat fillup ran an eyebrow arching $43.00 @ $4.69 a gallon.

Caught up to KC radio export Erich "Mancow" Muller for breakfast at Chicago’s ritzy new Palomar hotel downtown. The Cow was hanging there with wife Sandy and their twin daughters for Spring Break.

A few hightlights….

"Let’s talk about radio," Mancow says. "It’s a mess. Look, I’m the best buggy whip maker there is. Everybody’s afraid. The Internet’s the new shiny toy and the writing’s on the wall. People in radio aren’t making money. Thankfully, I’ve already made my money."

Mancow returns to KC a time or three a year for Gates Bar-B-Q, dinner at the Savoy (the old ways die hard) and the odd canoe misadvernture. But the longer he’s away, the less likely his one-time dream of returning and running a small radio station with his brother becomes.

"I just don’t think I can come back," he says. "Ive been gone too long."

Then – out of the clear blue sky – Mancow hits me with The Question:

"Are you shocked by how big the women in Kansas City are?," he asks. "They are so huge. When I was a kid going to Southwood Elementary in Raytown, we all made fun of the one fat kid. Now I would imagine, they all make fun of the one skinny kid."


On the conspiracy front, Mancow addressed the recent death of his friend, conservative political commentator Andrew Breitbart.

Breitbart checked out March 1st at the ripe, young age of 43 on the day he was to have released a huge story that would have rocked the Obama presidency. After his death a story was posted on Breitbart’s Web site revealing "Obama’s love for far-Left radical Saul Alinsky" and the world collectively yawned.

That wasn’t the story Breitbart planned to release that day, Mancow says.

Mancow’s take on Breitbart’s death:

"He was murdered. We were working on a TV show and I talked to him every day and he told me he had information that was going to bring down Obama. He kept saying, March 1st, March 1st. And he died on the day he was going to bring it out, on March 1st. He died at (something like) 2 a.m. – he went for a walk and died of natural causes.

"I’ll tell you what’s suspicious about this. Stars die all the time of obvious things, and we’re not allowed to say anything until the coroner’s report. But this guy dies of natural causes and case closed."

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 21 Comments

Starbeams: The Top 5 Signs You’re a Royals Fan


#5. You’re legally blind but you can still read the scoreboard.

#4.  Every time you pass a fountain you stop and look for the other team’s ball.

#3.  You make fun of Cardinals fans for wearing camouflage while you’re wearing powder blue.

#2.  You’re really more into public drinking than you are baseball.

#1.  You only get loud when you see hot dogs racing.

Kelly Urich hosts the morning show on The Point 99.7 FM

Posted in Starbeams | Tagged | 1 Comment

Leftridge: Yost Must Keep Broxton in Check, Even if Broxton Threatens to “Yokozuna” Him

It’s easy to overreact. It’s easy to look at the Kansas City Royals’ just-concluded West-coast trip and think that the sky is falling. It’s both upsetting for the fans and demoralizing for the players to leave Wednesday evening from Oakland thinking that the team should easily be 4-2 instead of 3-3.

Game 3 against the A’s was in the bag. After taking the lead in the 12th, the Royals watched their dream slip away like so much bacon-wrapped-sausage sliding down Broxton’s gullet.

Closer Jonathan Broxton, that is.

When the behemoth took the mound in the bottom of the inning, however, it didn’t feel good. Perhaps I’m conditioned by so many nervous hours spent watching Mike MacDougal’s hat fly across the infield as he uncorked a wild pitch in the bottom of the 9th; maybe I’m still troubled by nightmares of an aging, incompetent Roberto Hernandez laboring his way through yet another blown save. Whatever the case, it felt blown as soon as it began.

You already know the rest. 

 An error by normally-dependable shortstop Alcides Escobar. Two walks by the Gargantuan. A Coco Crisp (Hey! Hi Coco! Remember us?!) ground-out that brought in the tying run.

And then, history. Back-to-back hit batters to end the game.

First, the “as-phenomenal-as-advertised” Yeonis Cespedes (who gave an icy glare after the plunking; really, dipshit? You think that was intentional?) and then the “never-as-good-as-advertised” Jonny Gomes (somebody stole your “H,” bro!).

The Gomes HBP ended the game, and landed Broxton an ill piece of history: the first pitcher to “accomplish” such a “feat” since 1966. Somewhere (likely in an assisted living facility in Massachusetts), Stu Miller—the last man to lose in such irregular fashion—is laughing manically… it doesn’t matter that it’s at a gravy stain on his pants or possibly at the antics of an invisible clown at his bedside—just know that he’s laughing. 

But I’m not.

And the several thousand other Royals fans across the world aren’t, either.

Because you shouldn’t LOSE games like this. As a young, inexperienced team who learns on the fly, this is a particularly sorrowful lump of shit to spoon down. It tastes like grease from fried fat-back, and hot-dogs stuffed into the crust of a pizza, and misery, and years of disappointment.

Therefore, I’m imploring Ned Yost to keep a tight-leash on Broxton.

You give him a month of save opportunities, max. If he manages to blow two saves within that period—and they needn’t be consecutive, either—you slide his ass down the depth chart. You’ve got two suitable replacements in Greg Holland and Aaron Crow, ol’ Neddy Boy. Don’t end up looking like an idiot.

If he succeeds, you keep running (briskly walking?) him out there.

Broxton’s a big boy (TWO REGULAR PLAYERS CAN FIT IN HIS PANTS! LOOK!), and he can take it. He’s been around long enough to know that it’s business, never personal, and if he loses his spot because of ineffectiveness, he’s got no one but himself to blame.

(He’s been there before, too. After a rocky second-half of the 2010 season closing for the Dodgers, he lost his gig to Hong-Chih Kuo. That’s right, THAT Hong-Chih Kuo).

I want two things this year: an exciting Royals season full of growth and encouraging results (I’m not going to get stupid and demand a postseason—not yet), and to complete this time machine I’ve been working on so I can go back to 1978 and make sweet, sweet love to Thelma Evans from Good Times.

The latter is coming along nicely. I’ll be damned if I let Jonathan Broxton fuck up the former.

Posted in Sports | Tagged | 3 Comments

Jack Goes Confidential: ‘The Three Stooges’—A Knuckleheaded Misadventure That Works—for GUYS

Let’s be completely upfront…
There are chick flicks that lend themselves very well to Girls Night Out movies. Like next week’s THE LUCKY ONE with Zac Efron from the pen of The Notebook’s Nicholas Sparks.
THE THREE STOOGES doesn’t fall into that catagory.
Matter of fact, I would suggest a Boy’s Night Out here with a couple of drinks and a cigar before meeting up with Larry, Moe & Curly at the megaplex.
It’s a guy thing.
The Three Stooges churned out nearly 200 shorts between 1934 and 1959 and found a whole new life on TV—and they’re still banging each other over the head on cable.
Enter fans since childhood, Peter and Bobby Farrelly who, when it comes to comedies, march to the cinematic beat of a different drummer.

Well, they’ve taken the Stooges concept—sound effects and all—and built a present-day, PG-rated storyline around it. A three act play of sorts of how as toddlers they were left on the doorsteps of an orphanage and taken in by a nun.

