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Off the Couch

by Greg Hall
Landmark columnist

 


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

Chiefs really need a win in Denver

Posted 11-12-10

“If they don’t win this game, I don’t think they win this division and I don’t think they make the playoffs.”
Frank Boal, on the importance of the Chiefs game this Sunday in Denver, 810 AM
GH: The winds of the NFL change direction quickly – especially in November. Only a week ago the Chiefs were 5-2 with a 10-0 lead inside the Raiders’ 5-yard line. Poof. Now they head to Denver for a game Boal believes is a must win. Read on.

“Why do I get the disgusting, stinking feeling that San Diego’s going to win this division?”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM

“Kansas City doesn’t have any better talent than any other team in this division. They’ve been successful playing smart and being efficient. It’s hard to do that over the course of a season. My guess is that this (division) is going to go down to the wire and the first team (in the AFC West) to get 10 wins is going to win this.”
Jeff Chadhia, NFL writer, 810 AM

“I think they get this win (in Denver) and looking at the schedule I think things will continue to go their way. I still like them to win the division.”
Kendall Gammon, 810 AM
GH: While I agree the Chiefs look poised to win the West, Gammon always thinks the best for the Chiefs. His comments analyzing the Chiefs are so glossy that his takes are better suited for the propaganda-filled Chiefs’ game-day radio coverage on 101 The Fox instead of 810’s more balanced format.

“The Chiefs don’t have to fix anything as far as I’m concerned.”
Herm Edwards, while talking to Kevin Kietzman Thursday, 810 AM
GH: If you’re wondering why Herm is wearing a suit on ESPN now instead of a sweatshirt on an NFL sideline, this comment might be an excellent clue.

“I still think New England, Pittsburgh and the Jets are the three best teams in the NFL.”
Brian Billick, ESPN Radio
GH: The former Ravens’ head coach said he likes the NY Giants as the best team in the NFC but that the best football is played in the AFC.

“It’s Donkey Week…BABY! And the Chiefs will try to put…the…hammer…DOWN!”
Mitch Holthus, Chiefs Kingdom
GH: Holthus reportedly is a professional motivational speaker. Listening to his pure cornpone shtick on The Chiefs Kingdom radio show, I have a hard time imagining Mitch motivating any business person to do anything else but giggle.

“It’s not going to be a difficult job to have these guys motivated.”
Todd Haley, on getting his team up for Denver, Chiefs Kingdom

“The Raiders are a feud. Denver is a team I want to beat worse than anybody! Broncos fans make me want to punch them. Raiders fans just make me want to get drunk with them.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Couple of problems here. 1) Raider fan is already drunk. 2) Hating Denver is like hating Lenexa – hard to tell their fans from our fans. No such problem when it comes to the Silver and Black.

“When you’re not competitive, it hurts the game of football. People don’t want to watch that. Now I’m not saying (the Cowboys) quit, I’m just saying they’re not competitive.”
Herm Edwards, on the recent repugnant play of the Dallas Cowboys, 810 AM
GH: Herm would be much more valuable to ESPN if he wasn’t auditioning for another NFL head coaching job every time he’s asked to voice his opinion. Go ahead and be bold, Herm. The Cowboys quit like they were French Cowgirls. That Thanksgiving Day TV lineup featuring Pats/Lions, Saints/Cowboys and Bengals/Jets looks about as appetizing as that wiggly cranberry glop my mom used to try and pass off as a holiday side dish.

“I think that Eric Berry is a good player already but in time he’ll be a great player.”
Jayice Pearson, 610 AM
GH: Way too early to get down on the Chiefs’ rookie safety. But it is also premature to call this over-eager youngster a future All-Pro. I would like to see him play with more poise and less panic. He always seems to be in a hurry to get out of position.

“DJ –  no question. And that’s not taking anything away from Tamba (Hali). His acceleration and closing on the ball from sideline to sideline is awesome!”
Kendall Gammon, when asked who the Chiefs’ defensive player of the year is at this point in the season, 810 AM

“(Derrick Johnson) is having a Pro-Bowl year. DJ is a straight baller!”
Kendall Gammon, 810 AM
GH: Congrats to DJ on his new contract. What a difference a year makes, hey Derrick?

“Probably not.”
Gary Barnett, when asked by Nate Bukaty if he thought Kansas and Turner Gill could use their stirring come-from-behind win over Colorado to turn things around for their floundering football program, 810 AM

“You just beat Colorado which is no big deal because everybody else is beating Colorado.”
Gary Barnett, explaining his reasoning to Bukaty, 810 AM

“Everybody’s been very unfair to Turner Gill.”
Frank Boal, 810 AM
GH: Especially Gill’s players.

“He’s one of the best recruiters in America but he just has problems on game day. They are missing something. They can’t get over the hump with this guy.”
Jack Harry, giving his opinion of MU’s Gary Pinkel, 810 AM

“Three weeks ago it would have sounded crazy to say this but now, you’d be disappointed with anything less than an 11-1 season.”
Gabe DeArmond, of PowerMizzou.com, prior to Mizzou’s game at Texas Tech, 810 AM
GH: If Mizzou drops their third game in a row this Saturday, all the old concerns about Gary Pinkel will again float up the Mighty Mo and wash ashore in Columbia. This didn’t look like a big game two weeks ago. Now it is huge.

“I think this is going to be a load for Missouri. Missouri hasn’t been able to stop the run, even though they’re at home. Most people are predicting a Missouri win here. I think Missouri should win the game but if they can’t stop the run then I think Kansas State will pull an upset here.”
Gary Barnett, 810 AM
GH: Mizzou should beat K-State by three touchdowns. It should be over by halftime. But MU’s play the past two weeks has even their most confident fans questioning the worth of the Tigers. Bill Snyder can make a statement in this game that could brand his Cats as THE team up north in the new Big 12. I will be glued to my tube for this one Saturday morning at 11.

“Mangino introduced himself to me like six or seven times because he couldn't remember who I was or why I was there. That kind of took them out the process.”
Brandon Kinnie, Nebraska wide receiver from Grandview, recalling his recruiting trip to Lawrence, Omaha World Herald
GH: I find it wildly surprising that Mangino would need to introduce himself to anyone with eyesight.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Reaction to DeJesus trade mixed

Posted 11-11-10

“What else did you want back (for David DeJesus) angry Royals fan? No one has any love Kansas City for any of your players outside of Soria and Greinke. No one has any love for David DeJesus outside of this city!”
Shan Shariff, after the Royals traded the popular DeJesus for two young and inexpensive Oakland pitchers, 610 AM
GH: I have observed the various reactions to the Royals’ decision to trade DeJesus, and the opinions mostly fall into two camps; fans who are irate overly losing a good player and seamheads who understand the economics of baseball and are nonplussed over the move. I fall into a third category – apathetic over any and all moves the Royals make. Yeah, David Glass and his troops have pretty much killed the off-season Royals fan in me. Read on.

“The argument against this trade is that the Royals could’ve done better, that they could’ve gotten more in return, but there are folks around Oakland wondering why they had to give up two young and cheap pitchers for an aging outfielder who’s never been anything more than a pretty good player.”
Sam Mellinger, KansasCity.com
GH: To believe this trade is a positive move for the Royals is to believe the Royals are a legitimate franchise building a ball club that will be playoff competitive in the near future. Under that premise, yes, trading DeJesus to free up money for future signings makes sense. But I ain’t there yet. The Royals have been nothing more than a sideshow for popcorn and cotton candy vendors for the past 20 years. Why do we think the next five under the same ownership group will be any different? Read on.

“DeJesus played with energy; he was a popular dude at The K — inside the clubhouse and out; and I wouldn’t doubt his jersey sales being among the highest of all active Royals.”
Rustin Dodd, KansasCity.com
GH: The Royals fans continue to populate The K in astounding numbers each summer especially when compared to the moribund results this franchise has posted under Glass’ management. Fans like watching DeJesus play. They like his smile, his scruffy 7:05 shadow, his cute butt and his ability to play like a kid who enjoys the game. My wife wears a #9 DeJesus jersey to Royals games. LOTS of wives do the same. So why not just let the fans have their David DeJesus and build your franchise around, over and despite this tiny but speedy (at times) “obstacle?” Royals’ fans have so little to cheer about that when a DeJesus does come along, their marketing department needs to realize it and tell Glass to go back to Bentonville.


“You (Royals’ fans) have been completely brainwashed by this management team to not expect anything better. Do not sit there and fall into the Bob Fescoe line of protest, protest, protest, It’s not reasonable. … No one knows these guys! He’s a barely above average major league player!”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM
GH: The Royals have fashioned multiple 100-loss seasons with DeJesus. He is not a cornerstone to success. His departure will not mean much when it comes to wins and losses. But nothing the Royals have done the past 15 years has elevated this franchise above putrid. I would have kept DJ around another summer for those fans who don’t quite understand WHIP, OPS and the infield fly rule. If you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of those inside The K on warm summer nights.


“What it really comes down to is this: the Royals are going to be awful in 2011, and maybe they would’ve been ever-so-slightly less awful with DeJesus. But if you believe at all in building for the future — in Mission 2012 — then the Royals had to move DeJesus, who will be 32 with a rising salary when most of the prospects arrive and 34 when they’re likely hitting their stride.”
Sam Mellinger, KCStar.com
GH: The Royals are awful every year. Being less awful would be an improvement. But awful or not, give the fans who care enough to buy a ticket, listen to Denny and Ryan and watch the Royals on cable a reason to tune in and stay engaged through these awful, awful times of being a Royals fan. I would have kept DJ and kept those JoCo mommas smiling through the losses.

GregHall24@yahoo.com


 

KU's historic comeback

Posted 11-9-10

“I was knee deep in bean dip and guacamole dip by then.”
Bob Fescoe, confessing that he bolted from Memorial Stadium at halftime Saturday with KU down 35-17, 610 AM
GH: I was driving back from the Missouri State CC meet in Jeff City Saturday afternoon and despite my wife’s constant glare, I listened to the second half of the KU radio broadcast. I had heard the halftime score so I was not expecting Bob Davis to be jumping up and down in our car’s front seat. Whatever was happening in Lawrence, Davis and his cohort, David Lawrence, were juiced – despite the three-touchdown deficit. I listened to the entire fourth quarter as the Jayhawks pulled off one for the ages. Read on.

“Those who didn’t quit on their team, stayed until the end and witnessed the biggest comeback in the history of Kansas football.”
Tom Keegan, columnist, Lawrence Journal World
GH: Is it really quitting on your team when a fan purchases a ticket, attends the game and then leaves early? No. And for a sportswriter like Keegan who is there at no charge and because he is getting paid to cover the game rips an early riser, it makes no sense. Fans can do whatever they want to do – especially those with a ticket. Sports aren’t a ‘till-death-do-us-part relationship. Sports are like your favorite restaurants. Both charge a lot for our attention. You go until you’ve had your fill. When the food or service turns bad, you don’t go…or leave early.

“It’s not the same two teams that are out there. It’s like they changed jerseys at halftime!”
David Lawrence, radio color analyst, as KU mounted their incredible 42-point second-half comeback win against Colorado, Jayhawk Radio Network
GH: The comeback was almost palpable over the radio. Listening to Davis and Lawrence I felt like the momentum faucet was cranked full on and then KU’s onside kick broke it off.

“First-year KU coach Turner Gill made the call of the season with an onside kick recovered by receiver Bradley McDougald.”
Tom Keegan, columnist, Lawrence Journal World
GH: But was it Gill who called for the onside kick? Read on.

"That's just my winning mentality. I probably would've done it on a video game or something.”
Steven Johnson, KU linebacker, who said he talked special-teams coach Aaron Stamn into trying a successful onside kick with Kansas down 45-24 in the fourth quarter, JayhawkSlant.com
GH: I am pretty sure Gill had to approve the onside kick but I like Johnson’s story best.

“At halftime, we just talked about being relentless. That was our word of the week.”
Turner Gill, on what he said to his team at the half, down 35-17 to the Buffs, Jayhawk Radio Network
GH: Relentless? How hard a sell was that to a team down 35-17 in a quickly-emptying stadium?

“KU was down 45-17 in the fourth quarter and they came back to win the game! We’ll spend some time wrapping this baby up!”
Bob Davis, Jayhawk Radio Network
GH: Davis is as KU blind as they come but he makes listening to a radio broadcast fun. I hope he calls KU games for another decade.

"We felt like we got that swagger back. It felt like Georgia Tech again. It was different because we fought back from the adversity. We felt like everything was against us, the refs, the opposing teams, and even sometimes the fans. Next week, we'll have to do the same thing because we have to shock the world because everybody is counting us out. We got to stick together, because it's 100 of us verses everybody."
Steven Johnson, KU linebacker, JayhawkSlant.com
GH: If anybody spots a KU football player swaggering around campus, flash a photo of Carson Palmer at him and ask him to act more appropriately.

“You see the players buying in and you see it translate in practice!”
David Lawrence, following KU’s win, Jayhawk Radio Network
GH: Wait a minute. Before we go all goofy about a fluke comeback win over a miserable Colorado team, let’s get a reality check. So Lawrence watched the fourth quarter and determined that just then everything Gill has been preaching at practice suddenly kicked in and worked for KU? That kind of crazy talk merely masks many of the problems that surround Gill’s football program – and there are many.

“I don’t think it makes (the Jayhawks’ comeback win) any less significant just because you weren’t playing for anything.”
David Lawrence, who ranked Saturday’s win over Colorado just behind KU’s Orange Bowl victory and the snow-bowl win over Mizzou at Arrowhead as far as the biggest wins in KU football history, HawkTalk
GH: This statement floored me. Hey, it was a thrilling win for a rotten team in the midst of an awful season. But one of the top-three wins in KU football history? This win over CU didn’t even top the Georgia Tech win earlier this season.

“You score 42 in the fourth quarter to squeak one out?”
Matt Davison, Nebraska radio analyst, after hearing of KU’s comeback, Cornhusker Radio Network

“That’s the third coach now that Kansas has caused to get fired. There was Ron Prince, Bill Callahan and now Dan Hawkins. ‘You lost to Kansas? Your ass is fired!’ ”
Bob Fescoe, on Colorado announcing the firing of CU’s Hawkins, 610 AM

“It's still not totally clear why (Collin) Klein replaced Carson Coffman, who started K-State's first eight games. … Whatever the case, it worked. I'm not sure if it's sunk in yet, but K-State beat Texas with two complete passes -- two! -- and neither were really necessary.”
Austin Meek, columnist, following K-State’s dominating win over Texas, Topeka Capital-Journal
GH: Not clear? Is an explanation necessary when the quarterback being replaced is named Carson Coffman? The question should be why did it take Snyder until November to bench Coffman?

“Truth is, the Negro Leagues Museum will have a hard time surviving more than a few more years.”
Sam Mellinger, column in Sunday’s Kansas City Star
GH: The current plight of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is column worthy – but not on a Sunday that follows KU’s greatest comeback in their football program’s history, Mizzou’s historic season is derailed with a devastating loss in Lubbock and K-State beheads Texas in Manhattan. Mellinger has received many plaudits of late. A sense of what deserves his immediate attention is not one of them.

“Snow, ice and wind now moving away from the east coast.”
ABC Radio on Tuesday morning
GH: It is coming. We know winter lurks but a cold front away. But I am never ready for its arrival.

“Haggis doesn’t gross me out as much as the McRib does.”
Nate Bukaty, who stated he rarely eats at McDonald’s, 810 AM
GH: No, Haggis is not the bearded giant in Harry Potter. It is a Scottish sausage-like dish made up of sheep’s heart, liver and lungs. Pass me the McRib – extra sauce.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24

 


Gabbert flops and then fires

Posted 11-9-10

“I think you guys were the ones that wanted me pulled. Everybody on my team wanted me out there. I wanted to be out there. Your guys’ opinions on who should get yanked, what should be called, really does not matter to us at all.”
Blaine Gabbert, MU quarterback, responding to reporters on Monday about his play at Texas Tech, Kansas City Star
GH: I think Gabby might be 1-for-2 in his comments above. I’m pretty sure there were a few more MU fans calling for James Franklin than Gabbert knows. But as far as the media not having a say in who plays, that is a no brainer. What I am beginning to wonder is whether or not Gabbert has the brain power necessary to handle his role as Mizzou’s QB. Read on.

“Blaine Gabbert for some reason has a tremendous chip on his shoulder for the media and I don’t understand it. I don’t know who’s done him wrong, frankly. This is not the first time he has used the ‘you-guys’ card, like it is somehow our fault that he threw for 95 yards Saturday.”
Dennis Dodd, CBSsportsline.com college writer, 810 AM
GH: The criticism of Gabbert’s play is justified. He was not only awful in Lubbock but looked completely unable to reverse his poor play. An NFL-quality QB has to be able to realize why things aren’t working and adjust. Gabbert looked anything but NFL ready against TT.

“Where (the Texas Tech loss) came from is out of stubborn pride. Too proud to admit that possibly you do not have all the answers. Too stubborn to change even if, deep down, you know need to. Tech changed quarterbacks when it was doing nothing on offense. Missouri stuck with the same quarterback when he was overthrowing receivers by yards. Yards, not inches or feet. Remember when Chase Daniel replaced an injured Brad Smith and beat Iowa State? I was thinking about that as James Franklin never moved off the sideline.”
Mike DeArmond, PowerMizzou.com

“There were several plays in the first half where (Gabbert) would touch it and float it over the receivers’ hands. He got lucky because it didn’t get picked. He did much better the second half.”
Trent Green, on accessing the Mizzou quarterback’s play against Oklahoma, 810 AM
GH: The former Chiefs’ QB made these comments about Gabbert play in the first half after MU’s big win over Oklahoma. Green saw something in Gabbert that he didn’t like. I have been a huge proponent of Gabbert’s talent but his play of late – and his response to criticism – has me thinking he might not be who I thought he was.

"Life's a garden, dig it, gotta make it work for ya."-Joe Dirt”
Blaine Gabbert, late Sunday night, Twitter
GH: When your starting QB is quoting Joe Dirt – and he ain’t doing it to be funny – you might want to check his IQ.

“It sounds like (Gabbert’s) a little bit immature. At least football immaturity where he can’t take criticism.”
Dennis Dodd, 810 AM

“There’s not much that a reasonable Missouri fan can take away from Saturday’s flop of a game and consider a step in the right direction. Yes, the Tigers broke off two long touchdown runs. Yes, the defense came away with a clutch takeaway in the red zone. And yes, the punter is pretty good. Got anything else? I sure don’t.”
Dave Matter, columnist, Columbia Tribune
GH: Mizzou, in very familiar Mizzou form, has plummeted from a BCS title contender to a team battling to finish third in the B12 North…and all within the span of two weeks. It is not like this is uncharted territory for Tiger Nation.

“All year long I have been trumpeting Gary Pinkel and what a big fan I am of Gary Pinkel. But now I understand why Missouri fans at 7-0 weren’t buying in. The second half of that football game was inexcusable and quite frankly sad. They got away from the run in the second half.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Gary Pinkel is as polarizing an individual in the state of Missouri since Harry Truman. Is he a godsend or the antichrist?

“As a program as a whole, I just don’t understand what Missouri fans want. Do they need a new coach? Has Gary Pinkel taken them as far as he can? To reach the next level do they need a new coach? I don’t believe that.”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM

“I think as much as Gary Pinkel has helped the (MU football) program evolve, he’s holding it back.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM

“I picked Missouri by 21 points. I was wrong. At this point, I don't know what else to say. What are the exceptions: The wins over A&M and OU or the losses to Nebraska and Tech? I don't know. What this team is, still, is incredibly inconsistent.”
Gabe DeArmond, PowerMizzou.com
GH: Mizzou gets to make a statement about its season on Saturday in Columbia against a rejuvenated Kansas State team. A win rights the Tiger ship toward respectability. A loss might be as devastating to Pinkel’s program as any in the past five years.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / gretghall24

 


For Wright, texting and tweeting expletives while drunk not cute

Posted 11-8-10

“There was some crazy stuff that was going on, on the field – especially between the big guys up front that hadn’t been happening all season. You could tell this was a playoff-type atmosphere out there.”
Matt Cassel, when asked by Steven St. John to discuss the uniqueness of the physical play of the Raiders’ game, 810 AM
GH: For four hours I was transfixed on my couch by this game that took place two time zones to the west. The zaniness, the fumble scrum, the overtime sudden-death finish, the sheer lunacy of the refs – all brought me back to Chiefs/Raiders circa the ‘60s. This one may have been one of the looniest in the history of the rivalry. Read on.

“It wasn’t first down! It wasn’t first down!”
Referee Jeff Triplett, to Todd Haley as the Chiefs’ coach passionately protested that the referees failed to give the Chiefs a first down near the one-yard line, CBS
GH: In the Colorado/MU game 20 years ago, the refs lost a down. As in one. Triplett’s crew on Sunday tried to erase four of the Chiefs’ downs. What I found most entertaining was Triplett’s facial expression as he resolutely told Haley it was not first down. Read on.

“You’re going to be embarrassed! You’re going to be embarrassed!”
Todd Haley, responding to the referee, CBS
GH: Haley added no f-bombs to his warning. He simply was trying to help Triplett and his Carolina drawl get the call correct. They finally did. And yeah, they were, are, and will be embarrassed over that one for quite some time.

“On December 19, 1999, Triplette accidentally hit the Cleveland Browns' Orlando Brown in the eye with a penalty flag weighed with ball bearings. The next season, Triplette also accidentally struck Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Aaron Beasley in the helmet.”
Wikipedia.com
GH: Maybe we should just be happy Trips didn’t give Jamaal Charles a concussion with a first down marker.   

“They have completely screwed this up! … There are four officials on this crew that have worked a Super Bowl. It’s been a little bit sloppy at times.”
Kevin Harlan, on the referees losing track of the down and their overall incompetence, 810 AM
GH: Harlan was not on his A-game either on Sunday. He blew some Cassel stats and sounded flustered at times and out of sync. Maybe his support crew was to blame but a talent like Harlan has to rise above his production crew and perform. That’s why he makes the big bucks and the spotter gets meal money.

“We shouldn’t go on and on about the officiating but it was wretched.”
Brad Porter, Metro Sports
GH: I did not hear a caller or a member of the media blame the Chiefs’ loss on the officials. But to a man (or woman), everyone thought the officiating crew was embarrassingly poor. These guys need to be fined and suspended immediately. Messages need to be sent to officials as well as players and coaches.

“A devastating Chiefs’ loss in Oakland. There has been more (fan) anger after this loss than any other this season.”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM
GH: The Chiefs should never drop a game where they are up 10-0 and in the red zone just before half. But stuff happens in this league. But was the loss devastating? No. At 5-3 and a Chiefs-friendly schedule ahead, lots of good things are still very attainable for Todd Haley’s club.

“I told you guys the Raiders are jokes... Them putting up 92 in 2 weeks almost guarantees a stinker from them today. … This has 31-3 written all over it. And if you believe in jinxes then please tell Santa Claus hi for me this Christmas.”
Nick Wright, as the Chiefs built an early lead in Oakland, Twitter
GH: The more I listen and read Wright’s tweets, the more I question his understanding of the NFL game and his maturity. He overreacts emotionally to what he sees at that moment. Whitlock built a successful career in the media despite having this same flaw. I’m not sure Wright carries the same weight at Pork Chop to make his weaknesses an asset.

“I'm pouring the Grey Goose as we speak. The tweets could get NSFW RT. … So fucking stupid! Just give it to Jamaal until the fucking stop him. Jesus Christ. Now it comes down to a 3rd down. Fucking Awesome. … I'm losing followers RAPIDLY but I could give a shit... Consider this the XM version of my radio show right now.”
Nick Wright, following the Chiefs’ loss, Twitter
GH: This is one reason I question Wright’s maturity. Being a hell-bent fan can be an admirable trait for a sports radio talk show host. Being a drunk texting expletives to the masses though isn’t cute. I am starting to think Wright’s run in this business might be a short one. He’s just not nearly as talented as he needs to be to cover his screw ups.

“Despite all those obstacles that were placed in (the Chiefs) way, they still forced the Raiders into overtime. To me there’s a lot of positives to build on.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: What obstacles??? The Chiefs had a chance to go up 17-0 at the half! Whatever happens to Wright at 610, let’s hope Fescoe doesn’t move into the afternoon drive-time slot. Talk about an obstacle!
“Surprisingly, the athleticism of Matt Cassel.”
Solomon Wilcots, as Cassel stumbled and bumbled forward to avoid a sack, CBS
GH: Anybody else think Cassel runs like one of those blow-up Santas in your neighbor’s front yard? Kind of lurching forward and ready to topple over from the next stiff breeze?

“Bill Maas suggested this to me multiple times and I still have a hard time believing it. He told me that Todd Haley and Charlie Weis coach to make Matt Cassel look good in certain situations. They alter their game plan in order to give Scott Pioli a warm, fuzzy feeling in his belly about Cassel!”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM
GH: Anyone who has a warm, fuzzy feeling in their belly about Matt Cassel needs to see a doc and have that tapeworm removed.

“Absolutely pathetic. I don’t understand it.”
Richard Baldinger, on the Chiefs decision to choose the pass over the run in the second half, Metro Sports
GH: I have never met an offensive lineman who didn’t bitch about abandoning the run in favor of the pass. The passing game sure didn’t hurt Oakland’s offense in the second half.

“We’ve got to cut right to the chase. If you don’t blow up on special teams today, this game is a win for the Kansas City Chiefs. This is a problem now. We have reverted back to what it was last year. It has disintegrated. This needs to be changed immediately if you want to have success. Special teams gave life to the Raiders and that was the whole difference in the second half.”
Richard Baldinger, Metro Sports
GH: The Chiefs special teams need to be renamed the sped teams.

“They’ve got to take care and win the games they are supposed to win and to me, (Sunday’s game in Oakland) was a game they were supposed to win.”
Jayice Pearson, 610 AM
GH: I give Oakland more credit. Yes, the early lead makes you think the Chiefs let this one get away. But Oakland might be one of the best teams in the AFC. Yeah, it sounds crazy but have you looked over the AFC lately?

“Just verbal assaults all day long. Nope, nothing I can really repeat right now.”
Matt Cassel, when asked if Raider Nation threw anything at him during the game, 810 AM

“I can absolutely understand it. Yes. I’m on board.”
Matt Cassel, when asked by SSJ if he understands now why Chiefs’ fans hate the Raiders, 810 AM
GH: This rivalry got a jolt on Sunday. If this season plays out like I expect, that Raiders/Chiefs finale January 2nd at Arrowhead to be for the AFC West crown. I’ve got a feeling Clark may sell a few tickets for that sucker. 

“We want to play meaningful games in December.”
Clark Hunt, on his expectations for this season’s Chiefs earlier this year
GH: Me too.

“They didn't see Chad Henne get hit twice when he slid. Yeah, a little Stevie Wonder and Anne Frank. … Who was that? Is that the blind girl? Helen Keller. … I don't know who the fuck Anne Frank is. I'm mad right now. Fuck it. I'm not as swift as I usually am.”
Channing Crowder, Dolphins’ linebacker, apparently confusing Anne Frank with Helen Keller, AP

“He got his movies mixed up.”
Herm Edwards, responding to Crowder’s comment, 810 AM
GH: Herm’s quote might have been even better than Crowder’s.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24

 


Another Sunday, another big game for the Chiefs

Posted 11-4-10

“The Silver and Back.”
John Anderson, ESPN
GH: There are strong rumors about that this Raiders’ squad is more formidable than forlorn. The Chiefs would be wise to buckle their bonnets as they head west.

“They’re waiting out there and they’re ready to unleash the dogs. And let me tell you, they’ve got dogs to unleash! I’ve watched those (Raiders’) games on tape and they’re legit. … I cannot wait for this game! I cannot wait!”
Mitch Holthus, on the Chiefs/Raiders game this Sunday at 3:15 (CT), 810 AM
GH: Another Sunday, another big game for the Chiefs. A win in Oakland puts the Chiefs as the hands-down favorite to win the AFC West. And as the division champ, our imaginations will be allowed to dream dreams we have not dreamt in quite some time. Come on, Sandman.

“The Autumn wind is a Raider.”
John Facenda, NFL Films
GH: Click here for the video and audio of Facenda’s famous clip on the Raiders. Watching this clip makes me want to go sit Indian-style in front of my dad’s 19-inch b/w Zenith along with my nine brothers. Who knew I would ever miss my 3-foot square of carpet that we each guarded ferociously by foregoing bathroom breaks beyond all human thresholds. I often wonder if my kids’ memories will be nearly as colorful as my b/w childhood.

“The Raiders can’t possibly be as good as they’ve been the past two weeks. They can’t!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: These Raiders are nothing like the JaMarcus Russell Raiders we have known. These Raiders not only look tough but also play tough. Do not allow the old man in the white jogging suit fool you. These Raiders have an autumn wind about them that brings a chill to my Chiefs-red heart.

“Some believe Darren McFadden is the most improved player in the league this year.”
Pedro Gomez, on the Raiders rejuvenated Raiders’ running back, ESPN
GH: I would not trade Jamaal Charles for any back in the league. My hope is that he explodes on Sunday and reminds Raiders’ fans of another former Chief – Marcus Allen.

“I think the Oakland Raiders win based on their defense. They’re going to lock you up in man and they are going to dare you to throw the football. They are going to put eight guys in the box to really stop the run.”
Mark Schlereth, NFL analyst, ESPN
GH: No NFL analyst I have heard thinks Cassel can play if forced to win a game via the pass. They may be correct.

“I think (Tamba Hali) has the potential to be the AFC defensive player of the year and people don’t even know about him.”
Bill Barnwell, of FootballOutsiders.com, 610
GH: Barnwell also talked glowingly of the Chiefs’ postseason chances this season. He currently projects the Chiefs and Giants in the Super Bowl. Cue the TDG’s “Eli’s coming…”

“I call it ‘calculated boldness.’ I don’t know if that’s a word but I like it.”
Kevin Kietzman, on Todd Haley’s nouveau and risk-filled fourth-down play-calling style, 810 AM
GH: I call it being a dumb ass.

“IT’S CALLED AN ADULT CONVERSATION, CRUSH!”
Soren Petro, who sounded anything but like an adult as he screamed his points to Caller Crush while debating how the Chiefs need to develop a passing game to win in the playoffs on the road, 810 AM
GH: Petro is easily the most volatile and emotional voice on local sports talk radio. For a host who doesn’t have a funny bone in his plushy bod, he can be very entertaining when a caller like Crush hits his hot button.

“Really? Earnest Hemmingway wrote for The Star?”
Soren Petro, responding to Pete Enich’s comment about the former Star journalist, 810 AM
GH: If you want to stump this chump, ask him anything that has to do with the world he lives him outside the ball park.

“Derrick (Thomas) would be with us right now if guys would have just pulled him along and not made excuses for him all the time. Everybody wanted to be friends with him instead of kicking him in the butt and telling him, ‘Hey, you need to do it this way.’ ”
Tim Grunhard, 810 AM
GH: We all have friends like Grunhard describes that could use some tough love. Give a buddy a butt kicking this weekend in memory of DT.

“Sometimes you want to take a peek (online) and see what people are saying and see what people really think about you.”
Branden Albert, Chiefs lineman, in an interview with Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: I loved this peek into Albert’s head. Nice work by Wright to draw it out of him.

“On predictions, I’m going to be wrong a lot. It’s one of the reasons I stopped gambling.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM

“All the best uniforms in the NFL are the ones that have never changed. The best college uniforms are the ones that have never changed.”
Nate Bukaty, on the stability of the Chiefs’ and Raiders’ uniform designs, 810 AM
GH: I am old enough to remember a lot of NFL and college uniforms. But I don’t think a static unie is all that cool. I loved the Broncos’ remake as well as the Patriots. I would like to see the Chiefs not necessarily go wild with a new design but definitely update their Arrowhead logo and add some flare to their jersey and pants. What could it hurt to get some artwork? Maybe The Star can unleash some of their very talented artist on this as a Thanksgiving treat?

“2 unbeaten heavyweights in MIAA meet Sat. Central Missouri (8-0) vs. NW Missouri St. (7-0). We'll preview the game at 6 on NBC 41.”
Jack Harry, about 4 PM Thursday on Twitter

“No preview of NWMS/UCM game at 6. Open tape box and it was an Orkin commercial instead of interviews. Sorry. Scrambling for something at 10.”
Jack Harry, about 5 PM Thursday on Twitter
GH: Mad Jack might be cracked but the dude is impossible not to like.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Kansas football becoming irrelevant

Posted 11-4-10

“Progress (for KU football) is going to have to be measured in other ways (than wins) this year.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Yeah, that’ll go over well with the alums. Spend $50 million on upgrading your football facilities and then look for other ways to measure your success other than wins. Any wonder why KU continues to flounder in football?

“It’s not the losses; it’s the way things have looked on the (Kansas) sideline. The cleanest way I can say it is it’s a cluster. You see shots of Turner Gill and it looks like he’s staring into space.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: I listened to Fescoe and Josh Klingler interview the rookie KU coach Thursday morning and heard none of the vitriol and sarcasm that Fescoe has been directing  toward Gill over the past month. If ever a head coach deserved to be grilled, it’s the highly-paid yet poorly performing Gill. Instead we got back-slap questions from the talent and textbook coach-speak from Gill. Awful radio.

“Gridiron reverts to irrelevance at Kansas”
Headline in Thursday’s Kansas City Star
GH: Go back a few months and what was the lesson we all learned? Football runs college athletics and every other sport (including college hoops) may as well be women’s soccer. This headline should concern every KU fan to the point of action. Instead, it appears to be received with a shrug and a question about Josh Selby. I believe Kansas football is staring at the dawn of the darkest decade in their football history. They are 2-13 in their last 15 games and 0-11 in recent Big 12 games – with no victories in sight. But none of this seems to upset Kansas enough to even bother.

“This is the changing tide around here, both locally and throughout the region, pushing football back and basketball forward. I sat in on one of the meetings trying to brand Kansas City as the college basketball capital of America.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: Sounds a lot like building a $200-million glass-enclosed palace to house printing presses just as the world is embarking on an all-digital media era.

“Kansas State is looking more and more like a product of their schedule.”
Dennis Dodd, college writer for CBSsportsline.com, as the once 5-0 Wildcats continue to struggle to become bowl eligible, 810 AM
GH: Kansas State is looking a lot like they did last season, a decent little team that just can’t compete with the real teams. At least K-State is trying. They might not be any more successful than KU in the long run but they haven’t completely turned football into autumn foreplay for their basketball program.

“Getting sense that K-State fans aren't as bummed at Okie State loss. Still going to bowl, 3 losses to ranked team, and, um, hoops season?”
Sam Mellinger, Twitter
GH: Check back in late November on the temperature of the Wildcat fans’ bumminess over their football program. They ain’t all that happy now with no QB and a leaky D. A continued downward spiral will not be good for Bill Snyder’s legacy. They ran off CBS once before and if Bill doesn’t get a win (and quick), he might be shuffling papers for the next Ron Prince before Turner Gill gets whacked. Texas this weekend offers a great opportunity to get well.  

“(Texas head coach) Mack Brown says he may not be able to get things fixed this weekend and maybe not by the end of the season.”
Chip Brown, of OrangeBloods.com, Twitter
GH: K-State has owned Texas like Texas has owned Nebraska. The Wildcats need this win as much as any this season to show they are ascending rather than descending under Snyder.

“I don’t think these two teams (MU and NU) are that far apart. I do think that Nebraska is the better team but the question is how much better? I don’t think the talent is that far apart. I think Missouri’s got a heckuva football team and I think they can run the table. I don’t think they lose another game.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM

“I would not have come here (to Missouri) if I didn’t think we had a chance to build a national program.”
Gary Pinkel, 810 AM
GH: Mizzou is on the brink of becoming a perennial top-20 team. They’ll need to knock off Texas and Oklahoma from time to time, but the rest of the B12 is going to be there for them to build a 10-win season each year. Pinks is one helluva recruiter even if he’s lacking as a schemer and game-day coach.

“Texas Tech isn’t very good at all. I think (Tommy Tuberville) is in over his head. At the place he is? It’s not going to work. I was the only guy to call that at the beginning of the year, by the way. I don’t think he’s going to be there long either.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Tuberville must have snubbed KK in an earlier life because Kietz has been as rough on Tubby as anybody outside the state of Nebraska. For some reason Kietzman loves ripping Tuberville but props up Turner Gill at every opportunity. I kind think KK likes having K-State’s in-state rival coached by someone as deficient as Gill.

“The competitiveness of our team is something I really like. Our team is very, very competitive.”
Gary Pinkel, while being interviewed by Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: The game that sold me on the 2010 version of the Tigers is how they played at Texas A&M. They dominated a proud team in a very tough yard. They need to do the same at Texas Tech this Saturday and move on.

“Another sign of Baylor's amazing season: The Texas victory makes the Bears 5-67 all-time against the Big 12 South.
Blair Kerkhoff, Twitter
GH: Wow! Just freaking wow! Could Baylor win the South? Does a Bear shit green and gold in the woods?

“That (Nebraska radio) broadcast made me sick. It made me sick! That ain’t the Greg Sharpe I know! He’s a different guy. He’s drinking the (Nebraska) Koo-Aid! They all think they’re better than us! You listen to his broadcast. It’s not an act! He clearly thinks he’s better than Kansas City!”
Kevin Kietzman, on the former K-State play-by-play announcer, 810 AM
GH: I am sure Greg Sharpe heard or was made aware of Kietzman attack on his work as an NU broadcaster. I am not sure what Kietzman expects from Sharpe but his criticism of Sharpe being too excited while calling a Nebraska touchdown run makes no sense. Does he expect Sharpe to sneer over the radio and call the Husker fans inbreds?

“Here’s where I differ from you. … You went after Greg Sharpe pretty good. The guy is paid to do that. That’s his job.”
Jack Harry, to Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Harry had some fun at Kietzman’s expense this Wednesday by being the voice of reason. Yes, it was rare and entertaining radio. Read on.

“When they sit there (on the Nebraska radio broadcast) and all they give is Big 10 scores, to me that’s just disgusting! Sorry! They don’t give Big 12 scores on their broadcast! ‘Time for a conference update,’ they call it and they give Big 10 scores. You did not know that did you? It’s disgusting! … They are so all in and full of themselves now!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Making up stuff has always been a staple of Kietzman’s show. But does anyone out there still believe his shtick? This one was simply one of his funnier fabrications that have no truth or credibility.

“(Nebraska fans) must feel that everybody is kinda ganging up on them. Don’t you kinda get that idea? That you’re ganging up on them?”
Jack Harry, who also asked KK if he thought the 48-13 beating that Nebraska administered to his alma mater in Manhattan was affecting his judgment, 810 AM
GH: Whatever KK’s goal is in attacking NU daily, I suggest he reevaluate his game plan. His efforts to shame Nebraska into a fourth-place finish in the North do not seem to be working. Maybe KK needs to invite Bo Pelini on his show and drop a handful of fake laughs on him to begin the Huskers’ demise.

“The Oregon Ducks are a treat to watch! They make Peyton Manning and the Colts look slow. The only thing that can slow Oregon down is Oregon itself. It they don’t have a letdown; there is nobody that can beat Oregon. Oregon is the team to watch. If they lose then it’s Armageddon.”
Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN Radio
GH: If you haven’t caught Oregon on the tube yet, you need to see this act in action. Wowser! It’s like 1990 Loyola Marymount hoops in pads.

“It’s the fastest team I’ve ever seen except maybe with the exception of a couple of those Florida teams the last couple of years.”
Dennis Dodd, on the Ducks, 810 AM

“Boise State is still out there (undefeated) but they are going to get tested potentially against Hawaii.”
Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN Radio
GH: Nothing more needs to be said when you roll out the Rainbows as your game on the schedule to sweat. Boise State is a nice club that has no business being ranked in the top five.

“I would be a liar if I didn’t sit here and say 810 had been running stuff. I said it. Does that make me as bad as Chris Harris (the KU football player who said he understands that Kansas fans leave early because KU is a basketball school)?”
Shan Shariff, on the ratings war between his station and 810 AM, 610 AM
GH: Well, certainly not your every-day comments from Shariff. Read on.

