Sports Commission scores big; Mad Jack's Gayhawk in HD
“They had almost 2,000 bids submitted for all these (NCAA) championships.”
Kathy Nelson, CEO of the Kansas City Sports Commission, after KC was awarded 14 bids to host NCAA championship events starting in 2014 through 2018, 810 AM
GH: Take a deep bow, Ms. Nelson! What a stunning success for our two-state area in that venues on both sides of the state line will be used for volleyball, football and soccer over the next five years. Rim Rock over in Lawrence also was awarded an NCAA Cross Country Regional in 2015. I am going to predict right now that both Kansas and Missouri distance runners qualify for Nationals in 2015 at Rim Rock.
“We were humbled by the quality and quantity of the bids received from the Kansas City Sports Commission.”
Jeff Jarnecke, NCAA director of championships and alliances, Kansas.com
GH: I don’t know if Mayor Sly James hands out Christmas bonuses to worthy Kansas Citians but he could do a lot worse than stuffing Nelson’s stocking with a little extra BBQ this holiday. Frosty!
“The biggest thing is people in Kansas City care about Division II football. Look at how us and Pittsburg State draw at the Fall Classic.”
Adam Dorrel, Northwest Missouri State coach, on Sporting Park being awarded the Division II championship game starting next December, Kansas.com
GH: You mean local MIAA fans don’t have to drive to dreary Florence, Alabama in December anymore? Hallelujah! I can’t wait to see how Sporting looks as a football field and how those DII fans enjoy sitting so close to the action. I am going to predict they sell 20,000 tickets to the 2014 game if we get a local team in the title game. How about moving the NWMS/Pitt State Fall Classic to Sporting as well?
“Somebody told me the Gators are staying home for the holidays, maybe we can get a bunch to come to our game."
Steve Spurrier, South Carolina’s head coach, goading his former Florida Gator fan base at a press conference
GH: I would love Spurrier to get the Texas job – just for the quotes alone.
“The Chiefs just need to start winning division games, period. And that starts this week.”
Mitch Holthus, on the Chiefs game in Oakland, 810 AM
GH: The Chiefs are 1-3 in the AFC West and 10-3 overall. Does it really matter if they win inside their division? Not really. The Chiefs need one more win and they will pretty much be locked into playing at Indy in their first round of the playoffs. The Chiefs aren’t going to catch the Broncos for the division title. What matters now is getting into the playoffs and then winning in the playoffs.
“Oakland has gone 11 years without having a winning record.”
Mitch Holthus, 810 AM
GH: Damn. That is not a commitment to excellence.
“I guess it’s because I’m light on my feet, so to speak.”
Dexter McCluster, when asked by Nate Bukaty how he was able to maneuver so well on the snowy turf in Washington, 810 AM
“What (beating Ole Miss) shows is that K-State can beat teams with tournament aspirations. I don’t think it’s Kansas but maybe it’s Oke State.”
Michael DeCourcy, 810 AM
“Even if (Kansas) doesn’t play well these next few games, just to get a couple of wins (over New Mexico and Georgetown) I think would really go well to springboard them for the rest of the season.”
Rustin Dodd, KU beat writer for The Kansas City Star, 810 AM
GH: KU could use two quality wins to make the holidays a bit merrier around here – at least for the Kansas fans. Bill Self’s teams typically improve greatly after he gets to work with them over the holiday break. No reason to think this team will not be better as well. The Hawks problem this January will be that the Big 12 looks far more formidable than in recent years. My early picks for how the Big 12 will finish; 1) OSU 2) Iowa State 3) Kansas 4) Baylor 5) Oklahoma 6) Texas 7) KSU 8) West Virginia 9) Texas Tech 10) TCU.
“(Andrew Wiggins) has to accept his role as the best player on the floor and be more aggressive. (Kansas) can be good the way he is playing but they can’t contend for the national championship unless he’s willing to take over a little bit more.”
Stan Van Gundy, after watching KU’s Andrew Wiggins play in the Bahamas, CBS
“I’m not worried about Andrew Wiggins at all. The only thing I’d worry about is if Andrew starts to worry.”
Mike DeCourcy, 810 AM
“(Mizzou) is going to have a terrific record this year. I like their team. The have a not-so-challenging schedule and that’s a nice formula to build up a really nice record.”
