The Platte County Landmark


Covering Platte County, Missouri Weekly Since 1865

Local News

Between the Lines
by Ivan Foley

Off the Couch
by Greg Hall

Off the Wall
by CK Rairden

Local Sports

Ivan Foley's
"Guaran-Dam-Tees"

Classifieds

Advertising

Subscriptions

TalkBack


Weekly publication dates are Wednesdays

***Sign up for ***
The Landmark's E*Newsletter

Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Featured Advertisers
 
       
 

Off the Couch

by Greg Hall
Landmark columnist

For more of Greg Hall, surf to www.kcconfidential.com

DOES IT MATTER WHETHER CHARLES OR JONES IS STARTER?

Posted 8-29-10

“I think they are still skeptical about Jamaal (Charles).  I don’t know why they are. I think he’s the best player on the team.”
Nick Wright, TV 5

“Trend or no trend, I think it comes down to coaches, instincts and feel.”
Todd Haley, when asked about rotating Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles in the Chiefs’ backfield and on which player is the starter, 810 AM
GH: Does it matter which running back starts? Probably to the guy who doesn’t get the nod. Read on.

“I know unequivocally that this matters to Jamaal Charles – to be a starter. I know for a certifiable fact that it is relevant to the players.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Wright loves to lay down these certifiable guarantees when it comes to what the Chiefs’ players are thinking. He touts himself as being a personal friend of some of the Chiefs’ players – especially the black Chiefs’ players. Wright sees these relationships as an asset to his role as a talk show host. I see them as a potential for disaster. Getting close to those you publicly critique has a downside that far outweighs the positives.

“I think I know what it is. I think they see a chink in this guy.”
Tim Grunhard, stating he believe the reason the Chiefs have been reluctant to name Jamaal Charles as their starting running back is because they think he might not be able to handle the pressure of being named the starter, 810 AM
GH: And I thought Grunny meant he saw some ping pong potential in Charles.

“It’s really a dink-and-dunk attack. It’s tough to go 80 yards when you have run 15 to 18 plays. They seem very, very reticent to throw the football down the field.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: Cassel has yet to prove he has an NFL arm for the deep pass. Until he does, defenses will cheat up on his receivers and the Chiefs’ potent running game. After three preseason games, it looks to me that Charlie Weis has yet to fix his quarterback. Instead, he has decided to hide him in a west coast passing offense that is so conservative it might have been drawn up with input from Rush Limbaugh. PS: Speaking of Weis, I saw him on the Friday night broadcast and his straight-back wind-tunnel hairdo and less-than-matinee-idol looks makes him look like one of those troll dolls from the 1960s.

“I’m sitting here in my driveway. I’ve got a big-screen in my garage and I’m sitting here yelling at the TV. It’s the same thing as last year! This is not going to be fun.”
Caller to Chiefs/Eagles postgame show, 810 AM
GH: And I thought The King of Queens was a Jets fan.

“D-Bowe has top-10 wide receiver ability. He might have a bottom-ten wide-receiver head.”
Nick Wright, TV 5
GH: Is there anything lower on the evolutionary scale of the development of the cerebellum than the collective group known as NFL wide receivers? Besides 16-year old males with car keys?

“Is the AFC West the worst division in football? I think so. I think the only reason some Chiefs fans have the Chiefs going to the playoffs is to quote Charles Barkley, ‘This division is terrible, terrible, terrible.’ The AFC West is pretty damn bad.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: ESPN The Magazine picks the Chiefs to win the West. ‘Nuff said.

“I’m not gonna jump off that bridge yet. I know Kansas City fans are a little worried and a little nervous. I would have liked to have seen them play a little bit better but I’m still sticking with them.”
Tim Grunhard, 810 AM

“It makes me think they spend a lot of time worrying about what the media is going to ask.”
Kent Babb, after another contentious Todd Haley press conference, 610 AM
GH: The Chiefs have attempted to soften the image of Scott Todd this season by giving Todd a shave and getting Pioli in front of every microphone and camera in the city. But the underlying belief that these guys are scary paranoid about leaking team secrets and personnel remains. Let’s just say this ain’t Rex Ryan and the Jets.

“I’ve enjoyed watching Hard Knocks. It makes me wonder if these guys are really practicing or are they just out there having a good time? It just reminds you how much fun football can be. (The Jets) do it the right way there. You get over by the Chiefs and it’s so uptight over there.”
Jeff Chadhia, NFL writer and reporter, 810 AM

“It makes me root for the Jets because I want to think that kind of attitude can win. Here, everything is the offshoot of Bill Belichick. Everything is top secret and uptight.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Have you ever had a boss who ruled with a pin-hole-sized sphincter? Not much fun is it? Have you ever had a boss who kissed your neck in a non-sexual way? Sorry, uh, wrong column.

“Can we say that Eric Berry is already the Chiefs best player on defense?”
Nick Wright, on the Chiefs’ rookie safety, 610 AM

“Eric Berry’s had a kind of unremarkable preseason so far. He really hasn’t had that one practice or workout in a game yet where you say, ‘Whoa, that’s why they drafted that guy number one.’ ”
Kent Babb, 610 AM
GH: I’m with Babb on this one. Berry might prove to be one heckuva draft pick but let’s wait until he makes a few plays before we measure him for a bust in the Chiefs’ Hall of Honor. One thing that I have observed about Berry is that he appears to have DB hands. That means there is a reason he plays defense and not offense.

“I think the (Chiefs’) front seven is the worst in the AFC.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, in football is more frustrating, destructive and debilitating for a team and its chemistry than having a defense that cannot stop the run. Looking at the Chiefs’ 2010 draft it appears Scott Todd felt comfortable with their defensive front. God only knows why.

“Look, it’s entertainment. They (the Chiefs) look like they could be a reasonably entertaining football team. For this year, that’s pretty good.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Look, it’s called a radio contract between 810 and the Chiefs. Do you really think KK is going to bash the hands that feed him? He better. If the Chiefs stink again and KK continues his Bob Gretz impression for four hours a day, he may as well also add traffic and weather on the nines.

“Marina Grog and Galley is a wonderful place to eat this time of year. It is so peaceful and relaxing out there. It’s not hard to get there. It’s only about 15 minutes from the (Grandview) Triangle.”
Kevin Kietzman, doing a live read of a Marina Grog and Galley radio ad, 810 AM
GH: The metamorphosis is complete. Kevin Kietzman has completely morphed into Don Fortune. What’s next? Hiding the cat-piss-stained carpet with a barcalounger?

“I get into the most trouble in my life when I’m trying to be nice and help somebody. I gotta quit trying to help people.”
Kevin Kietzman, after Jack Harry complained that Kietz has a habit of grabbing Harry’s golf scorecard while they’re playing and checking for errors and filling in the scores for his old friend, 810 AM
GH: Who knew KK’s biggest deterrent was his niceness?

“You smart, lucky bastard!”
Radio ad for Worth Harley Davidson, 610 AM
GH: This radio ad ran on both 610 and 810. The only difference was that 810 beeped out the word “bastard.” I don’t understand stringent media censorship. The Star won’t print the word “suck” and now 810 is afraid of bastards. I’m more afraid of that scary laugh of Gail’s in every one of her Harley commercials.

“We’ll be on blackout watch (at Arrowhead) from the San Francisco 49ers game on. Games after the Monday night opener are in question of being blacked out.”
Jason Anderson, 810 AM
GH: Ticket sales for the Chiefs continue to lag. The sluggish economy, a crappy decade of football and a less-than-impressive preseason is not the formula for creating Chiefs’ hysteria. Is blacking out the home games going to change that? Hell no! It might be the dumbest business move by an otherwise business-savvy NFL. If the Chiefs disappear off of local TV, they may never get that Carl & Marty mojo back.

“I think Green Bay is clearly the best team I’ve seen on tape this year. If you’re going to beat the Packers you better be prepared to score 30 points.”
Michael Lombardi, NFL analyst, 810 AM
GH: The Packers will be at Arrowhead on Thursday for the final preseason game of the season. Get there early if you expect to see Aaron Rodgers or any other players you might recognize.

“I’m not trying to be funny. I’m not a funny guy. But is there a more eligible woman in the world than Elin Nordegren? If she winds up with a celebrity or somebody famous, everything everyone things of her will change – because right now everybody sees her as the victim.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Is KK on the move again?

“Turn your radio up more.”
Jay Mohr, subbing for Rome, to a caller whose radio was providing annoying background noise, Jim Rome Show
GH: If Mohr is guest hosting Rome’s show, I’m listening. Mohr has had a middling career on TV and in movies but he is an entertaining chaotic laugh riot as a radio sports talk host.

“They are putting up a statue of Bud Selig in Milwaukee. What would a statue of David Glass have him doing? How about having a statue with his head in the sand and him putting money in his pocket? You could say, ‘Hey, meet me out there at the David Glass head-in-the-sand statue.’ ”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: My favorite listener idea for a David Glass statue was to depict Glass with his hand in the pocket of a Royals’ fan with the pants of the fan down around his ankles.

“I got in trouble last year in my fantasy football league. I started out really bad in my fantasy football league last year. I went 1-4 to start and then I just quit turning in complete rosters.”
Nate Bukaty, admitting to one of the most heinous crimes a FF owner can commit, 810 AM
GH: My family and I sat adjacent to two fantasy football drafts in Minsky’s Saturday evening. I am happy to report Bukaty was not a member of either league. How he continues to be allowed to participate in his present league is stupefying. It gets worse. Read on.

“It got me the first-round draft pick this year.”
Nate Bukaty, on his strategy to tank his FF team after week five to corner the 2010 top draft pick, 810 AM
GH: And Kansas fans wonder why the rest of us question their football IQ.

“You don’t want to be THAT guy, Nate.”
Jake Gutierrez, producer of The Border Report on 810 AM
GH: THAT guy gets blackballed from all fantasy sports for life. THAT guy has to change his name and move out of state. What I found even more reprehensible about Bukaty’s lack of FF etiquette was his total ambivalence toward his crime. Maybe Nate needs to go work at NPR.

“You need a couple of guys in your locker room that if you leave your locker room, you need to lock up your locker. … You do have to have a little of that nastiness.”
Bill Maas, in The Kansas City Star’s Football 2010 special section
GH: I have not yet taken the time to fully digest The Star’s three-section gift to football fans but what I have perused has been damn entertaining. The artwork by Noah Musser alone is worth the price of the Sunday paper. BTW, no mention of Jason Whitlock’s vacation anywhere in the three sections.

“Kansas assistant football coach Reggie Mitchell was misidentified in a caption on page 18 of today’s football preview section, which was printed in advance.”
Corrections section of the Sunday Kansas City Star
GH: The identity of KU’s head football coach, Turner Gill, continues to confound The Star. For the second time since his hiring, The Star has identified another black football coach on Gill’s staff as being him. Everybody screws up – even The Star. But our newspaper needs to come clean. The way the correction is worded, it appears that The Star merely got Reggie Mitchell’s name wrong. Come on guys and gals. We all know you have Turnerettes down there at The Star. 

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

NICK WRIGHT GIVES HIS EXPLANATION ABOUT 'THE EXPLANATION'

Posted 8-26-10

“If you want to hear me bag on the other station or the other people at the other station, this segment is not a bad one to listen to. But then after that, you’re gonna have to follow me on Twitter because I won’t do it on the radio anymore because we don’t need to.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Earlier this week Wright went off on a couple of 810 employees for what he perceived as a cowardly two-faced attack from them on Twitter and beyond. Read on.

“Before we address the fair criticism of The Explanation, let me quickly address the unfair criticisms. Which were from absolutely cowardly, two-faced liars! Such as the producer for Soren Petro’s show, Doug Stewart. Such as a guy I thought I had a good relationship with in Jason Anderson. And that being the idea that we could have taken phone calls but we didn’t because no one was listening and we weren’t getting any phone calls. That is laughable.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Wright had the stones to name names and he did – a road few members of the media dare to tread. A day later, though, Wright had calmed considerably and withdrew most of his poison-tipped arrows. Read on.

“I’ll call it, I guess, a misunderstanding. Jason (Anderson) has always been a guy I thought was a good guy. I was very upset with him about some of the things he said last week. Let’s call it a misunderstanding. So, my apologies if I was a little harsh on him.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: A bit of advice for young Mr. Wright – no one in radio is your friend, ally or confidant – even the people on your team. It is an accepted part of the biz to smile, slap backs and scarf free food as brothers when competing members of the media gathers to work. It is also just as accepted for these same media backslappers to later unmercifully rip, critique, defame and molest the image of all those not in the same room. It kinda goes with the radio territory like Clinkscale driving a free Aura for a couple of months or Kietz’s lifetime supply of charcoal briquettes. Radio is a career marathon and tackling it with thin skin will have you limping, lunging and falling after the first 5K.

“As long as I didn’t show up naked or knock a camera over, which I almost did, and this is the arrogant part, you know what? I get an A-freaking-plus (for The Explanation). And the reason I get an A-freaking-plus has nothing to do with the questions I asked or didn’t ask. It’s because we got it on the air and it happened.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Raise the bar a bit, Nick. Were your teachers at Barstow and Syracuse that free with the A’s? How is getting Whitlock on the air worthy of an A+ when the guy went shopping The Explanation to multiple media outlets?

“Were there questions that I should have asked that I didn’t? Yes. Were there questions I wanted to ask that I didn’t? Yes. Why is that? Well, if you were listening live, you know what Jason said. If you weren’t I’m sure you can go to Deadspin.com and find out. But there was a moment in time where Jason said some things that were very inflammatory, could be potentially slanderous. And the powers that be decided we had to go to an unexpected commercial. After that happened I made the judgment call that leading Jason back down that road was potentially going to make the powers that be pull the plug again and that plug might not get plugged back in.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: A very reasonable explanation and one that many in the media would also have made under similar circumstances. But I was hoping that Wright was better than most of the media in this situation. I was hoping this “new gen” of sports talkers at 610 would be willing to push the envelope beyond safe and sane. I was looking for reckless and incendiary. So what if the suits pull the plug again. Can you imagine what Whit would have had to say to get that accomplished? Instead we got Kay Barnes and Whitlock’s version of the Grim Weaper.

“I was fully prepared to ask Jason about how much handcuffs he had on. And when he was down at The Masters and instead of writing about The Masters he called up and told his editor; ‘I ate too much fried food. I’m sick. I can’t write.’ We had all that locked and loaded. But it was in my opinion, and maybe I’m wrong, too risky of a play to make.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Now I am pissed that Wright backed off Big Sexy! We could have delved into the I-ate-too-much-Popeye’s excuse for missing the Masters – a fried chicken tradition unlike any mother’s.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24

 


MICHAEL COLEMAN AT CHANNEL 5 HAS BEEN A MISTAKE

Posted 8-26-10

“I’ve met Michael Coleman (Channel 5’s sports anchor and CTN’s sideline reporter). I like him very much. But they’ve got some work to do. I felt bad for the Chiefs, they had a bad performance. I felt worse for Channel 5.”
Kevin Kietzman, following the Chiefs’ opener in Atlanta, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman originally blasted TV 5 for hiring Coleman over Frank Boal. KK was very critical of Coleman because he was coming from New York and hadn’t worked in the KC area for decades. Now that KK’s met Coleman, he likes him “very much” but he wasn’t any less critical of Coleman and Channel 5’s broadcast after the Chiefs/Bucs game. And for good reason – Michael Coleman is quickly becoming TV 5’s Trezelle Jenkins. Read on.

“Like the song says, ‘I got a feeling tonight’s gonna be a good, good night.’”
Michael Coleman, in his sideline report prior to the Chiefs’ game in Tampa, CTN
GH: Coleman is like the guy at the office who thinks he’s really, really hip and all of his coworkers are urging him on to be even more hip – for their private entertainment. Has NBC cast the replacement for The Office’s Michael Scott? Coleman would fit in nicely with Dwight, Kevin, Creed and Angela.

“Confidence can go a long way.”
Michael Coleman, on the Chiefs’ decision to reinsert the veteran running back Thomas Jones despite his early fumble, CTN
GH: Coleman says almost nothing of significance or even relevance while reporting from the sideline. In Tampa, after the Chiefs’ defensive back Maurice Leggett suffered a neck injury and was carried from the field on a stretcher and both teams had knelt to pray for him, Coleman informed the TV audience that Leggett would not be returning to the preseason game. Thanks for that nugget, Michael.

“First of all, let’s understand late in the game, that those guys who were playing, they hope to provide depth on the roster. So those guys got a chance to show what they can do.”
Michael Coleman, CTN
GH: Where else can you get insight like this? Who knew that late in a preseason game you would find guys just hoping to make the roster? How about a Chiefs’ postgame show with Coleman, Kornacki and Neil Smith? Can you say ratings buster?

“High level sources in multiple conferences have told KCTV5 that Texas and Texas A&M are looking to move to the Big Ten Conference and are in talks to join the conference, while the University of Oklahoma is planning on petitioning the Southeastern Conference to become a member of its conference.”
KCTV5.com (June 10, 2010)
GH: This was KCTV 5’s revived sports department’s first attempt to be “edgy” and controversial. It simply came off as goofy and completely unbelievable. Not too different than my current opinion of Coleman’s work at the TV station.

“Back to the drawing board!”
Michael Coleman, a sound bite from one of Coleman’s TV 5 sportscasts that the 810 morning crew has turned into an almost daily doofus drop on The Border Patrol
GH: This call to return to the drawing board is excellent advice for the management crew at TV 5 that boldly reinstated their sports programming staff but fumbled the ball by hiring Michael Scott Coleman. The Chiefs’ preseason games have exposed Coleman – and not in the light that KCTV 5 had hoped.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

FORMER STAR SPORTS EDITOR RESPONDS TO WHITLOCK'S ATTACK

Posted 8-24-10

“Rick Vacek hated me. The guy hates me. They made me and him go to lunch every Friday at Chili’s. And for five straight Fridays, he sat across from me and told me no one read Jason Whitlock. Every Friday my boss is telling me no one reads me and I suck.”
Jason Whitlock, referring to his sports editor at The Star in the late ‘90s, The Explanation
GH: Rick Vacek was Whitlock’s third sports editor at The Star. I worked under Vacek as well in the late ‘90s but his time at The Star was short. I knew him for about a year before I left for my not-so-memorable time in radio. Vacek emailed me after listening to The Explanation online. He wanted to give his side of the story. Since Jason spent a great deal of time opining about the plight of ethics in journalism, I thought it best to allow Vacek’s voice here to add some balance. You should make the determination if it also adds a whiff of common sense. Read on for Vacek’s takes. 

“I’m probably out of my mind to respond to this nonsense, but then, I’ve been told I’m nuts more than a few times. I was incredulous (Friday) when I heard Jason’s accusation that, soon after arriving at The Star in 1998, I took him to lunch and told him his column ‘sucked’ and no one read it. (Frankly, I was equally incredulous that anyone even remembers my brief stay in K.C.) Maybe it was just Jason’s attempt at humor, because it sure isn’t an attempt at the truth. I had an infant daughter at home at the time, so sleep deprivation was part of life, but my memory of those days isn’t THAT foggy. First of all, I would never use such vulgar language with an employee. Anyone who’s ever known me knows that.”
Rick Vacek, former sports editor at The Kansas City Star
GH: I would hazard a guess that no one listening or watching The Explanation thought Whitlock’s attack on Vacek or any of his former editors was an attempt at humor.  

“And do you really think that the new guy in town would take the highly successful columnist to lunch and tell him he stunk and no one read him? Does that make any sense? To the contrary, I knew that one of the biggest challenges we had was getting Jason to write MORE when football wasn’t in season. He has a great voice. I love it when a columnist isn’t afraid to take an unpopular stand. I wanted Jason in the paper four days a week — or more.”
Rick Vacek, former sports editor at The Kansas City Star
GH: Anyone who has read Jason over the years can relate to the difficulty in finding his column once football season ends. Whitlock’s motor needs constant priming. When it’s football season or a hot topic is in the forefront, Whitlock can’t wait to add his voice to the rabble. But Vacek’s comment that he wanted JW to write more during the off-football season makes some sense.

 “I know now I was incredibly naive, but I really hoped that by going to lunch every week — something I’d done with other columnists I worked with — Jason and I could talk about sports or whatever he wanted to talk about and develop a working relationship whereby he would write more regularly. Mainly, I just wanted to hear his ideas. I was curious how he did his job. I wanted to get a better insight into his opinions. I certainly wasn’t going to tell him what to think.”
Rick Vacek, former sports editor at The Kansas City Star
GH: The problem may have been the venue. Whit is NOT a Chili’s kind of eater. He is a connoisseur of local dining the likes of which only Steve Bono may rival. If you are looking for Whitlock to open up, Vacek should have drug his big butt to Chubby’s in Midtown. This is the joint Whitlock chose to stop at and down a plate of pork chops while “running” the Kansas City Marathon a decade ago.

 “Sadly, the lunches ended soon after because we just weren’t getting anywhere. It was cordial — at least I thought so — but it wasn’t productive. But it never, ever was anything like what he describes. Again, I ask you: Why on earth would I have done that? What would that have accomplished?”
Rick Vacek, former sports editor at The Kansas City Star
GH: Whitlock is an odd dude. He is human and like all of us he has his good points and bad points. But he hears things and remembers events through a filter that is dialed way past paranoid. I understand well his “selective” and warped memory. The fact that Vacek’s account of these same lunches differs so extremely from Whitlock’s makes you wonder how accurate was the rest of JW’s retelling of his time at The Star.

 “I can’t explain why Jason’s memory of those lunches is so completely different. Maybe that’s what he wanted to hear, seeing that sports editors don’t seem to be his favorite people on Earth. But the funny thing is, we went to breakfast after his infamous ‘sign’ incident in New England later that year, and I thought we had a real good heart-to-heart talk. I thought maybe things would be better after that, but they never were. I’ll take my share of the blame for that. It reflects poorly on both people when you can’t find some common ground. But all I ask is that we get the facts right and not distort them to feed an agenda. ”
Rick Vacek, former sports editor at The Kansas City Star
GH: Consider your side of the story told, Rick. The OTC is here to lend voice to any other Star employees looking to weigh in on the record about what Jason had to say about his place of employment for the past 16 years.

 Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


DID 610 AND METRO SPORTS THINK WHITLOCK WAS GONNA PLAY NICE?

Posted 8-23-10

“I thought it was maybe a bit of a missed opportunity for Jason.”
Nick Wright, when asked his opinion of Whitlock’s ‘The Explanation,” TV 5
GH: Nick Wright appeared as a guest on Michael Coleman’s “Off the Bench” show Sunday evening, along with Randy Covitz, the long-time Kansas City Star sports writer. This duo may have been an even odder pairing than Sonny & Cher – and we know what that union gave us – Chaz Bono. Wright was dressed in a casual but cool Italia warm-up jacket while Covitz spent the 10-minute segment with a transfixed stare at something on the floor of the studio. Even when answering questions, Covitz continued to stare at the floor near Coleman’s chair. If this had been an episode of “Lie To Me,” Covitz would have been tased for refusing to make eye contact. Why did Wright think Whitlock dropped the ball during his Explanation? Read on.

“Everyone in the city was listening and watching (The Explanation). I thought he was going to try to make a bigger point about journalism and why newspapers are important to democracy, why he felt he couldn’t do it any longer at The Star. Instead, I think it devolved into; ‘Every boss I’ve had has screwed me. And this is why it’s not fair and this is why I’ve been mistreated. I’m working with handcuffs. And this rumor is out there and that rumor’s out there.’ ”
Nick Wright, TV 5
GH: What Wright missed is that the part of The Explanation that “devolved” was the part that was worth listening to and reporting on. It’s also the part of the interview that 610 Sports has declined to include in the podcast that they have uploaded on their website. What part of Whitlock does 610 and Metro Sports not get? This guy is a walking, talking narcissist neurotic who eventually burns everything he once embraced. They thought he was going to come in, sit down and play NICE?

“I think the average person listening or watching – and I’ll take responsibility for some of this as well – would say, ‘I hate my boss too, but I don’t have a reported $2 million waiting for me from FoxSports.com.”
Nick Wright, TV 5
GH: Whitlock doesn’t have $2 million waiting for him at FoxSports either. Or $1 million. Or a half million. I’m also pretty sure Whitlock has yet to even ink a fulltime contract with FoxSports. He’s basically a part-timer looking for work. We’ll see where he ends up and what he gets once all the debris he spewed last week collects on his resume.

“I’m not gonna pat myself on the back, partly because I have a broken shoulder, but I thought it was pretty darn good radio.”
Nick Wright, TV 5
GH: Everybody has their opinion of what makes good radio. I know my opinion differs from many of you. I think Wright could save the back pats in this case. His part of this interview was the lost opportunity that he feels Whitlock missed. Wright was way too soft on JW. Instead of adding to the flames, Wright was dousing them with questions about The Wire, rap music and that god-awful staged interview with Kay Waldo Barnes. Who is the radio genius that thought Kay Waldo was needed to bring the heat to this pity party?

“If his goal was to achieve something, to accomplish something and teach people things, I think that was missed. I think people are gonna take from it, ‘Did you hear what he said about such and such? Did you see him cry?’ I think that’s what people are gonna take from it with maybe a hint of why is this guy whining so much?”
Nick Wright, TV 5
GH: Who the hell is “such and such?” The names are Mike Fannin and Holly Lawton. I am very curious how much of a crackdown The Star has leveled at both 610 Sports and Metro Sports. The two media outlets may never again be allowed to utter the names of Fannin, Holly and Neck Boy ever again.

“This is nothing new for Jason but I think he let his ego maybe overshadow the bigger point.”
Nick Wright, TV 5
GH: And the No Shit Sherlock Award goes to……… Nick Wright! Somebody hand me a box of Kleenex.

“Jason brought a lot to Kansas City. He took advantage of a great opportunity. I don’t believe he had handcuffs on. Jason had free reign to write opinions. I wish him well. It’s time to move on. He’s not the first person to change jobs. I had o problem working with him at all.”
Randy Covitz, Kansas City Star writer, TV 5
GH: The only reason I can think TV 5 invited Randy Blandy to this interview is that he is Fannin’s mysterious but not-yet-revealed Neck Boy from the Caddyshack Bar in the River Market. They don’t call Covitz “Randy” for nuttin’.

“My one caveat in all this though is everybody’s talking about the future of newspapers. And yes, times are tough now but times are tough in all industries.”
Randy Covitz, Kansas City Star writer, TV 5
GH: As long as Covitz can still pull down a paycheck from the newspaper biz, they can’t be losing nearly as much money as reported. Maybe he was looking for quarters on the floor at TV 5?

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

WHITLOCK UNLOADS ON HIS FORMER BOSSES DURING 'THE EXPLANATION'

Posted 8-23-10

For the inside skinny on Jason Whitlock's comments during his show known as 'The Explanation' of his exit from the Kansas City Star, click the link below to Greg Hall's Off the Couch column at Hearne Christopher's site, kcconfidential.com:

http://www.kcconfidential.com/?p=19093#more-19093

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter/greghall24


BOAL CAUTIONS WHITLOCK ABOUT BURNING BRIDGES

Posted 8-20-10

“The reason he has always moved in the past is to get back at the place he was moving from. So will he try and get back at The Star? He will. I know this about Jason, if he can think of a way to get back at The Star – he will do it.”
Frank Boal, 810 AM
GH: With Whitlock’s much anticipated “The Explanation” scheduled for today at 3:00 PM (broadcast live on 610 Sports and Time Warner’s Metro Sports), expectations are that Jason will lay an ass-clown suit on his former employer of 16 years, The Kansas City Star. If he chooses this route, I believe he is making a rare PR mistake that will spiral his now precarious career.

“You can leave (a job), you just don’t have to dynamite the bridge behind you. You can leave, you can just leave in a different way! If I’m (Jason Whitlock), I’d kinda look behind and say, ‘Yo man, it just doesn’t work this way. The bridges aren’t all in front of me anymore. One of these days he’s gonna hit a roadblock and not go anywhere.’ There’s no one who is gonna help you. There is no one who is gonna be in your corner and be your friend or give you a job.”
Frank Boal, recounting the numbers of bridges Whitlock has torched in his wake, with the most recent about to be the Kansas City Star, 810 AM
GH: Boal is correct. Whitlock is now too old, too worn and has an act too much like too many others to continue to burn his nest yet again and then rise from its ashes. A note of caution here. In the past, every time I have watched Whitlock make a similar torching, he has been able to not only recover but rise even higher in his pursuit for fame and riches. Can he again? It will be fascinating to watch him try.

“Nobody noticed he wasn’t working (at The Star) for the longest time. We’ve been talking about Jason Whitlock for most of the hour and when we opened up the phones we got one phone call about Jason Whitlock.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman wants us to believe that Kansas City sports fans do not care about Whitlock or his feud with The Star. I don’t buy it. Say what you want, Whitlock draws eyeballs and ears. Maybe not like he once did, but still far more than any other sports media personality this town has ever known. I expect the listenership for 810 will take quite a dip today between 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM.

“I’m definitely going to ask him about The Wire, his favorite show and my favorite show.”
Nick Wright, discussing what questions to ask Whitlock during the Q/A portion of The Explanation, 610 AM
GH: If Wright wastes anytime talking about three-year-old TV series with JW, I hope Mr. Entercom himself canes Nick on the air while dragging him from the studio. Here is what we want to know from Whitlock;

  1. What is THE one reason you no longer work for The Star?
  2. Who and what are most at fault for you leaving The Star?
  3. Who at The Star is the biggest ass clown?
  4. What are the five worst decisions The Star has made the past two years?
  5. Give me your best day at The Star and your worst the past 16 years?
  6. Your best five former coworkers in KC and why?
  7. Your worst five former coworkers in KC and why?
  8. What do you do best? Why will someone pay you what you think you’re worth?
  9. What happens to you now? Do you stay in KC or do you go?
  10. How would you fix what ails the sports media in Kansas City?
  11. What are you doing in 2020?

“I was hurt when the other guys left. There’s no doubt about that.”
Frank Boal, confessing his unhappiness with former Crunch Time co-hosts, Bill Maas and Tim Grunhard, when they left 810 with Jason Whitlock for 610 in June of 2003, 810 AM
GH: This was a rare peek into Boal’s feelings about being jilted by his former Crunchtime teammates. I was surprised by Boal’s frankness and what I interpreted as genuine hurt feelings. Even dinosaurs cry in the crazy biz we call radio.

“My kids have never seen a paper in the house.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: No one (outside of Tony “I Even Hate Vanilla Ice Cream” Botello) takes more glee from predicting the ultimate demise of the newspaper industry than KK. This comment made me chuckle because it is pure KK – a ridiculous overstatement of the half truths/lies to drive home a point toward a hated enemy. Kietzman is such a putz.

“Newspapers may have given other media outlets a reason to root for them to have their troubles but in the long run, I hope whatever entity it is, I hope newspapers don’t go away. Because we need people digging around and asking questions.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Petro referenced the story in The Star last Sunday that exposed KU’s Lew Perkins’ extravagant travel expenditures. No electronic media outlet even comes close to providing the kind of home run story that J. Brady McCollough, Mike McGraw and Blair Kerkhoff delivered in this enlightening tale about the KU athletic director. May our home town newspaper live as long as my children’s children and beyond. KK’s kids can come over and visit me and my newspaper anytime. Just don’t bring the putz.

“Frank (Boal) will play a very big role in our coverage of the Chiefs and football overall.”
Jack Harry, on Boal joining the sports department at TV 41
GH: Huh? Why would TV 41 want to add the 63-year-old Boal alongside the 60-something Jack Harry? Are they trying to corner the Depends demo? Boal’s a friendly guy but he is about as edgy as a bowling ball. He’s a snore when it comes to offering opinion or insight. His M.O. is to chuckle and laugh instead of delivering wit, snark or bite. He’s no Mad Jack. He’s more of a Frank Stank.

“We were competitors in the eyes of management, I guess. But we’ve always been good friends and we would do anything for one another. Frank has certainly been one of my favorite guys but I’ve never been able to work as a teammate with him but now I’ll be able to do that.”
Jack Harry, 810 AM
GH: Harry and Boal worked for competing TV stations here in Kansas City for over 35 years. I have always hated how friendly these media talking heads are with each other. Show me another business where competitors who are trying to feed their families are golfing buddies or “good friends.” It is one of the reasons Kansas City had to put up with mediocre sports coverage before Whitlock came to town in 1994 and pissed on everybody who even smiled at him.

“If it were my call, I’d lead the (local TV newscasts) with sports. I’ve heard enough stories on the Kansas City School District and murders to last a lifetime.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: The Star conducted a survey of their readers back when they were preparing to move into their new glass boat of a building as to what sections of the newspaper people read most. Sports was said to be the fifth most popular section. The FYI/Entertainment section was listed as the third most popular. The ‘A’ section or front section of the paper was the most read. The local news/Metro was second. What was the least read section? The opinions and editorials.