“Now, that is going to change. It’s in the process of changing. I can’t get into ratings and numbers and all that. But trust me, things are on the up and up.”
Shan Shariff, on the ratings war with 810 AM, 610 AM
GH: I believe Shariff meant to say, “things are looking up.” We have been asked to trust a talking head about the ratings in the past. I think we’ll wait for some hard facts.

“Organic Hoodie / $19.99”
Price on a hooded sweatshirt at Whole Foods
GH: This organic craze is just nuts. Now hoodies are organic? Translation for the term organic: “Another way we can jack up the price of an otherwise affordable item in hopes someone overpays to make themselves feel better about driving a 7-passenger airbus to transport themselves to the grocery store.”

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


DeArmond says NU football and KU basketball fans are 'inbreds'

Posted 11-2-10

“(Nebraska fans) think the world revolves around them. They think that no one should possibly question their moral superiority. And anytime anybody beats Nebraska, it’s a good day!”
Mike DeArmond, Mizzou beat writer for the Kansas City Star, Metro Sports
GH: DeArmond is not your conventional beat writer. He does not pretend to be impartial. Rather he revels in his partiality toward his beloved Missouri Tigers. With that fandom comes some hate for the team he would most like Mizzou to emulate. Read on.

“There are Cardinals baseball fans. There are Kansas basketball fans. And there are Nebraska football fans. They were all born of the same parent. They’re all inbred – separated at birth because they’re all just impossible to handle.”
Mike DeArmond, Metro Sports
GH: Okay. Where to begin. The three teams that apparently keep Mike up late at night all share one common attribute – they win. A lot. And his Missouri Tigers might be the most champion-starved university with a respected name and pedigree. So what is more insufferable – perennial winners like Nebraska, the Cardinals and KU hoops or shoulda, woulda, coulda but almost never do Mizzou?

“I don’t know much about the newspaper industry but that seems bold. If it were a columnist, that would be different. For a beat writer to call a group of fans ‘inbred,’ to me seems bold. Very bold.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Bold isn’t the word I would use. Entertaining? Funny? Those words work better for me. DeArmond doesn’t really think all Husker, Cardinals and Jayhawk fans have the same parents. He just thinks that they’re all arrogant pricks who simply dress in different colors.

“When Missouri beats (Nebraska), since I happen to cover Missouri, it’s easier to write a story when Missouri beats Nebraska because it’s impossible to write a story when Nebraska beats Missouri.”
Mike DeArmond, Metro Sports
GH: You gotta love Mike’s honesty. Most members of the media will give you the “we need to be impartial” BS that Kevin Kietzman is so fond of expelling. Not DeArmond. He’s cranky enough to tell you exactly how he feels about the Big Red and their boisterous fan base. At least the Huskers gave him plenty of lead time to work on his painful Saturday game story by jumping out to that 24-0 first-quarter lead.

“This isn’t to say, ‘Hey, this shoulda been called.’ … It’s very important for us to teach our players our defensive players and everybody, how they’re going to call it. How they’re going to interpret it.”
Gary Pinkel, on why he sent video of NU’s Courtney Osborne’s sack of Gabbert to the Big 12 office, TV 41
GH: Unlike DeArmond, Pinkel isn’t able to just tell the truth about how he feels about Nebraska. He wants us to believe he is alerting the Big 12 of this hit in hopes his players learn more about what the officials are looking for in helmet-to-helmet hits. I’d have more respect for Pinks if he just said he’s pissed that Carl Pelini and the Nebraska defense made him look like he should still be coaching at Toledo.

“Personally, I thought the Osborne sack (of Gabbert) invaded that murky gray area between highlight-reel slobber-knocker and a by-the-book illegal helmet-to-helmet hit. … What's indisputable is the fumble. The ball clearly came loose, despite the nonsensical ‘forward progress’ explanation by referee Randy Christal. That decision seemed to be an obvious make-up call on the officials' part.”
Dave Matter, columnist, Columbia Tribune
GH: Osborne is 5’10. Gabbert is 6’5. While the hit was a cold-cock slobber knocker, it was a clean football hit that Osborne initiated but never targeted the head. No penalty was called despite the hit occurring at the focal point of the play in open space. The real miracle is that while the ball immediately came out of Gabbert’s hand and was returned for a Nebraska touchdown, the play was called dead due to Gabbert’s “forward progress.” Yeah, Nebraska might be getting jobbed just a bit during their final dance through the Big 12.

“I applaud the Missouri coach (for complaining about the Osborne hit on Gabbert). This has nothing to do about losing to the Huskers. This is all about trying to hurt someone. … It certainly seems to be intentional. It was blatant.”
Jack Harry, TV 41
GH: Harry showed the video of Osborne’s hit but as Pinkel failed to do, he failed to mention that it might have been a good idea for someone in a Missouri uniform to block Osborne. Instead of looking to the Big 12 office to protect their QB, Mizzou might want to ask their offense for some help.

“I posted a story on Twitter tonight…”
Jack Harry, TV 41
GH: Must have been a short story, Jack.

“Everybody told me this is a bad idea. … And yes I’m biased.”
Nick Wright, who used a portion of his Monday show to tell Kansas City voters to “please, please, please, vote no on Proposition A,” 610 AM
GH: Wright said he spent seven minutes on trying to convince voters to vote against Prop A. I heard about five minutes of it. What I didn’t hear Wright mention is that his father is Louie Wright, the president of the Kansas City fire fighters union. The earnings tax is tied to Prop A and funds the salaries, facilities and budget of the men in Local 42. Tony Botello wrote this about Louie Wright: “There is no force in Kansas City politics stronger than Local 42. Local 42 Grand Pooh-bah Louie Wright now runs Mayor Funky.” Read on.

“Back in 2008 Louie Wright was celebrated as ‘Labor Representative of the Year.’ However, in 2010, Mr. Wright may be in trouble. Currently he is president of Local 42 of the IAFF --the firefighter's union. Mr. Wright supported candidates with Local 42 money and they all lost in (the August 2010) election. And his efforts to get members of the Jackson County prosecutor's office into Local 42 have not borne any fruit. And the firefighters haven't had a raise in a while.”
SouthKansasCityObservor.blogspot.com
GH: Wright should have listened to his producer and those who cautioned him to not use time on his show to lobby for his dad’s political agenda. It was a bad idea. The fact he didn’t end his political statement with a disclaimer about his father’s connection to this ballot issue was at best unseemly. At worst, deceitful and manipulative.

“Did you have to come up with that whole elaborate story to ask that question, Mitch? Don’t be ‘sceerd,’ Mitch. You can ask me any question you want.”
Todd Haley, who called out Mitch Holthus and his round-about way of asking Haley why he opted to not kick an early field goal against Buffalo, Chiefs Kingdom Show
GH: I heard Holthus talk about how a 10-year-old trick-or-treater asked him why Haley didn’t kick the field goal on three different shows Monday. On Metro Sports Holthus changed the age of the kid to eight. Haley was fantastic in exposing Holthus and his spineless attempt to pussyfoot around a semi-tough question. When are media yes men like Holthus going to learn that players and coaches do not want a tongue bath? They want direct, honest questions. Those who don’t, we can do without the interview.

“They are a very well-coached team. We have a tremendous amount of respect for Kansas and what they do.”
Dan Hawkins, Colorado head football coach (at least for now), Hawk Talk
GH: Uh, well, that makes one of you.

“He may be the smartest player we’ve got.”
Marcus Morris, talking about his twin brother Markieff, Hawk Talk
GH: I am pretty sure this is not a good thing.

“McRib is back.”
McDonald’s TV ad
GH: Be still my beating palate. Once a year it returns, similar to athlete’s foot…or your ex. You get the itch. You scratch. And all over again you wonder why in the hell you thought it would be different this time.


Haley's unconventional way is 5-2

Posted 11-1-10

“Time out! Time out! Time out!”
Todd Haley, as he caught the attention of the referee just prior to the Bills’ Rian Lindell kicked the potential game-winning 53-yard field goal, CBS
GH: Haley did some crazy, bizarre things once again Sunday. And once again despite his penchant for the bizarre, his Chiefs won. No decision was more important than him calling time out to negate Lindell’s laser shot that cleared the uprights by 10 yards or more. The CBS cameras caught the Bills’ head coach Chan Gailey in a great replay where he almost but at the last second decided against calling a TO before Ryan Succop ended the game with his kick in OT. That is the difference between one team being 5-2 and dreaming about the playoffs and the other team spiraling toward a lot of people losing their jobs at 0-6.

“The bottom line is that right now the Chiefs are a just-win-baby team.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: The NFL is a just-win-baby league. The way the Chiefs win might make us nervous and be rough on the furniture inside your family room but a win is a win is a win. Every one of them looks good come December.

“We could have a divisional playoff game at home with a bye! And once you’re in the dance with the running game we have now – we’ve seen running teams win Super Bowls – I don’t want to get everybody’s hopes…up but it’s a possibility.”
Bill Maas, 610 AM
GH: A bye in the playoffs and then a home game at Arrowhead in January? That kind of heady talk should warm up even Jerry Mazer’s cardboard box.

“They have the next five out of seven on the road. It’s a good damn thing they won that game yesterday! These next seven games will determine what kind of team they are.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: The Chiefs’ schedule is soft but every road game in the NFL is a struggle. 5-2 can turn into 7-9 real quick in this league and with this odd head coach.

“On the positive side, the Chiefs are the most unpredictable team in the league. That makes them very hard to prepare for.”
Mitch Holthus, on Haley’s penchant for the absurd and insane, 810 AM

“A long time ago John Madden said that winning is the perfect deodorant. And right now this (Chiefs) team is covered in deodorant.”
Bill Maas, 610 AM

“I’m a work in progress in a lot of areas.”
Todd Haley, Metro Sports

“I will openly and honestly say I don’t know what I’m doing.”
Todd Haley, TV 41
“It’s worth a pause here to acknowledge that Haley is in the midst of a masterpiece coaching job. The Chiefs are on track to win the AFC West in a rebuilding year, and Haley will be mentioned as a coach-of-the-year candidate. What we’re starting to see is that Haley is willing to be self-critical, even in the midst of success, even when he doesn’t need to be.”
Sam Mellinger, columnist, Kansas City Star
GH: Haley is either a mad genius or simply a teenager with the keys to Clark Hunt’s Lamborghini. “Unconventional” doesn’t even describe going for fourth-and-one inside your own 30-yard-line late in a tie game. But if he loses to Buffalo at home yesterday, no one is applauding his willingness to be self critical.

“Why does it matter if (Haley) is consistent if it doesn’t make sense most of the time? I just love to hear that, ‘Well, at least they’re consistent.’ What does that matter?”
Shan Shariff, to a caller who said he was happy with how consistent Haley is with his decisions, 610 AM
GH: Only one thing matters – the W-I-N. Gailey is consistent as hell – and where’s that gotten him?

“One of the great places to watch football in the NFL – and it’s brand new!”
Gus Johnson, play-by-play voice of Bills/Chiefs game for CBS broadcast
GH: Arrowhead was again showing a number of empty seats but the crowd appeared to hang in until the end of this five quarter overtime thriller. The stadium might be sparkling new but the grass turf is as ugly and chewed up as some of the Arrowhead parking lots. Read on.

“Lamar has been gone now – rest his soul – put the damn FieldTurf down! The players loved it, it’s much safer. Do it!”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: How can Arrowhead’s grass look so bad this early? We can’t blame the Wizards anymore since they moved to the CAB. I’m with Clink, scrape the crabgrass off the dirt and lay down a safe, beautiful FieldTurf and be done with it. Can you imagine how bad that field is going to be in January for the best rushing team in the NFL?

“Their draft class has been absolutely stellar!”
Steve Tasker, CBS analyst for Bills/Chiefs game, on the Chiefs’ 2010 draft class, CBS
GH: When was the last time this comment was directed toward the Chiefs? Pre-King Carl?

“How my Lions doin’, man?”
Gus Johnson, who was unaware his mic was still hot as the CBS crew went to break late in the game, CBS
GH: Johnson gets raves from most fans and I like his over-the-top style. I also like that he’s a real guy just wanting to know how his squad is doing while he’s at work on Sunday.

“Not once, in the days leading up to the game or in the depressing aftermath, did Chan Gailey betray a trace of ill will toward Chiefs coach Todd Haley, who had fired him as offensive coordinator just 13 days before the 2009 opener. Gailey was more emotional than I've seen him after Sunday's crushing, 13-10 overtime loss to the Chiefs. His voice was halting. He seemed on the verge of tears. But Gailey said he felt for his players, who had battled again only to fall short. Personal redemption had nothing to do with it.”
Jerry Sullivan, columnist, BuffaloNews.com
GH: Gailey refused to run the ball late in the game to secure field-goal position in overtime. His play calling could not have differed more from Haley’s approach. These two could not have coexisted with the Chiefs.

“But if an NFL team wants to compete for the Super Bowl, it doesn't settle for a quarterback (like the Bills’ Ryan Fitzpatrick) who plays above his obvious limitations. It looks for a guy who can rise up to his undeniable and prodigious physical abilities. The Chiefs wanted so desperately to see those qualities in Cassel, they gave him a $63 million contract. The Bills would do well to shoot a lot higher.”
Jerry Sullivan, columnist, BuffaloNews.com
GH: Cassel is impressing no one outside of Kansas City and not a great many inside the City of Fountains. But at 5-2, he is hearing less and less opposition to his game and paycheck.

“THAT is how you play the 3-4 D-line defense! And these guys just keep getting better.”
Bill Maas, 610 AM
GH: Maas has been critical of the Chiefs’ defensive front for much of the season. He is now seeing vast improvement, especially in the formerly much-maligned Glenn Dorsey.

“I think people that weren’t paying attention thought the Chiefs would have a walkover (against Buffalo).”
Steven St. John, 810 AM

“Utter complete domination for the Chiefs today... Arenas returns a punt for a TD, Cassel throws fewer than 20 times... we win 34-13.”
Nick Wright, prior to the game on Twitter
GH: Wright appears to have taken the place of Jason Whitlock when it comes to wildly inaccurate predictions for both college and pro sports. He’s also on record of K-State and Mizzou beating Nebraska. Whitlock perfected the art of being wrong into an almost cartoon-like persona. On Wright it just makes him appear ill-informed and less credible.

“We got boobies! Oh my gosh! And they were not scary!”
Bill Maas, reporting a female flashing during the Chiefs’ postgame show on Halloween, 610 AM

“Can a brown-skinned guy blush?”
Shan Shariff, on the boob flash, 610 AM
GH: This might be just the promotion to improve the walk-in crowds at 610’s remotes.

“The front seven must have been playing very, very well for the Chiefs stopping the run. It’s very difficult not having watched the flow of the game (to comment on it). … I guess. I don’t know. Maybe he was just thought there wasn’t anything there and we’ve got to pass the ball. I don’t know.”
Kevin Harlan, as a Monday morning guest on The Border Patrol, when asked by Steven St. John to comment on why Chan Gailey chose to pass more than run once in Chiefs’ territory, 810 AM
GH: Harlan is the wrong guy to have on to do Monday-morning analysis of the Chiefs game. He calls another game on Sunday and almost assuredly doesn’t have time to do anything more than read a game story before his spot on 810. He sounded flustered and a bit embarrassed when asked to analyze a game he didn’t see. Move Harlan to Wednesday mornings and get Kendall Gammon on in the Monday slot. Then we’ll have someone who was at the game and can give us a sideline perspective.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Nebraska vs. MU should be damn entertaining

Posted 10-29-10

“Missouri is going to go to Nebraska and Missouri is going to win. … People are treating Nebraska like it’s Nebraska in the mid-90s! It’s not! … Their most impressive games have been losses! What am I missing?”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: The local flavor here in the Kansas City area is heavily slanted toward supporting Mizzou in this Big 12 North matchup of century-old rivals. Despite the fact Mizzou has won only once in Lincoln since 1978, people are seeing the trip to Lincoln as almost an asset rather than a liability. I think that’s a mistake. Read on.

“I was shocked to see Nebraska favored by as much as they were (against Missouri). I just don’t see it. The truth is, Nebraska’s been awful at home – and not just this season but for the past two years!”
Ed Cunningham, ABC color analyst who will be calling the game in Lincoln with Ron Franklin, 810 AM
GH: Losses the past two seasons at home to Iowa State (8 turnovers) and Texas (8 dropped passes and 5 fumbles) indicate that Nebraska plays a very sloppy brand of football at times in front of the famous Sea of Red. The uninspiring 17-3 win over South Dakota State earlier this year also lends credence to that thought. But I think Mizzou will need to play well (which they are very capable of doing) to win in Lincoln. Mizzou is not the only team that is improving as the season progresses.

“Nebraska is such a one-dimensional team. Martinez has been exposed as the fraud he is. There is no way (Nebraska’s) defense is gonna keep up! No way!”
Caller Lloyd, 610 AM
GH: Okay, so we have established that Nebraska isn’t the only school with a few idiot fans. Caller Lloyd sounds like he skipped a few classes while studying for his PHD in football.

“I think we’re going to watch Nebraska (against Missouri) and say, ‘Gee, that’s not a very good offense.’ They’re just not very good. I think Missouri’s gonna win it with defense.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Has Kietzman been calling into 610 under the moniker, “Caller Lloyd?”

“K-State was in that (Nebraska) game until Taylor Martinez went 80 yards. I think Missouri is the best team and I’m picking Missouri by 10.”
Gabe DeArmond, 810 AM

“I agree with both (Steven St. John and Frank Boal) that Missouri is the better team and I pick them to win. We’re all picking the upset here when we do this for sure. I will be pulling for Missouri in this game and I can’t believe I’m saying that.”
Nate Bukaty, a KU alum, 810 AM
GH: Upset? The upset would be #14 Nebraska beating #6 and undefeated Mizzou. The Vegas point-spread favors Nebraska but an upset is determined by the two team’s ranking. That said, no one on either side is going to be screaming about an upset win no matter which team is the victor.

“I think Missouri wins. I really like Missouri. You’re never a great defense if you give up (41) points to anybody.”
Jayice Pearson, after Nebraska gave up 41 points to OSU last week, 610 AM

“It’s really a good matchup. The Nebraska defense against the rush has been porous. I think you can run the ball on them but they are very stingy in the air. I see Missouri winning this game.”
Gary Barnett, former Colorado head coach and current TV college analyst, 810 AM

“I think Missouri is the better total team.”
Dennis Dodd, CBSsportsline.com college writer, 810 AM

“You have the entire (Big 12) conference saying, ‘Please knock them off! Be the representative of the Big 12!”
Ed Cunningham, 810 AM
GH: An undefeated Mizzou team would look better for the Big 12 in the BCS than a one-loss Nebraska squad. But the conference’s newfound love for MU has everything to do with Nebraska heading to the Big 10 in 2011.

“I don’t want Nebraska anywhere near the Big 12 Championship game. I’m rooting for Missouri. I didn’t say they were going to win. I said I’m rooting for them.”
Todd Leabo, an Oklahoma alum, 810 AM

“I hate Nebraska people! You can take all those emails you send me all the time and shove them right up your you know what!”
Aaron Swarts, a KU alum, 810 AM
GH: Nebraska fans have been eviscerated the past month by Kevin Kietzman and a number of voices on 810 and in the local media. Listening to KK you would think a trip to Lincoln by opposing fans is akin to a weekend of waterboarding at Guantanamo Bay. I was in Lincoln for the Texas game and paid close attention to how Texas fans were treated. Big Red fans high fived the Longhorn fans as they passed on 9th Street – before and after the game. Yeah, there are some idiot Husker fans whose parents did a very poor job of raising them. But drinking KK’s Kool-Aid and believing Nebraska is some kind of hellhole for opposing fans is as wrong as believing any of the other tripe that Kietzman spews. Read on for Gary Barnett’s view of his trips to Lincoln as a player for Mizzou, coach at rival Colorado and TV broadcaster.

“Nebraska’s fan base is awesome. That’s a very respectable place to play. You feel the respect for the game. You feel the respect for college football. You admire the passion that the fans have. It’s one of those places that you always grow up as a kid hearing about. It’s not like playing at some other places. It’s not like playing at Oklahoma. It’s not like playing at Texas Tech. It’s sort of a really fun place to play.”
Gary Barnett, former Colorado head coach and current TV college analyst, 810 AM
GH: I will be eager to hear from Mizzou fans who make the trek up north to Lincoln for the final time and their experiences with Husker Nation this weekend. While I have little doubt that Nebraska and its fans will continue to be berated and demonized by local talking heads, I will go on record again stating that the loss of the Nebraska fan base to this conference is a blow from which it will be difficult to recover. Without Nebraska, the Big 12 just becomes far too lopsided toward the wealthy southern schools.

I might be nutty, but I think the fans are terrific up there (at Nebraska). ... They back their team and, why, when the opponent does a good job, they give them credit. … If you beat them, well, you know what, you've really done something. I just liked Nebraska in the conference. I think Nebraska adds a lot of prestige and class.”
John Kadlec, MU radio analyst, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“(Corby) Jones, like many, remembers the unique Nebraska fan gesture of lining the sidelines to cheer the opposing team after the game. Some over the years have considered that either sarcastic or a backhanded compliment, especially after Nebraska may have battered the opposition. But Jones said he always believed it to be a sincere sign of respect, at its best if an opponent challenged Nebraska but couldn't quite win.”
Vahe Gregorian, writer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“We think that line (Nebraska favored by 7) is appropriate, actually. We ran it 50,000 times (on the Predictalator) and Nebraska won by an average score of 30-23, 64.2% of the time. … Missouri has a lot of talent on defense but I don’t think they quite have the speed on defense that Texas did and I think that’s going to be a problem trying to defend Taylor Martinez.”
Paul Bessire, of www.predictionmachine.com, discussing the game with Soren Petro on 810 AM
GH: I think these are the two best teams in the Big 12. It is a shame they can’t wait and settle this in Dallas in December. Taylor Martinez is as raw a talent as I can remember ever watching play at Nebraska. He has horrible mechanics, even when making a simple handoff. But he is the single most explosive player I have ever seen wear NU red. If he takes care of the ball and finds some space to roam, Nebraska wins. If Blaine Gabbert gets as much time to throw as he did against Oklahoma, Mizzou wins. If both happen, we go to overtime tied at 59-59.
 
“There’s a lot of concerns after you come off a win like (the Oklahoma win) – an emotional win.”
Gary Pinkel, 610 AM

“I like the fact that Missouri has another big game following the Oklahoma game and going right back at it against Nebraska.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: I think the schedule hurts Mizzou’s chances. It will take an unprecedented effort by MU’s players and staff to forget the Oklahoma game and immerse themselves in Nebraska. History tells us this is a very difficult chore for even experienced teams. For a team like Mizzou that has never won a Big 12 title, it may be too much to ask.

“If Missouri can just win out I think they have a great shot of getting into the BCS title game. How about that?”
Jayice Pearson, 610 AM
GH: Brilliant analysis, JC.

“People are just waiting for the other shoe to drop on the Tigers. What if this is the year there isn’t another shoe?”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: We find out Saturday if Missouri goes shoeless or shod through this final season of the original Big 12. It should be damn entertaining.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


KU football player calls Kansas a basketball school

Posted 10-28-10

“We expect the fans to leave. It’s a basketball school. We expect the fans to leave when we’re not doing well.”
Chris Harris, KU senior cornerback, when asked about the KU fans’ premature exit from the stands at KU’s Memorial Stadium during the second half of the Texas A&M game, 610 AM
GH: Whoa. When I heard Josh Klingler play this sound bite from the KU senior I hit the brakes in my pick-up truck and pulled over. Klingler, knowing good radio when he hears it, obliged and replayed the audio a number of times on Bob Fescoe’s Wednesday morning show. Turner Gill’s mission is to build a football program that can attract the kind of talent he needs to compete in the new Big 12. Having your senior cornerback telling recruits he plays at a “basketball school” is not the best way to accomplish that goal.

“Mangino always said, ‘They’re gonna be here when we win and they’re going to be gone when we lose.’ It’s something he kinda prepared us for really.”
Chris Harris, on the fickle nature of Kansas football fans, 610 AM
GH: This isn’t Jack Harry blasting the Kansas fan base. This is a current senior player relating what the former KU head coach told his Jayhawks about their fans. I don’t think fans should be expected to support non-competitive football teams – especially when gobs of donor money have been spent on facilities and the coaching staff. But you would like to think the KU football program and their fans have a better relationship than the one Harris paints for us.

“We worked very hard to stop this nonsense that (KU) is just a basketball school. We’ve got the facilities in place! Stop saying it’s a basketball school! That’s a crutch!”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Is it a crutch if it’s accurate? Spending money does not make you a winner or even competitive. Check with our federal government. 

“It’s really strange to see this midway through season one (of Gill’s tenure at Kansas).”
Josh Klingler, on the KU football program losing favor with their fan base so quickly, 610 AM
GH: College athletics has brought on this kind of sudden death to its fans and their support. Kansas has been a leader in bilking their alums and fans for financial donations while the basketball and football programs were successful. Once things go south, that same fan gets plenty pissed plenty fast. If Bill Self ever starts the season 4-4 in conference play, the state of Kansas’ economy may collapse.

“It’s hard to feel sorry for someone who is making $2 million a year, but I am quite sure (Gill) had no idea of the athletic department issues that were going on. I’m talking about ticket scandals and those kinds of things.”
Todd Leabo, 810 AM
GH: Heck, KU’s Chancellor and Lew Perkins both pleaded ignorance to all the shenanigans going on inside the KU athletic department. Gill had no idea what he was getting into. But Kansas should have done a better job of discovering what they were getting in Gill. If I knew, why didn’t they?

“I’m gonna be the last guy to give up on Turner Gill. I may at some point. But not yet.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I’m sure Turner finds that very reassuring.

“As far as hiring coaches, Turner Gill will be Lew Perkin’s legacy.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Sounds like KK may have already given up.

“Kansas fans need to go back and remember what it was like when they were changing coaches every four or five years in the past. The last 20 years there have been a lot of coaches who have gone through Kansas. You’ve got to give Turner Gill time. You’ve got to be patient.”
Gary Barnett, former Colorado head coach and current TV college analyst, 810 AM
GH: Those memories are what’s fueling the Kansas fans’ panic. Gill looks like he’s building a worse program than all those other clunkers combined.

“I’ve got to tell you, the second year (for a new head coach) is harder than the first year. Generally speaking, the second year is more difficult from my experience and watching guys around the country. That’s when guys have really struggled.”
Gary Barnett, 810 AM
GH: Gill has gone from a five-year contract to “give him at least three years” to “can he survive his first year?” If year two is worse than year one for Gill, he won’t get to spend a second Thanksgiving in Lawrence. And I’m not so sure Gill should buy a fresh turkey for this November’s feast.

“If the (Kansas) fan base is acting like this after year one, what are they going to act like after year two when it gets even tougher?”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Kind of like they did the first 110 years of football in Lawrence.

“You give (Gill) six, seven, eight years and you let him go.”
Steven St. John, also known as MU Rock, 810 AM

“I’ve been a Turner Gill supporter from the beginning. I’ll give him more than one season. The reason people liked the Turner Gill hire is the belief that he could recruit. I’ll remind you that this team lost seven conference games in a row last year before Turner Gill.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Yes, Mangino lost 7 Big 12 games last season. But none were as embarrassing as every B12 loss Kansas has suffered under Gill. Losing is one thing. Getting blown out every Saturday is impossible to stomach for any fan base. The fact Gill was able to talk Blue Springs’ fabulous running back, Darrian Miller, into committing to Kansas is a minor miracle. If he can do that 20 times a recruiting season, maybe he can build a winning program.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

Jack Harry says KU should drop football

Posted 10-27-10

“Football can no longer be taken seriously at the University of Kansas. The Jayhawks cannot compete at this level of competition. I am urging the Chancellor at the University of Kansas to do everything in her power to drop football.  Just do away with the sport and all the embarrassment it has brought to the University. … Let Missouri carry the banner in the Big 12 when it comes to excellence in football.”
Jack Harry, in one of his more entertaining and insane Jack Smack rants on TV 41
GH: Sports reporting and sports talk radio continues to devolve from a once-respected suit-and-tie profession into today’s run-naked-and scream-something-ridiculous line of work. Kansas City’s Jack Harry and Kevin Kietzman are two of the most prominent offspring of this new wave I call “Projectile Journalism.” Read on.

“The only thing that was nutty about any of (Harry’s) comments was that the Chancellor needs to abolish or get rid of football at Kansas.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: The ONLY thing? What comment in Harry’s diatribe was his audience supposed to focus on? Harry, a TV broadcaster in KC for 35 years, calls for Kansas to drop football after 120 years and Kietzman wants to downplay it??? Read on.

“I don’t know. Maybe he’s saying it tongue-in-cheek or for effect. I mean, come on, Jack can’t really believe that, can he?”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Of course Jack doesn’t believe KU should drop football. Just like Kietzman didn’t believe Missouri had accepted an invitation to join the Big 10. Sports reporting and sports commentating has become a contest of who can say the most outlandish, unsubstantiated and titillating crapola before the other guy spouts a BS geyser.

“We’re entertainment reporters. That’s what we are. We’re covering the entertainment business. Sports is more like Hollywood than foreign affairs.”
Kevin Kietzman, trying to explain to a caller why he and Harry should not be held accountable for their unprofessionalism, 810 AM
GH: Since when did the subject matter of the reporter dictate the reporter’s level of professionalism in doing his/her job?

“(Harry) is not a Missouri guy! He didn’t go to Missouri! You saying that is almost as bad as what Jack said about the Chancellor! That’s just a cliché! That’s ridiculous!”
Kevin Kietzman, to a caller who called Harry “a Missouri guy,” 810 AM
GH: Jack Harry has been shilling for good ol’ Mizzou since Norm Stewart first winked at him in 1976. What’s ridiculous is that KK thinks he can fool anyone with volume and bravado.

“He didn’t go (to Mizzou) but everybody aligns (Harry) with Missouri.”
Frank Boal, 810 AM
GH: Even Boal, who was in studio with Kietzman, refused to buy what KK was attempting to sell about Harry being impartial when it comes to MU. Hell, not even Jack attempts to hide it. Read on.

“Oh no! Jack Harry taking shots at KU athletics? Surprise, surprise! Why is this biased crackpot still on the air?”
Viewer mail from Harry’s Tuesday night sportscast on KSHB
GH: Harry read this email and others like it Tuesday night – and he made sure viewers knew he’d have more for them on Wednesday night’s sportscast. Harry gets paid by the viewer not by being accurate or even rational. Crazy sells in sports journalism today and Mad Jack is trying to be the craziest crack in the pot…or toilet.

“Guys like us, I really believe that the overall if not all of us in this town really honestly try to be fair to everyone involved. … You don’t go out of your way to sugarcoat something or blast somebody just for the heck of doing it. You can’t do it!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: That is the definition of KK’s act and the cornerstone of his talk radio career. KK might be the most delusional voice in local radio.

“We’ll bend over backwards to do it, too.”
Frank Boal, responding to KK’s above comment, 810 AM
GH: Boal is working hard to keep those WHB paychecks coming…even to the point of bending over.

“I’ll stick by every word I said. But come on! We’ve got to lighten up. I mean really! I cannot believe (the viewer responses), Kevin – some of the meanest, nastiest and dirtiest stuff! I don’t do this stuff to be hated. I’m stating an opinion.”
Jack Harry, while discussing the aftermath of his call for KU to drop football, 810 AM
GH: Who does Harry think he’s fooling with his poor-is-me act? When Carl Peterson tried to get TV to drop Jack Harry, Mad Jack went on a 15-year rant to attack King Carl at every opportunity. So he’s surprised that a few KU fans got ruffled when he wants their school to drop football and he throws in the dagger to “Let Missouri carry the banner in the Big 12 when it comes to excellence in football?” Someone named Jack needs to be smacked. 

“It’s a ‘smack.’ It’s done over the Internet, not on the air. And there is a difference! There is a difference!”
Jack Harry, attempting to downplay the credibility of his comments because they were posted in an Internet video instead of broadcast on KSHB, 810 AM
GH: This comment by Mad Jack points to his lack of understanding of his profession. The Internet far outweighs any and all other mediums for where consumers get their news. Harry would like us to think that because he posted his inane comments on the Internet that we shouldn’t take him seriously. Well, at least he got that part right.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


It's tough to take Herm seriously

Posted 10-26-10

“The Chiefs now have the second-easiest schedule moving forward in the league. So the future looks bright.”
Bill McAtee, play-by-play voice for Jags/Chiefs game, CBS
GH: With winless Buffalo coming to Arrowhead on Sunday to take on the 4-2 Chiefs, it is easy to peek ahead and start thinking about just how good this season might end up. Read on.

“There’s no reason the Chiefs don’t win 10 games. Maybe 11. I’ll have a hard time finding four losses on this schedule. San Diego is awful!”
Nick Wright, 610 AM

“I have a hard time NOT seeing (the Chiefs) win that division. It’s the way they win games – they can run the football.”
Jason La Canfora, NFL analyst, 610 AM
GH: Do the Chiefs have the AFC West locked up before Halloween? Now THAT is a scary thought. Read on.

“Each week that Buffalo loses, it goes against all odds. They’re going to get somebody.”
Bill Maas, on the winless Bills being due for a victory, 610 AM

“I correct people in the organization, whether it’s the owner, the GM or (whoever). We’re 1-1 trying to get to 2-1. I think if you do that you increase your odds of having everyone else thinking the right way.”
Todd Haley, on his penchant for splitting the season into quarters, 810 AM
GH: I don’t understand Haley’s weird way of breaking the season down into quarters. It sounds like a guy who is either afraid of success or afraid of failure. Either way, no one cares what your second-semester grades are in the NFL. What counts is winning in the playoffs.

“This is Marty Ball. This is Marty Ball. It’s back and I love it!”
Herm Edwards, on the 2010 Chiefs, 810 AM
GH: This is a bit more explosive than Marty Ball…and not nearly as good defensively. Herman has gotten a bit too used to the hyperbole associated with his ESPN gig to be taken all that seriously. What this really is, is one helluva attractive schedule for a team that is learning to handle and expect success.

“I don’t think the Chiefs have arrived. At the end of the year they’re going to be 10-6 or 11-5. And that’s going to be really hard to judge what that means because it is a soft schedule.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: How far the Chiefs have come will be judged by their success in the playoffs. A divisional championship will give them a home-playoff game. That ain’t a bad start.

“Matt Cassel with this football team has been nearly perfect!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: KK says some crazy stuff sometimes but few things crazier than his man crush on Cassel.

“Here’s where Matt Cassel has to be better as a quarterback. When his first receiver, his primary receiver, when he comes off of him with his eyes, he’s got to do a better job with his (pass) location. He’s got to be more accurate. He’d got to put it in the position where (his receivers) can get it and transition to run.”
Rich Gannon, after Cassel threw behind a receiver, CBS
GH: Cassel has been good enough to not turn the ball over. He is far from perfect or even above average. As Jeff Chadhia said this week on 810, he’s Kyle Orton but just not as affordable.

“(The Chiefs) are clearly not going to turn it over.”
Kevin Kietzman, citing his reasons why he thinks the Chiefs can win in the playoffs, 810 AM
GH: As they say in those financial investment commercials, past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

“The problem with Eric Berry is that he never looked back to find the ball. … And they will call that (PI) every time.”
Rich Gannon, after Berry was flagged for pass interference against Jacksonville, CBS
GH: I heard more whining about the refs after the Jags game than I can remember in quite some time. The loudest complaints were targeted at the PI calls against the Chiefs. Pass interference is a brutal penalty that can sometimes add 50 yards to a drive. The NFL needs to allow PI calls to be reviewed. And to all those who hate replay and the delay it causes, maybe you need to watch the games at Buffalo Wild Wings where apparently no one ever wants to leave.

“I’ve got to give a game ball to that group up front. That (Chiefs’ offensive line) has been outstanding.”
Rich Gannon, CBS
GH: Amen to that. The Chiefs run the football and have been giving Cassel time to throw. It might be the weak defenses they have played but this is the NFL and that kind of success needs to be lauded.

“Mike Vrabel, for maybe the first time as a Chief, looked slow to me. And I don’t think Studebaker is the answer there.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM

“There’s not a football coach in the country that thinks that’s the right thing to do in that situation. The right thing to do is to take the three points. … It was Todd’s call and he said, ‘I’m running the show and this is how we do it.’ ”
Bill Maas, on Haley’s late-game decision to go for it on fourth down instead of attempting a field goal for a two-score lead, 610 AM
GH: Haley continues to coach outside the box, despite dressing like he lives in a box.

“The Chiefs (4-2) lead the AFC West and are the league's No. 1 rushing team. That alone should send a chill down the back of any Broncos fan. The Broncos have made the transition from potential playoff team with a tremendous home-field advantage to something else: a team now getting circled as a win in other places, one that has to say it's sorry.”
Jeff Legwold, writer, following the Broncos 59-14 loss to the Raiders, Denver Post
GH: It was only a year ago that the Broncos were 6-0 and everyone thought Josh McDaniels was the next Hoodie. I know I did. The moral of this story is to not think you know or understand anything when it comes to sports. Just when you do, there is always an upcoming chapter that will knock you on your ass.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


A great night for Missouri football

Posted 10-25-10

“It almost – ALMOST – makes you wish you were back in college.”
Chris Fowler, ESPN’s GameDay host, as he greeted ESPN College GameDay viewers Saturday morning and overlooked the scene in the Quad on Mizzou’s campus, nine hours before kickoff, ESPN
GH: I read a tweet where one of the ESPN GameDay producers was quoted saying that if they could draw up the perfect GameDay set, the Quad at Mizzou would be it. What a glorious, gorgeous postcard to college football! How many kids at home in Missouri and surrounding states saw ESPN’s GameDay from Columbia and started thinking they need to be an MU Tiger alum some day?

“I look at Oklahoma, that’s just a team that doesn’t lose to Missouri.
Mark May, ESPN college football studio analyst, prior to the game, ESPN
GH: Both May and Lou Holtz said Oklahoma State had a better chance of knocking off Nebraska on Saturday than Mizzou did of beating Oklahoma. Wrong times two, gentlemen. I was pretty confident that Mizzou was in when Lee Corso tossed away the MU helmet in favor of donning that OU pony head that looks like something out of your daughter’s Barbie collection.

“I’ve been to Arrowhead so I’ve heard louder football stadiums. But not here.”
Gabe DeArmond, on the noise level inside Faurot after Mizzou opened the game with a kickoff return for a touchdown, 810 AM
GH: I was screaming so loudly during the kick return my wife attempted to throw me out of the house. She failed. She retired to the bedroom and shut the door. I did not see her the rest of the night. Her loss. I believe a lot of women walk around pissed off most of their lives is because they don’t understand football.

“This is what you call ‘playing to win.’ David Yost with an unbelievable call!”
Kirk Herbstreit, on the hook-and-ladder play run by Mizzou in the fourth quarter, ABC
GH: Missouri was down 21-20 when the fourth quarter began and there were plenty of nonbelievers here, there and everywhere. But a fourth quarter ass kicking then ensued that legitimized this Tiger team’s place amongst this season’s best.

“That was an absolute beating in the fourth quarter.
Steven St. John, on Mizzou’s statistical dominance of Oklahoma in the final quarter, 810 AM
GH: Oklahoma has finished a number of their games this season like a NASCAR driver on fumes. Gabe DeArmond of PowerMizzou.com mentioned that there is talk that the Sooners’ up-tempo hurry-up offense may wear out the team late in a game more than it disrupts the opposition. It makes some sense. OU runs their hurry-up like I eat SmashBurgers – fast and sloppy.

“I agree with Pinkel going for two when he did. Being up 6 there gets you nothing.”
Gabe DeArmond, on Pinkel’s decision to go for two instead of one in the fourth quarter, 810 AM
GH: Well, that makes two of you. You do not go for two unless you must in the final minute or two of a game. Nothing more ever needs to be said or written about it. Pinkel should just do the opposite of what he thinks he should do every time he is presented with this decision and he’ll be fine.

