KC health regulators are dropping like flies
Look, I’m no expert on horse meat…
Sure I’ve ridden my share of the noble mammals and dished up my share of dog food over the years. And I did just happen to try IKEA’s “famous” Swedish Meatballs last week in Orange County. The ones the Star‘s Joyce Smith raved about.
Fifteen of em, to be exact.
So why did I consume 15 of the international home products company’s ultra bland meatballs if they weren’t really very good? Good question. Guess I was hungry as a horse.
Not hungry enough to eat a horse mind you, but then that’s not how they were described on the menu.
That said, it comes as little surprise to me that IKEA was hit this past week with a horse meat scandal involving its meatballs. A culinary faux pas that MSN Money described as a “widening horse meat scandal” in Britain, Ireland, Italy and the Czech Republic.
While that’s a long way from Orange County (or Merriam, Kansas where IKEA plans to open in the next year), the thought that nobody even noticed the equestrian additive from a taste standpoint, bolsters my contention that the meatballs are far from what I would describe as gourmet.
The supplier who shipped meatballs to the good old U.S.A. were unaffected, the company says.
But who’s to really say?
I mean, once the evidence, has been consumed. And how often does the USDA check for horse DNA anyway?
“Our global recommendation is to not recall or stop selling meatballs,” an IKEA spokeswoman told the Associated Press.
Here’s what I say…
If you think that something that can taste like horse meat is delicious and nobody really notices until they conduct a DNA test, go for it. Head straight for IKEA’s bright blue and yellow warehouse at I-35 and Johnson Drive when it opens and let your imagination and taste buds run wild.
Horse meat or no horse meat, based on my personal experience, you won’t miss it by much.
You may wanna bring your DNA test kit just in case though. You know, if it really matters.
And maybe it does.
And while we’re on the subject, wouldn’t you rather tear into an IKEA meatball made out of Preakness and Kentucky Derby winner I’ll have Another, rather than say, Mr. Ed? Who’s to say chowing down on a really fine steed might not be the Swedish equivalent of snorting Rhino Horn or eating oysters?
KC Bars & Restaurants catch a break as regulators flee the scene
They’re dropping like flies…
And Westport bar and restaurant owner Bill Nigro couldn’t be more pleased. That on the heels of word that two of Nigro’s worst nightmares have and/or are poised to move on. Kansas City Health department honcho Bert Malone and Liquor Control head Gary Majors.
“I heard that this is Majors' last week,” Nigro says. “And Bert Malone just moved on, so the two guys who were most involved in regulating the restaurant and bar industry will have moved on in the past two months.”
On a scale of one to ten, how happy is Nigro?
“Um, about a nine on Majors – Gary did do a few things that were OK,” Nigro says. “And about an 8.5 on Bert Malone. Especially after I almost got arrested by the Health Department last St. Patrick’s Day.”
What? Wild Bill almost did some slam time?
“The Health Department came down to Westport and tried to arrest me for not having a permit to serve food in a private tent in front of Buzzard Beach,” Nigro says. “It was 10 a.m. and they went over and picked up six policemen from the parade route and they asked me why I wasn’t cooperating with the Health Department. So I said, ‘Show me the ordinance where I’m breaking the law.’ I wasn’t selling anything, we were just giving food away.”
Nigro’s that badass that it took six cops to bust his butt?
“I don’t know, but that’s who they sent over,” he says. “They made me email my guest list to the Health Department by the next Monday to prove it was a private event. So in really big magic marker letters I wrote, ‘GUEST LIST’ and then below it I wrote, ‘John Doe.’ Then I faxed it in on the same complaint list the city made on me. I got called into Bert Malone’s office on that one and he told me that in the future I had to get a permit even if I was giving it away. And I said, ‘You don’t do that at Chiefs games.’
“I was giving away peanuts, crackers, goldfish, animal crackers – I even offered some animal crackers to the police when they came. I was just trying to make everybody laugh. I even said, ‘See that girl over there? I can invite her to over to my tent for some chips and dip and I don’t have to have a permit to do that and they all smiled.
“Here’s the thing that the health department inspector asked me when they first came up. She said, ‘What’s this over there, this tent?’ And I said, ‘That’s for a private party.’ And she looked at me and said, ‘Well, how do I know that?’ And I said, ‘Because I just told you. Do I look like a liar?’
“And she said, ‘Well, you’ll have to tear it down.’ I said, ‘There’s no such rule about having to have a guest list, you’re making that up.’ But that’s what the health department does, they make up the rules as they go along.”
As for Majors, “I hear he’s taking a position in the Kansas City school system,” Nigro says. “Personally I’m glad he’s retiring or moving on to another job or whatever he’s doing. But these are the two guys who had the most restaurant and bar industry involvement and I’m glad to see them both go.”
Randy Miller Joins KC Confidential, salutes former Q104 General manager Dan Wastler
I got the news that Dan Wastler passed away yesterday, and I was immediately filled with regret…
Although I worked for Dan for almost 8 years at Q104, I never really got to know him very well. I hosted the crazy, carnival morning show on Q104, and he was the straight arrow, kept-at-arms-length general manager. We battled weekly, and celebrated daily.
