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Greg HallOff the Couch

by Greg Hall
Landmark columnist


Discontent among Chiefs fans might be at all-time high

Posted 10-10-12

“The anger and the discontent with this [Chiefs’] franchise have probably never been at this point.”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM
GH: There have been a number of lows the past two decades with the Chiefs and their relationship with their rabid fans. The empty seats that stared back at the inept Chiefs’ teams in the 1980s. The frustrating and painful playoff losses under Schottenheimer. King Carl’s final decade of mediocrity. But this might be bottom. Eric Winston has plunged our woes to a historic low on a national scale. Welcome to Loserville. It is us.

“This is going to sound crazy but I would be contacting the mayor. This guy has done public relations damage to Kansas City based on a lie. I would like to hear Sly James say… ‘I just don’t see any evidence of this. This is crazy.’ If the mayor came out and said this that generates another news cycle that the national news media would have to respond to because the mayor is questioning whether this is true.”
Jason Whitlock, in an impromptu phone call to Bob Fescoe’s show on Wednesday morning, 610 AM
GH: Generating another news cycle on how Kansas City is home to the worst NFL fans this side of Philadelphia is not a good PR move. The damage has been done by Eric Winston’s comments and the feeding frenzy that it caused the national mainstream media to gorge on the past three days. We are now Oakland East. I say we revel in it. Instead of a prop plane flying a banner over Arrowhead, let’s hire a MiG fighter jet.

“I’ve lived in LA for the past two years. I still own a home in Kansas City but I’m not there much. I still read the Kansas City Star. I listen to the sports talk shows over the Internet. I read the message boards and the websites. I’ve stayed connected to Kansas City because I still care about Kansas City.”
Jason Whitlock, on why he just can’t quit Kansas City, 610 AM
GH: Harley?

“I don’t think a lot of people around here have a problem with Clark Hunt except for spending below the cap – way below the cap.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Sometimes I hear comments on the radio from intelligent people who I believe have a grasp of this town and our teams that just absolutely destroys all the credibility they have banked. How can Petro be this out of touch with the Chiefs’ fan base? Clark Hunt is the ONLY person who can immediately and effectively change the fortunes and path of this failed franchise. If anyone is giving The Clarks a pass, they have missed the entire reason for our plight. Petro and his microphone should be leading the charge. Instead, we get a golf clap from Soren for the Son of Damn.

“Let me ask you, would you rather see a competitive game or a 40-10 score?”
Romeo Crennel, when asked about the Chiefs’ conservative play calling in the Baltimore game, 810 AM
GH: With no more than a sentence or two, Nate Bukaty managed to morph this sound bite from Romeo into a Ryan Wiebe refinance commercial. That my friends takes talent.

“To this point we haven’t won enough games, so there’s some frustration over that.”
Romeo Crennel, 810 AM
GH: When Romeo took over for Todd Haley last season I had hopes that his refreshing frankness [and improved hygiene] would be a treat during his press conferences. What happened to that guy? Romeo’s pressers are now as bland and dumb as most NFL coaches who abhor saying anything about everything. If the team is going to be this bad, at least give me a presser with some humor, some spice and a scantily-clad Kelly Jones.

“You’re killing that little brother, I guarantee you! His little 190-pound body is feeling it [Monday].”
Jayice Pearson, on the Chiefs’ overusing Jamaal Charles who is the only back in the NFL this season to have two games with 30 or more touches, 610 AM
GH: We have seen the Chiefs pull a 180 from the “Free Jamaal” days of two seasons ago. Now they are using the fragile Texas-born back like I do my utility club. How long before the hosel snaps on Charles as well?

“The Missouri Tigers have checked out on the season! They are done! You can tell when a team has quit – and they have quit! … I don’t know if they can beat Kentucky now and Kentucky is the most inefficient team in the country. Kentucky is awful!”
T.J. Carpenter, evening sports talk host, 810 AM
GH: I deplore sports talk hosts who scream and rant about a team “checking out” or quitting on the season. Does it happen? Only on the rarest of instances – and almost never in the first week of October. Head Hog Carpenter is reveling in MU’s face plant start in the SEC. That is understandable. He predicted MU would struggle and they have made his every word a truth. But college kids don’t quit four games into conference play. Carpenter needs to learn that while his experiences with the dredges of the SEC might quit in October, that is not and has never been an option here in the Big 8/12. If T.J. had a few KU/MU Border Wars on his resume, he might understand how bad teams in this area sometimes find a way – even in November.

“I don’t think Pinkel gets fired. I think he leaves on his own terms somewhere between 2013 and 2015.”
Gabe DeArmond, when questioned by Petro on Pinkel’s status, 810 AM
GH: Pinkel is a good college football coach who is often overwhelmed on game day. He has assembled SEC talent at Mizzou but this season he lacks what he has almost always had – a great quarterback. If Maty Mauk is truly another version of Chase Daniel, he could be rolling again as soon as next season. If not, there will be a lot of pressure on the troubled coach to point his Harley out of town.

“I cannot wait for West Virginia / K-State. If anybody’s going to be able to slow down Gino Smith, it’s Bill Snyder. He can scheme like nobody else.”
Aaron Swarts, 810 AM
GH: If both K-State and West Virginia can avoid upsets this week [K-State at Iowa State and WV home against Texas Tech], we could have an SEC-like build up for the Cats’ first trip to Morgantown. But there is work to be done before we start planning that game-day menu.

“To me, if there is a story this first half of the season it’s Penn State and what they have done in their first six games – because they have shocked me.”
Kirk Herbstreit, on Penn State’s 4-2 record after an 0-2 start, ESPN Radio
GH: How can you not be happy for what the Penn State players and coaching staff have accomplished since their 0-2 start? Are there still far too many misguided and delusional Nittany Lions fans about the priorities of football and decency? Yes. But those kids in uniform had nothing to do with the atrocities that Sandusky and Paterno allowed on their campus. Congrats.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24



Whitlock's column is like one from his golden years in KC

Posted 10-9-12

“I stand by what I said. I believe what I said.”
Eric Winston, Chiefs’ offensive tackle, in a tweet sent out Monday night, reaffirming his disgust with the Chiefs’ fans who cheered Matt Cassel’s injury during the Ravens’ game, Twitter
GH: Day two of the Winston Witch Trials didn’t clear much of anything up for the persecuted Chiefs’ fans who Winston trashed with his postgame lecture. Winston met with some of the media after Monday’s practice and backed off from his “70,000” number but little else. Read on.

“I can’t speak to why the fans are upset. If they’re going to be upset, they’re going to be upset.”
Eric Winston, when asked about Chiefs’ fans who are upset with his postgame comments that painted Chiefs’ fans as embarrassing, 810 AM
GH: Winston sounded anything but apologetic in his Monday remarks. He sounded emboldened to my ears. He talked of how much support he has received from people who agreed with him. He sounded a lot like a pampered professional athlete who is completely out of touch with the very fan base who cheer him and his teammates – even when they’re down.

“This was no crime against humanity. This was a frustrated fan base that’s had this quarterback jammed down their throats.”
Jason Whitlock, 610 AM
GH: Whitlock’s column on FoxSports.com read like it was from his golden years here in Kansas City. It was that tight, that true and that good. Read it here.

“The damage has been done. Sometimes you can’t go back and erase that. The national media will not pick up on [Winston’s remarks on Monday stating he didn’t mean all 70,000 fans were cheering Cassel’s injury].”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM

“Jason Whitlock is our ally, folks! He gets it! He gets what we’re going through. People on the national [media] levels don’t understand. They hear one lineman make a comment and think Kansas City is a bunch of losers.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: The way the national media has reported this story is exactly how they should. They are not the bad guys here. They had one of Matt Cassel’s offensive tackles standing in the locker room ripping Chiefs’ fans for what he termed his most embarrassing moment as a professional athlete. The national media ran with this sexy story of a once-storied fan base cheering their injured quarterback as if it had a Tebow slant.

“Can we just stop talking about Eric Winston? When did he become the spokesman for all things Kansas City? Just shut up! I myself, I’m tired of hearing it! … There’s still an arrogant tone in [Winston’s Monday remarks]. It was the wrong guy saying the wrong stuff – because hell, he just got here!”
Jayice Pearson, 610 AM
GH: When the Chiefs first acquired Winston, he looked to me like a high-character guy who could shore up the right side of the offensive line. Now he looks like neither. He is a look-at-me mouth who is more concerned with playing leader than doing his job of protecting the quarterback.

“I am who I am. I probably talk too much but I’ve never been one to bottle it up inside. That’s always been me. When I was 10 – that was me. That’s just something about me. I’m not going to mince words. I’m not going to try and downplay how I feel. If I think something’s wrong, I’m going to tell you I think something’s wrong. … That [cheering Cassel’s injury] was something that I think was pretty pathetic.”
Eric Winston, 810 AM
GH: Winston is all puffy about himself and how he tells it like it is – but he trashes any Chiefs’ fans who think they can shout out their feelings about their quarterback, their team and their franchise. In Winston’s world only his out-of-touch opinions matter.

“I do think it’s silly when fans think they care more than the players.”
Josh Vernier, 610 AM
GH: Who is Josh Vernier and why am I listening to him? The fan base of a professional team is almost always more invested and concerned with the team’s fortunes than the mercenaries who fill out the uniforms each season. Winston has played all of five games as a Chief. I heard a caller on 610 Monday state he’s spent over $300K the past 18 years following the Chiefs. Who do you think cares more about that loss to the Ravens?

“Does Eric Winston really think that people pay $100 to go to a [Chiefs’] game to watch Matt Cassel get knocked out or hurt? That’s not what’s going on! That’s not even close to what’s going on!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: KK tried desperately to state that no one was cheering Cassel’s injury. I heard Fescoe doing the same. This is simply wrong. Yes, some Chiefs’ fans cheered that Cassel had been hurt. It is their prerogative. It is the culture of professional football. Is it rude? Sure. But professional football is a violent game that promotes mayhem in the stands and revels in it.

“I was on ESPN SportsCenter yesterday…”
Danny Parkins, who then played a recording of his interview on ESPN News, 610 AM
GH: The Winston Witch Trials has made overnight temporary celebrities of almost every Kansas City media person with a Chiefs’ press pass. Even Parkins got his 15 minutes during Monday Night Football.

“Trust me, I’m not apologizing for them…”
Danny Parkins, when asked about the Chiefs’ fans cheering Cassel’s injury, ESPN News
GH: What a strong line from the kid from Chicago. Way to represent, Danny.

“It needs to be said, Kansas City Chiefs’ fans are among the very best in the sport.”
Josh Elliott, reporter, Good Morning America
GH: Not everyone in the national media took Winston’s bait. Bully for those with a brain.

“Matt’s balls are high and behind. Brady’s balls are…”
Jayice Pearson, 610 AM
GH: Pearson’s thought process trailed off after he began to describe Brady’s balls. It either occurred to him how his sentence structure sounded or his cohosts, Jay Binkley and Josh Vernier, started looking at him and pointing. Either way, it was a sound bite made for WHB’s The Border Patrol that will likely never be heard again. 

“I think the physical pounding [in the SEC] has taken its toll. When you play South Carolina, when you play Georgia – it’s a little bit different. It’s tough and things don’t look any better this week against Alabama.”
Dennis Dodd, on Missouri being 0-3 in the SEC, 810 AM
GH: If only Charlie Weis’ KU team was playing a smidge better, this complete collapse of Gary Pinkel’s program would be seen as Christmas in Kansas. As it is, it’s merely like Mardi Gras in Lawrence and the rest of the Big 12.

“An embarrassing [Missouri] loss to Vanderbilt when the team was unprepared and outcoached. … The head coach hasn’t been focused and the team hasn’t been focused.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: Vanderbilt is not as bad as many believe or that Kietzman has portrayed them. But Mizzou has a football program in place that is supposed to win home games of this nature every time. The team looks lost. The team looks uninterested. The team does not look like a team. The team resembles their head coach’s path the last year.

“That loss to Vanderbilt is bad. That’s embarrassing. You don’t want to be that team that everybody in the league circles on their schedule as an automatic win. Everybody’s laughing at you. Everybody’s making fun of you.”
Bob Fescoe, 810 AM
GH: We all know that football team well. In the Big 12 it is Kansas. In the SEC, Missouri is circling that drain with Alabama playing the role of Mr. Clean.

“It wouldn’t have been easy in the Big 12 for Missouri this year either.”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM
GH: This needs to be said. Missouri’s troubles are highlighted because of their move to the SEC but this team would have trouble beating more than two teams in the Big 12. Pinkel needs to get his act together or Mizzou is going to get stuck paying for a lot of stadium renovation plans with empty promises.

“I want to be the only one who is saying this – I don’t see any difference [in Kansas football]. The truth is that Kansas is going to win half as many games as they did last year. They’re no better”
Kevin Kietzman, disputing the opinion of some that the Kansas’ football program looks much better than it did under Turner Gill, 810 AM
GH: I am not the biggest Weis fan but how can you say this KU team isn’t better than last season’s? They went to halftime down 21-14 at Kansas State? In what universe would any of us think Turner’s team could pull that off?

“It’s bad news. It sounds like you’re giving up on the season.”
Jake Gutiérrez, on reports that Charlie Weis had his seniors sit out of Sunday’s practice and worked only with the KU players who will be returning next season, 810 AM
GH: Weis is unconventional and I don’t think he listens to anyone when it comes to football advice. But this move is troubling – especially for those who purchased season tickets.

“I know Weis has said this is not some kind of punishment for the seniors but I wonder if he isn’t trying to find some new leaders for this team. I know he was very upset with the team kind of laying down in the third quarter. He thought the team just kind of cashed it in.”
Nate Bukaty, who serves as the sideline reporter for KU football games, 610 AM

“It’s a great league. They play tremendously entertaining football in the Big 12.”
Mark Packer, morning sports talk host, Sirius XM 91
GH: As a lifelong Big 8/12 fan, I can honestly say the conference has never been more entertaining from top to almost bottom. It is a remarkable story. A conference that was all but blown up a year ago, is now the most entertaining and balanced football conference in the land. Take a bow, Big 12. A deep one.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24



Fans are not the bad guys for what's going on at Arrowhead

Posted 10-8-12

“It’s one thing to be bad, but it’s quite another to be disliked by fans. It’s one thing to lose games, but it’s quite another to be without apparent hope. It’s one thing to be blown out, but it’s quite another to do it while wasting the primes of careers of players who shouldn’t be this collectively bad.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: Mellingerl penned these words for his Sunday pre-game column. They came to life in the second half when Matt Cassel was knocked out on the Arrowhead turf and his team’s fans cheered his prone position. Read on.

“Chiefs fans’ displeasure with their team’s starting quarterback has simmered nearly since his 2009 arrival in Kansas City. It reached a rolling boil during Sunday’s 9-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.”
Randy Covitz, Kansas City Star
GH: The Chiefs have just as much to do with Cassel’s injury being cheered as any one factor. The Chiefs have fleeced their fans for luxury boxes and escalating ticket prices and gouged them for parking and beer. When a customer is being abused by its vendor, that customer reacts in one of two was – he stops being a customer or he becomes a very unhappy and emotional customer. One who at any time might react negatively toward his vendor. Cassel just happens to be the most visible vendor the most visible vendor target on game days. You want to hear the home town cheer? Put Scott Pioli’s ass out there on the fifty yard line and let Ray Lewis clothesline his arrogant ass. Mardi Gras will erupt in the stands.

“We are athletes. We are not gladiators. This isn’t the Roman Coliseum. People pay their hard-earned money to come in here. I believe they can boo, they can cheer, they can do whatever they want … we’re lucky to play this game. It’s hard economic times, and they still pay the money to do this.”
Eric Winston, Kansas City Star
GH: In these words Winston is correct – but he does not stop here. He goes on to completely contradict what he states above. Read on.

“But when somebody gets hurt … there are long-lasting ramifications to the game we play … I’ve already come to the understanding I probably won’t live as long because I play this game. And that’s OK. That’s the choice I’ve made. That’s the choice all of us made. But when you cheer somebody getting knocked out, I don’t care who it is, and it just so happened to be Matt Cassel, it’s sickening. It’s 100 percent sickening. I’ve been in some rough times on some rough teams. I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life to play football than at that moment right there.”
Eric Winston, Kansas City Star
GH: Winston held court in the Chiefs’ locker room following the game and he let the Chiefs’ fans have it. I found his rant misplaced. A crowd is going to react in an inhuman and detached manner in almost every instance. They are after all, a crowd. They are not an individual cheering Cassel’s injury but a collective fan base expressing their passion for their team. It is simply what sports crowds do. To expect a crowd to react otherwise is as futile as trying to stop a thunderstorm.

“I get emotional about it, because these guys work their butts off. Matt Cassel hasn’t done anything to you people … hasn’t done anything to the media writers who kill him, hasn’t done anything wrong to the people that come out here and cheer him. If he’s not the best quarterback, he’s not the best quarterback, and that’s OK.”
Eric Winston, Kansas City Star
GH: Easy, Eric. No one in the media is killing Matt Cassel. They are simply doing their job when they critique his work – no different than you and your job as a professional athlete. If he’s not the best quarterback or even a reasonable facsimile of a quarterback – expect the home crowd of a fan base that has watched their team fashion a 1-4 start and not lead a single minute of a single game to react badly. Is it sporting of the Chiefs’ fans to cheer Cassel’s knockout? No. Is it routine and even expected? Hell yes.

“Chiefs tackle Eric Winston chose his words carefully before ripping into anyone who had reveled in Cassel’s injury.”
Randy Covitz, Kansas City Star
GH: Carefully? You mean like Pioli’s decision-making process? If Winston was being careful as he spoke, I can’t wait for him to take his mouthpiece out.

“But he’s a person. And he got knocked out in a game, and we got 70,000 people cheering ... Boo him all you want. Boo me all you want. Throw me under the bus. Tell me I’m doing a bad job, say I’ve got to protect him more … but if you’re one of those people who were out there cheering, or even smiled, when he got knocked out, I just want everyone to know it’s sickening and disgusting.”

Eric Winston, Kansas City Star
GH: Let me get this straight. Two huge men hit Matt Cassel so violently they knock him senseless in front of 70,000 people – and it is the 70,000 people who watched the attack who are sickening and disgusting? Someone remind Winston how he makes his living. Why he lives the life he and his family lead. You are a gladiator, Eric. You are there for our expensive amusement. This is not church. This is not our place of work. This is the NFL where winners are cheered and losers suffer the scorn of their fans. Sometimes that scorn is ugly. It is simply the life you chose. You want nice? You want polite? Go to work in an office for $50K. You want to live like a rock star? Prepare to get your ass graded harshly by those your employer fleeces each week.

“You know the old bromide: Buying a ticket gives you the right to yell anything you want. But it shouldn't. Not when it's cruel. Not when it's inhumane.”
Eric Adelson, columnist, YahooSports.com
GH: Cruel and inhumane? Cheering? Get a grip, Eric my lad. What is cruel and inhumane is the way The Clarks have driven this Chiefs’ fan base into a wild-eyed monster, ready to eat its own.

“When a man has an injury that may hurt his long-term quality of life – and his family's well-being? That's never, ever justified. It's vile.”
Eric Adelson, columnist, YahooSports.com
GH: No, Eric. It’s football. It’s why Matt Cassel signed a contract to be paid $66 million. The NFL doesn’t care about Matt Cassel’s and his family’s “well-being.” They care about their sports profit margin. Cassel is merely a widget. That is cruel and inhuman. That is vile. But you, I and the NFL fans expect it without as much as a head turn. You are chasing the wrong bad guy, Eric.

“Not cool.”
Haloti Ngata, when asked about Chiefs’ fans cheering Cassel’s injury, YahooSports.com
GH: Sure glad we got the assassin’s take on this crime.

“Let's all hope Cassel is OK, not just for himself, but for the consciences of all who felt some positive feeling when he was laid out for the world to see. Boo the guy. Fly a banner over the stadium calling for his benching. That's fine. But if you don't have a shred of human decency, don't bother showing up. An empty seat is a far better representative of civic pride.”
Eric Adelson, columnist, YahooSports.com
GH: Be careful there, Eric. Now you are hitting the NFL where it hurts. Show me the NFL owner who advocates fans staying home above fans being rude to their quarterback and I’ll show you a liar.

GregHall24@yahoo.com  and Twitter / greghall24



Holthus: Chiefs would need 'crystal clean' game to win

Posted 10-5-12

“We all know Chiefs haven't led during a game this season. But they've also been behind for 204 minutes out of a possible 249. That's the definition of a rotten team. More ugly Chiefs stats: They fell behind by as many as 23 vs Atlanta, 32 vs. Buffalo, 18 vs New Orleans and 21 vs San Diego.”
Adam Teicher, @adamteicher, Twitter
GH: This does not make me optimistic for the Chiefs’ game Sunday against Baltimore or the remainder of their schedule. If you can’t get the lead, you can’t win.

“I think Baltimore is just a shade better than Atlanta.”
Mitch Holthus, 810 AM
GH: Remember the Chiefs’ opener against Atlanta? This does not look good.

“Crystal clean. As clean as you can find. White-glove clean.”
Mitch Holthus, on the Chiefs need to play a clean, no-turnovers game against the Ravens, 810 AM

“[Joe] Flacco is at the top of his game and he has come along beautifully.”
Kevin Harlan, 810 AM
GH: Flacco has slowly morphed from an overhyped young quarterback into one of the league’s best veteran signal callers. He is exactly what the Chiefs’ fans wish they had but have never know.

“My thesis basically [for the Chiefs] to win this week is to replicate the Green Bay game from last season.”
Mitch Holthus, 810 AM
GH: We might have a better chance at coming up with the diagram for Star Trek’s replicator than a repeat of that Green Bay win.

“Baltimore is as good as there is. Are they as good as Houston? I don’t know if anybody is as good as Houston.”
Kevin Harlan, 810 AM
GH: How did Houston get so good while the Chiefs continue to be Chefs?

“Unitas had an unfair advantage because 46 of his touchdown passes came against Jayice [Pearson].”
Pete Enich, on Drew Brees closing in on Unitas’ 47-game TD pass streak, to 810 AM
GH: I wonder if Jayice listens to Stump the Chumps?

“I think it’s personal now with you and Pioli because of that interview. He won’t come on the program now… ”
Jack Harry, to Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I am not sure if Mad Jack was taking a verbal swat at KK or just stating what he knows. But his comment barely phased KK.

“I don’t think he will [come on the show] but he hasn’t said that to me. I’ve got no issues with anybody as far as I think.”
Kevin Kietzman, responding to Harry’s above comment, 810 AM
GH: I would like to see the local media be so tough on Pioli that he bans himself from every radio show, every TV show and every newspaper. We need to turn up the heat on the GM to Babb levels.

“While I'm at it, putting up a statue of a coach in front of a basketball arena or football stadium is plain stupid.”
Fran Fraschilla, @franfraschilla, Twitter
GH: So who is worthy of a statue...only animals? All men have frailties. Whether they are leaders of war, leaders of business or leaders of sport – great men have been known to err. Statues are fine – and easily removed – just ask Penn State.

“I can't remember the last time I was so excited about a football game. I might get a sleeping bag & park myself @ the Horseshoe!!!! Let's go”
Frank Martin, @FrankMartin_SC, expressing his giddiness over the UGA/USC game, Twitter
GH: Do nomad coaches like Martin realize that real fans take comments like this as an insult to their intelligence? So now all of a sudden Frank is a crazed Cock football fan? Sure, coach.

“I don’t yell much. I whistle. I’ve got a voice to protect.”
Kevin Kietzman, on how he cheers at a Kansas State game, 810 AM

“Which will be more exciting: Kansas @ K-State, Ravens @ Chiefs, or Vandy @ Missouri? I'm guessing Weis vs. Snyder.”
Neal Jones, @NealJoneskctv5
GH: K-State wins by 50. Mizzou struggles but sneaks out with a six-point win over a game Vandy. The Ravens beat KC 34-14 in another blowout loss.

“Having been a runner for the last 32 years, and having competed for a season of track and cross country at the University of Delaware (I was arguably one of the nation's worst 100 Division I runners), and having completed 11 marathons, I can tell you -- with 100% certainty -- that when Paul Ryan says (more or less), ‘Oops, simple mistake,’ he is full of it. For those of you who don't run, a 4:01 marathoner insisting he broke three hours is the equivalent of a .220 hitter speaking of a .310 average. It's a retired small-town mayor looking back at his time as a U.S. senator; a dive-bar rock band bragging of once opening for KISS at Madison Square Garden. In this world of ours, there are exaggerations (‘She looked just like Halle Berry!’), there are boasts (‘Hell, gimme a week in the pool and I'll destroy Michael Phelps!’) and there are flat-out, straight-up, no-holds-barred lies. This is a flat-out, straight-up, no-holds-barred lie.”
Jeff Pearlman, writer, on Paul Ryan stating he ran a sub-three-hour marathon 20 years ago when it was actually over four hours, CNN.com
GH: I will be in Chicago this weekend to run the Chicago Marathon with 45,000 others Sunday morning. I promise not to lie about my finishing time – but I may bore some of you with a recap of my race next week.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24



Weis not as bright as he likes us to think

Posted 10-5-12

“Team slammed by our own school newspaper. Amazing! No problem with opponents paper or local media. You deserve what you get! But, not home!”
Charlie Weis, @CoachWeisKansas, on an editorial cartoon in Thursday’s  University Daily Kansan that depicted the Jayhawks as road kill for the Kansas State Wildcats, Twitter
GH: Weis was a guest on Friday’s Border Patrol and expressed some frustration when questioned about why he chose to go on Twitter and complain about the school paper. He confessed that he hadn’t even seen the paper but that his players were upset, therefore he wanted to draw the attention away from them and toward him. What attention? This is a non-story without Weis’ tweet. Weis isn’t nearly as bright as he likes us to think. Sometimes, like this time, he steps in it just to make a mess. Read on.

“Good move by Weis. Everyone talking abt his team and recruits see he has his guys back. Important in recruiting. And the same ppl complaining abt @CoachWeisKansas r the same ones who say no one in sports says anything good can't have it both ways.”
Bob Fescoe, @bobfescoe, Twitter
GH: I don’t even know where to start with this inane comment from Kansas’ largest and proudest homer. Recruiting? What recruit is reading the Daily Kansas without Weis drawing attention to it? Fescoe’s comment about coaches not saying anything and Weis’ complaint make about as much sense as most of Fescoe’s thoughts. Is there any chance Fescoe and Al Bohl are related?

“It’s ridiculous. Just as his players are trying to prepare for future careers as members of the football team, the Kansas journalism students are trying to build careers for themselves.”
Danny Clinkscale, chastising Weis for his attack on the school newspaper’s editorial choice, 810 AM
GH: Clinkscale nails it here with his comment. Weis should be proud to coach at a school that understands journalism is as important of a learned art as the spread offense.

“I personally could care less. You are what are. On the other hand, if I don't support the players good or bad, who will??”
Charlie Weis, @CoachWeisKansas, Twitter
GH: Here is a thought – tell your players to play better and win games if they don’t like being the butt of jokes. Coddling your players will not prepare them for the real world. College campuses should not be a protective cocoon for athletes – it should be where they prepare for success. Sometimes that means being uncomfortable.

“KU had full contact practices all week during its bye. As it should be, TE Mike Ragone says. ‘It's football; we're not playing pool.’ ”
Rustin Dodd, @rustindodd, Twitter
GH: If the Kansas football team can withstand live hitting all week, surely they can be taught to weather a cartoon.

“I agree the final score Saturday might be whatever Bill Snyder wants for it to be. With it being the KU game, that is scary.”
D. Scott Fritchen, @DScottFritchen, Twitter
GH: A Bill Snyder-coached Kansas State never takes the KU football game lightly. This one is going to be ugly early.

“Just put up a fight, man! Put up a fight! I think that’s what Kansas’ fans want to see more than anything. The last two years, KU had mailed it in by halftime – and that’s embarrassing.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM

“[The KU/K-State game] has been a clown show a lot of times. I think [KU] will look better.”
Matt Tait, of KUSports.com, 610 AM

“Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham and freshman teammates Levi Copelin and Torey Boozer were arrested last night on suspicion of possession of less than 35 grams of marijuana. University of Missouri police captain Brian Weimer said an officer on patrol found the players at 11:49 p.m. in a white 2004 Lincoln Navigator in Lot G south of Memorial Stadium. Team spokesman Chad Moller said the players will be suspended for Saturday's game against Vanderbilt. Weimer said the officer detected the odor of marijuana and when the players got out of the car, the officer found marijuana. The vehicle was registered to Green-Beckham, Weimer said.”
Joe Walljasper, writer, Columbia Tribune
GH: I hate stories like this. Everything we have heard about DGB has been positive – from his athletic ability to his humbleness and attitude. But this is simply a dumb choice made by the young man. No, it’s not a felony or a career-ending arrest. But it shows a lack of awareness by the freshman as to what rare opportunities await him with a potential NFL career. Be smart young man. Doobies make you dumb.

“Yeah, I found out this morning. I just met with Dayton and Ned. It was short and sweet.”
Kevin Seitzer, in an interview with Soren Petro the same morning he was fired as the Royals’ hitting coach, 810 AM
GH: Petro’s interview with Seitzer, no more than an hour after the news broke that he had been canned – was great radio. Hats off to Petro and his staff for first securing the interview with so little notice and second for getting Seitzer to be so open, honest and forthcoming in discussing this past season with the Royals. Read on.

“[Jeff Francoeur] was complaining about not getting many opportunities. He was hitting behind Billy, Billy could only go one base at a time and couldn’t score on a double. Al of a sudden he starts trying to hit more home runs, drive the ball too much and pull the ball too much to catch up with his numbers. The next thing he knew he was in the middle of a slide that wouldn’t stop.”
Kevin Seitzer, 810 AM
GH: Wow. This breakdown of Francoeur alone is worth listening to the podcast of Seitzer’s interview. Great radio, gentlemen.

“Viewership for Kansas City Royals cable telecasts reached an all-time high in 2012. The 140 regular season games televised on FOX Sports Kansas City averaged a 3.8 household rating in the Kansas City DMA, according to The Nielsen Co. , up 13 percent from 2011. Ratings increased over 2011 in every month of the season except August. Viewership in September increased 52 percent over last year, the most of any month.”
Press Release, Fox Sports
GH: How we all long for the day that the Royals can send out a press release that deals with the team in postseason play in October rather than how resilient the Royals’ fans are in this town.