“One of the great nights in Missouri football history.”
Brent Musburger, as the seconds ticked off for Mizzou’s 36-27 win over Oklahoma, ABC
GH: Maybe the greatest? Absolutely. With two days of build up televised nationally on ESPN and the top-ranked Sooners in town owning a dominant record over MU, this win one tops them all.

“The students have come on the field and they shouldn’t do that.”
Brent Musburger, as the MU crowd swarmed the field before the final play ended, ABC
GH: Who the hell was gonna stop them? Hell, I was surprised to not see Mike Alden out there whacking away at the goal posts.

“ROAR!”
Headline in Columbia Student Newspaper Sunday morning
GH: The layout and space in The Kansas City Star devoted to Mizzou’s big game was great until Sunday’s edition. What a disappointment my Sunday morning Star’s Sport Daily was – with bad photos and nothing out of the ordinary in postgame coverage layout. Yeah, it was a tight deadline. Yeah, it was a Saturday night. But newspaper excuses aside, this game and its historic value to Mizzou fans everywhere called for the Kansas City Star to dazzle us. Instead they gave more fuel to those who believe the Jayhawks get preferred treatment when it comes to The Star’s college coverage.

“What happened to OU?
1. Lousy coaching.
2. Terrible defensive effort.
3. Another second half road fold.
4. Missouri is good.”
TulsaWorld.com
GH: Interesting that it took the Oklahoma newspaper four tries to get to the right reason.

“Are Missouri Tigers legit?”
Headline to Jeff Dooley’s column on ESPN.com

“Missouri is legit! They are going to go to Lincoln and put it to the Huskers!”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Are the ratings for Fescoe’s morning show so poor he’s now pretending to be a Mizzou fan?

“(Kirk) Herbstreit said this season there is no great team and the BCS top 10, in his opinion, is a collection of good teams no matter their conference affiliation. He questioned how good OU really is whether they deserved to be No. 1, and thereby questioned how good Missouri really is. He said there is no question Boise State would manhandle Missouri on a neutral field.”
KillerFrogs.com
GH: Boise State and TCU are legit Top 10 teams. But they don’t have to strap it on in a big-time conference every week. Sure, they could beat any team on any given Saturday. But they could also very well lose to Iowa State at home or Arkansas on the road. Bad stuff happens when you play with the big boys every Saturday. Almost nothing happens when you play Louisiana Tech on Tuesday night.

“If you lose (Blaine) Gabbert, you can still win the (B12) North, but you’re not going to win the national title.”
Gabe DeArmond, discussing the depth on Mizzou’s football team, 810 AM
GH: No. Gabbert is the single most important player to his team in the Big 12. People still do not give this kid’s talent enough credit. He was amazingly accurate against Oklahoma. Go back to the tape and look at how many times he drilled the ball into blanketed receivers’ hands. When Suh twisted Gabbert’s ankle into sushi last season, it cost MU the Nebraska game and the North title. Without Gabbert next Saturday in Lincoln, Nebraska wins by three touchdowns – maybe more. With Gabbert, it should be one hellacious football game.

“So how long will the delirium last from beating Oklahoma if you throw it all away next Saturday afternoon by losing in Lincoln against Nebraska? Mizzou believes it has broken through to the next level. The first test of that was beating OU. The next test will be not just getting into the room, but staying there. … Great teams don't let chances like this slip out of their hands. We are about to find out if this is going to be remembered as a great season or just one really fun week.”
Bryan Burwell, columnist, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“If they do lose (to Nebraska), that doesn’t minimize what they did (against Oklahoma). If Missouri finishes 11-1, I’m fine.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: This is typical Missouri stinking thinking. Sure, Mizzou will still have a great season with a loss to Nebraska and go to a fine bowl. But they’ve been there, done that with Pinkel. Here is where Mizzou fans differ from Oklahoma and Nebraska fans. An 11-1 season ain’t good enough when it doesn’t contain a conference title. Ask Frank Solich how his Rose Bowl season went over in Lincoln. Call it crazy, call it arrogant, call it Big Red fever. But Nebraska is going into this game thinking it’s win or who the hell cares what bowl we go to? Too many Mizzou fans are going in thinking like St. John, second is still good enough for Mizzou. If Pinkel doesn’t win the B12 Conference title this season, when does he?

“This game in Lincoln is 400 more times important than the win over Oklahoma. Let me tell you how important this game is in Lincoln. This is the game of the year. If you want to go to Dallas, you best be winning in Lincoln. You had better take care of Nebraska.”
Todd Leabo, 810 AM
GH: Spoken like a Sooner fan who understands what it means to be a great football school. Second place is for those who don’t mind losing to their rival. Maybe MU needs to treat this game like it was basketball?

“No disrespect to Kansas, well, I guess you can say it’s disrespecting Kansas if you want but Nebraska is Missouri’s biggest rival in football at this point in time. There’s no question about it.”
Gabe DeArmond, 810 AM
GH: I really wish Missouri was heading to the Big 10 with Nebraska. This rivalry is the one worth keeping, even more so than the Oklahoma rivalry. This is the one that should live another 100 years.

“This week is about the rivalry that’s about to disappear just as it is peaking. … The (rivalry) that will be missed most around here and by the Big 12 happens Saturday.”
Blair Kerkhoff, Kansas City Star
GH: What he said.

“Nebraska has not shown that they can get it done at home so I like Missouri.”
Todd Leabo, 810 AM
GH: As much as Nebraska fans would like to argue with Leabo’s logic, he’s right. The lackadaisical play against South Dakota State and the Texas loss are reasons to be concerned about the mental state of the Huskers at home. Oh yeah, and Mizzou is pretty good.

“They tried to hurt us a few times and not play regular football.”
Bubba Starling, quarterback for Gardner-Edgerton, in a postgame interview after Gardner-Edgerton defeated St. Thomas Aquinas 57-17 on ESPNU

“Watch Bubba Starling get tackled. He is down and the whistle has blown. Now watch this. One late hit. Two late hits. Maybe a little kick in the face. Why not? Let’s kick him while he’s down. Watch Starling get right to the referee and tell him what’s going on.”
Justin Kutcher, play-by-play voice for Aquinas/Gardner-Edgerton high school football game, ESPNU
GH: St. Thomas Aquinas might be rethinking their reasoning for agreeing to play Gardner-Edgerton on national television. Not only did they get schooled by 40 in front of the ESPNU cameras, but they came off looking like the dirtiest football team this side of Oakland. Read on.
“The ball is clearly in the hands of somebody else and Jake Wernel, number 27, that was a purpose play on his part. … What Jake Wernel did on that play, on that late hit is inexcusable. Because now you’re endangering maybe someone’s life. That’s just irresponsible. And frankly if they had thrown him out of the game I would not have had a problem with it.”
Justin Kutcher, as Wernel hit Starling from behind with what appeared to be a helmet to kidney shot, ESPNU
GH: Being an ESPNU game, Wernel and his Aquinas teammates less-than-sportsmanlike play was highlighted and discussed like it was an NFL game. The announcers didn’t sugarcoat things because these were high school kids taking these cheap shots. They embarrassed them under the scrutiny that dirty players like Wernel and his mates deserve.

“(Wernel) was involved in the prior play as well when Bubba Starling was already on the ground. He better wise up pretty quickly”
Tom Luginbill, color analyst, for Aquinas/Gardner-Edgerton high school football game, ESPNU
GH: So what happens to a kid like Wernel after that public display of utter non-sportsmanship? Does his coach bench him? Do his parents bench him? Does he get an extra cookie at communion? I was educated and played in Catholic leagues from fourth grade through high school. It has been my experience that cheap, dirty play is not taught but it is far from frowned upon. Unfortunately, that seems to not have changed much at Aquinas.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24

 


Chiefs take on Jags, OU at MU

Posted 10-22-10

“Relax. The Chiefs will win the (AFC) West.”
Peter King, SI writer, in response to a not-so-optimistic Chiefs fan, Twitter

“You can’t write (the Chargers) off. I still think they’re the favorites (in the AFC West) – and mostly because of that division. This is a division where 8-8 looks like it might win it.”
Bob Glauber, NFL writer for Newsday, 810 AM
GH: The Chiefs have looked better than an 8-8 team this season (except for that 4th Q in Houston). But maybe we’re getting a bit too excited over a team that is still a work in progress.

“I don’t see that big letdown (coming for the Chiefs). I don’t see that game where the Chiefs just crap all over themselves.”
Tim Grunhard, 810 AM
GH: I have been lucky enough to traverse life and not experience crapping all over myself. I would think it an unpleasant experience.

“You really don’t know what you’re going to get with (Jacksonville) from week to week. They could show up here (at Arrowhead) and put up 30 points.”
Jeff Chadhia, 810 AM
GH: The Jags looked fugly on MNF against Tennessee. If Bill Bob Maas was still playing for the Chiefs, he might say all the Chiefs need to do to beat Jacksonville is throw their helmets on the field. It will probably take more than that.

“We have a chance to do it this year – to be a good team and do some special things.”
Todd Haley, 810 AM

“I love Todd Haley. You guys have got a coach! You’ve really, really got a coach. … These guys are businessmen. They’re serious about what they do. You can tell that Todd has gone in there and changed the culture.”
Gus Johnson, NFL broadcaster for CBS, when asked by Nick Wright what he took away from watching the Chiefs in Houston, 610 AM
GH: I was impressed with Johnson’s glowing comments after his meeting with Haley in Houston. But then he went Gus Johnson on Haley and blew him up into Mike Ditka. Read on.

“You’ve got a modern-day coach who has a swagger about him and has no problems communicating with the media. I think that coach has a chance to be one of the great coaches in this league if he catches a couple of breaks.”
Gus Johnson, 610 AM
GH: So who do you think the Chiefs had impersonating Haley at that meeting with the CBS crew? Did Gus ever meet Gunther?

“I cover this (Chiefs) team as closely as anybody except maybe (Adam) Teicher and (Kent) Babb. I saw Alex Magee’s picture in the paper. I thought Alex Magee was white! I had no idea who Alex Magee was!”
Bob Fescoe, on the Chiefs’ 2009 third-round draft choice who was traded to the Bucs, 610 AM
GH: Being that invisible is not good news for Magee and additionally not something Fescoe should be bragging about. The Chiefs have 53 players on their active roster. The guy who hosts 610 Sports morning drive show five days a week should know what players are white and those who are not.

“It was kind of like, well, you can’t say a pick play because that’s illegal, right?”
Terrance Copper, describing a recent play to Steven St. John where Dwayne Bowe set a pick for Copper, 810 AM

“Here is the ugly truth. None of you care about what happens to these guys. You just don’t want to see it.”
Nick Wright, on the violence in professional football, 610 AM
GH: I want to see it. And I’d like my replay in super slow-mo, please.

“These (NFL) defensive players are super human! They’ve got muscles coming out of their fingertips! … Players need to understand that in today’s world, players cannot go for the kill shot anymore because somebody’s going to get hurt really bad. These guys are too strong, they’re too fast and their equipment, from a technological standpoint, is at a different level than it’s ever been. They’re just going to have to pull back and wrap the guy up and pull him to the ground.”
Gus Johnson, in an interview with Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: I hope everyone this week got their fill of discussing the merits of policing violent hits in the NFL. This is the biggest non-story since Brett Favre retired. Nothing will change.

“Yes, he leads with his head. But hell, that’s football!”
Jayice Pearson, on the controversial hits made by NFL defenders, 610 AM

“We didn’t spend a ton of time on it to be honest with you.”
Andy Studebaker, Chiefs’ linebacker, when asked by Danny Clinkscale how the Chiefs’ coaches had addressed the NFL’s statement about increased scrutiny on physical play, 810 AM

“Fixable through recruiting, Josh.”
David Lawrence, when asked by Josh Klingler what Kansas could do to fix what ails their football program, 610 AM
GH: Not really the answer you want if you’re a KU football fan with six more conference games on your 2010 schedule.

“I’m not going to pick (Missouri) until they win this game. Oklahoma has done this before and Missouri hasn’t. I might even lean toward thinking Missouri’s going to win this game but I just can’t pick them to do it until they go out and do it.”
Gabe DeArmond, 810 AM
GH: Oklahoma is just okay. I am not sure about Mizzou. The Tigers look like the most improved team in the conference since B12 play began. If so, they should win this game by 10 or more. I think Mizzou’s real test comes the following week in Lincoln. The Tigers match up much better against OU than NU.

“I guess if you’re another team in the (Big 12) North, you’re rooting for Oklahoma (over Mizzou).”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Hell no I’m not rooting for Oklahoma! If Nebraska wants to win the North, they need to beat Mizzou. It is always more fun to beat an undefeated and highly ranked opponent. If NU can’t beat MU, they don’t deserve to win the North.

“I think (Missouri) has a real chance in this game. I think it should be a real classic. This should be a great, great football game. But they’ve got to survive the first quarter.”
Gary Barnett, on MU’s chances against top-ranked Oklahoma, 810 AM
GH: I never understand when analyst caution that a team needs to “get through the first quarter.” If my team is going to lose a quarter, the first one is my pick to lose. Winning the first quarter of the Nebraska game didn’t mean squat for MU last season.  

“I’m kind of down on Erin Andrews. She just looks like…I don’t know what she looks like. It isn’t right. I put her maybe fourth or fifth best in the business. I’m sorry, I’m on a tangent here. Something’s happened to her. She’s gotten rich, famous and it’s all changed her.”
Kevin Kietzman, on the curvy ESPN sideline reporter who will be in Columbia this weekend, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman talked about Andrews like she was his ex-girlfriend. What does KK know about EA before she was rich and famous? And do you think Brett Favre will get the same bump in celebrity status for getting his privates exposed on video that Erin did? Somehow that seems to have worked out quite well for Erin.

“Going to Baylor, Baylor doesn’t have that atmosphere that excites you or intimidates you in any way. That’s gonna play in Kansas State’s favor. That being said, this Baylor team is really good. For Bill Snyder’s sake, I hope that defensive staff has learned a lot since that Nebraska game. This game means so much to Baylor. I think Kansas State’s got their hands full going down there.”
Gary Barnett, 810 AM
GH: This is a HUGE game for both Baylor and K-State. Bill Snyder can convince his detractors that he is back and ready to field a competitive Big 12 team with a win in Waco. His current 5-1 record is full of vegans. A win in Waco would add some meat.

“We’ll know more about Oklahoma State after this game than Nebraska. If they beat Nebraska to go 7-0 and move into the top 10, then we need to start looking at Mike Gundy in a different light.”
Blair Kerkhoff, 810 AM
GH: OSU is a great place to play and as loud as any stadium in the country. But I love Nebraska in this game. If they manage to hang onto the football they should win by three scores.

“I can’t possibly think that leaving the Big 12 could be going any worse for Nebraska. There could not be a less gracious departure as Nebraska leaves the conference. The things that have been written about this radio show (in the Omaha World Herald). I don’t know if Warren Buffet controls the media up there (in Nebraska) or not.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I am sure Buffet is the mastermind pulling the strings to critique KK’s show to Omaha readers and his investors. It just makes sense.

“If (Danario Alexander) stays healthy, the rest will take care of itself. I’m just so darn proud of him. He was a bona fide first-round pick that didn’t get drafted because of injury. I’m just so happy for him.”
Gary Pinkel, on the former MU receiver scoring his first NFL TD with the Rams last Sunday, 810 AM
GH: Go Danario! Anybody else add DA to their fantasy team this week?

“I can see Pioli’s point. They get these medical reports and they saw something there they didn’t like.”
Jack Harry, to a caller asking why the Chiefs passed on picking up Danario Alexander as a free agent, 810 AM
GH: The Chiefs whiffed on Danario. This was a no-brainer no-risk pick up for a team desperately in need of wide receiver help that still mystifies me.

“For real player?”
Too old exchange student in a hoodie in the FedEx commercial, CBS
GH: Love this ad and how the Asian parents give the guy the stink eye. My new favorite radio ad is the Budweiser pep talks to the guys going out for the night. I think smartman and Uncle Dick must be writing these ads because they are hilarious.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


The Chicago Marathon experience

Posted 10-21-10

I ran my first 5K road race in 1981 on a dare.

As I meticulously built my charcoal briquette pyramid in anticipation of cheeseburgers to come, I heard my name called from somewhere beneath my second-floor apartment balcony.

“Hey Hall!” hollered the familiar voice of my good friend, Steve Winter. “Put the cheeseburgers away and come on down and run with us.”

Barry Kopf, another friend from the apartment complex was with Steve. I peered over the rail and spied them in their late-70’s cotton micro shorts. Hard to believe we wore those ball huggers in public.

“You never run,” chastised Barry. “Come on down and get in shape.”

Now this statement was not entirely true. I played basketball on an almost daily basis and also played flag football at the time in Omaha’s most competitive flag league. But as far as going for “a jog,” that was as foreign to me as gay sex…and not far removed in my mind.
Steve and Barry continued their harassment and verbal assault until I finally responded with this salvo. “I could come down there right now and blow the doors off both of you,” I confidently chortled. This was greeted with howling laughter from both. It was the guffaws that got me off the balcony and onto the street.

I had no shoes in my closet that even resembled running togs. I grabbed my canvas AstroTurf football spikes with the tiny rubber nubs and headed  down the stairs.

“How far we going?” I asked.

“About two miles,” responded Barry. “Just follow us.”

“Tell me where we’re going because I don’t plan on waiting for you two,” I answered.
Again with the laughter. “Okay, Flash,” chuckled Steve. “We are going to run around the outside of the golf course, down 96th Street and then back up 99th.”

I was gone before he finished.

“SLOW DOWN!” I heard them yell. I never turned around nor did I slow until I was out of sight. I finished the two-mile run well in front of the two daily joggers and it shocked them. What they didn’t know was that I had three younger brothers who were all great distance runners in high school and college. Two were state champs and a third was an All-American in college. I figured some of that was in me somewhere. I just wasn’t all that interested in a sport where there was no ball and no cheerleaders.

Barry and Steve talked me into running my first 5K at Creighton University the following Saturday. I took it as seriously as I did high school Latin. I joked the entire drive to the race about how foolish distance running was and how my football shoes were more than adequate for this odd sport. The first thing I did when we arrived to show my disdain was eat two glazed donuts that were available for the race volunteers.

I won the 5K. And I was hooked.

I bought multiple pairs of running shoes, subscribed to Runner’s World magazine and read every book I could find on distance running. And I ran. I started slowly, three miles a day but eventually built to where I was logging close to 70/week during my late 20s. I was into 10K races, which was THE race at the time. Often times I would enter both the 5K and 10K at a race when they started them at staggered times. And if one of my brothers didn’t show up, I’d win both more often than not.

I was Omaha good but not great. I got my 10K time down to 33:12 but I never broke 33. My brothers could all run under 30. That is smoking fast. My brother Jim once showed up at the same 5K race as me and passed me about the two-mile mark – where he proceeded to turn around and run backward for a block or so while we conversed. I was not in my brothers’ leagues when it came to road racing.

I placed first in a hilly, humid, Fourth-of-July race in Ralston, NE one summer and for the next decade that July 4th race was won by me or one of my brothers. A Ralston city councilman even offered a $100 prize one year to anyone who could beat any of the Hall brothers in the annual 5K. That dude still has his Benjamin.

My 5K PR was 15:30 but I could never sustain my speed through miles four and five of the 10K. After I moved to Kansas City in 1988, I ran to stay in shape but not much else. I never seriously considered running a marathon until last August as I contemplated turning 55 in November. My brother Geoff had qualified for Boston with a 3:29 at the Chicago Marathon and so I thought I would get in shape for the Tucson Marathon in December. If nothing else, it would get me back into my 34-inch jeans.

I filled out the entry form online and marked my calendar for four months of training. I needed a 3:45:59 in my age bracket to qualify for Boston. I ran 3:45:03. No use leaving anything out there on the course. I was all ready to retire from the marathon when I let my brother and buddies talk me into running Boston. The problem with Boston was that it was already full for 2010. My qualifying time was good for two years though, so I got the calendar back out and circled April 2011 for my trip to Boston.

Since I needed some motivation to stay in shape over the next 16 months, I picked the Chicago Marathon as a nice goal in October 2010. I had heard great things about the course and the spectators from my brother. I am here to tell you everything he said was true and more. The Chicago Marathon is the most spectacular and thrilling event I have ever experienced. Boston I’m sure is cool. But topping Chicago 2010 is gonna be very, very tough.

Chicago is HUGE. As a city and as a race. Over 45,000 runners registered and more than 36,000 finished. The start is one of the more ridiculously exciting things I have experienced. Walking to the starting corral I met a 50-ish guy from Houston.

“I always get nervous before a race,” he confessed almost apologetically.

“What’s to be nervous about?” I answered. “The hay is in the barn and we’re sure as hell not Kenyans. We’ve put in the work all summer. And as warm as Kansas City was, I can’t even imagine training in Houston’s humidity! Let’s just go out and enjoy the scenery on our morning jog.”

What I didn’t tell him is that I awoke at 3:30 that morning and could not get back to sleep. I ended up getting out of bed and pacing in my room until I left on foot at 6:00 AM for the race. I walked from my nephew’s apartment, only six or eight blocks to Grant Park and the start. It sent a charge through me to see the other runners in their racing shorts, carrying their disposable bags filled with additional clothing silently move through the morning darkness toward the east. The number of runners swelled as I got closer to the park. I smiled to know I was a part of this world-class event.

There is no half marathon or 10K or 5K or kids run associated with the Chicago Marathon. There is only The Marathon. Every runner in shorts and a bib is about to engage in a race for 26.2 miles. It gives the race an entirely different and familial feel amongst the runners. The camaraderie was palpable as we waited shoulder to shoulder in the “C” corral, which housed those of us expected to run between 3:15 and 3:45.

A mob of 45,000 runners is difficult to comprehend, even when you are plunked right in the middle of this massive human river. It took only three or four minutes for me to shuffle to the chip-timed mats at the start. It wasn’t until the second mile that I felt there was room in the street for me to hit a comfortable non-choppy stride. The crowd that greeted us as we cruised down Michigan Avenue was surreal.

I had heard stories about this raucous crowd from runners who have run Chicago. But I was completely unprepared for the size, passion and endurance of this constant source of adrenaline. From the crazies swaying from atop the first bridge to the mob that greeted us as we logged the final .2 home stretch, these people reached out and embraced us as rock stars.

Both sides of the streets were jammed six- to ten-deep with spectators jockeying for position to shout out to the passing strangers. I expected the manic scene to melt as we moved to mile five or six but it refused to yield. Every turn, every mile marker brought another roar of encouragement from this blur of incredible onlookers.

I did something prior to this race I have never done in my almost 30 years of road racing. As I walked to my start corral, I noticed runner after runner who had written their first name on their bib. I had seen this before and always thought it to be a bit vain. But this wasn’t your neighborhood 5K. This was the Chicago Marathon. And since I made the trip to the City of Broad Shoulders alone, I thought a little encouragement from the crowd might help me get through the next four hours of pounding the pavement. I walked over to one of the many support tents and borrowed a Sharpie. I tugged my singlet off over my head and carefully printed GREG in thick bold block letters on my racing bib. It was the smartest thing I did all day.

Almost immediately after the start Chicagoans that hugged the curb began calling my name as I ran past. “You can do it, Greg!” That last one sounded a lot like Tim Grunhard. A lot of these people sound like the Chicago-native and ex-Chiefs center. Five-year-old kids sitting on the curb would yell, “Go Greg!” I could not stop smiling. As a matter of fact, I think I had a smile on my face for ¾ of the race. The crowd was that incredible. While the rising temps crept toward the mid-80s and the cloudless sunny skies were a bane to us runners, it was a perfect fall day for marathon spectators. And they were there in every Chicago neighborhood we visited in Olympic form.

I don’t think much about pace or splits or goals while running a marathon. My goal is to always finish strong. I enjoy the first few miles as a sightseeing tour so as to not go out too fast. A guy wearing an 8-foot Eiffel Tower structure is running just to my left at mile two. He is inside this remarkably accurate replica with his arms protruding from each side. I learned the next day from a lady I saw at breakfast that he finished just in front of her somewhere around 4.5 hours. He was none too fresh at the finish she recounted.

Elvis was singing Don’t Be Cruel on the stage when I high fived him on North Avenue. This was the skinny Elvis and he was good. The guy to my right was jealous that I got some skin from The King.

Somewhere around mile 10, a runner just in front of me went down like he’d been shot. A panic spread through the nearby runners with pleading shouts of, “Runner down!” and “Medic!” pierced the air. The severity of his screams led me to believe he had sprung an Achilles. While multiple runners yelled for help, no runner stopped to aid him. The marathon is a survival race. Some will fail to survive. All contestants understand this premise even from their early days of training. We charged on, all of us happy to know it was him and not us on the hard asphalt.

As the temps rose, so did the number of runners seen in the breakdown lanes. Heat zaps moisture and a lack of fluids causes cramping. Runners with goals of 2:50 and 3:00 printed on the bibs pinned to their backs were seen stretching on the sidewalk or pushing hard against concrete pillars in an attempt to loosen frozen calves and quads.

I felt strong after the halfway point but the sight of these runners crashing long before the 20-mile mark cautioned me into slowing down and resisting the urge to push the pace. The course was flat and I knew no hills lurked in my future. Running under 3:30 would be crazy good for me and I allowed myself to consider that number. But I quickly decided that finishing intact was more important. I dialed back as we neared the mid-teen miles.

When we hit Chinatown at about the 21-mile mark a female runner behind me started cheering for Chinatown. “Yea Chinatown!” “Yea Chinatown!” she repeated over and over as we swept through and in front of the boisterous Chinatown crowd. I got to know the Chicago neighborhoods well enough to recognize them as we loped passed. I was touched by the generosity of each one and the spirit they infused into the moving hoard.

I ate everything people handed me. Pretzel sticks in Greektown. A baggie of grapes in Little Italy. Something that looked like a taco and chips in Pilsen. I also hit every Gatorade/water station on the course without stopping. Eating and drinking while moving in a throng of runners is a learned skill. I practiced at shorter local races to perfect the art of pinching the paper cup into a spout and drinking quick hits without drowning my nostrils. I am always surprised at the number of good runners who choose to walk through an aid station. Don’t they know the sooner we get to the finish line the sooner we get to stop for good? The runners who have to respond to nature’s call during a race and head off course to use the porta-potties is another matter altogether.

As we moved into the final two miles of the race I heard a husband caution his wife that she would not be able to break 3:30 but that she only needed 3:35 to qualify for Boston. “But I wanted to break 3:30!” she moaned like a child. The marathon can play tricks with your head, especially after the 20-mile mark. People lose focus, get numbers mixed up while trying to determine their pace and just kind of get goofy. I chalked this woman’s irrational reaction to marathon madness.

I checked my watch and ciphered that I would need to travel the final 1.2 miles in under eight minutes to get under 3:30. While I knew that would be a decent goal on a fresh pair of 55-year-old legs, it was not going to happen after 25 miles. Instead, I continued a comfortable pace and waited for signs of the finish. A small hill greets runners for the final 800 meters. It was nothing more than a friendly bump. But any rise in elevation late in a marathon gets exaggerated into Heartbreak Hill.

As I turned left onto Michigan Avenue and spotted the finish line just a hundred yards ahead, I broke into a measured sprint. “Finish strong, Greg!” yelled another Grunhard sound-a-like from the sidewalk. He reached his palm out over the barrier and I punched it hard with my left fist. As I passed under the finish line structure I made sure to land my right foot solidly on the chip-timing mat. I hit my stopwatch and saw the numbers 3:31:43.
Boston 2011, here I come.

Greg Hall

Greghall24@yahoo.com


Bill Self likes his team

Posted 10-21-10

“Speed. I think that we’re fast. I think we play at a pretty fast pace.”
Bill Self, when asked by Bob Fescoe what he likes best about this season’s KU basketball team, 610 AM
GH: Scary thought for the rest of the Big 12 is that Self is saying this is his quickest team yet. Read on.

“(We’ll play) at a pace defensively that possibly will exceed the pace we had in ’07 and ’08 when we had those real athletic teams.”
Bill Self, 610 AM
GH: Self is an interesting coach. He doesn’t waste a lot of time with coach speak. If he thinks his squad is good, he just says it. Refreshing is a word that comes to mind when it comes to Self. BTW, Bill Self is now the most powerful person in the KU athletic department. His team’s success is about all KU has going for it when it comes to athletics. A great many things depend on KU basketball not only being good but being great. This would not be a good time for Self to get hit by a bus…or an NBA job.

“Marcus (Morris) is our best three man and he might be our best four man…and he’s probably our best two guard. Marcus Morris is the most versatile player that we’ve had here since I’ve been here.”
Bill Self, 610 AM
GH: Markieff Morris, Marcus’ twin, is probably KU’s best rifleman.

“Well, I picked ‘em…but of course by the rule you can’t vote for your own team.”
Bill Self, when asked about Kansas State being the choice as the preseason Big 12 champion, 610 AM
GH: The Big 12 media days kick off in Kansas City Thursday and there isn’t a school in the conference more excited for basketball than the one where Turner Gill coaches football. Frank Martin will have his Wildcats primed for the national spotlight that is left over from their incredible run in the NCAA tourney last spring. Anybody else think Martin could coach the Jayhawk football team to at least three conference wins?

“I just hope that there are some talent changes on 610. But if not I guess I’ll have to work with you guys.”
Bill Self, playfully digging Josh Klingler and Bob Fescoe when asked about 610’s contract with KU sports broadcasts being extended to 2016, 610 AM
GH: Self’s comment was tongue-in-cheek but it appeared to catch Fescoe and Klingler by surprise. One thing radio talent doesn’t like to joke about is the precariousness of their jobs. Especially radio talent that has reason to worry.

“Entercom continues to be an integral part of the broadcast team in helping to deliver Kansas Athletics programming around the region. We are excited to not only renew the partnership but also to expand the radio lineup to cover more sports shows and more broadcast times for Jayhawk fans.”
Jason Booker, General Manager of Jayhawk Sports Marketing, press release
GH: Mizzou fans must bristle at the preferred coverage KU football and basketball receives in the Kansas City area compared to the vagabond coverage the Tigers are dealt. Fescoe made the comment recently that it all comes down to dollars in that Kansas broadcasts pull in “ten times” the advertising revenue that Mizzou broadcasts generate.  Amazing if true.

“(Josh Selby) be one of the better players in our league. I’m not saying he’ll be the best, but he’ll be one of the better players in our league.”
Bill Self, on the much-heralded true freshman guard, 610 AM
GH: Selby’s eligibility status is still in question with the NCAA even though we’re less than two weeks away from the season opener. Everyone is expecting Selby to be cleared to play. Are the same people who confer on NFL replays also determining NCAA eligibility?

“He’s got to get more consistent with his stroke.”
Bill Self, on Selby’s play at practice, 610 AM
GH: Have him check with Brett Favre for some pointers.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Let the Mizzou vs. OU hype begin

Posted 10-19-10

“Mizzou's biggest game in 40 years because they're finally good enough to compete against Oklahoma.”
Gabe DeArmond, on Mizzou’s battle Saturday in Columbia with undefeated and the top-ranked BCS team, Oklahoma, PowerMizzou.com
GH: 40 years. There is room to debate games that were bigger in that time span (I would rank MU’s B12 championship game in 2007 as bigger since it meant a berth in the BCS title game). But Gabe thinks Mizzou was not worthy back then but is now. After the Tigers past two stellar games, it is difficult to argue with that thinking.

“I have been conditioned to think that Missouri will lose to Oklahoma. … I think that (Mizzou football) program’s been condition to think that Oklahoma is bigger, better, faster and that they’re going to beat us.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: The Oklahoma program is bigger, better and faster than the Mizzou program. Probably always will be. But this isn’t a game between the two programs or the school’s football traditions. This is a matchup between who MU puts on the field in 2010 against OU’s squad of 2010. I like the Tigers in this game.

“I think this will be the toughest and most dynamic offense Missouri will have played this year. This will be a tough game for Missouri.”
Todd Leabo, 810 AM
GH: Saying this will be the best offense Mizzou has faced this season is far from a stretch when you look at the Tigers’ early schedule. But that squad from San Diego State wasn’t firing just smoke bombs and Scheelhaase and Illinois aren’t looking too bad in the B10 either. I think the Tigers are battle-tested for Stoops and his offense.

“I just think what Missouri has accomplished on the defensive side of the ball trumps everything.”
Dennis Dodd, of CBSsportsline.com, 810 AM
GH: The shutout of Colorado was stifling. Mizzou made CU look like a high school team on offense – a bad high school team. I listened to the MU/Texas A&M play-by-play on Sirius last Saturday and you’ve never heard Texans so humble. The Aggies were completely frustrated by Mizzou’s defense and the consistency of the Tigers offense to continue to put points on the board. Mizzou is so much better now than they were in September. A loss to Oklahoma at home would be and should be considered an upset.

“I don’t know, man. Missouri’s really good.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Contrast where Missouri’s football program is today with where Kansas’ football program is just three years after their epic battle at Arrowhead. One is hosting ESPN’s Game Day this Saturday and the other is staring at the possibility of a 0-8 conference record under a first-year coach. Wow.

“This looks like recess after there was a really nasty teacher there. It looks like they are taking a big deep breath after the meany has gotten out of town.”
Danny Clinkscale, on the state of Turner Gill’s football program at KU, 810 AM

“The exposure is phenomenal. We don't have a bank account big enough to be able to get this kind of exposure.”
Gary Pinkel, on hosting ESPN’s GameDay and getting the prime-time slot on Saturday night, PowerMizzou.com
GH: The B12 North teams should be very wary of what Pinkel is doing in Columbia. If he rolls OU and NU the next few weeks, he will get any and every recruit he wants. Not going to the B10 might prove to be the best thing that happened to MU football.

“Listen, I’m from there. That’s the Missouri ethic. Nothing is good enough. … Somebody at some point is going to have to start talking about (Pinkel) as the best coach in Missouri history.”
Dennis Dodd, of CBSsportsline.com, on Mizzou fans who have continued to be critical of Pinkel, 810 AM
GH: Mizzou’s not that different from every other school that has tasted some success in football. We all want more. And until Pinkel wins at least a conference title, it would be difficult to crown him as MU’s best coach ever. It’s all there this season for Pinkel but let’s calm down a bit until the Tigers do more than just roar.

“And, yes, I know Mizzou's last big win was probably under Dan Devine about the time of the Kennedy-Nixon debates. I get it.”
Chip Brown, on his pick of Mizzou over Oklahoma, OrangeBloods.com

“This is uncharted waters (for Missouri). I know they were (ranked) one and two in the country a few years ago but this is different.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I disagree. MU has been in these games before. Now it’s time to win one. And then another. That’s what good football programs do.

“This is the quietest 6-0 football team we’ve seen in college football.”
Bob Fescoe, on the undefeated Missouri Tigers, 610 AM
GH: The noise around Columbia is about to get very, very loud.

“A lot of fans get made about my show because there’s not a lot of Missouri talk. They’ll get all the love this week. All I can say to Tiger fans is be careful what you wish for. You’re going to be target number one in college football. It’s going to be interesting to see how they stack up against the new number-one team in the country.”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM
GH: What fans wants to be cautious about wishing for more than they have? Screw it! You only get great by risking much. MU has weathered more disappointments than any fan base I know. They have that part down cold.

“It doesn’t matter what (Carson Coffman) does from here. No matter what happens going forward, he will always be remembered for beating Kansas 59-7.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I think it matters quite a bit what Carson does from here on in this season. Starting with that little game at Baylor on Saturday. How is this game between two 5 win teams NOT on television?

“People around here (in Nebraska) want to make us out to be the ’85 Bears. We’re not.”
Bo Pelini, during his postgame press conference after Nebraska’s 20-13 loss to Texas, Husker Radio Network
GH: I sat in the sun for four hours Saturday and watched NU look like they hadn’t practiced since July. Pelini’s teams play like he acts – undisciplined. Mistakes, penalties and a total disregard for securing possession of the football – on the ground or through the air makes Nebraska very beatable. Make no mistake, Nebraska is very good. But very good teams get beat every weekend. The Huskers will have much to prove at OSU and against Mizzou the next few weeks. This B12 season has gotten very, very interesting.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24

 


Chiefs blow lead, Steve Tasker blows analysis at Houston

Posted 10-18-10

“The penalty on Brandon Flowers is something that will be talked about in Kansas City all week.”
Gus Johnson, on Flowers being called for PI on Andre Johnson late in the fourth quarter, CBS
GH: Not so much – the call had almost nothing to do with the game’s outcome since Johnson caught the ball and no ref calls offensive PI in that situation. But the video of Flowers berating the official from the sideline and the ref refusing to turn around and acknowledge him was great camera work. It also points out the difference between how the NFL and MLB handle verbal criticism from players and coaches. In MLB one utterance of the “magic word” gets you tossed, even if bellowed from the dugout. In the NFL you can rip away all you want as long as you don’t touch the zebra.

“When Flowers stuck his arm out straight across his chest, even though contact wasn’t made (with Johnson) and he didn’t touch him, that’s constituted as defensive pass interference.”
Bill Mass, 610 AM
GH: I thought Billy Bob was off the drugs?

“That’s a bullshit call!”
Todd Haley, on the Chiefs being flagged early for procedure when it appeared the Texans were in the neutral zone, CBS
GH: Steve Tasker and I thought the Texans were guilty but replays showed the Chiefs’ offensive lineman flinched. It was the only time I was wrong the rest of the game. Not so much for Tasker. Read on.

“This is a long field goal.”
Steve Tasker, with one second remaining and the Chiefs down 35-31, CBS
GH: Tasker must have been enlightened in his headset because he then quickly added a field goal would do the Chiefs no good being down four with a tick remaining. But man, how do you make that big of a boner working an NFL broadcast?

“I still say Steve Tasker was blindfolded in that fourth quarter. He had no idea what was going on in that game.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM

“The one big fear that the Texans have of Cassel is his ability to throw a 65-yard bomb when given time.”
Gus Johnson, during the Chiefs’ final desperation drive, CBS
GH: Okay, we all love Gus-to Johnson but what the hell kind of prep did he do on Cassel? Cassel could heave a dove 65 yards let alone a pigskin. I was glad that Gus worked this game, though. He’s manic style played well with what I believe was one of the more entertaining Chiefs games since Vermeil went wino.

“Steve Tasker is the only one allowed to say that...RT @bearmusic: @SSJ_WHB Mike Cox is a hammer head. Say that one out loud.”
Steven St. John, Twitter

“As a player, you ache to come through for a coach who gives you that chance.”
Steve Tasker, color analyst for Chiefs/Texans game, on Todd Haley’s decision to go for 4th and short in first half, CBS
GH: Loved this line from Tasker – who is not as bad an analyst as he appeared to be on Sunday. Everybody has off days. That’s why they make Viagra.

“Todd Haley loves all 45 of his guys.”
Steve Tasker, CBS
GH: I believe that’s what was going on with Caligula.

“Oh! What a gamble by Charlie Weis to go at Moeaki!”
Steve Tasker, on the Chiefs’ decision to throw on fourth-and-two to Moeaki with under three minutes in the game, CBS
GH: I just don’t believe Weis is making these game-breaking play calls. If so, Haley has matured more than Secretariat did in one year.

“This game had nothing to do with play calling. That was some of the best play calling I’ve ever seen. Don’t talk to me about the play calling. I don’t want to hear it.”
Kevin Kietzman, especially citing the Chiefs decision to throw the cross-field pass to Moeaki on the Chiefs next-to-last series, 810 AM
GH: Nick Wright opened his show with the exact opposite take. Wright hated the play call to Moeaki, passing instead of running late, the pooch punt, etc. It was almost as if KK and Wright did their prep together and decided to go yin and yang.