“We were sitting there being appalled at the language that was being used at (Wednesday’s Chiefs’) practice.”
Bob Fescoe, after he and Josh Klinger heard Todd Haley and Charlie Weis verbally berate players in St. Joe, 610 AM
GH: Somebody get Bobbi some ear muffs.

“I get along with everybody in the media. There’s nobody I don’t like. Except for one guy. There’s just one guy. Fescoe.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: SSJ explained that he lost respect for Fescoe when he returned to town earlier this year and publicly trashed “guys who were his friends that he used to work with.” No names were mentioned but Fescoe worked at both 980 and 810 prior to leaving town for a radio sports talk job in St. Louis. If Fescoe is still at 610 after his contract expires in January, I will be very surprised.

“We got Alonzo who is five. I have Keris who is three. I have my Junia who is three. I have my daughter who just turned three as of yesterday. I have another son named Tyler, he turns three in December. Another daughter who was born October 16th, named London. Another daughter who was born named Lelani who is two years old. I have my newborn with my wife, her name is Jersey.”
Antonio Cromartie, Jets defensive back, naming his eight children, HBO’s Hard Knocks
GH: This was the most sobering, shocking and memorable scene from episode two of Hard Knocks. Cromartie sat and slowly but without pause, named his eight children by six or seven different women. With all those three year olds, 2006 must have been a very memorable year for Cro. How about mixing in a condom with all those hard knockers?

“I’m gonna assume (Cromartie’s) going to be a great father. I’m gonna assume you’re going to take care of the kids. But my goodness gracious!”
Nick Wright, on Cromartie’s eight children from various baby mommas, 610 AM
GH: I’m gonna assume just the opposite. Here is another Derrick Thomas who thinks with his knob instead of his dome. Fools like Cromartie and Thomas have no idea what the term “father” even means. Read on.

“According to a Huffington Post article just last year, Cromartie at age 25 had seven children by six different women in five states.  He was behind on child support by at least $25,000 at that point in time, and had failures to appear in court.  Not only that, but in the past years, Cromartie was named in at least five paternity suits.  So he could have more than eight children.”
Matt Clark, writer, sports.gather.com
GH: As Cromartie’s coach, Rex Ryan would say, what a fucking idiot.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter/greghall24


HALEY HOLDS CONTENTIOUS PRESS CONFERENCE

Posted 8-18-10

“It was the most entertaining press conference I’ve ever been a part of with Todd Haley. It was must listen radio and maybe must see TV if you’re able to see it later on. When he walked off the podium he was not a happy man at all.”
Jason Anderson, on Haley’s Tuesday press conference, 810 AM
GH: I listened to Haley’s Tuesday presser from start to finish once and caught repeat pieces two and three times via our two local sports talk radio stations. If I had not been told how contentious the presser got between Haley and the media, I would not have been able to tell from the audio. Unfortunately, I missed the replay on Metro Sports. [Side note: Both 810 and 610 are doing an excellent job of delivering their audiences timely Chiefs’ reports from camp and entertaining commentary. A tip of the helmet to all the work and time everyone at these two stations puts in to deliver quality radio coverage the likes we have never before received during training camp. Metro Sports also does network-quality work but it’s just not as accessible during my commutes.

“He went robot and just stood there. In both cases I think it was Todd Haley that was left to look unaware (that the depth chart was made public and the hotel situation with some players).”
Danny Clinkscale, on Haley’s catatonic state in attempting to answer some of the media’s questions Tuesday, 810 AM
GH: This comment made me laugh. Two guys I would love to see dancing the robot together are Haley and Clink.

“Adam Teicher was asking pertinent questions and he should have been backed up (by other members of the media).”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Teicher was his typical bulldog self in trying to get Haley to comment on why he made the choices he has made about the fourth quarterback. Haley refused to answer and according to reports stared at Teicher with his best how-dare-you-take-this-line-of-questioning-with-me glare. I wonder if Haley’s glare is anywhere as menacing as Frank “The Glare” Martin? Not a chance.

“Half the time I believe (Bob Gretz) is only there (at Chiefs’ pressers) to bail out the coach.”
Jason Anderson, 810 AM
GH: After the standoff with Teicher, Haley said, “Next question,” and reportedly directed this comment to Bob Gretz. Gretz then asked a layup that had nothing to do with the more contentious line of questioning that Teicher was pursuing about the back-up quarterbacks. Why, Bob? You once were a man who had some journalistic sack. Have you become so accustomed to being led by your ass-sniffing nose that you can no longer flex what’s left of your backbone? I had hoped King Carl’s passing would free Gretz from his chains of mediocrity. What is even sadder is that Haley and Pioli appear to embrace the same type of propaganda that haunted Carl’s reign.

“Looks like Explanation will air on 610 from 3 to 6... 810 unwilling to make 8 am to 11 am available. Nick Wright finally gets his interview.”
Jason Whitlock, Twitter
GH: Not sure what day Whitlock has picked for The Explanation but he needs to hurry. Every day that passes his story becomes less and less interesting. Hearne may even eventually tire of it.

“Kevin Harlan returns to The Program at 11. No Explanation from him. He really WAS on vacation for the summer.”
Doug Stewart of Soren Petro’s The Program on 810 AM

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


LOCAL MEDIA HOLDING WAKE FOR WHITLOCK

Posted 8-17-10

“Whitlock leaving The Star”
Headline in Tuesday’s KC Star
GH: The active tense of this headline makes it appear Whitlock is still at The Star and merely in the process of departing. I think that is just as misleading as the “Whitlock is on vacation” blurb the sports page has been promoting for the past two months. As Whitlock might say, “He gone.” Maybe he’s vacationing in “Codd-a-raddo.”

“I'm going to explain. I'm just letting the liars wrap up their false narratives first.”
Jason Whitlock, alerting the world via Twitter that he is not yet ready to divulge his side of the story, Twitter
GH: The Vacation (apparently) has ended. I’ll need to check the print edition of next Sunday’s Star to be completely certain – because we all know accuracy is held in high esteem on this story. All the tweets and burps coming from JW concerning “liars” and “false narratives” need to start with the baloney-filled storyline that his former employer has been publishing. The Star has been saying he was “on vacation” since late May.

“It feels like we’re having a media funeral.”
Shan Shariff, as he discussed with his listeners Tuesday the news that Jason Whitlock has officially left The Kansas City Star, 610 AM
GH: A good portion of Tuesday’s local morning sports talk radio dealt with the story in The Star that Whitlock was leaving, has left or is possibly shirtless and lost somewhere inside the deep suburban jungle known as Shawnee Mission Park. It was highly entertaining radio. Read on.

“The first day of spring training when (Whitlock) started working for The Star he said to me, ‘You’re going to have to help me with this. I know nothing about baseball. I know absolutely nothing about baseball.’ He went out to catch fly balls and he pulled a hamstring. That’s the last time I saw him with a glove on.”
George Brett, when asked by Fescoe his thoughts on Whitlock, 610 AM
GH: No one got more from less than Jason Whitlock. A deep knowledge of sports, coaching, strategy or even sports history was not Whitlock’s forte at The Star. What you would expect any newspaper’s sports columnist to know about a game, Jason often did not. But he was not a poor writer. Rumors that he was a hack whose copy needed heavy editing were completely false. For five years in the ‘90s, I read almost every Whitlock column prior to him submitting it to The Star. They were clean, bright and very often damn funny. Whitlock wrote from his belly, a prodigious tummy that spoke with a growl and a howl to those of us who read him.

“It's been a thrill working with @WhitlockJason. Won't be the same without him, I'm looking forward to continuing to read him.”
Sam Mellinger, Twitter
GH: Those who were thrilled to work with Whitlock never got to know the man well enough to be exposed to his child-like insecurities and paranoia. These foibles continue to haunt him at every employment start, vacation and stop. Jason is talented. Know that he believes in his talent with a confidence I have never known or been exposed to. But he lacks the maturity and composure to deal with humans. He simply lacks what every talented but eccentric person must have to be tolerable – humility.

“I did a morning show with Jason for what, four or five years? People ask me all the time, ‘Do you still talk to Whitlock?’ When I tell them no and that I have spoken to him only twice since our show ended eight years ago, they don’t believe me.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM

“It’s ironic that Whitlock criticized everybody for having a big ego and it looks like it was ego that took him down.”
Caller, 810 AM

“I never thought he was a writing craftsman, which is something I appreciated from other writers. I always got along with Jason quite well. I know he worked really hard at his columns. At any site, he would be over in the corner with his head in his hands grinding out his column.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: JoPo was the writing craftsman at The Star. It infuriated JW when early on The Star wanted to launch a billboard campaign that pictured JoPo with the caption INSIGHTFUL and Whitlock with the caption INCITEFUL. I don’t remember a media funeral on local radio when JoPo died at The Star.

“Jason Whitlock never liked me. Professionally, I respect him. I think the Kansas City Star will be less without him. … I don’t know if there was a more vocal critic of Jason Whitlock in the sports media than me. But there wasn’t another writer at The Star – until Sam Mellinger got his own column – that I read every word he wrote.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Whitlock has/had plenty of critics and plenty of fans. But a writer’s job is to be read – not by just other writers ala JoPo – but be read by Joe and Jane and Ishmael and Jamaal. In this pursuit, Whitlock wins big – bigger than any writer who ever darkened the doorstep at 18th & Grand.

“I’m sure there were blowups (with Whitlock and The Star). I’m sure there were lawyers involved. This is just a reflection of what’s going on all over the country. They cannot afford to have the employees that they’ve had before…and Jason Whitlock becomes a casualty. Was it him leaving? Was it a mutual agreement? I don’t know.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: KK should have started and ended with the “I don’t know,” comment. None of us know what happened between Whitlock and The Star. Many have speculated, some with more believable ardor than others, but none have delivered anything close to a believable quotable source. A story this good doesn’t need KK’s spin doctoring as to what he is “sure” of.

“Jason at some point will tell his story. Perhaps he’ll tell it at Sports Radio 810 but I can’t speak to that.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: If your head snapped back when you read that comment from KK, I’ll give you time to reset your eyeballs. Whitlock held a summit meeting Tuesday afternoon at a local Gates BBQ and laid out his LeBron-like plan for what he is calling “The Explanation.” He has made a list of demands to those media outlets who want to purchase the sole rights to his explanation for how he became the latest unemployed KC Star writer. I love this move by the big fella. This is the Jason Whitlock I knew – the one who could milk a good story and make a buck off of it.

“It’s unfortunate that I just renewed my subscription to The Star yesterday morning. Talk about timing.”
Caller, bemoaning the fact that the day after he renewed his subscription Whitlock leaves the paper, 810 AM

“So here's what will be the most-read story in the KC Star tomorrow: (link to Star story on Whitlock leaving).
Kent Babb, Chiefs beat writer for The Star, late Monday night on Twitter

“We contacted The Star’s sports editor and she told us there wasn’t going to be any additional information (about Whitlock’s departure). She said, ‘We’re not going to talk about it beyond what we put in the paper.’ That’s not surprising.”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM
GH: Ironic that the sports story of the month gets almost no coverage from the local newspaper that could use a hot story – especially when you consider The Star is the only source with all the facts.

“He used to be the first thing I read. The last couple of years, though, he didn’t seem to have the same passion for writing about the local sports in Kansas City that he used to. So (his column) stopped being something I cared too much about.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM

“Jason’s burned every bridge he’s gone to. It’s just kind of fun to see where he ends up now. I loved him and I hated him.”
Caller, 810 AM

“I think the first 10 years of his career here were extremely interesting and fascinating. He was as big a media star as we have ever seen in this town. Unfortunately, that (newspaper) craft has just gone by the wayside and it’s not particularly relevant anymore.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM

“People talking about dwindling newspaper influence: compare our readership (paper and online) to TV/radio reach on air/online. Not close.”
Sam Mellinger, one of the few remaining KC Star sports columnists, Twitter
GH: Maybe they meant dwindling newspaper employees.

“Is The Star better or worse today? It’s worse. It’s one less thing in there to read.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM

“I think Jason Whitlock (leaving The Star) is a loss to Kansas City. All I can say is that Jason Whitlock has been very rude to the people at this radio station. He hangs up on our producers when they try and get him to come on the show and he blocks us on Twitter. I just try to separate the two because I’ve always loved his work.”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM

“He kinda just changed sports reporting in Kansas City. He held people accountable. He created a beast that was Jason Whitlock. I think he was very valuable for the sports fan in Kansas City. He was our watchdog. He was our link to the national perspective of things.”
Bob Fescoe, 810 AM

“I don’t think it’s a big loss to the paper. Unless their subscription numbers drop. I don’t think it’s a big loss for the paper. … And I’m a big fan of Jason’s work.”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM
GH: The Star’s subscription numbers won’t drop because of Whitlock’s departure but it will hurt their media presence. He was a reason to read The Star online. That reason, along with JoPo, Hearne and Flanagan are now gone. That cannot be a good thing.

“I just want to say good riddance to Jason – the race-baiting rabble-rouser and mediocre writer.”
Caller, 810 AM

“I think Jason Whitlock was color blind because he told it like it was.”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM
GH: Whitlock was not a race-baiter. He wrote what he thought – which at times was some crazy-ass shit. There is a difference between baiting the hook and swimming in the pond.

“I think Jason’s career parallels Carl (Peterson’s) career. I think Carl did a lot for him. I just think he lost his cause. His ego got him blown out of ESPN. I enjoyed him but I did think the last year or two since Carl is gone, I didn’t understand the points of his articles.”
Caller, 810 AM
GH: I believe Whitlock got lazy the past six or seven years with his Star work. He got too impressed with famous people knowing his name and it made his work sloppy. He was still capable of a great column on occasion but they have become far too rare inside the Sports Daily. May the big man rest in peace.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

NOTES, QUOTES FROM CHIEFS VS. FALCONS

Posted 8-16-10

“Has this been a positive offseason or what? Maybe one of the best, most positive off-seasons in the history of the franchise!”
Mitch Holthus, prior to the kickoff of the Chiefs’ first preseason game in Atlanta, Chiefs Radio Network
GH: And then the game started.

“Well, honestly. This is about what we all should have expected, right?”
Sam Mellinger, in his Saturday column following the Chiefs’ 20-10 loss in Atlanta, Kansas City Star
GH: Mellinger is probably correct but it still felt like the Chiefs’ run defense let the air out of my overinflated red and gold balloons. When it comes to Kansas City’s pro sports teams, reality sucks more than Bill and Sookie.

“Kansas City has elected to defer their choice to the second half.”
Referee, after the Chiefs won the coin toss, Chiefs Radio Network
GH: WTF? Why would an NFL team defer their choice to the second half of a preseason game? It’s not a huge deal but it speaks to sloppy decision making on Haley’s part. It makes no sense to worry about the third teamers getting the ball on offense to start the third quarter.

“This is the thing they’ve got to solve. They’ve got to solve the problem of the other team being able to run the ball against their defense. I’m looking at some tackling that is not very good.”
Len Dawson, as the Falcons ripped off 44 yards in rushing during their opening drive, Chiefs Radio Network
GH: Sure glad Haley sent the defense out for the opening series. BTW, I noticed Lenny is calling the Chiefs ‘them’ and ‘they.’ Has it been that many years, Leonard?

“A couple of those early runs it didn’t look like we were blocking anybody. But then it looked like we came back and blocked some people.”
Todd Haley, TV 41
GH: Maybe. But what I saw is the same thing I saw last season when Larry Johnson looked like he was running into the backs of his offensive line. All that changed once Jamaal Charles got some playing time with the 2009 line. Same thing Friday night in Atlanta. Battering ram Thomas Jones was ineffective and the line looked inept. Insert Chaz and poof, instant holes and running game. Charles is one of the top five running backs in the league. Someone needs to tell the Chiefs.

“A veteran play! McCluster acts like a pro and gets out of bounds!”
Mitch Holthus, with 28 seconds in the first half, Chiefs Radio Network
GH: What running back with three brain cells doesn’t get OB with 28 seconds in the half? I’m all excited about McCluster and his talents as well but Holthus and almost everyone else in the media is guilty of a Dexasm every time this guy doesn’t fall down.

“Maybe they want to give (Dexter) a lot of touches to see if he’s a guy that will drop balls. He dropped two tonight. I’m not saying it’s a problem, I’m just saying it could be something the coaches are trying to find out.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: How can the Chiefs go an entire preseason game without Dwayne Bowe getting even a touch? Catching the football was Bowe’s problem last season. How about we work on that somewhere besides St. Joe?

“And that’s the Pizza Hut Delivery of the Game!”
Mike Kelly, as the replay of an insignificant flare pass from Brodie Croyle played toward the end of the broadcast, Chiefs Television Network
GH: This was a 8-yard flip pass by Croyle out of the backfield to somebody by the name of Keystan Moore. This was more like the Totino’s Delivery of the Game.

“Jamaal Charles has great vision!”
Michael Coleman, sideline reporter, after a nifty run from scrimmage by the Chiefs’ running back, Chiefs Television Network
GH: Can the Chiefs get the Turk to cut Coleman in the first mandatory roster reduction? Coleman always looks and sounds like he just got caught stealing Neal Jones’ lunch out of the office fridge. He starts and stops sentences in a nervous, mumbling, staccato style that almost has me longing for William Action Jackson.  Coleman had two cut-ins in the first half and I believe no more than two or three in the second. Whatever the number was, it was too much Michael Mumbles for me.

“Brodie does a good job of stepping up in the pocket.”
Trent Green, TV analyst, as he analyzed the replay of Croyle’s interception, Chiefs Television Network
GH: I laughed out loud when Green praised Croyle’s footwork on his interception. Maybe the CTN should change Green’s title from analyst to advertising exec.

“I think Trent has a lot of things to say but if Trent’s going to do the network games, he’s going to have to learn not to start every sentence with; ‘I like that. I like that. I like that.’ It was almost like he had to start a sentence like somebody who has a stutter. But beside that he was providing really good information.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: I must have missed all the “really good information” that Green was providing. Maybe Clink meant the 74 mentions Green made of St. Joe, MO and how everyone needed to get their family up to the Chiefs’ camp.

“What the fuck?”
Todd Haley, 14:23 mark of the third quarter and just a play before Brodie Croyle tossed an interception, Chiefs Television Network
GH: Despite this impersonation of Rex Ryan, Haley appeared to be on his best behavior for the preseason opener. The Chiefs’ head man was bathed and razor-clean shaven and shiny like a new Beemer. His eyebrows were plucked and his nose hairs mowed tight. Instead of an out-of-work golfer, Haley actually looked like an NFL coach. Maybe he has more time for personal grooming with an evening game than the typical noon start.

“I think a lot of Kansas City fans see a different demeanor from (Haley). Everybody remembers last season. He was high pressure, high stress and he was very volatile along the sideline.”
Trent Green, Chiefs Television Network
GH: Green stated that Haley’s comfort level with his coaching staff this season would allow him to coach with a “much different style this year.” Let’s take a rain check on that one and check back when the bullets flying about are real.

“Nerd alert for anybody who is planning to watch more than the first half of any NFL preseason game.”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM
GH: Shariff just doesn’t understand he is no longer talking to Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens fans. While the snooty east coaster may consider following your team’s NFL preseason game for four quarters as something only George McFly could enjoy, Chiefs fans are a different breed of nerd. Instead of riveting Capitol Hill filibusters and various pork and porkings to discuss, we here in fly-over country dig football. Even lousy, no-count fake-game football. Shan, you need to breathe deep into the polyester of your new hometown, dude. Get yourself a 1982 cherry-red Camaro (T-top optional), a pair of Chiefs-issued Zubaz pants, a red/gold do-rag, a case of natty lites and a portable BBQ grill that fits nicely under the trunk of that Camaro. Once you’ve done Arrowhead, everywhere else is dead.

GAME NOTES:

  • Trent Green and Mike Kelly debuted as the Chiefs Television Network’s new preseason broadcast crew. That opening camera shot of the two in the booth made me think of Starlight’s current show, Beauty and the Beast.
  • The reported attendance in Atlanta was 65,726. Maybe if they counted everybody three times.
  • Kendall Gammon cut in often on the Chiefs’ radio broadcast. Maybe KG is improved or maybe I was just comparing his work to Michael Mumbles – but the former deep snapper’s sideline work was decent.
  • The Chiefs’ radio broadcast was synced almost perfectly to the Time Warner HD broadcast I watched at home. Bravo to 101 The Fox. If you want to mute the Chiefs TV crew, you can tune in Mitch and Lenny without the annoying time warp.
  • How much do you think Kansas Speedway paid for those subliminal blink messages that popped up on the TV broadcast? Those suckers were up and down quicker than Rick Pitino.
  • Speaking of advertisements, can we please get that red zone ad a little bigger and more invasive? Geez! When they slapped that annoying overlay on the screen with its multiple ads, text and graphics, it had better coverage than the Chiefs’ dime package.
  • The NFL needs a rule that prohibits hair from being so long that it covers the name on the back of the jersey. This is coming from a balding guy who may or may not have a problem with guys who can grow hair like I can grow nut grass.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter/greghall24

 


CHIEFS GIVE IN, ALLOW ACCESS TO ASSISTANTS

Posted 8-10-10

“I think this is big news. This football team is having a problem selling tickets. There needs to be conversations about the Kansas City Chiefs to get back to the days of the ‘90s. I’ll give them all the credit in the world to Scott Pioli and Todd Haley for listening to our concerns. That is giant! I think that is huge for the fans of the Kansas City Chiefs. Forget about the media – we are simply the conduit for the fans to the team.”
Soren Petro, on the Chiefs increasing opportunities for the media to talk to the assistant coaches and players, 810 AM
GH: Petro verbally attacked the Chiefs’ organization last week for making their assistant coaches off limits. Despite WHB’s radio deal with the Chiefs, Petro has said what he thinks. It appears the Chiefs were listening. They made Charlie Weis, Romeo Crennel and Mo Carthon available to the media for extended interviews on Monday. Kudos to Petro for pushing the issue and making it public. And kudos to the Chiefs for reacting in a non-Carl Peterson way by fixing the problem instead of exacerbating the issue.

“I think it’s a smart move to keep those two (Todd Haley and Charley Weis) separated.”
Nate Bukaty, on the decision to put the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator in the booth during games, 810 AM
GH: Weis attempted to downplay the potential personality clash he and Haley might experience this season. Weis assured us he and Haley have discussed this and everyone is cool. Let’s revisit this in the heat of November.

“The first thing I want to do is help fix the quarterback.”
Charlie Weis, TV 41
GH: How would you like to have an $63-million employee who needs to be “fixed?” What is this, Lehman Brothers?

“It ain’t like I ain’t done it before. It’s just like riding a bicycle.”
Brian Waters, after his first practice session with the Chiefs 11 days into camp, Metro Sports
GH: Waters can ride a bike, especially the stationery kind. But the Chiefs (and Waters) are kidding themselves if they think the 33-year-old guard is still playing at a Pro-Bowl level. I think his play this year could be very telling about the success of the Chiefs run game.

“I know (Waters) has been chomping at the bit to get back.”
Todd Haley, Metro Sports
GH: Many will guffaw at Haley’s statement but I saw a different Waters at camp while I was there. He looked embarrassed to be on the sideline and not in pads. I think he wants to play this season more than last. The question is, can he still play?

“Why is this football team out here (in this heat)? It doesn’t make sense! Todd Haley doesn’t like to go inside. You’ve got a beautiful facility in there!”
Jack Harry, reporting from the Chiefs’ 6:00 PM practice Monday, TV 41
GH: I gotta agree 100 degrees with Mad Jack on this one. Why build a beautiful, climate-controlled indoor facility if you’re not going to use it on afternoons where the heat index is topping 110? Macho is just another word for stupid when it comes to some Neanderthal football coaches.

“These numbers that the sun is putting up are ridiculous.”
Eric Martin, Nebraska linebacker, during smoldering two-a-days in Lincoln, via Twitter from OWH’s Rich Kaipust

“We have a chip on our shoulder. Everybody’s been telling me we didn’t get a single first place vote in the North Division. That motivates us. We’re just waiting to prove people wrong this season.”
Blaine Gabbert, Mizzou’s quarterback, FoxSports Midwest
GH: Gabbert strikes me as an incredibly nice guy. His tweets are almost sweet. He even thanks his trainers for the “great tape job.” I think the Mizzou QB 1 is about to have one heckuva junior season.

“A healthy Blaine Gabbert is going to make a big difference in this Mizzou offense.”
Paul Coffman, Big 12 analyst for FoxSports Midwest
GH: Coffman, the ex-Packer who has sons at Mizzou and K-State, served along with Ron Freeman, Josh’s dad, as the expert analysts for FSMidwest’s preview of Mizzou. Freeman was comfortable on camera but Coffman looked at times like he might swallow his tongue…all while saying very little.

“If they’re going to challenge Nebraska for the Big 12 North championship, they’re going to have to stop the run.”
Paul Coffman, FoxSports Midwest
GH: Believe it or not, Coffman was checking his notes for these nuggets. Just when I was ready to write off Coffman as another ex-jock who has no business in front of a microphone, he laid out a stunner. Read on.

“It’s tough to say (where Mizzou will finish) because I’m going to lose a lot of friends, but I could see (Mizzou) finishing third, possibly fourth, in the Big 12 North.”
Paul Coffman, FoxSports Midwest
GH: Whoa! This one surprised me. I have Mizzou finishing third behind Nebraska and Colorado, but for Coffman to rain on the Tigers’ preseason parade should be somewhat sobering to Mizzou fans – especially on FoxSports Big 12 show which is little more than an advertisement for each school. I have a feeling Coffman doesn’t like what he sees on Mizzou’s defensive side of the ball.

“I could see a 9-3 Missouri team possibly winning the North.”
Ron Freeman, FoxSports Midwest
GH: Freeman understands what the FoxSports’ show is all about – say something positive about the school you’re reviewing even if you don’t believe it.

“I think it’s good as tough as it is anymore to get nonconference games, now playing nine conference games. I think it’s great and I think it’s good.
Bob Stoops, head coach at Oklahoma, on all Big 12 teams playing nine conference games after 2010, FoxSports Midwest
GH: Interesting how the teams in the South embrace the new nine-game conference schedule while the teams in the North are simply swallowing hard and taking it.

“This seems to be a trend that’s going around with professional athletes, they send out pictures of their ‘member.’ There have been several.”
Steven St. John, on the story that DeadSpin.com broke that Brett Favre sent an attractive Jets’ sideline reporter an action photo of him dressed only in Crocs, 810 AM
GH: Favre’s attorneys are said to be taking legal action against DeadSpin and the Jets’ sideline reporter is none too happy that DeadSpin broke this story. Interesting choice of footwear for Favre when you consider that a misplaced letter or two could reveal even more about the alleged photo.

“There are a lot of distractions up there (in the home stands). I’m sure some of our guys have girlfriends and they could be waving at them up there. When I told (the Raytown coach) we were gonna use the visitors’ bench he said, ‘That’s awesome! I won’t have to listen to my parents.’ ”
Fred Bouchard, Staley High School head football coach, on why he has chosen to house his football team in front of the visitors’ bleachers at Staley’s home games, in an interview on Three Guys in a Garage on 1510 AM
GH: Bouchard revealed that the MSHHAA recently ruled that state high schools will be forced to use the home-side football bench. Good news for those coach-heckling parents out there.
____
GH: I plan to take a few days of vacation this week. See you back off the couch next week.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


MAKE OR BREAK YEAR FOR MATT CASSEL?

Posted 8-4-10

“Where I’m setting the bar for Matt Cassel is 24 (TDs) and 12 (INTs). He’s got Charlie Weis working for him. No excuses. … This is the make or break year for Matt Cassel or we’ll know for sure that we have to go find a franchise quarterback.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Year two for Cassel with the Chiefs brings expectations that fit his penthouse salary. But are these expectations fair considering his team’s talent level? There isn’t anything “fair” about football – especially football played by those who wear the NFL shield.

“How about that ‘ringing endorsement’ (about Matt Cassel) from Todd Haley? Can you imagine if somebody asked you about your wife and the best thing you could say is that she’s a hard worker?”
Bill Maas, 610 AM
GH: If you stick it out in a marriage past the hot-box days, being tethered to what would be described as a ‘hard-working woman’ ain’t all that bad of a deal. Now, if the box still puts off a little heat occasionally, that ain’t all bad either.

“Am I the only one that thinks quarterback is the strength of this football team? I mean the position of quarterback.”
Soren Petro, lauding the abilities of Cassel and Brodie Croyle, 810 AM
GH: I think Cassel is worth betting on. I wish he was sturdier, though. Seeing him at Chiefs’ camp makes me think he will need copious amounts of protection. Croyle is a bust in my book. Nice kid, great arm but he doesn’t get the mental aspects of the position and we don’t have time for him to evolve. He’s a career backup who may show signs of occasional brilliance followed by critical lapses of judgment.

“I can see (Croyle) being Trent Green – a guy who gets his start later in his career.”
Soren Petro, lauding
“Heat’s heat, man. I’m from the South so it don’t bother me.”
Brodie Croyle, when asked to compare the weather in St. Joe to River Falls, 810 AM
GH: I heard from some of those who were at Tuesday’s afternoon practice in St. Joe and words is that it was all-world warm and sticky. Steven St. John said The Star’s Sam Mellinger (who SSJ proclaimed to be a prodigious sweater) looked like he’d stuck his head into a bucket of water. It’s not going to get any better. TV 41’s Gary Lezak says the temps for next week will be in the triple digits. River Falls’ forecast for next week calls for highs in the mid 80s with lows in the 60s.

“I predict Dexter McCluster will be a fan favorite by the first of October.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: KK’s prediction may have already come true. Read on.

“The fan favorite (at camp) is Dexter McCluster. It’s not even close. This guy has another level of speed. This guy has another level of quickness.”
Shan Shariff, on the Chiefs’ diminutive second-round draft pick, 610 AM

“Everybody’s sort of worried about (Dexter McCluster) because of his size. He’s probably 5’8 or 5’7 and 170 pounds.”
Frank Boal, 810 AM
GH: Small, quick guys often dominate when the drills don’t include contact. It really pisses the big, sweaty guys off whose job it is to chase them. I am as excited about Dexter as the next guy but how well he can survive when the blows are live is how his value to the team will be tested.

“I don’t feel that I’m going to wear down. That’s me personally being a ball player. I’m gonna do my best – play hard, play fast and stay injury free.”
Dexter McCluster, when asked if his size will be a detriment to staying healthy, 810 AM

“He has blown out two pairs of shoes since he’s been here (in camp). He cuts so hard that the stitching between the shoe and the sole just blows out.”
Frank Boal, on the quick-cutting Dexter, 810 AM
GH: I, on the other hand, blew out a pair of cargo shorts last week just sitting down. I blamed it on the damn Chinese-labor unions.

“We didn’t like (Chiefs’ Family Fun Day) because it was hot. It’s great for the fans but as a player it wasn’t one of our favorite practices.”
Tim Grunhard, former Chiefs’ center, on the annual Chiefs’ camp ritual, 810 AM
GH: Keep Grunhard’s thoughts in mind as you hustle for autographs amongst the sweaty giants at Missouri Western.

“I think Dwayne Bowe is going to dominate the conversations from training camp and I couldn’t disagree more. You’re supposed to be in shape! You’re supposed to work hard at practice! The fact that he catches balls at training camp, I could care less. He has to catch footballs in games!”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Dwayne Bowe having a good camp is very good news. Sure, he needs to produce on Sundays but I am very encouraged by what I have seen and heard. Let’s hope he can rise above the nickname given to him by an NFL source (quoted again in Sam Mellinger’s column in The Star today), “the single biggest dumbass in the NFL.”

“I don’t want to rip on Detroit, but Kansas City is a way better city if you ask me.”
Kent Babb, on Detroit having hosted the Super Bowl and Kansas City’s desire to be a future host, 610 AM
GH: Detroit has spent a few dollars over the years with the NFL selling cars on their broadcasts. I don’t think Sprint has the same cache as the big three. As it is with everything, it’s about the money – and KC just doesn’t have it.

“It won’t be easy (getting a Super Bowl in KC) but I don’t think this is something that is insurmountable.”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM
GH: I do.

“Todd Haley was wearing a shirt today that said ‘Chiefs Will’ on the back. It's his saying today. But let's have some fun. Chiefs will what?”
Kent Babb, Twitter
GH: …and last testament. …Shields, come back! …work for Zarda’s. …need 7 wins to save my ass.

“Anytime somebody says it’s not about the money, it’s about one thing – the money. I can’t believe how badly the Vikings just got worked by some old guy on a tractor.”
Jim Rome, on Bret Favre saying his decision to play or not play is “unequivocally not about the money,” Jim Rome Show

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24

 


THE EGO OF CHARLIE WEIS, THE FRIENDS OF NICK WRIGHT

Posted 8-3-10

“I’ve never been in presence of someone whose arrogance hit me as hard as Charlie Weis. Charlie Weis is arrogant beyond belief! And because of Charlie Weis’ arrogance, I don’t see this relationship with Todd Haley working out. These guys are not opposites. These guys are alpha males. … Don’t think for one second that Charlie Weis thinks he and Todd Haley are on the same level. If you don’t think that Charlie Weis’ ego is one of the main subplots (of the Chiefs’ season) you are being naïve.”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM
GH: Weis is the early story in Chiefs’; camp. His bombastic demeanor at practice is hard to miss, even from the stands. Kent Babb’s blurb in Tuesday’s Star where he has Weis answering Haley with a, “Yes, Todd,” after the head coach asked if he had practiced his offense made for some added juice to the building drama. Will it be an issue? One thing is certain, if it does become a problem it will be difficult to hide.