“Here we are on the eve of the best college football weekend of the year…”
Mark Packer, Sirius XM 91
GH: Saturday is a college football feast for those of us who follow the campus game. Here are my picks for the biggest matchups of the day.

2:30 PM [CT]      LSU @ Florida: LSU is a paper Tiger. Look for Florida to flex some SEC East muscle and start LSU’s slide to the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Gators 34 Paper Tigers 17

2:30 PM [CT]      OU @ Texas Tech: I have heard almost every pundit blast the Sooners and their much-maligned QB after their loss at home to K-State. I still think Oklahoma will win the Big 12. Sooners 45 Red Raiders 20

6:00 PM [CT]      UGA @ South Carolina: These two combined to welcome Mizzou to the SEC with a solid left and then an even bigger right. Great game here, I like Spurrier at home to upset a more talented UGA team.

6:00 PM [CT]      W. Virginia @ Texas: All eyes of Texas and everywhere else in the country are eager to tune in and see if Superman is really alive and living in the Moonshine State. Texas will be out to derail Geno’s Pizzazz but it will be a struggle. I like the Horns to win 24-23 in the best game of the day.

7:00 PM [CT]      Nebraska @ The Ohio State: What a mess these two fine programs have been the past couple of seasons. Both are looking to make this game their signature win and move into Rose Bowl contention. The nation no longer really cares what is happening in the Big 10 because the real football is being played south of where Woody and Bo once walked. Buckeyes 31 Big Red 28

9:30 PM [CT]      Washington @ Oregon: The Ducks are as good as Alabama. Yeah, I said it. Just don’t come kill my trees. Ducks 45 Huskies 30

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24



Looking back at Cassel and Pioli in '09

Posted 10-5-12

After digesting the Chiefs’ inept first four games this season, I decided to go back and review some Off The Couch columns from the summer of 2009. Scott Pioli was in his early months as the Chiefs’ GM and he had just signed Matt Cassel to replace Tyler Thigpen as the Chiefs’ quarterback. The view from there is both starling and humorous. Read on.

“There can only be positives on a day like this.”
Kevin Kietzman, expressing his pleasure with the Chiefs signing Cassel to this long-term contract back in the summer of 2009, 810 AM July 2009
GH: KK was so sure Cassel would be a hit as a Chief that he asked listeners who disagreed with him to email him with both their first and last names so he could have documented proof two years from now on how wrong they were about Cassel. I did not email KK because I was almost as sure as he that Cassel was a good upgrade for the Chiefs. Not everyone though was…

“To me, this is a lot of money you’re guaranteeing this guy. That is Tom Brady money you’re paying this guy for the first three years of this deal. He could come here and be very, very average. That is a real possibility. I think the Chiefs just gave a butt-load of cash to a guy who still has a lot to prove. I’m not going to say this is a mistake, but I am very apprehensive about this being a good thing. …If you think this is awesome, you are throwing blind faith at Scott Pioli. I’m not a big fan of this move.”
Cowboy Cory Anderson, on the Chiefs signing Cassel to a reported $66-million contract, 610 AM July 2009
GH: I somewhat scoffed at Anderson at the time for his pessimistic outlook about Cassel. I wrote the following regarding his above comment…

“Yeah, it is a bit of a gamble -- but no more than dumping millions into an untested first-round pick like Mark Sanchez or Matt Stafford. I like the risk.”
Greg Hall, OTC July 2009
GH: Looks like I was right about Sanchez but wrong on Cassel and Stafford. But Cory Anderson is the one who comes out looking the best in how he cautioned his listeners about Cassel.

“I am still very surprised that there was more excitement in this town last year about Tyler Thigpen as the starting quarterback than I have heard for Matt Cassel. I don’t get it! There is no reason not to believe! None! We should be much more excited about this acquisition than even Trent Green!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM July 2009
GH: Kietzman was the lead cheerleader for Matt Cassel back in 2009. Today, not so much.

“This reminds me a little bit, well, not a little bit but a lot of when the Chiefs signed Elvis Grbac. We’ll see how this one turns out. I thought they could have made a winner out of [Grbac]. You’re always concerned when a guy has played one year and he’s had a great system with great people supporting him and great players to play with. You wonder about that. I’m sort of comparing [Cassel] to Elvis [Grbac] right now. I think that’s what Chiefs’ fans can expect as far as production. You don’t know how a guy is going to react when all of a sudden it’s his team.”
Adam Teicher, 610 AM July 2009
GH: Teicher looks prophetic now with his Grbac comparison. I was far more optimistic. Read on.

“Cassel has exhibited better leadership skills than the sulking and just plain weird Grbac. Cassel also appears to have a work ethic that eluded Grbac-up. What I’m trying to say is that I sure as hell hope Teicher is wrong.”
Greg Hall, OTC July 2009

“I want to say this to you guys because I read The Kansas City Star every now and then and I listen to you guys. It’s interesting that Pioli is seen as this mystery man. The idea that he’s a mystery man really cracks me up. He is not really a man of mystery. And you guys will see it eventually once he gets thing straightened out in Kansas City.”
Michael Holley, Patriots’ beat writer and author of The Warm Room, 610 AM June 2009
GH: Looking back over Holley’s comments about Pioli, it is obvious he is a huge fan of the former Patriots’ personnel manager. Read on.

“[Pioli’s] got a great sense of humor. He’s a HUGE fan of music. I worked at The Boston Globe for 10 years and I remember making a reference to Tangled Up In Blue in a column. And I had an email the next day from Scott Pioli who wanted to talk about Bob Dylan. Then we started talking about hip-hop. Then we started talking about Jazz. Then we started talking about Earth, Wind and Fire. So we really had a music connection first.”
Michael Holley, 610 AM June 2009
GH: I am guessing Todd Haley would say that Pioli is not a fan of Lil Wayne.

“The good news is, despite the lack of access you guys are apparently getting right now, that team is going to win and it’s going to win fairly soon. I don’t know about this year, but I’d be very surprised if Kansas City is not a .500 team in 2010.”
Michael Holley, 610 AM June 2009
GH: Holley was right about 2010…just not any of Pioli’s other years with the Chiefs.

“I’m a big Scott Pioli and Todd Haley fan. I think they are both outstanding coaches and personnel people [who came] from arguable two of the better people in the history of our game that understand how to do things and build it from the ground floor, and that’s Bill Parcels and Bill Belichick.”
Gregg Williams, Excelsior Springs native and current Saints defensive coordinator, 610 AM June 2009
GH: Back in 2009, a compliment from Gregg Williams was a good thing.

“Now I’ll find out if I’m any good, is the way I look at it.”
Todd Haley, on the Chiefs job being his first one as a head coach, KCTV 5
GH: Oops.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Should Chiefs' fans wear chefs hats?

Posted 10-4-12

“True sports fans stick with their team through thick and thin.”
Steven St. John, in answer to Gary Lezak’s questing if the Chiefs have lost their fan base, 810 AM
GH: SSJ sounds like he is reading directly from the professional sports teams’ owner’s manual. Sports franchises have floated that myth out there for decades that you can’t call yourself a real fan unless you put up with whatever crappy product the owner puts on the field. We need to be smarter than our parents and grandparents. Real fans complain, bitch and quit buying tickets to games when ownership groups like the Chiefs and Royals embarrass a fan base and city with teams that haven’t sniffed the postseason in 20 years. Real fans get pissed. Real fans take action. Read on.

“The fans in this town are sharks looking for blood and I agree with them 100%.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Fescoe has a different approach to how Chiefs’ and Royals’ fans should respond to teams during their “thin” seasons – like sharks looking for a kill. Fescoe opened his phones Wednesday morning to Chiefs’ fans and allowed them to vent. It was great radio. Read on.

“The NFL is a copycat league. Wearing bags over our heads, the Saints have already done that. I’m wearing a chef’s hat out to the Chiefs’ game. I hope some other people pick up on that. I think it’s simple and it says we’re inept and we deserve to be called the Chef’s.”
Caller to Fescoe’s show, 610 AM
GH: I LOVE this idea! With the Chiefs only 1-3 and the season still somewhat in question, it might be a bit early to wear your chef’s hat into the stadium. But it might not be a bad idea to have it in hand if the Ravens’ game goes like we think it might.

“I’ve got a $17,000 RV all painted up with Chiefs’ logos that I’m embarrassed to drive now.”
Caller Jerry to The Big Show, 610 AM
GH: Jerry identified himself as a long-time Chiefs’ season-ticket holder who is finally fed up. He advocated a Black Sunday where all Chiefs’ fans wear black to a game to protest the losing ways of the organization. A lot of fans have invested crazy amounts of money to follow and cheer for the Chiefs and Royals. I am sure we would all be shocked to hear the total dollar amount that we have spent on food, clothes, travel and insane items like a $17K RV. At one time I considered this Chiefs’ craze as incurable as the common cold. But the longer the Hunt family allows the franchise to wallow, the fewer sniffles I see at Arrowhead.

“Spent most five years in KC; been in DC one night and saw home team win the division.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, on the Nationals securing the NL East title, Twitter
GH: Geography. When it comes to our teams winning, losing and making our lives a bit happier or less so, it comes down to where we live and when we live there. Babb just traded the Royals for the Nats and Matt Cassel for RG3. Geography. We all should have paid more attention in that class.

“What in the world was that thing on the front page of the Star’s sports section [Tuesday]? Of course those guys aren’t better than Matt Cassel! That was stupid.”
Danny Clinkscale, on The Star article that asked readers if the Chiefs would be better off with David Garrard, Vince Young, Seneca Wallace, Chris Redman, A.J. Feeley or Brian Hoyer as their starting QB, 810 AM
GH: The Star merely asked the question would the Chiefs be better off with these guys than the guy we’ve got. What the article did for me was point out how many inept quarterbacks have become millionaires in the NFL. Cassel is not good, but he’s not any worse than a lot of the leftovers.

“There’s no reason to go to Brady Quinn – because if you do that you’re saying this whole thing is over.”
Jayice Pearson, 610 AM
GH: I wouldn’t say there is “no reason” to insert Quinn, but I agree that he doesn’t look like he’s the answer – or even on the same level as Kyle Orton as a replacement QB. The Chiefs just appear to be screwed at the position of quarterback – and we all can agree on where the fault for that deficiency lies.

“In this league you live and die with what your quarterback is doing. And this [Chiefs’] quarterback is struggling. We all know his arm is not great but it is certainly good enough.”
Kevin Harlan, 810 AM
GH: Is Cassel’s arm “good enough?” I don’t think he has ever had an NFL arm. He didn’t even have a Pac 12 arm at USC. Cassel throws a very catchable ball that lacks velocity. Under duress, his ball flutters and floats.

“I don’t [think they are going to stick with Cassel]. I think it’s going to be Brady Quinn before you know it.”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM
GH: Ian Eagle told The Border Patrol he thinks the Chiefs might make the change to Quinn this Sunday if Cassel and the offense again struggles. If that happens, I expect to see a number of chef’s hats dotting the sparse crowd at Arrowhead.

“The Chiefs have some good players but I think a lot of the Chiefs’ players are extremely overrated. One of their stars, Eric Berry, looked like Jon McGraw with a broken leg!”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM

“I don’t think Dwayne Bowe’s going to stay – not with this regime. And he definitely wouldn’t give them a discount.”
Jayice Pearson, 610 AM

“Look, you don’t need me to tell you about the Kansas City Chiefs – you live it every day.”
Ian Eagle, who will be the play-by-play voice for the TV broadcast of the Ravens/Chiefs game, 810 AM

“Arizona is one of the biggest surprises in the NFL and the Chiefs are one of the biggest disappointments.”
Ian Eagle, 810 AM

“I don’t think Scott Pioli’s position is in any kind of danger right now. The head coach [Romeo Crennel], I don’t know.”
Kevin Harlan, 810 AM
GH: No way Pioli survives if Romeo is slain – right? Right? Do we need to get Babb back here?

“There have been many times in the past when everybody wanted to bury the Chiefs and they come up with a shocking performance.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: Mellinger somewhat touched on this in his Monday column. He stated one solution for the Chiefs’ woes was to just hope that the yin and yang of the NFL would be enough to balance the Chiefs season through pure happenstance. I just don’t think real playoff contenders wait around for a lucky bounce. The Chiefs need to aspire to be better than a game of Keno.

“I still believe this team can be better and will be better.”
Romeo Crennel, 810 AM
GH: It can hardly be any worse.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghgall24



Glass says he can't wait till next year

Posted 10-4-12

“The Royals are at the end of the line when charting the most recent playoff appearances by all 122 teams in the four major professional sports. … The Royals not only missed the playoffs for the 27th consecutive season, they now own the distinction of the longest postseason drought of any team in the four major North American professional sports leagues. That’s 121 teams who’ve been to the playoffs more recently than your Royals.”
Kansas City Star, October 4, 2012
GH: Let those words sink into your pine tar-scarred batting helmet. Last in a field of 122. The Royals’ season came to another disappointing an end Wednesday night with a 90-loss season. A season that was branded by the Royals’ ad campaign as “Our Time.” Not quite. Read on.

“Someone go back to 2006 and tell Dayton that the [A’s], Orioles, Rays & Nationals, make it to the playoffs before the Royals have a winning season.”
@FakeDMattews, Twitter
GH: We are so often told by the Royals how “hard” and “difficult” this game of baseball is, and how winning even a single game is a struggle. But for 27 years? 30-year-olds have no recollection of the Royals being a postseason threat.

“We’re closer than people think. It’s so hard to have patience and wait.”
David Glass, in an interview Wednesday night during the telecast of the Royals’ final game of the season, FSRoyals
GH: There is that word “hard” again – but in this case it should be changed to “excruciating” or “unfathomable.” I want Glass to be the most impatient owner in all of professional sports. He has every motivation to be shoveling coal onto his moribund franchise like he was Wile E Coyote in a locomotive chasing the elusive roadrunner. Glass is near death and his ball club hasn’t won squat in almost three decades. How much more motivation does a man need? If Glass has even a speck of competitiveness in his old bones, he opens his purse and floods the Royals’ starting pitching with every free agent pitcher who can help.

“We are committed to improving our starting pitching – however we have to do it.”
David Glass, FSRoyals
GH: Does “however we have to do it” mean spending another $30 or $40 million on pitching? That’s per diem money to the Yankees and Red Sox. Screw patience. Let’s field a competitive team in 2013 with somebody on the mound who isn’t Luke Hochevar and Bruce Chen.

“In baseball, the old adage is, ‘Wait till next year.’ I can’t wait until next year.”
David Glass, FSRoyals
GH: I do not remember a Royals’ preseason during Glass’ tenure as the owner where this fan base was more excited than this past spring. It took all of two weeks and a 12-game losing streak to deflate that enthusiasm. Next year? Sure, we’ll be here. But we will care? Make us care, David! Make this city bleed blue again. Why would you be focused on anything else?

“OH GOD! Rex is now talking about the All Star game. Come on! Why doesn’t he just hide under the desk and let Ryan ask the big boy questions!”
Soren Petro, @theprogramkc, as he tweeted during Glass appearance in the Royals’ telecast, Twitter
GH: I know some Royals’ fans have warmed to Rex Hudler’s dopey ways and his rah-rah charm. I am not one of those Royals’ fans. He is a reminder to me that Glass refuses to take his fan base seriously. Get me a pitcher not a belly-itcher.

“The bottom line is we need pitching. We need starting pitching bad! You have to get some starting pitching that’ll give you six, seven, eight innings. You have to!”
Mike Boddicker, on the Royals hopes to compete in the AL Central, 810 AM

“There is no way they can tell anyone they are ready to compete next year. I am tired of hearing they are two and three years away.”
Soren Petro, on the current status of the Royals, 810 AM

“You talk about ‘Our Time.’ Our time isn’t just 2012. Our time is just the beginning of the next six, seven or eight years.”
Steve Stewart, one of the Royals’ radio broadcasters, prior to the Royals firing the local advertising firm that came up with the “Our Time” theme, 610 AM
GH: If this is the Royals’ 2013 slogan, I might have to become a Sporting fan.

“Love Kevin Seitzer but if the Royals fire Kevin Seitzer just because of what has happened with Eric Hosmer, you can’t really argue with that.”
Rany Jazayerli, a few weeks before the end of the season when Seitzer was officially canned, 810 AM
GH: Firing the hitting coach or the pitching coach or the first-base coach have all been done before with little or no change in the direction of this ball club. What has not been tried is buying some killer arms for the starting rotation.

“Whose idea was it to take phone calls?”
Steven St. John, after abruptly ending a call from a David Glass impersonator Thursday morning, 810 AM
GH: I found the David Glass caller funny. SSJ and Nate apparently did not. Maybe if the guy was butt-chugging while he was impersonating Glass he would have been allowed some precious air time on The Border Patrol.

“Proud of the baseball fans in this city. Thirty-thousand plus and a big ovation for Cabrera's historic achievement. They deserve better...”
Kurtis Seaboldt, @KSeaboldt, on the crowd at The K for the Royals’ season finale, Twitter
GH: Reports are that more than 12,000 fans bought tickets on Wednesday. Many of those I’m sure came to see Miguel Cabrera win the MLB’s first Triple Crown in 45 years. But that tells me Kansas City’s baseball fans care about the history of the game. And still care about the Royals -- far more than we should.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Mellinger: Pioli hasn't earned right to choose next QB or a third head coach

Posted 10-1-12

“Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt, said Sunday: ‘It's clear my father was the quarterback in forming the AFL, and without him, there wouldn't have been an AFL.’ There's a great quote in the book [Lamar Hunt: A Life in Sports, by Michael MacCambridge] that sums up Hunt, and his competitiveness and his love of football. Here it is: ‘I can't separate what part of pro football is business, and what part is personal. I just know it's very important that I succeed.’ That's Hunt, in a nutshell.”
Peter King, NFL writer, in his Monday Morning Quarterback column, SI.com
GH: If Lamar Hunt felt it very important that he succeed as pro football owner, just what does his son consider important when it comes to his dad’s franchise? What is Clark Hunt in a nutshell? I would think Clark would be very embarrassed as to where his leadership has placed the Chiefs’ brand in today’s NFL. It sounds from that quote that his father sure would be.

“Pioli may be making the Hunts even richer, but he's also embarrassing what their father built. What's that worth?”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter

“There was really nothing positive [in the Chiefs’ 37-20 home loss to the Chargers]. You saw no life in the team. I can’t help myself, guys. I still take it very personal. They’re my team. And I resent those who don’t take it personal.”
Bill Maas, 610 AM
GH: How personal do the Chiefs’ players take being embarrassed on an almost weekly basis by their peers? The fans are definitely embarrassed. Former Chiefs like Maas are embarrassed. What will it take for Clark Hunt to become embarrassed enough to change the direction of this franchise?

“This is beyond hope, beyond excuses, beyond any explanation that isn’t a fireable offense for everyone who can be fired. This is gross, and imagining it improving requires a stiff imagination or a stiffer drink. Romeo Crennel needs to fire Matt Cassel as the starting quarterback, because Cassel is now not only bad but hopeless. Pioli needs to fire Crennel, because he’s building a convincing case as the worst head coach in the league. And Clark Hunt needs to fire Pioli, because every stitch of progress with this roster is undermined by fundamental flaws in quarterback, head coach and philosophy that are a direct reflection of the general manager and serve as something like a parking brake on the franchise’s stated goal of winning championships.”
Sam Mellinger, columnist, Kansas City Star
GH: The Kansas City Star’s columnist has basically sent the message – fire everybody. Sounds crazy, right? Not to Chiefs’ fans. Read on.

“Now Pioli can whine to Clark & subordinates that it's personal with Sam [Mellinger], too, as he did about me--instead of realizing his "Process" stinks.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter

“I can't quit the Chiefs, even from my couch in DC.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter
GH: Babb is already in Washington where he will be starting his new career with the Washington Post. But he can’t quit the Chiefs. Geography will eventually win out and Babb will be less invested in what happens at Arrowhead. But that day is not today. Read on.

“If you're a Chiefs fan, your biggest hope for 2012 is that Clark isn't like his daddy; won't let a bad GM fool him into undeserved loyalty.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter
GH: Lamar put up with a descending franchise for almost a decade before he released Carl Peterson to shop for leather trench coats elsewhere. Loyalty or greed? Loyalty or out of touch? Loyalty or lazy? It takes work to make changes. It takes involvement to understand the problems. I don’t see Clark wanting any part of that kind of work or involvement. He is a thinking man in a working man’s game.

“KC Chiefs: Super Bowl-free for 42 years, but candy-wrapper- and hope-free for only as long as Pioli is running around.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter

“It was a total team effort basically in not playing well. … I don’t understand what happened with the team.”
Romeo Crennel, in his postgame comments following the Chiefs’ 37-20 loss to the Chargers, 610 AM
GH: These comments from Romeo should strike fear in Clark Hunt. The kind of fear that has him looking to hire a new GM and head coach.

“Crennel is overmatched trying to be head coach and defensive coordinator, and a roster top-heavy with stars but lacking in depth cannot drag a leaking quarterback through today’s pass-happy NFL. Pioli has not earned the right to choose the next quarterback or a third head coach. The argument to maintain status quo goes something like this: hey, it’s the NFL, and maybe the Chiefs can get really, really, really lucky.”
Sam Mellinger, columnist, Kansas City Star

“We deserve an apology for this nonsense! We were swindled! We deserve an apology from the owner, the general manager and the coach. This is unacceptable! Unacceptable!”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: We were swindled! That might make a good slogan for Kansas City Royals/Chiefs fans everywhere.

“This is the worst we’ve seen of Matt Cassel. Absolutely the worst! His play has disintegrated.”
Richard Baldinger, 610 AM
GH: Was it the worst? Does it matter? Yeah, it was and has been that bad when it comes to Scott Pioli’s $66-million pet.

“I’ve got to do a better job of protecting the football and putting our team in better situations.”
Matt Cassel, in a postgame interview, 810 AM
GH: Cassel has these line memorized for his weekly postgame pressers. Read on.

“I don’t even like [Cassel] in the [postgame] interviews. Matt, have a shot of whiskey before the interview and then go ahead and let ‘er rip! He needs to open up more. I’d like to see my quarterback be a little more emotional after a game like that.”
Richard Baldinger, 610 AM
GH: I am in favor of serving alcohol to the players and media prior to the postgame pressers. It would have to make these conversations more entertaining. The Star’s Randy Covitz might need to chug a fifth of Jack though to get any questions out of him even resembling insightful or engaging.

“Daboll doesn’t believe in [Cassel]. Romeo doesn’t believe him in. We saw that last week [in New Orleans] and we saw it again this week.”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM
GH: How could they believe in Cassel? He’s a nice guy who doesn’t possess the arm or the poise to play winning football behind a mediocre offense. Some QBs lift their team. Cassel sinks it.

“Tom Brady’s made a lot of people a lot of money.”
Nick Leckey, on the Patriots’ quarterback being the real reason for New England’s success and not the many coaches and front office people who happened to be with the Patriots at the time, 810 AM
GH: I love the simplicity and accuracy of Leckey’s quote. How many millionaires has Tom Brady created? The Chiefs are littered with them.

“The Chargers did things here Sunday they seemingly haven’t done since they were a twinkle in Barron Hilton’s eye. They made plays. They made a lot of them. They got the Chiefs to turn the ball over six times. They jumped to a 20-0 lead in the alligator’s mouth that is Arrowhead Stadium.”
Nick Canepa, columnist, San Diego Tribune
GH: The “alligator’s mouth” is about to morph into the earthworm – where Chiefs’ fans burrow into their homes and disappear for the winter.

“They were up 20-0 midway through the second quarter when Kansas City tailback Jamaal ‘You Think Ryan Mathews is a Fumbler?’ ”
Nick Canepa, columnist, San Diego Tribune
GH: We had almost forgotten why Charles’ touches were limited in his early years with the Chiefs. Sunday afternoon he reminded us. He is a remarkable talent but he carries the ball as lightly as he cuts.

“The Chargers’ offense had one of its worst third quarters in memory. Three possessions, three three-and-outs, minus-one yard total offense. Coach Norv Turner’s play calling went oatmeal and predictable. But the Chiefs kept their bungling ways…”
Nick Canepa, columnist, San Diego Tribune
GH: And still the Chiefs were down 37-13 before they scored a garbage TD pass to Dwayne Bowe on what might have been Cassel’s worst pass of the day. The AFC West looks awful. So awful that the Chiefs might still win it. Yeah, I just wrote that.

“If my experience with [Pioli] is any indication, Scott Pioli will spend hours [Monday] reading/sharing media reports that defend him. … He's a stooge with misplaced priorities. I recognized that early on and it just annoys me.””
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter
GH: So what will he do the other 23 hours and 50 minutes?

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Kent Babb is revealing in interview with The Pitch

Posted 9-28-12

“I’m not sure that I’m not leaving a perfect job for me [as a sports columnist at The Star]. This could be the job that was tailored for me. I think I’m making the right move.”
Kent Babb, in an interview with The Pitch’s Jonathan Bender, on his recent acceptance of a position with the Washington Post as a feature writer, Pitch.com
GH: Jonathan Bender recently posted an interesting and entertaining interview with The Kansas City Star’s Kent Babb at pitch.com. Babb is a young guy who was just promoted from his role as the Chiefs’ beat writer to that of a columnist – which is widely considered about as good as it gets when it comes to newspaper hierarchy. Read on.

“One of my editors approached me back in February and asked if I would be interested in being a columnist. I’m not an idiot, so the answer was ‘of course.’ I’m a pretty opinionated guy on Twitter. I was ready for a change, and it was a heck of a change. I loved the idea of it and the reality of it. One of the challenges in my job was that I had to be an expert in every sport and every team, and I’m not your huge, hardcore sports fan. I like to write. I like sports. I think Sam [Mellinger] really gets into the stats and games, where I’m more of a what’s-going-on-behind-the-scenes guy. I care more about people. Sports fans dream of a weekend that’s nothing but sports. That’s never been my thing. I’m a huge college-football fan. I absolutely go crazy over college football. I’m a fish out of water here where college basketball is such a big deal.”
Kent Babb, Pitch.com
GH: Interesting honesty from Babb on how he views sports. I have never thought it takes a super fan to be a columnist or commentator. Kevin Kietzman follows the games but he is not the stats nerd that Soren Petro and Steven St. John are when it comes to the games. Despite that fact, KK hosts the most highly rated show this city has ever known. Great storytellers make great columnists. Joe Posnanski is one of the best at spinning a written tale. Jason Whitlock writes with more edge and humor, which made his columns a must read in The Star. Mellinger doesn’t have the feel for his audience that I think Whitlock possessed. His topics too often miss the mark. It will be interesting to see if Mellinger is asked to sharpen his keyboard after Babb’s departure.

“I’m 30, and I don’t know what I want to do long term. I think I’d like to be a long-form writer and write for magazines, websites and newspapers. As for columns, I liked it. If somebody offered me a column in the future, this [experience at The Star] wouldn’t stop me from considering that.”
Kent Babb, Pitch.com
GH: Babb had a great gig at The Star as a columnist and feature writer. That combo doesn’t get offered often. But the health of the daily newspaper continues to wane. Odd how the best writers are all moving from newspapers and mags to websites – once considered the bastard of journalism.

“I always liked Todd [Haley]. He’s one of the most regular guys that I’ve covered. And one of the most unfortunate things about the Todd Haley era is that nobody else really saw that. I think he is a lot like you and me — he’s just a regular guy to have a beer with.”
Kent Babb, Pitch.com
GH: I cannot come up with anyone who struck me as more ignorant in how to act in his job place than Todd Haley. The man was handed the opportunity of his life by Scott Pioli and he proceeded to act like a child in protesting his unhappiness with his boss. That always works out well for the employee, doesn’t it?

“One of the saddest things, and the reason [Haley] got fired, is that he had to be a robot. He had to be this bland, boring, completely colorless person during press conferences, and that wasn’t Todd Haley. I do think he went overboard last season trying to be himself. That beard and nasty hat were his way of saying, ‘I’m not your robot anymore.’ … he decided he wouldn’t follow the Chiefs’ insane rules. Professionally, and for sure personally, I’ve never seen anybody spit in the face of a set of rules like that.”
Kent Babb, Pitch.com
GH: So Haley was bland, boring and almost comatose during pressers because he was following the Chiefs’ “insane rules?” I would call his act immature and self-defeating. We have all had bad bosses. I just do not see Pioli as an excuse for Haley to sabotage his career or mismanage the Chiefs.

“I remember I was stunned when [Haley] approached me in the public-relations office. It wasn’t in an interview setting. I was thinking like I have to think in my job. Seconds after he talked to me, I went straight back to my computer. I wrote the lead, basically what was in the paper. It was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen as a reporter. I’ll probably go the rest of my career and not have such a candid moment, a moment like that, especially with an NFL head coach. It exemplified just how far he’d been pushed, that rare moment of being completely naked.”
Kent Babb, Pitch.com
GH: Here is Babb’s lead for his Arrowhead Anxiety story…

“Todd Haley walked into the public relations office at Chiefs headquarters on a Thursday in early December. Four days before he was fired as the team’s coach, he wanted to talk about what life was like inside this organization. But he didn’t know who else might be listening. Looking up toward the ceiling, he darted into a back hallway before hesitating. Then he turned around, going back through a door and stopping again. Haley suspected that many rooms at the team facility were bugged so that team administrators could monitor employees’ conversations. Stopping finally in a conference room, Haley said he believed his personal cellphone, a line he used before being hired by the Chiefs in 2009, had been tampered with. Paranoid? The Chiefs have adamantly denied that they tap phones or listen in on conversations.”
Kent Babb, Kansas City Star
GH: If Babb delivers anything like this on the Nationals or Redskins for The Washington Post, he is going to become a very well-known young writer. How do you think Babb would have handled the Penn State/Paterno/Sandusky story had he been in Posnanski’s position? I hope he someday gets the chance.

