heading

Covering Platte County, Missouri Weekly Since 1865

Legal Notices
The official Platte County Legal Newspaper! Platte
County Foreclosures

Between the Lines
by Ivan Foley

The Rambling Moron
by Chris Kamler

The Right Stuff
by James Thomas i

Straight from Stigall
by Chris Stigall

Parallax Look
by Brian Kubickis

KC Confidential
by Hearne Christopher

Off the Couch
by Greg Hall

Classifieds

Advertising

Subscriptions


Weekly publication dates are Wednesdays

252 Main Street0
P
P.O. Box 410
Platte City, Missouri 64079
816-858-0363

Fax :816-858-2313

TO CONTACT US
by email
Click Here!
or
by phone
816.858.0363


Contact Lawmakers
by Congress
Click here to:
Find Federal Officials &
Find State Officials


 

Greg HallOff the Couch

by Greg Hall
Landmark columnist

 
 

A recap of the 2014 Boston Marathon

Written 4/24/14

The Boston Marathon is special for its steep history, its fabled point-to-point course, the many well-known landmarks along the route and the great runners who have worn the champion’s olive wreath. This Boston though, will be remembered for those who never ran a step.

Spring was slow returning to Boston for the 118th running of the world’s most famous marathon. The green ash, maple and flowering crab trees that typically greet the current of runners in full bloom were naked and exposed along Commonwealth Avenue and in the Back Bay; their stark branches a reminder of the cruel winter much of the nation was trying to forget.

But spring always finds a way – as does the American spirit.

One year after two cowards turned the 2013 Boston Marathon party into a chaotic life-changing real-life horror movie, the marathon returned to Boston with a resolve and determination to live and survive that even a dandelion would envy.

“Thank you!” screamed the voice from the crowd of onlookers as my second wave of runners rolled down the steep hill out of Hopkinton. “Thank you for coming back to run! You are our heroes today!”

Me? A hero? I wasn’t the only runner surprised to hear this reaction over and over and over from the crowds that lined our 26.2-mile race. I will take many memories with me from this historic marathon but one that will be most special is the unfiltered adulation showered on the runners from start to finish – and even beyond.

And it wasn’t just those who came out of their homes to cheer us who wanted to express their gratitude. That feeling that we helped Boston heal came from everywhere. As I haltingly limped back to my hotel after the race on my two-mile walk, I was stopped, cheered and congratulated by almost every person who saw my Boston Marathon post-race silver poncho draped over my stooped shoulders.

And when I say everyone, even a pimp stopped me to offer his congrats. “Dude,” he breathed as he let out a stream of smoke from his Camel. “I couldn’t even run one mile.” And then back to work he went, ushering his cadre into his Camry. (I am guessing he’s working his way up the pimp chain.)

An Asian woman on her bicycle rode beside me as I painfully trudged along the sidewalk and smiled as she gave me a thumbs up sign and shouted congratulations – all while ringing her handlebar bell.

A car full of African-American women screeched to a halt on State Street, rolled down their windows and started screaming at me – with huge smiles on their faces. “We are so proud of you!” they yelled. “Thank you so much for helping our city heal!”

This was about the tenth similar salutation I had received since leaving the race area and encountering traffic. I had greeted most with a tired return grin and a humble but mumbled, “Thank you.” But these five ladies got me a bit emotional. I turned to face their car and ripped open my Velcro-sealed silver cape to display my sweaty race singlet, complete with the phrase, “KC Loves Boston,” expertly stenciled on the front by Overland Park’s Nill Bros Sports. This view sent the five-some off into another level of hysteria. Their horn started honking and their screams grew even louder. The last time I received that kind of a reaction from five women was, well…never.

Kevin is a Kansas City-area runner who traveled to Boston with his wife and two teenage daughters. When he and his family stumbled into a small German restaurant shortly after he finished his marathon looking for a bite to eat, the guests in the restaurant rose to their feet and gave him a standing ovation! They repeated this gesture of gratitude for every medal-draped, silver-cape-wearing runner who entered. It is not often we experience raw gratitude from strangers. It was everywhere in Boston on Marathon Monday.

I was still a half mile from my hotel as I shuffled along on spent legs after the race (having somehow taken a wrong turn that put me an extra mile out of the way in Chinatown). With no money or credit cards in my running gear, I took a chance that the 7-Eleven clerk would allow me to purchase a Diet Pepsi on the promise I would return later with payment. Apu stared at me and my superhero cape and shot down my request with the speed that Homer Simpson downs a donut. “NO!” was his quick and no-nonsense reply. He sternly waved me off with his right hand and quickly returned to his paying customers.

I started to leave but was stopped by a man in his 50s who appeared to be just getting off work on the Boston Harbor docks. He was in line with two children, waiting to check out. He sported Popeye-like forearms, complete with sailor tattoos.

“Here,” he said as he fished into his back pocket for his billfold. “We watched some of the marathon and I would really like to buy you a couple of sodas.” He shoved a five-dollar bill into my hand and added, “Don’t worry about paying me back,” he added. “You already have.” He was gone before I returned to the check-out desk with my drinks.

The names of the small towns that serve as hosts for our race to Boston were well marked at each entry point. Flags billowed in the afternoon breeze with the names of Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline and finally Boston.

My pace for this Boston was measured – another word for slow. A lady ahead of me at the ten-mile mark had printed “Mother of 7” on the back of her shirt. But I chose to experience and enjoy this Boston rather than race it. And there was so much to enjoy!

The first few miles out of Hopkinton are run on a narrow stretch of Highway 135 that doesn’t allow much room for the 9,000 runners each wave sends forth every 25 minutes, let alone spectators. But almost every bit of road shoulder and front yard housed locals who were there simply to make sure their screams of gratitude found our ears. It was so loud at some points along the route that it became a cacophony of sound, with individual voices indistinguishable.

The famous brownstone train station in Framingham marks the 10K point in the race and the road widens here to allow for a large gathering of folks to enjoy the race. This was the point in the race where I knew this Boston was going to be unlike any other Boston.

It seemed that every father, every mother, every daughter and every son wore a blue and gold shirt or waved a sign that read, “Boston Strong.” And the runners responded with arms raised, clenched fists thrust overhead and impromptu stops to high-five a child, accept a wet nap, hug a stranger and enjoy the fleeting yet undeniable bond between runner and motivator.

The Wellesley coeds had promised, “a Wellesley experience like no other,” for this 118th Boston. They did not disappoint. The line of college women leaning forward to greet each runner with a kiss began well before its traditional starting point and lasted far beyond where it usually ends. I considered imbibing on this forbidden fruit as I slowed my pace for a better view. I have always declined on my other three trips past the Wellesley gauntlet.

A “Kiss me, I’m Ovulating,” sign got me to grin but not pucker. The 60-something runner in front of me showed none of my grandfatherly inhibitions. The small bald man hopped up and stole a peck on the cheek from a buxom brunette. He was back atop the fence a few seconds later sampling a cute Korean. I started thinking that gramps here might run Boston just for his otherwise illegal dalliances with underage coeds. There are worse vices.

The town of Wellesley immediately follows the tunnel of love at the all-girls college. It is an upscale, preppy burg with expensive shops, restaurants. Its inhabitants share equally gourmet tastes. The run past these Boston aristocrats is usually sedate and proper. As a runner, you feel a bit like a rhino in the zoo as the folks in Wellesley look on and sip a spritzer with their crab spread and crisps.

But this was a different Boston Marathon – and this was a far different Wellesley! The crowds in the square were triple their normal size and their screams were as loud as the coeds’ yelps we had just left. Prim, proper, perfect and perfunctory Wellesley was acting like Arrowhead on game day. And we, the runners, were the Chiefs. It was glorious.

Each town, each neighborhood and each street seemed to bring their game to unprecedented levels for this race. Dave McGillivray, the Boston Marathon race director for more than 25 years, talked about how the bombings stole the marathon from him and Boston. As he tried to enter the finish-line area last year after the disaster, he was abruptly and rudely stopped by a policeman guarding the area.

“But you don’t understand,” McGillivray sputtered. “THIS IS MY RACE!”

“Not anymore it isn’t,” the stoic cop answered.

McGillivray’s desire to make the 2014 Boston Marathon his race once again motivated him throughout the next 12 months. I listened to him speak to a room full of marathoners the day before the race – a room that included Bill Rodgers and five other past Boston legends. He ended his speech with these words.

“We’re taking back Boylston Street,” McGillivray began slowly. “We’re taking back our race! We’re taking back our sport! We’re taking back our city!” He left the room high-fiving the audience under a crescendo of applause. I was left shaking from the passion he displayed.

The people of Boston may not have been in the room with McGillivray but they heard his words. More importantly, they responded. They responded like nothing I have ever experienced. It is one thing to be loud in an arena or stadium for a two- or three-hour game and cheer the big plays as they unfold. It is another thing entirely to cheer like a maniac for five and six hours for every nameless runner who crosses your path.

Additional security was omnipresent throughout the day, starting with armed gunmen on school rooftops in Hopkinton. I was extremely concerned about how the increased security at this Boston Marathon would diminish and change the atmosphere at and near the finish line. In years past, these are some of the most vociferous crowds along the 26-mile course. Fenway sits near here and Red Sox fans pour onto Commonwealth Ave. and up near Boylston Street to catch the runners in their last two miles.

What I saw and heard those last few miles will remain stored in my memory when I want to recall a moment in my life that was perfect. I was overwhelmed with the sincerity and adoration from these strangers. That sounds nuts and let me tell you – it was!

The last few miles of any marathon are difficult. The stretch along Commonwealth Avenue from mile 23 on is just crushingly hard. You so want the pain to end but those last three miles feel like an impossible task. The final 600 feet on Boylston is known to marathoners as the longest 600 feet in Boston.

But these last few miles flew by for me this trip. Not that I ran them quickly, but more because I wanted to drink in the crowds that stood so thick and so deep that they appeared to be one, not many. Their screams were truly deafening – I met runners the next day whose ears were still ringing.

I could no longer make out, “Go KC!” or “Boston loves KC, too!” I was almost two hours late to Meb’s winning finish and these folks were acting like I was the winner. There is no question in my mind that I was.

Greg Hall greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 

 


Hudler uses 'his kind' to refer to Jackie Robinson's race

Written 4/17/14

“I respect a lot what (Jackie Robinson) did, uh, for his kind. But also how Branch Rickey picked the right guy.”
Rex Hudler, Royals TV color analyst, in a conversation with Ryan Lefebvre prior to Wednesday night’s Royals game on Fox Sports KC
GH: Hudler’s use of the phrase “his kind” was the topic of the day on Kevin Kietzman’s Wednesday afternoon sports talk show. If Hudler’s comment made news elsewhere, I missed it. He was back on the Royals broadcast Thursday night and he did not appear to have been reprimanded for his comment. There is no question this phrasing is no longer accepted in American culture, especially by a broadcaster to a TV audience. Kietzman went the extra mile or two to point that out and take some shots at the Royals while he was at it. Read on.

“I’m going to give the guy a break but…”
Kevin Kietzman, on Rex Hudler using the phrase “his kind” to identify Jackie Robinson’s race, 810 AM
GH: As soon as I heard KK utter this phrase I knew he had no intention of giving Hudler a break. He did not…

“That sounded awful last night! That just sounded terrible!”
Kevin Kietzman, on Hudler, 810 AM
GH: I like when a broadcaster gives his true unfiltered opinion on a subject – which I believe Kietzman did here on Hudler’s comment. But why does KK have to try and pretend he’s not taking a shot at the guy he is very obviously tossing under the bus and driving over and over for three or four hours?

“I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt but for that moment we got another example of why the Royals shouldn’t really be all that interested in doubling down on this broadcaster – because he is one sentence away from taking all the attention in this entire city away from the team onto him and creating an absolute firestorm. It 100% could happen at any moment.”
Kevin Kietzman, on Hudler, 810 AM
GH: Again with the misleading “benefit of the doubt” disclaimer. Is the good name of the Royals franchise really tied to what Rex Hudler says or does? The “entire city?” Kietz, we know it’s only sports talk radio but please, show some restraint.

“You couldn’t really fault somebody if they thought there was something more wrong than that he is just a brain-dead announcer in that situation.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: I don’t think Hudler is brain dead but his dome light appears to be wired to his ass hole.

“(Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler) were not working and somebody (with the Royals) who knew them decided, ‘Well, they’re my buddies. I’ll hire them.’”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: This may very well be true but this is exactly the kind of hearsay and unsubstantiated reporting that 810 proudly states they do not practice. Does Clinkscale really know that is all that went into the hiring of these two former Angels broadcasters? Although it does sound like how they hire their managers.

“We’re giving him a pass. We just think he’s a bumbling announcer.”
Kevin Kietzman, while talking to Jack Harry about Hudler, 810 AM
GH: This was at least the third time Kietzman wanted it known that he was giving Hudler a pass, a break or the benefit of the doubt. Got it.

“Let me preface my comments because you know I went down the road with some comments that were very unfavorable to a lot of people. They thought I had said something I really didn’t say. I’m sensitive to sit here and pick on somebody else.”
Jack Harry, discussing Hudler’s comment with Kietzman, and referring to the controversy last month about whether or not he said “Gayhawks” when referring to the Kansas basketball team, 810 AM

“That’s a totally different deal! There’s no question what he said. People were trying to slow it down trying to listen to (what you said). ‘Oh, did Jack say it or didn’t he?’ That was just dumb.”
Kevin Kietzman, defending Harry’s alleged “Gayhawks” comment, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman is quick to defend Jack, who appears regularly on 810. KK is also quick to hammer away at Hudler, who is a regular guest on 610. The biggest difference between what Hudler said and what Harry allegedly said is that Hudler did not appear to make his comments with any malicious intent. Harry’s alleged comment was made with him rising from his seat with a smile on his lips.

“I’ll tell you right from my own gut what I think. It’s a terrible choice of words in the context it was used. I think that’s bad. I don’t think the guy’s a racist or anything like that but to use that word in that context, what he was speaking of.”
Jack Harry, 810 AM
GH: Okay, so Mad Jack isn’t quite as sensitive to criticizing Hudler as he led us to believe. Read on.

“I’m telling you when I hear that word in that context – you don’t say that! That’s not a mistake. The man has to stop and think before he talks then. Before this comes out. They let it fly. He lets it fly. He makes me nervous to watch. I’ll be very honest with you. When I watch this guy I get nervous. When he’s on camera I never know what’s coming. That kind of screws me up. I don’t know what to expect from him.”
Jack Harry, 810 AM
GH: I listened to Harry say this about Hudler and I could not help but think this is exactly what many say about Harry’s Jack Smack segments for KSHB TV 41.

“Nolan (Ryan) just said in our round circle, ‘(Yordano Ventura) is the real deal.’ He was very complimentary. I showed him the fact that he threw 27 change-ups at 22 years old and he said, ‘You’ve got a young kid who is throwing that many change-ups, he’s got confidence. That’s going to make his fastball even better!’ So it’s great to hear from a legend like Nolan Ryan what we have in Ventura.”
Rex Hudler, after speaking to the HOF pitcher Wednesday night, Royals Radio
GH: If Nolan thinks Ace is the real deal, the Royals just might have their next ROTY and Cy Young candidate. Heady, heady stuff.

“I don’t think the (Royals) players are as fragile as some people in the organization may think they are. I think they’re able to handle some things in the right manner where they understand we’ve got a better chance to win if I get pinch-hit for in this situation because obviously I’m not doing the job. I think the organization babies guys too much. You should be able to handle it and understand that if you’re not doing the job, they’re not going to keep running you out there. I wouldn’t take it as a slap in the face if you’re hitting .100 and you get pinch hit.”
Brian McRae, 810 AM
GH: McRae is a great radio interview. He speaks his mind and he doesn’t appear to be concerned about who his words upset. Radio needs more guys like that.

“I think organizations baby guys because they don’t want to admit they made mistakes.”
Brian McRae, 810 AM

“Multiple sources have told @CBSSports that Missouri’s Frank Haith is now involved in Tulsa’s coaching search.”
@CBSSports, Twitter
GH: From Miami to Mizzou to Tulsa??? WTF?

“Prince is one of the top three American musical talents of all time. The top two American musical talents of all time are Stevie Wonder and Prince.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Steven St. John immediate cast his vote for Elvis and did not bother to offer a second-place trophy. Elvis, to SSJ, is all you need to know when it comes to American-made music. I think Wonder is an American treasure. I like Prince but I don’t see him as someone who moved the needle enough to be in America’s top 20 musical legends. My top five would include Bob Dylan, Louie Armstrong, James Brown, Springsteen and Tom Petty. But I could be swayed. Who you got?

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 

 


Ventura is small but huge in Texas

Written 4/16/14

“I have no explanation how a 5'11" guy can command fire like this. I am left with one inescapable conclusion: Yordano Ventura is a Targaryen.”
Rany Jazayerli, @jazayerli, Twitter
GH: Ace Ventura might just have some dragon in him. Every start of his is going to be must-see-TV this season…and hopefully for years to come.

“Let’s back up (about Yordano Ventura). IF he’s not an ace we are going to curse his name in two years. That’s what fans of bad teams do. Right now we love him but if this team continues to lose we will be beating up on him just like we’re beating up on Billy Butler right now. … My expectations have been a quite a bit lower than the bandwagon fans. I’m not completely on board that it’s going to be a spectacular year for this kid.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: This was Petro’s intro to saying how impressed he was with Ventura’s outing last night in Houston. Kind of an odd way of saying, “Hey, looks like I was wrong,” but Petro doesn’t admit mistakes easily.” Read on.

“Last night is concrete proof of (Ventura’s) ability. Last night is a reason to say, ‘Okay, it’s just not stuff.’”
Soren Petro, who was impressed that Ventura got through seven innings, 810 AM
GH: It was the Astros though, Soren, wasn’t it?

“The Astros: good for what #Royals ya.”
Jeff Rosen, @jeff_rosen88, Twitter

“Don Free (Royals Radio producer/engineer) was offered an Astros’ jacket but he’s a true Royals loyalist – 29 years with Royals Radio – and he refused it.”
Steve Stewart, play-by-play voice for Royals Radio, as the temps in Houston dipped into the low 50s Tuesday night at the Royals/Astros game, Royals Radio
GH: Stewart mentioned that Free had expected the roof to be closed at the Astros’ park and so he did not wear his jacket to the game. Free fended off the cold under some blankets while he worked the game instead of wearing the opposition’s colors. I met Free years ago when Fred White introduced me to him and immediately liked him. If there is one book I would like to read from someone who has followed the Royals and their broadcast team it would be Free’s book. But I doubt Don will ever write such a book. In the 29 years he has been with Royals Radio he has never been heard to speak on the air. And I don’t expect him to start talking once he retires.

“If Moose doesn’t change that stance it’s going to be a long year. There are too many variables in that thing! There’s too much movement.”
Mike Boddicker, former Royals pitcher, 810 AM
GH: Moose has gone to an exaggerated open stance that served him very well in spring training. Up north is just makes him look like he’s lost and willing to try just about anything to get his average up to.200.

“Happy to see @raford3 (Robert Ford) doing so well in Houston.”
Carrington Harrison, @cdotharrison, on the former Royals pre- and postgame talk show host who is now the Denny Matthews of the Astros, Twitter
GH: I found Ford to be too bland and unemotional for my taste when it came to hosting a Royals talk show host through some of their more decrepit and disappointing years. He sounded prepared, knowledgeable and boring on the radio. I was surprised to hear he won the Astros’ radio play-by-play job – but happy to report he is far better suited in this role. I hope he eventually gets to work for a team that wins something.

“Vin Scully. The only Dodger employee who could get a warm ovation in San Francisco.”
Andrew Baggerly, SF Giants beat reporter for Comcast, on Giants fans applauding the iconic Dodgers’ radio man now for 65 seasons, @CSNBaggs. Twitter
GH: 65 seasons with the same team? I often get on broadcasters who just don’t know when to hang it up but Vin Scully might be the exception to that often abused rule. Listening to Scully is an education in life as much as it is baseball. I wish more play-by-play voices understood this.

“They are just making sure they are thoughtful in everything they do.”
Kevin Harlan, on the Chiefs passive nature in free agency this off-season, 810 AM

“Over the second half (of the Chiefs’ season), they were the worst defense in the NFL. Doesn’t that have to be where you’re focusing (for the draft)?”
Soren Petro, on the Chiefs, 810 AM
GH: There has been little talk about the Chiefs draft including the defense as a priority. Wide receiver, offensive lineman, running backs and even quarterbacks seem to be the topic over a defensive back or down lineman. But Petro’s point is a good one. Anyone who watched Andrew Luck eviscerate the Chiefs defense in the playoffs knows the problem that day was not on offense.

“Where are (the Chiefs) going to go in the draft? Man, this is the first year where it is a crap shoot! A lot of people are saying they need a playmaker but in my gut I think they need to find an offensive lineman. But I don’t think the fan base is gonna stomach it. I don’t think anybody knows where the Chiefs are gonna go in this draft.”
Tim Grunhard, 810 AM
GH: I like them taking a wide receiver if they can’t trade down for more picks. You?

“I used to think the greatest sitcom was All in the Family. Then it was replaced by Seinfeld. But I’ve got to tell you, Modern Family is moving into rarified air. I’m watching episodes of Modern Family that you probably saw four years ago that I’ve just discovering now. That show is phenomenal! Phenomenal! I’m putting it number three on my all-time list ahead of The Odd Couple – and it’s with a bullet!”
Mike Greenberg, ESPN Radio
GH: My all-time sitcom list has to place Seinfeld at the top with Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm number two. The Michael Scott years if The Office were some of the best as well. Frasier had incredible writers. Cheers just doesn’t hold up as well when looking back but I loved it in the ‘80s. While I enjoyed Lucy, Beaver, Andy Griffin, Bewitched and those B/W sitcoms from my youth, they were not in the same class as today’s best sitcoms. Who you got?

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Should the Chiefs trade Eric Berry?

Written 4/15/14

“Most of you will think I'm nuts for this, but the Chiefs should trade Eric Berry.”
Sam Mellinger, @mellinger, Twitter
GH: The Kansas City Star’s highest profile voice on their sports page wrote a column in the Sunday edition of The Kansas City Star advocating that the Chiefs trade one of their most popular players, the three-time Pro Bowler safety, Eric Berry. If you can get around The Star’s paywall you can read it by clicking here. If you can’t, read on for an excerpt on his reasoning…

“The Chiefs are in a bind. The bill on last offseason’s improvement is now due, and the Chiefs have to find a way to pay up. Trading for quarterback Alex Smith means no second-round pick this year (they also gave up their 2013 second-rounder). Signing wide receiver Dwayne Bowe to an extension means they’re down to about $4.7 million in cap space (only four teams have less). The Chiefs have a lot of holes to fill, especially for an 11-win team, and a lack of cap space and second-rounder means their options are severely limited. Trading Berry would give them options.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: This is the type of column that gets talked about in the media and online. This is the kind of column that Mellinger should write more often. No, I don’t think he should call for trading Eric Berry or Sal Perez every Sunday but he needs to shake the tree with more controversial and passion-inducing topics. This one created some serious buzz. Read on.

“No, you don't dump players like Berry. You build around them. If the Chiefs need to find some salary-cap space next year, there will be other candidates. Dwayne Bowe immediately leaps to mind.”
Adam Teicher, ESPN.com
GH: I found Teicher’s comments interesting because it allowed him the opportunity to publicly disagree with his former KC Star coworker. In Teicher’s new role at ESPN.com, he is allowed to write more opinion-based articles on the Chiefs than his days as a Chiefs beat writer with The Star.

“Yes, this is the type of column that comes up during the quiet NFL days in April. The likelihood of the Chiefs trading Berry ranges somewhere between ‘extremely unlikely’ and ‘Andy Reid fitting into his old punt, pass and kick’ uniform. That doesn't mean columnist Sam Mellinger is completely off his rocker.”
Gregg Rosenthal, writer, NFL.com
GH: The irascible Kent Babb may disagree with Rosenthal assessment of the stability of Mellinger’s rocker but Berry is likely going nowhere. I don’t think he would garner near the quality of draft picks required to replace his worth – which I have and do believe is overrated.

“(Berry’s) contract is handcuffing the Kansas City Chiefs. If he wants to be on this team, he needs to find a way to restructure that contract. He is absolutely killing the Kansas City Chiefs with that contract. We all know that.”
Tim Grunhard, former Chiefs All-Pro center, 810 AM

“The Chiefs' salary cap issues are significant, but there's no reason to blow up their team. Berry isn't a problem. He's the type of leader and player that you hope to find in the draft, not deal away. His contract is an unfortunate remnant of pre-CBA life, but dealing him away only creates more problems on a roster that has already lost a lot of starters.”
Gregg Rosenthal, writer, NFL.com

“It isn’t that trading Berry doesn’t make sense, because it does. It just doesn’t make sense to do so now after free agency is mostly over and Kansas City’s own free agents have signed elsewhere.”
Ben Nielsen, writer, ArrowheadAddict.com

“I think he’s an excellent football player. I think he’s a leader. I think he’s our generation’s Deron Cherry. I just hate to lose a guy like Eric Berry.”
Tim Grunhard, 810 AM

“I’m going to say (Kansas) needs to win five games for Charlie Weis to survive.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: Five wins would be more than KU football has managed in a season since Mark Mangino was KU’s head coach. It sure doesn’t sound like much of a high bar unless you’ve followed Kansas football under Turner Gill and Weis. I listened to the KU spring game and Kansas might need to schedule themselves to reach five wins – twice.

“I’ve sat in on these (meetings to determine whether or not to dismiss a college football player). I’ve always been for giving the kid a first chance, a second chance and a third chance. I worry about the kid now that the safety net’s gone. I hope he doesn’t end up in jail or dead.”
Tim Grunhard, former Kansas assistant coach, on Mizzou’s decision to dismiss Dorial Green-Beckham from their football program, 810 AM
GH: While the safety net at MU protected DGB, it was allowing him to be a continued risk to the student body at Missouri and others who came across his path. DGB’s incidents have escalated each time. First it was smoking dope in the stadium parking lot with some friends. Incredibly stupid but forgivable. Next, he is caught in a car with enough weed to distribute. Not a good look at all but who knows if the weed is his? Most recently, he allegedly kicks in an apartment, pushes a couple of girls around and then drags another out of the place. So MU was supposed to wait around for incident number four? Just to make sure DGB has a safety net? No. Here’s a thought, maybe DGB should be in jail. Tom Osborne sold Nebraska’s good name to try to protect Lawrence Phillips. Does anyone look at Nebraska the same since then? What did it do for LP? It allowed him to screw up a number of other people’s lives because he was not worth saving. I hope DGB figures it out and gets his act turned around. But that’s his job now. He blew his chance at Mizzou.

“Royals thru 11 games:
28th in hits (83)
30th in runs (32)
30th in HR (1)
30th in RBI (30)
30th in slugging % (.312)
30th = last in MLB.”
Johnny Kane, @johnnykaneKMBC, sports anchor, Twitter
GH: Sounds like that “Be Royal” slogan could represent exactly what the organization was trying to avoid – their past. 

“It’s obviously Kevin Seitzer’s fault. They had to fire him because they didn’t hit enough home runs. He’s now the hitting coach at Toronto. They have 16 home runs.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM

“That’s where (Johnny) Knoxville got the idea with the bull and the cigarette – from watching a Tom & Jerry cartoon.”
Bam Magera, one of Johnny Knoxville’s Jackass crew members in an interview with Howard Stern, Sirius
GH: Stern asked Magera if they watched old Three Stooges skits to come up with some of their ideas. Magera said they tended more toward watching cartoons for their ideas. Makes sense if you have enjoyed any of their crazy-ass but hilarious films.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 

 


DGB dismissed from MU football team

Written 4/11/14

“He’s devastated.”
John Beckham, Dorial Green-Beckham’s adoptive father, on DGB being dismissed from the Missouri football team, via David Morrison’s Twitter account
GH: It is difficult for me to find any compassion or concern for DGB. He was given much in life and he refused to protect his gifts. He is young and he has time to turn his life around. Many have. Many have not.

“No Idea.”
John Beckham, when asked what’s next for DGB, via David Morrison’s Twitter account
GH: DGB will not be eligible for the NFL draft until May of 2015. He could play as a junior next season at a DII school or lower. Wow, how quickly a privileged life can turn on dumb-ass decisions.

“Calling an obviously distraught father is not one of my favorite things about this job.”
David Morrison, MU beat writer for the Columbia Daily Tribune, Twitter @DavidCMorrison
GH: The media’s job is not always easy. The job of a parent though can be heartbreaking at times. What a rollercoaster DGB has put his folks on the past two years.

“John Beckham also had no update on what Dorial’s dismissal means for Darnell Green, Dorial’s brother and a 2015 Mizzou signee.”
Pete Scantlebury, @PeteScantlebury, of PowerMizzou.com, Twitter

“I agree that it was the right decision. I don’t agree that it was totally a complete Gary Pinkel decision by any means.”
Gabe DeArmond, 810 AM
GH: Mike Alden has now stated it was Pinkel’s decision and that he agreed with it. As tough decisions go, this one was easy. There was almost no way MU could keep DGB and look even remotely interested in backing the core values they preach to their students.

“This decision was made with the best interests of all involved in mind.”
Gary Pinkel, in an official MU statement
GH: I believe this to be true. DGB might be devastated but he has already exhibited to all that he has no interest in learning from his past mistakes. Maybe this helps. Allowing him to remain on the team after his other incidents with the law sure has not.

“We have a high standard of conduct for our student athletes…”
Mike Alden, in a prepared statement from Mizzou
GH: Not allowing student athletes to break into another student’s apartment and assaulting women is not a high standard. That’s a ridiculously low standard. I will hold my applause.

“The dismissal of DGB is among the most disappointing events at my alma mater in recent history. It's the right move, though. I commend GP.”
Peter Fleischer, @Peter_Fleischer, Memphis Fox Sports anchor, Twitter

“A sign hangs in Mizzou football’s locker room that demands women be respected. Gary Pinkel practices what he preaches by dismissing DGB.”
Ashley Zavala, @ZavalaA, Twitter

“Dismissing DGB was the right thing. A troubling pattern needs to be addressed, glad he's seeking help! Rest of life more important than FB.”
Mike Kelly, @mikekelly1120, voice of Mizzou football and basketball, Twitter

“Mizzou may have lost the SEC title game but Gary Pinkel leading the league in handling tough issues; Michael Sam and now dumping DGB.”
Paul Finebaum, @finebaum, Twitter
GH: I am not nearly as impressed as some with Pinkel’s “tough” decision. DGB had to go. He’s gone. What would be impressive is to not have a football or basketball player arrested the rest of the year. Talk about a low bar.

“Dorial Green-Beckham released from #Mizzou. Can only hope he learns from missteps off-field to earn chance to thrive again on it.”
Bonnie Bernstein, @BonnieBernstein, Twitter
GH: Missteps? This is why some athletes think the rules are different for them. How would Bernstein categorize DGB’s actions if she was on the other side of that door?

“I’m happy because this was the right thing to do. Two things I can’t put up with – you hurting women or you hurting children. Regardless of how good he was he had to go.”
Carrington Harrison, 610 AM

“Mizzou Football is and will always be a Family. NO ONE is above the Family!!!! We will stay true and honor core values. Tiger Forever!”
Michael Sam, @MiekSamFootball, former MU defensive lineman, Twitter
GH: I am not sure what Sam is trying to say here. Is he upset with DGB or backing him?

“At the end of the day we are all human and make mistakes! I care more about the person than the athlete anyway!”
L'Damian Washington®, @Fe_Verdadera2, MU wide receiver, Twitter
GH: What about the persons DGB allegedly drug by the neck and shoved down the stairs? A lot of humans manage to go through college without getting arrested or close to arrested for using drugs, distributing drugs, burglary and assaulting women. Don’t blame DGBs actions on being “human.”

“Mizzou loses its starting QB, RB and top 3 WR for 2014. Sounds bad, but still a lot of talent on offense.”
Michael Gaio, of PowerMizzou.com, Twitter
GH: DGB will miss Missouri football far more than Missouri football will miss DGB. If more student athletes understood this unbending fact of college life, they might make better decisions. Hopefully, some will now learn what DGB never did.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 

 


DGB not arrested but does he deserve another chance?

Written 4/11/14

“Based on the information obtained during the investigation there will be no arrests made in this case.”
Latisha Stroer, Columbia police spokeswoman, regarding the incident last weekend at a Columbia, MO apartment that resulted in sophomore wide-receiver Dorial Green-Beckham’s suspension from the football team, ColumbiaTribune.com

“Given that the two women elected not to press charges, the investigating officer withdrew his warrant request for Green-Beckham on a charge of first-degree burglary -- a class B felony -- according to the report.”
David Morrison, ColumbiaTribune.com
GH: If Beckham is guilty of a serious crime, the people who think they are protecting him by not having him arrested are not doing the city of Columbia or Mizzou any favors. Read on.

http://www.greghallkc.com/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gif“I know you're so upset and I am too. Dorial was wrong in every way and you have every right to be furious. I'm not sticking up for him but football really is all he has going for him and pressing charges would ruin it for him completely.”
Girlfriend of Dorial Green-Beckham, in a text to one of the two women involved in the incident last weekend at a Columbia, MO apartment, Columbia Police Report
GH: Pressing charges wouldn’t “ruin it for him completely” for DGB. That fault is the 20-year-old’s who just can’t seem to understand there are rules he needs to follow.

“Seven Mizzou football and men’s basketball players have been arrested eight times since January. That includes Green-Beckham’s arrest on suspicion of marijuana possession in January, but not an arrest based on a police report that alleges Green-Beckham broke into an apartment last weekend, damaged property and pushed a woman down four stairs. That tally also doesn’t count an independent investigation scheduled to be released Friday about the alleged rape and eventual suicide of former swimmer Sasha Menu Courey.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star

“When police asked her why she did not want to press charges, she stated it was because ‘she was afraid of the media and community backlash since Green-Beckham is a football player for the University of Missouri and is possibly going to be in the NFL Draft soon.’ She also stated she ‘was afraid of being harassed and having her property damaged just because she was the victim" and that she "did not want to deal with the mental stress of the whole ordeal it was already making her physically sick to think about it.’”
David Morrison, ColumbiaTribune.com
GH: This is what happens in college towns when athletes are allowed to become gods – which is pretty much every college town with a football or basketball team. Does KU really need to build a $17-million condo for their 20-year-old athletes?

“Minimum annual donation for a season courtside seat ticket at UConn basketball games: $10,000.”
Darren Rovell, @darrenrovell, Twitter
GH: To watch college kids play basketball? Yeah, it is a ridiculous environment on college campuses.

“We just need to move quickly on this before he's arrested and before his warrant is made public. He will be kicked out of Mizzou and then not qualify for the draft next year. The coaches talked to me and explained to me how serious this is and there's no time to waste at this point.”
Girlfriend of Dorial Green-Beckham, Columbia Police Report

“We don’t just wipe our hands clean of somebody who is 21-years-old or younger. I’m not for kicking everybody to the curb and saying, ‘Go be a loser.’”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM
GH: I heard a lot of talk on the radio Thursday about getting DGB some help. Many believe there should be an effort to keep him in school, even if he is released from the football team. Why? Why does DGB deserve another break? Why put more students in jeopardy of his next “mistake?” It isn’t Mizzou’s job to save this dunce. It was his job. He obviously didn’t care enough to protect it. Gone.

“Police conducted a Monday follow-up interview with the girlfriend in which she said she did not remember texting that to the alleged victim and that she had been drinking and did not remember if the description in the text was accurate. In a follow-up interview with police, Green-Beckham's girlfriend said she had not received any calls from the coaching staff and that Green-Beckham had talked with coaches and ‘relayed that information to her.’”
David Morrison, ColumbiaTribune.com
GH: The Colombia police did a very thorough job of documenting this case and to make sure it is very obvious to all why there was no arrest.

“(Chad) Moller (a spokesperson for MU Athletics) said the Missouri coaching staff did not contact Green-Beckham's girlfriend after the incident.”
David Morrison, ColumbiaTribune.com
GH: There are a lot of statements in this report that we are not supposed to believe and others where we are supposed to read between the lines. This one about the coaches’ comments to the girlfriend is serious. But she appears to be incredibly unreliable as a source. Mike Alden and Gary Pinkel should want to know the truth.

“The report indicates that Green-Beckham's girlfriend said she was "in the bathroom" and "didn't hear or see anything" during the incident and was "extremely uncooperative" in the investigation.”
David Morrison, ColumbiaTribune.com

“Dorial Green-Beckham has lost the privilege to play football at the University of Missouri.”
Carrington Harrison, a lifelong Missouri fan, 610 AM

“My job is to get it fixed. That's what I intend to do.”
Gary Pinkel, ColumbiaTribune.com
GH: Do your job, coach. We are all watching.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / @greghall24

 


Dorsey's Flirty Dozen

Written 4/10/14

“(John) Dorsey is a good dude. We’re not supposed to talk about it but he had some of us guys in the media out to the complex last night. He’s a really good guy.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I found this comment interesting on a number of levels – and I have some questions. 1) So what would be the motivation of the Chiefs GM to invite some select members of the local media to Arrowhead for a clandestine meeting? 2) Who were the members of the media that were invited and who were excluded? 3) Why were Kietzman and other members of the media instructed, “not to talk about it?” 4) Why would Kietzman mention this secret meeting if he was asked not to? Let me know if you were one of Dorsey’s Flirty Dozen who were invited to this meeting or if you were one of the members of the media who were not found worthy.

“Andy Reid's offense is at its best when he has a vertical threat in the passing game.”
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL scout analyst, on his prediction that the Chiefs will draft Oregon wide receiver Brandin Cooks, NFL.com
GH: Jeremiah has three offensive tackles going in the top ten – and five offensive linemen overall going in the first round. He has only four QBs going in the first round. It seems some teams still value that brawn up front.

“The Chiefs should be the AFC’s Packers.”
Mitch Holthus, 810 AM
GH: Holthus did not offer much reason as to why the Chiefs should be the Packers other than John Dorsey came from the Packers organization. Should and could are two different things. The Chiefs should have more than one Super Bowl appearance since 1970. That doesn’t mean much of anything, though. Instead of trying to emulate another franchise, why not just strive for excellence?

“As you know, the Cowboys have not gone to the playoffs in several years. We have not gone, yet we’re the most popular TV show there is on television. We lead all teams in TV ratings. We lead, 24 of the last top 25 shows were NFL games, and any time your Cowboys play they’re up there at the top and leading. Now, what causes that? What causes that is creating some aura, creating some excitement.”
Jerry Jones, Dallas Morning News
GH: Has there been a sports franchise that has been able to sustain its popularity despite its lack of success like the Cowboys? The Raiders maybe to a point but not nearly what the Cowboys have been able to pull off. With the Cowboys, it almost doesn’t matter if they win. Remarkable.

“I don’t think Jerry Jones is trying to win.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: I think Jones problem is that he tries too hard to win. He’s George Steinbrenner with the Reggie Jacksons and Derek Jeters.

“Did you hear Fescoe Wednesday morning? Right before they did some sort of sports movie character draft, he and Klingler tried to say the word ‘muff’ as often as they could. (A play on Notre Dame women's coach Muffet McGraw.) Think Howard Stern movie scene with ‘Match Game.’ Eventually, they dumped (or got dumped) awkwardly to commercial. When they came back, there was no mention of it.”
Reader, OTC Email
GH: Has Fescoe and Klingler explained what happened or why they muffed this segment? Maybe they could have listeners text in their Top 10 Reasons Why We Got Muffled.

“For the Royals, their next nine games will be against two of the worst teams in baseball (Twins and Astros). Whitey Herzog would say, ‘I don’t want to play the bad teams early because they don’t know how bad they are yet.’ Whitey didn’t do much without some forethought.”
Denny Matthews, Royals Radio
GH: The Royals are 4-4 and basically tied with the Twins, Indians and White Sox two games behind the Tigers. After an 0-2 start against Detroit, these Royals look like they could be a very, very good team – even without much power. Winning seven of the next nine would be an April unlike any other. (Or at least unlike most Aprils for Royals fans.)

“No. We take every team serious.”
Alex Gordon, when asked by Nate Bukaty if the Royals expected to continue their success against the Twins due to how well they dominated them last season, 810 AM

“There’s a drive to right center. Back goes Myers. To the track…to the wall… Aaaaannnd GONE!”
Denny Matthews, on his call of Alex Gordon’s home run that broke the Royals drought for dingers, Royals Radio
GH: Denny often (well, almost always) ticks me off with the lack of enthusiasm and interest in his play-by-play calls. But this one reminded me of what made Denny the voice of the Royals. He had mentioned just prior to the pitch that the Rays had a chance to stay in this game by getting Gordon out or the Royals had a chance to break it open with a big knock from their number-five hitter. The call wasn’t all that memorable except for the anticipation in Denny’s voice. When I saw the highlight of Myers confidently tracking Gordon’s homer, I knew why Denny stretched his call with an unsure but hopeful tone. It was one of those radio moments in baseball when you just freeze as the listener – and then pump your fist like you actually had something to do with the dong. Be Royal.

“It’s not a big deal. This is a big park. We’re not going to hit a lot of home runs here.”
Alex Gordon, when asked about the Royals having just one homer so far this season, 810 AM
GH: The Tigers have hit ten home runs to the Royals’ one. But the Royals starting rotation and their defense have to be the envy of the American League. I know that sound like homer hyperbole but damn this team looks like they could not only compete but be dominate.

“Alcides Escobar might be the best defensive shortstop in baseball.”
TJ Carpenter, 810 AM

“I think this team is capable of putting together four or five gold glovers. It sounds crazy but it’s very, very possible.”
Ned Yost, after the Royals executed a number of stunning defensive plays in their win over the Rays Wednesday afternoon, 610 AM
GH: It is rare that a team has great pitching, hitting and defense all at the same time. The Royals obviously do not have the kind of hitters that you associate with a World Series title. But if this Ace Ventura kid is as good as he looks, he might win 20 games this year. How Non-Royal would that be?

“ELIAS: Ervin Santana started Wednesday's game with 20 straight strikes -- and is the only player in past 15 seasons to do that.”
Buster Olney, @Buster_ESPN, on the former Royals and current Braves pitcher, Twitter

“After that delay, we will have another delay.”
Denny Matthews, after review upheld the caught stealing call on Alex Gordon ended the 2nd inning, leading to the between-inning change over, Royals Radio
GH: Denny is not going to be a fan of the new replay rule. I wonder how well Denny handles the left-turn signals on College Blvd.?

“I can dance real good. I’m probably the closest thing to Justin Timberlake around here.”
Nate Bukaty, after he mentioned prematurely walking into the Royals’ postgame celebration Wednesday, 810 AM
GH: Bukaty said he was mistakenly allowed into the Royals winning locker room Wednesday before the players were ready for the media. He walked into a postgame dance celebration complete with dimmed lights, hip-hop music and a fog machine. No word on whether Ned was executing the slide step.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


DGB suspended by MU

Posted 4/8/14

“Columbia Police sergeant Joe Bernhard said Monday morning that (Dorial) Green-Beckham was not arrested over the weekend, but according to residents at Brookside Townhomes, Green-Beckham was involved in an incident there sometime between 2 and 3 a.m. Sunday.”
Matthew Fairburn, writer, columbiamissourian.com
GH: I took TJ Carpenter to task for the slipshod way he handled breaking this story Sunday afternoon. Carpenter definitely had some facts correct but he quickly backed off from his original tweet that DGB would soon be arrested and deferred to Gabe DeArmond for anyone wanting more details. Carpenter had a story and it involved DGB and it is serious enough that it resulted in the Mizzou sophomore’s immediate suspension. But it is also obvious Carpenter broke a story prematurely, with too few substantiated facts that he was all too willing to back away from once DeArmond made it clear that without an arrest there was no story.

“There are standards for reporting something. If something happens we'll report it, but nothing has happened.”
Gabe DeArmond, @GabeDeArmond,  at 4:26 PM Sunday, Twitter
GH: There are standards for reporting something. The desire to be first should not trump the desire to be correct – no matter if you are writing for the NY Times or hosting a weekend sports talk radio show in Kansas City.

“The only incident from Brookside Townhomes reported to the Columbia police within this time period is a burglary at 2:36 a.m. Sunday.”
Matthew Fairburn, columbiamissourian.com
GH: Is this burglary related to DGB’s suspension? Is it a coincidence? Gary Pinkel and Mizzou obviously know more than the rest of us about what happened at Brookside Townhomes early Sunday morning.

“After (Green-Beckham) drove away, his teammates were yelling at us to not call the cops. They were like, 'Dude, come on. Just don’t call the cops.’”
Chris Connor, a Mizzou sophomore and resident of the Brookside Apartment complex, columbiamissourian.com

“It's unfortunate, but it's the right thing to do for our football program, for the athletic department, and also for Dorial. We have high standards related to the expectations that come along with being a Missouri Tiger, and Dorial has not met those recently. It's been disappointing to have this and other issues which have taken place lately. It's frustrating because we work very hard to instill responsibility and discipline in our young men, so that our program represents Mizzou the right way. These actions aren't representative of those expectations, and we are addressing these issues head-on.””
Gary Pinkel, in an official announcement that DGB has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team policy, columbiamissourian.com
GH: Pinkel was arrested for drunk driving a couple of years ago and was just given a raise and contract extension by Mizzou. Will DGB receive as much rope as his coach? 

“I like Danny (Manning) a lot as a coaching prospect. Danny is like Wayne Selden. Wayne Selden was wise enough to say, ‘Okay, I’m a talent and I might be able to fake my way through it if I went pro but this is not the time.’ I think Danny is a talent and he might be able find his way through the mess that Wake (Forest) is but I think he sold his talent at the wrong time to the wrong place. … There’s no question in my mind that he’s a unique talent but I don’t think he’s in the right place. I think it’s a really, really hard job.”
Mike DeCourcy, on Manning leaving Tulsa for the Wake Forest head coaching position, 810 AM
GH: Did Manning jump too soon and to a place where even his best work might not be good enough? Wake Forest might not be Duke or North Carolina when it comes to basketball but it sure isn’t where Wichita State or K-State were when those programs were recently revived. Manning might have to work at it but he can get the job done there in Salem as well as he could in a lot of places. I think he will do quite well in the shadows of Roy and Coach K.

“I’m an authority on this and I can tell you something…it gets worse. Up four or five times a night is in your future.”
Dan Rather, in an interview with Howard Stern, after Stern asked him about aging and his many trips to the bathroom each night, Sirius Radio
GH: Rather is now 82 and it seems the perfect age to appear on Howard Stern’s radio show. Read on.

“You know, I don’t know any of the Kardashians.”
Dan Rather, when asked by Stern to name his favorite Kardashian, Sirius Radio

“I have learned to like classical music but it’s still mostly Hank Wilson and Willie Nelson.”
Dan Rather, when asked by Stern what music he liked to listen to, Sirius Radio

“Oh, I tweet, Facebook and all that. I love it but I don’t understand it all.”
Dan Rather, on his comfort level with social media, Sirius Radio

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Moose slump hits 0-15

Posted 4/7/14

“He’s pressing a little bit but not nearly as much as he was at any time last year. He’s going to be okay.”
Ned Yost, on Moose’s 0-15 start, 610 AM
GH: Yost made this comment about the Royals’ third baseman over the weekend. It sounded so familiar to me that I checked the archives from last May and came up with what Yost said about Moose when he was in a 2-41 tailspin. Read on.

“Last year, when he struggled. I mean (Moose) was a mess. There were times when you’d have to sit him for a ‘mental day.’ This year, he’s been in a great frame of mind. … He’s going to be fine.”
Ned Yost, on the same slumping Moustakas, May 2013, Kansas City Star
GH: Okay, so by my count that is three seasons in a row where we can document that Moose has struggled with slumps and his mental state. Hey, we all understand that baseball is a hard game to play and it’s a grind and the Royals faced three of the best pitchers on the planet (who happen to be in their division) and blah, blah, blah… I would like Yost to try a different tactic to motivate the moody Moose. “Hey moose – hit the damn ball or you’re going to find out how many great restaurants there are in Omaha.”

“He had home-run distance but he missed the foul pole by about 100 feet.”
Steve Physioc, play-by-play call on a foul ball off the bat of Mike Moustakas, Royals Radio

“Obviously, Mike Moustakas is still struggling although good for him to at least have the RBI walk today. I know that doesn’t mean anything is solved but at least he can go back and say he made a contribution. He also had some defensive plays – he also had the error…”
Joel Goldberg, Royals pre- and postgame host, trying to put a positive spin on Moose’s 0-15 start after Saturday’s win over the Chisox, Fox Sports KC
GH: It’s not just Yost who is walking and talking on eggshells when it comes to Moose’s slump. Goldberg tried everything he could to turn that bases-loaded walk into a Player of the Game award.

“I cover my eyes every time he comes up to bat. It’s very compelling radio and TV right now, to watch Mike Moustakas and see what he is going to do. We are all rooting for him to get a hit.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: The Moose watch is going to continue until he gets that first knock. I can feel the pressure build as Moose steps to the plate even when I’m just watching from my couch.

“I haven’t done it much in my career, but it’s not that difficult. Because the shortstop’s over on the other side of second and the third baseman’s at shortstop. So I just have to bunt it past the pitcher. I don’t have to be fine with it.”
Mike Moustakas, on bunting to the left side of the infield to foil the defensive shift many teams are using against him, Kansas City Star
GH: I think getting Moose to bunt for a base hit is exactly what the opposition is hoping the leading home-run hitter in California high school baseball will try to do. I do not want to see Moose stabbing at change ups and hoping to dink one down the third-base line. I want to see him hit it over their heads. Way over.

“(Bunting) should not be there. You have 27 outs. Don’t give them up.”
Brian McRae, 810 AM

“I’m different than a lot of these other guys. Some guys like to watch film. Like Billy (Butler), he gets in there and watches film all day. He’s able to break it down. Gordo (Alex Gordon) does the same thing. I’ll watch film from when I was going good. I don’t break down everything I’ve done. I just try to find a couple of at-bats where I look comfortable, see what I was doing and work from there.”
Mike Moustakas, explaining to Bob Dutton last season in May 2013 about how his video work, Kansas City Star
GH: I don’t know if Moose has altered his aversion to watching video but I guess we can hope. We hear a lot about his mental approach but little about his work ethic. Often times a busy mind doesn’t have time to become weak.

“I think it’s way too early to start that platoon at third base (with Moustakas and Danny Valencia). Because a platoon means you don’t have anybody to play third base.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Ned appears to have a two-limbed third-basemen tree this season.

“They define their roles by their production. Once we get rolling it will define itself more clearly than it is now.”
Ned Yost, on how he will make decisions as to when he will to pitch the Royals bullpen, 610 AM
GH: I think it is too early to judge the Royals pitching. But I like what I see for the most part. It would just be nice to see somebody hit some dongs. The Royals remain the only team in MLB to not have a home run.

“I think it’s silly if this (Royals) team doesn’t get at least two million fans to the ball park this year.”
Josh Vernier, Royals pre- and postgame host, 610 AM
GH: The Royals last drew two-million fans in 1991 when they capped a seven year streak of two million or more since 1985. They have drawn about 1.7 million for the past five seasons. They will very likely draw two million this summer but it should not be a given. Just as Yost says his pen’s playing time will be determined by their production, so should the fans’ interest in their Royals.

“Just got a report that DGB was arrested last night for assaulting a woman. No confirmation of the arrest yet, but eye witnesses.”
TJ Carpenter, @TJCarpenterWHB, Sunday at 3:55 PM, Twitter
GH: When I read this my first reaction was just total disgust that DGB could be guilty of yet another stupid and damaging crime. But when I went to investigate the story I found there weren’t any details to be found. My disgust then switched from the message to the messenger. Read on.

“There are standards for reporting something. If something happens we'll report it, but nothing has happened.”
Gabe DeArmond, @GabeDeArmond,  at 4:26 PM Sunday, Twitter
GH: DeArmond was obviously being asked by many people about Carpenter’s report. I still haven’t seen any arrest record or story on TJ’s report almost 24 hours later. That is not a good way to build a reputation here in Kansas City media for the youngster from Arkansas.

“I don't believe DGB has been arrested yet, but he might be soon. Still trying to get details. You'd be wise to follow @GabeDeArmond.”
TJ Carpenter, @TJCarpenterWHB, Sunday at 4:07 PM, Twitter
GH: Okay, this is just a joke of an ass-covering tweet. I don’t believe TJ is a complete idiot but he might be soon. He sure is headed down that road anyway.

“It was a fantastic game. Unfortunately, it ended in a nil-nil draw and I know that sounds to all the soccer haters out there.”
Nate Bukaty, on Sporting Kansas City’s scoreless draw Saturday night at home to Real Salt Lake, 810 AM
GH: Call me a soccer hater but a more accurate moniker would be tie hater. Who wants to see a draw? Finish the game with a winner. And I don’t really care how the sport resolves that issue. Just get it done.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24

 

 


The education of Andy McCullough

Posted 4/4/14

“I agree that there are tactics on the field that are really, really important but there’s so much else that goes into the job that we can’t see that maybe Ned (Yost) really is good at, that maybe a really good tactician isn’t good at.”
Andy McCullough, Royals’ new beat writer for The Kansas City Star, in an interview with TJ Carpenter 810 AM
GH: I am going to christen this Royals’ season as “The Education of Andy.” McCullough seems like a nice lad, even a bright chap. But he doesn’t understand the Royals’ organization or Royals’ fans or Ned Yost any better than this former New York Mets’ beat writer can find his way around KCK. After listening to McCullough on multiple radio shows and enjoying his out-of-town perspective, it has become clear he just doesn’t know – well, much of anything. Read on.

“I’m getting a sense that a certain segment of the (Royals) fans get upset about anything. … I find it humorous how upset people get two days into a season.”
Andy McCullough, when asked on WHB’s The Border Patrol if he was hearing from a lot of Royals’ fans who are upset about Yost’s decision to push Yordano Ventura’s start back a week, 810 AM
GH: Every fan base has their Debbie Downers – (has McCullough spent any time getting to know Mizzou fans?) But Royals’ fans have earned every right to be skeptical of all decisions made by the home team. McCullough has much to learn and even more to experience here in the Land of the Yosted.

“I think Wade Davis is going to be great for them. I think that’s going to offset the loss of Hochevar.”
Andy McCullough, 810 AM
GH: Oh my, this is worse than I expected.

“Even if you don’t agree with what Ned Yost is doing, there’s a logic to it for the most part I think.”
Andy McCullough, 810 AM
GH: MUCH worse!

“I vowed after I bought the Royal Rumble this year I was not going to give them any more of my money! I was so angry… I’m 26 years old. I don’t need to be watching (WWE Network).”
Andy McCullough, Royals beat writer for the Kansas City Star, when asked by SSJ if he will be watching WrestleMania this Sunday 810 AM
GH: Speaking of the WWE, it dawned on me listening to Rex Hudler this week that he sounds an awful lot like Hulk Hogan. Read on.

“What a great opportunity to be here with a great young team like the Royals! It’s just a monster line-up now! We’ve got a line-up that is beautiful!”
Rex Hudler, in an interview with Lake and Binkley prior to the Royals home opener, 610 AM
GH: A monster lineup? The Royals and Yankees are the only two teams in MLB to not yet homer this season. These Royals might still be in hibernation but Hudler sounds like Vince McMahon when he spouts this kind of hyperbole. Somebody hit him with a chair.

“Rex Hudler, 10 seconds before an Aaron Crow pitch got by Sal Perez to allow the second Tiger run to score in the opening game... ‘We have our human backstop behind the plate,’ … and then 30 seconds of silence from him.”
John, OTC Email

“We love it Rex when you hop on and talk Royals on 610 Sports.”
Henry Lake, 610 AM
GH: There is a very definite dividing line between 610 and 810 when it comes to Rex Hudler’s work on Royals TV broadcasts. The guys at 610 Sports LOVE Rex. I mean they worship his corny enthusiasm and cartoon-like persona. The guys at 810 go out of their way to make fun of diminish these same Hudler traits. I think Hudler’s act is probably genuine but he appears to be on the TV to attract the most ignorant of baseball fans. The kind who like their baseball sweet, loud and completely Royals blue.

“I think (Moustakas) is capable of putting up some stinking big numbers.”
Al Fitzmorris, former Royals pitcher, on the Royals third baseman, 810 AM
GH: Moose will be the Royals most watched Royals hitter this spring. Jack Harry put up a graphic on his KSHB TV 41 broadcast Thursday night showing all the Royals’ hitters who are hitless or have only one hit after two games. I think that’s the kind of craziness McCullough was talking about when it comes to overreacting after just two games.

“It’s not going to take long for me to hit the panic button on Moustakas.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: I sure hope Moose gets a knock today. I sure hope I’m not typing that same sentence next week.

“They need to start scoring some runs or it’s going to get in their heads. I don’t see any panic there yet but I think it starts to set in if they don’t start scoring.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM

“Seriously? Royals selling water from their fountain this year for $10.”
Darren Rovell, @darrenrovell, Twitter
GH: Is it autographed by Fountain Mom?

“Just went to @DraftDayMovie screening. Holding my full critique until it opens next week but classic Costner. Great storyline. Worthwhile.”
Johnny Kane, @johnnykaneKMBC, KMBC-TV sports anchor, Twitter
GH: If this movie about the NFL draft is above a 2, it might be the biggest upset of the season.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Royals lose first two games

Posted 4/4/14

“They’re not in trouble after two games. But they’re not beating the Tigers.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: So, Kietzman has determined after two games that the Royals are not beating the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central? There appears to be a number of Royals fans who agree with Kietzman – and they all very well could be correct. But our Royals just pushed the defending ALC champs and their two Cy Young Award winning starters into walk-off wins in chilly Detroit. That sure beats the holy hell out of Luke Hochevar giving up a seven-run first inning on Opening Day at The K. I’m going to wait a while before I toss in my Be Royal towel.

“I love taking calls after a Royals game. I feel like we get the fans’ honest reactions.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: Fans who call radio shows after their team loses can be entertaining but they are rarely worth the oxygen they expend. Kansas City radio hosts are WAY, WAY, WAY too polite with most of these bozos. They treat them like the drunk uncle who might leave them a fortune when he dies so they don’t want to offend him. Postgame hosts need to treat these guys like the props they are – and drive their dumbness down the fairway like it was teed up on a par five.

“Did they give him a single? Denny, seriously? I thought that was an easy play that any major leaguer should be able to make!”
Steve Physioc, on Lorenzo Cain’s infield single in the 10th inning past the Tigers shortstop Alex Gonzalez, Royals Radio
GH: I haven’t seen a minute of the Royals live yet due to this thing they call a job. I know Denny has been ill this week and is not in top form. But he almost refuses to be engaged in a conversation with his partner if it is not his inning to do play-by-play. Denny may have grunted a response to Physioc but it wasn’t much more than that. Talking should be so easy to a guy who has made radio his life for almost 50 years.

“What I’m suggesting is that the Royals didn’t want you to see (the replay)! … Clearly there were video angles that the Kansas City fans did not see. I cannot in a million years figure out how the Royals – or any major-league team – will not have the replay that people sitting in a room in New York City will have. … I can’t trust Royals’ television broadcasts anymore.”
Kevin Kietzman, stating that the Fox Sports broadcast did not show all the available replays of a call that was overturned, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman might be on to something here but since he carries the reputation of such a crazed conspiracy theorist, I take everything he says as if he were…well, uh, Kevin Kietzman.

“(Alcides Escobar) was the worst offensive player in major-league baseball last year among regulars. You have the right to pinch-hit for him.”
Danny Clinkscale, on Ned Yost’s decision to not pinch-hit for his light-hitting shortstop in the eighth inning against the reigning Cy Young Award winner, 810 AM
GH: What other manager doesn’t pinch hit in this situation? Any? How did David Glass watch this go down and not go George Steinbrenner on Yost? Let’s hope he did.

“Pinch-hitting for guys gets in their dome. And you don’t want to get in their dome in the second game. When nobody is really swinging the bat good.”
Ned Yost, defending his decision to not hit Justin Maxwell for Escobar, Kansas City Star
GH: Ned worries way too much about his guys’ domes and not enough about winning the damn game. This isn’t St. Mary’s CYO team. This is where they pay you millions of dollars to be average.

“Guys are allowed to have off years. It doesn’t mean they’re going to be terrible for the rest of their careers.”
Ned Yost, defending Escobar’s dismal season at the plate in 2013 after a breakout season in 2012, Kansas City Star
GH: Ned should know. He’s had an off career.

“Yeah, absolutely. I gave (Billy Butler) the green light.”
Ned Yost, when asked if he was okay with Butler swinging at a 3-0 pitch in the first inning, despite Scherzer walking two of the first three hitters he faced, 810 AM

“There is no reason from this point forward to give Billy Butler the green light – especially against Max Scherzer.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Of course Butler hit into an inning-ending double play in the first and the Royals didn’t score until the ninth. Ned Yost likes to talk about getting into his players’ domes. This green light sure didn’t help the psyche of his fragile squad.

“I couldn’t find the plate today. It was just one of those days.”
Tim Collins, who pitched the tenth inning for the Royals and took the loss after walking two batters and giving up the walk-off single to Ian Kinsler, 810 AM
GH: The Royals have lost two one-run games in their opponent’s final at-bats but Yost has not found an opportunity to pitch his closer, Greg Holland. With Collins knowing he didn’t have it Wednesday and having already walked two, Yost allowed him to stay on the mound and get the loss. What about Tim Collins’ dome? What about my dome???!!!

“I think allowing Mike Moustakas to wear a Royals’ uniform is bordering on a bad decision.”
TJ Carpenter, 810 AM
GH: Ouch! That’s a bit rough on the dome of the Royals’ poster child for fragile domeness.

“If the (Royals) offense would have just scored four runs the first game and three runs yesterday the Royals would be 2-0.”
Bob Fescoe, who appears to be vying for the role of Master of the Obvious in evaluating the Royals, 610 AM
GH: Fescoe has evolved from David/Dan Glass antagonist into one of the local media’s most ardent Royals defenders and apologists. Maybe it is simply because his station is the Royals radio rights holder but Fescoe now goes out of his way to defend almost every move Ned Yost makes. Maybe Yost will prove me wrong and become the next Tony La Russa. But having Fescoe in your corner typically just adds another guy you have to fight for the dunce cap.

“It’s interesting that three (basketball players) from Missouri would be going pro (early) and it’s possible none of them will be first-round draft picks. I think what’s frustrating for Missouri fans is that not only are first-round picks not coming back but guys that aren’t first-round picks aren’t coming back.”
Gabe DeArmond, on Phil Pressey leaving early last year and the recent announcements from Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown that they will be entering the NBA draft, 810 AM
GH: Mizzou fans should be even more concerned that with three NBA-quality players the past two seasons their Tigers continue to meow and not roar in the SEC.