Michael DeCourcy, 810 AM
GH: But how does Mizzou look up against the SEC? Pretty good, I think. Here are my early picks for the SEC finish; 1) Florida 2) Kentucky 3) Missouri 4) LSU 5) Ole Miss 6) Arkansas 7) Tennessee 8) Vandy 9) Miss St. 10) Alabama 11) Auburn 12) Georgia 13) Texas A&M 14) South Carolina
“We were just informed that @Royals were doubling our Opening Day tickets, same seats. Heard similar story from others? $21 in '13, $40 in '14. These are for seats that are 4 rows from the top, up the left field line. Not premium seats. And that's for a large group. Nearly 50 tickets in 2013, and have been ordering for more than 10 years.”
Heath Freeman, @Feddyvon, Twitter
GH: $40 bucks for Opening Day tix even in the upper regions of The K isn’t unreasonable. An almost 100% price increase isn’t easy to swallow but I understand the Royals charging more for a premium game. I can’t get too upset over this one.
“I thought that was pretty hilarious (that Jack Harry blamed the controversy on ‘social media’). Jack may want to welcome himself to 2013. If Jack Harry got anything else, he got a lesson in that you can be anywhere in this country and if you say something spectacularly stupid, people are going to find it.”
Richard Deitsch, on Harry’s Gayhawks controversy, 610 AM
GH: The HD version of the video clip is almost indisputable as to what Harry says. I asked my wife, who barely knows the mascots for the local teams, to view the HD clip and tell me what she thought. I didn’t even tell her why I was showing it to her. She had not heard anything about the controversy to this point. “Why is he saying, ‘Gayhawks?’” she asked after viewing the clip one time.
“I did my own internal investigation. I feel like we have given our statement. Jack has given his statement. We went on TV and said the same. We will let this play out. … Jack is no stranger to controversy. He is a vocal sportscaster. That’s who he is, he’s good at his job, and he has been a lightning rod. KU fans don’t like him generally.”
Carrie Hoffman, news director at KSHB TV 41, who said she spoke to people in the studio at the time and Frank Boal as well, SI.com
GH: We now have Mad Jack blaming social media for his troubles and KSHB’s news director blaming the Kansas fans. Somebody over at Channel 41 must have missed out on the seminar about damage control.
GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / @greghall24
Jack Harry has created Gayhawk Gate
“You don’t think they’re overrated – these Jayhawks, Gayhawks!”
Jack Harry, while discussing the Kansas Jayhawks basketball team’s recent loss at Colorado with Frank Boal Sunday night, KSHB 41
GH: This was an unscripted casual conversation between Harry and Boal and Harry looked to me to be having some fun with it. He smirked when he said what sure sounded like “Gayhawks” to emphasize that he thought Bill Self’s team is overrated. Gayhawk Gate has ensued. Read on.
“It was clearly a slip up. It sounds like he may or may not have used a homophobic term to describe the Kansas Jayhawks. … They need to suspend Jack Harry and issue an apology.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Fescoe is a KU grad and a self-professed Kansas homer. He is maybe the only local member of the local sports media to admit his favoritism – which is somewhat admirable. But he pretty much disqualifies himself for commenting on Gayhawk Gate by his own admission that he is biased about all things Kansas.
“I think that was a conversation you have with a buddy that you probably have used that term before and you let it slip on the air. … I do (think he should be fired). Yeah, I do. I would expect serious repercussions. … Putting the standards of myself – if I said something like that even if it was a slip up of something you might say…When you’re broadcasting in that context, no you can’t (say that).”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM
GH: Klingler works for the Jayhawk Radio Network and has close ties to the Kansas athletic department. He is far more objective about Kansas than Fescoe but his opinions on this also have to be weighed against the fact that he is employed by the very sports department that Harry is accused of attacking.
“He said it & is trying 2 cover it up. As an MU fan I don't ‘claim’ him, like I know some KU fans don't claim Fescoe.”
John Petrovic@photogwingsfan, Twitter
“I heard the video. He said it, but it may have been just a slip of the tongue. Maybe Jack has been reading Tigerboard too much.”
Jeff Gelski@jjgelski, Twitter
“What a crock. Then, Jack Harry, if that wasn't what you said, what did you say?”
Joel Grillot@jbenny81, Twitter
GH: This is a great question. Harry definitely did not say “Jayhawks” as he did right before he uttered the controversial term. He even emphasized the word for shock value.
“He corrects himself and says it louder with inflection. He even jumps out of his seat a bit like he is excited.”