“The ‘Arrowhead Anxiety’ piece is way up there for me. Even then, I had no idea it would have the reach and legs it has had. It’s unbelievable how many people have read that story and know what it’s about. ‘Arrowhead Anxiety’ is my gold medalist from my time at The Star. I still feel unbelievably comfortable with the facts of that story. It was a really unique look into what amounts to a $1 billion private company.”
Kent Babb, when asked to name the work he is most proud of, Pitch.com

“I really wish I wasn’t getting out of the Chiefs’ hair. I think they would have given me a lot of material this year. Scott Pioli is the gift that keeps on giving. He can’t not listen. He can’t not read. He can’t not care. I’ve never covered anybody who cares more about what is written about him. Frank Martin is number two. The louder and more often you say you don’t care, the more a lie it is.”
Kent Babb, Pitch.com
GH: How odd that the Chiefs went from King Carl, who had a notorious reputation for monitoring what was said and written about him and his work, to the thin-skinned Pioli. I love this kind of insight from Babb on Pioli and Martin. Love it, wish we got more of it.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Franklin admits he's having confidence issues

Posted 9-28-12

“Typically in the game if, in the past, my shoulder’s hurt and I throw in the game, I don’t feel it. But this is a little different because I feel it. And I think that’s really been killing my confidence because I’ve been not trusting myself with being able to make throws or put something on it.”
James Franklin, Missouri’s junior quarterback, Columbia Tribune
GH: This quote from Franklin this week has Mizzou Nation in a dizzy tizzy. Is Franklin hurt? Has his accuracy and ability to throw the deep ball been compromised by his shoulder injury? Should Corbin Berkstresser, the redshirt freshman backup from Lee’s Summit High, be given a chance to throw to MU’s talented but under-performing wide receiver crew? Gary Pinkel thinks not. Read on.

“I’m not giving up on [James Franklin]. I’m not. Historically, even going back to Washington and Don James, our quarterbacks have had remarkable second-year seasons. I still think James can have a great year.”
Gary Pinkel, Tiger Talk, 980 AM

“Having confidence not just from the players but from the coaches, that definitely helps. Because when you go out there, they’re calling plays, that’s one thing that you know, that they believe in you. It helps with more confidence in yourself and to be able to go out there and perform better.”
James Franklin, on Pinkel publicly stating his support for Franklin, Columbia Tribune
GH: Franklin mentions to word “confidence” too often for my taste. I want my quarterback to ooze confidence like a Hardee’s Monster Thickburger oozes grease. Franklin appears to be looking for reasons to be confident. Success breeds confidence. Franklin could use a large sampling on Saturday at Central Florida.

“I do think you’re running the risk of his career ending at Missouri. Sit him down if he’s not healthy!”
Soren Petro, on MU’s James Franklin saying his shoulder still hurts as much as it did the week he sat out, 810 AM
GH: Franklin’s career as a quarterback is likely to end with his last game at Missouri no matter what his injury status. He doesn’t look like a future NFL player. If he’s hurt, sit him. If he’s healthy enough to play, he needs to play well…or sit him.

“I’m largely told that I’m a [Missouri] homer. You’re kidding right? Most people think I’m just a giant MU homer.”
Kevin Kietzman, to a caller who asked why he is so critical of Missouri, 810 AM
GH: I know the first words I’ve always thought of to describe KK are, “Mizzou homer…”

“We’re going to go in this week with a chip on our shoulder.”
Andrew Wilson, Mizzou defender, on the Tigers’ attitude heading to play Central Florida, 980 AM
GH: I don’t know where Mizzou got this chip that Wilson mentioned. Is it from the splinters in their backsides from the paddling Georgia and South Carolina gave their new SEC brothers? Leave the shoulder chips to the writers and go down south and play some error-free football for a change.

“I’ve been saying it and I’ll keep saying it – this is a lot better for Missouri than it is for A&M. They’re in the right division at the right time.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Has anyone else noticed that the SEC West looks to be turning out to be better than the SEC East? If A&M can beat Arkansas in College Station this Saturday, they have a chance to be at least the second-best team in the East. Who would have thought that in August?

“Missouri’s got sweet uniforms! They are sweet!”
Dan Hawkins, former Colorado head coach, Sirius XM 91
GH: Will MU debut yet another version of their controversial new look at Central Florida? If you think the Tigers’ threads have been daring this season, check out the Wisconsin/Nebraska unies from Adidas that they’ll wear for their 2:30 kickoff in Lincoln. They’re calling them throwbacks but with a Back To The Future twist. Maybe Bo Pelini will arrive at Memorial Stadium in a DeLorean.

“I don’t think it’s going to be Trev Alberts [who replaces Tom Osborne]. He oversaw a program that dropped football.”
Blair Kerkhoff, 810 AM
GH: Alberts was an All-American defensive end at Nebraska and is currently the AD at UNO – where he made the unpopular but fiscally sound decision to drop football. Petro mentioned that he had heard reports that Alberts dropped the UNO football program in a devious effort to sabotage UNO in order to enhance Nebraska’s walk-on program. This is the kind of nonsense from talk radio that gives sports talk radio a bad name.

“If college football needs a czar in the next two years, I think Tom Osborne would make a great choice.”
Mark Packer, Sirius XM 91
GH: Osborne is 76 years old. I think Dr. Tom is one of football’s greatest offensive minds – but his day was yesterday. If college football needs a czar, let’s hope they can find one who is a bit more tuned into this century and where college football is headed.

“[Pressuring Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez] is definitely going to be a priority. I mean, let's face it, he's a soft kid. .. It still looks like he's skipping rocks out there to me. He still can't throw. I'm just going to say it. He still can't throw. He's not going to beat us with his arm.”
David Gilbert, Wisconsin defensive end, prior to the Badgers trip to Lincoln, ESPNWisconsin.com
GH: Bret Bielema, the Badgers head coach, thought so little of Gilbert’s verbal assault on the NU quarterback that he has said his defensive end will not be starting the game. I kind of enjoyed Gilbert’s smack talk – especially the descriptive “skipping rocks” visual. Maybe Gilbert has a future as a writer.

“It's 1 a.m. Can't sleep. Came back out, popped open a Summer Shandy and rewatching K-State/Oklahoma on the DVR. Oklahoma leads 3-0.”
D. Scott Fritchen, of PowerCat.com, @DScottFritchen, Twitter
GH: I am glad there are journalists out there with this kind of sleep-depriving dedication. I am not of this ilk but I damn sure am impressed by it.

“I am very concerned, and it has to stop. I believe you can improve in ball security. And no one works any harder in trying to get better than Ryan [Mathews]. However, if it continues he will play less.”
A.J. Smith, Chargers’ GM, on the Chargers’ running back’s 11 fumbles in barely two seasons, San Diego Tribune
GH: The Chargers’ personnel boss trading up 16 spots to draft the former Fresno State back 12th overall in the 2010 NFL draft. Read on.

“Let me cut to the chase on chronic fumblers. Here’s my view on it ... Extremely talented players like Ryan get multiple opportunities to improve. What happens to fumblers is, first, they play less. Second, if it continues while they’re playing on a limited basis, then you don’t play for a while and you get to sit and think about it. Third, when you get the call to go back on the field and the fumbling continues, then you will be somebody else’s fumbler.”
A.J. Smith, San Diego Tribune
GH: How often do you hear of a GM publicly call out one of his high draft picks in this bold of a manner? Coddling works for some but I have always favored a swift kick in the ass to get results from a football player. Time to take the diapers off, young man.

“I hold out hope that the dark cloud following him dissipates. The kid missed half his rookie season with an ankle injury, had offseason wrist surgery that year, missed two games last year with a calf strain, broke his clavicle on his first preseason carry this year … Good grief, Charlie Brown. And then the fumbles.”
Kevin Acee, columnist, San Diego Tribune

“I dig Mathews. I’ve rarely seen a player so honestly wear his yearning to be better. I’ve rarely been as impressed by a young talent, nor as perplexed by the paradox of the same player’s inability to stay on the field or hold onto the ball. I really hope the leash he’s on doesn’t choke his potential.”
Kevin Acee, columnist, San Diego Tribune
GH: Columnist can be fans too. I like how honest Acee is here with his feelings about Mathews. He is rooting for the running back but I don’t see that being a barrier for him to write honestly about Mathews. Columnists who attack their job as non-fans rarely write with the passion I need to finish reading their work.

“2 out of every 3 people say they haven't purchased a product off an athlete's endorsement in the last 2 years.”
Darren Rovell, @darrenrovell, Twitter
GH: I am definitely in that one third minority. I cannot think of an item I have purchased because I saw any celebrity was promoting it. The fact a celebrity is in the ad makes me immediately think their excitement over the product/service is deceitful. How about you?

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Is Pinkel already feeling heat?

Posted 9-27-12

“5-7 is not going to get the man fired, but it’s going to put a lot of spotlight on him going into next year.”
Soren Petro, on the status of Gary Pinkel at Mizzou as he and his Tigers are off to a rough start as new members of the SEC, 810 AM
GH: Should Gary Pinkel be concerned about his job as Missouri’s head football coach? Is that crazy talk or the reality of the pressures that follow him and the Tigers into big-time, and even bigger-money SEC football? Read on.

“Is Gary Pinkel the guy to take Missouri to the next place – and is Missouri capable of going to the next place?”
Blair Kerkhoff, 810 AM
GH: Let’s attack Kerkhoff’s two questions backward. Is Missouri capable of competing for SEC championships? Skeptics will say – and rightly so – that Mizzou never won a Big 12 title and should not expect to win an SEC title anytime soon. Hard to argue with that logic. But Missouri has an edge over many SEC schools in terms of state population and the lack of another in-state DI football program. The recipe for success is there. Many believe MU simply needs their version of Bill Snyder or Les Miles or Nick Saban to turn corn and cattle into gold.

“You and I were talking off the air. This man is going through some personal issues right now.”
Jack Harry, to Kevin Kietzman, discussing Gary Pinkel, 810 AM
GH: Pinkel has had a rough 10 months. He was arrested for DUI in November and then announced his divorce from his wife of almost 40 years in April. Now his football team is staring at a season-defining game this Saturday at Central Florida.

“I am saddened to say that my wife and I separated at the beginning of this year. Thank you to family and friends who have shown us support. I would ask that you please respect the privacy of the entire Pinkel family during this difficult time.”
Gary Pinkel, in a statement he released last April
GH: The 60-year-old Pinkel met his wife when both were students at Kent State and married her before his senior year in 1973. Not a lot of 40-year-old marriages go bad – or bad enough to end in divorce. Did Pinkel’s DUI in November have anything to do with his divorce? Has his divorce had anything to do with his ability to be a successful football coach? Tough questions – but when you coach in the SEC and get paid the big bucks, your personal life better not affect your football life. Just ask Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino.

“I’ve been doing this a long time…”
Gary Pinkel, responding to a number of different questions posed by a number of different interviewers over the past two weeks
GH: Pinkel has fallen into using this phrase almost as often as he says something is “remarkable.” I have never heard Pinkel be more defensive than he has this season. He’s edgier and sounds less confident. The SEC ain’t for everybody.

“I don’t want to make any predictions [about Missouri football]. I think time will tell. They’ve got a tough game this week, I saw in the paper. Are they underdogs going down to Central Florida, somebody told me? UCF's a good team down there. I think we all have to play the season out. Some teams get better as the season goes along. Some get worse. We just got to wait it all out and see what happens.”
Steve Spurrier, when asked about Missouri’s future in the SEC, Columbia Tribune
GH: No coach is more confident or ready to say what’s on his mind than Spurrier. He is beating around the goal post here with Missouri but it is obvious he isn’t ready to call MU a primetime SEC player.

“From a scheduling standpoint, we’d never schedule Arizona State in between [Georgia and South Carolina], that would never happen. We recognize, you know, that in this league you’re going to play SEC games right off the bat in September, but scheduling non-conference games right – as we’ll be able to do in the future – at least gives you a better opportunity to do things the right way. I call it intelligent scheduling.”
Gary Pinkel, Kansas City Star
GH: I hate this kind of public declaration from a head coach that his program wants nothing to do with a quality non-con schedule. It is not like Arizona State is Ohio State, Southern Cal or Oklahoma. The Sun Devils are a middle-of-the-barrel PAC 12 team that Mizzou should be looking to scalp yearly – not trying to avoid in favor of Minnesota State.

“Jeff Sagarin's computer rankings have Missouri's strength of schedule No. 1 in the country through four weeks of the season.”
Dave Matter, Columbia Tribune
GH: Here is the good news for Mizzou fans – the Tigers have played some damn good opponents in 2012. Their two losses are to teams that many believe will be ranked in the top ten for much of the season. The Tigers have time to get some statement wins – at Tennessee, at Florida and then clean house on Vandy, Kentucky, Syracuse and A&M. 9-3 would be good enough to add five more years to Pinkel’s contract that expires in 2017...or quite a bit sooner if things continue to go south in the life and times of this rookie SEC coach.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Tirico is a shill for the referees' union

Posted 9-26-12

“Wait So We Lead The KU Kstate Football Series 65-39 and BBall Series 183-91… Seems More Like An A$$ Whoopin Than Rivalry.”
Keba Agostinho, KU defensive end, baiting the Jayhawks’ upcoming opponent, 9@OptimusPrime6, Twitter
GH: Is Sheldon Richardson rubbing off on the Jayhawks? It takes some real ignorance to throw down the trash talk toward a team that has owned you to the tune of 187-58 for the past four years. Keba is about to get introduced to an “A$$ Whoopin” Bill Snyder style.

“Folks - we are NOT dropping the use of “K-State”! We are simply using Kansas State University more strategically than in the past.”
Kirk H. Schulz, @kstate_pres, in response to reports he has decided to diminish the use of K-State when referring to Kansas State University, Twitter
GH: Why? Why do these academic types want to mess with tradition? What’s next Kirk, set fire to the Wabash Cannonball sheet music? Schulz should back off on banning nicknames and take a remedial English class so he can learn the proper usage of quotations.

“That was the dumbest thing I’ve heard! That guy [Schulz] needs more to do out there.”
Soren Petro, on the K-State nickname controversy, 810 AM

“We have no control over this. @aldoggy2001: @kstate_pres PLEASE tell us that u will stop them from making those stupid OU game shirts!”
Kirk H. Schulz, @kstate_pres, on the commemorative  t-shirts that popped up immediately following KSU’s win over OU, Twitter
GH: I hated seeing these t-shirts. So glad some Wildcat fans feel the same. K-State is a legit football program – time for the t-shirt salesmen to realize that fact.

“No but I would shave my head. I don’t think Collin Klein in a million years could pass the eye test to win the Heisman.”
Kevin Kietzman, when asked if his head would explode if Collin Klein wins the Heisman, 810 AM
GH: I disagree. The Heisman no longer is given to the best NFL prospect. It is now given to the best college offensive player. Klein is definitely in that mix.

“Today's sports page should have been yesterday's sports page #fail #newspapersdying
Bob Fescoe, @bobfescoe, Twitter
GH: I assume Fescoe was referring to The Kansas City Star dedicating a large portion of the sports section’s front page to the controversial call that ended the Packers/Seahawks game. Newspapers are so much more than the pulp version that Fescoe was tweeting about. I have noticed that The Star is now posting their sports stories and columns sometimes 12 hours or more before the newspaper hits the streets. Yes, there is a real problem keeping the pulp version of the paper current with today’s social media. But many in the media still depend on the staff at these dailies to feed them their news.

“Fans think they know, but they have no idea what goes into trying to win a game. I don’t know if I could have been able to control myself.”
Jayice Pearson, on the Packers’ loss in Seattle due to a blown call by the replacement referees, 610 AM
GH: When I hear an athlete make a comment like this, I immediately turn the phrase on them. Athletes, coaches, GMs, owners, etc. have no idea what fans go through to be fans. Sure, NFL players spend their week working hard in skull sessions and on the practice field preparing for their next opponent. But the effort and expense a family of four makes to purchase tickets, prepare for their tailgating, the hassle of traffic both to and from the stadium (or even traveling to away games) and dedicating a good six hours or more to game day. All to watch their favorite team. The Green Bay fans are the ones who were robbed. Those guys in Packer uniforms up in Seattle will move on and join another team or community. But that loss will stick with the Cheeseheads for as long as it snows in Wisconsin.

“That was just an outstanding football game. I wish it wouldn’t have been ruined [by the officials].”
Josh Vernier, on the Green Bay/Seattle game, 610 AM
GH: Was it really? I was bored with the poor play by both offenses throughout the game. It would be more accurate to say the officials ruined what was already a  turd of a game.

“In what will come as a shock to absolutely no one, a study by the Wall Street Journal determined that Chicago White Sox broadcasters Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone were the most biased in the league... by more than four times the next most homerific broadcast team (Indians announcers Matt Underwood and Rick Manning).”
Joe Lucia, writer, Bloguin.com
GH: PUT IT ON THE BOARD!!... The Royals ranked 16th in the WSJ’s survey. They must have been listening on one of Bob Davis’ days off.

“Aside from the White Sox topping the list, the rest of the top five teams were all small market teams: the Indians, Pirates, Astros, and Marlins. Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, five teams featured no recorded instances of bias in the chosen game: the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Mets, and Dodgers. Those are generally large markets and their broadcast teams are thought of highly.”
Joe Lucia, writer, Bloguin.com
GH: The Royals’ radio broadcasts [aside from Davis] are actually pretty objective. Listening to a Royals’ game, there is no doubt that they want the Royals to win [well, maybe not Denny if it is going to cut into his dinner time], but there is really very little overt homerism in a Royals’ radio broadcast – which is how it should be in my opinion.

“Maybe we’ll consider not having Joel [Goldberg] back on again next year. That’s a distinct possibility.”
Soren Petro, responding to a caller who said he was not a fan of Goldberg’s appearances on The Program, 810 AM
GH: Goldberg doesn’t quite fit the homer title but I get the impression he would rather eat Rex Hudler’s baseball before he said anything controversial about the home team. That makes him a very boring interview. I would dump him.

“Everyone has an opinion on who is the best play by play guy in the business. The problem is if your answer isn't @miketirico you're wrong.”
Danny Parkins, @DannyParkins, on the MNF play-by-play guy, Twitter
GH: I think Tirico is a pro – at least I did. His act on Monday Night Football the past few weeks has been an embarrassment to broadcasting. His blatant shilling for the referee union and constant verbal attacks on the replacement refs has left me questioning his professionalism.

“The Texas A&M University System plans to spend up to $450 million on renovations to Kyle Field to keep home football games in College Station and wants local government to pitch in $38 million.”
Allen Reed, writer, theeagle.com
GH: Plans are to increase seating at Kyle Field to somewhere between 93,000 and 103,500. These kind of stories make me wonder if I am the only football fan who thinks people going to games is a fading tradition. $450 million for a renovation? Oh yeah, we here in Kansas City are familiar with that kind of a fixer-upper.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24



Snyder is great but give Klein credit for what he is doing, too

Posted 9-25-12

“What can you say about Bill Snyder that hasn’t already been said?”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Here is something -- that Coach Snyder is getting more credit for the Oklahoma win than he deserves. Crazy talk, I know. Snyder has once again shocked the college football world by out-coaching Big Game Bob in his own crib where he was 14-0 against ranked opponents. Snyder is one of college football’s all-time great head coaches. That said, what Collin Klein is doing at K-State and the acts he performed against the Sooners are just as amazing. My intent is not to take away from what Snyder has done but simply amplifying what Klein is doing.

“Crazy that Lou Holtz can correctly pronounce the name of Notre Dame star linebacker but can't get Collin Klein's name correct.”
Tom Gilbert, @tgilbertSID, K-State SID, Twitter
GH: I am amazed Lou gets any names correct. Shouldn’t there be an expiration date on guys like Holtz, Corso and Berman?

“Bill Snyder, the Ancient of Daze, turns 73 in two weeks, and that's about the age of his offense, too, with an old-school quarterback who plays like a Weeble — his passes wobble, but he won't fall down.”
Berry Tramel, columnist, newsok.com

“That's a great description of Old Man Football. Control. Control the line of scrimmage. Control the clock. Control the ball. Old Man Football keeps you tough. You can be tough playing Star Wars football. But you can't not be tough playing Old Man Football. It's a prerequisite for success. . … Klein and Snyder have helped make Big 12 football once against a country for old men. Beware the revolution.””
Berry Tramel, columnist, newsok.com
GH: The physical play of Kansas State in their battle with Oklahoma was so violent my Samsung flat screen shook. Snyder coaches his players to be tough. He has some talent this season but like every other Snyder season, his Cats play hard and hit even harder.

“No. West Virginia.”
Nick Leckey, former K-Stater, when asked if Wildcats are now in the driver’s seat to win the Big 12, 810 AM
GH: Leckey is just rolling out coach speak. With K-State’s win in Norman, they are the current frontrunners for the Big 12 title. A win over Bob Stoops makes it so.

“To me it kind of looked like [Landry Jones] lost the ball and then tried to push it. It looked like a fumble to me.”
Steven St. John, on Landry Jones’ shovel pass that was initially called a fumble but after review was changed to an incomplete pass, 810 AM
GH: I did not see one tweet during the game from a KSU fan who thought this was a forward pass. SSJ is not a KSU fan, but he too saw it as a fumble. The slow-motion replay though, showed it was obviously an intentional forward pass. It is amazing to me how sports fans see things differently, often times just because they want their team to win. While that may be the norm, I will never understand misinterpreting fact.

“I asked these [service men] if they were all from Fort Riley. They said, ‘No. We just all hate Oklahoma.’”
Nate Bukaty, on a crowd of servicemen he saw at the airport who were gathered around a TV and rooting loudly for K-State, 810 AM
GH: While this group of servicemen may have been simply rooting against OU, I believe Kansas State is gaining fans nationally. Their tough quarterback and mastermind head coach have to have fans from San Diego to Bangor wearing purple in honor of K-State.

“Twice K-State has come off a bye to host KU since 1991. The Wildcats won 16-12 (1991) and 10-9 (1993). That margin might change in 2012.”
D. Scott Fritchen, @DScottFritchen, Twitter
GH: The Sunflower Showdown should be renamed the Kansas Massacre. Snyder has inflicted more pain on Lawrence than Quantrill.

“In related news, Missouri is exactly who we all thought they were.  They are physically breaking down after only four games.  It will be a long season.  Maybe you should try to get the best athlete you’ve ever recruited, Dorial Green-Beckham, at least a little bit involved in the offense.  Schemes are important but so are athletes.  Just ask Auburn.”
William Wallace, writer, SaturdayDownSouth.com

“Coach Pinkel’s going to be in a coma [Saturday] after Coach Spurrier gets done with him.”
Paul Finebaum, on his Friday show prior to Saturday’s game, Sirius XM 91
GH: Finebaum has been ripping Pinkel and Mizzou since their loss to Georgia – and the Tigers have given him no reason to back off.

“I’m just disappointed that we’re not playing better.”
Gary Pinkel, Tiger Talk, after Mizzou was crushed 31-10 at South Carolina, 980 AM
GH: Missouri looked competitive for much of their SEC opener against Georgia. But their embarrassing fourth quarter against the Bulldogs played out for four quarters in Columbia, SC. Read on.

“The thing that disturbed me the most [about the Mizzou/South Carolina game] is that they got beat up. They got pushed around physically. I hadn’t seen that happen to Missouri. They got manhandled.”
Dennis Dodd, 810 AM
GH: Mizzou looked like Nebraska in their first Big 10 game at Wisconsin last year – maybe even worse. While I agree with Dodd in that USC pushed the Tigers around, it looked like more a case of Pinkel’s team was overwhelmed with the speed and intensity of the game. The Tigers looked poorly prepared for what Steve Spurrier’s boys brought to the woodshed.

“It wasn’t just a matter of missed tackles [on the poor kick coverage], it was a lack of hang time on the punts.”
Mike Kelly, MU’s play-by-play voice while interviewing Pinkel, Tiger Talk, 980 AM
GH: It sure looked like a matter of missed tackles to me, Mike. I do not recall a poorer exhibition of tackling in a Missouri game. Mizzou was once known as a team that forced opponents to buckle their chin straps. This bunch is playing like they are allergic to contact.

“Defense is about reaction and pursuing. That’s what defense is.”
Gary Pinkel, Tiger Talk, 980 AM
GH: You might want to add “tackling” to that definition, Coach.

“You can work on tackling drills all you want, but if a guy’s not focused it doesn’t matter. Guys aren’t using the fundamentals that we teach them. That’s immaturity. That’s a lack of discipline. A lot of times that’s a lack of coaching.”
Gary Pinkel, Tiger Talk, 980 AM
GH: Making plays in a hostile and wildly amped stadium takes discipline. It takes good coaching to prepare a team for knowing how to execute basic fundamentals in the face of heightened adrenaline spikes. Every good football player knows how to block, tackle and think. But performing these basic tasks in the heat of a game is the difference between winners and losers. Right now, Pinkel is not coaching winning football.

“The good news is we can fix it and we’re good enough. We’ve just got to get it together and it’s my job to get that done.”
Gary Pinkel, Tiger Talk, 980 AM
GH: There are many who question MU’s talent. Pinkel is not one of them.

“I’m not giving up on [James Franklin]. I’m not. Historically, even going back to Washington and Don James, our quarterbacks have had remarkable second-year seasons. I still think James can have a great year.”
Gary Pinkel, discussing the play of his quarterback, James Franklin, Tiger Talk, 980 AM
GH: Franklin plays with a casual approach that makes him look like he suffers from narcolepsy in the pocket. It enhances his mistakes because it looks like he doesn’t care. He is quickly becoming the Mizzou fans favorite target as to what is wrong with the offense. I think it has more to do with Georgia and USC being very good teams.

“I also would like to remind you that [Franklin] has four starters in that offensive line that are supposed to be back-up players – so we can’t put it all on #1.”
Gary Pinkel, Tiger Talk, 980 AM
GH: The SEC is a league of attrition. Back-ups play in this league. You either recruit a deep roster or you’re Kentucky. Don’t be Kentucky, Coach.

“I think in some sense [Mizzou’s] season teeters on this one game.”
Dennis Dodd, on MU’s game at Central Florida this Saturday, 810 AM
GH: CFU is going to make their little stadium sound just as loud as the Gamecock’s home. MU needs a win here or their bowl trip might get canceled in September.

“I think it says, ‘We’re Happy With 7-5.’ ”
Paul Finebaum, when asked what the state slogan is on Missouri’s license plate, Sirius XM 91

“Gang – Great news from ESPN this morning. The Oct. 12 Mizzou Madness event will be televised live on ESPN3, and ESPNU’s seventh annual Midnight Madness show will show live highlights from Mizzou Arena with Mitch Holthus & Stephen Bardo calling the action. The event is free and will take place the night before the Mizzou-Alabama football game.”
Dave Reiter, Mizzou SID office, press release
GH: I could not have been the only person to read this email and think, “That sure sounds a lot like a memo from Kansas in September.”

“After what happened last night [with the controversial ending to the Packers/Seahawks game], I’m more entertained by the NFL now that this happened. Yesterday was some of the most entertaining theatre I have ever seen in the NFL.”
Carrington Harrison, 610 AM
GH: I know I am supposed to be as outraged as the rest of the free world over the NFL’s replacement refs and the controversial ending in the Packers/Seahawks game – but I’m not. I think the NFL officials union is making ridiculous demands for a pension for a part-time and ridiculously well-paid job.  I am fine watching the NFL suffer through a few controversial calls that will ultimately make the game even more popular. I hope Roger pulls a Reagan on his zebras.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24




Jamaal Charles: "I started trusting myself"

Posted 9-24-12

“He just does not look the same. He is just not that electric flash that he was before the injury.”
Frank Boal, assessing Jamaal Charles’ play this season before the New Orleans’ game, 810 AM
GH: When Boal made this comment last week I logged it because I thought there was a chance Charles would have a breakout game in New Orleans. He had not shown a lot in the Chiefs’ first two games but there had been moments. It turns out that Frank Boal wasn’t the only one questioning Jamaal’s wheels. Read on.

“I didn’t trust myself [until Sunday]. It really hit me when I started getting the runs. I started trusting myself. I kind of feel like the old me…”
Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Star
GH: The Chiefs have been blessed with some incredible running backs over the past few regimes. Priest Holmes was a highlight waiting to explode from the Chiefs’ huddle.  Larry Johnson was an ass, but he was the best running back in the NFL for two seasons. Now we have Jamaal Charles to hold our breath about with each carry. Ever since I saw Gail Sayers and then O.J. Simpson run with a football, I have been enamored with the rare talents a man must possess to perform the wondrous feats they do to avoid eleven angry men with each carry. Chiefs’ fans have not had a lot to cheer over the last 10 years, but we do know running backs here in Kansas City.

“If they think the pressure is off the Kansas City Chiefs – no. Turn it up, guys. Turn it up! I want 400 yards rushing! I expect this week in and week out – because you have the horses up front. There are no excuses after today.”
Richard Baldinger, 610 AM

“Believe it or not, this was the best defensive performance to date for the Saints, especially in pass coverage. But they allowed 273 rushing yards, including 233 by speedy Chiefs back Jamaal Charles.”
Mike Triplett, columnist, New Orleans Times-Picayune
GH: Hey, at least the Chiefs aren’t the Saints, eh?

“I've never felt more individually responsible for the destruction of an offense before. I mean, I've just never been in a situation ... I mean, hats off to him [Justin Houston]. That's a game that you fear as a lineman. I had no answers. And I think I really gave us no chance to get anything going.”
Zach Strief, Saints’ offensive guard, who was torched by the Chiefs’ Houston for three sacks, one resulting in a safety, New Orleans Times-Picayune
GH: It was painful reading Strief’s soul-baring comments. As a writer, I love professional athletes who are so willing to own their poor performances. I am not sure I can remember anyone who did it more completely than the Saints’ right tackle. Read on.

“I don't feel like I did a good job at any point in that game. ... I think I was physically and mentally beaten. And that's disappointing, because you just can't be in that situation. As a professional athlete, you can't be in the situation that I was in today.”
Zach Strief, when asked if he was just talking about the plays where he was beaten for a sack, New Orleans Times-Picayune
GH: It will be interesting how his teammates react to Strief’s willingness to admit his failings – both physically and mentally. Ouch!

“The reality is that on both of those last drives the Chiefs relied on Matt Cassel.”
Soren Petro, in response to callers who were being reluctant to credit Cassel with his play in the win, 810 AM
GH: Matt Cassel is who he is – unfortunately. He is not the type of NFL quarterback who inspires or leads. He too often looks hurried, lost and looking to stop, drop and roll. Soren can defend him if he wants, but I am disgusted with his play for what he is paid. Scott Pioli bought us a Fiat and refuses to go get us an Audi.

“The Chiefs were down 24-6 at one point in this game and have battled all the way back to win this game.”
Greg Gumbel, CBS
GH: After the Chiefs went down 24-6, I never thought I would be typing those words from Gumbel. All kinds of nasty thoughts were going through my head – and I would guess yours as well. But the NFL is a strange and wonderful game. Much like the mob, just when you thought you were out – they pull you back in.