And now, all grown up (so to speak), helping to save their childhood home from being forced to close its doors forever. Along the way bruised, battered and bewildered and becoming embroiled in an oddball murder plot. It’s pure slapstick.
But who to cast in the roles of the Three Stooges?
Through the pre-production era of the film names such as Jim Carrey, Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro, Mel Gibson and Russell Crowe were being tossed around. But when everything was said and done the Farrelly Brothers instead went for lesser known names and faces.
And that’s a good thing!
In the three starring roles we find Sean Hayes from ‘Will & Grace’ as Larry. Curly’s played by Will Sasso from ‘Mad TV’ and ‘How I Met Your Mother’ while Moe’s clone in the movie is ’24’ and ‘Up All Night’s’ Chris Diamantopoulos.
They’re supported by the likes of Jane Lynch as Mother Superior, Jennifer Hudson, Craig Bierko, Brian Doyle-Murray as Monsignor Ratcliffe, Kate Upton, Stephen Collins and Larry David as mean-spirited Sister Mary-Mengele—not to mention a touch of Reality TV stardom for Moe who stumbles into Jersey Shore, taking on The Situation, Snooki and the rest of MTV’s misfits.
There are plenty of twists, turns and goofy setups along the way that will have you laughing out loud.
Did I mention my suggestion of drinks before the show? SOITENLY!
Make this a Two Drink Minimum movie.
Oh and just before the end-credits roll, a couple of hunks claiming to be Peter and Bobby Farrelly come on screen with a violence disclaimer of sorts—explaining how the Stooges’ weapons in the film were in fact just rubber substitutes.

Kinda like, Don’t Play With Matches, Kids – just another (almost) politically correct infusion from the wacky Farrelly’s.
Ninety-two, non-stop minutes of laffs with THE THREE STOOGES raising 3 out of 5 nostalgic 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 | 16 Comments

Starbeams: Santorum’s Titanic, Christie’s Belly Blast, KCPD’s Donuts & Royals Boulevard Bullpen

Rick Santorum drops his bid to become Republican nominee on the anniversary of the Titanic leaving Southampton.  Coincidence?


New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said the U.S. is full of people "sitting on the couch, waiting for their next government check."

Then his belt buckle exploded and injured a reporter on the front row….who went home and waited for a government check.


KCPD settled a lawsuit for $1 million. The 2007 case involved an officer who had a diabetic reaction after eating a donut.  He began firing his gun and accidentally hit a truck driver.  In his defense, the donut was delicious.


Moveover, InBev and Miller CoorsBoulevard Beer will be available in the stands at Kauffman Stadium.  Boulevard has even purchased a giant sign on the Hall of Fame building in left field. This is incredibly convenient when you order Boulevard Wheat because the Royals bullpen can provide plenty of lemons.

Kelly Urich hosts the morning show on The

Posted in Starbeams | Tagged | 1 Comment

Sounds Good: Leftover Salmon@Liberty Hall, Leon Russell@Knuckleheads, Quixotic@Midland, Cults@Granada, School of Seven Bells@RiotRoom

I know I’ve said it before, but this week’s Sounds Good has something for everyone. 

OK, maybe not the sluts and motorheads. But the jocks, geeks, dweebies and dickheads are all covered. 

First up is a nice happy Thursday night show in Lawrence to get your weekend off right, featuring a storied band that plays what the kids call "Polyethnic Cajun Slamgrass."  They’ve been on an extended break since the death of their banjo player and founding member Mark Vann at way too young an age – 39. 

But they’re back and rejuvinated with a youngster, Andy Thorn, filling in admirably and providing some new life to the band…. 

Thursday, April 12th

Leftover Salmon w/ The Infamous Stringdusters at Liberty Hall in Lawrence

Leftover is a longtime heavyweight of the bluegrass scene, and is probably more responsible than any other similar act for the genre’s crossover into the jamband thing that exploded in the 90s.   They formed in 1989 in Boulder, and were one of the first to incorporate drums into the traditional string band setup.

I remember seeing them many times in Colorado in the early ‘00s at the Fillmore in Denver and at the ice rink in Vail, among others.  They often paired with the String Cheese Incident and were a huge draw at that time, luring out the massive dreadlock and beard crowd with their slamgrass mash up of rock and country.   

Their best, and perhaps best-known album is 1999’s The Nashville Sessions.  The record featured big-timers like Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Widespread Panic’s John Bell, Blues Traveler’s John Popper, Earl Scruggs, Waylon Jennings and Lucinda Williams.

And they have a new record coming out soon, their first in about 8 years, entitled Aquatic Hitchhiker.  It’s scheduled to drop on May 22nd and it’s the band’s first ever album of all original material.  Definitely count on hearing a bunch of the new stuff at Liberty Hall on Thursday, along with a ton of their old fan favorites.  Like Yonder Mountain, these guys aren’t afraid to play till their fingers bleed or the beer runs out. 

Friday, April 13th

Leon Russell w/ Trampled Under Foot at Knuckleheads in KC

Behind the long white hair and beard, and underneath the trademark cowboy hat sits Leon Russell, Rock’n’Roll Hall of Famer.  He’s been around the block a time or two (thousand), but at 70 years old, he’s still getting after it.  His most recent album, not counting several “best of” releases, is 2010’s The Union, a collaboration with Elton John that was nominated for a Grammy.

My personal favorite album, though, is the classic Leon Russell & The Shelter People that included some sweet swinging takes on several Dylan tunes as well as the Russell classic Ballad of Mad Dogs and Englishmen.  Come to think of it, I’m going to Spotify that album right now, it’s been awhile.    

Living legend?  Yep.  I know that phrase is thrown out there way too much by us music critic folks, but it’s really apt in this instance.  


Saturday, April 14th

Quixotic Fusion at the Midland in KC

Aerial acrobatics?  Check.  Blistering break beats?  Check.  Seizure inducing lighting?  Check.

Sounds interesting right?  Check out my article about this up and coming KC performance troupe for more info, then get your ass to the Midland on Saturday. 

That is all.  

Cults at the Granada in Lawrence

If Pitchfork likes this NYC indie pop band (and they really, really do) then you have one of two options.  You either jump on the bandwagon of hipster-dom and get those neon pink sunglasses.  Or you up the ante and go uber-hipster on their asses by declaring that Pitchfork is no longer cool and has become the new Rolling Stone.  Leave it to a hipster to tell other hipsters that being a hipster isn’t cool anymore.  That’s soooo hipster.   

So what’ll it be?


Sunday, April 15th

School of Seven Bells at the RiotRoom in KC

Having just released their third full length album entitled Ghostory on Vagrant Records, this duo has set out on a national tour that includes smallish venues, a bit smaller than what I would have expected for a band that’s garnered quite a bit of hype along the way.  I know what you want to know before you even ask: yes, Pitchfork likes these guys.  There, now make your decision.

The group plays an airy-shoe-gazey-ethereal blend of electronic sounds mixed with guitar and floating lyrics, and is apparently bringing along some friends for the road, according to guitarist Benjamin Curtis.  In an interview with Stereogum he said, “Well it’s a little different now, we’ve got drums, bass, and another friend of ours playing keys and singing backup, so it’s a bigger band than we’ve ever had. It’s cool and I’m loving having all the musicians on stage. It’s such a great sound.”

And of the new album he said, “I guess we wanted to have this energy happening, like you see when there is a big, awesomely tight rock band just really rocking. I guess people in different worlds take that sound for granted. We’ve played with so many kinds of bands, including lots of electronic musicians who I love but rarely kind of capture that kind of “big” sound live. I like to see a band interacting and just killing it onstage, rather than going to a show in Brooklyn and seeing a kid stand behind a computer and not really feeling it.”