Dan was always the first to congratulate me on great ratings, but also the first to call me on the carpet for whatever offense he or CBS deemed had crossed the line.
In fact, Dan ran the only station in the Midwest to install what CBS called a “dump button” for my show. A switch that could be thrown from Dan’s office that could automatically delete the previous offensive seven seconds of my show, so it never would go live.
He used it once in 8 years and that was because of an offensive caller!
I admired Dan’s ability to somehow stay above the fray, and maintain a professional attitude in any situation. I even admired Dan when he and CBS took me to court to side against me in a listener lawsuit involving a naked painter (more on that in future columns).
Dan was always somehow able to keep his sense of humor, as well…..even when, during our annual Q104 golf tournament, I supplied everyone playing with complimentary golf balls..,with Dan’s picture on them.
Dan was one part Ted Baxter and one part Mr. Carlson from WKRP.
I played golf with Dan, laughed with him at parties and avoided him at work.
The last time I saw Dan was after his heart transplant in the men’s room of the Midland during the Jersey Boys show.
He strode over, shook my hand and told me he felt great. I was genuinely glad to hear it.
Dan was the only radio guy I can remember that could fire you and still make you happy to see him!
My prayers go out to Dan’s wonderful wife, Beverly, and his great family that he loved so much.
Stop the Snow Blower Madness
KCC columnist Paul Wilson is as mad as hell and…well, I’ll let him explain:
Talk about blow jobs…
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that each year there are approximately 5,740 snow blower related injuries in the United States that require medical attention.
One problem in the design of some snow blowers is that snow can build up in the auger, jamming it and stalling the motor. This is complicated by the fact that the auger can deform before applying enough resistance to the motor to turn it off.
Then if the jam is cleared by hand, it’s possible for the auger to return to its natural shape suddenly and with great force, possibly injuring the user.
Snow blowers are a leading cause of traumatic hand and finger amputations.
“Snow blower injuries tend to happen when someone stops paying attention for even a few seconds,” says Dr. R. Michael Koch, chief of the microsurgery and replantation services of the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, N.Y. in a news release.
As a result of our recent storms, one local hospital reported 12 people coming in during just a six-hour stretch with snow blower related injuries.
It’s time something is done and the government steps in and protects people from this terror.
“The snow blower got jammed up multiple times,” one of the patients told Action News. He said he tried sticking his hand in to get out snow, but it caught the tips of his fingers.
When they stop this madness? When will the government start protecting us from this clear and present danger?
This has been a concern of mine that I’ve researched for years. I have hundreds of pages of facts; I know the biggest manufacturers of snow blowers in the nation; I hang with many of the big players in this field and consider them friends.
For five years now, I’ve written a newsletter on the topic with 563 subscribers to date. I’d be glad to share my findings with readers here on KCC.
Simply email me at email@example.com.
Here’s a brief summary of what I’ve learned to date:
Saudi Arabia has banned snow blowers and its ban has proven to be a model we should look to. Snow blower accidents have decreased nearly 100% since the ban.
It’s time we set our differences aside, gain some humility and learn something from our Muslim brothers. Hey, they gave us our President, we need to follow their lead in this area as well.
Civilians DO NOT NEED snow blowers.
The government can clear the roads and solar power will melt the rest of the snow after we, you know, shovel.
I know the fear; if they ban snow blowers next they’ll come back for my manual shovel…then my AK-47 and so on.
That’s the idiotic fear mongering being spread by the right wing media.
The Second Amendment doesn’t give us the right to own, borrow or use these death machines and the truth is, we need to be protected from ourselves.
Snow Blowers are counter productive to home safety.
The chance of some of you fat losers venturing out of your mom’s basements after reading this and then falling on the snow and breaking a hip is NOT made safer by the ownership of this machine.
You’re far more likely to kill yourself in its operation than any offsetting benefit you derive through its snow clearing ability. Which btw has yet to be proven to my satisfaction.
You’re far more likely to inure a child with a snow blower than the chances of them getting caught up in mass school shooting.
Defending your own driveway with this tool of amputation is more likely to do more harm, inadvertently, to your neighbor even than what your own safety is worth.
Objects hurled from its mighty, chopping blades can travel like shrapnel for blocks like an errant bullet at a shooting range or careless New Years Eve celebratory shot into the air!
Ordinary people, when operating a snow blower, can inadvertently turn into slaughtering butchers, but when it’s taken out of their hands, they revert to totally
normal human beings.
Coincidence? I think not.
Women are just as intelligent as men, but a woman operating a snow blower is an accident waiting to happen!
I’m way beyond tired of hearing about proper training and registration of snow blowers. People don’t intentionally hurt themselves with snow blowers, snow blowers hurt people, plain and simple.
We don’t need more training and better, stronger gloves, we need fewer snow blowers.
There are a few small concessions I would agree to, outside of a total ban, but not many.
***A 1/8th horsepower limit to the engines, less power, less threat of danger.
***Limiting gas tanks on snow blowers to one pint of gas. If you have to stop more often to refuel, you will more likely go inside, warm up, and come back more alert, more capable of managing this dangerous, unnecessary tool.