“Kudos to [the Chiefs] because they had plenty of chances to fold the tent and go home.”
Bill Maas, 610 AM

“I think the most impressive thing is that they never quit.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: I don’t get all that excited over professional athletes who “don’t quit.” In what profession or at what level of play is that even an option? I ran the Omaha Half Marathon on Sunday morning and thousands of amateur athletes took on the challenge of running 13.1 and 26.2 miles. I doubt if more than 1% or 2% of those runners quit because they felt defeated. The least an NFL team can do is play hard for the three hours they are competing.

“This team needed a win, and a win like that in particular. That gives us some momentum when there was a lot of doubt about what we were going to be able to do.”
Romeo Crennel, Kansas City Star

“They were a band of brothers. You saw them all with their arms locked together on the sideline at the end of the game [just before the game-winning field goal in OT]. They’ve got heart. That’s a big, big step in the right direction. … Confidence breeds winning. You’re not out there kind of scared, you’re out there with a swagger.”
Bill Maas, on the Chiefs win in New Orleans, 610 AM
GH: I think wins like this can turn a season around. The talent in the NFL is so similar that many times it is fate, luck and motivation that tips the scales between victory and defeat. Not all agree. Read on.

“This thing has the emotional stability of Lindsey Lohan… The debris of consecutive stink-bombs to open the season cannot be cleaned up with one win against a stumbling franchise.”
Sam Mellinger, on the Chiefs’ building on their first win, Kansas City Star
GH: Love the Lohan line…but damn I hope Sam is wrong.

“Dwayne Bowe has been fantastic this year. So much better than I thought he would be.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: What is this thing called training camp you speak of?

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Salisbury compares Chiefs to seventh graders

Posted 9-21-12

“The biggest issue on both sides is defense. Both defenses are tied for dead last in points allowed, with 75, and interceptions forced (none).”
Katherine Terrell, writer, on the matchup between the Chiefs and Saints this Sunday, New Orleans Times Picayune

“If [the Chiefs] can’t score on this defense then maybe you should start playing on Saturday afternoon against Missouri and Kansas State…and see if you can score on them.”
Sean Salisbury, NFL analyst, 810 AM
GH: Salisbury was not very kind in assessing the Chiefs’ play so far this season. He verbally eviscerated the Chiefs effort in Buffalo, described their play at a seventh grade level. He also wasn’t impressed that the Chiefs believe they didn’t quit against the Bills. Read on.

“You didn’t quit? Good. You do get paid for 60 minutes. You are going to go pick up a paycheck. You’re damn right you shouldn’t quit! You owe it to the fans and the people and your own teammates and organization. If that’s the case, then the Kansas City Chiefs should put a mask on, go in the backdoor and turn their back to the lady that hands them the check and put their hand out and make sure nobody sees their face. I don’t know of a team in the league that should quit when you’re getting your butt handed to you on a platter in a place like Buffalo that beat them like they were a seventh-grade team. Then come back and say, ‘We played through the fourth quarter.’ Great. Heck, I can find a bunch of seventh graders who can do that.”
Sean Salisbury, NFL analyst, 810 AM
GH: Bulldog Bob Fescoe’s rant may have gotten some national run on ESPN and the NFL blogs, but Salisbury’s words are the ones that should be posted in the Chiefs’ locker room. This is a former NFL player calling the Chiefs out. Bad boys! Whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

“We gotta get a win.”
Derek Johnson, 810 AM
GH: I remember when the Chiefs went through a long losing streak back when Tim Grunhard was their center and he had his own radio show. Grunhard talked about needing a win during that streak like it was a new battery charge to a cell-phone addict. Nothing divides a team quicker or more completely than losing. The Chiefs need a win.

“We will learn a lot about this team the next two weeks.”
Danan Hughes, 610 AM
GH: The Chiefs are at New Orleans and then home to play San Diego. They will need to at least split those two games to remain conscious but two more losses will have many of us heading out to corn mazes and apple orchards on Sundays in October.

“[The Chiefs] looked un-coached since the first half of the Arizona preseason game.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Is it Romeo? Is it Pioli? Is it both?

“Clark Hunt puts all of his faith in Scott Pioli. Clark Hunt’s not a football man. He just isn’t. Pioli’s not going anywhere. I can guarantee you that. He has another year on his contract.”
Jack Harry, 810 AM
GH: No way Pioli survives a five-win season. If he does, Clark is telling us all we need to know about his commitment to winning. He has none. It is more of a wish for winning.

“This is why Pioli won’t come on the show anymore. … I am not shutting up on this!”
Kevin Kietzman, on his constant crusade to have the Chiefs view acquiring or drafting a quarterback the Chiefs’ top priority, 810 AM
GH: Pioli has appeared on The Border Patrol, The Program and on 610 Sports. He has sit-down interviews with Jack Harry on TV-41, KCTV 5 and just about any other local media outlet. Has he really decided to boycott KK’s Between the Lines show for fear of being asked about drafting a QB? Do you think KK might be stretching the truth here just a tad?

“I’m still afraid [of Peyton Manning]. I still think he’s going to be really good.”
Nate Bukaty, on the Broncos’ QB, 810 AM
GH: Peyton can’t throw the deep out or the deep ball without putting a lot of air under his ball. His passes now float where they used to zing. Defenses are clogging the short routes against Denver in hope they force Manning to throw long. Taking away the short passes also lengthens the time Manning spends in the pocket. None of these things are good for a 36-year-old quarterback. Peyton will not be a factor in the AFC race.

“You may not dance in the Bolshoi if you’re not feeling well, but you play football in the SEC if you can walk and make it to midfield for the coin toss. I think with all due respect to James Franklin, but he better man up or he is going to get laughed out of this league.”
Paul Finebaum, in an interview on St. Louis sports talk radio, KMOX
GH: With all due respect? Is that just a nice way of saying “bullshit” in the South? If Finebaum wants to rip Franklin for declining to play with a shoulder injury, that’s his choice. But don’t sugarcoat your turd tossing, Paul.

“I don’t have any. I have none. I don’t care what he says. It’s not worth a response.”
Gary Pinkel, when asked what his response was to Finebaum’s comments, KMOX
GH: But Pinkel couldn’t quite stay silent after hearing Finebaum’s comments. Read on.

“That dude must have been in a coma.”
Gary Pinkel, referring to Finebaum, KMOX
GH: Pinkel made Finebaum the happiest guy on the planet with this “coma” response. Read on.

“That didn't take long! New SEC member already ticked off. Pinkel declares war on Finebaum. Audio forthcoming.”
Paul Finebaum, @finebaum, promoting that he would be playing Pinkel’s “coma” comment on his show, Twitter
GH: This isn’t all bad for Mizzou. Pinkel’s crazy fake punt call against Georgia and Franklin’s refusal to play against ASU has made the Tigers a focal point of discussion just three weeks into the season. Now Mizzou just needs to win some SEC games.

“I think Gary Pinkel handled that well. No need to respond to guys like us.”
Josh Vernier, after replaying Pinkel’s interview on KMOX, 610 AM
GH: Did Vernier hear the same interview I heard? I sometimes wonder if this guy from Milwaukee writes out his show lines the night before and reads whatever is on his script.

“I don’t think Finebaum’s out of line. That’s the sentiment of football. That’s the sentiment of a lot of people. … Finebaum is echoing the sentiments of the South and a lot of football fans around the country about taking the needle. That’s the mentality down there. That’s the reality. … They’re not going to forget about this in the SEC. This isn’t going away.”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM
GH: Where is it going to go? None of this matters if Mizzou wins games. If they lose in the SEC, no other schools besides Kansas are going to care as well.

“It seems like everybody is just assuming that everybody just takes the needle no matter what. It is the assumption and it’s ridiculous – because not everybody does take the needle. That’s just ridiculous. You don’t know what kids are doing to go play or whether they’re tough or not tough. … That [Finebaum] dude doesn’t know!”
Jayice Pearson, 610 AM

“Jarvis Jones is now Mel Kiper's projected #1 draft pick. I wonder if his performance vs. Mizzou had anything to do w/ that?”
Shawn Davis, @ShawnDizzle77, Missouri sports information guy, on the outstanding Georgia defender, Twitter

“Dane Crist had a far better day last Saturday than [USC’s] Matt Barkley. I’m just saying I’m not sold on Barkley.”
Nate Bukaty, while discussing the top QB prospects for the 2013 NFL draft, 810 AM
GH: Charlie Weis’ cooler had a better day than Barkley did against Stanford…but I am still not in favor of the Chiefs drafting that cooler.

“I see a superstar. I think [Barkley] is going to be a stud.”
Aaron Swarts, 810 AM
GH: I like Gino Smith at West Virginia but some of the comparisons I’m reading scare the pigskin out of me. Some of the former QBs that Gino is being compared to are Eric Crouch, Jason White and Charlie Ward. Not good.

“I once asked former NFL coach Bill Parcells what his advice to players was regarding money. He was always meddling in their business, calling them into his office and giving advice. Too few listened though. What he told them was to bank that signing bonus for a year, live on only one game check, then after a year live on the interest from the bonus. He said few players listened.”
Jen Floyd Engel, writer, on Vince Young burning through $26 million in six years, FoxSports.com
GH: Sounds easy. Must be hard. Few of us will ever know.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Fescoe's meltdown goes national

Posted 9-20-12

“Bulldog [Bob Fescoe] is the type of guy who hasn’t played football since eighth grade and he nicknamed himself Bulldog. That’s the kind of guy he is.”
Mark Schlereth, former Bronco offensive lineman and current NFL analyst, after NFL Live played an excerpt from Fescoe’s Monday morning rant about the 0-2 Chiefs, ESPN
GH: Schlereth meant to be as demeaning as his words sound about our own Bulldog Bob. Read on for a sampling of Fescoe’s rant.

“Stop embarrassing yourselves! You’re embarrassing your mother. You’re embarrassing your father. You’re embarrassing the city. You’re embarrassing your wife and your children. … You’re an embarrassing train wreck to the 2.5 million people that call this metro area home! You’ve let down all the old ladies that are on life support, rooting for you, trying to pull out another day! You give people nothing to live for! You suck! I've got more passion at 6:18 this morning than you have for 8 freaking quarters. Every one of you sucks! Every professional athlete in this town blows right now! They should make prisoners watch the Chiefs! That should be punishment! The Chiefs are torturing the city right now!”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Here is a link to the ESPN NFL Live segment that featured Fescoe’s rant. Sometimes crazy is good – especially when you are a sports talk radio host in the 33rd-ranked media market. Say what you want about Fescoe – and few have more to say than I – his wild-man act was just nuts enough to get picked up by Deadspin.com and then played on ESPN. Kevin Kietzman would be damn proud of Fescoe’s contrived lunatic act if he wasn’t the competition. 

“My boss usually asks for a rundown of the show the night before. I think tomorrow I will send one that reads: 6-10 AM: MELTDOWN!”
Bob Fescoe, @bobfescoe, late in the first half of the Chiefs/Bills game, Twitter
GH: Crazy man radio rants like Fescoe’s lose a lot of their insanity when they are planned out 17 hours in advance. When you toss in the fact that Fescoe is a hardcore NY Giants fan, his verbal blasting of the hapless Chiefs is left to be considered nothing more than radio marketing for his show. And it was GREAT marketing shtick – in a Skip Bayless kind of broadcasting. Again, KK has to privately respect the hell out of Fescoe’s act.

“The Chiefs have been an unmitigated disaster. They have not played well. I understand the fans’ frustration but that’s overblown. If I’m in the locker room, I want to fix it with my team. That [Bulldog] guy doesn’t mean anything. Whatever. He can have whatever opinion he wants.”
Mark Schlereth, ESPN
GH: One aside I found entertaining from this is that Fescoe felt compelled to tweet Schlereth to inform him he had played high school football and that somebody else gave him the nickname Bulldog. Maybe Fescoe is as dumb as he sounds.

“Those guys are playing and they’re practicing, and so they are good enough to play. Now, whether they’ll ever be back to what they used to be, I don’t know if that’s going to be the case, because they’ve had a reconstruction on the knee. Will it be like it was before the reconstruction? I don’t know that will be the case.”
Romeo Crennel, referring to the knee surgery that Tony Moeaki, Jamaal Charles and Eric Berry underwent last season, Kansas City Star
GH: RAC appears to be hell bent on making every excuse he can think of to deflect his team’s awful play from being tied to his competence as a head coach. It is not working. Read on.

“I don’t want to contradict what Romeo said but I don’t think these guys having ACL surgery last year would prevent them from having really good seasons this year.”
Mitch Holthus, referring to Romeo’s above comment, 810 AM
GH: Holthus may not have wanted to contradict Romeo but as uncharacteristic as that is for The Voice, it is exactly what he did. Crennel’s statement was odd to say the least. In this case, it was the Crazy Uncle Mitch that comes off looking sane.

“I just banged my knee – but I’m fine. I’m ready to go.”
Jamaal Charles, on why his role was limited in the Buffalo game, Chiefs’ Kingdom Show, 810 AM
GH: I expect a big game for Charles in New Orleans. He is the one main weapon that the Chiefs need to fire to get them back in this divisional race. It would also be nice if RAC’s defense stopped somebody.

“Former Kansas State and Olathe North running back Darren Sproles, in his second season with the Saints, is tied for second in the NFL with 18 receptions for 188 yards, largely on the strength of a 13-catch, 128-yard game in last week’s loss at Carolina.”
Randy Covitz, Kansas City Star
GH: Sproles is the best high school football player I have had to pleasure to witness. I did not see Barry Sanders play at Wichita North [view some clips here] but I did watch Sproles play for much of his junior and senior seasons at Olathe North. I do not have the words to describe how dominating he was as a high school running back. Here are some clips of #43, aka “Tank.”

“Chiefs in 4th round of 2005 took Craphonso Thorpe 14 picks AHEAD of [Darren] Sproles-what would Sproles look like in Red and Gold? ????”
Mitch Holthus, @mitchholthus, Twitter

“Sproles finished with 22 carries for 235 yards — a stunning 10.7 yard-per-carry average — against a [Oklahoma] defense that gave up a season average of 3.8 yards. One of Roberson's four touchdown passes was a 60-yarder to Sproles.”
Jason Kersey, writer, on Sproles’ stats during K-State’s 2003 Big 12 title win over the Sooners, NewsOK.com

“We didn't go out there and play hard enough. We didn't block, didn't tackle. Didn't do the things we'd done that whole season. They weren't even close to the team we were; it's not even debatable.”
Teddy Lehman, who was a senior linebacker who won the Bednarik and Butkus awards for OU that season, NewsOK.com
GH: Not even debatable? Let’s get Darren Sproles in on that debate. Child, please.

“Shoot, that was 8 1/2 years ago. It's a blur to me. I don't really think much about it.”
Mike Stoops, Oklahoma’s defensive coordinator, when asked about the 35-7 drubbing K-State and their backfield combination of Darren Sproles and El Roberson put on the Sooners in the 2003 Big 12 Championship game, NewsOK.com
GH: It believe Sproles was pretty much “a blur” to Stoops’ defenders as well that night at Arrowhead.

“Oh, there’s no problem I don’t think, [getting the Oklahoma crowd up for the K-State game]. Coach Stoops’ record in the stadium is 78-3.”
Merv Johnson, OU’s color analyst, in an interview with Bob Fescoe, when asked about Bob Stoops telling Sooner fans they will need to be loud this Saturday, 610 AM
GH: 78-3? D-A-M-N!

“Vince Young also dropped $5k weekly at Cheesecake Factory. Really.”
Clay Travis, @ClayTravisBGID, on how the former Texas quarterback managed to squander $26 million in guaranteed money since being Tennessee’s third overall draft pick in 2006, Twitter
GH: Five grand a week at the Cheesecake Factory? I could see how that happens. Those cheesecakes are wicked expensive, man!

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Who deserves the blame for the Chiefs?

Posted 9-19-12

“We suck as a team right now. We’ve got to find our way, find our role and do better as a team.”
Jamaal Charles, while talking to Mitch Holthus Monday night, 810 AM
GH: Pioli, Romeo and The Clarks could learn much from Jamaal on how to address their fan base.

“This [Chiefs] team does not seem to be playing for the jersey, for the logo on the side of the helmet. This culture of paranoia and anxiety has crept down to the players.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: It is merely mid-September, but the ominous gray clouds of a long winter are already locked in place over Arrowhead as they were last season after only two games. Whose fault is it that the Chiefs are no more than a member of the NFL but not a player in this proud league? Opinions on that answer abound. Read on.

“Crennel began defending himself this week and deflecting blame for his team’s two embarrassing, blowout losses — and intimating that the fault lies not on coaches’ shoulders, but with the players.”
Kent Babb, Kansas City Star
GH: Babb offers this opinion based on Crennel stating, ‘If [the players] do their jobs the way they are supposed to do it, then we’ll be able to make the plays.” I don’t consider Babb’s assumption to be much of a leap. Crennel appears to be pointing his finger at his players with this comment. Romeo is not alone in pointing that direction. Read on.

“That was just a pitiful performance [against Buffalo] in all three phases. My goodness, embarrassing. Derek Johnson played a horrible game. While watching the tape, I saw more errors than good plays. Tamba Hali, I thought he would show up emotionally at least. Basically, he was unheard from throughout the game as well. I would not put this [loss] on the coaches. It was totally 100% on the players.”
Danan Hughes, former Chiefs’ player, 610 AM
GH: Few are questioning the talent that Scott Pioli has assembled on this Chiefs’ roster. We can all assume that Kansas City has at least as much talent as their competition in the AFC West. But Hughes just called out to of the Chiefs’ All-Pro-type players. These are Chiefs-drafted veterans in the prime of their careers. When your best players don’t execute and don’t make plays, something is very wrong with how they are being coached.

“I think the [Chiefs’] talent was overrated from the beginning. … We need 22 starters!”
Jayice Pearson, 610 AM
GH: Okay, so I guess there are some who do not believe the Chiefs have the talent to compete. But know this; Jayice Pearson, as a co-host on 610 Sports’ The Big Show, might be the unhappiest, most pessimistic and downright grumpiest voice Kansas City sports talk radio has been introduced to since Conrad Dobler. There is a reason so few ex-athletes make good radio sports talk show hosts. They can’t handle dealing with non-athletes.

“I have calmed down [since the Chiefs’ loss] because I was quite perturbed.”
Josh Vernier, 610 AM
GH: Vernier has been in town for what, a couple of months? So all of a sudden he’s built up all this incredible angst about the Chiefs’ woes? Who does he thinks is buying his line of Wisconsin cheese? JoPo was famous for this when he first arrived in Kansas City – writing as if he grew up in the shadows of Arthur Bryant’s and Municipal Stadium on Brooklyn Ave. Vernier needs to be himself and allow his passion for the local teams to grow or wane naturally. Fake radio is bad radio – every time.

“No one knows yet if Crennel can prove, in his second stint as a head coach, that he can handle this job. But now that he’s in crisis mode, his words suggest he’s in over his head. … He also doesn’t seem to have the self-awareness necessary to identify an obvious weakness in the defense — and strip himself of coordinator duties and focus only on being the head coach. Coaches make this mistake all the time, and it almost always costs them.”
Kent Babb, Kansas City Star
GH: On Monday Babb called for the Chiefs’ GM’s job. On Wednesday he went after the head coach. The Chiefs will likely look at Babb’s last two columns as an attack from a soon-to-be-departed columnist whom they believe was a Haley sympathizer. That is the easy viewpoint. The correct perspective is to promote one of the Chiefs’ defensive assistants to defensive coordinator and tell Romeo he has until the bye week to get his team to play competitive football.

“A couple of plays in the game I thought they quit – and that’s sad to say.”
Danan Hughes, 610 AM
GH: This is not a drunk postgame caller saying the Chiefs quit. Hughes know quitters in the NFL when he sees quitters.

“I didn’t see anybody on offense quit out there.”
Eric Winston, Chiefs’ offensive tackle, 610 AM
GH: Unfortunately, Winston was not asked about the Chiefs’ defense and special teams.

“It’s been proven time and time again that there’s not a direct correlation between spending cap dollars and winning. There’s not.”
Scott Pioli, Kansas City Star
GH: This is why I have so little hope that Pioli can pull this franchise out of its death spiral of a free fall. He responds to criticism with excuses. He has shown no ability to be allowed to be seen as flawed. Great leaders adjust to their personnel, their environment and their competition. Pioli would rather play the role of the persecuted prince.

Gary Pinkel: “No one has ever questioned James Franklin’s competiveness.”
Kevin Kietzman: “I’m not questioning that. That’s not what the question’s about.”
GH: Kietzman spent much of his four-hour show on Tuesday questioning the Mizzou quarterback’s competitiveness, his heart, his commitment to his team and even whether or not James Franklin was playing the right sport. All of these are fine topics for his show and make for entertaining radio. But when Kietzman was confronted by Pinkel as to where he was going with his line of questioning, and pointedly told no one has questioned Franklin’s competitiveness, Kietzman ran from his own words. I was not at all surprised.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24



Pinkel questions his own quarterback's toughness

Posted 9-18-12

“Anybody that questions James Franklin's toughness, they have to have been in a coma the last two years. He's one of the toughest athletes I've ever been around.”
Gary Pinkel, in a Monday interview, 810 AM
GH: Pinkel went on the offensive with the media Monday in an attempt to calm the flames of a controversy he himself ignited with his foolish words about his junior quarterback Saturday night. Read on.

“It was too painful for him and he didn't want to play.”
Gary Pinkel, in postgame comments after MU’s 24-20 win over Arizona State, 810 AM
GH: I don’t care how you heard, read or were informed of Pinkel’s words, it is very difficult not to question his phrasing. Few things cut an athlete deeper than questioning his/her heart. When the head coach tells the world, “he didn’t want to play,” he has done just that.

“I know he didn't mean anything by it.”
James Franklin, on Pinkel saying “he didn’t want to play,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch
GH: By all media accounts, reports and conversations I have had with those who cover Franklin, he is one of the nicest, most respectful and just plain good guys they have come across in a locker room. Why Pinkel would choose to put him and his family in this spotlight speaks again to his decision-making ability. Gary continues to strike me as not the brightest guy under that headset.

“He's never even taken an aspirin once in his life. In our family, we don't believe in taking medication or trying to soften anything with any drugs.”
Willie Franklin, James’ father, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
GH: I do not understand those who question why an athlete would prefer to forego a shot or a painkiller to play. I don’t want a numb quarterback as my starter. Injuries happen. When they do, you care for them until you can perform again. This question of toughness is ridiculous. Toughness is for athletes not smart enough to listen to their body.

“[T.J.] Moe didn't question Franklin's toughness, but he didn't exactly praise it either in the few minutes I heard from him in the interview room [after the ASU game]. Asked about Berkstresser's performance, Moe used the word ‘tough’ six times in one 29-second answer. He didn't just say the word. He gave it an extra oomph in his voice each time, as if he wanted us to write TOUGH in all caps. Was Moe sending a message? I've never covered a college athlete who's more deliberate and shrewd in his comments to the media. He doesn't fly off the handle and say things just to say them. There is a point and a purpose within every sentence. Maybe I'm reading too much into one 29-second clip, but I don’t think so.”
Dave Matter, columnist, Columbia Daily Tribune
GH: Hey Dave, instead of you having to read into Moe’s comments and layout this scenario of maybes and insinuations for your readers – why not follow up Moe’s comment with what you wanted to know? “Hey TJ, are you emphasizing the word TOUGH in hopes we read more into your comments than you are saying? Is this as much about James as it is about Corbin?” Give the ever-willing-to-be-frank Moe the chance to interpret his words for us.

“It’s pretty obvious TJ Moe doesn’t like James Franklin.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Wow. Just wow. KK is a piece of…work.

“Despite his convictions about it being the right thing to do, Franklin was concerned about how his teammates would receive his decision and made it a point to speak with a number of them beforehand as he was ‘making sure they were OK with me and weren't upset with me.’ He came away feeling supported by teammates, and senior receiver T.J. Moe said the decision was well-respected in the locker room.”
Vahe Gregorian, writer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
GH: Interesting how Moe’s feelings about his quarterback are being interpreted differently by those who cover the Tigers – and especially Moe himself. All because Gary Pinkel threw his injured quarterback to the wolves.

“I’ll bet Collin Klein’s mom didn’t like [him getting beat up in so many games last season]. I’ll bet his dad doesn’t like it either, but he wouldn’t do anything about it because he wants his son to be tough. College football is an ugly game. It’s tough.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: KK is just a font of insight. He knows that TJ Moe doesn’t like James Franklin. He knows Collin’s Klein’s dad is upset with his son’s injuries but doesn’t want to say anything in fear of his son being labeled “soft.” If only KK understood himself as well as he understands others.

“On a lighter note, you know what’s soft? Firehouse Subs’ bread.”
Nate Bukaty, interjecting an advertisement into a discussion about whether or not Mizzou players and coaches believe James Franklin is a soft player, 810 AM
GH: This made me laugh…and it also coerced me into going to Firehouse Subs for lunch on Monday. The fully-involved Hook & Ladder foot long on wheat is better than the SEC.

“Kansas State has a legitimate chance to win this game.”
Dennis Dodd, on the Wildcats taking on the Sooners this Saturday in Norman, 810 AM
GH: Vegas came out with the opening line favoring Oklahoma by 17. It is now at 14. Bill Snyder and Collin Klein still has some convincing to do when it comes to KSU’s national perspective.

“Charlie Weis was sitting on a cooler on the Kansas sideline [during the TCU game]. It had one of those seat cushions on it so it was premeditated. It just doesn’t look right! Keep an eye on Charlie Weis and see if he continues taking a break during games by sitting on a cooler. Let me just say this; If Bill Snyder doesn’t need to sit down during games, Charlie Weis probably doesn’t either!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: KK has uncovered Coolergate! Is there anything that goes on in Lawrence and Columbia that doesn’t chap Kietz’s insecure world? I would prefer that KK did some investigative work and found out the manufacturer of that sturdy cooler. If it can hold up Weis and his seat, that baby was made to tailgate!

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Star's Babb, Mellinger deliver body shots to Pioli

Posted 9-17-12

“The Chiefs’ problems are with their coaches and players, but the bigger issue is about the man who brought in those coaches and players. Yes, this game and this season are on Pioli, and there’s no denying that anymore. And there’s no more denying another truth, whether you’re ready to read it or not: The Chiefs will never win big while Pioli is this team’s boss. His priorities are too misguided, his insecurities and denial too immense to allow Kansas City’s favorite team to win the Super Bowl that he was brought here to claim.”
Kent Babb, Kansas City Star
GH: The Kansas City Star has searched for a tone from their sports columnists since the departures of two of the best the newspaper has ever known, Jason Whitlock and Joe Posnanski. Sam Mellinger and just recently, Kent Babb, have been solid but far from needle movers. That changed with the postings of their Chiefs’ postgame columns from the Buffalo beating. Both wrote columns that had my Twitter account whirring with comments and links from Chiefs’ fans who were eager to share their pointed words. Read on.

“The last drops of reasonable belief that the Chiefs aren’t wasting their fans’ time and money are now dead, kaput, ashes from a fire of fail burning so white-hot it needed just two games to turn a hopeful season into a lost one. This is a level of ineptitude beyond even what Kansas City has sadly become accustomed to, and because owner Clark Hunt is not his father, a shameful 35-17 loss to a bad Bills team here on Sunday should be remembered as the tipping point of general manager Scott Pioli’s job security.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: This might be the best lede Mellinger has ever written for The Star. As a writer, he uses visuals to an excellent extent. “The last drops of reasonable belief” bring to mind a thirst-quenched drifter draining his canteen in the middle of the Sahara. Writing should be an enjoyable read. Too often writers forget that premise. Mellinger takes Pioli to task, just as Babb does in his column. This is an unusual play for a newspaper with dualing columnists covering the same game. Either the senior writer gets first choice or the writers work with their editor to determine each columnist’s topic. The Star must have felt strongly enough about the topic and the writers’ work to allow them to tread the same ground. It was an excellent decision.

“Days like Sunday should be behind the Chiefs. This roster is so much better than the one Pioli inherited in January 2009. He’s responsible for that, too. But how much better could it be if Pioli weren’t so consumed by off-the-field nonsense? He arrived here and promised to curb a culture of losing. Instead, Pioli now oversees an organization shadowed in a culture of misplaced priorities and anxiety — and, yes, more losing. Now in his fourth season as GM, Pioli has spent too much time trying to justify his decisions, rather than trying to improve them.”
Kent Babb, Kansas City Star
GH: When did Pioli morph into King Carl? Or has he always been this paranoid overachiever who to me looks like he truly doesn’t believe he is worthy of the title he has attained?

“Four years is enough time to fairly judge an NFL GM, and so far Pioli looks like a substitute teacher. He is failing — badly — and to save his football reputation, and shelve serious questions about his job, he needs the kind of turnaround over the next 14 games that is quite unfathomable at the moment.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: Some may say that Mellinger waited too long to call out the Chiefs’ GM. I would disagree with them. Pioli has made a multitude of errors but things looked like they were all coming together as the Chiefs prepared for their 2012 season. National pundits liked the Chiefs’ talent enough to name them the favorites in the AFC West. No, now is the time to take on Pioli and drag his weaknesses from the dark corners of Arrowhead’s candy-wrapper-free stairways into the light of the Internet.

“In Scott We Trust? Not anymore. Pioli cares more than you can imagine about what others think; about how his gilded reputation still shines nearly four years after it landed him this job.”
Kent Babb, Kansas City Star
GH: How utterly, utterly sad that a man who has achieved so much is apparently so afraid of criticism. Pioli’s broad chest appears to be nothing more than his defense mechanism against his hollowness.

“He calls opinion-makers in Kansas City to plead with them to share his side of the story in exchange for a nibble of access, and he spends his own time compiling ultimately meaningless statistics in an attempt to spin unpopular draft choices and questionable spending habits into a more favorable light. He hints to anyone who’ll listen — in exchange for agreeing that you didn’t hear it from him — that the Chiefs’ playoff run in 2010 and a brief winning streak last season weren’t a result of Haley’s coaching.”
Kent Babb, Kansas City Star
GH: It is insight like this that readers crave from a columnist. Tell us what we don’t know, not what we have already seen and heard. Babb is a little light on details here [details of which I am sure he could provide] but the storyline is compelling. I hope this column is simply chapter one of three or four that reveals what he knows and thinks about Pioli and his organization. Some of my favorite Whitlock columns were on-going columns of a consistent storyline. They read like old radio serials from my parents’ childhoods.