Posted in Entertainment | Tagged | 5 Comments

Glazer: America’s Insatiable Appetite for (Sports) Destruction

Are they witch hunts half the time? Of course…

There are so many sports scandals in the news today, you can’t keep up. They’re daily – hourly at times. Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino got dumped after totally rebuilding the football program. Petrino took his team to a Cotton Bowl win over K-State and a No. 5 ranking last season.

So the guy has a 25 year-old hottie on the back of his bike, crashes, gets cut up, tries to shut up the embarrassment, can’t, gets FIRED. Yes, he was cheating on his wife. Yes, 10 or 20 years ago this would have been swept under the carpet with no press or a watered down version of the story coming out. But today, it’s big News. Why?

Because we’re hungry to see the BIG DOGS FALL

Sean Payton and Greg Williams are toasted for looking the other way while their players got paid to try and hurt the other teams guys. In fact Williams gave a long, loud speech to his team on that very subject. It was recorded for a film.

Payton out for the year, Williams likely will get a job in a year or two, but in the college ranks.

Has this been going on for years? You bet. Every team was doing it, so we are told. Payton and Williams with others including coaches and players will be made examples of.

We all know how well that works.

Poor Tiger Woods. I was listening to 610 Sports on the way home from work after the Masters. The late night national guy on the station said,"Worst fall from grace in sports history – Woods is done – he is lost. He’s a loser."


I thought he just won a tournament a not too long ago? He’s done? Oh, because he got upset at the Masters and acted UPSET. Yeah, he was a bit of a crybaby. Worst fall from grace? Hello, did you miss out on Mike Tyson‘s rape conviction that sent him to prison for six years?

And how about Michael Vick? Tyson went to effing prison. Sorry Nick Wright, you mentioned once that Vick did some real time, behind a wall, in a cell.

But Vick was in a camp, never in a cell, never in any danger.

Oh yeah, Vick tortured little animals and ran a huge gambling concern. Lets give him a year or so in camp – hey, he’s still a great draw, lets bring him back. Sorry Greg Williams, you ain’t no Michael Vick, you’re done.

My favorite is O.J. Simpson.

OJ’s the one who started all this sports-drama, scandal mess we’re in today.

A few of these like Vick and the covered-up dope case of Sam Hurd are for real. Most are simply media witchhunts. Who did I forget?  Oh yeah, Brett Favre, Kobe, Big Ben and Joe Paterno. Who can keep up?

So what have we learned from this house of cards?

That the public likes to build up a star like Favre or Tyson just to watch them fall.

No, you say? You mean, you believe only a couple guys in baseball take steroids? Just Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and one or two others. Lets put Clemens in jail! He lied to the grand jury, hell he lied to congress! Right? We’ll set an example.

Take  OJ Simpson, who it’s been rumored confessed everything to Oprah – "Yes I killed her in self defense."

We all know what a badass Nicole Simpson must have been. And don’t forget Ron Goldman – they must have been a tag team.

Yes, we enjoy the rise and the fall. Why? Because most of us don’t get a shot at the golden ring.

Making millions of dollars a year playing or coaching sports. These men become living Gods. Wine, women and fun are all theirs for the taking. Or so it seems. The rest of us have to pay bills, take maybe one vacation a year, and end our careers with just a few bucks.

Hell Ryan Leaf went through millions before he ended up in a one bedroom dump apartment addicted to pills and lord knows what else.


Now we don’t all feel this way. Most of us just enjoy the games, want our teams to win for hometown pride etc. Hell, we even buy the jersey’s with our guy’s name on them. How queer is that?

The answer to all this: We all know the example thing never works.

"Mister Wilson, I can’t let you leave this court without punishment, you did cross the white line and we just can’t have that in Johnson County. An example must be made. One hundred dollar fine and fifty dollar court cost!"

Yep, that’ll fix things.

The answer’s simple: Education.

Most athletes rarely see a classroom. Not the ones going pro. Sure there are a few but not many.

College, even high schools, need to have mandatory classes on handling investments, buying a home, how not rush into a marriage. Simply classes on REAL LIFE. Even special ones for men and women who are thinking of going into pro sports.

Everything from agents and managers to what is a C.D..The NFL has a ‘Group Class’ for handling money.  By then its kinda too late, "They ain’t listening."

If you’re a pro and want to stay out of all this noise…STAY HOME!

Rent some movies. Bowl. Don’t get married. Only take your lady out to eat and be home by nine. Save your money for retirement from sports. Get ONE nice car, one nice apartment or condo and just CHILL. Oh yeah, don’t drink or do drugs.

On second thought, nevermind, we need the noise.

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged | 10 Comments

Hearne: Steamboat Arabia Puts Kibosh on ‘Buzz Under the Stars’ @ City Market

Talk about buzzkills…

In one of the more oblique press releases ever penned, the Kansas City City Market wrote late yesterday:

"The City Market is interested in the success of our tenants thus does not anticipate booking a 2012 concert series as a response to a concern from the Steamboat Arabia Museum that concerts have and continue to put their artifacts at risk. Investigation of this matter is a priority at this time.

"The past five years the City Market has partnered with AEG Live and Entercom Radio for the “Buzz Under the StarsConcert Series hosting artists such as Mumford & Sons, The Killers, Incubus, Death Cab for Cutie and Offspring. This great partnership has brought more than 120,000 music enthusiasts to enjoy the atmosphere of concerts with downtown Kansas City, Missouri as its backdrop. We thank you for your patronage."

Talk about carefully-worded- "does not anticipate" – how could it get any vaguer?

"This is not a new thing, this has been going on for years and years," says Steamboat Arabia main man David Hawley. "It’s just gotten worse. You know, the speakers have gotten bigger and bigger and they have to bring them in on big trucks now."

In the early days of City market shows, a stage one fourth the size of the ones in use in recent years backed directly up Hawley’s museum.

"Then they moved it around 1998 or 1999," Hawley says. "As I’ve told people, if you can hear them, we can work around that, but if you can feel them, then we have a problem. But they (say they) need the sound pressure levels to drive the intensity. Last October is when the concrete fell out of our ceiling."

That was at the Death Cab for Cutie concert.

"They had a good time," Hawley says. "Although they didn’t have too many people. Some of the shows have had as many as nine or ten-thousand people.

"But you know, the sound engineers cater to the bands and when the band says, ‘Crank it up,’ they do – that’s their job. And our job is to protect what we do. And (the City Market) said, ‘Well Dave, let’s just insure it for you.’ But accepting insurance, for us to agree to that is like saying, ‘It’s okay to break things as long as we get paid for them.’ And that’s notm our position. We’re not a big organization supported by a big foundation or anything – it’s just us and the people who come to see us."

And hey, how do you insure the Mona Lisa?

When it’s gone, it’s gone – some things just can’t be replaced by a pile of cash.

"You know if we were the Nelson, we wouldn’t be having this discussion," Hawley says. "Somebody wouldn’t be glueing down the Chinese dishwhere, the concerts would stop."

Contrary to rumors, Hawley and the museum has not taken legal action against the City Market over the dispute.

"We told them we would hire an attorney to protect the collection if we have to," Hawley says. "They told me on Good Friday, they’ve got to get this done by that day or Monday and I told them if we have to, I would lawyer up. And I told them that a month ago. I can’t have things breaking here and if I have to I would lawyer up.