***Requiring garage safes so these monsters can be put into them when not in use so one cannot be started and engaged accidentally by a child.
I’m taking my proposal to Topeka next week.
Remember, I’m looking out for YOU!
For more Hearne and KC Confidential check out kcconfidential.com
This year, rate the best local commercials
Will it ever end?
The latest cutbacks – now and coming soon – at the Kansas City Star include another round of employee furloughs (forced, unpaid one week vacations) and a shrinking of the newspaper’s print edition sometime by the end of spring.
Star publisher Mi-Ai Parrish unleashed the not unexpected furlough news Tuesday in a memo to staffers.
“As we make the turn into 2013, we continue to see some signs of economic uncertainty, and our revenue projections, although improving, continue to track below prior year,” Parrish wrote.
Hold it right there…
Revenue projections are “improving” in the advertising slow first quarter and below last year? Yet somehow that translates into things are getting better so here are some more paycuts.
Look, if the economy gets fully back on track, things will most certainly improve at 18th and Grand.
However the real reason for the past four years of layoffs and cutbacks isn’t the economy stupid, it’s the ongoing demise of daily print publications.
But back to the future…
Tuesday’s furloughs require “most full-time employees” and “all senior team members” to take a week off with out pay in the first half of the year.
Why the first half?
Because that leaves the second half available for another round of furloughs.
Which brings us to what used to pass for morale at the newspaper…
“Everybody there says the same thing,” says a former staffer with close ties to surviving Star newsies. “It’s just a death march – it’s just awful. Why do you think they’re jumping ship? They’re all trying to get the (heck) out of there.
“They have to work too hard and they never have time to have any fun. They used to be able to sit around and think of story ideas, but now they’re always working.”
Super Bowl Kansas City Style
KCC’s Jack Poessiger weighs in on this year’s Super Bowl ads. Not the ones with Clint Eastwood and Charlie Sheen in them. The local ones:
The almighty Super Bowl is just around the corner…
And with it comes its extraordinarily huge viewing audience. Especially given the popularity of this year’s game featuring a duel between the two team’s head coach brothers.
Then there’s America’s fascination with Super Bowl TV commercials.
This year a 30 second network spot during the CBS telecast game has escalated to $4 million. Which may sound huge but still seems reasonable when advertisers calculate the cost per thousand and consider the demographic reached by the commercials.
But what about the Super Bowl spots in Kansas City?
What are advertisers only interested in targeting America’s 33rd largest media market paying for their ads?
Sources say 30 second in-game spots on KCTV start at $35,000 and go from there. Compared to normal 30 second Sunday prime time spots that go for between three and four thousand dollars.
Let’s say KCTV is sold out of local avails and an advertiser still wants to buy an in-game commercial—then what?
That’s where the bump rate of $50 thousand per 30 second spot comes into play. Again a reasonable rate considering the huge number of eyeballs delivered by the game.
There are cheaper spots offered locally, like during the pre kickoff coverage at $10,000 a throw.
Not to mention local packages of just under $100,000 that include spots in the playoffs leading up to the Super Bowl, pre and post Super Bowl segments and during the big game itself.
Question is, whether local advertisers dishing out that kind of dough will stick with their regular commercials or incur the additional expense of producing new spots for the Super Bowl.
Here’s an idea…
Instead of rating the national spots like everyone does each year, why not rate the best of the LOCAL commercials by KCTV’s advertisers?
The big game goes down on Sunday, February 3rd.
Incidentally the Super Bowl is aired in approximately 225 countries to an international audience of about 80 to 100 million people.
Does that make it the biggest game watched around the globe?
That honor belongs to what is considered real football—The World Cup.
The World Cup is watched by half the world, an estimated 2.2 BILLION people!
In the wake of the Lance Armstrong – Opra interview, Point 99.7 FM morning show host Kelly Urich wants to know, “How do I get my money back for all of this Livestrong crap?”
***Immediately after the interview with Lance, Oprah tested negative for Metabolife.
***Lance is now blaming this whole doping thing on that Notre Dame football player.
***I guess it’s time for me to come clean about my relationship with Serena Williams.
***Facebook is adding a feature that allows users to make phone calls! OMG! How do I say LOL on the PHONE?
***Kris Kross are making a comeback. These days they JUMP, JUMP when their car backfires.
***The CEO of Whole Foods likened Obamacare to fascism. Then he convinced my wife to pay $10 for a turnip.
***A group of people are trying to keep the city from tearing down Kemper Arena, and they seem a little out of touch. For example, they want to rename it Livestrong Arena.
***President Obama will host a kid's inauguration Saturday. The event will be free, but the children will pay trillions of dollars in the future.
***American Airlines finally changed the look of their airplanes. The new airplanes will be painted white with a red, white and blue tail. If you don’t like the new look, there will be a $50 charge.
***Kansas City based Burns & McDonnell ranked #18 on Fortune’s list of ‘Best Places to Work.’ They remind me of my first job, when I received burns at McDonald’s.