“Matt Schaub! Bodies flying! Wow! Have you ever seen something like this, Steve! And he lands on his feet! Look at Derrick Johnson!”
Gus Johnson, as Derrick Johnson flipped into a 360-degree somersault while rushing the Texans’ QB, CBS
GH: Pop the video of DJ’s head-over-heels somersault into your brain every time you think you possess what it takes to walk onto an NFL field. DAMN that was cool!

“I love Todd Haley but that pooch kick doesn’t make a lick of sense. We don’t need this big bang nonsense! Take it away!”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Can we get back to where Wright can disagree with Haley without the “I love Todd Haley but…” disclaimer?

“I thought they (the Chiefs) played a beautiful game. … Watching this game today I just felt better.”
Jack Harry, 810 AM
GH: I loved the game…except for the Chiefs getting the loss. This one felt real. It felt like we were playing for something more than just a win in October. This one felt like a playoff game. But not everyone was as pleased. Read on.

“I am calling out all the idiot (Chiefs) fans that don’t see that there is division in the locker room! And that Todd Haley is in over his head! They’re not going to win more than one more game the rest of the year!”
Caller Randy, who cited the bye week as the week the Chiefs’ locker room divided, 810 AM
GH: No word on the timeline as to when Randy’s senses left him.

“We want a quarterback who can win the game, not a quarterback who can’t lose the game.”
Caller B-Squared, 610 AM
GH: Cassel got ripped repeatedly, despite his decent stats on the road. Read on.

“Get rid of that unreliable piece of garbage!”
Caller, referring to Cassel, 810 AM

“I thought it was average. John Madden said it best, ‘Statistics are for losers.’ ”
Bill Mass, when asked to evaluate Cassel’s day against Houston, 610 AM

“If you don’t think that Matt Cassel has been along for the ride for these wins, well than that’s your opinion.”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM

“Cassel had a chance to make a couple plays. He didn't even give his team a chance at the end”
Jim Trotter, SI writer, Twitter

“This is a nightmare for many callers. Chiefs winning, Bowe 99 yds. and 2 TD's, Cassel 140 QB rating. What will they find to complain about?
Soren Petro, before Chiefs D retired for the evening, Twitter
GH: Yea of little faith.

“Hopefully, Matt Cassel took a step forward in some fans’ minds. He’s not an impressive player. You’re not going to be impressed looking at him.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: Joe Montana wasn’t much to look at. His arm wasn’t all that much better than Cassel’s. But the dude was a winner. Cassel looks like he needs three more years. It is likely some residue from being a backup at USC and New England. He may eventually become pretty damn good. But will it be too late for the Chiefs?

“I would say (Eric Berry) gets a ‘D’ (grade) on the coverage part. The talk of him playing corner in this league is completely overblown. Please! He can’t cover tight ends! But everything you’re seeing should be expected from a young safety. He is getting better.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: How much are the Chiefs’ recently drafted players contributing? Some but not near the early hype.

“Hi Denny and Lenny! How you doing?”
Caller to Jack and Danny during the postgame show, 810 AM
GH: This old-timer sounded a lot like Grigsby.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


K-State kills KU football

Posted 10-15-10

“K-State’s Carson Coffman is one of the worst starting quarterbacks in major-college football, and KU made him look like a Heisman candidate: 15 completions in 16 throws and five total touchdowns.”
 Sam Mellinger, columnist, Kansas City Star
GH: Mellinger is starting to get a handle on what his role is as what is really the sole sports columnist for The Star. His column was the talk of my office this morning – and it was the bite he put in his words that had both Jayhawk and Wildcat fans buzzing. Read on.

“The Kansas football season died here on Thursday night, and now the only hope is that the program isn’t dead, too. Hope is fading by the day. Turner Gill is the $10 million coach of a five-cent program, six games into his career at Kansas and already owning three of the worst losses in recent Kansas football history. … Reality is impossible to ignore, especially when it’s witnessed by a near-sellout crowd and national TV audience. And the reality is that reasonable people are forced to believe this experiment with the coach who doesn’t allow cursing or women past 10 p.m. will end in the same embarrassing way it’s beginning.”
Sam Mellinger, columnist, Kansas City Star
GH: Mellinger doesn’t call for Gill’s head but he sure doesn’t expect things to improve under the first-year coach either. Writing with an edge is important in today’s blog-heavy world. I was a bit concerned that Mellinger would attempt to make everyone happy with his column or at least not rile the masses. Glad to see he is bringing more fire than water to the space.

“So, here’s what we’ve seen: a team that’s quit two games in a row during shameful losses to middle-of-the-road programs. The Jayhawks have been terribly prepared, too, crystallized by three mental-error penalties that killed their first two drives of a game against a rival. … So, in review, Gill is now trying to recruit better players to a losing program that’s not even allowed to have fun.”
Sam Mellinger, columnist, Kansas City Star
GH: Maybe the safe thing for a columnist to do is talk about Gill as a first-year coach with a program that went 1-7 the previous season. I don’t really like or read safe. Mellinger appears to get it.

“I think if you polled Jayhawk fans today, I think maybe 80% would say they need to remove Turner Gill from that job – and that may be low. But I don’t think you can do that just yet.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: I do. And I’ll bet the hunt for the $8 million to buy him out is on in and around Lawrence.

“Disbelief on the faces of the Kansas fans. How many of them are going to be here for the second half?”
Joel Meyers, play-by-play voice for FoxSports Midwest
GH: Was a K-State grad in the truck asking for all those shots of stunned (pissed) KU fans immediately after every Wildcat score?

“If they don’t start turning K-State over, this could get very ugly.”
Dave Lapham, as the Jayhawks were down 31-0, FoxSports Midwest
GH: When Lapham dropped this one, I thought ‘How much uglier can it get?’ Plenty.

“We’re playing better than we did a week ago, I can assure you that.”
Bill Snyder, while being interviewed at halftime, FoxSports Midwest
GH: CBS looked pissed off all night. He snarled at the sideline reporter and almost chewed the head off an assistant – while leading 45-0! Read on.

“Bill Snyder wasn’t happy about that whatsoever.”
Dave Lapham, after Bill Snyder was seen verbally berating one of his assistants when a KSU player failed to get off the field in time during a K-State fumble recovery and touchdown – which was not caught by the officials, FoxSports Midwest
GH: K-State was up 45-0 at the time but Snyder looked like his assistant just cost him the game. Snyder is way over the top intense for my liking but Turner-the-other-cheek (and let me kick that one too) Gill could use some of what the 71-year-old Snyder is cooking.

“I think K-State fans are pretty much obligated to like (Carson Coffman) now. He beat Kansas and he’s probably going to take them to a bowl game now.”
Austin Meek, writer for Topeka Capital Journal, 810 AM
GH: Uh, no. Carson Coffman is still an MIAA quarterback who somehow is in his second year as a B12 starter. Wildcat fans are far too football savvy to be fooled by what the numbers say against Gill’s Kansas.

“I saw Corey Dillon at his best and Daniel Thomas finishes a run like Corey Dillon used to.”
Dave Lapham, FoxSports Midwest
GH: DT needs a blowout game. His last three have been far below my expectations for this one-time Heisman hopeful. He looks tired to me.

“No disrespect to Baylor and Kansas State but you’re not even talking about middle-of-the-pack Big 12 teams there.’
Jon Kirby, of Rivals.com, on Kansas’ blowout losses to Baylor and KSU, 810 AM
GH: It will be interesting to see where K-State and Baylor end up in the B12. Both could beat Texas this season and turn the Longhorns into a not-even-middle-of-the-pack squad.

“No more confusing deals or math problems.”
Pizza Hut commercial on their simpler pricing
GH: Thank god those confusing math problems have been eliminated from my Pizza Hut experience. Are they trying to target market the SEC crowd?

“I think there’s great concern (about Blaine Gabbert’s hip pointer). He’s been injured every year going back to high school. I would not be surprised to not see Gabbert finish this (A&M) game.”
Gabe DeArmond, 810 AM
GH: Talk about a guy who needs to pick up his game, Gabby of late has been looking more like those dead fish he often grills and photographs rather than the best QB in the B12. If he is again injured (again), it could cost MU a shot at the North title and a major bowl.

“The word for the weather this month is ‘incredible.’ This nice weather is just going to go on and on and on.”
Gary Lezak, TV 41 weather wonk, 810 AM
GH: This is the best October in memory. The KC marathon starts at 7:30 AM Saturday at Crown Center and it should be another glorious autumn morning. I am going to cruise the half marathon and then head to Lincoln for the Texas/Nebraska game. Get out and do something outside this weekend while this weather holds – even if it’s just eating at a sidewalk café.

Greghall24@yahoo.com


Chiefs earn respect but not a victory at Indy

Posted 10-13-10

“They played like they belonged on that stage.”
Jeff Chadhia, on the Chiefs competitive 19-10 loss to the Colts, 810 AM
GH: For Scott Pioli’s young team, led by his young hand-picked head coach, the compliments don’t get much better than this at this stage of the rebuilding process. To play on the same field as Peyton Manning and come away looking like the Chiefs belong is a huge plus.

“I think the Chiefs showed that they are a team that is for real.”
Shannon Sharpe, CBS
GH: You go, Shannon!

“From what I could tell, no testicles were raised or fondled. And that’s always a positive.”
Jeff Chadhia, ESPN writer, when asked to analyze the Chiefs/Colts game, 81 AM
GH: Obviously, Chadhia was not viewing the game in jojo’s living room.

“I’m trying to remember the last time I saw Peyton Manning this frustrated.”
Dan Dierdorf, with 11:21 remaining in the game and Indy leading by 3, CBS
GH: I believe it was that ESPN commercial where Peyton is getting reprimanded by Archie. The Chiefs D looks legit. How can you tell? They are no longer available in your fantasy league…and when was the last time that happened?

“This might be as unsatisfying a win as Peyton Manning has had in a long time.”
Dan Dierdorf, CBS

“I am so impressed with Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr, the other corner. Carr and Flowers, these are two supremely talented young corners who ought to be playing at the top of their game for a long time.”
Dan Dierdorf, CBS

“Those corners with (Darelle) Revis and (Antonio) Cromartie, that’s a nice combination. It kind of reminds me of the old Kansas City Chiefs when they had Dale Carter and James Hasty.”
Randy Moss, complimenting the Jets’ corners, ESPN
GH: Interesting what some people consider “the old Kansas City Chiefs.” Let’s hope some Pro-Bowl receiver is saying the same thing about Flowers and Carr someday. Interesting that they appear to be outplaying their much-hyped rookie safety, Eric Berry.

“I just got a couple of glimpses of the drops that Bowe made. I don’t buy (Todd Haley’s defense of Bowe). I’m telling you, Bowe is an idiot! … That to me is the biggest mystery. It’s not (Matt) Cassel. That to me is a far, far greater issue than Matt Cassel right now.”
Kevin Harlan, in an interview with Soren Petro, on Bowe’s two easy drops against the Colts, 810 AM
GH: The Bowe Show has quickly turned to the Boo the Boob Show. Read on.
                                                                                             
“I don’t know what they are going to do with Dwayne Bowe. They could cut him right now as far as I’m concerned.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM

“I don’t understand how (Bowe) is still on this team when they say they’re looking for the ‘right 53.’ I honestly believe it’s pity.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Pity? Sounds crazy but I get what Petro is saying – especially after listening to Haley wax on about Bowe’s play against the Colts. The dude gets paid millions to catch a football. When he drops TD passes he gets an F for his work evaluation. Haley’s ardent defense of Bowe rings weird.

“It’s unbelievable how many people are not watching the American League playoffs.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: When I hear the two competing morning sports talk shows go on and on with MLB playoff talk this time of year I flip over to Mike & Mike on 1510 or NPR. What’s unbelievable is that local sports talk thinks the Yankees, Rangers and Giants are interesting topics during the heart of football season in an area where baseball dies annually in June.

“There are two camps forming on Matt Cassel right now. One camp believes Matt Cassel is terrible and that he’s never going to be the answer and that he’s holding the Chiefs back.  The other camp thinks Matt Cassel is a solid quarterback and he’s doing exactly what Todd Haley and Charlie Weis are asking him to do. He’s not throwing interceptions, he’s not taking sacks and he’s managing the football game.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: Those in camp two can add one more thing Cassel won’t be doing with that formula – winning playoff games.

“(Cassel) is being paid too much money to just be a game manager.”
Jeff Chadhia, 810 AM

“I think most people think Brodie Croyle’s not an option. I think he’s an option.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Most people = GH.

“I think it’s a pride thing. I don’t think they want to admit they made a mistake with Cassel. He’s a guy who is a career backup and Croyle is a proven starter.”
Caller Jayhawk Jamie, 810 AM
GH: A proven starter who is 0-9 in the NFL. ‘Nuff said. ‘Nuff seen. (Except for Mrs. Brodie. We need to see far more of her.)

“I find this town, the way we treat quarterbacks, really is absurd. It’s embarrassing. Fans are telling me I’m embarrassing myself for supporting (Cassel). What’s embarrassing to me is to call for a 3-1 team to bench their quarterback!”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Every time I hear the local media rip Kansas City fans for being “too tough on quarterbacks” I want to clock them with Steve Deberg’s cast. Fans are supposed to be demanding of the team’s highest-paid player! Especially when they don’t produce! What’s embarrassing is a $60-million NFL QB who can’t throw downfield and isn’t allowed to think, improvise or even lead.

“Matt Cassel is wondering, ‘When am I going to get a chance to do something?’”
Dan Dierdorf, CBS
GH: When he gets picked up off waivers.

“His arm is clearly moving forward there. This is clearly going to be reversed.”
Bill Cowher, while viewing video replay of Phillip Rivers’ game-deciding fumble against the Raiders, CBS
GH: Just another reason ex-coaches don’t always make great TV studio analysts.

“He’s the same Brett Favre that he’s always been.”
Matt Millen, after Favre’s ugly performance on Monday night against the Jets, ESPN
GH: Ex-GMs aren’t much better on the tube – especially those named Matt Millen.

“D’Brickashaw Ferguson dominated one of the premier pass rusher in this league in Jerrod Allen.”
Trent Dilfer, after Allen was stymied by D’Brick on MNF, ESPN
GH: Has Allen lost his mojo along with his mullet? He looks more docile on the field now that he’s well-groomed and married. He was nowhere to be seen on MNF.

“I’m not reluctant to change but I am reluctant when you affect the pace of the game.”
Bud Selig, when asked by Mike & Mike about his reluctance to implement video replay in MLB, ESPN Radio
GH: The pace of the freaking  game???!!! Baseball moves slower than my teenage kids on Monday morning. Who the hell would notice if they instituted instant replay in MLB? I’m watching Mad Men replays anyway between innings, pitching changes, double switches and crotch-grabbing sunflower seed spitting contest.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24

 


 

Kietzman goes negatively nuts on Nebraska, then Huskers crush Mildcats

Posted 10-8-10

“You want to leave? Get the hell out of here! We don’t care if you leave. Go. Good-bye. Today is about telling you what you are on your way out the door.”
Kevin Kietzman, in his three-hour farewell to Nebraska football and their fans, 810 AM
GH: In covering and writing about the Kansas City sports media scene the past 16 years, there are special days all OTC readers remember as historic moments. The Share-the-Wealth Walkout. The John Tait/Ethan Locke/Carl Peterson live broadcast on Leabo’s cell phone. Whitlock’s The Explanation. Add to those classic’s KK’s three hour show prior to the Nebraska/K-State game. Wowser!

“I think (Nebraska fans) are sore losers. I think they’re pathetically poor losers.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman wasn’t alone in his thinking. He had plenty of callers who identified themselves as K-State, Mizzou and KU fans who cheered his every word. My favorite was the guy who called to say he got out of his car to applaud KK's monologue.

“Nebraska fans spend so much time telling everyone else what you are, that I am going to spend a few minutes today telling you what you are!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: It is difficult for the printed word to duplicate the venom in Kietzman’s voice during his tirade. You can listen to the first 21 minutes of his Wednesday show here at 810whb.com. I was riveted to my radio for three hours and I am sure I was not alone.

“Let me tell you what Kansas State people are not going to do today. They are not going to apologize to Nebraska. They are not going to feel inferior anymore. … You know what? There isn’t one person in that stadium tonight in Manhattan that feels their football team or their program is inferior to the Nebraska Cornhuskers. … Kansas State fans look at Nebraska people and say, ‘Boy, there’s a bunch of people who think they’re better than us.’”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: People on the two coasts have to roar over one Midwestern state thinking they’re better than another. Or that either would care.

“Kietzman was unbelievable this afternoon on who wants Nebraska to beat K-State tonight. Nobody but Nebraska fans. But KK is right.”
Mike DeArmond, Twitter
GH: Rooting against a Nebraska win just makes sense for all B12 schools – and I don’t know why Husker fans would expect anything different. It is the spiteful good-byes that stump me.

“I’m going to tell you something about the character of the Nebraska football program. As long as they’re winning, oh my God they are classy! These people are the best! They clap for you when you come off their field… Let me tell you what happens when you beat them, because this is the worst bunch of losers I’ve ever seen in my life. They are such BAD losers it’s an embarrassment!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman must have been probed by a plowboy from Hebron during his formative years. He let out a stream of viciousness over the air directed toward Nebraska fans that bordered on hysteria. It was fascinating radio.

“We have taken the 70-point beatings at the hands of your ‘legendary’ coach, Tom Osborne, who is so honorable, who was running around earlier this year telling everybody he wanted to stay in the Big 12, lying his tail off!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM

“This (Nebraska) outfit is smarter, they have more money, their school is better and remember – these people are better than you because of their football team.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM

“You have done a good job. You have fired up the K-State fans even more than I thought they could be fired up!”
Stan Weber, to Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I wonder if the K-State crowd was too fired up for this game. Taylor Martinez’s speed quickly deflated all that hoopla and hope. Martinez was so dominating he even surprised Husker fans.

“Live from KSU Stadium press box. Prepped for tonight's game by listening to Kevin Kietzman's hour of hate on WHB. Turned it to Mad Dog. It was awful...810 should be ashamed.”
Tom Shatel, Twitter
GH: I know Kietzman a little bit and I think what we heard was a guy speaking from his heart. Something that happens all too rarely on the radio or television. It may have been Mad Dog radio but it was damn entertaining radio.

“I am not going to apologize for who and what I am.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Crazy might be a good start. But crazy can be fun on the radio.

“I must have gotten 30 emails on (my opening monologue). We should sell CDs of that for charity.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: KK’s follow-up show today will be even more anticipated.

“Can't wait to hear Kietzman tomorrow for his response...his 2 hrs of bashing NU was most unprofessional thing I've heard broadcasted.”
Arasmith, Twitter

“I don’t know if anybody over at 610 or 980 wants me to but I’ll come over there and fire them up for the Kansas and Missouri (Nebraska) games if anybody wants me to.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I checked. They don’t.

“I have been very sarcastic all week. And I do say, tongue-in-cheek. … I say most of this tongue-in-cheek, but I’m tired of it. I may lose part of the audience, I don’t know. I’m not trying to make Nebraska fans mad. … If you get mad at me for poking fun at Nebraska fans for their elitism…”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: There were a few statements that bothered me in with KK’s rant. Most had to do with him trying to distance himself from his comments. Don’t piss all over a state and then attempt to slap a water softener on the shower with the “tongue-in-cheek” label. It that was “poking fun,” KK must be one wild ass cowboy in the saddle.

“I’m not picking on Bo Pelini nor am I trying to get him.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Huh? He played a seven-year-old clip of Pelini at least three times where the then NU defensive coordinator said he’d tell Bill Snyder again whatever he told him after getting whipped by K-State in 2003. Rip away, Kev. Just don’t pretend you’re not doing what we all know you’re doing.

“Call or text me. I won’t be in Manhattan because of work.”
Kevin Kietzman, who said he would be watching the game at a friend’s home in the Kansas City area, 810 AM
GH: Work? KK’s hours are 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. I would think part of Kietzman’s job, especially after that tirade, would be to cover this final battle of rivals in person. I am disappointed he will not have a first-person viewpoint for his listeners today.

“I heard (Matt) Davison say this morning that play-for-play K-State can’t beat Nebraska. He said they were three touchdowns better than Kansas State!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: After listening to KK rip into Davison, I hope he has the NU broadcaster on his show ASAP. Davison ain’t your average football guy or a someone who would back down from a verbal debate. That would be one helluva interview.

“I know the man. Bill Snyder right now is wound up tighter than a drum right now and has been for 10 days. This guy wants this game tonight more than any other game on the schedule.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Let’s hope KK doesn’t know CBS as well as he thinks. Because that drum got sprung at BSFS on Thursday night.

“Nobody in college football buys their way into an enemy stadium like Nebraska fans. They're even in student section.”
Blair Kerkhoff, on the number of red-clad fans inside BSFS, Twitter

“K-State fans headed for the exits. Wow. What Huskers are doing is illegal in some states.”
Sam Mellinger, Twitter
“Did you hear them singing Happy Birthday to Bill Snyder in the stadium? That was the only damn singing they were doing at that stadium (Thursday) night.”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM
GH: ESPN showed Bill Snyder blowing kisses to the student body as they serenaded him before the game. It was a cool moment for the Wildcat Nation. A not so cool moment for Husker Nation occurred with about four minutes left in the game. With the stadium mostly empty of purple people, the healthy contingent of Nebraska fans who stuck around until the end struck up a mocking rendition of Happy Birthday directed toward the K-State head coach. Not classy, Husker fans.

“(Taylor) Martinez is phenomenal with foot speed and an inch gives him 40 (yards).”
Craig James, ESPN
GH: Okay, he’s only played five games. But damnnnnnnn! I do not recall watching a college back break off 50-plus yard runs and pull away with such immediacy that he coasted into the end zone from 10 yards out. And Martinez did this twice. Damnnnnnnn!

“I don’t think it’s that K-State is that bad. I think it’s that (Martinez) is that good.”
Tim Grunhard, 810 AM

“Taylor Martinez's nickname is "T-Magic? Hahahahahahahahhaa.”
Shan Shariff, Twitter
GH: My 16-year-old son thinks the nickname, T-Magic, is “awesome.” I think it lacks personality. How about Marti McFly as a moniker for the speedy Husker?

“I think Bubba Starling in that (Nebraska) offense could do something very similar.”
Tim Grunhard, who got an up-close view of the Nebraska recruit a few weeks ago when his Bishop Miege team was rolled by Starling and his Gardner-Edgerton squad, 810 AM

“I think it’s just a matter of assignment football and being where we’re supposed to be.”
Bill Snyder, when interviewed at half time trailing 17-3, ESPN
GH: Uh, no.

“Coffman is going to load it up and throw it as far as he can.”
Rece Davis, on Coffman’s Hail-Mary pass as the first half expired, ESPN
GH: Coffman retreated to about the KSU 40 yard line and heaved his spiral down to the NU 7 yard line where it was intercepted. The ball traveled a little over 50 yards. I could throw a football about 55 yards in high school, as most high school QBs can. I was stunned by Coffman’s ordinary arm strength on this play as a starting B12 QB.

“This might be the shortest game ever. Neither of these quarterbacks are going to have to throw.”
Kevin Kietzman, prior to the game, 810 AM
GH: Ironic that this game seemed like it took forever to conclude. I was even talking to my wife during the second half.

“Tom Osborne will talk Friday about plans to expand Memorial Stadium with more seats and skyboxes. His timing is impeccable. Husker fans will be in a giving mood after Thursday night's little game in the Little Apple.”
Tom Shatel, Omaha World Herald
GH: The lying bastard…

*******
GH: I will be in Chicago this weekend running the Chicago Marathon. I won’t be back in KC until Tuesday so my OTC column will very likely miss the Chiefs/Colts game. Look for my column to return by Wednesday.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Remembering the Fifth Down game

Posted 10-7-10

While broadcasters had caught up, the scoreboard, too, still read second down, and (CU’s QB Charles) Johnson remembers (Coach) McCartney gesturing to it as he spoke with (Referee J.C.) Louderback. "I told him, 'Here's what we're going to do,' " McCartney said, telling him they would run (Eric) Bieniemy up the middle and if he failed to score they would spike it again to stop the clock to take one more shot. "He could have said to me at any time, 'Coach, there are only two downs left.' " Louderback didn't, evidently because he didn't know.
But (Jay) Leeuwenburg (CU’s center) tried to. "I said, 'We can't do that, Coach, it will be fourth down when we spike the ball,' " Leeuwenburg recalled saying before McCartney replied, "You're the player, and you play. I'm the coach, and I coach and this is what we're doing." McCartney doesn't dispute that Leeuwenburg said that but doesn't remember it, either. Johnson, though, remembers Leeuwenburg trying to make the point in the huddle even as an official said, "Bring 'em out." With Leeuwenburg apparently still going on, Johnson finally said, "Shut the hell up and get us out of the huddle."
Vahe Gregorian, writer, St. Louis Post Dispatch
GH: Gregorian’s story on the Fifth Down is a must read for college football fans. Reading about this tale that I remember vividly is fascinating stuff. Colorado would go on to win the national championship that season. Mizzou’s football program spiraled into a 15-year malaise.

“Wow! It’s really embarrassing that I didn’t know about the Fifth Down.”
Dan Hoch, MU offensive lineman, Kansas City Star
GH: DeArmond’s article in The Star reminded those of us who carry these historical sports nuggets around with us like they were precious gems that the kids playing the game rarely know anything about the history we so cherish.

“I said, ‘Okay, it’s fourth down all over again.’”
Dave Armstrong, who called the play-by-play for a tape-delayed television broadcast of the Fifth Down game, 810 AM
GH: Armstrong was a guest on Kevin Kietzman’s show and he recounted how he correctly told his viewers that Colorado had just spiked the ball on fourth down. This interview with Kietzman might have been the best Armstrong segment I have heard from the usually placid broadcaster. Armstrong’s story was riveting stuff and Todd Leabo’s hustle to find a clip of Armstrong’s call of the Fifth Down game on You Tube put a cherry atop this excellent piece of drive-time radio.

“We were told that Missouri got their time out called before we snapped the ball. That first play we were told never counted because of the timing of the time out. Somehow, we didn’t think that first play counted. It’s like the Twilight Zone – I don’t think we’re ever gonna know.”
Gary Barnett, a Colorado assistant coach at the time, in an interview with WHB’s Border Patrol, 810 AM
GH: This is the first I had heard about the officials saying MU’s time out was prior to CU’s snap. It would make some sense in how the five downs were allowed but read on for more from Barnett.

“After we got home and looked at it and listened to it, we probably had five downs.”
Gary Barnett, 810 AM
GH: You have to love the use of the word “probably” here. Getting a coach to give back a win is almost impossible.

“I tried to get the Missouri job two or three times and didn’t get it, so I’m gonna root for Colorado (against Mizzou).”
Gary Barnett, when asked by Steven St. John who Barnett roots for when the two school play since he is a Missouri grad and the former head coach at Colorado, 810 AM
GH: Colorado fired Barnett in 2005 after CU lost their final three games and on the heels of some salacious recruiting scandals and after his handling of an incident where his female placekicker accused some of her teammates of rape. Those job interviews at Mizzou must have really left a bad taste in Barnett’s mouth to choose the Buffs over his alma mater.

“There's a Nebraska connection to this (Fifth Down). Four of the seven officials were from the state (Frank Gaines, Lincoln; Paul Brown, Omaha; Willie Weisbrook, Lincoln; Scott Koch, York).
Lee Barfknecht, columnist, Omaha World Herald
GH: I had forgotten about the number of native Nebraskans working this game as officials. Add it up to one more reason to boo the Huskers during their farewell tour of the old Big 8 schools. Scott Koch, the short blonde ref in the photos from the Fifth Down game, was a guy I played baseball against and umpired with for years in and around Omaha. Scott was a tough little dude and a high school principal. Who knew he couldn’t count to four?

“Driving home from Columbia to Blue Springs on Oct. 6, 1990, Rich Montgomery heard a replay of the frenzied final sequence in MU's 33-31 loss to 12th-ranked Colorado at Faurot Field. He became lightheaded, pulled over and threw up. On the Mizzou sideline chain gang, Montgomery is deputized to advance the down marker only at the signal of the linesman. But at times, he said, he has reminded an official to cue him.”
Vahe Gregorian, columnist, St. Louis Post Dispatch
GH: So it wasn’t just a Nebraska conspiracy in this one.

“That day, it went over my head somehow. In the heat of the moment, it's hard not to get caught up in that and keep your emotions intact.”
Rich Montgomery, who is now in his 40th year as a member of the Mizzou chain gang, St. Louis Post Dispatch
GH: Interesting that Montgomery would admit to allowing his emotions become involved in the game he is working, even in a volunteer status. I have seen sideline crews at high school games cheering and hooting like parents – which they probably are. It never looks right to me. 

“Should have an asterisk next to it. Me, I'm not calling it a loss.”
Mike Church, Mizzou's defensive coordinator at the time, St. Louis Post Dispatch
GH: Church blames the Fifth Down game for costing him is job at Mizzou. It would be fun to know in a parallel universe how things would have turned out for the Mizzou football program had MU won that day.

“I called Jeff Flanagan who was working at The Star at the time to see how the game was going and he said, ‘I think Colorado just got a fifth down. I gotta go!’ And he slammed the phone down.”
Dennis Dodd, 810 AM

“Before MU plays Colorado next Saturday, Montgomery and his chain gang will go into the North end zone and do what they have done just about every game since Oct. 6, 1990: They'll chant, ‘1-2-3 — no fifth downs!’ ”
Vahe Gregorian, writer, St. Louis Post Dispatch

“That wasn’t even brought up in the press conference and I was kind of surprised.”
Gary Pinkel, when asked by Kietzman what he thought of this being MU and Colorado’s last meeting in football as conference foes, 810 AM
GH: Contrast Colorado’s quiet final tour of the Big 12 with Nebraska’s venom-filled road trip. Despite CU’s long history with the conference, they just never seemed like they cared much about the rest of the conference and we them.

“I still don’t believe in that (half-time adjustment) stuff. People make adjustments all the time. If you wait until halftime you’re not that smart.”
Gary Pinkel, responding to the criticism that he is woeful at making halftime adjustments, 810 AM
GH: Pinkel can be one very stubborn guy.

“It’s gonna be in the ‘Zou. The fans are gonna be going crazy! It’s gonna be awesome!”
Gary Pinkel, in an interview with Bob Fescoe about Saturday night’s game against Colorado, 610 AM
GH: I like this Gary Pinkel so much better than the stiff-necked guy who showed up from Toledo a decade ago.

A few broadcast notes for 610 Sports this weekend: 
(1) The Missouri-Colorado Game this Saturday will air on News Radio 980 KMBZ.  Pre-Game will air from 5-6p on 1660 KXTR.  Kickoff shortly after 6:00 pm on KMBZ.

(2) With KU off, 610 Sports Radio will air a tripleheader of college football action on Saturday:

11:00 am- Tennessee @ Georgia
2:30 pm- Notre Dame vs. Pitt
6:45 pm- Florida State @ Miami

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Bukaty: It looked like Kansas quit

Posted 10-5-10

“This is the season that gave us a checked-out Zack Greinke, a fired Trey Hillman and a crying Dayton Moore. Gil Meche turned into a really rich setup reliever, Jason Kendall bullied his way into too much playing time, and the season’s two most important players mostly flopped. The positives? Joakim Soria’s brilliance, Yuniesky Betancourt’s improvement and not a whole lot else.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: Mellinger took the time to grade the Royals in his Monday column. I follow the Royals about as close as anyone I know but I had a very difficult time staying interested after August 1st. I guess that’s at least one thing I have in common with Greinke. That and our wives could be twins. (I’m still trying to score some make-up points over airing the wife’s Lou Holtz/Jimmy Johnson mix up.)

“You know, there’s a lot of them.”
Ned Yost, when asked by Soren Petro, if he could tell him what the Royals’ needs are for next season, 810 AM
GH: This might be my favorite coach quote of the month – and we still have 26 days to go before Halloween.

“That they come out and play hard every day. I don’t ever put expectations like that on the team. It’s hard to put win and loss expectations on a team.”
Ned Yost, when asked by Petro what his expectations are for his team next season, 810 AM
GH: This might be my least favorite coach quote. Yost acted like Petro had asked him to explain Australian Rules Football (remember those early days of ESPN and the refs with the touchdown-signal yips?). Yost needs to expect a projected number of wins from his team every season. Setting and attaining goals is how people in the real world measure their success.

“I don’t think it’s going to be as bad as people think (next season for the Royals). I think they’re going to push toward .500. Right now I’ll put them at the 75-to-80 win margin.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Petro might be the only voice I’ve heard predict an improved 2011 Royals team. Not even Yost was willing to head out on that limb.

“There’s nothing I don’t like about being here (in Kansas City).”
Ned Yost, citing his love for frequenting the Country Club Plaza and hunting deer– but not necessarily both activities at the same time, 810 AM
GH: Yost has succeeded in losing a lot of games but drawing almost none of the public’s ire that fueled Trey Hillman’s departure. Maybe the Royals fans are just so beat down they don’t even notice Yost isn’t Hillman. If Yost grows a hairbrush mustache over the off season, maybe he can fool them one more summer before they catch on.

“I’ll be honest. It looked to me like Kansas quit (against Baylor). That’s not good.”
Nate Bukaty, who viewed the Kansas game from the Jayhawks’ sideline in Waco, 810 AM
GH: Bukaty is not into ripping his school or the team that employs him to work their sideline mic. But he was blunt and honest with his takes on the Baylor mauling. Is there a more deadly dart to a coach and his program than to be hung with the tag “quitter?”

“How many times have you seen in a conference opener a coach gets doused with Gatorade? I can’t think of any. That’s how bad of a loss it was for KU in my opinion. … If Baylor wanted to, it could have been a heckuva lot worse.”
Nate Bukaty, on the Baylor players drenching their head coach following their 55-7 win over KU, 810 AM
GH: Bukaty will not need to be concerned about this act happening anytime soon. Beating Kansas in football is about to become very, very routine for teams in the Big 12.

“He’s getting three years. I am gonna tell you that right now. Kansas fans who are already calling for Turner Gill’s job need to get their heads out of the sand. Because that’s just not reality.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: I believe Bukaty was referring to the KU athletic budget not being able to support paying off Gill’s contract to then hire another head coach. This is not what a lot of KU fans want to hear. Read on.

“Then no one should show up at the stadium! No one should buy season tickets! If they go 0-for (the Big 12), why? Why be a season ticket holder?”
Aaron Swarts, an ardent Kansas fan, responding to Bukaty’s warning that Gill will be KU’s head coach for at least three seasons, 810 AM

“I don’t think Kansas was stupid for hiring the guy. It just hasn’t worked.”
Kent Babb, 610 AM
GH: Isn’t that the definition of a stupid hire?

“There has been a lot (of positive things) said about Kansas’ assistant coaches, Chuck Long and Carl Tarbush. Those are not great coaches. They have bounced around and landed at Kansas for a reason.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I may have missed it but this is the first I have heard anyone criticize Gill’s top assistants. Just two weeks ago KK was telling anyone who had criticized Gill that we were disgraceful and owed him an apology. I’m going to hold off on sending my “I’m sorry” note.

“How concerned are you about Charlie Weis’ medical issues? Does a coach lose credibility because he’s overweight? I think in very rare instances they do. I believe that often times, significantly overweight people are lazier.”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM
GH: I have played for and known more fat coaches than fit coaches. None were Mangino fat but they were wide all the same. I never considered their weight an issue to their competence or work ethic. Are my fat coworkers lazier than the skinny ones? Not even close.

“I’ll say this about Tony Moeaki. The catch that Moeaki made (against San Francisco) is a catch that Tony Gonzalez can’t make.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman was taken to task by a caller about this comment. KK attempted to lessen the sting of his comment by saying that he meant the older, less elastic Tony G of today. I would not bet against Tony Gonzalez catching any pass, any place at any age. Gonzo was (and maybe is) that good. His play has sure has shut me up every time I think he’s over the hill.

“I don’t like the matchup that Peyton Manning has against Eric Berry.”
Al Wallace, 610 AM
GH: For those of you who enjoy the game within a game, this matchup between future HOF QB and rookie safety will be one to watch and remember.

“I’d rather go with (Eric Berry) playing well in the run game (than preventing the long play). I think you can live with him coming up to fast to support the run.”
Will Shields, 810 AM

“I am terrified of the Colts game. I think it will be a confidence crusher for this team. I don’t think they put enough pressure on the quarterback to get after Peyton Manning and I think he is going to destroy them. I am terrified what Peyton Manning will do and I am terrified what Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson will do (when the Chiefs play Houston).”
Soren Petro, 810 AM

“I love (Berry). Let me tell you something, that guy’s a heckuva player. This guy wants to hit somebody. He comes downhill and he is a force against the run.”
Bill Maas, on Eric Berry, 610 AM
GH: I would almost be tempted to not play Berry against Manning. Why is it that a baseball prospect requires four years on the farm to get his confidence for The Show but a 21-year-old NFL rookie gets tossed into the fray against Peyton Manning in his fourth game? Let’s hope Peyton doesn’t turn Eric into FrankenBerry.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

Turner Gill is the Wizard of Odd

Posted 10-4-10

“It felt a lot more one-sided than Baylor 55, Kansas 7 on Saturday in Floyd Casey Stadium. It felt like Tiger Woods meets Charles Barkley in a golf match, Danica Patrick gets chased by Fred Flintstone on a banked oval, a beauty contest between Cher’s original face and her most recent face-lift.”
Tom Keegan, KUSports.com
GH: While on the road to a wedding in Iowa, we stopped in Des Moines for lunch. I saw most of the third quarter at Champps (great TVs, mediocre food). I had followed the first-half score updates on my phone but seeing this debacle happen live on television was almost impossible to comprehend. Kansas football is dead. I am talking stake-through-the-heart no-chance-for-a-sequel dead. And Lew Perkins’ last hire, Turner Gill, killed it. (PS: Take it from a guy who watched the Sonny and Cher Show live, Cher’s original face wasn’t all that.)

http://www.kcconfidential.com/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gif“When I went out there, they were bigger than what I thought. All of them were big. And I was just like, ‘What in the world are they eating?’ You know what I mean? Like, ‘Dang, how are they that big?’ ”
Steven Johnson, Kansas linebacker, KUSports.com
GH: Let me know the next time your hear a Bill Snyder-coached player speak in awe at the size of his opponent. Keep in mind these behemoths Johnson is describing play for Baylor. The same Baylor that TCU rolled 45-10 two weeks ago. So what do you think Gill’s Girls are gonna do when they run onto the same field as Texas, Oklahoma, A&M, Okie State, Texas Tech and that big, burly Baylor squad every season from now on?

“We were always a step too slow on a lot of things on offense and defense. You gotta get lined up right so you can get yourself in the right position. And then when you are lined up right, you gotta make a play. We just weren’t quite in sync, and they were.”
Turner Gill, KUSports.com
GH: Lined up right? This is game five. Even bad high school teams know where to stand. Gill is about to take Kansas football to a place they thought they would never see again – oblivion.

“I see that Kansas football is back. You know, the real Kansas football.”
Mike DeArmond, Twitter

“In Kansas, Turner Gill Becomes the Wizard of Odd”
Headline for Clay Travis’ column on Gill’s demands that players turn in their cell phones the day before a game and no contact with females after 10 PM, Fanhouse.com

“Nothing about the way Kansas stumbled inspired a belief that this is a program being steered in the right direction. For example, why did head coach Turner Gill need to burn a timeout on fourth down after a lengthy replay review supplied ample time to get everyone organized for the next play? The sideline looked so chaotic. It’s the fifth week of the season. Not good.”
Tom Keegan, KUSports.com
GH: But amidst the sideline chaos, nary a cell phone nor late-night coed was anywhere to be found.

"Very embarrassing, very surprising.”
Olaitan Oguntodu, KU’s senior safety, after the loss at Baylor, DallasNews.com

“How can you expect a college student to behave like a man when you insist on treating him like a child?”
Clay Travis, writer, on Gill’s odd demands of his players, fanhouse.com
GH: While Gill preaches brotherhood and character, his actions are those of a coach who doesn’t trust his players. Or worse refuses to trust his players. Kansas will be lucky to sign any high school recruits who have stars in their eyes let alone on their resume.