"They sent some engineers over here last November and again two weeks ao, but we’ve not seen that report yet."

Hawley things the City Market has more than enough fair warning and time to move the event to a city-owned park just to the east or to Richard Berkley Park on the river where the Irish almost drowned a handful of years back.

"You know, if you want to do it,then jump in and do iit," Hawley says. "There’s nother easy about digging up steamboats either, but you can’t expect a business like ours to be okay with havng your things damaged and broken just so they can do a few concerts."

Hawley as almost last to learn his landlord was poised to cancel the concert series, after City Market sent out a press release yesterday in the middle of the local 6 p.m. news.

"I didn’t hear about it until I got a call from Channel 9 News that they had called the season," he says. "I didn’t get the email because they’re upset with me."

And Hawley feels bad for other City market businesses that will miss out on some selling opportunities.

"I know and I feel bad about that," he says. "But I don’t think they would want to see us lose our collection."

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 10 Comments

Hearne: Glen Campbell Farewell Tour Erupts in Sad Controversy, Headed to KC April 26th

Not that long ago the celebrity gossip on Glen Campbell was pretty generic in nature…

He was still raising heck and garnering typical big star headlines like, "Glen Campbell Given Jail Time" in June 2004.

Or, "Country singer Glen Campbell issued an apology to his family and fans Tuesday after being arrested Monday evening on charges of driving drunk and kicking a police officer," reads a 2003 CNN story. "Campbell, 67, spent several hours in a Maricopa County jail cell Monday evening on drunken driving, hit and run and assault charges after a series of incidents police say started with a minor car wreck near his home in Phoenix."

Believe it or not, those were the "good old days."

More recently the news has turned sadder and even sadder.

"A nasty family feud has erupted over music legend GLEN CAMPBELL’s $50 million fortune," read a headline in the National Enquirer last October.

"As the 75-year-old singer struggles with Alzheimer’s disease on his final tour, in­siders reveal his wife Kim, 53, has dumped several of his longtime band members – including a daughter (Debby) from Glen’s first marriage – so she could replace them with the children she had with him," a source close to Campbell told the magazine.

“Debby was Glen’s backup singer and right-hand gal. She’d cover for him when his memory began to fail on stage. When I saw him perform recently in Los Angele, he struggled to remember the lyrics to some of his best-known songs and no one helped him. Debby told me later, ‘I would have made sure that never happened.’

‘Campbell’s touring band now includes his children with fourth wife Kim – Shannon, 26, on guitar; Ashley, 25, on banjo, keyboards and vocals; and Cal, 28, on drums,’ said the source."

The latest, as Campell approaches his 76th birthday four days before he hits The Uptown on April 26:

"Alzheimer’s-plagued legend being cruelly mocked – by his own people," reads this week’s Enquirer headline.

"Alzheimer’s-stricken Glen Campell – struggling to please his fans on his final concert tour – is being mistreated and mocked by some of those closest to him, charge insiders…’Glen does whatever whatever his family wants and keeps saying he’s exhausted, but they just ignore him,’ claimed a family friend…'(And) some members of his stage crew who’ve been with Glen a long time mock his performance when he forgets something. Their behavior is absolutely disgraceful.’ "

There’s more.

"The friend adds that Glen doesn’t know what city he’s in most of the time, forgets lyrics to songs he’s been playing for 30 years or more and often walks up to the wrong microphone and has to be redirected to center stage," the Enquirer continues. "Once he even readied the band to play Rhinestone Cowboy only two songs after he’d gotten a standing ovation for performing the smash hit."

Despite all of that, the Enquirer notes, songs like Wichita Lineman, Gentle on My Mind and Galveston still perovide "moments of greatness."

And The Flordia Times-Union wrote recently that Campell’s show, "inspired respect, tears and laughter" March 27th in Jacksonville.

"His voice is still warm and strong, he has some mean guitar solos left to share and he has not lost his stage presence, but it is clear from his sometimes innocently childlike demeanor that something is askew…" the review begins.

"Later, after an energetic version of “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” which inspired a sing-along, Campbell said, “What are we doing now?” His daughter stepped forward and quietly reminded him that they were doing the soundtrack song “True Grit.” He paused and was nostalgic about filming the 1969 movie: “That was one of the most incredible experiences in my life, to ride on a horse alongside John Wayne.

"The sense that the concert was indeed a farewell ­– not one of those bogus farewell-until-the-reunion shows – was palpable. There were tears, but they fell mostly over the raised cheeks of smiling faces."

The sold-out Jacksonville show was populated mostly by people 50 and up, the review noted. But the first comment on the newspaper’s Web site came from a younger fan.

"Good article. I am not yet part of the over 50 crowd but I remember hearing his music from the 70’s on the radio and in the movies. His songs were fun to listen to. I regret I missed this show."

Sellout alert: check with the Uptown this afternoon after noticing that the Jacksonville and other shows have been selling out and the word is good tickets are still available. However it’s a seated show so there will be a limited capacity.

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 6 Comments

Donnelly: Quixotic Fusion Scheduled to Freakout the Midland this Saturday

After an epic headlining set by My Morning Jacket at 2011’s Wakarusa Festival, I stumbled my way onto a local wine booth.

The wine guy was super friendly, offering liberal tastes to parched campers.  He explained that Arkansas wine is pretty good, and that the market is up and coming. 

It all tasted great to me, and so I lingered to get a photo and the guy’s info for inclusion in my story.  As I was telling him about KC Confidential, I think a bomb went off somewhere behind me.  Except instead of fleeing, people were running toward the furious sound.

I squinted through the starlight.

Is that stage on fire?  Turns out, it kind of was.

But not in a bad way.  It was just one aspect of the show put on by Quixotic Fusion.

"It’s a visual and sonic experience," explained Associate Artistic Director Mica Thomas.  "Kind of where performance art meets a concert."

Indeed, Quixotic’s shows are an assault on the senses.  From the pounding rhythms cranked out by local drumming evil genius Brandon Draper, to the innovative lighting and video effects, to the aerial acrobatics of professional dancers, if you aren’t already on something, the aural and visual overload that is a Quixotic show will make you feel like you are. 

And if you already are, well, all I can say is hold on tight. 

The local group is gearing up for ONE!, their huge show at the Midland this Saturday, so I tracked Thomas down for a few minutes in between rehearsals to get the inside scoop on what to expect.

"Once a year we do a big show based here in KC," explained Thomas.  "We put on a big production to share with the community all the new stuff we’ve been working on.  We have a whole new album that (Founder/Artistic Director) Anthony (Magliano) and the other composers worked on to create a whole new soundtrack for the show."

If you go to Quixotic Fusion’s Facebook page ASAP, I believe you can still download the new album for free, entitled AXIS

"It’s kind of like electronic music meets world music," said Thomas.  "It’s pretty aggressive, but it also has that world music, lots of percussion and instrumentation, taking multiple things and putting them together." 

And while the album is strong on its own, you really need to see Quixotic live to get what it’s all about.

For example, will there be dancers flying through the air, lasers, insane lighting effects, and crazy beats?

"Yes, there will be," promised Thomas. 

Please tell me there will be fire?

"Unfortunately, probably no fire due to the show being indoors in the Midland," Thomas deadpanned.  "But we do have some new fire acts that we’re going to be breaking out at Waka."