“I think it’s great that (Todd Haley) is comfortable in his own skin to be an equal-opportunity screamer and that he feels comfortable screaming at Charlie Weis.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: To categorize the exchange described by Babb as “screaming at Charlie Weis” is more than a little exaggeration of the facts. While KK’s take is an interesting slant, it doesn’t really reflect what occurred. Haley may be saving that screaming match with Charlie for the sideline on game day.

“Charlie Weis is driving around practice on his rascal. He only gets out of his cart when he wants to F-bomb somebody. Part of his job has to be showing (the offensive players) things. Can he be a fully effective coach from a motor scooter?”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Weis in or out of a scooter makes a very nonathletic picture. He’s certainly no Al Saunders, the former Chiefs’ OC, who could be seen sprinting around the practice field with his receivers. BTW; why doesn’t Weis just stay in the rascal to deliver his F-bombs?

“Those things could be a challenge, Nick, but it’s hard to tell.”
Bill Maas, responding to Wright’s query about Weis’ effectiveness while being cart-bound, 610 AM
GH: The Chiefs aren’t the only ones working on their game face here in the heat of August. Maas has been strangely subdued and noncommittal in his first few appearances on Wright’s afternoon show. Wright got excited about Maas telling him there is a perception that the Chiefs’ Tyson Jackson is lazy. Wright may have been one of the few Chiefs fans who was unaware of this non nugget. It’s still early in the preseason so I am hoping Billy Bob shakes off his off-season rust and returns to his typical A-form as a Chiefs’ analyst. Lord knows we have enough Jayice Pearson clones on the local airwaves feeding us pabulum.

“We have signed Adam Teicher and Kent Babb to exclusive contracts with 610 Sports. They will be reporting from Chiefs’ practice throughout camp. Bill Maas will also be exclusively analyzing the Chiefs for 610 Sports. He will be our most visible analyst.”
Ryan Maguire, KCC
GH: McGuire hinted that other “well-known” Chiefs’ analysts may be joining the 610 Sports team as the regular season draws closer. Is Sam Mellinger still available from the Star’s free agent pool?

“Tyson Jackson is getting blown off the ball.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Wright has been a Jackson fan since the second-year defensive lineman signed with the Chiefs last season. For Wright to take a shot at one of his own, shows that maybe 610’s afternoon host is losing some of his Chiefs’ fan boy image. Read on for Wright’s take.

“I’d say I’m friends with Tyson, yes. No one is talking about Tyson Jackson this season more than me and no one has been more critical of him. Unlike other members of the media, there are players on this team that I consider friends. But they (the Chiefs’ players) understand I have a job to do. I don’t think there has ever been a time when those relationships clouded my judgment.”
Nick Wright, to a caller who asked Wright if he was friends with the Chiefs’ Jackson, 610 AM
GH: Nick has never seen his personal relationships with the Chiefs’ players as an issue but it is. There is a reason none of the other members of the local media consider the Chiefs’ players as their friends – it’s a bad idea. There will come a day when Wright realizes this as well – and that day for Wright will be akin to finding out Santa isn’t really living at the North Pole.

“Some of the Chiefs’ insiders on the other station said Derrick Johnson has asthma? It was said on the program that is on the other station right now! People believed it. Hell, I believed it! Why would you make up that a player has a breathing issue?”
Nick Wright, 610 AM

“No, I don’t have any problems.”
Derrick Johnson, when asked if he has asthma, 610 AM
GH: I doubt the 810 source “made up” the asthma report. More likely it was just bad info that unfortunately was aired. It happens sometimes in sports talk radio.

“Glenn Dorsey looks very good. Glenn Dorsey looks the best of anybody on that defensive line. He’s been doing very well on the one-on-one drills.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Is the third year the charm for the LSU D-lineman? He would be a welcome asset to a defense that sorely needs to improve.

“The Program live at Chiefs training camp. The Program broadcasting live just behind the south end zone at Chiefs Training Camp in St. Joseph.”
Soren Petro, Twitter
GH: The main difference I have noticed between 810’s coverage of camp and 610’s coverage is the proximity of the on-air hosts to the action. 810 is at camp watching practice while 610 is forbidden to broadcast from the Missouri West practice fields due to 810’s contractual agreement with the Chiefs. Read on.

“Only The Program gets to practice 4 hours early to make sure everything goes ‘smoothly.’ ”
Soren Petro, shortly after WHB’s signal died in mid-sentence while broadcasting live from Chiefs’ camp, Twitter
GH: A few technical glitches on 810’s remote broadcasts are starting to creep into their coverage. Frank Boal experienced some problems and then Petro on Tuesday. Few things are more frustrating in radio than the inability to stay on the air. If these gremlins are not smote by the time Kietzman gets to camp, look for his BTL show to move indoors very quickly.

“It’s not hampering our coverage at all. This is as labor intensive as anything this station has ever done. We’re working these guys’ asses off!”
Ryan Maguire, 610 Sports program director, when asked if his show hosts having to broadcast from a St. Joe sports bar instead of from the Chiefs’ camp was an issue, KCC
GH: Maguire states that 610 Sports personnel are at every practice to text or communicate with the on-air hosts. To me, that just doesn’t compare to having your host onsite.

“Jack Harry introduced himself to me and I asked him why he didn't ask Haley if he's still a ‘wuss.’ Harry was not amused, Chiefs staff was.”
Nick Wright, Twitter
GH: Wright retold this story on his Tuesday show. In my opinion, it made Wright sound like a dick. Whether Wright respects Harry or not, why embarrass the guy in front of his peers and the Chiefs’ staff? Sounds like Nick may have more than a little Charlie Weis in him.

“If you’re a Time Warner subscriber, here’s something you need to know. ESPN’s agreements with Time Warner will expire September 2nd. They may stop carrying your favorite ESPN network.”
Radio Ad for satellite television
GH: After hearing this radio ad for the past few weeks (and being a very good TW customer), I dialed up our local rep to find out if this was simply scare tactics advertising or something to concern us sports-crazed cable dudes and dudettes. Read on.

“I really can’t answer that right now.”
Ann Shrewsbury, VP of communications for Kansas City and Nebraska, when asked what is the possibility of Time Warner subscribers losing their access to ESPN channels after September 2nd,  KCC
GH: When I offered Ann another opportunity to clarify her statement or calm my football-shaped heart, she declined to elaborate. Instead she gave me the corporate stance that TW would continue to attempt to “educate our customers” about the process of negotiations with programming content providers like ESPN and the NFL Network. TW has created a website, www.rolloverorgettough.com , to assist in our educational process. You don’t think that website name is a bit biased, do you? I vote for rolling over and I’m talking two-a-days log-roll fast!

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

THE TRAINING CAMP EXPERIENCE AT ST. JOE

Posted 8-2-10

I loaded up the family and headed to St. Joseph, MO Sunday afternoon to experience the Chiefs’ training camp at Missouri Western up close and in person. Here are my notes.

The drive: I have heard all kinds of unrealistic drive times from Kansas City quoted on local sports talk radio. Kevin Kietzman pegged the distance to camp as “twenty minutes from the Northland.” Jack Harry had it at a “15-minute drive.” It is close but unless you’re driving with Carl Edwards behind the wheel, figure on 45-minutes from Zona Rosa to the practice field and a good hour from College and Metcalf in OP. I left the Shoal Creek area at 12:30 PM, put the cruise on 73 and it was 50 minutes before I was walking through the Chiefs’ security at the practice field entrance.

Parking: The campus is very well equipped with signage for the visiting Chiefs fans. You have two options for parking; free and $10. The first few parking lots you come to will be free. As you get closer to the field, the price jumps from gratis to $10. There were probably 3,000 to 4,000 people at Sunday’s afternoon practice and I counted less than a dozen cars in the $10 lots. Of those half of them were owned by the people there to charge for the parking. If you bring someone who has difficulty walking, rethink bringing that person. Chiefs camp is a rugged experience even for the spectators. Oh yeah, wear shoes. I followed a young couple out of practice and watched the barefoot blonde cry real tears as she hotfooted it across the 300 yard-long parking lot to the first sign of grass. These people may have been from Arkansas.

What to bring: Food, drinks, coolers, professional camera gear and bad behavior are all listed as no-nos on the placards that line the long walk from the parking lot to the practice field. You will want to carry as little as possible when you leave your car. The walk is a good ten minutes and the stairs going in are easy but a bitch as you climb out at the end of the day. Leave the folding chairs but bring an umbrella for shade. There are plenty of bleacher seats. I got away with toting my Canon 50D and telephoto lens but it’s not worth risking having to make that long walk back to the car. Bring a small camera and you’ll have no problem.

About that Chiefs’ security: I have never been asked to leave a press area because of my lack of media credentials as nicely as I was Sunday at Mo West. “Sir, do you have credentials to be in this area?” asked the respectful young man. “No, I do not,” I respectfully answered as I removed myself from the small photo area along the sideline. “I’m sorry,” he answered…and he sounded like he was genuinely sorry! Everyone, from the greeters at the gate to the concession staff to the Mo West students are Disney friendly and happy to see you. This group has been well schooled. Everyone of them could work for Quik Trip.

The tourist trap: The only way in and out of the camp is through the well-stocked Chiefs’ souvenir tent. You have to make two passes through this gauntlet and only the strongest of pocketbook heart will be able to resist the $20 tee-shirts or $8 sun screen. The tent was jammed the two times I passed through. Many more lookers than buyers but I have a feeling Clark Hunt will sell a number of Dexter’s #22 and Eric Berry’s #29 jerseys over the next three weeks.

Concessions: You need to purchase tickets to buy food, drink and beer. I guess the HyVee tents that are set up with pizza, BBQ, nachos, etc. don’t trust the people manning these booths to handle cash transactions. It’s a hassle. The longest line along concessions row is to purchase the $1 food/bev tix. $2 for a bottled water or mini cup of soda, $3 for Gatorade and $4 for a beer. When the young girl behind the ticket booth asked the guy next to me a second time how many beer coupons he wanted to purchase he said in a bit louder whisper, “$30.”

Oo-oo that smell!: The food tents are behind the Griffons’ stadium visitor bleachers and adjacent to an area that was recently graded, seeded and sodded. Do you know that peculiar smell that freshly graded earth sometimes emits? The one that smells like a humid combo of bad cheese and burrito farts? Well, that stench is circulating about the food tents. Some will say that all of St. Joe has a certain odor but aroma has a Louisiana Bayou edge to it. Luckily for the Chiefs’ bottom line, Chiefs’ fans will let nothing get in the way of them and their dietary needs. The food tents were mobbed most of the afternoon.

The heat: Sunday was a decent day for August. The high was upper 80s and the humidity a reasonable 55 percent. But it was still ridiculously warm. If you think it would be cool to take your young son or daughter to see the Chiefs up close, don’t. I saw a number of preschool kids having literal meltdowns as they screamed, cried, and drove their parents to screaming and crying. It’s just too damn hot and too long a walk and too long a day for kids under the age of 8. BTW; the weather forecast for Monday and Tuesday are off-the-charts stupid hot. If you’re heading to camp, do what you need to do to stay cool and hydrated. Maybe it is finally time to head to KK’s back-hair removal expert for a pre-camp dethatching.

What can you see? Quite a bit. The bleacher seats set up for the fans are right next to the practice fields. You’re close enough to hear the coaches’ instructions and even some of the players’ chatter. A handful of times the crowd emitted spontaneous laughter over what they had heard on the field. Where you sit determines what and who’ll you’ll see. The offense is always a bigger draw because they actually use a ball in their drills. I like to move around and you might find that tact best to catch a little offense and defense. Beware that security will not allow a 360-degree trek around the two practice fields. You’ll need to retrace your steps to get back to where you came from.

Who to see? Charlie Weis is worth the price of those $4 beers. Charlie might have more hotdog in him than even Dwayne Bowe – who also is a must see for anyone who takes the time to head up to St. Joe. Weis talks loud enough for his players to hear him and everyone in the bleachers as well. Charlie likes the stage and he loves playing to the crowd. He thinks a lot of himself. I think he and Haley will have a bit of a problem with his ego before their tenure together here in KC is over. Weis was hampered by a thigh-to-ankle cast on Sunday and had to use a white cane to limp/lurch around the field. None of these handicaps slowed his effort to be David Letterman. He would be a helluva good get for one of the local radio or TV stations looking for a Chiefs’ coach to interview weekly.

Who looks good? Who the hell knows? It’s the first weekend of camp. Bowe looks like a stud. He is a thoroughbred. If you lined every player up and said who are the number-one draft picks, Bowe would be atop everyone’s list. Thomas Jones’ body is the stuff of superheroes. His arms have muscles in places muscles don’t grow. He is freakishly huge up top. I saw him in the Wildcat set but don’t expect him to ever throw the football. When you have arms that look like legs it makes it difficult to throw a football further than a spike. Eric Berry looked gassed. I know the guy is from Tennessee where it is Tarzan hot but he did not look real comfortable in the St. Joe heat. It’s early. He should be fine.

Who looks not so good? The girl watching was a 4 at best. Maybe a 3. I saw lots of wives who have given up hope. Guy watching was a -9. If most of these guys ever had any hope, they long ago strangled it in a death match with lasagna, double cheeseburgers and beer.

Eats in St. Joe: There may be more fast food restaurants per capita in St. Joe than in any other North American city. But as far as decent dining goes, Applebee’s is prom-worthy here in the home of the Pony Express. One drive down Belt Highway will cure any thoughts you had of relocating to the new summer home of the Chiefs. This might be the longest, ugliest urban street in Missouri. And yes, I have been to Raytown.

The great little town of Weston: If you don’t get north too often, do not miss the chance to drive through Weston on your way back to town. I love this little living postcard burg. Hardly anything was open Sunday evening when we stopped to have an ice cream cone at Main Street Galleria, but there might not be a better day trip from Kansas City than Weston. I included some pics of this slice of Missouri heaven on my Picasa site.

Photos: Check out the photos I took up in camp Sunday on my Picasa site. Let me know your thoughts and experiences from camp in the Comments section below.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24@yahoo.com

 


 

EXPECT WHB COVERAGE OF CHIEFS TO BE WATERED DOWN

Posted 7-30-10

“Take over Tuesday. I don’t know if we’re taking over the Chiefs or they’re taking over us.”
Steven St. John, on the promo for 810’s coverage of Chiefs this past Tuesday, 810 AM
GH: Local Chiefs coverage kicked off into game mode this week with the opening of camp today in St. Joe, MO. Will WHB’s new radio contract with the Chiefs sway their coverage? You bet it will. I have a feeling if Eric Berry’s contract talks were to reach John Tait-like meltdown proportions, we won’t see anything like the legendary live and unedited radio coverage that Todd Leabo and Kevin Kietzman provided us in the summer of 1999 on that day-timer station where it all began, 1510 AM. I remember listening to the station that evening almost an hour after sundown as Ethan Locke, Tait’s agent, quoted an f-bomb spewing King Carl and reduced Coach Gunther to a “foot-shuffling porter.” Gawd damn that station had some heart and stones back then! Sorry to say that Scott Pioli may have performed heart and soul surgery with this new contract.

“The unofficial broadcast partner of the Kansas City Chiefs. 610 Sports. Unbiased, uncensored and uncut.”
Promo for Chiefs coverage on 610 AM
GH: The youngsters at 610 Sports have seized the opportunity to play 1510 in 2010. They are using 810’s contractual obligation with the Chiefs to paint themselves as the place for uncensored opinions and reports on anything Chiefs. This might be a bit of a tough sell knowing Nick Wright’s reputation for getting far too chummy with the black guys on the Chiefs. Does Nick know any white Chiefs’ players?

“We will be here for every Chiefs practice. While the Chiefs are in St. Joe, we will be in St. Joe.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: From what I’ve heard on 610, all of their shows will originate from some sports bar in St. Joe. So how is that covering the Chiefs camp? I want Fescoe, Shariff and Wright out in the hot sun sweating right along with Brian Waters and the boys, telling us how good, bad or ugly things look. “Reporting from next to the shuffleboard table,” just doesn’t have the same sting when a training camp fight breaks out.

“Meaningful December games – that is the next step forward for this (Chiefs) franchise. Even if you don’t make the playoffs and you’re playing games in December that count, that’s a big step forward.”
Mitch Holthus, 810 AM

“I would like to think we could make it to December and be competing for a playoff spot.”
Clark Hunt, when asked by Kietzman if the Chiefs’ fans could expect a playoff run this season, 810 AM
GH: With only three other teams in every NFL team’s division, the format is set up so that every team that can win at least half its games can stay in contention through Thanksgiving. It is depressing that Clark and his dad have allowed this meager goal to become the rallying cry of a once-proud franchise.

“Kent Babb will be on this radio show every day during training camp.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Babb was part of 810’s Chiefs’ coverage in 2009. Looks like the Chiefs aren’t the only ones around town losing and signing free agents. You have to wonder if this is Babb’s idea or a move by The Star to ban their people from Kietzman’s station. At least we know we’ll get “unbiased” coverage of The Star from KK.

“This game is huge! It’s probably the biggest game in the Chiefs’ Kingdom since that Joe Montana game in 1994.”
Mitch Holthus, on the importance of the Chiefs’ MNF home opener, 810 AM
GH: Man, that’s a lot of pressure on one game against a very good opponent. I think the Chiefs will be 6-point dogs against San Diego, even in Arrowhead.

“The 2010 football season can’t get here fast enough for me.”
Clark Hunt, in an interview with Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: And Clark’s not even a Royals fan.

“Congratulations for Scott Podsednik for getting out of jail and going to a real baseball team.”
Steven St. John, on the Royals’ trading Podsednik to the Dodgers for two suspects, uh, er, prospects, 810 AM

“Nobody should ever criticize this trade.”
Danny Clinkscale, on the Podsednik trade, 810 AM
GH: I have heard this notion from a number of talking heads. How about the guy and gal who bought season tickets in February? Do they get to bitch about seeing a guy they enjoyed watching play get shipped out for two maybes? The Royals need to seriously consider offering every season ticket holder a credit for their 2011 tickets. I think their seats for August and September should be half price.

“Losing Gil Meche and Luke Hochevar in the rotation has hurt us tremendously.”
Dayton Moore, in an interview with The Border Patrol on Thursday, 810 AM
GH: Moore sounded like he had spent the evening being dragged through the streets of Bentonville while strapped to the back bumper of Dan Glass’ Range Rover. Memo to Dayton; if you’re going to go on the radio, be ready to inject some passion and excitement into your message. Moore sounded like many of us Royals’ fans feel…and that ain’t good.

“We look to move forward on that sooner rather than later.”
Dayton Moore, when asked when Royals’ fans could expect to see Kila Ka’aihue in Kansas City, 810 AM
GH: Translation: “We’re waiting for a couple more 19-1 ass kickings so Kila can play in an empty stadium and not feel too much pressure up here in the big leagues.”

“I don’t believe a lot of what (Ned Yost) says. I think he says a lot of it for effect.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Sounds like Ned would make a helluva sports talk show host.

“I’ve never been and none of my buddies have ever been (back for a high school reunion). I can’t think of anything worse.”
Kevin Kietzman, discussing why he has never attended any of his high school reunions at Shawnee Mission North, 810 AM

“You don’t like people.”
Todd Leabo, suggesting why KK is not a reunion kind of guy, 810 AM
GH: I’m not sure KK is people. Kietzman said that when former classmates approach him and say, “I’ll bet you don’t remember me!” he takes that as them saying, “You’re some big shot radio guy now.” Leabo artfully reminded King Kevin, “You haven’t been a big shot radio guy all that long.” I’m not sure KK is missed at his reunions.

“We do this so guys can be better at being a guy. … It is men’s day on Between the Lines.”
Kevin Kietzman, who used the first 17 minutes of his show discussing the show’s remote sponsor for the day and their expertise on removing male back-hair and men’s grooming, 810 AM
GH: All I have to say to that is; “I’ve never been and none of my buddies have ever been. I can’t think of anything worse.”

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

HOW GOOD ARE KU AND K-STATE?

Posted 7-29-10

“I expect Turner Gill to win no less than seven games in his first season. Why? Because they just fired the best football coach in the history of the school.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: I don’t follow Fescoe’s logic but that is not unusual. Kansas has seven home games and plays Mizzou in KC. Kansas does not play Texas or Oklahoma or Texas Tech. Sounds almost doable doesn’t it? I think the Jayhawks will struggle to win four this season – the last season they’ll be able to dodge any of the teams in the South.

“We will always be competitive. We will be ready, we will be able to win our share of the games and make the people at KU and all the alums proud. This is the perfect time to be a KU fan. This will be very, very exciting.”
Turner Gill, when asked how his Jayhawks will compensate for losing a number of talented seniors off the 2009 team, The Kansas City Star Magazine
GH: This is what you will get often from Gill; lots of vague rah-rah talk with a few chuckles thrown in to ease the reality of his task in Lawrence. Turner would make a fine team chaplain. Turner will not be a successful D1 football coach.

“I think Kansas is in better shape, although last-place shape. I think Turner Gill has a lot of work to do this year.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I’m not sure how KU is in “better shape” in Gill’s first year than they were in Mangino’s last. But they very well could finish last again in the North. With K-State football in a similar talent tailspin, the Sunflower Showdown has quickly returned to its former “glory” as the toilet bowl of the conference.

“I’m not saying it’s a bad hire, I’m just saying they could have done better. My biggest issue with Turner Gill was that he won the MAC conference championship game (at Buffalo), and the next year they fell back.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: It will be interesting to chart the progress of Tommy Tuberville at Texas Tech (who publicly campaigned for the KU job) and Gill’s success at Kansas. I am guessing the Red Raiders never considered Gill.

“I’ve changed my ideas on that.”
Tommy Tuberville, when asked about his earlier comments that he thought the Big 12 was doomed to break up within five years, 810 AM
GH: Funny how the truth can quickly dissipate is the wake of a stern fining.

“I think we’ve got a grip on it and I think Dan Beebe’s got a grip on it.”
Tommy Tuberville, 810 AM
GH: Sounds to me Beebe has a grip on Tubby’s balls.

“It wasn’t about the money for these institutions to stay together.”
Dan Beebe, Big 12 commissioner, in an interview with Clinkscale from Dallas, 810 AM
GH: When your conference is built on this kind of BS, everyone should be questioning the stability of the B12. Unfortunately, Clinkscale allowed this comment to pass without an incredulous follow-up question.

“(Bill Snyder) got everything he wanted (from the media). Do the people really think that he has a gun with no bullets in it? People are going to write that and think that. How does Bill Snyder get people to think that? Why are people just assuming that there are no players at Kansas State?”
Kevin Kietzman, stunned that the media covering the Big 12 in Dallas have reported that K-State is bereft of talent outside of the spectacular Daniel Thomas, 810 AM
GH: Bill Snyder is trying to temper the KSU fans’ flames of excitement that his Cats’ 6-6 season ignited a year ago because his bullets don’t match the caliber of his competition. I don’t think Snyder will ever win as many as six games again at K-State…and I think it is a shame that some will remember him for his last go around rather than his first.

“The answer to your question is, ‘Yes,’ they probably do believe that. There’s no negativity (in the media toward Kansas State). There’s no pushing Kansas State down to the bottom of the conference. There’s no disrespect. But there is Daniel Thomas, there’s Bill Snyder and then there is a question mark. There’s no disrespect but there is no talk of a move upward (for the Wildcats).”
Stan Weber, responding to Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Weber is correct. Kietzman sees the media slight as a personal attack on Manhattan. It is simply how the team stacks up on paper. That is simple to change – just win.

“They could be buried by mid-October by that schedule.”
Danny Clinkscale, on K-State, 810 AM

“I think there is a lot of faith in Bill Snyder. I think that is where a lot of Kansas State fans thoughts are. And I think that is warranted.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: I agree that many fans have simply put their faith in Bill Snyder to once again do the near impossible at K-State. I do not agree he is going to get the job done.

“I love our attitude and I love our chemistry.”
Dan Hawkins, on his 2010 Colorado Buffs, 810 AM
GH: The team no one is discussing in the North is Colorado. I think the Buffs will be the team Nebraska has to beat to win the North. Mizzou finishes third this year with Iowa State fourth. Kansas nips K-State for the fifth slot.

“If (Colorado) is any good at all, they ought to sweep their Big 12 home games.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM

“If they don’t get good quarterback play, they could be another 1-3 non-con and 2-6 in the conference and he’s out the door.”
Soren Petro, on Colorado and Dan Hawkins, 810 AM

“Nebraska has a lot of their eggs in the Texas basket. They’ve got a website dedicated to it. This is kind of akin to a few years ago when Nebraska was going to play USC and USC just stomped them.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: Nebraska is not beyond he getting stomped stage. Texas Tech proved that last season in Lincoln.

“Bo Pelini can bite my left butt cheek, too! You talk about a guy who thinks he’s god’s gift to coaching!”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: The art, finesse and style of sports journalism has deteriorated just a tad since the more cerebral days of Grantland Rice, no?

“I think the entire notion that part of (Kansas or Missouri or Kansas State) fans’ venom is going to be directed toward Nebraska is completely laughable. I think it’s a creation of us – the media that covers the Big 12 North. That’s the media trying to fill everyone’s heads with garbage that just isn’t there.”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM
GH: I wholeheartedly disagree. Nebraska is about to embark upon a football season unlike any in their 120-year history. It will be extremely ugly at times in the stands. I would invite Shariff to attend that October 7th, Thursday night game in Manhattan to get a first-person look at just how wrong he is on this one.

“I’ve got all kinds of stuff I’m taking to the grave.”
Todd Leabo, after chastising Nate Bukaty for telling his wife that his infant son accidently fell out of his high chair, 810 AM
GH: This comment from Leabo made me chuckle. Now that list of Leabo’s secrets would be a damn good read. 

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


WHITLOCK TWEETS RESPONSE TO RUMORS

Posted 7-28-10

“If u live n KC, do not believe anything said about me from ANYONE unless u hear it directly from me. There's only 1 source 4 news about me.”
Jason Whitlock, Twitter, July 26, 2010
GH: Okay, that pretty much clears up the rumors of whether or not JW is now a father, is or is not returning to resume his column in The Kansas City Star, and is or is not in a stare-down death match with Mike Fannin, The Star’s publisher. All you need to do is ask him when you run into him. Let me know what he says.

“He’s just not a player we’re focused on right now.”
Scott Pioli, when asked by Kevin Kietzman why the Chiefs haven’t pursued signing former Mizzou wideout, Danario Alexander, 810 AM
GH: KK asked the question many Chiefs fans wanted asked but he let Pioli off by quickly moving on. I would sure like to know why the Chiefs wouldn’t take a flyer on an All-Conference receiver who appears healthy and has a built-in fan base in the state of Missouri.

“Lane Kiffin pisses off his latest....Jeff Fisher...by poaching another coach in unprofessional manner.”
Curtis Kitchen, Twitter
GH: What is the professional manner in which to poach a coach? At least you know what you’re getting when Kiffin is involved. It’s the coaches who try to pass themselves off as “molders of men” but are actually more reptile than mammal that make me ill. Can you say Pete Carroll?

“They may not have the best team but the Royals TV producer has the best eye for women in baseball. That is something we should be proud of.”
Shan Shariff, Twitter
GH: At least we have a camera crew with an eye for talent – especially when your team is getting pounded nightly by the Twins as if they were walk-ons at Notre Dame. ( I watched the movie, Rudy, again last weekend and I love that speech Coach Warren lays on the walk-ons). Read on.

“Let me tell it to you as clean as I can. We have 95 players here so accomplished as athletes in high school, we gave them full scholarships to the best football program in the country. NCAA regulations allow us to dress just 60 for home games, which means at least 35 scholarship players will be watching the games from the stands. So, if any of you has any fantasies about running out of that stadium tunnel with your gold helmet shining in the sun, you'd best leave them right here. Of you 15 dreamers out there, maybe we'll keep one or two. My job is to basically beat the shit out of you for the next five days, and whoever is still standing at the end, maybe we’ll use for our scout teams. You’ll be running the opposition’s plays, week in and week out. Your greatest value to us is, we don't care whether you get hurt. Our first teams are gonna pound on you like you're their worst enemies. Like what you hear so far? Any of you want to run home to Mama? Joe, they're all yours.”
Coach Warren, (played by John Beasley) addressing Rudy and other walk-ons prior to the start of practice, Rudy
GH: I played this clip back four times Saturday afternoon and I would have made it five but my wife threatened to poison my food. The music bed in this movie makes me want to strap a spaghetti colander onto my dome and go out and mow down some street signs.

“I know this for a fact; major league baseball players are jealous of Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods because they can make as much money as they do (without a salary cap of sharing it with other golfers).”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I know this for a fact; when KK uses this term, he is talking directly out of his sphincter. How many current MLB players is KK hanging with these days?

“Major league baseball players are the single most powerful athletes on earth.”
Kevin Kietzman, referring to the strength of the MLB players’ union, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman made this comment about three breaths after he told his listeners how jealous MLB players are of PGA players. I often wonder if KK’s left brain knows what his right brain is saying.

“Bob Sheppard was as classy and elegant and magnificent a human being as you have ever met in your life. He will be really sorely missed. I miss that voice every day.”
Suzyn Waldman, the Yankees’ female television broadcaster, on the recent passing of the Yankees’ venerable PA announcer who was behind the mic since 1951 to 2007, Royals Radio
GH: I never met Bob Sheppard but I was first made familiar with his work through Fred White, the former Royals’ radio play-by-play voice. White had asked Sheppard to record my Baseball Is… piece to add his god-like voice to the compilation of other MLB broadcasters Fred had coerced. Sheppard’s recording of my poem was a full six minutes longer than any of the other recordings from voices like Bob Costas, Fred & Denny, and Harry Kalas (who could be heard cursing on his recording saying; “I’m doing this one fucking time and that better be goddamn good enough!”) White saved Sheppard’s part for the last few lines of the verse. If you know Sheppard’s voice or have heard my recorded piece, listen to it again in your head as you read the closing text…

Baseball is taught by dads to sons,
In hopes that the boy will master the game that the man did not.
Baseball is a dream that you never really give up on.

Baseball is precious,
Baseball is timeless,
Baseball is forever.

“They’re as good a team as money can buy, Bob.”
Ned Yost, discussing the Yankees in a pregame interview with Bob Davis, Royals Radio
GH: So what’s Yost’s excuse for the Twins?

“(The Twins) are making more money than they ever could have imagined because of Target Field. In terms of ticket sales, standing-room-only crowds, concessions – everything.”
Darren “Doogie” Wolfson, Minneapolis sports talk radio host on KSTP 1500 AM, 810 AM
GH: I don’t know if Kauffman Stadium’s attendance numbers have really benefited from the renovations. Sure, there was an initial spike at the gate but that cooled about as quickly as Greinke’s ERA.

“I think (Kauffman) stadium was better and more beautiful before. I’m talking 20 years ago. There was more grass out there. It was a beautiful green space.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I think the renovations at The K have been tremendous. It’s the ball club that needs work.

“I have two cautions (about the renovations to Arrowhead); that it is so nice inside that it affects the tailgating outside because people will be going into the stadium sooner. My second concern is that the club level has become kind of like a suite level with the bars and the TVs, that people start getting into the games late and it starts to become like an LA crowd on that club level.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: It already is like an LA crowd on the club level at Arrowhead. Camarohead didn’t get its nickname from those sitting in suites. If the Chiefs play winning football, Camarohead will come back to life like it was 1995, no matter who populates the club level.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

ROYALS GET BOMBED BY TWINS

Posted 7-27-10

“We are having Clark Hunt on the show tomorrow...any questions you'd like us to ask him? … So far, 11 people want me to ask Clark Hunt to buy the Royals.”
Steve St. John, as the Royals were drilled by the Twins 19-1 at home in a Greinke start, Twitter
GH: We knew the KC Royals’ fans were ready to move on from baseball to get primed for the football season but it looks like Ned’s Speds have decided to toss in the rosin bag as well.

“OMG. Can't sleep. Turned on @FOX_Sports_KC Just seeing Twins lead @Royals 19-0 top 8.”
Kris Ketz, of whom it is rumored never sleeps but always tweets, Twitter
GH: Ketz ability to forego sleep has me thinking he might have enough vampire in him to turn Sookie’s head. I think Ketz is a news-pire. I am guessing that Royals’ score didn’t help his insomnia.