Turner Gill = Mel Ott
Sam Mellinger, Twitter
GH: Turner will wish he could have the managerial career that the former HOF player fashioned with the NY Giants after his playing days ended. Ott had three winning seasons over his seven-year career as a skipper and ended with a .467 winning percentage. Gill is going to be very lucky to break .300. Heck, he may never win a Big 12 game before he gets Manginoed.

“The announced crowd for Baylor's game against Kansas was ... 35,405. I'm not buying that number, either. There should be more people here. Period. The Bears are pretty good. This was an absolutely gorgeous day, too.”
Mac Engel, special contributor, DallasNews.com
GH: Kansas can’t even blame the Baylor crowd for their implosion. Gill’s team looks so poor on the road he may want to consider not only giving the guys back their cell phones but checking with Dwayne Bowe on hooking the Hawks up with some “importing.”

“Interesting - to me - that three of the AP voters who did not rank Missouri at all were voters from Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa.”
Mike DeArmond, Twitter
GH: Must be a conspiracy thing against Mizzou because of their close ties to the Big 10.

“Even though I had season tickets to the Chiefs for 15 years, I dropped them after the 2006 season. On the afternoon of the MNF game this year, I decided to go to my first regular season game in three years. With a cell phone in hand, car keys and a hundred dollar bill, I headed to Arrowhead by myself. I found a $283 single out ticket to the club level.  The guy took a hundy and I was on my way. I had very few people sitting next to me.  When I got up mid 2Q to get a beer, I went into Disney Land (aka the club level lounge area).  I thought I was crashing a wedding - there was people everywhere there and nobody could tell you what the score of the game was.  It was damn weird. I have to agree with Soren on this one... For every one person in their club seat, there are 50 people in the lounge area trying to be seen.  It is nice but just a little different from my days in section 339.”
OTC Reader Kevin, KCC email

“There is nothing you will experience on TV that is more different in person than a NASCAR race.”
Kansas Speedway official, on the races this past weekend at Kansas Speedway, 980 AM
GH: Isn’t that what they also say about hockey, soccer and the WNBA?

“610 Sports Radio's Shan Shariff has confirmed that Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Charlie Weis had emergency gallbladder surgery Monday morning.  He has since been released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.”
Press Release from 610 Sports
GH: I am really happy for the new guy in town and his scoop. But does 610 Sports have to keep repeating his original announcement as if Shariff found Bin Laden? (BTW, do you think Shariff knows Big Bin?)

“I’m just going to go ahead and say it – that was stupid. That was idiotic of Charlie Weis. No one should do what he did. Life is too short.”
Kevin Kietzman, on Weis’ decision to put off gall bladder surgery for four days so that he could prepare for the 49ers game and coach in the press box on Sunday, 810 AM
GH: Mark me with Kietzman on this one. When I heard that Weis had been told he needed surgery on Friday and waited until Monday, it reconfirmed to me that coaches are far less brilliant than we think. If Haley was aware of Weis’ condition, he is just as much an idiot.

“Because the spark you feel may get you through two mornings – maybe longer.”
Budweiser radio ad
GH: Love the new Budweiser radio spots. Let’s hope they cut about 90 of them so they don’t start sounding as stale as the Royals Radio ads do starting in mid April.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

Whitlock goes after Chiefs, KK goes after Whitlock

Posted 10-1-10

“I’m happy he’s got a job. He’s writing for a website.”
Kevin Kietzman, while attempting to calm a caller who was incensed by Jason Whitlock’s negative comments about the Chiefs in a recent FoxSports.com column, 810 AM
GH: Read on for what had this caller all a twitter.

“Quarterback Matt Cassel is horrible. Rookie safety Eric Berry is off to a terrible start. Second-year defensive lineman Tyson Jackson’s absence has been a blessing to the defense. If you’re scoring at home: Pioli’s handpicked QB and his two first-round picks are looking like busts.”
Jason Whitlock, FoxSports.com
GH: While it is hard to argue with Whitlock’s takes on Cassel and Jackson, it is far too early to lay the “bust” label on a rookie safety who has played all of three NFL games. I too have been critical of Berry’s play but let’s give the kid a season to discover what a safety’s job is before we toss him in the same recycling bin as Tyson Jackson.

“I need to acknowledge that my hometown Kansas City Chiefs are better than I anticipated. However, they still have major problems that can’t be covered by general manager Scott Pioli manipulating the local and national media.”
Jason Whitlock, FoxSports.com
GH: Why are Whitlock and other members of the media so incensed when a GM attempts to manipulate the media? Isn’t that in their job description? It is up to the media to discern whether or not they allow themselves to be led by the nose.

“The young nucleus of players left behind by Herm Edwards -- Brandon Flowers, Tamba Hali, Jamaal Charles, Brandon Albert, Brandon Carr -- are finally paying big dividends. The addition of experienced coordinators Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis has helped head coach Todd Haley mature.”
Jason Whitlock, FoxSports.com
GH: This is Whitlock’s attempt to manipulate Herm Edwards.

“To Pioli’s credit, rookies Dexter McCluster and Tony Moeaki and free-agent pickups Ryan Lilja and Shaun ‘The Genital Giant’ Smith have been terrific.”
Jason Whitlock, FoxSports.com
GH: Looks like Shaun Smith’s new nickname is catching on.

“The Chiefs might have the easiest schedule in the history of the league. They’re the Boise State of professional football. The Chiefs can’t win important games with Cassel at quarterback.”
Jason Whitlock, FoxSports.com
GH: This is another comment that I’m pretty sure upset the caller to Kietzman’s show. I can’t find much wrong with it but some fans are a bit testy when their team gets publicly panned. Kietzman had some words of advice for those who are bothered by Whitlock’s words. Read on.

“It’s time to walk away from (Jason Whitlock). This guy will stop at nothing. He just doesn’t care. He’s pretty much been fired from every job he’s had and somehow keeps getting hired.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: KK is less than accurate (not a huge surprise) when he says Whitlock has “pretty much been fired from every job he’s had.” Whitlock left WHB, The Star and his radio gig at 610 Sports in volatile fashion but all of these exits were on his own accord. Pork Chop has more lives than Halloween’s Michael Myers. It’s a damn good trick and a treat if you can continue to pull it off. So far, Whitlock has not fallen backward from one of his job departures. It would be hard to argue that his FoxSports “website” gig is a step down from The Star when his column frequently pops up on the home page of millions of PC users.

“The people at Fox apparently aren’t smart enough to know this, but he will eventually torch them. It’s just unbelievable. I guess there are some people somewhere who still believe Whitlock when he says things.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Have to agree with KK here. Whitlock is a very consistent king of guy when it comes to relationships. His departure from FoxSports will one day be viewed in the form of a mushroom cloud. BTW; anyone else find it ironic that KK is surprised people “still believe Whitlock when he says things?”

“Here’s Jason Whitlock – he’s great and everyone he’s ever dealt with sucks! They’re all wrong and they’re all immoral and they’re all terrible people. Everybody’s awful! I don’t have enough time in my life to deal with somebody who views the world through that prism.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Well, Jason did work primarily in the newspaper and radio biz.

“I’m sure that Whitlock would tell you that I’m the scum of the earth. And I’m the worst person in the world and I’m the reason he doesn’t work here. I’m too grown up for that anymore.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Except for the part about KK now being “too grown up,” this statement is pretty accurate.

“With his self-aggrandizing, narcissistic one-hour TV exit – The Decision – LeBron James ruined his public image… LeBron’s exit was disgraceful. It pissed people off. It painted LeBron as an uncaring boob.”
Jason Whitlock, FoxSports.com
GH: In the above quote, replace “The Decision” with “The Explanation” and “LeBron James” with “Jason Whitlock” then sit back and smile.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


KU does not look road-ready

Posted 9-30-10

“Playing in the Big 12, you take care of the North and that’s the opportunity you have. We don’t believe in selling ourselves short. That’s not the plan that coach (Turner) Gill has laid before us. We believe in striving for excellence. … I think we have an identity, surely as a defense we have an identity. I love the fact that I can run up to a pile and our linebackers have already made the play. That’s awesome. That’s awesome.”
Olaitan Oguntodu, KU’s senior safety, when asked about Kansas’ chances of winning the Big 12 North, Lawrence Journal World
GH: Kansas has a chance to restart the Turner Gill era with their first Big 12 game on Saturday. Waco is not all that unfriendly of a road trip. But KU does not look road worthy to me.

“What about Kansas? Just go down there (to Waco) and win one! They never have but there’s no reason they can’t!”
Jack Harry, 810 AM
GH: With expert analysis like this, why would you need to listen anywhere else?

“What other team in this league would (Carson Coffman) start for?”
Kevin Kietzman, on the much-maligned KSU quarterback, 810 AM

“(Kansas State) is 4-0, so how can you sit there and say they don’t have a quarterback?”
Jack Harry, 810 AM

“I was the guy who said mark it down, that Kansas State was going to beat Nebraska. I was kind of going on what Stan Weber told me that (Kansas State) was going to be better at quarterback than they were last year. I don’t think Kansas State is better at quarterback than they were last year. That’s changed my position. So I’ve kind of gone back on that thinking now.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Nebraska looks like a three-touchdown favorite to me. Sure, it’s on a Thursday night in Manhattan and both teams are undefeated but there is a large gap between these two programs that will not get filled in before October 7th.

“If Texas wins this (Oklahoma) game you can officially say that the South is over.”
Al Eschbach, sports talk host at The Animal in OKC, declaring Texas the winner of the B12 South if they can beat OU in Dallas, 810 AM
GH: After watching UCLA destroy Texas in Austin, maybe now we know why the Horns rejected that bid to go to the Pac 10.

“Okay fellas, I know next week we’re going to be talking about the ‘Fifth-down’ game. So I’m getting ready. I’ll explain everything to you.”
Gary Barnett, Mizzou grad and the Colorado coach during the infamous fifth-down game in Columbia in 1990, 810 AM
GH: I will not miss Barnett’s segment with The Border Patrol next Thursday morning. Let’s hope Barnett lets down his coaching guard and goes into great detail about one of the greatest gridiron travesties in the history of Mizzou football. Do you recall where you were when the fifth down was granted?

“I’m going to wait and expose that next week.”
Gary Barnett, when asked by Steven St. John who he roots for when Mizzou and Colorado play, 810 AM

“Hey everyone in Austin, tx.......kill yourself”
Jaz Reynolds, Oklahoma receiver, after the shooting incident on the Texas campus, Twitter
GH: Coach Bob Stoops immediately suspended Reynolds after his tweet was brought to his attention. Some people need college more than others.

“I think Iowa is the second toughest place in the Big 10 to play. I think Iowa is going to win this (Penn State) game, maybe handily.”
Gary Barnett, 810 AM
GH: I have been to games at Iowa and Iowa State and Ames seemed more foreboding from a fan’s standpoint. Wonder what stadium Barnett thinks is the B10’s toughest? Got to be OSU or UM, right? Which one gets slighted?

“There are lots of changes ahead. I'll give you one prediction and this is just a personal prediction, but I think Notre Dame is going to come to the Big Ten. The Big 12 loses Colorado (to the Pac-10) and Nebraska, so you know something is going to happen there. I think we're entering a new era of expansion. What we saw last year, I just think (expansion) is not over.”
Lloyd Carr, former Michigan head coach, this week according to The Montgomery Advisor

“I’m making a lot of changes in my life. I’m moving away from people I used to kick it with all the time and just getting my mind right. You only get one shot at this, and I know I messed up pretty bad.”
Brandon Rush, after Rush was received a five-game suspension from the NBA for testing positive for marijuana use for a third time, Indianapolis Star
GH: Three times? No way this is the final word on this issue. Number four is coming and Brandon will soon be kicking it with JaRon.


Empty seats in the club level

Posted 9-30-10

“You almost become giddy (over the Chiefs’ 3-0 start). And I know we’re not supposed to be that way. We’re supposed to be reporters and everything.”
Jack Harry, 810 AM
GH: I don’t think anyone is confusing Mad Jack with Woodward and Bernstein. Go ahead and get giddy, Jack. Do the local media types have to remain non-fans to be objective about the local teams? I have long thought this is dinosaur J-School thinking. Why would I care what non-fans have to say or write about my teams?

“Me and my family have always made that commitment.”
Soren Petro, on his family purchasing Chiefs’ season tickets in the exclusive Club Level, 810 AM
GH: Petro has never pretended to be anything but a huge Royals, Chiefs and Kansas City sports fan. He was educated at Syracuse, one of the most prestigious sports journalism schools in the country. Is he objective when it comes to reporting on the teams he loves? I have always found Soren’s opinions to be more motivated by his paycheck and his connections (i.e. Carl Peterson) than his rooting interest.

“Yeah, you and about 5,000 other people. At least that’s what it looked like.”
Tim Grunhard, after Petro mentioned he sat in the Club Level section on Sunday, 810 AM

“The seats in the Club Level are just too expensive.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM

“I was disappointed in the (Chiefs’) crowd.”
Steven St. John, on the many vacant seats at Sunday’s Chiefs’ game against the Niners, 810 AM

“If the Chiefs keep winning and they stay in contention later in the season, that place will be a zoo out there.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: This is no longer 1997. While I agree that the interest in the Chiefs this season is surging, I am not convinced that this city will return in a flood to Arrowhead. There are just too many Chiefs fans still reeling from the current state of our economy. Extravagant ticket prices like the Chiefs Club Level have seen their target market shrink dramatically.

“There are always going to be empty seats in the Club Level because the lounges are great and a lot of people just like to hang out in the lounge.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: So the reason we are seeing so many empty seats at Arrowhead is not because of the steep Club-Level prices but rather it is because so many wealthy Chiefs fans are downing $12 cocktails inside the lounge. Petro can be quite the tool at times.

“You’re kidding me! Are you telling me that the other radio station, the one that has a radio contract with the Chiefs, is defending the cost of Chiefs’ tickets? That is shocking!”
Nick Wright, in his best sarcastic voice, after a caller informed him that some hosts on 810 said the Chiefs’ tickets were not expensive when compared to other NFL teams, 610 AM
GH: Wright, who is also a Syracuse grad, continues to have an ongoing feud with Petro. Read on for an update.

“I’ve been upgraded in that man’s eyes from two-faced bleep-sucker to jackass. I’ll take it.”
Nick Wright, on his latest encounter with Petro, 610 AM
GH: I like that there is some real angst between the two radio personalities from competing stations. Too often in this town everyone in the media are golfing buddies who view each other as frat brothers instead of competitors. A little nut grabbing between the local radio and TV stations would be a welcome change.

“The Genital Giant.”
Nickname for Shaun Smith via Kent Babb’s retweet
GH: Kent Babb retweeted this nickname for Shaun Smith from a list read on the Dan Patrick Show. This one is my favorite from the bevy of names being attributed to the sack snatcher.

“That guy’s a nasty, mean football player. He’s the type of guy I would like to have on my football team.”
Tim Grunhard, on Shaun Smith, 810 AM

“Shaun Smith has been accused of some nonsense but you know what? I don’t believe it. I’ve seen no proof and I’m on Shaun Smith’s side.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: Justin Kendall of The Pitch has posted the evidence here.

“I’ve never had it happen. I don’t think it happens as much as people think it does. It’s just never happened to me.”
Andy Studebaker, Chiefs’ linebacker, 810 AM
GH: Football players are not in the business of grabbing a man’s crotch and squeezing. I have managed to go 55 years without handling a man’s junk or vice versa. I agree with Studebaker that SS is an anomaly in the NFL and on the gridiron.

“There are things that don’t belong out on the field and I can honestly say that that does not belong out on the field.”
Bill Romanowski, former Bronco LB, in an interview with Shan Shariff, 610 AM
GH: Romo has been a semi-regular guest on 1510 with Paydirt and the Three Guys in a Garage team. Shariff got him on his Tuesday show to talk about the Genital Giant. Romo’s slurred and sloppy voice sounded like Shaun had a handful of his nuts and was twisting the night away.

“Again, I know nothing about this. … It appears there’s an accusation of some sort. ”
Todd Haley, when asked about the Genital Giant, 810 AM
GH: Maybe we should start calling Haley by his Hogan Heroes name – Sergeant Schultz.

“I had a feeling that if we would have asked (Haley) one more question he would have said, ‘Now who is this Shaun Smith you’re talking about? Does he play for my team?’ ”
Jason Anderson, 810 AM
GH: Haley seems to have a difficult time being real with the media. He comes off as paranoid, insecure and at times just plain dumb. His me-know-nothing routine is wearing thin with the media – even the Chiefs-friendly media. Read on.

“(Haley) could be a lot more honest more of the time and it would make it a lot easier on him and the organization. Why not just go the honest route?”
Mark Carman, 610 AM

“We have heard from many of you (listeners) who said Soren and I came off as whiny and that we were complaining about the way the Chiefs handled Charlie Weis’ health issue. Charlie doesn’t care. Are you kidding me? Pfffft! He’s a public figure. This is just a silly game that (the Chiefs) play.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM

“I like Todd Haley. He doesn’t like me anymore and to be perfectly honest it makes me sad.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Wright said he was unsure of why his relationship with Haley soured but he believes it has something to do with his Drury Inn questioning and Haley’s refusal to acknowledge that some rookie players were being forced to stay at the St. Joseph hotel during camp.

“(Haley) has dealt with that senile jackass Jack Harry saying he flipped a fan off. … He’s dealt with a lot.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: I have long thought Wright’s attempts to befriend athletes and coaches is a professional mistake. He comes off as a jock-sniffing wannabe, whether he is or not. If Wright needs more friends, hook up with Fescoe on Facebook.

“Do the Royals know we do a show here from 2 to 6 that they’re interrupting?”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Wright’s show has been interrupted this week by his first extended vacation since he joined 610 Sports. He is scheduled to return to his afternoon drive-time slot on Tuesday, October 5th. Mark Carman and a series of guest hosts will fill in for Wright while he’s out.

“Hey if I’m Joe Torre, go to Kansas City and prove how good a manager you are. I’ve yet to see him manage a payroll that wasn’t in the triple figures.”
Bill Simmons, PTI, ESPN
GH: So is next year the year the Royals quit being the team every national pundit uses as their choice for MLB doormat? Read on.

“Next season is going to be even worse than this season. None of their young talent is going to be ready yet.”
Steven St. John, on the Royals, 810 AM
GH: Get ready for more Kiss Cam and Hot Dog races at The K in 2011 to make you forget David Glass owns the Royals.

“The Kansas City Royals mascot is a big crazy-faced Lion. This guy grabbed me from behind by the neck. He’s probably got a name like Louie the Lion. Louie the Twerp, that’s what I call him. Using all of my high school wrestling skills, I flipped the lion and I head-locked the lion on the mound. I heard all the air come out of him but he’s still kinda fighting so I grind the headlock. So I’m choking this guy out with this headlock and I’m looking down at this crazy lion face and through that little screen where his mouth is I hear, ‘Stop! You’re hurting me (in a very non-masculine voice).’ It’s a gay guy. Gay guy in the lion’s suit. I’m out there wrestling for my life in front of 14,000 people at Coors Field at a celebrity softball game with (a gay lion). That is a true story. The moral of this story is don’t judge a mascot by its crazy face.”
Jay Mohr, Jim Rome Show

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24

 


Boos at K-State go unmentioned

Posted 9-30-10

“Booooooo…”
Kansas State crowd after a Carson Coffman incompletion to start the second half against Central Florida, Wildcat Radio Network
GH: I am unlike many college fans – I see no problem in the home crowd booing their team for play that could be deemed far below average. But I did find it interesting that neither Stan Weber nor Wyatt Thompson mentioned anything about the very loud boos that rained down on the home team. I guess if a boo falls at Bill Snyder Family Stadium and no one mentions it, it never happened.

“There’s a little bit of chirping going on between the (K-State) secondary and the defensive line.”
Matt Walters, K-State sideline reporter, as the Cats’ defense was having problems stopping Central Florida early in the second half, Wildcat Radio Network
GH: Walters doesn’t play a big enough role in the Wildcat radio broadcasts. His honest takes on the action taking place only a few yards in front of him add much to the listener’s enjoyment of the game – even when it’s what you might not want to hear. Walters has more of Mizzou’s Chris Gervino in him than the placid KU sideline guy, Nate Bukaty. Let’s hope the Wildcat powers that be do not hold it against him for being good at his job.

“I think the biggest heart was shown by Bill Snyder, keeping his mind straight – but we’re accustomed to that. … This coaching staff had it totally under control.”
Stan Weber, after the Wildcats thrilling come-from-behind 17-13 win over CFU, Wildcat Radio Network
GH: Weber continues to frustrate me as far as his radio work for Kansas State. He is maybe the best Xs-and-Os football analyst in the area. He sees things no one else sees and he communicates it in a way that even my wife (well maybe not my wife) but most fans can understand. But he is stuck on stupid when it comes to objectively evaluating the game story of his Wildcats. The K-State coaching staff did not have this game “totally under control” and the Cats were in desperate peril of losing to CFU. To pretend otherwise is disingenuous and disrespectful to the quality of fans that follow Kansas State football.

“That (comeback win) perhaps exposed a little bit of character that’s in our program that is being developed.”
Bill Snyder, Wildcat Radio Network
GH: I listened to the K-State broadcast and was impressed by the Wildcats’ ability to remain undefeated. There was little statistical reason for them to do so. Character is as good a reason as any for this much-needed win.

“It was almost as if K-State was supposed to win this game for some crazy reason.”
Stan Weber, Wildcat Radio Network
GH: Maybe ESPN was the reason and their investment in the Nebraska at K-State game coming up October 7th.

“How far do we have to go? Further than we can see.”
Bill Snyder, in his postgame comments, Wildcat Radio Network
GH: Snyder isn’t trying to fool anyone. Kansas State is an average Big 12 team that just happens to be 4-0 – not unlike Nebraska. I was in Omaha over the weekend and watched the Huskers very unimpressive 17-3 win over South Dakota State. I can tell you this, there was no one I heard on the radio or TV in Nebraska telling their fan base that the Huskers and their coaches had this game totally under control. There is real concern in Big Red country that what they thought they saw in Washington was merely a rouge ruse.

“I think (the game) at K-State now is definitely Nebraska’s toughest game.”
Dennis Dodd, 810 AM
GH: Could this be true? After Texas’ pratfall at home against a moribund UCLA squad, could the Big 12 North title be up for grabs in Manhattan come October 7th? Doesn’t Missouri have anything to say about this or did their great escape against SDSU render their title hopes mute? Far, far too much football to be played to think anything will be decided in early October. It will be delicious drama to digest.  It is why I am saddened that this is the Huskers final dance through this great conference and their familiar backyards.

“If we’re just going week-to-week on this power poll, is Missouri the best team in the Big 12 this week?”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: No. And the Big 10 has not invited Mizzou to join this week, Kev.

“There’s no greatness in this (Big 12) league this year. I’m not sure there’s greatness anywhere.”
Todd Leabo, 810 AM
GH: There is greatness in the B12. There is Daniel Thomas. There is Oklahoma State’s offense. There is the Nebraska secondary. There is Ralphie the Buffalo. There are Mizzou’s Golden Girls. Greatness is al around us. Sometimes in college football it just takes a week off. All the more reason to blow up the BCS and institute a 16-team playoff.

“I think there is tremendous pressure on Oklahoma in this (Texas) game. They’ve lost four out of five (to Texas) and Texas is down. Oklahoma’s got to win this game.”
Dennis Dodd, 810 AM

“If Texas does win this game (against Oklahoma), the Big 12 might be out of the national championship race.”
Dennis Dodd, 810 AM
GH: Again, all the more reason for a playoff. It is ridiculous that we would eliminate schools from a national title after one loss. To all those dinks who talk about the lack of a college football playoff making every game important, tell that to any team that loses in September or October.

“I think it’s a dangerous game for KU and a valuable game if they can win it.”
Dennis Dodd, on the Jayhawks game this Saturday at Baylor, 810 AM
GH: Can Turner and his Jayhawks go on the road and not remind us of their trip to Southern Miss? Call me from Waco and let me…oh wait, you won’t have your cell phone.

“19,307”
Attendance at Kauffman Stadium on Monday night to watch Kyle Davies take on the Twins
GH: A tip of the cap to the baseball fans in Kansas City who continue to support this franchise despite all the woes we all know and have known for far too long. Compare that to the 10,000 fans in attendance in Tampa last night to watch the Rays clinch. David Glass, you have been blessed. Time to return the favor, big man.

*******

Anyone who has read my Off the Couch column over the years knows that my bride of 26 years is not the most ardent of sports fans. Her ambivalence toward the games I follow has provided me with some priceless material over the years. The time she confused Don Drysdale with “that banker from The Beverly Hillbillies” comes to mind.
She once again delivered a jewel last Friday night while I was watching the TCU/SMU game on ESPN. (Yes, another wild Friday night at the Hall house filled with romance, intrigue and nachos.) I am watching the halftime show featuring Lou Holtz and Mark May when my wife strolls through the family room area on her way to the kitchen. She pauses to view the TV screen and stops dead in tracks. She points in horror at Lou Holtz and says, "Is that Jimmy Johnson after he was on Survivor?”

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

Shaun Smith playing like a junkyard dog

Posted 9-27-10

“I think the world of this guy. I tell you – he is special. … “Last year (Haley) was a ninja with just maybe nunchucks. This year he’s got all kinds of weapons.”
Bill Maas, on Chiefs’ head coach Todd Haley, 610 AM
GH: Maas credits Haley with the upgrade in creativity in the offensive play calling against San Francisco. According to Maas, Haley usurped some of play calling from Charlie Weis and the result was much more misdirection and excitement in the Chiefs’ offense.

“Charlie Weis has got to find a way to use these weapons.”
Paydirt, after the Chiefs’ narrow victory in Cleveland, 1510 AM
GH: Looks like Haley may have forced Charlie’s hand in this decision. Haley needs to win this season – not next – if he wants to continue to be a head coach in the NFL. He knows another four-win season would put him back on the golf course full time.

“Todd Haley may be the MVP of the game today. Everything he is doing has the Midas touch. It just seems like Todd Haley’s feel right now is amazing and perfect.”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM

“I want to say this from the bottom of my heart because I have been highly critical of the coaches at times. This one belongs to the coaching staff. I could not believe it – the guy was a riverboat gambler!”
Jack Harry, 810 AM
GH: Haley has never been more popular in Kansas City than he is today and will be for the next two weeks. Enjoy the love, Todd. I am liking your clean-shaven look and nasty-looking offense.

“That was beautiful football in all phases.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: Haley has warned us that we needed to get used to “ugly football.” Could Todd be a tease?

“The Chiefs are going to get so much love sitting there at 3-0 that it’s going to be a funfest. Now they’re going to be selling a lot of tickets to seats that were going to be empty. When you’re 3-0 it’s hard to fall out of playoff contention.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: Surprisingly, the Chiefs have not garnered the attention of the national media as of yet. But I would suspect that the bye week will buy them some air time the next two weeks with their undefeated record.

“I’m sorry Chiefs fans, but even at 3-0 you’re not going to the playoffs.”
Rodney Harrison, NFL analyst, NBC
GH: Some Chiefs’ fans will bristle at Harrison’s words. But what has this franchise done the past 15 years for the national media to think anything different and that this is all BBQ smoke?

“Who the hell cares what they think at the national level? The national (media) doesn’t know what the hell they’re talking about! ESPN and the national guys, they don’t get it quite yet what we’re seeing here in Kansas City. This is winning football.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Fescoe reminds me of an even crazier, less-stable Jack Harry. Maybe we should nickname him Harry Bob. Not everyone locally is convinced. Read on.

“I would caution all of us to not overrate the fact that they thumped the Niners.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM

“We shouldn’t get completely full of ourselves and think this is going to continue. There’s going to be some rough patches.”
Kevin Harlan, 810 AM
GH: Some will go overboard but what’s the harm? Chiefs’ fans have a two-week window to get out-of-their-gourd goofy over their formerly bottom-dwelling team. For those of you stuck in reality, read on.

“That was the most unimpressive three-touchdown performance that I have ever seen from a quarterback.”
Shan Shariff, on Matt Cassel’s performance, 610 AM

“I didn’t see anything today that would convince me that Matt Cassel is any better than he’s been. I still think they are creating an offense that makes anything the quarterback does a surprise or a bonus. I don’t think he’s a great quarterback. I don’t think he’s ever going to be a great quarterback. But I think we saw today that you can play great football with him in there.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: His stats from the game look not only good but impressive. But the reality is that he is very shaky as an NFL starter. Let’s hope the Niners and Cleveland make the playoffs as well.

“Did I see what I thought I just seen? What a catch! Oh my goodness! You have to see it to believe it!”
Len Dawson, after the Chiefs’ tight end Tony Moeaki’s one-hand touchdown grab in the back of the end zone, Chiefs Radio Network

“It was superhuman.”
Shan Shariff, on Moeaki’s catch, 610 AM
GH: I have had more people ask me about Moeaki’s one-hand snag than anything else from the Niners’ game. Is this kid from Iowa by way of Hawaii the next Tony G? He looks very, very good. He is so good he makes Cassel look good. And that ain’t easy.

“It’s been awhile since this stadium has felt like this. This is different than (the win over) San Diego.”
Mitch Holthus, Chiefs Radio Network
GH: Nothing will help this struggling franchise like wins. As a matter of fact, it is the only thing that will get people to part with their money to once again return to Arrowhead. Read on.

“Your Kansas City Chiefs are undefeated at 3-0 and atop the AFC West by 2 games! Arrowhead was rockin’ yesterday in the trouncing of the 49ers 31-10. This is your chance to be first in line to join us in 2011. We are currently taking deposits for the 2011 season and they are only $100 per seat! A benefit of joining us now is that you can take part in our EZ payment plan where you can make 5 equal payments over 5 months that do not start until February 2011.”
Chiefs email, sent out the Monday after the Chiefs’ win over the Niners

“If they continue this kind of play, I’m going to be a Chiefs’ season ticket holder for the first time next year.”
Caller Matt, following the Chiefs 31-10 win, 610 AM

“You gotta stay in the pocket even when you don’t want to. Like Cougar in Top Gun; you gotta stay in the cockpit and land the plane even when you don’t want to.”
Mitch Holthus, on SF’s Alex Smith’s tendency to wander from his pass protection, Chiefs Radio Network
GH: I would love to get a glimpse of what is going on inside Mitch’s head. Instead of a right brain and a left brain, I think Mitch has but one mass of gray matter fused together by maple syrup and caffeine.

“I hope you keep winning because you’ve got a beautiful smile and beautiful teeth.”
Len Dawson, who does postgame Chiefs’ player interviews, to Dexter McCluster, Chiefs Radio Network
GH: Isn’t it time to send Leonard down Bill Grigsby Lane?

“Three games into a season characterized by an ineffective offense, the 49ers have fired offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye, according to a report on NFL.com. Raye has overseen the 49ers' unpredictable offense, one that was supposed to be hitting its stride this season, but instead has stumbled in embarrassing fashion.”
The SF Chronicle Sports Desk
GH: Does this mean the Chiefs have fired Jimmy Raye twice?

“(Anthony) Davis accused Chiefs defensive tackle Shaun Smith of ‘trying to feel’ Davis' genitalia throughout Sunday's 31-10 loss to the Chiefs. Davis finally retaliated early in the third quarter by punching Smith in the side. Davis was flagged 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct. ‘He kept doing it,’ Davis said, gesturing his fingers to show how Smith touched him during blocks. ‘That hasn't happened to me since high school.’ ”
David White, writer, SFGate.com
GH: This is the second consecutive game where Shaun Smith has been accused by the opposition of grabbing their sack and attempting to empty it. Read on.

“Shaun Smith is doing something out there to get under the skin of the opposition.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: And under the “taint” of the opposition.

“Well, this guy’s (Smith) has been accused now two straight games. I guess where there’s smoke there’s fire.”
Kevin Harlan, on Smith, 810 AM
GH: Coming to a theater near you this fall and holiday season, the Chiefs’ Shaun Smith starring in The Nutcracker.

‘There’s just too much going on that you can’t specifically watch one guy grabbing some other guy’s junk in the pile. There’s just too much going on.”
Jayice Pearson, former Chiefs’ DB, 610 AM
GH: Do we really want NFL officials who are looking at guys who are grabbing each other’s junk?

 “I’m a sparkplug and I’m going to keep using my sparkpluggedness to get after them.”
Shaun Smith, when asked after the game about his play, 810 AM
GH: Some would call it a fetish but “sparkpluggedness” will do, I guess.

“I don’t think it’s illegal to do what (Smith) was doing. It’s unmanly… I’m telling you, when you’re down in that pile there is stuff going on that in your worst nightmare you don’t want to think about.”
Kevin Harlan, on Smith, 810 AM
GH: It is definitely illegal to grab another player by the balls. Is Harlan getting this game confused with soccer?

“To me it just belies all this stuff he talks about Tyson Jackson – ‘Well, he plays a position that you’re not going to see that much. He’s just a plugger.’”
Danny Clinkscale, on the high-profile play of Shaun Smith, 810 AM
GH: Despite Smith’s fondness for Guy’s Nuts (or possibly because of it), he appears to be doing a damn good job of playing defensive line for the Chiefs. Not bad for a journeyman who is filling in for our franchise defensive bust, uh, er, player.

“Arrowwood and Matt Hasselbeck.”
Two flubs by the TV broadcasters working the Niners/Chiefs game
GH: “Arrowwood” is a bit tough to defend but working in a live medium like TV can result in errors. I heard Nate Bukaty call the Jets QB “Matt” Sanchez on Monday morning. I type the wrong word or name far more often than I should. It’s not until the professional broadcaster or writer goes Neilbonics on us that they need to be spanked.

“That was an aggressive mistake. At least when (Eric Berry) makes a mistake it’s an aggressive mistake.”
Soren Petro, on Berry being called for off sides which negated the Chiefs’ onside kick recovery, 810 AM
GH: Petro talked like having your safety commit aggressive mistakes is acceptable. It is not. Again, your safety needs to play with more head than testosterone. Aggressive mistakes by your safety means touchdowns and losses.

“ESPN says the score was 31-10 – did the 49ers score a touchdown at the end of the game that I didn’t notice?”
Danny Clinkscale, well over an hour after the game ended, 810 AM

“Jack, we got some ‘splaining to do.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: To Clink’s credit, he manned up and took the fall (as he should have) for not knowing the correct final score until about 4:15 PM on Sunday.

“I look forward to listening to the radio all week to hear what bad things you have to pick on about this game and the fact that we’re 3-0.”
Caller to 810 Chiefs’ postgame show
GH: As do I, but for far different reasons. Enjoy the bye week and check back for a future  OTC on how to protect your quarterback and your balls from Shaun Smith.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

LaCanfora: Chiefs will be running into a buzz saw

Posted 9-24-10

“I think (the Chiefs) are running into a buzz saw (in the 49ers). That’s a pretty hungry team. Their first win of the season must come now and I think they’ll go get it. If I was in an NFL survivor pool, I would pick San Francisco. I think this game is going to be a recalibration of reality for the Chiefs.”
Jason LaCanfora, of the NFL Network, 610 AM
GH: The positive vibes for the Chiefs’ home game this Sunday seem to be all leaning toward San Francisco. Read on.

“I think the Chiefs have got their hands full (against SF) at Arrowhead Sunday afternoon.”
Kevin Harlan, 810 AM

“San Francisco will beat the Kansas City Chiefs. I guess the way I say it comes across as a guarantee. I strongly believe the 49ers will beat the Chiefs. Number one, San Francisco is just a better team.”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM

“I heard (Todd) Haley say that we’re 2-0 because we we’re better than the other two teams. No, you weren’t better than the other two teams.”
Jack Harry, 810 AM

“All the negativity we’ve heard the last few weeks has me smiling a little bit.”
Nate Bukaty, after the Chiefs’ 2-0 start, 810 AM

“As quickly as they’ve started, the Chiefs will come crashing back to earth Oct. 10 and 17 in road games against Indianapolis and Houston. But all is not lost for Todd Haley’s squad. A favorable schedule and strong coaching staff should keep the Chiefs in the playoff hunt for a while.”
Alex Marvez, NFL writer, FoxSports.com
GH: Marvez listed the Chiefs as one of his “fake” 2-0 NFL teams along with the Bears, Dolphins and Bucs. BTW; word is Marvez doesn’t make $2 mill as an online columnist at FoxSports either.

“If you stop (Gore) you’ll stop that offense. This week on the road San Francisco wants to run it. They don’t want to get into a passing (contest). Thye’ve got communication problems with the noise at Arrowhead. Believe me, #21 will be their whole game plan.
Richard Baldinger, Metro Sports
GH: Not everyone thinks this is a loss for the Chiefs. But stopping Frank Gore might be more difficult that shutting Al Gore up.

“I really like Kansas City. They may be the surprise team this year.”
Darren Woodsen, NFL analyst, ESPN
GH: If the Chiefs knock off the Niners and head to their bye week 3-0, the Chiefs will be on everyone’s lips as one of the surprise teams in the NFL. Anybody think tey might need Jamaal Charles to get that job done?

“Just like everybody predicted, Bucs, Chiefs, Bears – starting out 2-0 after a winless preseason. That’s why they play the games.”
Chris Berman, ESPN

“My wife asked me what the plane ride home (from Cleveland) was like and I said there was excitement, there’s a real buzz but everybody is keeping their feet on the ground.”
Mitch Holthus, while hosting the Chiefs Kingdom show, 810 AM

“Nobody is getting complacent (on the Chiefs). You can go from a hero to a zero in no time.”
Derrick Johnson, 810 AM

“We’re 2-0 and the only thing I’m hearing from anybody is that they are trying to pick apart (the Chiefs). We’re trying to make something out of nothing, like the Thomas Jones/Jamaal Charles thing.”
Caller, 610 AM

“I think (Haley) is doomed in the long term as a coach in the National Football League if he doesn’t quick jacking with players.”
Kevin Kietzman, on the continued controversy concerning Jamaal Charles touches, 810 AM
GH: KK appears to have dropped his Chiefs’ cheerleader outfit and it makes his show a much better listen.

“How do you keep this guy (Charles) on the bench? There is no justification! It is an asinine decision!”
Jack Harry, 810 AM

“Are you on Team Thomas or Team Jamaal?”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: Love this Twilight reference by SSJ. Thomas is the werewolf and Jamaal is the vampire in my book. Haley is the author of this story and we are eager to read the bloody conclusion.

“The people who are calling for Brodie Croyle to play now are the ones who said Brodie Croyle sucked. Now that he hasn’t played for awhile, the narrative has become, ‘Great quarterback, he just can’t stay healthy.’ ”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Who in the hell is calling for Brodie Croyle? Alabama wouldn’t take him back tomorrow against Arkansas if they could.

“I can make you a case that the quarterback is more important than the coach. It’s the quarterback who is really, really, really important. A lot of how this (Chiefs) season goes depends on Matt Cassel.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: I think it’s the quarterback who makes the coach a legend. See John Elway/The Rat, Joe Montana/The Genius, Terry Bradshaw/Chuck Noll – uh, okay, that last one might be a bit more Steel Curtain than Bradshaw.

“Matt Cassel is hurting this team in two ways. One, because of miserable quarterback play. And two, because he’s lost the respect of the huddle.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM

“Listen, it’s all the same jackasses complaining about Matt Cassel now that were throwing a parade for him when he came to town.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM

“I don’t really see Matt Cassel playing with swagger yet. He seems a little hesitant with the pass and trusting where his wide receivers are going to be.”
Will Shields, 810 AM
GH: Not sure if Shields is one of the parade jackasses Petro was referring to or not.