Ted Klein@TheRealTedKlein, Twitter
“Somehow, someway I don’t know what happened but it got out on the social media today that I used a derogatory term in talking about the Kansas Jayhawks. Believe me folks, I would never ever go on the air. That’s not what I am all about. I’ve had my go around with Jayhawk fans but I would never say what I have been accused of. I felt compelled to get that out today.”
Jack Harry, responding in his Monday night sportscast to the Gayhawks controversy, KSHB TV 41
GH: There are more holes in Harry’s prepared statement than the Mizzou defensive scheme against Auburn. Let’s expose a few. “Somehow, someway I don’t know what happened…” What is Jack even talking about here? Did he not review the video and audio? There is no mystery as to why there is a controversy. For him to act like he is completely unaware of why this occurred just adds to his guilt. Then the comment, “that’s not what I’m about.” Actually, that is pretty much ALL of what Jack is about. He is Jack Smack trying to get a rise out of his audience to increase his ratings. Some people work hard and then there are guys like Jack who sling mud. Well, this time he got himself dirty.
“He's always been unprofessional. Just tries to get a rise out of people.”
Jason King, @JasonKingESPN
“It sounds like Dayhawks as much as Gayhawks. They're only sensitive to the suggestion because of that Pitch article from yrs ago.”
GH: I don’t think an old Pitch article is fueling this fire but rather Harry’s penchant for verbally baiting Jayhawk athletes, teams and fans over the years. He called for Kansas to drop football a few years back. What legitimate sportscaster in Kansas City would do that? Harry has built a professional persona of being “Jack Smack” and he and his station are now reaping the fallout.
“That video seems to suggest Jack did say that. He is handling this all wrong. Say you slipped, apologize and move on.”
Bill Knust@billknust, Twitter
“That guy is an ass. I'm in college for sports journalism. Def can't say that.”
“Too close to call. I can't believe he would be that careless on air.”
“I love America, but when I see people defend ignorance like Jack Harry saying "Gayhawks" I understand why we're so far behind.”
Mike Welch, @RealMikeWelch, Twitter
“While Jack Harry is opinionated, he knows the difference between legitimate sports discussion and unacceptable, uncalled for language. After speaking at length with Jack, we believe jack when he tells us that is not what he said. We stand by Jack and encourage him to speak his mind when it comes to sports in Kansas City and beyond.”
41 Action News Staff
GH: The explanation by 41 Action News is as poorly written as Jack’s explanation. They don’t even exhibit the professionalism to mention what Jack has been accused of saying on the air. How confusing is this to viewers who are unaware of the controversy? How does KSHB promote “Jack Smack” and then turn around and act like Harry is a legit member of the media? KSHB is in this mess because they “encourage him to speak his mind.”
Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / @greghall24
Mizzou takes on Manziel
“There’s no doubt, this is the biggest game in Columbia in 53 years.”
Gabe DeArmond, of PowerMizzou.com, as the Missouri Tigers prepare for their game against Texas A&M Saturday night in Columbia and a chance to play in the SEC title game, 810 AM
GH: In 1960 Dan Devine’s Missouri Tigers finished 10-1 as the Big 8 champs and defeated Navy 21-14 in the Orange Bowl. Ron Taylor was the Tigers starting QB and he completed 23 of 44 passes for 302 yards…for the season. MU’s lone loss that season was 23-7 in the season finale in Columbia to a John Hadl-led Kansas Jayhawks team. Hadl’s season passing stats were not much better than Taylor’s. He completed 43 of 87 passes for a season total of 566 yards. What would 1960 think of Johnny Football?
“Forget senior night. It's A&M night. I'm going to look at all the fancy, emotional stuff later, and that'll be great. But right now, we're playing A&M, man. Our minds are on A&M, not emotions or feelings.”
Max Copeland, MU’s senior left guard, Columbia Tribune
GH: This might be one of my all-time favorite pregame player quotes. Who needs emotions and feelings when you have a football game to play? Let’s get it on!
“When I talk to coaches before games, we'll be talking about something about how it's great to be sitting around all day before we play and, 'Oh, I had a great time. It was great watching games.' And I'm about ready to stab myself. … I am what I am, focus-wise, intensity. Everybody's different. I don't sleep well during the season. That's just the way it is.”
Gary Pinkel, Columbia Tribune
GH: Why do I get the feeling Charlie Weis needs an alarm clock each morn to wake him from his slumber?