“Only one man has the power to make the necessary changes now, and Hunt isn’t doing his job if he’s not brainstorming who his next general manager should be.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: This is not what we have come to expect from Sam – but I hope it is where he and his column are headed. I am not talking about him calling for the head of every manager or coach, but rather a voice that is clear, definitive and at times cutting. The Star readers are ravenous for that voice.

“Let’s hope the list [to replace Pioli] includes men willing to be bold, comfortable in their own skin and able to properly position the Chiefs in what is firmly an elite quarterback’s league.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: Sounds like Mellinger wants the same from the Chiefs’ next GM as I want from my sports columnists.

“Because this isn’t working, and Hunt doesn’t have his father’s patience and blind faith. The Chiefs are broken, from top to bottom, and the solution has to stand up to the grand scale of these problems. Last year, it took an embarrassing loss and childish sideline display against the Jets for Haley to lose his job. This year, the focus turns to Pioli, and it’s on Hunt to make it clear this isn’t good enough.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: The decision by The Star to allow this two-column attack on the Chiefs’ most powerful and apparently most thin-skinned employee is a shot between the eyes to the Chiefs. The Star needs to be brave when it comes to covering local mega-businesses like the Chiefs, Royals, Sprint, Cerner, etc. It is not always easy to tell the truth when that same truth could damage your company’s bottom line. On Monday morning at least, The Kansas City Star stood tall, handsome and as brave as a Jayhawk  in Downtown Columbia.

GregHall24@Yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Chiefs described as an embarrassment to Kansas City

Posted 9-17-12

“Never a good sign when you hear Len Dawson say ‘Oh, my God’ BEFORE Mitch Holthus even calls the play...”
Kurtis Seaboldt, @KSeaboldt, on the dive play that opened a huge hole in the Chiefs’ defensive line for C.J. Spiller’s 17-yard TD run, Twitter
GH: This was the first touchdown of the day for the Bills in what would prove to be one if the more embarrassing and listless performances from a Chiefs’ team that I can remember watching. And I have watched this team since Lenny Dawson was in the huddle.

“They are an embarrassment to this city! There is no doubt in my mind that this football team is the worst in the National Football League! They are awful! What we saw in the preseason was not an aberration! … These guys are not football players right now. I know that’s pretty strong stuff but the effort we saw today was just total, total embarrassment.”
Jack Harry, 810 AM
GH: Harry mentioned a Chiefs fan who told him he was at Disneyland on Sunday and wearing a Chiefs jersey – and he was being ridiculed by strangers. Not even Magic Mountain is safe for Chiefs’ fans?

“We may as well be Omaha! We don’t have a football team or a baseball team as far as I’m concerned!”
Caller Mario, 810 AM
GH: But Omaha has a really cool zoo. Maybe we’re more like Ralston. BTW, Mario was busy working the phones following the Chiefs’ loss. He made an appearance on 610’s Chiefs’ postgame show as well.

“I want to hear from the players. Do you have any belief that you can win this game? I believe that they don’t. I don’t think that they can walk and chew bubble gum at the same time! They are so tentative in what they’re doing with their steps! They’re not playing with reckless abandon! Something is awry. You don’t believe in the coaches, you don’t believe in the owner or you don’t believe in yourself. I think we need an analyst to come over there with a few couches.”
Richard Baldinger, 610 AM
GH: Baldinger was hot! He has some passion for his old franchise and he does not like what he is seeing on the field. Read on.

“It doesn’t seem like the Chiefs should be that bad. The Chiefs have viable players at many positions. But for some reason it just doesn’t come together. There’s bad signs and bad news all over the lot.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: This is not a poorly constructed football team. There is plenty of talent. Many national analysts picked the Chiefs to win the AFC West. But something is very, very wrong at One Arrowhead Drive. It can’t all be Matt Cassel.

“Well, I told [the players] it wasn’t good enough by a longshot… even though we were able to score twice in the second half and Baldwin caught some balls which was encouraging.”
Romeo Crennel, in a postgame interview with Len Dawson, Chiefs Radio Network
GH: Here is what is “not good enough by a longshot,” Crennel and the Chiefs continually trying to spin garbage like what they produced in Buffalo as a positive sign. Show some stones, Juliet [my new name for No-Stones Romes]. Tell us what really happened. Your team was an embarrassment. Read on.

“I thought it was almost degrading, to be honest with you.”
Danny Clinkscale, on the Chiefs using their first team offense to try and score late-game cheap touchdowns against Buffalo’s reserves in what was a blowout loss, 810 AM
GH: Clink nailed it here. I saw Matt Cassel desperate attempts to hit Dwayne Bowe or Baldwin with a deep ball as nothing more than the Chiefs’ attempt to put cheap siding on their 1973 camper.

“Let’s move on to another caller, Jack.”
Danny Clinkscale, after a caller said he expected Mitch Holthus to somehow spin this loss into a positive during his visits with Kevin Kietzman this week, 810 AM
GH: WHB will allow you to criticize just about anybody but those folks who happen to be on their payroll or in their family of broadcasters. I would love to see this policy change. The media should be just as acceptable of critique as the athletes and coaches they cover.

“The Hardest Working Player of the Game… well, for the second week in a row it has to be an opposing player.”
Art Hains, Chiefs Radio Network
GH: How telling. I would LOVE it if The Clarks made a large sign of this statement and hung it inside the Chiefs’ locker room this week.

“I wonder why in the hell I’ve got a [Chiefs] season ticket. I have to ask myself that.”
Caller Steve, 810 AM
GH: More and more Chiefs fans are asking themselves this questions and answering it with a new flat-screen TV and a subscription to the NFL Sunday Ticket. Are  The Clarks listening?

“We’ve got a full board, we’ll get back to it after this.”
Jay Binkley, at 5:46 PM Sunday, almost three hours after the conclusion of the Chiefs loss in Buffalo, 610 AM
GH: This is actually GOOD news for the Chiefs. Their fans still care. Once we stop caring – and that day may come yet this season – the Chiefs will become the St. Louis Rams. I hate that this once-proud franchise has turned me into making fun of and light of their dismal play each season. I would so much rather cheer this team on than jeer them.

“Same story, different year for the Chiefs.”
E.J. Becker, leading a Monday morning newscast, 980 AM
GH: When the non-sports radio stations open their newscasts with this rhetoric, it is time for the Chiefs to make some changes.

“I want to know if the offense is worse or the defense is worse. It’s hard to answer that question.”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM
GH: I am going with Mizzou deep snapper...

“Telling fact. I'd rather watch Kansas football than Chiefs.”
Mike DeArmond, @sptwri, Twitter
GH: It cannot get any worse than this – can it?

“Pioli's made 3 HUGE mistakes, Cassel, Haley and Romeo. Add not re-signing Carr, questionable draft choices, money under cap, problems start at top!!”
Frank Boal, @realfrankboal, Twitter

“Six carries for Jamaal Charles? You’ve got to do better than that! So far as offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll has been kind of a turd.”
Bob Fescoe, 980 AM

“Chiefs have the look of an awfully talented 4-12 team.”
Sam Mellinger, @mellinger, Twitter

“Chiefs are done-zo. Not sure I’m talking about [just] this game, either. I can tell zero difference in Romeo's awful defense this week, even with Tamba and Flowers.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter
GH: Both Mellinger and Babb penned excellent postgame columns in The Star. I will be posting an OTC on these two columns later today.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Miami radio host loses his marbles

Posted 9-14-12

“I've never been this mad about sports. RT @CBSSports: A Miami radio host lost his marbles. Listen to his NSFW rant: cbsprt.co/DSileo
Gary Parrish, @GaryParrishCBS, Twitter
GH: Click on the link above to hear one of the more entertaining monologues ever uttered on sports talk radio. The orator is Dan Sileo, a former Miami Hurricane defensive lineman. He  states his over-the-top distaste for his alma mater’s poor showing against the K-State Wildcats last Saturday in Manhattan. The slideshow that accompanies his rant is also funny stuff.  Sonsofbitches!

“Sick and tired of hearing from fools on Twitter from Ohio St. I've read the published reports on what Urban [Meyer] wanted from your Commissioner. … You and all others asking for proof or a link get a LIFE! I broadcast daily and have seen multiple reports about his request.”
Tim Brando, @TimBrando, Twitter
GH: Brando got into a Twitter war with some OSU Buckeye fans over some quotes he attributed to Urban Meyer that he could not prove were ever made. You can read the dialogue here. At least Brando is willing to spar on Twitter with his audience. He might not be the brightest at it, but he is real.

“If a college team bans a reporter, he should put the entire roster into the cop database every 48 hours. And hang at popular jock bar.”
Wright Thompson, @wrightthompson, Twitter
GH: Banning the media is never a good idea if you are trying to sell tickets. But the media using their power of persuasion to gain revenge is just as wrong. 

“To be clear, I have no problem with someone running a fan page, but I draw the line at identity theft. Unless it’s Batman. That'd be cool.”
Chris Kluwe, @ChrisWarcraft, Vikings’ punter, Twitter

“[Scott Pioli] basically got over on Jamaal Charles, The same thing with DJ. Other than Matt Cassel, everybody else has got to be a bargain.”
Jayice Pearson, on the bargain contracts Pioli has been able to sign some of the Chiefs’ top talent, 610 AM
GH: Just another example of the white man keeping the black millionaire down, eh Ice?

“The black guy, the fat guy and the other guy.”
610 listener’s text on a new name suggestion for the Big Show, 610 AM

“You have to admire the [KU] bravado… or something? Days after a gut-wrenching, fourth-quarter collapse at home to peer pillow-fighter Rice, KU head coach Charlie Weis said that No. 16 TCU’s fifth-ranked-nationally rush defense might have some trouble dealing with the Jayhawks’ ground game. Uh-huh, well, we shall see.”
Curtis Kitchen, CurtisKitchenKC.com
GH: I really want to go to this TCU/KU game but I’ll be in Ames on Saturday for a cross country meet. I am just crazy enough to think Kansas has a chance against the Horned Frogs.

“There is no way that this Missouri team, coming off a 21-point loss at home, can view an unbeaten Arizona State as an opponent to take lightly. It would be one thing if the Tigers had beaten ASU badly last year. But they lost, which means they shouldn’t take them for granted.”
Bryan Burwell, writer, St. Louis Post Dispatch
GH: And yet I haven’t heard any one covering Mizzou who doesn’t think MU wins this one fairly easily. Read on.

“The Sun Devils have not exactly fared well away from Tempe. They haven't won a non-conference, regular-season road game since 2006. Over the past four years, they are 5-16 in true road games. Over the past 11 years, they have had a winning road record ... all of once.”
Doug Haller, writer, AzCentral.com
GH: No non-con road wins since 2006? Okay, I understand the Mizzou optimism.

“[Todd] Graham [Arizona State’s head coach] makes sure his teams visit the [opponent’s] stadium the day or morning before the contest. Just to walk around and get a feel for it. He also goes to great lengths to make sure his team feels as comfortable as possible. For example: This weekend [in Columbia, MO] , Graham plans to take all the plug-in air fresheners from ASU's home locker room to Missouri so the visitors' locker room will smell a little like home. He also wants all the signs removed from ASU's locker room and hung up so it will look a little like home.”
Doug Haller, writer, AzCentral.com
GH: Graham sounds a little kooky. I like kooky. I also hope the Antlers get wind of his FeBreze plan or the locker room and bring some pig farm familiarity into ASU’s home away from home.

"[Coach Graham] has coached us to be businessmen in football. Basically [that means] not [playing] around at the hotel ... not acting like kids. Acting like grown men. Study film. Go through our checks. Visualize plays being made in our minds as champions would.”
Deveron Carr, ASU senior cornerback, AzCentral.com
GH: Let’s hope ASU plays like businessmen on Saturday night. I always favor crazed dogs over business men when it comes to football.

“If Mizzou doesn’t win this one, bowl bids will be a tough commodity come December.”
Tom Timmermann, writer, St. Louis Post Dispatch
GH: Damn! Three games into the season and Mizzou is likely to lose their shot at a bowl? It is way too early for this kind of talk. Kietzman was telling us yesterday that the Chiefs can’t win the AFC West with a loss in Buffalo. Relax people. Lots of football yet to be played. Enjoy it.

“If Big 12 had wanted Notre Dame, would the Irish have come? If Big 12 had wanted Florida St would FSU have come? The 10 don't wanna share $$.”
Gary Bedore, @GaryBedore, LJW writer, Twitter
GH: Is there any question the Big 12 wanted both? With only ten members, they become the most susceptible conference to be raided by larger conferences. I expect the Big 12 to expand to 12…and soon.

“Winner of the most savvy small school award: Arkansas State. Got $950K to play Oregon and will get $1M from Nebraska.”
Darren Rovell, @darrenrovell, Twitter
GH: Looks like Arkansas State is playing their bowl games in September.

“Can someone explain how 105% of Crown Center managed to signup for Googlefiber? What are they, Fenway Park?”
Aaron Barnhart, @TVBarn, Twitter
GH: AB is an old Chicago Northside Cubbies’ fan. Nothing like ancient stadium rivalries to spark some tech disgust.

“[San Diego] Chargers receive 24-hour extension. We now have until 1:25p PT Friday to sell approximately 2,100 general tix to lift the local TV blackout.”
@Chargers, Twitter
GH: Hustling to sell tickets to avoid a TV blackout is never a good thing. Having to do it for your NFL home opener is downright frightening. In an odd twist of success, the overall
popularity of the NFL [especially fantasy football] is killing the gate at NFL stadiums. Fans are trading that six-hour day at the stadium in for their couch, a 55-inch flat screen and an iPad to follow their fantasy players.

“Call TicketsForLess.com.”
Nate Bukaty, as he slipped a live-read commercial in the middle of an interview with the NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi, 810 AM
GH: I found this interesting. It was the equivalent of how websites insert pop-up ads onto the page you’re reading – almost forcing you to pay attention to the ad. We will see more of this innovative product placement and advertising as companies attempt to find ways to make commercials more visible, or in this case more audible. Getting people to pay attention to ads has never been more of a challenge.


Buffalo vs Chiefs looks to be ugly

Posted 9-13-12

“You can debate who had the best first week but there’s no debate that Buffalo had the worst. Their new-look defense was obliterated and they’ve got a list of injuries.”
Mike Greenburg, after the Bills were rocked 48-28 by the questionable Jets, ESPN Radio
GH: The Chiefs take their 0-1 record to Buffalo on Sunday to take on one of the few teams that had a worse opening game than them. How bad are the Bills? Read on.

“Were the Jets that good or was Buffalo that bad?”
Ron Jaworski, on the Jets 48-28 win over the Chiefs’ next opponent, ESPN Radio

“I was stunned at the inability of Buffalo’s defense. I thought Buffalo’s defense was pathetic.”
Mike Golic, ESPN Radio
GH: The Bills were thought to have bolstered their defensive front four to be one of the best in the league. The Jets made them look like Kansas’ defensive front circa 2011. Imagine what Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis might do this Sunday.

“[Buffalo] got killed. They got embarrassed by the Jets. I don’t know what to make of this [Chiefs/Bills] game. Somebody has to win it. If anybody else was playing in this game I’d probably pick against them.”
Matt Williamson, NFL writer for ScoutsInc.com, 810 AM

“I think Kansas City is the better team.”
Michael Lombardi, on the Chiefs playing at Buffalo on Sunday, 810 AM

“I don’t feel great about [picking the Chiefs to win the AFC West]. On Twitter I’m catching a lot of heat. Since the Chiefs put the pads on this year, there really hasn’t been much to get excited about – and that surprises me. I can’t say I feel as good about my prediction as I did before the season started.”
Matt Williamson, NFL writer for ScoutsInc.com, 810 AM
GH: A loss in Buffalo would set off alarms around the Chiefs Kingdom that the Cassel is under siege. Romeo, Pioli and Matt need this win in a big way.

“It is going to be fun. It is going to be interesting. We will see what happens. However he feels is however he feels. I already said it before that I have never been a dirty player and I never try to take somebody out. I know the work put in to get where he is and where I am. I have said it before but it is enough already. We will meet up on Sunday.”
Steve Johnson, Bills’ wide receiver, when asked about facing Berry a year after his block ended the safety’s season, ESPN.com
GH: I have heard a number of local media types chastise Johnson for his block on Berry. Nate Bukaty has been one of the more critical voices in this regard. I was not happy that Berry was injured but I didn’t see Johnson’s block as anything more than a football play. It will be interesting to see if Berry tries to exact some revenge in Buffalo.

“He wants to be called John Baldwin? I’m calling him Jonathan Baldwin until he does something. He hasn’t even caught a ball. He’s Jonathan Baldwin.”
Danny Clinkscale, on the Chiefs’ second-year wide receiver requesting to be called John, 810 AM
GH: This is the kind of elitist attitude that gives the media a bad reputation. Why should it matter what Baldwin’s production numbers are to Clinkscale when it comes to respecting his request to be referred to as John? Call the guy what he wants to be called.

“I like the attitude [Baldwin showed]. He handled it well. You know he wants to get out there and help his team. I like the way he answered the questions.”
Jay Binkley, after Baldwin was questioned Wednesday about his lack of production against Atlanta, 610 AM

“He’s probably sitting around with a bunch of buddies who are telling him he’s getting screwed.”
Danny Clinkscale, on his perception of Baldwin after hearing the same interview as Binkley, 810 AM
GH: Baldwin said nothing in his is short time with the media on Wednesday to indicate he was/is in any way upset with his playing time or targets. Somehow, Clinkscale and Kietzman concocted this fantasy scenario where Baldwin is a disgruntled player, complaining to his buddies.

“That to me seems like you’re not even trying. That goes back to the draft and thinking, ‘We’re good. All we have to do is draft for depth.’ I didn’t agree with it then and I still don’t.”
Jayice Pearson, on the Chiefs’ decision to not bring in any defensive backs this week to evaluate, 610 AM
GH: Ryan Fitzpatrick threw four interceptions against the Jets. He riddled the Chiefs’ secondary for four touchdown passes last season. Let’s hope Eric Berry’s presence makes a big difference this Sunday.

“The other team’s quarterback was infinitely more interesting on the conference call today but [Matt Cassel] is our quarterback so we’re going to hear from him.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: I find it interesting that when Matt Cassel was a paid weekly guest on 810, nothing was said about how boring he is as an interviewee. But now that Cassel is on 610 Sports as a weekly guest and no longer on 810, Clinkscale chides him for his blandness. I can’t wait for Herman Edwards to move over to 610 so we can hear what the guys at 810 really think about his say-nothing retorts.

“Royals bat around in two innings in win over Twins”
Headline in KC Star, following Royals 10-5 win in Minnesota Wednesday, Kansas City Star
GH: Like the weather in Kansas City come September, the Royals turn attractive, energetic and inspire thoughts of wonder while slaying those of despair.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24



Big 12 option seems to be Louisville

Posted 9-13-12

Looks like the Big 12's only option [for expansion] is Louisville, which is like going on vacation and having your only option as Louisville.”
Mick Shaffer, @mickshaffer, on Notre Dame heading to the ACC with all their sports except football, Twitter
GH: Mike Golic reported on ESPN Radio Wednesday morning that Notre Dame’s decision came down to the Big 12 and the ACC. He said the Irish opted for the larger media markets on the east coast. Is it all that newsworthy? Not really. ND remains independent in football and very likely will for another 100 years.

“The Big East contends ND must pay $5 million and give 27 months notice.”
Joe Schad, @schadjoe, Twitter
GH: Five million is Futon change to Notre Dame. The 27 months sounds restrictive but only until you reach the bargaining table. 

“Everything is perfect [in the Big 12]. The only complaint is the football coaches don’t like playing nine games.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I think the Big 12 is in terrific shape, just a year after it looked like Armageddon II would take down the conference for good. If Louisville really is the only viable expansion partner, I think ten teams are plenty. As for the football teams playing a nine-game conference schedule, I don’t know a fan who doesn’t love it.

“Is there anything wrong in renaming this The Southwest Conference? Why is everything ‘Big?’ The name I came up with was ‘The Top Ten.’ ”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: KK needs to stick with naming interns.

“The new [Big 12] logo has to have a gridiron or hash marks or the laces of a football in it. Something football related. That has to happen. Brand this conference!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Memo to KU from KK: Stick those Big 12 basketball titles and national championships under a goddamn peach basket!

“I was having a Bud Light this weekend and what’s on the can? The laces of a football! It’s brilliant!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: It is also seasonal. Beer cans change their graphics with the holidays. BCS conferences like to show  a little more consistency in their logo.

“Trust me, we don't run a play if we don't think it's going to work. ... We didn't fall off a truck here.”
Gary Pinkel, via @Dave_Matter on Twitter
GH: How many people asked Pinkel if he thought the fake punt would work? That’s not the point coach. The fact you thought it would work is! Listening to Pinkel attack the media for asking him about his boneheaded call makes me question the very experience he so readily promotes. Falling off a truck would have been a better excuse than what he’s using.

“Missouri should have beaten the snot out of Georgia. That team can’t score!”
Kevin Kietzman, defending his comments prior to the game that Mizzou should beat Georgia, 810 AM
GH: I have a feeling KK was drinking those Bud Lights during the UGA/MU game.

“No, but I’ve got people in my organization that let me know.”
Gary Pinkel, when asked if he ever has a chance to watch some of his Missouri alumni who are now playing in the NFL, 980 AM
GH: I hated this casual almost flippant response. “People in my organization?” Can you get any more detached and impersonal than that? Pinks is not having a great year behind the wheel of his car or his program. Let’s hope his team doesn’t reflect his personal slide.

“[Dorial] Green-Beckham is a physical freak. He’s fast enough to run past SEC defenders. Strong enough to outfight SEC defenders. Big enough to intimidate SEC defenders. Even in the most dominant conference in the land, there’s no one else like him right now.”
Matt Hayes, writer, SportingNews.com
GH: Hayes’ comments as well as the two that follow were made in August. So where was DBG against Georgia? Is Pinkel saving him to open at Christmas? Did somebody back that truck up and hit him again?

“Pretty much anything deep, really. I hope I’m used on all the deep stuff.”
Dorial Green-Beckham, on how Mizzou can best use his talents in their offense, SportingNews.com

“I haven’t seen any cockiness from him so far, but there’s definitely a kill factor. He’s a real competitor. I definitely think it’s possible for him to be one of the best players in the SEC as a freshman.”
James Franklin, Mizzou’s QB, SportingNews.com
GH: Get this kid on the field, coach. He didn’t come to Mizzou to be an ornament.

“Last year [Kansas State] was doing it with smoke and mirrors. This year they are doing it with bricks and cement.”
Dennis Dodd, on Kansas State football, 810 AM
GH: Love this quote from Dodd. Perfect.

“Arizona State is Missouri’s Rice. They need to just win this game and hang that pelt up on the wall.”
Dennis Dodd, 810 AM
GH: Hate this quote from Dodd. Rice was nobody. Arizona State beat Mizzou last season and ripped Illinois 45-14 last week. The Sun Devils ain’t no Rice. This Pac 12 team is all meat and potatoes. Mizzou needs this win but it will be far from a side dish.

“Well, obviously you have no chance fellas; maybe we just shouldn’t show up. Maybe we just go to brunch on Saturday morning instead. I mean they’ll show up on Saturday; we’ll show up.”
Charlie Weis, on what his message to his KU team is as they prepare as heavy underdogs for their trip to TCU, KUSports.com
GH: Some found Weis’ derisive comments about his team frank and refreshing. I thought Weis sounded foolish and detached. Weis is still acting like an outsider to the KU football program. He appears to me to be still blaming Turner Gill for the product on the field. That could all be accurate. But Turner Gill at least won a couple of games. Will Charlie?

“Well, let me just say this: You've lived up to your expectations of competence and mental health.”
Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys owner, as Dallas sports talk show host Shan Shariff played “Hail to the Redskins” as Jones joined his show on the radio home of the Cowboys, 105.3 FM Dallas
GH: Good to hear that Shariff is stirring things up down in Dallas. Click here for more.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24



Chiefs have a Twitter-gate experience

Posted 9-13-12

“Would help if you had your facts straight. Your choice to be a fan. cc get a clue.”
Chiefs tweet response to Travis Wright, a Chiefs fans who tweeted that he was upset about the Chiefs being so far under the salary cap and refusing to field a more competitive team, Twitter
GH: Wright’s tweet hit sometime on Tuesday. By that afternoon, his tweet, the Chiefs’ flippant response and later apology was being bounced around the Internet as quickly as a Bret Favre self-portrait. It used to be that it was not nice to fool with Mother Nature. In today’s Internet Age – it’s not nice to fool with anybody with a hash tag. Read on.

“I apologize to the fans for my response to a tweet sent to me earlier. No excuse for my actions. I am truly sorry and it won't happen again.”
Unnamed Chiefs’ tweeter, Twitter
GH: The Chiefs’ apology is really what caused this story to go viral. Until the Chiefs acknowledged Wright’s tweet on their website, not more than a few folks in Wright’s circle were aware of the exchanges. I applaud the Chiefs for making the apology. I question their marketing sense for doing it in such a public manner.

“The Chiefs look petty. The Chiefs look foolish. The Chiefs look like children. I’m not condoning the tweet that he sent to them, but as an organization, you’ve got to be bigger than that because you’re gonna get ripped.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: The question I have is who put Eddie Haskell in charge of the Chiefs’ Twitter account?

“If I reacted to all the nasty stuff on Twitter [directed at me], I’d be in jail.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: I rip Fescoe in my column almost as much as he deserves, but the guy has thick skin. There are many in his profession who could learn from him.

“That was the best block of the week by the Chiefs.”
Text to Bob Fescoe’s show on the Chiefs’ blocking a fan on Twitter, 610 AM

“The incident is reminiscent of the time in 2008 when then-Browns General Manager Phil Savage responded to a critical e-mail from a fan by e-mailing him back and saying, ‘Go root for Buffalo-f#@* you-.’ Team employees at all levels would be wise to learn that if a fan rips you online, you’re best off ignoring it.”
Michael David Smith, NBCSports.com
GH: The Chiefs’ tweet wasn’t anywhere near as offensive or egregious as the email from the Browns’ GM – but perception is what counts here. The Chiefs have now been labeled as an organization that doesn’t care about their fans nearly as much as their bottom line. It’s okay to think it, but not do it. Check with Jimmy Carter on that whole thinking but not doing thing.

“That phrase [your choice to be a fan] right there is so corporate, so detached, so condescending that I’ve been thinking about it since I first saw this yesterday. … We all make our choices, but at some point the word ‘choice’ no longer applies because you can’t ‘un-choose’ it if the team starts stinking or whatever. If you could, how many Royals fans would be left? For that matter, how many Chiefs fans? Being a fan isn’t something you can shut off, like a faucet. It becomes part of your life, part of your plans, part of you.”
Sam Mellinger, KansasCity.com  
GH: There are really no good reasons for Royals and Chiefs fans to remain interested in two professional franchises who have spent decades disappointing their fan bases. The two main reasons we continue to root are 1) geography and 2) we like pro sports. The truth is that teams like the Royals and Chiefs can pretty much do, say or tweet anything they want about the fans without causing many problems with their bottom line. If they can be profitable with the lack of success they have shown for the last 20 years, imagine what happens if they ever win again? Unless Kansas City loses a million people in population, us lemmings will continue to ask, “Please sir, can I have another?”

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Posnanski appears on Kraske's show

Posted 9-13-12

“The idea that I was a shill, the idea that I was a fraud…those people, I have nothing to say. Everybody’s entitled to their opinion.”
Joe Posnanski, 89.3 FM
GH: Oh, contraire! JoPo has much he would like to say to his critics, he simply refuses to be as frank about them as they [we] have been about his book. Read on.

“I think we’ve all had that experience where we work with people we don’t necessarily like but we respect what they do.”
Joe Posnanski, describing the working relationship between Paterno and Sandusky, KCUR 89.3 FM
GH: Are you listening Pork Chop?

“I’m personally not going to talk about Jason because that’s a long standing relationship there. I don’t think people have to wonder about it. They can figure it out. No, no, I’m not going there. Jason is entitled to his opinion and I’ll leave it at that.”
Joe Posnanski, who deflected all attempts by Steve Kraske to get him to talk about Whitlock’s criticism of his book, Paterno, 89.3 FM
GH: Well, at least we cleared that up. For those who have wondered if the long-discussed feud between JoPo and Whitlock was real or mythical, as JoPo stated – “I don’t think people have to wonder about it. Posnanski spent an hour being interviewed on Kraske’s Up To Date radio show on KC’s local NPR affiliate, KCUR 89.3. Read on for some excerpts.

“Our phones are not working.”
Steve Kraske, alerting listeners they would not be able to call in to talk to Posnanski, 89.3 FM
GH: In a stroke of unbelievable luck and convenience for Posnanski, KCUR’s phones did not work for the first 58 minutes of his 60-minute interview. One caller was able to get through. Shockingly, he agreed with everything JoPo had said and wanted to be sure he ripped those who had jumped to conclusions without having all the facts – I guess like those bastards in the Freeh Report who JoPo believes did an inadequate job. The only problem with this caller was that he stated he was really not sure what the topic was that was being discussed. Great call.

“I think the book has been received a hundred times better than I thought it would be.”
Joe Posnanski, 89.3 FM
GH: Posnanski’s book has made the New York Times bestseller list, so it has moved some paper. But has it really been well received? One of the media’s biggest faults in my opinion is their penchant for listening to those who praise their work while shunning their critics. Anyone who writes, talks, preens for a camera or performs in the spotlight will have people who love their work – no matter how awful. I respect those most who are able to listen to not only their fans but those who expect more from them.

“[Paterno’s] family and the people around him are such, such good people. They believe he’s been wildly misinterpreted. They’ve handled it amazingly well. They’re refusing to allow themselves to be consumed by bitterness.”
Joe Posnanski, 89.3 FM
GH: If you thought JoPo’s denial ended with his book, you are mistaken. Is JoPo still down in that dark cellar?