Besides this Saturday’s show and the Wakarusa Festival in Arkansas, Quixotic has a bunch of other shows lined up around the country this summer, due at least in part to their performance at the TED Conference a few months ago that surprised more than a few people.

They’re hitting up the Ulrich Museum of Art in Wichita, then after Waka they’re flying off to Vermont to do Wanderlust, then a bunch of ski resort towns like Whistler and Tahoe and Copper Mountain

Thomas understands the springboard that worldwide events like TED can be for performers; opening doors that can help the group connect to different kinds of audiences that might initially be assumed to be outside the demographic of your typical Quixotic fan. 

"TED was amazing, we were really well received," Thomas recounted.  "One of the most exciting things for us is that people were talking about how they don’t normally go see bands or performances, but in this context they felt they understood it and it became more relevant.  So it was great to present the art form in a different manner that people could grab on to."

Posted in Entertainment | Tagged | 1 Comment

Hearne: Missie B’s Lays Down the Skinny on Rumored Move to Westport

Close but no drag bar…

Late last week Craig Glazer was told by radio station staffers at Wilks Broadcasting in Manor Square that Missie B’s was taking over the space America’s Pub vacated in January. Glazer had earlier confirmed that Missie B’s had looked at the Pub and other locations in Westport, so after being told by the radio station dudes to check out the workers hard at it in the club, he did and they copped to being with Missie B’s.

They were all wrong.

For what it’s worth, Glazer kinda covered his butt by writing in his final sentence: "I’ve not gotten official word from them it’s a done deal, but it sure looks that way."

Now here’s the inside skinny.

"The bottom line is Missie B’s has no intention and no plans for any expansion," says manager Jan Allen. "And as a matter of fact, owner Michael Burnes who owns Missie B’s has signed a new lease at our present location."

That would be at 805 West 39th Street in Midtown Kansas City, Missouri.

However, it’s not like Glazer’s rumor was completely unfounded, Allen says.

"Quite honestly, Mr. Burnes did look at a few opportunities as our lease here was coming up," she says. "It’s been a rumor for a long time, (so) I’m not even surprised."

Locations Missie B’s considered include America’s Pub and the Firefly lounge, Allen says.

In the end, a combination of kickass business and sorting out a few details with its current landlord resulted in Missie B’s decision to stay put.

How kickass is the biz, you ask? Beaucoup.

"On a good Saturday night – the in-and-out count – I’ve seen 1,100 to 1,200 people," Allen says. "On Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday we have drag shows downstairs and we have dancing upstairs. And we have dancing downstairs after the shows are over around midnight to twelve-thirty."

Remember, Missie B’s also has a 3 a.m. license.

As for the reason Missie B’s looked into Westport in the first place, for starters they recognize that having a more mainstream location has proved highly successul for other drag bars and cabarets around the country, Allen says. Plus they got a very warm and positive thumbs up from the powers-that-be in Westport.

"Westport talked to Michael Burnes and told him they would welcome us and all that," Allen says. "So maybe one of these days, you never know."

Meanwhile, any press is good press and Glazer’s story has heated up Missie B’s phone lines with people asking about the move, Allen says.

"There’s really no harm done," she says. "People talking about us is good because maybe they’ll drop in to make sure we’re still here."

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 18 Comments

New Jack City: Hot Summer Box Office—The Race Is On!

When it comes to insecurity, Hollywood usually takes the cake…
Huge production and marketing costs have the studios relying ever more on so-called "tracking services" that forecast what films might open to in terms of ticket sales on specific debut weekends, as well as attempting to predict their "all in" boxoffice take.
With millions of dollars at stake and ongoing ad-pub repositioning right up to the film’s release date, Hollywood has spawned a sizeable sideline industry that delivers sophisticated statistical advance information that once was the domain of fortune tellers.
The 18 week long summer movie period beginning nowadays with the first weekend of May and running through Labor Day can easily make or break a studio’s fortunes.

Advance tracking of a film’s awareness and boxoffice potential also acts as an insurance policy for tinseltown’s movers and shakers. And if nothing else, may just save their butts from second guessing corporate brass.
Here’s how just one of the industry’s more reliable prognosticators projects this summer’s top achievers at north American boxoffices—by ticket $ales, of course.

The cream of the crop, summer blockbusters expected to produce opening weekend grosses of $50 million or more:
# 1—THE DARK KNIGHT RISES—Christian Bale/Joseph Gordon-Levitt opens July 20th. Projected opening weekend gross: $175 million.
# 2—MARVEL’s THE AVENGERS—Robert Downey, Jr./Chris Evans opens May 4. Projected opening weekend gross: $165 million.
# 3—THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN—Andrew Garfield/Emma Stone opens July 3. Projected opening weekend gross: $110 million.
# 4—MEN IN BLACK 3—Will Smith/Tommy Lee Jones opens May 25. Projected opening weekend gross: $80 million.
# 5–-BATTLESHIP—Liam Neeson/Taylor Kitsch opens May 18. Projected opening weekend gross: $75 million.
# 6—BRAVE—Pixar’s latest opens June 27. Projected opening weekend gross: $67 million.
# 7—SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN—Kristen Stewart/Chris Hemsworth opens June 1. Projected opening weekend gross: $65 million.
# 8—G.I. JOE RETALIATION—Channing Tatum/Dwayne Johnson opens June 29. Projected opening weekend gross: $55 million.
# 9—NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH—Ben Stiller/Vince Vaughn/ Jonah Hill opens July 27. Projected opening weekend gross: $52 million.
# 10 (tie)—MADAGASCAR 3: EUROPE’s MOST WANTED—Ben Stiller/Chris Rock opens June 8. Projected opening weekend gross: $50 million.
# 10 (tie)—THE BOURNE LEGACY-–Jeremy Renner/Rachel Weisz (…but no Matt Damon) opens August 3. Projected opening weekend gross: $50 million.
Also hit bound are the summer movies projected for opening weekends of between $30 to $49 million:
# 11 (tie)—ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT—Ray Romano/Denis Leary opens July 13. Projected opening weekend gross: $45 million.
# 11 (tie)—THE EXPENDABLES 2-–Sly Stallone/Liam Hemsworth opens August 17. Projected opening weekend gross: $45 million.
# 12—DARK SHADOWS—Johnny Depp/Michelle Pfeiffer opens May 11. Projected opening weekend gross: $40 million.
# 13 (tie)—PROMETHEUS—Michael Fassbender/Charlize Theron opens June 9. Projected opening weekend gross: $38 million.
# 13 (tie)—ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER—Benjamin Walker/Dominic Cooper opens June 22. Projected opening weekend gross: $38 million.
# 14—TOTAL RECALL—Colin Farrell/Kate Beckinsale opens August 3. Projected opening weekend gross: $34 million.
How close will these projected opening boxoffice numbers come to actual ticket sales? No one knows–YET!

But we’ll all be a heck of a lot smarter come Labor Day.

Posted in Jack_Poessiger | Tagged | 11 Comments

Glazer: They Could. Go All. The Way. This Year’s Royals Are the Real Deal!

Royals fans. FINALLY. No more waiting…

This is a post season team RIGHT NOW. The Royals have a ferocious hitting attack,maybe the best in baseball. They will win closer to 90 games than 80. Eric Hosmer is an MVP candidate. He could well hit plus 40 homers. A first for any KC baseball player, including the former A’s in KC.

Look for a .320 average plus 120 RBI’s and 42 home runs from baseball’s NEW KING OF SWAT ERIC HOSMER.