“I believe in Matt Cassel. You can throw tomatoes and fruit at me while I’m standing here but I believe in Matt Cassel.”
Mitch Holthus, 710 AM

“Last year was a tough time for me not starting. But in life, you’ve got to look at things in optimistic ways. This year in camp it really clicked for me. This year I bought into the 3-4 system and I really love it. It’s been a big part of my success, too.”
Derrick Johnson, 810 AM
GH: I have always been impressed with DJ’s interviews. He is a passionate guy who appears to be very loyal to his coaches and teammates. He also has a lot of pride and his play so far this season has been of Pro-Bowl quality. I am rooting for this Texan to become a future member of the Chiefs Hall of Honor.

“Was it worth it for Dexter McCluster to embarrass himself? We’ll tell you what we mean (when we come back).”
Bob Fescoe, as he headed to a commercial break, 610 AM
GH: This is why athletes and their organizations hate the media. Fescoe teased this before a commercial break and I’m sure a good many of his listeners wondered what legal problems or situation had befallen McCluster. Turns out Fescoe was referring to a Public Service Announcement that Dexter recorded in his home state of Mississippi on the perils of texting while driving. Fescoe found it embarrassing because the spot was done to a rap theme with Dexter rapping the message. The only embarrassment I found was on Fescoe. 

“I don’t think (Shawnee Mission East) has ever gone 4-0. I know they didn’t in my era and I don’t think they did in your era. A month ago the line on this (SME/Olathe North) game was 24.5. But the money coming in likes Shawnee Mission East. The line has moved to Olathe North giving 17.5.”
Pete Enich, discussing with Soren Petro tonight’s battle between SME and Olathe North, 810 AM
GH: This so reminded me of 1994 and the old, old Pete Enich Show on KCTE. Petro behind the glass and Enich setting the betting line for every big high school football game each Friday. All that was missing was the Fabulous Sports Babe in the on-deck circle.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Is Missouri just an average football team?

Posted 9-24-10

“Maybe this is just what Missouri is. Maybe Missouri is just an average football team. I think you’re finally going to get that answer this Saturday (against Miami of Ohio).”
Gabe DeArmond, 810 AM
GH: Missouri has me perplexed. I expected much more than what I’ve seen from Blaine Gabbert and his offense. At this time, Mizzou looks like they will be very vulnerable on the road – and that includes Lubbock and Ames.

“I still think at the end of the year (Blaine Gabbert) will have the option to go pro. I think you guys will agree with me, he’s still done more than Josh Freeman ever did in college and Josh Freeman’s having a nice pro career.”
Gabe DeArmond, 810 AM
GH: In a shocking move (even to myself), I dropped Dexter McCluster from my fantasy football team this week and added Josh Freeman as my backup QB. Go Grandview!

“Upset of the week: Notre Dame over Stanford”
Blair Kerkhoff, Kansas City Star
GH: Way to get out there on that steel-enforced limb, Blair. Notre Dame playing at home against Stanford would not be an “upset.” Last week Kerkhoff highlighted the Notre Dame/Michigan State game in his “upset special.” These are NOT upsets. Get bold, BK! (BTW; why isn’t Burger King sponsoring BK’s college picks page?) Here’s an upset special for you to chew on; Central Florida over Kansas State in Manhattan. The Cats’ many weaknesses have been masked by the inferior quality of their first three opponents. Central Florida will expose their one-dimensional offense and pondering defense. CFU 27 KSU 17.

“I still think this will be anywhere from a six-win (K-State) team to a nine-win team. We’ll find out a lot more about this team when Nebraska comes to town and K-State gets out on the road.”
Austin Meek, columnist for the Topeka Capital Journal, 810 AM
GH: K-State is off to a nice start. They aren’t great but they are managing to win the games they should/can win. That is not as easy as it sounds in college football – even at home (right Kansas?). I do think the Cats will have their paws full with Central Florida this Saturday morning. But a 4-0 K-State team will be very excited to host those Huskers come October 7th.

“I think Ron Prince was the first one to recruit Daniel Thomas.”
Tom Keegan, columnist for Lawrence Journal World, 810 AM
GH: That move right there is worth the extra $3 million Prince and his lawyers are asking for, isn’t it?

“KU coach Turner Gill has enforced a no-cell-phone policy on his players. The Jayhawks are to hand over their cell phones before they clock in the day before a game, and they’ll get them back in the locker room after the game.”
J. Brady McCollough, KU beat writer, Kansas City Star
GH: What century is Turner Gill from? Did he arrive from Buffalo via a worm hole? TG needs to worry more about getting his punter some protection and less about his players texting their main squeeze on game day.

“I would rather lose my wallet than lose my cell phone. You couldn’t take my cell phone away from me for a day and a half. Impossible! I read that and I thought, ‘This is lunacy!’ You couldn’t rip my cell phone from me!”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Wright’s not much older than the college kids who Gill coaches. 20-something-year-olds communicate via their phones. Gill thinks we need to talk more face-to-face. Nice thought. Terrible execution. Kinda like Gill’s football team.

“I think it’s a good policy because now these kids get to know what it’s like to be me because I lose my phone every day for four or five hours. I think it’s a great move.”
Tom Keegan, 810 AM
GH: Not that KU is going to be battling OU or Texas for any recruits but Gill just lost out on any chance he had of beating out NDSU and Morningside for that fringe wide receiver in Brookings.

“I said before the season Kansas will win four games and I said after the win over Georgia Tech that I think Kansas will win four games. I think one of Kansas’ four wins will be against Kansas State. That’s going to be a Thursday night and that stadium is going to be jacked. Half the fans will be lit before they even get into the stadium. That’s my upset special for you.”
Tom Keegan, 810 AM
GH: I think half the stadium will be wearing purple and the other half will be wondering if they’ll introduce the basketball team at halftime.

“(One of the MU coaches) reminded me after the game that I wanted to start (T.J. Moe) at safety instead of wide receiver. Guilty as charged.”
Gary Pinkel, on his early evaluation of his sophomore wide receiver/hero, 810 AM

“I don’t really worry about it because I can’t do anything about it. I see some of the other games that are on and I just shake my head. When you keep winning you’ll be on TV plenty.”
Gary Pinkel, when asked by Bob Fescoe how much not being on TV this Saturday hurts his program, 610 AM

GH: Anyone else think one of Pinkel’s head shakers is that New Mexico State at Kansas thriller slated for Fox College Sports Central?

“I understand there are a lot of people who like listening to games on the radio but we’ve got an entire generation of people now under the age of 40 who have never listened to games on the radio. They just like watching them on TV. It’s a totally different dynamic now.”
Kevin Kietzman, after a caller complained that Mizzou’s pregame show in often not broadcast locally, 810 AM
GH: Mizzou’s game this Saturday will be broadcast on the diminutive signal of 1660 AM. The conflict with the Royals’ game screws with Mizzou’s radio broadcasts the first month of the season. It’s unfortunate but it’s the price we pay for having three major college local teams in the Kansas City market. It’s not perfect but it works well enough.

“I hope they never expand (the Big 12 beyond 10 teams). It will be the greatest basketball conference in the history of college basketball.”
Tom Keegan, on the departures of Colorado’s and Nebraska’s hoops programs from the B12, 810 AM

“This (new Big 12) is going to be the best RPI basketball league far and away. The Big East can smell my farts is how good this league’s going to be!”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Fescoe’s broadcasting profs at KU must be proud of his command of the spoken word and dexterity in front of a live mic.

“_AFFLE HOUSE”
Waffle House sign with some burned out letters
GH: I ate at one Waffle House in my life of travels but only at my kids’ insistence. They sat us at the counter immediately in front of where they guy scrapes off the dirty plates. I had a difficult time discerning what I was served from what the AFFLE guy was tossing in the trash.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Chiefs' squashing players' right to free speech

Posted 9-23-10

“I’ve talked to people who know Matt Cassel and they say he’s a great guy. He’s dull as dishwater when you interview him. … These guys are afraid. They’ve been made afraid.”
Danny Clinkscale, on the growing concern in the local media about Chiefs’ players who many believe have been warned and even threatened against saying anything of substance to the media, 810 AM
GH: Clinkscale mentioned this week that a Chiefs’ player he was interviewing almost melted down in front of his mic after Clink asked him about his play. “I can’t talk about myself,” Clinkscale reported the player saying in a very manic tone. I am more concerned with wins than player sound bites – but it is becoming a bit clearer that Scott Todd rule through intimidation. It has caught the attention of their radio partner, 810 WHB. Read on.

“The (Chiefs) players say nothing! They have done a beautiful job of coaching these guys to say nothing. This team has the least personality of any team I have ever seen. This team is dull with a capital D. Todd Haley is dull.”
Kevin Kietzman, after interviewing Ron Edwards live on his Thursday show and getting nothing more than player-speak, 810 AM
GH: Put yourself in KK’s size-8 Cole Haan shoes. His radio station cuts an expensive deal with the Chiefs to become their AM partner. This partnership doesn’t include the Chiefs’ game broadcasts or the network’s pre- and postgame shows. What do they get for their cash outlay? They get to incorrectly promote themselves as the “official” home of the Chiefs, first dibs on airing Chiefs’ pressers and they get to interview Mitch and a few players live on their shows. You have heard Mitch and the Chiefs’ players’ tepid interviews. They contain less digestable meat than an Arby’s five pack.

“They’re taking away their free speech as Americans. That’s what the Chiefs are doing… We have many employees here who are contacted by the media and we have no policy to gag any of them.”
Kevin Kietzman, responding to a caller who asked KK how he would like WHB employees making negative comments to an interviewer, 810 AM
GH: I was happy to hear things have changed inside the walls of Union Broadcasting since Pork Chop and I signed on. I specifically recall a company meeting where Chad Boeger, dressed in a sweaty backward ball cap, and KK addressed the employees and asked each to sign an agreement to not make any public comments about the station to anyone in the media. Yeah, I didn’t sign it.

“I wish so badly that I could be at that (Todd Haley) press conference. For some reason or another they moved those press conferences to 3:30 when they used to be at 12:30.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: I got the impression from Wright that he was insinuating the Chiefs moved the start time for Haley’s pressers to avoid him and his penetrating questions. Who now will get to the bottom of this Drury Inn scandal where rookies are being housed in a (gasp) hotel?

“I don’t know of anyone who can feel sorry for (Larry Johnson), not after the way he treated women in our town! He was a despicable person who had no respect for others! Everything that is happening to Larry Johnson, he deserves right now! How many chances did this guy get in this town? Too many! Too many! I’m sorry. It’s time to cut bait with that guy! Let him go.”
Jack Harry, TV 41
GH: Some of Mad Jack’s most entertaining moments on his sportscasts are when he gets off script, looks over at the news anchor’s shocked faces and stabs at the brakes but mistakenly hits the gas pedal even harder.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / Greghall24


 

Brett says Greinke needs to grow up

Posted 9-23-10

“I kind of came (into the season) with the approach to win games and a couple of months in, you kind of figure it really wasn't going to happen and a lot of stuff just kind of wears you out a little bit. Your mind, with how much focus you have to put in to doing something, and I was just a little burned out a little bit.”
Zack Greinke, in an interview with Dick Kaegel of MLB.com
GH: Baseball is a 162-game grind that for those players, coaches and fans of the Royals and always seems to be about three months too long. But does a guy who is getting paid $12 million a season get to lose focus and chuck it in two months into the season? George Brett doesn’t think so. Read on.

“Time to grow up. You can’t have that attitude. You gotta go out there every day regardless if it’s August, September, to go out there and give your best effort and to be motivated. … He’s got to grow up a little bit. He’s got to go out there and take the mound and compete like he’s having a great year and the Royals are having a great year every day he goes out there.”
George Brett, in an interview with Bob Fescoe, discussing Greinke’s comments to Dick Kaegel, 610 AM
GH: Greinke’s biggest fault is probably his honesty. It cannot be much fun for talented Royals’ players to trudge through the final months of the season knowing the losses will continue to pile up. Brett never faced that as a player. The Royals had one of the largest payrolls in MLB when Brett was in his prime. While I understand his words, I think Greinke is probably just being truthful about being stuck in Loserville. As much of a competitor as Brett was, he would have Johnny Damoned the Royals if he would have been born 20 years later.

“I want to be on a team that's trying to win. And that's my whole thing. That's my goal now -- to win, not to win the Cy Young or even [be in] All-Star Games or whatever. I just want to be on a team that's working towards winning right now. I don't want to just go through years where you're rebuilding. It's not something that gets me excited is all. So my whole point is my desire is to win games. … But my only motivation now is winning. I have no motivation to do any other stuff. When we're 20 games out, it's hard to get excited to come to the park.”
Zack Greinke, MLB.com
GH: Greinke is so gone after his contract runs out after the 2012 season. Trade him now and get some excellent prospects from the Dodgers or Cardinals. We do not want to see him at The K wearing a Red Sox or Yankee uni.

“I’m going to dominate next year. I can tell you that. Not that this year is over, but I’m going to dominate next year.”
Alex Gordon, Kansas City Star
GH: Let’s hope Alex is a better prognosticator than he has been at being a prospect.

“I’ve shown flashes… I just need to figure out how to be consistent and put it all together throughout the year.”
Alex Gordon, Kansas City Star
GH: Yeah, Alex. That’s called the difference between the guys playing in my softball league and the guys in your league. They don’t sell that magic potion at the corner CVS.

“Do I think he’s going to hit .300? Maybe not. But do think he’s got a chance to hit 20-25 homers and drive in 80-85 runs? Yeah. He’s got a chance to take some walks and be a productive hitter for us.”
Ned Yost, on Gordon, Kansas City Star
GH: I want more from A-God. Call me selfish but this guy has more talent than to be just a “productive hitter.”

“It’s going to be a lot of fun to be a Kansas City Royals fan in the future.”
Ned Yost, 610 AM
GH: Wasn’t that the marketing slogan for 2000 through 2010?

“No Royals tickets. I’m not giving away any Royals tickets. I’m mad at the Royals for cutting into my show today at five o’clock.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Wright had to vacate his show at 5:00 PM (during evening drive time) the first three days of this week to make way for the Royals/Tigers broadcasts. I don’t blame him for being pissed.

“As anyone listening knows, I at no point in time did imply or infer that Jamaal Charles getting berated and embarrassed on the sidelines could result in him killing himself.  During the show, I received a text message saying basically, "What does this guy have to complain about?  He's got a great job and a great life."  And it was in that context that I referenced what had happened in Denver.  I brought that up--and if you were listening you know this--purely in the context that despite having a great job, professional athletes are people just like you and me who have to deal with emotions and stresses of everyday life."
Nick Wright, in response to my OTC on his comments about Jamaal Charles
GH: Wright contacted me to express his dissatisfaction with the quotes I attributed to him about Jamaal Charles. While we continue to disagree with the issues he presented, I am happy to print his rebuttal.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Nebraska in title talk now

Posted 9-22-10

“How about Nebraska? All of a sudden Nebraska is looking all macho and physical and dominant. They are just manhandling people!”
Jim Rome, after Nebraska’s 56-21 win at Washington, Jim Rome Show
GH: All of a sudden is right. Nebraska spent most of the 2009 season in limbo wondering if they had a football team or simply Ndamukong Suh-perman. BB (Before Bo) the Cornhuskers looked like they were headed back to the 1950s. The B12 South schools looked too dominant in the recruiting game for any long-term optimism. But the Big 10 bailed the Huskers out of Big Texas hell and Pelini’s defensive wizardry along with a redshirt freshman quarterback has Nebraska being discussed in high places. Read on.

“Nebraska could go a long way. To beat this football team the opposition is going to have to have one heckuva day. They look like a legitimate big-time national championship contender.”
Mel Kiper, Jr., ESPN Radio
GH: Kiper had picked Washington’s QB, Jake Locker, as his number-one NFL draft pick for 2011. After the Blackshirts cleaned out Jake’s locker and left his resume in tatters, Kiper moved Locker to the JV side of the gym.

“I am concerned (about Locker). I don’t remember a number-one overall prospect at quarterback going 4-20 at home with two picks. I think he’s a great talent but I think he’s a work in progress.”
Mel Kiper, Jr., ESPN Radio
GH: The Oakland Raiders are on the clock…

“It may have already cost (Jake Locker) tens of millions of dollars. He may have been the third or fourth pick if he’d have come out last year.”
Matt Davison, Nebraska Radio color analyst, Husker Radio Network
GH: I don’t think Locker is as bad as he looked Saturday. Let’s hope not for his future kids’ sakes. What I like about Nebraska this season is their defensive backs. These guys can cover a laser pointer driven by a 10-year-old – and not even our cat can do that. Shut-down DBs free up a defense to cause a lot of havoc within an offense. This is where I think NU shines this season.

“I was totally impressed with Nebraska. I put their defense in a class with Texas, TCU and Alabama. Bo Pelini has got that defense where he wants it. The offense isn’t too bad either. I don’t know about a national championship because the kid (Taylor Martinez) had played only one road game but yeah, I think (Nebraska) is very, very good.”
Dennis Dodd, 810 AM
GH: Heady stuff from Dodd, who is not often heard promoting Nebraska’s prowess.

“I’m not going to say they’ll win a national championship or anything like that. But I think a ten-win season or something like that. I am very ecstatic about the way they are playing and the way Coach Pelini has them going.”
Will Shields, former Husker All-American, 810 AM

“Nebraska looked every bit the part of a top-10 football team here on the road in Washington today.”
Greg Sharpe, radio play-by-play voice for Nebraska football, Husker Radio Network
GH: I still think of Kansas State when I hear Greg Sharpe call a Nebraska game. He and Stan Weber formerly teamed up as one of my favorite college football duos on radio. Nebraska was lucky to get Sharpe after Jim Rose’s still mysterious and immediate mid-season departure in November of 2007.

“(Nebraska) still has to go out and beat top-10, top-15 and top-20 teams. It’s been a long time since we’ve done that. Yes, it’s an impressive win today and a big pat on the back to our staff. Now it’s time to take that next step.”
Matt Davison, Cornhusker Radio Network

GH: Davison makes the most sense in evaluating Nebraska’s present state of football. How good was Washington? They looked pretty Pac 10 preppy to me.

“This kid can fly! He looks like he was shot out of a cannon! This kid can play. Taylor Martinez is a football player!”
Mel Kiper, Jr., ESPN Radio
GH: Martinez is stunningly good for a first-year player. Unfortunately, he throws a football like Eric Crouch. The good news is he runs like him too. If he stays healthy (a big if in NU’s run-the-QB offense) Nebraska can compete for the conference title. Without Martinez the offense looks a lot like the 2009 team.

“I was wrong about this place. Press box is shaking. Extremely loud. This will be great preparation for bloodthirsty crowd at K-State. Chants of ‘Go Big Red’ dominate the stadium at end of first half. Just like Lawrence. Except for that lake.”
Tom Shatel, Omaha World Herald columnist, tweeting from the Nebraska at Washington game, Twitter
GH: Looks like Shatel is getting primed for his last pass through Big 12 country. I suggest all Husker travelers wear their helmets while passing through wheat country.

“B12 is taking $16 mil from Colo and NU rather than $35-$40 mill to start splitting the pie 10 ways and skip litigation, sources say.”
Chip Brown, of OrangeBloods.comTwitter
GH: As expected, the penalty money from CU and NU isn’t close to what Beebe was selling to the remaining B12 schools last June. And Colorado is headed west immediately after spring finals. So where is that missing $20- to $25-million going to come from? Read on.

“A&M's guarantee of $20 mil starting in 2012-13 is based on TV projection. A shortfall could still be made up by CU, NU fees from 'Orphan 5.'”
Chip Brown, of OrangeBloods.comTwitter
GH: Geez, what was Nebraska thinking when they accepted the Big 10’s invite instead of Texas’ offer to be a member of the Orphan 6? Isn’t that a movie theatre in Wichita?

“Nebraska is free. That is, free of the Big 12 Conference, a halfway house or subway stop where the Huskers/Tom Osborne never felt right, never felt at home. … And now Beebe has to sell a whopping $16 million in exit fees to his 10-member league, when they were originally thinking of a bigger number, like $30 million.”
Tom Shatel, Omaha World Herald

“Nobody remaining (in the Big 12) has been hurt financially by Nebraska leaving.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I do not understand the old Big 8 schools who harbor ill feelings toward Nebraska. It is like being pissed that your cousin got the job you wanted despite the fact you don’t have near the education or experience and were never offered the damn job. Nebraska added swagger to the B12 North like no other. The 2011 season and beyond will be stagger-filled for those orphans who remain and swagger-less. And it ain’t the Huskers who brought on this mess. I would think the orphans would know by now that big Texan Daddy Warbucks is the one keeping them shoeless and sans hardware.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Carthon embarrasses Charles

Posted 9-22-10

“Maurice Carthon went out of his way to embarrass Jamaal Charles (during Sunday’s game in Cleveland). After he did, Jamaal Charles as they say, went into the tank. When (Carthon) embarrassed him in front of his teammates, it was too much for him. Now there is a feeling on the team and in the locker room that they are coming very close to losing Jamaal Charles. … Now you’re MF-ing and berating Jamaal Charles in front of his teammates on the sideline? This is the risk you take when you start mistreating players.”
Nick Wright, saying Carthon was upset with Charles’ body language when he was pulled from the game, 610 AM
GH: Are the 2-0 Chiefs on the verge of team mutiny? Wright appears to think so. Read on.

“(Charles) is a locker room leader. This I know for a fact. He is the person people look to in that locker room. When you go out of your way to put him in his place in front of his teammates, you run the risk of not only alienating that player but a lot of players.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Nick seems to know a lot of things about the Chiefs’ inner workings “for a fact.” I have little doubt that he believes he is more in tune with the Chiefs’ players than Todd Haley. I am going to guess that is not the case. Read on.

“One player told me today; ‘You know, I felt bad for him.’ That’s not a risk you need to take!”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Okay, a player felt bad for Charles getting publicly yelled at by his position coach. That makes sense. But why is a media guy like Wright acting like Charles had his civil rights violated by Mo? The reason Charles isn’t getting the ball more often is that he is what every head coach detests most about a ball carrier. He is a fumbler.

“Like I said, I haven’t spoken to him.”
Nick Wright, who then immediately took the role of Charles and made comments that he surmises how Charles feels about not getting more carries each game, 610 AM
GH: Someone who has spoken to Charles is Kent Babb. Read on.

"I’m just waiting in the game. I’m not a starter. I’m the backup. ... That’s my role. I don’t have no complaints.”
Jamaal Charles, via Kent Babb’s Twitter
GH: Maybe Charles is lying. Maybe Charles is playing the good teammate – which is what he should be doing. Maybe he gets 25 carries against the 49ers and everything is all good. I just don’t think Haley is going to sit one of the best weapons he has to make a point. He will sit him though if Charles doesn’t show improvement in hanging onto the football.

“I remind you he is a person as well as a player. The only reason I brought up the player in Denver… Getting embarrassed in front of your coworkers is one of the biggest nots in your job.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Wright somehow made the leap that Haley’s decision to start Thomas Jones (a pretty decent back in his own right) might possibly lead to Charles committing suicide??? Is this what Wright means by being “stupid, hip-hop cool?” Well, at least stupid.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Dennis Dull putting Border Patrol listeners to sleep

Posted 9-22-10

“Missouri was beaten. Tigers quarterback Blaine Gabbert had just thrown consecutive interceptions, ending two desperate offensive possessions. San Diego State led by four points with the clock running toward the final minute of what surely was going to be Missouri’s first loss of the season.”
Mike DeArmond, Writer, Kansas City Star
GH: I am not your conventional sports fan. After listening to the radio broadcast of the whacky, improbable, thrilling Mizzou win over a dangerous and talented San Diego State team, I thought of Mike DeArmond in the Mizzou press box, stomping his Mizzou-loses column to death with his well-worn cowboy boots. I surmised that DeArmond had about 45 minutes before deadline to punch out another game story – this one with a fairytale ending complete with a hero with a name as big as his state. DeArmond’s last-minute work was almost as satisfying as Moe’s.

“(MU’s defensive end) Aldon Smith came over to me before the last drive and said, ‘We need your help.’ I went over to (Blaine Gabbert), shook his hand, looked him in the eyes and said, ‘All right, Blaine, it’s time to be great.’”
T.J. Moe, Kansas City Star
GH: This story is almost too unreal to believe, but that is what is so great about this surreal world of sports. The improbable can happen. And as every Mizzou fan knows, the gods of probability are a fickle bunch. This time, on this night, the lighting that lit the skies around Faurot Field saved one bolt for Gabbert and Moe.

“My plan for the rest of my football career: upend conventional wisdom, surprise critics and make the improbable seem like no big deal.”
T.J .Moe, Mizzou wide receiver, Twitter
GH: Mission accomplished – at least for the first three weeks of the season.

“We try to be fair and honest, but they’ve been the better team.”
Chris Gervino, Mizzou sideline reporter, after Gabbert’s second interception appeared to ice the game for the Aztecs, Tiger Radio Network
GH: Gervino is my favorite sideline reporter on radio. He is what I want in a reporter – he roots fervently for his team but is not blind to the attributes of the opponent. I listened to almost the entire radio broadcast of the SDS game as I drove west on Highway 36 across the state of Missouri and Gervino’s work during the SDS game was excellent.

“Unbelievable! What a play by Moe after the catch!”
Chris Gervino, Tiger Radio Network

“Lesson learned, don’t question the Tigers, guys!”
Mike Kelly, after the Tigers improbable comeback win, Tiger Radio Network
GH: Few in the stadium except maybe Moe and his teammates thought Mizzou was coming back. The radio broadcast team had chalked this one up as a loss. It was one of the reason I refused to turn off the radio. It is always fun to experience a miracle ending…even on the radio.

“This is one of the weirdest games that I’ve seen, John and Mike, in 25 years. This is one of the all-timers!”
Chris Gervino, Tiger Radio Network

“I’m telling you. Man. That dude is quick! He’s fast man. That’s a true freshman right out of high school! … I mean flames are coming off his shoes after that (75-yard) run! … It’s not like we didn’t warn the listeners. He one big-play guy and he’s the most dangerous player on the field (after Hillman’s 93-yard TD run).”
Chris Gervino, on Ronnie Hillman’s stirring performance in Columbia, Tiger Radio Network
GH: As I drove just north of Columbia, Gervino’s description of this freshman sensation tempted me to turn south to catch this phenom in person. But the lighting and stormy weather Saturday night kept me and my rental Taurus headed home. BTW; the new Taurus is plush and a nice ride – with surprisingly good gas mileage. Ford has some good things going on.

“Hey diddle-diddle, right up the middle!”
John Kadlec, Radio color analyst, Tiger Radio Network
GH: This may have been Kadlec’s best contribution to the broadcast.

“I’ve heard more bashing this week on Gary Pinkel and David Yost from Missouri fan base after they won than I have heard after any loss ever! I am thinking to myself, what is wrong with you? Do you remember what Missouri was like?”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: Before Gary Pinkel the Mizzou coach wasn’t making over $2 million, the press box looked more like well, a press box. More money raises expectations. It is the beast that fuels college sports and threatens to ruin its future in places where unlimited funds are not available – i.e. the Big 12 North.

“As always, great information from Dennis Dodd.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: Dennis Dull almost never delivers even mediocre information. He gives a few opinions but I can’t recall the last time he gave 810 listeners any insight on the teams he has traveled to see or even a good road story. The Border Patrol needs a new college expert before DD puts me to sleep on my commute.

“Blaine Gay-bert.”
Eddie George, when asked to comment on the Mizzou quarterback, Sirius XM College Sports Nation
GH: On my drive last week to and from Peoria, I spent a lot of time listening to satellite radio. Eddie George and Eric Crouch are two of XM’s former Heisman analysts. Neither is worth the time it takes to find their station. George showed very little knowledge of any but the top teams and Crouch can hardly put three words together without the annoying uhhhs, ahhhhs and duhhhhs. Heisman does not equal great radio work.

“All Daniel Thomas keeps doing at Kansas State is racking up big yards. Nobody’s ever going to hear of him or see him that much but he’s a big-time player.”
Mel Kiper, Jr., ESPN Radio
GH: If – and this is a HUGE if – Thomas can somehow stay healthy while every Big 12 defense keys on him and attempts to rip his head off while hoping to force Carson Coffman to throw, he will be on every Heisman ballot. He makes K-State relevant.

“I think K-State is a solid fourth in that (Big 12) group. I think they’re really, really good and a legitimate threat to win the North.”
Dennis Dodd, 810 AM
GH: I don’t know what Dodd has been watching but I doubt it is the 2010 version of the Wildcats. Iowa State, a poor football team, gave the Cats all they wanted at Arrowhead last Saturday. I think KSU should feel good about being 3-0 with a Big 12 win. But any thoughts that this is a good football team are way too premature.

“Bill Snyder is a Hall-of-Fame coach but he definitely treats quarterbacks different than any other position.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Coffman and his awful play at quarterback continues to divide the Wildcat fans and their beloved head coach. It may be what eventually begins the divorce proceedings.

“A ticket to a Kansas University football game at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence. Tickets will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis for the Tier 2 section of the stadium. Choose one of the following options:
For $25, you get one ticket to the KU vs. New Mexico State game on September 25 at 6 p.m. (a $60 value).
For $35, you get one ticket to the KU vs. Colorado game on November 6, time TBD (an $80 value)
Groupon offer
GH: Who is paying $60 and $80 to attend a KU football game? College sports are completely insane when it comes to ticket prices.

“Even bitter rivals can share family traditions.”
Price Chopper TV ad with Truman, Big Jay and Willie the Wildcat playing nice

“Obviously we needed to tackle the guy with the ball, not the mascot.”
Frank Solich, head coach of Ohio after the Bobcat mascot tackled Brutus the Buckeye in the Ohio State end zone, via Twitter

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

Whitlock is profiled in the NY Times

Posted 9-20-10

“As newspapers have struggled in recent years, national outlets like ESPN and Sports Illustrated have picked up top talent from around the country, usually offering more lucrative salaries, multimedia opportunities and a larger audience. Whitlock, who recently signed a three-year contract with FoxSports.com worth around $2 million, will be getting all three.”
Joseph Plambeck, writer, New York Times September 19, 2010
GH: Former Star columnist Jason Whitlock was the subject of a story in The New York Times Monday. While a profile in The Times is a nice plum for Whit, the story is pretty much a truncated bio of JW’s time in Kansas City with little new info for any of us who know his story well. Read on for a few new nuggets I was able to glean for this OTC. BTW; that $2 million salary that continues to be quoted as JW’s new deal with Fox still sounds way high to me. Whitlock himself told Metro Sports the number was exaggerated. I think the number is probably closer to $200K – which is well over the figure being tossed around by Hearne and others on KCC.

“Mark Zieman, the publisher of The Star, declined to comment about Whitlock’s statements on the program. Fannin did not respond to multiple requests for comment.”
Joseph Plambeck, New York Times
GH: The publisher and editor of The Star refusing to respond to requests for a legitimate story to run in The New York Times on their highest paid employee of 14 years smacks of irony. It appears Zieman and Fannin are all for exposing the truth about anything that doesn’t have to do with their personal lives or the goings on inside 18th & Grand. Why can’t they be more like Whitlock – unafraid to say what they think despite the consequences? Their continued silence only highlights the shortcomings that Whitlock noted are plaguing the newspaper business.

“Sam Mellinger, a writer at The Star who became a columnist for the paper this year, said he found (The Explanation) ‘sad and unnecessary.’ Whitlock’s work as a columnist, he said, was one of the reasons he had pursued a newspaper career, and he said he continued to admire the success that Whitlock achieved in the community.”
Joseph Plambeck, New York Times September 19, 2010
GH: I don’t think there is a higher compliment that can be paid to a writer than to have another scribe say you inspired him or her to pursue writing as a profession. I am sure Mellinger is far from alone in this regard. Jason was a lot of things while he was here in Kansas City – and one of them (especially in his early years) was inspirational.

“I try not to burn bridges, but he napalms them. He’s fundamentally unafraid.”
Dan Le Batard, columnist at The Miami Herald, New York Times
GH: Whitlock’s unprecedented and unorthodox verbal napalming of his superiors at The Star seems to have had little effect on him or his targets. Whitlock is alive and well and apparently fitting in nicely at his new online fulltime gig with FoxSports. He’s profiled in the New York Times, not DeadSpin.com. He seems no worse for The Explanation. Mike Fannin is still employed at The Star and as low-key as ever, churning out a future award-winning series of articles on the Kansas City School District. No, I do not believe The Star will be hiring Jason back. But it appears the aftershocks of his napalm rant suffered from the fact it was Whitlock who delivered it.

“Rick Jaffe, the new editor in chief of FoxSports.com, said that in his initial contacts with Whitlock, he sensed only a person who thoughtfully considered his topics and opinions and welcomed feedback. In addition to regular columns, which he has written occasionally for the site since 2008, Whitlock will contribute podcasts and videos for the site. “One of the things he told me is, ‘Question anything you want that I write,’ ” Jaffe said.”
Joseph Plambeck, New York Times
GH: I would suggest that Mr. Jaffe check with Mike Fannin on how he thinks J-Dubb’s time at FoxSports will end. His track record is almost perfect.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Chiefs are 2-0, does it matter how they got there?

Posted 9-20-10

“This (Chiefs) team is 2-0 and it doesn’t really matter how they got to 2-0. They are 2-0.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: If this were true, there would be no reason for sports talk radio. Therefore, it must not be true.

“The Kansas City Chiefs are now 2-0 and become a bit of a story in the National Football League.”
Mitch Holthus, Chiefs Radio Network
GH: Do they? The San Diego win was huge. Any win on the road in the NFL is rare. But I believe it will take more to get noticed. A 3-0 start would do just that.

“We’re living on the edge right now. If you’re look at the actual active players for our team.”
Todd Haley, in his postgame comments, 810 AM
GH: Remind me not to hire Haley as a motivational speaker for company morale.

“Let’s be brutally honest about this folks, the Chiefs were lucky they weren’t blown out in the first half today. You have to be concerned about the Chiefs’ ability to score points. Defense isn’t the problem with this team, it’s the quarterback.”
Jack Harry, TV 41
GH: It was Cleveland Browns the Chiefs faced. The Browns aren’t going to “blow out” a birthday cake. The Chiefs’ schedule is their best chance at staying relevant and in the hunt for the AFC West title.

“I’m just waiting in the game. I’m not a starter. I’m the backup. ... That’s my role. I don’t have no complaints. As long as we win games around here, it don’t matter to me.”
Jamaal Charles, via Kent Babb tweet
GH: So, what happens when we start losing games around here?

“He bit. He bit hard! I’ll tell you what, Eric Berry is going to get challenged like that every single week until he (proves he can adjust).”
Steve Beuerlein, TV analyst, after watching Berry rush forward to stop the run only to give up the deep post pass, CBS
GH: Is Berry’s need to stop the run a problem or an asset? Opinions on that topic vary. Read on.

“Did you see how fast he came up on that blitz? Eric Berry is an interesting guy to watch. He might be out of position at times but he’s got speed to burn!”
Don Criqui, CBS
GH: Criqui sounded like Scott Pioli was paying him per Eric Berry compliment. Nick Wright tweeted that he thought Criqui was drunk. This may have been because Criqui seemed confused about who was who and what was what much of the game.

“I’ll live with the ups and downs (of Eric Berry). Because when he comes up and fills on run support you’ve got to have it. Nobody’s gonna beat us outside on the corner. … He brings an attitude and he brings an energy attitude and that’s what you have to have. And that’s what we haven’t had on defense around here.”
Richard Baldinger, Metro Sports

“The biggest responsibility of a safety is just what the name implies – be a safety. You can wash away a lot of fine individual play by making bad ones.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM

“(Eric Berry’s) ability to come back down in the box (t support the run), that’s a big thing. He’s a little aggressive and he’s a little antsy so he’ll take his licks like that, jumping up inside and he’s going to get beat over the top like we’ve seen two weeks in a row. People are going to challenge him until he stops doing it. But you can correct that. He’s only a rookie. You can’t teach a person how to hit and he can do that.”
Bill Maas, 610 AM
GH: I don’t see the physical play that Maas and some others are implying that Berry brings to the safety position. He is an ankle tackler – which is an effective method of tackling but it is not going to slow a powerful running back who needs a first down or smells the goal line. I’m not yet sold that Berry is all that, especially if he is going to give up one or two scores per game.

“You can say what you want about Cassel, but he is a tough, tough kid.”
Mitch Holthus, Chiefs Radio Network
GH: There are going to be a lot of things said about Cassel this week and not one of them will be about his toughness. Read on.

“What the hell are we calling? … What are we doing?”
Matt Cassel, to Haley during the second half, CBS
GH: Cassel appears to play better when he’s pissed. He was definitely irate at Haley much of the second half and the bench’s inability to communicate the plays to the huddle.

“You have to come back to me.”
Matt Cassel, gesturing to Dwayne Bowe, after Cassel sailed a pass wide left of Bowe, CBS
GH: This incompletion probably kept Cassel from breaking 56 with his passer rating for the season.

“(The Chiefs) burned three time outs because of the confusion on the sideline. That just shows this is still a work in progress.”
Steve Beuerlein, TV analyst, CBS
GH: Does Turner Gill handle calling time outs for the Chiefs?

“If I had Dexter McCluster on my team, call me crazy but I’m not going to run him between the tackles.”
Steve Beuerlein, TV analyst, CBS  

“So here's an interesting question: Has anyone even noticed that Tyson Jackson isn't playing? Probably not good for a former top-5 pick.”
Kent Babb, Twitter

“I'm not going to cuss around any kids or get crazy, but sometimes, there is too much aggression by the cops. They mess with us, and we spend our hard-earned money to come to these games. The new rules are for the yuppies, and honestly, if you are one, don't come to the game.”
Nick Rundo, Browns fan who frequents the Dawg Pound in Cleveland, responding to the new fan behavior rules being enforced this season at Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland Plain Dealer

“The best Chiefs’ postgame show in town and it’s not even a question.”
Shan Shariff, on his Chiefs’ post-game show co-hosted with Bill Maas, 610 AM
GH: This after only the best Chiefs’ post-game’s second show ever.

 “The ball is tickling the nose hair of the 35-yard line.”
Mitch Holthus, Chiefs Radio Network
GH: It is the ball that has a nose, not the yard line. Mitch at times just sounds goofy.

“I believe that that camera angle shows that the ball carried by Thomas Jones did not cross that white line.”
Steve Beuerlein, TV analyst, CBS
GH: I would concur. But that’s the kind of call that the Chiefs would make and lose. They won. They are 2-0. I’m wearing red on Friday. Go Chiefs.

“I think his mind has been completely transformed.”
Tim Ryan, on Michael Vick’s rehabilitation from starting NFL QB to dog fighting promoter back to starting NFL QB, Fox

“The play is never dead with Michael Vick.”
Michael Strahan, Fox
GH: Unlike the dog with Michael Vick.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


DexFactor and Cassel nicknames

Posted 9-16-10

“We’re the new Chiefs.”
Dexter McCluster, 610 AM
GH: This might be my favorite postgame quote from Monday Night’s stirring Chiefs’ victory. As John Lennon might say, “Let it be.” The photo in The Star of the DexFactor streaking down the sideline during his soggy but salty 96-yard punt return was a beauty. BTW; I first heard the nickname, The DexFactor, called in to 810’s Border Patrol by a listener. It’s always a bit murky determining the origins of some nicknames but I heard this one weeks ago on Steven’s and Nate’s show.

“I think Dexter has the opportunity to be the offensive rookie of the year. He’s just got that flair to him.”
Bill Maas, 610 AM

“Dangerous group (of kick returners) they have over there. They found a crease and hit it. That's not something you want to see, a big hole opening up in front of guys like that.”
Mike Scifres, Chargers’ punter, San Diego Union Tribune

“(Dexter) McCluster was a non-factor other than kick returns. (Javier) Arenas is going to have to cover people. He better continue to make punt returns. They’ve got to contribute more than just as kick returners.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Some will paint Petro as a negator. I believe it is too early to evaluate any of the rookies’ performances – good or bad. But great kick returners in the NFL have a shelf life akin to green bananas. Before you know it and way before you expect, kick returners go from a guest spot on the David Letterman Show to fifth-receiver status. I think both McCluster and Arenas can contribute as a receiver and defensive back respectively. As Petro pointed out, they’ll need to, to make them second-round-draft worthy four or five years into their careers.