“It was Sue, his wife, who called back [to Penn State after JoePa had received notice of his firing] and said, ‘After 61 years? How dare you!’ ”
Joe Posnanski, 89.3 FM
GH: How dare Penn State? How dare JoePa, Sue, JoPo and the rest of the deaf, dumb and blind Paterno apologists who refuse to acknowledge that their king wore no clothes.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24




Danny Parkins' rant takes on KK

Posted 9-11-12

“Zero chance Chiefs win division. Sort of like Royals, one week in and its over. MU, KU, Neb, Ark, Iowa. Can anyone win around here?”
Kevin Kietzman, @kkwhb, tweeting Sunday evening as Peyton Manning carved up the Steelers, Twitter
GH: I read this tweet from Kietzman on Sunday and recognized his fingerprints all over it. This is what KK does – poke a stick at fan bases whose teams have lost a game or suffered an embarrassment. He doesn’t really care what teams he rips because he is adept at flip flopping back to the other side with ease. Last week he had Missouri handling a vastly overrated average Georgia team. This week Gary Pinkel and his Tigers play the dumbest and most boring football this side of soccer. None of this is news – unless you happen to be Danny Parkins, a 610 Sports midday host in his first year in the KC market. Read on.

“Kevin Kietzman is Skip Bayless! Skip Bayless is Kevin Kietzman. They are the same person. That is the most trollish tweet that I have ever seen!”
Danny Parkins, after KK tweeted that there is zero percent chance that the Chiefs win the division, 610 AM
GH: Parkins said he doesn’t follow Kietzman on Twitter. I guess that would be beneath a young guy trying to make it in the KC radio market. Instead, he said someone informed him of KK’s tweet. This is Parkins’ first mistake. Every competitor should know their competition at least as well as the spectators. If Parkins and the boys at 610 aren’t listening to KK’s show, reading his tweets, his blog and anything else he presents for consumption, they aren’t doing enough homework to topple the one guy who has ruled this market for the past 13 years.

“Do I need to break down point by point the idiocy of that take? You know what that is? It’s sensationalistic! It’s trolling! It’s being controversial for the sake of being controversial! It’s about, ‘I haven’t had an original thought in a decade so I’m going to come up with this irrational take that cannot be supported by any sort of evidence and I’m just going to put this out there and lump them in there with Nebraska, the Royals and Iowa for some inane reason.’ ”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: Parkins might be surprised to learn that he is one of the very few sports fans in Kansas City who finds any of this enlightening. Here is what I found unoriginal and lazy about Parkins’ on-air rant – it has been done before by almost every radio host who attempts to take on 810 as a competitor. And might I add done much better by most. Parkins sounded like he had to pump up a lot of fake ire to fuel his screaming. Parkins’ blast had none of the latent disrespect and cutting venom that Don Fortune, Z-Man, Soren Petro, Jason Whitlock, Bill Maas, Chris & Cowboy and Nick Wright displayed in their verbal assaults toward Kietz.

“I won’t sell myself out to say things that I don’t really believe.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: A bit of irony in that comment, don’t you think? I noticed that Parkins retweeted a listener’s tweet that praised his KK tirade. Nope, nothing manufactured here…

“Go to the 27 minute mark if you want to hear my thoughts on Skip Keitzman. I mean Kevin Bayless. Whoever. @kkwhb 610sports.com/topic/play_win…
Danny Parkins, @DannyParkins, Twitter

“I can do that type of radio. It’s not hard. It is literally bottom of the barrel, lowest common denominator, moronic, IQ-of-75 stuff. … It’s embarrassing! That is so lazy and disingenuous! Frankly you deserve better.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: How dumb does Parkins think the KC audience is? You’re doing “that type of radio,” DP. What Parkins is not doing is creating an audience for his show with entertaining and informative sports talk radio. Parkins strikes me as a young guy who is angry at all the wrong people. Those kind of guys usually end up selling shoes.

“We put a lot of time into [our show]. We hustle. We’re the young guys. We’re the up and comers. We’re the underdogs. We don’t get as much respect as maybe we should but maybe we haven’t earned it yet. I don’t know.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: This is the crux of Parkins’ problem. He doesn’t know and all of us do.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24



Petro needs to ask Romeo this question

Posted 9-11-12

“That’s my fear – that Romeo Crennel is a ‘yes guy’ for Scott Pioli and he won’t fight for his guys [like losing Brandon Carr to free agency]. You can’t tell me Romeo Crennel could have looked at this defense and said, ‘I’m fine in the secondary, Scott. Let [Brandon Carr] go.’ Romeo Crennel, desperate to be a head coach, likely said, ‘Look, whatever you give me I’ll coach.’ ”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Whoa. That is a strong statement from Petro. How I would love to hear him ask Crennel that same query at Tuesday’s press conference. I thought the same thing of Gunther Cunningham, another Chiefs’ defensive coordinator who rose to the title of Chiefs’ head coach under Carl Peterson. Gunther’s refusal to buck his GM eventually helped get him fired. If Petro’s assumption is true, Romeo should find himself coaching linebackers in Detroit come January.

“You guys know how I feel about Romeo Crennel. I don’t think he’s this great head coach. He’s got to do a complete overhaul not only physically but mentally with this football team. … Maybe he won’t get fired but holy crap! If it all goes south it will be heaped on his shoulders.”
Josh Vernier, 610 AM

“The NFL is about your head coach and your quarterback – and the Chiefs are middle of the pack with both. Go bold or go home. They’re trying; it’s just not working here.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM

“What I didn’t like is [Jamaal Charles] saying, ‘We have to learn how to win games.’ Learn how to win games? What? How long you been playing football?”
Jayice Pearson, on comments made by the Chiefs’ running back on Monday afternoon, 610 AM

“Wrap yourself in a blanket of denial if you want, believing that Tamba Hali and Brandon Flowers will be back soon to fix all the Chiefs’ problems, but the coaching staff is one night into watching what amounts to a horror film of a game tape from a 40-24 loss to the Falcons on Sunday that is surely telling them otherwise.”
Sam Mellinger, columnist, Kansas City Star
GH: Mellinger is typically slow to lay blame or scream, “Fire!” But one game into the Chiefs’ 2012 season, he is clearing his throat and making his way toward the exits. It is a bold move for him as a columnist and one I believe he needs to take.

“Four seasons now — that’s how long Chiefs fans have been waiting for the ‘real’ [Matt] Cassel to reveal himself. Is he the fiery leader with pinpoint accuracy and a calm temperament the Chiefs will need if a Super Bowl is a legitimate possibility? Or he is the panicked, erratic passer who stares down receivers and forces throws into coverage?  The answer is that he is both, and on days like Sunday, that just isn’t good enough.”
Kent Babb, columnist, Kansas City Star
GH: Babb has only a few weeks left as a Kansas City Star columnist. He is headed east to be a feature writer for the Washington Post. Why waste those precious few columns asking but not answering middling pabulum that any nine-year-old Chiefs’ fan can spew? I want Babb to grab some oily rags from a dark closet inside 18th & Grand, wrap them around a tightly twisted Sunday edition and light that torch with words and opinions that scorch his departure with a memorable path none will forget. It is not too late, Kent. Your future and legacy await.

“Jesus Chris the guy is a shit show… I can’t believe I let him fool me again for 15 minutes.”
Lazlo, @lazlothebuzz, after Cassel threw a pass directly into the shin of an onrushing Falcon defender, Twitter
GH: If Babb is looking for some edgy column ideas, The Church of Lazlo might not be a bad place to frequent.

“We are four years into [Scott Pioli’s] regime and they have not been able to find the talent that they think warrants the spending.”
Soren Petro, on reports that the Chiefs rank second in the NFL to room under the salary cap, 810 AM

“I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But as I sit here and look at it, for years people screamed about all Carl Peterson cared about was going 9-7, 8-8, 10-6, keeping alive the hope that this team might be good, while never bottoming out and padding the bottom line. Except in the Carl Peterson years with Lamar Hunt as the owner, they spent right up to and over the cap.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: There are few things Petro enjoys bearing more than Carl Peterson’s jock. I find it rather ridiculous that he chooses to continue to prop up King Carl as if he was somehow wronged by the Kansas City media and fans who grew to detest him. Petro would benefit from his own advice to Romeo – being a yes man is not an attractive or productive look.

“You better at least make it look like you’re trying.”
Jayice Pearson, on Scott Pioli’s work as the Chiefs’ GM, 610 AM

“I’ll wave the checkered flag. This team isn’t winning a playoff game. … They played as well as they could play on offense for a half [against Atlanta] and they still got destroyed.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: It is a bit early to write off the Chiefs or anoint the Broncos. The NFL season has a way of drawing the lost sheep back to the fold and those who have run off to hide as well.

“They just gave up [late in the fourth quarter]! They just ran the ball. When is that ever acceptable? They quit! They gave up already!”
Jayice Pearson, as the Chiefs went with some of their bench players after the score appeared to get out of hand, 810 AM
GH: Did the Chiefs give up when the score was 40-17 with almost 11 minutes left in the game? Their fans sure did. In the fourth quarter, Arrowhead looked emptier than The Clark’s trophy case.

“That’s another example I think of just trying to answer a question without really saying anything. And really what you’re saying is not good. I don’t think he realized the boxed answers that he’s given.”
Jayice Pearson, on Jamaal Charles saying the Chiefs need to learn how to win games, 610 AM
GH: The amount of irony in this statement from Jayice could replace one of the twin towers.

“Totally classless act by Tony Gonzalez dunking the ball at Kansas City. Hypocritical. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I love the Kansas City fans. Now eat this! – Gonzalez.”
Dennis Dodd, @dennisdoddcbs, on the former Chiefs’ tight end dunking after his TD catch, Twitter
GH: The Arrowhead crowd booed the dunk – those who remained. Read on.

“You’ve got to be kiddng…What was wrong with that????”
Danny Clinkscale, responding to Dodd’s tweet about Gonzo’s dunk, Twitter
GH: I would say from my completely unscientific survey of the local media that Clink’s take on the dunk was shared by most. I didn’t get too worked up about it. That what Gonzo do.

“Nothing makes you feel like a bigger idiot than walking out after a Chiefs blowout that you spent hundreds of dollars to attend.”
@MerleTagladucci, Twitter
GH: Other than incidents that involved a woman, I would have to concur.

“You saw he’s wearing the Chiefs’ jersey. He’s from Kansas City. He’s taking the Chiefs.”
Curt Menefee, on Shawnee South’s own Rob Riggle being the only prognosticator on Fox to pick the Chiefs over the Falcons, Fox
GH: Riggle’s debut on Fox’s NFL pregame show was just as anticipated – he was hilarious. I’m looking forward to watching him have fun at the expense of Bradshaw, Long and Johnson this season.

“Now what they are doing this year across the NFL is they’re showing these replays, these close calls, to the crowd in the stadium. I’m sure the officials aren’t real excited about that.”
Joe Buck, Fox
GH: The empty stadium seats finally forced the NFL to show in-stadium replays of controversial plays. The fans have the power to change the game. Everything moves because of money.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


MU loses to Georgia, KU loses to a food

Posted 9-8-12

“Seemingly half the [Georgia] team jumped into the Georgia cheering section afterward as the fans mockingly chanted ‘S-E-C’ at a fellow SEC member, followed proudly by ‘Old Man Football’ — a reference to Mizzou defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson’s zinger a week earlier.”
Stewart Mandel, writer, SI.com
GH: No storyline received more media play prior to the Georgia/Mizzou game than Sheldon Richardson’s comments about Georgia playing “old man football.” One of my favorite photos from the game was a shot of Richardson talking to the Bulldogs’ head coach, Mark Richt, at midfield after the game and reportedly apologizing for his brash pregame commentary. Mizzou is a young pup in the SEC and it took an old dog to teach them a lesson Saturday night. Good to see the Tigers are learning

“You’re in the SEC. It’s one thing to come out and talk [trash]. It’s another thing to come out and look like garbage.”
Mark Packer, after Mizzou was rocked in the fourth quarter by Georgia and lost by three touchdowns at Faurot, Sirius XM 91
GH: Packer was very tough on the Tigers during his Monday morning show. Did Mizzou really “look like garbage?” They were a dropped TD catch away from going into halftime with a 24-9 lead. Mizzou can play in the SEC. Those who don’t think so had already made their minds up before this game.

“Mizzou better learn to play Old Man football if they expect to compete in the SEC. Razzle_dazzle may work in the Big 12 north.”
Randy Covitz, @randycovitz, Twitter
GH: Yeah, that razzle_dazzle football Florida won a pair of national titles with sure was a mirage. Mizzou competed well with Georgia until Gary Pinkel put his team in an awful hole with a ridiculous fake punt call in the fourth quarter. Read on.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time and a coach never calls something that he thinks will not work.”
Gary Pinkel, on calling a fake punt on 4
th and 11 down four in Mizzou territory with almost 14 minutes remaining in the game, 610 AM
GH: My cynical side wanted to know whether Pinkel was saying he’s been making unexplainable game decisions on the sideline for a long time. I get that fake punts should be a surprise – but this one was ridiculously poorly planned. There was no deception. There was little blocking. Just a punter stumbling forward into the web of one of the nation’s quickest defenses. Just mind-blowing dumb.

“When [fake punts] work, they are good calls and when they don’t work, they are bad calls, and I will take responsibility.”
GH: Pinkel is a great recruiter who gets just enough talent to overcome his game-day brain locks to go bowling every year and make the Tiger faithful glad they are no longer 5-7 each season.

“They’re going to contend in the SEC.”
Aaron Murray, Georgia’s quarterback, on his respect for Mizzou, SI.com
GH: Removing the wiring to Gary Pinkel’s headset might be a good start to the Tigers’ SEC competitiveness.

“We didn’t finish in the fourth quarter [against South Carolina in Georgia’s SEC opener last season] but [Saturday] night we did finish on the road in a very hostile environment.”
Mike Bobo, Georgia’s offensive coordinator, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
GH: I thought Mizzou’s crowd was SEC worthy on Saturday night. The Tigers though, need to understand that level of intensity needs to be a staple at Faurot. There is no just getting up for the Nebraska game in the SEC. Every Saturday. Every week. All season long.

“I talked to the Georgia fans and they said the hospitality and the fans and the reception they received was as good as they’ve ever had. And you can’t walk five steps downtown without finding an SEC logo, so we like that a lot.”
Mike Slive, SEC commissioner, at halftime of the Saturday night’s game, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
GH: I saw that Gary Bedore, writer for The Lawrence Journal World, tweeted that he had read about some Mizzou fans complaining of Georgia fans reacted to their big win in the posts Tigerboard.com. I read many of the same posts and there were only two comments I read talking about poor sportsmanship from UGA fans but many more from Mizzou posters who had positive things to say about the SEC visitors. Getting to know the SEC is going to be an education. Sometimes being the new kid is tough.

“Give Mizzou some credit. Despite what the final score indicated, the Tigers delivered exactly the type of primetime thriller normally beamed to your living room from Baton Rouge or Knoxville for most of the night.”
Stewart Mandel, writer, SI.com
GH: I agree with Mandel but Kevin Kietzman was tweeting during the UGA/MU game that the game had officially become the worst game of the day – even out-ugly-ing Kansas’ loss to Rice. KK got to blast two of his ‘favorite’ teams in one tweet.

“I hated the uniforms of Missouri! Hated them!”
Mark Packer, on the Nike-inspired Tiger uniforms, Sirius XM 91

“There is a fine line between redesigning uniforms and becoming a CFL expansion franchise. Seeing these new Mizzou unis in person, wow ….”
Dennis Dodd, @dennisdoddcbs, Twitter
GH: I am not a fan of Nike turning their schools into walking advertisements for cutting-edge sports design. But I’m not who Nike or Mizzou or Oregon is trying to recruit. Young athletes LOVE this kind of look. LOVE IT. White guys like Dennis Dodd and Mark Packer are not their target market. I’ll bet you almost every Georgia player was envying the Tigers’ look.

“And I’d prefer it that if your team lost to a starch today for you not to @ me saying anything about Missouri. Thanks in advance.”
Carrington Harrison, @cdotharrison, a noted Mizzou fan, on KU fans tweeting him about MU’s loss, Twitter

“classy. Fans booing ku band at arrowhead.”
Bob Fescoe, on the KU band’s performance at Arrowhead on Sunday, Twitter
GH: A friend of mine attended the Mizzou game and said the SEC scores came across the video board with nary a murmur from the Tiger faithful. But the stadium erupted when the Rice/Kansas score was posted. You can take the school out of the conference but you can’t take the General Quantrill out of Missouri.

“Pretty shocking to watch a Snyder team then see this first quarter careless play of KU and Rice. That’s a bad loss for KU, sorry. Charlie, Grunny and Campo are supposed to be better than this.”
Kevin Kietzman, @kkwhb, Twitter

“Too early for major judgments, but I’m feeling just fine about being down on the Weis hire at KU.”
Sam Mellinger, @mellinger, Twitter
GH: Did anybody really think Kansas was going to win three games this season? Okay, they should have beaten Rice but it was at least a 50-50 bet. I don’t understand all the finger pointing at Weis and KU for losing to an equal opponent with a funny name. This is Kansas, folks.

“Kansas should be small potatoes to K-State right now. Kansas didn’t win a conference game last year!”
Nate Bukaty, after disclosing that some K-State fans sent him unflattering tweets following KU’s upset 810 AM
GH: I saw the tweets as well from KSU fans reveling in KU’s loss. I don’t get it. You are Kansas State. You are a legit contender to win the Big 12. It’s like if Aaron Rodgers was making fun of Ricky Stanzi. Where’s the fun in that? Read on.

“I think that we [K-State] went for so long losing to KU that it’s in our minds…it’s a rivalry.”
Nick Leckey, when asked by Nate Bukaty why K-State fans felt compelled to poke the KU alum about the Jayhawks loss to Rice, 810 AM
GH: What college-age kid remembers KU dominating K-State? I guess if that’s what gets K-State fans juiced, piss all over that dead sunflower in Lawrence.

“Kansas State – they are a physical, physical team on both sides of the football! They will beat you down!”
Eddie George, on K-State’s impressive 52-13 trouncing of Miami, Sirius XM 91

“[Miami] wanted no piece of Kanas State. It was embarrassing what Miami brought to the table. They are a long, long, long way from just being respectable.”
Mark Packer, Sirius XM 91

“Collin Klein throws a bad-ass ball. People who call him one-dimensional are smoking crack.”
Jeff Rosen, KC Star sports editor, @jeff_rosen88, Twitter
GH: I don’t know too many sports editors who let their hair down on Twitter like Rosen. He is a fun follow and not at all bashful about having an opinion.

“I could watch Collin Klein play QB all day.”
Mark McShay, @McShay13, Twitter

“If I were hanging around in KC, Collin Klein would be my Jeff George. Chiefs should sign him today! Pioli is crazy if he doesn’t draft him!”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter
GH: Is Klein a potential NFL quarterback? No way. He aims every throw and still struggles with accuracy. That said, he is a stud as a college QB and he just might ride his talents to New York for that Heisman statue.

“Snyder is 60-3 (in noncon) but (K-State) has never played a team like this at home. I like Miami.”
Kirk Herbstreit, picking the Canes on ESPN Gameday

“OK, @ericstonestreet & k-state fans, I was very wrong! I give. Purple Cats are a top 15 team now. Kirk apologizes for Miami pick, too.”
Chris Fowler, @cbfowler, on the ESPN College Gameday duo picking the Canes over the Cats, Twitter
GH: Even the ESPN suits are coming around on K-State. Will we see GameDay in Norman in two weeks?

“College football is just better when Kansas State is good.”
Brady McCollough, @BradyMcCullough, Twitter
GH: America’s team?

“I would like to point out that every Big 12 team that defected lost. Is it karma? I don’t know.”
Nick Leckey, former K-State and NFL center, 810 AM
GH: In Colorado’s case, it’s more like apathy. Losing to UCLA, Georgia and Florida isn’t quite the end of the world at Nebraska, Mizzou and A&M — although you can see it from there if you’re around Lincoln.

“Some are still ‘fixiated’ on the postseason loss but [Aaron] Rodgers is over it.”
Erin Andrews, introducing her interview with the Packers’ quarterback on Fox’s NFL Sunday show, Fox
GH: I caught Andrews and her new college studio show on Fox this week and it is Honey Boo Boo bad. Andrews looks incredible – but screams her lines and acts like she is a sorority girl auditioning for an episode of Glee. Did I mention she looks SI swimsuit-issue worthy? What Erin lacks in studio presence is not found in her two cohosts, Eddie George and the short-bus-rider Joey Harrington. George can at least form words but Harrington sounds like a high school kid in need of a speech pathologist. Fox Sports hires great looking broadcasters who scream for their audience to hit the mute button.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24




Tony Gonzalez disses KC

Posted 9-8-12

“It's Kansas City. There's not too much going on in that town. So, they love the Chiefs.”
Tony Gonzalez, talking to the Atlanta media, TV 41
GH: Gonzo is not going to be on Mayor Sly’s frosty Christmas list…or mine either. As TG knows very well, there will be a couple of things going on at Arrowhead come Sunday starting at noon. Read on.

“It’s going to be special. It’s going to be kind of weird going in there. It’s going to be like going back to the house that you grew up in.”
Tony Gonzalez, on his return to Arrowhead, Atlanta Journal Constitution
GH: We typically find our childhood homes much smaller and less intimidating as we remembered. I hope that is not the case when Tony comes out of the visitor’s tunnel on Sunday.

“We need all of the fans in their seats at the start of the first quarter. Not the middle of the first quarter or after that. They do make a difference in how our team play. Our players feel it. They feel the energy and they feel the enthusiasm. I would encourage our fans, for all of those reasons, to be there early. Enjoy the entire day and help support their team right from the get-go.”
Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons, on the problem they have in getting fans in their seats before kickoff, Atlanta Journal Constitution
GH: This is why Kansas City is seen as a different kind of NFL venue. Chiefs’ fans treat game day like college fans. They show up three hours before kickoff and create the nation’s largest Sunday BBQ in the parking lot. Atlanta has trouble getting their fans in their seats before the second quarter starts! I hope Arthur Blank gets to stroll through CamaroHead with The Clarks prior to the game and soak up the fumes.

“Red Friday.”
Chiefs’ promotion, which includes selling newspapers on the roadside on Friday morning
GH: There are two days of the year my wife absolutely detests – Royals’ Opening Day and the Chiefs’ first Red Friday. She commutes from the Northland to Downtown on these morning and becomes incensed when the newspaper sellers stand in the street and slow traffic. This is one of the city’s best sports weekends of the year. Georgia/Mizzou, Miami/K-State, Rice/KU and the Falcons visit to Arrowhead. But to non-sports fans like my bride, it’s all just another traffic jam.

“I don’t know how it’s going to happen. I don’t know how they’re going to do it. But I’m going to take the Chiefs, 23-22. They limit the Falcons to five field goals. That’s my scenario.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: I have to go with Atlanta by 10 in this one. Blame this loss on Tamba Hali not being smart enough to know when to put down the pipe.

“I think this [game against Atlanta] is skewed more 60/40 toward Peyton [Hillis]. I think it will be opponent skewed each week.”
Mitch Holthus, on how the Chiefs will likely split the carries between Jamaal Charles and Hillis against the Falcons, 810 AM
GH: Hillis went fairly early in the two fantasy drafts in which I participated. I do not see his value as being all that great when it comes to scoring fantasy points. I hope I am wrong and he has an All-Pro like season.

“I think for the first time the Chiefs think they have a 53-man roster that is deep – that they might cut somebody who is good.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: I sure saw a lot of Chiefs on the field in the preseason who needed to be cut. Maybe this is the right 53, but that preseason team was definitely the wrong 90.

“The problem [with Scott Pioli] is when you surround yourself with enough yes men, there is nobody there [at Arrowhead] who will do what the three of us; me, [Clinkscale] and Leabo, will do to each other – which is tell each other, ‘What are you doing you moron?’ We do that all the time.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Did KK actually say that??? The only guy I know who surrounded himself with more yes men than KK was Kim Jong-il. Read on.

“Back in 1994, Kim Jong-il set a record that is likely to stand forever. Playing his first round of golf on a regulation, PGA-style, 18-hole course, Kim Jong Il scored 11 holes-in-one while he carded a stunning 38 UNDER par. Seventeen bodyguards were on hand to witness and attest the score.”

“I expect great things out of Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos this year.”
Ron Jaworski, NFL analyst, ESPN Radio

“The Denver Broncos are a Super Bowl caliber team now that they’ve added Peyton Manning.”
Sean Salisbury, NFL analyst, 810 AM
GH: I have been hearing and reading A LOT of positive press on Peyton Manning. I just don’t see him being Peyton the Colt in Denver. I think we are going to get more Peyton the Two-Steps-From-The-Glue-Factory. I cannot wait to find out. The Broncos open on Sunday night against the Steelers. You know my wife is excited for this one to end her weekend…

“The fact delta added a flight to COMO this wknd is NOT good news for mizzou fans. Expect around 10000 georgia fans.”
Bob Fescoe, @bobfescoe, Twitter
GH: That’s the SEC, bro. It’s like playing Nebraska every weekend. Is that the sound of new hotel construction I hear coming from Columbia? 10,000 visitors ain’t all that bad.

“I wish I could be there. I wish I could be in that stadium. We’ll feel the radiation burns this far west.”
Mitch Holthus, on the expected atmosphere at Faurot in Columbia, 810 AM
GH: I had a chance to be at this game but there is just too much going on Saturday for me to concentrate on one game. That Miami/KSU game is really going to wreck my wife’s Saturday morning viewing of Pawn Stars on our big TV. And Nebraska is in the Rose Bowl to face UCLA during the UGA/MU game. Dualing tubes will be fired up all day at my house.

“I believe each game is its own entity. No two games are the same. We need to beat Rice to take the next step. This is a process.”
Charlie Weis, @CoachWeisKansas, prior to KU’s game against Rice, Twitter
GH: I keep hearing from Steven St. John, Kietzman and Fescoe what a great interview Charlie Weis is compared to other coaches. He sure sounds a lot like the same old tired stuff to me.

@ericstonestreet: EMAW baby! @SofiaVergara says GO CATS!”
Eric Stonestreet, K-State grad and also doing business as FISBO the clown on Modern Family, Twitter
GH: Stonestreet sent his fellow Cats fans a treat with this photo of his Modern Family co-star, say.ly/fCE47k2.


“Today marks 33rd anniversary of ESPN, which launched Sept. 7, 1979. Happy anniversary to a company that, thankfully, is part of our culture.”
Adam Schefter, @AdamSchefter, Twitter
GH: ESPN takes a load of criticism from inside the media – and much of it is deserved. But they changed sports broadcasting forever – and I love them for it. Remember all those Australian Rules football games we would watch just because ESPN broadcast them? Stand up right now and whip off an Australian Rules TD signal if you’re with me!

“I can’t comment on anything except to say when people are on field trips they are exceptionally chaperoned. On this trip there was full coverage by supervisors and we are extremely pleased with the way we monitor kids and keep everybody safe.”
Dan McMahon, DeMatha Catholic High School Principal, after five DeMatha football players were removed from the team after they reportedly hired prostitutes to come to their hotel rooms while the team was in North Carolina for a game, Washington Post
GH: I do not know a lot about Mr. Dan McMahon or his work as a high school principal, but I am going to go out on a limb and say he might be due for a leave of absence. If he is “extremely pleased” with the work of the chaperones and supervisors on this trip where five kids had hookers in their room, he might want to check into becoming a politician.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Georgia and its "old man football" coming to Mizzou Saturday

Posted 9-6-12

“Enjoying all the ku/ksu fans tweeting me Mizzou will get blown out by UGA. Maybe so, but if so, what's that say about the Big 12?”
Gabe DeArmond, @GabeDeArmond, of PowerMizzou.com, Twitter
GH: Are Big 12 fans rooting for Mizzou and Texas A&M in their first weekend of SEC conference play? It doesn’t sound like it from what I’ve heard and read. Read on.

“It’s lose-lose for MU/A&M. Get killed: ‘you guys suck!’ Play well; ‘Big 12 is great.’”
Tim Fritson, @TimFristson, Twitter
GH: One thing I have liked about how Gary Pinkel and Mizzou have handled the SEC transition is that they have defended the quality of football played in the Big 12 at every opportunity. Even Sheldon Richardson’s blast at Georgia and the SEC could be seen as a compliment to play in the Big 12. I know it’s too much to expect from my fellow Big 12 fans, but I root for Colorado, Nebraska, A&M and Mizzou every Saturday in their new conferences. I also don’t understand the Mizzou fans who have turned their back on the Big 12 and say they no longer follow the conference. College football is to be enjoyed, not ignored.

“I have always said I could not understand a fan rooting for another team in their conference to win. Now, I honestly believe that we have fans in this city who are rooting for conferences. … I’ve never seen a team [like Missouri] brag about a team in their league that’s better than their team and wear that like that’s their trophy! ‘Did you see Alabama? That’s SEC, baby!’ Well, no. Go beat Alabama! Alabama winning all these national titles didn’t help Missouri.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman is flipping back and forth from Mizzou hater to Mizzou baiter with such ferocity this week that he might pull a Linda Blair in the studio when Jack Harry arrives on Wednesday afternoon. Read on.

“Georgia’s just not that impressive. They lost a bunch of games last year. I don’t know how they got ranked this high. I don’t know why anybody thinks they’re that great. Georgia should be a ‘team receiving votes’ or ranked in the 20s. Right now what I see [in the SEC] is a whole bunch of teams that should be ranked somewhere between 15 and 40.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Hear that MU? Kietz thinks Georgia is an overrated cupcake playing in a conference that is a bloated figment of every poll’s imagination.

“I believe one week in, that the Big 12 looks a lot better than the SEC. I’m watching the SEC closer than I ever have and I was underwhelmed. … Who wouldn’t want the SEC to fall on their face a little bit? Absolutely you’d like to see some of their teams stub their toe.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: If anyone is rooting for and against conferences, it’s Kietzman. He’s got a Ralphie-sized chip on his microphone when it comes to Mizzou’s new conference.

“First of all, what Sheldon did was wrong and irresponsible. That doesn’t happen around here. He got caught up in the moment, he made a mistake, we handled that internally. We don’t do that here at Missouri.”
Gary Pinkel, Washington Post
GH: Richardson is being publicly admonished by his coach and a large part of the Mizzou fan base, but he accomplished what MU has spent the past 10 months attempting – creating excitement and publicity about Mizzou joining the SEC from coast to coast. ESPN, Fox Sports, Yahoo.com, satellite radio and newspapers across the land are buzzing about Richardson’s “old-man football” comment. Pinkel can call it “wrong and irresponsible” but the MU marketing department might label it as brilliant.