That’s all, folks! For more Hearne and KC Confidential check out kcconfidential.com
Sporting KC deal was a huge error
Does anybody really believe Sporting Kansas City was totally blindsided by Lance Armstrong’s charity calling it quits?
As first reported by KCC, Sporting was in the midst of extricating itself from its ill-advised naming rights deal with Livestrong and a final decision was expected in the next two weeks.
Obviously, Livestrong got the message and decided to strike the first blow by bailing on the deal and accusing Sporting of not living up to the financial part of the agreement.
Think of it as a classic case of “I quit,” getting the jump on “You’re fired.”
So ends the deal – made not two years ago - to tie the disgraced cyclist to our local soccer team.
For anyone who was following Armstrong’s downfall – and admittedly not many members of the general public were – it was beyond obvious that Armstrong was up to his eyelashes in some nasty stuff. Threatening and menacing teammates who’d testified that they along with Armstrong had doped. Lying unconvincingly when the evidence against him was mountainous.
What were the owners of Sporting thinking?
Not much, is the painfully obvious answer.
I attended the big naming rights announcement at Sporting’s half completed stadium at The Legends in KCK and the media and local celebs had to wait for the big announcement because Armstrong’s flight was late. That’s how important Lance Armstrong was to the deal.
Forget about hooking up with a cancer charity, it was about hooking up with a then hip charity with one of the biggest sports celebrities in the world, albeit one who was hanging on to his reputation by a thread. Only the most naïve of people were oblivious to the investigation that resulted in Armstrong’s downfall.
I can still recall how guarded and dour-faced Armstrong was in talking to the assembly. Had he not been dirty, he’d have been smiling and happy as a clam.
But living a life of deceit and lies had taken a toll on Armstrong and he looked more like a guy who was going to the funeral of a close friend than someone who was on the receiving end of a multi-million dollar donation.
Until very recently most people here knew little of Armstrong beyond his winning seven Tour de France titles and dating Missourian Sheryl Crow.
However as anyone who watched the 60 Minutes interview last week with U.S. Anti-Doping Agency head Travis Tygart knows, Armstrong is nothing more than a first class sleaze bag who lied and cheated his way to the top and then engaged in years despicable acts of intimidation directed at friends, the media, the regulatory bodies of the sport and other cyclists.
“It was tough,” Tygart told 60 Minutes. “All these witnesses were scared of the repercussions of them simply telling the truth.”
What could Lance Armstrong do to them? 60 Minutes asked.
“Incinerate them,” Tygart responded.
Say what you will about disgraced baseball stars like Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clements - all of whom were denied entrance into baseball’s Hall of Fame last week because of their alleged steroid use. At least they didn’t employ some of the threatening tactics Armstrong is accused by his teammates and others of engaging in.
All of which left Sporting Kansas City as the poster child for Armstrong and his charity that was founded on stolen money.
The head of Livestrong – a cancer charity remember – actually went before congress and lobbied to have the U.S. Anti Doping Agency’s funding taken away.
What does fighting cancer have to do with trying to undermine a public agency whose mission is to protect amateur athletes from the spread of dangerous drugs?
“Armstrong’s team of lawyers and public relations people launched their own campaign against the existence of the U.S. Anti-doping Agency,” 60 Minutes reported. “The CEO of the Livestrong foundation, Armstrong’s cancer charity, lobbied against USADA before congress. Several members of congress and 23 California state representatives called for an investigation of USADA’s practices and its taxpayer funding.”
Get the picture?
Despite a mountain of evidence that Armstrong cheated and was “running a doping conspiracy” the very head of Livestrong – a cancer charity with no dog in the fight – tried to take out the federal agency that was investigating Armstrong.
Were these are the type of folks Sporting wants to associate its name with?
Even after the release the USADA report that brought Armstrong down, Livestrong head Doug Ulman went on record last fall that Armstrong was “our biggest advocate and always will be.”.
Ulman went on to say that Livestrong’s 2009 endorsement of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act was more of a problem for donors than Armstrong’s doping charges.”
So I say, good riddance.
People make mistakes and Sporting committed a huge error in judgment by entering into its deal with Armstrong and Livestrong.
Now it’s done and it’s time move on.
The alternative being to be the poster child for the world’s most disgraced athlete.
Armstrong needs to be very clear about cutting ALL ties to Livestrong now and Livestrong needs to clean house of those who participated in Armstrong’s attempted cover-up.
Fortunately, that’s not Sporting’s problem anymore.
Forget Glenn, Kansas City Finally Has a Decent Dorsey
Check out KCC sports sleuth Brandon Leftridge’s take on the new Chiefs general manager:
For 12 years, he was the director of college scouting for the Green Bay Packers.
Actively involved in player personnel decisions for the better part of 22 years, John Dorsey has had a very direct hand in shaping the landscape of a perennial winner.
And because of his hiring, I am now fully on board with the beginning of the Andy Reid Era.
Dorsey—a linebacker for the Packers from 84-89—started out as a college scout in 1991, became director of player personnel for the Seattle Seahawks for one short season, and returned to Wisconsin in 2000 where he resumed the role where he’d previously experienced his greatest success. In 2012, he was named director of football operations.