“I think both Kansas schools should be concerned about losing a kid that went across state lines (to Missouri) to play for a school in the SEC.”
Nate Bukaty, on the news that Blue Valley HS’s four-star offensive guard, A. J. Harris has committed to Mizzou, 810 AM
GH: According to Rinals.com, the 6’3, 297-pound Harris received offers from Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, and Oklahoma State. If I was Harris’ dad I would have ranked KU at or near the bottom of that list and KSU about sixth. I can’t see where losing a kid this good is all that shocking or embarrassing to the Kansas programs. If every recruit stayed home and played for his local school, KSU, KU, Nebraska and ISU would really be screwed.

“Just put in my verbal commitment to MU! Can't wait to spend my college years playing here.”
AJ Harris, @CrazyHorseAJ, in an April 1st tweet, Twitter
GH: CrazyHorseAJ? This kid sounds like a defensive lineman in an offensive lineman’s body. He should be fun to watch.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 

 


Butler's interview on the Border Patrol

Posted 4/4/14

“It could be that he got seven-and-a-half run support per game, too. That’s absurd. Not taking anything away from him… You can’t win those types of awards if everything doesn’t fall in place for you either.”
Billy Butler, in an interview with The Border Patrol Wednesday morning, when asked about facing the 2013 Cy Young Award winner in Max Scherzer today in Detroit, 810 AM
GH: Butler will be a regular guest on The Border Patrol this season and I was impressed with how Steven St. John and Nate Bukaty conducted their interview with the Royals DH. These interviews far too often consist of the hosts fawning over the player and lobbing him safe, cushy questions while the audience falls asleep. Butler took a pretty decent shot at Scherzer and his obscene run support with this comment. Read on.

“(Jason Vargas) very rarely misses his spot. He’s got some of the best command I’ve ever seen. He literally hits them every single time.”
Billy Butler, on the former Angels pitcher and the Royals’ number-two starter and who will be starting Wednesday against Scherzer in Detroit, 810 AM
GH: Vargas is Dayton Moore’s answer for allowing Ervin Santana to free agency. He is another “crafty” lefty who eats innings. He could sure go a long way in endearing himself to Royals fans with a win over Cy Scherzer this afternoon.

“There are ways to score more runs without hitting more home runs. That’s just a stat in general.”
Billy Butler, after Steven St. John asked him if he needed to hit more homers for the Royals to be successful, 810 AM
GH: SSJ asked the tough question here and Butler avoided a direct answer. The Royals can’t afford to play a DH who cannot play the field and only hits 15 homers. Butler obviously thinks he can help the team without hitting dongs. Props to SSJ for asking the question. I wish he would have pushed Butler even more on the subject that is sure to be a hot topic this season if Butler’s power numbers continue to flat line.

“I’ve gotten this far because I’ve got a great approach. I’m not going to change just because they position me different. Having nine guys on defense regardless of how they position themselves, there are just going to be times you hit the ball at ‘em.”
Billy Butler, when asked how he is going to approach his at bats when teams apply a dramatic defensive shift on him to make him hit the opposite way, 810 AM
GH: Butler wants no part of admitting he had an off year at the plate last season. He mentioned that he grades his success by how hard he hits the ball and how many times he gets the barrel of the bat on the ball. Everything else he suggests is just the luck of the game. Some drop. Some get caught. It’s all up to the Baseball gods according to BB.

“I’d rather have that off day in August when we need it.”
Billy Butler, when asked if he would prefer to play the day after the season opener instead of the annual built-in off day, 810 AM
GH: Why MLB forces their teams, players and fans to slam into the windshield after all that opening day momentum each April is a ball scratcher.

“We’re going to win a lot of ball games and it’s going to be a very exciting time here in Kansas City.”
Billy Butler, in an interview
GH: Be Royal.

“You CANNOT do Sweet Caroline! That’s somebody else’s song! They do that out in Boston!”
Henry Lake, discussing the Royals’ song choices to possibly replace Garth’s Friends in Low Places, 610 AM
GH: The Royals announced Tuesday their “Play It Forward” contest to determine the team’s sixth-inning song to possibly replace Garth Brooks’ Friends In Low Places. Click here to view the schedule for these songs that will line up in a 32-song single-elimination bracket. Some of these songs are just ridiculous choices. Lake is dead on about Sweet Caroline – that is the Red Sox anthem and makes KC look dumber than when we were batting Chris Getz lead-off. My Girl by the Temptations? 1999 by Prince? Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison? What the hell do these songs have with Kansas City and baseball? Read on.

“Play the song “Kansas City” by Fats Domino. That song everybody knows the words to. To me, it should be something that resonates with the city. To me, there’s no better song.”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM
GH: Done. Who needs a contest? Kansas City by Fats Domino is the winner. Kansas City by The Beatles? This is not cricket! My choice for a distant second place is Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’. I might roll that one out on nights where the Royals trail going into the bottom of the ninth…along with the video of  Bluto’s speech in Animal House about the German’s bombed Pearl Harbor.

“I think this (Royals) team under Dayton Moore and Ned Yost are stuck in the ‘70s and ‘80s.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM

“(Moustakas) is a fragile mental player and he’s going to be tested.”
Todd Leabo, on the Royals third baseman going hitless in the season opener and how he openly displayed his frustration after weakly grounding out in Detroit, 810 AM
GH: I really want Moose to get a hit. This kid deals with failure worse than the cast of HBO’s Girls.

“I think the Royals will struggle to get to the win total they got last year. I think they’ll take a step back.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: It appears the national media is far more optimistic about the Royals than our local talking heads. That is a bit unusual.

“They’re paying (Alex Gordon) to be a run producer. Not a lead-off guy.”
Brian McRae, on the reasoning behind moving Gordon down into the fifth spot in the order, 810 AM
GH: The Royals are not good enough offensively for Gordon to hit fifth. As an outfielder, I used to hate the teams that stacked the top of their order with their best hitters. It made me dread seeing that lead-off hitter in the on-deck circle. I do not understand a manager who doesn’t want to give his best hitters four or five at bats a game.

“Tiger got in that car and Eldrick came out.”
Carrington Harrison, after Tiger Woods announced he will not be playing in this month’s Masters in Augusta, 610 AM

“(Tiger) has never been the same. He has won zero majors since then. We got a fantastic run from Tiger but it’s over. His body is breaking down. It’s done.”
Carrington Harrison, 610 AM

“(Tiger) was the leading money winner on the PGA Tour last year. He was the player of the year last year.”
Danny Parkins, disputing Harrison’s take that Tiger is done winning majors, 610 AM

“Tiger’s like KU basketball – you have to judge Tiger differently. Tiger said he only cares about majors.”
Carrington Harrison, 610 AM
GH: Tiger change the game of golf like no other golfer in the history of the sport. None. I do not want his reign to be over. I fear it might me.

“I would watch the tourney even if there were no games just for (Clark) Kellogg, (Charles) Barkley and the Jet (Kenny Smith). Great studio show.”
Gabe DeArmond, @GabeDeArmond, Twitter
GH: We hear the word “chemistry” tossed around a lot about locker rooms, news teams, office environments, etc. If you want to see real chemistry in action, watch the NBA guys from TNT work. Kevin Kietzman was attempting to tell us how his radio show is “real” last week. KK wouldn’t know real radio if you introduced him to Marconi. No one on the CBS/TNT set is above anyone else. They are obviously great friends on and off the set. When Barkley sang a tune and then tried to tell them he was known as the Frank Sinatra of the South in Alabama, his cohosts ripped him and hooted him down like he was a freshman punter. And Barkley laughed and enjoyed their taunts. That’s chemistry –something that is all too rare in broadcasting.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24


Royals lose opener in Detroit

Posted 4/1/14

“Some interesting moves by the skipper at the end there, huh? I’m sure this is going to be the focus of most of your calls.”
Josh Klingler, host of 610’s Royals postgame show, opening his Royals postgame call-in show following Detroit’s walk-off opening day 4-3 win over the Royals, 610 AM
GH: Ahhhh, Ned. Bringing back Ned for the Royals first real season of expectations in 20 years means many a loss will be dissected and kicked about on talk radio like it was the seventh game of the World Series. But that is a topic most of Kansas City knows almost nothing about. And might well continue to know nothing about with Ned calling the shots.

“Ned Yost uses 1970s baseball in 2014.”
TJ Carpenter, 810 AM

“This is going to sound mean but I am going to the whip with James Shields this season. I am not going to worry about his arm and I am not going to worry about his future.”
Kevin Kietzman, discussing why Ned chose to remove his ace after Shields put two on in the sixth innings, 810 AM
GH: Danny Clinkscale cautioned Kietzman that Yost still needs to be concerned about Shields’ health throughout this season – which is correct. But I side with KK on this one. Shields needs to be on the mound for seven or eight innings each outing if the Royals are going to come close to recouping what they lost in the Wil Myers trade. BTW, Wil got the game winner for the Rays Monday hitting second in their lineup.

“(Wade Davis) walks Alex Avila and I am freaking out. … Would I have ridden Wade Davis out for the rest of the ninth inning? Yes, I probably would have had to there.”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM
GH: Wade Davis was the long-term reason for the Wil Myers trade. Maybe the Royals should just pass on all future pitchers named Davis. 

“You must win this game!”
Kevin Kietzman, citing the Royals having a 3-1 lead in the seventh with James Shields on the mound in Detroit on opening day, 810 AM
GH: I didn’t hear anyone throwing in the towel after one loss but KK’s is correct in stating these types of games are the ones which winners win and losers lose. If Yost needed to replace Shields in the seventh, I would have brought in Holland to put out the fire. The game looked to me to be won or lost there and Yost went with Crow. I know that is what conventional baseball now teaches – to save your closer for the ninth – but the seventh inning was far more important in this game.

“Do you believe in the adage that the manager only affects five games a year? Was this one of Ned Yost’s five?”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: I think the old adage is closer to 10 or 15 games a season – and a lot of that depends on the ego of the manager. Ned thinks he’s a pretty smart guy and that makes him even more dangerous.

“The break between wins and losses is a whisker, blown side to side by the winds of the day. Often, that wind comes from the bullpen. Usually, that wind blew the Royals’ way last year. That doesn’t mean it will again.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: Mellinger didn’t say the Royals’ bullpen is going to be a disaster this season but he strongly implies that we should not expect another brilliant season out of the pen. Screw that. I am expecting these guys to be damn skippy since Dayton Moore didn’t think he needed to add any power to this lineup.

“You’re definitely going to have your successes and your failures. And in this game, when it comes to the draft, your failures outweigh your successes. … It’s very easy to look back on any draft and second-guess what you should do or what you shouldn’t do. And it’s cowardly for either people in the industry or outside the industry, in the media — it’s cowardly to criticize it. Because that’s just not how it works. It’s very inexact.”
Dayton Moore, Kansas City Star
GH: I want to like Dayton Moore. I do. He sounds sincere when he is interviewed and he appears to work his job with great diligence. But when he sounds like he thinks he is above criticism, he sounds like a spoiled brat whose adult life has been shielded from reality by the cocoon that is MLB. “It’s cowardly for either people in the industry or outside the industry, in the media — it’s cowardly to criticize it. Because that’s just not how it works.” No Dayton, that is EXACTLY how it works. The cowards are those who expect their  work to never be challenged. You can read Andy McCullough’s complete article here at kansascity.com.

“84 wins. They’re going to be second place in the Central behind Detroit. I think they take a little step back in 2014 and then they’re a playoff team in 2015.”
Brian McRae, on his prediction for the Royals season, 810 AM

“I’ve got (the Royals) first place with 88 wins.”
Jason Stark, after Soren Petro asked his prediction for the Royals, 810 AM

“I’m going to go with 84 (wins for the Royals) but who knows? You never know.”
Josh Vernier, 610 AM

“So now the Royals are about to enter a season with their highest expectations since the strike. This is the best team they’ve had in at least two decades, at least on paper, and there is a certain swagger with this group. … More than anything else, the success or failure of a critical Royals season will be measured by whether these guys grow or shrink in the face of real expectations.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas city.com
GH: Expectations. Too often in the world of sports high expectations are pointed to as the reason for failure. The expectations for Andrew Wiggins were unattainable we were told. The expectations for David Glass’ Royals were always tempered because Kansas City is/was a “small market franchise.” Expectations are not something to shrink from but rather embrace. I would offer that just as many “experts” expect nothing more from the Royals than a mere .500 season or close to it. Real expectations do not arrive until there is some success behind the reasoning for the expectations. These Royals are not under much more pressure than the last 20 years of Royals. To make people really believe you have to first do. Time to do, Royals. Way past due to do.

“We will let Denny rest his voice as he is fighting through opening day number 46 in his career.”
Steve Physioc, after Matthews’ first two innings of the season, Royals Radio
GH: Denny sounded like he was up drinking gin all night playing poker in a smoky train car with Babe Ruth. I hope he gets well over the Royals’ off day in Detroit and comes back Wednesday with a better voice and a little excitement for his profession.

“Obviously we are aware. It was brought to our attention and (I) certainly am extremely disappointed with what's transpired and the judgment that went along with it. To say anything else publicly is something that would be inappropriate at this time, but it will be addressed and it will be handled internally.”
Bill Self, when asked about a photo of naked Naadir Tharpe and a busty blonde with her bustiness exposed to Naadir’s smiling face, KUSports.com
GH: The concerning part of this photo is that it appears to have been taken by Tharpe himself. I don’t think any of us are surprised that college students get naked with each other. But if Tharpe did take the photo and then distributed it to others, he is one dumb senior-to-be point guard at an elite basketball program. A lucky one mind you, but a dumb one as well.

“I’d like to begin by saying how humbled and appreciative I am to the University of Missouri and the City of Columbia for the warm reception I received in 2012, when I arrived after transferring from the University of Tulsa. Everyone associated with Mizzou, the coaches, my teammates, administration and fans welcomed me in with open arms and afforded me the opportunity to continue my dream of getting an education and playing basketball at such a prestigious university. Words simply cannot express the gratitude I feel towards Coach Haith for bringing me into this program and helping me leave this spring as a University of Missouri graduate!”
Jordan Clarkson, in a letter announcing his decision to forgoe his senior year of eligibility at Mizzou, Mizzou Athletics
GH: I don’t know if Clarkson wrote this note or if he had help, but this is how you announce you are leaving a university. It sounds to me like Clarkson not only is graduating but also paid attention in class.

“You can!”
Bill Self, responding to Andrew Wiggins’ lamenting that he would like to do it again at Kansas just as he was announcing he was leaving for the NBA after his freshman season, Fox 4
GH: Wiggins’ mom turned some heads when she mentioned how grateful she was that her son was leaving Kansas healthy. I think that might be some foreshadowing as to what Joel Embiid’s announcement will soon be.

“Incredible stat - the last 3 teams to beat Florida are Wisconsin, UCONN & Michigan.”
Steve Weissman, @SWeissmanESPN, Twitter

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Baseball Is. . .

Posted 4/31/14

Baseball Is…

Baseball is grass, chalk and dirt

Displayed the same yet differently

In every park that has ever heard the words, “Play ball!”

 

Baseball is a passion that that bonds and divides all those who know it.

 

Baseball is a pair of hands stained with newsprint,

A set of eyes squinting to read a box score,

And a brow creased in an attempt to recreate a three-hour game from an inch-square block of type.

 

Baseball is the hat I wear to mow the lawn.

 

Baseball is a simple game of catch

And the never-ending search for the perfect knuckle ball.

 

Baseball is Willie vs. Mickey,

Gibson vs. Kofax

And Buddy Biancalana against the odds.

 

Baseball links Kansan and Missourian,

American and Japanese,

But most of all – father and son.

 

Baseball is the scent of spring,

The unmistakable sound of a double down the line,

And the face of a ten-year-old emerging from a pile of bodies with a worthless yet priceless foul ball.

 

Baseball is a language of very simple words

That tells unbelievably magic tales.

 

Baseball is three brothers in the same uniform, on the same team for one brief summer, captured forever in a black and white photo on the table by the couch.

 

Baseball is a glove on a shelf,

Oiled and tightly wrapped,

Slumbering through the stark winter months.

 

Baseball is some Elmer’s glue, a couple of finishing nails, a hammer and some black tape,

Lovingly applied in an attempt to coax a few more innings out of a splintered Louisville Slugger.

 

Baseball is the foreign sensation you get when placing your hand in someone else’s glove.

 

Baseball is Mark Sawatski swiping his mom’s Oxydol to “chalk” the lines for our neighborhood sandlot game of the week.

 

Baseball is the smell of a freshly screen-printed jersey,

In the hands of an 11-year-old who just made the team.

 

Baseball is the way generations compare themselves and their idols.

 

Baseball is molding the bill of your cap to your own personal specifications.

 

Baseball is a breast pocket bulging with a transistor radio.

Baseball is the reason there are transistor radios.

 

Baseball is a fifth-grade history class huddled around Sister Irma and her Philco,

On a sunny October afternoon.

 

Baseball is sitting in your car on a humid summer night,

Listening to the play-by-play on the only radio that will pick up the game.

 

Baseball is a voice in a box,

Describing men you’ve never met,

In a place you’ve never been,

Doing things you’ll never have the chance to do.

 

Baseball is the potential for a no-hitter with every national anthem.

 

Baseball is 90 feet of anticipation.

 

Baseball is my dad hollering score updates upstairs after mom had long ago sent us to bed.

 

Baseball is the acquired art of extending the life of a hard ball,

With knots, tape and spit,

Until the round rubber center reveals itself and ends the day’s game.

 

Baseball is a shoestring catch,

A booted ground ball,

And even a Clete Boyer.

But it’s not a game for loafers.

 

Baseball is the numbing sting of a fastball off the fists of a batter on a cold April night.

 

Baseball is knowing when to run,

When to stop,

And when to slide.

 

Baseball is a thinking man’s game that takes no brains to excel at.

 

Baseball is a tear rolling down the cheek of a child in uniform,

As he watches a thunderstorm wash out the day’s game.

 

Baseball is a scribbled and blotched scorecard,

That can make 6-4-3 look like a ballet.

 

Baseball is fireworks at the ball park every Fourth of July.

 

Baseball is experimenting with the grip of a baseball,

In the hopes of inventing a new and unhittable pitch.

 

Baseball is pepper, three-flies up, five-hundred and home run derby,

Played by kids in every schoolyard since before Babe Ruth.

 

Baseball is imitating every nuance of the stance of your favorite player.

 

Baseball is determining who gets “first-ups” by strangling the neck of a bat.

 

Baseball is the anguish you feel when a Yankee gets traded to the Red Sox.

 

Baseball is how I learned my geography.

 

Baseball is the four-inch-high trophy that I have never thrown away.

 

Baseball is taught by dads to sons,

In hopes that the boy will master the game that the man did not.

 

Baseball is a dream that you never really give up on.

 

Baseball is precious.

Baseball is timeless.

Baseball is forever.

 


National media: Youth no longer an excuse for the Royals

Written 3-27-14

“The Royals nearly broke through and made the playoffs last year, and there's reason to think they take another big step forward to win an increasingly tough AL Central this year. This should be their year for a variety of reasons… I'll take the Royals to win the division, the Indians to finish second and the Tigers third.”
Jon Heyman, MLB writer, cbssports.com
GH: You can read Heyman’s column here. Some of the reasons he cites the reasons for his Royals optimism being the signing of Omar Infante at second base, the additions of Vargas to the rotation, Aoki as the new leadoff hitter and Moustakas blossoming into what we have all wanted him to be.

“(The Royals) haven't made the postseason since 1985, so a division title would be a huge surprise. But the Royals did win 86 games last year, they have the most athletic team in the league and they had the AL's top pitching staff last year -- and now they add a full season of hard-throwing Yordano Ventura. Youth is no longer an excuse. Manager Ned Yost has a team that is ready to win.”
Tom Verducci, sportsillutrated.com
GH: The Royals are no longer the easy joke on the Tonight Show. (I believe that distinction now resides in Minnesota.) But are the Royals ready to live up to the unprecedented expectations being placed on them by many in the national media?

“The Royals smartly upgraded a team that had its first winning season in a decade with a couple of effective veterans in Norichika Aoki and Omar Infante. They have a core of young talent that looks poised to make the leap together -- particularly Eric Hosmer, Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas. They've got Billy Butler batting cleanup in his age-27 season. They've got a solid rotation behind No. 1 James Shields, including a potential breakout star in the 100-mph-throwing Yordano Ventura, and a bullpen that was last year the best in the AL. In short, they've got all the ingredients to end their streak of seasons without a playoff appearance at a modest 28.”
Ben Reiter, sportsillutrated.com
GH: Not everyone is on a Kansas City BBQ high but there are enough nationally to put some pressure on this long-dormant franchise to produce a winner in 2014. The seasons filled with disappointment and excuses are dead. It is time. Is it our time? It is way past out time and now into our grandkids time. Play ball!

“One general manager recently told me that he expects St. Louis to win a strong NL Central by at least 10 games. This is a club without a weakness and with unmatched depth, as it has eight pitchers with upper rotation stuff and an outfield so loaded that Oscar Taveras, the game's consensus third-best prospect, will likely be stuck at Triple A for most of the year. This team will be the majors' first to win 105 games since the Cardinals themselves did it a decade ago.”
Ben Reiter, sportsillutrated.com
GH: I know a LOT of Royals fans hate the Cardinals and hate their fans even more. I am not in that fold. I grew up in the ‘50s and ‘60s when the Cardinals were almost everybody in the Midwest’s favorite baseball team. I was a Willie Mays and Giants fan but my dad and brothers were Cardinals fans from long before the A’s and Royals hit Kansas City. Sure, there have been some lulls in that storied franchise but their overall success since before my birth is just staggering. And here they are again this season with another winner. I was at game two and game seven of the WS in 1985. Sure would like to see Missouri’s two ball clubs meet in October once again this fall.

“Was I positive last year? Yes. I’m looking at .500 this year. They’ve got us projected for four or five games over .500. I’m saying .500.”
Mike Boddicker, 810 AM
GH: Boddicker isn’t quite as optimistic about the Royals as some. Maybe most. Read on.

“(Danny) Duffy can’t throw strikes! He can’t get people out! He doesn’t buy into it. He says he does but it’s lip service. You have to make adjustments and he hasn’t in the last year and a half.”
Mike Boddicker, former Orioles and Royals pitcher, on the Royals young but wild lefthander, 810 AM

“I don’t know (Kyle) Zimmer. All I can remember is that in The Star, it shows (a photo of) Zimmer throwing and I picked out three things that were wrong with his delivery in just the picture! If I see that, control is going to be an issue, health is going to be an issue. I started laughing. You can ask my wife. They said his delivery is fine? This is awful just looking at the picture!”
Mike Boddicker, on the Royals highest rated pitching prospect in their farm system, 810 AM
GH: I love how Boddicker speaks his mind during his spots on The Border Patrol. I don’t know Mike but he sounds like a genuine fan. No agenda, no grudges, he just wants what’s best for his old ball club. He might be wrong as hell and he might not be. But he sure as heck delivers his opinions with passion.

“Fox Sports Kansas City, which always does such a great job (broadcasting Royals games), I don’t know why they are trying to showcase this Howdy Doody guy in the booth! He was jumping out of airplanes and they were mimicking him in the dugout. I said, ‘What in the world are we watching?’ I couldn’t even watch the baseball game! You know who I’m talking about. … I don’t need that kind of entertainment – or lack thereof.”
Jack Harry, who identified Rex Hudler as playing the role of Howdy Doody, 810 AM
GH: I am not a fan of Hudler’s dumbed-down delivery for the Royals TV broadcasts and I applaud Mad Jack for his frank comments about Hudler’s work. I just wish Harry could take criticism as well as he delivers it.

“I’ve been broadcasting a long time. Some people sound real and some people don’t sound real. And it’s not always their fault. And I’m not trying to make a bad commentary.”
Kevin Kietzman, responding to Jack Harry calling “this Hudler Hoody Doody guy,” 810 AM
GH: So what kind of commentary is Kevin try to make? A positive one? Have some tummy, Kietz, and say what you really mean. This kind of dancing around to eventually level a harsh critique is unbecoming and phony.

“I try to tell it like it is. I don’t try and trump it up or anything. You might think I’m dumb or stupid or whacky or whatever. But it is what I am. Some people in broadcasting just sound forced. I use the term real or not real. It doesn’t sound real! It’s not the way you would talk to people. … When the light comes on, it sounds like nobody could really sound like that. Unfortunately, that is how the (Royals) broadcast sounded (Wednesday) night.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman doesn’t “try and trump it up or anything?” Real? Has Kevin ever listened to his forced radio laugh? The one most of the people at WHB mimic with sarcasm? What world does this guy live in?

“You have no idea how easy the consumer can detect something that isn’t real. It’s very easy to detect.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Mind. Blown.

“When we started here 17 years ago the only rule we had for this show is we’re going to do it real. Come say what you think but don’t try and be something you’re not. Just be who you are.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Part of me thinks KK actually believes this statement. I believe he is so submerged into the false reality that surrounds him on his radio show, on the station that he owns, and those who he employs to agree with him on the air, that he is blind to what we all see, hear and know. Ignorance can be an intoxicating teacher.

“Ryan Lefebvre is as real a sounding announcer as you’ll ever find.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Ryan Lefebvre sounds real? The Beav is just as big a shill for the Royals as Howdy Doody and his bunch! He’s far more professional than Hudler and he doesn’t make me want to slap myself like Steve Physioc’s voice – but real? Denny Matthews is REAL. Denny doesn’t give a shit if they fire him, hire him or set fire to him! Denny doesn’t pretend the Royals are good. Denny doesn’t pretend he’s happy about a Royals rally in the ninth that might delay his dinner. Denny is Denny on the air every stinking day and night! Denny gets bored, he gets lazy and he gets pissed – especially about small strike zones. That’s real radio. Not this garbage Kietzman spills out every afternoon.

“Dear NCAA - Playing these Sweet-16 games at the same time is simply idiotic.”
Rex Chapman, @rexchapman, during Thursday night’s matchups, Twitter
GH: Every year I again am stunned that the NCAA forces us to watch games at the same time. It is maddeningly stupid.

“Shockers’ success isn’t going anywhere soon.”
Headline on Bub Lutz’s column in the Wichita Eagle
GH: Click here to read Lutz as he points out a number of reasons why WSU should be an important part of the NCAA basketball scene next season and beyond. Good stuff.

“I'm not quite ready to put Sammy Watkins (Clemson) and Mike Evans (TAMU) up there with AJ Green and Julio Jones, but one of the best WR one-two in my years.”
Matt Miller, @nfldraftscout, Twitter
GH: If one of these two is wearing Chiefs red in September it will be a very good thing.

“55 and sunny in Detroit on Monday.”
Gary Lezak, on his forecast for the Royals season-opener with the Tigers, 810 AM
GH: I might have to wear my sanitary socks to work and roll them like I used to into the tops of my stirrups. There was nothing like yanking those stirrups up above your calf to show nothing but side pipes. Play freaking ball!

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 

 


Grunhard critiques the Chiefs' offensive line

Written 3-26-14

“Big trouble. Big trouble.”
Tim Grunhard, when asked what he thought of the Chiefs allowing three of their offensive linemen to leave as free agents this offseason, 810 AM
GH: Tim Grunhard came to Kansas City after being drafted out of Notre Dame in the second round in 1990. He was a mainstay with the Chiefs for 11 years as their center during Marty Schottenheimer’s successful regular season run yet some of the city’s most maddening playoff failures. He made big radio news in 2003 when he was part of the Maas Exodus from 810 to 610 along with Jason Whitlock and Bill Maas. He coached Bishop Miege HS to a state football championship in 2009. In 2012 Charlie Weis hired Grunhard to coach his offensive line at Kansas but after just two seasons Grunny was fired by KU. After listening to Grunhard’s frank interview with The Border Patrol, Wednesday, it appears the former NFL All-Pro center is willing to speak his mind about the Chiefs’ personnel more so now than ever before. Read on.

“I’m not sold (on Eric Fisher). No. He’s got to get a lot more physical and mentally he’s got to get stronger. The kid’s got great feet. He might have John Alt feet. But his punch, his physicalness…”
Tim Grunhard, on his opinion of the Chiefs’ first-round draft pick and starting left tackle, 810 AM
GH: Fisher has been promoted to left tackle almost by default. Grunhard mentioned that John Tait was able to learn how to play OL in the NFL after a very inauspicious start to his career. Let’s hope Fisher follows Tait’s same path.

“I’m gonna get in trouble for this comment but… We always said that the reason (John Tait) held out was because he was trying to get more tickets for all of his wives.”
Tim Grunhard, on Tait being a Mormon from BYU, 810 AM

“Losing all three offensive linemen, that’s a difficult thing to make up for. Believe me, I tried that at KU. You lose three offensive linemen, it’s very, very difficult.”
Tim Grunhard, 810 AM
GH: Grunhard was laughing when he mentioned his struggles at KU but his meaning was obvious. Replacing experience on the OL is difficult at any level but even more so in the NFL.

“I think (Donald) Stephenson’s going to be okay. But they’re going to have to go into the draft (looking for offensive linemen). I know that’s not a very sexy thing to talk about – drafting an offensive lineman – because we haven’t done a very good job of drafting offensive lineman over the last ten years.”
Tim Grunhard, 810 AM
GH: Has it really been a ten-year lull? That begs the question; at what position have the Chiefs been successful at evaluating and drafting? It sure isn’t defensive lineman or quarterback. I guess running back gets the nod with Jamaal Charles and Larry Johnson. What have you got?

“The Chiefs are going to get a playmaker in the first round. Don’t worry about (them drafting a lineman). They’re going to get a wide receiver.”
Tim Grunhard, 810 AM

“I think you need to find an upgrade (for Jeff Allen). I’m just not sold on the kid. I’m not sure about his punch. I’m not sure about his finish. He’s a fairly smart player but you don’t see that explosion from him coming off the ball.”
Tim Grunhard, 810 AM
GH: No punch? No finish? Yikes.

“(Geoff) Schwartz is a big loss. He was fun to be around. He was great in the locker room. You need a guy who can bring a little bit of levity, a guy who can break the tension. It’s a long football season with 17 weeks that you play with a lot of ups and downs. You need somebody who will bring a little bit of levity and have a little bit of fun to that offensive line. If you don’t have that, it wears on you.”
Tim Grunhard, 810 AM
GH: Schwartz was also just getting comfortable as a guest of 610’s The Drive. It will be interesting to see if the NYC media picks up on his playfulness and he becomes a bigger star than he was here in KC.

“I like (Rodney Hudson). I do. I like him. I think they should keep him at center. The kid’s starting to feel comfortable there.”
Tim Grunhard, on the four-year veteran from Florida State, 810 AM
GH: As tough as Grunhard is on most of the existing Chiefs’ offensive line, this is high praise from the Chiefs’ former center.

“I thought (McCluster) would be lights out, but he wasn’t. I never really saw it.”
Tim Grunhard, 810 AM
GH: Deuce just never got loose enough to justify his second-round status out of Ole Miss. I don’t see the Chiefs missing him – or any KC barbers.

“(Jon) Asamoah sucked!”
Nate Bukaty, on the former Chiefs’ offensive lineman who is now with Atlanta, 810 AM

“Indianapolis Star: Colts owner Jim Irsay had $29,029 in cash in his car when he was pulled over by cops on 3/16.”
Darren Rovell, @darrenrovell, Twitter
GH: Cash? Was he headed to Costco?

Kansas star Joel Embiid has decided to forgo his final three seasons of Division I eligibility and enter the 2014 NBA Draft, Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday. A formal announcement is expected soon.”
Gary Parrish, CBSSports.com
GH: This news hit early this morning but Embiid, Bill Self and the eastern side of the state of Kansas is denying its credibility. Read on.

“Makes sense a natl NBA writer like @WojYahooNBA would get the Embiid news 1st. He's tight w/all the agents.”
Jeff Rosen, @jeff_rosen88, Twitter

“I say yes, that (Embiid) is lying right now on Twitter. I guarantee you in the next two days (Embiid will declare for the NBA draft). I think Joel Embiid is going to go to the NBA.”
Aaron Swarts, 810 AM
GH: A joke was then made that Embiid probably was not someone you could imagine who will  be furthering his professional career as a former college athlete working for Enterprise Car Rental. SSJ then dropped one of the funnier line of the week at the expense of Mizzou’s sophomore big man…

“I can imagine (Mizzou’s) Ryan Rosburg giving the keys to a rental car to someone.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM

“The committee needs to stop overvaluing Kansas and the Big 12. This league needs to be discredited by the committee! (Kansas) needs to be downgraded by the committee, not upgraded! … Stanford is awful!”
Kevin Kietzman, after number-two seed Kansas was eliminated by Stanford and four other Big 12’s teams were eliminated before reaching the Sweet 16, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman obviously hates Big 12 basketball because Kansas dominates the conference. He loves Big 12 football because his alma mater is one of the best teams in the Big 12. I think the conference is pretty damn good at both sports – something a local sports talk show host should get behind instead of allowing his anti-KU bias to govern him.

“Limiting the money for college athletes kills the prime of most college players money making potential! Many college studs are avg pros. Tell me Nike wouldn't love to sponsor a ton of college athletes and use them for profit? Of course they would. Both sides win. How am I getting arguments that college kids shouldn’t be allowed to get million dollar endorsements? Why get a college degree? TO MAKE MONEY. Arguably the biggest impact of allowing endorsements would be athletes staying in school. What's the hurry to go pro if you're making money?”
  @TJMoe28, former MU wide-receiver, Twitter
GH: I like the ideas of advertisers paying college athletes. It removes the question of how does a school decide who gets paid and who doesn’t – just those who the corporate world deem earn it. It works more like the real world – something to which our education system could use a lot more exposure.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Do spring training stats matter? Selden says he is staying at KU

Written 3-26-14

“(Bruce) Chen final line - 4 IP, 11 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 HR, 1 WP, 92 pitches, 57 strikes and panicking #Royals fans throughout KC.”
Josh Vernier, @JoshVernier, radio host of Royals pre- and postgame show on 610, after the Royals pitcher was lit up Tuesday night by Seattle, Twitter
GH: Buster Olney was on The Border Patrol today and told us not to be concerned about Chen’s outing or any disastrous pitching stats coming out of the flight-friendly desert air. But then he also said not to be concerned about Billy Butler’s homerless spring because he likely was just using spring training to “look at pitches.” We can all agree on one thing, spring training doesn’t count. Let’s get the real games started so we can stop with all the professional excuses. Monday in Detroit at noon. Play ball.

“Of course, Hosmer was kicked out.”

Jack Harry, in the middle of his game report Tuesday night on the Royals spring-training game against Seattle, KSHB TV 41
GH: Of course? Mad Jack dropped this little nugget into his sportscast like it is known that Hosmer is the new Ty Cobb. Or did Jack think everyone who was watching his sportscast already knew how and why Hosmer had been ejected from the spring-training game? It was sloppy work from a veteran who should know better.

 

“Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer was ejected by plate umpire Brian Hertzog in the third inning after being called out on strikes for the second time. ‘The first at-bat there were a couple of pitches that I wasn't happy about,’ Hosmer said. ‘The second at-bat the last pitch I wasn't happy about it. We had a discussion after the first one. On the second one, I stood in the box and the umpire said I stared him down. So he decided to tell me where the pitch was again, that it was on the plate. I got a little upset because I didn't say anything and he said something to me. Then he asked me kindly to leave the park and that's what I did.’”
ESPN.com
GH: Now you know.

“ ‘(Mike Jirschele) is the man,’ (Jarrod) Dyson says. ‘It's not just about baseball. It's more than that. Our conversations went deep. He'd share his experiences with his family and we got close. I straight up love the guy. That we're gonna see him up here every day, it's about to bring tears to my eyes ...’ Dyson trails off, shaking his head. ‘I don't know if I can continue this story,’ he says, and he walks away before anyone can see.”
Chris Jones, writer, ESPN The Magazine
GH: Jones has written a beautiful feature story on the struggles and simple life of Mike Jirschele, the Royals newest coach and the former Omaha Stormchasers manager. You can read the entire story here.  This is a quality guy who it is going to be very easy to root for here in Kansas City.

“JARROD DYSON RETURNS to pick up the story (about Jirschele), but again he has to stop, passing it off to Billy Butler, who starts and then shakes his head too. George Brett, as usual, has less trouble finding the words. He and Mike met years ago, in Wilmington, Del., when they discussed how best to handle a prospect named Mike Sweeney. They became unlikely friends, the major and minor league lifers. In 2002, Brett even chartered a flight to Clintonville to attend a charity banquet that Doug Jirschele had established. People in town still talk about that night. ‘I wouldn't do that for just anybody,’ Brett says. ‘They gave me cheese and crackers everywhere I went. I didn't s--- for a week.’ ”
Chris Jones, writer, ESPN The Magazine
GH: George has a tendency to either shit too much in his stories or not enough. Either way, he can be a very entertaining storyteller.

“Dodgers end Yankees' 15-year streak as baseball's biggest spenders w/ a projected payroll of $235 million.”
@SportsCenter, Twitter
GH: The Royals payroll is expected to be at about $92 million this season, ranking about 19th in MLB.

“(Zack) Greinke would have become the highest-paid player, even if (Alex) Rodriguez was getting all his cash. The pitcher has a $24 million salary in the second season of his $147 million, six-year contract, and because he can opt out of the deal after the 2015 season, baseball's accounting rules call for his $12 million signing bonus to be prorated over the first three seasons.”
Associated Press
GH: Well. It does not look good for us Royals fans who are hoping the Glass family will retain Hosmer, Gordon, Moustakas and any other homegrown talents who make good. And Greinke almost gave up baseball back in 2005-06. I am guessing he’s glad he puts up with the hassles. 

“92 wins.”
Buster Olney, on his predicted win total for the Royals this season, 810 AM
GH: 92 wins would justify the trading of Wil Myers for the services of James Shields for two seasons. I think. Check back with me in October.

“(Wayne Selden) is coming back to Kansas to get back to where he was (in the NBA’s eyes) in high school. You know what the fans all think – ‘This is great! This is the right decision!’ No. He’s just now trying to get back to where he was. He’s going to stay at Kansas for one more year to try to be where he was last year. It’s a good thing for Kansas but is it a good thing for Selden? Well, it’s the only thing for Selden.”
Kevin Kietzman, after the KU freshman guard announced he will return to school for his sophomore season, 810 AM
GH: Selden was a projected first-round NBA pick coming out of high school. After a fitful and sporadic freshman season at KU he is no longer on many mock draft projections. So now he’ll have to earn his millions rather than being given them because somebody made a mistake in the draft room. Selden might be upset about that but he won’t have many others who will lend him a shoulder. 

“Wayne contacted me this morning and said he was getting annoyed with all the speculation on whether or not he was going to return to school next year or not. He said, ‘What do I do?,’ and I said, ‘If you feel comfortable with everything, tweet it out.’ I told him to make sure you are sure. Of course, he is sure.”
Bill Self, KUSports.com
GH: This might be a first – a college coach advising one of his players to, “tweet it out.” Twitter is not the Darth Vader of social media some would like you to believe. I like that Self appears to understand that.

“It does, in fact, feel like it’s time for somebody else to take his turn sweating under the interrogation lamp (that shines on KU’s point guard position). Naadir Tharpe had his moments, but never consistently brought the type of production at either end of the floor that established him as the guy to lead the team. His confidence took a serious hit and the best way for it to come back just might be using him as a sixth man, a combination guard capable of getting hot from the outside.”
Tom Keegan, columnist, KUSports.com
GH: Calling for the replacement of a senior-to-be point guard at Kansas is not done lightly. When Tharpe was throwing the ball away against Eastern Kentucky, both Bob Davis and Gregg Gurley expressed how glad they were to see Self start Tharpe for the second half. “He’s such a good kid,” gushed Davis. This is a bold move by Keegan. One that KU fans will applaud but Bill Self and his players might not. I just hope this column was not “suggested” by Self to ease the transition for Tharpe’s successor.

“If how brilliantly Conner Frankamp performed in the most pressure-packed games of his life with so little college experience doesn’t put him in position to gain serious consideration for the job, why recruit him in the first place? He played with remarkable poise in St. Louis. Sure, he was exposed at the defensive end, failing to communicate well and getting overpowered and beaten by quicker players, but more playing time and work on his body can camouflage those issues to an extent.”
Tom Keegan, columnist, KUSports.com
GH: I love Frankamp and I think he is going to be a KU legend before he’s through. But I’m not so sure more PT will “camouflage” his whiteness on defense.

“Mizzou w/ Math Mauk and DBG could run the SECE next yr. Key games: @ SCAR, @ A&M, UGA. Likely a 1 or 2 loss campaign.”
@insidethefilm, CFB analyst and NFL draft talent evaluator in Pennsylvania, Twitter
GH: Mizzou could use back-to-back showings in the SEC title game. Mauk and DGB might be just the two to get them back there.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 

 


Do the Royals have the power to win the AL Central?

Written 3-25-14

“Billy (Butler) has yet to go deep in a spring training game.”
Steve Physioc, Royals play-by-play, as the Royals’ clean-up hitter stepped to the plate late in Monday’s game against the Colorado Rockies, Royals Radio on 610 AM
GH: Amidst all the positive hype surrounding the Royals chances for the postseason this year, their continued lack of a power hitter should bother all of us who root for October baseball at The K. If Butler can’t pop some dongs in the desert, what’s he going to do in the cold of Detroit, Minneapolis and Cleveland this spring as well as at cavernous Kauffman?

 

“I think there’s probably less respect for the Royals around than you think. They led the league in earned run average and still did not make the playoffs. I think there’s more attention, but I don’t think there’s a crazy amount of more respect.”
Todd Leabo, after Kevin Kietzman said he was not sure about all the positive predictions he’s hearing about the Royals chances in the ALC this season, 810 AM
GH: The national pundits have the Royals at around 83 wins this season. That’s not a lot of respect for a team that some are calling the franchise’s best effort in 20 years.

 

“(The Royals) need to actually win it. Not to just feel like you won the World Series, but actually make the playoffs.”
Todd Leabo, 810 AM
GH: Are you listening Dayton Moore?

 

“I think Detroit’s going to have a down year. I think they are going to be a little bit flatter this year. I just don’t think they’re going to be the same team –and the key word there is ‘team,’ that they’ve been in the past. I don’t expect the Tigers to be the force that they were.”
Mike MacFarlane, 810 AM
GH: How good does the former Royals catcher thinks the Royals will be? Very good. Read on.

 

“I one-hundred percent believe the Royals are going to make a strong run at the playoffs. I think the Royals will make the playoffs this year.”
Mike McFarlane, 810 AM

“The Royals have the second-easiest schedule coming out of the gate – and I think that’s pretty cool for them considering everything that’s at stake.”
Buster Olney, 810 AM
GH: A fast start for the Boys in Blue? That sounds about as rare as a warm day this winter to train for the Boston Marathon. I am ready for both!

“I’m not going to buy into it completely because I’ve been fooled by spring-training numbers too many times before.”
Steven St. John, after Mike Moustakas hit his third homer this spring, 810 AM

 

“No. It’s stupid.”
Mike MacFarlane, when asked by Nate Bukaty if he thought the new rule regarding running into the catcher is a change in the way they used to be allowed to play that position, 810 AM
GH: I don’t know how anybody can be against this rule change – and especially a catcher. I have long considered it one of the dumbest plays in baseball. At what other base is it okay to launch yourself at the defensive player and blast into him like you’re making a block on the goal line?

 

“Aroldis Chapman shared a pic on his Instagram of the staples in his head following surgery. Unreal.”
@JimDayTV, after he was hit by a line drive in a spring training off the bat of the Royals’ Salvador Perez, Twitter
GH: Baseball is hazardous enough without allowing base runners to blindside catchers at full speed.

 

“KU doesn’t need to do anybody a favor for the state or anybody else and schedule Wichita State.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Why wouldn’t Kansas want to promote the great basketball played in the state of Kansas by scheduling a home and home series with the Shockers for the next decade? Because they might lose??? The season is full of crap games that we are asked to buy tickets to or watch on television. KU has the ability to show their student body and fan base that life is meant to be lived, not shirked. Step up, Jayhawks, and play ball. And while you’re at it, get Mizzou back on your schedule.

 

“Kansas doesn’t need to play you unless they’re doing you a favor.”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM
GH: This sentence from Klingler dripped with the kind of arrogance and blindness that only the uneducated can offer. Maybe a game against WSU this season would have prepared KU better for a deeper run in the all-important NCAA tournament. Their Big 12 schedule sure didn’t.

“I’ll speak for Bill (Self) and say it’s probably not in Kansas’ best interest to play Wichita. But when I was there, I certainly wanted to.”
Mark Turgeon, former KU player and former WSU head coach, Kansas City Star
GH: What does Kansas have to lose? A basketball game? How is that going to alter the cosmos and KU’s place in basketball lore? What a joke.

“Back home in MHK. 4 straight bowls & 5 straight NCAA Tournaments nothing to take lightly. Only 3 other schools in America can say that!”
D. Scott Fritchen, @DScottFritchen, following KSU’s first-round loss in the NCAA tournament, Twitter

 

"Right now I'm going to move (Eric Fisher) to the left side. That's where he played in college. Although Donald Stephenson played there for me, I know that he can do that too. But I think I'll start off with Eric at the left and keep Donald at the right.”
Andy Reid, according to SBNation.com’s Van Bibber, ArrowheadPride.com

“The timing of this is really interesting!”
Steven St. John, upon reading the news on the Chiefs website this morning that Reid had declared Fisher the Chiefs left tackle, 810 AM
GH: I heard SSJ and The Border Patrol giggling over this news around 8:30 AM Tuesday, saying that maybe the Chiefs had been listening to their show and how they were speculating on Fisher’s position this season. But SB Nation and ArrowheadPride had tweeted this news out a good hour before. Maybe the morning guys were just having fun on the radio but it sounded like they were a bit out of the loop. 

 

“This also presumably means Donald Stephenson is the right tackle at this moment. Stephenson was the swing tackle last year and capable of playing both tackle positions. One of the reasons the Chiefs felt comfortable with Albert walking is because Stephenson was already in-house.”
Joel Thorman, ArrowheadPride.com

GH: The Chiefs are going young on their offensive line and this might avoid them picking another big fat guy with their first draft pick. I am hoping for a wide receiver who converts Alex Smith into a Fantasy Football legend!

 

“We haven’t even had the (NFL) draft yet and you’re trying to bury them. It’s only March, man!”
Jack Harry, to Kevin Kietzman, after KK criticized the Chiefs’ front office for losing a number of free agents, 810 AM

 

“I think Dan Snyder and his PR team should host a public relations seminar so everyone can learn to LOL and also feel very smart and evolved.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, former KC Star columnist who now covers the Washington Redskins for the Washington Post, Twitter
GH: What has Babb done in life to have the “pleasure” of covering Scott Pioli, Todd Haley and now the Redskins’ Daniel Snyder? I am sure Sam Mellinger has a list of Babbs’ offenses that justify the South Carolinian’s lot in life.

 

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


KU disappoints again with loss

Written 3-24-14

“ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE, Kansas...”
TJ Carpenter, @TJCarpenterWHB, after two-seed Kansas was eliminated from the NCAA tournament in a 60-57 loss to tenth-seeded Stanford, Twitter
GH: It happens far too often to a team that has won ten consecutive Big 12 conference championships. Another early exit in the first weekend of the tourney doesn’t feel any better because Joel Embiid was injured. KU had a very doable route to the Elite Eight but they left their fan base to once again wonder what happened.

 

“Kansas has no clue how to attack the zone. (Andrew) Wiggins needs to step up now and Bill Self has to devise a plan to help his players.”
Wally Szczerbiak, @wallyball, CBS CBB analyst, as KU’s offense looked lost for much of the game, Twitter
GH: If the Big 12 basketball coaches don’t spend the offseason working on a zone to toss at Kansas next winter they should all take a pay cut. And Bill Self might want to spend some time devising a better offense to combat it.

 

“Jayhawks have had every chance in this one. Couldn't hang onto the ball and couldn't finish at the rim.”
Matt Tait, @mctait, Twitter
GH: What I found most maddening watching this game was the undeniable spurts of athleticism and talent displayed by KU all too briefly. Surely, I thought, now was the moment KU would bolt ahead and leave this game but inferior Stanford team behind. It never happened.

 

“As good as Wiggins is (and will be) have to wonder if he just got to be too big of a distraction? Thoughts....”
Kris Ketz, @KrisKetzKMBC, Twitter
GH: I felt the opposite was true about Wiggins this season. He too often shunned the spotlight off and on the court when his team needed him to embrace being the star. He was the Chihuahua of Alpha dogs.

 

“The kid had a remarkable season, today shouldn’t offset what he’s done for 34 games.”
Bill Self, on Wiggins’ four points and four turnovers against Stanford, via @KUGameday

GH: Wiggins is a fabulous talent but he was accurate when he said after the game, “It’s my fault we lost. I know it’s my fault we lost. I didn’t play good. I played really bad. I didn’t do anything to help my teammates this game. I blame myself for that.” Props to Wiggins for taking the blame. Not every teenager is mature enough to handle that situation.

 

“Just back from KU’s locker room (after their loss to Stanford). Joel Embiid told me he would’ve definitely played in Sweet 16. Now he might never play college ball again.”
Gary Parrish, @GaryParrishCBS, Twitter
GH: Well, uh, that’s really good to know.

 

“Can't imagine Embiid coming back (next season). Would be a huge risk. Stock can only go down. And if the back issues are chronic, get paid now.”
Danny Parkins, @DannyParkins, Twitter
GH: I think Parkins is dead on. Embiid is a sure bet to go in the top five picks this season and probably in the top two. If he returns and suffers another injury, his NBA stock tumbles.

 

“I want these kids to stay in school longer because the NBA is the worst it’s ever been. It’s not good basketball. It’s frustrating for me to watch. These kids aren’t physically or emotionally ready to play against grown men. … If Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker are going to struggle against Mercer and Stanford, they are going to struggle against grown men. … I would like for these guys to stay at least two years.”
Charles Barkley, who mentioned Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker playing poor games in the NCAA tourney, CBS
GH: Does anybody NOT want these college athletes to stay at least a couple of years? But how can you deny a student-athlete lifetime money? You can’t.

 

“Unfortunately, if you’re a Kansas fan there’s not much future.”
Greg Gumbel, as CBS studio show again showed the video of the 11-year-old Kansas fan who was crying as he watched KU losing to Stanford – this time in slow motion, CBS
GH: CBS didn’t just blow it when they zoomed in on this youngster during live action but they repeated their error in judgment when they replayed this video no less than four or five times within a 30-minute window. I heard KMBZ’s EJ and Ellen making light of the criticism being placed on CBS for showing the crying boy. EJ said the kid will be fine and compared it to him crying after a Hulk Hogan loss. Just a guess but EJ’s boyhood tears probably weren’t shown on national TV a half-dozen times and then tweeted to the world within moments. The media should be more sensitive to the vast power they wield over a kid’s reputation and psyche.

 

“Whoever just created a fake twitter account of a child crying on national TV and tried to follow me -- I'd love to meet you...with my fist.”
D. Scott Fritchen, @DScottFritchen, who covers K-State for PowerCat.com, Twitter

 

“Oh gosh! Wayne Selden is no closer to being an NBA player than I am right now! I mean if the NBA is taking Wayne Selden, they ought to just shut the whole thing down. He couldn't play in (Sunday’s) game at all! He couldn’t play!”
Mike DeCourcy, 810 AM

 

“I don’t think it’s a surprise that the KU players wouldn’t know much about the Stanford players at this point.”
Nate Bukaty, on Andrew Wiggins and Wayne Selden admitting to not knowing much about Stanford’s Chasson Randle prior to Sunday’s match-up, 810 AM
GH: I think we ask too little of these athletes when it comes to knowing their sport. Of course Wiggins and Selden should have a base knowledge of Stanford’s best player and one of the best in the Pac 12. Today’s college athlete too often is treated like they have no other options for information outside their coaches. I was stunned that these two not only didn’t know, but then giggled about their ignorance. Stanford took that video and laughed all the way to the Sweet 16.

 

“I don’t think Andrew (Wiggins) had ever seen guards like that (at Stanford) that matched his length.”
Rustin Dodd, KU beat writer for the Kansas City Star, 810 AM
GH: Yeah, none of those in the NBA either…

 

“Is it me or did (Naadir Tharpe) regress toward the end of the season? It seemed like to me that he just fell apart the last four or five games.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Bill Self seriously misjudged Tharpe’s importance to this season’s Jayhawks. The junior point guard melted at the end of the season when his team needed him most. Self placed way too much importance on Tharpe being someone he was incapable of being.

 

“The (Missouri) Tigers fell to Mississippi State 71-63 on Sunday.”
Ellen Schenk, 980 AM
GH: Mizzou actually lost to Southern Mississippi on Sunday but not too many cared enough to notice – even their local radio affiliate. 

 

“Congrats to @Stanford on a fine NCAA Tournament win!”
@Mizzou, the official Twitter account of the University of Missouri, Twitter
GH: I winced when I read this tweet. I understand fans doing this and I understand athletes getting caught up in talking smack on Twitter but the official Twitter account of Missouri feels the need to poke fun at Kansas for losing in the NCAA tourney? Wow. Seems awfully petty to me. MU promotes its four core values as Respect, Responsibility, Discovery and Excellence. Snark doesn’t appear to be on that list.

 

“Missouri trails Southern Miss in NIT game. All of a sudden Kansas losing doesn't seem so funny.”
Brad Dickson, @brad_dickson, columnist for the Omaha World Herald, Twitter

 

 “Saw something I've never seen on kid in GA before: recruits wearing #Mizzou sweatshirts. Usually reserved for #UGA, #Bama, #Auburn. #ATLNFTC
Jeremy Crabtree, @jeremycrabtree, Twitter

GH: Maty Mauk and his Tigers are already getting ready for some football this fall.

 

“Hands down, the most interesting part of twitter is watching a subset of #kubball fans project their insecurities onto sportswriters.”
Daniel Snowe, @dannyboi965, morning drive cohost on 96.5 The Buzz, Twitter
GH: Some KU fans just like some MU fans and some KSU fans and some fans from any school you care to name handle losing poorly. KU losses are celebrated a bit more ardently by some because the Jayhawks win so often. Read on.

 

“Nobody likes the Heat / Yankees / Jayhawks fan. You have zero character. #kubball fans take your loss in stride. It stings for a reason.”
Lazlo, @lazlothebuzz, afternoon host on 96.5 The Buzz Twitter
GH: Lazlo is taking an awfully wild and wide swing at an awfully big fan base. Many who own radios in his listening demographic. I have to wonder what he hoped to accomplish with this tweet.

 

“I’ve been saying this since the beginning of the tournament. Take the names off of the jerseys and you look at the player inside it and see if they can actually get it done. If Wichita State had different names on their jerseys, we might be doing a big feature on how this could be the greatest basketball team ever.”
Kenny Smith, CBS
GH: The Wichita / Kentucky game was one of the best games of the season – and we all got a chance to watch it. This is what college basketball should be about on a cold Sunday afternoon in late March. Just fabulous drama, heart and skill. I loved everything but the outcome.

 

“The people that put that (seeding) together should feel some sort of shame today.”
Mike DeCourcy, on the NCAA committee placing Kentucky as a possible opponent for Wichita State in their second game, 810 AM

GH: Bullshit. Who is to say Stanford wouldn’t have given the Shockers just as much of a battle in this round? The committee placed Kentucky where they deserved to be on what they had done through the year. WSU just came up short. Life ain’t fair and neither is basketball.

 

“That didn’t contribute to the problem.”
Mike DeCourcy, after Steve St. John reminded him that the clock never started after North Carolina inbounded the ball with 1.6 seconds on the game clock, 810 AM

GH: Huh? What game was DeCourcy watching? The UNC player dribbles up court and sees time on the clock and calls a TO…but we find out later that the clock should have expired – but it never was turned back on after ISU’s basket. But that didn’t contribute to the problem, Mike?

 

“Found it interesting none of the players in the Memphis locker room were crying after game. Eating pizza. Some smiling.”
L. Jason Smith, @TheCAJasonSmith, after Memphis lost by 18 to Virginia, Twitter
GH: So what was Memphis supposed to do after losing to the number-one seeded Cavs, go Frank Martin? Maybe the pizza was from Lilly’s in Raleigh. Killer ‘za.

 

“The state of North Carolina is without a Sweet 16 team for the first time since 1979.”

@forthewin, Twitter

GH: Daaaauuum! That was one helluva streak for Tobacco Road.

 

“Samsung's 110-inch 4K 'easel' TV to cost US$150,000.”
@CNET, Twitter
GH: Okay. I might need to wait a year or two on this one.

 

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 

 


It's the savvy fans who question Billy Butler's overall worth on the roster

Written 3-21-14

“Kansas has just got to get by the first week. Easier said than done.”
Jeff Goodman, in an interview on The Program, 810 AM
GH: Well, that fact was definitely highlighted on Thursday, the first day of the tournament with a full slate of games. Oklahoma turned North Dakota State into everybody’s Cinderella. Dayton enjoyed possibly the greatest day in the history of the university when the Flyers smote their big brother, Aaron Craft’s Ohio State, and gave their fans bragging rights in the state of Ohio for eternity – or at least until the NCAA pairs the two schools again. Upsets are what make this tournament so riveting. Upsets are also what make us not want to get out of bed for a week when they happen to your team. Kansas needs to get through St. Louis to keep the nausea at bay.

 

“I think I speak for all Kansas fans on this one. What everybody wants is for the ball to get tossed back into Bill Self’s court. And if it goes back into Bill Self’s hands I think we all know what’s going to happen. Joel Embiid is going to play and this team has a shot at a national title.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Maybe my favorite quote from Kietzman in some time. KK is now speaking for Kansas fans? Just when you thought you glimpsed the heights of Kietzman’s arrogance, he mashes the elevator button to carry him up a few more floors.

 

“They’re all wetting their pants over New Mexico.”
Soren Petro, on Kansas fans concerned about first Eastern Kentucky and then their possible second game rematch against New Mexico, 810 AM
GH: Isn’t this what fans of the favorites do? Only the dumb ones walk around like Cliff Clavin.

 

“I hope we get Syracuse and Kansas in the Sweet 16. I think that would be a lot of fun for me personally. I hope we get that matchup because I think that would be a lot of fun.”
Soren Petro, on his alma mater facing the Jayhawks, 810 AM
GH: The last time KU and Syracuse met in the NCAA tourney it was definitely fun for Petro and his Orange. Not so much for Coach Roy, though, who said following the loss to Syracuse in the 2003 title game, “I didn’t give a shit about North Carolina right now.”

 

“One Wichita television station has 12 media people here (in St. Louis).”
Danny Clinkscale, who is in St. Louis to cover Kansas, Kansas State and Wichita State at the NCAA tournament, 810 AM
GH: 12 people? That has to be about everyone from that Wichita TV station except maybe the weatherman. When was the last time a Kansas City TV station sent a dozen people anywhere? Besides home?

 

“I’ve never been in a more packed media setting for an NCAA tournament. Never.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: Word is that Kansas was given the smallest locker room at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. That has to make Bruce Weber and Gregg Marshall feel better, right?

 

“It’s the little subtle things that Gregg Marshall does. People in the (Missouri Valley) said he would do this and he has. He will call them out by name. He’ll say, ‘I understand why Bill and Bruce won’t play us.’ He makes it personal. I think it gets under their skin.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Why the heck would Bill and Bruce think whoever is coaching Wichita State should shut up about wanting to play the two Big 12 schools in his state? The fact that the best excuse KU has come up with is that they might lose and it would diminish their aura in the Sunflower State is embarrassingly weak. It’s a basketball game, folks, not Russian roulette.

 

“Everybody thinks I need to change. I am who I am. … That is not right what I did but those moments are few and far between.”
Frank Martin, head coach at South Carolina, in an interview this week on The Border Patrol, 810 AM

GH: Martin sounded to me like an alcoholic in denial. He doesn’t see anything wrong with how he conducts himself with his team and players – except for the rare, rare occasion when he’s caught on camera making as ass of himself and his school. This kind of denial usually turns out to be fatal for a head coach’s career in the end.

 

“It’s like he’s gone … but uh … he’s still living through me. Ya’ll would never understand ‘cause ya’ll stuck on that Sandusky bullshit.”
Tamba Hali, in a new rap song on his own record label, referring to his former college coach at Penn State, Joe Paterno, TMZ.com
GH: Bullshit? We are the ones who will never understand? Sad.

 

“Gary Pinkel said he had multiple NFL scouts tell him at today's pro day the transformation at #Mizzou over the years was amazing. They all say it's very organized and one of the most well-run pro days they attend.”
Gabe DeArmond, @GabeDeArmond, Twitter
GH: Mizzou has completed their transformation from Big 12 school to SEC school now that their NFL pro day draws more interest from fans than their basketball team’s postseason game. MU plays Southern Mississippi in the second round of the NIT on Sunday at 4:00 PM at Mizzou Arena. They could probably play this one in the parking lot and there would be room for the fans to watch the game from their cars.

 

“(Columbia) Hickman boys basketball team will play in the state championship for the first time since 1968.”
@KOMUnews, Twitter

GH: How about those Kewpies! 1968? Those were some tumultuous times in the big cities back then. MLK’s and Bobby Kennedy’s assassinations resulting in race riots, John Carlos’ and Tommie Smith’s black power protest at the Mexico City Olympics are two vivid memories of mine. I was entering eighth grade the summer of 1968. I will be sixty this year. I will be rooting for Columbia Hickman at state this weekend.

 

“Today in 1968, the expansion team in Kansas City announced the name ‘Royals,’ in part to honor the Negro League team Kansas City Monarchs.”
@HighHeatStats, Twitter
GH: The Royals season opener in Detroit is now ten days away. Damn, that is good news.

 

“The ballpark was silent, save for the haunting wail of an ambulance.”
Andy McCullough, Royals beat writer for the Kansas City Star
GH: This was McCullough’s lede for his game story on the Royals/Reds spring training game where Reds pitcher, Aroldis Chapman, was hit in the face by a liner off the bat of Salvador Perez. McCullough can write. I think Kansas City might have got one over on New York in this free-agent signing from the Mets’ beat. Read his game story here.

 

“I think the people who hate Billy Butler frankly don’t understand a lot about baseball.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: I don’t know a lot of Royals fans who “hate” Butler but he can be a very frustrating, expensive and one-dimensional player. The fans who question Butler’s overall worth on the Royals’ 25-man roster might be the most baseball savvy. His inability to play in the field removes the possibility for the Royals to use their DH slot as a rotating rest day for regulars like Hosmer, Gordon and Moustakas. Butler is merely an expensive pinch hitter in NL parks. His refusal to trim down and improve his glacial speed on the base paths puts every rally at risk of another BB DP. Can Butler hit? Hell, yeah. But he needs to hit a ton if he is going to be worth the weight he places on this team’s ability to be flexible.