More good news: The Royals have at least 5, count them 5, guys who can all hit more than 20 dingers this year. Hosmer, Alex Gordon,Mike Moustakas, Billy Butler and Jeff Francoeur.  Oh yeah. The new guy Lorenzo Cain ain’t no punk…18 homers for him as well. This is a tough, tough batting lineup.

Allow me to be the first to say it; THE BEST OFFENSE THE ROYALS HAVE EVER HAD.

Worried about starting pitching? Who isn’t? Shocker! It’s just fine. Luke Hochevar will become a star right now. Danny Duffy, the new kid, might break through this year. Bruce Chen is decent and with the great defense and heavy hitters, might win 14 games. Jonathan Sanchez will be just fine. The bullpen is one of baseball’s best already. It’s stacked with outstanding arms, including Aaron Crow and Greg Holland.

Wow. Look out American League.

I’d like to say the Royals win the division, it will be tough with Detroit in our way. They may win 100 and the Royals finish second with 90 plus, but in the playoffs. The Royals offense is just too strong to overlook.

Hosmer will continue to raise all ships, just like George Brett did in the 70’s and 80’s. He’s off to a great start with the team going 2 out of 3 against a strong Angels ball club. By the way they have the old King of Swing, Albert Pujols. Make way for the new KING…Eric Hosmer.

Hey, I pissed on these guys for years. Rightfully so, but thank you Dayton Moore.

You did it Dayton, our first winner in nearly 30 years. Thank you, sir. This is going to be a fun summer. Royals tickets will not be so easy to get come July. I know some of these guys will be leaving in four or five years, but that’s time enough to go to a WORLD SERIES. Hey maybe, just maybe, we can keep a couple of them. Give Eric his 250 million dollar contract next season. Keep the best player in the game right here in Kansas City while he is still willing to stay.

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged | 17 Comments

Hearne: Where’s the Easter Bunny When You Need Him? Mayor’s Son & The Westport Killing

News coverage can get a little dicey – even high profile murders in Westport – when they go down on Easter Sunday…

So it was that lots of local news organizations had a puzzle piece here, a puzzle piece there concerning the late night shooting of Kendrick L. Williams early Sunday morning. It appears Williams was a 22 year-old rapper who had performed that night at Ink Magazine‘s Middle Of The Map music fest in Westport.

Ink is owned by the Kansas City Star - which used its weekly Preview entertainment insert to plug the fest to Geritol-sipping readers.

And kudos to the Star for doing damage control up front by owning up to the fact that its fest appeared to be at the center of the confusion. As well as for tracking down KC Mayor Sly James’s double talking spokesdude about a rampant rumor that the mayor’s trouble magnet son Kyle James might have been in play at the scene of the crime.

Here’s what the Star reported:

"Police said they found the man after being called to investigate a disturbance at Ink’s Middle of the Map Fest music festival near 40th and Mill streets…

"Responding to reports that Mayor Sly James’ son may have witnessed the shooting, the mayor’s spokesman, Danny Rotert, e-mailed, “whether or not the mayor’s son was near, the shooting adds to a pattern of senseless violence that has to stop.”

Way to dodge the question, bro. 

None of the other reporting I saw dealt with the mayor’s son yesterday.

Now here’s what I was able to track down from a Westporter working the streets there at the time:

"I didn’t hear anything even though I was outside working about two blocks away," the source says. "And none of us there heard anything."

As for the victim Williams, "He was in the grocery store parking lot is what I heard from one of the Westport Security guys," the source says. "Not in Westport proper. That’s where a lot of the black kids hang out late at night, and I heard that Kyle James was there and had some verbal dialogue with the people in the car when it happened."

Speaking of which, KSHB TV reported witnesses told police they saw a burgandy-colored SUV speed away after the shooting.

Fox 4 News lead the news pack by getting quotes from Williams’ mother and two friends.

She told Fox 4 her "only child loved music and he was a rapper who was killed after performing in Westport on Saturday night."

So much for the local blogger who, aside from providing a few links to local news stories, stated incorrectly – according to the victim’s mother and Westport sources – that hip-hop couldn’t be blamed for the killing because the music fest was attended by a crowd that "was almost COMPLETELY white and without a single relevant rap music or hip-hop act."

Hold it right there…

According to Westport sources and the victim’s mom, the shooting took place outside but near the Middle of the Map fest, after the apparently musically irrelevant Williams had finished his gig.

So we’ll see what unfolds Monday and if the mayor’s son can dodge yet another PR bullet to go with the pair he ducked last year.

The first for allegedly refusing to pay his tab at Power & Light District eatery Fran’s, then threatening the arresting, off-duty KCPD cop. Naturally, Fran’s declined to press charges. Who wants to get on the bad side of a new mayor with four years left in office?

Kyle was later accused of punching a woman in the face at midtown bar The Point, but assault charges were dropped after the woman accuser failed to show for the trial. As Glazer might say, "Hmmmmmmm"

As it happens, the mayor’s son has been doing some rapping of his own. Kyle appeared on the album of another local rap artist (who contributed some work to the mayor’s election campaign) last year.

With, choice lines in Kyle’s rap like, "I remember when nobody said that I would be on the front page news. Even my moma told me I should get a real job or go back to school. But I don’t care, I won’t lose."

You can’t make this kinda stuff up, ladies and gentlemen.

Now here’s what Kyle told the Star last year after allegedly popping that chick in the kisser:

This is not the first time I have apologized for what I have done and quite possibly it won’t be the last. I am trying to find myself as a person an individual separate from the circumstances that draw attention to this situation.”

Look, nobody’s saying the mayor’s son was involved in the shooting. But what does he know and will he squeal like a pig? Let’s see how this all shakes out Monday. And if hizzonor stonewalls his son’s curious involvements once again.

Read more here:
Read more here:
Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 32 Comments

Donnelly: Standing Room Crowd Watches Sporting Dismantle Donovan’s LA Galaxy

The sun finally poked through the clouds right before kickoff of the standing-room-only Sporting KC-LA Galaxy game which, to the dismay of many females in attendance, did not feature David Beckham.

In fact, Beckham didn’t even make the trip to KC as he is currently sidelined with an injury.

Straight away KC was looking to get forward, creating a half chance in the first minute.  It became apparent quickly that LA, just like Chivas and Dallas, have taken notice of physical KC striker CJ Sapong and decided to do the only thing they can to slow him down. 

Namely, grab him, hold him, and generally foul the shit out of him early and often. 

After the initial burst of energy to start the game, both teams settled in.  Sporting looked especially patient and calculated, knocking the ball around the back and keeping possession before picking the right times to attack. 

At the 25 minute mark, Chance Myers almost scored his first ever MLS goal (yet again) after Roger Espinoza sneakily crossed his defender over on the end line.  Chance got the garbage ball that popped out and forced LA keeper Josh Saunders into a nice diving save. 

Moments later, KC wildman Aurelien Coillin showed his fearlessness and flew into a tackle at the top of KC’s penalty area, saving a clear chance from a rushing Galaxy winger.

And so it went, back and forth, for most of the first half with KC holding a distinct advantage in possession and chances. 

In the 41st minute, after possessing and building methodically for several minutes, Sporting finally found the back of the net off one of the prettiest setups in recent memory. 