“Howdy Gainesville: You’ve been annexed by Aggie Nation. The Best Academics & Cleanest Program in the SEC. WHOOP! Real Football. Real Tradition.”
Billboard, in Gainesville, Fl, prior to the Florida/ Texas A&M game this Saturday, GatorZone.com
GH: The Texas A&M brass is also distancing themselves from this billboard, much like Mizzou is apologizing for Richardson’s words. Sorry, but I like the show of stones. The Aggies understand that the meek will not inherit the SEC. I’m not sure the SEC understood who they invited to their party, but they seemed to be shocked that MU and A&M have some ego of their own.

“[Kirk] Herbstreit on Georgia and Missouri: 'Mo is going to introduce UGA to a different style of football- UGA may have hands full w/ Franklin.’ ”
Paul Finebaum,
@finebaum, Twitter

“If UGA shows up against Mizzou, Richt is 30-4 on road in conf. We are in for a treat in Columbia. Richardson made sure UGA will be ready.”
TJ Carpenter, @TJCarpenterWHB, Twitter
GH: Was there ever a question as to Georgia showing up at Faurot and not being ready for their SEC opener? Billboard words are great for the media but have almost nothing to do with an athlete’s focus or performance. What they do well is sell tickets and soap.

“Here's something Mizzou fans don't know yet but will soon: UGA often loses when many people think they will win. I'm seeing a Tiger win.”
Wright Thompson, @wrightthompson, Twitter

“I already think it’s going to be a season of growing pains for Missouri. I think you’ve got to learn sometime, coming from the Big 12. I know one thing, [Sheldon Richardson] better worry about tacking Ty Gurley.”
Chris Leak, former Florida QB, on the Mizzou tackle’s brash boasts about Georgia and the SEC, Sirius/XM 91
GH: The Big 12 will not be alone in rooting against Mizzou on Saturday. The old guard in the SEC is depending on Georgia to teach the new kids their place in the conference.

“Les Miles said to me in a guarded moment; ‘Does Missouri know what it did?’ That’s kind of how they’re thought of right now.”
Dennis Dodd, on Mizzou’s move to the SEC, 810 AM

“I think at the end of the year both of these teams are going to be 5-6 and playing each other for a bowl game.”

Mark May, on Mizzou and Texas A&M's inaugural season in the SEC, ESPN
GH: Both Missouri and Texas A&M have a chance to challenge that perception this Saturday or confirm it. Let’s get it on.

“In the history of the Big 12 Conference, this is the toughest it’s ever been. You have six teams that you can make a legitimate argument that can win the Big 12 this year.”
Carrington Harrison, 610 AM
GH: After only one week of play, it is difficult to assess the strength of the Big 12 – but that won’t stop most of us from trying. West Virginia looked like a national title contender. Oklahoma State might be even better than the Mountaineers. Oklahoma was very disappointing. Texas looks to be better but how much? Kansas State looked like they always do early – not very impressive. Baylor looks to have reloaded nicely – a pleasant surprise. Texas Tech pounded a nobody. Iowa State is just a tough squad that can win or lose any week. Kansas got a much-needed win and might get their second against Rice. Is this the toughest the Big 12 has ever been? Probably not.

“K-State’s passing offense is no better than it was last year. It has not improved. Collin Klein is the same thrower. His receivers are too small and they’re still capable of dropping almost every pass. K-State can beat you through the air only when they trick you. They do not have the players to just line up and throw the football.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Miami gave up almost 350 yards passing to Boston College last week. I expect Collin Klein’s numbers to improve quite a bit against The U.

“Am I the only one who thinks K-State is going to kick Miami’s butt? I think they win by two touchdowns.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM

“I have no anticipation that Miami can win this football game. There’s too many distractions at Miami. I don’t think Miami’s going to beat K-State at all.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM

“Miami may snicker on the bus to the stadium. But once there, they might incur the wrath of a rabid fan base that gave Pete Carroll fits.”
D. Scott Fritchen, @DScottFritchen, on the Hurricanes’ perception of the Little Apple, Twitter
GH: How different it must be for the players on Miami or USC to experience the passion of a fan base like K-State’s. Sure, the Canes and Trojans have great fans but their game-day experience isn’t anything like what Collin Klein and his teammates know.

“I’m leaning toward that there’s a lot of hype around this [Dayne Crist] kid that’s not warranted. He couldn’t get on the field with Notre Dame. I didn’t see a lot out of KU Saturday night that’s makes me giddy that they’re better.”
Kevin Kietzman, on KU’s first-year senior quarterback, 810 AM
GH: Did Kietz see Turner Gill on the KU sideline? No? They’re better.

“I was disappointed, I’ll say that. I was disappointed watching the game. … [Crist] appears to me to be a guy who knows what to do but has trouble doing it.”
Danny Clinkscale, on KU’s win over South Dakota State, 810 AM
GH: It is way, way, way too early to evaluate Crist. I think he has a chance to be fun to watch.

“Art Modell will be vilified for some forever for Browns move, but he was a visionary who belonged in Hall of Fame before his passing.”
Jason La Canfora, @JasonLaCanfora, on the former Browns’ owner’s death, Twitter
GH: Who is more hated in Cleveland, Modell or LeBron? Can you imagine if Ray Lewis would have played his career as a Cleveland Brown? They’d be building him a statue next to the Rock & Roll HOF.

“Coach has never called me to say hurry to a presser, but Mangino used to bust on @BradyMcCollough's sandals and Self busts on my hair.”
Tully Corcoran, @tullycorcoran, Twitter
GH: How is Bill Self busting on ANYBODY’S hair?

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24

Petro all over the map on Chiefs; Whitlock stranded in the desert

Posted 9-6-12

“I just have to believe [the Chiefs] are better prepared than they were last year. I do have to say I am concerned about the Chiefs playing for a players’ coach. I think it’s going to be short term for Romeo Crennel with the Chiefs. .. I’m going to stand by the 10-6 for the Kansas City Chiefs.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Petro sounded conflicted as he gave his 2012 Chiefs prediction. He acknowledged the upgrades in personnel but is concerned with a recycled head coach from Cleveland. Petro says Crennel could follow Bill Belichick’s path and find Super Bowl success the second time around – but he doesn’t see that happening. In fact, Petro sees almost everything and anything as a possibility. Read on. 

“This [Chiefs] team could absolutely be the San Francisco 49ers of this season. I could see them going 13-3. I could also see everything going to hell and them finishing 6-10.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Okay. Solid analysis here from the Syracuse grad. At least Kenny Kenny picks a side and sticks with it.

“I really don’t get all wrapped up with being 100-percent because in football, nobody is really ever 100-percent. If I’m out there, I’ll be ready.”
Brandon Flowers, Chiefs defensive back, on his availability for the Atlanta game, SBNation.com
GH: If Flowers is going to be covering Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White on a bad wheel, Matt Cassel and Brian Daboll are going to have to play June Jones’ football on Sunday to stay with Atlanta. Read on.

“This is a terrific Atlanta team. They are loaded! This is a very difficult first game for the Chiefs. Very, very difficult.”
Kevin Harlan, 810 AM
GH: Harlan does not sound optimistic about the Chiefs chances in their opener – and with Tamba Hali out, Brandon Flowers hobbled and the Chiefs’ disappointing preseason games, it is no secret as to why. The NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi [one of the most bored-sounding guests on local radio – he sounds like he would rather be doing almost anything else but talk to The Border Patrol] is picking the Chiefs to win Sunday. He is banking on Atlanta’s QB, Matt Ryan, playing poorly outside the dome on the road. Tony Gonzalez though can’t wait to get here. Read on.

“I’ve got to say thank you to the NFL people for scheduling it the first game of the season. … The most special part about it is the fans. There’s no doubt about it. That’s what I miss, the fans, the atmosphere. The fan support they gave me and my family, I count that as my family because they’re always there with me when I’m on the field.”
Tony Gonzalez, on his first game at Arrowhead as an opponent, Kansas City Star
GH: Gonzo will likely go into the NFL HOF as a Chiefs’ player and be remembered as one of the city’s favorite athletes. But should he feel this comfortable coming back to a town that he willingly left? Every athlete should do what is best for themselves when it comes to their contract and for which team they choose to play – but Arrowhead might not be nearly as friendly to the tight end as he remembers come Sunday.

“This is a story that I don’t care about at all.”
Soren Petro, on the NFL using replacement refs until they reconcile with the referee union, 810 AM
GH: Some in the media are apoplectic over the thought of replacements referees. Kevin Kietzman is one of those. Bob Fescoe is another. I side more with Petro. If the refs can’t settle their labor dispute without a strike, I’d pull a Reagan and can them all.

“The replacement head referee will make about 6.5X less than the lowest paid player on the field ($22,941 a week is rookie minimum). If the replacement refs lasted the whole season, the head referees would make $59,500 for roughly 53 hours of in-game work.”
Darren Rovell, @darrenrovell, Twitter
GH: And the NFL referees are bitching about their pay? A pension??? Get real, guys. You just may have hosed yourselves into becoming nobody insurance salesmen once again.

“Shut up. RT @mikehelms54: @ChrisJohnson28 huge titans fan but man you need to get outside and show your speed stop looking for the cut back.”
Chris Johnson, @ChrisJohnson, Titans’ All-Pro running back, Twitter
GH: Maybe my all-time pro athlete tweet.

“I'm on 15 South at Baker and power is out and can't buy gas. This is not a joke. Don't have enough gas to get to Barstow. Need help.”
Jason Whitlock, in a tweet he sent out Tuesday afternoon while driving from Las Vegas to LA, Twitter
GH: Deadspin.com reported Whitlock’s plight yesterday and followed it up with the following comment…

“We know Whitlock spent his Labor Day weekend in Vegas, and he's apparently on his way back to L.A. He hasn't quite made it. He's currently in the tiny roadside town of Baker, Calif, pop. 735. The power is out, the pumps aren't working, and he doesn't have enough gas to make the next town. He may die out there, among the snakes and scorpions and former boomtowns of the American West, with nary a mobile-friendly link in sight. ‘The way of the world is to bloom and to flower and die but in the affairs of men there is no waning and the noon of his expression signals the onset of night.’ Whitlock's been known to Tweetlie before, so grain of salt on this, but if true it's absolutely our favorite thing of ever.”
Barry Petchesky, writer, DeadSpin.com
GH: Fortunately for Pork Chop, his tweet was answered by a good Samaritan and he safely found his way back to LA. I am guessing it was not Joe Posnanski who was driving the tow truck.

“I can't wait till @dduffkc23 starts pitching again and I can say yea he is my homie!”
Zach Lehman, @ZachLehman10, Twitter
GH: Following professional athletes on Twitter is mostly useless. Duffy is the glaring exception. He tweets like he is an old high school teammate of yours. I hope he comes back from his TJ surgery and has a 10-year career here in Kansas City. He has a chance to be the city’s most well-liked, regular-Joe kind of athlete – the kind I thought had become extinct.

“You’re not familiar with my boss. I think he’s counting down the days.”
Danny Parkins, after Brian Weber, a guest from the NFL Network, compared Parkins’ resigning his contract with 610 Sports to that of the NFL referees holdout, saying if Parkins held out his listeners would miss him, 610 AM
GH: Parkins made this comment as a kind of aside but there is some truth to his torment. Word out of 610 Sports is that Parkins and his boss, Ryan Maguire, have been on the outs since Nick Wright’s departure. It was Maguire who fired the rest of Wright’s crew at the time, which Wright then turned into a scorched-earth attack on his old station and boss. I am not sure if this has anything to do with why Parkins and Maguire can’t get along but I don’t expect Parkins to be at 610 once his contract expires.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


MU's Richardson rips on Georgia

Posted 9-4-12

“I watched that [Buffalo/Georgia] game. I turned it off, too. It's like watching Big Ten football. It's old man football. “
Sheldon Richardson, Mizzou’s outstanding and outspoken defensive tackle, on Georgia’s 45-23 win, Columbia Tribune
GH: One week into SEC football and Richardson is acting like he grew up in Tuscaloosa listening to Paul Finebaum’s sports talk radio show. In three short sentences, Richardson managed to slam Georgia, the SEC, old men, all football before 1990 AND the Big 10! Personally, I love his brashness. You don’t succeed in the SEC with manners. Read on.

“Well, did he say old man or old school? Oh, so, old man football? I don’t know what he meant by that. Bottom line, we've got to get after it and do what we do well.”
Mark Richt, Georgia’s head coach, when asked to respond to Richardson’s comment, Columbia Tribune
GH: I think Richt knows EXACTLY what Richardson meant – and he is interpreting his words for any of his Bulldogs who do not speak Zou Talk.

“They got a Heisman candidate at quarterback. OK. So we're going to get some and do what we're supposed to do. We create our own pressure. That's it, man. Don’t nobody put no pressure on us. We come out there for every game. We do what we're supposed to do.”
Sheldon Richardson, Columbia Tribune
GH: Okay, maybe I don’t speak Zou Talk either, because I have no idea what the heck Richardson is trying to convey here. Does he respect Aaron Murray, the Bulldogs’ junior QB, or not? I’m pretty sure Richardson doesn’t respect anybody in the opposition’s uniform. Read on.

“If we execute, nobody in this league can touch us. Period.”
Sheldon Richardson, Columbia Tribune
GH: Get this guy on Finebaum’s show and pair him up in a conference call with Legend! Ten minutes on the air and Richardson would have six southern states ready to march on Missouri. Make it happen Chad Moller!

“Sometimes when everybody works in that [spread formation] direction they sometimes forget how to defend some hard-nosed football. We believe in that. … But bottom line we still believe in having a fullback in the game, running the ball and the play-action pass that comes with it.”
Mark Richt, Columbia Tribune
GH: Richt’s comments won’t get near the run that Richardson’s received but his carry some punch of their own. He appears to be insinuating that Big 12 teams like Mizzou will have difficulty defending “some hard-nosed football.” I think that’s the kind of football Richardson is referring to as “old man.” Game time Saturday is 6:30 PM in Columbia. Cats and Dogs – gonna be special!

“Way overhyped. They make it seem like we came from the WAC or something or never played against Oklahoma or Texas Tech and everyone else who plays for national championships. It's about that time we show them who we are.”
Sheldon Richardson, Columbia Tribune
GH: Let’s hear it for those caped Red Raiders! The Swamp? Death Valley? Jordan-Hare? These hallowed haunts are no scarier than a Special Olympics venue when compared to Lubbock’s Jones AT&T Stadium and Tech’s impressive trophy case, displaying the 1993 Women’s Basketball National Championship trophy.

“We could have played Alabama today. It don't matter, man. We're coming out here every game like this, high-intense football.”
Sheldon Richardson, Columbia Tribune

“You want your players to believe that and think that – you don’t want your players to SAY that.”
Steven St. John, on Richardson’s bold comments about Georgia, 810 AM
GH: Unless you host a sports talk radio show or write a column called Off The Couch.

“Georgia tailback Todd Gurley was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman Player of the Week following his performance versus Buffalo. … Gurley, a 6-foot-1, 218-pound freshman from Tarburo, N.C., had 227 yards on 10 touches (100 yards on 8 carries and 127 yards on two kickoff returns) and 3 TDs. Of course, Gurley’s work came against Buffalo, a Mid-American Conference team.”
Chip Towers, writer, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
GH: All of Georgia has been buzzing about this freshman running back all summer. Mr. Richardson, meet Mr. Gurley. Winner takes over the favorite in the SEC East. Sorry Gamecocks, that win over Vandy was not impressive.

“[Gurley] averaged about what he did in every scrimmage, about 12.5 yards a carry. I hope that’s a trend. I wouldn’t he betting on that for the rest of his career. But everybody got a chance to see what we had seen.”
Mark Richt, Georgia head coach, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
GH: The SEC looks LOADED with Heisman-type running backs. USC has the marvelous Marcus Lattimore, who was the SEC offensive player of the week. Alabama has a true freshman of their own who looks like another Heisman hopeful, T.J. Yeldon – and he has the best offensive line in college football blocking for him.

“I think [Kansas] has a chance to get into some shootouts with some Big 12 teams. If they can [stay close] into the fourth quarter, maybe they can pull off some upsets.”
Tom Keegan, Lawrence Journal World columnist, 810 AM
GH: Keegan made this comment the day before the Jayhawks won their opener over South Dakota State by the score of 31-17. KU will take the win but the Hawks need better play from their big-name QB, Dayne Crist. Much is expected of the former Notre Dame recruit. Read on.

“Dayne Crist solid, not spectacular — yet.”
Headline, Lawrence Journal-World
GH: Kansas is putting Bill Self-like expectations on this senior. Even if he plays well, he has a killer schedule to maneuver. Crist’s job is to get the Jayhawk faithful to the start of basketball practice on October 12th. It is not an easy task. 

“The passing game for Kansas State will absolutely be a factor for them this season, Guaranteed!”
Stan Weber, on the expected improvements to Collin Klein’s throwing mechanics and accuracy, 810 AM
GH: Kansas State was tied with Missouri State 9-9 into the third quarter but turned the game into the expected rout with a 35-point fourth quarter. Miami comes to Manhattan for an 11:00 AM kickoff this Saturday. This game doesn’t carry the hype of UGA/MU but it could be just as terrific to witness.

“I said, ‘Where is everybody?’ I’ve never seen The Swamp that empty.”
Mark Packer, sports talk host, on the 10,000 empty seats for the Gators’ home opener against Bowling Green, Sirius XM Channel 91
GH: Gainesville is one of the SEC’s most respected and feared venues. Tim Tebow is now gone though, and it appears some of the Gator swag went with him.

“I hated that the game got out of hand so fast. … But we weren’t going to just take a knee. We had to just execute our plays.”
Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State’s head coach, on the Cowboys 84-0 win over Savannah State, ESPN
GH: OSU has no reason to be ashamed. The folks over at Savannah State though might all want to gather around a mirror.

“Landry Jones faced pressure on nearly every snap, had trouble finding his receivers. The running game bogged down most of the night. The specials teams allowed two blocked kicks, one that led to a touchdown. It wasn't pretty, nearly a disaster actually, but the Sooners found a way to grind out a win.”
John Marshall, writer, on Oklahoma’s 24-7 win at UTEP, AP
GH: Kudos for Oklahoma for going on the road to play UTEP. On second thought, what the hell was Bob Stoops thinking?

“It got so late, I fell asleep and I didn’t get to see that last touchdown. … It wasn’t like Oklahoma State/Savannah. It was a little more competitive than that.”
Mark Price, UTEP head coach, after his team had tied Oklahoma 7-7 at the half of the game that began at 8:30 PM Saturday, but lost 24-7 after a late OU touchdown, Sirius XM Channel 91
GH: Price is the former Washington State coach who didn’t quite get that Alabama gig a decade ago. He did not sound happy that Big Game Bob slapped a late TD on his hard-fighting Miners. OU looks to have problems on both sides of the football. This could mean the Big 12 is far from decided…unless West Virginia is as good as they looked against Marshall. 69-34? The Mountain Men play the Cowboy Men in Stillwater November 11th. Oh yeah!

“Oh! Did he catch it? Yes! Devin Smith! The catch of the year!”
Paul Keels, Ohio State’s radio play-by-play voice, on the sophomore’s one-handed snare of a catch as he tumbled into the corner of the end zone, Buckeyes Radio Network
GH: Shut down the ESPY voting, this catch is the best of 2012. Un-freaking-believable. Watch it here.

“Give me your KC College Football power poll. K-State, Kansas, Mizzou rank them.”
JT Carpenter, @JTCarpenterWHB, Twitter
GH: A power poll between the three local schools after one game? Am I expecting too much from our SEC newbie? He has to have more radio game than this, right? What’s next, a poll on the top three Royals of all time? Carpenter doesn’t appear to be lazy but his instincts may have been dulled by wearing that hog head for too many years.

“No FBS team in the nation had more quarterback sacks in Week 1 than Northern Illinois' six vs. Iowa on Saturday.”
Mike Hlas, @Hlas, Twitter
GH: Iowa started K-State slow against NIU but managed to nip the Huskies 18-17. The Cyclones come to Iowa City for a 2:30 PM kickoff. I always get juiced for this in-state hate game. I like the Clones by 8.

“Penn State started as 8.5 point underdogs against Virginia. That has opened up to 10 points.”
Ben Jones, @Ben_Jones88, after the Nittany Lions began their new era with a 10-point loss to Ohio in Not-So Happy Valley, Twitter
GH: Penn State could win their next five games[@ Virginia, Navy, Temple, @ Illinois and Northwestern]. They should win at least four of them. If they do not, not even Joe Posnanski could write a fairytale sweet enough to calm the storm that will roll through Beaver Stadium.

“Lab dog was dragged to death in Rogers County. $4500 has been offered for the capture of those responsible. I will match reward. Sorry SOB.”
Barry Switzer, @Barry_Switzer, Twitter
GH: Love this guy.

“Flowers: ‘If I'm out there on Sunday, then that means I'm ready to go. We'll know game day.’”
Adam Teicher, @adamteicher, on the Chiefs’ DB’s availability, Twitter
GH: Translation: Flowers ain’t playing against Atlanta.

“George Toma enshrinement into Royals Hall of Fame now rescheduled for Sept. 21st. The ceremony was initially scheduled for August 31, but was postponed due to inclement weather.”
@fox4sports, Twitter
GH: Anybody else see the irony in this one?

GregHall24@Yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Posnanski comes across as another Paterno apologist

Posted 8-31-12

“I’m real proud of it. I think it’s the best work I’ve done.”
Joe Posnanski, in a recent interview with Bob Costas on NBCSports
GH: JoPo had been almost invisible since his Paterno biography was released last week until he appeared on Costas’ show Wednesday night. The reviews of Paterno from almost every corner of the media have been mostly brutal. JoPo sounded defiant as he defended his book to Costas – who was professional but not soft on Posnanski. Read on.

“Which is not true. Significantly too high.”
Joe Posnanski, after Costas quoted the reported $750K advance payment JoPo received from Simon and Schuster, NBCSports
GH: JoPo was very quick to correct Costas on this number but never offered a figure. Like JoePa’s involvement in the Sandusky cover-up, JoPo left us to guess at what the truth really is.

“Nobody else waited.”
Joe Posnanski, when asked why he didn’t wait to include more of the Sandusky findings in his book, NBCSports
GH: This was a different JoPo than I remember at The Star. This JoPo sounded a bit pissed. Mean even. It was obvious he is tired of having his reputation shredded by friends, at least one enemy and just about everyone who cracked his book.

“Has there not been enough cynicism in the Joe Paterno story? There’s been plenty of cynicism. What I tried to do is be fair. What I tried to do is be honest.”
Joe Posnanski, when asked if he might have been the wrong writer for Paterno, NBCSports
GH: Costas asked the perfect question here, allowing JoPo to simply acquiesce and blame the unforeseen circumstances for the missing chapters in his book. But JoPo was adamant that he was the right guy for the job. He believes he did the right thing – just as he believes JoePa.

“My own personal opinion, which I will share with you, is not as important as the readers.”
Joe Posnanski, when pressed by Costas to reveal his opinion of what and when Paterno knew and did, NBCSports
GH: This is the JoPo I know – completely unable to deliver the goods when the goods are sour, smelly and rancid. JoPo wants every story he tells to be sweet, light and nostalgic. He attempts to force his book Paterno through this filter, but the reviewers have rejected it like Kaopectate.

“I wrote in a book and I believe that Joe Paterno should have done more. I told him that to his face directly. I don’t believe he was involved in a cover-up. I don’t believe he did this to protect his legacy. I understand that others do.”
Joe Posnanski, NBCSports
GH: That sentence is all you need to know if you have not, like I have, already invested $18 to purchase Paterno. The big question many of us had prior to the books release is how would JoPo treat JoePa’s crimes? Well, in a word – denial.

“I believe this [Freeh] report is very incomplete and I believe that it’s going to come out, it’s going to emerge, that some of the people that wrote the emails and so on are going to come out and say everything has been misspoken.”
Joe Posnanski, NBCSports
GH: I wanted Costas to laugh hysterically after JoPo made this inane comment. Costas though is far more controlled than I. JoPo is struggling mightily to make his side of the story appear plausible. He is failing miserably.

“I’m really not looking to dodge [questions] because there are so many things hard to understand and hard to know. I have many of the same facts that are in the Freeh Report. He jumped to conclusions that I cannot jump to. … The cover-up, the idea that he was actively following it – to me these things are still up in the air.”
Joe Posnanski, NBCSports
GH: To me, JoPo is not up in the air but down in the gutter – with all the other Paterno apologists. I expect this book to scar JoPo’s reputation for life and even beyond. Sandusky’s victims deserve it.

“No. No I don’t. But I don’t think that almost anybody could.”
Joe Posnanski, when asked if he believed Paterno understood the “full dimension of what was happening,” NBCSports
GH: What was so difficult to understand? Posnanski continually attempted to make this story complicated, muddled and remote. It is the simplest story known to man. Good versus evil. Choose your side.

“I don’t know what he knew about 1998. I don’t know what Mike McQueary told him about 2001. I do know what he told me. And what he told me was that when he heard what Mike told him, he went to the book and said, ‘What am I supposed to do about this?’ He reported it to Tim Curly.”
Joe Posnanski, NBCSports
GH: This is a rich, rich statement from JoPo. He alludes that he cannot know what he did not personally hear. Convenient, no? This from a man whose columns are littered with “conversations” he could never have witnessed or heard. One of Jason Whitlock’s biggest pet peeves about JoPo were these “conversations” he would drop into his columns. I was half hoping Costas would bring out Pork Chop halfway through the interview and turn the questioning over to him.

“He told me he did not know about 1998. And there’s no question from those emails there is a pretty strong suggestion that he was told something about 1998. What he was told is very vague and tough to figure out. What he was told I think is very much up in the air.”
Joe Posnanski, NBCSports
GH: What an absolute bullshit line of crapola. No wonder JoPo has been in hiding. It’s tough to defend the defenseless.

“As a biographer, did I bring the entire person to life? That’s what I tried to do.”
Joe Posnanski, NBCSports
GH: Well Mr. Posnanski, you failed. You failed your subject. You failed your readers. You failed humanity.

“By every person’s recollection he was completely principled, completely honest and completely driven to perfection. Those things drove him and the program for years and years.”
Joe Posnanski, NBCSports
GH: JoPo couldn’t find ONE person in or around Happy Valley who thought ill of St. Joe? JoPo might be the worst reporter since Tokyo Rose.

“My grandfather was a very learned man. And I can tell you that my grandfather wouldn’t have known what sodomy was. … [Paterno] might not have known exactly what it was.”
Joe Posnanski, when asked by Costas how an Ivy-League educated Paterno could feign such ignorance, NBCSports
GH: Wow. Just wow. Even JoPo’s grandfather would want to smack JoPo after that one whopper.

“What I think bothered him and hurt him the most was what happened to Penn State and what happened to the football program. How all of his players that had played for him, people would now associate them with this. They would not appreciate how good they had been and what great citizens they had been and what great students. I think those were the things that bothered him. I think he saw those things as his legacy. And he felt that this thing was going to affect that.”
Joe Posnanski, NBCSports
GH: And that folks is your answer to the riddle that is Joe Paterno. What bothered him most about this scandal was football, football players and football wins. Nary a mention by JoPo of Paterno’s sorrow or compassion for Sandusky’s victims – or more accurately stated, Penn State’s victims.

“Tremendous agony. Tremendous agony. They are all eager to get the truth out.”
Joe Posnanski, when asked what kind of agony Paterno’s family is feeling, NBCSports
GH: Posnanski’s problem here is that he and the Paternos have no interest in seeking the truth. They are interested in resurrecting a fallen and disgraced man saint. Tremendous agony? How many victims did JoPo interview for his book? Their story is not part of the story JoPo wants us to know.

“As people get away from this and are less emotional about it, they’ll see what I was trying to do with this book. I think some people see it now, fortunately. A lot of people who have written reviews, came out with the same opinion they came in with. I’ve been taking a lot of hits even before the book ever came out.”
Joe Posnanski, NBCSports
GH: Get away from it and are less emotional??? I hope we are NEVER less emotional about child rape and men in power doing almost nothing to prevent it. JoPo has been taking hits? I hope the hits just keep coming, Joe.

“I believe I had better access for a book than I’ll ever get again and I used it as well as I could.”
Joe Posnanski, NBCSports
GH: If true, JoPo is far less a writer than his plaudits show.

“I honestly believe no. I honestly believe the book is as good as I could have made it. I think what it has now is a timing. I believe it has energy and I think it’s important. I think we’ve heard one story for a very long time and there are a lot of people who want to silence the other side. Let the whole story come out. Let’s find out who Joe Paterno really was. Let’s make it honest. Let’s make it real and let’s make it fair.”
Joe Posnanski, when asked if he could have written a better book two or three years from now, NBCSports
GH: Fair? The whole story? Honest? How and why lighting didn’t strike JoPo as he sat on Costas’ set is a wonder.

“It was too long and too many achievements to think it was worth nothing.”
Joe Posnanski, on Paterno’s life, NBCSports
GH: Durability and awards mean nothing, NOTHING, when shrouded by the ugliness cast on Paterno’s life. The truth is Penn State and all of those young boys who grew to be men would have been far better off if Paterno had become a plumber. 

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Jack Harry has lost his fire, needs to quit

Posted 8-30-12

“I think there is a chance that in the next 20 years, this year is [Missouri’s] best chance to compete [for an SEC title]. I’m saying their position this year is as good as it will ever be.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman despises the fact that Mizzou left for the SEC almost as much as he hates David Glass, New York and Nebraska Furniture Mart – or anything Nebraska. The SEC this season contains the two teams that finished first and second in the BCS last season, Alabama and LSU, – and both are expected to be just as good this season. Georgia, MU’s first SEC opponent, is ranked sixth in the country. South Carolina is ninth. Arkansas is tenth. If this season is as good as it gets for Mizzou over the next 20 years, somebody better order Tiger fans a jumbo glass of wine…or three. 