 

“I truly cannot believe that (the Royals) are going to go out and win 90 games this year.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman is not the most optimistic guy when it comes to the team whose radio rights are carried by his competition. After the Royals started 0-2 last season KK declared the season all but over. Read on.

 

“I don’t like always being right. … Will the Royals be over .500 at any point this year? … To avoid a disastrous start, this team has got to find a way to win two of the next four. They have to! They’ve GOT to go 2-2 in their next four. They’ve got to! … I'm on a lonely island. I still think Alex Gordon has been a disappointment. … I’m really, really concerned that Eric Hosmer is a project right now.”
Kevin Kietzman, after the Royals opened the season 0-2 in 2013, 810 AM

GH: These comments were all made last season after the Royals had played two games. I’m going to give the Boys in Blue a bit more rope this spring. Maybe KK will have learned his lesson as well.

 

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Self, KK differ on Embiid's injury status

Written 3-20-14

“(Joel Embiid) is not going to play this weekend. (It’s the) same as we’ve said all along. He’s not going to play. I’m not saying there couldn’t be some miraculous act occur, but we’re certainly not planning on that, nor expecting it. Nothing’s changed.”
Bill Self, speaking to the media after arriving in St. Louis for KU’s NCAA tourney opener against Eastern Kentucky this Friday, KUSports.com
GH: Self seems adamant to refute any notion that he was quoted saying he was 100% confident Embiid would be back for postseason play. I don’t understand why he thinks he needs to reassure us that “nothing’s changed.” Did Self listen to Kevin Kietzman’s show on the drive over to St. Louis?

“We don’t really need to hear from the medical team. (Embiid) CAN play. We just need a decision. We know he CAN play. That’s been established. You can play with a fracture. … If Bill Self is making the decision, that kid’s playing. If Joel Embiid’s dad is making the decision, I don’t think he’s playing. … It’s not medical clearance. It’s a decision. The medical people have already said you can play with it. That’s all done.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman went KK again Wednesday when he spent the Jack Harry hour beating this topic into an ear-numbing drone. Kietzman, despite having no facts on the medical status of Embiid, spoke as if he was privy to all of Embiid’s doctor’s findings.

“Here’s what I know about Kansas basketball. It’s ALWAYS Bill Self’s decision! I rest easy knowing that. This is weird. You’re not even remotely curious as to who is calling this shot (on whether or not Embiid plays)? Who’s in charge of this? I would LOVE to know who’s in charge of this. I just want to know who. You would think there’s a lead person. We’re going to find out. It’ll all come out. We’ll find out who this was and what this was and I think it’ll be very, very interesting.  … I want to know who’s making the decision. That’s all I want to know! Who? Who? Who? Who’s making this decision? … I want to know who. I just want to know who! This is the biggest story of the tournament!”
Kevin Kietzman, in a conversation with a very unimpressed Jack Harry, 810 AM

 

“That’s speculation on your part. Bill Self’s going to have the official word from the medical people, Kevin, so what difference does it make? … I understand, Kevin. You’ve got a job to do. I think we make a bigger deal out of this just wondering what you said.”
Jack Harry, after Kietzman declared that if the decision was left to Bill Self, Embiid might be playing Friday or Sunday, 810 AM

 

“He’s already been told last week that he’s clear to play.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman kept repeating this like it was true. What I read last week from Embiid’s doctors was that they all agreed he had a stress fracture in his lower back. KK interprets that report as “cleared to play?” This from a guy who turned a hug from Tim Grunhard into a story about being held upside down over a balcony railing.

 

“How do you know that? How do you know that? What (Self) told the media? He doesn’t always tell the media exactly how it’s going to be. No coach does!”
Jack Harry, to Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Harry has stepped up his game with Kietzman the past few weeks. He appears fed up with playing the role of KK’s doddering stooge.

 

“(Embiid’s) doing really well, but we’ve told him we were not going to put him on the practice floor until he does really well with the rehab. That’s what the doctors have told us, and that’s been the game plan all along. So he’s not far away from being out there in some form or fashion, but probably not contact (drills), at least for a while.”
Bill Self, KUSports.com
GH: I don’t see where Embiid is going to be able to play even next weekend. He might, but if he does it will be a very, very controversial decision on somebody’s part.

 

“I think everything is in place for (Embiid) to come back (to Kansas) next year but what if the family says, ‘You know what? You’ve got three or four million dollars here hanging over his head. If he comes back and isn’t very good or reinjures it, he could turn into Jerrod Sullinger and end up falling (in the draft).”

Jeff Goodman, in an interview on The Program, 810 AM

 

“(My freshman year) we were all thinking about the national championship. Everybody was thinking about Indianapolis and what we were going to do and how many tickets we would need for the game. People weren’t really focused. Looking at those three teams, Lehigh, Northern Illinois and Northern Iowa – being Kansas, being who we were, we overlooked them. We were the number-one team all year and rarely (had been) upset. So we overlooked (Northern Iowa). We never, ever thought that would be the last game that we would play.”
Elijah Johnson, former KU guard, on The Border Patrol, 810 AM
GH: The Border Patrol has invited the former Jayhawk to be an NCAA analyst throughout the tourney. Elijah speaks very freely about his days at KU and some of his comments Thursday morning were very interesting. Read on.

 

“My sophomore year (against VCU) I feel we were focused. I don’t feel we were serious. I feel we knew what the goal was and I thought that we played toward the goal and I thought that it was team basketball. But at some point I feel that we broke down. And when we broke down there was really no recovering from it.”

Elijah Johnson, on KU being upset by Shaka Smart’s VCU team, 810 AM
GH: Neither Nate nor Steven pushed EJ to explain the difference between being focused and being serious – which I believe needed explaining. It was not EJ’s only comment that was left unchallenged. Read on.

 

“I won’t discredit the man (Shaka Smart). He had a good run. I think it’s so amazing that people can make their name off of us, though. Because of our slip up, his name is still relevant. But I don’t take any credit away from him. He does something to get them playing like Louisville every single game. He’s got them running everywhere.”
Elijah Johnson, 810 AM
GH: EJ thinks VCU and Smart are relevant merely because of a Kansas “slip up” in 2011? I think that is taking a lot of credit away from Smart. The guy is a good coach who has remained loyal to his kids, his program and his school. If beating Kansas is his greatest sin, he will be canonized in a number of states very soon. 

 

“I would think this will probably be as hot a ticket (demand) as we’ve had for any first-round site, with maybe the exception last year since we were playing in our home city (Kansas City’s Sprint Center) for the most part.”
Bill Self, KUSports.com
GH: No, he didn’t – did he? Bill Self just christened Kansas City, Missouri, “our home city?” Did Mayor Sly offer Kansas one helluva tax break to move their campus to Swope Park?

 

“It’s the people. I think that is the best thing about K-State. They are just good people that care. They want us to win, but also they just want us to compete and play hard and do it the right way. I think that is very refreshing.”
Bruce Weber, Kansas City Star
GH: I met Eric Stonestreet last November when we were lucky enough to hobnob with the cast of the sitcom, Modern Family, on their set in LA. I asked him about Kansas State and his love affair with his alma mater. “Man, there’s just something in the water out there in Manhattan that just makes you love that place,” he said. He then told me a great story about shooting a TV commercial last football season where the set had logos of a number of college teams but no K-State gear. It seems K-State had not approved the use of their logo for the shoot. Stonestreet immediately got out his cell phone and first called John Currie, KSU’s AD, but was not happy with Currie’s passive response. He then phoned Kirk Schulz, KSU’s president. Schulz got the paperwork signed, the K-State logo was added to the shoot and Stonestreet starred in the commercial. EMAW!

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


 

Ventura is the Royals' pitching phenom

Written 3-18-14

“After an outing like tonight (against Texas)...you kind of look foolish if you try to continue to hold your cards close to your chest. It's the obvious. Everybody in Kansas City saw it today, and you know, it's just, it's obvious.”
Ned Yost, after the Royals’ 23-year-old pitcher, Yordano Ventura, dazzled against the Rangers for his fourth impressive outing in Arizona this spring and Yost acknowledged that he had won a spot in the Royals starting rotation and will pitch the Royals third game in Detroit, April 3rd, 610 AM

 

“Yordano Ventura is the size of a high school point guard with the fastball straight out of an exaggerated story about Bob Feller and, finally, he is officially in the Royals’ rotation. … He is the talk of the Cactus League, with a 102-mph fastball and jelly-kneeing curveball and a changeup that’s progressing very nicely. He is so talented, and so out-of-the-blue (he signed for about $50,000 out of the Dominican Republic) that in some ways the organization’s top priority here is in managing expectations.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansascity.com
GH: Is Ventura the Royals real-life Sidd Finch? When SI printed George Plimpton’s fictitious but oh-so-real-sounding story about the amazing exploits of Finch in their April Fools issue in 1985, both my former roommate and I believed every word of the Bunyan-esque tale. Re-reading Plimpton’s piece again today, (which by the way featured St. John’s Chris Mullin and Georgetown’s Patrick Ewing on the cover), I started to believe it was real all over again…

 

“I felt good and I was throwing a lot of strikes. Salvador Perez did a good job calling the game. I used to start off throwing hard right from when I was warming up. Tonight, I started off slower and built myself up. I've been working on that.”
Yordano Ventura, MLB.com
GH: Starting slow on the mound might be the only place the guy they are calling “Ace” Ventura gets a chance to put the brakes on his game. If he hits the scene like he has torched the Cactus League – where hitters dominate and pitchers pray for April – the Royals will be home to one of MLB’s brightest young phenoms.

 

“Everyone loves a new pitching phenom… In terms of raw stuff and upside Ventura is one of the top handful of pitching prospects in all of baseball, so even as a Twins fan destined to watch him dominate my favorite team’s lineup for the next decade or so I’m really looking forward to watching him pitch every fifth day.”
Aaron Gleeman, nbcsports.com
GH: The next decade or so? Can you even imagine the Royals franchise producing a pitching prospect that could dominate the game for a decade AND STAY HERE? Sidd Finch makes more sense…but the thought does make me smile.

“(Mike Moustakas) has been great. What does it mean? Who the heck knows? It is encouraging at least.”
Andy McCollough, Royals beat writer, 810 AM

 

“He's just smokin' the ball...He had a great spring last year, but there's a huge difference in the two.  Last year he was up there swinging, hacking. This year he's up there w/ a real solid plan of attack...and that's a big difference.”

Ned Yost, on Moustakas, via Josh Klingler on Twitter
GH: If you didn’t watch Moose last season it is difficult to convey how putrid he looked through July – after having a great camp in Arizona. Could the Moose be ready to fill his franchise-saving expectations? It is March – the month of hope. Somehow even the nastiest winters never kill the dream of baseball once spring has sprung.

 

“I think it’s the SEC’s problem because they’re perceived as a football conference and they don’t do much to change that perception. So you’ve got to live with it, guys.”
Mike Pratt, Kentucky Wildcats basketball color analyst, in an interview with The Border Patrol, discussing why the SEC received only three NCAA bids, 810 AM
GH: Kentucky is about as far from being a football school as Kansas – but both are basketball bluebloods in conferences that crave football. The Big 12 is a power conference in both sports. The SEC treats basketball like it does cross country. And you know what? It probably doesn’t matter a dime to the SEC school’s budgets with their football money. This is the conference that Mizzou was unable to play well enough in  this season to make the NCAA tourney.

“Auburn has reached an agreement with Bruce Pearl. He will be the Tigers’ next basketball coach, a source told @CBSSports.”
Gary Parrish, @GaryParrishCBS, Twitter
GH: Does this mean Auburn is taking basketball more seriously? I don’t think it says much for Auburn’s concern for integrity.

 

“What concerns me is that (Bruce Weber’s) team is a very physical team and at times Kentucky is bothered by teams that play physical. Everybody talks about Wichita State and Kentucky – but I think Kentucky has their hands full in that first game (against K-State). I’m wary of Kansas State and the physicality that they can play defense with.”
Mike Pratt, 810 AM

 

“All those goofy-ass blogs out there just crushed these (Harrison twins) kids. And they weren’t mature enough to handle it.”
Mike Pratt, 810 AM
GH: Those damn goofy-ass blogs! We should expect 18-year-old kids to be able to handle guys like Frank Martin yelling at them, “Answer the fucking question, asshole!” But those goofy-ass blogs are just a joke…

 

“Y BIG 12 fans r special. ISU fans applauded our players as they walked thru our hotel to the elevators. Class Act!!!! Great appreciated.”
Scott Drew, @BUDREW, Twitter

GH: Scott Drew handing out kudos to the Clones after Baylor dropped the Big 12 title game to ISU. Drew turned around what looked to be a no-win situation at Baylor and he just might do the same with his reputation.


“If you missed Jay Bilas, we're gonna replay it coming up at 5:25. If you missed @bennyheis Joel Embiid song, it was awesome, that's at 5:45.”
Danny Parkins, @DannyParkins, Twitter
GH: I heard both the Bilas interview – which I thought was excellent, and the new guy singing a song he wrote about Embiid – absolutely awful radio. Parkins and Harrison appear to not know what they want their show to be. They are not talented enough to be funny showmen and they appear determined to prove it daily. 

To pass (Pete) Maravich for most points all-time, Doug McDermott needs to reach title game & avg 94 PPG in tourney.”
@ESPNCBB, Twitter
GH: So how many does McBuckets need if Creighton gets knocked out in the Elite Eight?

 

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Some say NCAA Tourney Breaking Bad for Wichita State

Written 3-17-14

“Hey, everybody can be had. … There’s not that much difference at all.”
Bill Self, on the parity within the tournament, 810 AM
GH: And with those words of wisdom, we launch what looks to many to be the most unpredictable NCAA basketball tourney in maybe forever. Is undefeated Wichita State a poser from the one-bid Mo Valley? Are  the Big 12 and Big Ten really the land’s best basketball conferences or do those teams on both coasts have legit gripes about their many slights? The next three weeks will play out with more drama and surprises than Season 8 of Breaking Bad. I can’t wait to see what teams play the role of giant-killer Heisenberg and what teams masquerade as Gustavo Fring – the overrated chicken mogul. Here are some thoughts on casting NCAA tourney teams as Breaking Bad characters:

 

Walter White as Wichita State: The not-very-attractive team from the wrong side of the tracks – even within their own state! Shockers pretty much overlooked by all the experts, including the FBI.

 

Skyler White played by Duke: Is there a more hated character/team that still retains its sex appeal than these two whiny and in-much-need-of-a-head slap millionaires?

 

Jesse Pinkman played by Nebraska: The Cornhuskers look about as comfortable in the NCAA Tourney as Jesse did back in Mr. White’s chemistry class. Who doesn’t expect NU to be holed up in their San Antonio hotel rooms gorging on stale pizza, sharing a smoke with Badger (UW-Milwaukee) and Skinny Pete (Albany) while staring at the walls wondering what the hell they are doing there?

 

Hank Schrader played by Syracuse: What head coach looks like he’s been sitting on the toilet for six months more than Jim Boeheim? The Orange strutted about like they were king shit early this season before we came to discover that they were clueless about this very ruthless but respected Virginia (Mike Ehrmantraut) squad who took their first ACC title since Ralph Sampson.

 

Saul Goodman played by Baylor: Saul would love to don one of those Baylor neon-green outfits to wear to the office. Scott Drew’s fading hairline even resembles the Better Call Saul barrister. The Bears are also similar to Saul in that they’re flashy, loud and often times distracted by shiny objects.

 

“We’re not supposed to beat Kentucky. It’s already been on all the TVs and everything.”
Bruce Weber, 610 AM
GH: I was stunned at how little respect K-State received during the selection show on CBS. It was just assumed by most that Kentucky would move on to play Wichita State. Maybe. But I like the Wildcats a lot in this one. KSU is not going to be intimidated by a storied team dressed in blue with a great fan following. They kind of know that nightmare well.

 

“I think Kansas State beats Kentucky. Yep.”
Jake Gutierrez, 810 AM

 

“I think Kentucky (beats K-State). Kentucky has the most talent of any team in the country. They were the number-one team in the preseason.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM

 

“In 1951 Kentucky beat Ernie Barrett and K-State in the national title game. Barrett has already reminded Bruce Weber it's time for revenge.”
Kellis Robinett, @KellisRobinett, Twitter

 

“UK has a lot of talent, but they're young. If we guard as a team, do the little things, we can compete with anyone.”

Bruce Weber, 610 AM
GH: Weber is not one of the talking heads giving his Wildcats no chance against the flashier and more gifted Kentucky Wildcats. This is one matchup that every K-State fan should be relishing. KSU is in an absolute no-lose situation. And the upside of a win over a mere eight seed would be wildly memorable for KSU and Weber’s resume.  

“I think Kansas State has a tremendous chance to win. I don’t think (K-State) is getting out of this weekend.  I think they’ve got a 50-50 chance of beating Kentucky.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman made all of these comments within a few seconds of each other. I am still not sure what he thinks of K-State’s chances against Kentucky. I think that’s how he planned it. When you don’t pick a team, it’s difficult to be wrong.

 

“Personally, I don’t think (Kansas) can beat New Mexico with Embiid. I thought (NM) got a bad deal being a seven seed. I would give the edge to New Mexico.”
Dick Vitale, ESPN
GH: Did I hear Vitale correctly? KU has already beaten New Mexico with Embiid by 19. Granted, it was at Sprint Center in December but I think the Jayhawks will be fine in their second game, with or without their freshman center.  

“They’re good enough to get to the second weekend without (Joel Embiid).”
Jay Bilas, ESPN

 

“I like New Mexico over Kansas.”

Seth Davis, in the two team’s second game, CBS

 

“Kansas will likely be without (Embiid) for at least this first weekend. Eastern Kentucky is not going to be a shoe-in or easy win. Eastern Kentucky is a team that shoots even more threes than Iowa State.”
Dave Armstrong, 810 AM
GH: If Eastern Kentucky beats KU – even if Embiid is in Cameroon – Bill Self is going to have some explaining to do. I don’t think he or Jayhawk Nation has anything to worry about. Shooting a lot of threes against Kansas is one thing. Making a lot of threes is another.  

“It’s a stacked bracket but we didn’t anticipate any easy task. It’s never easy to make that happen and get to the Final Four and win the whole thing.”
Greg Marshall, 810 AM

 

“So the committee has rewarded Wichita with UK in the second round and Louisville in the Sweet 16? Who's the No. 2 seed? The Miami Heat? Pretty sure Wichita State would gladly take a No. 2 seed in any region over its No. 1.”

Jeff Eisenberg, @JeffEisenberg, of YahooSports.com, Twitter

 

“Kentucky gets Kansas State, a brutally physical team with an outstanding backcourt. (Wichita State) is either going to get a Sunflower State showdown that never happens in the regular season or Kentucky, the preseason number one in many people’s polls.”
Doug Gottlieb, CBS

 

“That will be one of the hottest tickets ever for the first two rounds. K-State, Kentucky, Wichita State and us. Hopefully, our state will pull for each other and our league will pull for each other.”
Bill Self, on the number of teams heading to St. Louis with large fan bases close enough to drive to the Regional, 810 AM
GH: Congrats to the NCAA committee for putting this St. Louis Regional together. Magnificent. For those lucky enough to be a part of this madness in STL this weekend, enjoy it. That drive across I-70 for KU, KSU and WSU fans should be fun. I wonder how many will honk as they fly past Columbia?

 

“I will say that AMAZINGLY...St.Louis and NCAA might have wished they were using Dome rather than Scottrade for this weekend.”
Danny Clinkscale, @dcwhb, Twitter

 

“There is nothing likable about this (Missouri) basketball team.”
Carrington Harrison, after MU received a two-seed in the NIT and then it was announced that two MU basketball players and two MU football players arrested Saturday for possession of marijuana, 610 AM

 

“Missouri basketball players Wes Clark and Shane Rector and football players Aarion Penton and Shaun Rupert were arrested Saturday night on suspicion of possession of 35 grams or less of marijuana during a traffic stop in Columbia. … Officers detected an odor of marijuana in the car and found a package of Swisher Sweets cigarillos containing what a field test determined to be marijuana.”
Dave Matter, STLtoday.com
GH: Foiled – despite the Swisher Sweets cigarillos shot fake.

 

“Odd dynamic: Many of the #Mizzou fans who spent weeks telling me Tigers didn't deserve a bid now mad about teams that got in before them. And as far as #SEC disrespect, maybe so, but that's exactly what the league earned this year IMO.”
Gabe DeArmond, @GabeDeArmond, Twitter

 

“Gotta be honest, NIT will be all about motivation for #Mizzou. Because there's not a team with near as much talent in their bracket IMO.”
Gabe DeArmond, @GabeDeArmond, Twitter
GH: Frank Haith’s team the last couple of weeks has looked about as motivated as the humanity of stoned souls heaped atop one another the day after a Jesse Pinkman party. How many fans show up at Mizzou Arena Tuesday night for their NIT opener? More than these Tigers deserve.

 

“That’s a pretty unfair advantage (for the Denver Broncos). I think a lot of NFL players like to smoke weed.”
Nate Bukaty, on the sale of pot being legal in Colorado, 810 AM
GH: Interesting that smoking weed in Missouri will get your players arrested but in Colorado it could be used to lure players to town. I think we need to figure out this weed thing once and for all and move on. I have never been attacked by somebody high on weed. I have seen a lot of damage done by those who have purchased and imbibed legal liquor. Just a guess, but if every player in the NCAA tourney who smoke weed this season was not allowed to play, there wouldn’t be enough players left over to play a pick-up game in each Regional.

 

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


The boys at 610 Sports have a cry session

Written 3-11-14

“Kansas releases statement Joel Embiid has a stress fracture in his back. Out for Big 12 tournament, likely for first weekend of NCAAs.”
Andy Katz, @ESPNAndyKatz, Twitter
GH: When KU sent out this statement early Monday evening it sent Twitter all a flutter. And also a few hearts who follow KU basketball – and some who follow it for alternative reasons. When news hits that a top-three pick in the NBA draft might miss some or all of the NCAA tourney, people react. Read on.

“This week is important, but it pales in comparison to the importance of what happens after this week. We want him as healthy as possible for the NCAA tournament. We want him as close to 100 percent as possible for that.”
Bill Self, when asked if he thought Embiid would miss any NCAA games, SI.com
GH: Self sounds very optimistic at this time that his freshman center will be healthy and playing next week for Kansas. Is that good or not so good that Self is optimistic – or should we say eager to get Embiid back on the court? I think it is a very interesting question to ponder.

 

“Some college coaches would get criticized for even allowing a potential No. 1 pick to come back and play under these circumstances. Self is one of the chosen ones. Nobody will go after him.”
Dan Wolken,
@DanWolken, USA Today writer, Twitter
GH: It has been reported that it was Embiid who sought the second opinion from an LA doctor on his back. It was in LA where word came that he had suffered a stress fracture. Some questions that need to be asked… Why didn’t KU’s docs find the stress fracture? Is there really a stress fracture or is this an excuse to save Embiid from further injury prior to the draft? Is it really in Embiid’s best interest to play with a stress fracture when he could be just months away from signing an NBA contract?

“KU fans will all say, ‘The kid needs to get out and play! He needs to think about the team and not himself.’ On the flip side, if you’re not a KU fan you want KU to lose. So KU is just a rotten meanies and all they care about is just winning games.”
Nate Bukaty, responding to a listener’s email that accused Kansas of not having Embiid’s best interest at heart, 810 AM

“I think (Bill Self) has every one of those kids’ best interest in his first thought.”
Jake Gutierrez, 810 AM
GH: Nate and Jake are both big KU fans. I get where they're coming from even if I would prefer less fan in their fantasies. But what is Arkansas-educated TJ Carpenter’s excuse? Read on.

“Joel Embiid out for the Big12 tournament AND first weekend of NCAA. Bill Self won’t jeopardize Embiid’s career to win. RESPECT.”
TJ Carpenter,
@TJCarpenterWHB, Twitter
GH: This is exactly the opposite I want from a young guy breaking into the sports media business here in Kansas City. TJ goes on Twitter shortly after KU’s statement and he lauds the actions of Self – which may be absolutely in Embiid’s best interest. But they also might not. Maybe Self is just trying to keep KU’s hopes for a one or two seed alive with his optimistic look at the injury. I would prefer Carpenter looked at this more like a journalist than a fan.

“Sitting on the throne strips kings of the advantage of using the effective Rodney Dangerfield motivational device. The Kansas University basketball team never gets to pull that club out of the bag. … Until now. … If the players can turn such a fate into a slap in the face and find a way to advance to the Sweet 16 without their gifted center, picture this scenario: Embiid jumps center in a regional semifinal game. In Indianapolis. Against Wichita State.”
Tom Keegan, columnist, KUSports.com
GH: Does Keegan really think Kansas gets to play the underdog role because they’ll have to play a senior at center in place of a freshman? Yes, helluva freshman but Tarik Black ain’t Ryan Rosburg. Self deserved to be the Big 12 COTY but he was not even in contention because he recruited more depth on this team than the British troops at Bunker Hill.

“This is a very offensive-line heavy draft with a lot of good quality in it. Andy likes to draft his team from front to back. I would very much expect an offensive linemen to be drafted very high again (by the Chiefs) because there are some very good players there. Three of those tackles are better than (Eric Fisher). He’d be ranked behind three or four of them right now if he was coming out in this year’s draft. That’s not a slight against Eric Fisher. That’s just reality.”
Louis Riddick, former personnel director with the Eagles when Andy Reid was their head coach, 810 AM
GH: Riddick knows Andy Reid and his thought process when it comes to the draft. We have been led to believe though that John Dorsey calls the shots in the Chiefs’ war room. But Dorsey did draft Eric Fisher with the number-one overall pick last year.

“There will quite possibly be the player ranked highest at his position available at a position of need when the Chiefs draft (at the 23rd pick) – which is the sweet spot. And there is a very good chance that that position will be an offensive lineman again this year. It might not be sexy but you have to do it.”
Louis Riddick, 810 AM
GH “Have to do it?” No. Kevin Kietzman’s head will explode. If the Chiefs pick an offensive lineman with their first pick he better be able to run one helluva post-corner route.

“I’m here to tell you John Asamoah is stiff and un-athletic.”
Soren Petro, while discussing of the loss of the Chiefs linemen to free agency, 810 AM
GH: And these guys get upset when someone critiques their work on the radio?

“Punch the flipping button, you jerk!”
Danny Parkins, who was upset about being stopped by a listener while he was out on a date Saturday night who told him he didn’t like one of his show’s segments, 610 AM
GH: Parkins, Josh Klingler and Bob Fescoe spent a portion of the Monday morning show whining about how their listeners think they have a right to stop them or email them and tell them what they don’t like about their shows. It sounded much like three stray cats licking each other’s fur balls. Read on.

“I had a guy tell me he listened to the show but then he kind of waivered and said, ‘But I like the other one better.’ People think that’s very okay to tell you they don’t like you. They think it’s okay to tell you they like your competitor better.”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM
GH: Would Klingler prefer the listener blew smoke up his mic? Grow a thicker skin, ladies! You can always quit radio and get real jobs.

“I’m like, ‘Where do you work?’ Can I go there and stomp my feet and say, ‘You should be fired!’ Wherever you work, I use your competitor too.”
Josh Klingler, on how he responded to the guy who listens to The Border Patrol, 610 AM
GH: The listener probably works somewhere where his job doesn’t depend on the public enjoying his personal work – which is exactly where Klingler works. When did radio people become so damn needy? These guys sound like they’d make great dates for Juan Pablo.

“Let’s go to your (company’s) website and find your boss’ email and I’ll write him an email. I feel like bi-weekly I’m being called in (by my boss) and told someone is calling for your firing or they had a problem with this. Who are these people? Who are these people?!”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: Parkins should be celebrating the fact listeners are reacting with emotion to his show. Did this guy not learn anything at Syracuse? Evoke passion from your audience and you will always have a job in the media.

“I don’t know how it works in your world where you work but that’s not how it works in our world. People say stuff that is socially unacceptable because they don’t get it.”
Bob Fescoe, continuing to lecture listeners who don’t like their work and approach them in public, 610 AM
GH: Say stuff that is socially unacceptable? Has Fescoe ever listened to his own show? He became famous for five minutes a couple of years ago when ESPN replayed his crazy-man rant that ripped an entire franchise. But Fescoe can’t handle a terse email from Kenny Kenny?

“People kind of get excited to come poke fun at me (when Kansas loses a basketball game). They think I’m like crying somewhere in a corner. I haven’t cried since they lost to Arizona in 1998 when I went outside and screamed. That’s the last time I cried after a KU game.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: If you are over the age of five and crying over any sporting event that you did not participate in you should probably keep that information between you and your husband.

GregHall24@YAHOO.COM and Twitter @greghall24

 

 


MU gets hammered at Tennessee

Written 3-10-14

“The Missouri Tigers have been a mess for the past several weeks. It is time to get it over with. That performance Saturday at Tennessee was (awful). There was no heart. There was no fire. It was embarrassing to watch! The Tigers played in their biggest game of the season and did not show up! The players are selfish! At times it’s like one-on-one street ball. The coach is too soft! Obviously, the players are not responding to Frank Haith. … They haven’t done anything for the past month.”
Jack Harry, KSHB TV41
GH: It sounded like Mad Jack was calling for Haith’s job but he did just about everything but. Instead, he made the less damning statement of, “It is time to get it over with.” I think Haith was the wrong hire and his three-year downward spiral at MU is more than enough to see Mike Alden should swing the axe now rather than wait a season. The empty seats next season at Mizzou Arena will scream volumes.

 

“I think (Mizzou) just wants to be done with this season.”
Aaron Swarts, 810 AM
GH: It would be difficult to argue with Swarts’ assessment after MU looked like about as lively as the folks seated in the waiting area of Grandview’s Licensing Bureau where I visited last week. How can a 20-year-old scholarship athlete not try? Especially when pitted against other college athletes? Where is your pride, Mizzou?

 

“We’ve got the SEC tournament. There’s still basketball left to play. We need to go get ourselves ready to play next week.”
Frank Haith, KSHB TV41
GH: What in the hell have you been doing since January, Frank?

 

“(Haith) has gotten worse every year he’s been there. If you’re Mike Alden, you better have a drawer full of resumes sitting there with somebody who’s coming in next. He’s going to make it to next year but if he has another bad year next year he’s done. This has been an absolute mess the whole time. It’s really percolating.”
Frank Boal, KSHB TV41
GH: I am starting to think Haith might not be as safe as most of us think. That Tennessee loss had to make some big donors ring up Alden. A loss to Texas A&M in the first round of the SEC and then a beat down in MU’s NIT opener could send Haith back to that Miami strip club.

 

“If Embiid is cleared to return, the opposition will go after him, hard. KU's NCAA F4 hopes hanging in the balance. KU's lost 2 of last 3.”
Frank Boal, @realfrankboal, after word that KU had sent their freshman center to LA for a second opinion on his back injury, Twitter
GH: An injured back to a guy who is seven-foot tall is not like turning an ankle. I think the big guy might be done for the season – and that is a damn shame. All the more reason for Wiggins to keep his Superman suit handy the next month.

 

“(Juwan) Staten pushed off on (Frank) Mason but they called a foul on Mason.”
Bob Davis, as he called the final minutes of West Virginia’s win over Kansas, Jayhawk Radio Network
GH: I was trapped in a car Saturday afternoon and caught the KU/WVU game on the radio. I feel bad for Bob Davis. He was one of the great talents of play-by-play who just stayed too long in his craft. He now sees only crimson and blue on the floor and misses just about everything else.

 

“This is the kind of effort that can propel you into next week’s conference tournament and into the NCAAs.”
Greg Gurley, KU’s radio analyst, on KU’s valiant but unsuccessful comeback attempt at West Virginia, Jayhawk Radio Network
GH: What? Kansas was down by 25 in the second half to a team that is not going to make the NCAA tourney. Yes, nice comeback by the Hawks but this is not the effort KU wants to see this late in the season. And this comeback was almost all Wiggins – who was spectacular. KU looks way, way too passive to take seriously in the NCAA tourney.

 

“(Kansas) has another huge problem – not just Embiid (back problems). Their perimeter defense is awful! Kansas doesn’t guard the perimeter and it’s going to kill them in the NCAA tournament if they don’t get that done.”
Frank Boal, KSHB TV41
GH: Guess who is back in the KU doghouse? Naadir Tharpe. He is looking more and more like the guy we thought he was, is and might forever be.

 

“This (41-point) game by Andrew Wiggins should remove all doubt over who the Big 12 Most Valuable Player is.”
Greg Gurley, KU’s radio analyst, Jayhawk Radio Network
GH: Wiggins had a great season and probably deserved the league MVP award as much as ISU’s Melvin Ejim and three or four other guys. But Gurley handing him the trophy as a no-doubter sounded very Bob Davisish. 

 

“Just like we all knew would happen, moving away from Big 12 has helped #Husker hoops and #Mizzou football. Saw that coming a mile away.”
Gabe DeArmond, @GabeDeArmond, after NU beat Wisconsin Sunday to finish fourth in the B1G and received a first-game bye in the conference tourney, Twitter

You save that baggage for you, OK? Don't put that crap on me, alright?" Miles said. "This is my program, alright, and we don't carry any baggage. I've been surrounded by great people and we win, and we're going to keep doing it. So all that curse crap, all of the hexing and vexing and all that bullshit that goes with it is exactly that. And you can print it. … That's not us.' That doesn't exist. That does not exist. So you can reinvent us and leave those at home.”
Tim Miles, Nebraska head basketball coach, when asked about the “baggage” that NU’s hoops program has carried over the sad history of the program, Huskeronline.com
GH: I did not understand Miles lashing out at the reporter for this question. If he doesn’t think the NU hoops program is carrying a Jacob Marley-length chain of past horrors, he doesn’t understand the People of the Corn. Why does Miles think his fans refused to sit the entire game Sunday in a game that would determine fourth or fifth place for his Huskers? Embrace the demons, Tim. Know your school’s history and then refuse to repeat it.

 

“Best atmosphere at a Husker sporting event I've seen in at least 12 yrs. Reminds me of great volleyball crowds. Only 4 times as many people.”
Dirk Chatelain, @dirkchatelain, Twitter
GH: That kind of tells you where the Huskers’ football team has been the past decade.

 

“We were at Virginia when they had maybe 18 thousand, and we've played at Ohio State," Ryan said. "These guys have all played in pretty big places. This is the Big Ten. Have you ever been to the other places? Or do they just keep you here? Do you get to travel? Some people do local TV and don't go to the other Big Ten games… It's not new to us. You'd have to live the lives these guys live, going into the places we go into.”

Bo Ryan, Wisconsin’s head basketball coach, when asked about the atmosphere at NU’s new arena, Huskeronline.com
GH: Nebraska is not going to impress any team in the B1G with their crowds, atmosphere or game-day experience. Yes, it was phenomenal in Lincoln yesterday. But that happens every game at places like Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan, Indiana, Kansas, UNC, Duke, etc.  Were Nebraska football fans impressed with K-State’s crowds in Manhattan back in the early ‘90s? If they were, they sure as hell weren’t going to let KSU know about it. NU shouldn’t expect any different attitude from Ryan and the rest of the B1G.

 

“How can you not root for Nebraska? This is awesome. Those fans are starving for a winner in hoops.”
Seth Davis, @SethDavisHoops, Twitter
GH: Davis must not have spent a lot of time covering Big 8 football in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. There are a number of people who would find it difficult to root for the Huskers – in any sport.

 

“When Baylor plays at their best, K-State can’t play at that level.”
Stan Weber, as KSU allowed Baylor to comeback from an eight-point halftime deficit and win comfortably, Wildcat Radio Network
GH: Bruce Weber is doing a masterful job of coaching a woefully inadequate team. He will need to prove he can recruit Big 12 athletes or he will quickly be following Deb Patterson out the door.

 

“This was an incredibly difficult decision to make. I have great appreciation for Coach Patterson both as a person and a coach and want to offer our thanks for her service here.”
John Currie, after firing the women’s head basketball coach, AP
GH: Really? Incredibly difficult? Is that supposed to make Patterson feel better or Currie? I would have more respect for Currie if he was more honest about this firing. But colleges rarely tell us the truth about the people they whack.

 

“I want to get back to you. I might have an answer. I’m going to go with (Wichita State center) Chadrack Lufile’s tweet about two weeks ago: ‘Wolves do not fret over the opinions of sheep.’”
Gregg Marshall, Wichita State’s head coach, when asked about those who questions the Shockers’ credentials as a number-one seed, AP
GH: The sheep have all been put in the barn, Gregg. Time to meet up and dance with some other wolves. Gonna be fun.

“A league source tells me WR Dexter McCluster will not be returning to KC. He has 4-5 suitors and will likely sign Tuesday night.”

Terez A. Paylor, @TerezPaylor, KC Star Chiefs beat writer, Twitter
GH: Dexter getting sliced? Poetic justice.

 

“Juan Pablo is an idiot. The show started out okay because the guy is so handsome. It’s a good lesson for women. You’ve got to date ugly guys like me that work hard.”
Howard Stern, on The Bachelor, Sirius
GH: I have never watched an episode of The Bachelor. I’m thinking of tuning into tonight’s finale to watch the Kearney gal win it.

 

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 

 


Kietzman getting goofy in Arizona

Written 3-7-14

“Answer the fucking question, asshole!”
Frank Martin, head basketball coach at South Carolina, screaming at one of his players during a timeout in the Florida at South Carolina game
GH: South Carolina suspended Martin for this weekend’s game at Mississippi State – probably because his embarrassing outburst was caught on video and quickly shared via Twitter and the web. None of this is news to Big 12 or SEC basketball fans. Martin has made an ass of himself going back to his days as an assistant coach at K-State under Huggins. What is new is that his boss this time has decided to make him accountable and suspend the bully.

“You know what I call (Frank Martin calling his player an asshole)? Every time out in Manhattan, Kansas! You know what I call that? Every time out in Columbia, South Carolina! So why hire Frank Martin? That is Frank Martin’s coaching style.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: The AD who hired Martin is no longer at South Carolina. So Petro’s question has little bearing. Petro seems to think since this is how Martin has acted in the past, it’s USC’s fault. Why would Petro blame the school instead of the bully? Read on…

“Hopefully he will learn from it and grow from it. ... I love Frank Martin, the guy. I love him. I do believe Frank Martin has the kids’ best interest at heart.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Frank Martin is a magician at manipulating the media and those best equipped to hammer away at his ridiculous sideline deportment. Martin had media dupes like Petro and Nick Wright licking his custom-made purple cowboy boots when he was at K-State. Unfortunately, it appears he still does.

“Being away from Frank Martin changes my perspective. You would think so positively about Frank Martin as a husband, as a father, as a friend, as a coach. You would see so much good, sometimes you don’t even notice the language that is going on and the outbursts that occur. … But then you step back and you say, ‘Wait a second.’ You start thinking of what people’s impressions are of the words that are coming out and the look in his eyes and you can see where this doesn’t play.”
Stan Weber, when asked his opinion of Martin being suspended by USC, 810 AM
GH: When Stan Weber questions the actions of a beloved ex-KSU coach, you can bet that coach deserves questioning.

“I heard Stan Weber say you can’t use that coaching style anymore. When did that cross the line? … I think it’s hypocritical of South Carolina. If he had 20 wins it wouldn’t happen. If he wins, it’s okay.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Petro went on to chastise the action of some student who ran onto the court last night to scream in the face of the Hawaii coach. Petro found the actions of this idiot college kid far more offensive than anything Frank Martin has done. “If I had been a player on that team that kid would be missing some teeth,” declared Petro. What a tough guy, huh?

“Didn’t (Bill Self) essentially (take the spotlight from his seniors) by turning this (Senior Night) into the Harbaugh Game? … The question is in doing so did (Self) go back on his word – and I’ll read it exactly. ‘Our fan base would be disappointed if we did something that took away from one of the great traditions of our basketball season. And that is Senior Night.’”
Kevin Kietzman, while talking to KUSports.com’s columnist, Tom Keegan, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman obviously is bored into a state of preposterousness down covering spring training in Arizona. He has spent much of his time in Arizona throwing some of the most bizarre bullshit up against the wall hoping any of it will stick. None has – especially his goofy tirade against Bill Self going back on his word by having Harbaugh at Allen Fieldhouse for Senior Night. KK tried to lure LJW’s Tom Keegan into his nuttiness but Keegan refuse the invite. Read on.

“Well, I was at the game and I didn’t even see Harbaugh. … During the game it really wasn’t a big deal at all.”
Tom Keegan, columnist for Lawrence Journal-World, in an interview with Kietzman about KK’s issue with Self allowing Harbaugh to be at KU’s Senior Night, 810 AM
GH: Keegan sounded like he wanted to be polite with KK’s craziness but at the same time he was dumbfounded by Kietzman’s line of questioning…

“Did Jim Harbaugh add to and make Senior Night or was he a distraction?”
Kevin Kietzman, querying Keegan, 810 AM

“I think he added to it. I don’t see how it would detract from it, really. Harbaugh wasn’t part of the night. He was part of the practice (before the game). That’s just adding to publicity Kansas gets. I don’t think it’s adding at the expense of any of the seniors.”
Tom Keegan, columnist, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman is suffering from what I like to call having to cover practice and cactus while at spring training. He appears to think he MUST create a controversy or have a sexy story every day from 2 PM to 4 PM – and when there’s no such thing he just makes one up. I guess that isn’t all that different from his typical Between The Lines show.

“I can’t tell you whether (Hosmer) was on the bag or not.”
Kevin Kietzman, on a play in Wednesday’s spring-training game where Kietzman believed the Royals first baseman may have lifted his foot off the base prematurely, despite the umpire calling the runner out, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman tried to make Hosmer’s foot his point of emphasis on his Wednesday show from Arizona. KK hounded on this point for two days – bleeding off into both The Border Patrol and The Program as well.

“I’m a hundred percent sure! I saw it!”
Kevin Kietzman, on the questionable play by Hosmer pulling his foot earlier in the game, after Jack Harry challenged him about what he saw, 810 AM
GH: Jack Harry was not in Arizona with Kietzman and the distance between the two appeared to give Mad Jack some much needed courage to stand up to KK. He pushed Kietzman to reverse his earlier statement by goading him and picking at his credibility. In other words the two changed roles for this week.

“(Hosmer) does it a lot. I just think he thinks it’s cool. … I think he knows he’s off the bag. I think he thinks it’s cool! He’s a showman! He’s clearly a hotdog!”
Danny Clinkscale, on Eric Hosmer prematurely pulling his foot off of first base after receiving a throw from an infielder, 810 AM
GH: Of course Danny was lockstep in line with Kietzman and the deadly foot-pulling controversy.

“(Ned Yost) was trying to pull a bunch of bull on me and tell me the mob was involved and Vegas! He wouldn’t even give me the names! … If he’s down there trying to pull pranks on me and telling me about the mob, he’s not taking it that seriously.”
Kevin Kietzman, after Jack Harry suggested he ask Ned Yost about his concerns about the video replay duo the Royals have chosen, 810 AM
GH: This was another non-story that KK tried his damndest to make a story. What was entertaining about this attempt was that Jack Harry literally laughed at him for this lame game. KK does not liked to be made fun of – ask Scott Pioli – but Jack refused to be pulled into the nonsense. Read on.

“It’s not a big deal to me. It really isn’t. They’re going to sit and look at a monitor, right? That’s not that big a deal is it who sits in there? If they’re paying attention to what’s going on? I don’t know, Kevin. You don’t need a pedigree to do something like that. Who do you have to be to make that call? You’re looking at the TV! It’s not a big deal, Kevin. It’s really not.”
Jack Harry, 810 AM

“I’m not even making a comment that the Royals are doing anything wrong here (with their video replay personnel)!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: One of Kietzman’s favorite ploys is to state the exact opposite of what we are actually hearing him do. Read on…

“Don’t just go grab somebody and say, ‘Go do it.’ That’s what this feels like. … I guarantee you that what the Royals are doing with two bullpen catchers monitor instant replay challenges, someday – years from now – we will look back and laugh. … I’ll bet you right now the Royals are in the bottom-third of the league in things challenged. They’re not embracing it.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: But KK’s not saying they’re doing anything wrong here.

“This manager is clearly not interested in a non-baseball person helping him.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Sounds like KK is ready to put Yost in the same place he likes to keep his dislike for Pioli.

“Honestly, it feels kind of like a road game. It’s not familiar territory for us.”
Kareem Richardson, UMKC’s head basketball coach, when asked by the Roos play-by-play voice, Steven Davis, what he thought of playing a home game at the Independence Events Center, 810 AM
GH: UMKC beat Seattle last night and has a game with Idaho coming up. I have no interest in UMKC playing in the WAC. Idaho? Seattle? The Roos need to find a way to get into the Missouri Valley and play conference games that are in the same time zone.

“I guess if they do what they’ve done all year they’ll go win the game (at Tennessee) by 12 points. … It is going to take one of Missouri’s better efforts of the year. To know (Missouri) is in (the NCAA tournament), win at Tennessee and win two (in the SEC tourney).”
Gabe DeArmond, on the Mizzou basketball team doing the opposite each game of what most have expected this season, 810 AM

“I don’t think (KU’s) defense travels like it should. I don’t think they play as good of defense on the road.”
Rustin Dodd, KU beat writer for The Star, 810 AM
GH: Dodd mentioned that KU seems to feed off their home crowd to ratchet up their defensive effort. There are no home crowds in the NCAA tourney, Hawks.

“I don’t necessarily view this as a must-win year for (the Royals).”
Buster Olney, ESPN MLB analyst, in his weekly conversation with The Border Patrol, 810 AM
GH: Buster doesn’t live in Kansas City, does he?

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Jack Harry sure misses the old days

Written 3-6-14

“It’s all changed now. The players look at the media as somewhat the enemy. They don’t know your names, they don’t care. Which is fine…”
Jack Harry, in a conversation Wednesday with Kevin Kietzman and Danny Clinkscale while the two radio personalities were in Arizona covering the Royals spring training, 810 AM
GH: Why should a viewer or listener care about whether or not Eric Hosmer or Alex Gordon knows Jack Harry’s name? Jack says it’s “fine” but his words betray him. He obviously misses the days when he and others in the media were more of the same status as the athletes they covered.

“The relationships with the players was so much different back in the ‘70s and ‘80s.”
Jack Harry, 810 AM
GH: So Jack misses the days when he was golf buddies with Cotton Fitzsimmons and playing the role of Norm Stewart’s public relations firm on this side of the state? The media has evolved and improved greatly from those dark days when friends would cover up stories for friends. Jack might miss those golf outings but guys like Jason Whitlock who weren’t much into golf or playing nice ruined it for the Jacks of the world.

“The University of Missouri System Board of Curators has approved an amended contract for Head Football Coach Gary Pinkel that will keep him patrolling the Mizzou sideline through Dec. 31, 2020. With the new agreement, Pinkel’s guaranteed salary will increase to $3.1 million, up from $2.8 million, while his assistant coaching staff will receive an increase in their salary pool to $3.2 million, up from the previous amount of $2.66 million.”
Chad Moller, Mizzou Athletics Communications
GH: Well, what a difference a season makes. Pinkel was all but circling the drain with many Mizzou football fans after last season’s SEC nightmare. Now Pinks has a new contract through 2020, a hefty raise, more cash for his staff and he was seen with a young hottie in the aisle of last night’s basketball game at Mizzou Arena. Life is good in Jumboland.

“This is an ugly, ugly win – but sometimes you’ll take an ugly win.”
Gary Link, MU’s radio analyst, after Mizzou edged Texas A&M 57-56 at Mizzou Arena Wednesday night, Tiger Radio Network
GH: Mizzou never led in this game until Ross hit his final two free throws in the last minute. And the final minute was one that should have come with a NC-17 rating.

“It was the worst final two minutes of basketball that I’ve ever seen as far as both teams making mistakes. Both teams just giving the game away over and over again.”
Steve St. John, 810 AM

“They are really, really good.”
Frank Haith, acssssing Texas A&M after the narrow win, 810 AM
GH: A&M ranks 312th in points per game, 228th in rebounding, 165th in assists and 251st in FG percentage. And the Aggies are now 1-8 on the road. That is not really, really good, Frank. Even in the SEC.

“Since the night of Feb. 1, Arkansas has lost one game by a single point. Raise your hand if you want to play the Razorbacks in the NCAAs.”
Eric Prisbell, @EricPrisbell, Twitter
GH: Mike Anderson has turned it around at Arkansas in the span of a month. The guy we had all left for dead is not only thriving in Fayetteville but looking like Florida’s next big hurdle in the SEC tourney. That patronizing SOB just might be dancing all the way to the Sweet 16 this season.

“Boo… RT @BlumbergOTB: Tiger radio network chats with a sponsor instead of broadcasting Senior Mic Night. #Fail
Kurtis Seaboldt, @KSeaboldt, Twitter
GH: I don’t understand how the school or the broadcast could be so out-of-touch with their audience. Just awful.

“Does MU really keep hopes alive with that kinda game? That was ugly. Credit for coming back. As an MU fan you should not be happy about the way your team played at all, regardless of a win. Should blow out TAMU.”
Bob Fescoe, @bobfescoe, in what may have been the most obvious tweet he’s sent this year – or any year, Twitter

“Obviously, I retweeted that guy and he got hammered by Kansas fans for being an idiot.”
Bob Fescoe, on a Twitter war of words he engaged in with a Mizzou fan following the A&M game, 610 AM
GH: Fescoe managed to start a Twitter war between KU and MU fans? The man is a regular Dalai Lama of motivation. 

“Mizzou still has a chance to finish as high as fourth in the SEC standings with a win on Saturday at Tennessee.”
Steve Walentik, @Steve_Walentik, Columbia Daily Tribune basketball writer, Twitter
GH: That is just, well…unbelievable.

“Amazing night for the seniors...Can't wait to be a senior. Too bad I didn't play but they took care of business.”
Joel-Hans Embiid, @jojo_embiid, Twitter
GH: What? Is Embiid talking about getting a price break at the movies? I would love to see the big guy hang in Lawrence for three more years but that is less likely than Frank Haith turning out to be the next Gary Pinkel.

“Congratulations, Jayhawk Nation. (And, you're welcome?)”
Yael T. Abouhalkah, @YaelTAbouhalkah, Twitter

“Saturday: McDermott goes for 3,000 in his last home game. Sunday: Nebraska goes for its first NCAA bid in 16 years. #Wow #BasketballState
Dirk Chatelain, @dirkchatelain, Twitter
GH: Nebraska is one of the more surprising teams of this crazy season. They are not a particularly attractive team to watch but they have won at Michigan State and at Indiana this season. I did not think I would live long enough to type that sentence.

“It’s going to be cold enough to snow. Next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday a strong cold front’s going to come through.”
Gary Lezak, on his weather forecast for the Big 12 basketball tournament next week in Kansas City, 8109 AM
GH: What a perfect way to end this bastard of a winter – more winter.

“One oatmeal, a sausage McMuffin and a large Diet Coke.”
My breakfast order today (and most mornings) at McDonald’s
GH: I discovered after driving away that I received one oatmeal but no McMuffin in my bag and a large regular Coke. I have never gone back to correct a fast food order and I did not this time. I just got back on the Interstate to continue my commute. But what if McDonald’s changed to see-through bags? I would have immediately seen that my McMuffin was missing. I am offering this idea up to Ronald at no charge.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Yael trolls KU fans with Self comments

Written 3-4-14

“Why did Self act like a $5 million-a-year spoilsport after the Jayhawks clinched sole possession of their 10th straight Big 12 title Saturday night? To hear Self’s excuse, his team (and my alma mater) didn’t deserve to celebrate after losing to Oklahoma State, 72-65, in a hard-fought game on the road. … But those student athletes have worked hundreds of hours this year for Self and their fans, getting the team into the position to win the title. Yet when the players got to the mountaintop, Self proclaimed they couldn’t even enjoy the view for a little bit. … It’s the least Self could have done for his players, the ones he supposedly cares so much about.”
Yael Abouhalkah, editorial columnist for The Kansas City Star
GH: A number of readers, friends, enemies and casual acquaintances have asked me over the weekend, “So why is your buddy Yael writing about sports?” Now, please know that every one of these folks is a Kansas basketball fan who is not real happy that the KC Star editorial columnist suddenly decided to turn his keyboard and fire away at the man who owns Lawrence. I do think Yael is off his rocker on this one (and the little bearded dude is old enough to own one). But shaking the monstrous tree that is Kansas Basketball can be fruitful if you are looking for buzz. Read on.

“Actually, there were a few (who agreed with me). There were 300-some-odd comments just on the post and then I’ve been getting emails and all that stuff. The ones that start out, ‘You jackass…’ I’m probably not going to read. … Yes, most of it has been negative. I must admit that.”
Yael Abouhalkah, when asked by Lake if there was anyone out there that agreed with his column, 610 AM
GH: How often does a column posted about Mayor Sly’s streetcar boondoggle or Kansas City’s murky murder rate numbers generate 300 online comments? Jason Whitlock has made a comfortable career in this media business by often making himself the villain. I know both Whitlock and Abouhalkah and I believe both write from their heart. But both are also savvy, thick-skinned writers who know a bad column can often times be very, very good.

“Spare me the winning-is-everything attitude that this is what coaches do, teaching players lessons after they play poorly. Well, I didn’t see Self volunteering to give any of his $5 million salary back after what he thought was a poor performance Saturday night. Remember, this is a coach who makes a great deal of money off the backs of these student athletes. He gets to call all the shots. He decides when they celebrate, when they don’t. … Self blew his chance Saturday to be a human being, not an ultra-control freak.”
Yael Abouhalkah, Kansascity.com
GH: I heard and read Yael’s column being discussed on sports radio, on Twitter, on political talk radio, and by just about everyone who saw or contacted me who knows Yael is a friend of mine. “So what do you think about what your buddy wrote about Bill Self?” My response was something like, “I have no idea what the hell he is thinking. I can’t name one team I ever played on or was following that would want to break out hats, shirts and a dance routine after backing into a conference title.” Teams just don’t celebrate immediately after losing a game – especially a game where they were up 10 in the second half.

“It is your opinion Yael but I completely disagree with you.”
Jay Binkley, in a live interview with Abouhalkah on Monday , 610 AM
GH: Props to Binkley for telling Abouhalkah he disagreed with him while he had him live on the air. Too often the radio host plays nice with a guest they disagree with and then they hammer him/her once they hang up the phone. Kevin Kietzman’s name comes to mind.

“Boy, KU basketball fans can be kind of negative. I don’t know if you guys have noticed that over your years of radio here. But they do expect perfection. They’re not just upset with me but everything these 18- and 19-year-old players who can’t do things perfectly.”
Yael Abouhalkah, 610 AM
GH: Abouhalkah wasn’t backing down Monday, even after he had been ripped from just about every corner of the media and the state of Kansas. A couple of them now probably can even pronounce his name. Speaking of pronouncing names, my buddy John Snyder turned me on to Comedy Central’s Key & Peele this week and you need to
watch this clip with your speakers turned up. I spent an hour yesterday watching everything I could find on these two comic geniuses.

“I think one thing Abouhalkah missed out on, maybe he doesn’t follow it close enough – I don’t know – he’s a really smart guy. But he said it’s not much fun to play at Kansas because of the iron fist that Bill Self rules over this thing with his $5 million salary he’s making off the backs of these kids – come on! That’s just class-envy warfare crap. It was nonsense.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Class-envy warfare? I guess we could all same the same about sports talk radio jocks who rip professional athletes and coaches.

“’How dare Oklahoma State storm!’ KU is the best program in the league, 2 top draft picks, OSU alum coaching em- HUGE season saving win.”
Doug Gottlieb,
@GottliebShow, following OSU’s win over KU in Stillwater, Twitter
GH: Kansas gets court stormed more than just about any program going – because they are one of the few blueblood college basketball programs in the country. So why do KU fans get so bent about their opponents showing this unique display of respect? If you don’t want to get court stormed, win the damn game.

“25 turnovers from KU…not sure that is fixable at highest level, plus Embiid’s back is an issue heading forward.”
Doug Gottlieb,
@GottliebShow, following OSU’s win over KU in Stillwater, Twitter
GH: Talk about a guy who likes to stir the turd – Gottlieb is a master at tweaking Kansas.

“I think there’s some underlining something between Self and (Travis) Ford.”
Todd Leabo, on a rift he believes between the KU and Oklahoma State coach, 810 AM
GH: I don’t think these two particularly like each other but I don’t think they should. They are trying to win the same conference every year. I like it when coaches are openly unhappy with the other coach. Norm Stewart and Billy Tubbs were great examples of this. They acted like they hated everybody!

“How much applause will just be polite for seniors on Saturday in Manhattan? Weird feel with this class.”
Curtis Kitchen,
@curtiskitchen, Twitter
GH: Bramlage should explode when those three seniors walk the court. With the turmoil and drama they’ve been through there under Frank Martin, those fans should send them off like they are as much a part of the Purple family as any Cat who ever prowled that campus.

“From our crew on site at Oklahoma State: Sophomore Marcus Smart will walk with Markel Brown and Mason Cox on senior night tonight vs KState.”
Andy Katz,
@ESPNAndyKatz, Twitter
GH: It is called Senior Night, right? Maybe in Stillwater they are changing it to Been-Here Night?

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


What if MU had hired Bill Self?

Written 2-28-14

“There is not a Missouri fan out there who doesn’t think about this Bill Self thing.”
Jack Harry, referring to MU choosing to hire Duke assistant, Quin Snyder, over Illinois’ head coach, Bill Self in 1999, 810 AM

 

“This would have been the worst things in the history of Missouri basketball if they would have hired (Bill Self). He would have left!”
Kevin Kietzman, insisting if Mizzou would have hired Self back when they interviewed him and Quin Snyder, Self would have left Missouri once the Kansas job opened up with Coach Roy’s departure, 810 AM
GH: How well does Kevin Kietzman know Missouri basketball history? And he thinks hiring Bill Self would have been the worst thing to happen to the Tigers basketball program? And KK doesn’t understand why he has earned the label a radio shock jock?

 

“(Kansas) wouldn’t have hired a Missouri coach.”
Todd Leabo, 810 AM
GH: The fantasy scenario of Self taking the MU job back in 1999 is too delicious to not ponder. Would Self have built MU into the juggernaut that is Kansas? Would he have left MU for the KU job once Roy bolted? Would KU turn their crimson noses up at the thought of hiring Missouri’s coach? There is a great 30-for-30 segment here awaiting ESPN’s caressing and cameras.

 

“If (Mizzou) can’t get up for these last two games, why should they play in the NIT?”
Jack Harry, who said he was criticized by MU fans for tweeting out that if Missouri is invited to the NIT they should decline it, 810 AM
GH: The reason you turn down an NIT invitation is because you feel slighted by the NCAA committee or your program is so awash in basketball greatness that an NIT title would be worthless in your trophy case. Mizzou is not in any position to turn down any postseason bids. Playing in the NIT should be far more attractive to MU than becoming road kill for a top seed in the NCAA’s first round.

 

“I think he’s wrong. You don’t want to filter your business down to just Kansas fans. He’s just blasting away at Missouri. What kind of a knucklehead business owner is doing that? He’s excluding people! Can you imagine?”
Kevin Kietzman, after the owner of Heyward’s BBQ allegedly posted some inflammatory comments online about Mizzou basketball, 810 AM

 

“I feel very comfortable in my coverage of college basketball this season. Because I’ve been crapped on by all three local (fans bases).”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: I read a lot of local fans who think Petro is a closet Kansas apologist. I don’t see it. Petro comes off to me as a Syracuse grad who thinks Big 12 basketball is beneath his interest. I don’t think he favors KU or any local team. I don’t think he cares enough to be biased.

 

“Bob Knight has been enabled by every employer including ESPN. Hoping ESPN's new management crew finds the stones to end the nonsense.”
Richard Deitsch,
@richarddeitsch, as Knight worked the Arkansas win at Kentucky Thursday night, Twitter
GH: Three cheers for Deitsch’s tweet and his willingness to hammer Bob Knight for his dreadful TV work. ESPN has its share of on-air deadweight but Knight’s laziness coupled with his arrogance is beyond any I have encountered. Even banishing him to the SEC is not a deep enough hell for the former Hoosier coach.

 

“If you’re a guy who is put off by a woman doing (play-by-play or color analyst work) for a game you’re probably a chauvinist pig.”
Bob Fescoe, after criticizing some people on Twitter who made unkind remarks about the work of two women broadcasters doing college basketball recently, 610 AM
GH: Why can’t a woman’s broadcast work be just as rudely critiqued as a man’s? Fescoe jumps to the conclusion that if you don’t like a woman in the broadcast booth, you don’t like her because of her gender. While that may be true, it also just might be true the gal’s no good.

“Interesting how many poll voters cite overall resumes. This time of year, I don't look at it that way. More where do you stand now.”
Seth Davis,
@SethDavisHoops, on his criteria for making the NCAA tournament, Twitter
GH: Davis makes some sense here. Does it really matter as much that Arkansas lost to Mizzou at home a month ago as winning at Kentucky last night? If the Hogs are twice as good now as they were in December, why not reward them with a bid, despite their lousy overall resume?

“(Iowa’s head coach) Fran McCaffery says his overall impressions of social media are negative and that he'd prefer his players keep their focus on Iowa's upcoming games. He said his players are free to resume tweeting once the season is over.”
Associated Press, after the Iowa coach banned his players from Twitter for the rest of the season

“Are we going to get to a place in the season where college coaches say, ‘That’s it! No more Twitter?’ I think the coaches are right in this decision and I think the coaches are wrong.”
Kevin Kietzman, after Rick Pitino and Iowa’s Fran McCaffery banning their players from Twitter, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman’s rants about Twitter and how it can lead to so much negativity for a player or team reminds me of those who used to call sports talk radio a wasteland. How does allowing 810 and 610 interview players and coaches help Kansas, Kansas State or Missouri? Does it really sell more tickets? Or does it simply increase the probability for a dumb or embarrassing sound bite that can haunt the player or coach for the next decade?

“Marcus Smart is one of the top five players in the country. I don’t care what you say or think of his on-court antics. The guy is a stud.”
Greg Gurley, on the Oklahoma State sophomore, 810 AM
GH: KU and OSU at 8:00 PM on Saturday night in Stillwater. ESPN Gameday will be there to add some juice to this hoops rivalry. This one should be a dandy. BTW, can you imagine how great Smart would have been if he had picked KU over OSU? His aggressive style of play would have made him one of Kansas’ most popular players in the school’s history. Instead, he is one of the most hated. History is funny that way.

“How would you like to be under doctor’s orders to sit and watch basketball?”
Steven St. John, in his opening line for a radio ad promoting vasectomies, 810 AM
GH: You have to hand it to the copywriter who came up with this line of reasoning. I think I’ll stay with sneaking away from my desk for long lunches.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


WHB goes after Ned Yost for being surly

Written 2-27-14

“Is everything crystal clear now about the new rules?”