“I think it’s going to be like 38-31. I think it will be a great game. I think Missouri’s going to the SEC title game.”
Frank Boal, 810 AM
“I like Missouri big. Taking down the goal posts and everything!”
Dennis Dodd, 810 AM
“I think Johnny Manziel is going to be remembered for how bad his last two games were. 45-21. That defense for A&M is awful!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
“A&M at Mizzou.”
Kirk Herbstreit, @KirkHerbstreit, when asked what game he will be working this Saturday, Twitter
GH: The big boys are coming to Columbia for the Tigers try at the SEC East title and another glimpse at Johnny Football. This is gonna be one crazy day and night in CoMo.
“Saturday's game is huge for A&M's bowl destination. Auburn (10-1, 6-1) along with unbeaten Alabama are at the top of the SEC invitation list. A&M (8-3, 4-3) might have gotten the nod over Auburn if both had finished 10-2 because it probably would have had a two-time Heisman winner in Johnny Manziel. A 10-2 finish for A&M is no longer possible, but A&M could be still more attractive than Missouri as long as it beats the Tigers. The Capital One and AT&T Cotton Bowl can fight over A&M and South Carolina, providing A&M beats Missouri. But if A&M loses, then the Aggies would be sixth in the SEC bowl pecking order and it would be hello Atlanta and Chick-fil-A.”
Robert Cessna, writer, Aggiesports.com
GH: I heard Dennis Dodd say that this game means next to nothing to A&M. I’m not so sure. The Aggies looked awful at LSU last week but a lot of teams have suffered that same fate in Baton Rouge. Manziel might not be the cuddliest football folk hero but he is one tough competitor. And he LOVES the bright lights. I expect Johnny Football to light up Mizzou for more than 35 but the Tigers should be able to score in the 40s.
“(Mizzou) students are gone now (on Thanksgiving break). Dorms are closed. If you are a student and you don’t come back for this game, you should not be allowed to purchase another ticket to an athletic event – EVER! This game is not going to happen again while you are a student. I don’t know why anybody wouldn’t come back.”
Gabe DeArmond, of PowerMizzou.com, 810 AM
GH: How about it Mizzou students who read my OTC? You coming back to CoMo for the game or are you going to watch history unfold from mom’s couch? Our MU son still hasn’t made it home from Columbia and school has been closed since Friday. Maybe The Antlers kidnapped him. Hell, maybe he was elected Grand Pupa of The Antlers!
“Next weekend...#Mizzou vs. Johnny Football for the SEC East...#Chiefs vs. Broncos for the AFC West...LET'S GO!!!!”
Steven St. John, @SSJWHB, Twitter
GH: Do not forget the Sunflower Showdown. Read on.
“Once Oklahoma figured out Tyler Lockett last Saturday they rolled.”
Dennis Dodd, on Oklahoma’s 41-31 win over K-State in Manhattan, 810 AM
GH: Did Oklahoma really figure out Lockett or did the Wildcat wide receiver just get leg weary after catching 12 passes for 278 yards and three touchdowns? Tyler Lockett should be up for the Heisman. The dude is that freaking good!
“It still amazes me that a university can be so good at one sport and so bad at another.”
Frank Boal, on Kansas’ moribund football program and elite basketball program, KSHB TV 41
GH: Iowa State recorded it’s only Big 12 football win Saturday night with a 34-0 ass kicking of Charlie Weis’ “pile of crap” Jayhawks. Bill Self’s undefeated basketball team looked Final Four worthy as they ran all over overmatched Towson on Friday.
“The team is just not very good. I don’t think they look appreciably better than last year.”
Todd Leabo, on Kansas’ football team, 810 AM
“Weis: Our defense, all year long, has played good enough to have won games. With Cozart on Offense, everything changes.”
Matt Tait, @mctait, after KU’s win at home over West Virginia, Twitter
GH: With Cozart at the helm, KU was shutout in Ames by a bad Cyclone defense. Everything has not changed.
“We’ve had K-State circled all season. We’ve had a running clock waiting for this game since the summer. This is the No. 1 game we want to win every single year, so there’s no doubt we’ll bounce back from this (loss at Iowa State).”
Gavin Howard, KU’s senior center, KUSports.com
“This is a big game for us and a big game for the Kansas program. A win like this could throw everything out the door. Whatever the record was, OK, we beat Kansas State, our rival, we got bragging rights for a whole year. … So we’re just looking forward to preparing and getting ready to beat K-State.”