“Come on! How can anybody be this bad?”
Jack Harry, on the Royals’ home loss to the Twins, TV 41
“Maybe Jack Harry is right on this (Glass wants to sell the Royals). But whether he’s right or he’s wrong, unfortunately for him his reputation is where it is now where the assumption is going to be that he is wrong.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Jack Harry has a credibility issue. His close association with Kevin Kietzman doesn’t help. If KK or Jack say it is so, does that mean the rumor is a no go?

“I believe if Ned Yost does not re-sign with the Royals and instead signs with another team next year, I think it will be the single lowest moment in the history of the Kansas City Royals! I want you to tell me if there could possibly be a lower moment in the history of the Royals than that? There will be no lower moment in the history of the Royals if Ned Yost doesn’t re-sign. Nothing could be worse! Rock bottom.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I am not sure if Kietzman was looking to cause a flood of phone calls or just felt a need to say something ridiculous Monday afternoon. Ned Yost? Hey, I like the guy but he sure the hell ain’t Whitey Herzog. This is the problem when you own the station and you are the station’s most popular talk show host – you don’t have a boss to tell you not to say stupid stuff. And this one was Kenny Kenny stupid.

“What a PR disaster it would be! What a message it would send to Royals’ fans everywhere!”
Kevin Kietzman, on the need to re-sign Yost, 810 AM
GH: I am going to venture a wild guess that 50% of the Royals’ fans at The K Monday night would have been unable to ID Ned Yost from a photograph. I would up that to more than 90% if you took the same survey on any street corner in Kansas City or Overland Park. I hope Yost stays, but if he goes no one is going to hardly notice. A couple more ass kickings like Monday night and he might get an escort out of town.

“Rock bottom! Perhaps unprecedented in major league history!”
Kevin Kietzman, on the need to re-sign Yost, 810 AM
GH: Do you think Kietzman knows what hyperbole means? Does KK really think this shtick works? Maybe he’s just trying to get quoted in my OTC.

“It’s been two months to the day (July 26, 2010) that Jason Whitlock last filed a column in The Kansas City Star. We don’t always see eye-to-eye on things but I do enjoy reading him. I look forward to reading what Whitlock writes. If the Kansas City Star loses him, that’s a pretty significant loss.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: The Star continues to report in their newspaper that Whitlock is simply on vacation. For two months. While on vacation he publicly ripped one of The Star’s Holy Grails, the APSE awards and those who cherish them. If he does return to The Star, don’t expect his column to last long. We have all seen this before from Jason and his employer – and it never ends well for Jason’s future with that employer.

“I have almost no professional respect for (Whitlock) but he’s still interesting.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM

“I’ll bet they outdrew half of the Chiefs’ games last season.”
Kurtis Seaboldt, on the 52,000 fans who attended the Man U./Wizards friendly at Arrowhead, 810 AM
GH: How much will the stadium improvement increase attendance at Chiefs’ home games this season? Very little. Clark Hunt may be very proud of his team’s newly refurbished digs but getting sellouts to once again become the norm at Arrowhead is going to come down to playing winning football.

“To be perfectly honest, my game-day experience really wasn’t all that much different.”
Nate Bukaty, comparing his experience at the new Arrowhead this week for the Wizards/Man U match to previous years, 810 AM
GH: I was surprised at Bukaty’s review of Arrowhead, particularly because it differed so greatly from almost every other talking head who was in awe of the stadium’s improvements.

“I don’t think that will be the case this year but a lot will depend on how they do in the (Monday night) opener against San Diego.”
Soren Petro, on the Chiefs’ attendance problems in 2009, 810 AM
GH: Could the Chiefs’ attendance woes really hinge on their home opener? Owning a sports franchise can be a real kick in the nads.

“My expectations for this (Chiefs) team is 8-8. I think 4-12 is a disaster. I think if (Haley) goes 4-12 he’s got to go.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: The Chiefs’ schedule is such that six wins is almost a given and eight a very real possibility. If the team does tank, Scott Pioli and his shade-pulling pirates aren’t safe either.

 “I think (Nebraska) thinks of this as their victory lap through the Big 12. We’ll see if it plays out that way.”
Danny Clinkscale, reporting from the Big 12 media days in Dallas, 810 AM
GH: Tom Shatel of the Omaha World Herald checked with some Big 12 scribes as to what they thought about Nebraska bolting to the Big 10. Read on for some of their responses.

“I think some Iowa State fans are resentful (toward Nebraska). They think that Nebraska is thumbing their nose at the Big 12. … Some of them are upset at Nebraska for being too big for the Big 12.”
Randy Peterson, writer for the Des Moines Register, Omaha World Herald

“They're disappointed because it's such a good football school and people like playing them. Everybody sort of likes them. Nobody's resentful. Seems like a pretty natural thing for me. Oklahoma fans are a little melancholy about it, especially since the non-conference games don't set up for those two to play for a long time.”
Berry Trammel, writer for the Daily Oklahoman, Omaha World Herald

"I don't think they're resentful.  … I think (Texas) feels like the conference took a huge hit. It's a diminished product, a diminished league without Nebraska.”
Chip Brown, Orangebloods.com

"From Nebraska's standpoint, I don't fault it at all. They're going to a more prestigious conference, athletically and academically. … The traditionalist in me hates it. I grew up in Colorado and went to Missouri. I hate to see the old Big Eight break apart. But I think they did what was best for their school and it's up to everybody else to deal with it.”
Pat Forde, of ESPN.com, Omaha World Herald
GH: Interesting that it appears the teams in the B12 South have a completely different take than the North squads on Nebraska’s departure. Shatel should have interviewed Kietzman for a whopper of a take. Read on.

“I think it’s going to be real interesting to see how Nebraska games are officiated this year. I really do. … I know this; this league if they have their way, they do not want Nebraska in their championship game.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: So now KK is dropping inferences that Big 12 officials will cheat as a group to make sure the Huskers don’t win the North? This isn’t radio ratings were talking about here.

“My wife's giddy expression while purchasing Star Magazine's "Stars Without Makeup" issue has no sports fan equivalent.”
SportsGuy33, Twitter
GH: Any man married to a woman can relate to this tweet from ESPN’s Bill Simmons. My wife has yet to come across a female celeb who is even mildly attractive. The older she gets, the uglier the actresses get. Being a man who understands these things (and knows Angelina Jolie is not walking into my living room anytime soon), I simply nod my head and say nothing.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


PREVIEWING THE BIG 12 NORTH FOOTBALL RACE

Posted 7-26-10

“I think at times, Blaine Gabbert’s dependency on Danario Alexander (last season) hurt him and the offense. I think overall, in the grand scheme of things, it’s going to be better for Blaine Gabbert to have to spread the ball around. It’s especially going to help Missouri on third down. I actually think Gabbert is going to be better without Alexander and the offense is going to be better.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: Is this simply wishful thinking on MU Rock’s behalf or is there some truth in his logic? Big 12 opponents will not miss the home-run threat that Alexander brought to the Tigers. Word is the undrafted and still unsigned former MU receiver cranked off two recent 4.4s in the 40 in preparation for a personal pro day this Wednesday. How can the Chiefs NOT sign this kid as a free agent and take a chance on him and his knees?

“Throughout the week, PowerMizzou.com has taken a position-by-position look at every team in the Big 12 North on offense. We have been awarding points for how each unit ranks among the rest of the division. With all the offensive positions now rated, who has the division's top offense as a whole? Let's take a look at how we scored each position. We rated each group on a scale from 1 to 10. Those scores were then put in order from best to worst. The top group at each spot received six points while the bottom group got one point. Here's how we rated each spot offensively:


School

Quarterback

Running Back

Receivers

Offensive Line

Total Points

Division Rank

Missouri Tigers

6

4

5

5.5

20.5

1

Nebraska Cornhuskers

4

6

3.5

5.5

19

2

Colorado Buffaloes

2

1.5

6

4

13.5

3

Iowa State Cyclones

5

3

2

2.5

12.5

4

Kansas State Wildcats

3

5

1

2.5

11.5

5

Kansas Jayhawks

1

1.5

3.5

1

7

6


What does that mean? Well, quite simply, it means if no defense had to be played (and there wasn't a ton in the Big 12 last season), we would project the Missouri Tigers to edge out Nebraska for the division title.”
Gabe DeArmond, PowerMizzou.com
GH: According to Gabe D., Turner Gill and Chuck Long have their work cut out for them scoring points over there in Lawrence. I wonder if Gabe let his dad, Mike, grade the Jayhawks. Here’s my quick take on some of Gabe’s rankings; Agree that MU’s Gabbert is far and away the best QB in the North but Nebraska’s QB (whoever that is) is a 2. I know Gabe is thinking KSU’s only got Daniel Thomas and NU has two good backs, but Thomas is in a class all by himself? That dude is the best offensive player in the North. 

“I think if (Kansas) brought everybody back (from 2009) and just changed coaches, you could still pick them last. I’m surprised Kansas got as much love as they did out of the (Big 12) poll. There are a lot of question marks with that team.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM

“The way (Kansa) finished last season, the loss of production and the coaching turnover. I think there are too many question marks.”
Blair Kerkhoff, on why he chose to pick KU to finish last in the B12 North, 810 AM

“Physically, this (Kansas State) starting line is a beast – standing on average 6’4 1/2 and 313.2 lbs. Mentally, this is the second full off-season the group has had to improve under Snyder’s system. And game experience? How about 46 starts collectively a year ago?”
Curtis Kitchen, 810whb.com
GH: Sounds good until you take a look at what Snyder’s 6-6 team accomplished in 2009 – diddly poo – except for that 62-14 ass kicking of A&M. That blowout win might go down as the biggest mystery in Kansas since the Wizard landed in Oz.

“It’s really going to be tough on the Wildcats. They are going to have to prove they can win on the road (in 2010). Their schedule is tough. They may be a better team this year but it may not be reflected in their record.”
Wendell Barnhouse, columnist for Big12sports.com, 810 AM

“I don’t think Kansas State will win a conference football game.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Wildcat fans are pinning their hopes on the fact that Bill Snyder is a miracle worker. He will need to be (once again) if he is to make Manhattan the football hotbed we remember from a decade ago.

“Texas fans shudder at names like Jordy Nelson, Josh Freeman, Yamon Figurs and Brandon Archer (who blasted Colt McCoy's shoulder), not to mention Michael Bishop and Mark Simoneau. (Sean Adams of OB says Josh Freeman had so much success against UT, he should at least contribute to the Longhorn Foundation.) But fear not, even though the Longhorns must go to Manhattan, where McCoy's shoulder and some fumble-itis cost the Longhorns dearly in 2006 (don't blame Jevan Snead), Texas should be able to handle this year's version of the Purple Haze.”
Chip Brown, who predicts Kansas State will finish 1-7 in the Big 12, Orangebloods.com

“Go Missouri, go Kansas, go Kansas State, heck Colorado can beat (Nebraska) too! Anybody! Just line up and beat them! They are the enemy. We all have a common enemy now. It’s going to be one fun season where everyone in this league will root against Nebraska every time.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I do not find fault with anything KK says in his above statement. You know it’s an odd year in the Big 12 when Nebraska’s best friends are the Buffaloes.

“Even with a lot of question marks, Nebraska is getting a lot of hype. I don’t know if they are a top 10 team but they are getting a lot of love.”
Blair Kerkhoff, on Nebraska, 810 AM
GH: Nebraska wants to fervently believe they are back as a perennial Top-10 team. The rest of the Big 12 has sworn to do everything they can to make sure they leave the conference wearing sack cloths and a well-dented ass. It will be a season unlike any other in the history of Cornhusker football. I am so glad I am alive to witness it unfold. Dad, I’ll be watching for both of us.

“I’m gonna predict right now that Nebraska loses their third game of the year. They are going to go to Washington and get beat! And then they are gonna start thinking they are too good for everybody and that the easy part of their schedule is coming up. I think there are going to be some players and coaches (in the Big 12) waiting for them. Nebraska is going to be 3-3 when they go to Oklahoma State October 23rd.  They are going to lose at Washington, at Kansas State and to Texas. Then we’ll see how everybody’s unanimous pick to win the North is!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: As much as I hope KK is wrong, he could also be correct. Both Washington and Texas will be difficult wins for the Huskers. And Nebraska playing in Manhattan on ESPN on a Thursday night has ambush written all over it. But KK is far from a reliable unbiased source on this topic. Read on.

“The train ain’t going too fast for me to realize that was a hard heart stab at the Huskers more than a head. That was with your heart.”
Danny Clinkscale, responding to Kietzman’s prediction about Nebraska, 810 AM

“I’m going to say 11-1 and they just miss out on the (BCS) championship game. And I don’t know where that one loss will be. It could be Texas. It could be Texas A&M. It could be at Cincinnati.”
Toby Rowland, sideline TV reporter for Sooners, when asked by Soren Petro his prediction of the Oklahoma Sooners season, 810 AM
GH: The well-respected Phil Steele has the Sooners as his pick to win the national championship. The Big 12 could use the swag that a BCS title would bring.

“I think over time, there will be an opportunity where Oklahoma and Texas are not very good. I think everybody thinks they are just going to win every year. I don’t.”
Kevin Kietzman, who is betting on Bob Stoops and Mack Brown eventually leaving their schools and diminishing their dominance, 810 AM
GH: KK lives in a world where reality is simply what you want it to be. Need a breaking story? Go with a half-baked flyer on Mizzou being invited to the Big 10. Need to find a way to make the re-rigged Big 12 look like a good deal for the remaining North schools? Pretend OU and Texas are going to shrink. I don’t see it happening unless global warming turns Texas into North Dakota.

“As much as (Kietzman’s) story (about Mizzou being invited to the Big 10) was proven false, the month he ran with this story was the highest rated month he’s had all year. So, maybe just being right is worthless.”
Nick Wright, who sounded a bit exasperated in KK’s ability to draw an audience, 610 AM
GH: If being correct was a barometer for success, Jason Whitlock, KK and The Star’s editorial board would all be in the unemployment line.

“Do you know the last time Nebraska won the Big 12? 1999. If Nebraska can’t win the Big 12 for the last ten years, how in the heck are Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Missouri going to win it now?”
Tom Dienhart, Rivals national football writer, in response to Kietzman’s thinking that the North will rise again, 810 AM

“I’m keeping real busy, probably busier than I’ve ever been, speaking all over the place. We just got back from Israel.”
Bobby Bowden, as a guest on Paydirt’s Three Guys in a Garage Show, 1510 AM
GH: I am often amazed at the quality of guests Paydirt’s show attracts, especially with that title. I try to catch his show on Mondays and Fridays starting at 6 PM on my evening commute. BTW, how do you think that Israeli audience reacted to Bowden dissecting the spread offense?

“A lot of teams are going to it. Oregon does it that way. Northwestern does it. San Jose State does it. Players get up and lift weights at 6:30 a.m. anyway. The other thing is, the balance of classes is in the afternoon. Instructors don’t want 8 o’clock classes. Academically, it will give our players many more opportunities to take classes, from late morning to afternoon, all the way to evening classes. The other thing is, the players were fired up about it. They want to get up and go to practice and get it over with so they can get on with their day. And we’ll always have daylight on both our practice fields (including the one without lights). All those things made sense. And we’re getting a lot of calls from a lot of other people who said they are thinking of doing it.”
Dan Hawkins, CU coach, on Colorado’s decision to hold morning practices this fall instead of afternoon, Omaha World Herald
GH: It will be interesting to watch and see how many other schools pick up on this trend. I think it makes sense. It is also probably a good way to avoid those pesky and sleepy media types.

“I'm not a lawyer and I don't play one in the paper, but I do know several attorneys and they tell me they don't expect Nebraska and Colorado to have to pay the entire exit fee, or damages, or whatever you want to call it, to the Big 12. … One attorney friend of mine said he expected NU to request emails from each Big 12 school to other conferences in the past year, to see who was saying what to which league. The attorney said he suspected some schools, including UT, might not want those emails made public in court.”
Tom Shatel, columnist, Omaha World Herald
GH: It will be difficult for Dan Beebe to prove the remaining schools were “damaged” when he and many other Big 12 members are trumpeting how much better off they are with 10 than 12. I have a feeling the only damages NU and CU will pay will have to be extracted on the gridiron this fall.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24

 


 

GET READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL

Posted 7-23-10

“How Matt Cassel does in training camp and the preseason is meaningless. We’re gonna judge Matt Cassel on what he does in the 16 regular season games. … He had three good games. He had a litany of games (last season) that were awful. … Can he be better than average more often than he is miserable? That’s the question for Matt Cassel.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Football season in Kansas City kicks off just after the MLB All-Star game concludes and the Chiefs head north to camp. This year “north” is St. Joe, only about an hour drive or less for most KC area residents. Not that the OTC will now completely convert to all pigskin talk…but expect your favorite couch jockey to begin getting in two-a-days shape as well.

“I don’t like the two-running backs system. I think if you talk to most running backs they don’t like it either. … Even an older guy like (Thomas) Jones, I’m sure he wants to get as many carries as he can. You can’t do it with 10 carries. You can’t do it with 12 carries. I’m sorry. Nine times out of ten, you need that 20-plus carries to really get into a football game.”
Eric Dickerson, the former Rams/Colts HOF running back, when asked about the Chiefs tandem running back combo of Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles, TV 41
GH: Dickerson was a running back workhorse during his pad-laden goggle-wearing days in the 1980s. He was a unique back who could take a pounding that 20-25 carries brought. Charles and Jones are both on record saying they will be happy to share the load at RB. I like the idea of the Chiefs spreading the carries out between two good backs, despite the ramifications it may have on their FF draft status.

“Dickerson wanted to go to the University of Oklahoma, but his grandmother talked him into going to Southern Methodist University because she trusted SMU coach Ron Meyer more than OU's Barry Switzer. Dickerson was the subject of recruiting controversy (at SMU) when he started driving a new Pontiac Trans-Am during his senior year. At the time he said his grandmother from Mexico bought it for him.”
Wikipedia.org
GH: Okay, I know it’s Wikipedia, the only source less reliable than a KK source inside the walls of Mizzou – but I love the thought of half of SMU’s Pony Express having a sombrero-wearing grandmamma in Mexico doling out pesos for a T-topped Trans-Am.

“Don’t look at the Chiefs’ schedule and think it’s easy. Going into this season, every team that looks and sees the Chiefs on their schedule expects to beat the Chiefs. There is no such thing as an easy (NFL) schedule before the season – only after.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: There is some truth to Wright’s statement. The Chiefs play in a league where every team has elite players. If the Chiefs win the AFC West in 2010, they will have earned it.

“Tony Romo looked more like a golfer than he did a quarterback.  John Elway looked more like a quarterback than he did.”
Soren Petro, saying Romo looked out-of-shape at the celebrity golf tourney in Lake Tahoe, 810 AM
GH: Romo is quarterbacking the team everyone seems to be picking to win the Super Bowl this year. Maybe he is planning to go with the Sonny Jurgensen approach to quarterbacking. For those of you old enough to remember Sonny’s five Pro-Bowl years with the Redskins, who was the other Skins QB in the early 1970s who created the quarterback controversy for George Allen in Washington? Ahhh yes, a Topeka native who spent his high school years in California and attended UCLA by the name of Billy Kilmer.

“I think Dez Bryant is going to be sensational. I think this guy is going to make a major impact on this (Cowboys) team. I think this guy is going to be Rookie of the Year in the NFC.”
John Clayton, on the Cowboys’ rookie receiver out of Oklahoma State, ESPN Radio
GH: Maybe Romo is eating well because he’s seen Bryant’s clips from OSU. I think Clayton is right, Jerry Jones got himself a stud. Look for Bryant to go early in your FF draft.  

“I always tell this story. My dad taught me to sweep the corners. Not just sweep the areas that people can see, but do the little things.”
Herm Edwards, 810 AM
GH: I must be doing something wrong with my kids. Our two guys don’t even make their beds.

“Covering the (Chiefs) OTAs and rookie camp, it was a pain in the rear end. I feel sorry for the newspaper guys. These guys have to come up with something based on the boredom we watch every single day.”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM
GH: Those fans heading to St. Joe for their first look at an NFL training camp might want to temper their expectations. As that wizard of words Allen Iverson once said, “We’re talking about practice, man. Not a game. Not a game. Not a game. Practice! What are we talking about? We talking about practice!”

“We’re going to be there (at Chiefs’ training camp) every single day.”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM

“The Border Patrol will be in St. Joseph at the Chiefs training camp for three days. But WHB 810 will be there every day.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: The sports talk radio wars should start to get interesting once Chiefs’ camp opens next Thursday. Listen for the byplay between 810 and 610 that is sure to be going on off the air to seep onto the air.

“The one thing that has been stressed to me while watching the Chiefs’ practice is Todd Haley’s decreased involvement. He’s clearly taken a step back when talking to people behind the scenes.”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM
GH: It might be a bit too early to gauge Haley’s “decreased involvement.” Especially since the Chiefs’ camp doesn’t open until next week. I will be surprised if Headcase Haley can keep his trousers zipped for more than a week in St. Joe.

“By the way, Steven St. John is off this week enjoying a well-deserved stay-cation.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Winner of the OTC “Most Obvious Comment” for 2010; Mr. Nate Bukaty. What a dreadful week of morning radio we were subjected to in SSJ’s absence. Bukaty is probably a very nice guy as a neighbor, brother or husband, but he has no business hosting a radio talk show. None. How he has fashioned a career of this length doing sports talk radio is a testament to WHB’s utter lack of competition.

“It could go one of two ways. I guess that’s a really gutsy opinion on my part, saying it could go one of two ways.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Again, nice guy. Again, brutal on the ears. NPR during your morning commute this week, anyone?

 “My opinion (of public schools) is real simple. Ever since school board members became elected officials, you’ve involved politics into education. So if the school board members want to get re-elected, they need to keep the parents happy. So instead of protecting the desires and the wishes of the principals and the teachers who run the building, we’re allowing folks who have nothing to do with the building to put the pressures as to what’s important to run a school building. That’s unfortunate. I really think that’s a problem.”
Frank Martin, head basketball coach at K-State, 610 AM
GH: Martin is a former high school teacher and coach. His perspective is quite different from mine – that of a parent. I don’t think it is the school board’s job to back up the “desires and wishes” of the principal and teachers. While every school differs in its makeup, it has been my experience that many teachers, principals and coaches love to take credit for the academic and athletic success of kids, but rarely do they acknowledge the efforts parents have invested in forming that student’s work habits and willingness to take responsibility for their actions. Try this test; have the Blue Valley School District teachers switch places with the KC Metro teachers and let’s see how much the test scores in these two districts change. It ain’t the teachers, it’s the parents.

Greghall24@yahoo.com / Twitter: greghall24


 

CHIEFS/MO WEST FACILITIES GET RAVE REVIEWS

Posted 7-22-10

“Wow!”
Josh Klingler, after touring the Chiefs’ new preseason facilities at Missouri Western in St. Joseph, MO, 610 AM
GH: The Chiefs are coming home this July when they officially move their preseason camp from River Falls, WI to St. Joe, MO. From all accounts the new facilities at Mo West are almost as spectacular and real as Teri Hatcher’s pecs. Maybe we need to send Elaine up to Mo West to check things out.

“The football facilities at Missouri Western now are better than what Kansas has. They are that nice. I would think the Chiefs’ (off-campus) facilities are now at least in the top five of the NFL.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: KU spent a reported $50 million on upgrading their football facilities. The Chiefs dropped $10 million on the work done at Mo West. Fescoe might want to take another peek under the hood of what Turner Gill has in Lawrence and get back to us.

“It's as good as Ohio State's.”
Brenda Blessing, chairman of Mo West’s health, physical education and recreation department, on Mo West’s new football facilities, AP
GH: Damn! Maybe Fescoe is only half wrong this time.

“It's going to be hard (for recruits) to say no to all this. I pinch myself every day. As somebody that's a lifelong resident of St. Joseph, been around 12 years in a working capacity, it's hard to believe I'm standing here on our campus right now. It's a showplace. It's awesome.”
Brett Esely, Mo West’s assistant AD, AP

“Football coach Jerry Partridge said his school's facilities had been no better than eighth-best in the Division II league. He also said MIAA rivals were telling recruits the Chiefs would never construct training facilities at Missouri Western. ‘They would say, 'No, no, it's not going to happen.' And I would have done the same thing,’ he said.”
Doug Tucker, AP

“There is no excuse now for the football coach at Missouri Western not to win championships with these new facilities. If he doesn’t start winning now he should be fired! Can you imagine recruits being shown these facilities and them saying, ‘I get to play here?’”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Big time arms-race football just hit the MIAA Conference. Can you imagine the seething contempt and jealousy pulsating throughout this conference over the incredible physical advantage Mo West now has been granted at no charge over its rivals? Could the football power of the conference move from Maryville to St. Joe over the next five years? It will be very interesting to monitor.

“Well, rumors, rumors, rumors…it’s always a challenge of validating them and seeing if there is any fact or fiction. Here comes one folks that really gets me juiced up. The word going around financial circles now is that David Glass could be selling the Royals before the All-Star game comes here in two years. The information is sketchy at best but it is out there.”
Jack Harry, who said he believes Glass could sell the team for $350 million, TV 41
GH: It was only last year that Harry proclaimed on one of his smackcasts that he was “out of the speculation business.” Consider Mad Jack not only back in business but looking to rival his golfing buddy, Kevin Kietzman, as the local media’s most ardent flame thrower. Is there any truth to Harry’s report? He obviously did not offer any.

“This is the first time in a long time that I have hoped Jack Harry was right.”
Bob Fescoe, responding to Harry’s report that Glass is looking to pedal the Royals, 610 AM

“There are worse owners than David and Dan Glass out there. There aren’t a lot of owners who are going to come in and commit themselves to start losing money. I think probably under any other ownership you’d probably get pretty much what you’re getting now.”
Jeff Passan, of YahooSports.com, when asked by Fescoe about Jack Harry’s report that Glass may sell the Royals before the 2012 All-Star game, 610 AM
GH: If Glass is interested in selling the Royals, now is a great time to get the most for his franchise. The prospects look not only good but excellent that the young talent coming up will produce wins, excitement and profits. All the more reason I would think Glass would want to keep the team and reap the perks that have eluded him for the past two decades.

“This is a group of talent (in the Royals farm system) the likes of which we have not seen in 25 years in Kansas City that is coming up now.”
Jeff Passan, of YahooSports.com, 610 AM

“There was a lot of buzz about the Royals’ guys at the Futures Game and for good reason. I saw some scouts who were watching batting practice and one of them said to me, ‘In two years, I think a lot of good thinks will be happening on that (Royals) team.’ They’ve got a lot of prospects and you’re going to see a bunch of them arrive the next two years.”
Jayson Stark, ESPN analyst, 810 AM

“Like I said before; I love it here. I love these players. I love the front office. That stuff will take care of itself.”
Ned Yost, when asked if he is interested in signing a long-term contract to coach the Royals, 810 AM
GH: After Kietzman played this comment from the Royals’ skipper, he wailed on and on about how this was a negative sign and that Yost surely wants to bolt from Kansas City. “I feel worse now (about Yost staying) than I did before (Yost’s comments),” said Kietzman. Now how in the hell do you get that from that? No wonder athletes and coaches have such a low opinion of sports talk radio.

“It scares the hell out of me that (the Royals) are giving up on trades and giving up on free agency. Because if they are giving up on that, they are giving up on winning. … That’s my big fear – that right now they are gun shy about moving any of their big pieces.””
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: The next week should be very interesting as far as what Daytom Moore does with the tradable pieces of his roster. If this team looks very similar in August to what it does today, I will be very disappointed. Move DeJesus, move Soria and yes, I would consider moving the Great Greinke. Pitchers are far too fragile to depend on for future success. Out with the old and up with the youth movement.

“I think they can ask for a lot (for DeJesus). I think they can get a stud prospect and a second-tier prospect. Because the Royals don’t have to trade him. I think they can get two very good players for him because he is an incredibly valuable commodity in that he can play all three outfield positions. I think the Royals need to hold firm unless they get the deal they want.”
Rany Jazayerli, on trading David DeJesus, 810 AM
GH: The Royals have an option to resign DeJesus for $6 million in 2011. That is less than half what Jose Guillen is making now. I expect DeJesus to fetch something attractive.

“I would think they are taking a very hard line on David Dejesus. They are valuing him as an impact player while most teams would look at him as a piece of the puzzle. We are not talking about Carlos Beltran here. We are talking about a different type of player.”
Jayson Stark, ESPN analyst, 810 AM
GH: Not everyone agrees with me and Rany that DeJesus should bring value. For that reason, he may be wearing Royals blue come 2011.

“He’s nobody’s first choice. Let’s put it that way.”
Jayson Stark, ESPN analyst, on the prospect of trading Guillen, 810 AM

“I still think Billy Butler’s too valuable to let walk.”
Jayson Stark, ESPN analyst, 810 AM
GH: Lots of talk about Butler’s lack of power, lack of speed and propensity to roll into double plays. I like the guy but the media does not. I think he’ll be an impact player here in Kansas City for the next ten years. He is a draft pick who has worked. You need to keep this guy in town.

“To me, (Butler) is a car that is worth more chopped up for its parts than he is whole. As much as people want to make him a star, then why has this team stunk while he’s been on it?”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Okay, so not everyone agrees with my take on Billy Butler as well.

“(Jason Kendall) may drop dead on the field.”
Danny Clinkscale, on the Royals’ catcher being on track to catch 150 games this season, 810 AM

“Anybody who exercises in this heat, you can lay off the booze for the summer so you don’t die. Don’t take salt tablets – that’s crazy! Get it through fruits and vegetables.”
Rod Kingsbury (aka Coach K), 810 AM
GH: I have been getting up at 5:00 every morning to run with my son’s cross country team. I take a different route than they do because dads are not supposed to be seen, heard or spoken to when the son is 16. But no matter where I run it has been hot! Anybody attempting any outdoor exercise after 8:00 AM in this heat should make sure their will and trust is up-to-date.

“I’m not a lawyer, but here you have the little hometown Royals showing people drinking in their TV commercial. There’s only what, one shot of the players? I don’t know if you’d have a lawsuit or not but if you ever went out there and got plowed and then got into an accident… Kauffman Stadium is clearly the largest bar in Kansas City.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Interesting the Kietzman completely ignored the football stadium next door that seats twice as many drinking customers as The K. Oh, that’s right, WHB has a new business relationship with the Chiefs that apparently makes KK blind when it comes to criticizing the Chiefs.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

WHITLOCK GOES OFF ON MITCH ALBOM

Posted 7-21-10

EDITOR'S NOTE: For the entire version of Greg Hall's newest column on this topic, go to www.kcconfidential.com

“In the 4+ years of this website’s history, we’ve interviewed columnist Jason Whitlock twice. After the first one, he lost his job on the Sports Reporters. So when he announced on twitter today he felt like dropping a nuclear journalism bomb, we were more than happy to offer him a platform.”
TheBigLead.com
GH: Jason Whitlock is not your every-day kinda newspaper man. He doesn’t just move to the sound of a different drummer. He dances heavily on the reps of any and all he cares to scorch to the bombastic beat of Tech N9ne. Mitch Albom has long been a target for Whitlock, who watched Albom gain great fame as a sportswriter in Detroit while JW toiled at his craft as a fledgling writer in little Ann Arbor. Whitlock told me long ago that Albom’s tact was to scare up a couple of kids from the hood to write a feel-good story about and then claim his annual newspaper awards. Whitlock despises newspaper awards. After Albom was recently bestowed what could be considered the Heisman of sports writing, Whitlock went off. Read on for some of Whit’s takes on the newspaper industry and what is killing it – and why Whitlock is not the white knight of journalism he portrays himself to be. But you knew that.

“We keep selling the copout excuse that the economy is the reason (the newspaper business) is failing. Or that young people are too stupid to realize how good we are. It’s all bullshit.”
Jason Whitlock, TheBigLead.com
GH: One thing I enjoyed about Whitlock’s column on TheBigLead.com is the fact he was allowed to use the word bullshit, unlike his Kansas City Star column, where the word “suck” is still edited out of quotes and copy. Talk about bullshit.

“We refused to change. We didn’t make room for Bill Simmons. We remained beholden to an APSE contest that in no way takes into account context, impact, relevancy, traction or innovation.”
Jason Whitlock, TheBigLead.com
GH: When reading Whitlock’s rants, please remember this is not some disgruntled ex-newspaper wretch. This is the highest paid writer in the history of the Kansas City Star who, at least prior to this post, was still very employed there.

“That approach is fine and dandy when there’s no competition and local newspapers printed money. You can ignore your readers and put out content targeted at contest judges when there’s no place else for readers to go.”
Jason Whitlock, TheBigLead.com
GH: Whitlock hates the emphasis The Star puts on winning awards – and for good reason. Newspaper and writing awards are typically judged by mutually stuffy, overpaid and underexposed men and women who make their living putting together newspapers that they hope other editors and writers will love. It is why Whitlock has little respect for JoPo. Add 100 pounds to Mitch Albom, remove all but three of his hairs and you have JoPo staring you in the face with a bland, formulaic, rags-to-riches story about Buck O’Neill or Priest Holmes playing checkers (twice).