Doug Stewart, in a question to Ned Yost after Yost had attended a meeting Tuesday regarding MLB’s new rules about how a base runner can no longer charge into a catcher at home plate, about 810 AM

 

“What new rules? They’re not new rules. These are just old rules. ”
Ned Yost, responding to Doug Steward’s question, 810 AM
GH: This curt answer from the Royals’ skipper resulted in the following short exchange between the WHB reporter and Yost…

 

Stewart:               “So no big change?”
Yost:                      “What are you talking about?

Stewart:               “About blocking the plate?”

Yost:                      “No, no big change.”
GH: This then prompted other members of the media to engage in this discussion, resulting in a frustrated and ornery Yost doing what he typically does when he’s interviewed by Nate Bukaty…

 

“You can’t barrel into a catcher! That’s really it. Nothing else really changes except you can’t barrel into a catcher anymore.”
Ned Yost, 810 AM
GH: In Stewart’s defense, that is a pretty big change to the game of baseball that has allowed base runners to blast into defenseless catchers for the past 150 years. Yost did not need to be so surly. On the other hand, this short exchange between Yost and the media did not deserve the attention that WHB decided to give it over the next 24 hours. Read on.

 

“There’s an etiquette in how the conversation is supposed to go. He’s the manager, you’re the reporter. The other reporters are there. You can’t just say, ‘Hey, go blank yourself!’ That’s what I would do if we were two guys standing there.  I don’t care how he deals with his players. I don’t want to sit here and talk about Ned Yost pissing and moaning. I’d rather talk about the baseball team.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Should Yost have been more tactful? Yes. Are the boys at 810 searching and reaching for a story with nothing more to cover in Arizona than practice and cactus? Yes.

 

“We’ve got a lot of people in this building who are smarter than Ned Yost!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM

GH: KK really went off on Yost, even to the point of challenging his intelligence. So Kietz and Petro cannot believe Yost would choose to be a bit surly about answering questions from a radio station known to blast him and the Royals at almost every opportunity? So how would Kevin like me in his office once or twice a day for the next seven months with a microphone in my hand asking him questions about how he conducts his job? Do you think happy-go-lucky Kietz would get a bit touchy at times? Kietz has trouble staying civil.

“When I listened to (Doug Stewart’s) moment with Ned Yost, I just have to smile because I feel like I’ve been in that seat before.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM

“I like Ned. I like that he’s always sparring with the media. I like what Ned is doing. I really do. I like the feel of confrontation there. I think that’s healthy.”
Jack Harry, 810 AM
GH: Mad Jack gives off more mixed signals than J. Edgar Hoover in pantyhose. Jack almost quit his TV job not long ago when some Kansas fans rode him too hard about his persistent KU slurs. So now we are to believe that the guy who wilts at email confrontations from fans is a big believer in going head-to-head with Nervous Ned? Not buying it, Jack.

“To me, I don’t know if you need this rule. I think you leave it to the players to play the game and allow the good catchers to get out of the way. And let each organization set the culture of your clubhouse. Instead we get a rule (to a game that) is already a three-hour event.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM

GH: I think Petro is an intelligent person but this comment makes little sense. He wants each team to determine which catchers are disposable and which one is not? This is one of the dumber plays in baseball and needed to be eradicated a century ago. Yost is dead wrong and I would have enjoyed it far more had Stewart stood up to him and challenged him about it.

 

“I don’t sit around at home at night and think about (the new rule). This is the first time I’ve thought about it since two months ago when somebody told me, ‘they can’t run into catchers anymore.’ I said, ‘That sucks. I love that play.’”
George Brett, KMBC TV 9

 

“I think people expect us to be in the postseason. It is not good to always fly under the radar. … If you cannot handle the pressure you are in the wrong business.”
Bruce Chen, when asked by Petro what the expectations are for the Royals this season, 810 AM
GH: Petro and Stewart have produced some of my favorite sit-down interviews of the new year with their work this week in Surprise, AZ. Read on for more.

 

“Salvatore Perez is funny, so sometimes I steal the jokes from him. He says funny stuff in Spanish and so I say it in English and steal all the credit.”
Bruce Chen, when asked who the second biggest joker is in the Royals clubhouse, 810 AM

 

“Uh, no. This is a tough game. You’ve just got to rely on what your strengths are. You can’t worry about what lies ahead in the future. When there’s a guy up at the plate trying to do damage, you’ve got to go with what works.”
Greg Holland, Royals closer, when asked by Soren Petro if he is concerned about being a power pitcher and how he might need to adjust to secure he doesn’t get injured as his career moves forward, 810 AM
GH: Petro’s chat with Holland was maybe my favorite. Holland is as down-to-earth as they come. He doesn’t appear to have any of the macho bravado that we often see in closers but the guy gets it done as well as anybody in the league.

 

“I’ve got a couple of new tattoos. I’ve always had a couple of tattoos. I’ll be able to cover it up though. I enjoy getting tattoos. But on the other hand, we’re a professional organization. We’re a professional team and I like to be able to cover them up. Other guys have a preference of showing them off. I’m not much on the showing them off side. I kind of like to hide mine a little bit.”
Mike Moustakas, in an interview with Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Petro continues to debunk Danny Clinkscale’s report that Moose had inked up both arms from shoulders to fingers. I found Moose’s shyness about not wanting to display his tats in uniform surprising. Isn’t that why guys get them?

 

“Moustakas is probably the single biggest key to whether this team can be better than good. If they’re going to be a playoff-type team, they can’t have their third baseman swinging a paper bat. You figure Hosmer will hit, Butler will hit, Perez will be a star. There are some relative knowns here, but Moose could be awful at the plate again (whether they say it or not, that’s part of why the Royals traded for Danny Valencia) or he could hit .270 with 25 homers and drive in 80.”
Sam Mellinger, KCStar.com

 

“If there is going to be a James Shields-like clubhouse leader after James Shields is gone, I think it’s going to be Eric Hosmer.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM

“Happy Cactus League: Aoki 9, Infante 4, Hosmer 3, Butler DH, Gordon 7, Perez 2, Moustakas 5, Cain 8, Ciriaco 6, Chen 1.”
Andy McCullough,
@McCulloughStar, Royals beat writer for The Kansas City Star, tweeting out the Royals lineup today for their first game against the Rangers, Twitter
GH: Gordon fifth? He has got to be in the top three of this line-up. I would bat him second and slide Aoki to seventh. It must be getting close to baseball season since I’m already bitching about the lineup.

“Congrats to Hall-of-Famer, Lenny Cool.”
Michael Coleman, as he reported on his Wednesday’s sportscast that Len Dawson would be receiving the Lamar Hunt Award at the 101 Banquet, KCTV 5
GH: I played Coleman’s comment back a couple of times and each time he left out that three-letter word “the.” It’s Lenny the Cool, Michael. That’s like calling George Brett, “Good old Number Six.”

 

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


 MU loses at Georgia but Haith isn't going anywhere

Written 2-26-14

“Watching while hosting UMKC Coaches Show...Eyes are bleeding.”
Steven St. John,
@SSJWHB, responding to a MU fan on Twitter asking SSJ if he was watching Missouri’s 71-56 loss at Georgia, Twitter
GH: Mizzou hammered yet another nail in their NCAA hopes with another lackluster effort that had even their radio broadcast team calling them out again about their lack of effort. The question about the tigers has turned from, “Will they make the tournament?’ to “Will Frank Haith survive?” Unfortunately, it appears Haith is going nowhere.

“If you win 70% of your games and go to the NCAA tournament two out of every three years at the University of Missouri, not only will you not be fired, you will never be fired!”
Gabe DeArmond, on PowerMizzou.com, 810 AM

“Well, I don’t know how many coaches win 75 games in their first three seasons (which Haith would do with just three more wins) and get fired. So, yeah. Calling for his job is a bit premature. He absolutely has not taken advantage of the opportunity he’s had there, and he surely understands that whatever criticism he’s getting right now is justified.”
Sam Mellinger, KCStar.com

 

“I admire fans' passion and ability to still get angry but why would anyone be surprised by (this Georgia) game so far? Not changing stripes 27 games in.”
Gabe DeArmond,
@GabeDeArmond, Twitter
GH: Gabe is right of course but I know I have watched each MU game thinking this is the one where they get things turned around. The mind of a sports fan is defies logic and impossible to explain.

 

“Anyone predict that Mizzou would have more road wins in football than basketball after two years in the SEC? Because they do.”
Clay Travis, @ClayTravisBGID, Twitter

 

“Mizzou kills it in football, blows in basketball. If fans stop caring about hoops, the transition to SEC will be complete.”
Sam Mellinger,
@mellinger, Twitter

 

“Two years ago tonight Missouri was a three-loss team taking Kansas to OT in Lawrence, battling for a No. 1 seed. Now check ESPNU.”
Matt Norlander,
@MattNorlander, writer for CBSSports.com, Twitter
GH: Was it only two years ago? And MU was coached by the same Frank Haith that currently sits on the Tigers’ bench.

 

“What a great job Frank Haith has done since taking over this program.”
Dino Gaudio, working as the color analyst for the Mizzou at Georgia game, ESPNU
GH: While Haith’s overall stats are worthy, the fact his three teams at Mizzou have steadily declined in performance and success should be alarming to Mike Alden. If this trend continues next season, Mizzou Arena might become the SEC’s favorite winter vacation spot.

 

“I know it's probably the right way to pronounce it, but this ESPNU announcer who pronounces it "Miss-OR-ee" really grinds my gears.”
Pete Scantlebury,
@PeteScantlebury, writer for PowerMizzou.com, Twitter
GH: Growing up in Nebraska I said, “Mah-soor-ee.” Still do most of the time. I occasionally fall into my wife’s family’s NW Missouri dialect and let slip a, “Mah-sur-rah.” I kind of enjoy that a three-syllable state has so many different pronunciations.

 

“I need to change the word ‘easy’ to ‘best,’ that way I compliment every Kansas fan. It’s the best job in the country.”
Kevin Kietzman, after declaring the Kansas head basketball job the easiest in the country, 810 AM

 

“Based on the players (Kansas) has compared to the other teams in their league, it’s just as easy for Kansas to win their league as it is Wichita State. … I am in no way commenting about anything other than saying Bill Self is wonderful and Kansas is awesome.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I believe KK would sound a lot more convincing if he just dropped the I-respect-Kansas-above-all-else routine and get real with his audience. Does anybody out there still buy his act?

 

“Have to give some props to IU. I LOVE that they've kept the same style uni over time. #Classic look. I even love the candy-striped warm-ups.”
Rex Chapman,
@rexchapman, Twitter
GH: In the 1970s those Indiana red-and-white-striped warm-up pants and other outlandish warm-ups were the rage around high school basketball. Today’s high schools have scaled way back from the heavy tops with collars and bell-bottom pants. Some of the best high school teams wore the most outlandish stuff. I think it was Fairbury HS in Nebraska who wore something similar to Indiana’s look in the early 70s. The Fairbury Jeffs had a guy named Bob Siegel in my same class who was almost unguardable.

 

“Sports Illustrated was in Omaha at the last gm with a photog and tons of equipment. SI Cover boy Doug (McDermott)?”
@TheBluejayCafe, Twitter

“I think there is a very real possibility that (Johnny Manziel) goes number one. I also think there is a very real possibility that he starts sliding. I think there is about a one-in-four chance that (the Chiefs) are going to have to answer that question (of whether or not to take Manziel with their 23rd pick). I think the Chiefs would just let him keep on sliding because there will be another player there that they’ll like better.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Could Johnny Football slide to the Chiefs? No way. And if he did? Andy Reid and John Dorsey would grab him like he was a skinny left tackle.

“Kentucky is the latest SEC school to offer Lee's Summit, Mo., QB @DrewLock23. A lot of schools will be impressed with his athleticism.”
Jeremy Crabtree,
@jeremycrabtree, Twitter

“The second I can switch from Time Warner Cable I will. Channels don't work. Customer support was no help. They basically steal my money.”
TJ Carpenter,
@TJCarpenterWHB, Twitter
GH: Why is the business of supplying quality cable or satellite TV programing and fast Internet access so damn difficult? We all feel your pain, TJ. Well, at least those of us not on Google Fiber.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Ten straight league titles for KU

Written 2-25-14

“One of the greatest streaks in sports.”
Seth Davis,
@SethDavisHoops, after Kansas defeated Oklahoma Monday night at Allen Fieldhouse to secure the Jayhawks tenth consecutive Big 12 conference title under Bill Self’s tutelage, Twitter
GH: When Coach Roy left Kansas I thought he took all that Big 12 dominance with him. Sure, Kansas would still be good under Bill Self but nowhere near Coach Roy good. I was kind of right. Kansas is BETTER under Bill Self. So much better that I am not so sure this streak is going to end this decade.

“2 well Coached teams tonight in Lawrence. The PHOG and Bill Self's team a picture of consistency w/10 straight BIG12 Titles. Tremendous run!”
Tim Brando,
@TimBrando, Twitter

“Champ10ns is actually pretty clever.”
Carrington Harrison,
@cdotharrison, commenting on a sign held by a fan insider Allen Fieldhouse, Twitter
GH: I half expect to see somebody wearing a “Champ10ns” tee-shirt when I head out for lunch today.

“Students start Rock Chalk chant with :24 left and KU up six. Bill Self says ‘Not Yet!’ Chant stops.”
Jim Marchiony,
@JMarchiony, KU associate athletic director, Twitter
GH: I am not surprised at all that Bill Self has the power of Mordor’s Sauron over the KU student section but it does tickle me a bit that he pays attention to when the fabled “Rock Chalk” chant begins during a game. Sitting at home last night I was curious as to why I never heard it. Now I know.

“Self flashes a 10 on the way out to a huge roar.”
Josh Klingler, @joshklingler, Twitter
GH: How do you not like Bill Self? His toupee was a little askew last night but the guy has done more for Kansas basketball than anyone who has ever stepped foot on KU’s picturesque campus. Naismith? He invented the game but he was a lousy coach. Danny Manning? He’s number two on my list. Roy Williams sits third. It’s a good debate.

“Roy Williams won an amazing 9 Big Eight/12 titles in 15 KU seasons. Bill Self has won 10 in 11 years.”
Blair Kerkhoff,
@BlairKerkhoff, Twitter

“Bill Self once again has more Big 12 titles (10) than home losses (9).”
Andrew Curtis, @AndrewCurtis24, KU journalism student, Twitter
GH: That stat is almost indigestible. It’s like trying to eat concrete through your nose. No one does that.

 

“How remarkable is Kansas' 10 straight Big 12 titles? No other college hoops program has a current league title streak longer than 3.”
Jeff Eisenberg (@JeffEisenberg, CBB writer for YahooSports.com, Twitter

 

“10-straight for the Beakers? Meh.”
Brian Hank Haenchen, @Brian_Haenchen, MU fan and aspiring sports media person, Twitter
GH: I have a feeling Hank speaks for many Mizzou fans out there.

 

“Wichita State has had a heck of a season. But you can't make a case for Shockers to be a one seed over Kansas, Arizona, Syracuse or Florida.”
Jon Rothstein, @JonRothstein, Twitter
GH: Sure, you can make a case for it but you can just as easily build a case against it. The Shockers will get their due in the seedings. It will be up to them to repeat their run to the Final Four. I think they are very capable of doing just that.

“I call it my ‘net worth’ question. If you had to put your net worth on one team to win it all, which would u choose? Could do worse than KU.”
Seth Davis,
@SethDavisHoops, Twitter
GH: Florida seems to be everyone’s pick as the best team in college hoops. They have a win over Kansas and have destroyed just about everybody in the SEC. My top picks at for the Final Four at this time are Florida, Wichita State, Kansas and San Diego State.

“This is one of the most fascinating KU teams I can remember. Such an interesting mix.”
Bob Lutz, columnist for Wichita Eagle, @boblutz
GH: There seems to be a new star or at least a different star each week for Kansas. Naadir Tharpe has ridden the roller coaster like maybe no other this season in displaying his best and worst sides. Last night against Oklahoma he looked like an All-Conference point guard down the stretch. He is one of the reasons KU is not going to relinquish this Big 12 streak any time soon.

“Naadir Tharpe has scored eight of Kansas' final 13 points. And he's the biggest ‘concern’ for the Jayhawks.”

Jeff Borzello, @jeffborzello, CBB writer for CBSsports.com, Twitter

“Certainly the (Big 12 is the) deepest conference in the country. No question about it."
Brent Musburger, ESPN
GH: The Big Ten is on line three, Brent. Oh, and they’re wrong.

 

“I'm not sure if I'd have the guts to pass on Andrew Wiggins at No. 1. So much talent. So much potential. Plays so effortlessly.”
Chris Mannix, @ChrisMannixSI, Sports Illustrated writer, Twitter
GH: Wiggins just turned 19. Where will he be at the age of 25? Wherever it is I am betting he will be a whole lot of fun to watch – and it will cost plenty to do so live.

 

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24


Deep draft this year in the NFL

Written 2-24-14

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years. This is the deepest (NFL) draft I’ve ever seen.”
Kevin Colbert, Steelers general manager, 610 AM

 

“It sucks that (the Chiefs) don’t have more draft picks. There’s nothing you can do about it. You gave up your second-round pick for Alex Smith.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: Nothing? I think the Chiefs could do plenty to replace that lost second-round pick and possibly add more in the mid- to late-rounds. There is lots of drama yet to unfold.

 

“You have to draft starters this year if you’re the Chiefs.”
Carrington Harrison, 610 AM

 

“This is a two-starter minimum draft for John Dorsey.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: If this is the deepest draft in 30 years, the Chiefs should walk away with three or four starters. I would expect six keepers in this draft as well. Having to cut draft picks should be unacceptable this draft.

 

“It looks like there are some good football players. It sure looks like there’s a good group of guys this year.”
Andy Reid, on the draft prospect at the NFL Combine, 810 AM

“46-18”
Halftime score of the Kansas lead over Texas last Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse

 

“Any time you have a chance to go to Kansas to watch a basketball game and the people treat you like gold! They are always flying high up on the flagpole and Bill (Self) continues to do a great job.”
Eddie Oran, Texas radio analyst, 810 AM
GH: Eddie was obviously talking about the off-the-court hospitality Kansas displays to their guests. When it comes to how they typically treat their opponents on the court, it’s almost illegal. The butt-kicking the Hawks gave Texas on Saturday was the kind that leaves a mark. And another Big 12 banner hanging in AFH.

 

@SethDavisHoops in other news, I believe #KU has their Mojo back #neverlostit
Doug Gottlieb, @GottliebShow, Twitter
GH: Seth Davis could not have picked a worse time to pick on KU’s “mojo.” If they did lose their mojo in their win at Texas Tech, as Davis tweeted, they sure found it again quickly against the Big 12’s second-best team.

 

“Wiggins has gone through basketball puberty — playing like a man.”
Doug Gottlieb, @GottliebShow, during Wiggins performance against Texas on Saturday, Twitter
GH: Wiggins and Embiid have had performances lapses this season and also incredible displays of greatness. Has the time come when those lapses are now history? If so, this is the time of year the best players rise and take their teams to postseason heights.

 

“KU Jumbotron showing famous Canadians... Phog crowd boos the shit out of Bieber. Love it.”
Ben Heisler, @bennyheis, producer/update anchor at 610 Sports, tweeting while attending the Texas at Kansas game Saturday, Twitter

 

“I’m real excited about what he brings to the show.”
Danny Parkins, on the addition of Ben Heisler (@bennyheis) to The Drive on 610 AM
GH: Heisler has been part of 610’s The Drive for about a month. He is gaining more and more mic time with Harrison and Parkins. Will it lead to more listeners? More reasons to choose the young guys over the veteran Kevin Kietzman? History says no.

 

#Mizzou would likely still be in field if NCAA started today, but I think it'd be tough to survive more than 1 more pre-SEC tourney loss.”
Steve Walentik, @Steve_Walentik, college basketball writer for Columbia Daily Tribune, after Mizzou’s loss at Alabama Saturday, Twitter
GH: Do Mizzou fans even want their Tigers to get into the NCAA tourney? Frank Haith is quickly approaching the familiar stage of a Royals manager where his own fans root for the team to lose to hasten his departure.

 

“Strongest thing about #Mizzou's postseason resume was absence of bad losses, but that changed last night. Alabama started weekend 127 in RPI.”
Steve Walentik, @Steve_Walentik, college basketball writer for Columbia Daily Tribune, Twitter

GH: I understand that Walentik was speaking like an NCAA committee member but Mizzou has had about five or six “bad losses” to the average viewer. For MU to not be the clear-cut third best team in the SEC this season is embarrassing.

 

“Watching Colorado Events Center on TV. Great to see it full. Thing I remember was the banners hanging there were for NCAA ski titles.”
Tom Shatel, @tomshatelOWH, Twitter
GH: We often discuss here in Kansas City how Missouri’s departure to the SEC and Nebraska moving to the Big Ten have made them less important to some fans locally. But Colorado may as well have been traded to Canada. It is good to see that Tad Boyle, the former Jayhawk, has the Buffs basketball fans energized. Something I thought was next to impossible.

 

“Ned: ‘(Moose) has made great adjustments to his swing...He looks like a different hitter. Driving the ball to all fields, hard. … I think (Moose) is in a great spot right now, both physically and mentally.’ ”
Josh Vernier, @JoshVernier, Twitter

 

“Should we just quit playing Ned Yost cuts because they’re all crap and nobody believes what he’s saying?”
Soren Petro, after listening to a Ned Yost sound bite from last week’s training camp while Danny

Clinkscale was in Surprise, AZ covering the Royals’ spring training, 810 AM

 

“I heard last week that (Moustakas) had two sleeves of tattoos. No. Not even close. That seemed to be a big point last week the amount of ink he had. I’m not digging your police work there, Danny. At one point he said ‘shoulders to fingertips. No. Not even close.”
Soren Petro, disputing Clinkscale’s claim that Moustakas had gotten two sleeves of new tats on his arms, 810 AM

 

“Trust me, I didn’t get up here (to the big leagues) just hitting lefties in the minor leagues.”
Danny Valencia, 29-year-old third baseman who was acquired from Baltimore for David Lough in the off-season for what some believe to be a platoon player with Mike Moustakas, in an interview with Danny Clinkscale on 810 AM
GH: Valencia showed some edge in defending his batting stats from the left side of the plate. It will be interesting to see if he is anything more than Moose’s motivation this spring.

 

“There’s kind of a perception that the Royals’ players are coddled. They look out for some of their star players and even make excuses for (them). Moustakas is saying all the right things (about his poor year last season). It’s the Royals who are saying, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about. Everything (with Moustakas) is alright. Hey, look over there!’ ”
Soren Petro, 810 AM

 

“They talk a lot more about (Yordano) Ventura than they do (Danny) Duffy. They seem to be cooling on Danny Duffy already.”
Soren Petro, who is in Arizona this week covering the Royals spring training, on the Royals two young starters, 810 AM
GH: I sure hope Petro is wrong about Duffy. The Royals could use his arm to be a factor this season and the fans could use a guy with his quirky wit and every-man personality.

 

“This kid knows how to pitch. He has the chance to be something really special. We’re going to give him the ball and let him go and see where it takes him.”
Dave Eiland, Royals pitching coach, on Yordano Ventura, 810 AM
GH: Maybe the best Royals pitching talent since Greinke? Cannot wait to see if he gets the chance to prove it.

 

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 

 


Wonderlic scores and court storming

Written 2-21-14

“Disclosing this (Wonderlic Test scores) confidential information about draft-eligible players to the public can be extremely damaging to players, clubs, and the league. Bear in mind that the publicly-disclosed information is frequently inaccurate, incomplete or misleading, and often results from an effort of an individual to advance a self-interested goal. … You should be reminded that disclosure of inappropriate private or confidential information concerning draft-eligible players is conduct detrimental to the league and will be met with significant discipline when a violation can be established.”
NFL Private Memo to all 32 teams
GH: With the NFL Combine in action this weekend, expect to hear lots of numbers about the new kids on the draft block. One of the more intriguing is their leaked test scores from the Wonderlic Test. My favorite part of this story in USA Today is the following excerpt from the article…

“USA TODAY Sports' Jim Corbett obtained a copy of the memo, which reads, in part…”
Robert Klemko, writer, USAToday.com
GH: So Klemko “obtained” a copy of an NFL memo warning teams to not leak test score to the media. Something tells me I don’t think we will have any problem finding out the Wonderlic scores of our favorite and least favorite players.

“I just took (Wonderlic Test) sitting on the toilet and only made it 16 questions before time ran out. I'm embarrassed. I was 15 of 16 though. But damn.”
Jason Whitlock, @WhitlockJason, Twitter
GH: The average guy walking the street will score a 21 on the Wonderlic. We use it at my office to screen new employees and have found it to be very helpful as an additional evaluation tool. Whitlock’s 16 would be one of the lower scores I’ve ever seen from an American-born candidate. But I’m not sure he had all of his blood flowing in the proper direction during his sitting.

“I understand many people disagree with that, and think that position is ‘old white guy.’ So be it. CBB history matters to me.”
Andy Glockner, @AndyGlockner, one of the many who complained about the UNC students storming the Dean Dome floor after their win over Duke Thursday night, Twitter
GH: This debate was reenergized when a blueblood school like the Heels flooded the court. This just doesn’t happen at UNC, Duke, Kentucky and Kansas. But why not? Arrogance. Plain and simple. These schools perceive themselves as too good to lower themselves to the common rabble that are court stormers. This is the college basketball “history” of which Glockner thinks so highly. Well, it appears UNC’s student body showed us that history dates back only as far as your seniors sitting in the stands. When you stop winning all the time, the big wins become special again.

“Wish UNC hadn't stormd court. Iconic top program..shld EXPECT wins..but..it's Duke..we celebrate..& THIS looks fun.”
Stuart Scott, @StuartScott, Twitter

“Rushing court = outdated/bad tradition. Some1's gonna get hurt -plyr, student, coach. Or, plyr's gonna punch a student & then we'll ban it.”
Rex Chapman, @rexchapman, Twitter
GH: Someone’s going to get their eye poked out too with that dangerous t-shirt gun firing inside the arena. Nothing like a bunch of couch denters raining on one of college’s more fun and harmless traditions.

 

“I am hearing the Royals are considering hiring a new person to be their video person (to evaluate replays).”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: May I nominate @TheFakeNed for this position? I believe this is the eighth or ninth position I have nominated @TheFakeNed for but this one really sounds like it’s in his wheelhouse. The skill set must include watching every Royals game two feet from a television and then delivering a declarative opinion on all close plays. Throw in a case of Blvd. Wheat and he will also do the hot dog race.

“Mike Mayock rates (Mizzou’s) Kony Ealy as the draft's No. 2 defensive end heading into the combine nfl.com/combine/story/…
Dave Matter, writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
GH: Before Kony heads out to purchase a new Maybach on Mayock’s ranking, he might want to review the NFL guru’s 2011 list of QB draft prospects…

“Mike Mayock 'Top 5' QBs before **2011** draft:
1. Gabbert
2. Locker
3. Newton
4. Mallett
T-5. Dalton
T-5. Stanzi
T-5. Kaepernick
T-5. Devlin”
Jason McIntyre, @jasonrmcintyre, Twitter
GH: Mayock had Stanzi tied with Dalton and Kaepernick in 2011. Oh my.

“Of top QBs- Manziel's tape has highest peaks + lowest valleys. Eliminate some valleys and better protect body, he'll be special in NFL.”
Todd McShay, @McShay13
GH: I think Manziel is one of the most interesting and controversial quarterbacks to enter the draft since maybe Terry Bradshaw. The Steelers were crucified by some experts for taking this dumb blonde out of Louisiana Tech. Bradshaw proved to be very worthy – and not blonde for long.

“I just wish the off-season was a little longer so we could enjoy it more.”
Robb Heineman, 810 AM
GH: Didn’t Sporting just win the MLS Cup and this city with their penalty shootout win over Real Salt Lake? I watched the RSL’s Lovel Palmer doink one off the crossbar while attending an office holiday party on a frigid night in December.  And so they are already back at it for a March 15th season opener? Why does the MLS season start in March and end in December? May through October sounds a lot more sensible to me.

“We’re basically sold out for the season again which blows me away.”
Robb Heineman, 40-year-old CEO of Sporting Kansas City, in an interview with Kevin Kietzman Tuesday, 810 AM
GH: I attended the Wiz’s first home game at a cold, cavernous and sparsely populated Arrowhead in 1996. I didn’t think soccer had any more of a chance of catching on in Kansas City than the McRib. What has happened here with Sporting Kansas City is not a streaking Comets fad but the birth of a third professional sports franchise. I understand why Heineman is blown away. He should be. Incredible.

“Some super participants (in this year’s Hospital Hill Race) will take up the new challenge of participating in the UMKC School of Medicine 5K on Friday night and either the 10K or half marathon on Saturday morning. These people will affectionately be called the Hospital Hill Re-Runners!”

Beth@hospitalhillrun.com, Hospital Hill race coordinator
GH: Was Re-Runners the best Beth and her HH organization could come up with for a nickname for double-dip racers? Sounds like a recurring diarrhea problem or watching Seinfeld on a loop. How about Hospital Hill Hellion? Or Hospital Silly Hilly? “Are you gonna do the Silly Hilly this year at HH?” There has got to be something catchier than Re-Runner, Beth! This is Kansas City. We might not have a lot but what we lack we can usually make up for in creativity. Get silly, filly.

 

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Seth Davis gets some KU mojo on Twitter

Written 2-20-14

“Kansas escapes by 1 at Texas Tech. Jayhawks have lost their mojo. Tubby's gang very quietly playing some quality ball.”
Seth Davis, @SethDavisHoops, CBS college basketball analyst, after KU’s narrow win in Lubbock Tuesday night, Twitter
GH: This tweet from Seth Davis may live in infamy for the opinionated and sharpie-tongued college hoops guru. At least in the hearts and minds of Kansas fans – who very likely will never let him forget it. Read on. 

“The issue for these teams is not physical exhaustion. It's mental exhaustion. Wears on you taking everyone's best shot for three months.”
Seth Davis, @SethDavisHoops, after Syracuse’s undefeated season came crashing to an embarrassing halt with a 62-59 OT loss at home to 7-19 Boston College Twitter
GH: This tweet ignited the Kansas fans who were not all that happy with Seth and his “lost their mojo” tweet from the night before when Kansas won a squeaker at TT. They perceived the Duke grad’s handling of Syracuse’s loss as maybe a bit of East Coast Biased? Whatever the case, it got Davis’ attention and he used his Twitter account to attack back. Read on.

“whine and cheese crowd RT @Z71JAYHAWKS: but it's called losing your mojo if you do it on the road against a up and coming TT team...”
Seth Davis, @SethDavisHoops, Twitter

“Hash tag for whiners @nicholasrblack: Poor @SethDavisHoops. He's gonna see that #NoMojo hashtag every time he sharpies another #kubball
Seth Davis, @SethDavisHoops, Twitter

 

 

“I never knew KU fans could be so whiny RT @dtet<https://twitter.com/dtet>: Didn’t win convincingly on the road.#NoMojo<https://twitter.com/search?q=%23NoMojo&src=hash>”

Seth Davis, @SethDavisHoops, Twitter

GH: Instead of having fun with the KU fans, Davis resorted to name calling. Not a real great look for a guy who should expect to ruffle a Jayhawk feather or two in his line of work. I didn’t read all of the tweets from KU fans directed at Davis but what I did see really weren’t anything all that mean spirited.

 

 “Mojo > Efficiency”
Seth Davis, @SethDavisHoops, Twitter
GH: Mojo = never having the guts to say you’re wrong.

“I'd caution fans & ‘experts’ from overanalyzing February upsets. These r college kids, not robots. They play badly, they lose, they move on.”
Seth Davis, @SetDavisHoops, CBS college basketball reporter/analyst, Twitter
GH: I might prefer robots as CBB analysts to what we are getting from this grown-up Eddie Munster.

“Also need to factor in these kids started practicing 3 weeks earlier than in the past. Mentally fatigued this time of year.”
Jeff Goodman, @GoodmanESPN, ESPN college basketball writer, agreeing with Seth Davis that mental exhaustion is the reason Syracuse was upset and other highly-ranked college teams are struggling at times in February, Twitter
GH: What a complete crock of suit-wearing over-analysis. If ANY team should be mentally fatigued after playing the “demanding” sport of basketball it is a downtrodden going-nowhere squad like Boston College. These guys had not won a game in three weeks and were facing certain death inside the intimidating Carrier Dome. But Davis and Goodman want us to believe the “mental fatigue” weighing on the Orange was just too much to bear to beat BC? Playing basketball and winning all or most of your games is one HELLUVA lot easier a cross to bear than being BC or TCU.

“Jonathan Williams needs to start playing like a man and quit falling down.”
Gary Link, MU’s radio analyst, after the MU freshman forward flopped in an attempt to draw a charge early in the Vanderbilt game, Tiger Radio Network
GH: I just about missed my turn as I was driving and listening to Mike Kelly and Link call of the Vandy at Mizzou game Wednesday night. We just do not get enough of this kind of honest play-by-play and/or color work from our local college broadcasts teams. Link and Kelly are HUGE Mizzou fans but they are more critical than both the KU and KSU radio broadcasts teams combined. KU’s Bob Davis might be the biggest homer this side of Bart Simpson. Stan Weber performs Olympic-quality feats of contortion to avoid making negative comments about K-State’s athletes and coaches. I find Greg Gurley’s work as KU’s analyst not very polished but he does understand that KU is fallible. Wyatt Thompson is okay as the KSU play-by-play guy but the Cats could replace him tomorrow and I wouldn’t miss him. Maybe having all the games televised has lessened the importance of play-by-play on the radio to the point that quality broadcasts no longer matter. If so, I find that sad.

“Just to be clear, #KState is third in #Big12 home basketball attendance, or first among schools that also field competitive football teams.”
Tim Fitzgerald, @LifeofFitz, of PowerCat.com, Twitter
GH: Zing!

“Tony Gonzalez will be a good addition to the NFL Today. He was always candid. Hope he still is.”
Pete Prisco, @PriscoCBS, on CBS announcing that they have added the former Chief to their Sunday pregame show, Twitter
GH: Do we remember Tony as candid? I mean about anything besides his desire to have the football thrown his way more often?

“Women love Tony Gonzalez. So maybe they are trying to tap into the fact women will watch. If women watch CBS it will help their numbers. Tony G is going to be average in my opinion.”
Carrington Harrison, 610 AM
GH: I think Harrison hit it squarely on Tony G’s meticulously quaffed head – Gonzo is going to be on the set as eye candy more than adding any meaty commentary.

“Tony Gonzales seems like such a nice guy. I just wonder just how much he is going to be willing to give off the public persona of being critical of people and have a really big opinion.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: Gonzales isn’t going to be the first great-looking human to be placed in front of a camera and told to smile. But you would hope TG desires to be more than the next Jillian Barberie.

“Anyone going to miss Shannon Sharpe? He was not good.”
Danny Parkins, on Sharpe and Dan Marino being removed from CBS’ NFL pregame show, 610 AM
GH: I always got the impression Sharpe was trying his ass off on the set but he just couldn’t make much progress with the English language.

“If you missed, or would like to hear again, our yoga pants talk you can check the 17 min mark of the podcast. media.610sports.com/a/87653941/2-1…
Danny Parkins, @DannyParkins, Twitter
GH: And people wonder why Kevin Kietzman has more consecutive conference championships than Bill Self?

“I think if the Cerner guys got ahold of this (Royals) team they would build a brand new stadium downtown and we would move into a whole new Renaissance for Royals baseball!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: KK has a handful of topics that he feels his audience needs to be bludgeoned about the ears with on a regular basis. The Chiefs drafting a quarterback in every round is one. His latest and next round of golf with Jack Harry is another. But maybe his favorite sledgehammer to wield on his Between the Lines show is the sale of the Royals to the Cerner ownership group and his undying desire for them to build a downtown baseball stadium in KC. Read on.

“When and if there is ever an opportunity (to purchase the Royals from the Glass family), we would be happy to sit down and talk about it.”
Robb Heineman, Sporting KC’s CEO, after being peppered with questions from Kevin Kietzman about the Cerner group’s interest in buying the Royals, 810 AM
GH: KK seized, smothered strangled a recent comment made by Davis Glass where he said if they identified a better ownership group than themselves they would consider selling the Royals. Kietzman took this to mean he needed to dedicate much of his Tuesday show to how this could be accomplished. He cornered Heineman with this topic and raised little more than chuckles from Sporting’s head guy.

“If Mr. K were alive today he would look all four of them in the eye and say, ‘Get the deal done! This is what I want!’”
Kevin Kietzman, suggesting the late former owner of the Royals would urge David and Dan Glass to sell the Royals to Cliff Illig and Neal Patterson, 810 AM
GH: This make-believe conversation trumped even KK’s earlier statement for ridiculousness when he stated he is not the guy to bring this foursome together for a business meeting. Like anybody thought he was??? The arrogance that is KK simply knows no out of bounds.

“Every time there’s an ounce of expectations on this (Royals) team they bonk.”
Sam Mellinger, on his hesitancy to be overly optimistic about the Royals season, 610 AM
GH: I am starting to cautiously believe again. Call it my February/March blue flu. I know I am not the only Royals fan who is annually afflicted with this maddening malady.

“I’ve been throwing and getting my arm ready since before Christmas.”
Aaron Crow, Royals pitcher, on his preparation for the 2014 season, in an interview with Josh Vernier, 610 AM
GH: I did not play old-man softball last season because my arm was just about worthless after two or three weeks. Unlike most of the over 50 guys in the league my legs are still decent but my arm and shoulder are mere ornaments at this age. I think yet another sport from my youth needs to be buried in a box in the basement. 

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24


KU wins tight one at Texas Tech

Written 2-19-14

“Worked out in the end, but KU still having a lot of struggles when the score is tight in the second half.”
Sam Mellinger, @mellinger, after KU’s 64-63 win at Texas Tech, Twitter
GH: When Kansas plays basketball the fans from not only KU take notice but K-State and Missouri as well. When KU wins a nail-biter like their game in Lubbock, it sends the Jayhawk fans into delirium and the KSU and MU fans into an even more delirious state of anger. Not all Wildcat and Tiger fans care what happens to Kansas basketball but those who don’t are likely dead. Read on.

“To recap. Air ball 3, whiffed dunk and a lost ball lead to six points in KU's last three possessions. Stole one tonight.”
Kevin Kietzman, @kkwhb, recounting KU’s final possessions in their 64-63 win at Texas Tech, Twitter
GH: Kietzman’s recount of KU’s final offensive sets was fairly accurate but it did not sit well with a number of Jayhawk fans on Twitter. Kietzman is a K-State alum and a Kansas loss to TT would have greatly enhanced his Cats’ chance at again possibly sharing the Big 12 title. It makes sense that he gets sideways when KU wins – despite his ridiculous claims of neutrality.

“Come on now, there was some luck but they got buckets down the stretch. Wiggins was great. … I love how as soon as #kubball gets a close win some MU & Kstate fans automatically go to blaming the referees. Cracks my sh*t up. #Haters
Jake Gutierrez, @JakeGuti, Twitter
GH: While KSU fans have something to gain as far as the Big 12 when KU loses, Mizzou fans gain nothing but the sweet sorrow of their former rival. But they too went crackers on Twitter when Kansas was able to “steal” a win in Lubbock. It makes living in Kansas City all the more entertaining and unique. Wins and losses for all three schools leaves somebody sad and happy every time.

“Agree with that assessment but tradition rich programs like KU, UK, Duke and Louisville steal 3 or 4 W's every year.”
Tom Penders, @TomPenders, responding to KK’s above tweet, Twitter
GH: I read a number of anti-KU fans on Twitter who were furious about the favorable calls KU received on the road at Texas Tech. Really? Don’t you think you sound a lot foolish when you claim that everybody in the Big 12, NCAA and the Kremlin are scheming to get Kansas another win? Jeff Orr isn’t the only nut following college hoops. Check your neighbor.

“Ok hold on a second... The KU fans in my mentions giving Self CREDIT for the last shot are joking, right? Please tell me they're joking.”
Danny Parkins, @DannyParkins, Twitter
GH: Many of the nuts following Kansas are just as goofy as the pistachios rooting on K-State and Mizzou.

“I would not want to be a dog in Sochi or Jeff Orr's house right now.”
Jason Anderson, @J680Anderson, following TT’s one-point loss to KU, Twitter

“Kansas escapes by 1 at Texas Tech. Jayhawks have lost their mojo. Tubby's gang very quietly playing some quality ball.”
Seth Davis, @SethDavisHoops, ESPN’s college basketball analyst, Twitter
GH: This tweet from ESPN’s college hoop god sent some KU fans over the edge. HOW DARE HE SAY THAT??? Lost mojo? Why you Mofo!!! I’m not sure Kansas has had much mojo to lose. They are going to win the Big 12 for the tenth consecutive year but they do not look like a team preparing to roll through March – let alone April.

“I'm back y'all and great assist to Wiggs for the game winner haha  #kubball #WeAllFromAfrica
Joel-Hans Embiid, @jojo_embiid, Twitter
GH: Embiid seems like a great kid who is enjoying the hell out of playing college basketball. More college fans should try and enjoy their seat for the games with a bit more whimsy and less wallop.

“People will not abandon their positions no matter what. Andrew Wiggins could have come out and been Kevin Durant and people would have still said, ‘Well, he’s not as good as his hype.’ Frankly, the hype stuff is silly. You can find somebody who will say something ridiculous about any player who ever played the game.”
Mike DeCourcy, CBSSports.com college basketball writer, in an interview with The Border Patrol Wednesday morning, 810 AM
GH: DeCourcy was on Twitter Tuesday night asking where all the Wiggins detractors had gone. Of course Mike was taking advantage of the fact that Wiggins had just hit the game winner at Texas Tech off a lucky bounce of the ball. What I enjoyed Wednesday morning was how DeCourcy was using the exact same argument I would use against him when it comes to Wiggins’ play this season. Read on for some comments DeCourcy made about Wiggins last October before the freshman played his first college game…

“Andrew (Wiggins)…I think he can be (pause), he’s going to shut up all the people.”
Mike DeCourcy, on the hype and criticism surrounding KU’s sensational freshman forward as he spoke with Nate Bukaty and Steven St. John back in October, 810 AM
GH: DeCourcy was just getting started on his superlatives for Wiggins…

“If the rules are enforced like they are supposed to be enforced (in college basketball), it’s just going to be hard to guard (Wiggins).”
Mike DeCourcy, 810 AM October 2013
GH: We can all agree that the new rules have been enforced even more than most of us thought possible, correct? While Wiggins is a great freshman player he is not this unstoppable force on the wing who can score whenever KU needs him too. More from last October…

“There were about six or seven times during that practice on Monday where he did things that maybe only three, four or five people on the planet can do. I am being literal here. As quickly and casually and confident as he did.”
Mike DeCourcy, who attended a KU practice on Monday, 810 AM October 2013
GH: I would like to remind you of a quote from DeCourcy here  – “You can find somebody who will say something ridiculous about any player who ever played the game.” You can’t get anymore ridiculous than DeCourcy was last October talking about Wiggins. Great player? Yes. All-American? Probably not. One of the few special talents on the planet? Maybe if the planet is Jupiter.

“Wiggins is one of the best athletes to ever play the game of basketball.”
Mike DeCourcy, 810 AM October 2013
GH: Boom. Looks like Mike is the one who refuses to; “abandon their positions no matter what.” Wiggins has been a lot of fun to watch this season but he is so far from what DeCourcy and many others claimed he would be. Just another reason to question the experts – on just about everything.

“Andrew Wiggins is averaging almost 17 points per game, leading Kansas in scoring, coming up with big moments like he did in the K-State game and last night to win (at Texas Tech) and yet he’s not living up to the hype. You know what it is? People just want to grab onto a position and they want to stick to that no matter what they see. They decided they didn’t want Andrew Wiggins to be successful from the beginning of the year and it doesn’t matter what he does on the floor short of leading Kansas to a national championship, they’re going to stick to that.”
Mike DeCourcy, in his Wednesday morning conversation with The Border Patrol, 810 AM
GH: Careful, Mike. You’re starting to sound a lot like that guy.

“Nine of the 10 teams in the Big 12 have a legitimate chance to get to the conference tournament title game. Incredibly deep league.”
Jon Rothstein, @JonRothstein, Twitter
GH: Sprint Center is going to be jumpin’ to be jumpin’ March 12th-15th.

“Schedule for Russian fans post loss to Finland. Wednesday night: Hammered. Thursday morning: Sickle.”
Bryan Fischer, @BryanDFischer, following Russia’s 3-1 loss to Finland and their elimination from the medal round in Sochi, Twitter

“Say good bye to your 300 sq ft. luxury apartments, Russian hockey team members, it's back to the 120 square footers.”
Brad Dickson, @brad_dickson, Twitter

“What future, if any, do you see for your own work and for your coaching staff? Because, you know, your predecessor was eaten alive after the Olympics—“
Question to Russia’s hockey coach, Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, in the postgame press conference

“Well then, eat me alive right now— Eat me, and I won't be here anymore.”
Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, in his response, the Q&A continued below…

Q: But we have the world championship coming up!
A: Well then, there will be a different coach because I won't exist anymore, since you will have eaten me.

Q: But you're staying, aren't you?
A: Yes, I will remain living.
GH: I wonder if Bilyaletdinov would like to coach the Jets.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 

 


Billy Butler looks good

Written 2-18-14

“Billy Butler looks good.”
Josh Vernier, when asked by Bob Fescoe which Royals player looks good early in camp, 610 AM
GH: Butler was the target of much Twitter angst last season as his offensive numbers fell and his double-play ground outs grew. He was the focus of numerous trade rumors during the off-season – none of which proved to have legs…much like Billy himself. 2014 is a very, very important year for Butler and the Royals. They need each other to do well.

“Everybody has a year here and there in their career where it doesn’t quite stack up to what they’ve done the rest of the time.”
Billy Butler, when asked by Clinkscale about his down season last year, 810 AM

“I think Billy Butler will have a better year. There are a lot of skeptics who say that he won’t.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Listen to Kietzman this season when he discusses Butler and the next time he has a disparaging word to say about the Royals DH will be his first time in a long time that he was publicly critical of Butler. KK used to ride Butler pretty hard in his early years with the club. But now that the two are as Kietzman refers to them as, “friends,” KK uncharacteristically goes out of his way to prop up Butler and say sweet things about BBQ Billy. 

“When I went down to (the Royals) spring training last year they told us, ‘We only have one rule. There is only one rule – don’t talk to Bubba Starling. He’s off limits.’ Is that still the case?”
Kevin Kietzman, in a conversation with Clinkscale who is covering the Royals in Surprise, AZ this week, 810 AM
GH: As soft as Kietzman is on the veteran Billy Butler, he is equally as harsh and critical of the Royals one-time first-round draft pick out of Gardner-Edgerton High. KK spent 15 minutes ripping Bubba on Monday afternoon and expecting him to “keep all of his money and head to Nebraska to play football,” after yet another disappointing season in A-ball. I would like to know what the origin of KK’s ire is for this hometown kid. We all know Kietz is no fan of the Huskers but it can’t be just that, can it? Kietz seems to be obsessed with Starling failing.

“Manager Ned Yost described (Mike) Sweeney as a positive influence, and valuable to ‘pitch in where he needs to pitch in.’ For 20 minutes on Monday, Sweeney huddled with Billy Butler. Sweeney sees Alex Gordon and James Shields as this team’s leaders. He believes Butler can join their number. As they sat on chairs by Butler’s locker, Sweeney explained how baseball players fit into two categories. ‘They’re either a fountain or a drain,’ Sweeney said. ‘They’re either sucking the life out or pouring life in. I was just challenging Billy: ‘You’re one of the best hitters on the planet. Be a fountain.’”
Andy McCullough, writer, Kansas City Star
GH: Sweeney is one of the nicest professional athletes which I have ever come in contact. Just an exceptionally upbeat guy. But is he the guy to get the most out of this Royals bunch? Tony Muser was not a fan of Sweeney and his, “Chewing cookies, drinking milk, and praying isn't going to get it done,” comment during Sweeney’s time with the Royals underlined what he thought of Mike’s leadership. It will be interesting to see how this experiment plays out this season.

“I don’t think the Royals can afford a 77-loss slippage this season (and retain their fans’ enthusiasm for the future).”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: You would think not but Royals fans are resilient as the fastball.

“We’ve got a very formidable lineup, one through nine. It should to be fun. The whole team’s better.”
Billy Butler, 810 AM

“(Mike Moustakas) has full sleeves (of tattoos) on both arms. From his shoulder to his finger.”
Danny Clinkscale, on the ink Moose added to his look for the 2014 season, 810 AM
GH: If Moose knocks in 100 runs and can hit over .280 he can tattoo “Milk & Cookies” on his ass and Royals fans will moo for him.

“I think the guy should make more money than the guy he’s suspending. He really should make more than the guys he’s in charge of.”
Soren Petro, on the NFL pay structure that has the commissioner and even some coaches making less than the players, 810 AM
GH: Is it all that unusual in the business world to have a supervisor or manager who makes less than the employees he/she is assigned to manage? I understand that professional sports is not the real world but I have managed personnel who make more money than I without any problems – at least on my end.

“My problem with all the money in the NFL is that it has priced the average fan out of the game.”
Adam Teicher, Chiefs beat writer for ESPN.com, 810 AM
GH: When Len Dawson was telling Soren Petro tales of how he and his Chiefs teammates all worked a second job even during the season back in the 1960s it was fascinating radio. What has happened to the NFL since then is wonderful and sad all at the same time. It is not just the NFL that is pricing itself out of the reach of the common family but MLB, NBA, NHL and many big-time college sports have also become too pricey for many. Many of us now rarely go to a game unless we are given complimentary tickets from work, a vendor or maybe a friend. At least that’s pretty much how I roll.

“I don't twitter. Two Creighton tickets waiting for you Sunday at 4 pm vs. Seton Hall or Sat. March 8 vs Providence 8 pm. Last two home games.”
Jim, responding to my plea in Monday’s OTC column for Creighton tix to watch Doug McDermott live before he’s gone, Reader Email
GH: So I am going up to Omaha for Doug McDermott’s final home game at Creighton. God bless you, Internet!

“This is the kind of (Kansas) team that I think would like to outscore you. I don’t think they’re all that interested in defending you.”
Chris Piper, Rock Chalk Talk on 610 AM

“That’s not Bill Self basketball. That’s something that you’ve got to keep pressing and pressing on this team – that you can’t always win games at the offensive end. Last year’s team knew that to win they had to stop somebody. I don’t think this team has figured that out yet.”
Chris Piper, Rock Chalk Talk on 610 AM
GH: Piper went on to say that he believes this KU team is one of Self’s most athletic and capable of playing great defense when and if they make that decision to exert themselves on the defensive end of the court.

“I’m a junior (at O’Hara High School). 11th grade. In other parts of the world there are other 16-year-olds doing this so I’m not the only one.”
Erik Palmer-Brown, who was signed by Sporting Kansas City in August at the age of 16, 810 AM
GH: Nate Bukaty interviewed Palmer-Brown Tuesday morning and mentioned that Sporting has already turned down an offer of $1 million from Juventus, an Italian soccer club. Erik is currently in Orlando at Sportings’ spring training but continuing his high school classes through O’Hara online. I don’t know about you but as the father of a 16-year-old myself, I am pretty damn impressed with Erik.

“Most people in soccer believe this kid is destined to do great things for Sporting Kansas City or somewhere in the soccer world.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Erik has a new fan in me and I’ll bet just about anyone else who heard his interview Tuesday morning with Nate.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 

 


Perry Ellis is underrated

Written 2-17-14

“If there’s an MVP in this league, it’s Perry Ellis. You can talk about (Andrew) Wiggins, you can talk about (Joel) Embiid and all the guys around ... that dude is a winner, and he’s tough to stop. He does all the little things. He is so good. Our staff can’t respect him more for what he does. He is a winner for them and really helps them.”
Bruce Weber, after KSU defeated KU in Manhattan last week, CJonline.com
GH: Perry Ellis is one of the reasons I love to follow sports. He was a well-known high school player in Wichita who we started to hear about when Kansas and the nation’s best programs started courting him. His freshman year was a disappointment in that he wasn’t the dynamic offensive force many hoped he would be. We kind of forgot about him with the arrivals of Wiggins, Embiid, Selden and even his high school rival, Connor Frankamp. Now just a season later he is quietly – almost silently – asserting himself as one of the game’s best college players. I like his Barry Sanders approach to success. Ellis always looks like he’s been there and done that – no matter his greatness.

“He means everything to Kansas. I mean everything. Perry Ellis has to be on the first-team All-Big 12 team. He HAS to be!”
Aaron Swarts, on Ellis’ play this season, 810 AM
GH: Swarts said he would prefer to play without Wiggins than Ellis. I am sure most KU fans don’t want to see either sitting on the bench but the depth of riches that Bill Self has on his team this season is almost ridiculous. At different times this season you could name Tharpe, Wiggins, Embiid, Ellis and even Selden as the team’s best player.

“Maybe the number-one draft pick (in the NBA draft) might not even make All-Big 12.”
Aaron Swarts, on the on-again off-again play of KU’s fabulously talented Joel Embiid, 810 AM
GH: The All-Big 12 team has more questions than answers. Here is my best guess with two weeks to go in league play – in the order they deserve; 1) Juwan Staten, WVU 2) Melvin Ejim, ISU 3) DeAndre Kane, ISU 4) Perry Ellis, KU 5) Marcus Foster, KSU. That said, I would be pretty comfortable naming five different players and making a case for all five. Who you got?

“I think Wiggins has been underrated this year because we spend so much time poking holes into what he doesn’t do as opposed to what he does do. I think he’s underrated defensively.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: I think Wiggins and Embiid will probably make most of the All-Big 12 teams instead of Ellis. Many times these are popularity contests rather than actual rewards for the work completed.

“I have never been more proud of Mizzou than reading about how MU students and townsfolk faced down anti-gay protest.”
Dr. Everett Koehn, MU class of 1975, in an email I received over the weekend
GH: Mizzou has stubbed it's PR and moral toes a number of times over the past few years but this stand against hatred and prejudice is the kind of stuff history remembers as ground breaking. Can you imagine our college's reactions in the '70s to the news a football player declared himself gay? The majority of students would be lining up across the street with Fred Phelps. Tom Brokaw calls our parent's time, "The Greatest Generation." I strongly disagree.  The greatest generation is and always has been the next generation. Each generation learns from the mistakes of their mentors and strives to improve, be smarter and live with more tolerance. I hope Brokaw got a glimpse of that wall of students at Mizzou yesterday. They didn't slay any Nazis but the foe they are fighting is just as evil.

“I'm watching ice dancing. Pretty sure anyone in KS can now legally refuse me service.”
Lazlo, @lazlothebuzz, Twitter

“11 years announcing NU hoops. Biggest win I can remember. Our players and fans deserve this one. See you Thursday night!”
Matt Davison, @Matt_Davison, after Nebraska won at Michigan State 60-51 Sunday afternoon, Twitter
GH: I have followed Nebraska basketball since I could reach the radio dial in my mom’s kitchen and I can’t think of a bigger upset win for Nebrasketball. Tim Miles now has Husker fans thinking about making the NCAA tourney. Does this mean the B1G is deeper than even advertised or not so good? I think not so good.

“Doug McDermott is a flamethrower on fire.”
Wally Szczerbiak, @wallyball, while the Creighton senior was lighting up Villanova for 39 in Omaha, Twitter

“I've watched a lot film on him but if he had a 3-point line and stayed more than 3 years, he would have a lot more.”
Doug McDermott, on passing Larry Bird’s career point total, @TheBluejayCafe
GH: My roommate and I were Creighton season ticket holders for Larry Bird’s junior and senior year at Indiana State. We thought we discovered him because his game was so beautiful to watch yet he was so white few knew early on of his talents. Bird is one of the greatest players to ever step on a court. I love McDermott’s game but this comparison is nonsense. Let’s enjoy McBuckets for what he is and see how his career pans out in the NCAA tourney and eventually the NBA.

“I hope it translates well enough to get me a corner room in an old folks home.”
Greg McDermott, Creighton’s head coach, when asked how he thinks his son’s game will translate to the NBA, @mitchsherman

“He's as complete a player with size as I've ever seen. Best post player Nova has faced AND best perimeter player.”
Jay Wright, head coach of Villanova, after McDermott and Creighton blew out sixth-ranked Nova for the second time this season, @dirkchatelain

“Someday, when this gig is over in about 15 years, I will truly realize how blessed I was to have seen every game that Doug McDermott played. Great player but the phrase ‘even greater person’ might have been invented with him in mind. A true pleasure to have witnessed this.”
Steve Pivovar, @PivOWH, sports writer for Omaha World Herald, Twitter
GH: I am embarrassed to say I have never seen McDermott play live. I am hoping some of my Omaha buddies read this and take pity.

“In a game we are denied, Wichita State would beat Creighton by 5 on a neutral floor.”
Lyndal Scranton, reporter for the Springfield News-Leader, Twitter
GH: These two old Missouri Valley rivals can only look at each other over new conference lines and wistfully wonder how great a home and away series of these two would match up in each school’s best season in their histories. Maybe we see them together in the Final Four?

“I love how Shocker basketball fans seem to care what @GoodmanESPN thinks. Or any other national guy. Who cares? Why care?”
Bob Lutz, @boblutz, columnist for The Wichita Eagle, Twitter
GH: Lutz’s tweet garnered a fun response from ESPN’s Jeff Goodman…

“Thanks, Bob. I appreciate the kind words.”
Jeff Goodman, @GoodmanESPN, Twitter

“Combine week. Looking forward to it.”
Pete Prisco, @PriscoCBS, Twitter
GH: Get ready for a lot of photos of guys in their underwear making old farts excited. Hey, maybe Michael Sam won’t make all that much commotion in the NFL as we thought.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


 

Why not a book about the MU athletic department over the past 15 years?

Written 2-12-14

“Some dudes ain’t come to play. We told them before the game it was going to be a tough game and it was going to be physical. Some dudes, I guess they didn’t believe us and didn’t play to what we thought they were going to play. We are fighting for our tournament lives. We’ve got to come out here and change the attitude of some of our guys out here.”
Jordan Clarkson, Mizzou junior guard, after MU’s 91-88 loss at Ole Miss, via
@Steve_Walentik, Twitter
GH: These postgame comments from one of Mizzou’s best players cannot sit well with MU fans or the folks who sign Frank Haith’s paycheck. Haith is paid millions to make sure his athletes are ready to play and play with effort. Even an uneducated observer of the game could tell there was a marked difference in Mizzou’s desire the second half against the Rebs than the lethargic first half.

“A big roar just went up from the crowd here when they announced that Ole Miss leads Missouri 42-27 in the first half. They still remember Missouri here, don’t they?”
Bob Davis, while calling the play-by-play of the West Virginia at Kansas game Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse, Jayhawk Radio Network
GH: The fan base inside Allen Fieldhouse is one of the more adroit in the college game. They know their basketball and there remains a mutual dislike between these two fan bases that unfortunately now is limited to rooting for each other’s opponent.

“He can be a goofball but I watched Marshall Henderson take pics, tell stories with two young families waiting for him outside arena. Kids were thrilled to meet Henderson. He stuck around 15 min, visited with one in wheelchair. No PR people within sight.”
Dave Matter,
@Dave_Matter, after Marshall lit up Missouri for 29 points, Twitter
GH: Henderson is not my choice to marry your daughter but man do I enjoy watching him play basketball. He let fly a couple of catch-and-shoot tosses on Saturday that defy logic, physics and every bit common sense associated with the game. And still they hit nothing but twine. I hope Ole Miss makes the NCAA tourney just so we get to watch him on a big stage once again.

“I’ve heard those criticisms of Ryan Rosburg. I love him. I love the way he competes. He does everything we ask him to do. He put his hardhat on there (at Ole Miss) the other night.”
Frank Haith, on Missouri’s sophomore big man out of Marquette High School in Chesterfield, MO, 810 AM
GH: Rosburg is slowly evolving from the team joke into the team folk hero. He is very easy to root for when you watch how hard he plays.

“I’m still surprised by Missouri. When I saw them last December I thought this is a team that is just going to get better. There was something there. I’m just a little bit surprised that they haven’t taken off like I thought they might take off.”
Kevin Harlan, 810 AM

“Missouri missing out on KU/KState - 100 year rivalries for soulless SEC hoops, enjoy ...”
Doug Gottlieb, @GottliebShow,  during the Monday night game in Manhattan, Twitter
GH: Gottlieb continues to be obsessed with Missouri’s decision to leave the Big 12. I don’t remember this same tweet during the KU/K-State football game…

“Updated bubble (w/Monday results). LAST IN: BYU, Georgetown, Providence, Florida State. FIRST OUT: WVU, Missouri, Saint Joseph's, Clemson.”
Joe Lunardi, @ESPNLunardi, Twitter

“If you told me that Oklahoma State would not be in the NCAA Tournament month ago, I would have laughed…”
Fran Fraschilla,
@franfraschilla, Twitter
GH: Travis Ford’s talented team is 4-7 in the Big 12 and circling the NCAA drain like they were Hofstra. What in the heck is going on in Stillwater? Read on.

“Good lord Marcus Smart just lost his mind. Shoved a fan at Texas tech. Marcus Smart is ruining his reputation this season. This is just unfortunate and ugly.”
Pat Forde,
@YahooForde, Twitter
GH: We have all seen the Jeff Orr / Marcus Smart video by now and heard all the accusations, apologies and penalties. Who is at fault? Just about everybody involved including the importance so many of us place on college athletics – including the colleges themselves.

“Eddie Sutton wouldn't bring his family to Lubbock, worst things said I have ever heard... Still have to walk away.”
Doug Gottlieb, former OSU player for Sutton,
@GottliebShow, Twitter

“Some things are hard to ignore, BUT no excuses! Deal with your consequences. I was called the N word EVERY game I played in Lubbock!”
Derrick Mason,
@dmasonart, former OSU Cowboy, Twitter
GH: What is the deal with Lubbock, Texas and Texas Tech? I have never made the trip to west Texas but it sounds like a community in need of a few more humans.

“No Marcus Smart. Come on young fella. Gotta be smarter than that.. Man.. He's gonna feel awful when he watches that. Nothing (Orr) could've said short of putting his hands on him warrants that. I really like him, but you can't push a fan.”
Kim English,
@Englishscope24, former Mizzou player, Twitter
GH: Orr should be so ashamed of his actions that he removes himself from Texas Tech and never steps foot on campus again. 50-year-old men screaming insults at a college athlete? In what world does that make sense? Oh, the make-believe world of sports. This is the awful side of people like us who care too much of these almost meaningless games.