And now, as general manager, he’ll be selecting future Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL Draft and signing brave free agents willing to align themselves with a struggling organization.
I couldn’t be happier.
See, unlike Scott Pioli—who henceforth shall only be referred to by spitting on the ground in disgust—Dorsey really seems to know how to pick ‘em. I mean, REALLY know how to pick ‘em. Since 2005, with Dorsey helping the decision-making process, here are some of Green Bay’s notable picks:
2012 Casey Hayward (Round 2, 62 overall)
2011 Randall Cobb (Round 2, 64 overall)
2010 Bryan Bulaga (1/23)
2009 BJ Raji (1/9)
2009 Clay Matthews (1/26)
2009 TJ Lang (4/109)
2008 Jordy Nelson (2/36)
2008 Jermichael Finley (3/ 91)
2008 Matt Flynn (7/ 209)
2006 AJ Hawk (1/5)
2006 Greg Jennings (1/52)
2005 Aaron Rodgers (1/24)
Over that very same period, here are the Chiefs’ notable selections.
2011 Justin Houston (Round 3, 70 overall)
2010 Eric Berry (1/5)
2008 Branden Albert (1/15)
2008 Brandon Flowers (2/35)
2008 Jamaal Charles (3/73)
2008 Brandon Carr (5/140)
2007 Dwayne Bowe (1/23)
2006 Tamba Ali (1/20)
2006 Bernard Pollard (2/54)
2005 Derrick Johnson (1/15)
Clearly, there are some takeaways from this comparison.
The Chiefs had an amazing 2008 draft class, for starters. AMAZING. It very well could be considered among their best ever. (To be fair, Green Bay’s wasn’t that shabby either, though.)
2006 is kind of a push, though I’d have to give it to the Chiefs because Hali is shaping up to be a perennial Pro Bowler and Bernard Pollard is still doing decent enough things for the Baltimore Ravens.
With the first two picks in 2009’s draft, however, the Packers took Raji and Matthews, and the Chiefs took Tyson Jackson and—wait for it—Alex Magee
Oh yeah, and since 2005, the Packers have drafted both Aaron Rodgers and Matt Flynn (who still could theoretically turn into something someday), while the KC drafted the Gruesome-Twosome of Brodie Croyle and Ricky Stanzi (who could still theoretically turn into a Minsky’s delivery driver, given the opportunity).
And so it becomes abundantly clear, once again, where the greatest chasm forms within the organization: the ability to draft and develop a quarterback. Since the Packers selected Rodgers with the 24th overall pick in 2005, the Chiefs have taken a shot on two gridiron orchestrators—a dude whose greatest claim to fame is marrying a really hot chick and another who couldn’t find a spot on the field due to an embarrassing lack of talent.
He’s not doing anything in SF. Why can’t he not do anything in KC?
So as we move forward—with a less than stellar draft class and an uninspiring free agent QB crop—I place my hope in the hands of John Dorsey, the man who is quickly building a legacy on his abilities in evaluation.
Let’s hope that he has a franchise quarterback hidden somewhere in his draft-pocket, or barring that, is keen enough to trade for 49ers castoff Alex Smith.
Yeah, I’m still on my Alex Smith kick.
Welcome to Kansas City, John.
For more Hearne and KC Confidential check out kcconfidential.com
Whitlock says Reik 'pulled off a hustle'
Think of it as a case of one man’s trash being another man’s treasure…
Virtually the entire Kansas City sports media hasn’t stopped kissing Chiefs owner Clark Hunt‘s rump since he hired newly fired Philly coach Andy Reid this past week.
And the nonstop praise has been accompanied by little to no critical examination of Reid.
With the exception of former Kansas City Star scribe Jason Whitlock.
That’s right, for all his many flaws, Big Sexy was Johnny-on-the-spot with a critical look at Reid’s less than stellar past two years during which Philadelphia attained a 9-23 win-loss record. A record that’s identical to that of our lowly Chiefs.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
Whitlock’s thesis: “Andy Reid pulled off the greatest hustle I’ve ever witnessed.”
“The stench of Reid’s last two years in Philly is still smothering football fans in the City of Brotherly Love…” Whitlock writes.
“I can’t positively say I’m against this hiring,” he adds. “What I can say is that I’m absolutely amazed by its urgency and swiftness. The Chiefs, Chargers and Cardinals chased after Reid like he was one of the Kardashians with a clean bill of health from Planned Parenthood and a fresh tummy tuck from a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon.”
Ah, vintage Whitlock.
But unlike innumerable Whitlock columns past - ones where he punks just to be punking - his Reid column reminds us that the Star is a one sports columnist rag at this point. Sans the balance of having a bad cop to go with Sam Mellinger‘s good cop.
“There are (many) fish with fewer miles on their odometer,” Whitlock says of Reid, “fish without indisputable video evidence of their sideline freakiness and questionable decision-making.