James Sims, KU’s senior running back, KUSports.com
GH: I would not consider what Sims says here as hyperbole. A KU win over KSU might just make the rest of KU’s awful season irrelevant. Is it likely? No. Bill Snyder enjoys crushing Kansas more than he enjoys crushing a Taco Bell chalupa.
“Jake Heap, I’m sorry, has been a disappointment. I think we could all agree with that. It defies description, but Charlie Weis is a quarterback maker.”
Dennis Dodd, 810 AM
GH: Weis is 0-2 in hyping first-year quarterbacks who were supposed to come in and be the next Bill Whittemore. (Can you tell that I loved watching Whittemore play?)
“I’m still waiting for some guys that (Weis) recruited to be difference makers. I know it’s only been two years but they haven’t been able to find difference makers. That’s scary if you’re a Kansas fan.”
Todd Leabo, 810 AM
“Glen Mason and Mark Mangino proved that Kansas should never be this bad.”
Dennis Dodd, 810 AM
GH: Kansas wasn’t this bad under Terry Allen, who was 20-33 in his five years.
“I speak New Jersey.”
Charlie Weis, when asked if he curses at his players, 610 AM
GH: Maybe this is the problem.
“We do it right, C-Dot. There’s no skimping on food! I’m a traditionalist. Everything you can put on a Thanksgiving plate is on my plate.”
Bill Maas, when asked by Carrington Harrison what would be on Maas’ Thanksgiving dinner plate, 610 AM
GH: My Thanksgiving plate has to include both white and dark turkey meat, a huge heaping of “the good” dressing, a large pile of mashed potatoes, two helpings of the better green bean casserole and maybe a roll. I’ll also improvise as I go through the buffet line, (we dine with my wife’s side of the family for Thanksgiving and all 14 of her siblings pitch in for a massive potluck). My absolute no shows when it comes to eating on Turkey Day are; no yams or sweet potatoes, no cranberries or any kind – real or jiggly, and no Jell-O, fruit-bearing or marshmallow salads. Hate those salads taking up space on the Thanksgiving table.
Enjoy this Thanksgiving holiday with your family and friends. I hope you have too many to make them all happy they were able to spend time with you. And thanks for showing up here occasionally to read my OTC.
PS: Go Chiefs!
MU Antlers get the boot
“Apparently, at issue was the ‘Scum, scum, scum, go back to where you're from …’ chant that has been one of The Antlers' staples for many years when opponents run onto the court. The chant typically ends with "and die," but Delaney said the group substituted "and cry" yesterday, but they were still removed shortly after shouting it.”
Steve Walentik, writer, on the chant that allegedly got The Antlers kicked out of Mizzou Arena with 14:48 left in the second half Monday night, the Columbia Daily Tribune
GH: The civil war that has been brewing between Mizzou’s famous bad boy fan faction and the university’s brass has come to a public head. The Antlers are just about everything the new Mizzou doesn’t want to be associated with their new reputation as one of the leading scholastic institutions in the SEC. The Antlers just want to have crazy fun. Who is right? I am siding with the stiff-necked administrators on this one. But the crass Antlers have many in their nose-bleed corner. Read on.
“The Athletic Department has made Mizzou Arena hostile to its fans, instead of the opposing teams we play.”
The Antlers, @The_Antlers, after the Antlers were escorted from Mizzou Arena Monday night by police escort for the second straight game, Twitter
GH: The Antlers are college kids who understand social media – and they took to it enforce Monday night to defend themselves after getting booted from Mizzou Arena. Read on.
“We have, since this meeting, attempted to cut out any blatant misogyny, racial, or disaster jokes. Simply stated, we've tried to be better. … At the end of the day, we're all just a bunch of guys who LOVE #Mizzou basketball. We will continue to try and improve our group and MIZ!!!
The Antlers, @The_Antlers, Twitter
GH: Do we really have to go any further when the defendant has admitted to “blatant misogyny, racial, or disaster jokes?” Please, what place does this have in cheering for ol’ Mizzou? I understand many MU alums have a fond place in their heart for The Antlers but their time has passed. And that is a good thing. What was once a witty, funny and entertaining group of college students has devolved into a crass, vulgar and embarrassing lot.
“Mizzou, punishing your best fans is not going to go well for you. Take a page out of @RobbHeineman playbook. Embrace them. #freetheantlers.”