“It’s not unthinkable that the phone’s going to start ringing for Bruce Weber.”
Kevin Kietzman, on the success the second-year basketball coach has experienced at K-State, 810 AM
GH: Could the 57-year-old Weber become a hot name for college openings this spring? A run to the Sweet 16 will definitely place Weber on some school’s short list. Would he leave Manhattan?

“For as much as Frank Martin didn’t like (KSU AD) John Currie, Bruce Weber really likes John Curry.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I think any coach who resides in the same state where Bill Self works has to think about leaving. It’s not all that different from a successful Kansas football coach (if there was such a creature) leaving KU to avoid the shadow Bill Snyder casts on the state. I wonder if Mizzou would court Weber if they decide to make a change with Haith.

“I know I make a lot of K-State people mad but I’m not changing. I’m going to do this thing fair and we’re going to have people on this show that are fair.”
Kevin Kietzman, who adamantly professed to continue to be unbiased about how he discusses Kansas State, despite being a KSU alum and fan, 810 AM
GH: Fair? Here is the really odd thing about KK’s statement – I believe that he believes he is fair and unbiased in how he covers K-State, KU and MU. Now, that isn’t even remotely true but that is how broken I believe the synapses are inside KK’s noggin.

“If you turned on ESPN anytime (Tuesday) you’d think Andrew Wiggins was the star of the game!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Huh? ESPN showed one highlight from the game that focused on Wiggins – his second-jump put-back that had every CBB scribe on Twitter swooning. That is what ESPN does – shows highlights that people in NYC and Portland want to see. This is how KK exhibits his KSU taint; through his little-man view of how his school is portrayed by others. Did KK forget that ESPN also broadcast KSU win over KU the night before and spent three hours showing the nation what a great place Bramlage is for college hoops?

“What makes the Big 12 so interesting is that seven of these teams are on the highway to the NCAA Tournament. Seven of the ten. The feeling I get (from the media back east) is that the Big 12 has a very nice foothold on the landscape of college basketball.”
Kevin Harlan, 810 AM
GH: The Big 12 tournament here at Sprint Center should be one heckuva party next month.

“I couldn't eat no more, so I went to Applebee's to have drinks. I don't want my grandkids raised in that kind of environment. I’m old-school. I’m a man and a woman type of guy. … (HOF defensive end Deacon Jones) is turning over in his grave.”
Michael Sam Sr., on how he reacted to his son sending him a text telling him he was gay, New York Times
GH: I cannot imagine a father not loving and supporting his son because he is gay. I understand it happens but it just seems like such a ridiculous waste of energy.

“QB James Franklin on Michael Sam's announcement: ‘Hate the sin, not the sinner ... I love Michael and will always be there for him.’”
Missourian Sports,
@CoMoSports, Twitter

“(Michael Sam) grew up about 40 miles southeast of Houston near Galveston Bay in Texas, the seventh of eight children. Three of his siblings have died and two brothers are in prison. He lived briefly in the back seat of his mother’s car, and his relationship with his family remains complicated: When he visits home, he usually stays with friends. … Life had hardly been kind to him or his family. Michael Sr. and his mother, JoAnn Sam, were separated after having eight children. He went to North Texas to work as a trucker. She tried to keep what was left of her family together. A sister drowned when she was 2, before Michael was born, when another child accidentally knocked her off a fishing pier. Another brother, Russell, was 15 when he was shot and killed trying to break into a home, in what his father said was part of a gang initiation. Another brother, Julian, has not been heard from since he left for work one day in 1998; his family believes he is dead. Two others are in jail.”
Joe Drape, Steve Eder and Billy Witz, writers, New York Times

“Any (NFL) team that is out there looking at (Michael Sam) and saying they don’t want to deal with this, I’m not sure that’s a winning organization. I will say this about Michael Sam, he showed more class, more courage, more dignity in what he did than all these anonymous players and GMs who won’t put their names to anything.”
Frank Boal, 810 AM
GH: I don’t believe an NFL organization’s success can be measured in how they view gay football players. Successful businesses and character are not always related. But what Sam did in coming out will be remembered as an historic event. My hope is that he will be remembered just as much for how well he played the game.

“When you cover college sports for a living, you never expect to cover a story like this. What a momentous day in our country.”
Gabe DeArmond, @GabeDeArmond, of PowerMizzou.com, Twitter

“Pinkel was incredibly candid, eloquent today discussing Sam. My humble opinion, one of his finest (half) hours in 13-plus years at Mizzou.”
Dave Matter,
@Dave_Matter, MU beat writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, on Pinkel’s press conference Monday, Twitter
GH: Missouri’s athletic department over the past 15 years is a New York Times best seller waiting to be written. It would also make a fabulous mini-series in the hands of AMC. This story contains greed, sex, betrayal, jailhouse tapes, adultery, drugs, suicide, gay sex, billionaires and very few championships for all that trouble.  My pick to write this classic? Wright Thompson, Mizzou grad and current senior writer for ESPN.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


K-State pulls upset; The Border Patrol needs a K-State voice

Written 2-11-14

“Toughest win I've ever seen from a #KState basketball team. Overcoming their collapse at end of regulation...big time.”
BJ Kissel, @bkissel7, following K-State’s 85-82 overtime win over Kansas, Twitter

“We deserved to win today.”
Bruce Weber, 810 AM
GH: Bruce Weber has a history with Bill Self and it is not a successful one. It appeared to me that Weber wanted this one just as much as his K-State fan base. Read on.

“I don’t have to hear, ‘When you gonna beat ‘em?’ anymore! Now we’re back at the top of the league. We gotta stay there. … The number one question was, ‘When are you going to beat Kansas?’ Well, we did!”
Bruce Weber, on his first win at KSU over KU, 810 AM

“They’re not at the top of the league. KU still has a two-game lead on (K-State).”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: The Border Patrol spent a great deal of their Tuesday show discussing the KU/KSU game and how Weber and the fans from both schools reacted to the rare K-State win. I found it highly entertaining radio – but incredibly one-sided. Read on.

“A lot of other coaches, I don’t think they would have said that. If Bob Huggins beat Kansas I don’t think Bob Huggins goes, ‘Well, we finally beat Kansas! I don’t have to worry about that anymore!’”
Arron Swarts, expressing his displeasure with Weber saying he won’t have to hear about beating Kansas anymore, 810 AM
GH: The Border Patrol needs an enema – or at least a cleansing of all the one-sided Kansas Jayhawk BS that emanates from KU fans like Nate Bukaty, Aaron Swarts and Jake Gutierrez. Steven St. John and his Missouri ties have lost a lot of his value to the morning show when it comes to discussing KU and KSU as rivals. With three KU fans in the room and one Mizzou guy, Kansas State gets completely overlooked and often trashed without a proper counterpuncher. I would dump Swarts and bring in a K-State guy who thinks Lawrence and Columbia are remote Sochi toilets. 

“Kirk Schultz, the president of K-State, like to talk trash on Twitter and especially about KU. He likes to talk trash. One night he was sending out all kinds of sarcastic tweets about KU and KU fans and stuff like that. It didn’t make me mad. I think it’s cute that the president of a major university takes a picture of the scoreboard and says, ‘I’ve got my Christmas card.’ That’s the biggest moment of the year for him. I think it’s cute, it’s a nice little story there. I don’t have any problem with it. I feel kind of bad for him that for the next ten months nothing’s going to get any better for him. That’s a high-water mark for the whole year.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Bukaty came off as one of the whinier Jayhawks with a microphone I’ve heard since I last listened to Bob Davis.

“You get to do stuff like that when you win four games out of 52.”
Jake Gutierrez, 810 AM
GH: Bukaty mentioned that a number of the texts he was receiving from listeners included the message, “butt hurt KU fans.” It sure sounded to me like there was a lot of ass cramping going on inside TBP studio this morning.

“The coaching is actually closer in this game than the talent. Everywhere (Kansas State) lines up the guy guarding you is better than you.”
Kevin Kietzman, prior to the Kansas/K-State game Monday night, 810 AM
GH: Kansas fans have the perfect rival coach in Bruce Weber. He is highly unlikable to those not wearing purple in how he has never been a Bill Self fan and the bad feelings appear to be mutual. Read on.

“Somehow K-State people saw this as a slap in the face last night when I tweeted that the last time I saw K-State dancing on the table after beating Kansas, Kansas went on to win the national championship. I was just pointing out that it doesn’t have to ruin KU’s season.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: So Nate cannot understand why KSU fans would see that as a slap in the face but he is butt hurt over KSU’s president tweeting out pictures of his 2014 Christmas card? I can smell Nate’s burnt ass from here.

“Even in victory a lot of K-State fans can’t be happy.”
Arron Swarts, complaining about the listeners who were upset that the KU faction on The Border Patrol was not giving KSU enough credit for their win over KU, 810 AM

“Some people can’t be happy unless they’re mad. … How many times do we have to talk about how great K-State was last night?”
Nate Bukaty, responding to Swarts’ comment, 810 AM
GH: Is this show SCREAMING for a Kansas State voice or what?

“They have an airport in Manhattan now, too. … How is that a smart-ass comment? No matter what I say you’re going to act like it’s a smart-ass comment.”
Nate Bukaty, after SSJ mentioned that Bruce Weber was at the airport this morning at 5:30 AM to go recruit and then told Nate his “airport” comment sounded like he was being a smart-ass, 810 AM

“K-State shows video of K-State fans rushing the court after a win over Kansas in Bramlage.”
D. Scott Fritchen, @DScottFritchen, on the video playing during the KU/KSU game, Twitter
GH: Kansas State fans did storm the court at Bramlage after their OT win over KU and it set off a Twitter firestorm over how real fans know that court storming is for amateurs. And I would agree – but who is more of an amateur than kids in college looking for something fun to do in the middle of a Midwest winter? Storm on, I say!

“3-23 in your home gym vs 'rival' -- you can court storm.”
Josh Klingler, @joshklingler, Twitter

“For all the #ku fans carrying on about #kstate storming the court now...you beat #kstate in football...you storm the field. Period.”
DeAnn Smith, @DeAnnSmithkc, Twitter
GH: Would KU rush the field at Memorial Stadium after beating Bill Snyder? Like those zombies in a Brad Pitt movie.

“Still the best part about being a #kubball fan? I have no idea what it's like to rush the court.”
Gavin Fritton, @gavinesq, Twitter
GH: Kansas has made it almost impossible (or at least very difficult) for their students to storm the court. They have placed them in raised sections 10-feet off the ground and 30 feet or so behind the baskets. A student court stormer at Allen Fieldhouse would have to leap off the 10-foot drop and then have to carefully navigate between and past a phalanx of wheelchairs and press tables before making it to the court. KU fans might be too proper to foul their own nest with a court storming but they have also almost guaranteed it won’t happen with how they have trapped their student body.

“Bill Self looks prison-angry. Like someone stole his smokes while he was lifting in the yard.”
Jeff Rosen, @jeff_rosen88, KC Star sports editor, Twitter
GH: I just loved this mental image. Rosen should write more and edit less.

“Bold move from ESPN cameras lingering for almost 10 seconds on the K-State fan flashing double birds to Sandstorm.”
David Ubben, @davidubben, Twitter
GH: The crowd chanting, “Fuck KU!” could also be heard through my television speakers. And we are all surprised at the problems Marcus Smart had with Jeff Orr over the weekend at Texas Tech? College basketball invites this kind of behavior and deserves it when it blows up in their public relations office.

“Foster sprains ankle and fans boo refs for 89th time of the game...u lose the effectiveness of ‘booing’ when u do it when it's not justified.”
Chad Fleming, @cflem24, Twitter

“So I've got irrational KState AND KU fans mad at me after a basketball game. Every college fan base has thousands of Jeff Orr's.”
Danny Parkins, @DannyParkins, Twitter

“Wiggins floats through games too much. Needs to get some nasty to his approach.”
Ivan Carter, @IvanCarter9, Twitter
GH: Carter’s description of what bothers many of us who want more from Wiggins is perfect. He  appears to float when we would like to see him driving a speed boat out there.

“That second jump is something that Wiggins can do better than anyone maybe on planet Earth.”
CJ Moore, @CJMooreBR, as Wiggins put back his missed lay-up late in the game, Twitter

“Know how many college players could have done what Wiggins just did? One. The guy who did it. What we've been talking about all year.”
Michael DeCourcy, @tsnmike, Twitter
GH: Great, great play. I could not believe it was Wiggins who made the put-back shot until I saw the replay. But I expect more than one or two great plays from a one-and-done top-three draft pick.

“Been awhile since #kstate had flat faster guards than #kubball.”
Curtis Kitchen, @curtiskitchen, Twitter
GH: If Wiggins played with Foster’s motor – oh what a player we would see.

“Man, I have to really work overtime to talk myself into believing you can win a national title with Naadir Tharpe at PG. I'm trying, though.”
Michael DeCourcy, @tsnmike, Twitter
GH: Tharpe catches a lot of crap for his play but that kid once again kept Kansas within striking distance by hitting a number of big shots late. But he still does not look the part, does he?

“What worries you is could (Naadir Tharpe) execute a play and get us a shot when we absolutely need it. Can he not turn the ball over in a crucial moment. Really, that’s what it comes down to. It doesn’t come down to what did he do the first 30 minutes of the game, it’s what he does the last ten minutes and how he controls a really tight situation. What does Naadir do in the last waning moments to make sure that his team gets a shot that we all want?”
Ryan Robertson, former KU guard, on whether or not Tharpe can lead KU to postseason success, 810 AM

“I would still take Wiggins over Foster (on the All-Big 12 team). I think that Wiggins makes a bigger impact defensively.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: I would take Foster, but there is still a lot of basketball to be played.

“Holly Rowe, that's what I call hustle! She straight hopped up on the scorer's table.”
Rob Dauster, @RobDauster, as Rowe climbed up on the scorer’s table to interview Gipson during the K-State postgame celebration, Twitter
GH: If Rowe interviews Richard Sherman instead of Erin Andrews, that interview might still be going on. Rowe was armpit deep in K-State players and she never flinched. Great stuff from The Sports Siren.

“Huge thank you to the #KStateMBB folks on scorers table who helped pull me to safety and looked out for me. Kindness so appreciated!”
Holly Rowe, @sportsiren, Twitter

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Michael Sam says he is gay and the media reacts

Written 2-10-14

“I’m a football player. That’s all that matters.”
Michael Sam, former Mizzou defensive end and SEC defensive player of the year, after announcing to through ESPN and the New York Times that he is a gay man as he enters the NFL draft in April, ESPN
GH: Well, that sounds good but Michael Sam knows better. Why else did he engage a publicist, the New York Times and ESPN to tell his story? And what a story he has to tell. Read on.

“Leaving his first meeting with Sam at the University of Missouri in mid-December, (NFL agent Joe) Barkett whipped out his phone to call his partner (Cameron) Weiss with the big news. While Barkett never discussed sexual orientation with Sam at their first meeting, he thought he had figured it out: ‘There's no way this guy's gay.’”
Outsports.com
GH: Gay is rarely as evident as Eric Stonestreet’s character on Modern Family or the swishy Stefon on SNL. Gay lives in many of our offices, church pews and households, silently hiding under centuries of manmade guilt. Gay is supposed to look like Richard Simmons, not one of the SEC’s best black football players. Welp, Michael Sam just kicked that stereotype in the family jewels.

“Our coaches and players knew all along about this and no one said anything. Just show the amount of respect we have for our family.”

@Kentrell_Mizzou, Twitter
GH: I find it just incredible that Sam’s secret was known by so many and yet so few. HUGE props to his teammates and coaches in this time of Twitter and an instant news cycle.

“The decision of where to go and whom to include wasn't arrived at lightly. (Publicist Howard) Bragman knows well from experience that when you include certain media outlets, you simultaneously exclude others. ‘I know a lot of people will be pissed. There are a lot of friends in the media who won't be happy because they didn't get the story. And there will be lots of people trying to explain to me that we need to do the cover of their magazine. Part of the strategy is to announce it once, announce it well and let Michael focus on his football.’”
Outsports.com
GH: I think how Sam released his story and the outlets he chose to release it are fascinating angles to this story. There has to be some anger amongst the local media who kept Sam’s secret to themselves about him allowing big news outlets like the NY Times and ESPN to break the story. Most major personal decisions in life should be made with the thought, “What’s best for me and my family?” Sure, we often want to please everyone but cannot. Sam chose to do what he thought was best for him and his story. He was likely right in how he used the media to break this historic news. But not all were happy about it. Read on.

“If you were paying enough attention and knew what you were looking for, Michael Sam’s ‘secret’ was actually something he never invested much effort in trying to hide. There were subtle touches that didn’t go unnoticed among a lot of us, like the rainbow-colored wrist bands he wore on game days. There were the knowing whispers — and almost universal acceptance — among many students on Missouri’s sprawling Columbia campus that for perhaps nearly a year or so, the star of the nationally ranked football team was comfortably living a fairly open gay lifestyle.”
Bryan Burwell, columnist, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
GH: The first rule of the media when the other guy breaks a story that you did not? Tell your audience it’s not all that much of a story. Burwell comes off here sounding petty and small. He even thinks he can diminish this news by placing quotes around Sam’s ‘secret.’ Not very classy, Bryan.

“Michael Sam’s story really isn’t that much different from all the other openly gay athletes we now know, of course with the exception of the extraordinary detail that he is coming out of the closet not at the end of his college career, but at the very start of his professional journey. The rest of his tale is quite familiar. People knew. Teammates knew. Lots of them easily accepted.”
Bryan Burwell, columnist, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
GH: Nawww, Sam’s story isn’t different at all from a tennis player, gymnast or swimmer admitting to being gay. Sure, Bryan. We hear your pain.

“(Gary Pinkel said), ‘We left it that whenever he felt the time was right, however he wanted to make the announcement, that we had his back and we’d be right there with him.’ I wish I bought that explanation, but I don’t. Sam doesn’t strike me as someone who wanted to keep this a secret anymore. If someone on the street would have asked me, ‘Hey, Mike, I heard you were gay; is that true?’ I would have said yes,” he told the (NY) Times.”
Bryan Burwell, columnist, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
GH: Burwell is letting us know, “Sam doesn’t strike me as someone who wanted to keep this a secret anymore.” Despite Sam’s own words in the Missourian -- “I wasn’t quite prepared (during my final season at Mizzou). Later, I wanted to focus on my season, and I didn’t want that attention on myself at that time.” Sometimes you just have to accept the truth. And the truth is Sam’s chose to go beyond Burwell’s pay grade for this story. And after reading Burwell’s whiny column it looks to me like Sam made a good decision.

“The truth is, he spent the entire season cloistered from the media, so no one ever could ask the question. This is yet one more example of how awkwardly those in Mizzou’s athletics department handle big issues. They had a rare opportunity to make a bold and revolutionary statement about equal opportunity. Instead, they again fumbled badly. I hope his new NFL team treats his news with a far more progressive stance.”
Bryan Burwell, columnist, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
GH: The Mizzou athletic department has given us plenty of reasons to find fault with their work when it comes to scandal, PR and common sense. But the Michael Sam story is not one of them. It is the exact opposite.

“I wanted to tell my story the way I wanted to. I didn’t want anyone to ask me or trick me into talking about my sexuality.”
Michael Sam, Missourian

“(Sam’s) right to privacy was honored by multiple media outlets, including The (Kansas City) Star, as a simple matter of his choice to publicly discuss it or not. … His decision at last to (publicity announce he is gay), and how to do it, came in the last few weeks as Sam almost simultaneously told his story to ESPN and The New York Times on Sunday.”
Vahe Gregorian, columnist, Kansas City Star
GH: Gregorian doesn’t use the same venom that Burwell slices into Sam and Mizzou but he lets his audience know that he too knew of the Sam secret if anyone cares to know.

This night can be the University of Missouri's finest hour. It can weigh in kindly, or be bigoted. Same goes for all.”
Dan Bernstein, @dan_bernstein, Twitter
GH: After the first 24 hours I would say that Mizzou is polling heavily toward this being one of the schools finest moments.

“I love how the University of Missouri handled it.”
Herm Edwards, 810 AM

“It's wonderful to watch @MikeSamFootball represent the alma mater in such a brave, honest and classy way.”
Wright Thompson, @wrightthompson, Twitter

“The overwhelming reaction we received from people today is that this isn’t even a story. We shouldn’t even be talking about this anymore.”
Mike Greenberg, on the increased acceptance of gay people in American society and how Sam’s story relates to that trend, ESPN Radio
GH: Will Sam’s announcement create a flood of athletes who declare they are gay? Or is it still too soon?

“Missouri is one of the most politically polarized states in the country. It is rural and urban, southern and midwestern. I've always joked that, Kansas aside, Missouri fans could never possibly hate another fanbase as much as they hate each other.”
Bill C., rockmnation.com
GH: The Mizzou locker room accepting Sam as a gay football player has nothing to do with how the state of Missouri will respond. It is too early to tell but one would hope that the Show-Me State has evolved beyond its reputation.

“Mikey Sam! Your my boy blue! Do your thing brother! #MIZ
Elvis Fisher, @ElvisFisher72, former Mizzou lineman, Twitter
GH: Fisher is as redneck as they come. I love that he stepped up and gave a shout out to Sam.

“The first recent college football player and NFL prospect to announce that he's gay comes from the SEC. The league representing the region of the country that is considered least tolerant of homosexuality now finds itself at the center of the biggest story at the intersection of culture, religion and sports.”
Brandon Larrabee, writer, SBNation.com
GH: Two years into their SEC membership and Mizzou has overturned a century of hate, bigotry and prejudice. Not a bad start. 

“I don't think football is ready for (an openly gay player) just yet. In the coming decade or two, it's going to be acceptable, but at this point in time it's still a man's-man game. To call somebody a (gay slur) is still so commonplace. It'd chemically imbalance an NFL locker room and meeting room.”
Unidentified NFL player personnel assistant, SI.com
GH: How different is the NFL from a college locker room? I guess we are about to find out.

“All the NFL personnel members interviewed believed that Sam's announcement will cause him to drop in the draft. He was projected between the third and seventh rounds prior to the announcement. The question is: How far will he fall?”
Pete Thamel and Thayer Evans, writers, SI.com

“Of (Sam’s) 11.5 sacks, nine came in three games against what one scout called ‘garbage competition’ -- Vanderbilt, Arkansas State and Florida. ‘His numbers are inflated,’ a scout said. ‘You've got to see through that.’”
Pete Thamel and Thayer Evans, writers, SI.com

“If Michael Sam goes undrafted then shame on the Kansas City Chiefs., shame on John Dorsey, shame on Clark Hunt. There is no way that at some point Michael Sam is not the best choice on the draft board. There’s no way in a seven-round draft that there’s not a place on the Kansas City Chiefs for Michael Sam.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: I don’t think we need to be concerned about Sam not getting drafted. But Petro has four hours to fill so we get these kinds of “bold” statements.

“I would hope that it wouldn’t, but I don’t know.”
Gary Pinkel, when asked by Mike Golic if he thinks Sam being gay will affect his draft status, ESPN Radio
GH: No one really knows. Sam has to perform well at the NFL Combine and then teams will all make their own evaluations of his worth. Should his sexual orientation be a factor in their decision making? Sure. A good business should evaluate everything available about a new employee. Not drafting Sam because he is gay doesn’t automatically make a team homophobic.

“That’s the kind of atmosphere and family environment we have here at Mizzou.”
Gary Pinkel, on his team’s acceptance of Sam being gay, ESPN Radio
GH: I keep hearing this sugary line from Pinkel and those in power inside the Mizzou athletic department. It rings incredibly hollow in the wake of the alleged rapes involving Mizzou athletes and students the past few years. MU sees Sam’s announcement as a great PR vehicle to ride beyond these sordid tales and they are taking every opportunity to capitalize on it.

“Let's hope NFL accepts an openly gay player as well as they did a player convicted in the obstruction of justice of the murder of 2 people.”
Peter Burns, @PeterBurnsRadio, Twitter

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Kiper: Chiefs could go wide receiver

Written 2-7-14

“(The Chiefs) could go wide receiver, they could look for a defensive lineman, they could look for a safety or a tight end. Because of the great depth and talent at receiver and that’s something I think the Chiefs need to add, I think probably the first round would be the chance to do it. You could see six to nine wide receivers go in the first round, but a lot of these kids are underclassmen, so you have to be conservative because they need to test well to be a legitimate first-round pick.”
Mel Kiper, Kansas City Star
GH: Six to nine wide-outs in round one? I guess what Elvis told us years ago remains true – you can’t throw it and catch it.

“As things begin to unfold, you’re going to take the best player available, and that’s the way it should be. That’s the only way you’re going to begin to develop quality depth.”
John Dorsey, Chiefs GM, on his draft philosophy, Kansas City Star
GH: With the 23rd pick the Chiefs Mel Kiper has the Chiefs taking Florida State’s WR Kelvin Benjamin and Todd McShay thinks the Chiefs will go with LSU’s WR Odell Beckham, Jr. I think it is at least safe to say Dorsey will not pick another offensive lineman from the MAC.

“The system is designed to hurt good teams.”
Bill Polian, former Colts executive and current NFL analyst for ESPN, discussing the future cap issues facing Seattle once Russell Wilson becomes a free agent in 2015, 810 AM
GH: The system is also what allowed a floundering Seattle franchise to finally win their first Super Bowl.

“They’re playing with a free mind. Hugs does a great job coaching them.”
Norm Roberts, Kansas assistant coach, on how well West Virginia is playing coming into Allen Fieldhouse on a three-game winning streak, 810 AM
GH: I love this quote from Roberts. Athletes, employees and humans just perform better when they are executing their roles with a “free mind.” We too often allow the clutter to clog our path.

“For K-State’s situation right now, they can’t lose to Texas.”
Todd Leabo, on KSU facing a hot Texas team at Bramlage Saturday, 810 AM

“Kansas State could well become the team we thought they were before they got off to the good start in the league. Now they’re actually playing like they really are.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: A win over Texas rights K-State’s run at the NCAA tourney just when they desperately need it. A loss just might sink it. Big day for the Cats. I expect The Bram to be jammed.

“The bigger question is if Gregg Marshall doesn’t leave (Wichita State), what does that do to Kansas State basketball? Another big-time program in the state? That can’t be good for the Cats.”
Danny Clinkscale, while discussing if WSU’s success will eventually impact KU’s recruiting, 810 AM
GH: I don’t understand how three successful DI basketball programs in the state of Kansas can do anything but HELP KU, KSU and WSU. Basketball is a lot different than football. Two or three good recruits a year is all a program needs to remain successful. Why not make Kansas the Tobacco Road of the Midwest?

“My guy @BenMcLemore is the 1st jayhawk to compete in the Dunk Contest!! Mark my words, I'll be the second...”
Evan Manning, @evan_manning5, Danny Manning’s son, Twitter
GH: I don’t know Evan but I like Evan.

“Georgia beats LSU + brings up the same question that's resonated all year long in the SEC----- who is the league's 3rd team behind UK + UF?”
Jon Rothstein, ‏@JonRothstein, Twitter
GH: Mizzou still has a chance to fill that third slot – the same one we all kind of had them penciled in for at the start of conference play. Beating Ole Miss though this Saturday is a must.

“When you create a constant atmosphere of ‘us versus them,’ albeit in sports, I’m not sure that is healthy. They deserve a reward for what they do. They should be recognized for how hard they work and what they’re able to attain. But I do have mixed feelings about the way it perhaps fueling some of the problems we have (between countries).”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: Clinkscale made these comments haltingly but he was dead on in my opinion. The overt nationalism that we too often see in the Olympics is not athlete driven. I believe most of these athletes are competing to win more than embarrass some oppressive government. People are good, funny and loving in all corners of the world. Sure, people can also be evil and ignorant. But the good continues to overwhelm the bad on all continents.

“Just let me say a lot (of pressure is on the Russian Olympic team to do well). Especially in hockey. To the Russians, if the hockey team wins, it doesn’t matter what happens with everything else. If it loses, it doesn’t matter what happens with everything else. Hockey is it.”
Vladimir Pozner, Moscow based TV journalist, responding to Bob Costas asking how much pressure the Russian team is under at the Sochi Olympics, NBC
GH: Sounds like how the USA treats our Olympic men’s basketball team.

“Skating is a sport of show-offs."
Scott Hamilton, NBC
GH: What sport is not?

“Just took lap around Olympic Park. Whatever problems may exist with door knobs and shower curtains, the venues are just spectacular.”
Dan Wolken, @DanWolken, Twitter

“I want to cross the finish line (at the Boston Marathon) having left everything out there.”
Serena Burla, JH 2014 Elite Team, via @jhboston26, Twitter
GH: Having run Boston the last three years, this might be the easiest goal of 2014. The 26.2-mile Boston Marathon course exacts all of what you’ve got and then tears out a couple more chunks just to remember her by.

“Garth Brooks singing 'Friends in Low Places' to end Jay Leno's final show has to be a sign that @Royals baseball is right around the corner!”
Matt Gasper,
@MattGasper1241, Twitter
GH: Garth’s seventh-inning song might be the most polarizing issue facing the Royals now that Billy Butler looks to be staying put. For the record, I have no problem with the Royals clinging to this song as their unofficial fan anthem. It fits the crowd at The K perfectly. But I also like Leno.

“You and I are in perfect position to take part in one of Kansas City’s most time-honored traditions. Making fun of the Royals’ new slogan. The club is going with ‘Be Royal’ this year, which is sort of … meh … which, actually and sadly, is the whole point. Can we guess the runners-up to “Be Royal?” And remember, you can’t overpromise.”
“We’re Due.”

“Ned’s Actually Very Funny Away From The Cameras.”
“Kids Under 12 Race Billy Butler For Free.”
“Our Last Playoff Appearance Is Old Enough To Be A Doctor.”
“C’mon, There’s No Good Movies Out.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: Five more that would fit on a billboard;
“Getz? Gone!”
“Rany Even Thinks We Have A Chance”
“Bitching Is The Currency of Twitter”
“Brett, White, Howser & A Lot of Empty Space”
“No Smoking But You Can Fart Your Ass Off!”

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Seahawks manhandle Broncos in Super Bowl

Written 2-3-14

“For Super Bowl starters, the Broncos suffered from a horrific case of stage fright. Jitters turned to panic. Panic leaked to disaster. Disaster became humiliation.”
Denver Post

“The Broncos waited 15 years for this? It was not possible for the Broncos to play any worse.”
Woody Paige, columnist, after the Seattle Seahawks destroyed the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XVIII 43-8, Denver Post

“I think what happened tonight is bad news for Chiefs fans.”Jack Harry, KSHB TV 41
GH: Mad Jack would probably also find something negative for Chiefs fans if the Broncos had won 43-6. If the Broncos getting blasted in the SB was a bad thing for Chiefs fans, there sure are an awful lot of them who enjoyed every minute of Sunday’s game. 

“That was one of the best Super Bowls...ever...I really enjoyed that game.”
Steven St. John, @SSJWHB, Twitter

“I'm so glad this isn't the Chiefs getting embarrassed. To wait 44 years for THIS would have been too horrible to accept.”
Neal Jones, @NealJoneskctv5, Twitter
GH: I would prefer an ass kicking like the Broncos took on SB48 to the ass kicking the Chiefs took in giving up a 28-point lead in Indy. How do you give up a 28-point lead in the third quarter?

“Peyton’s back next year!”
Bill Maas, @BillMaas, Twitter
GH: I am not sure if Maas meant this as a reason for Chiefs fans to fear or cheer. Peyton is not getting any younger or better. The entire NFL though is going to have to deal with Russell Wilson for the next 12 years.

“Pam Oliver swinging her head like Stevie Wonder and that hair shall NOT be moved...”
Jason Richardson,
@JaiRich, Twitter
GH: What in the hell is going on with Pam the Glam? She was flipping her hair and jerking her head around like she was Crackhead Bob. Pam might be in need of an intervention.

“Sorry fans, we don’t have a button for this.”
Buffalo Wild Wings,
@BWWings, as the Seattle lead continued to mount, Twitter

“Embarrassing might be an insult to everything the Broncos achieved as they became the first team in league history to score more than 600 points in the regular season, then beat San Diego and New England in the playoffs. But embarrassing is the only way to describe what happened to Manning and the Broncos on the first snap from scrimmage. It is destined to go down as the most embarrassing play in Super Bowl history.”
Mark Kiszla, columnist, Denver Post
GH: How embarrassing was the Broncos loss to Broncos fans? One die-hard Bronco fan showed up at work today in my office sporting a Chiefs sweatshirt.

“As much as it hurt to be humiliated by a 43-8 loss to Seattle in the Super Bowl, the pain will be nothing compared to the heat Manning will take for flopping on football's biggest stage. The Broncos were so bad Sunday, the sun might be embarrassed to show its face in Colorado.”
Mark Kiszla, columnist, Denver Post
GH: Fair or not, Peyton’s legacy will forever be tainted with his monumental failures in the Super Bowl. Yes, he has one SB win but so do a number of average QBs. This one might be the last one we remember him by and it was fugly!

“It's not embarrassing at all. I would never use that word. The word 'embarrassing' is an insulting word, to tell you the truth."
Peyton Manning, when asked if he and the Broncos are embarrassed after their blowout loss, ESPN.com
GH: Not embarrassing? What planet is Peyton on? Sure it’s an insulting word but man does it fit the Broncos performance. Did Peyton skip his English class at Tennessee?

"We were on a national stage, in the biggest game in America. And to come out and play like that?”
Eric Decker, Broncos wide-receiver, Denver Post
GH: Decker knows it was embarrassing even if Peyton does not. Denver was abused and physically manhandled by a superior team. This was not a case of Denver playing poorly but more of Seattle dictating how this game would be played.

“The Broncos were dominated by the first rule of the playground: Athletes stay. Losers walk. No amount of intelligence or creativity can overcome a clear and decisive difference in speed and strength. … A year ago, a stunning loss to Baltimore in the playoffs gave the Broncos a sense of purpose and a motto: Unfinished business. This loss to Seattle was worse. It shouted: As now constructed, the Broncos are not good enough to win it all.”
Mark Kiszla, columnist, Denver Post

“Time heals all things.”
Champ Bailey, Broncos defensive back, Denver Post
GH: Winning heals all things. Time isn’t doing a DAMN thing to heal Chiefs and Royals fans’ pain.

“SEASICK”
Denver Post headline

“This (fourth Denver loss in a Super Bowl) is the most excruciating, though. The difference between the others and Super Bowl No. 48 was the ‘most prolific offense’ in NFL history played like the ‘most offensive team’ in Super Bowl history in a game regarded as a tossup.
Woody Paige, columnist, Denver Post
GH: Denver’s offense totaled some record stats this season but were they really better than Dick Vermeil’s Greatest Show On Turf in St. Louis? I would still rank Kurt Warner’s bunch as the best NFL offense I ever saw.

“They haven't played a defense that flies around like we do, that hits like we do.”
Bobby Wagner, Seahawks linebacker, Denver Post
GH: I LOVED the way the Seahawks tackled. They were physical, they were fundamentally sound and they were ball hawks. Did you catch Byron Maxwell punch the football from the grasp of Demaryius Thomas while making the tackle? Beautiful defensive football.

"Peyton's still the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. This doesn't destroy his legacy."
Michael Bennett, defensive end, ESPN.com
GH: The debate will live on as long as the game is played as to who is/was the greatest QB. Peyton’s play Sunday diminished his chances of being that guy. I would still favor Tom Brady as the best. Joe Montana ain’t far behind.

“The drought is over, Seattle. You don’t have to endure ridicule about your city’s rampant losing anymore. You don’t have to expect the worst even when your teams are at their best. You don’t have to sneer about being overlooked or underappreciated. The Seahawks have delivered the city’s first championship since 1979 in one of the Big Four sports leagues (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB). Thirty-five years of suffering, of outlasting mediocrity and mismanagement and misfortune, knelt at the feet of this team. The Seahawks didn’t just win a championship. They yanked the Lombardi Trophy away from the Broncos. They lived up to their preseason promise to leave no doubt this season. “
Jerry Brewer, columnist, Seattle Times
GH: Just reading these words should give Chiefs and Royals fans hope. Seems like hope is all we ever get though.

“The Seahawks won a Lombardi Trophy with the worst pass offense in Super Bowl history (26th in NFL).”
Rick Gosselin,
@RickGosselinDMN, Twitter
GH: So maybe the Chiefs don’t need to draft the next Geno Smith?

“(Super Bowl MVP) Malcolm Smith didn't even get invited to the scouting combine. Something to keep in mind during the wall-to-wall coverage later this month.”
Bart Hubbuch,
@HubbuchNYP, Twitter

“46 players in the Super Bowl were UNRANKED or 2 STARS coming out of high school, keep working make your dream reality! Best tweet I've seen.”
@Elmore2014, Twitter
GH: Greatness has a way of hiding itself until it is evident to us all.

“The commercials sucked.”
Just about everybody on Twitter
GH: I liked the Radio Shack ad but I don’t know what people under the age of 35 thought of all those strangers. I was really disappointed in the Seinfeld ad because George looked like hell and he somehow has forgotten how to act. What were your winners and losers?

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Archie Manning on Peyton; and Trey Songz

Written 1-31-14

“You said, ‘This will be five Super Bowls for me as a dad.’ That would be five Super Bowls TOTAL for me as a dad and a player. And my sons remind me of that often.”
Archie Manning, in an interview with Mike & Mike on ESPN Radio
GH: I remember watching Archie play for Ole Miss in college and what a folk hero he was as a college quarterback. He was stuck in New Orleans all those years in the NFL with the underperforming Saints and never reached the success many thought he would. But has there ever been a dad with a more success pair of NFL sons? Archie has had a pretty good life. He just had to wait for his boys to grow up to enjoy his best years. Maybe there’s hope for me yet.

“We weren’t even sure we wanted to see (Peyton) playing football again (after his neck surgeries).”
Archie Manning, when asked if he foresaw Peyton having the kind of record-breaking success he’s had since his neck surgeries and being signed by Denver, ESPN Radio
GH: I sure did not think Peyton was worth the risk and what Denver paid to sign him. I sure was wrong.

“I know the best quarterbacks I’ve seen played on good teams – and (Peyton) had a good team this year.”
Archie Manning, ESPN Radio
GH: You can tell where Peyton and Eli get their humbleness by listening to Archie. Neither of these Super Bowl MVPs is a flashy kind of quarterback. Both have a large contingent of fans who despise them but I believe that’s more because of their success than their ego.

“(Peyton Manning) is just about as smart a quarterback as I’ve ever seen.”
Len Dawson, in an interview with Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I saw Len Dawson’s career from my dad’s living room in the ‘60s and ‘70s and he never struck me as physically talented quarterback. But Lenny the Cool was smart. Very smart. It is my opinion he made Hank Stram look a lot better than Hank deserved to look. If Dawson is calling Peyton the smartest QB he’s seen, that endorsement carries some swag.

“I’m pretty sure somebody is going to throw for more yards (than Peyton did) and I’m pretty sure somebody is going to throw for more than 55 touchdowns (in a season). But I’m not sure anybody’s going to have five receivers catch ten touchdowns or more (in one season).”
Archie Manning, ESPN Radio
GH: That is one helluva impressive stat that might outlive the game.

“Can't drive up to Super Bowl in car unless you have an onsite parking spot. Limo parking going on resale market for about $400.”
Darren Rovell,
@darrenrovell, Twitter
GH: The Super Bowl should be renamed the Super Rich Bowl.

“It can only help the Chiefs if the Broncos go ahead and win this thing. They can only get fat and happy.”
Kevin Kietzman, on his pick of the Broncos over the Seahawks, 810 AM
GH: Now that is an interesting take. KK thinks Chiefs fans should be rooting FOR Denver because a Super Bowl win will improve KC’s chances next season? I think I’ll pass. Go Seahawks!

“I think there are only six players on (Seattle’s) 53-man roster who couldn’t start in the league. I think they are the most talented team in the National Football League.”
Louis Riddick, NFL analyst, 810 AM
GH: Seattle looks young, defensive-minded and tested. I think the weather and night-time temps are going to play a big factor in how Peyton performs. If this was in a dome or San Diego I’d hand it to the Broncos. But it ain’t.

“Here’s the thing about winning – you don’t have to explain anything when you win.”
Len Dawson, in an interview with Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I like the simplicity of this thought. The how and why is always left for the defeated to explain.

“I’m insulted by this. I’m mortified. This is a big country and there’s a lot bigger things for federal judges to be involved in.”
Kevin Kietzman, on the judge overthrowing the NFL’s settlement for head injuries, 810 AM
GH: I would think there are a lot more things a Kansas City sports talk radio host could be insulted and mortified about than an NFL lawsuit being tossed out of court. But KK dances to a different dumb.

“Oh yea and this is the part where I told Coach Self what needed to happen to secure the win – (Link) http://sports.yahoo.com/loop/ncaab-201401290287-918149702?soc_src=embed …
Trey Songz, @TreySongz, Twitter
GH: Sonz is a famous R&B/Hip Hop singer who has over seven-million followers on Twitter. I might not know any of his songz but a lot of young people apparently do. A friend of mine has season tickets just behind where Songz and his bodyguard were seated at Allen Fieldhouse and he said the number of young girls who came by to see him was endless. The Royals’ Billy Butler sat almost next to Songz and he didn’t attract 1/100th of the crowd attention that Songz received. My friend said Songz could not have been nicer to everyone who approached him, even having his bodyguard take photos of him and his admirers on their phones.

“I can just hear Kansas’ fans if that happened at Kentucky with time still on the clock! ‘That cheating Calipari will do anything for a photo op and hang around with thugs!’ What did you think of the ‘rapper moment’ in the game last night? … He’s a rapper from Frank Mason’s hometown in Virginia and I’m sure there’s a reason he’s there. And I’m cool with the thing. It really doesn’t bother me. But boy if that was at a Kentucky game with Calipari, Kansas fans would say that’s the biggest lowlife loser bunch of people they ever saw! It’s kind of funny that way.”
Kevin Kietzman, on Bill Self being seen leaning back into the crowd from his seat on the bench to speak to Trey Songz, an R&B singer, as the final seconds ticked off the clock in KU’s home win over Iowa State,  810 AM
GH: I didn’t have that reaction at all, Kietz. I saw it as Allen Fieldhouse’s historic charm enticing yet another celebrity to come for a visit. And Self’s acknowledgement of Songz near the end of the game looked to me like a guy who makes his living recruiting young black athletes who might relate to a white guy cool enough to hang with Trey Songz. And if everybody hasn’t already noticed, Kansas looks a lot more like Kentucky the past few years than Ole Roy’s Kansas.

“He’s not being talked about as a Player of the Year candidate but his numbers are incredible. He’s playing at a high, high level. I’m just hoping he can keep it going.”
Frank Haith, on the play of Mizzou’s Jabari Brown, 810 AM
GH: I want to see Brown light up Kentucky like he’s been doing to the rest of the SEC. If he keeps up the pace he’s been on he will decorate a number of All-American teams. And who was Mizzou’s last consensus All-American in hoop? Anthony Peeler and Jon Sundvold were second-team consensus All-Americans. Was Steve Stipanovitch MU’s last first team All American?

“I have a hunch they are going to lose one of (their next three games, at Texas, at Baylor and UWV at home). There’s been a lot of 18-0 talk. I don’t think Kansas is going to go 18-0.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I haven’t heard much if any talk about KU going 18-0 in the Big 12. But with the talent that Self has assembled this season, he has as good a chance as he might ever have at KU.

“Bruce Weber is 3-0 against Bob Huggins. And Bruce Weber has never lost to Lon Kruger – a coach who has been a thorn in K-State’s side.”
Stan Weber, on KS’s second-year head coach’s success against coaches with ties to K-State, 810 AM
GH: KSU fans would like to see Weber be more competitive against Bill Self and Kansas but there is no denying he’s getting it done against these other two former K-State coaches. Another win over Huggy Bear on Saturday would keep his Cats in the hunt for a top four finish in the conference.

“We’re three or four baskets or three or four key rebounds away from having only three or four losses rather than the nine we have.”
Bob Huggins, 810 AM
GH: Huggins was interviewed by the Border Patrol Friday morning and he sounded like he always sounds – like he just got in from an all-night drunk and slept in the car on the way over.

“There’s probably not another league in history that has had 60% of their coaches take their team to a Final Four or multiple Final Fours.”
Bob Huggins, on the quality of coaching in the Big 12, 810 AM
GH: Can you name the four who have not? I’ll start you off with Baylor’s Scott Drew…

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Wiggins hype gets experts to debate

Written 1-30-14

“I want to see Andrew Wiggins have a great game at home tonight. He’s has some great games on the road but he’s struggled at times here at home. Scoring only three points against Oklahoma State…”
Greg Gurley, KU’s radio analyst, prior to Kansas/Iowa State game Wednesday night where Wiggins scored 29, Jayhawk Radio Network

“I think it’s time we all came to agreement that Andrew Wiggins wasn't vastly overrated by some/many coming out of high school.”
Evan Daniels,
@EvanDaniels, basketball recruiting analyst for Scout.com, following Wiggins’ second straight career-high scoring game where he scored 27 and 29 against TCU and ISU respectively, Twitter
GH: Wiggins’ has been the focus of many college experts and armchairs ever since he named Kansas as his school of choice to spend his lone college season. His GQ spread and his photo on the cover of SI comparing him to KU legends Wilt and Danny catapulted him to receive immediate scorn from KU detractors and love from his Crimson and Blue fans. His recent play received some play on Twitter Wednesday night when some CBB experts went at each other for their pro and con takes on Wiggins. Read on.

“To me Andrew Wiggins has been all that I expected him to be. In terms of living up to the hype, that’s not possible.”
Henry Lake, 610 AM
GH: Could Wiggins have lived up to the hype? Sure. Carmelo did it at Syracuse. And he just might yet.

“Question of Day: Who would you rather have for THIS college season? Andrew Wiggins or Aaron Craft. @DickieV @SeanFarnham @franfraschilla
Jeff Goodman, @GoodmanESPN, in a tweet earlier this month, Twitter
GH: Goodman is very high on the rosy-cheeked Ohio State guard and not-quite-so-high on KU’s freshman forward. He quickly turned to Twitter to defend his choice of Craft over Wiggins. Read on.

“For this season? Craft. … I don't care about the stats. Craft is superior defender, runs his team and is a terrific leader.”
Jeff Goodman, @GoodmanESPN, Twitter
GH: I would agree with Goodman on all of those attributes he says Craft possesses. But what expert, analysts or writer would say, “I don’t care about the stats?” One who knows the stats do not support their argument. (And one who might not be smart enough to be making the argument.)

“Remember that time, after like four games, when you quoted an NBA scout saying there’s ‘no chance’ Andrew Wiggins goes No. 1?”
Gary Parrish,
@GaryParrishCBS, in a tweet to Jeff Goodman at ESPN, Twitter
GH: Parrish works for CBS and Goodman works for ESPN. I have no idea if they are friends, rivals or friendly rivals. But their Twitter conversation last night regarding Wiggins came off as deliciously snarky.

“Remember that time you said Wiggins is a lock to go No. 1?”
Jeff Goodman,
@GoodmanESPN, in response to Gary Parrish’s tweet, Twitter

“Remember that time you said you’d take Aaron Craft over Andrew Wiggins? (It was like five days ago.)”
Gary Parrish,
@GaryParrishCBS, in a tweet to Jeff Goodman at ESPN, Twitter
GH: Oh how I wish Danny Clinkscale would take notice of this banter and liven up Kevin Kietzman’s four-hour show with some intelligent and even digging counterpoints. KK’s afternoons are too often him mowing over everything in his path with a polite escort at his side.

“But those that compared Wiggins to LeBron should be sued for journalistic malpractice. THAT was unfair.”
Fran Fraschilla,
@franfraschilla, who was responding to Daniels’ tweet above, Twitter

“No one who covered talent or college basketball seriously compared LBJ to AW.”
Michael DeCourcy,
@tsnmike, responding to Fraschilla’s above tweet, Twitter

“I thought Oden was the best since LBJ, but I've been an advocate of AW's potential.”
Michael DeCourcy,
@tsnmike, Twitter
GH: I think Joel Embiid is better than Oden was in college and even better than Wiggins. Kansas has two perennial NBA All-Stars on their roster this season. If they don’t win it all this April, they should come damn close.

“The Big Ten is the best conference in basketball from top to bottom. Not sure it's really all that close.”
Jeff Rabjohns,
@JeffRabjohns, covering Indiana hoops and columnist for Basketball Times, Twitter
GH: Robjohns might be a bit too close to Hoosier country to be making this declaration. I think his logic has been tainted by dreams of Jimmy Chitwood. With Wisconsin losing at home to Northwestern and Ohio State losing to just about everybody nowadays, the B1G looks deeper but not better.

“Death. Taxes. Kansas wins the Big 12 under Bill Self.”
Jon Rothstein,
@JonRothstein, after Kansas ran their Big 12 conference record to 7-0 following their 92-81 win over Iowa State, Twitter
GH: Kansas now stands 16-4 overall but has a two-game lead over Oklahoma and Texas in the Big 12 race. Four other Big 12 teams also have only four overall losses. ISU is ranked 15-4 and 16th in the country but has a 3-4 conference mark. Kevin Kietzman might be poo-pooing the strength of the Big 12 this season but I am starting to think it is as good as the Big Ten and maybe better.

“Hearing there are still student tickets (at Mizzou Arena) left for Saturday vs. Kentucky. That is terrible.”
Brian McGannon,
@BrianMcGannon, Twitter
GH: Are Mizzou fans going to pack The Norm for Frank Haith’s team’s biggest home game of the season? I would like to think so but filling that barn has been anything but routine the past few years.

“They win that game that just changes everything. That changes the whole way you look at this season.”
Nate Bukaty, on Mizzou playing Kentucky this Saturday in Columbia at noon, 810 AM

“Like I said; you can’t get me to go to Columbia, Missouri without paying me.”
Jake Gutierrez, a Kansas native and avowed Jayhawks fan, who will be working the Kentucky/Mizzou game for CBS, 810 AM

“Missouri President Tim Wolfe spoke personally Wednesday about Sasha Menu Courey's 2011 death, noting that his own daughter is a first-year college athlete. He told reporters that ‘one of our students is dead. And I don't want to feel that anymore.’”
HuffingtonPost.com
GH: This is the kind of response and attitude that was missing from Mizzou’s first public responses to ESPN’s Outside the Lines report. Mizzou came off too defensive and analytical in my opinion. Wolfe’s words here are what a parent and a state expects.

“If we don’t win the (American League) Central, it’s basically a letdown. We’ve added to a team that finished 10 games over .500. And we’re expected to compete in the Central and get a playoff berth. The city’s waited a long time for it, and we added to a team that had success last year. There’s only one way to meet the expectations on that, and we understand that.”
Billy Butler, Kansas City Star
GH: The Royals pitchers and catchers report to Surprise, AZ February 14th or two weeks from tomorrow.

“I look at it in terms of team goals, but you look that the top six, with Sal in the six hole, I’d stack that up with anybody on paper. On paper means nothing, but you can compete with anybody with that lineup.”
Billy Butler, Kansas City Star
GH: That kind of talk has me smelling leather and neatsfoot oil. Or is my wife trying to cook Italian again?

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Mizzou wins at Arkansas, Huder on Santana

Written 1-29-14

“That was one hell of a win for Mizzou in Fayetteville tonight. Can't overstate it. Whole season looks different now. On a side note, I'd pay good money to listen to Fayetteville sports radio tomorrow.”
Gabe DeArmond,
@GabeDeArmond, on Mizzou winning 75-71 at Arkansas’ Bud Walton Arena for the first time Tuesday night, Twitter
GH: We saw Kansas turn their four-loss basketball season around in the span of about a week when after dropping a rare home game to SDSU the Jayhawks rebounded and took out OU, KSU and ISU in rude fashion. They have now gone 6-0 in the Big 12 and are Vegas’ odds-on favorite to win the NCAA tourney. No one expects Mizzou to make the Final Four but they were all but left for NIT fodder following a home loss to Georgia and road losses at crippled Vandy and LSU. But beating Mike Anderson’s Hogs in their own sty might be the elixir these Tigers need.

“Missouri's Jabari Brown has made 20-29 three-point shots during his last five games. Averaging 24.4 PPG during that span. ON A TEAR.”
Jon Rothstein,
@JonRothstein, Twitter
GH: Jabari Brown is riding a hot streak we haven’t seen around these parts maybe since George Brett broke .400 in 1980. Brown is the new RedHot!

“Jabari Brown 4th straight game scoring 24+ points-1st Tiger since Anthony Peeler in 1992.”
Tom Orf,
@MU4124, Twitter
GH: Any Tiger whose accomplishments harken the name of one of Paseo’s most decorated Pirate must be doing some damage on the hardwood.

“Quick vacation tweet; Arkansas wins by 10+ tonight. A full Bud Walton is as intimidating as any venue in College Basketball.”
TJ Carpenter, prior to Mizzou’s game at Arkansas, @TJCarpenterWHB
GH: Oops. Sometimes it pays to get away – and stay there.

“And that’ll do it for Arkansas’ NCAA Tournament hopes. Two home SEC losses = done.”
Dan Wolken,
@DanWolken, Twitter
GH: Mike Anderson looked anything but comfortable as his former team handed him a rare loss at home. It might be time for Suitcase Mike to move on once again. I hear Wal-Mart is hiring.

“Mizzou won back-to-back conference games for the first time all season, claiming its first win in 7 tries at Bud Walton Arena 75-71 v Ark.”
Tod Palmer, @todpalmer, Twitter
GH: Norm never won at The Bud. How about Frank Haith’s stock going from DOA to HBO in one win? The guy was lower than Quin Snyder in Missouri yesterday and he’s more popular than an I-70 strip club today.

“Frank Haith, Doc Rivers, Bill Self, Rick Adelman....After Time out MAGICIANS!”
Kim English,
@Englishscope24, Twitter
GH: WAIT! WAIT! WAIT! What???

“Missouri just the second team to beat ARK in 27 games at Bud Walton.”
ESPN100.5/103.1 KTGR,
@KTGRsports, Twitter

“The last three teams to win at Arkansas: Syracuse, Florida and Missouri.”
Carrington Harrison, @cdotharrison, Twitter
GH: D.A.M.N!

“Called it a must-win given Mizzou is almost assuredly gonna lose to Kentucky and Florida. Huge defensive improvement, at least for a game.”
Danny Parkins,
@DannyParkins, Twitter
GH: Does Parkins even pay attention to college hoops? Sure Mizzou COULD lose to Kentucky at home but Kentucky isn’t a sure loss for these Tigers – or just about any team with a pulse. Now the game at Florida might be a lock loss, but Cal’s Wildcats are pretty tame at times.

“Big W by the Tiger's! Atta baby! I'll Be trash talking now at @SmylyD and @toriihunter48 all year now!! #MIZZOU.”
Max Scherzer,
@Max_Scherzer, former MU pitcher and current Cy Young winner, Twitter

“Doug McDermott is good enough to do for Creighton what John Wallace did for Syracuse in 1996. The Jays can win in the NCAA Tournament.”
Jon Rothstein,
@JonRothstein, after the Creighton senior scored 39 of the Bluejays 63 points and hit the game-winning trey to knock off St. John’s Tuesday night, Twitter
GH: I love Creighton but can they win the NCAA tourney? Well, Wichita State almost did last year…and just might finish the job this season.

“Richard Sherman says @dougmcd3 is the best.”
Tom Shatel,
@tomshatelOWH, Twitter
GH: Creighton’s games are often broadcast on FoxSports 1 and McDermott’s game is well worth the trouble to find this channel. He is a throwback and a throwdown. I love that he came back to play his senior season with his dad and the Jays’ inaugural season in the Big East. Omaha!

“The @OmahaChamber will donate $1,500 to Manning’s charity for every time he says ‘Omaha!’ in the Super Bowl.”
Darren Rovell, @darrenrovell, Twitter

“Just heard from (Rex) Hudler that the #Royals have offered Ervin Santana a 2 year deal.”
David Lesky,
@DBLesky, in a Tuesday night tweet, Twitter
GH: This tweet caused some rumblings across Royals Nation. And some backtracking. Read on.

“I'm not a spokesman for the team. I had just heard from a credible source that (at some time) an offer had been made."
Rex Hudler, in an interview with Jeffrey Flanagan, Foxsports.com
GH: Maybe Hud has been reading my Twitter feed and is confused. I’ve made Santana two or three offers to resign with the Royals this winter.

“Royals general manager Dayton Moore confirmed Tuesday night that the Royals indeed have not made any recent offers to Santana. In fact, Jay Alou, one of Santana's representatives, told FOXSportsKansasCity.com recently that the Royals have not had any contact with him since the Winter Meetings in early December.”
Jeffrey Flanagan, Foxsports.com
GH: Well, why the hell NOT, Jeffrey? Let’s get that guy signed and win us some pennants!

“Take it for what it's worth, but Mike Moustakas is in Arizona, and I hear he looks in good shape. Lost weight, good muscle tone, etc.”
Sam Mellinger,
@mellinger, Twitter
GH: Good news. Time for the Moose to fly.

“K-State commit lands #B1G offer from Huskers @elee_doubleace: Offer #9 from the University Of Nebraska”
Randy Withers,
@RandyWithersKC, on Blue Springs’ Elijah Lee securing his ninth scholarship offer, Twitter
GH: Lee still looks pretty solid on K-State to me as his Twitter page shows Bill Snyder Stadium and his bio states he’s a K-State commit. But I hear Mizzou is really putting the full-court press on the talented pass rusher. And MU has had some pretty impressive defensive ends in Gary Pinkel’s time in Columbia.

“Playing flappy bird in class, prof catches me. Says, '24? My best is only 6!'”
Max Storms, @MaxStorms, Mizzou distance runner and Olympic trials qualifier for half marathon, Twitter
GH: I downloaded this free game the other day that is killing more school/work time than an Atlanta blizzard. I spent a whole ten minutes in complete frustration and never tallied even a point. How are you doing with this challenging bird of flappy flight?

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 

 


Super Bowl weather and George Toma

Written 1-28-14

“Extraordinarily pungent smell of pee on my train. Even the bums are stepping up their urine game for Super Bowl week!”
Damon Amendolara,
@DAonCBS, who covering the Super Bowl is broadcasting from NYC this week on radio row, Twitter

“The weather's going to be a problem. They made a big mistake. The game shouldn't be there. I mean, it's stupid. First of all, it's not fair to the players. It's not going to be fair to the fans. It's not going to be that enjoyable”
Mike Ditka, on the Super Bowl being played outdoors in the New York area this Sunday, Detroit Free Press
GH: The weather forecast for the NYC area has improved a bit with the kick-off temp predicted to be in the 30s. But with a 6:30 PM (ET) kick-off, you know temps will be dropping fast. My question is what is the cold tolerance level of the corporate big wigs who can afford those $3,000 seats? That stadium could look pretty empty by the time the third quarter kicks off.

“It's so cold University of Michigan will close Tuesday. First time since 1978.”
Jeff Vaughn,
@JeffVaughn, Twitter
GH: When the Big Ten schools start closing because of the cold, you know that Polar Vortex thingy is real! I still think Bo Schembechler would have  made it to class. One of my favorite Bo quotes is now a slogan of the Wolverines, “Those who stay will be champions.” Bo made this promise to his football team when he took over the head coaching job at Michigan in 1969. Only 75 players survived his first training camp from the 140 who began Bo’s first camp. Another favorite quote from Bo had to do with the Michigan basketball team after Bill Frieder accepted the Arizona job just prior to the start of the NCAA tournament in 1989. “A Michigan man will coach Michigan!” Bo declared in naming assistant coach Steve Fisher the head coach for the tourney.

“I'm off to New York Wednesday to cover some big Kansas City angles for Super Bowl week in NYC. Too bad the Chiefs couldn't make the trip this year, too! Would love to see you in New York if you're going!”
Matt Flener,
@MattFlenerKMBC, TV reporter for Channel 9, Twitter
GH: Give Flener a follow on Twitter and check out his tweets from New York.

“Floyd Mayweather is betting $10.4M that the Denver Broncos will win the Super Bowl.”
Sports Update,
@MySportsUpdate, Twitter
GH: Floyd may have taken too many shots to the head. Maybe Floyd should get in touch with Vince Young for a talk.

“It could be a mud bowl or a snow bowl but we’re ready. We can’t fight the weather. But we can be prepared. … We love pressure. When things get tough, we start to work. … My first job is to give the players the best possible conditions to perform on. The cheapest insurance for a football player is a good, safe playing field. And for the fans on the stands and watching on TV, we want to give them a field of beauty.”
George Toma, head groundskeeper for all 48 Super Bowls,
Kansas City Star
GH: Kudos to Randy Covitz who wrote the story on the 85-year-old Toma for The Star. Toma is a Kansas City sports icon that somehow is still doing what he does best – making grass grow. Read on.

“Having George on site instills confidence that the game-day field and practice fields will be in top condition for our Super Bowl teams. The league, teams and coaches trust his experience and expertise. George has earned his place in Super Bowl history.”
Frank Supovitz, NFL’s senior vice president of events, Kansas City Star
GH: Covitz mentioned that Toma plans to do at least two more Super Bowls to give him 50. Wow.

“You do the job … and then some,” Toma said of his mantra. “That distinguishes the mediocre from the great. We want everything perfect. If it’s not perfect, we’re not doing our job.”
George Toma, Kansas City Star
GH: Toma was one of the best reasons to get a box seat at Royals Stadium. When our boys were just toddlers, Toma would pop up from the field during a game and place a piece of bubble gum on the rail of the box for the boys. He’d line them up until there were a half-dozen pieces for the boys to grab. He rarely said a word. Just a smile and some gum.

“I think college basketball would take a much bigger hit if there wasn’t the fan allegiance (to the schools) than any other sport. I think college basketball would be hurt more than any other sport (if you removed fan allegiance to one team) because the product really isn’t that good.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: Parkins is a Chicago kid who loves the NBA. Michael Jordan’s greatness and the years Parkins spent of Jim Boeheim’s zone at Syracuse must have spoiled him from enjoying the nuances of college hoops. 

“Mid-level college basketball is not enjoyable at all.”
Carrington Harrison, who agreed with Parkins in that the talent level of college hoops is too poor once you get below the big-school teams, 610 AM
GH: So The Drive Guys are basketball snobs? William Jewell hoops is a bad look? High school basketball isn’t entertaining? These two sound like Whitlock discussing a McRib!

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


MU and ESPN on the suicide, alleged rape

Written 1-27-14

“No one on the (Mizzou) coaching staff … and no one in our administration nor any staff members, were to the best of our knowledge, ever told about this event while Sasha was alive. Had Sasha told any of our staff that she felt she had been assaulted, we expect that our staff would have reported it immediately to the proper authorities.”
Chad Moller, MU athletic department spokesperson, in an official statement from Mizzou regarding the alleged 2011 rape of Sasha Menu Courey, a former scholarship swimmer at Mizzou, MU Athletics
GH: The words rape and suicide are ugly words that seem to find their way into the lives of college students all too often. Missouri is dealing with yet another alleged rape that involves one or more members of their football team. Sasha’s suicide in 2012 made this story a perfect fit for ESPN’s Outside The Lines program. It is an ugly subject made even uglier when it is sensationalized by ESPN and poorly defended by Mizzou’s athletic department. Read on.