“Because we’re in the ‘information age,’ few people in the national media are focusing on Reid’s bizarre and troubling final two years in Philadelphia. Everyone wants to be first to provide the information about where Reid is going and who he is bringing with him and who is leaving because of his arrival. You can’t get that information from Reid, his handlers and his associates if you are publicly reminding Clark Hunt and Chiefs fans just how awful Reid was in Philadelphia in 2011 and 2012.”
“A high percentage of Eagles fans believes Reid hasn’t been right since his defensive coordinator Jim Johnson died of cancer in 2009,” Whitlock writes. “Reid hasn’t won a playoff game since Johnson passed.
“My issue is the last two years. The Eagles were the ‘dream team’ in 2011 and Super Bowl favorite. They went 8-8. They had to win their final four games to reach 8-8. To the utter shock and surprise of no one not named Andy Reid, the decision to promote longtime offensive-line coach Juan Castillo to DEFENSIVE coordinator blew up in Reid’s face. In their eight losses, the Eagles surrendered an average of 29.8 points.
“The Eagles spent millions of dollars building a dream team, and Reid turned his defense over to an offensive-line coach on a whim. This is like getting a date with Beyonce and consulting with Ike Turner on how to romance her.”
Look, I’m no expert but does this sound like the kind of coach Kansas Citians should be dancing in the streets over?
“Reid allegedly had a nine-hour interview with Clark Hunt and his entourage on Wednesday,” Whitlock continues. “I hope someone asked Reid to write a short essay about Juan Castillo. Did anyone have the nerve to ask Reid about his son overdosing and dying at Philly’s training camp this summer? The kid had steroids on him, too”
Whitlock’s bottom line: “Reid left a mess in Philly.”
“This is simply a remarkable job of failing forward by Andy Reid,” Whitlock summarizes. “He found the perfect NFL owner and fan base desperate to get over the pain of a 2-14 season and an overmatched general manager…I realize no one wants to talk about it now, while we’re all pretending Reid is Don Shula coming off the ’72 season, but there’s plenty of proof Reid went crazy in Philly.”
All in for Chuck Hagel
KC Confidential’s David Scott Whinery, Esquire weighs in on the Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary controversy:
Not in my wildest dreams would I have foreseen where President Obama would be nominating a Conservative Republican…
But Secretary of Defense nominee Mr. Chuck Hagel has a lifetime rating of 85 from the American Conservative Union. Nor would I have guessed it would be Republicans torpedoing his confirmation.
Maybe the World ended and no one has told me yet.
Are the Reps really opposing a two-term Senator from Nebraska and highly decorated Vietnam War hero?
So far, the only reason I see emanating from the “Republican Echo Chamber” for this tragic opposition is that Mr. Hagel showed a “horrific” lack of judgment in opposing the surge in Iraq. Which, for some unknown reason, there are still people who think that strategy worked.
Last time I checked, about the only thing the surge accomplished was a temporary lull in sectarian violence.
As soon as the extra American troops left, the tribal warfare resumed with a vengeance.
Having fought in Vietnam, Mr. Hagel probably knows a little about unwinnable wars.
So after having seen the error of his ways in initially voting for the war in Iraq, he has every right to criticize its continuation and errant policies.
Distractions aside, there are several reasons why Hagel’s confirmation matters.
This country would have a Secretary of Defense that has advocated deep cuts to the defense budget. He has the wisdom to see that war is not the answer to every foreign policy challenge this country faces. He has opposed torture. And he does not want to militarily intervene in Iran, no matter how much that goes against the wishes of Israel and the NeoCons.
Mr. Hagel can show the Country that a Conservative Republican can be for peace.
What a PR gift Obama has given the GOP if they’re smart enough to capitalize on it.
Consumer Reports Bashes Russell Stover (Again)
Another Valentine’s Day, more brickbats and bouquets for KC chocolatier Russell Stover Candies…
Like clockwork it’s become the norm for Consumer Reports to roll out its taste tests of boxed chocolates in time for the Day of Love.
Which as far back as 1996 has not bode well for Kansas City candy king Russell Stover.
“Russell Stover Candies was blindsided this week by Consumer Reports‘ pre-Valentine’s rankings of Boxed Chocolate,” I wrote in the Star back then. “KC-based Stover placed ninth in a field of 11 candies, garnering a lackluster ‘fair’ rating.
“Could have been worse.
“Sister company Whitman’s ‘Sampler’ box finished 10th. And the locally based, albeit Japanese-owned Price’s Candy Co. came in dead last.”
In 2002 Consumer Reports let up a bit, damning Russell Stover with faint praise and rating its chocolates merely as “good.”
Stover honcho Tom Ward‘s take on the past bash:
“It’s kind of hard to understand. We do over $500 million in retail sales if you combine the two companies. Apparently, whoever did the sampling didn’t like (the candy) for some reason. There was some comment about indistinguishable cream centers or something – but we’ve been making orange creams, vanilla and maple nut the same way, really, forever and ever. For whatever reason, they didn’t like it, but the American customer says they like our candies. ”
In 2002 I turned the tables on the mag and asked Consumer Reports editor Margot Slade to explain the ratings.