“I think Brian Waters is playing better this year. I thought he looked a lot better than he has the last three or four years.”
Tim Grunhard, 810 AM
GH: Waters is 33 years old. That is about 67 in NFL lineman years. Grunhard retired at 32.  Waters does not have many games left in him. It will be interesting to see if he can rally himself and his offensive line for an unexpected run at the AFC West title this season – quite possibly his last.

“Why does Matt Cassel look so uncomfortable? It’s his job.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Bob Fescoe and Josh Klingler held a Matt Cassel nickname contest on their Thursday morning show. My favorites included: Half-Assel, Grbac and Woody (for his tree-like personality and resemblance to the star of Toy Story).

“At times (Cassel) just doesn’t look like he’s in control of the offense. He needs to have that swagger. He doesn’t have that swagger yet. Until he does, he’s not going to get the kind of, uh, I’m not going to say respect, but the kind of results from his team that he can get.”
Tim Grunhard, 810 AM
GH: My question is what did Scott Pioli see in New England that we have only glimpsed here in Kansas City? Pioli obviously is not stupid. But his decision to hand Cassel $63 million to be a “game manager” quarterback looks far from Bill Walsh-esque.

“Even Matt Cassel today needs to take a bow because he was the tougher quarterback in the elements.”
Mitch Holthus, reflecting on Cassel’s play against the Chargers, 710 AM
GH: Those Chiefs fans who crave nothing but positive, syrupy, chest-pumping Chiefs coverage, just tune into any and all Mitch Holthus interviews or commentaries. They are enough to infect a honey bee with diabetes.

“Chiefs look like a 6 or 7 win team, schedule might make them 9-7 or 10-6 if they get one more lucky victory. I watched the (Chargers’) game at 24-hour fitness on Metcalf, was in no position or condition to tweet! Post-workout BBQ pork rinds ruined workout!!”
Jason Whitlock, Twitter
GH: I get about as much from a Pork Chop postgame tweet as I did from his postgame Star columns. Maybe I should change his nickname from Pork Chop to Pork Rind.

“Along with the speed there was a confidence. There was an attitude about them as the game went on. For the first time watching them under Todd Haley, there was an expectation. They did not seem like they were overwhelmed. They felt like they had the talent to win that game even when they fell behind – which bodes well for them. They may lay an egg next week but right now they look like they can compete.”
Jeff Chadhia, ESPN writer, 810 AM
GH: This might be the best statement I have heard or read on the Chiefs’ performance against San Diego. Confidence can be a beautiful thing for a team that has been bereft of that heady elixir for as long as our Chiefs.

“One thing that the Titans figured out about Chris Johnson last year was that he was strong enough and durable enough to handle the ball more often. That’s something that Todd Haley will have to figure out this season (with Jamaal Charles).”
Jeff Chadhia, ESPN writer, 810 AM
GH: Will Charles start in Cleveland? Will he get more than 11 touches? Tune in Sunday at noon to find out! Read on.

“I can’t recall what the reason was for not having Greg (Hill) in there.”
Tim Grunhard, when asked by Soren Petro what the reasons were for Hill not getting more touches under Schottenheimer, 810 AM
GH: I wonder how long Grunhard’s nose grew after this fib? Maybe as long as Schottenheimer’s hammer when he met Greg Hill’s gal?

“If the Browns can't beat Kansas City at home Sunday, things will get grim fast. The schedule toughens up quickly after that, and it really could look like the Browns have gone full circle on the same carousel to oblivion as before.”
Bill Livingston, columnist, Cleveland Plain-Dealer

“Perhaps it’s like the most expensive of cosmetic surgeries, the extraordinary number of dollars spent to not look too different, to keep the patient appearing pretty much exactly like she or he used to look. If that’s what they were going for, the Chiefs and Kansas City got their $375 million worth in renovations.”
Chris Jenkins, writer, on his review of the new Arrowhead, San Diego Union Tribune
GH: Those San Diego people know a good cosmetic makeover when they see one.

“It does seem a little abrupt but hey, these things happen.”
Danny Clinkscale, on Denny Thum’s sudden departure from the Chiefs, 810 AM
GH: From what I have heard, been fed and found out about Thum’s “resignation,” none of it points to Pioli being a real great guy. I’m getting my info from pro-Thum folks so it is most likely tainted. But if Pioli and the Chiefs are as market savvy as they propose to be, why would they so callously whack one of the few members of the Chiefs’ front office that the local and national media respected and liked?

Best of MNF Twitter:

“Revis Island on one side. Gilligan on the other.”Sam Farmer, LA Times columnist, Twitter

“A guy in a Mark Sanchez jersey just tried to pass me 7 times in traffic and couldn’t do it.”JuliusSharpe, Twitter

“Cromartie has eight different penalties with six different receivers.” Mike_and_Dan, Twitter

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24

 


 

Maas rips Glenn Dorsey's play

Posted 9-15-10

“(Glenn) Dorsey played his ass off.”
Sam Mellinger, who watched a taped version of the Chiefs’ game in addition to reporting on the game for The Star live, Twitter
GH: I too was very impressed with Dorsey’s play against the Chargers. Most of the media I read or heard were of the same opinion – that Dorsey played his best game as a Chief. Bill Maas was not one of those talking heads. Read on.

“The nose (tackle) position is still a concern. I played that position doggone it! If I ever got knocked back off the ball that far that often, I’d be embarrassed.”
Bill Maas, who was of the opinion that Glenn Dorsey’s play Monday night against San Diego was not nearly as good as most of us believed it to be, 610 AM
GH: Nick Wright asked Maas if the rest of us were wrong in thinking Dorsey played well on MNF. Maas responded that fans hear a player’s name on the PA or repeated a few times by the radio or TV broadcasters and we all think the guy must be playing pretty well. Maas acknowledged that Dorsey “played hard,” but he was very reluctant to give the big round mound from LSU town any more props than that.

“I thought Eric Berry played a great game.”
Nate Bukaty, on the Chiefs’ rookie safety’s play against San Diego, 810 AM
GH: Bukaty and Nick Wright were the biggest fans of Berry’s on the radio for his play Monday night. I was not in the same camp and neither was Soren Petro. Read on.

“The first go around, very disappointing (for Eric Berry). I don’t think there is any other way to describe his first game other than very disappointing. … (Antonio) Gates just torched him.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Coverage issues are correctable, but I’m not sure that is Berry’s biggest issue. Berry needs to learn that a safety’s first job is to be a “safety” against big plays. He looks far too eager to commit to the run or pass routes in the flats for my taste. Aggressiveness in a safety is a flaw. Maybe he’d be better at corner or as an outside linebacker. But if he is going to play safety, he needs to learn how to read much better than he reacts. I think Berry is going to have a very rough first season.

“The Chiefs would end up 1-for-11 on third downs, going three-and-out on half their 12 possessions and totaling just 197 yards. But one play -- a 56-yard touchdown run by Jamaal Charles -- gave Kansas City more than a quarter of its yards and also tied the game.”
Kevin Acee, writer, San Diego Union Tribune

“What’s worse than our quarterback being bad is our quarterback being bad and not knowing it.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM

“The fact is, Matt Cassel just isn’t very good. Everybody is criticizing Charlie Weis for his play calling. Not on this show. You have to remember what he has to work with.”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM

“I haven’t seen enough from Matt Cassel to make a decision on him.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: St. John and Bukaty spent their early hours Wednesday chastising those who dare criticize the Chiefs and their play in their win over the Chargers. I got a little tired of their whining about people who try and find fault even in a win. Read those Cassel stats again and tell me how far this guy is going to take the Chiefs?

“We’ll breakdown the game and you guys know it will be the best breakdown you hear on the radio today.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Talk about getting a tad tiring – Wright’s constant need to tell his audience how great he is at breaking down a game or a play or an athlete or his producer’s flaws gets real old real fast. Just do your job, Nick, and we’ll win this game! (Damn, wrong promo.)

“There is a tremendously obvious game ball today and I don’t think anyone is thinking about it. My game ball goes to Scott Pioli, the general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs.”
Kevin Kietzman, for Pioli’s 2010 draft picks, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman used the first 10 minutes of his Tuesday show polishing Pioli’s posterior. I had to switch over to listen to Nick tell me how great he is at breaking down Xs and Os.

“As I left that stadium Monday night, I sensed that the people had forgotten about the ticket sticker shock or the down economy. It appeared that Kansas City had forgotten all of their troubles and had a great time.”
Kevin Kietzman, playing pitchman for the Chiefs and promoting that more people buy Chiefs tickets, 810 AM
GH: I am all for the hometown team doing well. I love that Arrowhead was a great time and a great experience for many of those waterproof people who attended Monday night. But I don’t want the city’s top-rated sports talk host turning into Bill Grigsby. Please Kev, tone down the cheerleading for the Chiefs – or at least hide it in a Smoke and Fire/Cookie Diet segment.

“Late atta boys 2 @kentbabb @mellinger Adam Teicher Tod Palmer Randy Covitz Terez Paylor KC Star for great #Chiefs coverage against deadline.”
Brad Porter, of Metro Sports, Twitter
GH: I did not get time to thoroughly devour The Star’s print edition of the Tuesday sports section until after dinner Tuesday night. I sat on the couch (a familiar place for this scribe) with my bride and watched NBC’s excellent TV series, Parenthood, and read The Sports Daily’s coverage of the Chargers/Chiefs game during the overly loud commercials. It was packed with all kinds of goodies. When you consider the tight deadlines for this late-night MNF game, Porter is right. The Star’s staff did a heckuva job getting that paper to bed and on my driveway by 6:00 AM.

“The Royals in high gear, now up 9-nothing. That’s three field goals if you’re a football fan.”
Michael Coleman, sports anchor, during his Tuesday night sportscast, TV 5
GH: MC is quickly becoming my favorite local broadcaster since Neil Smith. And if you’re an veteran Off The Couch reader, you know that is not a compliment to his work. But it does make for some great OTC fodder. Read on.  

“September is Hispanic Heritage month and at The K it was celebrated with lots of pride. … This was extra special for the catcher, Brayan Pena, who praises the Royals for holding the event.”
Michael Coleman, with his lead into a recorded video from The K, TV 5
GH: What we saw next on TV 5’s sportscast was an interview about the Royals’ acknowledgement of Hispanic Heritage month with Bruce Chen, the Royals very Asian-looking pitcher – with Brayan Pena’s name printed in large bold text on the screen. While Chen speaks fluent Spanish (and with his Panama upbringing would have been an interesting angle for this story) he ain’t Brayan Pena – or even close. I expected MC to correct the error once the clip ended but he never batted an eye. Neil Smith woulda been proud.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Denny Thum resigns

Posted 9-15-10

“The Chiefs today lost one of the finest, classiest people in the NFL when Denny Thum resigned. Man of impeccable character.”
Jay Glazer, ESPN NFL insider, Twitter
GH: In a surprising even shocking move, the Chiefs announced Tuesday evening that Denny Thum, the team’s president, had resigned – after 36 years with the franchise. While the Chiefs’ press release was cordial and included positive comments from Clark Hunt and Thum, it appears obvious there is more to this story. Read on.

“Denny Thum was forced out.”
Lance Veeser, on the Tuesday night newscast, TV 41
GH: Veeser offered no reporting to back up his claim that Thum was “forced out.” It sure appears to me that this was the case but I (and I am sure his viewers) would like to know what Veeser knows to make this statement on the local news.  

“Denny was always incredibly nice, kind and professional to me. I've heard the same tonight from others (agents, fmr team employees, etc.)”
Kent Babb, Twitter
GH: I met Thum almost 20 years ago. I am sure he doesn’t remember me. I was working as an agent for a financial institution here in Kansas City and we met in his office to discuss the construction loan for a new home he was building. I was surprised by how nice a guy he was to both me and my associate. I wondered how anyone working within the Carl Peterson regime could be anything but an ass. I thought to myself that it must take a special individual to maintain their character when so many around them had forsaken theirs. BTW, another Chiefs employee who fit this same description is Pete Morris, who is now the Chiefs Director of Public Relations. I always got the feeling from Pete that he got it – even when it was his job to appear not to.

 “Denny has been an integral part of the Chiefs family and this community for nearly four decades, and we thank him for his dedication and commitment to our organization.”
Clark Hunt, Chiefs press release
GH: Man, four decades! You don’t just up and quit a job you’ve had for 36 years the day after it looks like the franchise might have turned the corner in making a run at the AFC West title – do you?

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working for the best franchise in the NFL. I appreciate every opportunity the Hunt family has afforded me and my family and I wish the Kansas City Chiefs all the success they deserve in the future.”
Denny Thum, Chiefs press release
GH: Thum sure sounds amicable. But will he be available for interviews? Why was there no press conference for a well-respected 36-year employee who went from the accounting department to president of the club? Something just ain’t right here. I hate to say this but it appears to me that Thum either pissed someone off (unlikely) or did something unsavory (very unlikely). The impetus for this departure will be interesting to uncover.

“Maybe (Thum’s) work was just done.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Okay, this could be a third possibility but I would rank the probability of this being the reason for Thum’s departure as somewhere in the same likelihood that Derrick Washington suits up and plays Saturday for Mizzou. In the old days Kevin Kietzman would be all over this. But with 810’s new cozy relationship with the Chiefs, I am concerned that this story will be quickly dismissed and forgotten. Maybe Lance Veeser and 610 will get us the real answer for Thum’s sudden death with the Chiefs.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Chiefs get it done in the rain

Posted 9-14-10

“I happen to be one of those people (who think the Chargers are one of the elite teams in the AFC and a threat to make the Super Bowl). I think this is a football team that has everything in place.”
Trent Dilfer, during the pregame opening to the broadcast, ESPN
GH: Well, if the Chargers are going to go the Super Bowl next February, they will need to catch the undefeated Chiefs to do it. Yeah, it’s just one game. But what a game.

“I think Tuesday afternoon, you’re going to be talking about this (Chiefs’) defense on your show Nick, and what they did tonight. I think this defense has the ability to get after Rivers. I think they have an opportunity to really shine. I think we’ll be saying, ‘That was our Kansas City Chiefs’ defense? I didn’t even recognize them!’ ”
Bill Maas, in a pregame interview with Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Maas proved to be prophetic as the Chiefs defense (along with a raucous and deafening Arrowhead) crowd rose to the occasion and reminded us of the Schottenheimer years in Kansas City.

“This is a different Kansas City Chiefs’ defense!”
Trent Dilfer, after Wallace Gilberry and a host of Chiefs’ defenders sacked Rivers, ESPN

“The crowd, they were a big part of this.”
Brad Nessler, ESPN
GH: The weather conditions were awful. Past awful. The weather was River Market CaddyShack Fannin-on-man ugly. But the fans hung in and made sure they were there for their Chiefs – especially in the end when things look to be heading down a very familiar alley.

“I would say two thirds of the fans stayed in the stands. That may be a conservative number.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: If you were there, take a long deep bow. You had a hand in that victory. I could barely hear anything that the broadcasters were saying over the din of the crowd. It was a beautiful noise.

“Everything apparently is quite up-to-date in Kansas City!”
Chris Berman, as the Chiefs led the Chargers 21-7 at the half, ESPN
GH: It has been a long, long while since Kansas City Chiefs fans have been able to dream. Go ahead and dream folks. We just delivered one helluva nightcap on the NFL’s first weekend.

“Now on television (doing a postgame interview) is probably the least significant person in the ball game for the Chiefs, Matt Cassel. Maybe as insignificant as you’ll see a quarterback be in a big game.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: Wow. I know the ball was wet and the wind was blowing. But wow! Matt Cassel looks completely overmatched. He throws the ball as if he is trying to aim it through a porthole with little confidence it is going to get to his target. Just flat wow. $63 million for Elvis Grbac II? Wow.

“(Rivers) is an ultra competitive guy and he will get them back in this football game!”
Trent Dilfer, as the Chargers started a drive on their own 10 yard line and trailed 21-7 with about five minutes left in the third quarter, ESPN

“It almost looks like Phillip Rivers is looking for an opportunity to fight. … Phillip Rivers should be the poster boy for toughness in the National Football League – physically and mentally.”
Trent Dilfer, ESPN
GH: Rivers is an ass. He shows up his teammates, he berates his center, his linemen, his receivers and pouts when things go wrong. But the SOB is a winner and he knows how to lead. Yes, Rivers is a certified jerk but I’ll take him over Cassel, Brodie and Weis all in a package deal tomorrow.

“I think there is a renewed belief that this organization is headed in the right direction. I think there is a feeling that there is talent on this team. The talent level is up. The expectation levels are up.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Expectations are still pretty muddled. I doubt many Chiefs fans are thinking Super Bowl. But the playoffs aren’t a crazy thought when you look at that schedule.

“The Chiefs haven’t scored any points in the second half.”
Len Dawson, who laid this pearl of wisdom on us inside a minute to play, Chiefs Radio Network
GH: Len needs to go the way of Bill Grigsby – a strict diet of only commercials. He has stayed in the Chiefs’ radio booth one season too long. If the Chiefs had some balls (and a nose for entertaining their fans) they’d hire Bill Maas to replace Lenny and give him all the rope he wants.

“I hate that (call)! You have third and four. It’s not third and one. You have a quarterback… you have to trust at some point. You can’t hope that your defense is going to continue to hold Phillip Rivers and this Chargers’ offense. You can’t make those types of calls in these types of games.”
Trent Dilfer, as Haley played it conservatively with about four minutes remaining in the game, ESPN
GH: Get used to it Chiefs’ fans. Haley punted from the Chargers 32 yard line for a net gain of seven yards. He thinks Cassel was great because he didn’t turn the ball over. Haley’s conservative approach almost allowed the Chargers to come back and tie the game. It will be very, very maddening at times this season.

“Dorsey’s had a heckuva night!”
Mitch Holthus, after Dorsey dropped Sproles for a two-yard loss inside the Chiefs’ 10 yard line, Chiefs Radio Network
GH: I didn’t even recognize Dorsey. He was energized, and most importantly, in the Chargers’ backfield. Could this be his Neil Smith coming out party?

“You want to talk about Train? San Diego thinks they got run over by one.”
Brad Nessler, as the band Train entertained what looked like a few hundred fans who stayed out in the rain for the halftime show, ESPN

“Eric Berry gets beat inside the triangle.”
Trent Dillfer, as the Chiefs’ top draft choice gets burned by Antonio Gates in the Chiefs’ end zone for the Chargers’ first score, ESPN
GH: This one was bad but an even more scorching burn mark was to appear on Berry’s NFL resume later in the game. Read on.

“Somebody’s supposed to be back there, you know that. Oh my goodness!”
Len Dawson, after the Chargers’ receiver Legedu Naanee was able to run right past Eric Berry for an uncontested 59-yard touchdown catch, Chiefs Radio Network
GH: No Chiefs’ DB has ever given up an easier touchdown pass. I’m still not sure Berry ever saw Naanee as he sprinted past him, merely a yard or two to his right. Berry was so locked in on Antonio Gates’ out route that he never turned his head. Naanee caught the pass 40 yards downfield from Berry. He is a rookie but he came close to changing the outcome of this game from a win to a loss.

“The complexion of the game changes on one snap.”
Mitch Holthus, after Naanee’s easy touchdown, Chiefs Radio Network

“One man to beat!”
Brad Nessler, as Jamaal Charles busted through the line untouched on his way to a wake-up-the-echoes 56-yard TD run, ESPN
GH: Arrowhead was beginning to snooze until Charles spun Eric Weddle, the Chargers’ safety, around twice as he broke into San Diego’s secondary and weaved his way to the end zone. ESPN showed a nice iso-camera shot on the seal block Dwayne Bowe put on a linebacker to bust Charles free.

“He might be gone!”
Brad Nessler, as Arenas almost broke a second-quarter punt return, ESPN
GH: Arenas got tackled by the punter? The Kangaroo Court fine for that has to be HUGE!

“Billy Ray Cyrus wore a Chiefs Joe Montana jersey to sing the anthem. 1993 is so effing jealous right now.”
Sam Mellinger, Twitter

“Now (BRC) has someone taking pictures of him throwing a football. There's a lot of pointing and jogging around. Also: He throws like a girl.”
Kent Babb, Twitter
GH: Babb later tweeted that he apologized to all girls for that comment.

“There is absolutely no chance of rain during the game. I don’t expect it to start raining until about 2:00 AM.”
Gary Lezak, during his Monday morning forecast on 810 AM

Game Notes:

The Chiefs opening drive in 2010 was a three-and-out and took exactly 59 seconds.
ESPN fell in love with that fish-eye lens shot of Arrowhead. I was tired of it after the second look.

Chiefs’ cheerleaders dressed in garbage bags is a bit of a downer. What are those bags keeping dry that needs to be dry? Exactly.

Cassel looks like a high school QB who is aiming and wishing each pass into his receivers’ hands. You have to play the game with confidence and Cassel looks to have none.
I was afraid Moeaki was going to injure himself with that violent end-zone spike after his touchdown.

Great camera shot of Derrick Johnson stripping Mathews of the ball after a big run. DJ played like he is serious about becoming a Pro Bowler.

Do we really need Cassel to be running naked bootlegs? Not with Brodie Croyle as his backup.

Cassel’s fake on the play-action TD pass to Tony Moeaki was Steve DeBerg good.
The difference between the crowd noise at Arrowhead compared to the noise level at the Jets’ game earlier in the evening was like the Coterie Theatre vs. Broadway – and Arrowhead was Broadway.

Suzy Kolber? Where was she during the first half? I did not hear a word she said due to the crowd noise. She still looked very cute with her blue rain suit and cap and parasol. Joe Namath agrees.

The Chiefs radio network play-by-play was synced almost perfectly with my Time Warner HD broadcast. Nice work, tech guys.

One of the first shots of Arrowhead by ESPN came during the Ravens/Jets game. They showed a civilian-clad Phillip Rivers walking through the stark players’ tunnel. It was not the most attractive part of the new Arrowhead. Dingy, dark, moisture-stained concrete walls placed the tunnel just a step above Maximus’ digs in Gladiator.

Thomas Jones was seen grabbing Dexter and some other Chiefs’ players who had taken a seat on the bench after Dex’s 94-yard punt return and making them stand up on the sideline for the Chiefs’ kickoff. Kick ass!

The Haley/McCluster awkward chest-bump/man hug following Dex’s punt return was not at all reminiscent of Dick Vermeil’s tearful sideline embrace of Dante Hall. Haley’s encounter looked more like when your mom forces you to hug your sister.

Tamba Hali and Shaun Smith were seen playfully sparring over who got credit for sacking Rivers after the Chargers’ QB dropped fourth-quarter snap and immediately fell on the ball.

I can hardly keep track of all the times I’ve accidentally bumped into my wife while raking leaves and she wanted to go pop the top off  a bottle of Cialis and go at it right there in the front yard.

I still don’t understand why the waitress dishrag Maggie is so pissed at the guys in ties who are watching Direct TV on their cell phones and iPads. Does the guy in the feed cap really tip better than a four-top of businessmen?

Fourth quarter starts at 11:42 PM (CT). I never once felt sleepy watching this beauty.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24

 


Gill and Kansas are Lewsers no more

Posted 9-13-10

“This changes everything. Now we all need to take this experiment seriously. Ignoring Kansas football has been too easy. Making jokes about a coach who doesn’t allow cussing has been too tempting. But now? The entire narrative is different. Last week’s doubts turn into this week’s dreams. … But, well, Look-What-The-%*@#-Gill-Did: he beat a nationally ranked team after a week in which he lost his boss and became a regional punchline.”
Sam Mellinger, columnist, after KU defeated 15th-ranked Georgia Tech 28-25, Kansas City Star
GH: I have hammered away at Gill’s incompetency as a head football coach since Lew Perkins fingered him (not in a sexual way) to take over the Fighting Manginos. After the way Gill’s Jayhawks responded to an almost career-crushing loss last week to NDSU, I pause to acknowledge one of the greatest home wins in Kansas football history. Read on.

“All week, friends became critics. Even the opposing coach, North Dakota State’s Craig Bohl, piled on well after the whistle, blasting the KU effort, physicality and crowd. The amazing free-for-all about the Week 1 free-fall got wilder by the day.”
Tom Keegan, Lawrence Journal World
GH: Strong consideration should be given to making the likeness of Craig Bohl the next statue erected on the KU campus. No words uttered this past week cut as deeply or were as damaging as the comments by former Cornhusker’s and friend of Gill’s. I have little doubt Gill’s players took Bohl’s disparaging opinion of the KU program as the ultimate embarrassment and played to remove the credibility of Bohl’s words.

“If Gill and KUfball pull this off, it's the equivalent of getting dumped by Courtney Love, then going home with Blake Lively. And Megan Fox.”
Sam Mellinger, in a live tweet as KU closed in on their upset win, Twitter
GH: And Katy Perry. I really like Katy Perry.  

“The same team that looked so disorganized and undisciplined in every way in losing to North Dakota State in Gill’s debut, bubbled over with self-confidence and took it to Georgia Tech, the 15th-ranked team in the nation, 28-25, on a sunny Saturday at Memorial Stadium.”
Tom Keegan, columnist, Lawrence Journal World
GH: Does this mean Lew gets to come back?

“FYI: Northern Iowa beat North Dakota State 16-9.”
Sam Mellinger, Twitter
GH: Nope. Stay in your well-appointed foxhole, Lew.  

“I feel like we’ve got one of the best head coaches in America. Hands down, the best head coach in America.”
Steven Johnson, KU linebacker, KUSports.com
GH: No one has questioned whether or not Gill is loved by his players. What we questioned was whether or not his style could win outside a recruit’s mom’s kitchen. Saturday was a darn good start to ending those doubts.

“I'm FAR from a KU fan, but the way everyone-including their supporters-just immediately crushed Gill after 1 week was shameful.”
Nick Wright, Twitter
GH: Gill earned and deserved every knock he and his unprepared team received last week. The KU win over a ranked GT team merely emphasizes how embarrassingly poor his team played against outmatched NDSU. I get weary of those who immediately want to pretend the bad stuff never happened. And that those of us who chronicled the fact it happened are “shameful” for doing so.

“The Jayhawks took plenty of shots this week and they deserved it.”
Jason Lamb, sports anchor, Fox 4 TV
GH: Amen. Just as they deserve their props for a remarkable turnaround this week.

“I can’t believe geographically I’m in the same place as I was last week.”
Nate Bukaty, KU sideline reporter, on the difference in the atmosphere inside Memorial Stadium on Saturday as compared to the loss to NDSU, Jayhawk Radio Network
GH: One of the reasons college football is a great sport is the unexpected is only one Saturday away – every week. After GT drove for an easy TD on their first possession, I thought the rout was on. Uh, not even close.

“Virginia Tech made $9.5 million on its football program last year. James Madison? They made $123,766. … South Dakota, which got paid to beat Minnesota today, lost $235,304 on its football program last year”
DarrenRovell1, Twitter
GH: You don’t want your team to be in the position of shocking the nation every week but once in awhile it’s a pretty great feeling. Just ask those Kansas fans who stormed the field Saturday afternoon.

“(Justin) Springer said it was the first time he’d experienced fans rushing the field afterwards to celebrate with his team. ‘It’s just a great feeling,’ Springer said, ‘winning like that.’ ”
Jesse Newell, writer, KUSports.com
GH: I listened to the radio broadcast at the end of the Kansas win and never heard Bob Davis mention that the KU fans flooded the field in a chaotic celebration of their upset win. Davis is very quick to criticize and deride the opposition’s fans who dare rush onto the court after a rare KU defeat in basketball. Maybe now Davis will understand and be a bit more forgiving during hoops season.

“Awesome. Daymond Patterson just did the same flip into the end zone that had Mangino screaming Look What The Eff You Did a few years ago.”
Sam Mellinger, Twitter
GH: When is the NCAA going to realize that penalizing a player or team for celebrating a play is maybe the dumbest rule this side of golfers needing to keep their own score? Next year it gets worse. Next year a celebratory dive into the end zone can result in the touchdown being taken off the scoreboard. Ridiculous.

“I didn’t think it was all that celebratory of a dive. It just looked to me like he was trying to get into the end zone the quickest way he could.”
Bob Davis, disputing the 15-yard penalty called on KU’s
GH: Love Bob Davis but he’s more of a homer than Bart’s dad.

“That Kansas defense? That Kansas defense? We on the map!”
Chris Harris, KU cornerback, while celebrating after the win, Fox 4 TV
GH: Is Kansas now a threat in the Big 12 North? They own the best non-con win (easily) of any of the North teams. Oh yeah, and the worst loss.

“Does Kansas have a quarterback? Without question they do! In Jordan Webb!”
David Lawrence, color analyst, following KU’s win over GT, Jayhawk Radio Network
GH: So how did Kale Pick beat this guy out? Does Webb cuss?

“A Technical Knockout”
Headline, for the GT/KU game story, Kansas City Star
GH: Huh? After giving us the brilliant “Stomach Turner” last week, The Star fumbled with this head scratcher. Metro Sports’ Brad Porter offered these on Twitter Saturday; “Possible KU headlines: Webb Gem, Jayhawk Turner Overdrive, The Jordan Rules.” How about; Lewsers No More. I think I’ll use that one for this column.

“It’s like the #KU coaching staff got those hats at a gas station.”
Mick Shaffer, Twitter

“The unfortunate nicknames are out (for the ACC). A-SHE-SHE. … Though the season is just two weeks old, the ACC is once again proving itself to be an inferior conference when matched up against the SEC, Big Ten or Big 12. And this was supposed to be the year that the conference ascended to the top of the college football world on the strength of the resurgence of the Florida State and Miami.”
Doug Roberson, writer, Atlanta Journal Constitution

“Everybody calls me a Kansas hater. I’m calling it right now. I think that is a one-score game in the fourth quarter. I think somewhere in the fourth quarter Kansas is within seven points. Maybe I’m nuts. I’m sure I’m the only person who thinks that.”
Nick Wright, on his Friday show, 610 AM
GH: The betting expert on Kietzman’s show also called for KU to be within a touchdown in this game. I sure didn’t think it would be close.

“I think the Pac 10 just rescinded their invited to Colorado.”
BShah23, following Colorado’s 52-7 loss to Cal, Twitter
GH: Well, I didn’t expect that. Forget what I said about Mizzou needing to be wary of the Buffs. Mizzou fans, you’re free to hit the snooze button until October 16th and that trip to A&M.

“Columbia Police arrested suspended MU tailback Derrick Washington on suspicion of third-degree domestic assault, a misdemeanor, early Sunday morning.  The police were called to the Grindstone Canyon apartment complex at 1:22 a.m. Police then arrested Washington at his home on La Mesa Drive in Columbia at 3 a.m., according to police reports. Police were unable to say what kind of relationship Washington has with the victim, and public police reports did not list the victim's name or information. The police report was titled ‘Assault-Hands/Fist/Feet.’ ”
Missourian Staff, ColumbiaMissourian.com
GH: WTF, Derrick? Way to make your senior year a memorable one.

“Thru 2 games, Michigan QB Denard Robinson has 5 more carries, 41 more rushing yards than anyone else in the country,”
PDBuckeyes, Twitter
GH: Mr. Heisman, meet Mr. Robinson.

“There are over 1,600 players. 32 teams. All with one common goal. To be champions of the National Football League. This dream began a lifetime ago. For them, this journey begins today.”
The Journey narrated by Michael Douglas on Fox’s pregame show
GH: You can view the video clip here on You Tube. It almost had me thinking the Chiefs have a chance.

“The Chiefs take on the Chargers (Monday) night and Union Station is all charged up. Look at it there. Part of the Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit, organizers placed a San Diego Charger inside a T-Rex’s mouth.”
Stephanie Hockridge, news anchor, Fox 4 TV
GH: The Union Station crowd must not be Fantasy Football freaks. They dressed the Chargers’ dummy in a dated #21 LaDainian Tomlinson Chargers’ jersey. Unfortunately, as all Hard Knocks junkies know, LT is now playing for the J-E-T-S -- Jets, Jets, Jets! On the good news side of this story, any story where Ms. Hockridge is front and center of my TV screen is a positive. Her delivery is as natural as her beauty.

“It’s all about the fans!”
Chiefs TV commercial
GH: Except when it comes to scheduling a 9:15 PM game on a weeknight. I’m going to guess more than just my kids will miss the second half of this Chiefs’ opener.

“Tony Gonzalez just made his 1,000th career reception, first and only TE ever to do so in NFL history. Next stop: Canton, Ohio.”
TommyDeas, Twitter
GH: Is there a tight end in Canton without a postseason victory on his resume? Will this be the season that changes? Not unless Gonzo gets traded away from Atlanta.

“Doc, I just got your email. I’m out for the season?”
Injured football player in Sprint TV Commercial
GH: Great writing, great acting, great commercial.

“Most people deal with a midlife crisis by getting a convertible.”
Howie Long, on his co-host Jimmy Johnson appearing in Survivor this season, Fox
GH: I cannot wait for this season’s Survivor with Jimmy Johnson with a less-than-perfect quaff. From the looks of his impressive weight loss, he must have survived quite a few tribal councils.

“They say that football today is in the business of entertainment. And if (the Chiefs) are failing at that, why would you think it would be any different when we went to the entertainers?”
Bill Maas, on the Chiefs curious choice of Billy Ray Cyrus to sing the national anthem at Arrowhead on MNF, 610 AM
GH: KCK’s Ida McBeth. Case closed.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

Predictions for the Chiefs

Posted 9-10-10

“The smart money (in Vegas) is driving the Chiefs’ bus. Right now the Chiefs are the play in Vegas and I think that’s noteworthy.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM

“I don’t know how to go into a Chiefs’ season without truly believing they can win the division. … I’m a homer”
Nick Wright, who spent much of his Thursday show asking his listeners to allow him to be a Chiefs’ homer until at least Monday night, 610 AM
GH: Most Chiefs fans want to hope for the best when every team in the division is 0-0. It might be the only time Kansas City fans get to think good thoughts. I say Nick can go ahead and dream…for now. Just don’t turn into JoPo.

“I just haven’t seen enough from the Chiefs that tells me they’ve turned the corner yet.”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM

“I think the Chiefs can win ten games this year. I’m shooting high because of the coaching and better players this year.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM

“Don’t talk to me about a wild card because the wild card teams are going to be 10- or 11-win teams. I don’t think there is any way in the world the Chiefs are a 10- or 11-win team.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM

“If Matt Cassel goes down Monday Night and Brodie Croyle has to come in, I think we are all in agreement that there will not be a drop off. There will not be a drop off.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM

“Brodie Croyle is a third-string quarterback. Tyler Thigpen is better than Brodie Croyle. The Miami Dolphins sure think so. They are very happy with Thigpen and they think he can help them in a number of ways.”
Mike Lombardi, NFL Network analyst, 810

“I drafted (Matt Cassel) on my fantasy team as my backup quarterback.”
Tim Grunhard, 810 AM

“I just picked the Chiefs to win the division and I think the quarterback stinks.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM

“I don’t really listen to (the criticism) to be completely honest. I don’t listen to the radio or read any print or anything like that. I have a job to do and right now my job is to be the quarterback of this team. I am going to go out and work hard and do everything I need to do to be productive on the field.”
Matt Cassel, KCChiefs.com
GH: Would you listen and read what was said and printed about your work, your work habits and your competence if it was a daily topic in the media? If I had a $63-million contract, I’d listen and laugh. I have always been fascinated by those in the public eye who cannot handle being critiqued. Here is a surprise for you: one of the best at being able to absorb his critics and their barbs from my perspective was Jason Whitlock. Remember that guy? One of the worst? Don Fortune.  

“The Kansas City Chiefs will beat San Diego in the opener and go 9-7. San Diego, with AFC rookie of the year Ryan Mathews, will still win the AFC West. And still lose in the playoffs.”
Tom Shatel, Omaha World Herald

“I think the Chargers are going to implode.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM

“I like San Diego to win the division and represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.”
Michael Lombardi, 810 AM

“The Denver Broncos will be horrific! Get out of here with the Broncos!”
Shan Shariff, to a Broncos’ fan who predicted Denver will win the AFC West, 610 AM

“All I know is that (the Chiefs) better not play Start Me Up at the kickoff. Enough is enough!”
Tim Grunhard, 810 AM
GH: There are a lot of things I would like to see changed at Arrowhead – but The Rolling Stones’ version of Start Me Up blaring before every Chiefs’ kickoff is not one of them. Some songs are just perfect for some events and nothing screams CamaroHead like Start Me up. But I would love to see the idiots in the stands who scream CHIEFS at the end of the national anthem all be simultaneously tazed.

“I’ve overseen the Kansas website for ten years and I think it has been the roughest five days I’ve ever seen it go through. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything as negative as that. It was a bad loss and everybody’s down about it.”
Jon Kirby, KU recruiting reporter for Rivals.com, on the Jayhawk fans reaction to Kansas 3-6 loss to NDSU, 810 AM

“One game. It’s one game. That’s the way I look at it. It’s the first game, too. That (puts) it in a different perspective. It’s the first ballgame. Again, until you play a football game, you don’t know where you’re at.”
Turner Gill, after KU’s 3-6 loss to North Dakota State, Kansas City Star
GH: Gill spouted his now famous, “It’s one game” speech during his postgame presser Saturday night. He then turned around and stripped his starting quarterback of his job almost immediately after that “one game.” Read on.

“Kansas Jayhawks head coach Turner Gill announced on Aug. 19 that Kale Pick would be his starting quarterback. Three weeks later and Pick is already out. How did KU go so wrong in their quarterback competition? … Now what Gill has done at this point is shattered the confidence of both of his quarterbacks. Pick made it through three quarters before being replaced after Gill saw him play an entire offseason. Could Gill's read on Pick's ability be that wrong?”
Joel Thorman, editor, sbnation.com
GH: After one game, Gill has changed quarterbacks, moved his starting center to guard and has said he’ll play last season’s leading rusher at linebacker this Saturday. Gill better hope the KU’s administration has more patience with his results than he is showing with his players.

“Here's why I think Gill might get more time than people think. The new KU athletic boss will be hired for image; he'll need to be the anti-Perkins. He'll need to be less about money and more about the ‘right way.’ Gill is about the ‘right way.’ How could a new AD come in and wipe that away without giving Gill a chance? Meanwhile, KU fans need to look in the mirror. They only think they want strong college football. Often, that means you have to hold your nose. Do they want an image guy or a tough, rough guy who wins football games? They had that guy and let him go.”
Tom Shatel, Omaha World Herald
GH: Gill’s best chance to squeeze more years out of Kansas than he deserves is his minority status. Kansas does not want to pull the trigger prematurely on one of the few black head coaches in D-1 football. KU is very sensitive to diversity hiring. So much so that they are now saddled with a university president and a head football coach who fit the minority bill but look to be in way over their heads.

“It’s easy to blame it on the new guy. If you don’t have any understanding of college football outside the Big 12 and don’t understand what (Gill) did at Buffalo was one of the most impressive reclamation projects in college football.”
Nick Wright, 810 AM
GH: Gill will get his chance to prove me and his other critics wrong. So far, he looks like nothing more than a guy who had one good football season as a head coach.

“(Kansas) need to cover (the spread against Georgia Tech) to regain some respectability.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: The spread is at 13.5 after opening at 8. Can KU stay within two touchdowns of GT? That would be a moral victory that Gill needs almost as much as a real win.

“Do you know how you can tell that Bill Snyder is coaching again at Kansas State? People call in on (Monday) after they win and say; ‘You know, that team that Kansas State beat wasn’t very good.’ Bill Snyder has made a living out of beating teams that we’re very good.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: If there is a more paranoid fan base in college football than K-Staters, I have yet to meet that why-is-everybody-picking-on-us bunch. KSU’s win over UCLA was a quality win over a Pac 10 team. Enjoy it, Kietz. Screw the few haters who diss you at every turn.  