“Missouri spokesman Chad Moller said yesterday that Athletic Director Mike Alden was out of town until Tuesday and unavailable for comment. I would think the modern convenience known as the telephone would make it possible for Alden to discuss this situation from wherever he is. It's disappointing when the head of an organization isn't out front during a crisis.”
Joe Walljasper, columnist, Columbia Tribune
GH: Unfathomable. Mike Alden has to be available to address this subject and answer the questions that a story like this raises. Out of town? I am going to guess Alden would not be unavailable if a large donor needed to contact him about making a financial contribution to Mizzou.

“It makes no sense to fault the University for not launching an investigation based on two vague sentences in a news article about Sasha's journal when Sasha's parents did not choose to bring that information to the attention of the University or law enforcement and request an investigation. This further shows the flawed and skewed reporting by ESPN.”
Official Statement from Mizzou Athletics Department after the airing of the story on ESPN
GH: Greg Rhodenbaugh, who was hired on as the Tigers swim coach in May 2010, was made to look like an absolute clueless dolt by the ESPN cameras and editing team. It is a shame ESPN relied on theatrical editing and a slick production team to tell a story that needed no help in being compelling and sad.

“They (Mizzou officials) were the ones that had all the information of Sasha's correspondence. We didn't have any of that. We were the ones asking for information in order to understand. We didn't know anything. We didn't know they needed our permission to investigate something that happened, and they were aware of it for over a year. This is the part that kind of has me puzzled.”
Lynn Courey, Sasha’s mother, Columbia Tribune
GH: As a parent it makes me sad to think a college kid could be so forgotten within an educational system that her tragedy becomes little more than a PR problem for the school. Mizzou’s staunch defense leaves me cold. They act like their hands were legally tied from helping the victim and her parents. If so, what a sad legal tale this is.

“I do question the athletic department's interest in proactively policing its athletes when the results could be unpleasant. Nothing ever seems to happen until the media reports an incident. It seems reasonable to think coaches and support personnel who are around athletes every day would hear things before random reporters do.”
Joe Walljasper, columnist, Columbia Tribune
GH: Well said, Joe. Someone needs to ask Mike Alden and his staff why ESPN knew more about the goings on with Sasha than they did. BTW, since this story broke on ESPN, Mizzou has launched an internal investigation of the 2011 alleged rape. I am guessing MU demands a bit more promptness from their students attending class.

“If Missouri wasn’t in the SEC are they even doing this story? I’ve broken a few stories in my day and I know how these things work. What I’ve heard about the SEC is that they’ll do anything to each other. I’m not saying that happened but I think it could have. .. Right or wrong, that’s my impression of that league.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: If only Mizzou had stayed in the Big 12 they could have avoided all this unpleasantness. Right or wrong, Kietzman is not above making the most ridiculous statements he can to remain relevant.

“Played football with @MIZ_MAUK7_ZOU and @Levi_Copelin today at Stankowski.”
Ryan Mathewson, @RyanMathewson, a student at Missouri, Twitter
GH: I saw this photo retweeted by Maty Mauk, Mizzou’s sophomore-to-be quarterback. It made me smile to think that Mauk and Copelin aren’t so far removed from the rest of the kids at MU that they can’t stop and join in a pick-up game of flag football on the campus rec field. There are still a lot of good things that happen on college campuses. Their stories also deserve to be told.

“You guys can do that,’ Haith told reporters about emphasizing the next three games — at Arkansas, Kentucky at home and at Florida. ‘I’m sure you’ll write all you need to write about that, measuring our team up based on what we do these next three games.’ Indeed, we will. And for good reason. … And these next three games — you can actually stretch it to six, if you include a road game at Ole Miss followed by home games against Arkansas and Tennessee — are at the heart of how this team will be judged and remembered.”
Sam Mellinger, in his Sunday column discussing the importance of Missouri’s next three SEC basketball games, Kansas City Star
GH: Mellinger’s column was perfectly timed. On the same Sunday in January that Vahe Gregorian and The Kansas City Star decided to use 75% of the sports page’s front page on the Royals, Mellinger scored with his column on Frank Haith and his teetering role at Missouri. Read on.

“If he misses the tournament, the questions (and worse) about Haith will carry much more weight and legitimacy. That will affect everything, from recruiting to morale around the program and support from fans and boosters. This was supposed to be an opportunity for Mizzou, a chance to push up from a pack of nice programs nationally to a higher class of perennial contenders. Time is running out on that, for the program and its coach. It will need to pull through one of the few difficult stretches an SEC schedule has to offer. Haith’s team is plenty talented enough to do it and make the NCAA Tournament. It’s just that three years in, the program was supposed to be above needing to. ”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: This is the column Mellinger needs to write more often. This one sat up and barked.

“The bottom line why I think they’re so much better nobody talks about, (Naadir) Tharpe. I like the way he runs the team, the way he competes.”
Trent Johnson, TCU head basketball coach, after Kansas routed his Horn Frogs in Fort Worth, KUSports.com
GH: Tharpe continues to amaze me in that he is forcing me (and many KU fans) to respect his game. Bill Self called him the most important player on the team going into conference play. It comes as no surprise that Self was right.

“In my shallow opinion, they probably have six pros.”
Trent Johnson, on Kansas’ talented lineup, KUSports.com

“Creighton had a record 18,859 fans for Georgetown game. Lots of power schools would love that. Great home court, fans. Hidden gem for years.”
Andy Katz,
@ESPNAndyKatz, Twitter

“37K watched Nebraska's 3 D1 teams play this weekend. Trying to find a name for Nebraska's version of Tobacco Road on the show this AM.”
Gary Sharp, @GarySharp1620, Omaha sports talk host, Twitter
GH: I have mentioned Nebraska’s love for hoops in the past but many of my Kansas City neighbors still mistake that oddly-shaped state to the north as a basketball wasteland. Football will always be first but those folks in Nebraska are absolute sports junkies. I am considered normal up there.

“This was the toughest game I've ever had to play. Tougher than any championship game, tougher than any Game 7.”
Paul Pierce, on his return to Boston in a Brooklyn Nets uniform, YahooSports.com

“Within the (Celtics) organization, Pierce's generosity was legendary. He fought for the lowest of assistants and basketball staff to get playoff bonuses, and he used to give the team's traveling party $1,000 each to spend on the annual trip to the Nike employee store outside of Portland. Inside and outside the organization, Pierce was generous with commitments of time and resources, relentlessly championing children's causes and charities.”
Adrian Wojnarowski, columnist
YahooSports.com
GH: Wojnarowski retold how Pierce had once paid for the funeral of the father of the Celtics video coordinator/advance scout. One of Kansas’ great ones. He deserves mention with Wilt and Danny.

“People always say players can be too loyal, but I don't believe that. A city like Boston is worth it.”
Kevin Garnett, YahooSports.com

“Very impressed with the @celtics and their fans in how they treated (Kevin Garnett), (Paul) Pierce & Doc (Rivers) in their returns. Trust me, wouldn't happen everywhere.”
Trenni Kusnierek,
@trenni, on the former Celtics playing as Nets for the first time in Boston and Rivers’ return earlier as the coach of the Clippers, Twitter
GH: I have gotten a taste of that Boston pride the last three years running the marathon. It is a special place when it comes to heroes. And goats as well, right Billy Buckner?

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / @greghall24

 


DeArmond thinks the SEC stinks

Written 1-24-14

“Missouri was 12-1. In the non-conference schedule, they did pretty darn well. Which instead of taking away from who they are, it should credit our league. Our league is not as bad as people make it out to be. Maybe the league’s pretty good. Missouri did pretty well in their non-conference schedule.”
Frank Martin, South Carolina’s head coach, in an interview this week with The Border Patrol, 810 AM
GH: Frank is back in town this Saturday when his Gamecocks play in Columbia and from his interview with the Border Patrol, he hasn’t changed even a little. Frank is a bully and a salesman and those attributes have made him a millionaire. But not even Frank Martin can sell us on the SEC being a good basketball league – no matter how much he yells.

“The SEC, it is flat terrible! The SEC is about one bad loss from Tennessee away from being a two-bid league out of 14 teams in a major conference.”
Gabe DeArmond, of PowerMizzou.com, on the woeful state of basketball in the SEC, 810 AM
GH: Missouri looked like an absolute slam dunk for an NCAA bid after their 12-1 start and the easy SEC schedule that awaited them. All that is gone even before we hit February. Read on.

“Missouri fans want to argue, ‘If we win 23 in a major conference were in.’ Not this conference! Not these 23! If you go 11-7 (in the SEC) you’re going to have to win one in Atlanta (at the SEC tourney). If you go 10-8 you’re going to have to be playing in the SEC finals. This (Missouri) team has to go 12-6 which means they have to go 10-3 the rest of the way to feel good. … And let’s be honest, for what we’ve seen out of this team there’s really not a lot of reason to expect that this team can do that.”
Gabe DeArmond, 810 AM
GH: Talk about a cold slap to the face of every Tiger basketball fan! And I’m talking all three of them!

“I’ve never been a part of anything like that. Our four and five players committed more fouls than points scored, rebounds and blocks COMBINED!”
Frank Martin, on the woeful play of his big men against Georgia Wednesday night, 810 AM
GH: If you have lost track of Frank Martin since he bolted from Kansas State, things have not gone real well for him at USC. Read on.

“I went home that night (after the Mississippi loss) and I felt like I demeaned Brett Williams. And that’s why I thought I needed to apologize to Brett.”
Frank Martin, on why he publicly apologized to his guard, 810 AM
GH: Martin doesn’t appear to have matured much since we saw him impersonating Bo Pelini on the Wildcats bench. But he swears he’s getting better…

“Sometimes I’m not happy with some of the words that come out of my mouth. I know I’ve worked hard at that and I know I’ve gotten better at that.”
Frank Martin, 810 AM
GH: Frank seems to have set an incredibly low goal for himself when it comes to professional deportment. I am going to guess he would not stand for his players to be so easy on themselves.

“I could care less if we’re winning or losing. I’m going to be who I am.”
Frank Martin, 810 AM
GH: I wonder if these comments were part of Frank’s job interview with USC? Steven St. John concluded the interview with Martin by fawning over him and telling him that his “loud” approach to coaching was reminiscent of how SSJ’s father raised him. So I guess that makes everything Martin does to belittle his players okay? Just once I’d love to hear someone interview Martin and be as tough on him as he is on his athletes.

“That whole area has an unbelievable place in my heart and my family’s heart.”
Frank Martin, on wishing the people of the Kansas City area well, 810 AM
GH: Martin sounded almost wistful when he said these words. Almost like he and his family just might miss Manhattan, Kansas. 

“Do you know the guy that had the most impact on (Aaron Rodgers) when he met him? Who he was most impressed with when he walked away? Tarik Black. Think about it. He’s 6’9, 250, athletic. Put that in your head next year, you might see a little (Justin) Gage or Julius Thomas action with Tarik Black. I’m not saying it’s going to happen but don’t be surprised if it does. There’s a little Greg Gurley inside information of the year.”
Greg Gurley, KU radio color analyst, on how he perceived the Packers’ quarterback’s interest in KU senior post player when Rodgers met the Jayhawks last Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse, 610 AM
GH: An interesting thought. Black has almost no chance at an NBA career but he’s got all the tools to play tight end. Some agent somewhere is reading this and calling Black about the NFL Combine right now. Would Bill Self let him attend?

“At least a third of that league suffers the same consequences as Vince Young. Their names just aren’t as popular.”
Herm Edwards, discussing the former NFL quarterback declaring bankruptcy this week at the age of 30 despite earning over $26 million during his seven-year career, 810 AM
GH: A third of the players in the NFL??? Crazy.

“(Ronnie) Peoples, who is president and CEO of Peoples Financial Service Inc. in Raleigh, N.C., testified under oath at a deposition hearing that he arranged a high-interest, seven-figure loan for Young during the 2011 lockout because the player wanted to throw himself a $300,000 birthday party even though he was running low on funds.”
Ruth Manuel-Logan, writer, newsone.com
GH: Live like you were dying, huh Vince?

“Young, who has four children with four different women, has been immersed in lawsuits that stem from a $1.8 million loan that was taken out in his name during the 2011 owners’ lockout of players. A judgment in favor of the company that made the loan has grown to $2.5 million.”
Ruth Manuel-Logan, writer, newsone.com
GH: And you thought you had troubles.

“I think (Richard) Sherman is refreshing. … Every player thinks he is better than the guy across from him.”
Andrew Brandt, NFL analyst, on Sherman boasting that he is the best corner in the league, 810 AM
GH: The first name that came to mind as I watched Sherman spit his ego into Erin Andrews mic was Cassius Clay. As a kid in the 1960s, Clay’s bold behavior and even bolder ego turned off a lot of the white folks. But my dad loved Clay. He loved his talent and how unafraid he was of life. Some people resent people for their courage. Others admire them for it.

 

“It was awesome because I’ve done so many interviews that are just so cliché and so rehearsed and the same old same old where you feel like you’re sleepwalking. This is one where I was like, ‘What is happening right now?’ I’ve never been a part of something like that, and obviously that’s why everyone nationally is talking about it.”
Erin Andrews, on her live interview with Richard Sherman, Seattlepi.com


GH: Andrews made her comments a day or two after her interview with Sherman. She had time to absorb the nation’s response to the interview and react accordingly. But her body language during the Sherman interview said anything BUT how “awesome” she thought the moment was at the time.

“So @bobfescoe wants to boycott all Olympics not in America and @3guysinagarage LOVES the Pro Bowl Draft. I work with some different dudes.”
Danny Parkins, @DannyParkins, Twitter

“Not afraid to go head-to-head with the big names in Kansas City Sports – Soren Petro!”
Radio Promo for Petro’s The Program show, 810 AM
GH: Who writes these promos for these sports talk guys? Kietzman’s promo asks us if we are glad he doesn’t evaluate our work. Sure. Why would Petro be afraid of interviewing a big name in KC sports? Are we supposed to think he’s a tough guy because Andy Reid is contractually obligated to appear on 810? Are Bill Self or Bruce Weber or Bill Snyder particularly surly dudes in a live interview? I just don’t understand the braggadocio from guys sitting on their ass most of the day.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 

 


Royals are in full marketing mode

Written 1-23-14

“The (Royals) on-field performance is considerably better than it has been over the past few years, and I hope you’ve been able to enjoy some of the better performance in some capacity. The link below will take you to an e-brochure. It will display options for next season, but it will also show you a list of accomplishments from 2013.”
Royals Email to prospective season ticket buyers
GH: The Royals are in full marketing mode as the latest polar vortex envelops the Midwest here in late January. I found some of the items in their list of accomplishments interesting, especially their nod to the importance of the Internet and social media. Please read on for a portion of that list.

“70% increase in television ratings”
GH: Anyone asking why the Royals decided to bring back Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler for the 2014 season (my hand is raised and waving) needs to look no further than this figure. It is my opinion that Royals fans would tune in to watch a live TV broadcast of their team even if they left the broadcast booth empty. But I understand the Royals thinking that you can’t argue with a 70% increase in the ratings.

 

Per game Cume of radio listeners increased 37% (20,500 more listeners per game). Share of Adults 25-54 listening on radio doubled”
GH: It has to be maddening for WHB to see 610 AM profit from the current success of the Royals when their time as the Royals rights holder was attached to 100-loss seasons. That seems to be one of the motives of Kevin Kietzman’s constant attacks at David Glass, Kauffman Stadium and just about anybody on the roster not named Billy Butler.

 

“154% increase of average check-ins on MLB’s AtTheBallpark app. 11% growth in Facebook followers. 73% growth in Twitter. 576% growth in Instagram. 21% increase in web traffic on royals.com. 194% increase in mobile web traffic. 107% increase in Royals tickets sold on royals.com.”
GH: I am not sure what these social media increases prove other than some of these formats like Instagram just started to become more popular in 2013. MLB and the Royals need to decrease the age of their average fan. The WSJ reported in November that the average age of the television viewer for last fall’s World Series was over the age of 54. The increases the Royals show here for their online activity is nothing to get excited about. They need these numbers to grow exponentially over the next few years if they want to show they are capturing a younger and more sustainable audience.

“The great thing is that we’re not on stage. We can just be ourselves.”
Ned Yost, in an interview with The Kansas City Star’s Brent Frazee about his deer hunting excursions in Georgia with Jeff Foxworthy and some MLB players, Kansas City Star
GH: I really wish Ned Yost would try being himself here in Kansas City as the Royals manager. Why does he think he needs to be someone else? The persona he is providing us through the media isn’t a real likable guy. Maybe we would enjoy the Real Ned more than the Fake Ned.

“Sluggerrr is on salary and gets a company car. #Truth.”
Tim Scott,
@timscott411, former in-stadium host for the Royals, Twitter
GH: How does he drive that company car with those feet and enlarged head?

“The people that have seen Kyle Zimmer pitch rave about him and say that he could for sure be a number one down the road.”
Joel Goldberg, on the Royals young pitching prospect, 810 AM
GH: Zimmer is 22 years old and he will be 23 in September. I am hoping he has a great training camp in Surprise and he’s ready to be placed in the Royals’ rotation this April. Now is now. It’s time for the Royals to rise above their expectations for a change.

“We’re in real good shape. We’re in better shape than any of the 20 years I’ve been with the Kansas City Chiefs.”
Mitch Holthus, on his optimism for the 2014 season, 810 AM
GH: With ten Pro Bowlers on the Chiefs’ roster and coming off an 11-5 season, it appears to be difficult to argue Mitch’s point. But the Chiefs started 9-0 and then finished with a 2-6 slide. Add to that the fact they were swept by two AFC West rivals, San Diego and Denver, to finish at 2-4 in their division. And then there is that guy named Peyton Manning in Denver who likely looms large for the next season or two. I would like to be as optimistic as Uncle Mitch but the reality is he may not call a Chiefs playoff victory the next two seasons despite all that the Chiefs have going for them.

“I am extremely proud of this…”
Kevin Kietzman, on replaying his interview (yet again) with Scott Pioli from 2012, 810 AM
GH: I have often complimented Kietzman on his savvy sixth sense for what plays well on sports talk radio. He has dominated his competition for years because he has a better feel than his competition for what makes for good radio. He fails miserably though every time he goes down this personal-vendetta path directed at Pioli. This segment served almost no one in KK’s audience. Unfortunately, there is no one at 810 who feels the need (or is brave enough) to explain this to Kevin.

“I think that interview and I think that draft led to his demise.”
Kevin Kietzman, suggesting that Pioli came off so poorly in his interview with KK that it (combined with his 2012 draft) eventually led to Clark Hunt firing him, 810 AM
GH: Okay, Kevin. We get it. You mess with Kevin Kietzman and attempt to question his football knowledge on his show and Clark Hunt will fire you. Got it.

“You cannot overpay for a franchise quarterback! It’s just not possible!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: It appeared to me that KK wanted to replay his Pioli interview to prove how right he was about Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck. I am still waiting to hear KK replay any of the months’ worth of shows where he chastised the Chiefs for not drafting Geno Smith. Kietzman seems to have a problem with admitting his mistakes. Odd for a guy who has had so much practice.

“Forecasters are starting to agree on SB Sunday weather. Major storm. Also: very cold (20's) already a lock.”
Colin Cowherd,
@ESPN_Colin, Twitter
GH: We are still too far out to know just what kind of weather to expect for the Super Bowl held outdoors in NYC. But it sure seems dumb to me to risk playing this game in poor weather conditions. It the temps are in the 20s for an evening kickoff, I don’t expect Peyton Manning to function real well in the second half.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Mizzou 'feels like Quin Snyder days'

Written 1-22-14

“If this (Mizzou) team doesn’t make it to the NCAA Tournament should (Frank) Haith be canned? … Last night on Twitter Missouri fans were done – and I don’t blame them! You don’t lose to LSU in basketball.”
Bob Fescoe, after Missouri dropped to 2-3 in the SEC with a road loss at LSU, 610 AM
GH: The 12-1 start and a win over UCLA got Mizzou fans thinking maybe their Tigers had been undervalued in the preseason. But starting 2-3 in the SEC with losses to three bad teams has proven to be a reality check in Columbia.

“The sad thing is these losses don't even hurt. I'm just like, oh well. We're a football school now.”
@MizzouKCfan4, Twitter

“He’s looking more like Frank Haith. When Missouri hired him he looked like a low-20s-win coach at best.”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM
GH: Haith captured the nation’s attention with his 31-win season his first season at Missouri. But the ride since has been fraught with on- and off-the-court issues. One of his biggest problems at Mizzou is his inability to excite his fan base into showing up for games at Mizzou Arena.

“This feels like the Quin Synder days with more talent. … I had low expectations for this season but even this is looooooooow.”
Carrington Harrison, @CDotharrison, Twitter

“We competed tonight. You can’t take anything away from our guys’ competitive spirit tonight. You can’t. LSU’s a good ballclub and they were ready to play … (but) I’m very pleased and encouraged by how hard our guys competed.”

Frank Haith, after Mizzou loss at LSU, Kansas City Star
GH: Coaches who are on the hot seat immediately start to applaud their team’s effort after a bad loss. This is a change from how Haith talked about his team just a week ago. It sounds to me like the heat has been turned up since the embarrassing loss at home to Georgia and getting punked by seven guys at Vandy.

 

“Either you are with ‘us’ or you're not. Negativity coming from frustration is understandable, but if being FAIRWEATHER, you can kick rocks. Coach Haith and the guys will get this thing back on track. Just a couple early stumbling blocks. It's called adversity. It makes you strong.”
Laurence Bowers, @LBowers_21, former MU player responding to the critical tweets directed at Haith and MU following the LSU loss, Twitter
GH: Bowers is reacting like you would a recent graduate of the basketball program to react – defensively. But he looks like he’s adding to the problem rather than helping to solve it. There is no such thing as a “fairweather fan.” People either care about a team or they do not. It is up to the team to make sure they are worth caring about.

“Texas is now 4-2 in the Big 12 after Jonathan Holmes' buzzer beater beat K State. Not many doing a better coaching job than Rick Barnes.”
Jon Rothstein,
@JonRothstein, after Texas pulled out a last-second win over K-State Tuesday night in Austin, Twitter
GH: A tough loss for Kansas State and a huge win for the Longhorns. The Jayhawks also was very interested in the outcome of this game. KU now has a cushy two-game lead in the loss column over every other Big 12 team.

“Another solid win for Rick Barnes &; the Longhorns. Based on outside expectations before season, he'd be Big 12 Coach of the Year right now.”
Fran Fraschilla,
@franfraschilla, Twitter
GH: Texas beat K-State at home on a deep corner three shot that made every nightly highlight show. So has Barnes really done a better job than Bruce Weber at this stage in the conference race? Does Bill Self get no credit for being 5-0? I think Barnes has always been underrated but he’s far from the only Big 12 coach who deserves mention for the conference’s COTY.

“What fans boo more? Kansas State fans or Iowa State fans?”
Nate Bukaty, on the two basketball fan bases at their home gyms, 810 AM
GH: I heard Aaron Swarts echo Nate’s sentiments by saying this was a close call. Both Nate and Aaron are Kansas grads and huge Kansas fans. I have heard a lot of complaining from KU fans about how much ISU fans booed during the Jayhawks win in Ames. This is the first I’ve heard where the fans at Bramlage are being compared to the Cyclone fans. Do Kansas fans think they don’t boo inside Allen Fieldhouse? Now, when you rarely lose at home (and you don’t have to play Kansas), I can understand maybe why you think your boos aren’t as offensive. But I don’t see any difference between any fans inside a packed house when their team is on the short end of a call, a play or the score. 

“Scott (Pioli) is one of the most respected and adept talent evaluators in the NFL and a member of three Super Bowl championship teams.”
Thomas Dimitroff, owner of the Atlanta Falcons, on naming the former Chiefs GM as the Falcons assistant GM, NFL.com
GH: Dimitroff has known Pioli and worked with him for 20 years. Maybe he knows something about Pioli that we missed here in Kansas City. But I am guessing we could tell Dimitroff a thing or two that he might have missed about his old pal as well.

 

“CALLING ALL ATLANTA RADIO STATIONS: I am free ALL DAY to talk Scott Pioli. Please, please call me.”
Nick Wright, @getnickwright, Twitter

 

“Scott Pioli is a smart football guy. Chiefs experiment didn't work because of coaching hire and QB. Those are set in Atlanta.”

Evan Silva, @evansilva, Twitter
GH: Oh, is that all it was here in KC? Seems kind of important for the GM to get those two hires right, don’t you think?

“Median price paid for a Super Bowl ticket on Stubhub dropped another $14 today, down to $2,985.”
Darren Rovell,
@darrenrovell, Twitter
GH: Three grand for a ticket to a football game outside in NYC in February. Just say no.

GregHall24@yahoo.com / Twitter @greghall24

 


Kansas 5-0 in Big 12; and the Richard Sherman interview

Written 1-21-14

“Kansas has won 4 straight regular-season games over ranked teams. Last team to win 4 straight vs. AP Top 25 teams is North Carolina (1997).”
@SportsCenter, Twitter

“Kansas looks to me like a basketball team that could win a national championship in early April inside house that Jerry built in Dallas. Then again, Kansas looks to me like a team that could get knocked out in the early rounds of the NCAA Tournament. It just depends on when I’m watching Kansas.”
Bob Lutz, columnist for The Wichita Eagle, Kansas.com
GH: Yes. And yes. The Big 12 looks all but over with Kansas throttling their gauntlet of a conference schedule by opening with a 5-0 run through OU, KSU, ISU, OSU and Baylor. Damn. That is impressive even if your name is Kevin Kietzman.

“The only team is Kansas State that can say, ‘Okay, we’re still right there with them.’”
Dave Armstrong, on KSU still in the Big 12 race with KU, 810 AM
GH: KSU’s blowout loss at Allen Fieldhouse left us with little to like about the Cats’ chances of catching Kansas. But the same thing happened last season (twice) and KSU still grabbed a share of the Big 12 crown. KSU has a HUGE week on the road with Texas tonight and then at Ames on Saturday. If they can stay fairly clean before their February 10th rematch in Manhattan maybe this Big 12 race will retain some sense of mystery. But for now KU has stripped the conference naked and removed all the sexy from the season.

“Baylor gonna .... Nah. No shame losing to Kansas in the Phog. Especially when the out-of-bounds lines don't apply to the home team.”
Pat Forde,
@YahooForde, on the blown call that allowed Wayne Selden to step over the out-of-bounds line to make a spectacular diving save and land in the KU crowd, Twitter
GH: Forde is a Mizzou grad and he often pokes his pen at the Jayhawk faithful. This was one of those times.

“This is true. RT @CWil07 @YahooForde hey, at Mizzou he would have landed in empty seats.”
Pat Forde,
@YahooForde, Twitter
GH: Kudos to Forde for recognizing a worthy Twitter response from
@CWil07 and rolling with it. See, this rivalry doesn’t have to be bloody at all times.

“Brady Heslip on Wayne Selden being out of bounds: "Maybe he deserved it, because that was great hustle."
Rustin Dodd,
@rustindodd, Twitter
GH: Opposing players have little or no chance of being popular people when they step on the court at Allen Fieldhouse – or any place where the other team has a raucous fan base. But Heslip’s comment here and his nod to Selden’s hustle is really a very cool thing about athletics.

“Great win (over Oklahoma State) for Kansas but Wiggins was a total no show. This was a man's game and he wasn't ready for it.”
Seth Davis,
@SethDavisHoops, after Wiggins was held to three points and limited playing time at home against the Pokes, Twitter
GH: Wiggins took one shot after the 9:26 mark of the first half. That is not what you expect from the best basketball protégé since LeBron. Okay, we all know that hype was wrong. But any player who is expected to be a lottery pick – let alone the next Danny Manning – cannot disappear in his team’s biggest conference home game at Allen Fieldhouse. Bill Self called Wiggins an “alpha dog” before the season. But against OSU he resembled only half of that description. 

“Rule #1— don’t let them sing — #KU wins...”
Doug Gottlieb,
@GottliebShow, after the Cowboys’ furious comeback fell short but it was enough to hold off the “Rock Chalk” chant, Twitter
GH: Gottlieb just didn’t go to OSU, he played there. Is it okay for members of the media to openly root for their former team and school? Yeah, I think so. It taints their perspective though when it comes time for analysts like Gottlieb to breakdown the Pokes. I just don’t believe anything he says about them.

“I don’t know. I think it would be too overwhelming for me right now. I’m not sure I’m ready.”
Joel Embiid, when asked if he is considering the NBA draft after his freshman year, ESPN.com
GH: This quote from Embiid has KU fans and college basketball buzzing. Would the best player in the country really stay in school a second season? Can the rest of the Big 12 hate Kansas anymore than they already do?

“(I researched the history of big men and the draft) and I was curious because I want to be great, I want to be the best at my position one day. I’m trying to learn everything and what other people did. All of the great big men went to college at least two or three years. I think it’s a big factor. I don't know if it will always work, but I think it's the best choice.”
Joel Embiid, ESPN.com
GH: We are not even to February and we have all but handed KU their tenth straight Big 12 crown. If Embiid comes back, well, you know the drill.

“WSU, Shockers Ron Baker, Cleanthony Early and Nick Wiggins – Andrew’s older brother – got some face time and talk time on the ESPN broadcast. Sideline reporter Holly Rowe essentially asked the Shockers’ players how WSU would stack up against Kansas. They did a great job of side-stepping the question. Nick Wiggins mumbled something before Early said something like ‘basketball is basketball’ and Baker chimed in with a take that KU being good is a good thing for the state. I was hoping for a Richard Sherman moment when one of them said something like: ‘Yeah, we’re better than Kansas. Kansas, they’re sloppy. We’re not sloppy. We’re ready to play these sorry guys now, after this game is over. We’ll make a call and get Fred, Tekele and the rest up here. We’re ready to go.’ A Wichita State-Kansas dream matchup will have to wait for the NCAA Tournament.”
Bob Lutz, Kansas.com
GH: I was really impressed with the Wichita State players during their live interview with Rowe. First, they appeared on camera in a group hug that told the sports world, “We are brothers!” I told my wife while we watched this exchange that there is nothing like being a teammate. It’s different than family and love relationships. Not better, but different. I still smile every time I get an email or phone call from my old teammates. These three kids from WSU will do the same in 40 years. I love that thought.

“God bless the KCS for giving all the local college teams equal coverage. Not here! If you’re games suck – we’re not going to talk about it.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: I hear from local college fans who demand more even coverage for Missouri during basketball season Kansas during football season…but Soren is right as far as what makes sense. The Kansas City Star needs to cover all of the teams, even when they are bad or just named UMKC. Sports talk radio and blogs do not.

“In the first 13 minutes of the 1st half, #Creighton outscored Nova 47-19. In the first 13 mins of 2nd half, Creighton outscored Nova 34-9.”
Dirk Chatelain,
@dirkchatelain, after Creighton destroyed Villanova by 28 at The Palestra, Twitter

“OSCAR 'S pizza must taste gr 8 in Peyton Manning's fav city OMAHA-NEBRASKA hoops capital tonight-Creighton routs Villanova-HUSKERS over OSU!”
Dick Vitale,
@DickieV, after Creighton’s big win and Nebraska beat Ohio State in Lincoln, Twitter
GH: Dickie V might not know that Nebraska is located in Lincoln but he was close enough for the Midwest. What a winter it has been for my hometown, Omaha.

“Did anyone catch the Counting Crows song ‘Omaha’ on the way into the last commercial break after Broncos touchdown? Good stuff.”
Drew Brees,
@drewbrees, Twitter

“I didn’t like the (Richard Sherman / Erin Andrews) interview. So what if I didn’t like the interview? Why are we who didn’t like the interview (being criticized)?”
Henry Blake, on Richard Sherman’s interview with Erin Andrews, 610 AM
GH: This interview is going to take a lot more time to discuss than I have space in today’s OTC. Maybe we can get to it later this week. In short, 1) Fox blew it big time by cutting the camera away from Sherman just as he was warming up. 2) Andrews looked absolutely lost and out of place. She was not prepared for what Sherman brought and that is all on her. 3) Sherman is being vilified for his egotistical rant as if he was Satan. Would I want my son to act like Sherman? No. But Sherman exists in my life merely as entertainment. And I was definitely entertained.

“QB Alex Smith & Derrick Johnson named to the Pro Bowl as replacements for Tom Brady & Navarro Bowman. That makes 10 for KC.”
TWC SportsChannel KC,
@TWCSportsKC, Twitter
GH: Ten Pro Bowlers and the Chiefs still have zero playoff wins. Talk about your Polar Vortex…

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


How bad is Mizzou hoops?

Written 1-17-14

“You cannot look at the (MU) schedule and count wins because they just lost to the team a lot of people thought was the worst team in the conference and another that just suited up seven players.”
Gabe DeArmond, on MU’s loss at home to woeful Georgia and their loss Thursday night at Vandy, 810 AM
GH: What started out as a surprise season for Mizzou basketball with their 12-1 start and a home win over UCLA has quickly eroded into an SEC nightmare. Frank Haith was supposed to cruise to the NCAA tourney on the heels of his gaudy non-con record and the awfulness that is SEC basketball. But everything changed when Mizzou’s home-win streak was snapped by a poor Georgia team, a bad Auburn team pushed MU to the brink and then Vandy beat the Tigers with seven players. The second semester hasn’t even begun in Columbia but Haith’s seat just got a lot hotter.

“Mizzou had been the first team out of the poll after the Georgia loss and isn't likely to climb back in now even with a win against Bama.”
Tod Palmer, @todpalmer, on MU playing Alabama (8-8) at Mizzou Arena Saturday at 1:00 PM, Twitter
GH: The SEC basketball schedule is the exact opposite than football. Playing conference games hurts your chances at climbing up the polls, not helps. 

“Even with Missouri’s 12-1 start, it is going to take at least 11-7 in this league to get you into the NCAA tournament. I think this is a three-bid league.”
Gabe DeArmond, 810 AM
GH: I heard Dave Armstrong say he thinks the Big 12 will place eight teams in the NCAA tourney this spring. We here in Kansas City are finding out firsthand just how awful SEC basketball is on a number of levels. I had no idea it would be this bad.

“Missouri’s offensive decision making just hasn’t been very good tonight. … Shot selection just has not been very good the entire evening for Missouri.”
Mike Kelly, radio play-by-play voice of Missouri basketball, during the second half of the Vanderbilt loss, Tiger Radio Network
GH: I listened to Kelly’s play-by-play for much of this game. He sounded professional but disgusted with much of the Tigers play. I appreciated that he did not try to blame Vandy, the refs or anything else. He was pointing his finger at Mizzou. Some like their college play-by-play guys to be homers. I do not.

“Vandy is a tired team right now!”
Gary Link, radio analyst for Mizzou basketball, Tiger Radio Network
GH: Link must have mentioned how tired and weary Vanderbilt’s seven players were ten times in the second half. He sounded like he was trying to verbally will these guys to drop over from fatigue to allow MU to win. It never happened. Link is way too much of a cheerleader for my ears.

“Mizzou players consistently blamed defensive mistakes, ‘confusion on D’ & miscommunication for tonight's loss.”
Dave Matter, writer for the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Twitter
GH: Sounds like a coaching problem to me.

“Mizzou missed 12 layups according to the shot chart and was 6 of 23 from 3-point range.”
Tod Palmer, @todpalmer, MU beat writer for The Kansas City Star, on MU’s performance at Vandy, Twitter
GH: Sounds like a shitty players’ problem to me.

“Obviously, whatever the issue is it’s more important to Frank Haith than wins and losses. Because you’ve got to think that Tony Criswell could have helped (at Vanderbilt).”
Gabe DeArmond, on Criswell playing only 10 minutes against the Commodores, 810 AM
GH: Haith isn’t playing one of MU’s best players? So let’s find out why, Gabe! PowerMizzou.com is a paid service for Mizzou insider info and I expect those who pay would like to know. Or maybe Gabe was saving what he knows for his subscribers?

“Haith isn't blameless, but like most college coaches, fans assign too much of it to him IMO.”
Gabe DeArmond,
@GabeDeArmond, Twitter
GH: IMO college athletic departments assign too much salary to mediocre coaches. If Haith is cashing his checks, he deserves the heat from the MU fans.

“Far too often people associate losing with not trying, caring or playing hard. Teams don't always win, but almost no player doesn't want to.”
Gabe DeArmond,
@GabeDeArmond, Twitter
GH: Wanting to win is rarely the issue – unless you’re Shoeless Joe Jackson. (I can imagine the seamheads queuing up now to defend SJJ’s memory.) Wanting to win is not enough. Paying the price to prepare to win and then making the effort during the game is what Mizzou fans are questioning about this Frank Haith team. This is such a puzzle to me. Haith’s first team was so, so, so fun to watch. He played that small lineup with Kim English guarding big guys and Phil Pressey dazzling us with his floor game. This version of the Tigers looks like Haith got his players mixed up with the MU wrestling team. 

“One of the many good things about being in the SEC is nobody else in the conference gives you a bunch of grief for losing basketball games.”
@MizzouKCfan4, Twitter
GH: This is sad. Tiger fans are now relegated to being happy they can suffer their basketball losses without KU fans tweeting them nasty notes? It is NOT progress that no one in the SEC cares enough about basketball that you are left to suffer in silence. It’s a damn shame.

“This is all you need to know about the Big 12 – and this is no disrespect to the players or the coach. Bruce Weber is 19-2 since he got to K-State. This can’t be a great league because that’s not a great team. That’s a good team. That’s a good coach. But it can’t be a great league if Bruce Weber with his players at K-State has gone 19-2 against the rest of this league since he got here. There’s no way this is a great league. I like the Big 12 and I’m trying to be fair here. There’s no way this is the best league! That’s impossible!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman is just a weird, sad dude. He is so frustrated with his Wildcats and Weber not being able to beat or be competitive with Bill Self and Kansas that he feels the need to diminish and disregard all the great wins and play that Weber has brought to Kansas State in his first two seasons – not to mention KSU’s first conference basketball title since 1977!

“You can say that but I think there are plenty of other teams that we hail as great and the Big 12 goes out and plays some of these schools in the non-conference and beats them. … I think this league has comparable teams to the top five in the Big 10. … I didn’t think K-State would beat Oklahoma State or Gonzaga, so I’m done dissing K-State.”
Jason King, college basketball writer for BleacherReport.com, responding to Kietzman comment about Big 12 basketball, 810 AM

“Never realized how much more unsettling Willie the Wildcat is without shoulder pads and football pants. Must have had a horrible childhood.”
David Ubben,
@davidubben, Twitter
GH: Isn’t it time K-State ditched Willy and got a real mascot? Or at least one with a complete outfit? Willy looks more like a guy heading home from a Halloween party than a DI mascot.

“If (Baylor’s) Scott Drew is the worst coach in your league, and I think you can make a pretty good case that he is, you’ve got a pretty good league!”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: No college coach gets more disrespect around the Big 12 than Homer’s kid. But would Mizzou take what Drew’s done at Baylor? I can’t think of too many struggling programs that wouldn’t be happy with a perennial top-20 team that typically disappoints in the end.

“If Wiggins isn’t in foul trouble I think you’re going to see him on Marcus Smart a lot.”
Rustin Dodd, Kansas beat writer for the Kansas City Star, 810 AM
GH: Oklahoma State will be at Allen Fieldhouse Saturday afternoon and this matchup between Smart and Wiggins will be one the nation will be tuning in to watch. Wiggins has shown he plays at a different level when he’s challenged so we should see him at his best. Smart always plays like it’s his last game and he is the guy who was doing backflips after OSU’s win at AFH last season so he will be one of the crowd’s favorite targets. 3:00 PM on CBS.

“Will say this once (until someone gets hurt): There is no proper etiquette for court storm. You paid for seat, not to invade playing field.”
Michael DeCourcy,
@tsnmike, Twitter
GH: Will say this once…or maybe 437 times: people in the media who chastise college kids for storming their home court after a win are far more embarrassing than a few hundred kids having fun. Let’s harken back to the great Frank Haith’s words of wisdom; “Cool will get you beat.” Quit trying to be so cool everybody and let the college kids be kids.

“I’ve had a lot of people ask what Omaha means. Omaha is a run play but it could be a pass play or a play-action pass, depending on a couple things; the wind, which way we’re going, the quarter, and uh the jerseys that we’re wearing. So it varies really, play to play. So, there’s your answer to that one.”
Peyton Manning, WDAF TV FOX 4
GH: When I hear Peyton yell my hometown’s name I think of all the other neighborhoods and suburbs he could also promote. Familiar neighborhoods like Benson, Dundee, Little Italy, Sheelytown, Field Club, Ralston, Millard and my old stomping grounds – South Omaha or Brown Park. Omaha isn’t known for a lot of grandeur or as a popular destination so it’s fun for me to see Peyton give it 15 minutes of fame. I know the folks up north are enjoying it as well. Maybe we can get Alex Smith to yell, “Strawberry Hill,” next season.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Charlie Strong has new rules for Texas football

Written 1-16-14

Texas’ new head football coach is Charlie Strong, who recently took the Longhorn job after a successful four seasons at Louisville. I have heard a number of people in the media make fun of Texas for hiring a coach with Strong’s less-than-big-time resume. Many believe he’s not a big enough name for the position. They seem to forget that Mack Brown came to Texas from North Carolina.

A list of Texas team rules called “Strong Expectations” was leaked today on barkingcarnival.com. I don’t know if Strong is going to win at Texas or not but I sure like the way he is going about his new job. Read on for Coach Strong’s new team rules in OTC format…

“Players will attend all of their classes and sit in the front two rows of all of their classes. GAs, academic folks, position coaches will be checking constantly now.”
GH: I haven’t been to class at Texas but I am going to bet this is about as big a change to happen to their classrooms since electricity hit campus. Where do/did the football players sit at your school?

“No headphones in class. No texting in class. Sit up and take notes.”
GH: Do students really where headphones in class? WTF?

“If a player misses a class, he runs until it hurts. If he misses two classes, his entire position unit runs. If he misses three, the position coach runs. The position coaches don't want to run.”
GH: I have NEVER heard of a coach punishing a position coach for a kid missing class. I LOVE this rule!

“No earrings in the football building. No drugs. No stealing. No guns. Treat women with respect.”
GH: Pretty damn simple, ain’t it? Although I’m not sure I’d place earring wearing on the same level as drugs, stealing, guns and wife beating.

“Players may not live off campus anymore, unless they're a senior who hits certain academic standards. The University will buy out the leases for every player currently living off campus and put them in the athletic dorm.”
GH: Where else can the head football coach just declare, “The University will buy out the leases for every player currently living off campus…” like he’s ordering a pizza?

“The team will all live together, eat together, suffer together, and hang out together. They will become a true team and learn to impose accountability on each other. The cliques are over.”
GH: This sounds like a shot at Mack Brown’s program. I don’t know how a head coach can kill cliques on a team roster that sports 125 players. But I’m betting Strong will get it done.

“There's no time for a rebuild. ‘I don't have time for that.’ The expectation is that Texas wins now.”
GH: I soooo wanted Charlie to write, “Ain’t nobody got time for dat!” But I guess that would have detracted from his academic message.

“Players will learn that they would rather practice than milk a minor injury.”
GH: I think I saw this same rule while watching “Friday Night Tykes” last night.

“The focus is on winning and graduating. Anything extraneous to that is a distraction and will be stamped out or removed.”
GH: I do not think it is a coincidence that Charlie did not place these two points of emphasis in alphabetical order.

“Strong met individually with seniors and key leaders and re-emphasized that the plan is to win now. They can lead the new culture or be run over by it.”
GH: I would have loved to been in on that meeting. Sounds like Charlie told them, “You can be part of the solution or remain part of the problem.” Hook ‘em!

“I don't want to talk about things. I'd rather do things. We just talked. Now it's time to do.”
Charlie Strong

GregHall224@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 

 


Dwayne Bowe says Riverside police profiled him

Written 1-15-14

“The people close around me and my team and the organization know I had nothing to do with that (marijuana arrest). I was being profiled. It will all come to light in February. It wasn't a distraction (to the Chiefs) because my teammates know and my family knows. Like I said, I was being watched and being followed.”
Dwayne Bowe, in an interview with WHB’s The Border Patrol and former Chiefs wide receiver Eddie Kennison, 810 AM
GH: The Riverside police cited Bowe for driving 48 mph in a 35 mph zone. During the arrest they discovered Bowe’s wallet contained his driver’s license and Marijuana. Read a news report about the arrest from last November below.

“While questioning the driver, the officer detected a strong odor of marijuana from inside of the vehicle. The (Riverside) officer then requested the driver and two passengers to get out of the vehicle. Once out of the vehicle the officer explained to the driver, who owned the vehicle, that he was a K-9 Officer and that the dog would alert to an illegal substance. Subsequently, inside of a black bag the officer discovered the wallet of the driver and vehicle owner, Dwayne L. Bowe, and two containers that had 6.6 grams and 3.8 grams respectively of what is believed to be marijuana in them. Bowe was then placed under arrest for the possession of a controlled substance. The K-9 alerted to a black backpack and inside of that was found a container that had 4.2 grams of what is believed to be marijuana in it.”
Fox4KC.com, news report on Bowe’s arrest in November 2013
GH: I don’t know if Bowe was “profiled” or “being watched and followed” because he was a black man driving an Audi in Riverside around midnight. Maybe the Riverside cops were waiting in the weeds for him…but that’s kind of what the police do, Dwayne. They set up speed traps to issue tickets to keep their streets safe and add to their city coffers. Unless the cops put the dope in your billfold and vehicle, you’re complaint should be directed at the mirror.

“If (Bowe) thought he was profiled before, wait until the cops hear that interview. I think the cops are going to be real interested in stopping Dwayne Bowe after that interview.”
Jeff Chadiha, NFL writer for EPSN, 810 AM

“I’m going to work out more on my work ethic. I’m going to get quicker and faster. I want to be one of those speedy quick guys.”
Dwayne Bowe, when asked his plans for the off-season, 810 AM
GH: Bowe said he would also like to lose five pounds and get down to about 208. He said he needs to work on his stamina because he was so tired at the end of the playoff game in Indianapolis. Looking for the Riverside Sonic at midnight is not the best route to achieving those goals, Dwayne.

“Having a fun time watching all of these WR's for the upcoming NFL Draft…awesome group!”
Daniel Jeremiah,
@MoveTheSticks, Twitter
GH: I’ve seen some mock drafts that have the Chiefs targeting a speedy quick wide receiver with their first pick. Apparently Bowe has as well.

“It’s a different environment.”
John Sundvold, on the difference in covering SEC basketball compared to the Big 12, 810 AM
GH: I have yet to warm to watching many SEC basketball games that don’t involve Missouri, Kentucky or Florida. I do have to say I may need to add Arkansas home games to that list – especially after the Hogs overtime thriller win over Kentucky Tuesday night. Suuuuueeee!

“If KU wins Saturday, the Big 12 is over.”
Carrington Harrison, on KU playing Oklahoma State at Allen Fieldhouse, 610 AM
GH: Harrison isn’t the only one thinking this is a possibility just two weeks into the Big 12 basketball season. Kansas has looked that good since their upset loss at home to San Diego State on January 5th. Just ten days ago we were asking, “What’s wrong with Kansas?” Now we are wondering if there are enough teams left on their Big 12 schedule to make the next month interesting.

“I don’t know if people know what you look like, Carrington. Because once a week we still get people who are surprised that you are black.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: I get people once a week who mention to me that they are surprised I listen to local sports talk radio. I don’t see the Arbitron ratings very often anymore and I don’t know how accurate they are with WHB not participating in them. What shows do you listen to and which ones do you avoid? With satellite radio now in so many cars, I fear the local talk shows are losing their audience.

“I think New England can go to China in the middle of the night and win! That’s one of the most prepared, physically tough teams. They are fun to watch. They will more than be ready to go out there with physical toughness and resilience.”
Louis Riddick, when asked about the Patriots chances of winning in Denver, 810 AM
GH: Riddick mentioned he was a former player under Belichick and his loyalty to his former coach was evident during this interview. Riddick became audibly upset while discussing the critics of his former coach and his lack of titles since Spygate. It was obvious to me that Riddick has no objectivity when it comes to Belichick and New England. Unfortunately, The Border Patrol duo allowed Riddick to go on and on about the prowess of the Pats without anyone challenging him or asking about his apparent lack of objectivity.

“I can’t think of one good reason why you wouldn’t just flat go head hunting! … I just think it’s a very easy choice. If I can knock a receiver out early in the game and set a tone and just get a 15-yard penalty for concussing him, I’d do it every time!”
Kevin Kietzman, who questioned why the 49ers don’t just target Seattle’s Percy Harvin and try to knock him out of the game because the penalty is not severe enough to prevent the defense from targeting offensive players, 810 AM
GH: KK can’t think of one good reason not to intentionally go after an opponent and injure him? Do the words “character” and “pride” have a place in his vocabulary? Belichick was found guilty of cheating with Spygate and his reputation will never be the same because of it. Cheating to win by playing outside the rules is often tempting but it just would not be satisfying to me. Winning truly is not the only thing. 

“Most guys that I run with, they’re watching gladiators! They think if you can hit somebody so hard it would kill them, that’s okay. (The NFL players) decided they wanted to play football. They don’t care if they live or die! They don’t know that guy! I’m just telling you, this is the way real men talk while watching football! You can judge it as pathetic but it is what it is.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: There are so many ridiculous statements in this paragraph we could slice it up and use the pieces for its own OTC column. Maybe the tribe of “real men” Kietzman runs with is as Neanderthal as he makes them sound. If so, I suggest he upgrade his posse to include a few Huns.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Kansas wins in Ames; Is Embiid the nation's best player

Written 1-14-14

“The credential requests began filling the mailbox months ago, when a handful of NBA scouts made plans to watch the No. 1 prospect in America play for Kansas in a game against Iowa State. The night finally came and went Monday in Ames, and after the final horn sounded in KU’s 77-70 victory, front-office types such as Chicago’s John Paxson and Gar Forman couldn’t have been disappointed. But they may have been a bit surprised. The best pro prospect in the nation was definitely roaming the Hilton Coliseum court in a Jayhawks uniform, but it wasn’t Andrew Wiggins... the narrative has changed. The quest to become the No. 1 overall pick is suddenly a multi-person affair, and Wiggins’ biggest threat appears to be his own teammate. Seven-foot center Joel Embiid.”
Jason King, writer, BleacherReport.com
GH: The pub about Embiid’s talent has been brewing here in the Big 12 but his cheap shot to the face of K-State’s Nino Williams on Saturday got him some unwanted notice. But his play in Ames on ESPN’s Big Monday may have changed his life for good. Read on.

“I think Embiid is the best player in the country. He’s huge and has a great length. He can shoot and has incredible footwork.”
Fred Hoiberg, Iowa State head basketball coach, after watching Embiid’s contribution to the Jayhawks 77-70 win in Ames, BleacherReport.com
GH: Watching Embiid play it is easy to forget he is seven-foot tall. Think of Jeff Withey moving, passing and controlling his body the way Embiid is doing in his freshman season. Embiid moves like he’s a wide receiver.

“That’s a bit of a stretch (to call Embiid the best player in the country). Embiid, who averages 10.9 points and 7.4 rebounds, isn’t the top player in the nation. If the season ended today, he probably wouldn’t even make third-team All-American. When it comes to pro potential, though, Embiid is the best NBA prospect in college basketball.”
Jason King, commenting on Hoiberg’s comment about Embiid, BleacherReport.com
GH: Let’s check back on that All-American team in April which is when they pick All-American teams, Jason. I have a feeling Embiid is going to get his jersey hung in Allen Fieldhouse after just one season.

“It’s crazy. I remember playing him last year in high school. Seeing him now, it’s crazy. He’s only been playing basketball two years. To be this good and this dominant (already)...that’s something special.”
Andrew Wiggins, on Embiid, BleacherReport.com

“How many guys can get 17 points and 17 boards and still leave you feeling like, "Eh, he can still do better"? Only No. 1 picks, basically.”
Jeff Borzello,
@jeffborzello, on Wiggins’ night in Ames, Twitter

“General rule with Joel Embiid: if you think he can't do it, just wait a game or two.”
Steven Davis,
@Steven_Davis3, Twitter
GH: This is the part of Embiid’s game that is the most exciting for Kansas fans and pro scouts. He gets better every game. Not every month. Every game. He’s learning at cartoon speed.

“I think it's actually a good sign for Joel Embiid longterm that he mixes it up. Skinny big guys get pushed around A LOT. Maybe he won't.”
Danny Parkins,
@DannyParkins, after Embiid was issued his second flagrant foul in the past two games, Twitter

“This is a good kid now."

Fran Fraschilla, defending Embiid after he was called for a Flagrant 1 foul, ESPN

“I think he needs to learn to control his temper a little bit.”
Dave “SloPlay” Armstrong, who calls TV play-by-play for many Big 12 games, on Embiid, 810 AM
GH: This has to be my favorite quote of the week. Armstrong is a grown man and he can’t control his temper enough in a November golf game on a muny track to avoid fisticuffs! 

“This might be Bill Self's most talented Kansas team since they lost 2 VCU in 2011. And they're getting better. Will be right there in March.”
Jon Rothstein,
@JonRothstein, Twitter
GH: So how the hell did KU lose four non-con games this season?

“KU v ISU is turning into the best rivalry in the Big 12.”
Bob Fescoe,
@bobfescoe, Twitter
GH: And how sad it that?

GregHall24@yahoo.com Twitter @greghall24

 

 


KU wipes out K-State; DGB's latest brush with the law

Written 1-13-14

“KU wipes out KSU. Who's going to stop them from getting 10th straight Big12 title? Short answer, no one.”
Frank Boal, @realfrankboal, Twitter
GH: Can things be this different one weekend into the Big 12 basketball season? On Friday I was all prepared to call KU’s first five conference games successful if they could navigate a 3-2 record. One game into the conference and it looks like KU could put a death grip on their tenth straight Big 12 title with a win in Ames tonight. Just as it was hasty to predict the Jayhawks demise, it’s equally too early to hand the crown to KU as well. But…the stars are sure lining up for Bill Self’s boys.

“Kansas may have caught a break when Iowa State guard DeAndre Kane sprained his ankle in the Cyclones’ 87-82 loss to Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon. Kane, a transfer from Marshall, entered Saturday averaging 16.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists, leading Iowa State to a 14-0 start before its first loss.”
Rustin Dodd, Kansas City Star
GH: All Kane has done so far this season is place himself as the favorite for the Player of the Year in the Big 12. His ankle injury in the final seconds of the Clones loss at Norman could not have come at a better time for Kansas.

“I think Kansas is going to get Iowa State’s best shot tonight even without Kane.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: How? There is no way ISU gives KU their best shot with their best player in street clothes or playing on one ankle. That’s just crazy talk. Iowa State will play hard and be juiced but they’ll miss one of college basketball’s best players immensely.

“The ease with which they hammered Kansas State was both stunning and impressive.”
Kurtis Seaboldt, 810 AM

“It’s tradition,” Wiggins said of beating K-State.”
Rustin Dodd’s game story in The Kansas City Star
GH: The way Kansas dominated K-State has me reevaluating the entire Big 12. Oklahoma State lost at K-State and they now appear to be nowhere near as formidable as earlier suspected. The season-ending injury to Michael Cobbins and the arrest of Stevie Clark has them looking very beatable – as did their one-point win this weekend at West Virginia.

“Worst rivalry ever.”
Kevin Kietzman, @kkwhb, in a tweet during the KU win, Twitter
GH: Kansas fans hate the Sunflower Showdown during football season and K-State fans hate it during basketball season.

“People say he’s one of the best freshmen so it’s always fun to match up and see where you stand.”
Andrew Wiggins, on guarding K-State’s Marcus Foster and holding him to seven points and a 3-for12 shooting game in Lawrence, Kansas City Star
GH: It appears Wiggins responds to a challenge. His defensive play against of the best scorers in the Big 12 was stifling. It made the Cats appear lost on offense when their leading scorer was shut down. I really don’t think KSU is as bad as Kansas made them look. So how good then is Kansas?

“I think I’m just having fun. Like Coach (Self) mentioned today in the locker room, we’ve got eight more games left to play in Allen Fieldhouse, so I’m just trying to enjoy every one of them.”
Andrew Wiggins, Kansascity.com
GH: If Wiggins and Wayne Selden continue to “enjoy themselves” as they have the past couple of games, this Big 12 race might be over.

“I took a little flyer on KState +10.5 at KU. Feels like too many.”
Danny Parkins, @DannyParkins, prior to the game, Twitter

“It wasn’t anything that would cause any damage but it was a cheap shot.”
Nate Bukaty, on the intentional and flagrant elbow to the face that Joel Embiid threw at K-State’s Nino Williams and caused him to be ejected from the game, 810 AM
GH: What? If Gipson had connected with the exact same intentionally thrown elbow at Embiid’s face at Allen Fieldhouse the locals would have gone all Weatherwax on him.

“Is it wrong to say this? I like the toughness it showed.”
Aaron Swarts, on Embiid’s ejection, 810 AM
GH: Bukaty quickly told Swarts he was wrong to think this showed any signs of toughness. What this showed is that Embiid is a young player who has a lot to learn in how to handle rough play. You can bet he will be seeing a lot more of it after he showed he lacks composure.

“Kansas State's Jevon Thomas may be the best, small, quick player in the country. Super-fast. Can really play.”
Rex Chapman,
@rexchapman, Twitter
GH: High praise from Chapman. Bruce Weber has some nice recruits on his team. They just don’t seem to play well against Kansas. He should have never buried the memory of Bill Self when he was at Illinois.

“Big thx to @RobRiggle for coming by The Wheel and @thesandbar The register balanced but where should we send your W-2?”
The Wagon Wheel, @TheWagonWheel, famous tavern in Lawrence, where Riggle playfully tended bar for a bit on Saturday following the K-State game, Twitter

 

“Jabari Brown traveled AND was out of bounds on the last play. No call. Missouri hangs on. Good lord...”
Kurtis Seaboldt,
@KSeaboldt, as Mizzou pulled out a 70-68 win at Auburn, Twitter
GH: Mizzou fans rightfully consider their Tigers the most jinxed athletic program in the country. The list of atrocities that have befell them are well known. But things may be changing since the Tigers moved to the SEC. Brown got away with one of the dumber plays of the season when he grabbed the ball and ran out of bounds on Auburn’s end of the court with at least .6 of a second on the clock. Mizzou rarely gets this call and no team gets this call on the road. For some reason the officials never blew their whistles and then never looked at a replay. Maybe the Tyus Edney curse can be finally put to rest.

“Apparently you have to 'pay your bills' to keep your radio license so you can't listen today but we'll be broadcasting on the WAC network.”
K-Roo Sports, @KRooSports, tweeted out Saturday afternoon before the Roos game against Chicago State, Twitter
GH: I have no idea what this tweet was about but it sure sounds serious. Somebody get me an update on the Roos Radio Network and their financial woes.

“People judge before knowing what happen. Let’s not judge me for what happen and don’t saying anything to me to try and bring me down.”
Dorial Green-Beckham,
@DorialGB5, after he was arrested over the weekend for being in a vehicle in Springfield that was found to contain a pound of marijuana, Twitter
GH: We will know eventually what DGBlunt’s role was and was not in this incident. What we do know is this is his second arrest where marijuana was involved – and he’s only been in school for three semesters. Like it or not Dorial, you be judged.

“You don't phase me.”
Dorial Green-Beckham,
@DorialGB5, in another tweet following his arrest, Twitter

“Grown men attacking the grammar of kids on Twitter is one of the more pathetic things I see. Times have changed, old dudes.”
Gabe DeArmond,
@GabeDeArmond, Twitter
GH: I get that DeArmond covers DGBlunt for PowerMizzou and he probably likes the kid. But a sophomore in college should be smart enough not to tweet in Neilbonics shortly after being arrested. If old dudes take to Twitter to make fun of him, let’s hope that’s the worst thing that happens to DGBlunt the remainder of his college career.

“My retired reporter father: I'd tell Kaepernick to reverse that hat or I'm not doing the interview.”
Kris Burke,
@KrisLBurke, Writer at ALLGBP.com , Co-Host Packers Talk Radio Network, after Colin Kaepernick appeared on network television with his ball cap backward and askew for a postgame interview, Twitter
GH: This seemingly non-incident touched off a bit of a Twitter war Sunday afternoon. Read on.

“Kaepernick. Always so media friendly. Turn your cap around and act like a professional quarterback.”
Sal Maiorana, Buffalo Bills beat writer for Rochhester Chronicle,
@salmaiorana, Twitter
GH: I watched Kaepernick’s interview live and when I saw his Hip-Hat act I smiled and thought of how each new generation has their own style. I sure didn’t think the reporter should have knocked it from his head and chastised him for his unprofessional behavior.

“Andrew Luck looks like Tom Hanks halfway through ‘Castaway’ at a press conference, but Kap is unprofessional for a backward hat?”
Matt Miller,
@nfldraftscout, Twitter

“I mourn a more innocent time when quarterbacks missed practices because they were hung over but gosh dang it, they knew how to dress.”
Doug Farrar,
@SI_DougFarrar, Twitter
GH: Farrar was poking fun at the Hip-Hat Scandal but it reminded me that even the old days had some QBs with questionable clothing choices. I remember Joe Namath wearing pantyhose and a gaudy fur coat. You can bet the old surly reporters of the ‘60s were just as outraged over the youngsters of their day.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / @greghall24

 


Georgia upsets MU; Does KU's Wiggins care enough?

Written 1-10-14

“We can’t get caught up in the myths and the curses and everything. We’re in this together. The reality of the fact is it didn’t come to fruition. We had a lot of good in this thing. So now in 2014 let’s build on the positives on this thing. Let’s not look back. Let’s look forward and move to the next step. That’s what we’re going to do here.”
John Dorsey, Chiefs GM, in a face-to-face radio interview with The Border Patrol, 810 AM
GH: I bashed Nate Bukaty and Steven St. John for dropping the ball in their interview on Thursday with Gary Barnett about his disdain for Louisville rehiring Petrino. The two did a much better job of asking Dorsey about the Chiefs playoff loss and what in his opinion went wrong in blowing a 38-10 lead. Dorsey was not at all accommodating in giving any worthwhile answers but at least he was asked the right questions.