TJ Carpenter, @TJCarpenterWHB, Twitter
GH: There is simply no comparison between the deportment of an organized professional fan base like Sportings Cauldren and an organized group of college students like The Antlers. None. Carpenter’s attempt to link the two is folly. The University must protect its image and those fans who attend the game who do not want to hear that the opposing team’s cheerleaders have penises or someone fisting their sister or that Hurricane Katrina was a good thing for the state of Louisiana. How much wit went into the chants, “Farts when he cums?” “Eat yeasty feces?” “Drinks herpes Slurpees?” “Just like last night, put it in the hole?”
“I'm all for a good time and giving opponents a hard time. But some of these are pretty rough.”
Kim English, @Englishscope24, former MU basketball player, Twitter
“I enjoy how they’re playing the victim in all of this too. Like MU-AD is somehow in the wrong for trying to clean things up.”
Brian Hank Haenchen, @Brian_Haenchen, Twitter
“The Antlers suck. They are an embarrassing, classless faction of our school. That list is disgusting.”
Zach Mink, @zachmink12, graduate student at Mizzou, Twitter
“I'm not setting foot in Mizzou Arena until @The_Antlers can do the same. You'd think the world's best J-school would respect free speech.”
Clinton Thomas, @ClintT13, reporter for the St. Joseph News-Press, Twitter
“@The_Antlers had my back while on the court. Now its my time to support them! #FreeTheAntlers.”
Steve Moore, @BIGSteeeeeeeeve, former MU basketball player, Twitter
“I just got escorted out of Mizzou Arena for screaming ‘Free the Antlers!’
Jordon Griffin,@Jordon_Grizz, Mizzou alum, Twitter
“We have high expectations for our students and our staff at the University of Missouri. Our core values are respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence, and it’s critically important that we represent those values every day in everything we do.”
Mike Alden, MU AD, discussing the Antlers’ ejection Monday night, via @Steve_Walentik Twitter
GH: I like what Alden is doing at Mizzou – and yes, it is different than the way Mizzou and their fans were asked to act in the past. I have spent 40 years traveling to Columbia as an opposing fan and as the father of a Mizzou athlete – and the change toward a classier Mizzou over the past decade should be welcomed by past and present Tigers.
“As we have said before, we acknowledge the list released by MUAthletics and are trying to change. We have not used any of those chants since.”
The Antlers, @The_Antlers, Twitter
GH: That is a positive – but why couch that statement with the phrase “trying to change?” How difficult is it to not chant the word “cock?”
“Am told by @The_Antlers that they have not been told they can't attend next home game against W. Virginia and plan to be there in full force.”
Gabe DeArmond, @GabeDeArmond, Twitter
GH: Here is your chance, Antlers. Step up and show Mizzou and the nation that you are not knuckle-dragging Neanderthals. Show us you are an educated and entertaining group of students.
“Official attendance is 6,065, which is a season low.”
Steve Walentik, @Steve_Walentik, writer for the Columbia Daily Tribune, on the sparse crowd at Mizzou Arena for the Tigers 78-64 win over IUPUI, Twitter
GH: Okay…now for that other problem at Mizzou Arena…
“One beat down of impotent Johnny Foosball from Bama. Let's do it. #mutigers”
Kevin Kietzman, @kkwhb, Twitter
GH: Rumor has it Kietzman is considering dressing as an Antler for the A&M game and sitting on Faurot’s rocks. Let’s do it!
GregHall24@yahoo.com & Twitter / @greghall24
Bob Dutton is leaving the KC Star
Bob Dutton is leaving the Kansas City Star to cover the Seattle Mariners for Tacoma’s News Tribune. Dutton has been The Star’s beat writer for the Kansas City Royals since 2000 when he moved from covering the Kansas Jayhawks as their beat writer.
“It is true,” said Jeff Rosen, The Kansas City Star’s sports editor (who coincidentally is a Seattle native and University of Washington graduate), when asked if rumors about Dutton’s departure were accurate. “We are very sorry to see him go.” Rosen and The Star are not the only ones who will miss Dutton’s wit, work ethic and talent.
There might not be a more difficult job at a newspaper’s sports desk than that of the MLB beat writer. Killer deadlines, a ridiculous seven-month season and an almost endless stream of nightly games that often differ little from the night before. Somehow, Dutton was able to make his Royals’ game stories fresh, funny and must-read stuff. That is a rare talent indeed.