“We now have to survive on creativity, original ideas and innovation. Television, YouTube, laptops, blogs, Twitter and cell phones have made narrative sports writing less valuable.”
Jason Whitlock, TheBigLead.com
GH: I disagree on this point. I believe television, YouTube, blogs, Twitter and cell phones have heightened the need for excellent narrative sports writing – the kind I expect from my daily newspaper. Twitter is great for getting me instant info on almost any subject but it doesn’t tell me the story. The same can be said of other quick-hit mediums. There will always be a need for great writing. At least I hope that appetite is never satiated.

“Excuse the arrogance, but the idiots running APSE should’ve invited me, Bill Simmons, Adrian Wojnarowski, Will Leitch, Dan Wetzel, Mike Florio, Dan LeBatard and TJ Simers to pontificate about the stupidity of newspapers. (I didn’t check with any of these people about writing this. They’re just a few of the many people in the business with the balls to do things differently. They might disagree with everything I’ve written here.)”
Jason Whitlock, TheBigLead.com
GH: Another reason Whit isn’t too keen on the APSE and their awards is that he hasn’t won many…or any. That said, he wins where it counts in the great capitalistic United States of America – he gets paid, handsomely.

“If you’re looking for clues why the newspaper industry is in credibility, relevancy and grassroots-traction free-fall, behold the level of head-in-sand denial necessary for APSE to provide Albom a grand platform to preach journalism ethics and vision.”
Jason Whitlock, TheBigLead.com

“Associated Press Sports Editors, the political, ass-kissing organization that pretends to be sports writing’s selfless guardian, built King Myth Albom’s throne, celebrating his money-quote-filled narrative schmaltz year after year with enough plaques to build an ark.”
Jason Whitlock, TheBigLead.com

“When I took a job in 1992 at the Ann Arbor News, I had a front-row seat during King Myth Albom’s glory years. … Feel-good narrative fiction bullshit was Albom’s money-maker long before he published Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven.”
Jason Whitlock, TheBigLead.com

“It’s called denial, a mental state newspaper leadership lives in while the industry many of us love burns. The people running APSE know this. But they’re not going to admit their mistake because then they would have to admit that their organization and annual contest are bullshit, too.”
Jason Whitlock, TheBigLead.com
GH: While Jason is calling bullshit on the APSE, I believe it is time for him to call bullshit on himself and come clean. It’s called denial, Jason.

“APSE propping Albom up is one more sign that newspaper leadership is both clueless and unwilling to dismantle systems put in place to reward butt-kissing climbers. At a time when it’s embarrassingly obvious we should’ve adopted new content approaches 15 years ago, APSE, by defiantly recognizing Albom, is stating ‘we did nothing wrong.’ ”
Jason Whitlock, TheBigLead.com
GH: I find it ironic that Jason chooses to blast the very industry that has hidden his secret all these years.

“The newspaper industry is being driven by fear. The market place of ideas has disappeared. There are no jobs. People have mortgages to pay and kids in need of daycare or college. Everyone just tries to avoid conflict and avoid the next round of layoffs. Fear and ass-kissing won’t save newspapers.”
Jason Whitlock, TheBigLead.com
GH: Talk is cheap, Whit. Time to come clean and admit you’re no better than Myth Albom.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

SHOULD THE ROYALS BE NAILING DOWN NED?

Posted 7-20-10

“Let’s get this manager signed. I am afraid his phone is going to ring. I think there is a very good chance he is kicking the tires of the Royals to see if this is a car he wants to buy. I don’t see why this thing would take very long. … Why are you (Danny Clinkscale) and I the only people in town talking about this? How in the world can we be the only people talking about this? … They’ve lost six games in a row and I’m still calling for (Ned Yost to be signed to a long-term contract)!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Is Yost the guy the Royals need to attach themselves for the next five years? Which is when many baseball experts believe the Boys in Blue will have their best chance in more than two decades to compete in the postseason.

“Listening to Dayton Moore the other day, I didn’t even get the feeling he thought (Yost) was the guy. It almost sounded like Ned Yost didn’t want the job. From both people it just seemed so vague.”
Danny Clinkscale, on the possibility of the Royals signing Yost to a long-term contract, 810 AM
GH: The Royals’ manager position looks like a very good job for any baseball guy who wants to work with a bevy of young talented players over the next decade. Sure, almost all of this talent is speculative and in the minors. But this looks like the perfect time for Yost or some other veteran baseball man to sign on and get cracking. I agree with KK and Clink – sign Yost now and then start working on a timetable to bring up the youngsters.

“Maybe Ned Yost has decided that being interim manager of the Royals is not a career killer but being the manager is.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: With the exception of Hal McRae’s two-year stint with Tampa Bay, the Royals have killed the managerial hopes of every manager they have hired since Dick Howser’s passing. There may be some legit reasons for Yost to pause before signing with KC. 

“I think (Yost) is wildly popular amongst the (Royals) fans. When I say popular, I’m not saying they all love Ned Yost the guy or Ned Yost the character. I’m saying they love Ned Yost the manager. I haven’t seen this much goodwill toward a (Royals) manager since Tony Pena in 2003 when he won Manager of the Year.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Let’s hope Nedley stays out of his neighbor’s wife’s bedroom and refrains from sneaking out on his team in the middle of the night. Manager TPS has never received the scorn his actions here in KC deserved.

“The guy does something right with young talent.”
Trenni Kusnierek, who covered Yost when he was in Milwaukee and turned a moribund Brewers franchise around, 810 AM
GH: Trenni’s endorsement could not be more spot on as to what the Royals have needed, wanted and are still looking for in a manager who can work with young talent. Why do the Royals never promote any of their minor league managers to head up the big league club?

“This is not to take anything away from Moustakas, but I would probably pick Eric Hosmer as a better prospect at this time. Because he’s a little bit younger and he hit better in Wilmington than Moustakas did. He’s got better patience at the plate and he’s got a gorgeous swing.”
Rany Jazayerli, of ranyontheroyals.com, 810 AM
GH: I am a sucker for gorgeous left-handed swings. Mississippi State and the SF Giants Will Clark comes to mind.

“(Yost) has a pretty sarcastic tongue when it comes to guys asking questions. … He’s pretty much an apologist for his players.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: I haven’t noticed Yost’s sarcasm in his pressers but Bukaty spends a lot more time around Yost than most in the media. I just wish we would hire a coach with a killer sense of humor and great one liners. Maybe Jeff Foxworthy would agree to do Yost’s postgame pressers. Sure would make my OTC easy to write when it comes to covering the Royals.

“The Ned Yo-Yost is in play. Up for three, down for three.”
Dave Stewart, on the Royals recent tendency under Yost to lose and win in three-game spurts, Metro Sports
GH: Stewart made this comment during Yost’s first month with the club. Let’s home Ned finds a way to reel off a big winning streak to match that six-game loser.

“My patience is gone! My patience is gone when it comes to this (Royals) team! They just have no concept whatsoever of how to protect pitchers. We’re in trouble! The whole big-league staff is hurting and that’s a problem.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: The Royals are facing the brutal weather stretch of their season the next six weeks with a patchwork starting staff. It will be interesting to see what hurlers are still standing come September.

“I don’t know what it is about Trey Hillman but this one affects me more than the last several (Royals’ manager firings). This was a very, very good man.”
Kevin Kietzman, on the day Hillman was fired, 810 AM
GH: Have not heard much about or from Hillman since he left. Maybe Kietzman or Nick Wright will get him on one of their shows for an interview and an update. It might be interesting to hear if his perspective of the franchise has changed since he was canned.

“If you’re a Royals’ fan, why can’t you enjoy them winning a game independent of their record?”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: I HATE this kind of fan manipulation. This is what losing organizations like the Royals and Chiefs want their fans to do – cheer the wins and forget about their crap hole of a record. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to buy some tickets and some overpriced concessions!

“I think the AL Central is going to be one of the best races in baseball.”
Trenni Kusnierek, of MLB Network, on the tight race between the Twins, ChiSox and Tigers, 810 AM
GH: Once again, the Royals are nowhere to be seen as the pennant races begin to take shape. What a sad, sad franchise we follow.

“Dayton Moore hasn’t been much of a deal maker at the trade deadline either way. I’m a little bit concerned about that. I think this organization has always tended to overvalue their players. I think they will miss an opportunity if they don’t (make some trades) this time.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM

“I think the Royals need to be very active in the trade market over the next month. … No one’s untradeable.”
Rany Jazayerli, 810 AM

“I would keep (David) DeJesus) on my team at all costs.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM

“What the Yankees want, the Yankees get. And the Yankees want (Joaquin) Soria.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM

“Well, the same people who are saying I can’t be re-elected are the same people who said the Power & Light District was going to make money.”
Mayor Mark Funkhouser, when told by Mike Shanin that a every one of his political contacts tell him Funkhouser is unelectable for a second term as Kansas City’s mayor, 980 AM
GH: Funk’s problem this time is not the Power & Light supporters. It’s the people like me who voted for him last election who have turned on him, Gloria and the mess that their wake has left at City Hall. He needs a bigger miracle than the Royals and Chiefs to pull this one off.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

WHO IS THIS GUY?

Posted 7-19-10

“Where’s he been and better yet, where’s he going?”
Curtis Strange, on South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen coming out of nowhere to win Golf’s greatest title on the game’s oldest course, ESPN
GH: I am not aware of many sporting events where a complete unknown and someone who has experienced almost no success at the professional level can jump up and win one of the sport’s most coveted and revered championships. The Kentucky Derby comes to mind but that is a two-minute event. Oosthuizen won a four-day test against the best the sport of golf has to offer. He not only won, he crushed the field in a manner formerly reserved for Tiger Woods. Read on.

“Louie Oo-ee -- golf’s newest face.”
Mike Tirico, ESPN
GH: Every broadcaster I watched and heard had a bit different pronunciation for Oosthuizen surname. I am hoping we can just start using his nickname, Little Shrek.

“It started over in South Africa but when I got over here, Lee (Westwood) and everyone started calling me Shrek and Little Shrek. I don’t mind.”
Louis Oosthuizen, ESPN
GH: I immediately like this 27-year old Afrikaner. How many guys have no problem being labeled Shrek for their striking resemblance to the green man of the swamp?

“I hope the viewers weren’t turned off by the blowout. He took this place apart like a surgeon. He put on a clinic.”
Paul Azinger, ESPN
GH: Louie led the Open for the final 47 consecutive holes. Tiger and Left were out of the tourney by Saturday. There was very little reason to watch. I am guessing many did not.

“He played with a coolness that you would never expect from a man who had never been in that position before.”
Tom Watson, ESPN
GH: How ironic that Watson, one of the game’s most tournament-tested champions, would fall apart on the 18th hole and in a playoff last year to lose the Open, and an unknown nobody would show steely resolve to bury the field at St. Andrews. It is why sports remains the greatest reality show of all time.

“I’m really kind of overwhelmed by watching how good this young man is. I’m a big fan and I’ll be watching.”
Tom Watson, ESPN

“It’s one of the finest displays of driving that I’ve ever seen in a golf tournament.”
Andy North, on Oosthuizen’s ability to drive the ball in the fairway all weekend, ESPN
GH: North is 60 years old and has seen some golf in his day. His comment should not be easily dismissed. But we have seen these unknown PGA players rise up and then disappear just as quickly. Will Shrek ride off the happily-ever-after land never to be seen again?

“We’re going down to the jigger and probably hang around there for awhile.”
Louis Oosthuizen, when asked how he was going to celebrate his British Open win, ESPN
GH: What’s not to like about this guy?

“What’s great about the pants is that you can get dressed in the dark with all of them and be sure it gonna match.”
John Daly, on the Loudmouth Pants that Daly donned each day for the Open, ESPN
GH: I watched Saturday’s round with a friend of mine who has been a caddy at almost every level on the PGA tour. His nickname on the tour is “Go Go.” While we watched the tube, Go Go pulls out his cell phone and dials John Daly’s caddy and tells him to get him a hat from the Open at St. Andrews – like he was calling his neighbor across the street to tell him not to forget to bring the Bud Lites. Go Go’s got more stories about the tour than I can ever print. Someday I may just try, though.

“From potential contender to dud. The Royals take a dive, but can they work their way out of this mess?”
Stephanie Hockridge, on the Royals’ six-game losing streak, news anchor, Fox 4
GH: Wow, what a difference a week makes. Back to reality for us Royals fans.

“Manager Ned Yost kept the clubhouse doors closed for several minutes after the game and then after that meeting the Royals players held a players’-only meeting.”
Brad Porter, Metro Sports
GH: I listened to Yost’s postgame presser on 610 and for the first time since he has taken over the role as the Royals’ skipper, he sounded pissed. He usually refuses to chastise his players or team but he did not appear all that concerned with anyone’s feeling after getting swept by Chicago and Oakland. I kinda like the real Ned better than the everything’s-great Ned.

“Your intensity has to be consistent every single day.”
Ned Yost, Metro Sports

“The way this (Royals) team is playing right now, no way no how.”
Al Wallace, on the Royals’ chances to contend for the AL Central, Fox 4

“We played terrible, just all around. We can’t stand for that.”
Jason Kendall, after Sunday’s 9-6 loss to the A’s, Fox 4

“I can’t wait for that day when someone sees me walking around with my Royals cap on or Zack Greinke jersey and calls me a bandwagon jumper because the Royals are trendy. I cannot wait for that day.”
Rany Jazayerli, of ranyontheroyals.com, 810 AM

GH: That day remains safely in the future. We hope.

“Under no circumstances would I bring Mike Moustakas up (to Kansas City) before September 1. I want him to go to Triple A and have some success.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Moose is off to a slow start at the plate, going 2-for-12 in Omaha. While I don’t understand the need to slowly progress baseball talent through all the different levels, there appears to be no need to get Moose here to sample the BBQ anytime before football season.

“Rzepczynski’s nickname in the (Toronto Blue Jays) clubhouse is Scrabble.”
Brad Porter, on the Jays’ starter for the Royals’ Wednesday afternoon game where Scrabble will face Greinke, Metro Sports

“That’s what most of my peeps are saying.”
Kevin Kietzman, while discussing that his friends now despise LeBron James, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman using the term “peeps” sounded a bit like Jack Harry quoting Shakespeare. I thought it was a simple anomaly but more followed. Read on.

“I said, ‘Dude, you’ve got to tell me when you’re in the 913! You’re in my hood!”
Kevin Kietzman, relaying a conversation he said he had recently with Jim Colbert, who failed to call him when he was in town, 810 AM
GH: Should we start calling him K-Diddy?

“I don’t think a lot of people over 40 know who she is.”
Kevin Kietzman, discussing Lady Gaga, 810 AM
GH: I am guessing KK said this with a Poker Face.

“I know some of the other guys at the radio station think I’m a nerd because I talk about golf.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I’m not so sure it’s the golf.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24

 


 

RADIO REPORTS FROM TAHOE ARE A SNOOZEFEST

Posted 7-15-10

“The guests in Tahoe are fabulous! This is really a great week to listen to Sports Radio 810.”
Kevin Kietzman, on his station having both Soren Petro and Steven St. John at the celebrity golf tourney this week to gather interviews with the celebrity participants, 810 AM
GH: I might be alone in my assessment of this annual sojourn by WHB talent to Lake Tahoe each summer – but I don’t find it at all interesting or entertaining. It’s probably a great summer vacation for the hosts but I don’t see where the listeners get much out of mostly B-level celebs who sound mostly bored and confused.

“For my money one of the more entertaining golf tournaments you’re going to find anywhere.”
Soren Petro, as he broadcasts his show this week from Lake Tahoe at the American Century celebrity tourney, 810 AM
GH: I think Soren is a bit of a jock sniffer and this golf tourney allows him to get a nose full.

“How do you become a swim coach?”
Kevin Kietzman, attempting to sound serious during a Wednesday interview, 810 AM
GH: Okay, the alternative programming this week hasn’t been all that much better than the canned interviews from Tahoe. Just keep crossing off the days until football camps open and we can start getting serious again.

“This (Chiefs) team is going to win eight, nine or ten games. They are going to surprise a lot of people!”
Jack Harry, on the 2010 Chiefs, 810 AM
GH: I think most people expect the Chiefs to win at least eight games this season. Their schedule is soft and Scott Todd have now been in place long enough to show considerable progress. What will surprise (and depress) the Chiefs fan base is another four-win season.

“It’s not how good you are; it’s how good you believe you are in the NFL.”
Stan Weber, on the power of positivity working for the Chiefs if they can get off to a win over San Diego in their home opener, 810 AM
GH: I’m not so sure I believe in Weber’s Music Man “think system” approach to winning football games in the NFL. I favor talent over ‘tude any day.

“We’re really surprised with the severity of these sanctions.”
Pete Carroll, former USC coach, during an interview with Mike & Mike on Tuesday morning, ESPN Radio
GH: Carroll has been all over the radio and television promoting his new book, which is supposed to be a game plan for winning in sports, life and business. What a phony this guy is. If he sells more than 10 of these books there should be another investigation. Read on.

“We didn’t know what was going on (with Reggie Bush). We didn’t find out until the season ended. We needed to know. I wish we would have known but we didn’t. It just happened so fast that we weren’t aware of it. We didn’t know what was going on.”
Pete Carroll, ESPN Radio
GH: Hey Pete, you are the head coach. It is your job to know what is going on with your Heisman Trophy running back. Things were happening too fast? What a joke of an excuse.

“Hopefully, we move forward and we learn from this. A lot of people learn from this.”
Pete Carroll, ESPN Radio
GH: What I learned from this is that you got a cushy NFL job and left your school, players and fans to deal with crushing NCAA violations that could hamper USC for the next decade.

“Well, I really can’t be concerned about (people thinking he bolted from USC just before the NCAA sanctions went down). The decision to go to Seattle was just so unique. It had nothing to do with anything that was going on (at USC) It was all about this opportunity that was so cool. It was so unique and so special I had to jump.”
Pete Carroll, ESPN Radio
GH: How glad am I that I don’t live in California and have to listen to coaches that are too cool for their own school?

“(Bob) Krause agreed to travel to Charlottesville, Va., and make a personal appeal to (Ron) Prince. It was agreed that Krause would pay his own travel expenses and represent only himself, not the university. In Charlottesville, Krause made an offer: If Prince agreed to nullify the buyout agreement, Krause would purchase an insurance policy on his own life and designate Prince as the beneficiary. Prince declined, and a legal battle ensued. More than a year after K-State filed its lawsuit, attorneys on both sides said no resolution has been reached.”
Austin Meek, CJonline.com
GH: You can read Meeks’ story here at CJonline.com. I don’t have any words for this one. Make up your own.

“I’m a man on an island because I’m the only guy, especially in the North, that thinks Baylor is going to be a threat (in Big 12 football).”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Baylor got Mizzou last season and has shown some real progress the past two years. I know I’m glad they are in the South and not the North.

“There’s a little Josh Freeman to (Blaine Gabbert). Josh Freeman beat Texas twice but he couldn’t beat KU, MU or NU. I think it’s important that (Gabbert) gets significantly better this season and get rid of that Freeman syndrome. I don’t think the player he’s been is good enough.”
Kevin Kietzman, in evaluating Mizzou’s QB, Blaine Gabbert, 810 AM
GH: Gabbert doesn’t remind me of Freeman in the least. It might be wishful thinking on Kietzman’s part but that big QB at Mizzou is a player. And unlike Freeman, he would have beaten his thrivanee rival schools in his debut season, except for Nebraska’s miracle fourth-quarter comeback. I don’t get KK’s comparison at all.

“I would say that 99% of the population have no idea what HGH is or what steroids do.”
Jose Canseco, in an interview with Shan Shariff, 610 AM
GH: Canseco often comes off as a nut job but I think he is closer to the truth than many believe. I expect these kind of performance enhancement “drugs” to be not only legalized in the future but become an everyday part of most people’s lives to curtail the aging process.

“To me that is a headline. That is a gigantic headline!”
Kevin Kietzman, on the news item on page B5 of The Star that quoted Soria saying he would boycott next season’s All-Star game in Arizona to support his Latino brothers, 810 AM
GH: Let’s wait and see what happens a year from now before we get too excited about Arizona’s new anti-illegal alien law and all this talk about athletes boycotting the state. I think The Star played this one correctly.

“I love Baltimore. The Wire (the critically acclaimed HBO series) is a small part of it. Just getting my family out of there is my job.”
Kim English, Mizzou basketball player and Baltimore native, 610 AM
GH: Until The Wire, I had no idea Baltimore was such a crap hole. While English says he loves the city, he also says it is his job to get his family out. The Midwest ain’t a bad place to live – even with this humidity.

“I think critics are just people who couldn’t get it done themselves.”
Kim English, Mizzou basketball player, while talking to Nick Wright about criticisms he has read or received online, 610 AM
GH: Grow some thicker skin, Kim. Your game needs some serious work -- and that has nothing to do with your critics’ inability to hit a jumper.

“I would not call (Don Coryell) a great coach because he never won the big one. But he is a Hall of Famer.”
Soren Petro, on the recently deceased former Chargers’ coach, 810 AM
GH: I have long thought Petro’s criteria for “greatness” to be flawed. His above statement is my strongest argument against his theory.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24

 


 

GUILLEN GOES NATIONAL

Posted 7-14-10

“Since I made those comments (about his Royals teammates), the team has responded and been fundamentally pretty good. … I like to speak the truth.”
Jose Guillen, in a weekend interview with Jim Bowden and Dan Moriarty on FoxSports Radio
GH: As I was mowing the lawn on Saturday, I listened to the Royals right fielder/DH discuss the possibility of him being traded and his take on the Royals and his time in Kansas City. Read on.

“I’m up in the air. Whatever happens, happens. I’m having a great time here in Kansas City. I’ve been traded before but I don’t really know what’s gonna happen.”
Jose Guillen, FoxSports Radio
GH: Guillen sounded very content with being a Kansas City Royal. While I believe he will very likely be traded in the next week or so, I’m not so sure Jose is looking forward to leaving our Cowtown – and that surprised me a great deal.

“I thought it was a prank call because (Guillen) was laughing and he was engaging. He wasn’t the grump sitting in the corner of the locker room.”
Shan Shariff, on Guillen’s weekend interview with FoxSports Radio, 610 AM

“I pretty much lost my outfield job (at the beginning of the season) without anybody really telling me anything. I’m not real happy with the situation.”
Jose Guillen, FoxSports Radio
GH: It wouldn’t be a Jose interview without some spite. One truth to covering sports is that the athlete is always the last to know when he can no longer go. Guillen refuses to acknowledge he now runs about as well as the foul pole.

“Billy (Butler) is a great hitter but he still has a ways to go. DeJesus is a great hitter. He’s the kind of guy I would like to have on my team anytime. He’s just like me; he loves to win.”
Jose Guillen, FoxSports Radio
GH: It was evident during Jose’s interview that he is not a big Billy Butler fan. I got the feeling Jose thinks Butler is a me-first guy instead of a team-first guy.

“Is David Ortiz faster than Jose Guillen? You could throw Billy Butler in there too.”
Sam Mellinger, Star columnist, 810 AM
GH: The Royals next promotion needs to be Guillen and Butler racing Catsup, Relish and Mustard on a steamy Saturday night. I am betting Relish wins going away.

“I think Jose Guillen will be gone by August 1st. I think they are making a huge mistake if he is still on the team come August 1st. The Royals have every reason to be optimistic about their future, especially 2012, and Jose Guillen is not in any way involved in that future.”
Sam Mellinger, Star columnist, who is in favor of jettisoning Guillen and promoting Kila Ka’aihue to place in the DH slot, 810 AM

“I think they’ve hired the best manager since Dick Howser – and I think I hired about six of them in between. “(Ned Yost) has a lot of Dick Howser’s qualities.”
Herk Robinson, in an interview with Kevin Kietzman on Ned Yost, 810 AM
GH: KK’s decision to bring on Herk for an interview was a great one. I had not heard from Herk in some time and it was interesting to hear how much he likes the Royals’ new skipper. Kietzman also revealed that Herk resigned from the Royals board about two weeks ago. KK said Herk refused to discuss the circumstances surrounding his resignation. Mr. Mellinger, sounds like a story is waiting to be told.

“Sam Mellinger wrote a nice column in (Tuesday’s) Sports Daily (about Joaquin Soria). I don’t remember the last time I read a column in The Star from start to finish but I read his column today.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Maybe KK will read Sam’s column from beginning to end if he uncovers the reason for Herk’s resignation.

“Starting next year, I think you’re going to be in the situation where every year for the next three or four years, the Royals are going to be able to promote somebody to the major leagues who has legitimate star potential.”
Rany Jazayerli, of Ranyontheroyals.com, 810 AM

“All I’ve heard recently is that the Royals have all these young stars and that everything is headed in the right direction. Why do I still believe that is kind of a pipedream?”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: It is not difficult to understand why any Royals fans are pessimistic about all the positive talk about the Royals’ prospects and future. But I am leaning on the side of being reckless and allowing myself to think this time it will be different. We are due, right?

“I think there will be peace in the Middle East before you come up with a perfect system for picking the All-Star team.”
Buster Olney, 810 AM
“Will the Food Network get any games?”
Bob Fescoe, making light of the recent announcement that some NCAA basketball tournament games will be broadcast on what was formerly Court TV, 610 AM
GH: I chuckled at Fescoe’s glib response. Am I the only hoops fan not all that interested in these eight teams that will be no more than second game casualties come March Madness? ESPN’s Jay Bilas has it right, go back to 64 and stop the nonsense – and quit screwing up my bracket contest entry dates!

“You can head South but your mom is riding West.”
New T-shirt slogan that has become a popular item in Cleveland, referencing the rumors that LeBron’s mom and his Cavs teammate, Delonte West, shared more than furtive glances

“(Delonte West) is about to start a three-year prison sentence. Somebody else might be riding West.”
Jake Gutierrez, 810 AM

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

THE PASSING OF STEINBRENNER

Posted 7-13-10

“Mr. May.”
George Steinbrenner’s personal nickname for Dave Winfield after the Yankee slugger failed to produce in the 1981 World Series
GH: The Boss is dead. And I am not talking about Bruce. Steinbrenner has been the majority owner of the New York Yankees since 1973 – the year I graduated from high school. In my opinion, Steinbrenner was the most hated team owner in the history of sports – sorry Art Modell. You want to talk about an owner who had a passion for his team and was crazy in love with winning? Dan Whatshisname from the Cavs isn’t even in the same league as King George.

“George Steinbrenner, an aggressive Clevelander with a driving need to dominate and win, tried to buy the Indians in 1972. The heir to a shipping fortune put together a syndicate that offered $8.5 million for the team to Indians owner Vernon Stouffer, who agreed verbally to the deal. But before the papers were signed, Stouffer backed out and sold the club to Nick Mileti, whose group bought the club for $9 million. Like a young man who is spurned by the girl next door and then marries a movie star, Steinbrenner got even for the snub, leap-frogging to New York and purchasing the Yankees for $10 million in 1973. The estimated value of the franchise is now more than $1.6 billion.”
Bob Dolgan, writer, Cleveland Plain Dealer


“Singles’ tables are for losers!”
George Steinbrenner, on an episode of Seinfeld where he appeared as himself and arranged to take Elaine to Costanza’s wedding
GH: My wife knew who George Steinbrenner was. And as we know, my wife once mixed up Don Drysdale with Jed Clampett’s banker. Larry David typically played Steinbrenner from the rear on Seinfeld but in this one episode, Steinbrenner played himself and looked pretty good doing it. BTW; how hot is Elaine? Maybe one of the greatest woman to ever grace a sitcom. Pretty, sexy, funny and more like a guy than the three main guys on the show.

“He better start house-hunting in Kansas City. I would not want to be poor Lee living in New York.”
George Steinbrenner, after American League President, Lee MacPhail, overturned an umpire’s ruling concerning George Brett’s pine tar incident, Cleveland Plain Dealer

“He’s a huge deal. I don’t think you can put into words what he means to the Yankees’ organization.”
Trenni Kusnierek, after hearing of Steinbrenner’s death, 810 AM

 “Well said.”
Nate Bukaty, responding to Kusnierek’s “huge deal” comment about King George, 810 AM
GH: Well said? I like Trenni but her “huge deal” comment about Steinbrenner was less than laudatory. A lot less. I thought Skinny Mike from ESPN’s Mike and Mike Show was far more succinct and profound. Read on.

“He made himself as significant a figure in sports as there was in my lifetime. He was legendary. Those words are definitely overused but in this case they definitely apply.”
Mike Greenberg, on Steinbrenner, ESPN Radio

“Nine Yankees will earn more this year than Steinbrenner paid for entire franchise ($10 M) in '73.”
dubbs88, Twitter

“Twitter is over capacity.”
Steinbrenner once again wields his massive weight even in cyperspace even after his passing

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


MOUSTAKAS RIPPING UP AA

Posted 7-12-10

“This means nothing, but the last big leaguer to match Moose's (Mike Moustakas) minor league stats over a full season: Barry Bonds in 2004. These numbers aren't typos: Moose is hitting .355/.417/.705, 25 2bs, 21 hrs. Hosmer is hitting .349/.424/.540 with 27 2bs, 6 3bs, 7 hrs.”
Sam Mellinger, on the Royals’ top prospect’s current season in Double-A at Northwest Arkansas, Twitter
GH: The Royals went more than a decade before they had a position player in their farm system that they could look to as “the next George Brett.” Then they drafted Alex Gordon in 2005, who looked to be everything we had hoped for. Maybe he still will be but his star has dulled considerably. Now The Moose is at our door and he looks like he could double as one of Santa’s reindeer.  Read on.

“All I know is that every team we play, the first thing the manager says to me is; ‘What is he still doing here?’ I know all of the other teams are ready for him to go.”
Brian Poldberg, manager of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, when asked when he expects Mike Moustakas to be promoted to Triple A or beyond, 810 AM
GH: The Royals three-game losing streak (and Greinke’s ‘soreness’) has cooled talk of them contending this season. Many expect Moose to head north to Omaha after the All-Star break. Let’s hope he makes the managers at the Triple-A level just as eager to see him move to a Kansas City address permanently.

“This guy is definitely one of the best hitters I’ve even see. He can use the whole field. … I don’t foresee any problem with him playing third either.”
Brian Poldberg, on Moustakas, 810 AM
GH: With Moose playing third and projected as a number-three hitter in the lineup, the comparisons between him and Brett are obvious. But the fact that Alex Gordon was just down that road may temper our Brett-fueled imagination.

“I like when people mess with my name. It’s kind of funny.”
Mike Moustakas, on the Naturals’ PA guy drawing emphasis to the Moooooo as he steps to the plate in Arkansas, Metro Sports
GH: Could our Cowtown have a better nickname for their marquee player than Moose? The Royals’ marketing staff have to be salivating to get this kid to The K and his Moose gear into their stores. Plus, this kid is no Greinke or Gordon or Beltran or Damon when it comes to the media. He appears to have a lot of personality and is an outgoing team leader.

“On the night Metro Sports was there, he collected five RBIs, with two home runs, on three hits – by the fourth inning.”
Mick Shaffer, who spent time in Arkansas recently covering the Royals’ prospects, Metro Sports
GH: If you are a Time Warner cable subscriber, check out the evening Metro Sports broadcasts this week for more interviews and video from the abundantly talented Naturals.

“He’s been unbelievable this year. I get surprised all the time seeing him. Wow!”
Mike Montgomery, Royals pitching prospect, on watching Moustakas up close on a daily basis, Metro Sports

“The guy’s one of the best hitters I’ve ever seen.”
Johnny Giavotella, Naturals second baseman, on Moustakas, Metro Sports

“He was really raw when he first came into the organization. Just to watch him progress and watch him be the most feared hitter in the league is something I’m really proud of.”
Clint Robinson, Naturals first baseman, Metro Sports

“I really haven’t thought too much about any call ups.”
Mike Moustakas, when asked by Shaffer if he expects to move up to Omaha, Metro Sports
GH: Whether he has or hasn’t, it is nice to hear that Moustakas knows how to say the right thing when in front of a microphone.

“We’ve got a lot of exciting young players down here. There’s been a lot to look at around here.”
Brian Poldberg, manager of the Arkansas Naturals, as his team finished the first half of their season 22 games over .500, 810 AM
GH: When was the last time the Royals has this kind of talent pulsating at this crescendo in the farm system? Probably about the early 1970s.

“I really hate to say this but being swept by the White Sox may have been the best thing for the Royals. … Guillen needs to be moved for whatever they can get. I would say the same for Podsednik. I think those two guys really need to be moved.”
Rany Jazayerli, saying the Royals need to concentrate on making trades rather than wining the ALC this season, 810 AM

“The only part you can do as a fan is enjoy watching your team play. They might never win a pennant! But we don’t need to be worried about the big picture. We need to be worried about right now, this moment. And right now this team is fun to watch.”
Nick Wright, refusing to get upset or excited about the 25 years of the Royals not making postseason play, 610 AM
GH: I could not disagree more. The casual fan may be merely interested in now, today or this series. But any fan worth his Royals cap has to be looking at both the history and future of the franchise to determine and ponder their chances for success. Hoping the Royals fans live in the moment makes Wright sound like he’s auditioning for Toby Cook’s job.