“If I had to do it all over again I’d still take Eric Fisher.”
John Dorsey, when asked by Nate Bukaty to evaluate his first draft with the Chiefs, 810 AM
GH: Really, John? Here is where Steven and Nate could have pushed Dorsey to be a bit more honest. Eric Fisher isn’t on anybody’s ROTY list but the Chargers Keenan Allen is a great wide receiver in his first year. Eddie Lacy sure looks like a steal in Green Bay. The Cardinals Tyrann Mathieu would have looked great in the Chiefs defensive backfield. And how about the former Mizzou Tiger Sheldon Richardson’s rookie season with the Jets? If Dorsey really would bypass all that talent even with hindsight for a decent but not great OT then he has some explaining to do.

“I’m the glass is half-full kind of guy. I’m the eternal optimist. I think there’s a lot to build off, off of this last season. We will do what’s ever best for the Kansas City Chiefs. We will roll our sleeves up and leave no stone unturned this Chiefs offseason. He had flashes of brilliance in training camp. Unfortunately he got hurt and we had to tuck him away.”
John Dorsey, when asked what he thinks the Chiefs needs are this offseason, 810 AM
GH: What training camp was Dorsey referring to? Fisher was getting used as a doormat in St. Joe. These exclusive interviews with Andy Reid and Dorsey that 810 bought with their media contract with the Chiefs are next to worthless. Dorsey sounded like he was trying to sell tickets – which is what the Chiefs were looking for when they struck their deal with 810. To promote them as anything more than a live Chiefs commercial is as disingenuous as Kietzman pretending the Grilling Segment is real radio.

“The best football weekend of the year.”
Mike Greenberg, on the upcoming NFL playoffs this weekend, ESPN Radio
GH: And the Chiefs missed being a part of it by somehow blowing a 38-10 second-half lead. Maddening.

“I love football! I love football! I won’t watch any AFC games but I love football!”
John Dorsey, when asked if he will watch the remainder of the NFL playoffs, 810 AM
GH: If Dorsey’s plan is to not watch the NFL playoffs unless the Chiefs are alive in them, we can warn him now that he is likely going to miss a lot of good football games.

“Let’s just keep it civil.”
Jack Harry, after Kevin Kietzman said the Mizzou fans continue to underappreciate Gary Pinkel and the job he’s done with the football program, 810 AM
GH: It sounds to me like Mad Jack has realized that KK has him on his show merely for his personal amusement. I have noticed that Jack has taken a much tougher stance with KK on his last few weekly appearances. But Jack is fighting a no-win battle on Kietzman’s turf. The more agitated Jack gets, the calmer Kietzman is. It’s an old debate trick to try and make the opposition appear off kilter and emotionally stressed. Not a long street when it comes to Mad Jack.

“In your opinion! You’re entitled. But you don’t have to be confrontational!”
Jack Harry, after Kietzman said Mizzou fans are still not satisfied with Pinkel’s success at MU, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman often refers to Harry as, “My good friend Jack Harry.” And he then invites him on his show to make him look and sound like a blithering buffoon.

“Do you think this is somehow a reflection of the (Missouri) fan base and not really the coach?”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM

“What do you mean by that – ‘a reflection of the fan base!’ What do you mean by that? Tell me what you mean!”
Jack Harry, 810 AM
GH: I don’t know how old Jack is but he’s likely giving up 25 years to KK when it comes to his golf game and his mental facilities. I just hope Kietz is around when he’s in his 70s and Nick Wright invites him on his show each week to make fun of him under the guise that they’re pals.

“Thanks to Jack Harry for coming in on his vacation today. That’s pretty coll. And you’ve got to believe me, we love each other. We have so much fun together! So much fun. ”
Kevin Kietzman, after Harry had left the studio, 810 AM

“The Big 12’s off to a roaring start, isn’t it?”
Dave Armstrong, as he began his interview with Kietzman following the Jack Harry segment, 810 AM
GH: If Kietzman wanted to get tough with one of his media buddies, he couldn’t find a better target than Dave “SloPlay” Armstrong. SloPlay was arrested back in November when he was in his words, “pummeled in a very defenseless position,” on a local public golf course by a 5-foot-8, 170-pound stranger from another foursome. Armstrong’s court date is January 15th – maybe KK can have him back next week for a blow-by-blow of the case.

“Another thing I want to first my opinion to the Kansas City family. Is that I am family. It’s nothing personal against the Chiefs organization. It was never about me joining this lawsuit. As far as I can say it that um, I cannot say to the effects of my conditions that I do not have post-you know-traumatic head trauma from playing. And that’s the furthest I can say right now to that.”
Neil Smith, in an interview with Soren Petro on The Program, 810 AM
GH: Okay. If there EVER was a former NFL player who had a rock-solid case against the sport of football for post-you know-traumatic head trauma, it’s the namesake for Neilbonics. Read the above comment once more and tell me the NFL lawyers aren’t shaking in their Gucci’s.

“After that, what can I say? Football still goes on. There’s a lot of questions that you know, would you let my kids play? And one of the questions is I can say is you know what? I had a love for the game. I loved going out on Sunday and competing. I loved what I did. And not knowing that was information kept back from me learning or educating me to the extent that what they doing to kids now? They are actually telling kids in high school and even in elementary ages that if you get concussions the time that you have to take off and reevaluate.”
Neil Smith, 810 AM
GH: Would you let Neil’s kid play football?

“Something tells me that if Neil Smith was flush with cash he wouldn’t be joining this lawsuit. I don’t know.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: Clinkscale and Kietzman debated this topic and Clink seems to think the current wealth of the former player is the overriding variable as to whether or not the player will choose to join the lawsuit. Kietzman seems to think it is a character issue and that any man of character would be above suing his former team and profession. I think they’re both incredibly shortsighted.

“There are hundreds of (ex-Chiefs) and their not in this lawsuit. … From where I sit, I’m tipping my cap to those dozens and dozens of players who haven’t joined the lawsuit. Those who stepped up and said, ‘I made a decision to play a game. I played it because I loved it. This is my life. I don’t regret my life and nobody owes me anything.’”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: And this is the reason to chastise those who have taken the time to research the lawsuit and make a decision to sue? Sorry, but the Chiefs and the NFL look guilty as hell to me in this one. If they are found to have suppressed information that would have alerted these players to the dangers of playing after sustaining a concussion they should be made to pay.

“I got hit by a box when I was a UPS guy and I had headaches. I’m sure that was a concussion.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: I found Clink’s above comment highly entertaining – in the way I know Steven St. John would. The visual of Danny walking past a shelf or stack of packages and having one topple onto his crown just makes a great cartoon. Can you imagine Dapper Dan dressed in a UPS brown jumpsuit?

“If you want to play football and you understand the risk, go do it! Nobody made boxing illegal! You can’t tell people they can’t do what they want to do because there’s danger doing it. I’m okay with it. Allow people to go play football.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: When KK goes on these rants, I can hear the fear in his voice that somehow football is going to be made illegal and his radio career is going to be left discussing the Royals and Sporting KC.

“I will applaud Texas for hiring an African American. But it’s a problem if it’s, ‘Come hell or high water we’re going to do this!’ That’s how you end up with a square peg in a round hole if you say, ‘We’re not even going to look at the white guy because it’s got to be a black guy.’”
Soren Petro, on Texas hiring Charlie Strong away from Louisville, 810 AM
GH: I guess Petro covered all his bases here by first applauding Texas for hiring a black head coach and then ripping them for hiring a black head coach.

“I think (Johnny) Manziel will be a great pro. I think he’s a sure bet to make it in the NFL. I don’t think there is any way you can miss on him.”
Gary Barnett, 810 AM
GH: I wish Manziel would play two more years at Texas A&M just so I could selfishly watch him destroy college defenses. Will he be a great pro QB? It is going to be fun to watch him try.

“Max penalty: BBWAA just lifetime banned me from Hall of Fame vote and won't allow me to attend a game as credentialed media for a year.”
Dan Le Batard Show, @LeBatardShow, on his penalty for turning his MLB HOF vote over to the fans via a Deadspin.com poll, Twitter
GH: Is there a sect of nerds more self-important than the BBWAA and their concerns about the purity of the game of baseball? Trekkies have nothing on these seamheads.  Hundreds of their voters have exhibited extreme personal prejudice on their ballots for decades and nothing has been done to curb their pettiness. Le Batard should be happy to be shunned by such a dork-filled dungeon.

“BBWAA prez (& @KCStar ex) @LaVelleNeal on LeBatard: BBWAA regards HoF voting as ultimate privilege; any abuse of that priv. is unacceptable.”
Jeff Rosen, @jeff_rosen88, Twitter
GH: The “ultimate privilege???” Okay, if you’ve never been with a woman I guess that fits.

“I’ll start treating those steroid era achievements as fraud with HOF ballot the instant fans who paid to watch are offered their money back.”
Buster Olney, @Buster_ESPN, Twitter
GH: May I be the first to sign the petition to make Buster Olney the president of the Delta Vega Quadrant of Seamheads. He at least appears to have some sense.

“I take great pride in the fact that sports television is skiing in the wake of sports talk radio. A lot of what they do is just sit around and do sports talk (on television). And it’s even part of the play-by-play. The subject matter (during the Kansas/Oklahoma basketball game) became about which one of these guys (Wiggins or Embiid) is going to be the better pro.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: I take great pride in the fact that sports talk radio is skiing in the wake of a bunch of dudes sitting around talking about sports, chicks and their fantasy teams. Does Soren think he’s in some kind of cutting-edge industry?

_____

A friend of mine emailed me this list of quotes attributed to Jerry Coleman, the former voice of the San Diego Padres who passed away recently. I find these far more entertaining them spats between baseball writers.

"Willie Davis is not as young as he used to be."

"There's someone warming up in the bullpen, but he's obscured by his number."

"Sunday is Senior Citizens' Day. And if you want to become a senior citizen, just call the Padre ticket office."

"Young Frank Pastore may have just pitched the biggest victory of 1979, maybe the biggest victory of the year."

"Mike Caldwell, the Padres' right-handed southpaw, will pitch tonight."

"Houston has its largest crowd of the night here this evening."

"Well, it looks like the all-star balloting is about over, especially in the National and American Leagues."

"What we have here is a blowout, or a possible great comeback."

"If Pete Rose brings the Reds in first, they ought to bronze him and put him in cement."

"I've made a couple of mistakes I'd like to do over."

"Larry Lintz steals second standing up. He slid, but he didn't have to."

"That big guy, Winfield, at 6'6", can do things only a small man can do."

"I challenge anyone, even with a radar machine, to hit that slider."

"I've never seen a game like this. Every game this year has been like this."

"If I knew how to spell it I'd say déjà vu."

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Georgia upsets MU; Does KU's Wiggins care enough?

Written 1-9-14

“The guys will tell you, the word I hate, I hate ‘cool.’ We were really too cool, and I don’t like cool. Cool will get you beat, and cool got us beat tonight.”
Frank Haith, after his Missouri Tigers lost to unranked Georgia 70-64 in OT at Mizzou Arena, Columbia Tribune
GH: This quote deserves top billing. Missouri could not have looked worse Wednesday night losing to the 226th RPI team and breaking their home-win streak. The loss to 6-6 Georgia basically stripping all of the excitement out of Mizzou’s 12-1 start. Haith’s comment doesn’t make excuses, rather it points a finger at his players’ mental state. Read on.

“I really sensed it during the week preparing. In the locker room before the game, we talked about it and I said ‘guys I don’t think you understand how hard it is to win basketball games.’ We didn’t have the right look about us. Hopefully we can learn from it. The toughness thing is something that’s hard for a coach to accept. You’ve have to compete and that’s hard for me. We didn’t compete.”
Frank Haith, in his postgame comments distributed by MU’s SID
GH: You will almost NEVER hear a coach cop to his team not competing – because it is the coach’s job to make sure his team is prepared and plays hard. Haith has not been my favorite hire at MU but I like how he has responded to his Tigers’ lethargic loss to a woeful Georgia team.

“No way to spin this one folks. Really, really bad loss for #Mizzou. Mizzou now replaces either Gardner-Webb, Lipscomb or Western Carolina as the biggest win for #UGA.”
Gabe DeArmond, @GabeDeArmond, of PowerMizzou.com, Twitter

“Tigers looked unfocused and uninterested tonight. They seemed surprised that Georgia actually came to play. Terrible loss...”
Kurtis Seaboldt, @KSeaboldt, Twitter
GH: It will be interesting to see how MU reacts to this loss. Oklahoma State lost to lowly West Virginia early in the football season but was able to regroup and almost win the Big 12. Can Haith get his team to rebound?

“Can't really expect to win a tough game when the fans sit on their hands for the first 38 minutes.”
The Antlers, @The_Antlers, Twitter
GH: I don’t know which Antler is in charge of their Twitter account but they might want to hand it over to someone not majoring in excuses. This loss had nothing to do with the support from the MU crowd. The fact anyone in the arena was still awake for the second half is a minor miracle.

“You can't just show up. The 6 letters on your chest mean something! Teams aren't going to lay down.. You have to BEAT them.”
Kim English, @Englishscope24, former Mizzou player, Twitter

“Think the six letters @Englishscope24 I'd talking about are Missouri. Wait, that's eight ...”
Michael DeCourcy, @tsnmike, Twitter

“Do people really think I didn't know he meant Mizzou?”
Michael DeCourcy, @tsnmike, Twitter
GH: I don’t know if DeCourcy was trying to cover for his naïve response or actually was trying to be funny. Either way he came off to me as lame.

“Incredible picture of Mark Fox crying on the bench. Just buried his dad, who was a coach. Beautiful.”
Seth Davis, @SethDavisHoops, Twitter
GH: ESPN chose to focus their camera shot for an extended number of seconds on the Georgia head coach covering his face with his hands while sobbing so hard his shoulders rose and fell with grief over his father’s recent death. Davis refers to it as “beautiful.” I found it an invasion of the man’s privacy in a very, very private moment. Fox obviously could not help himself and the tears flowed. He tried valiantly to cover his face and hide his emotions. ESPN chose not to capitalize on his humanness. I found it wrong to stay with the shot as long as they did. 

“Lost my father far too long ago, I can recall the fog of the days after. Happy is hard to find. Hope tonight brought some.”
Scott Van Pelt, @notthefakeSVP, ESPN SportsCenter anchor, in a tweet to Mark Fox, Twitter
GH: This was a classy tweet from SVP. Anyone who has buried a parent knows how emotional the days and weeks following the funeral can be.

“I grew up in the state of Kansas, and as a child, it was all about Big Eight basketball. … To win at an old Big Eight school less than a week after my father passed is really special for me. I was really proud of my team. We beat a very good team, and it’s a terrific win for us to start SEC play.”
Mark Fox, a Garden City, Kansas native, Columbia Daily Tribune
GH: To add even more pain atop MU’s loss, it came at the hands of a Kansas kid.

“I don’t think (Andrew Wiggins) cares about winning. Maybe that’s too strong a statement. I don’t think he cares enough about winning.”
Soren Petro, on the much-heralded KU freshman’s mediocre start to his college career, 810 AM
GH: Wiggins reeks of AAU ball to me. He appears to be extremely athletic but he doesn’t play the game with a lot of savvy or motor. He has that look about him on the court as if he wouldn’t mind sitting out the next pick-up game because he needs a Gatorade.

“Sometimes I feel like Andrew Wiggins has a little bit of that. He almost looks like he’s ‘too cool.’ You don’t see him diving across the floor for loose balls like Wayne Selden did last night. … There just seems to be a kind of nonchalance about the way (Wiggins) plays.”
Nate Bukaty, referring to Frank Haith’s comment that “cool gets you beat,” 810 AM

“(Andrew Wiggins) has so much potential but I don’t think it will be reached while he’s in college. I thought we would see some flashes of brilliance from him as we have, but a lot of times he just blends in with the team.”
Eric Prisbell, college basketball writer for USA Today, 810 AM

“Wiggins didn’t give (Oklahoma) a chance to foul. He just threw that ball up for grabs. A great play by Oklahoma and a weak play by Andrew Wiggins. Just let them foul you! There’s no rush to get rid of it.”
Jay Bilas, as Wiggins turned the ball over on a wild pass after being trapped by two OU defenders in front of the KU bench late in the game, ESPN
GH: This was just a really low basketball-IQ play. One you don’t expect even from a college freshman.

“Are we going to put some of this blame at the feet at Bill Self? Is he failing with the nation’s number-one recruit? Or is Wiggins just a case study in how difficult (ranking high school prospects) is?”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Is Wiggins wildly overrated or is Self failing to make him the great player he is supposed to be? I think Wiggins is overrated. He may have fit better on the cover of SI with Xavier Henry and Ben McLemore.

“I’m not smart enough to figure it all out but I know the problem is not Bill Self.”
Kevin Kietzman, on Kansas not playing up to their expectations so far this season, 810 AM

“I’m not sure you can get that wide open in a game. You don’t get that open in a HORSE game.”
Jay Bilas, on KU’s Connor Frankamp being left all alone to drill a three-point shot late in the first half at Oklahma, ESPN

“Real impressed by what (Connor) Frankamp did tonight… Made a couple plays, but, most importantly, looked confident doing it. Just the start.”
Matt Tait, @mctait, writer for KUSports.com, Twitter
GH: I was eager to see Frankamp play this season after following his high school career in Wichita. While he was able to drill to important outside shots late in the first half, I thought he looked a bit slow, deliberate and defensively challenged against OU. It is way too early to make a judgment on his value but I see his contribution as a shooting guard, not at the point.  

“You know how I feel about that three-point shot. I wish it would go away. And that’s my get-off-my-lawn moment.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: The three-point line has been in wide effect in NCAA play since 1986. How old is Fescoe, 36? 40? I don’t think Bulldog ever played the game without a three-point arc.

“I don’t know how a guy like Bobby Petrino is anything but a criminal.”
Gary Barnett, former college football coach and current TV analyst, in an interview Thursday morning with Nate Bukaty and Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: Barnett was responding to a question from SSJ asking his take on Louisville rehiring Petrino, despite the coach’s obvious lack of character. This was a strong opening sentence by Barnett, despite saying he didn’t want to say anything that would get him on CNN. Read on.

“What (Petrino) did to Louisville the first time, what he did to the (Atlanta) Falcons, what he did to Arkansas – and he continues to get jobs? Where have we gone in this country in college football to where guys like that continue to get chances? I just think it makes a big statement that college football at least at Louisville and I guess at most places, is about one single thing and nothing else matters.”
Gary Barnett, 810 AM

“We put guys like that in jail generally. And he gets another chance. I know I don’t know all the circumstances but from the outside I’m very critical about it. … I think you just make a big statement about yourself and you just have to wear those clothes.”
Gary Barnett, 810 AM
GH: Barnett doesn’t usually make hash and critical comments about college coaches or teams in his light-hearted weekly conversations with the Border Patrol. But Petrino brought out some venom in him. Was it because of a past incident he had with Petrino? How well does he personally know Petrino? Is his view skewed because he has been passed over for coaching jobs while a guy like Petrino gets yet another chance? I waited for SSJ and Nate to delve into this fertile opening Barnett had just dug. It was not to be. Read on.

“Finally coach, what do you think of the hiring of Charlie Strong at Texas?”
Nate Bukaty, in his follow-up question to Barnett immediately after the former Colorado coach scorched the Petrino hiring, 810 AM
GH: Are you kidding me, Nate? Put down your list of prepared questions and listen to your guest’s answers! Just an awful missed opportunity by two guys who should know better.

“He brought it pretty strong about Bobby Petrino, didn’t he?”
Nate Bukaty, after Barnett was off the air, 810 AM
GH: Wow. Just wow.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Is this a must win for KU tonight at Oklahoma?

Written 1-8-14

“Kansas State’s freshmen are overperforming and Kansas’ freshmen are underperforming. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying Kansas State’s freshmen are better than Kansas’ freshmen. … They’re thinking more about the Milwaukee Bucks than (college basketball). Most of these guys aren’t college fans. They’re NBA fans.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I really don’t think Kansas’ problems are related to their talented freshman class not caring what happens to their KU team. That sounds like a statement born out of jealousy more than fact. Kansas just doesn’t play very well as a team right now. I don’t think it has anything to do with Andrew Wiggins being preoccupied with facing LeBron next winter.

“The hate by the K-State student section toward Marcus Smart is already at Greg Ostertag proportions. They were chanting,  ‘YOU'RE A FLOPPER.’”
D. Scott Fritchen, @DScottFritchen, of PowerCat.com, during the K-State win over Oklahoma State at Bramlage, Twitter
GH: Big 12 basketball is back to rescue Kansas City sports fans from their annual post-Chiefs season blahs. There are three DI schools in the state of Kansas ranked in the top 25 again this season. Bruce Weber’s Kansas State is the biggest surprise of the trio. Beating OSU again is a big win for the Cats…and even the Jayhawks. This Big 12 hoops season is going to be fun.

“Cats just beat OSU so KU wins Big 12 again!”
Kevin Kietzman, @kkwhb, after Bruce Weber’s K-State Wildcats beat Oklahoma State at Bramlage for the second year in a row, Twitter
GH: I get the feeling Kietz is a bit too focused on the Jayhawks instead of enjoying his alma mater’s success, don’t you?

“Thomas Gipson having himself a season for Kansas State. 19 + 8 in win at TCU. In significantly better shape. Has committed himself.”
Jon Rothstein, @JonRothstein, on the Cats’ center, Twitter
GH: Kansas State is 2-0 in the Big 12 and feeling very, very good about it. When Bruce Weber was asked about the Cats upcoming game this Saturday at Kansas he cautiously replied, “They have Oklahoma (Wednesday night) to worry about before us.”

“There's no such thing as a must win this early in season but KU really needs to start Big 12 out right at OU IMO. 4-4 in last 8 games.”
Gary Bedore, @GaryBedore, Twitter

“You hate to say this is a must game tonight (at Oklahoma) but it’s almost a must-win game!”
Aaron Swarts, on Kansas’ Big 12 opener on the road at Norman, 810 AM
GH: No, the opening game of conference play cannot be considered a “must-win” game for Kansas, a team with 11 consecutive Big 12 Conference titles. But yeah, it might be one the Hawks would like to win to calm the uneasiness that is sure to follow a loss in Norman.

“I actually got a text today from my spouse (Cindy) reminding me I said, ‘Enjoy the process.’”
Bill Self, Hawk Talk
GH: The Lawrence Journal World does a good job covering Self’s weekly radio show and they grabbed this quote and some others for their newspaper and website. Read on.

 “I am believing the hard schedule and the knocks we took (in the non-con) will better prepare us for playing the season that’s far more important than the first season. If we could go out and win the league, I don’t think anybody really will find a lot of fault with us losing four games in nonconference to three teams ranked in the top 15 (losses are to Villanova, Colorado, San Diego State, Florida). Now if we don’t learn from this and go out and lay an egg in the conference season, I think people can say it’s been a crap season. I would be one to agree with that. That’s not going to happen. We’ve got too good of players. They care too much. We’ll get it. We’re missing a little bit of something that is correctable.”
Bill Self, KUSports.com
GH: Self is putting some pressure on his young team with these comments and I don’t have a problem with him predicting success for his team. He is also placing some heat on himself as he states their woes are correctable. But it sure does seem to be taking a while this season to get things right.

“Our guys try hard, but there’s not that zest for playing that we’ve had. It’s personalities. We’ve got some really laid-back dudes. It’s so out of personality for them to show emotion. Emotion also is contagious. If you look at our team, the only time we’ve shown unbelievable emotion is when we beat Duke (94-83 on Nov. 12). It’s like there was such a joy. The guys love playing. They just don’t show it. It maybe is leaving fans wanting more (because) we are used to having cocky dudes when they make a play they let everybody know they are fired up. We don’t have that type of personality yet. Hopefully we’ll grow into it.”
Bill Self, KUSports.com
GH: I don’t think a lot of KU fans are pining for their Hawks to beat their chest after a deep three or a slam. They just want to see some better ball movement, some great man-to-man defense and somebody who can consistently make some outside shots. Emotion is overrated once you leave the stands.

“I don’t know that (Kansas) has that national championship caliber point guard on this team this year. That problem might not solve itself.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM

“CAN NOT WAIT Big Monday #Kansas visits Ames. One week.”
Holly Rowe, @sportsiren, on the Jayhawks and Cyclones matchup January 13th, Twitter
GH: I watched undefeated ISU dismantle number-five-ranked Baylor in Ames Tuesday night. I do not expect Mr. Weatherwax’s favorite team to lose at home this season.

“The SEC Conference basketball season is getting ready to start. A conference where I refuse to watch any games unless Missouri is involved.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: I have a feeling SSJ is not the only Mizzou fan who has an aversion to watching SEC basketball. How and why is it so tough to find eight guys per school who can hoop in the SEC?

“Like I said, we’re two free throws away from being 13-0.”
Frank Haith, as his 12-1 Missouri basketball team enters SEC play, 810 AM
GH: Haith has MU on cruise control in their new conference but the fans at Mizzou Arena have never really returned like they were in the Norm years. I don’t expect Georgia is going to be a big draw tonight in Columbia either. I don’t know if anyone is really at fault. It just appears that Mizzou has embraced the SEC mantra that football is king and basketball ain’t.

“I can’t say how great the (Big 12) league has been in helping us with our travel issues.”
Bob Huggins, on his West Virginia basketball team combining some of their Big 12 away games into closer dates so they don’t have to travel to the Midwest quite as often as last season, 810 AM
GH: So how many school days does the Mountaineers men’s and women’s basketball teams miss due to traveling back and forth to the Midwest – sometimes for four and five days at a time? Seems to me the student-athlete was overlooked with WVU’s decision to join the Big 12.

“We don't have obnoxious (fans at Kentucky) — well, we may, but I never hear them — but we don't treat the other team with disrespect. If we won a game against the No. 1 team in the country in Rupp Arena, would people charge the court? No. You're supposed to (win). This is Kentucky. We don't do that here.”
John Calipari, in a not-so-veiled rip at Indiana where the fans stormed the court in December of 2011 after upsetting his number-one Kentucky Wildcats, sportingnews.com
GH: Here we go with the we’re-too-good-to-charge-the-court comments from another elite program. Every school’s students and fans will charge the court/field if they suffer enough down years and beat the right opponent at home in an upset. Every. Last. One. Yes, even Kentucky and Kansas. There was a time that Indiana basketball was just as proud.

“ESPN covered the BCS Championship Game like it was the last sporting event on earth with more than eight different ways for fans to watch the game. The biggest winner was clearly the Film Room on ESPNEWS. ESPN analysts Tom Luginbill, Matt Millen, and Chris Spielman were joined by 3 current head coaches - Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin, BC's Steve Addazio, and Pitt's Paul Chryst.”
Matt Yoder, writer, awfulannouncing .com
GH: I flipped between all of the ESPN stations to sample their different offerings and I also favored the Film Room channel. The coaches’ insight was a great way to watch the game. It also is a great reason for me to invest in an 80-inch 4K television. (In case my wife is reading this, this would be far, far into the future…like next football season.)

“Listening to these coaches analyze the title game live is absolutely fascinating. Genius idea by ESPN. Love it.”
T.J. Moe, @TJMoe28, former MU wide receiver, commenting on the Film Room coverage of the BCS championship game on ESPNews, Twitter

“I don't like any of this mega coverage, but I'm a grouch.”
Bob Lutz, @boblutz, Wichita Eagle sports columnist, Twitter

“Am I listening to English?”
Dee Dee Bonner, @DeeDeeBonner, mother of Alabama’s AJ McCarron, in a tweet that apparently was directed at Florida State’s Jameis Winston as he was interviewed live on ESPN following the BCS title game, Twitter
GH: I listened to Winston’s interview live and while it wasn’t the King’s English, it wasn’t Neilbonics. Read on for a sample…

“I said guys, we didn't come here for no reason. I said, 'Guys, this is ours, man.' All the adversity we went through the first few quarters, it was ours to take. And like I've been saying, we control our own destiny, And those men looked me in my eye and said 'We got this Jameis.' I said, 'Are you strong?' They said, ‘I'm strong if you strong.’ I said, 'We strong then.’”
Jameis Winston, in a postgame interview on
GH: AJ’s girlfriend, the voluptuous Katherine Webb, also got into the Winston bashing via Twitter – but by mistake. Read on.

“The idea that I am a racist is absolutely stupid and it needs to stop. I was scrolling through my TL and that tweet was accidentally FAV.”
Katherine Webb, @KatherineWebb, AJ McCarron’s girlfriend, after Webb “accidentally” favored a tweet in her timeline that suggested Winston learn sign language to communicate, Twitter

“Any1 that knows our family knows we r far from racist. My tweet was not in anyway meant that way. I sincerely apologize if it offended any1.”
Dee Dee Bonner, @DeeDeeBonner,
Twitter
GH: We also know u r a really awful spelr.

“For the people that criticize the way that I talk this is for y'all. The Florida state Seminoles are national champions! That is all.”
Jameis Winston, @Jaboowins, Twitter
GH: I am guessing that FSU will be happy to assist Mr. Winston in remaining academically eligible for his sophomore season…as would just about every other BCS school.

“I look at (Florida State’s) schedule, I don't see nothing that really wows me. (FSU) ain't played no Alabama. You ain't played no Georgia. You ain't played no Missouri. … Y'all ain't been tested. Y'all ain't been through what we went through.”
Cam Newton, former Auburn quarterback, in his pregame speech to the Auburn team via a video feed
GH: Mizzou getting lumped into the proud-to-have-played-you list of opponents with Alabama? How about those apples?

“Charlie, you’re a no-nonsense kind of guy and this is a job that comes with a lot of nonsense.”
Mike Greenberg, while interviewing the new Texas football coach, Charlie Strong, ESPN Radio

“Any big-time program, that comes with it. At the end of the day you’ve got to go coach your football team.”
Charlie Strong, responding to Greenberg’s question about dealing with all the outside responsibilities as the Texas head coach, ESPN Radio
GH: The Dallas Morning news caught a lot of flak for their headline that stated Texas’ first black head football coach was, “Not A Hip-Hop Coach.” The DMN responded by saying they were merely referring to a comment that Lou Holtz made about Strong. Just own it DMN and move on.

@FauxPelini ok enough is enough... I want my cat back. You've had her long enough!”
Bo Pelini, @BoPelini, Twitter
GH: If you’re not a Twitter person, this one might be over your head. But having Pelini live tweet his fake Twitter personality is pretty crazy – and funny as hell. Imagine Ned Yost sending a public tweet to @TheFakeNed asking who he should bat leadoff. Score one for Bobo. Maybe the guy is half human after all.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter

 

 


Pinkel left Franklin in Cotton Bowl because he froze

Written 1-7-14

“I'm the minority, but I love that Pinkel went with Mauk in a bowl game, and love that he went back to Franklin. Even with the punt. Pinkel's loyalty is part of his success. Lot of folks seem to want him to abandon the guy who's been his better QB this season.”
Sam Mellinger, @mellinger, on Pinkel’s decision to stick with his senior starting QB in the Cotton Bowl despite his uncharacteristic poor play and his freshman backup’s very excellent play, Twitter
GH: I was one of those folks who was calling for Pinkel to not only abandon James Franklin but place him in a lead-lined box on the sideline so that his negative mojo would not affect the rest of the Tigers. And I have been one of Franklin’s biggest fans throughout his collegiate ups and downs. But this game wasn’t about what was best for Franklin and Pinkel. It was about what’s best for Mizzou. Read on.

“Keep this in mind: James Franklin has less than three quarters left in his college career.
Maty Mauk has 3 more years. So just chill.”
Ashley Zavala,
@ZavalaA, reporter for Comcast covering Mizzou, chastising those Mizzou fans on Twitter who were calling for Pinkel to replace Franklin with Mauk, Twitter
GH: I saw a number of the media making similar comments to Mellinger’s and Zavala’s – that somehow Pinkel would be performing an injustice to his senior QB if he yanked him from the game. Someone also kept harping about how Pinkel would ruin his relationship with future Texas recruits if he sat Franklin in his hometown. Huh? What recruit wants to play for a coach who isn’t smart enough to play the best players – no matter where they’re from? Texans know football and I have a feeling there weren’t a lot of recruits thinking Pinkel needed to stick with Frank the Tank in this one.

“For the record, I'd give Mauk another series. Not saying I'd play him all game, but give him another series. … And #Mizzou gives it back on a botched exchange between Franklin and Josey. Sorry, but it's time to make the switch on the next drive. … I don't even know if I have words for this. Easily the worst offensive half I've seen in years.”
Gabe DeArmond,
@GabeDeArmond, Twitter
GH: These are three tweets from DeArmond that cover the first three quarters of the Cotton Bowl. Gabe saw what most of us saw – that James Franklin just didn’t have it and that Mauk did.

“Sad to see James Franklin's career end on bench and all, but Pinkel has to pull the plug.”
Joe Walljasper,
@JoeWalljasper, sports editor of Columbia Tribune, as Missouri’s lead over Oklahoma State slipped away, Twitter
GH: Pinkel put Mauk back in for one series in the second half but then stuck with Franklin to the almost bitter end. Mizzou pulled out the win but it was anything but easy – and it should have been easy. Franklin fumbled away a botched handoff, he pitched another ball to an OSU defender and he tossed a devastating pick six that was thankfully nullified by a penalty. Franklin owes Henry Josey, Michael Sam and Shane Ray a huge thank you for making us all forget about how poorly he played.

“I was so disappointed in Gary Pinkel (during the Cotton Bowl). I wasn’t even that excited about the end because I was so upset at Gary Pinkel and the way he handled the third quarter. To me he just took the wind out of a very tired Missouri Tiger defense by leaving Franklin in there. I’ve been a Mizzou fan all my life and I thought Pinkel was trying to give the game away.”
Caller Ron, to TJ Carpenter’s Saturday morning show, 810 AM
GH: I don’t think Pinkel wanted to give the game away but he appeared to me to be unwilling to go away from his senior quarterback – despite all the evidence that he must. Some believe Pinkel to be too stubborn to make in-game adjustments. Read on.

“Gary Pinkel is an incredibly stubborn coach. His stubbornness and blind loyalty to James Franklin could have cost him the game – almost did! Maty Mauk, clearly the better quarterback. … He is stubborn to a fault when it comes to personnel and in-game adjustments. It was amazing to me that Gary Pinkel refused to go away from his senior quarterback. The whole country was thinking the same thing – why isn’t Maty Mauk playing?”
TJ Carpenter, 810 AM
GH: I don’t think Pinkel is stubborn in the least. I think people have misdiagnosed the Missouri head coach. I think Pinkel is frozen with fear on game day that any change he makes will backfire and he will live to regret it. Pinkel has often talked about how nervous he is standing on the sideline of a game. Call it superstitious if you will but I think he just locks up when it comes to adjustments for fear he’ll screw up.

“(Missouri) will have one of the best quarterbacks in the country next year. They’ll have maybe the best wide-receiving corps in the country next year. They’re still going to have a good defense. Their offensive line is going to be full of juniors and seniors who have had 60 starts. They’re set up to be really freaking good next year. Really, really good.”
TJ Carpenter, 810 AM
GH: While Pinkel is not the best game-day coach, he continues to stockpile NFL talent on the Mizzou sideline, despite one SEC expert’s opinion. Read on.

“(Missouri) is recruiting better than they did in the Big 12. … They are not recruiting as well as they need to be (in the SEC). I am going to make that general statement and feel like it is accurate. (Recruiting) stars do matter. I feel like I’m talking in circles, like I’m saying obvious things. Their recruiting needs to improve. It needs to get better.”
TJ Carpenter, after stating that Missouri ranks near the bottom of the SEC in football recruiting according to Rivals.com, 810 AM
GH: Carpenter is an SEC guy from Arkansas and I enjoy his slanted perspective of college football. He’s a bit sick when it comes to his SEC bias, but he’s young. He might grow out of it. Pinkel’s Mizzou team won the SEC East and finished fifth in the nation this season with recruits he gathered from the Tigers days in the Big 12 – that little football conference where Oklahoma spanked SEC giant Alabama around for four quarters in this month’s Sugar Bowl. Pinkel is mining gold in Missouri, Texas and now in the SEC’s backyard. The NFL is very aware of it even if Rivals.com is not.

“Do you think this (Missouri) team would be in the (preseason) top 10 next year in the Big 12? Nobody would know! Nobody would care! They care now! They’re in the SEC, buddy!”
TJ Carpenter, 810 AM
GH: Okay, buddy. If you say so. 

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Maas shows why he is the best local Chiefs analyst

Written 1-7-14

“I’ve been a Chiefs fan for 25 years, Kevin. I’m done. I’ve spent money. I’ve gone out of town. I’ve bought clothes. They could win the Super Bowl next year and they could not heal the wounds this team has caused me over the last 25 years. I’m done. Everybody has a different tolerance level. I can’t do it no more.”
Caller to Kevin Kietzman’s show Monday afternoon, 810 AM
GH: Damn, this guy depressed the hell outta me! 25 years invested and you’re punting? Anybody else out there dumping the Chiefs because they lost another playoff game? I would suggest maybe making the success/failure of your favorite sports teams a tad less important in your life. I love sports and follow far more teams fervently than a grown man should – but they sure as hell don’t rule my disposition…for more than a day or three. I can understand if you don’t realize this in your 20s but anybody over the age of 35 with kids who doesn’t is in need of therapy.

 

“When you play defense – and I don’t care what sport; soccer, football – it’s about hustle. And that’s what we lost. Right about the eight-minute mark of the third quarter we stopped playing defense. And there is absolutely no excuse for it.”
Bill Maas, when asked why the Chiefs defense deteriorated so atrociously in the second half giving up a 38-10 lead against Indianapolis, 610 AM

“We have an issue with our safeties. The issue is we don’t know how to play them. We don’t know what to do with them. If I put on a tape and showed you Eric Berry on every single play you would be absolutely shocked. … He was exploited, especially when they bring him up as a linebacker. He’s not big enough to take on those blocks. He’s a liability in the run aspect of that sub package.”
Bill Maas, 610 AM
GH: I think Maas is the best local Chiefs analyst. He is articulate, smart, experienced, knowledgeable and he can speak in terms most fans understand.  He is also enlightening while still being entertaining. Maas explained that Chiefs opponents began to expose Berry by checking off into running plays when he moved up to play linebacker and ran right at him. They checked into a pass play when Berry remained back as a safety. While Berry had some success on blitz plays, he was overwhelmed when charged with dealing with a block from a 300-pound guard on a running play or having to cover a tight end on a pass play.

“Eric Berry is an $11-million cap hit next year.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: Berry is a three-time Pro-Bowl safety for the Chiefs and one of the bright young stars in the NFL. But is he worth what the Chiefs will need to pay him for what he delivers on defense? John Dorsey and Andy Reid have some decisions to make this off-season and Berry should be at the top of that list.

“Maybe this isn’t the type of defense they want to be. Maybe this is the best they could do with what they had.”
Bill Maas, after saying the Chiefs should retain Bob Sutton as their defensive coordinator and look to improve their personnel instead, 610 AM

 

“As long as Andrew Luck plays we’re going to be reminded of that game.”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM

GH: Is The Comeback at the Chiefs expense going to be Luck’s defining moment in the NFL? If the Colts beat New England next week, it might have some serious legs. Kendrick Lewis, Eric Berry and Dunta Robinson better get used to seeing the backs of their jerseys on NFL highlights for the next 50 years.

 

“If you want to be pissed about a play, be pissed about the overthrow of Cyrus Gray, but Gray slowed up on the play.”
Johnny Coltrane, @Chief_Wildcat, Twitter
GH: Nobody wants to lay blame on the Chiefs offense for this loss and they do not deserve to be chastised. But. Man was this play wide-ass open! If I am Alex Smith, that one haunts me to my grave. I still remember overthrowing my senior tight end my freshman year in a varsity game at Millard High. We had the perfect pass play called on third-and-nine. I saw him break open past the linebacker and somehow overthrew his 6-foot-6 frame. That was 1969 and I can still see that pig floating harmlessly to the ground.

 

“Great season Chiefs sorry that it didn't finish the way we wanted still are proud of all you guys. b on 810 Monday at 7 hang in there all!”
Tim Grunhard, @swindad61, Twitter
GH: Okay, so we can deduce from this sweet tweet that Grunny is not looking to get back into the world of tell-it-like-it-is sports talk radio. He may be angling for a position with the Chiefs cheerleaders, though.

 

“It’s a much more promising off-season that we’re heading into than last year.”
Trent Green, 810 AM
GH: At first blush, this would appear to be a no-brainer true statement. The Chiefs were woeful last season and are now coming off a season where they reached the playoffs. But the Chiefs schedule in 2014 looks brutal. Add to that the fact the Broncos and Chargers swept the Chiefs and your optimism for next fall might be muted.

 

“I think more people are going to pick the Chiefs to finish ahead of the Chargers next year.”
Carrington Harrison, 610 AM
GH: When Carrington says “more people,” is he talking about anybody outside of himself and Mitch Holthus?

“Reid on concussions to Charles, Flowers and Avery... All should be fine.”
Todd Leabo, @Leabonics, Twitter
GH: That is until the year 2020 when all three file lawsuits against the Chiefs for their head injuries.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 

 


Reaction to the Chiefs second half playoff meltdown

Written 1-6-14

“I'm just a KC sports fan, standing in front of a KC sports team, asking it to love me.”
Kevin Scobee, after the Kansas City Chiefs gave up the second greatest comeback in NFL playoff history while losing 45-44 in Indianapolis and extended the Chiefs record consecutive playoff losses to eight, @scobes15, Twitter
GH: How did you handle the immediate aftermath of “The Colt-lapse?” I spent it staring at the Saints/Eagles game, not knowing or caring the score. Again? It happened again?

“It feels like we can’t have nice things. The Truman Sports Complex should be renamed The Boulevard of Broken Dreams.”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM

“I told my wife I was going to go out into the front yard and drop some F-bombs.”
Josh Klingler, on how he coped with the Chiefs loss, 610 AM

“This season is officially a failure. This is the most unacceptable loss ever.”
Bob Fescoe, @bobfescoe, Twitter

“Is KC built on an Indian burial ground? Actually, that might be true.”
Almighty Ruler, @jfishSOTW, Twitter

“Not to get ahead of ourselves but feeling safe talking about this… If Cincy wins tomorrow, KC plays at Denver Sunday. If SD wins tomorrow, KC plays at NE on Sat night.”
Adam Teicher‏, @adamteicher, as Chiefs built their 28-point lead in Indianapolis, Twitter
GH: Teicher is proving to be woefully inept at these take-it-for-granted tweets when it comes to the Chiefs. He also whiffed in December when the Chiefs had that 21-7 lead at home over the Broncos. Are we going to have to start referring to Teicher as “Little Sexy?”

“I really don't know what to say...I feel like #Chiefs fans are cursed...I feel bad for my fellow Chiefs fans...What a horrible loss. … I still can't believe the #Chiefs lost that game...I think I'm more sad than mad...Sitting in stunned silence...This town deserved better.”
Steven St. John, @SSJWHB, Twitter

“Just telling my wife that today is the closest I've felt to that (K-State) double OT loss to A&M.”
John Morris, @modog1204, Twitter
GH: My worst-loss-memory as a fan is Nebraska’s loss to Miami in the 1984 Orange Bowl when Osborne went for two and didn’t make it. The sight or any mention of Bernie Kosar still stings.

“It’s the worst loss in Chiefs history.”
Jack Harry, KSHB TV 41

“Might hurt as bad as Elliott game-at least I didn't stand in snow for four hours-still, hurts...wow.”
Robert Sigrist, @DocSig, Twitter
GH: The Lin Elliott loss, for me at least, was worse. That team was supposed to make it to the Super Bowl. This team was supposed to be able to protect a 38-10 second-half lead. Both really, really sucked.

“Wore a Chiefs shirt today. Gonna throw it away.”
Kevin Scobee, @scobes15, Twitter
GH: Many Chiefs fans would like to see Clark Hunt do the same with the white-on-white uniforms they wore in Indianapolis. Why are Hunt and the Chiefs so locked into preserving the Chiefs “traditional” logo uniform? Has Clark noticed our tradition kind of stinks the past 45 years? I’m all for having a huge bonfire at Arrowhead’s 50-yard line and rid the franchise of our 1960’s uniforms. Let’s get Nike to roll out about 16 new looks for 2014 and change our stripes forever.

“Chiefs fans will pick themselves up & get over this. It may take 11, 12 years.”
Brad Dickson, @brad_dickson, Twitter
GH: Chiefs fans are better at rebounding than Wilt. Once the draft rolls around in April, the Chiefs fans will be right back on the rollercoaster.

#Chiefs fans, you ok? Breath…in…out…in…out #Thathappened.”
Doug Gottlieb, @GottliebShow, Twitter

GH: Sometimes Gottlieb can just be a dick. This is definitely one of those times.

“Somewhere, Joe Montana and Marcus Allen are clinking champagne glasses. The streak hits 20 years without a playoff win. Brutal.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter

“This should’ve been their way to erase a generation of franchise failure. Instead, they only reinforced it.
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: Who will step up and change our fate? I think Alex Smith might be the guy. I know I am glad the Chiefs have him and not Geno Smith at the helm.

 

“Who is this Alex Smith we are seeing today? He’s going to throw one behind his back!”
Mike Mayock, TV analyst, after Smith completed a forward shovel pass to Knile Davis, NBC

“A day at the improv for Alex Smith.”
Dan Hicks, TV play-by-play voice, NBC

 

“Some used to say Alex Smith never lived up to the hype. They were wrong. Alex Smith is just a late bloomer.”
ESPN, @espn, Twitter


“I don’t understand how you go to a two-minute break and have the time to make the call and then come back out and burn your final timeout! Unless you saw something so crazy (from the defense) but you didn’t. I thought they had an advantageous look! … The criticism in Philadelphia on Andy Reid was time management.”
Mike Mayock, with the Chiefs down 45-44 at the two-minute warning, TV analyst, NBC
GH: Andy Reid is simply atrocious as a game clock manager. He needs to invoke the “Costanza Rule” and just do the exact opposite of whatever he thinks he should do when it comes to calling a T.O.

 

“That just doesn’t happen. That was a bad move. That was a really bad move.”
Tim Grunhard, on Reid using his last time out coming out of the final two-minute warning, 810 AM
GH: Grunhard added that he had never seen a time out called there in all of his years of playing or coaching football. This is a serious enough error that Hunt should force Reid to hire someone to handle his time outs. I am not joking.

“The Chiefs didn’t bleed this clock! They’re up 38 to 10!”
Dan Patrick, NBC
GH: I just do not understand teams that have a comfortable lead NOT using their entire play clock before snapping the ball. We learned (and executed) this fundamental rule in high school. Why is it that millionaire coaches and players can’t understand this premise?

“They played the whole second half like it was zero, zero.”
Tony Dungy, NBC

“Kansas City. That had to be the biggest disappointment – embarrassment – defensive game plan. When you’re playing against one receiver you have to take away and that’s T.Y. Hilton. The rest of those receivers, they’re all average players. I don’t know what the defensive game plan was. … It’ll be a long off-season for them.”
Rodney Harrison, studio host, NBC

“Everybody that is in this room is going to get a game ball! That was the second-largest comeback in the history of this game!”
Chuck Pagano, Colts head coach, in postgame locker room, NBC
GH: Was the Chiefs defensive backfield in the Colts locker room?

“The second half we just did not show up. … Defensively we just dropped the ball.”
Derrick Johnson, Chiefs All-Pro linebacker, in the postgame locker room, KSHB TV 41

“We kind of fell apart.”
Marcus Cooper, when asked to explain the Chiefs second-half collapse, 810 AM

“I left it all on the field.”
Sean Smith, Chiefs corner, in the postgame locker room, KSHB TV 41
GH: Was Smith referring to his uniform and jock strap?

“Tyson Jackson was literally hiding in a hallway waiting for the media to leave.”
Steven St. John, on many of the Chiefs players reluctance to be interviewed Sunday, 810 AM

Aaron Swarts: “Kendrick Lewis didn’t want to talk to anybody. He was gone!”
Steven St. John: “I’m not sure I want to talk to Kendrick Lewis.”

“The local media is guilty of propping up this team to something that never was. We were duped by the 9-0 start. Too many of us bought in.”
Jack Harry, KSHB TV 41
GH: The local media is the problem? What was the “local media” supposed to do with a 9-0 Chiefs team? Tell everyone they fattened up on NFL patsies? The truth is this Chiefs team had a 28-point second half lead on the road in the playoffs! Yes, they coughed it up and lost 45-44 to the next Peyton Manning but this team was Super Bowl worthy. I absolutely believe they were as good as any team in the AFC short of Denver.

So…The Chiefs blow a 28 pt lead and go home while the team their back-ups almost beat advances. It's going to be a long off season in KC.”
Frank Boal, @realfrankboal, Twitter
GH: I like the Chargers chances in Denver – again. And our JV almost beat them in San Diego? Tell me again how bad this Chiefs team is?

“You’re on an island here, bro.”
Jake Gutierrez, who is an avowed KU fan, responding to Steven St. John’s comments about at least he has the Mizzou win in the Cotton Bowl to feel good about, 810 AM
GH: When Kansas lost to SDSU to end their home-court non-con streak it made the weekend even longer for Jayhawks fans.

“Once…more…you open the door…”
Celine Deion, as the title song from the movie Titanic played in the backdrop of audio from the Chiefs loss to the Colts, 810 AM

Jake Gutierrez: “I’m drowning!”
Aaron Swarts: “I can’t feel my legs already!”
GH: Jake Gutierrez played this montage while I was battling bumper-to-bumper commuter traffic this morning as the temps hovered around -12. It made me smile. That is something.

“Get the dump button ready Spector because it’s coming! … That’s right Andy! You were fired in Philadelphia because you don’t know what you’re doing when it comes to play calling!”
Bob Fescoe, as he prepared his producer for his over-the-top tirade about the Chiefs playoff loss, 610 AM
GH: Nothing is as insincere as these Bob Fescoe verbal tirades directed toward one of our sports teams. He made national news with one of these phony diatribes in 2012 and he apparently is trying to use this latest Chiefs loss to get him another 15 minutes of fame. It is really, really lame, Bob. I mean really. 

“I don’t mean to come on (the radio) and scream but that’s how I feel.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Klingler tried to pretend this was an impromptu rant by Fescoe, assuring listeners, “This is not what we planned.” Didn’t Josh read the 47 tweets from Fescoe over the weekend where he was telling everyone to be sure and tune in Monday morning at 6:00 AM because he was going to blow? Well, maybe not in the same words but “blow” would have been more appropriate.

“38-10 is a win. In the National Football League it’s a win. When it’s not it’s historic…. How can you come to the conclusion with your general manager 24 hours later and say there will be no (coaching) changes? If you want to stay the course with Bob Sutton, fine.”
Soren Petro, who questioned 810 AM
GH: I am not as upset with Sutton as Fescoe and Petro seem to be. I am upset that no one in the Chiefs secondary apparently has any ability to play their positions.

“Asked T.Y. Hilton what his plans were tonight. ‘Nothing,’ he said. ‘I am DEAD. Exhausted. Going home. Going to sleep.’”
Peter King, @SI_PeterKing, Twitter
GH: The Chiefs secondary apparently ran him to death.

 

“I know Bob Sutton is going to take a lot of criticism but where was the lack of aggression from the players in the second half? … Just from an aggressiveness standpoint! It’s on everybody!”
Henry Blake, 610 AM

 

“The @KCStar delivered harsh but unforgettable cover after #Chiefs collapse.”
@HuffPostSports, Twitter
GH: The Huffington Post retweeted Jeff Rosen’s tweet of the Sunday Kansas City Star’s front sports page.

“Our @KCStar cover got a RT in French. It said something to the effect of "Quite embarrassing this," in relation to the #Chiefs' loss.”
Jeff Rosen, @jeff_rosen88, Twitter

“Big loser today: KCTV. Lost 11/17 Broncos game to NBC. Didn't get wild card game. Would have had Chiefs next week.”

TV Insider, OTC Email
GH: Damn. Michael Coleman is going to be eating Ramen Noodles this month.

 

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 

 


Will the long playoff victory drought come to an end?

Written 1-3-14

“It’s hard to get here and it’s hard to stay.”
LeSean McCoy, Eagles All-Pro running back, on the NFL playoffs, 610 AM
GH: This is not news to any Chiefs fan who has faithfully followed the Chiefs 20-year drought of playoff victories. I was 40 the last time the Chiefs won a playoff game. If it takes them another 20 years to win one I will be 80…hopefully. Let’s get this damn thing done in Indy, Chiefs.

“Just declined a trip with some old pals because the Chiefs will be playing in the Super Bowl that weekend.”
@ArrowheadPride, Twitter
GH: You gotta like how AH lives up to his moniker.

“Andy Reid's record after a bye is incredible. I'm calling Sunday a bye. Chiefs roll the Colts.”
Jason Whitlock, @WhitlockJason, Twitter
GH: Love ya, Whit, but you haven’t been all that accurate when it comes to predicting Chiefs victories over your hometown Colts. Jeff George.

“A Southwest Airlines gate attendant is making Ryan Succop jokes over the intercom. Good thing I'm in Phoenix and not Pittsburgh.”
Jim Trotter, @SI_JimTrotter, after the Chiefs place kicker missed a game-winning 41-yard field goal in San Diego last Sunday, Twitter
GH: That is risky material even for a wacky SW flight attendant. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to make fun of a possible passenger’s NFL team when you are going to be locked in a metal tube with them for the next two or three hours.

“After Daniel’s initial pass went in and out of the hands of linebacker Donald Butler, who had clear sailing for a touchdown, Daniel connected with A.J. Jenkins for a 48-yard gain to the San Diego 17, setting up Davis’ 17-yard touchdown run and a 7-0 lead. Chiefs fans better appreciate the fact that their team fattened up on a weak schedule in 2013. The Chargers answered with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Rivers to tight end Ladarius Green, tying the score with 10:37 left to play in the first quarter. The Chargers forced the Chiefs to punt, but on the ensuing possession, Ron Parker picked off Rivers for his second interception of the season, setting up a 2-yard touchdown pass from Daniel to Dexter McCluster and a 14-7 lead.”
Randy Covitz, Chiefs beat writer, Kansas City Star
GH: I just found the placement, tone and mere existence of this editorial warning from Covitz to be more than odd in the middle of his Chargers/Chiefs game story. Maybe Randy is ogling for Vahe Gregorian’s column since he seems to be ignoring it.

“Seriously, that (Chargers) game did more for #Chiefs GM John Dorsey and his scouting staff than we can possibly imagine. They saw what they've got now.”
Terez A. Paylor, Chiefs beat writer for KC Star, @TerezPaylor, Twitter
GH: It will be interesting to see if Reid has a shorter leash in Indy on some of his starters after some subs on the offensive line and defensive backfield proved worthy of the bright lights.

“Still thousands of tix available for this weekend's games at Packers, Bengals & Colts. NFL's last playoff blackout was Jan 2002, BAL at MIA.”
Rachel Nichols, @Rachel__Nichols, Twitter

“Hope the problems several NFL cities are having selling playoff tickets drives home a simple point: teams/leagues often charge way too much.”
Sam Mellinger, @mellinger, Twitter

“Indy Colts @Colts face 4:35pm EST blackout deadline unless they sell about 3,000 tickets.”
Jenna Hanchard, @JennaHanchard, KSHB TV 41 reporter, Twitter
GH: There is no way in the Frozen Tundra that the NFL is going to blackout any home audiences this weekend. Ridiculous ticket pricing, ridiculous winter weather and the ridiculous technical comforts of home have all made not going to a game far more appealing than going. And that isn’t going to change. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the NFL blackout rule suffer a quiet death over the offseason.

“Just heard Mike Golic blame the blackout possibility on the fans and lack of loyalty. Out of touch much?”
Peter Dunn,
@PeteThePlanner, Twitter
GH: A lack of fan loyalty? This from a guy who owes his entire career and lifestyle to the fact fans cared that he was a football player.

“I’ve got to say this is terrible timing to start this (Oklahoma State/K-State basketball) game on Saturday at 3:00 o’clock!”
Nate Bukaty, on the Big 12 opener for both schools, 810 AM
GH: Both K-State and Mizzou have home basketball games this Saturday starting just about the same time as the Chiefs game in Indianapolis. Add the fact that the students are still out on break and you have one of the worst cases of scheduling this side of Bill Snyder.

“I will not watch a second of basketball this weekend. I just won’t. Missouri is playing during the Chiefs game and I will not have any idea what’s going on in Mizzou Arena at all!”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: There might be fewer folks inside Mizzou Arena Saturday afternoon than there are on Todd Haley’s bandwagon.

“I jumped on an elevator and already missed Bama's first score. I guess Stoops still thinks SEC is all propaganda.”
Paul Finebaum,
@finebaum, after Alabama rolled early in their first scoring drive against Oklahoma, Twitter
GH: Finebaum’s SEC preening on Twitter did not last long Thursday night. Read on.

“I doubt anyone will be saying Alabama is still the best team in the country after tonight.”
Paul Finebaum,
@finebaum, as the Sooners took a 31-17 lead into halftime, Twitter

“My hat is off to Bob Stoops. He schooled Nick Saban last night. Heading downstairs for coffee and a serving of crow.”
Paul Finebaum,
@finebaum, Twitter
GH: Here’s hoping some Auburn-friendly waitress slipped a little War Eagle into Finebaum’s crow hash. Finebaum’s show should be one of the better places to be this afternoon. You can hear it on Sirius Channel 85 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM CT. Hoping Legend gets a slice of Finebaum’s crow to mumble through this afternoon.

“When people shit on people who use #Twitter I just smdh. Nights like tonight are what make it great.”
Bill Knust,
@billknust, on live tweeting during the Sugar Bowl, Twitter

“Excessive celebration on a 99.5 yard TD? You pretty much gotta swing Uga by the legs to call that.”
Brad Dickson,
@brad_dickson, after the Nebraska bench was flagged following Quincy Enunwa’s 99.5 yard TD reception, Twitter
GH: Dickson’s tweets are one of the reasons to love Twitter.

“OK, let's try again. No. 68 on my 100 greatest baseball players list with the REAL @DaleMurphy3 rookie card in it.”
Joe Posnanski,
@JPosnanski, Twitter
GH: JoPo sent this (and other similar tweets) out last night during the Sugar Bowl. I’m not saying everybody needed to be locked into watching and tweeting about OU/Bama but a Dale Murphy tweet on January 2, 2014? I think I am starting to understand how JoPo could have spent six months on Penn State’s campus as JoePa’s legacy was being set to flames and missed spotting the smoke.

“A.J. McCarron, I saw today, isn't going to the Senior Bowl. It's OK, I think the scouts are seeing enough tonight.”
Bob Lutz,
@boblutz, on the Alabama quarterback’s outing in the Sugar Bowl, Twitter
GH: McCarron reminds me of the old-school NFL QBs like Roger Staubach, Bart Starr and even Len Dawson. Solid, strong, heady but nothing sensational when it comes to sheer athleticism. Your typical safe white-guy quarterback. In other words, the exact opposite of A&M’s Johnny Manziel.

“First and foremost congrats to Duke on what they accomplished this year. Team played harder than any team we played and with a ton of heart.”
Johnny Manziel, @JManziel2, after Manziel led his Aggies to a wild 52-48 Chick-fil-A Bowl comeback win over the Blue Devils, Twitter
GH: Manziel deserved to be the second player to ever receive back-to-back Heismans but too many voters were upset with his off-field headlines and immature antics. I think Johnny Football is the most exciting quarterback to play college football since Michel Vick.

“Draft Manziel at your own peril. Seems like he would fit in perfectly in DC.”
Kevin Kietzman, @kkwhb, Twitter
GH: If drafting Johnny Manziel is wrong, I don’t want to be right. If Dallas gets a crack at drafting him he would blow up bigger than Bevo in that state.

“(Johnny Manziel) was lights out last night wasn't he? He's going to be one hell of an #NFL player.”
Fran Tarkenton, @Fran_Tarkenton, Twitter

“Missouri had better beat Okla St in Cotton Bowl, or SEC will have losing record vs ranked teams in bowl games (with Auburn-FSU) still to go.”
Neal Jones,
@NealJoneskctv5, Twitter
GH: I know there is a lot of SEC bashing going on and I enjoyed Oklahoma’s win over the vaunted Crimson Tide as well. But if Auburn beats FSU, the SEC will have won the last eight BCS national titles. And if they don’t the SEC will still be pretty good. In other words, I don’t see the SEC football going the way of the Big Ten anytime soon.

GregHall@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 

 


The Chiefs' chances in Indy

Written 1-2-14

“I think a playoff win will validate the (Chiefs’) season. I think a playoff loss will leave a lot of people to say, ‘Same old Chiefs. Same old failure.’ Even if they lose on Sunday, the level-headed Chiefs fan should say, they turned it around from 2-14 to 11-5. The level-headed fan will say this organization is headed in the right direction. I am not level-headed.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM

“You look at the Colts and every time they played a team in their division the second time they beat them even worse than the first time around.”
Danan Hughes, 610 AM
GH: I want the Chiefs to win and I want to be as positive about their chances as say Chiefs’ super fan X-Factor. But I can’t see a lot of reasons to think the Chiefs have more than an upset chance in Indy. That stomping the Colts applied just a couple of weeks ago at Arrowhead is just too fresh.

“I got more handsy at my neighbor's Christmas party last night than Kendrick Lewis has trying to tackle all day.”
Mick Shaffer,
@mickshaffer, during Chiefs loss to Colts, Twitter

“Good Morning America is covering the lawsuit against the Chiefs from Jovan Belcher's family.”
@ArrowheadPride, Thursday morning, Twitter
GH: Good grief, people – have you no pride? Does it always have to be someone else’s fault? What happened to being held accountable for shooting the mother of your infant child and then taking the coward’s way out by offing yourself in front of your traumatized teammates and coaches? I hope the media does all it can to cover this story fairly – and I mean from the Chiefs’ perspective just as much as the family’s side.

“If there ever was a position in the NFL that should change (the way college football players are allowed to leave college), these (running backs) should be paid from the ages of 19 to 22.”
Andrew Brandt, NFL analyst for ESPN, 810 AM
GH: This is one reason I expect Henry Josey to announce shortly after the Cotton Bowl that he will not be returning to Mizzou for his senior season. I can’t think of anyone who should have a problem with this if he does bolt for the NFL early.

“I don’t get it. I don’t get it. If I was a betting man I would be running to the betting lines in Las Vegas to put my money on Missouri. And I said the same thing about K-State and I was right.”
Nate Bukaty, on Oklahoma State now being a 1.5-point favorite over Mizzou in the Cotton Bowl, 810 AM
GH: What Kansas State did to Michigan in their bowl made their five-loss season turn from September angst to December excitement. Huge props to the Cats for turning things around once Snyder decided on the correct quarterback. As for Mizzou against OSU – this game should not even be all that close. I like the Tigers by 14 plus. I still root for the old Big 8 teams as if they were all still in the same conference.