“I was told by one source over there (at Kauffman Stadium) that they are spending money like drunken sailors.”
Kevin Kietzman, hinting that he has uncovered information that leads him to believe the Royals are exploiting the funding coming from Jackson County, 810 AM
GH: Why is it always drunken sailors who get singled out as the sloppy spenders? How about drunken superintendents? Or drunken politicians? Or liquored up editors? I’m just saying I think the sailors have taken it on the chin for too damn long.

“Not to sound arrogant, but I’d say I speak finer English than anyone on Kansas City radio.”
Nick Wright, to a listener who suggested to Wright to tone done his “Ebonics,” 810 AM

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Chiefs tickets are a tough sell

Posted 9-9-10

“I’m just shocked that these tickets are available (for the Chiefs’ MNF opener). Monday night at Arrowhead is a special thing. Monday night is not going to be blacked-out, but I thought this game was going to sell out immediately.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: The climate around fans paying for tickets and attending professional sporting events is changing. It is a subtle shift, but one that cannot be ignored. Sure, some of it is the economy. But I think a deeper, long-term cultural change is happening with American sports fans. The move from the stadium to the family room has never been more pronounce. Read on.

“I was told by somebody out at Arrowhead last week that when they started there with the Chiefs during the (Dick) Vermeil era, there was one person working in the ticket office. That person just facilitated accounts. Now there are 20 some people out there in the basement making hundreds of calls a day – cold-calling people trying to sell tickets. That’s how much it’s changed. That’s how much it’s gone the other way. And that’s just not here in Kansas City. That’s the National Football League in general.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: I have thought for the past five years that the attendance at live sporting events is taking the same downward turn that snuck up and dealt a fatal blow to newspapers. With newspapers it was the Internet and their aging customer base. With the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL it is the explosion of HD televisions in every home and each sports’ aging customer base. Will the “new” Arrowhead stand as an expensive grave marker a few years from now – just as The Kansas City Star’s magnificent glass house does now?

“It’s going to be a wild night and maybe of historic proportions. I got a good feeling about Monday night and the atmosphere at Arrowhead.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Isn’t that what songmeister TV-5’s Michael Coleman said before the Chiefs’ preseason opener? “I got a feeling, tonight’s gonna be a good, good niiiight…”

“A 9:15 (PM) kickoff means we’ll be out there until 12:30 in the morning if there is no overtime. Right now it looks dry.”
Gary Lezak, TV 41’s weather guy, on the Chiefs’ late-night edition of MNF on ESPN next Monday, 810 AM
GH: Do not expect an OTC bright and early Tuesday morning. Consider that my version of a hold-out for a pay raise.

“You haven’t seen the Chiefs whole offense yet by any stretch of the imagination.”
Herm Edwards, 810 AM

“I don’t think they’ve shown the offense they’re going to use during the regular season. And I don’t think it matters.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM

“From my standpoint, I just tell folks that success is coming. I don’t know when but it’s gonna be fun.”
Todd Haley, 810 AM

“You at least have (a Super Bowl ring). You don’t think my family doesn’t want one? I’d love more than anything to give my father my Super Bowl ring. That would mean more to me than anything. And I’d make him take it.”
Brian Schottenheimer, talking to Rex Ryan, HBO’s Hard Knocks
GH: Every time I see “Schottzie” (as his players call him) on the tube I think back when he was the quarterback at Blue Valley High, where they won the Kansas 5A state title in 1991. WHB’s president, Chad Boeger, was a wide receiver on that team and a close friend of Brian’s. Brian tossed 26 TD passes his senior year. We’ll have to check with Chad to see how many of those TDs he snared from Schottzie.

“I’d make you get two.”
Rex Ryan, responding to Brian’s vow to give his dad, Marty, his Super Bowl ring, HBO’s Hard Knocks
GH: We Chiefs’ fans know how much the Schottenheimer family yearns for that special hunk of hardware. We too would like a piece of that glory for our kids’ memories.

“There’s nothing worse than a fumbler.”
Rex Ryan, as another Jets’ running back coughed up a preseason fumble, HBO’s Hard Knocks
GH: Why did an image of Jamaal Charles snap across my brain just now?

“I love this. It’s my passion. Just making history. That’s what I build on, just making history.”
Jamaal Charles, on being an NFL running back, 610 AM

“Let’s go eat a goddamn snack!”
Rex Ryan, ending a team meeting with his players, HBO’s Hard Knocks
GH: This has become my new mantra around the office and at home this fall.

“It’s almost pathetic in my mind with the teams (Boise State) is going to play and their schedule that they’re going to wind up one or two in the country. Yet they’re not going to have the same grind as the other team they’re going to play (in the BCS title game) has gone through.”
Gary Barnett, current college football analyst and former Colorado and Northwestern head coach, 810 AM
GH: Boise State’s only remaining game against a BCS team is Oregon State. While their win at Virginia Tech is impressive, it ain’t the same as sawing through the SEC, the Big 12, the Big 10 or even the Pac 10. While I like Boise, I too think they are stealing what isn’t theirs to take.

“I really respect (Boise State) but their schedule gives them an unfair advantage.”
Gary Barnett, 810 AM

“I’m a grown man now. I’m way past sucking up to people.”
Kevin Kietzman, responding to a listener who complained that KK was condescending during his face-to-face interview with Mike Alden, 810 AM
GH: I didn’t think KK was condescending at all to Alden during their interview. What Kietzman was, was passive aggressive. Especially in the way he tried to laugh off Alden’s refusal to return his calls this past June during the conference realignment blitz. But anyone with ears knows Kietzman is always sending mixed signals whenever he laughs too loudly, too long and with a tad too much effort.

“Jack is back! The Chiefs’ postgame will never be the same!”
Promo for 810’s Chiefs’ postgame show with Jack Harry, AM
GH: This promo confused me. In one breath it states Jack Harry is back and nothing will change. In the next it tells us the postgame show will never be the same. Now that 810 has a friendly contract with the Chiefs, it will be interesting to monitor Mad Jack’s postgame takes on 810 and see if he is still the same guy or simply a saner version.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / gregthall24


Media reaction to Perkins' 'retirement'

Posted 9-8-10

“Somebody send Amy Hawley to Lawrence.”
Doug Stewart, upon hearing the news that Lew Perkins had “retired” as the KU athletic director, 810 AM

“I appreciate his service and understand his decision.”
Bernadette Gray-Little, Kansas chancellor, in KU’s official release on Lew Perkins’ so-called retirement as KU’s AD a year early
GH: With this lie (and a few others), Gray-Little suddenly ended Lew Perkins’ reign in Lawrence. Why is it that we are so accepting of obvious falsehoods when uttered in the context of a public firing? Oh yeah, and Mark Mangino resigned. Do you think Mangino has enjoyed Lew’s fall from grace? Like a Wendy’s triple with a side of fries and a Frosty.

“In the end, one embarrassing revelation after another (in the KU athletic program) — the ticket scandal, the exercise equipment installed in Perkins’ Lawrence home, the published report that detailed his lavish spending habits charged to the athletic department, fear that more could be uncovered by the state ethics commission investigating him — so riled the alumni base that the school had to take action and approach Perkins about bypassing his lame-duck year and calling it a day. Donors, big and small alike, lost trust in the athletic department and the university and were heard by scaling back their generosity.”
Tom Keegan, LJworld.com
GH: Why now? Because the big-buck donors said so, that’s why. Gray-Little doesn’t run her university, just like few chancellors or presidents runs any big-time school. It’s all about the Benjamins, the private jets, the large donations and the rich men who can make it rain or not.

“Perkins leaves with his program under federal investigation and his only major hire (Turner Gill) a regional punchline. He once told jokes and smiled in front of cameras, but now? He’s spoken publicly twice in the last three months, once to claim a share of credit for the Big 12 (sort of) staying together, and the other to tell The Star that ‘I’m old’ in a regrettable attempt to explain a mistake in an expense report.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: So how does he walk away with over $2 million in compensation when he’s being run out of Lawrence? Read on.

“He resigned today and got this money! That’s the most amazing part. He even got his retention money! How the hell do you get a retention bonus when you’re going to be gone?”
Nick Wright, 810 AM
GH: One word: Lawyers. The threat of a lawsuit forced KU to pay off Mangino and Perkins as they kicked them out the door. It makes Gray-Little’s “mutual decision” comment all the more ridiculous.

“Here’s how such divorces generally take place: The party approached about leaving says, OK, but it’s going to cost you. For argument’s sake, let’s say Perkins’ original offer went something like this, ‘Give me $3.2 million, and I’ll clean out my office.’ The settlement turned out to be $2 million, less than it would have cost the university had Perkins sued and won for being fired without cause.”
Tom Keegan, LJworld.com

“I would love to be the athletic director at Kansas.”
Sean Lester, the interim AD at KU who has replaced Perkins, 810 AM

“Not even two hours after Kansas University acting athletic director Sean Lester said he wants to become an athletic director at Kansas or elsewhere, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little issued a statement that said, in part: ‘While I am confident in Sean Lester’s ability to lead Kansas Athletics as interim athletics director, he has expressed to me that he is not a candidate to be our next athletics director.’ Clearly, the search for a replacement for Lew Perkins got off to a confusing start Tuesday.”
KUSports.com
GH: I guess that was news to Lester. One thing that is becoming clear about Gray-Little is that she can spin a tale faster than Lew can schedule a private jet to Ames.

“I am very concerned that Bernadette Gray-Little doesn’t know what she is doing when it comes to hiring an athletic director. And that scares the hell out of me.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: I’m concerned BGL doesn’t know what she is doing as the head of a D1 university. She cut a dumb deal to retain Perkins as a lame duck for 18 months and then had to come back a few months later, pay him all the retention money (w/o retaining him), and cut him loose anyway. How long before BGL gets the axe?

“Boise State would kick Kansas’ ass from one end of the field to the other – and it ain’t because they’ve got facilities.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Perkins’ legacy is the buildings and facilities he leaves behind at KU. But will his upgrade of the Kansas facilities result in more football wins? Because as we know, football is all that counts when it comes to being considered a major player in today’s mega-conference shakedown.

“It it weren’t for Lew Perkins, the Big 12 would have collapsed. Lew was the driving force behind all that. I think we have him to thank for keeping (the Big 12) all together.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Lew saved the Big 12? I think Fescoe and Lew might be the only two people buying this story. Kansas was left flittering in the wind with the other remaining B12 North schools when CU and NU bolted. The only thing that kept the Big 12 together was Texas. Texas called the shots then and they are calling the shots now. Lew had about as much influence in the Big 12 remaining intact as Kietzman’s Mizzou-to-the-Big-10 fantasy.

“(Perkins) will really get no credit for the trophies in the (KU) trophy case. In the end, what people remember about athletic programs is; what coaches did they hire?”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I don’t agree. Most fans have no idea who hired Bill Self or Mangino. And few will remember Gill was Perk’s pick. We uber-sports zealots think everyone is as tuned into the inner workings of a franchise or program as us. It’s just not so. Perkins will be viewed by some as a greedy ogre and by others as a great businessman who doubled the KU athletic budget. Probably neither portrait is all that accurate.

“Be careful what you wish for.”
Nate Bukaty, in a warning to celebratory KU fans after Perkins’ “retirement,” 810 AM

“This is a premier (AD) job in the country. I don’t think Kansas has to settle for some good-old-boy network and settle for somebody who has connections to Kansas. This is a top-of-the-line job. Kansas shouldn’t have to go out there and settle for the second assistant at Notre Dame or somebody who runs a bank.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Fescoe read a list of names that he compiled that he thinks KU should pursue to replace Perkins. The list included the current ADs at Michigan State, North Carolina, UCLA, Florida, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Florida, Stanford and Ohio State. How Fescoe was able to depart from KU with a degree is one of the great mysteries of the past millennium.

“I’m shooting high because that’s the respect and admiration I have for that job.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Unfortunately, the KU job does not garner that same respect and admiration in the open market. Did we not learn anything from the conference realignment frenzy last June? Kansas’ last two fulltime ADs came from Fresno State and UConn. Does Fescoe think that 3-6 loss to Fargo makes Mass Street look any brighter now?

“I’ll tell you this much, whoever you get (as the next AD) isn’t going to be as good at his job as Lew Perkins was at his. They’re not going to raise as much money. They’re not going to win as many BCS bowls. They might be a lot cleaner but they won’t be as successful. Lew Perkins, while a bit of a jackass and uncouth, was very good at his job.”
Nick Wright, 810 AM

“Back-to-back (Kansas) ADs have now left in non-ideal circumstances. (Perkins) leaves on shaky terms. Why has that happened at Kansas? I think part of that is a passion to win but something is not quite right. Something is broken. Are the money people at Kansas too powerful? I don’t know.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM

“I don’t think KU will miss him.”
Bill Tuttle, a retired KU history professor, was serving on the KU Athletics board at the time the points system was installed, and he recalled he was the lone vote of dissent, KUSports.com
GH: Tuttle also stated, “I’ve always been proud of that vote,” he said. “It was all about greed. It’s all about money for everybody.” Tuttle’s singing a song a lot of older and not-so-rich KU alums have been whimpering. It will be curious to watch and see if Perkins’ push for money over loyalty will eventually undermine Kansas’ honor.
Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Gill is like, uh, a pretty lenient coach

Posted 9-8-10

“It could be a one and done. I doubt it.”
Soren Petro, discussing Turner Gill’s staying power at Kansas after losing 3-6 to North Dakota State in his debut in Lawrence, 810 AM
GH: If there has been a bigger opening day thud in these parts, I cannot recall it. Has anybody seen Lew Perkins since Saturday night?

“I wonder if the North Dakota State’s athletic director flew down in a private jet to the game?”
Voices section, in Sports Daily, Kansas City Star

“Just how laid back he is. He’s a pretty like lenient coach.”
Ryan Murphy, KU cornerback, when asked what is most surprising about first-year head coach Turner Gill, KUSports.com
GH: Murphy was one of three KU players who described Gill as laid back. A number of others called him a “players coach.” None of these traits are negative – until you lose 3-6 to Fargo in your home opener. Once Lew leaves in December, how long will Gill's next AD want to ride the no-cuss, no-win Turner train? 

“Johnathan Wilson, a (KU) receiver, not a yell leader, led the team out of the new, cheesy, inflatable tunnel carrying a flag. Later with that. A harder edge is in order. This is football.”
Tom Keegan, columnist, KUSports.com

“There's an old saying in sports that teams often get more out of losses than they do from wins. Could this be one of those times? Is it possible that the anger, embarrassment and frustration that the Jayhawks felt Saturday — and surely still feel today — will be the kick in the butt they need to get things moving in the right direction? Maybe.”
Matt Tait, writer, KUSPorts.com
GH: Last season Bill Snyder’s Wildcats faced a similar (yet not nearly as ugly) 17-15 loss early in their season to Louisiana-Lafayette and then a few weeks later the Cats were destroyed 66-14 at Texas Tech. The season looked like a total disaster.  Snyder somehow got his team to regroup and lay a 62-14 beating on Texas A&M the following week. Disaster was not only avoided, but it inspired K-State to make a run at the Big 12 North title and reenergized their fan base. Can gill do the same against Georgia Tech this Saturday? If so, the turnaround would be the stuff of legends. If not, the shortness of Gill’s stay in Lawrence may be record setting.

“Have you seen Kenny Chesney’s “Boys of Fall” music video on You Tube? Oh, it’s great. You will cry. You will literally shed a tear.”
Tim Grunhard, 810 AM
GH: I had not seen the video so on Grunny’s recommendation, I closed my office door, cranked up my speakers, and sat back to enjoy. I went through two Kleenexes and more smiles crossed my face than I can recall. If you ever snapped on a bonnet and made that shoulder-to-shoulder march from the locker room to where the Friday night lights burn, you too will once again fall in love with this game we call football.

“Life is a team game. It’s the big game.”
Joe Namath, The Boys of Fall
GH: In my humble opinion, there is not a better team game than American football. My high school football career taught me a lot about effort, working with others to achieve a common goal and maybe most importantly that friendships and relationships are why life is worth living, trying and remembering. Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose.

“You can’t be quiet! You can’t be unemotional! This is an emotional game!”
High school football coach, urging his team to give maximum effort in a pre-game locker room speech, The Boys of Fall video
GH: I would suggest Coach Turner Gill watch this video in private and then with his team. I am guessing the boys from Fargo have already seen it.

“For those fans for a college team, that live and die with their team, whether it’s K-State, Missouri, Kansas or whoever you root for, I mean it’s personal! I guess you lose that fact (being a broadcaster in the booth). Everybody that covers these games should sit out in the stands anonymously, as my wife and I did with some other people (at the NDSU/KU game). Just listen to the comments. Everybody is wearing KU blue. It’s like you’ve said something against a member of their family. They really take it seriously. Not that other fans were yelling at them. They were just so disappointed and could not believe what they were seeing. And how far maybe things are from being on track again.”
Kevin Harlan, 810 AM
GH: It is easy as a member of the media to begin to distance yourself from being a fan. One thing I noticed when I was at The Star was that too many of the older sportswriters were no longer fans. The job had made them perceive the games as work. Mike DeArmond was the exception. He loved Mizzou and hated Kansas – just like he was supposed to as the Mizzou beat writer. It is easy to become cynical and disinterested in who wins once you see behind the curtain of big-time college athletics and professional sports. I think the voices at 810 have done a great job of retaining their passion as fans for their local teams, despite their proximity to the athletes, coaches and administrators. It will be interesting to see if 610 can match their passion in the years to come.

“(Carson Coffman) is not awful, but he is a fringe D-1 college player.”
Soren Petro, on the K-State quarterback, 810 AM
GH: Coffman was a grayshirt coming out of Ray-Pec and not highly regarded. K-State needs to have someone behind center who is much more than a “fringe D-1 college player.”

“If (K-State) can play defense and run the ball, they can get to six wins.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Six wins would be bowl eligible and an improvement. It will be at least three more than Kansas racks up.

“(Nathan) Scheelhaase, who succeeds four-year starter Juice Williams, completed 9 of 23 passes for 81 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions while inflicting little mayhem with his legs in the second half. He rushed for minus-6 yards after the break, finishing with 76 yards on 16 carries.”
David Briggs, writer, Columbia Tribune
GH: The former Rockhurst QB had a decent first half and an awful second. I still think he’ll do some good things before he’s done at Illinois. Read on.

“I think we did a good job of rattling (Scheelhaase), but he did a good job of taking the rattling. That kid’s pretty good for a freshman. I’m not going to lie. I know we got a couple good licks on him. I know I did, but the kid’s good.”
Andrew Gachkar, Missouri linebacker, Columbia Tribune

“Their quarterback’s going to be a great player. I’m glad we’re not playing him the next couple of years.”
Gary Pinkel, Columbia Tribune

“Nathan Scheelhaase has a chance to be an okay player but he’s just not ready to throw the ball at the collegiate level yet.”
Todd Leabo, on Illinois’ redshirt freshman quarterback, 810 AM
GH: If Scheelhaase works as hard as everyone says he does, I would guess he’ll be fun to watch the next four years.

“Aldon Smith may be my next new man crush in college football. This guy can flat out play! I would love to have this guy in red and gold on Sundays going out there (for the Chiefs).”
Bob Fescoe, on the Mizzou defensive end who was named national defensive player of the week after his play against Illinois, 610 AM
GH: Pinkel continues to amaze me at the quality of athlete he is able to recruit to Mizzou. Smith is another one of those athletes who looks NFL bound.

“(Alden Smith) will get a lot better because he’s got a great attitude and a great work ethic.”
Gary Pinkel, 610 AM
GH: Get better? Someone hide Carson Coffman and Kale Pick.

“Look, Missouri isn’t Kansas. They’re not going to go out and embarrass themselves (against their next three no-name non-con opponents). They’re too good of a program.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Mizzou fans can take the rest of September off. Colorado comes to Columbia on October 9th and the Tigers will be undefeated and ranked in the top 20. The Buffs will not be easy. Right now, I like Colorado in this one.

“I’m all for scheduling big (games in the non-con). Because if your whole goal is winning the national championship, you’re probably going to spend your whole life being miserable.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: I hate the patsy non-con schedules that are everywhere in college football this time of year. All the more reason to go to the mega-team conferences and force these schools to play legit conference games in September.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


A Big 12 North preview

Posted 9-2-10

“I’m projecting now that the Kansas Jayhawks are gonna win seven games this year. Nobody’s giving them much of a chance at all. I think they will win seven games.”
Jack Harry, TV 41
GH: There are good reasons many are skeptical of Gill’s Jayhawks – and one of the biggest is Gill himself. Swell guy but he’s no Mangino – in a number of ways. The Hawks will struggle mightily to win four games this season.
“With a straight face on Tuesday, (Turner) Gill made it sound like the (North Dakota State) Bison are legit – just like Tom Osborne taught him.”
Dave Stewart, Metro Sports
GH: When Osborne was scheduling Lesser-Than State U’s, he was riding a whole different pony than Gill will be shepherding on Saturday. I expect this to be a dogfight and I’m not so sure NoDak State doesn’t spoil Gill’s debut.
“I expect us to be explosive. I expect for us to score. What’s that magic number that I anticipate them to be able to do? I would think that it would be acceptable for us to be right around 30 points a game. Whether or not that’s enough for us to win or not, I don’t know. But I do know that I expect us to be in that area.”
Turner Gill, KU’s head football coach, on his expectations for the Jayhawks this season, FoxSports Kansas City
GH: Gill is the new face of Kansas football. He is everywhere you look – he’s just not always identified correctly if you happen to be looking in The Star. Kansas is very happy to be promoting Gill’s smiling, positive approach to life and football over the Mangino’s sour scowl and overinflated sweater vest. Now we find out of Gill can not only talk winning football but coach it as well. Believe it or not, this season, with an untested QB, is Gill’s best chance to get to a bowl the next three years.

“This year, in my opinion, it’s going to be a struggle (for Kansas). They have a lot of things to overcome. I think you’re going to see more success out of that KU offense than people expect. Defensively, it could be a big struggle for them this year. I want to be realistic – and for what they lost, it’s gonna be a tough year for KU.”
Paul Coffman, Big 12 analyst, FoxSports Kansas City
GH: Kansas will struggle to go 2-2 in their non-con games. Their conference schedule doesn’t include Oklahoma or Texas but they could still go 0-8 in league play. I don’t see them winning more than four games this season. Get out the deep-dark Mangino shades Hawk fans, it’s going to be a long three years under the Turner Gill Church of Nice-Guys-Finish-Last.

“KU football feels like as tough a sell as it’s been in many years. Think about it: Is there any player on KU’s offense that would inspire the average fan to rush to the bookstore to buy his jersey? … Curious about what the team will look like when it takes the field against upset-seeking North Dakota State, sure. Counting the days, not quite. Tough sell this year.”
Tom Keegan, columnist, KUSports.com
GH: Turner Gill is getting $2.1 million to win at least seven games a year and sell football tickets for the Kansas University. If he fails in either pursuit, he will soon be building the character of young student athletes somewhere where the pay is much less and the spotlight not nearly as bright. Some place like Buffalo.

“Tuner Gill makes more money than Bill Snyder. That makes no sense! All this is, is Kansas wants everybody to know we’ve got gobs of money and if we don’t like you as a coach, we want everybody to know we’ve got gobs of money.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kansas dwarfs their sister school, K-State, when it comes to cash. It doesn’t seem fair but it is reality. If Gill goes the way of Terry Allen, KU will just go get the next Mangino at whatever the price. If Bill Snyder loses favor with the fans in Manhattan for the second time, KSU will be back searching for a better-looking right-priced Ron Prince. The new Big 12 is going to be a very difficult road for both schools no matter who leads them.

“I think Kansas State has the best coaching staff in the North and I think that alone should help them stay in this thing.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I talked about the unrealistic expectations K-State fans had last year for their eventually 6-6 team. This year Wildcat fans are buzzing about beating Nebraska and winning the North. Has anybody watched Carson Coffman play quarterback?

“The Kansas State Wildcats will be the biggest surprise in the Big 12 North. Now, they’re not going to win this thing but they’re going to make it interesting again.”
Jack Harry, who predicts a K-State win over UCLA on Saturday, TV 41
GH: Harry has KU winning seven games and K-State making a run at the North title. So does he have Mizzou and Nebraska in the Kansas schools’ rear-view mirror? Now that would be a prediction worth staking your name to.

“I cannot believe so many people are down on this Carson Coffman. What’s going on anyhow?”
Jack Harry, TV 41
GH: I guess Harry hasn’t seen Carson Coffman play either. If there is a less popular player in the K-State program, I don’t know who it would be. No KSU fan not named Coffman wanted to hear Coffman named as the starter.

“I’m always honored and pleased when we can fill up our stadium. I’ve always had a love affair with our fans.”
Bill Snyder, Metro Sports
GH: If CBS wants to continue to fill up Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium, he is going to have to be a bit more of a marketing guy. Disappearing from the media’s eye for 10 days and giving little information about his team was fine when he was winning 11 games a year. Now that losses come as frequently as wins, he needs to help sell some of those long-vacant seats.

“Missouri probably has the softest non-conference schedule in the country.”
Dave Matter, columnist, Columbia Tribune
“Missouri needs to be and they should be 5-0 after their first five games. If they’re not 5-0, it will be very disappointing. Missouri doesn’t play outside the state until October 16th against Texas A&M.”
Chris Gervino, MU sideline reporter and Columbia TV sports anchor, 810 AM
GH: Mizzou football has been in the headlines of late for all the wrong reasons. But once they take the field this Saturday in St. Louis against Illinois, those legal issues will be swept under the bed – preferably an unoccupied bed. Winning is what matters in Big 12 football and I expect the Tigers to do a lot of that this fall.

“I can’t tell you how many times I have heard people complain about (Mizzou’s) home schedule.”
Chris Gervino, 810 AM
GH: Mizzou fans have an opportunity to purchase tickets to the following feature home games; McNeese State, San Diego State, Miami of Ohio, Colorado, Oklahoma and Kansas State. While Mizzou’s home non-con is a snooze, their three home conference games are against good, entertaining foes who expect to give the Tigers all they want this season. Colorado is going to be every bit as good as Nebraska but far less buzz worthy. MU will need those rocks in the end zone covered with Tiger fans if they want to open the Big 12 with a win against the Buffs.

“I see Missouri as a more complete team than Nebraska. Nebraska will have to find a way to be at least average on offense or Missouri will just go in there and roll them!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman also has the Huskers losing to K-State. Listening to Kietzman, Nebraska might end up 2-10. I don’t think they are a legit top ten team this season but I think they’ll win the North. We will reconvene after the non-con and adjust our predictions thusly.

“(Nathan Scheelhaase) is the whole package. He’s a redshirt freshman and he’s their leader. I think they even voted him as a captain.”
Tony Severino, on his former Rockhurst QB who will be starting for Illinois against Mizzou, 810 AM
GH: From what I saw of Scheelhaase when he was at Rockhurst, he is more of an athlete than a passing quarterback. But what an athlete! I saw him make a broken-field run from scrimmage for about 70 yards as a sophomore that was Brad Smith worthy. It will be fun to see this KC youngster butting heads with Mizzou. BTW: I was at the Blue Springs/Rock game last Friday and the Hawklets were lucky to win that one, 7-6. BS committed three turnovers of the gift-wrapped variety. Rock looks to have a great D but their offense is suspect – especially the gangly 6’5 Frank Arbanas at QB. Arbanas has a big arm but no touch or poise to go with it. He looked more like a sophomore than a senior against the BS pass rush.

“Colorado isn’t leaving the Big 12 anytime soon. According to sources, the Buffaloes are expected to remain in the conference through 2012, and then join the Pac-10.”
Blair Kerkhoff, college columnist, Kansas City Star
“It’s terrible news for the rest of the Big 12. That Colorado is staying longer, that money is coming right out of the pockets of Missouri, Kansas and Kansas State. Colorado needs to go bye-bye.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I don’t think there is any chance Colorado sticks around the Big 12 after this season. No one wants them to stay and they want to go west. These things have a way of working out.

“On a wild and crazy night at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Kansas State upsets the turnover-plagued Huskers 24-21. Snyder declares it ‘the greatest victory in the second act of the great turnaround in college football history.’ Bo Pelini makes his team walk home… Blaine Gabbert survives this Nebraska game. Missouri doesn’t. The Huskers outduel Gabbert 28-21 in another NU-MU classic, the last one. … Turner Gill tells the Nebraska media how great it is to be back in Lincoln. Then the Nebraska-Kansas game starts. … Nebraska can’t corral Jerrod Johnson and loses to the Aggies. Mike Sherman saves his job. … In a classic, fitting final Big 12 championship game, Oklahoma rallies in the fourth quarter to beat Nebraska 28-27. Tom Osborne and Barry Switzer hug.”
Tom Shatel, columnist, in his 2010 college football predictions column, Omaha World Herald
GH: Shatel is one of the more overlooked writers in the country. He might not appreciate that designation since I’m sure he’s won his share of awards but he gets little run outside corn country. Shatel writes in a very readable style and often manages to entertain, move or poke his readers. He’s a fan of sports and appears to enjoy the teams, coaches and athletes he covers without fawning over them or overlooking their warts. I will miss his witty pen after this season when it comes to chronicling the Big 12.

“To me, the last three months in college sports have been the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen.”
Wendell Barnhouse, Big 12 writer, 610 AM
 GH: Obviously, Wendell has never frequented the Caddyshack Bar in the River Market for man-on-man neck nibbling night.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


 

Washington being given a fair boot?

Posted 9-2-10

“Missouri is issuing its own justice here in an unnecessary and possibly irresponsible rush to judgment, effectively convicting a man before he’s able to defend himself in court. Washington’s legal team may have a case that Mizzou is polluting the potential jury pool. And if he’s found not guilty, he’ll have a much bigger case than that.”
Sam Mellinger, columnist, Kansas City Star
GH: I have heard a number of voices on radio and in print calling Mizzou’s “permanent suspension” of Washington a rash and unfair rush to judgment. It is my opinion that anyone condemning MU’s decision to boot the former senior captain from the team is just as guilty of reacting without all the facts. Read on.

“Washington had nothing to do with the rest of that stuff (that include Ricky Clemons and other legal issues involving past Mizzou student athletes), of course. The issues should be unrelated but they’re not, meaning a team captain who’s never been in trouble is being indirectly punished for the mistakes of others. How is that fair?”
Sam Mellinger, columnist, Kansas City Star
GH: Mellinger penned a worthy column depicting Mizzou as overreacting due to the black-eyes their reputation took over Ricky, the jailhouse tapes and dem crackers be shakin’ quote – which is one of my all-time favorite sound bites. But where are the quotes from Mizzou officials or Washington to back up Mellinger’s claims of unfairness? What do Pinkel and Mike Alden know that the media has yet to be told about what happened in that apartment at 2:20 AM? I am guessin they know a lot. And that they used this researched information to make a devastating and terminal decision on one of their best and highest-profile Missouri-born athletes.

“We were told that if he (Derrick Washington) cleared his name in the court process, he would be welcomed back with opened arms. … We heard right after the suspension that his locker was cleaned out but his scholarship has not been pulled. Coach (Gary) Pinkel or coach (Andy) Hill would have informed us of that if so.”
Sarah Washington, mother of Derrick, in an email to The Kansas City Star
GH: What I want to hear from Derrick or his mom is how much of an injustice these accusations are – not just from members of the media. Derrick or Sarah needs to get in front of a microphone and scream that this is baloney and vehemently deny the accusations. That’s how I’d approach this if it was me on public trial and I knew I was not guilty. I don’t want to hear how Washington has lawyered up and how Mizzou’s swift actions have left them open to be sued. A court of law doesn’t always determine true guilt. Derrick knows what he did and what he didn’t do. He needs to talk now if he has something to say.

“I have been instructed from legal counsel that it is inappropriate for me to speak in regards to what has happened, and to just let it go through the process,"
Peter Vermes, Wizards head coach, when asked about his recent DUI charge, TV 9
GH: Vermes gets even less love from me than Washington – a lot less. Vermes is a man. I’m not sure if he’s 40, but he is an adult who is supposed to be a leader of young professional athletes and the face of the Wizards’ franchise. Screw legal counsel and all that cowardly hiding-behind-the-legal-system jargon. How about admitting you screwed up, were damn lucky you didn’t kill someone and pledge to never drink and drive again? No, that would be “unwise.” Like being a coward is attractive?

“Kansas City Wizards coach Peter Vermes was recently cited for driving under the influence, court records show. Vermes was pulled over about midnight on Aug. 24 while driving in Gardner, according to police reports. When Griffith asked Vermes whether he had any remorse, he said, ‘With all due respect, I gave my comment.’ ”
TV 9
GH: With all due respect? Respect???!!! That word should be stricken from Vermes’ vocabulary. Vermes still has time to be a man about this and publicly state his guilt and remorse. Until he does, I hope the Wizards permanently suspend his drunken ass.

“Len (Dawson) and I started together on the same day – Labor Day 1968.”
Larry Moore, new anchor at TV 9, 810 AM
GH: Dawson retired last year but Moore continues to show up every night and pull big ratings for Channel 9’s local newscasts. 43 years in local TV news. Damn. How many wrinkled female news anchors get to say that?

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Has Matt Cassel already lost KC?

Posted 9-1-10

“This city is ready to turn on Matt Cassel. I’m not sure I know why.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Season two for the Chiefs’ quarterback has yet to begin but yet there is a growing concern among the media and fans that Scott Pioli’s $60-million man is not the man to return Arrowhead and the Chiefs to greatness. Read on.

“I think (the fans) have already turned on the guy. I think they are going to have to go look for another quarterback at some point.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM

“Uhhhh, I don’t know. Being my teammate.”
Jamaal Charles, when asked what he thought Matt Cassel does best, 610 AM
GH: Charles probably didn’t mean for his hesitant reaction and less-than-laudatory comment to demean his quarterback but it did. You kind of hope that for $60 mill you get more than a shower buddy. 

“(Cassel) showered in Spandex and ankle socks yesterday.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: And the problem with that is what?

“(Matt Cassel) is in the lower half (of the NFL’s quarterbacks) for me. I need to see him do some things to win some games.”
Todd Leabo, 810 AM

“Brodie Croyle looked a heck of a lot better than Matt Cassel. While it isn’t a big issue right now, it could become one before this season is over.”
Jack Harry, after the Chiefs’ first preseason game in Atlanta, TV 41

“Would this team be a whole lot worse off if Brodie Croyle was the quarterback? I don’t think so. I don’t think you could call (Cassel) indispensible right now.”
Adam Teicher, Chiefs beat writer for Kansas City Star, 610 AM
GH: Teicher’s comment might be one of the more damning when it comes to Cassel’s worth to the Chiefs. Brodie is simply not an NFL QB. If Cassel is his equal, that is not good.

“A lot of things were encouraging on Friday night (against the Eagles). Quarterback wasn’t one of them. If they want to win eight games, the quarterback needs to play pretty damn good.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM

“After listening to the comments of Jamaal Charles and Charlie Weiss, there is no doubt that Scott Pioli has handcuffed his staff and his team with Matt Cassel.  There are young and promising additions on this roster and that is a credit to the GM.  Unfortunately, he may never see their development because of his first major strikeout from New England.”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM

“If the Patriots decide to place the franchise tag on Matt Cassel, they must have $14.6 million of salary cap space available -- or at least have a plan in place to create that space once Cassel signs the franchise tender.”
Mike Reiss, writer Boston Globe, January 2009
GH: 20 months ago Cassel was considered good enough to receive the franchise tag from the Patriots. Today he is considered interchangeable with Brodie Croyle. This is not good. 

“(Cassel) certainly could be as good as Trent Green was. Joe Montana never had a great arm. I think arm strength is overrated. It’s all about accuracy and leadership.”
Jeff Chadhia, NFL writer for ESPN.com, 810 AM
GH: I would take Trent Green good from Cassel. But I haven’t seen the accuracy and leadership from Cassel that Chadhia points to for success. Cassel still throws into trouble far too often and his leadership skills are more little brother than big brother.

“The clock now is ticking on Matt Cassel. If he doesn’t go out there and utilize his tools properly, then Matt Cassel will fail as a quarterback – not only in this city but quite possibly in the National Football League.”
Bob Fescoe, 810 AM

“The issue of Matt Cassel is much better served for January than today.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Does 810’s contract with the Chiefs expire in January?

“The first thing I wanted to do was help fix the quarterback.”
Charlie Weis, discussing Matt Cassel in one of his first discussions with the media this summer
GH: It appears Charlie still has some work to do.


Bad news for MU

Posted 9-1-10

“According to the report, the alleged victim’s female roommate said she let (Derrick) Washington into the apartment at approximately 2:30 a.m. on June 19. The roommate said Washington was there to see her and was the only male in the apartment during the time of the incident. She stated Washington was in her room for a brief period of time before he told her he would be right back. She said he returned approximately three minutes later, during which time she did not hear any noises such as a toilet flushing, water running or a door closing. She said after Washington returned, he stayed until approximately 3 a.m., when she escorted him out.”
Joe Walljasper, writer, Columbia Tribune
GH: So where was Washington during the unaccounted for three minutes? It appears he went uninvited into the bedroom of the roommate/victim, who happens to also beWashington’s former tutor. What happened then? Read on.

“In the probable-cause statement, University of Missouri Police detective Samuel Easley wrote that a female resident of an apartment at 301 Campus View Drive said she was in her bedroom with the door closed and she ‘woke up from her sleep to find (Derrick) Washington lying in her bed digitally penetrating her vagina.’ ”
Joe Walljasper, writer, Columbia Tribune
GH: When I first explained the details of the rumors surrounding Washington’s suspension to an older friend of mine, he was perplexed. The phrase “digital penetration” left him flummoxed. He immediately cocked his head to the side and paused with an odd look of confusion on his face. “You mean like with a computer?” he asked.

“She ‘stated as she realized what was happening, her body tensed, and she noticed Washington stop the digital penetration and leave the room a short time later.’ She ‘stated she is certain the person who did this to her is Washington.’”
Joe Walljasper, writer, Columbia Tribune
GH: Hope it was good for D. Wash because that three minutes probably just cost him his scholarship to the University of Missouri. You have got to be a very low bro to walk into the bedroom of a sleeping female and take advantage of her vulnerable state. If the allegations prove to be true, Washington doesn’t deserve to where the proud colors of the black and gold this season or any other.

“According to a probable-cause statement from University of Missouri police, detective Samuel Easley stated the alleged female victim said she was in her apartment bedroom the morning of June 19 when she ‘woke up from her sleep to find Washington lying in her bed’ and touching her. When her body tensed, the woman told police, Washington left the room.”
Mike DeArmond, writer, Kansas City Star
GH: In The Kansas City Star’s story on Washington, the “digital penetration” quote from the police statement is left out and the less accurate and to some more palitable phrase “touching her” is used to describe the act. That’s quite a leap and another example of moral censorship by The Star that leaves their readers without legitimate information that can be found elsewhere. It is time for The Star to stop playing parent to their readers.

“We’ve worked real hard to develop and build a program I think that has a very good reputation of being first class and disciplined. And we’ve taken a few hits. The only way you’re going to get that back is to earn it back. That’s what we intend to do.”
Gary Pinkel, on the recent spate of legal issues facing at least three players and one coach, 810 AM
GH: Mizzou is far from alone in dealing with embarrassing behavior by their student athletes and staff. No school is immune to what troubles the combination of young, dumb and alcohol can bring.

“First of all, I’m kind of embarrassed.”
Gary Pinkel, when asked to respond to the growing list of legal issues that have befallen his Mizzou football program, 810 AM
GH: Good for Pinkel. Too often coaches just shrug these incidents off as out of their control or simply state that all the facts are not yet in. Pinkel appears to be taking these issues seriously and reacting like I would want my CEO to react – with accountability. Mizzou will be fine. I can’t say the same for Washington. The former Ray-Pec All-State running back will miss the Tigers far more than the Tigers will miss him. Let’s hope Washington shows the same accountability as Pinkel and moves forward instead of retreating behind a legal curtain of lies and half truths.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24

For earlier Greg Hall columns, click here