“I’m not giving up on 2011 yet. The odds again are small, but I’m not giving up on that season. That would be an amazingly fun season.”
Rany Jazayerli, when asked by Steven St. John if Royals fans should be pointing to 2012, 810 AM
GH: The goal for 2011 is to play better than .500 under Ned Yost. We have already achieved one very big goal; that of sending Trey Hillman to the showers.

“We’ll sit down at the appropriate time and discuss the long-term situation for Ned. But make no mistake about it, I’ve been very pleased with Ned. And I feel he feels the same. We expect him to be a big part of our future. … He’s done an exceptional job of managing the pitching.”
Dayton Moore, in an interview with Dave Stewart, Metro Sports
GH: Will Yost be given an extension over the All-Star break? I think it would make a lot of sense. While he’s not perfect, he sure looks good compared to what we have had in the Royals’ dugout.

“He’s not afraid to smile.”
Dave Stewart, on Yost’s dugout demeanor, Metro Sports
GH: It’s not hard to be liked here in Kansas City. Just win more than you lose and act like you enjoy your dream job. Few ever understand those constants.

“I thought Trey did a tremendous job of team building.”
Dayton Moore, Metro Sports
GH: This might be the biggest lie Moore has ever spoken. It’s right up there with the one where he said Hillman was the perfect man for the job – the day before he fired him.

“Jack (Harry) texted me last night and said, ‘Do you still want that bet?’ I told him, ‘Absolutely.’ ”
Kevin Kietzman, who is betting the Royals will not win 76 games this season, 810 AM
GH: I have a feeling KK’s takes about the Chiefs will be a bit more positive. The fact that 810 is now contractually bound to the Chiefs radio network is a bit of a hint.

“(Dan Gilbert’s) feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runaway slave. (Gilbert’s) accusations endanger LeBron. His jersey is being burned in effigy, and he is being projected as a betrayer by the owner. ... LeBron is not a child, nor is he bound to play on Gilbert’s plantation and be demeaned.”
Jesse Jackson, in a press release Sunday
GH: How startling. Jesse reads race into Gilbert’s letter. Okay, everybody yawn once and move on.

“NBA owners and their $100-million contracts are slave owners and King James is Kunta Kinte escaping on the Underground Railroad to Miami’s Tootsie’s Cabaret, where he’ll make it rain. It’s stupid. Dan Gilbert’s rant was certainly immature, but it wasn’t remotely racist. He sounded like a scorned lover, a guy who gave his heart to a relationship and found out on national TV that the alleged love of his life didn’t care about him at all.”
Jason Whitlock, FoxSports.com
GH: No Chicken George reference? It looks like Whitlock is at least awake – but still on vacation when it comes to his KC Star column.

“I do some strange stuff with my husband for free! Do you know what kind of strange stuff I’d do for $750,000,000?”
Caller Michelle, on the reported divorce settlement demand from Tiger Woods’ wife, 610 AM

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24

 


 

CAVS' OWNER RIPS ON LEBRON

Posted 7-9-10

“Cleveland fans simply don't deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.”
Dan Gilbert, in an open letter to Cleveland fans following LeBron’s announcement
GH: In what has quickly become one of the most famous public documents ever written by a professional team owner, Gilbert trashes his franchise’s greatest player by calling him narcissistic, heartless, callous and accusing him of deserting Cleveland. If you have not yet read his letter, click on the link. I can wait.

"I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER 'KING' WINS ONE. You can take it to the bank.”
Dan Gilbert, Cavs owner
GH: I have not had any reason to know much about Gilbert until he took the time to pen this note. I have a feeling he is about to become very, very popular. Most insane millionaires who own professional teams have a way of attracting copious amounts of media attention.

“I thought it was fantastic and wildly entertaining.”
Steven St. John, on Gilbert’s letter, 810 AM
GH: While I will agree on the entertaining part, I am not so sure I want this guy pulling the strings for my sports franchise. Or even running a concession stand. The boss simply can’t be as stupid as the athletes he owns.

“The self-declared former 'King' will be taking the 'curse' with him down south. And until he does 'right' by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.”
Dan Gilbert, in an open letter to Cleveland fans following LeBron’s announcement
GH: Is Gilbert now a Hogwarts’ wizard? He went all Dumbledore with this curse-wielding incantation.

“I like an owner who cares, and Dan really cares. I think he wants us to know that he won't quit, despite what happened with LeBron. It's time for all of us in this town to rally around each other and our teams. … I'm disappointed by this. I would have loved to sit down and talk to him. I tried at times, but I was never able to get to him. He has a lot of people around him.”
Bernie Kosar, former Browns QB, Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Dan Gilbert is a stud! I would love for him to be the owner of the Royals. I like (the letter) because it shows the passion this man has and that we don’t see in our owner here in Kansas City.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Passion is great if you’re inside a huddle or shopping for a mate. But what Gilbert did to LeBron, a guy who gave his team, his city and the NBA seven years of greatness, was simply immature and reckless. How many superstars are the Cavs going to be able to attract after Gilbert’s public tirade?

“Jim Gray lost all of his credibility last night…being the fluffer, if you will. That was disgusting!”
Michael Bradley, NBA writer, on Gray’s live interview with LeBron on ESPN, NBA
GH: Gray is way past his prime as an interviewer for a situation as monstrous as The Decision. I was stunned to see him sitting across from King James on ESPN. Where is Jim Lampley or his 2010 facsimile when we need him? How great would it have been to have the irreverent Jay Mohr chatting up LJ?

“I thought (LeBron) did as good a job as he could have with it. I think Jim Gray is a really good interviewer. Michael Wilbon and Jim Gray have the stink of this show on them and it will forever be on them. I thought they did as good a job with that show as they possibly could.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: I thought the live show was a huge bore. Gray acts as if he had his personality surgically removed and now speaks as if he was a monotone Stepford wife. Wilbon might be the most over-hyped member of the sports media on the planet. I keep hearing how everyone respects this guy and what a great job he does on PTI but I don’t see it. He doesn’t speak all that well, he’s not funny and his thoughts rarely evoke anything deep enough for treading water.

“LeBron James made it official last night; he will never be as popular as Michael Jordan.”
Dennis Rooney, 1510 AM
GH: Maybe Dennis should have conducted the LeBron interview.

“Dan has used the Comic Sans font for years and years in all of his communications.”
Cavs spokesperson, on the font the team owner chose to use for his letter, WSJ.com
GH: Any businessman who is using Comic Sans as his font choice needs to first fire himself and then fire everyone in his front office who refused to tell him how much of a doofus it made him look.

“Events like (the LeBron decision) are why Twitter is so great.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: Agreed. Twitter is a great and entertaining way to track events like The Decision. I don’t know what the “next” thing is going to be but it will have to go a long way to top how much info and amusement I derive from Twitter.

“I don’t think he is. He’s okay but he’s not a frontline NBA point guard.”
Michael Bradley, NBA writer for ESPN.com, when asked if Mario Chalmers was the answer at the point for the Heat, 810 AM
GH: Michael Beasley was traded to the Timberwolves on Thursday, leaving Chalmers in Miami with the new Holy Trinity. It will be interesting to see if the former KU guard ups his game to match his new teammates.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


ALL THE LEBRON TALK

Posted 7-9-10

“An unbelievable thing! Maybe unprecedented in anything we’ve seen before!”
Mike Greenberg, on LeBron James’ free-agent saga, ESPN Radio
GH: Whoa. Has this LeBron thing kind of gotten out of hand or what? If only the NBA were this popular. Read on.

“Love it or hate it, I know where I’ll be at eight o’clock tonight.”
Josh Klingler, on ESPN’s scheduled hour-long live broadcast of King James’ announcement on which NBA team he has chosen to grace with his name, game and fame, 610 AM
GH: Since LeBron never went to college, he never got to hold a press conference on ESPN to toss baseball caps in the air and then don his favorite school’s colors. Maybe this ESPN show is just his rendition of homecoming week.

“People have spoken - no LeBron photos today on this feed. Amazing how many ppl hate him now.”
SI_vault, Twitter
GH: Has LeBron gone from Whitness to Shitlist? Leaving Cleveland for NYC or Miami will make him persona non grata in the Rust Belt. But who goes home when you’re from Cleveland?

“The vast, endless stupidity is what separates us from other creatures. … This might seem crazy, but I think the stupidity surrounding LeBron is exceeding the stupidity surrounding the last two Brett Favre retirements. To this point, the Favre sagas were the pinnacles of media/fan stupidity, true classics of the form.”
Tim Keown, columnist, ESPN.com
GH: Uhhh, I disagree. The Brett Favre stupidity was uber worse. My wife was in on the Brett Favre saga and she knows less about sports than Karen Kornacki.

“For the record, my money is still with Stan Van Gundy and LeBron stays in Cleveland. It's all hype. He stays home.”
Jason Whitlock, Twitter
GH: JW is on the record…and he’s even putting up his moola on this predict. Caution; the last time Whit was right he was writing for The Kansas City Star. What’s that? He still is?

“Multiple sources telling me that LeBron is staying in Cleveland. Unfortunately, the sources are my invisible friends.”
Joe Posnanski, Twitter
GH: Is JoPo taking a shot at KK and his multiple sources with this tweet?

“I think it’s Miami.”
Mike Greenberg, Wednesday on where he expects LeBron to land, ESPN Radio
GH: Greenie was so unsure of this pick he changed his mind the very next day – all without remembering what he said the day before. Read on.

“My gut feeling is he’s going to announce he’s going to the Knicks, which I thought all day yesterday.”
Mike Greenberg, Thursday on ESPN Radio
GH: Must be that heat wave on the east coast affecting Greenie’s gray matter.

“This is history in the making! How many times have I said that in the last two months?”
Tim Montemayor, of The Monty Show, Sporting News Radio

“LeBron James looks like a clown. And keep in mind, this show has been defending LeBron.”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM

“Let's say LeBron signs with Miami. Can you even make the Finals with LeBron, Bosh, Wade and nine minimum-salary guys? Because that might be next year's team … and if that's what happens, the answer is ‘no effing way.’ You don't win titles just because of your top three. That belittles the meaning of guys like Derek Fisher, Robert Horry, Steve Kerr, John Paxson, Brian Shaw …”
Bill Simmons, columnist, ESPN.com
GH: I’d take my chance with those three in a Miami uni. I’m thinking there might be an effing way they could find a couple of guys to pass them the ball and board once in a while.

“I know all the reports say Miami but I have a very, very, sneaky suspicion that it’s the New York Knicks. I think the Nets may be in second place. He wants to be ‘The Man’ in the number-one media market in the country.”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM
GH: What if he comes on at 8:15 pm and says, “I’m a Los Angeles Laker.” Jack Nicholson would shit his pants. Probably for the second time today.

“Kobe Bryant also faces a tough decision today: Wear one championship ring or all of them?”
Grant Wahl, of Sports Illustrated, Twitter

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24

 


 

KIETZMAN SAYS THE ALL-STAR GAME IS BAD FOR KANSAS CITY

Posted 7-9-10

“Players in ESPN The Magazine are already sitting around and making fun of Kansas City. Players are already complaining and moaning that they are going to have to come to Kansas City (for the 2012 MLB All-Star game). I think we’re going to have about as many phantom injuries as we have ever seen. This is absolutely embarrassing already for Kansas City. We brought this upon ourselves. As a long range thinker, we’d be better off without this (All-Star game) right now.”
Kevin Kietzman, responding to an ESPN The Magazine article written by an anonymous MLB player who stated players are not excited about coming to Kansas City for the 2012 All-Star game, 810 AM

“We don’t hear players saying they don’t want to play in the All-Star game at Fenway Park! We don’t hear that!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I listened to Kietzman pound his message home for two days. He must think it is important that we be aware some professional baseball players find traveling to KC in mid July less than attractive. Wow! How awful! Read on.

“I heard you complaining for the last half hour about this (All-Star) thing. Here we’ve got the All-Star game here and you’re groaning and moaning and carrying on! What’s it say? A major league baseball player? I really don’t care what he thinks. It makes absolutely no sense! And then for you to blow it up like this… This is maybe one ball player!”
Jack Harry, responding to Kietzman’s extended rant, 810 AM
GH: Harry ripped into Kietzman during this segment with verve he typically reserves for Carl Peterson or when the Chiefs raise ticket prices. He challenged KK on his own show and even hit him where Kevin is most sensitive – his tendency to blow up a nothing story into a full-blown controversy. Read on.

“I dare you to NOT put this on NBC Action News about Kansas City! I’m merely pointing out to people that this is what the ball players think of Kansas City for real.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kansas Citians don’t want to be in our Cowtown in July and August! When did you schedule your vacation for this year? So one unnamed player says he doesn’t think our 37-year-old ball park isn’t all that great and that there is nothing going on in KC in mid-summer. Jack Harry said it best; “So what?”

“People are bad-mouthing our city!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: KK has a problem with people ripping him and his work. He believes there is almost nothing worse than someone criticizing him. His psyche is especially vulnerable right now in the wake of his much-publicized bogus report that Mizzou had been invited to join the Big Ten. He is confusing his personal concern about criticism with the city’s ability to deflect and absorb negative blows from the outside. Let me just say that KC is a helluva lot tougher than Kietzman.

“That’s what the (MLB) players are saying! This is real. This is legit. This isn’t some phantom quote that somebody made up!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I was not surprised to hear KK make it clear this quote was not another “Kietz;” the newly dubbed verb for when a member of the media is caught erroneously shouting that the sky is falling.

“You’re saying; ‘What the ball players think.’ It’s maybe one ball player. Why do I hear about all these players who say they like the ball park and how they like to come to Kansas City? Maybe they really feel that way. Did that ever cross your mind?”
Jack Harry, 810 AM
GH: KK continues to carry a torch for a downtown baseball park and is livid with David Glass for not pushing the city in that direction. He has seized upon this ESPN article as evidence that he was right. Hell, most of us know we should have built a new ball park downtown – but it didn’t happen! Let’s move on until the next owner of the Royals comes along and corrects that mistake. BTW; I have a good friend who says he will one day buy the Royals and build a new ball park next to the Power & Light District. If you knew this guy like I know this guy, you would not bet against him.

“It’s very real. It’s who and what we are. Jack is a very dear friend.”
Kevin Kietzman, responding to a caller who said he enjoyed KK and Jack’s on-air argument, 810 AM
GH: Translation: This is radio where nothing is real. When it appears to be real, repeat to yourself this is a prepared show that KK once said about to me; “Nothing on this show happens that I don’t know is going to happen. Nothing.”

“I don’t care about the players. I don’t care what the players think. In this situation it’s about the fans.”
Nick Wright, on MLB players complaining that they are not excited about coming to Kansas City in 2012 for the All-Star game, 610 AM
GH: This is not about the fans. How many Royals’ fans will even be able to afford to attend these All-Star events here in KC? This is not about the fans. It is about MLB making good on their pledge to the city to grease their coffers with All-Star money if they paid to renovate The K. It’s about politics and money – just like everything else.

“We talk a lot about the media here. People have a hard time understanding that 95% of what they hear is crap! It’s complete crap!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Ironically, KK was not talking about himself.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

IS YOST'S BOAST HYPE?

Posted 7-9-10

“We’re a good week and a day away from being (in) first place. That’s the way I look at it. If some guys lose some games, and we get on a bit of run… We’re in it. We’re eight games out. We’re a week out of first place as we sit today. I mean, really. Eight days. If things happen. Yeah, I really believe it.”
Ned Yost, on the surging Royals’ chances to win the AL Central, Kansas City Star
GH: The All Star break is next week and instead of the Royals heading to the basement and their fans packing for Chiefs’ training camp we actually have to pause and debate whether or not this season is salvageable. Not only salvageable but winnable…as in a postseason playoff run. Not all share Yost’s optimism. Read on.

“Does Ned Yost need a breathalyzer? I don’t think this is possible. I’m here to tell you that Royals’ Kool-Aid has roofies in it. It’s spiked. I can’t sign up for Ned Yost’s inspiration. There’s no validity to it. They still, bottom line, don’t have enough talent.”
Shan Sharif, 610 AM
GH: How much talent do the Royals need to win the Central? It looks to me that the Twins, Tigers and Chisox are all locked into a pennant race that could last the summer and any of the three could win. Are the Royals as good as those three teams?

“I used to just roll my eyes when I would hear someone say we could still win this division. But with Ned Yost, I’m not so sure. Maybe I’m just Kool-Aiding it. It just feels like a different vibe in that clubhouse.”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM

“I don’t think they have a great shot at winning a whole bunch of games within the division. There is something about the Twins. They look over there and see those uniforms and…”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I have readjusted my thinking on who the Royals can and cannot beat now that Trey Hillman is playing waffle ball in his backyard in Texas. I think the Twins might be a little wary of Yost and his boast.

“That is lunacy. Utter and complete lunacy (to think the Royals could win the pennant). They could win eight straight and still be under .500. I love that they’re winning. I hope they keep winning. But I don’t want them to trick themselves into think they can win the division. They can’t.”
Nick Wright, responding to a caller who is excited about the Royals’ pennant chances, 610 AM
GH: After 25 years of no playoffs I am ready to be tricked – even if it’s only to get me through the summer months until football season brings the familiar scent of stickum to my flared nostrils.

“Maybe Royals manager Ned Yost is right. Maybe the Royals can climb back into postseason contention. Their 3-2 victory on Tuesday over the Seattle Mariners clinched a fourth straight series victory. It was also their ninth victory in 12 games. Hey, they’re rolling.”
Bob Dutton, Royals beat writer, Kansas City Star
GH: Let me take this opportunity to thank The Star for getting the Royals’ west coast game stories into the next morning’s home-delivery edition. I know it’s the newspaper’s job to deliver the news but when you consider all that needs to occur (including interviews, copy writing, editing, story placement, printing, distribution and home delivery – just to name a few) for you and me to be able to sit down for our morning grumpy and read game stories and notes from a game that ended less than five hours ago – well, I think it’s pretty damn impressive. It used to drive me nuts when some late home games wouldn’t make the paper so I applaud The Star’s effort to improve. Now, if they could just find a way to deliver me a dry paper when it rains…

“Let’s not go overboard. They are eight games under .500. They are not making the playoffs.”
Shan Sharif, 610 AM

“Maybe there is something changing about this (Royals) team right here before our eyes.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM

“I keep hearing people talking about the 1985 Royals being 7.5 games out. At game 81 they were 41-40. Like I said, getting to .500 is what it’s about.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM

“Zack Greinke has a chance to pitch in three of the Royals next six games.”
Jason Anderson, 810 AM
GH: Yost has confirmed that he plans on pitching Greinke on Sunday and again after the All-Star break. Okay, I’m getting a little light headed…

“If you can’t find a trade partner for Jose Guillen by July 30th then you cut him.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Guillen apparently tweaked his hamstring in Seattle Tuesday night. He may be done for the summer if I know anything about old athletes and hammys. That might not be a bad thing for the Royals’ present and future.

“Mark Grace on young players ‘get ur best players up, need more seasoning? NO, dinner needs more seasoning’ I agree but I am old skool.”
Greg Schaum, Twitter
GH: Did you catch Mike Moustakas’ line from Tuesday night? 4 for 4 with two dongs (his 20th and 21st). Will we be eating Mouse Tacos at The K before September?

“I don’t think you’re going to see (Mike Moustakas) anytime soon. I wouldn’t even be surprised if the Royals don’t call him up in September.”
Robert Ford, host of Royals pre- and postgame shows, 610 AM
GH: If the Royals are even remotely in the hunt for a pennant come late July, bring that stud up and let him crank this baby to serious and delirious.

“Thus far, neither one of these guys (Sherron Collins and Denie Clemente) have impressed anybody. Thus far, neither one of these guys are gonna make a roster. Send me your apologies (to Entercom) for the hate I got for saying Sherron Collins would play as many NBA minutes as I will. It’s not looking good for the young men at the (NBA) summer league.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM

“Sherron Collins scores 7 pts. and fouls out of NBA Rookie game today. He's lost 18 pounds on a ‘subway diet.’ A tough road ahead to make it.”
Jack Harry, Twitter
GH: A “subway diet?” Has Sherron gone and pulled a Jerrod? Has anyone lost 18 pounds eating hoagies? That Dagwood dude has managed to stay pretty thin the past 60 years.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

IN NORTH, NEBRASKA IS PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER ONE

Posted 7-5-10

“When we’re in Dallas in about a month for the Big 12 football media days, how awkward is that going to be with Nebraska and Colorado running around? I can’t wait!”
Matt Perrault, Des Moines sports talk host, who was subbing for Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: We are less than two months away from the Big 12 beginning its final uncomfortable football season with its 12 original members. Here in the Kansas City area, the big bad Men of the Corn are receiving the most scorn. What better way to spend the summer months than speculating on what we all expect once spiraling pigs begin to fly in Lincoln, Manhattan, Lawrence and Columbia.

“I think it’s going to be more difficult for Nebraska to win in football this year than it would have been otherwise. I think everybody’s got them marked on the calendar. I think the other (Big 12) coaches feel snubbed. The fan bases will be energized.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: While I have no doubt Big 12 fans have checked the Huskers off their Xmas list, I’m not so sure the other coaching staffs feel anything – which is something I miss. Gary Pinkel is the only re-rigged B12 North coach who was even coaching in the Big 12 in 2008. One thing college football and basketball has sacrificed with its penchant for merry-go-round coaching staffs are the added deliciousness for a coach to learn to hate their rival – ala Pepper Rogers, Bill McCartney, Warren Powers and let’s not forget Barry and Tom. Coaches nowadays know they could be working in the enemy camp next season and treat each other like kin rather than the McCoys.

“The coming Big 12 season is going to be very interesting. The Huskers are going to play Texas, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma State along with their usual North lineup for the last time. The road crowds at Manhattan, Stillwater and Ames, and College Station make likely bring hostility toward the Red the likes of which has never been seen in the Big 8 or the Big 12. That factor will bring some very interesting forces to the fore.”
Brian Kubicki, columnist, The Platte County Landmark
GH: With a preseason top-10 ranking, Nebraska appears to be well-equipped to make this their swan-song season through the Big 12. While anything can happen (note ISU’s win in Lincoln last season), Missouri looks to be Nebraska’s only real foe for the B12 North title. If the Huskers do win the North and face Oklahoma or Texas for the title, will the North schools root for the South to win the title? You can bet your bib overalls and fall harvest they will.

“I was talking to Harvey Perlman (University of Nebraska’s Chancellor) about Nebraska leaving the Big 12 yesterday and he said; ‘We feel really bad about our Kansas, our Kansas State and our Iowa State brothers.’ I don’t know if it was just a slip of the tongue but he didn’t mention Missouri.”
Matt Perrault, 610 AM
GH: Perrault made this comment to highlight what he perceived as a slight to Mizzou – but I think the KU, KSU and ISU fans will read more insult into his comment than the absent Tigers. Despite all the legitimate Texas-size reasons to feel sorry for the three schools, no fan base wants to be pitied.

“I don’t think this conference will last long because there is too much disparity between all the teams. In the SEC, for instance, Vanderbilt makes as much money in the television contract as Florida. Everybody is good with it. Everybody is on the same page. Everyone gets the same votes. That doesn’t happen here in the Big 12. We have some teams that get a little bit more money and have a little more ‘stroke’ than some of the other teams. And when that happens, you’re gonna have teams looking for better avenues to leave and reasons to leave. We have a 10-team league right now, but I just don’t know how long that’s gonna last, to be honest with you.”
Tommy Tuberville, Texas Tech’s new head football coach, during a radio interview Tuesday with host Bill King, rivals.yahoo.com
GH: It appears Harvey Perlman is not the only Big 12 name who pities the Big 12’s forgotten five.

“In deciding to reprimand Coach Tuberville, I took into account that this is a first-time offense and that he has committed to adhere to the rules and contribute to strengthen the conference. If not for these factors, a more significant penalty would be assessed, and will be if there are any future violations.”
Dan Beebe, after reprimanding Tuberville for public stating his opinion, ESPN.com
GH: Why does Beebe believe Tuberville needs reprimanding? All he did was speak his opinion on a tumultuous collection of teams who form a conference in name only. I thought college was a place where independent thought and expression were encouraged – not fined.

“I've always liked new Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville. I like him even more now that he said out loud what everyone has been thinking: that the reformulated Big 12 (the Longhorn League?) won't last because of the disparity between schools.”
Lee Barfknecht, columnist, Omaha World Herald

“Texas Tech’s Tommy Tuberville said he doesn’t think the new Big 12 will last because there’s too much financial disparity between schools. When reached for comment, Texas officials were deep-sea fishing on a 100-foot yacht off the Canary Islands, and Baylor officials were trying to plug the hole in their air boat.”
Brad Dickson, columnist, Omaha World Herald

“It’s the Texas 10. You are a guest in their conference. If you’re okay serving your king and being attached to your king, there will be no problems.”
Matt Perrault, 610 AM

“Nobody trusts anybody and I think that is understandable. The Big 12 has been exposed as a dysfunctional family.”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM

“The early estimates were the rest of the (Big 12) conference would get about $20 million at least from Nebraska and Colorado (in penalty fees), which is $2 million per school. I will still be surprised if it is not at least $20 million for Colorado and Nebraska walking. I think that’s kinda funny.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM

“Nebraska’s first two football games of the 2010 season will be available on pay-per-view. The Sept. 4 game against Western Kentucky and a Sept. 11 game against Idaho will be available through Fox Sports Network at a suggested retail price of $39.95 each.”
KC Star news services
GH: The most telling reason the Big 10 chose Nebraska as their newest dance partner over Mizzou or Kansas is the fact that tens of thousands of Husker fans will shell out $40 to watch their football team beat the dog out of mutts. NU will sell more PPV to those awful games than MU, KU and KSU could sell combined to their non-con schedule. I’m not saying that makes it right, I’m just saying.

“Nebraska is like Russia - A former super power who frequently stirs up trouble because they still think they are a super power. Nebraska (Russia) thinks it is the equal of Texas (USA), and pouts in public when it doesn't get its baby way. When they do not get their way, they take their ball and go home.”
Kevin Kietzman, reading from an email that is making its way around the Internet that compares the Big 12 schools to countries around the world, 810 AM
GH: Not too surprisingly, Kietzman claimed this comparison his favorite of the twelve. Here is the simple truth. Nebraska was thrown a life raft by the Big 10 and whether they deserved it or not, they grabbed on with both hands and both feet the same as any team in the North and most in the South would have done. I think the Huskers’ final go around the old neighborhood should be a brawl, but one that ends with an embrace with their 100-year-old rivals. Yeah, I’m guessing that is not gonna happen.

“I think Texas is the biggest winner in this (re-rigged Big 12). And then behind that, Iowa State and Kansas State. I think those are the top-three winners in this entire deal in the Big 12.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman’s point is that ISU and KSU are far better off as Texas’ plaything than they would have been in the Mountain West. This makes some sense but the price to be paid for this new arrangement is yet to be declared. Read on.

“I’m not sure (Tuberville) understands the economics of this conference. The beauty of this design is that the teams at the bottom have nowhere else to go. They can’t go!”
Kevin Kietzman, on Tubberville’s comments, 810 AM
GH: Gee, I wonder why Nebraska, Colorado (and yes, Missouri) would want to run from that arrangement?

“If Missouri leaves, the other nine schools DO NOT CARE!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Doesn’t there come a point in time where the schools left in the North need to show some balls? Does K-State, Kansas and Iowa State really want to tackle the South alone? Or are they that beaten down that they have resigned themselves to being the Western Kentuckys and Idahos of the Big 12?

“I think there is going to be a point in time where if Nebraska would have had the opportunity to stay in the Big 12 in a ten-team league, I think in the not-so-distant future they are going to be sorry they didn’t stay.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman might want to consider changing his show’s name to; “Between the Lines and by the way, Nebraska sucks!” I find his Big Red bashing just a tad over the top – but highly entertaining.

“Fired Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach is working with espn.com writer Bruce Feldman on a book. This will be delicious. Leach is among those who always want the last word, so let the get-even tour begin.”
Lee Barfknecht, Omaha World Herald
GH: I have been wondering where Leach landed. It appears he has a story to tell. Should be a good one.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

BRACE YOURSELVES FOR A CAMP LOAD OF CHIEFS COVERAGE

Posted 7-2-10

“28 days until the start of Chiefs’ training camp…”
Promo for Chiefs’ coverage on 610 AM
GH: I get the feeling we are going to be treated to copious amounts of Chiefs’ coverage from the KC media once the Chiefs land in St. Joe. I am talking all-encompassing reporting the likes of we have never experienced. While both 810 and 610 radio stations will be mainlining us dawn to dusk Chiefs’ crack, those of us with Time Warner’s Metro Sport channel will get plenty of video to go along with the radio chatter.

“This will be probably one of the top-five training facilities in the National Football League.”
Denny Thum, Chiefs president, on the Chiefs’ new training camp on the campus of Missouri Western in St. Joe, MO, Metro Sports
GH: I have driven past the huge new Chiefs’ barn on MoWest’s campus six times in the past month. I don’t think rain in August in St. Joe is going to be a problem. The players may want to rename the barn “the fridge,” in hopes it gives them some relief from the oppressive heat and humidity that is sure to be their most constant companion at practice.

“Two things on the bucket list, Steven. Number one; hanging out in St. Joe – we’re gonna compare notes. And number two; When you gonna take me to fight night? You and me, we’re gonna hook up and go!”
Mitch Holthus, discussing his plans to “do” St. Joseph with the one-time MoWest student, Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: I just hope Mitch brings Grigsby along for the tour and asks SSJ to perform his Grigs’ impersonation. “That Dexter McGlockton; what a big, black beautiful beast!”

“This (AFC West) division is there for the taking and this (Chiefs) team better have that expectation. It’s time to get it done.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Can the Chiefs go from 4-12 to AFC West champs? There is a groundswell of enthusiasm building in this town that I believe will have many Chiefs’ fans thinking it is not only possible but very doable.

“Matt Cassel starts at least the first 14 games. It’s Matt Cassel’s job. I don’t know if I want it to be, but it is.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Is this the season we embrace Cassel as one of our own and not just Brady’s backup? He is still more Grbac than he is DeBerg to this fan base.

“I’m trying to be better than those guys.”
Dwayne Bowe, after Bob Fescoe asked him about playing for Charlie Weiss, who coached both Randy Moss and Tom Brady, 610 AM
GH: I could run Bowe-Bowe quotes on a daily basis and never get bored.

“There’s a lot of really good corn out there right now.”
Smoke & Fire Guy, 810 AM
GH: My bad. I thought the guy said “porn.”

“I think I’ve made my point. No two groups of people hate each other like these two groups of people. I’d take a firehouse to both of you but it wouldn’t matter. KC and St. Louis are in a triangle choke right now.”
Jim Rome, as he hosted an impromptu text smack-off between KC and STL listeners, Jim Rome Show
GH: The Jungle is back on in St. Louis and this event prompted KC fans to start hammering away at their arch enemy on Rome’s radio show Thursday. While there is little love lost between the natives of these two fine Missouri cities, it doesn’t come close to what we have when Kansas and Missouri fans hook up.

“(Tom Watson) is recognized in the London airport as much as Tiger Woods!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman has mentioned a number times of late that he has been asked to act as a host for a local golf event where Tom Watson will christen a new golf course by playing the first nine holes ever played on the course. “I’ll be walking along with Tom, asking him questions like what he was thinking when he designed particular holes and other questions. This will be an exclusive event for only a hundred or so people,” said KK. Is it just me or does Kietz sound more like Ron Burgundy every day?

“The whole game revolves around the home run and the strikeout. All the big money is spent on home runs and strikeouts and that’s the way it should be because those are the only two absolutes of the game that control the outcome. Everything else can be put to chance or luck or human error. That’s what’s so exciting about the game.”
Brian Bannister, Royals starter, 810 AM
GH: I love listening to Bannister talk baseball. The Royals need to hire this guy for their front office as soon as his playing days are complete. He is the only player I know of who can talk Jazayerli fluently.

“Ugh. In-stadium proposal at the K by an uncreative doofus needing peer pressure on his side. He was wearing a Bo Jackson jersey. How cute.”
Sam Mellinger, Twitter
GH: I’m with Sam on this one. Stadium video board operators should start treating these in-stadium proposals like on-field streakers – tase ‘em and refuse to give them camera time.