“Did it look like the American was a step below the other leagues when UCF was pummeling Big12 champ Baylor? Just asking.”
Michael DeCourcy,
@tsnmike, Twitter
GH: Baylor’s loss is a blow to the Big 12’s football reputation. But an Oklahoma win over Alabama tonight could erase all questions about the Big 12’s status. An Alabama romp though would add to the conference’s sinking stature. The Sooners could give us all a big boost with an upset win tonight.

“Congratulations to Michigan State, hell of a team the earned the title Rose Bowl champs.”
Shayne Skov, Stanford linebacker,
@ShayneSkov11, following Stanford’s loss to the Spartans, Twitter
GH: I want my athletes and teams to compete like crazy during the game but show humility and grace afterward. Skov exemplifies what it means to be a college athlete in his tweet.

“It's amazing, Kansas City has FOUR TV stations that ALL have the most accurate weather report in the city. That's impressive.”
TJ Carpenter,
@TJCarpenterWHB, Twitter
GH: Is it any more amazing than KC having two all-sports radio stations that claim to be the most powerful, most-listened-to and best since Marconi?

“As conference play approaches, what's the best league in college basketball? Gotta be Big Ten or Big 12. I'm leaning Big 12.”
Jason King,
@JasonKingBR, Twitter
GH: The Big 12 looks fantastic. How about the job Bruce Weber is doing at Kansas State this past month?

“It’s a great step. We were very humbled and embarrassed in Puerto Rico. We came back and talked about controlling December.”
Bruce Weber, on K-State’s win over Gonzaga, 810 AM
GH: Where are the easy games in the Big 12? At Texas Tech? Maybe. This is going to be one wild winter in Big 12 hoops.

“Things worse than Garrick Sherman’s beard …go.”
Doug Gottlieb,
@GottliebShow,  tweeting during the ND/Ohio State game about the Irish’s big man’s beard, Twitter
GH: Gottlieb tweeted this out during the game to elicit some humorous responses from his many followers. What he likely did not expect is the reaction he received from Notre Dame’s Garrick Sherman…

“Your ability to stay eligible at Notre Dame.”
Garrick Sherman, @gsherm11, responding to Gottlieb’s crack on his beard, Twitter

“In case you didn’t already know, Gottlieb played for Notre Dame for one season in the mid-1990′s, but was caught stealing credit cards from students and making $900 charges to the cards. This act led to his expulsion from the school¹. Sherman may have fought fire with fire tonight, and twitter seems to really be on the side of the Fighting Irish player-the current one, that is.”
Cam Newton, BustingBrackets.com

“Very well done Doug. Your maturity and class never fails to shine through… got any credit cards I can borrow?”
Garrick Sherman, @gsherm11, Twitter
GH: When professional broadcasters engage college athletes in a tense public dialogue, it is usually not a bright move on the broadcaster’s part. Gottlieb found this out quickly, despite trying to diffuse the situation.

“I got nothing but love my man, the beard is a good Amish look—u have the right to swing back—or shave—“
Doug Gottlieb,
@GottliebShow,  responding to Sherman’s tweets, Twitter

“I have no love for you or respect for you. You’re biased and ignorant. Stay outta my mentions.”
Garrick Sherman, @gsherm11, Twitter
GH: I like Gottlieb’s work because he isn’t a cookie-cutter analyst. He is willing to make bold statements that I at times find brilliant and at other times ridiculous. I hope he is able to walk that fine line and stay eligible for his job as he matures and learns how to cope with the perils of social media.

“Boyz in da hood.”
Restaurant Exhaust Systems Cleaning Company
GH: I saw this painted on the side of one of their trucks riding east on I-435 in Overland Park. Gotta love creativity.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Chiefs JV loses at San Diego, but just barely

Written 12-30-13

“If I’m Kansas City I’m looking forward to it because they’re nice and rested. You look at Indianapolis, they don’t have a lot of explosive weapons. T.Y. Hilton is their number-one receiver and it’s not like they have a great running game. So if I’m Kansas City, I do believe I can go on the road and beat this team.”
Rodney Harrison, NBC
GH: Okay…but did Rodney see the Colts/Chiefs game at Arrowhead right before Christmas? There is no logical reason to think the Chiefs have a more than a puncher’s chance in this game at Indy. But that’s logic talking – and the NFL playoffs are anything but Vulcan. Read on.

“The Colts think they beat the Chiefs. They didn’t beat the real Chiefs.”
Bill Maas, referring to the Colts 23-7 win at Arrowhead on December 22nd, 610 AM
GH: Interesting thought here by Maas. We do know the Chiefs played their starters against the Colts and needed the win to keep pace with the Broncos. What Maas is saying is that the real Chiefs are a lot better than the team Indianapolis steamrolled two weeks prior to the playoffs. I guess we shall see what “the real Chiefs” look like in Indy this Saturday.

“That’s a serious glass-half-full look at it though. That’s a serious optimistic viewpoint. I obviously hope (Maas) is right.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM

“If I’m Andy Reid, I’m working all week on how to get a pass rush. I’ve got to get to Andrew Luck and pressure him to win the game.”
Tony Dungy, NBC
GH: A healthy pass-rushing Justin Houston is one Chiefs’ All-Pro player who just might make all the difference in this second meeting between the Chiefs and Colts. But how healthy is Houston? I don’t think even the Chiefs know.

“Multiple Chiefs told me after last week’s game they’d love to see the Colts again. When tight end Sean McGrath was coming up the tunnel after last week’s loss to Indy, he said to a teammate walking into the locker room, ‘Don’t forget how this bleeping feels.’ They wanted the Colts again. They’ll get them Saturday in Indy.”
Brad Fanning, reporter/anchor, KCTV 5

“You can’t make this stuff up! Good snap. Good hold. He just pushed it right. Unbelievable!”
Rich Gannon, network analyst, after Succop missed a 41-yard field goal that would have all but guaranteed a Chiefs win in San Diego, CBS
GH: CBS gave TV viewers a perfect behind-the-goalpost look at Succop’s game-winning attempt that never looked like it had much of a chance to sneak between the pipes. I was concentrating on the Chargers’ odd defensive alignment (that only contained 10 players and may have been illegal) and assumed the kick was automatic if unblocked. Well, you know what they say about those who assume…

“Not at all worried. When has playing the Colts in the playoffs been anything other than a trip to Disneyland? (begin chain smoking).”
@TheFakeNed, Twitter

“SD had more than 6 players on one side of the center on the line of scrimmage. That is a new rule and a foul.”
Mike Pereira, @MikePereira, former head of NFL officials,
click here for video, Twitter
GH: If I can spot this sitting in my living room, what were the Chiefs’ coaches looking at up in the booth?

“Pittsburgh did their job. Ryan Succop did not so his.”
Bill Cowher, the former Steelers head coach, CBS
GH: Cowher made this comment as he was voicing over the Steelers highlights package and there was more than a tinge of anger in his tone. Can you imagine being a Steelers’ fan and watching Succop’s miss from their perspective?

“Let's be real though: Ryan Succop didn't cause the Steelers to be out of the playoffs. Losing to Tennessee, Oakland, and Minnesota did.”
@numberFire, Twitter
GH: True…but if Succop makes the kick the Steelers are in no matter who they lost to previously.

“Somebody told Chase Daniel that this was the KU game at Arrowhead in ’07.”
Mitch Holthus, on the former Mizzou QB getting his first NFL start in San Diego and proving he just might be worth his $3.3 million paycheck, Chiefs Radio Network

“I’ve never been a believer of Chase Daniel but he made me a believer today. He played great.”
Call Jeff, 810 AM
GH: Multiply that comment by the state of Kansas.

“This is what you live for – to play in situations like this.”
Len Dawson, on Daniel getting the opportunity to quarterback the Chiefs in their final drive in regulation with the score tied and under four minutes in the game, Chiefs Radio Network
GH: Daniel did his part in directing the Chiefs’ final drive in regulation that put Succop in place for his game-winning 41-yard attempt. Dan Marino mentioned how impressed he was with Daniel’s ability to step up in a pressure situation and deliver an almost victory.

“The Chargers had a slightly better chance of getting into the playoffs as I had of winning the Powerball.”
Shannon Sharpe, CBS

“We did what we had to do to win. In this league they don’t give any style points.”
Phillip Rivers, Chargers QB, on San Diego’s 27-24 OT win over the Chiefs, CBS
GH: This might not be popular with the Kansas City crowd but the Chargers have the look of a team that just might steal some wins in the playoffs.

“Time out called by the Chiefs 31 seconds before the two-minute warning. … The Chiefs must have had some kind of disorganizational issue when they called time out with 2:31 left.”
Mitch Holthus, on Andy Reid calling time out at another odd time near the end of regulation that appeared to favor San Diego more than the Chiefs at this juncture, Chiefs Radio Network
GH: This is the second time this season Reid has suffered a brain lock on calling late-game time outs that favored San Diego more than his Chiefs. His incredibly poor understanding of the play clock scares me as much as anything when it comes to the Chiefs chances in the playoffs.

“I didn’t think people would be that excited after this game.”
Jay Binkley, on the number of positive calls he and Carrington Harrison were fielding following the Chiefs overtime loss in San Diego, 610 AM
GH: It wasn’t only the Chiefs fans who were impressed with the play of the Chiefs’ JV team. Read on.

“The only thing I can say about the way the Kansas City Chiefs ended this season is that was a pretty fantastic way to go out. To have a real chance to win a game (playing their backups) and to put Pittsburgh into the playoffs.”
Boomer Esiason, on the play of the Chiefs non-starters on the road in San Diego, CBS

“Let me tell you, that’s going to be a fun ride home. I’ve been on some miserable rises home from the west coast but that’s going to be a fun one.”
Bill Maas, on the mood of the Chiefs after their backups pushed the Chargers to overtime and should have won the game if Ryan Succop hits the 41-yard field goal, 610 AM

“I’ll take responsibility too, Andy. It was my worst game as well.”
Mitch Holthus, after Andy Reid stated that he and his coaching staff had done their worst job coaching the Chiefs in their loss to the Colts at Arrowhead, 810 AM
GH: Never change, Uncle Mitch. Never change.

“Let’s party like it’s 1969…because I don’t want to think about playoff failures.”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM
GH: I remember 1969 well. As a high school freshman, I was especially fond of miniskirts – a new fad that floored and delighted my older brother Bob when he returned from Vietnam. Woodstock, a man on the moon, and Len Dawson leading the Chiefs toward Super Bowl IV. Will 2013 be remembered as fondly here in KC? Can we at least bring back the miniskirt?

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Chiefs lose at home to Colts

Written 12-23-13

“We gotta decide what kind of team we want to be moving forward. Yeah, you dominated Oakland. Yeah, you dominated the Redskins. But what are we gonna do when we face other powerhouse? We’re a much better team than we showed today and we gotta play like it.”
Dunta Robinson, in an interview with the media following the Chiefs’ 23-7 loss to the Colts, 610 AM
GH: It is one thing to hear the media talking heads discuss the Chiefs beating bad teams with fill-in quarterbacks and losing to good teams – but a Chiefs player? This was rare and welcome stuff coming out of the Chiefs’ locker room Sunday. Read on.

“We just can’t wait for the next guy to make the tackle. When we get the opportunity we got to make it.”
Dunta Robinson, who played significantly against the Colts as the nickel back and replacing Marcus Cooper in some defensive packages, 610 AM
GH: The Chiefs tackling against the Colts was as bad as any game this season. If Jamaal Charles had been in Indianapolis’ backfield he might have rushed for 300 yards.

“It just felt like a very uninspiring performance minus that opening drive. The play that troubled me was that (51-yard TD) run by Donald Brown. I’m a little concerned as an outsider looking at that team as to where they’re at.”
Louis Riddick, ESPN NFL analyst, 810 AM

“We just got our ass kicked. We didn’t hold anything back. They were just better today. They executed when they needed to.”
Dunta Robinson, 610 AM

“We felt like we were ready coming into this game but what happened today was totally unexpected. … They wanted it more than we did.””
Dunta Robinson, 610 AM
GH: Bob Fescoe played a number of audio clips from Robinson’s postgame comments on his Monday morning show. While Robinson’s comments were entertaining, he was often left unchallenged by the media who surrounded him as to the conflicting verbal signals he was putting out.

“Sky high. Never die. Always ready to roll!”
Dunta Robinson, when asked where the level of confidence is with this Chiefs team, 610 AM
GH: So why does Robinson think the team’s confidence is “sky high? After getting their “ass kicked?” If that question was asked, it wasn’t answered.

“This is the best team I’ve ever been on. I’ve played in Atlanta the past two years and we were a pretty good football team. But if we don’t get focused, we’re going to be sitting right back here. You look at all three phases, there are no holes on this football team. I know the next time we see this (Colts) team all those things will be corrected and we’ll be ready to roll. I know what’s in this locker room. Just a little more belief and we’ll be fine.”
Dunta Robinson, 610 AM

“There you have Dunta Robinson (Sunday) basically just destroying all of his teammates and anybody else who got in his way.”
Bob Fescoe, after replaying the audio clips of Robinson’s postgame interview on his Monday morning show, 610 AM
GH: What interview was Fescoe listening to? If it was the same one he played for his audience, I didn’t hear Robinson “basically just destroying all of his teammates and anybody else who got in his way.” This is why athletes and coaches distrust the media. Fescoe took what were strong but constructive comments made by Robinson about himself and his team and turned them into a player trashing his teammates.

“I think (Sunday) was a game where the (Chiefs) coaching staff just didn’t put a lot of emphasis on this game. I don’t think the Chiefs were focused. I don’t think the Chiefs were ready. I don’t think the Chiefs wanted to be out there at that game.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Does Fescoe really believe what he says here? He doesn’t think the Chiefs coaching staff, “put a lot of emphasis on this game?” A game that if they won would have kept them tied for the AFC West division title and a chance at home-field advantage throughout the playoffs? Fescoe doesn’t think the Chiefs, “wanted to be out there at that game?” He thought they wanted to be Christmas shopping? It is radio hosts like Fescoe that give the industry its shoddy reputation. The Chiefs got beat by a team that played much better than they did. But that thought doesn’t fill a four-hour radio show the morning after the game.

“I don’t know that anybody even hit (Knile Davis) before the ball comes out! It wasn’t much of a blow.”
Dan Dierdorf, network TV analyst, as he reviewed the tape of Davis’ first-half fumble, CBS
GH: Fumbles happen in football but this fumble by the rookie Davis (with the help of CBS’ excellent slow-motion replay) showed almost no contact before the ball came loose. Davis looks like he could be a home-run threat with his speed and power. But if he cannot hold onto the pig, he will be back in Arkansas and out of the NFL.

“I'm derrrrr, catch, derrrrr, tackle, mumble, wow." -Dan Dierdorf.”
Aaron Swarts,
@a_swarts, Twitter
GH: Dierdorf is far from my favorite NFL TV analyst and he definitely is not a fan of the Chiefs fans I follow on Twitter – but then again what TV broadcaster is when the home team is playing?

“If you thought this (Arrowhead) crowd was quiet before, it’s downright docile now.”
Dan Dierdorf, after Donald Brown broke free for a 51-yard TD run early in the third quarter, CBS
GH: Calling the proud Arrowhead fans who braved 20-degree temps for four hours “docile” is not the best way to endear yourself to the locals. But Dierdorf was dead on in describing how quiet the Colts made Arrowhead sound much of the second half.

“No hook slide -- none of that nonsense from Alex Smith.”
Dan Dierdorf, with the Chiefs down 23-7 in the fourth quarter, CBS
GH: Nonsense? This statement is a good reason Dierdorf is retiring. He thinks the starting QB of a team that has already secured a playoff spot should be banging heads with linebackers.

“My friend Michael Garozzo. I’ve never been to Kansas City without eating at Garozzo’s. This is probably my last trip to Kansas City and I have a lot of great memories here over the years. This is one of the best football venues there is in the NFL. Love this town.”
Dan Dierdorf, CBS
GH: I remember the HOF Dierdorf as the teammate of Conrad Dobler’s on the St. Louis Cardinals. I hope this isn’t the big guys last time through our town.

“At the conclusion of the play, taunting number 92 of the defense. 15-yard penalty that will result in a first down.”
Tony Corrente, referee, announcing Dontari Poe’s penalty that proved to be a blow to the Chiefs comeback attempt, CBS
GH: CBS’ replay of Poe’s taunt looked like two opposing players barking at each other rather than one player taunting the other. This was a devastating call for the Chiefs that all but ended their hopes of a comeback. The refs likely blew this one way out of proportion.

“Playoff teams don’t do that. They don’t go out and get eight guys off the waiver wire the first day they’re available.”
Jack Harry, on the Chiefs adding eight free agents the week before the start of the season, 810 AM
GH: This one did, Jack.

“I didn’t think they could be physically dominated. I definitely didn’t think they could be unfocused. This is not how you want to roll into the playoffs.”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM
GH: The Chiefs have one more chance to redeem themselves with their game in San Diego on Sunday. But does any of this late-season momentum really matter when it comes to January? Not really. Momentum lastsabout as long in the NFL as the next turnover.

“It will be 70 on Sunday in San Diego.”
Gary Lezak, 810 AM
GH: Lezak is predicting 7-below in Kansas City for Tuesday morning. Merry Christmas, Santa!

GregHall242@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

 


Big 12 hoops better than expected

Written 12-20-13

“It seems like every team (in the Big 12) except Kansas is exceeding expectations at least by a little. The league has a lot of big wins and they’re going to have a good RPI.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: Clink quickly amended his statement to say that Kansas State probably is not exceeding expectations with their start – but that could change when they face Gonzaga Saturday in Wichita. How about the line-up for local hoops on Saturday? Christmas shopping just took three shots to the groin!
11:00 AM Georgetown at Kansas
2:30 PM  Gonzaga vs. Kansas State in Wichita
4:00 PM Missouri vs. Illinois in St. Louis

“Missouri needs to find opportunities to come this way, now that they’re in the SEC.”
Stan Weber, who suggested that Missouri schedule Wichita State on an annual basis to improve their exposure in the state of Kansas, 810 AM
GH: This is a great idea! Why not have the two schools Bill Self and KU have shunned strike up a rivalry and play at the Sprint Center each November or December? I would prefer if these two signed a home-and-home contract and really add some heat to non-con hoops for both schools. But I don’t think even that would bring MU fans out to Mizzou Arena before January.

“Sad crowd 15 mins before Mizzou-Western Michigan tip. MIZ 1 of 14 unbeatens left in NCAA.”
Ashley Zavala,
@ZavalaA, Twitter
GH: Ashley wasn’t done poking the Mizzou faithful. Read on.

“Missouri on a 9-0 run and a handful of fans head toward the exits. Wait, what?”
Ashley Zavala,
@ZavalaA, as MU opened its lead on Western Michigan late in the game, Twitter
GH: Mizzou definitely has a problem with fan interest in their home non-con schedule. The arena looks deserted for many of their early TV games. Forget all that talk about big-money owning those premium seats on the TV side of the court. This empty-seat problem has now spread to all corners of the gym. This probably isn’t much different at most SEC schools outside Kentucky and Florida. Maybe MU is more SEC than we thought.

“KU should stop playing at Sprint Center. If they won’t play Missouri, they should stop playing in Kansas City.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Fescoe isn’t the brightest bulb on the tree. As a matter of fact, he’s more like the stump.

“I thought it was a nice touch. It was the first time ever they did that.”
Josh Klingler, on the Kansas Jayhawk logo at center court at Sprint Center for KU’s recent game there against New Mexico, 610 AM
GH: Some Mizzou fans voiced their displeasure that the Kansas City Sprint Center would be so hospitable to Kansas. Note to Mizzou; Kansas is just better at cutting deals than you. Two words; Lew Perkins.

“Missouri will probably be 13-0 and ranked somewhere around 15th… and that surprises me!”
Gabe DeArmond, on Frank Haith’s team playing beyond their perceived talent level, 810 AM

 “I’m not sure any other conference has this kind of coaching line-up (as the Big 12).”
Blair Kerkhoff, 810 AM
GH: I have noticed that Kerkhoff has been covering the Royals’ beat for The Kansas City Star since Bob Dutton moved on to cover the Mariners in Seattle. I believe this is a temporary move but The Star doesn’t appear to have a lot of options. Why not hire one of the 487 bloggers who write about the Royals to take the beat? Does it make more sense to hand the job to your college sports writer?

“I’ve got a friend out there that works at WBAL in Baltimore and they don’t like this (Danny Valencia for David Lough) deal. They don’t like it at all. That’s how you know whether or not you made a good trade or not.”
Jay Binkley, on the Royals trading for the back-up third baseman, 610 AM
GH: I really, really like Lough – all the way back to following him in Omaha. I think he will be a huge hit there with that tiny ball park. This is a great move for Lough in that he was in a logjam here and hopefully he gets his shot to start in left for the O’s. I’ll be rooting for him just like I do Wil Myers.

“Looking forward to seeing David Lough at Orioles camp this spring. Easily, one of my favorite guys in Royals system.”
Greg Schaum,
@Greg_Schaum, of pinetarpress.com, Twitter

“I can’t thank the Royals enough for giving me the opportunity to play this great game. I shared a lot of memories that won’t be forgotten!”
David Lough,
@DLOUGHKC, Twitter

“I’ve seen some (Orioles’) fans who were extremely upset about losing Valencia. And even though Valencia established himself as a right-handed designated hitter, he was essentially a role player.”
Michael Almanzar, writer, Baltimoresun.com

“Based on Valencia’s time in Minnesota, the eye candy with the ladies is going to go up a little bit.”
Henry Blake, who covered Valencia when Blake was working in Minnesota radio, 610 AM
GH: This is always a positive for raising the morale in the clubhouse.

“Valencia was overmatched as a regular for the Twins, but has found a good niche as a part-timer used mostly versus left-handed pitching. He hit .304 with eight homers and an .888 OPS in 52 games for the Orioles this year and would make an ideal platoon partner with Mike Moustakas at third base.”
Aaron Gleeman, hardballtalk.nbcsports.com
GH: Anything that can light a fire under Moose’s expanding backside is a plus. Let’s hope Moose responds to competition like we think he will. He can start by showing up in Arizona at 210 pounds.

“You’re starting to have some positions where you’re going to have a tough time beating some of these guys out! You’re fighting for playing time.”
Charlie Weis, on how the football talent level at Kansas has improved over the last year, 610 AM
GH: When you go 1-17 in the Big 12 over your two years as the head football coach at KU, that “pile of crap” speech starts to lose its humor. Charlie seems to have changed his tune to more of a waltz.

“We’re peaking at the right time. The Chiefs are peaking at the right time. It definitely helps having Jamaal Charles on our side of the ball.”
Derrick Johnson, on the 11-3 Chiefs, 980 AM

“He’s had some great games for is this year. We might not dial up the play for (Dwayne Bowe) every time but he’s going to be a big part of what we do going forward.”
Doug Pederson, Chiefs offensive coordinator, on the lack of production from their highly-paid wide receiver, 610 AM
GH: I keep thinking Bowe is going to explode and carry the Chiefs through the playoffs. But then I wake up and remember it’s almost January and he’s still just a great downfield blocker making top-five receiver money.

“If it was the last game of the season I think it would be a completely different game than we’re going to see this weekend. Since it’s the second-last game of the season…I think it’s going to be a real game. If this was played next week it would be an exhibition game.”
Andrew Brandt, NFL analyst for ESPN, when asked what we can expect from the Colts/Chiefs this Sunday knowing that it is very possible the two will face each other again in the first round of the playoffs, 810 AM
GH: This game could be completely different from the game these two might play in Indianapolis. The weather forecast is calling for maybe six inches of snow Sunday at Arrowhead and in Indy the game will be weatherproofed inside the dome. I like the Chiefs Sunday by a field goal. Should be a great one.

“My beautiful daughter Lisa saw Anchorman 2 and said, ‘Tell St. John to save his money. It’s terrible!’”
Frank Boal, 810 AM
GH: Lisa’s review sounds a bit harsher than what I’ve been hearing. Nobody thinks AM2 tops the original but most think it’s worth the two hours invested. I’ll pass until the DVD hits Red Box.

“The McRib is back at McDonald’s”
Radio Ad
GH: Is there a better way to signal the Christmas season than splattering your shirt with the sticky blood from a stretchy McRib? You could put a McRib in a Red Box and it wouldn’t lose any of its taste when AM2 comes out on DVD.

“We’ve had reports of people being yelled at and stalked for their parking places!”
Mike Phillips, reporter, on the chaos that has descended on Kansas City’s shopping malls, 980 AM
GH: And this was just at Mickey D’s and the insanity over the McRib!

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24

 


Royals add Infante; Barry Hinson's pissed presser

Written 12-18-13

“Before these moves (to acquire Omar Infante and Norichika Aoki) I thought they were a .500 team. Now I think they’re close to where they were last year.”
Rany Jazayerli, who thinks the Royals are one more big move away from seriously contending for the AL Central next season, 810 AM
GH: I do not like to clog up my December with a lot of MLB hot stove talk but the Royals moves this winter deserve some mention. Will these two additions make a difference in right and at second? It would be difficult to not upgrade those two positions from where the Royals were in 2013. But I still would prefer two of the team’s best hitters in the one and two slots. Let’s hope Omar and Aoki fit that description in April.

“I kind of fancy myself as the bad guy who has to bring these things up – and I don’t mind doing it. … Do you think if (the Royals) won 86 games again this year do you think they’d be happy? I do. I think they’d be really, really happy to win 86 games again. I wonder if they were being honest right now if they wouldn’t take 86 wins and see where that gets them.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: The Royals franchise has managed two winning seasons in the past 20 years. KK might fancy himself as “the bad guy,” but I don’t think this is the criteria for his crown.

“We are not too far away from the Royals needing more money from their ball park. I’ll still be on the radio when talk (resurfaces) about building a downtown ball park.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman also went on to say he was “claiming victory” about predicting a downtown ball park will be built in Kansas City because once the Cerner group buys the team it will happen. I would gladly trade a KK victory dance for a downtown ball park but I think professional franchises are moving away from relying on stadium revenue. Pay per view is what will drive revenue for MLB, the NFL and NBA as the next decade dawns.

“I got a bunch of momma's boys right now.”
Barry Hinson, head basketball coach at Southern Illinois, in an entertaining postgame presser following the Salukis 73-65 loss at Murray State Tuesday night,
Sportingnews.com
GH: Hinson is well known in Kansas City. He was a part of Kansas’ staff under Bill Self from 2008 to 2012 as the director of external relations and the director of operations. Hinson was the head coach at Missouri State for nine years previous to his stint at KU. Hinson’s team is only 2-8 this season but what his team lacks in talent, Hinson makes up in explaining just how bad they happen to be. Read on.

“(Guard) Marcus (Fillyaw) was absolutely awful, that's about as PG-rated as I can say it. He was awful. Our guards are awful. Our three starting guards had one assist and seven turnovers. They must think it's a tax credit. It's unbelievable how our starting guards played.”
Barry Hinson, Sportingnews.com
GH: President Obama needs to get this guy on his speech writing team.

“I've been telling my wife this for years, size doesn't matter.”
Barry Hinson, referring to his team's rebounding issues, Sportingnews.com

“There was a sniper in the gym. Didn't you see that? We had guys falling down! I would have thought Navy SEAL Team 6 was out there!”
Barry Hinson, on two of his players falling down at mid-court, Sportingnews.com

“My wife — my wife! — can score more than two buckets on 11 shots, because I know my wife will at least shot fake one time.”
Barry Hinson, on his bigs shooting performance against Murray State, Sportingnews.com

“I have never been around a more positive, energetic, unselfish person (than Hinson). He is loyal, ethical and can coach and recruit. He also is a GREAT...not good public speaker -- probably got that from his father, a Baptist minister. I love the guy.”
Bill Self, on Hinson, siusalukis.com
GH: Can we get the Royals to hire Hinson to replace Ready For Bed Ned at the Royals postgame pressers?

“I don’t blame Kansas at all for declining to play Wichita State.”
Mike DeCourcy, college basketball writer, 810 AM
GH: I spent 20 minutes debating this topic with a KU friend today. I convinced him of nothing. I just don’t understand why any college basketball fans wouldn’t want to see this game. I understand Bill Self’s stance but I don’t know why any fan would share Self’s opinion on this. All we get to do as fans is watch the games. Why wouldn’t we want to see the best match-ups?

“It was the biggest mistake I ever made in football.”
Marty Schottenheimer, discussing his decision to leave the Kansas City Chiefs after ten seasons in January of 1999, NFL Network
GH: Schottenheimer stated he was “burned out” and he found himself “uncomfortable with himself.” I attended Marty’s final press conference at Arrowhead that day and “uncomfortable” is a very appropriate word to describe the mood in the room. Marty’s wife sat beside him at the front of the room and the Chiefs’ head coach looked like a schoolboy who had been forced to apologize for his acts. There were lots of rumors about an affair and him living at Lamar’s suite at Arrowhead and Greg Hill’s gal…and none of it ever was really fleshed out by The Star, WHB or any of the local media. These NFL Network documentaries receive a lot of praise but I see them as so much fluff. The Derrick Thomas story barely addressed the many flaws in his life. Marty’s story was equally as soft. These documentaries are more advertisement than journalism.

“No one can prepare anyone for fame...”
Maurice Clarett,
@ReeseClarett13, in a raw and chilling 30-for-30 documentary on the former Ohio State running back and his coach Jim Tressel, Twitter
GH: A 30-for-30 doc on ESPN is the opposite of the advertisement that passes for research on the NFL Network’s An NFL Life. This latest one on Clarett is mind blowing. Clarett’s life got so crazy at times I had to remind myself this was a real story. DVR it and watch it soon. Just incredible stuff.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24


Wichita State coach wants to play KU

Written 12-17-13

“I'm not going to just be bought. I'm not going to go to Allen Fieldhouse for a check."
Gregg Marshall, head basketball coach at Wichita State, when asked by Sean Keeler about the Shockers playing the Jayhawks someday,
Foxsportskansascity.com
GH: Sean Keeler, just like Jeffrey Flanagan has done at times with his Royals columns on Foxsportskansascity.com, stirred up some locals with some titillating quotes from an area coach or athlete. The Border Patrol especially expressed some strong opinions over the worth of a KU/WSU basketball series – especially the Kansan contingent side of the Patrol. Read on.

“I think there are enough schools in this state that find themselves inferior to Kansas. We don’t need two… It’s pretty clear what I said.”
Jake Gutierrez, on whether or not Kansas should schedule Wichita State, 810 AM
GH: It was sure clear to me what Jake was saying – as I am sure it was to all Kansas State fans.

“Jake’s saying we’ve already got one little brother. We don’t need another one.”
Aaron Swarts, 810 AM
GH: Can we book Jake and Aaron as guests on Kevin Kietzman’s next show? Preferably in place of Mad Jack’s segment?

“We love Gregg Marshall, and not just because he coaches like he's on a rolling 10-day contract and his players play like the jerks on the other team just swiped their kid brother's lunch money. It's also because the next bush he beats around will be the first.”
Sean Keeler, writer, Foxsportskansascity.com
GH: Marshall has a reputation for rubbing a lot of people the wrong way – especially people his teams beat. Poking the big bear in Kansas isn’t all that dangerous since he knows Bill Self is not about to schedule the Shockers. But it does make for some interesting conversations.

“I just don’t see how it helps Kansas to maybe lose or have a tough game against Wichita State.”
Aaron Swarts, 810 AM
GH: When did college sports degenerate into how playing an in-state rival or a former conference rival helps or hurts a school? Why not just play the games that matter the most to your school, your fans and fans of the sport? Is Kansas’ NCAA bid really going to hinge on whether they played or did not play WSU or MU? Doubt it. But would those games put a huge national spotlight on college basketball in our area? Hell, yes.

“Ultimately, we've got to put ourselves in a position where playing (the Jayhawks) or not playing them has no bearing on our success, and that's what we're doing. We'd like to play home-and-home. It would be helpful, but still, we're putting ourselves in a position where it doesn't matter if they want to play or not. That's what we have to do. One day, when it behooves them, then maybe it'll happen. … (Kansas) is a special program, they're elite, and we know that. We're just trying to be the best that we can, consistently. And if we can be in the same conversation with them, it's usually pretty good.”
Gregg Marshall, Foxsportskansascity.com
GH: Marshall comes off as pretty respectful here. I like a lot of things about Bill Self but I dislike how he has placed his KU fan base to always be in defensive mode when it comes to scheduling WSU and MU. Just play ‘em, Bill.

“Marshall, for his part, is ready and willing. Not only that, he says he's even pitched a three-game series to the KU camp -- and, as a perk, none of those games are at the Shox's cozy, raucous Koch Arena, better known as ‘The Roundhouse.’ The set-up: One game at Allen Fieldhouse, one at Sprint Center in Kansas City, and one at Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita. The response: Silence.”
Sean Keeler, writer, Foxsportskansascity.com

“Here’s the bottom line. (Naadir Tharpe) is as valuable player as we have. He can play. The kid can play.”
Bill Self, while discussing his point guard, Hawk Talk
GH: Self said he was not happy with how Tharpe reacted when he was benched earlier this season due to his actions “on the court and off the court.” Many Kansas fans I know are not happy with Tharpe and his outside shot – or his eagerness to take the deep three. To hear Self proclaim him, “as valuable player as we have,” was startling news to me when you consider the list of future NBA players on KU’s roster. 

“I really didn’t anticipate (Joel Embiid) playing this much this soon to be honest. … We’re a deep team up front, there’s no question about that. But if the big fella keeps getting better, he needs to get 30 minutes a game. He’s a sponge. He wants to learn.”
Bill Self, on his freshman post player, Hawk Talk
GH: Jason King has penned a terrific read on KU’s recruitment of Embiid’s and his short time so far under Bill Self. Read it here at King’s new home on
BleacherReport.com.

“Tarik (Black) like today, he’s the best player in practice. He needs to get some breaks. He wants it so bad that sometimes he puts too much pressure on himself.”
Bill Self, on his large senior transfer from Memphis, Hawk Talk
GH: Black might be the biggest early-season disappointment of KU’s slew of new players. Self seems to think we will change our minds about the muscular big man once the conference season begins. But with Embiid’s emergence, it might already be too late for Black to get his minutes.

“Yeah, but that kid was a hard-rockin’ cat. We still haven’t had anybody since I’ve been here that was a tougher or more clutch player than him.”
Bill Self, after Bob Davis stated that KU had a true post player and point guard to rebuild their team after their 2008 national championship, Hawk Talk
GH: Neither Davis nor Self mentioned Sherron Collins by name but there was no need. It was simply taken for granted that everyone knew to whom Self was referring. I love how Self cherishes his tough, competitive players like Collins. I get the feeling he doesn’t see that kind of toughness in his team yet. Self told a great story about how Travis Releford recently watched the team play and remarked that he thought the Hawks are “soft.” If Self can get his youngsters to toughen up, that Big 12 banner isn’t going anywhere.

“If you’re 2X I’ll give you one right off my back.”
John Dorsey, offering Soren Petro his gray Chiefs sweatshirt during an interview Monday afternoon, after Petro commented about Dorsey’s sweatshirt, 810 AM
GH: Petro whiffed on a rare and genuine live radio opportunity when he declined Dorsey’s offer. Petro picked exactly the wrong time to go all Shawnee Mission East Rich Kid on the radio when he told Dorsey his family has had Chiefs season tickets for years and he already owns massive quantities of Chiefs gear. Petro told Dorsey that he had been “blessed” and that the sweatshirt should go to someone more deserving. What, like maybe somebody from Raytown? How great would it have been for Dorsey’s image to whip off his sweatshirt on the air and hand it over? Anybody see King Carl or Scott Pioli doing that? The ability to recognize a great moment in live radio is not one of Petro’s gifts. In other words he’s not as blessed as he thinks.
 

“He’s the coach of the Millennium! What he’s done with your franchise is nothing less than spectacular! … It takes a lot to get me excited…”
Mitch Holthus, introducing Andy Reid to the crowd at his Chiefs Kingdom radio show, 810 AM

“I’m just glad (Jamaal Charles) is on our team! I’m glad I’m not going up against him! He’s a great player.”
Kendrick Lewis, Chiefs defensive back, in an interview with Mitch Holthus, 810 AM
GH: We second that thought, Kendrick. Jamaal Charles has come a long way since Carl Peterson plucked him out of Texas with a draft pick the Chiefs received from the Vikings in the Jerrod Allen trade. Jamaal Charles has been set free by Andy Reid and he is still running.

“(Julian) Bailes (founder of the Brian Injury Research Institute), stressed that if (Jovan) Belcher’s brain is found to have CTE, it can’t be used as a direct explanation for the murder-suicide last December. Bailes points out that there are horrific and criminal acts committed without the presence of CTE. But there are too many unanswered questions for Belcher’s family to not be curious.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: Interesting if macabre story – and one many believe will prove next to nothing due to the time the body has been buried. But I had one overwhelming thought when I heard this story first reported…

@mellinger To not even mention the lawsuit as a possible motivation for digging up his decaying corpse is totally irresponsible journalism.”
@bkparallax, in a direct tweet to Sam Mellinger on his recent Jovan Belcher column on his family requesting his body be exhumed, Twitter
GH: Bingo. With all the infighting that occurred over the child and the discussion about the million dollars set aside by the NFL for the baby – how does Mellinger NOT go there in his column? As a matter of fact, why isn’t this point the focal point of his column? Does anybody think this was done without the thought of suing the NFL for cash?

“I was unaware of it and I’m doubtful it will solve anything.”
Becky Gonzalez, mother of Kasi Perkins who was the mother of Belcher’s child, Kansas City Star
GH: There seems to be one sane side of this family and it’s not the one with the backhoe.

“For a metro area parched for nourishment from its professional sports, Sporting KC has shown the way."
Vahe Gregorian, Kansas City Star
GH: Vahe hasn’t done much for my excitement level with his writing or subject choices but there is no denying that Kansas City has sure won a lot since he moved here from St. Louis this summer. The Royals, Mizzou and now the Chiefs are rolling like they haven’t in years. Maybe Vahe deserves his own Gregorian Chant at the next game.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / @greghall24

 


Chiefs neuter the Raiders

Written 12-16-13

“Jamaal Charles an ENORMOUS game in 56-31 win over Raiders.
- 5 TD (4 Rec, 1 Rush)
- 8 Rec, 195 Yds
- 8 Rush, 20 Yds”
@SportsCenter, Twitter
GH: Jamaal Charles went 49 yards with the first play of the game and took it into the Raiders’ Black Hole for a touchdown. It was that kind of day for one of the greatest Chiefs players of all time. Maybe one of the greatest NFL players of all time.

“LOL Michael Irvin just said @jcharles25 will run past you like you're Ray Charles.”
Johnny Coltrane,
@Chief_Wildcat, Twitter
GH: Dan Fouts mentioned on the CBS broadcast that the Raiders were guilty of “poor tackling” Charles on one of his TD catch/runs. But not a single Raider got within five yards of Jamaal as he cut and sprinted into the end zone. To see that happen at a high school game is not all that rare. To witness that in the NFL – repeatedly – is the stuff of legends.

“How many touchdowns does (Charles) have to score off of the screen for (the Raiders) to wake up and do something about it?”
Lenny Dawson, the Chiefs radio analyst, after Jamaal’s third TD reception, Chiefs Radio Network
GH: I don’t think the Raiders could have “done something about it” if they would have added two more guys on defense. Charles reminded me of Auburn’s Tre Mason slicing up the Mizzou defense and just how hopeless it looked for the guys trying to stop him.

“You look at the type of season (Charles) has had and you take Peyton Manning out of the picture, you’d have to consider Charles as an MVP candidate.”
Dan Fouts, TV analyst, CBS
GH: Well, there is no taking Peyton Manning out of the picture – and he rightfully deserves his designation as SI’s sportsman of the year. But Charles is putting on a second half season that just might drive Chiefs Nation to the Super Bowl. Peyton doesn’t always play his best when the season ages and the weather turns cold.

“He’s got my vote (for MVP) and probably everybody else who was here (in Oakland). I don’t know how anybody could be any more valuable to a team.”
Andy Reid, post game comments, 810 AM

“You’re talking about one of the most versatile, multiple running backs in the National Football League. … He also looks like a happy player out there on the field. He looks like he’s having a lot of fun.”
Louis Riddick, former Philadelphia Eagles director of player personnel and an ESPN analyst, 810 AM
GH: I like that Riddick mentioned Charles’ affable demeanor on the field. Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson were great, great NFL running backs for the Chiefs –but both looked less than pleased a lot of the time when the cameras were on them. Charles looks like his name just called for a table at Cheddars.

#Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles makes $117,647 per 2013 league week, 1/3 of what #Raiders Darren McFadden earns. Link: bit.ly/1dEjI9G
Spotrac.com, @spotrac, Twitter

“I’ve got Jamaal Charles on my fantasy team and that helped get me to the Super Bowl.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: Not all of the Raiders fans in Oakland Coliseum’s famous Black Hole were throwing beer at Jamaal during his post-touchdown dances Sunday. I saw some painted up Raiders fans smiling, cheering and pointing at Charles – enjoying his performance as much as you and me. Why? Fantasy football. FF can turn even a Raider into a Jamaal Charles fan.

“Pokemon, Gotta Catch Jamaal, has been my fantasy team name since week 3.”
Cole Rockhold,
@ColeRockCole, Twitter

“Jamaal always had the yardage numbers. But if he consistently becomes a legit TD guy in Reid's passing offense that gets him into the HOF.”
Danny Parkins,
@DannyParkins, Twitter
GH: Parkins was complaining last week about Charles’ lack of touchdown production over his career. Maybe Jamaal was listening.

“Only Chiefs can hang 56 on the board and their QB still doesn’t have 300 yards passing. Smith last 300 yd game… 10/7/12 SF vs. Buf, 303.”
Soren Petro, @theprogramkc, Twitter
GH: I am guessing at the Petro household on Christmas Day they sit around and bitch about the weather.

“Maybe I’ll get shot down for saying this but I don’t believe in Colin Kaepernick as much as I believe in Alex Smith. I think San Francisco has the wrong quarterback. I think Alex Smith is the better quarterback.”
Stan Weber, in a conversation with Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Weber made this comment last Friday before the Chiefs win in Oakland. How smart do John Dorsey and Andy Reid look today in trading for the former 49er instead of following Kevin Kietzman’s advice to draft Geno Smith or another untested rookie QB to lead this team? As Scott Pioli once said to Kietzman, “I wish you were the general managers for the Broncos.”

“Alex Smith's 5 TD passes traveled a combined 13 yards downfield.”
Josh Dubow,
@JoshDubowAP, Twitter

“Love listening to @mitchholthus exciting calls on chiefs big plays. He may explode if Charles scores again!”
Steve Physioc,
@StevePhysioc, Twitter
GH: There probably aren’t two more different radio play-by-play talents in professional sports than Mitch Holthus and Denny Matthews, Physioc’s frequent partner in the Royals’ booth. Kind of makes you wonder if Physioc naps through the innings that Denny calls.

“Chiefs reporter @KendallGammon said the field is squishy. Dan Fouts says it's dry. Dan's in the booth. KG's on the field. I'm going w/KG.”
Brad Fanning, @bradfanningshow, Twitter
GH: Fouts caught some hell on Twitter from Chiefs fans – as all network broadcasters do – but I thought he made a few outstanding calls during the Chiefs/Raiders game. He doesn’t have a broadcast quality voice but he brings some great insight to the viewer.

 

“Makes you wonder what the Chiefs are thinking here. You’ve got both ‘gunners’ with no coverage.”
Dan Fouts, pointing out before an Oakland fake punt how the Chiefs left the Raiders’ two wide-outs completely unguarded, CBS
GH: Fouts pointed this out with his telestrator pen by circling the lapse in the Chiefs’ punt coverage team just before the Raiders short snapped the ball and threw for an easy first down on the fake punt. This is the kind of stuff that is all too rare from a TV analyst.

“Jamaal Charles. The only antidote for this defense today.”
Alexandra Huber,
@lexhuber, on the Chiefs’ porous defense in Oakland, Twitter

“We are devolving back to few years ago when the only way to get pressure (on the quarterback) was to blitz. They have to get more creativity from those front four guys. Where has Dontari Poe been in regards to getting in the face of the quarterback like he did earlier in the season? Tamba Hali is not that same person. Mike DeVito is doing his job but those guys need to beat people in one-on-one positions in order to get to the quarterback. ”
Danan Hughes, 610 AM
GH: Interesting that Hughes chose to chastise the Chiefs’ lack of a pass rush instead of the play of the defensive backs. BTW, where the hell has Dontari Poe been? Is he eating BBQ again?

“The #chiefs have a playoff spot on the line and the #raiders are playing like they want it more…”
Bob Fescoe, @bobfescoe, after the Raiders closed to within 31-35 in the second half, Twitter
GH: Fescoe might look foolish now since the Chiefs regrouped and beat the Raiders soundly but we were all a bit nervous there in the third quarter.

“Chiefs have managed to rout the Raiders TWICE in the same game.”
Danny Clinkscale,
@dcwhb, Twitter

“This is a Super Bowl caliber team and nothing less should be expected.”
Damon Hughes, stressing that making the playoffs should not satisfy the Chiefs organization, 610 AM
GH: The Super Bowl is starting to look a lot more real of late. A lot.

“Just spoke to Matt Flynn, after he landed back in Green Bay. Still hoarse from game. Sounded like he still was in shock.”
Peter King,
@SI_PeterKing, after Flynn led the Packers on a wild comeback win in Dallas, Twitter
GH: What a book-worthy last 18 months Matt Flynn is experiencing! He goes from traded to Seattle from Green Bay to be their franchise QB only to get beat out by the sensational rookie Russell Wilson. He then gets dumped in Oakland where he lasts two games – and is all but left for bust status. When Aaron Rodgers gets injured, Flynn goes back to Green Bay to lead them in one of their greatest comebacks in history. You gotta love the NFL.

“It's not about integrity, grades, class, it's about winning. If you don't win all the games people are unhappy.”
Mack Brown, as he stepped down from his head coaching position at Texas, ESPN

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / @greghall24

 

 


Sports Commission scores big; Mad Jack's Gayhawk in HD

Written 12-12-13

“They had almost 2,000 bids submitted for all these (NCAA) championships.”
Kathy Nelson, CEO of the Kansas City Sports Commission, after KC was awarded 14 bids to host NCAA championship events starting in 2014 through 2018, 810 AM
GH: Take a deep bow, Ms. Nelson! What a stunning success for our two-state area in that venues on both sides of the state line will be used for volleyball, football and soccer over the next five years. Rim Rock over in Lawrence also was awarded an NCAA Cross Country Regional in 2015. I am going to predict right now that both Kansas and Missouri distance runners qualify for Nationals in 2015 at Rim Rock.

“We were humbled by the quality and quantity of the bids received from the Kansas City Sports Commission.”
Jeff Jarnecke, NCAA director of championships and alliances, Kansas.com
GH: I don’t know if Mayor Sly James hands out Christmas bonuses to worthy Kansas Citians but he could do a lot worse than stuffing Nelson’s stocking with a little extra BBQ this holiday. Frosty!

“The biggest thing is people in Kansas City care about Division II football. Look at how us and Pittsburg State draw at the Fall Classic.”
Adam Dorrel, Northwest Missouri State coach, on Sporting Park being awarded the Division II championship game starting next December, Kansas.com
GH: You mean local MIAA fans don’t have to drive to dreary Florence, Alabama in December anymore? Hallelujah! I can’t wait to see how Sporting looks as a football field and how those DII fans enjoy sitting so close to the action. I am going to predict they sell 20,000 tickets to the 2014 game if we get a local team in the title game. How about moving the NWMS/Pitt State Fall Classic to Sporting as well?

“Somebody told me the Gators are staying home for the holidays, maybe we can get a bunch to come to our game."
Steve Spurrier, South Carolina’s head coach, goading his former Florida Gator fan base at a press conference
GH: I would love Spurrier to get the Texas job – just for the quotes alone.

“The Chiefs just need to start winning division games, period. And that starts this week.”
Mitch Holthus, on the Chiefs game in Oakland, 810 AM
GH: The Chiefs are 1-3 in the AFC West and 10-3 overall. Does it really matter if they win inside their division? Not really. The Chiefs need one more win and they will pretty much be locked into playing at Indy in their first round of the playoffs. The Chiefs aren’t going to catch the Broncos for the division title. What matters now is getting into the playoffs and then winning in the playoffs.

“Oakland has gone 11 years without having a winning record.”
Mitch Holthus, 810 AM
GH: Damn. That is not a commitment to excellence.

“I guess it’s because I’m light on my feet, so to speak.”
Dexter McCluster, when asked by Nate Bukaty how he was able to maneuver so well on the snowy turf in Washington, 810 AM

“What (beating Ole Miss) shows is that K-State can beat teams with tournament aspirations. I don’t think it’s Kansas but maybe it’s Oke State.”
Michael DeCourcy, 810 AM

“Even if (Kansas) doesn’t play well these next few games, just to get a couple of wins (over New Mexico and Georgetown) I think would really go well to springboard them for the rest of the season.”
Rustin Dodd, KU beat writer for The Kansas City Star, 810 AM
GH: KU could use two quality wins to make the holidays a bit merrier around here – at least for the Kansas fans. Bill Self’s teams typically improve greatly after he gets to work with them over the holiday break. No reason to think this team will not be better as well. The Hawks problem this January will be that the Big 12 looks far more formidable than in recent years. My early picks for how the Big 12 will finish; 1) OSU 2) Iowa State 3) Kansas 4) Baylor 5) Oklahoma 6) Texas 7) KSU 8) West Virginia 9) Texas Tech 10) TCU.

“(Andrew Wiggins) has to accept his role as the best player on the floor and be more aggressive. (Kansas) can be good the way he is playing but they can’t contend for the national championship unless he’s willing to take over a little bit more.”
Stan Van Gundy, after watching KU’s Andrew Wiggins play in the Bahamas, CBS

“I’m not worried about Andrew Wiggins at all. The only thing I’d worry about is if Andrew starts to worry.”
Mike DeCourcy, 810 AM

“(Mizzou) is going to have a terrific record this year. I like their team. The have a not-so-challenging schedule and that’s a nice formula to build up a really nice record.”
Michael DeCourcy, 810 AM
GH: But how does Mizzou look up against the SEC? Pretty good, I think. Here are my early picks for the SEC finish; 1) Florida 2) Kentucky 3) Missouri 4) LSU 5) Ole Miss 6) Arkansas 7) Tennessee 8) Vandy 9) Miss St. 10) Alabama 11) Auburn 12) Georgia 13) Texas A&M 14) South Carolina

“We were just informed that @Royals were doubling our Opening Day tickets, same seats. Heard similar story from others? $21 in '13, $40 in '14. These are for seats that are 4 rows from the top, up the left field line. Not premium seats. And that's for a large group. Nearly 50 tickets in 2013, and have been ordering for more than 10 years.”
Heath Freeman,
@Feddyvon, Twitter
GH: $40 bucks for Opening Day tix even in the upper regions of The K isn’t unreasonable. An almost 100% price increase isn’t easy to swallow but I understand the Royals charging more for a premium game. I can’t get too upset over this one.

“I thought that was pretty hilarious (that Jack Harry blamed the controversy on ‘social media’). Jack may want to welcome himself to 2013. If Jack Harry got anything else, he got a lesson in that you can be anywhere in this country and if you say something spectacularly stupid, people are going to find it.”
Richard Deitsch, on Harry’s Gayhawks controversy, 610 AM
GH:
The HD version of the video clip is almost indisputable as to what Harry says. I asked my wife, who barely knows the mascots for the local teams, to view the HD clip and tell me what she thought. I didn’t even tell her why I was showing it to her. She had not heard anything about the controversy to this point. “Why is he saying, ‘Gayhawks?’” she asked after viewing the clip one time.

“I did my own internal investigation. I feel like we have given our statement. Jack has given his statement. We went on TV and said the same. We will let this play out. … Jack is no stranger to controversy. He is a vocal sportscaster. That’s who he is, he’s good at his job, and he has been a lightning rod. KU fans don’t like him generally.”
Carrie Hoffman, news director at KSHB TV 41, who said she spoke to people in the studio at the time and Frank Boal as well, SI.com
GH: We now have Mad Jack blaming social media for his troubles and KSHB’s news director blaming the Kansas fans. Somebody over at Channel 41 must have missed out on the seminar about damage control.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / @greghall24

 


Jack Harry has created Gayhawk Gate

Written 12-10-13

“You don’t think they’re overrated – these Jayhawks, Gayhawks!”
Jack Harry, while discussing the Kansas Jayhawks basketball team’s recent loss at Colorado with Frank Boal Sunday night, KSHB 41
GH: This was an unscripted casual conversation between Harry and Boal and Harry looked to me to be having some fun with it. He smirked when he said what sure sounded like “Gayhawks” to emphasize that he thought Bill Self’s team is overrated. Gayhawk Gate has ensued. Read on.

“It was clearly a slip up. It sounds like he may or may not have used a homophobic term to describe the Kansas Jayhawks. … They need to suspend Jack Harry and issue an apology.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Fescoe is a KU grad and a self-professed Kansas homer. He is maybe the only local member of the local sports media to admit his favoritism – which is somewhat admirable. But he pretty much disqualifies himself for commenting on Gayhawk Gate by his own admission that he is biased about all things Kansas.

“I think that was a conversation you have with a buddy that you probably have used that term before and you let it slip on the air. … I do (think he should be fired). Yeah, I do. I would expect serious repercussions. … Putting the standards of myself – if I said something like that even if it was a slip up of something you might say…When you’re broadcasting in that context, no you can’t (say that).”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM
GH: Klingler works for the Jayhawk Radio Network and has close ties to the Kansas athletic department. He is far more objective about Kansas than Fescoe but his opinions on this also have to be weighed against the fact that he is employed by the very sports department that Harry is accused of attacking.

“He said it & is trying 2 cover it up. As an MU fan I don't ‘claim’ him, like I know some KU fans don't claim Fescoe.”
John Petrovic‏@photogwingsfan, Twitter

“I heard the video. He said it, but it may have been just a slip of the tongue. Maybe Jack has been reading Tigerboard too much.”
Jeff Gelski‏@jjgelski, Twitter

“What a crock. Then, Jack Harry, if that wasn't what you said, what did you say?”
Joel Grillot‏@jbenny81, Twitter
GH: This is a great question. Harry definitely did not say “Jayhawks” as he did right before he uttered the controversial term. He even emphasized the word for shock value.

“He corrects himself and says it louder with inflection. He even jumps out of his seat a bit like he is excited.”
Ted Klein‏@TheRealTedKlein, Twitter

“Somehow, someway I don’t know what happened but it got out on the social media today that I used a derogatory term in talking about the Kansas Jayhawks. Believe me folks, I would never ever go on the air. That’s not what I am all about. I’ve had my go around with Jayhawk fans but I would never say what I have been accused of. I felt compelled to get that out today.”
Jack Harry, responding in his Monday night sportscast to the Gayhawks controversy, KSHB TV 41
GH: There are more holes in Harry’s prepared statement than the Mizzou defensive scheme against Auburn. Let’s expose a few. “Somehow, someway I don’t know what happened…” What is Jack even talking about here? Did he not review the video and audio? There is no mystery as to why there is a controversy. For him to act like he is completely unaware of why this occurred just adds to his guilt. Then the comment, “that’s not what I’m about.” Actually, that is pretty much ALL of what Jack is about. He is Jack Smack trying to get a rise out of his audience to increase his ratings. Some people work hard and then there are guys like Jack who sling mud. Well, this time he got himself dirty.

“He's always been unprofessional. Just tries to get a rise out of people.”
Jason King, @JasonKingESPN

“It sounds like Dayhawks as much as Gayhawks. They're only sensitive to the suggestion because of that Pitch article from yrs ago.”
‏@bkparallax, Twitter
GH: I don’t think an old Pitch article is fueling this fire but rather Harry’s penchant for verbally baiting Jayhawk athletes, teams and fans over the years. He called for Kansas to drop football a few years back. What legitimate sportscaster in Kansas City would do that? Harry has built a professional persona of being “Jack Smack” and he and his station are now reaping the fallout.

“That video seems to suggest Jack did say that. He is handling this all wrong. Say you slipped, apologize and move on.”
Bill Knust‏@billknust, Twitter

“That guy is an ass. I'm in college for sports journalism. Def can't say that.”
@BTBliz, Twitter

“Too close to call. I can't believe he would be that careless on air.”
troy chrisman‏@TinthekeyofC

“I love America, but when I see people defend ignorance like Jack Harry saying "Gayhawks" I understand why we're so far behind.”
Mike Welch, @RealMikeWelch, Twitter

“While Jack Harry is opinionated, he knows the difference between legitimate sports discussion and unacceptable, uncalled for language. After speaking at length with Jack, we believe jack when he tells us that is not what he said. We stand by Jack and encourage him to speak his mind when it comes to sports in Kansas City and beyond.”
41 Action News Staff
GH: The explanation by 41 Action News is as poorly written as Jack’s explanation. They don’t even exhibit the professionalism to mention what Jack has been accused of saying on the air. How confusing is this to viewers who are unaware of the controversy? How does KSHB promote “Jack Smack” and then turn around and act like Harry is a legit member of the media? KSHB is in this mess because they “encourage him to speak his mind.”

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / @greghall24

 


Mizzou takes on Manziel

Written 11/26/13

“There’s no doubt, this is the biggest game in Columbia in 53 years.”
Gabe DeArmond, of PowerMizzou.com, as the Missouri Tigers prepare for their game against Texas A&M Saturday night in Columbia and a chance to play in the SEC title game, 810 AM
GH: In 1960 Dan Devine’s Missouri Tigers finished 10-1 as the Big 8 champs and defeated Navy 21-14 in the Orange Bowl. Ron Taylor was the Tigers starting QB and he completed 23 of 44 passes for 302 yards…for the season. MU’s lone loss that season was 23-7 in the season finale in Columbia to a John Hadl-led Kansas Jayhawks team. Hadl’s season passing stats were not much better than Taylor’s. He completed 43 of 87 passes for a season total of 566 yards. What would 1960 think of Johnny Football?

“Forget senior night. It's A&M night. I'm going to look at all the fancy, emotional stuff later, and that'll be great. But right now, we're playing A&M, man. Our minds are on A&M, not emotions or feelings.”
Max Copeland, MU’s senior left guard, Columbia Tribune
GH: This might be one of my all-time favorite pregame player quotes. Who needs emotions and feelings when you have a football game to play? Let’s get it on!

“When I talk to coaches before games, we'll be talking about something about how it's great to be sitting around all day before we play and, 'Oh, I had a great time. It was great watching games.' And I'm about ready to stab myself. … I am what I am, focus-wise, intensity. Everybody's different. I don't sleep well during the season. That's just the way it is.”
Gary Pinkel, Columbia Tribune
GH: Why do I get the feeling Charlie Weis needs an alarm clock each morn to wake him from his slumber?

“I think it’s going to be like 38-31. I think it will be a great game. I think Missouri’s going to the SEC title game.”
Frank Boal, 810 AM

“I like Missouri big. Taking down the goal posts and everything!”
Dennis Dodd, 810 AM

“I think Johnny Manziel is going to be remembered for how bad his last two games were. 45-21. That defense for A&M is awful!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM

“A&M at Mizzou.”
Kirk Herbstreit,
@KirkHerbstreit, when asked what game he will be working this Saturday, Twitter
GH: The big boys are coming to Columbia for the Tigers try at the SEC East title and another glimpse at Johnny Football. This is gonna be one crazy day and night in CoMo.

“Saturday's game is huge for A&M's bowl destination. Auburn (10-1, 6-1) along with unbeaten Alabama are at the top of the SEC invitation list. A&M (8-3, 4-3) might have gotten the nod over Auburn if both had finished 10-2 because it probably would have had a two-time Heisman winner in Johnny Manziel. A 10-2 finish for A&M is no longer possible, but A&M could be still more attractive than Missouri as long as it beats the Tigers. The Capital One and AT&T Cotton Bowl can fight over A&M and South Carolina, providing A&M beats Missouri. But if A&M loses, then the Aggies would be sixth in the SEC bowl pecking order and it would be hello Atlanta and Chick-fil-A.”
Robert Cessna, writer, Aggiesports.com
GH: I heard Dennis Dodd say that this game means next to nothing to A&M. I’m not so sure. The Aggies looked awful at LSU last week but a lot of teams have suffered that same fate in Baton Rouge. Manziel might not be the cuddliest football folk hero but he is one tough competitor. And he LOVES the bright lights. I expect Johnny Football to light up Mizzou for more than 35 but the Tigers should be able to score in the 40s.

“(Mizzou) students are gone now (on Thanksgiving break). Dorms are closed. If you are a student and you don’t come back for this game, you should not be allowed to purchase another ticket to an athletic event – EVER! This game is not going to happen again while you are a student. I don’t know why anybody wouldn’t come back.”
Gabe DeArmond, of PowerMizzou.com, 810 AM
GH: How about it Mizzou students who read my OTC? You coming back to CoMo for the game or are you going to watch history unfold from mom’s couch? Our MU son still hasn’t made it home from Columbia and school has been closed since Friday. Maybe The Antlers kidnapped him. Hell, maybe he was elected Grand Pupa of The Antlers!

“Next weekend...#Mizzou vs. Johnny Football for the SEC East...#Chiefs vs. Broncos for the AFC West...LET'S GO!!!!”
Steven St. John, @SSJWHB, Twitter
GH: Do not forget the Sunflower Showdown. Read on.

“Once Oklahoma figured out Tyler Lockett last Saturday they rolled.”
Dennis Dodd, on Oklahoma’s 41-31 win over K-State in Manhattan, 810 AM
GH: Did Oklahoma really figure out Lockett or did the Wildcat wide receiver just get leg weary after catching 12 passes for 278 yards and three touchdowns? Tyler Lockett should be up for the Heisman. The dude is that freaking good!

“It still amazes me that a university can be so good at one sport and so bad at another.”
Frank Boal, on Kansas’ moribund football program and elite basketball program, KSHB TV 41
GH: Iowa State recorded it’s only Big 12 football win Saturday night with a 34-0 ass kicking of Charlie Weis’ “pile of crap” Jayhawks. Bill Self’s undefeated basketball team looked Final Four worthy as they ran all over overmatched Towson on Friday.

“The team is just not very good. I don’t think they look appreciably better than last year.”
Todd Leabo, on Kansas’ football team, 810 AM

“Weis: Our defense, all year long, has played good enough to have won games. With Cozart on Offense, everything changes.”
Matt Tait, @mctait, after KU’s win at home over West Virginia, Twitter
GH: With Cozart at the helm, KU was shutout in Ames by a bad Cyclone defense. Everything has not changed.

“We’ve had K-State circled all season. We’ve had a running clock waiting for this game since the summer. This is the No. 1 game we want to win every single year, so there’s no doubt we’ll bounce back from this (loss at Iowa State).”
Gavin Howard, KU’s senior center,