Bobby Convey earned his first points in Sporting Blue by delivering the assist, a perfect left footed bender that found Kei Kamara wide open at the back post.  Kei met the bender and directed a sweet header into the opposite side netting, leaving no chance for Saunders, and putting KC up 1-0. 

Five minutes later, when the ref signaled halftime, LA already looked tired, unable to get the numbers advantage going forward.  Probably due in part to KC’s possession advantage, which stood at 62% to LA’s 38% heading into the locker rooms. 

The second half was more of the same, with KC dominating in pretty much every aspect of the game.  They knocked the ball around effortlessly and beautifully while LA struggled mightily just to piece together any semblance of cohesion. 

Zusi and Espinoza might as well have been four men out there as they patrolled the midfield, scrapping and winning everything that came their way.  And they’ve gotten so comfortable and compatible with each other that it doesn’t even matter that Bobby Convey disappears at times in the run of play.  To do what they’re doing, their fitness levels are simply world class.

Even KC boss Peter Vermes took notice, saying afterwards, “Those guys were solid, I have to say. Those guys were very, very solid, especially on the second balls today. I thought there was no doubt, over the course of 90 minutes, we dominated the second balls in the midfield.”

That’s about the highest praise that Vermes is capable of, so take that for what it’s worth. 

Though LA did put together a bit better possession toward the end of the second half they never even attempted a shot on goal.  For the entire game. 

Think about that. 

LA is the defending MLS champ and many pundits favor them to repeat.  They feature one of the most potent one-two scoring duos in the league in Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane.  Not to mention Edson Buddle and Juninho.  And they couldn’t get a shot on target for over 90 minutes.

Even White Puma Jimmy Nielsen took the opportunity to recognize how well the defense is playing.  “Shots on target: Zero, in the whole game, again,” said Nielsen.  “That’s pretty impressive. The guys in front of me are making my job very easy.”

Even more impressive, this is the second game in a row KC’s foe has failed to put even a single shot on target.

Do you think Matt Besler was right when he told me during preseason that "It’s huge" having the same back line returning for 2012?  Umm, yeah.  Huge might be an understatement.  

LA’s frustrations grew and grew as the final minutes ticked by, with Donovan cheap-shotting Kei to earn a yellow card as the sturdy KC winger shielded the ball in the corner. 

All in all, a very impressive performance by Sporting Kansas City.  Though they only scored the one goal, their flow was probably the best I’ve ever seen it, other than the last 10 so minutes that saw KC content to just boom the ball out of their defensive end.  It was a little curious to see them do so after holding the ball so nicely for 90% of the game, especially when they only led by one goal. 

The win puts the boys in blue at 5-0, a feat that has only been accomplished two other times in MLS history. 

When the final whistle blew, the chiseled Sapong and Collin ripped off their jerseys and sprinted for the Cauldron, tossing the sweat-soaked souvenirs to a frenzied fan base that might still be singing and dancing as you are reading this.


Posted in Sporting_Kansas_City | Tagged | 5 Comments

Glazer: Scribe Does Vegas, Lives to Tell the Story

Two weeks ago I visited one of my favorite haunts, Las Vegas...

Naturally, I took Black Barbie (Monique) with me and we stayed at the Bellagio. The good news is Vegas was packed – I mean wall to wall. It was Final Four weekend, actually, the Elite Eight. More important it was Spring Break and Arizona State, University of Arizona, UCLA and tons of other school’s hipsters were all over the place.

You had to wait in line for almost everything, even in the coffee shops.

Sure the event weekend upped the crowd sizes, but the trusty cab drivers all told me, "Things are on the upswing…big time."  I was told weekdays had even picked up quite a bit. All the major hotels were sold out. The shows were sold out. Hey, I stayed through Monday and even Sunday day and night was packed.

Last time I was there was in Chiefs season on a Sunday, and even with the NFL it was very slow.

Is this a good sign for the U.S. economy? I think it is.

Another reason I went at this time was to see a couple of my pals. Comedy now totally dominates the big Vegas showrooms and Carlos Mencia was at Treasure Island, Kevin Hart was at Mandalay Bay and my good friend, Frank Caliendo had the Venetian. All Stanford’s guys from the 90’s and early 2000’s.

Monique wanted to see Kevin Hart, but I’m closer with Frank, so we did his show on Saturday night. Frank had us back stage to the green room before the show. He took great care of us and even had us sit by his parents in the audience. When we walked into his dressing room area he had his crew with him, and started doing Craig Glazer stories in my voice (Frank’s a voice impressionist as you know).

He was doing me as we walked in: "So Frank, I know you told me not to promote the fact you just got hired to be on Mad TV this fall, but I had to make sure we sold out…So I gotta tell ya, I put your picture on a big billboard in Westport and under the photo of you it says, MAD TV. Are you pissed?" 

Funny stuff.

Caliendo is pretty G-rated and he had that type of Jeff Foxworthy crowd watching his show, so it was fun. He did my voice for a minute on stage and made me look good. Sadly I didn’t get to see Mencia, that was his last night at Treasure Island. Mencia had performed at Stanford’s earlier this past year. Great guy. Monique didn’t know who Frank was until we pulled up to the Venetian and she saw his large posters and billboards and then said, "Oh, the John Madden guy."

Yes sir, the money was flowing. It didn’t look like we were in an economic crisis anymore.

Even the nightclubs had waits to get in – not like last time when they were giving away free passes. I know it was a special weekend, but staffers told me it had been like this for a few months. Damn. Even the pools had waits on chairs and it was about 80 degrees all three days.

Security was at an all time high though.

Every elevator had guards wanting to see your room key 24 hours. This is not new, but usually it slows or stops in the daytime. Not now.

I noticed far less hookers at the main hotels. The bartenders said they were doing a big crack down – new Sheriff in town.

And they’d been busting the bigger hotels for press. Undercover cops were all over the place. Yes, there were still hookers to be found, but nothing like the usual.

How busy was Vegas?

Here’s my snapshot. My flight got in at midnight, and the wait for a cab had a line AROUND THE AIRPORT that had to be over a mile long. For real. I had to rent a limo for 80 bucks to get the hell out of there before our vacation was over. Damn. And the ride from the airport is only about four miles.

Sadly a few of the nice hotels had taken a beating as of late. Even the Venetian, one of my favorites, was a bit worn in the casino area and in need of an update. The Bellagio had already been redone in most of its rooms and the casino area. The newer Encore was jammed as well.

I have to admit I was glad to see Vegas on such a big upswing because lots of KC folks go out there and often.

Monique and I were walking down the big runway at Venetian when a group yelled out, "Hey isn’t that Craig Glazer?"  That made me feel and look good. And a few moments later another group yelled, "Hey man that’s Craig Glazer, what an asshole!"

Oh, well…

Must have been some knucklehead KC Confidential readers from the comments section, huh?

By the way, yes, I won a bit and I took a new stance. I Played black jack and craps for short periods. Then when I got up two or three hundred I quit and cashed in my chips. I normally play Texas Hold ‘em, but with a date, that’s kinda tough because they get bored waiting three hours on your game.

So I won just over a grand, which didn’t come close to paying for the trip but was better than losing.

I bet a decent amount on KU, they covered on North Carolina. Did a decent wager on the Royals and the over – their magic number is 78 1/2 and I like them to do better.

They had a fun bet on Eric Hosmer – his magic number on home runs is 25 1/2.

But I didn’t go nuts like I did last season on the Chiefs on the under. This year the Chief’s magic number is 9, and I and think that’s about where they will be, so its not a safe bet either way. That’s why I didn’t bet that one.