This signals yet another blow to The Star’s dwindling talent pool on their sports desk. Adam Teicher moved from The Star to ESPN.com to cover the Chiefs for the Bristol, Connecticut based sports media giant just prior to the start of the NFL season. Kent Babb, who was a Chiefs beat writer for The Star before being promoted as a columnist, left Kansas City for The prestigious Washington Post in September of 2012. These departures followed other Star sports staffers, none more impactful than Joe Posnanski ‘s and Jason Whitlock’s partings. These two opposites were two of the more decorated and celebrated sports writers The Star has ever hired.
Dutton has become a much-loved writer for Royals fans. His interaction with readers via his @Royals_Report Twitter account is one of the more informative and entertaining online venues for Royals news.
The Major League Baseball Winter Meetings will be held in Orlando December 9-12 and Dutton is scheduled to cover these meetings for both The Star and Tacoma’s News Tribune. No definitive date has been mentioned as to what day will be Dutton’s final day at The Star but it is assumed he will be wrapping up his byline shortly after MLB’s winter meetings.
"A goodbye and a hello," is how Dutton described the dual role he will play for both papers at the winter meetings.
Know this; whenever that last day at The Star is for the talented Dutton, it will be a sad day for all of us who have enjoyed his work.
GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / @greghall24
Chargers come back to beat Chiefs
“Denver is going to come in here and score 50 if they don’t have Hali and Houston.”
Hank Bauer, Chargers Radio Network, Sirius
GH: I listened to the Chargers radio broadcast of the SD/KC game Sunday on Sirius as I drove home from the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa. I thought the Chiefs lost the game at least three times and figured they had it won four or more. What an entertaining, maddening and what-if football game for Chiefs fans. BTW, Bauer is as big a homer as anybody broadcaster we have here in Kansas City – except KU’s Bob Davis. Nobody unseats the King of Kansas.
“(Hank) Bauer holds the NFL single season record for most special teams tackles with 52. As a short-yardage specialist and often referred to "Hank the Howitzer" for his explosive running, Bauer finished one season with 18 carries for a total of 28 yards, scoring 8 touchdowns and achieving 9 first downs. Bauer was forced to retire in 1983, after playing six games with a broken neck. He later coached running backs and special teams for four years with the Chargers, then became a sports anchor for KFMB from 1987-2002.”
GH: Hank was a much better human battering ram than he is a color analyst.
“Has the clock struck midnight for the Kansas City Chiefs? Have we seen the carriage turn into a pumpkin? Have they turned into the team we kind of thought they would be at the beginning of the season?
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
“Is this a blip, just another ‘moment in time’ as general manager John Dorsey cautioned the 9-0 start was? Or is it a regression in a new direction? The answer, really, is neither. Or both. Because it hasn’t been determined yet.”
Vahe Gregorian, columnist, Kansas City Star
GH: Gregorian continues to frustrate me as a columnist. His questions (above) are fine – but answer them! We know, “it hasn’t been determined yet.” What we would like to read is what you think will happen or why it won’t happen or anything opinionated! Gregorian is giving every stereotype of old white sportswriters new life.
“All season, we’ve known that the Chiefs are working without a safety net. This is a group and philosophy that need all the pieces in place, and the board is blown up without two superstar edge rushers occupying the bulk of the opposition’s game plans. Which makes what we saw on Sunday, literally, frightening for the Chiefs and their fans. … The Chargers scored more points in the second half when Hali and Houston were out than any team (including the Broncos) scored in an entire game when those two were healthy.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: Mellinger quickly states the fears of most Chiefs fans – that this season’s success was more fragile than peanut brittle. Read on.
“Just as the Broncos come to Kansas City for the Chiefs’ single most important game of the season. That horseshoe they played with during a string of lucky breaks and a 9-0 start is turning to horse (bleep).” Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: Mellinger nails it by tapping into our cautious optimism. Gregorian just floats around the perimeter firing ill-advised treys.
“We’re not 2-9; we’re 9-2. It’s definitely not a panic mode. But we need to stop this ball from rolling downhill.”
Derrick Johnson, Kansas City Star
“With both (Hali and Houston) out? No way.”