“A consumer has many expectations on a car, it’s a complicated product,” Slade said. “As opposed to chocolates, which are much less complex. You have a basic expectation on a box of chocolates.”
And that is, I asked?
“I think your expectation of chocolate is that it tastes good,” Slade told me. “And if it has a lemon filling, that it tastes like lemon.”
At which point I wondered aloud how chocolate lovers might react if they bit into a Stover’s chocolate and it actually tasted like a lemon.
Had Slade ever even sampled a Stover’s, I asked.
“I’m not going to tell you whether I’ve tasted Russell Stover or what I thought of it,” she shot back.
Which brings us to current Consumer Reports February issue.
“Russell Stover Assorted Fine Chocolates’ sweet fillings had mostly artificial flavors,” the mag snipes. “The quality of Whitman’s Sampler varied, and some nuts were stale.”
So much for the local brickbats, now the bouquets:
KC chocolatier Christopher Elbow came in second – out of 32 – in the “excellent products only” category with the following comment:
“Artistic looking, ultrasmooth chocolate around bold, unusual combinations such as buttery caramels with a taste of chili-mango or balsamic vinegar. Not for the faint of heart.”
Hold it right there…
Chili mango, balsamic vinegar, how’d Russell Stover miss those flavors? No wonder Consumer Reports said they suck.
Elbow costs $40 for an 8 ounce box. A Stover 16 ounce assortment retails for $11.99. In other words, twice the candy for a less than a third the cost.
But no balsamic vinegar…
Incidentally, the 87 year-old Price Candy Company – founded in KC by recently deceased socialite Charles H. Price family – went toes up in 2000, according to the Kansas City Public Library.
“The 87-year-old confectionery manufacturer founded in the old downtown Jones Store building. Description of the company’s history, founded in 1913 by Charles Price, sold in 1982 to Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad, then in 1990 to a Japanese subsidiary and again in 1996 to investors including David’s Cookies, with the factories at Richmond, Missouri, and Hunt Midwest SubTropolis closed in 2000.”
Will Sporting Kansas City Ditch the ‘Livestrong’ Moniker?
The moment of truth nears…
Sources say that the powers that be at Sporting Kansas City appear poised to end the soccer club’s affiliation with disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong‘s charity Livestrong.
At this point in time, a final determination may yet to be made, but the betting money is it will come soon.
“The publicity about Armstrong is just too bad at this point,” says a source. “But if they decide to drop Livestrong, I think they’re going to look for another charity.”
Sporting made a deal two years ago to place the Livestrong name on its stadium at the Legends in KCK free of charge.
It’s not like this hasn’t been in the works for some time.
Sporting told Star sports columnist Sam Mellinger last fall it was wrestling with whether to keep the Livestrong name.
In exchange for the “scoop,” Mellinger tap danced a bit and rewarded Sporting by bogusly stating that, “The easy thing would’ve been for Sporting to walk away from Livestrong already. But if nothing else, a willingness to wait this long indicates a willingness to go against making the PR-approved, masses-pleasing move of renaming the stadium.”
What “PR-approved, masses-pleasing” move?
Other than KC Confidential calling for Armstrong to step down from Livestrong and Sporting to end its naming rights deal with the cancer charity last summer, there appears to have been little to no conversation to that effect outside of Mellinger’s decreeing it.
“For the good of his charity and it’s mission, Armstrong needs to do the right thing and step aside and (Sporting) needs to do the obvious thing and change it’s name from Livestrong,” I wrote then. “Immediately.”
“That’s where the internal conflict at Sporting is,” says the source. “The charity is a great charity and Lance is an a–hole what do you do? There’s a very divided camp on keeping the Livestrong name or not.”
Which brings us to the timing of a decision which could come as quickly as Thursday.
“If they’re going to do it, they’ll do it in the next couple of weeks,” says the source.
See more Hearne and KC Confidential at kcconfidential.com
Say goodbye to Kansas City's line dancing capital
It’s hard to imagine but it’s been 20 years since the Beaumont Club in Westport first reared its head…
Now, 20 years after the fact and hundreds of concerts and sporting events later, the vaunted Beaumont is no more. The club – which once served as the country line dancing capital of Greater Kansas City - closed quietly Sunday after a battle of the bands.
“That’s terrible,” says Hobbs fashion buyer Shauna Swanson. “I love that place.”
The Beaumont Club’s web site still shows four concerts slated to appear there this year – including The Darkness on January 30th – however the “Take Action Tour” featuring The Used on January 16th has been moved to the Granada in Lawrence.
Over the years the Beaumont featured some of the top shows in Kansas City with artists ranging from Jane’s Addiction and Big and Rich to Katy Perry and Hank Williams III.
That despite criticism about its questionable sight lines and acoustics that resulted in the Beaumont being cited as one of the city’s worst venues to see a concert in by Star music critic Tim Finn.
New owners remedied much of that five years ago via the addition of a new stage and sound system.
In recent years though the club has reportedly been in a financial tailspin following competition from other outdoor venues, the disintegration of the ownership group and the dropping the nightclub portion of the biz.