“I was 0-5 and had three Ks.”
Jackie Bradley, Jr., CWS MVP, when asked by Erin Andrews following the title game why he seemed surprised to be chosen the CWS’s most valuable player, ESPN

“There were fireworks. They turned off the lights to show a terrific video of all the great moments and familiar faces. A trumpet player stood at home plate in the dark and belted out ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’ in a slow rhythm that sounded somewhat like ‘Taps.’”
Tom Shatel, columnist, describing the scene at the CWS as they completed the final game Tuesday night at Rosenblatt Stadium, Omaha World Herald
GH: ESPN is often the target of the media’s venom because of their largess and power to influence the stories they tell. But a note of praise from me here on how well they handled the final CWS tournament at Rosenblatt. ESPN proved they are not too big to understand tradition, emotion and the CWS’s special bond with a stadium and a town.

“We always referred to the Fourth of July as our job security holiday. The phrase most likely to ensure our employment? ‘Hey, watch this. Hold my beer.’ ”
KC Fireman, kcconfidential.com
GH: Have a great and safe extended 4th of July weekend and please try to be smarter than Dwayne Bowe.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

WHY IS KIETZMAN KISSING JEFFREY FLANAGAN'S ASS?

Posted 7-1-10

“I think the main story here is that the two stories written here in Kansas City about the Royals this year to this point that I remember are both written by Jeffrey Flanagan of foxsportskansascity.com. I can’t get this out of my head how much media continues to change.”
Kevin Kietzman, after Flanagan’s story about Jose Guillen’s comments was posted on foxsportskansasciyt.com, 810 AM
GH: The other Flanny story that turned local heads was his interview with David Glass after Trey Hillman’s firing. Glass told Flanagan that he did not make the decision to fire Hillman but rather it was all Dayton Moore’s doing. The Glass story was interesting but who the hell believed any of that hooey? Read on.

“I always loved reading Jeffrey Flanagan. I find Jeffrey to be one of those people in sports who are completely honest. There’s no charade. He’s just a really salt-of-the-earth regular guy who people just have a tendency to trust.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: If (and this is one helluva BIG ASS IF) Kietzman ever lathers on the saliva this wet and juicy about my carcass, please come find me and end me. KK may have thought he was assisting in the reputation of Flanny, but all he was doing was making people wonder how, why and what for KK is treating Flanagan like he was his next bride. Could a drive through Mission Hills be far off?

“Of all the people who got caught up in the downsizing of The Star, (Flanagan) was the one I couldn’t understand. The two best written stories, the two best pieces of work on the Kansas City Royals this season were on foxsportskansascity.com. … I think it says a lot about the media that The Star employs as many people that they do, but I didn’t understand the Flanagan move. In the Kansas City Star, this (Guillen story) is front-page news! Not just the sports page, this is front-page news! You know what The Star sports page doesn’t have now? They don’t have a lot of guys cranking out front-page stories. They don’t have a lot of guys cranking out stories that make you go, ‘Wow!’ There isn’t much in The Star on a daily basis that you don’t already know.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I don’t know who at The Star pissed KK off, but he is not happy with the daily newspaper’s sports section. Flanny’s not a bad guy but he sure as hell wasn’t the next Mike Royko. There is more to this story than the surface reveals. Anybody who has some insight into the between-the-lines scoop on KK’s man love for Flanny can email me their thoughts.

“I’ve always trusted Jeffrey Flanagan. He was never, ever, ever going to twist something or quote you out of context.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Now what twisted son-of-a-bitch would do a thing like that to Kevin?

“Well, the Royals haven’t made a lot of news. I think Sam Mellinger has done a nice job transitioning into a columnist.”
Danny Clinkscale, when KK asked him if he agreed with his assessment of the Star sports page, Flanagan and their Royals’ coverage, 810 AM
GH: Translation: “No, Kev. I don’t get what you’re laying down.”


 

GUILLEN GOES OFF ON ROYALS, THEN ON WHITE SOX

Posted 7-1-10

“Fundamentally, this is one of the worst teams in all of baseball. This is true. I've been here for three years. I know everything that's going on. We're one of the worst teams fundamentally. Why do we get 14 or 15 hits and we score one or two runs? How does that happen? Lack of concentration. Lack of being smart. … Players think it's all about hitting home runs. Drive in runs. That's what will get them paid instead of moving the runner or getting the guy to second. I just don't see that respect for the game, moving the runners.”
Jose Guillen, in an article written by Jeffrey Flanagan on foxsportskansascity.com
GH: I was made aware of Guillen’s comments when Ryan Lefebvre, the Royals TV play-by-play guy, mentioned during Wednesday’s broadcast that Guillen had made some controversial comments about his teammates on “our website.” The Beav never mentioned the web address and never credited Flanny with the byline. I will not make the same mistake. Here’s the link.

http://www.kcconfidential.com/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gif“After ripping teammates for focusing on HRs and forgetting the little things, Guillen homers and fails to do the little things tonight.”
Nate Bukaty, before Guillen’s game-saving wall-banging catch, Twitter
GH: I am guessing Bukaty is referring to the pop-up that Jose failed to run out earlier in the game. Who gives a damn about running out a pop up except little league coaches and wimpy broadcasters who can’t hit the ball out of the infield? Nobody was worried about that pop-up after Jose sprinted (well, it was actually more like a frantic zombie-like shuffle) to stab that ninth-inning fly ball.

“The first pitch to Mark Kotsay is launched into deep right field. Back goes Jose Guillen. And HE MADE THE PLAY! Slamming into the wall, falling down!”
Ryan Lefebvre, on the play-by-play of Guillen’s ninth-inning catch, FSRoyals TV
GH: Ironically, the FoxSport cameras almost missed showing Guillen’s play of the game because they were showing replays of defensive web gems from earlier in the game.

“This did not look good when the ball left the bat. Guillen, the ball and the wall all arrived at the same time.”
Paul Splittorff, on Guillen’s catch of Kotsay’s deep fly to right field, FSRoyals TV
GH: No one inside The K thought Guillen was going to run this ball down. He might be the worst defensive outfielder the Royals have seen since, well, since 1969. And he has recently complained of blisters on his feet. Somehow, leather met horsehide and the stadium went completely mad!

“God, thank you!”
David DeJesus, seen sitting on the dugout steps after Guillen’s catch, FSRoyals TV
GH: I am guessing DeJesus was just as surprised as me that Guillen made the play of the night.

“Holy $&*# that was a nice catch by Hose. Good fundamentals, too.”
Sam Mellinger, Twitter

“Billy Butler is the Chevy Player of the game.”
Joel Goldberg, FSRoyals TV
GH: WTF???! How can Jose NOT be the Chevy POTG? Dude turns boos to cheers when he hits a late-inning three-run bomb into the HOF in left, makes the greatest catch of his Royals’ career in the ninth while almost knocking himself out against the right-field wall AND his name is Jose AND the award is sponsored by CHEVY! I expect Tony Botello to reopen the Spanish inquisition over this mucho injustice.

“This organization when I came here, it was not what I thought it was going to be. The atmosphere. I was expecting a lot of fire and winning attitude. And it wasn't any of that. None of that.”
Jose Guillen, foxsportskansascity.com
GH: Where the hell did Jose think he was coming to? A ride in Doc Brown’s DeLorean and a trip to 1978?

“I tried to say some things and do some things to change the atmosphere and then people went 'Oh, here goes Jose Guillen again.' But, hey, I don't like to babysit guys. You try to tell young guys some things, they get their feelings hurt. That's Little League stuff.”
Jose Guillen, foxsportskansascity.com
GH: I kinda thought guys getting their feelings hurt was more big league stuff.

“The team I really admire is the Minnesota Twins. They do that so well. I love when we play them because that's what I want our guys to see. They (the Twins) are the smartest team in all of baseball. Them and the Angels. They do all the little things so well.”
Jose Guillen, foxsportskansascity.com

“He's right in one respect that yes, we do need to get better in some aspects of our fundamental game. But no, I don't think as a whole we are bad fundamentally. Look, every team I've ever been on or connected to needs to improve in some areas of their fundamentals. This team is no different.”
Ned Yost, responding to Guillen’s comments, foxsportskansascity.com

“With the Pirates when I was coming up, the veteran players told you things. You can ask Jason Kendall. You did everything the veterans said you did. These guys, you tell them to be outside on time or we need to do this together, they say ‘Nah, I do my own thing.' Sometimes you want to just punch them but you can't do that because they're you teammates.”
Jose Guillen, foxsportskansascity.com
GH: Now Jose’s got my curiosity going. Who do you think he wants to go Roberto Duran on? Billy “Big Butt” Butler? Kyle “Tat-Man-Do” Farnsworth? Yuniesky “I catch pop-ups doing my own thing” Betancourt? Yeah, I’m guessing Jose thinks Yuni needs a toonie as in tune up.

“Respect for the game has been lost. That pisses me off. When you get older, you like to be around guys with winning attitudes and winning atmospheres.”
Jose Guillen, foxsportskansascity.com
GH: The Royals might want to look into trading Guillen to the Green Berets.

“And as trade rumors about Guillen heat up, he would like the Royals to know he wouldn't mind staying in Kansas City to make the Royals better. He sees some better things ahead with Yost.”
Jeffrey Flanagan, writer, foxsportskansascity.com
GH: Guillen might not make it through this road trip and still be wearing Royals’ blue. I am guessing his interview with Flanny may even get David Glass to agree to eat his remaining salary in an effort to unload him.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

ACCURACY OR RACY, WHAT SELLS IN SPORTS TALK?

Posted 6-29-10

“All I care about is being accurate, maybe I’m the only guy left in the business who cares about accuracy and truth. I know we care about it here at 810.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Petro often reminds his audience of his truthfulness and accuracy. My question is he really trying to differentiate himself from the jocks on 610 Sports or the other voices in his building at 810?

“The number-one motto of this show is that we are never going to be shock jocks. We’re never going to say something we don’t believe.”
Shan Shariff, who had just alerted listeners to two corrections from one of his previous shows, 610 AM
GH: Let’s be honest – there is only one “shock jock” in sports talk radio here in the Kansas City market. His name is Kevin Kietzman – and his show has ruled the local airwaves for more than 11 years with ratings unheard of in sports talk radio for almost any other American city. There must be an audience out there that craves KK’s siren, even when there is little smoke and no fire.

“I think I made it very clear that the stories I was reporting on it wasn’t from Mike Alden. It wasn’t the (Missouri) athletic department. I think I made it very clear. The leaks were elsewhere. They were a little bit down the road.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Yeah, the yellow brick road.

“I’m not going to be Jim Rome ever in this business! I’m not going to be doing ‘shtick radio.’ I’m going to be honest with people.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Petro continues to draw good ratings on 810 in a nothing timeslot. He failed miserably when he went head-to-head against Kietzman as the afternoon-drive host on 980 AM. Soren’s stat-based, seamhead style draws a fervent audience who enjoy his arrogant approach to sports talk. I find parts of his show – his 2-minute drill with various members of the national media, his segments with ESPN’s Doug Gottlieb and his occasional childish rants – some of the best talk radio Kansas City offers. But if he is as good as he thinks, why is he in a timeslot that matters so little to the bottom line?

“I talk about race more often than most talk show hosts because I talk about it at all.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: I often get the feeling that Wright thinks he is the only white man alive who truly understands the plight of the black man. People have been talking about race since Adam caught the first Mexican sneaking into his garden. All that talk and we still have what we have when it comes to race. Here is what needs to be said about race: people gravitate toward those most similar to themselves and mistrust those who are not. Always have. Always will. Deal with it.

“Not only are K-State officials locked in a legal battle with their former football coach (Ron Prince) over a multimillion-dollar deal allegedly brokered in secret by former athletic director Bob Krause, but future football schedules negotiated under Prince's watch also could prove costly. Prince's bold-and-daring approach to scheduling already has produced notable nonconference opponents such as Auburn, Louisville and UCLA — all of which beat the Wildcats, by the way — and it soon will offer additional brutes such as Miami, Oregon and Virginia Tech unless K-State can wiggle its way out of those games.”
Tim Bisel, columnist, CJonline.com
GH: Snyder is the godfather of college football programs scheduling patsy non-con opponents and used it as a cornerstone in building a top-10 power at K-State. He changed how BSC programs all across the country schedule their early-season lineup. Prince’s philosophy was in direct opposition to Snyder’s – and with far fewer horses than the Wildcats housed during the 1990s. Read on.

“Many college football pundits suggested K-State was committing scheduling suicide at the time Prince announced those noncon matchups. Now, with the Wildcats set to face the likes of Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State every year under the Big 12's soon-to-be revamped format, such games look even deadlier.”
Tim Bisel, columnist, CJonline.com
GH: The reconfigured Big 12 could become a mausoleum for Kansas and Kansas State football. Both of these programs are currently struggling to improve in an already difficult recruiting climate. Add the real possibility of the Cats and Jayhawks losing seven games every season and panic will quickly replace the euphoria felt when the Big 12 remained intact.

“Worse yet, K-State has it doubly tough during the nonconference in several years. In 2011, for instance, K-State is scheduled to play Oregon on Sept. 3 in Manhattan before visiting Miami on Sept. 24. The following season, K-State is slated to meet those two powers again during the first eight days of September. And the situation isn't any better in 2014, as a trip to Virginia Tech is set for Sept. 6 and a home date with Auburn is penciled for Sept. 20. Factor in the nine league games that would result from the Big 12's new round-robin schedule, and K-State would play 11 of its 12 games against teams from BCS power conferences each of those seasons. Ouch. Try finding six, seven or eight wins in that mess.”
Tim Bisel, columnist, CJonline.com
GH: USC and Ohio State couldn’t survive those upcoming K-State schedules. John Currie and Snyder need to (and probably are) be working right now to buy their way out of those killer noncom games. The problem they will face is that KSU is cash strapped and they will not find Miami, Auburn, Oregon and Virginia Tech willing to drop their series without a fat monetary reward.

“If Snyder and Currie can't make changes, future football shortcomings also could be rooted in a scheduling philosophy that was overzealous, narcissistic and just plain ridiculous. Thanks, Ron. We're still thinking of you. But you'll have to forgive K-State fans if they can't find it in their hearts to get you a gift.”
Tim Bisel, columnist, CJonline.com
GH: As we all learned during the chaos that surrounded the college conferences realignment talks, football rules college sports. Five years of bad football at KU and KSU could mean a dip in revenues for those schools that would be very difficult to recover from if Texas and its playmates get restless once again.

“I’m telling you the problems that existed (in the Big 12) going into this situation still exist!”
Soren Petro, 810 AM

“(Stephen Strasburg) is as good as I’ve ever seen. I’m trying not to overstate this but he is a monster!”
Ivan Carter, former Star writer who now hosts a sports talk show in Washington D.C., on the Nationals’ rookie sensation, 810 AM

“You say STRAS-burg. I say STROS-burg. Who’s right?”
Kevin Kietzman, discussing the correct pronunciation of the Washington Nationals’ rookie phenom with Todd Leabo, 810 AM
GH: I have wondered the same thing ever since this pitching prodigy hit the big leagues. So I called Washington D.C. to find out. Read on.

“It’s STROS-berg.”
Ben Raby, sports producer at 1500 Federal News Radio in D.C., the flagship station for the Washington Nationals
GH: Got it. From on now, no more ass in Stras.

“It’s STRAWS-burg, like a drinking straw. I asked last time I was back there.”
Trenni Kusnierek, of the MLB Network, 810 AM

“Ever since Mark Teahen went down with a broken finger, the White Sox have been hot. He was awful to be honest with you. People (here in Chicago) were asking not only why did the White Sox trade for this guy but give him a three-year $15-million deal! He just looked awful!”
David Kaplan, of WGN Radio in Chicago, in an interview with Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: So not everybody the Royals deal away turns into a BMW. Some convert into a Toro.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

SHERRON COLLINS SHUNNED BY THE NBA

Posted 6-28-10

“After the season, (Sherron) Collins blew off the team banquet. That sort of thing gets around and when you’re 5-foot-11 and face a constant battle to stay in shape, you have to do things to make teams talk themselves into taking a chance. You can’t do things that make teams wonder. ... The best shot always comes on draft night. Collins missed that one.”
Tom Keegan, after the KU guard went undrafted in last week’s NBA draft, KUSports.com
GH: The stark reality of possibly being not good enough for the NBA appears to have taken Collins by surprise. Read on.

“Sherron Collins has been difficult to reach since his college career ended so shockingly in March. It isn't just the local media who have had a difficult time reaching him, either. That would be understandable. Nobody likes the local media. It is others at KU, people who have known him for four years, who have found him to be aloof. He didn't attend the team's basketball banquet in April and didn't tell Bill Self he wasn't going to make it. Thursday night, when Collins ended up not being taken in the NBA draft, Self tried to reach him again. Just before 11 p.m., Self said Collins hadn't responded to Self's text messages.”
Tully Corcoran, writer, CJonline.com
GH: This is not good. I have always thought of Collins as a guy who long teetered on the edge of self destruction. He needs his KU family now more than ever. It is a story that plays out all too often with young men who plan for nothing but a future in the NBA.

“It’s devastating to him. It had to be. To play four years in college and win a national championship, to see some of the guys who were drafted ... you can’t tell me he’s not one of top 60 players in America. I know this. If you challenge Sherron Collins or if he’s out to prove something, he comes back strong. There’s no doubt in my mind he is good enough to play in the NBA. If he fights like I know he can fight, he’ll be on a team.”
Anthony Longstreet, Collins’ high school basketball coach in Chicago, KUSports.com
GH: This is exactly what Collins doesn’t need – more people blowing NBA smoke up his ass. Collins has very little chance of making an NBA roster. He needs to make alternative plans. Guys like Longstreet are more the problem than the solution.

“I can't help but wonder how he will handle all this. Collins is a complex dude. I think he's one of the most interesting athletes I've covered. For those 40 minutes when the lights are on and the people are cheering, he's ferocious. … But when he's by himself, away from coaching and cheering, he seems to lose that.”
Tully Corcoran, writer, CJonline.com

“I think (Thursday) night was probably a disappointing night for (Sherron). But to wake up this morning and know that Michael Jordan and Larry Brown want him in their camp is something to certainly take the sting off from last night. Hopefully he will go in there with the right frame of mind and with an attitude to go earn it. I am excited for him and I certainly think he will make the most of it.”
Bill Self, on Sherron Collins being invited to play with the Charlotte Bobcats’ summer league team, KUSports.com
GH: The Charlotte summer league consists of only five games played in Orlando from July 5-9. That is not much time to impress an NBA team that you are roster worthy. The fact his college coach needs to question Collins’ “frame of mind” and “attitude” speaks volumes.

“(Denis Clemente) is looking forward to going up against Sherron. He respects Sherron, there's a lot of mutual respect between both of them. The respect is off the wall as far as what Denis has for him. We were able to talk to the brass at Charlotte, they expressed they wanted them both there, they didn't want one and not the other — they wanted them both.”
Art Alvarez, Clemente’s former coach and mentor, on the K-State point guard’s invitation to join the Charlotte summer league, fanpeeps.com
GH: How ironic that Collins and Clemente are once again pitted against each other on the court? But this time the stakes are much higher. This time they are gladiators in a ring where only one or maybe neither can be the winner.

"It's gonna be pretty interesting. Sherron isn't going to have four horses around him this time around. It's going to be mono e mono.”
Art Alvarez, on Collins facing Clemente without his KU teammates, fanpeeps.com
GH: Speculation is that the Bobcats are looking for another point guard to add to their roster – but only one. This competition will be very interesting to watch from here in Big 12 country.

“(Cole Aldrich) needs to be traded if he’s comparing Sherron Collins and Chris Paul.”
Jeff Van Gundy, NBA draft analyst, after Aldrich said he was used to playing with a great guard like Paul since he played with Collins at KU, ESPN

“Here is the Power & Light District, where some 10,000 people have gathered to watch the USA and Ghana on the video screen despite temperatures in the mid-90s and views blocked by beer stands or taller fans. The people who run the place say it’s the busiest they’ve ever seen the KC Live! block, an eclectic mix of young and old, men and women, some who cheer good midfield passes and others who wonder why the time on the clock moves up and not down.”
Sam Mellinger, columnist, Kansas City Star
GH: The ESPN and ABC coverage of the World Cup crazed crowd at the P&L Saturday has to put Kansas City in a very good light when it comes to choosing host cities from the WC when it comes to the states. I think this city is due for some good news.

“It sucks, man.”
Landon Donovan, in an on-field postgame interview after the U.S.’s 2-1 loss to Ghana, ABC
GH: The USA team was close to making the final eight but I believe we got about as far as we deserved. England was destroyed by Germany and the U.S. team had their hands full with the defenseless Brits when they faced them in pool play. It sucks, but the home boys just aren’t good enough to play and win on this stage yet.

“It’s been really nice to see this Kauffman Stadium full. It gives you an idea of how beautiful this stadium can look when it’s full of people.”
Frank White, during Sunday’s game against the Cardinals, FSRoyals TV
GH: Do you get to revel in filling your home stadium even if half the crowd is wearing Cardinal red? No. White’s expectations, like so many others, have tanked since the 1980’s when the Royals were competitive.

“So, were the Royals able to pull out the win against St. Louis this afternoon? Jason Lamb has the highlights later a little later on in the show. We’re going to make you wait for it.”
Stephanie Hockridge, news anchor, during the 6:00 PM newscast Saturday, Fox 4
GH: The game had started at 1:10 PM and Hockridge’s tease was at about 6:30 PM. Any Royals fan with a phone or a clue already knew the outcome of the game. I immediately switched the channel to protest Fox 4’s attempt to insult their viewers’ intelligence.

“How about an intentional walk in an 8-run game in the bottom of the eighth inning? Well, maybe the Cardinals were not happy that Kendall was waved around (third to score the 10th run).”
Ryan Lefebvre, FSRoyals TV
GH: Frank White added, “Normally in that situation you don’t when you’ve got that big of a lead.” Tony La Russa, the Cardinals’ skipper, was shown mouthing the word “fuck” in several variations a number of times after Kendall scored. Lefebvre hinted that he might not be happy with the Royals pouring it on the Cards. We can only hope this was the case. Ned Yost treated La Russa completely opposite of how Trey Hillman did last season, when Hillman all but genuflected in front of La Russa last year when he visited the opposing team dugout prior to the start of one of the games. I am pretty sure Yost doesn’t know how to genuflect.

“Running the bases is fun!”
Billy Butler, Royals TV commercial promoting kids running the bases after Sunday games
GH: Billy Butler is the best the Royals can put on camera to promote base running? Butler might be the slowest base runner in franchise history. I believe he would lose a 90-foot sprint against Relish.

“Thanks to you guys, this show is a very unique situation. Once we become the number-one talk show, we will maintain being the number-one talk show. I told my boss and my boss’ boss if we ever get there and lose it, you can fire me.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Word is the Arbitron PPMs for May are out and Wright’s numbers are not nearly as good as they were during April – which coincided with the Royals’ first month of their season on 610. I’m pretty sure Wright’s bosses don’t need a reason to fire him – since it is the radio biz. But Nick’s fervent chest-thumping over his April ratings are quite possibly proving to be a bit premature.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

IS SOCCER AMERICA'S NEW LOVE?

Posted 6-24-10

“It’s storybook stuff, folks! It’s storybook stuff, folks! Incredible! This is what the World Cup is all about! What a game it was, folks! What a game!”
Tommy Smythe, radio soccer analyst, as the game clock ran out following USA’s 1-0 win over Algeria on Landon Donavan’s goal in the 91st minute, ESPN Radio
GH: I flipped on my radio just as Algeria missed a near goal and Donovan began the surge up field that led to the game’s only goal. I am far from an ardent soccer fan but I am American. So this is what all the shouting, buzzing, crying, singing and flopping is all about.

“I would like to think that as the lone super power, we can act our age on the world scene and not feel that just because somebody is better at it, it must be crap and all of our (sports) are better.”
Soren Petro, responding to a caller who complained about the amount of soccer talk on Petro’s show Wednesday, following America’s win, 810 AM
GH: The caller to Petro’s show said he was rooting for whoever the USA team plays next so he wouldn’t have to hear about World Cup soccer anymore. There are some fans in Lincoln, NE who will definitely be rooting for the red, white and blue this Saturday. Check out this video link from inside a sports bar in football country.

“We all have defining moments that make us proud to be Americans. Today was another one for me. Despite horrible officiating, USA stays alive.”
Jack Harry, on the U.S. scoring in the 91st minute to defeat Algeria 1-0 and advance to the Sweet 16, Twitter
GH: Some believe patriotism in America died with the Vietnam. It has merely been waiting for Landon Donovan.

“Soccer has never been this big in The Jungle or America ever!”
Jay Mohr, Jim Rome Show

“Tommy Smythe is something else.”
Kurtis Seaboldt, on the Irish voice of American soccer, 810 AM
GH: Smythe used his trademark call of a goal to describe Donavon’s game winner when he called it, “A bulge in the old onion bag.” This led to one of Soren Petro’s better impromptu lines. Read on.

“The last time I had a bulge in the old onion bag I was in pee wee soccer.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Sounds like married life for Soren has been a bit flaccid.

“Nick, I’d rather go to work and not get paid than watch a soccer game.”
Text to Nick Wright on 610 Sports

“I’m so glad the U.S. won because it gives you more of a reason to watch a sport that at best has been a fringe sport in the past.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Both Petro and Wright are Syracuse grads and I am guessing have had more exposure to soccer in New York than most of us here in B12 country. Kevin Kietzman is still not so sure what all the buzz is about. Read on.

“I got a chance to get over to the 810 Zone at halftime of the soccer match today and I found I hadn’t missed a thing. It was great.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: KK’s not alone in thinking a nil-nil match means you haven’t missed any of the action. I like watching the World Cup on SportsCenter where they condense the day’s action into a five-minute video clip. I loved Donovan’s goal but I just don’t have the soccer background to appreciate a lot of the well hidden nuisances.

“(Promoting and talking about soccer) is not how you explode and become Joe Cool. Because it’s not cool to say soccer is an entertaining sport. It’s a quality sport. There is unbelievable athleticism. It’s cool to say; ‘Soccer blows, let’s get rid of it.’ To say the sport doesn’t have scoring opportunities – you’re wrong! You just didn’t grow up with the sport.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM

“We will cover the Chiefs’ camp (in St. Joseph) better than any sports radio station has ever covered a Chiefs’ camp. Period, bar none.”
Kevin Kietzman, on WHB’s commitment to covering the Chiefs this July and August in St. Joe, MO, 810 AM
GH: I asked Nick Wright for his rebuttal to KK’s above comment. Read on.

"I will be at training camp every single day.  From the beginning to the end.  If Kevin is going to do the same, I'll pay for his next month of cookies and listen to the Racin' Boys on a loop while discussing how Danny's weekend was. Listeners know there is one place to go for accurate, unbiased Chiefs information.  And that is 610.  If you wanted to know when Tyson Jackson was signed, you came to 610.  If you wanted to know who was going to play quarterback week one, you came to 610.  If you wanted to know who was going to be on Mike Shanahan's staff when he took over as the Chiefs head coach, you went to Kevin's show.”
Nick Wright, of 610 Sports, responding to Kietzman’s Chiefs’ camp coverage claim
GH: Suffice it to say not all the action at Missouri Western will be on the practice field. KCC may have to send a crew up to St. Joe to cover the coverers.

“I think Wimbledon paid those guys under the table to have a 59-59 fifth set so people would remember Wimbledon was happening.”
SportsGuy33, Twitter
GH: Ten hours of tennis and no winner? Sounds more like a fight with your spouse.

“St. Louis Cardinal fans are the Nebraska football fans of baseball.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: While fans of both teams wear a lot of very bright red, I do not think the KU sideline reporter meant this as a compliment to either fan base. Here is some good news about all those Cardinal fans who will invade The K this weekend; they will spend a lot of green money in our fair city.

“I just find it so frustrating! Maybe I shouldn’t care anymore! Maybe I shouldn’t give a rat’s behind about the (Royals)! Do you want to win games or just trade players and make a profit? To me, if you trade David DeJesus then you show your fans you don’t have a commitment to winning! You’re not a committed-to-winning organization if you trade David DeJesus for prospects! I’m tired of it! I’m done with it!”
Bob Fescoe, commenting on rumors that the Royals are willing to listen to offers for DeJesus, 610 AM
GH: Fescoe’s coworker, Shan Shariff, could not help but offer a differing opinion on the subject. Read on.

“It’s a sign that the Royals are not committed to winning? It’s a sign that the Royals are nuts in the head if they re-sign a 32-year-old outfielder who is not a stud. Why do you want to keep David DeJesus when he’s 32 years old? What’s the point? I love Bob Fescoe’s show because he has hard-hitting opinions, but we couldn’t be more opposite on this.”
Shan Shariff, 810 AM
GH: The Royals are not good enough to NOT consider trading DeJesus. He is having a career year and his team is still 13 games under .500. I think Dayton Moore can entertain offers without upsetting this Royals’ juggernaut.

“I heard she was really kind of vulgar.”
Trenni Kusnierek, MLB Network reporter, on Lady Gaga’s recent visit to the Yankees’ locker room while dressed only in bra, panties and fishnet stockings, 810 AM
GH: Gosh, a half-naked vulgar female celeb in the midst of a bunch of professional baseball players. What a f-ing tragedy.

“Right now the flavor of the day (in the Big 12) is hurt feelings. I can’t speak for any specific school but there is a whole lot of healing that needs to go on. … I think they’ll stick together for at least seven years. That’s when the TV contracts expire.”
Chip Brown, of orangebloods.com, on the atmosphere inside the recent Big 12 meetings in Dallas, 810 AM
GH: Not the best atmosphere for attracting quality teams for expansion. I hope the B12 stays at 10 through at least the 2011-2012 seasons to see how the new size fits.

“I’m speaking from my heart from this on the Slim For Life program.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: I am forever amazed that these paid-for live-read ads work. I cannot mash my radio button fast enough when I hear the ingenuous tone of one floating over the airwaves.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

IS ALEX GORDON WORTH IT?

Posted 6-22-10

“I’m not giving up yet. I’m going to go through one more opening day with Alex Gordon on my mind.”
Steven St. John, on the Royals confounding and woefully underachieving 2005 first-round draft pick out of Nebraska, 810 AM
GH: Those old enough to remember Clint Hurdle and the “phenom” expectations the media and fans slapped on him are reliving similar frustrations with Gordon’s fitful career. Read on.

“Given how well (Gordon and Kila Ka’aihue) are hitting (in Omaha), it just boggles the mind that they are not in the major leagues.”
Rany Jazayerli, 810 AM
GH: Gordon is Roy Hobbs in the minors but then morphs into a Hobbit once he gets inside a MLB stadium. What gives with this dude?

“To be brutally honest, I have sat here and watched Alex Gordon for I don’t know how long. He is unbelievable in the batting cage. But his swing is exactly the same no matter where the ball is or who is pitching. It’s almost like you have to throw it in that one area so he can crush it. It doesn’t seem like he makes an adjustment to me.”
Mike Boddicker, former Royals pitcher, 810 AM

“Alex Gordon? He’s going to hit .260 when he comes back up. The Royals can’t see that or they don’t want to admit that. They think he’s going to come up and hit .340 with 120 RBIs.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM

“I don’t think (Gordon) can hit a change-up, number one. Number two, there are three different areas you can throw a fastball that he’s not going to get to.”
Mike Boddicker, 810 AM

“Note: I feel bad for 2005 No. 1 pick Alex Gordon, the savior-in-waiting who’s already been saddled with the ‘Next George Brett’ tag, and if that isn’t bad enough, Topps screwed up and released a couple of his rookie cards early, making them five-figure collector items for the 20 guys who still collect baseball cards. Now there’s a guy with some pressure on him.”
Bill Simmons, in his August 16, 2006 Page 2 column, ESPN.com
GH: Note that Simmons wrote the above comment five years ago, shortly after Gordon was drafted by the Royals. Anybody out there cashing in on that early Topps rookie card?

“I hate the fact that once again, the Royals have managed to take a situation that seemed impossible to screw up, and screwed it up. Alex Gordon is probably the most can’t-miss prospect in the history of the organization. The #2 overall pick in the draft. College Player of the Year. Then Minor League Player of the Year, and #1 prospect in all of baseball according to multiple publications. A standing ovation in his first major league at-bat on Opening Day. Three years later, he’s no longer a major leaguer. And he’s no longer a third baseman. So yeah, I hate what’s become of Alex Gordon, and I hate what the Royals did to him (sending him to Omaha). I hate it. But I agree with it.”
Rany Jazayerli, on Gordon being sent down to Omaha to learn to play left field, Ranyontheroyals.com
GH: When I first started reading Rob and Rany on the Royals some 12 years ago, it was Rob who was the sarcastic and pessimistic Royals’ fan. Rany often took the cheery, optimistic viewpoint on his favorite ball club. Those days of Rany’s blue buoyancy are gone – beaten out of him by a franchise mired in a decade of dismal players, managers, front office personnel and decisions. There are legions of Royals’ fans like Rany who still care but no longer believe. David Glass should be ashamed of what his franchise has done to the dreams of so many.