It was kinda weird to come back home and go to the Hollywood Casino at Legends.

Was there this past weekend and it was busy too. Not nearly the same vibe as Vegas though. Ran into my radio pal, Johnny Dare and he and his crew were playing the 1 cent slots. Very conservative. I joked about how boring the slots are and went and played black jack and lost two hundred bucks. Then I went back to see what Dare was up too, and can you believe it? He won over a hundred bucks on that damn slot machine.

Guess he is smarter than I am.

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged | 38 Comments

Leftridge: 10 Enlightening Observations From Opening Day

Ah, Opening Day. For baseball fans, it’s like Christmas in April. Well… Christmas Part Two: Santa’s Revenge. I mean honestly, do you know a lot of Muslim baseball fans? I can only count like, six or seven, certainly no more than eight, so it goes without saying that most baseball fans also celebrate Christmas. But I digress.

It signals the end of a long, harsh winter (well, except for this freakishly warm previous one), a time to cast aside prior failure and set shoot for the stars (unless you’re in the AL Central, and then it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that the Detroit Tigers will be taking it all, and with frightful ease).

Alright, alright… so for most Kansas City baseball fans, it’s “same shit, different day.” But it’s all about watching the team grow and flourish in incremental, yet important ways. Starters going a bit deeper under the tutelage of new pitching coach Dave Eiland. The maturation of principal parties like Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain. The solidification of last year’s mostly-impressive bullpen.

And while nothing too significant can be taken from one single loss—it’s a marathon, not a sprint, nobody wins them all, blah blah blah—most sportswriters worth their weight in advertisers gift-certificates know that it’s crucial to make broad leaps and unjust predictions based off of a mere 1/162nd of a season.

So what did I learn from tonight’s game that will affect everything that happens between now and late September?

Yost’s in game decisions will cost the Royals some games:

Royals starter Bruce Chen was pulled way too early. I get it—it’s early in the season—SUPER early, in fact. But Bruce Chen is 58 years old. He has pitched on every major league team in the league, including some teams no longer in existence (the 1934 Cleveland Spiders, the 1953 Montana Potatoes). He had thrown 75 pitches and was ABSOLUTELY CRUISING. They’re not trying to preserve his arm for a title defense in 2016. They’re trying to win games now. Taking him out made no sense. You ride this little Panamanian pony until his arm flies off and strikes a befuddled fan in the first row.

Yost also either pulled relief pitcher Aaron Crow too late, or pulled him too early. I think you either let him work through his bases-loaded shit-storm, or you don’t put him in that position to begin with. You bring Greg Holland out to start the 8th.

These two decisions compounded into a loss that falls squarely on the lap of the Skip. It’s too early to call for his head—OR IS IT?!? (yes, it is)—but it IS something worth keeping an eye on.

Speaking of Chensanity:

I love the guy. He’s a fantastic presence in the clubhouse, a great mentor for all of the young pitchers and a hero to all of those of either Panamanian and/or Chinese descent. If you’re depending on Chen as your opening day starter, however, you’re far, far away from serious contention. Sorry, but it’s true. He makes a fine 5th—MAYBE 4th—starter on a contender, but he wouldn’t sniff opening day for any real baseball team. Until “little things” like this get fixed, the Royals will continue to be a joke.

Jared Weaver looks like he smells of old nacho cheese and Kool cigarettes:

GodDAMN that guy is greasy… really, really good, but SOOO gross looking. He looks like he’d play an extra in the big-screen adaptation of an unpublished SE Hinton novel. He was cosmically designed to be shooting pool in a smoky billiards hall in Tulsa, Oklahoma instead of being one of the preeminent pitchers in all of baseball. Obviously, I’m just jealous.

The Royals issued only one walk, and it was intentional:

If there’s one thing that has consistently killed the Royals year after year, it’s the free-fucking-pass. Good teams don’t walk batters; they make their opponents put it in play or take one off the noodle. Last night, the Royals pitchers attacked. And while the results obviously weren’t what the team had hoped for—a 5-0 loss—they made the Angels hitters earn it. Kudos.

The graphics department got some new tools, haven’t quite figured them out yet:

It feels like FSN upgrades their production software each year, but it doesn’t really make much of a difference. I like how the on-screen stat-board that shows the score, the runners, the inning and the pitch count no longer has three circles for “outs,” though. To me, that third circle was a wasted one. If both circles are filled, we can guess that the next out will be the third one. THiS IS PROGRESS, PEOPLE

The Ghost of Andy Rooney


Speaking of the Broadcast (New Faces Dept.)

Rex Hudler made his debut as color commentator last night, as well as some early, indelible impressions.

 1) He talks a LOT. If Frank White was the embodiment of brevity, who took a “less is more” approach, then Hudler is the Old Country Buffet of verbal diarrhea. My wife said, “man, this guy acts like he knows a lot, huh?” Hopefully, this is new-job jitters and it’ll all be ironed out within a few weeks.

2) He also sounds like a Mexican guy selling me a car at a used car lot where I can buy there, pay there, my bad credit or no credit is no problem, and if I only speak Spanish, it’s not a problem because they do as well.

3) He sounds like commentary on a baseball video game (which makes sense, as he has apparently been featured on several versions of MLB: The Show for various incarnations of the Playstation).

4) He sounds like Chong (which makes sense because he was busted for weed possession at MCI in 2003).

5) Sometimes, he sounds Canadian (which makes sense because he had a brain aneurysm in 2001).

Welcome aboard, Rex. I’m kind of an asshole.

Looks can be deceiving:

At one point, I saw Danny Duffy in the dugout, thought it was Jimmy Gobble, and got really frightened. Oh, Heemy Hobble, why must you continue to haunt my dreams?!

This Offense Will be Streaky:

We know this. It’s no surprise. When you’ve got a bunch of young, inexperienced lads with loads of talent and minimal exposure, you’ll have days where you’d sacrifice an adorable kitten for a bloop hit.

Before Brayan Pena’s single in the third, I was pretty convinced that I might be witnessing an opening day no hitter. I could TOTALLY see it. I began worrying. I wondered, has that ever happened? It has. The Cleveland Indians’ Bob Feller no-hit the Chicago White Sox on opening day, 1940. Bruce Chen came out of the bullpen for the Sox and struck out two in the eighth. Will wonders never cease? Apparently not.

Lorenzo Cain covers a LOT of ground in CF:

And he wears Willie Wilson’s number. Sweet.

(I was going to make a cocaine joke here, but I figure that’s been done to death. It’s kind of like the Helen Keller jokes we all heard growing up. Seriously? We’re still picking on this deaf, dumb and blind chick 100 years removed? SHE DIED IN 1968, FOR FUCK’S SAKE. Can’t we just get on with our lives?!)

Advertisers breaking new ground (From the, “What Would Our Xenophobic Commenters Think?” Department):

I witnessed a commercial for "U-Pick-It" that was entirely broadcast in Spanish. My first thought was, “did we somehow pick up the Los Angeles feed? No? Oh, okay.

My second thought was, “wait… did this place rip off U-Wrench-It? Did U-Wrench-It change its name? I’ve been to U-Wrench-It. I’m no pussy, but that’s a scary fucking place.”


One down, 161 more of these columns to go.

Save me Rex Hudler, indeed.

Posted in Sports | Tagged | 2 Comments