Jake Gutierrez, when asked if the Chiefs can beat Denver at Arrowhead without their two syud pass rushers, 810 AM
GH: The Chiefs second loss and Denver’s crazy crumbling defeat in New England both became just background sets to the injuries to Hali and Houston. We will likely know more soon but neither looks like they will play or if they do, they aren’t expected to be close to full speed for Peyton Manning’s trip to Arrowhead this Sunday.
“On Sunday, they can’t win the division but they can lose it. If they lose that game, I don’t think they can make up two games on the Broncos.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: It might be time to scale back our expectations of winning the AFL West. If Hali and Houston miss the next few weeks, just getting into the playoffs might have to be the Chiefs goal for now. If the two are able to be back in January, then Chiefs fans can start getting excited about surviving and advancing – albeit on the road.
“No excuses, man. San Diego came out and executed. They were moving the ball at will today.”
Brandon Flowers, 810 AM
GH: If the Chiefs can’t stop a simple under pattern that uses the opposite receiver as a “rub” on the defender, they are doomed. Both Denver and San Diego turned simple slants into huge gains by confusing the Chiefs man-to-man defense. Where was the ability to adjust and go zone?
“If you continue to not get to the quarterback, you might have to go to a little more zone than man-to-man at the backend of your defense.”
Herm Edwards, 810 AM
“I think (the Chiefs) get creative. I think what we saw (Sunday) is the Chiefs third best pass rusher is Eric Berry. Expect some A-gap blitzes up the middle with Eric Berry and Derrick Johnson, pressuring Peyton Manning up the middle instead of at the ends. Get in his face and around his feet.”
Danan Hughes, 610 AM
GH: Bill Maas was the first on 610 to suggest the Chiefs need to switch their pressure on Manning from the outside to between the tackles. I would consider moving Berry up to play in Hali’s or Houston’s spot and turn him loose on rushing Manning. Sounds crazy but these are desperate times. Berry isn’t any great shakes when it comes to covering receivers but I’ll bet he is a bitch at running down quarterbacks.
“What are you feeling after yesterday’s game? Are you happy the offense finally showed up or are you concerned with the defense… That’s the question as we continue here on The Program.”
Doug Stewart, filling in the past two weeks for Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Wow, I never thought I would miss Soren Petro as much as I have these past two weeks. Why does WHB insist on playing their second-string when their starters leave for vacation? I guess it just doesn’t matter in the big picture because people listen to whoever is behind the mic but Doug Stewart is boring the hell out of much of the two-state area these past two weeks. Can Kurtis Seaboldt at least jab him with a hat pin occasionally to see if his voice will change modulation?
“They gave up 38 points after Houston went down.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
“Once people go down, everybody’s got to step up. But obviously it hurt us a little bit, not having our two better players on the field.”
Derrick Johnson, 810 AM
GH: DJ is also one of the Chiefs better defenders. He needs to play like a crazed Texan next week against Denver.
“Man they had it! I thought they had it won.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: My feeling exactly before Rivers threw that final game-winning TD pass. Painful.
“It’s amazing as a fan to care that much about a game at the end.”
Gary Lezak, 810 AM
GH: Lezak is calling for temps in the 30s or 40s for the Broncos/Chiefs game at Arrowhead Sunday afternoon. Not nearly cold enough to freeze Peyton but with a 3:30 PM kickoff, we might see some frost form on his right arm come the second half.
“Consensus seems to be DEN loss makes today easier and I get that. But KC could be one up and looking for two. Still would have to win SUN.”
Kurtis Seaboldt, @KSeaboldt, Twitter
GH: Coulda, woulda, shoulda. Chiefs are 9-2 and still very much alive for the division crown if they beat Denver on Sunday. You can’t look backward in the NFL or it will drive you mad.
“Knowshon has a boot on his foot and is on crutches. He will have ankle checked in Denver.”
Tom Helmer, @Tom_Helmer, Twitter
GH: I like what SSJ said about the Broncos running back’s injury, if really doesn’t matter unless it’s Manning in a boot and on crutches.
“It should be a breakthrough (for Sporting Kansas City) because they made it to the title game. Well now under this format they also host that game. That seems to put a little extra pressure on it. It’s not just getting there – now you’ve got to win it.”
Josh Klingler, on Sporting taking on Real Salt Lake December 7th at Sporting Park, 610 AM
GH: Sporting has a chance to capture a Major Award with a win in The Legends in a couple of weeks. And there will be nothing FRAGILE about it inside one of the best sports venues in Kansas City. Sporting and Mizzou could be playing for titles on the same night.
GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / @greghall24
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