“I get so sick and tired of this! If I had something else to do in the evening I’d do it!”
Caller, to WHB’s Royals postgame show Monday night, after the Royals managed to score one run on 11 hits in their 2-1 loss to Washington, 810 AM

“I’m willing to trade anyone off the Royals’ regular lineup. And I mean anybody.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: As the 4th of July approaches, the Royals’ fan base again turns its attention to the Chiefs. The Royals are merely background noise and an occasional respite from the summer heat. Pennant races are for other cities to ponder and enjoy.

“By the way, the (home) plate umpire, this Jerry Lane, this guy was just awful! The umpire just stole two outs from the Royals in the ninth inning.”
Jack Harry, after the Royals 2-1 loss to the Nationals on Monday, TV 41
GH: The Royals struck out three times in the ninth – all looking — with men on base. I thought all three called-third strikes were legit. But I have no problem with Harry blasting the ump’s strike zone if he saw things differently. What I didn’t understand is that Harry never showed any video of the called third strikes that he called “just awful.” You had to be watching Fox 4’s evening sportscast for those clips.

“Nearly every Rosenblatt neighbor, even those who dislike the College World Series, has stories about the kindness of the strangers who show up for college baseball every June. … But for every saint there are three sinners, residents say. People who wander into the front yards, yell and scream deep into the night, drop empty beer bottles and worse. About five years ago, Lambrecht says, his cousin found a young man and woman consummating their love for the College World Series in his back yard. Krance says people have set up card tables near his front door and partied until daybreak. Try sleeping through that, he says.” Matthew Hansen, writer, Omaha World Herald

“I’ve always loved the CWS. I know it’s good for Omaha. But to tell you the truth, I’m kind of glad it’s going downtown. Other people can have the headache.”
Irene Wigington, who lives near Rosenblatt Stadium, on the CWS moving to Omaha’s new downtown ball park in 2011, Omaha World Herald
GH: I knew a simpler College World Series when I grew up in the neighborhoods of South Omaha. I’ll post an article recounting my memories of Rosenblatt and the CWS later this week.

“Colorado and Nebraska are expected to forfeit about $40 million in TV revenue.”
Jason Lamb, Fox 4

“I don’t think they are getting anywhere near the amount of money they think they are.”
Soren Petro, on the penalty money the Big 12 is expected to withhold from Nebraska and Colorado for leaving the conference, 810 AM

“In sports talk, WHB dropped slightly from a 3.8 in April to a 3.7 in May, good for the 15th spot in the Kansas City market. Rival KCSP finished 19th in the market, slumping from a 3.1 rating (thanks to Royals broadcasts) in April to a dismal 2.7 in May.”
John Landsberg, reporting Arbitron numbers for the month of May, Bottomlinecom.com
GH: No word on the PPM ratings for Kietzman vs. Nick Wright. But it appears that some of the early-season Royals’ buzz may have worn off of 610 Sports’ spring fling.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

STEELE HAS EARLY THOUGHTS ON BIG 12 FOOTBALL

Posted 6-21-10

“A lot of folks have been criticizing the pick, saying, ‘How can you take a five-loss team and pick them No. 1?’ This was not done for sensationalism. It’s a team I feel has the best shot at winning the title.”
Phil Steele, editor of Phil Steele’s College Football Preview, one of college football’s most respected preseason mags, on his selection of Oklahoma for his preseason number-one spot, KUSports.com
GH: Last season Steele caused a furor in Big 12 country when he picked Kansas, a team promoted to expecting an historic season, to finish fifth in the B12 North. Steele’s 2010 mag is expected to hit newsstands on Tuesday. My brother Joe, a college football junkie the likes that only the state of Nebraska can produce, is probably already standing in line at Cubby’s Convenience Store in Bennington, NE.

“OU has a great shot at going 12-0. I don’t think it’s off the wall too much. The only reason they may not be in the Top 10 (in AP preseason poll) is the fact that they lost five games last year. But that’s due to injuries and four close losses.”
Phil Steele, KUSports.com
GH: How can Steele pick Todd Leabo’s favorite team as his pick to win the national title after going 8-5 in 2009? Read on. (BTW, props to Eric Sorrentino, a writer for the Lawrence Journal World, for his article in Sunday’s edition where I “borrowed” much of the meat of this column.)

“Oklahoma suffered through an injury-plagued season after starting the year at No. 3. They had 42 starts lost to injury. That led the nation. If you factor in what they have coming back, they have an experienced quarterback (Landry Jones) and offensive line, and an experienced wide receiver corps led by Ryan Broyles. Then if (running back DeMarco) Murray stays healthy, look out. This is a tremendous offense. Then the defense is one of the top defenses in the country.”
Phil Steele, KUSports.com
GH: I am not sure I buy Steele’s love for the Sooners this season but he has proven to be so accurate with his college football preseason predictions that we would be fools to ignore his takes. Read on for what he thinks about some of the other Big 12 squads.

“They probably have more talent this year than last year. It’s the second year of (coach Bill] Snyder’s system. (Running back) Daniel Thomas is back. But the schedule is not as easy. They only have three Big 12 home games. One’s against Nebraska and another is against Texas.”
Phil Steele, who picks KSU to finish fifth in the North, Steele’s College Football Preview

“I think (coach Turner) Gill is a quality coach. He steps into a better schedule this season. They have a better shot at improving on last year’s record despite not being as talented.”
Phil Steele, who picks KU to finish fourth in the North, Steele’s College Football Preview
GH: Gill is getting some serious positive press as he begins his rookie season as the Jayhawks’ coach. I have expressed my concerns about his leap from Buffalo to the Big 12. I think he is far too nice a guy to be successful in this conference…especially the revamped new Big 12 that looks and feels a lot like the old Southwest Conference.

“It comes down to (Iowa State’s) schedule. They draw Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech out of the South, three super squads. And OU and Texas are on the road. I have their schedule rated as the toughest in the country.”
Phil Steele, who picks ISU to finish sixth in the North, Steele’s College Football Preview

“Is there a chance these teams (in the B12 North) are going to get tired of going 4-5 in this league?”
Danny Clinkscale, on the proposed no-divisions conference alignment where each team would play a nine-game conference schedule, 810 AM

“It’s going to be hard for me to step away from college football and college baseball. I’ve visited all these (colleges) and done all this stuff for a reason.”
Bubba Starling, three-sport star at Gardner-Edgerton, who verbally committed to play football and baseball at Nebraska, Omaha World Herald
GH: Nick Rubek, a reporter for the OWH, writes; “Starling stands 6-foot-4, weighs 193 pounds and touched 95 mph on the radar gun numerous times this spring, even getting to 96 once, VanRheen said. The coach wouldn’t be surprised to see the right-hander hit 97 or 98 next season.” I don’t know if Starling will ever play a down or an inning in college but I have marked my calendar to make sure I catch a couple of his games this fall. He sounds like Jim Thorpe reincarnated.

“The proliferation of new media and talk radio, diminished accountability in those formats and rabid interest heightened hysteria and misinformation, as did the increasingly blurred line between reporting and opinion fostered by blogs. ‘You have (people) saying, 'Let's throw something out there and see if it sticks,' St. Louis University AD Chris May said.
That apparently was the case with a Kansas City radio report that said MU was among schools invited to join the Big Ten. ‘What happens is you cause panic,’ said Odjakjian, adding, ‘How many degrees of separation (is the source) from the real person who knows?’”
Vahe Gregorian, writer, St. Louis Post Dispatch
GH: The more I read and hear what other media in other cities are saying about Kietzman’s “report,” the more I am concerned it not only stained his regional and national reputation but also that of all media in Kansas City.

“Texas is more loyal than Nebraska. Who would have thought that Texas had more class and was more loyal than Nebraska?”
Kevin Kietzman, on Nebraska’s decision to bolt to the Big 10, 810 AM
GH: As you would expect, Nebraska doesn’t quite see it the same way. Read on.
“The Longhorns helped chase two members out of the Big 12, bullied five others into giving them their lunch money and then passed themselves off as saving a beloved damsel in distress. Never mind, I guess, that while “rescuing’’ the Big 12 you flirted with the Pac-10 and the Big Ten.”
Lee Barfknecht, columnist, Omaha World Herald

“This is gross.”
Nick Wright, on the financial concessions made to Texas by the nine other Big 12 conference schools, 610 AM

“The key is the Huskers weren’t running away from anything. They are running toward a truly transformational opportunity. Put aside the athletic discussion for now. This move to the Big Ten clears the runways for the University of Nebraska system — the state’s largest enterprise — to fly into previously restricted air space. Hundreds of millions of dollars more research money is expected. Higher caliber faculty will be more easily recruited. That in turn attracts better students, who later want to stay in the state because of enhanced job opportunities and will start businesses of their own that will boost the economy. Oh, and the football won’t be all bad, either.”
Lee Barfknecht, columnist, Omaha World Herald

“He’s had a great run. … Well, all good things come to an end some day.”
Johnny Miller, PGA TV analyst, as a teary-eyed Tom Watson made his way up the 18th fairway at Pebble Beach for what many expect to be his last U.S. Open, NBC
GH: Miller didn’t sound the least bit moved by Watson’s tears or the fact he was saying good-bye to Pebble Beach. It is one of the reasons why Miller is the best analyst in television sports.

“We’re lucky we’re still on the air!”
Dan Hicks, PGA host for the U.S. Open, after Phil Mickelson hit his approach iron while his ball rested atop two TV cables located in the short rough, NBC
GH: This was the weirdest shot I saw all weekend at Pebble. How does Phil NOT ask for relief here? I would have foot-wedged that ball three feet from those cables.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24

 


 

LOOKING AHEAD TO THE 2012 ALL STAR GAME

Posted 6-18-10

“There are a ton of locals who have zero confidence that Kansas City can pull off hosting the All-Star game. Why is there such a fear of humiliation with your city hosting this event in 2012?”
Shan Shariff, who said he was basing his remark on numerous blogs, emails and texts that he has perused since KC was awarded the summer classic, 610 AM
GH: Does Kansas City suffer from Tony Botello Syndrome – where the afflicted view life in Kansas City as hell on scorched Caucasian-colored earth? I would venture to say that this disease is not a new malady among us. Is it as prevalent in our town as orange barrels? IMPO, not so much. Read on.

“KK, who likes the new ‘K’ like Fox news likes the Dems, was saying the All-Star game could be a big problem with national media slamming KC and our lack of amenities / hotel rooms, etc.  He was actually suggesting that we would be better off without the game. It was pathetic. Even Jack Harry was not buying.”
OTC Reader
GH: KK appears to be down on anything that now occurs at the newly renovated Kauffman Stadium. (Thankfully his daily “bigger boat” segment on the Royals has apparently been sunk.) He likens the renovations to just adding “large boxes” and remains very upset that David Glass did not heed his words to build a new ballpark downtown. I wouldn’t put too much stock in Kietzman’s sour outlook.

“Yeah!!!! Four days in Kansas City in mid-July when it's 110 degrees!!!!! Who's in???”
SportsGuy, aka Bill Simmons, ESPN.com columnist and fan of all things Boston, Twitter
GH: Simmons was lobbying for the 2012 All-Star game to be held in his beloved Fenway, which will celebrate its 100 years of existence that summer. That did not go over well with one Steven St. John…read on.

“Screw Bill Simmons! He was bitter. And screw Boston!”
Steven St. John, 810 AM

“We need to stop looking at the Big Eight, the Big Ten, the Big 12 and the NCAA as things that bring prestige and make us a better community. They don’t.”
Crosby Kemper III, director of the Kansas City Public Library and a member of one of KC’s more well-known and successful families, Kansas City Star
GH: I like Crosby. And if you have ever attended one of his get-togethers at the Plaza library, I’m sure you do as well. But I think he is dead wrong on this one.

“I was here in 1973 (for Kansas City’s first All-Star game) and I can’t wait for the next one!”
David Glass, expressing his excitement at the announcement that KC will host the 2012 All-Star game

“1973 was the last time Glass showed up at the park, wasn’t it?”
Mike Boddicker, 810 AM

“What is this (All-Star game) going to do for Kansas City except take a huge chunk out of your wallet?”
Shan Shariff, on the high cost of tickets for the All-Star game and accompanying festivities, 610 AM
GH: How big a chunk? Read on and The Star’s Bob Dutton will give you some idea.

“Expect it to be expensive. The cost for a ticket package to attend next month’s (All-Star) game at Anaheim ranges from $410 to $920. That covers admission to the All-Star Game, the Home Run Derby, a celebrity game and related activities.”
Bob Dutton, writer, Kansas City Star
GH: I thought Selig said something about the tix being “very affordable?”Looks like the Hall boys who will be watching the 2012 festivities on the tube.

“I am very excited about the All-Star game being here in Kansas City. This is the first All-Star game in Kansas City in my lifetime and it may be the last All-Star game in Kansas City during my lifetime. It may be 50 years before the next All-Star game (in KC). Living in Chicago, I’m already making plans (to be there). I don’t want to miss the only All-Star game of my lifetime. I’ll be there.”
Rany Jazayerli, of Ranyontheroyals.com, 810 AM
GH: Damn, Rany, when you put it like that…maybe I need to find a way to scrape up a couple of grand to take the kids to see Strasburg blow past 120 on The K’s radar gun.

“I don’t think there is any other place I’d rather be than right here in Kansas City that summer. I think it’s going to be lot of fun.”
Jason Anderson, 810 AM
GH: I am with JA – I think the 2012 All-Star game is going to be one helluva good time here in our hometown. Sure, a few coastal media types might get jerked because our crab cakes are made with catfish but what the hell? Once they splash a little Gates sauce on some Stroud’s chicken, they will be singing our praises as loudly as Ida McBeth.

“The Royals could have this huge load of talent ready to hit Kauffman Stadium right about the time Colon is ready at the start of the 2012 season and dramatically change (the Royals’ franchise).”
Rany Jazayerli, 810 AM
GH: Okay, put on your JoPo sleeping caps and dream with me for a moment. The 2012 All-Star AL roster includes the following Royals; Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Christian Colon, Alex Gordon (we’re dreamin’, remember?), Kila Ka’aihue, Zack Greinke, Mike Montgomery and Billy Butler. Where’s DeJesus? We traded him to the Yankees for three stud prospects.

“Please call me. Someone who has the 'no guts' to write something like that needs to have his ass kicked.”
Bill Byrne, AD at Texas A&M, in a voicemail he left for an Aggie booster who had emailed him with this salvo; “I hope you have time to pull your tongue out of (UT athletic director DeLoss) Dodd's ass to read this e-mail.", 610 AM
GH: You have to love the state of Texas. Okay, maybe not love ‘em, but I sure find life a lot more interesting with Texas in the Big 12 than without.

“We were committed to keeping the Big 12 together because we wanted parents to be able to come and watch their kids play.”
Mack Brown, Texas head football coach, Jim Rome Show
GH: I must have missed that tweet from orangebloods.com.

“I’m disappointed (Nebraska) left. I love Tom Osborne. He’s a guy who has been a role model for me for a number of years.”
Mack Brown, Texas head football coach, Jim Rome Show
GH: I think Texas is truly unhappy that Nebraska chose to bolt. I am not so sure many other schools are of the same mind set about the departing Huskers.

“(The Texas offense) will not be as different as some people think without Colt McCoy but it will be different. We will go back to an offense more like what we had with Chris Simms and Major Applewhite; where we were more balanced. We didn’t just take an aspirin when we started throwing the football (with McCoy), we took the whole bottle!”
Mack Brown, Texas head football coach, Jim Rome Show
GH: Rivals.com’s preseason rankings for the 2010 college football season has Nebraska at #7 and Texas at #8. Oklahoma is their 12th pick and only other Big 12 team in the top 25. BTW, two Mountain West teams, Boise State (#4) and TCU (#6) top every B12 team in Rivals’ early ratings.

“Iowa State plays Iowa every year and now they have to play nine Big 12 regular-season games.  That leaves room for only two non-conference patsies.  (Paul Rhoads) will have the most difficult job in Division I football – trying to get six wins each year (to become bowl eligible).”
Matt  Perrault, a sports talk show host on KXNO in Des Moines, 610 AM
GH: This is the third show I have heard Perrault share with Fescoe on 610. I do not know whether or not his appearances have been auditions but if so, I hope 610 Sports hires the guy. He spent some time in Omaha recently as a sports talk host and is now working in Des Moines. I am not familiar with his work in either city but what I’ve heard so far on 610 is very encouraging.

“The end of the Erin Andrews era (at ESPN/ABC), as of right this minute, appears moderately imminent. Some insiders think she's crazy to leave. Some think she's crazy to stay.”
A.J. Daulerio, writer, DeadSpin.com

“I don’t think it’s worth it that ESPN replace Erin Andrews with another sex object. They need to get somebody like Shelley Smith out there who knows something.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: When did Shelley Smith learn something?

“You (Kansas fans) ran (Mark Mangino) out of town on the big train! You wanted a nice guy who doesn’t cuss and doesn’t make players eat bear claws during practice!”
Steven St. John, directing this funny retort at his Kansas counterpart, Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: SSJ can be flat-out hilarious as he proved with this impromptu Mangino comment that blended the former Jayhawks’ coach’s girth, love of food and penchant for drilling his players’ bloody with bear “crawls."

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter/ greghall24

 


 

THE WINNERS AND LOSERS FROM THE BIG 12 'CRISIS'

Posted 6-17-10

The recent deluge of media coverage of the Big 12 realignment rumors, leaks and pressers created some winners and losers – not only with the universities in play but also many individuals and entities. Here is my list of both. Feel free to add yours in the Comments section below.

Kansas City Sports Talk Radio: Winner. A HUGE winner. Sports talk has changed how not only avid fans follow their teams and breaking sports stories but even the casual fan now is hooked on the speed and inaccuracy that sports talk radio offers its ever mobile audience.

WHB 810 AM: Winner. It is my opinion (and that of more than a few others) that Kevin Kietzman’s “initial offer” report from “multiple sources” was the jet fuel to this smoldering months-old rumor. While it proved to be nothing more than KK exaggerating what some Mizzou source(s) told him, that mattered little to just about everyone with an a keyboard, a mic or a set of ears. The week the story really exploded, KK was off the air on a family vacation. While the Border Report and Petro’s Program held their own, the station clearly missed their big dog during Armageddon Week.

610 Sports: Winner. The “other” sports talk station is still breaking in an entirely new lineup of hosts that didn’t exist in January. Listeners are still wary of what Bob Fescoe, Shan Shariff and Nick Wright know about their teams and their city’s sports stories. This two-week lava flow of realignment info/mis-info (and Kietzman’s unfortunately-timed family vacation) most likely allowed a number of area listeners to sample 610’s talent. Whether or not they liked what they heard will determine next year’s lineup on 610.

KCTV 5 and Michael Coleman: Loser. What were these people thinking? There is something to be said about getting people talking about your TV show even if the talk is all bad. But that is not the case when your TV show is a local newscast that depends on being a credible source for local news. Kietzman can get away with bogus reports and exaggerated scoops because talk radio is still a notch below the London tabloids when it comes to credibility. KCTV 5 cannot afford to bring in new talent and blow a story this big, this public and this f-ing wrong. Has anybody from TV 5 apologized for cutting this bean dip-laced fart yet?

Brady Deaton, Jay Nixon and Mike Alden: Losers. The Missouri leadership group came out of this looking like they knew less about what was happening to their university than even Kietzman. And that ain’t much. I’m not sure these three still know what the hell happened to the Tigers and why they are not “proud members of the Big 10.” After this embarrassing debacle, I expect the tuition to be dramatically reduced in Columbia. Who thinks sending your kid to MU will make him or her smarter?

Chip Brown and Orangebloods.com: Winner. Three weeks ago I had never heard of either. Now, every school boy from San Diego to Syracuse has Chip and his website saved in their browser’s Favorites. While his reports and tweets were not always accurate, he became the most credible source for what the hell was going on because he was riding a big Texas pony that was talking more than Mr. Ed.

Bernadette Gray-Little: Loser. Has anyone checked BGL’s resume? Are we sure she didn’t graduate from Mizzou?

Amy Hawley, Channel 41 news: Winner. Hawley’s rise to fame had to do with her fearless one-on-one interview with Lew Perkins and his involvement with the KU scandals but since this all went down the same week, she gets a winner tag for her work. The video of Hawley standing with her hands behind her back and Sour Lew leaning forward to wag his finger in her face will live on long after both Lew and Amy have moved out of the area and on to other lives.

Dan Beebe: Winner. How about that? Beebe went from World’s Biggest Loser (an actual nickname of one of my longtime buddies – to which he does not answer) to Savior of the Big 12 Lite in a matter of hours! Easily the greatest turnaround the Big 8/12 has witnessed since Bill Snyder pulled off his magic trick in Manhattan. Beebe made the city of Kansas City hundreds of millions of dollars over the next 10 years. What local politician can you say that about?

Kansas City: Winner. Thanks to Beebe, the City of Fountains will continue to drink from the lucrative waters of the burnt-orange Big 12 well. I really did not want to see Sprint Center turn into Kemper East – another airport hangar for sparrows.

The Friendly Five: Winners. Some may think Kansas, Mizzou, K-State, Iowa State and Baylor were losers with the number of concessions they were forced to make to Texas. Sometimes you just have to bend over and take it when the sex is that great. It sure beats the hell out of the alternative -- fondling goats in the Mountain West.

B12 Championship football game: Loser. No more winner-takes-all title game for the cold-weather North schools. K-State showed us it could be done back in the Darren Sproles era and even Colorado got Texas once on a bad night. Those days are gone…and so is almost all hope of a B12 football champion north of Oklahoma.

Lew Perkins: Loser. Lew may have reversed his status as a revered KU rainmaker to KU scoundrel almost as quickly as Beebe’s 180. I am thinking Mark Mangino laid a curse on Sour Lew as the Phat Coach left campus. He was heard mumbling something like, “May a pretty, petite blonde cross your golf cart path one day and kiss you with her microphone, turning you into the ogre we all know you are. Burp.”

Kevin Kietzman: Winner. What? You thought a bogus report and then his refusal to own his mistake would earn Kietz a loser tag? Not in this game. The score in KK’s game is kept by how many people listen to his show. He apparently doesn’t care why they listen, just so they listen. And that they still do in very large numbers.

Jason Whitlock: Loser. I know Pork Chop usually takes the summer off to rest his gout-ridden feet but how does any columnist worth his meal money (which is ample when it comes to JDubb) sit out the biggest local sports story since 1985? What might be even more of a concern for Jason and The Star is that there was very little public uproar about Whit’s MIA status. Ten years ago, he would have written a column every day during the two-week saga. I am not sure I know this man anymore.

Sam Mellinger: Winner. Whitlock’s absence allowed Mellinger to become The Star’s voice for what the heck was going on. He did it admirably. His passionate column as the Big 12 appeared to be collapsing atop Sprint Center was great stuff. He is not yet a must read but he is talented. This crisis allowed more people to become aware of that fact.

Twitter: Winner. People who couldn’t spell Twitter in May became fixated on the often overloaded site in June. It is now how I get almost all of my new news. If you are new to the Twit game, register at Twitter.com and then follow Kris Ketz, SportsGuy, Sam Mellinger, Nick Wright, Steven St. John and Kent Babb. A whole new world awaits.

KCConfidential: Winner. I think. Depends on if you’re a Marilyn Maye fan.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

MIZZOU FANS WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED

Posted 6-16-10

“With apologies to Chancellor (Brady) Deaton, I don’t think you answered my question. Anybody else like to give it a try? I think that’s the major question a lot of your fans are (asking). Did you expect – not whether the Big 10 did – did you expect the Big 10 to offer you a spot?”
Mike DeArmond, addressing the Mizzou press conference Tuesday afternoon
GH: It is not often that a question from the media is the highlight of a press conference. But that is exactly what The Kansas City Star’s MU beat writer’s query was on Tuesday in Columbia. I heard DeArmond’s question replayed on both sports talk radio stations multiple times. Unfortunately, the quality of the answer was nowhere near worthy of the question.

“These are questions you need to go ask the Big 10 or Jim Delany.”
Gary Forsee, MU president, responding to DeArmond’s question, Mizzou press conference Tuesday afternoon
GH: I heard this response on the radio so it may have been Mike Alden who answered with this elusive comeback. Why wouldn’t the three wise men of Mizzou know whether or not THEY expected an invite from the Big 10? This response made about as much sense as that big pile of rocks in Mizzou’s north end zone.

“Did it sound like to you that Mike DeArmond was going to rip his shirt off and turn into the Incredible Hulk and tear apart that press conference with his bare hands?
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: SSJ’s comment made me laugh but here is what I liked about DeArmond’s question. He remained respectful to the MU threesome but was clearly not cowered. DeArmond knows the people of Missouri want to know what the hell happened – and these are the guys who can and should enlighten us. Too often in a press conference setting, the media shrugs when given a non-answer and then moves on to less pensive questioning.

“I think it’s important for all 10 of us in our league to stick together.”
Mike Alden, MU athletic director, 610 AM

“We’re committed to the Big 12 for the foreseeable future. We’re in this for the long haul.”
Brady Deaton, during MU’s press conference
GH: When was the last time you heard “foreseeable future” used in the same breath with “long haul?” If I’m Dan Beebe’s bartender, I might start requesting cash.

“When it comes to a big-time situation, it seems like Mike Alden fails a lot.”
Bob Fescoe, on the Mizzou’s AD, 610 AM
GH: The one thing I have come away with from all these university pressers is that our local schools might want to rethink who they are hiring to run the show. Brady Deaton and his high-pitched voice and bespectacled flushed face couldn’t inspire me to fart on a frog. Bernadette Gray-Little looks to be so far in over her head that her ‘fro froze as tight as her face. Maybe it was her trip to London that compromised her weave. The K-State president, unfortunately, looks exactly like you’d think the K-State president would look – Barney Fife-ish. Tom Osborne looks and sounds three days away from getting fit for a casket. It is as if these universities are unaware that their words and appearance carry a bit more weight when broadcast to more than some doting regents.

“From the text messages and emails I have received here during my time here in Kansas City, it seems to me that between the three local schools, Missouri fans are the most stubborn.”
Shan Shariff, who recently moved to KC from the Washington D.C. area, 610 AM
GH: Somebody get Shariff a ride on a Missouri mule.

“Certainly there were people who did not approve of the job I was doing (as Big 12 commissioner), but they can certainly apply for the job.”
Dan Beebe, in an interview with Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Beebe has had two very different photos run in KC Star in the past few days. When the Big 12 appeared to be dead and gone, a confused and bewildered Beebe was seen on the cover of the sports section. But in Wednesday’s Star, a large photo of Beebe has the look of a confident executive who, in the end, beat all the odds. I thought the artwork for both stories was perfect.

“One of the more interesting things about this is all the misinformation. It’s just incredible what’s out there now.”
Dan Beebe, in an interview with Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Yes, there was a lot of misinformation – starting with KK’s premature report of MU’s invite to the Big 10. But there was a lot of good info as well that simply fell apart in the end. Yes, Mizzou thought they were going to the Big 10. Yes, Texas was very close to heading to the Pac 10 with five other Big 12 teams. Yes, A&M almost departed for the SEC. And yes, KU, K-State and even Mizzou were wondering if they were going to be banished to the Mountain West. Pretending that these were not real stories now that the waters have calmed is disingenuous.

“It’s a credit to both universities (Kansas and Kansas State) because they held onto each other to create strength.”
Frank Martin, 810 AM
GH: Translation: “We were both drowning and decided to grab onto one another and just hold our noses.”

“If the Big 12 is going into any expansion mode I think they should be targeting Notre Dame.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: It’s permissible (even wise) for a radio sports talk show host to voice wild, outside-the-stadium ideas to promote discussion and attract an audience. It’s another thing to believe your own fantasies. KK actually believes Beebe should be pursing the Irish to join the Temp Ten. That’ll happen right after LaRussa and the other MLB managers adopt Kevin’s idea to start the bullpen pitchers and finish with the starter.

“I’m not doing this today. … Sorry, I’m not arguing with you. I don’t have time for you.”
Kevin Kietzman, as he hung up on a caller Tuesday who was angry with him, 810 AM

“You’re a Kansas fan – I’m done with this. I’m not doing this today.”
Kevin Kietzman, as he hung up on the next caller who was angry with him, 810 AM

“I don’t have an agenda. It’s my job. I wish I had more friends. I wish everyone who listened and called me every day loved me. That is not going to happen with the way I do a radio show.”
Kevin Kietzman, explaining why he believes he rankles some callers, 810 AM
GH: Maybe Kietz should apply to replace Oprah.

“It is kind of a big deal because we understand the commissioner is a big hot dog fan.”
Toby Cook, Royals VP of media, announcing every ticket holder in attendance at tonight’s Royals’ game will receive a free hot dog, 810 AM
GH: Bud Selig will be at The K tonight to name Kansas City as the host for the 2012 MLB All-Star game. May I suggest Toby sneak the commish a Stroud’s chicken finger instead?

“(The MLB All-Star game) is a week-long event. It is probably a $60- to $65-million boost to the local economy.”
Kevin Gray, of the KC Sports Commission, 610 AM
GH: If that number is accurate, wow!

“Mom!!! Ouch!!”
Soren Petro, with a mouthful of sandwich in a Marco Polo radio ad, 810 AM
GH: This is easily Petro’s best radio ad ever. How can this be the same cardboard guy that does those stilted Adam Bold ads?

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

CAN THESE KIDS GET ALONG IN THE BIG 12?

Posted 6-15-10

I’ll stand by my statement. I think five years from now this conference will not be here.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Almost everyone agrees that the newly formed Beebe Kids conference is probably the best option at this time for Kansas City and the three local schools, KSU, KU and MU. But is this the long-term fix the conference needed? Read on.

“Where is there not a bad feeling about within the Big 12? I think Missouri started this. Texas looks like the bully. I think Colorado looks like – I wouldn’t say a carpetbagger but almost a beggar. There’s a lot of rancor in what’s left of the Big 12.”
Kirk Bohls, columnist at The Austin American Statesmen, 610 AM

“There is a tremendous amount of trust among these presidents of these institutions.”
William Powers, UT president, Texas news conference, when asked what assurances he had from the other Big 12 schools that they would not bolt in the future, 610 AM
GH: I believe that is similar to what Stalin said to Churchill.  

“I don’t think there is any level of trust between the schools in the Big 12/10.”
Kurtis Seaboldt, 810 AM

“I don’t know what Missouri’s gonna do. You can’t tell about them. I don’t have to have them (in the Big 12). … I have a strong streak of loyalty – and that’s why I care about Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State. I don’t care about Missouri.”
T. Boone Pickens, Statesman.com
GH: If there is one school of the remaining ten that is receiving more sideways glances and sneers than any other it is the Tigers from Mizzou. The Mizzou Gov’s comments about TT and OSU probably didn’t help.

“Commissioner Dan Beebe says the details about a new Big 12 TV deal have been misconstrued. No deal in place, but ‘strong indications.’ ”
KUSports.com
GH: Gulp.

“What happens if (Beebe) comes up short on these numbers?”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Have you ever seen a Texas pig roast?

“Dan Beebe- ‘this was about more than just money.’ Yeah, and Mike Tyson is a grammar coach.”
Shan Shariff, Twitter

“For Dan Beebe, please, please, please don’t think you did anything here! All you did was answer Texas’ phone call. So, do I still think Dan Beebe is an incompetent boob? Yes, size triple D 38. Terrance Cody size.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM

“I wouldn’t say (Texas is) thrilled (with the new Big 12). A lot of people in the UT Tower really liked the idea of going to the Pac 10.”
Kirk Bohls, 610 AM
GH: Wow! Texas got all the Xmas presents, the tree, the leg lamp, all nine of Bumpus’ dogs and a Peking duck dinner at Hop Sing’s restaurant – and they still aren’t quite sure they’re completely happy!

“You know what really hasn’t sunk in yet? That Nebraska is still around for another year and Colorado for another two.”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM

“Nebraska’s wanted to leave since the Big 6! That was 1940. My dad and I went to all the games and my dad said, ‘Goddamn! Let Nebraska go! They’ll go over there to the Big 10 and get their foot in the door and they’ll mash it for them. What’s Nebraska got to offer? They’ve got 700,000 households. So, they don’t bring any big audience to the market.”
T. Boone Pickens, Statesman.com

“Thank you Nebraska! You’re so awesome! We’ve got to fly some banners over their stadium, thanking them for leaving!”
Kevin Kietzman, on the increased revenue projections by Beebe with only 10 teams rather than 12, 810 AM
GH: How will Nebraska’s final trips through their old neighbors’ yards go this next season? I would like to think they will be shown some grudging respect for their years of service. They deserve it for helping make the Big 8/12 a football power for 40 years. But I am pretty sure they will be shown more of the venom that KK and Pickens spew.

“Maybe I’m the only one who cares about talking about honesty and truth. I’m sorry but we just don’t do the kind of show were we slap each other on the ass and tell everybody how great everything is.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Gee, wonder what show does that?

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


For earlier Greg Hall columns, click here