Saturday, September 24, 2011

It's Only September

September has turned into the Matt Cassell of months, what with all the pundits so quick to make excuses for his results. The Bills and Lions at 2-0? It's only September, there's still a long ways to go. The Royals absolutely crushing the ball while winning 9 of their last 11? It's only September, everyone else is mailing it in. The NBA lockout forcing the cancellation of preseason games? It's only September, no one will notice if we miss the first couple of months of the season. I'm sick of it and in terms of KC sports, I don't buy it.
The Chiefs are terrible, maybe historically bad. Back to back annihilations prove that...September or not. Their two best players are out for the year. Their coach and GM (allegedly) hate each other. This has all the markings of the worst Chiefs team in my lifetime. Are the Chiefs bad enough to #SuckforLuck? We'll have to wait on that one (at least until my post next week) but September has shown us enough.
The Royals youth movement is for real, and this team is a legitimate top of the rotation starter away from competing next year. Eric Hosmer's OPS (1.085 in September) is not meaningless. Mike Moustakas is learning to hit at this level (.914 OPS in September), regardless of the month. Sure, you can point to Hiram (Kyle) Davies...but that isn't the same. Davies had long established his sucktitude before his September heroics.
Does this September point to a larger trend? Are the Royals getting ready to surpass the Chiefs in terms of success (and in turn, support)? Over the last five years, even including their gift of a playoff appearance last year, the Chiefs winning % is .303 (20-46). They'd need to win 5 games this year to top that. The Royals meanwhile are poised to post their 2nd highest winning % (.439 currently) in the last 8 years. In case you'd like to argue that a bad baseball team will always win a higher % than a bad football team (generally true), let's go back to September:
Royals- 5.9 runs per game
Chiefs- 5.0 points per game

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tigers should embrace the Big East

Well, someone has to be the last to write about Missouri, Kansas and Kansas State to the Big East. I know the story has been discussed, but my question is more about the discussion of it than the story itself. Kansas and K-State fans seem to see this as a best case scenario (assuming Baylor doesn't save the Big 12), while the reaction of the Missouri fan base seems to be the exact opposite. Two quick thoughts on this:

1. I thought last year's runaround from the Big 10(12) might have lowered the self-perception in Columbia down to a more realistic level...but I guess not. I don't dispute that the Tigers are the most attractive of the three schools, I'm just not sure that's getting you invited to the Big 10(12) or the SEC anytime soon.

2. Why in the world do the Tigers want to go to those places anyway? Prestige? Winning gets you prestige. Just for a moment, where do the Tigers fit in the SEC? Below Alabama, Florida, LSU and Auburn, right? Tennessee and Georgia have been down...but history tells us they'll rise again. Comfortably ahead of Kentucky, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt...which leaves us Arkansas, South Carolina (as long as the OBC is there) and Ole Miss as Missouri's peers in the SEC. In other words, the Tigers are within a game or two of .500 team most years, certainly not the level of prestige they've built in the Big 12.

On the other hand, they could preserve their rivalries with Kansas and K-State and move into a football conference with a BCS slot that they would have a legitimate shot at winning each season. The article I linked above projects a western division of the Big East as MU, KU, KSU, Louisville, Cincinnati, and TCU. IMO, that's a more accurate reflection of where the Tigers belong...and where they can succeed.

Is mediocrity in the SEC better than success in the Big East? Not if they both lead to the same BCS or playoff system. Not with the Big East getting ready to renegotiate their TV deal in 2012. Certainly not if you measure success in conference championships, BCS bowl games or (dare to dream) National Championships. It may seem unlikely, but the path to greatness for the Tigers lies not in the greatest conference in college football...but in the greatest opportunity.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Life as a Romantic Comedy?

In ’97 we had everything. She was my desire and I had the talent and ambition to fulfill her every need…and then I met Jim Beam. Is it a story that’s been told a thousand times? Sure but a Sigmund Bloom tweet brought it all back to the forefront…and brought me back to the one that got away.
In the beginning I was too arrogant, too lazy, and far too distractable to deserve the object of my affection, and it took me less than 5 months at the University of Missouri to prove it. While she was begging me to go to class I was running bets for a local bookie and staying up until 3 in the morning playing Madden for $100 a game. I went there with a dream and came home knowing it was not my talent that failed, but far worse, my work ethic. I was the Jamarcus Russell of sports journalism and Beam was my Codeine.
After two years as a car salesman I saw her again from a distance and couldn’t resist the urge to chase…she still had it. Before I knew it my sole employment was announcing small town high school football and basketball games at KDKD 95.3 and trying to sell ads in a market that you couldn’t even hear the station. The laziness was no longer a problem as I knew how lucky I was to have a second chance. I gave her everything I had, and she gave me $25 a game and diminishing commissions (Don Draper, I was not). Maybe she was trying to punish me for sins of the past, but she made it pretty much impossible to support my kids and, regrettably, I had to stop chasing.
Then there’s this place... KCSportsReport. In its initial incarnation it was (supposed to be) less blog and more RSS feed (before such a thing existed) for all things KC Sports. The feedback I got was that people wanted more original content which led to this article that actually ended up on That was maybe the apex of our relationship. Feedback from the article was venomous (but at least that means they read it) and I was on top of the world. Then of course, she disappeared and with her my readers.
That's the thing about this slightly sickening chain of events. In the time that I've failed and been failed, I've watched Bill Simmons go from blogger to Multi-Media Mogul. Now, obviously he has ridiculous talent but I've also watched guys like Nick Wright become sports talk radio hosts...and freaking Fake Ned Yost become a pop culture icon here in KC. Yet here I go again...
This isn't the first time (or second or third) that I've tried to fire this blog back up, and in reality Bloom's tweet probably received hundreds of applications from semi-bloggers like myself. But the characters don't write the script. I'll start blogging again and we'll leave it up to Bloom and the rest of to decide if my life is indeed a romantic comedy or just another Willie Nelson song (I've almost a box set).