In any case, here’s to the fond memories of the many great artists and shows that appeared at the Beaumont these past two decades.
Caveat Emptor; David Scott Whinery 2013 Predictions
Lawyer and card carrying KC Confidential “setter of things straight” David Scott Whinery, Esquire would hardly be described as an optimist. Then again, the way things have been going lately, who would be:
What a miserable year 2012 turned out to be…
Maybe I’m just becoming too cynical, but the only thing that could have salvaged this year for me would have been if the “Mayan End of the World” had come to pass.
Is there any reason for optimism for the “Year of Our Lord” 2013?
Kind of but not really.
Here are my predictions nonetheless.
DOMESTIC POLICY - The only thing that may get better are the marijuana laws. With Colorado and Washington leading the way, expect to see many other states follow and either legalize or decriminalize the herb.
But… as with any silver lining, there’s always a thundercloud.
Which will be the bonanza in “Driving while Stoned” charges emanating from places where it’s widely available for consumption. Until there’s a parts per million standard for what constitutes impaired driving, expect to see states filling their coffers with fines from marijuana related driving offenses.
CITY AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS – Expect to see a lot more county and municipal bankruptcies. As property and sales taxes decline coupled with higher borrowing costs, bond yields and unfunded and ever increasing employee benefits costs, many cities and counties are going to bite the dust. And if I may go out on a limb, a State may finally go bust this year.
My money is on California or Illinois.
THE MIDDLE EAST – Expect the “Far-Right” led by my soul brother, Bibi Netanyahu to sweep the Israeli elections in January.
Which is why the former Senator from the “Great State of Nebraska,” Chuck Hagel must be confirmed as the Secretary of Defense. He’s an anti-war conservative and is the best person to manage the unwinding of the American Empire.
Without Hagel, expect to see more imperial over-reach by the “War Party.” The worst-case scenario that can happen in this volatile region is war with Iran. Get ready for WW3 if that happens.
If Hagel is vilified as an anti-Semite or anti-gay and doesn’t make it, all bets are off and get ready for total war.
OBAMACARE – Watch for a mass exodus of Republican Governors to depart from their “values” and set up the bureaucratic channels, which will pave the way – without resistance – to Obamacare’s implementation in the States.
THE REPUBLICAN PARTY – Their slow march to national irrelevance will continue if the “Libertarian Wing” of the Party doesn’t take over. If the current leadership, led by homophobes, fascists and plutocrats doesn’t get thrown out- starting with Boehner & McConnell, who should be replaced by Cantor and Paul – it’s looking bad for the Elephants.
Which is why I see the Reps keeping Boehner & McConnell.
However, they never learn and will continue their slide into obscurity
GUN CONTROL – No matter how many massacres may happen, it’s too late to limit the weaponry held by the American People. All the gun control measures in the wildest fantasies of Dianne Feinstein won’t stop random acts of violence in this Country.
And as far as confiscation goes- good luck with that!
If our leaders were crazy enough to pass a measure where people with guns were rounded up- get ready for Civil War Part 2. I see no meaningful gun control measures passing.
THE ECONOMY – We are all SCREWED!
Have a Happy New Year!
Point 99.7 FM morning dude Kelly Urich’s unadulterated (and humorous) take on the state of Kansas City and the world today. Starting with…
The Top 5 Excuses for 2-14 Chiefs season by (former coach) Romeo Crennel:
#5. It’s hard to get 53 guys to take a guy named ROMEO seriously.
#4. Couldn’t concentrate after Hostess went bankrupt.
#3. Fans doing the wave were setting off his vertigo.
#2. Players worried how the fiscal cliff deal would affect them.
#1. His headset only played music from Justin Bieber.
Everywhere a List List
We’ve all seen them and probably read most of them…
Those ubiquitous lists on television, in newspapers and online. Everyone seems to have one at this time of the year, and yes, I’m guilty as well.
But you know what? When it comes to movies, those lists don’t mean a thing. Nothing really matters except what moviegoers actually spend their hard earned money to see. Because at the end of the day, box office results are really what it’s all about.
It’s the films you kept alive by word of mouth despite what the critics said.
With that in mind, here are the top 10 performing films at North American box offices. The movies YOU CHOSE by ticket sales for 2012:
# 1—MARVEL’s THE AVENGERS—-$625.3 million
# 2—THE DARK KNIGHT RISES—$448.1 million
# 3—THE HUNGER GAMES—$408 million
# 4—James Bond’s SKYFALL—$289.1 million (and still counting)
# 5—TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 2—$286.1 million
# 6—THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN—$262 million
# 7—Pixar’s BRAVE—$237.2 million
# 8—THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY—$222.7 million (and still counting)
# 9—TED—$ 218.6 million
# 10–MADAGASCAR 3: EUROPE’S MOST WANTED—$216.4 million
First Runner-Up: DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX—$214.1
It’s interesting to note that three of the top 11 films were Super Hero epics while another three fell into the Family Animation category.
Sadly, only one Comedy made the Top Earner list during the past year.
For more Hearne and KC Confidential check out kcconfidential.com
For earlier columns, click here