 “In the next 15 years, what if you had to bet a thousand dollars of your own money that Missouri wins an SEC championship or it doesn’t? It wouldn’t even take me a half of a second to say no! They never won one in the Big 12! And that was 15 years.”
Danny Clinkscale, in a discussion with Jack Harry, 810 AM
GH: Clinkscale and Kietzman ganged up on the doddering Jack Harry as they do each Wednesday afternoon and bludgeoned him with anti-Mizzou rhetoric. Mad Jack absorbed the savage blows like he was Rocky Balboa in his first bout with Apollo Creed. Harry’s appearances on KK’s show have become a public session in meanness. Harry can no longer defend himself and it is evident to me that Kietzman revels in verbally abusing the old man he continually reminds us is his “good friend.”

“I don’t even know what that means! Tell me what teams are in the Big 12 North, Jack?”
Kevin Kietzman, after Harry assured KK that the teams in MU’s SEC East were better than the teams in the Big 12 North, 810 AM
GH: Harry has not been his former caustic self since the Kansas fans had him talking to his boss about quitting. Harry couldn’t handle the heavy heat this past spring that his online rips about Kansas basketball brought him and he has since been little more than a male version of Karen Kornacki. KK smells this change on Harry and now treats him like a 100-yard wide fairway – he pounds it. Mike DeArmond or Steven St. John [with his gloves off] would make a great replacement for this segment if KK wants a fair fight.

“The best thing I got out of this [vacation] is that I completely forgot about this business. For the first time, and I’m embarrassed to say this – I completely got away from this. I felt [in the past] I didn’t give my family enough. This time – no. I followed nothing.”
Jack Harry, on his 10-day vacation where he married off his third daughter, 810 AM
GH: I think Jack’s boss should have accepted his resignation. There is nothing wrong in unplugging while on a family vacation – but the good reporters, broadcasters and writers are unable to do it. Jack has lost his hunger. He sounds old, tired and ready to quit. He should go.

“[Mizzou’s] biggest problem is what in the world happens after Gary Pinkel’s gone? And who is going to want the job in that conference? That’s going to be tough.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: That would be a great question for Gary Pinkel or Mike Alden the next time they are interviewed by Kietzman. It also would be a bad query for Bill Snyder and Charlie Weis.

“I’ll tell you what happen to Nebraska in [their first football season] in the Big 10. There was no mystique. All the mystique they had built up over the years [in the Big8/12] was just gone!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: KK talks about NU’s inaugural season in the Big 10 as if they turned into Slippery Rock. NU won nine games and five of them in the Big 10 – Ohio State and Michigan State being among their better wins. Husker fans were disappointed – especially losing to Northwestern at home – but a nine win season in a new conference ain’t too shabby. If Mizzou can scratch out nine wins this year as a member of the SEC, no one is going to be talking about their lost Big 12 mystique.

“One thing you look at when A&M and Missouri decided to join the SEC is that contributions soared.”
Andy Staples, SI.com, 810 AM
GH: One thing that is difficult to dispute is the passion both MU and A&M have had about joining their new conference. I didn’t see the same balls-out everybody-on-the-bus lust for the Big 10 from Nebraska fans. I think NU is happy in their new home but A&M and Mizzou are dougie dancing all the way to Gainesville and back.

“Oh, I don’t know if I can identify any [schools] in particular, but you know, the loss of traditions – whether it’s Syracuse and Pittsburgh out of the ACC or the end of Nebraska and Oklahoma [playing] on an annual basis. And it isn’t just football and men’s basketball. There are lots of great traditions have developed in college athletics in the Olympic sports as well.”
Bob Bowlsby, Big 12 Commissioner, when asked by Jay Binkley to name the schools he believes made a mistake in leaving their conference for another, 610 AM
GH: I have high hopes for Bowlsby as the new B12 commish, but he needs to quit channeling Chuck Neinas for his answers. OU and NU haven’t played annually since 1996, BB.

“I don’t know if I’m openly critical of it. I just kind of feel sad about it.”
Bob Bowlsby, when asked about conference realignment, 610 AM
GH: Somebody get Bobby and JoPo a room together.

“I just love Charlie Weis’ confidence! He sounds like he’s saying, ‘Bring it on!’”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: KK is hearing things from Weis I am not read in.


“I think psychologically these guys were just beaten down. They’d lost a bunch of games in a row and they didn’t think very much of themselves.”
Charlie Weis, on what he found at Kansas when he arrived, 610 AM
GH: Weis has one of the most difficult jobs in college coaching since Bill Snyder arrived in Manhattan. Can he turn around the $10-million mess Turner Gill left him? I will be rooting for the big guy to at least get the runaway train stopped this season.


“Those [K-State] teams always have character and character allows you to win those games in the end. That’s just the way Bill [Snyder] coaches. His teams play with character and they win games from behind. I don’t think things are going to change a whole lot. I don’t think they’re going to fall back in the pack. I think everybody’s going to contend with them in that conference.”
Gary Barnett, when asked if he expected KSU to slide back this season after so many close wins in 2011, 810 AM
GH: I doubted Snyder and his Cats almost every weekend last season. And every Saturday I sat in amazement as his gutty team proved me wrong. This season’s squad is better and more prepared. I am still somewhat skeptical. That Big 12 round-robin schedule is brutal. But the Cats are us northerners best hope over the southern juggernaut in Texas and Oklahoma.


“This is not going to be a 53-man [Chiefs’] roster chiseled in stone by Moses and brought down from Mount Sinai.”
Mitch Holthus, 810 AM
GH: Crazy Uncle Mitch is back – and he brought a parable!

“If I had to guess, going into [the final preseason game], they are going to keep four tight ends and no fullbacks.”
Mitch Holthus, on the pending roster cuts by the Chiefs, 810 AM
GH: This is the reason my wife makes me turn off sports talk radio in the car.

“Chiefs to win the AFC West.”
Peter King, SI.com
GH: SI’s Peter King is predicting the Chiefs go 10-6 and win the AFC West. He even has them winning their first-round playoff game over Buffalo. King also has Romeo Crennel as his choice for NFL Coach of the Year. But the good news ends there. The Monday Morning columnist has the Broncos in the Super Bowl and Peyton Manning as the league MVP. You have to admire King’s willingness to not only play outside the box but his ability to do it where there obviously is no oxygen.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24



Kent Babb leaving KC Star

Posted 8-29-12

“So, yeah, if you haven't heard, I have accepted a sports enterprise writing position with the Washington Post. Sorry for the sports journalism jargon. Sports enterprise means longer, in-depth pieces that I often did on Sundays.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, alerting his Twitter followers today about 1:00 PM [CT] of his new position at the WP, Twitter
GH: Just a few months after Babb was elevated to the role of sports columnist at The Star, he has accepted his dream gig. Good for Kent, bad for us Star readers. Babb was also interviewed by John Landsberg of BottomLineCom.com about his pending move from The Kansas City Star to The Washington Post. Read on.

“I have wanted to work for the Washington Post since I was a teenager, and this chance really came out of nowhere. There’s a mystique there that, as a journalist, is difficult to ignore. But, really, it boils down to this: It’s what I want to do, where I want to do it, and I have found that it’s rare in this business to get a shot at that combination. Plus, my wife has family in DC and northern Virginia, so this makes some sense on professional and personal levels.”
Kent Babb, in an interview with John Landsberg, BottomLineCom.com
GH: You can read Landberg’s report on Babb’s departure from The Star here. Writing for the Washington Post is heady stuff – especially for South Carolina grad. Who says the SEC is bereft of intelligence? I mean, besides almost everybody? Just having a little fun at your Gamecockiness expense, Kent. Read on for more.

“One of the first texts I got was from Scott Pioli, believe it or not, offering congrats. I'll miss my secretive old pal.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter
GH: Pioli is probably the happiest guy in town that the Blabber…uh, er…the Babbster is heading east. And don’t forget to PICK UP ANY CANDY WRAPPERS THAT WHITLOCK LEFT LAYING AROUND AT THE STAR!

“Best text, tho, was from one of my brainiac friends; after hearing I was going to the Washington Post, he wished me luck covering Seahawks.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter
GH: Most likely a former South Carolina valedictorian. #SEC!

“Maybe most surprising thing is that a job recruiter heard on the radio and called/emailed about helping her find something in DC. Weird.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter
GH: If she is looking for a tallish, shaved black man with a killer fade away jumper and a Minnesota accent, go ahead and give her Ivan Carter’s contact info.

“Leaving the Star after five years was not an easy decision for Babb, but the Post should be a more stable environment. In just the past few years the Star’s sports staff has gone from 19 sportswriters to just eight after he leaves. In fact, Babb was the last full-time sports hire from outside the paper.”
John Landsberg, BottomLineCom.com
GH: Wow! When you look at the dwindling numbers in black and white, it is staggering. The Star still is the source for most news in town…but for how long can they stretch so few so far?

“I'll still have plenty of time to continue paying attn to the Chiefs. Don't spend 5 yrs w/a team and just lose interest.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter
GH: Has Babb ever covered Kansas football?

“It is, of course, incredibly difficult to leave Kansas City and The Star, where I have been granted numerous opportunities to tell big stories, with the faith, backing and guidance of some of the best editors in journalism. They took a chance on me as an NFL beat writer (with no NFL experience) and a columnist (with no column experience), and for that I’m very grateful. I’m not nearly good enough at telling them often enough how much I appreciate their trust. Through my nearly five years there, I’m lucky to count most every coworker as a friend, and that’s not easy to leave behind.”
Kent Babb, BottomLineCom.com
GH: I do not know Babb well. I cannot remember ever meeting him in person. But I get the sense he is a straight shooter who spends little time or effort on industry politics. That makes him fairly unique when it comes to being a player in the media biz. One thing I always appreciated is the sarcastic camaraderie he has publicly shared with fellow Star columnist, Sam Mellinger. Read on. 

“Sorry is right. LOL!!! “@mellinger: Sorry, y'all. I'm sticking around. Job about to get better w/out that overgrown 12-yr-old around.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter
GH: I witnessed the relationship [or more accurately the non-relationship] between Star columnists Joe Posnanski and Jason Whitlock up close back in the ‘90s. It wasn’t destructive because they had almost no personal contact but it was far from nurturing or productive for The Star. I found the opposite true of Mellinger and Babb. They treated each other just like I treat my friends – and many of my enemies.

“Despite cutbacks and strains common in this business, The Star still has a commitment to in-depth, meaningful journalism that some other papers have, in a panic, left behind. There are challenges here, but the passion and talent in that sports department and newsroom are incredible.”
Kent Babb, BottomLineCom.com
GH: THAT is how you leave a job. Someone copy and paste Babb’s comment to our old pal, Whitlock.

“You know, I just might. It'll be my going-away gift in a couple wks “@bobfescoe: @kentbabb so this news means u reveal the mouth breather?”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter
GH: This is a bit of an ongoing inside joke with Babb, the media and his Twitter followers. A year or so ago he identified a member of the media covering the Chiefs by the mysterious name of The Mouth Breather. He has since refused to put the name with the moniker. Looks to me like Bob Gretz is about to get outted.

“That's a peek into journalism. No one breaks their own news.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, in answer to a follower who thought it was “lame” that Babb didn’t break his own story, Twitter

“It is, of course, bittersweet. I love KC and the Star. Couldn't turn this sucka down, though. I'll still be writing through Sept. 21.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter
GH: Landsberg is reporting that Babb will begin at The Washington Post on October 1st. No word on what his first feature story will be. Here is a tip for the Redskins, Babb is easily distracted by the odor of BBQ, heavily breathing males and Steve Spurrier.

“With today's news of the NFL replacement refs being used on opening day, I want the NFL Players to take a stand and go on strike.”
Bob Fescoe, @bobfescoe, Twitter
GH: Yes folks, Babb might be leaving but Fescoe remains. Yippee Yi Ki Yay…!

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Catcher's collisions

Posted 8-29-12

“After enough hitters were nailed in the head during the first century of baseball, the batters started wearing helmets, because everybody realized that getting drilled by pitches is not a good way to stay on the field and get paid. In the name of safety, most outfield walls have been padded. Rules on how baserunners can slide into second and third base have been enforced to protect the fielders. And inevitably, there will be rules made to reduce collisions between baserunners and catchers, because it's a senseless outlier in baseball's risk/reward equation. Until then, however, the play will stupidly be allowed to go on, perhaps until someone gets seriously hurt -- an ignominy that Yadier Molina narrowly avoided Tuesday night while trying to save one essentially meaningless run in one game in the midst of career that should encompass thousands of runs and games.”
Buster Olney, @Buster_ESPN, after the Cardinals’ catcher injured his back, neck and left shoulder following a home-plate collision with the Pirates’ Josh Harrison, ESPN.com
GH: I have long lobbied for baseball to remove this archaic anomaly from the game. Why it still remains is more a testament to baseball’s tortoise pace when it comes to altering Abner’s game. The dumbest rules in sports is probably golf forcing its players to accurately keep their own score. Allowing a base runner to plow into a catcher who has his back or side to the runner might be the next dumbest.

“I don’t think he’ll play quarterback at Missouri. He looks like a linebacker, safety or fullback.”
Todd Leabo, on Trent Hosick, Staley’s All-State QB who has committed to Mizzou, 810 AM
GH: I have watched Hosick play quarterback at Staley High the past three seasons and he is a Collin Klein clone – and as tough as they come at the high school level. He looks nothing like the Mizzou quarterbacks we have seen under Pinkel. His skill set is far more conducive to the Wildcat attack Snyder implemented for Klein. Hosick doesn’t play defense for Staley. While Leabo and I see him as more of a safety at MU, I’m not so sure Hosick has that same vision.

“I don’t know if people know how good Danny [Clinkscale] is, because Danny is really, really, really good! He knows the names, he’s descriptive, you can tell what’s going on. I’m a fan. He’s completely different when he does play-by-play. He’s a different guy.”
Kevin Kietzman, on Clinkscale’s play-by-play work on WHB’s high school football broadcasts, 810 AM
GH: As I listened to Kietzman praise Clink’s play-by-play work [which I too enjoy and have since his days with Roos’ basketball], I couldn’t help wondering how Danny perceived the praise. Telling someone you’re really good and a completely different guy from your regular radio work could be considered a hard knock.

“[Ryan] Tannehill was asked [on HBO’s Hard Knocks] which teams played in the NFC East. ‘Chiefs?’ Matt Moore laughs at him. ‘How do you not know this?’”
Ben Volin, @BenVolinPBP, Twitter
GH: The former Texas A&M quarterback is probably in the majority of NFL players who couldn’t place all 32 teams in their correct divisions. It is my opinion that the fans follow the game far more closely than most of the athletes. I am one Chiefs fan who is very glad Tannehill is not in charge of realignment. 

“Royals broadcast today has just been... weird. Physioc and Hudler all over the place with cadence, emotions & thoughts.”
Curtis Kitchen, @curtiskitchen, on their Sunday broadcast from Boston, Twitter
GH: I wouldn’t call that weird, that’s pretty much par for this pair. I know Hudler has garnered a fringe fan base and is he a likable guy – but he’s a flake as a TV analyst. I would like to see the Royals send both Rex and Physioc packing after October.

“Regardless of where in life u r today, concentrate on influencing others in a positive way tomorrow & take a step forward. Try that everyday.”
Frank Martin, @FrankMartin_SC, Twitter
GH: F-Bomb Frank might want to remember that speech during his timeouts this season while talking to his Gamecocks.

“That was the first conversation we had. He loves coach Self to death and has the utmost respect for him; he feels like coach Self got him to the person that he is, and I feel the same way.”
Tyshawn Taylor, on talking with his new Brooklyn Nets’ teammate, Deron Williams, who played for Self at Illinois, Kansas City Star
GH: Congrats to Tyshawn. The Star’s Rustin Dodd reports that Taylor has signed a guaranteed two-year contract with the Nets.

“I was playing against guys that I’ve been playing against (in college). It wasn’t like I was playing against (Derrick Rose) or (Rajon) Rondo.”
Tyshawn Taylor, on the competition he faced in the NBA summer league where he averaged 15.5/game, Kansas City Star
GH: Dodd reports that Taylor is living back in his hometown of Hoboken – just two blocks from where he grew up. I will be in New York in early November to run the marathon. One memento I’m looking forward to buying is a Brooklyn Nets t-shirt.

“I’d die before I wore that name! RT @BPalmer771: @Englishscope24 kinda weird to see you in blue and red, at least it doesn't say kansas!!”
Kim English, after changing his Twitter avatar to a photo of him dressed in his red and blue Pistons’ uniform, Twitter
GH: The games may no longer be on the KU and MU schedules but the rivalry remains. This will be the first time in 120 years the two Border States will not face off on the gridiron. Life [and rivalries] move on.

“Save the dates: Registration opens September 4, 2012 for Children’s TLC Groundhog Run. Race Day: January 27, 2013. 5K: $35. 10K: $39. An additional $5 charge will begin on November 14, 2013.”
Groundhog Run Email
GH: $35 bucks to run a 5K race? $40 if we don’t register three months in advance? Entry fees for many running events have jumped the shark – and my running budget. Skip two races and you can buy yourself a new pair of Nikes.

“Live life unfiltered.”
Billboard for Belgium unfiltered beer
GH: I see this billboard on I-435 during my daily commute. I’m not so sure this is good advice. While I do enjoy the raw, there is much to be said about a good filter. Your thoughts?

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24



Get ready for the SEC

Posted 8-28-12

“Hard to believe 15 years ago Michael Paul Bishop first stepped onto the field. K-State wouldn't be the same again. Swag had a face.”
D. Scott Fritchen, @DScottFritchen, Twitter
GH: I sat low in the corner of the far end zone that Saturday in Manhattan in 1998 when Kansas State ended 30 years of frustration against Nebraska. I had driven to the game with Jason Whitlock. He sat in the press box but I needed to be out in the stands. Nebraska jumped to a 17-0 lead but few in the stadium thought this game was over. K-State was that good. Nebraska fans will bitch about the obvious facemask that wasn’t called on young Eric Crouch, but KSU was the far better team. Bishop threw for over 300 yards and ran for another 100. Darnell McDonald, K-State’s fabulous wide out, decimated the Huskers’ secondary – making the game at times look like a mismatch. KSU was the best college team in America in 1998. It is ironic that Bishop’s turnovers against A&M in the Big 12 Championship likely cost the Cats their national title. 15 years goes by quickly. Collin Klein has rekindled some of that same PowerCat pride with his play at quarterback. The season awaits. Let’s get it on.

“I think A&M will be very average.”
Paul Finebaum, SEC sports talk show host on Sirius/ XM, Columbia Tribune
GH: I might be the last person who isn’t an Aggie who thinks A&M could shock the SEC West. The Aggies looked like world beaters in most games last season for the first two quarters and then self-destructed in the second half. A&M has SEC talent. Do not sleep on these buzz-headed cheerleaders.

“I think Missouri has a chance to be a surprise team. We're sitting here in early August, but I think Missouri's going to beat Georgia on Sept. 8 and somewhat shock the world, and I think if that happens, Missouri will be in a position. It's still going to be difficult. There's some games I don't see them winning, like at South Carolina, home against Alabama. But I really think after that, there's some possibilities.”
Paul Finebaum, Sirius/XM sports talk show host, in an interview with the Columbia Tribune’s Steve Walentik,
Columbia Tribune
GH: Maybe Finebaum was being generous with the Columbia Tribune’s Steve Walentik, who interviewed him for this Q&A. But I haven’t heard this kind of sweet southern optimism toward Mizzou on Finebaum’s show. Read on.

“I feel comfortable in talking about Missouri people, and I say this with great affection: They are different. They're very Midwestern, they're kind of middle of the country, nice people who may be in for a shock on a Saturday night at Williams-Brice or Knoxville, Tenn.”
Paul Finebaum, Sirius/XM sports
GH: I have a feeling the SEC might be in for a surprise if they think Mizzou fans are nice Midwestern folks. Maybe on Mondays…but they sure as hell aren’t come Saturday afternoons at Faurot Field – especially when they see red. I remember a 70-ish old lady, dressed from her ears to her toes in Missouri garb, spit on my Nebraska-soiled shoes as we waited together at a stop light on University Avenue, the morning of a NU/MU game back in the early ‘80s. I was chased by a drunken Mizzou mob as I high-tailed it to my car after Brad Smith shredded my Huskers 41-24 in 2005. And the SEC might want to check with Kansas if they think rolling into CoMo is going to be a back-slapping picnic. The Tigers can hold their own when it comes to hostile hospitality. Read on.

“I jokingly said once, as long as Mizzou comes in and loses, the SEC fans will embrace them and love them, and they'll have a really good time. But if you beat somebody, then you better be careful. … There's some dangerous places in the SEC if you're wearing your school colors. I don't say that to scare anyone, but just take my word for it. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, you go in there and beat Florida, keep your mouth shut. Go home. Get to your car as fast as possible.”
Paul Finebaum, Sirius/XM sports
GH: Florida? That’s the best the SEC has to offer when it comes to nasty? Try Ames in November. I’d love to see Alabama take on the Clones on a sub-30-degree day with that Canadian wind bathing the field. No need for Johnny Musso cutoff jerseys and ice fans up north, boys. That Iowa cold has a way of neutralizing nasty. I was once assaulted in the stands in Ames about the head and neck by a sausage-wielding lady as ISU’s Luther Blue returned a kickoff 100 yards against Nebraska. Good times.

“As Southerners, we’re continually being told we’re last in everything else. I don’t like it, but I get it. We’re being told that the SAT scores are much higher in the north, and then we’re looking down our nose at them athletically.”
Tim Brando, guest on Paul Finebaum’s show, on why SEC fans are considered arrogant, 91 Sirius/XM
GH: Winning programs as well as winning conferences will always be considered “arrogant” by those who do not win as often. No one is calling Nebraska basketball fans conceited. Success breeds jealousy – and SEC football knows about success.

“I get grilled regularly because I don’t sound Southern enough. Literally, everybody on your show in Alabama thought I was some guy from New York who didn’t know anything about college football.”
Tim Brando, talking to Finebaum, Sirius/XM
GH: Brando is a Louisiana native but he sounds like he’s from Des Moines. There are not a lot of Cajun-sounding TV broadcasters.

“The difference between the SEC and everyone else? Everyone else talks about bowl contention goals. SEC talks about 1 thing. National Titles.”
TJ Carpenter, @TJCarpenterWHB, Twitter

“We take offense very quickly [in the South]. There’s a true chip on the shoulders of the modern-day Southerner. That’s a fact.”
Tim Brando, Sirius/XM
GH: Interesting. I don’t think of the South as a place where the folks are defensive. It will be an education as we get to know the SEC the next few years.

“I’ve got to admit, I’ve dialed out quite a bit of baseball – and I do every time this time of year.”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM

“You know how we were saying we’re tired of the preseason? I’m tired of the Royals’ season.”
Aaron Swarts, 810 AM

“The Glass Ceiling.”
Caller, to Kevin Kietzman’s show, on his nickname for the Royals and their ownership, 810 AM

“The next sentence of this column might sound crazy, and, you know, it might be proven crazy. But it’s the truth as I see it and so here goes: The Royals aren’t that far away from being good.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: Is Sam channeling JoPo’s Royals’ blue clouds and optimism circa 1996-04? Or maybe he’s that desperate to get quoted in the OTC? [I’m sure that’s it.] You can read Sam’s
Royals’ column here – and let it be known that I for one sure as hell hope he’s right. This is a ballsy column. Not only do the Royals look anything but future title contenders, few fans are still paying much attention to the Glass Ceiling.

“The hardest thrower in the bigs isn't who you think; it's little-known Royals reliever Herrera.”
Jon Heyman, columnist,
GH: Click on the CBSSports link – unless you have completely tuned our baseball – for Heyman’s story on the Royals’ reliever.

“As Whitlock would say, he knitted a clown suit for Joe Posnanski. It doesn’t matter who you like [between Whitlock and Posnanski], just read it. Those two guys do not like each other. That’s like the worst-kept secret. Was that even a secret? I encourage people to read my former cohost’s review of Joe Posnanski’s book. That is a must read.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
Click here for Whitlock’s clown suit.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Whitlock rips on Posnanski

Posted 8-27-12

“It’s the most high-profile job in Kansas City – and that’s over the mayor! It’s the most scrutinized job.”
Jay Binkley, on Matt Cassel as the Chiefs’ starting quarterback, 610 AM
GH: Well, maybe…other than a sports talk radio host’s gig. We do like to scrutinize our sports media folks here at the OTC. Read on.

“Cassel completed 19 of 24 for 168 yards with a touchdown and a hideous pick that Earl Thomas returned 75 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter. Earlier in the quarter Cassel was sacked and lost a fumble.”
Blair Kerkhoff, columnist, on Cassel’s outing against Seattle, Kansas City Star
GH: Cassel looked hurried all evening – not a good sign about his revamped offensive line. On the same night where Seattle’s rookie QB, Russell Wilson, looked like Warren Moon in his heyday, Cassel struggled with rhythm, a fluttering high ball and composure. Even his TD celebration was poorly executed.

“This isn’t just based on the quarters we’ve seen [Russell Wilson] play. This is based on the practice and the challenges that he’s undertaken here on the practice field. We’ve combined everything and with the circumstances that have been presented he won this opening challenge here.”
Pete Carroll, Seahawks head coach, on his decision to choose Wilson over the former Packers’ back up, Matt Flynn, AP
GH: It will take years before we know if Wilson is anywhere near as good as he has looked this month, but the Chiefs may be haunted for decades over passing on him in the third round. We all still remember the Chiefs’ pick of Todd Blackledge over Dan Marino pick, right? Decades.

“There are probably 20 quarterbacks in the NFL with bright futures and Matt Cassel is not in that group.”
Jeff Chadiha, of ESPN.com, 810 AM
GH: When you consider that there are only 32 teams in the NFL, that statement should make Scott Pioli invest in Depends. Speaking of Pioli, did you happen to see his face while he was in the TV booth during the second half of the Chiefs/Seahawks game? He looked like Joe Posnanski after reading any recent review of Paterno. Pioli looked devastated, bewildered and lost. Much like his team.

“Seriously, most puddles are deeper than ‘Paterno’.”
Jason Whitlock, in a scathing review of his former coworker, Joe Posnanski’s book, Paterno,
GH: Whitlock and Posnanski were not the best of friends when they were both columnists at The Kansas City Star. The newspaper attempted to portray their relationship as compatible and even the two writers often refused to publicly acknowledge the bitterness between them. But longtime OTC readers have known for years of how Whitlock felt about JoPo. Whitlock resented that JoPo was presented as the polished writer while he felt he was thought of as the lucky black guy. Jason saw JoPo as more of a make-believe kind of writer than one who stuck to the facts. Read on.

“A mere 26 pages in and the ‘journalist’ who reportedly had unprecedented access to Paterno, the coach’s family, confidants and football program is reduced to retelling a story spoken by a female football intern at a Paterno memorial service…”
Jason Whitlock, FoxSports.com
GH: Placing quotes around the word “journalist” is not done without conscience thought. Maybe even a bit of malice. Possibly more than a bit.

“That’s the thing about this league. If you’re not producing, they don’t hesitate to get you out of there. They’re paying you a lot of money.”
Joe Montana, when asked about the proliferation of young quarterbacks replacing veteran signal callers, ESPN Radio

“The preseason is an illusion.”
Adam Schefter, NFL insider, ESPN Radio
GH: As Chiefs’ fans, we need to adopt this as our August mantra.

“I asked Matt Cassel and Dwayne Bowe if they expected [the Chiefs] to pass much this year. They both just kind of said, ‘Well, I don’t know.’ But you could tell from their facial expressions that there’s absolutely no way.”
TJ Carpenter, 810 AM
GH: Carpenter’s take is that the Chiefs will not pass nearly as much in the regular season as they have in the preseason. He expects them to rely more on Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis to move the ball on the ground. It all depends on the success of the defense. If the defense can’t stop teams any better than they have in the preseason, Cassel will be firing 40-plus passes a game.

“I’m pretty smart.”
Dwayne Bowe, when asked about his ability to learn the Chiefs’ new offense prior to the season opener, 810 AM
GH: The Clarks can verify this…or not.

“[The Chiefs] look to me to be mediocre. It all comes back to the quarterback, Matt Cassel. That’s a .500 team at best.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: A .500 record sounds a bit optimistic after the embarrassing outings against St. Louis and Seattle. But as Schefter said, the preseason is an illusion.

“I don’t think there is anybody in that locker room who has anything but cross words to say about their former head coach, Todd Haley. He treated them all like employees.”
Josh Vernier, 610 AM
GH: While Hobo Todd continues to receive few plaudits from his former team [and the Steelers as well as far as I can tell], RAC City is now under some heat for his team’s last two performances. Kent Babb writes in The Star that he believes Romeo should give up the dual roles of DC and HC. I don’t think it’s his DC duties that are distracting him. It might just be that Romeo isn’t cut out to be a head coach.

“Is Peyton really a Bronco and could this look any more bleak?”
Kevin Kietzman, @kkwhb, as Manning went 10 of 12 for 122 yards and threw for two TDs in his third preseason game with Denver, Twitter
GH: Manning’s excellent game was perfectly timed for fantasy football drafts. I was not swayed. Kietzman is dead on and has been about the Chiefs needing to take drafting or obtaining a quarterback more seriously. We differ on what we think of Manning but not at all when it comes to how important the QB is to an NFL franchise. I would really enjoy KK getting 20 minutes with Pioli to discuss this on BTL.

“Pinch yourselves, Broncos fans. Against a 49ers’ team that went 13-3 last season on the strength of a defense that allowed only 14.3 points per game, Manning showed in his abbreviated final preseason test that if he hasn’t completely regained previous form, then he’s encouragingly close.”
Mike Klis, writer, Denver Post
GH: But is he durable? What kind of a toll have those 14 seasons and multiple neck surgeries had on the future HOF quarterback? I don’t think the Chiefs will even see Manning on the other side of the line of scrimmage this season. He won’t last that long.

“So excited to join the FOX NFL Sunday Show!!! I have no idea what we’re gonna do, but we’re gonna fun… I know that!”
Rob Riggle, @RobRiggle, on the report that Riggle, a KU grad, will replace Frank Caliendo this season on Fox’s NFL pregame show, Twitter
GH: Kind of cool that a local guy is getting this gig. I can’t wait to see the chemistry between Riggle, Bradshaw, Howie and Jimmy. Fox’s pregame show continues to be my favorite on Sunday morning.

“Nothing against Frank, we love Frank. But it’s been nine years. We wanted something fresh. Rob is on the edge of becoming a huge star. We want to help him. And that helps our show too. Now, everybody just knows him as the guy in that movie.”
Chris Pizzi, Fox producer, on Riggle replacing Caliendo, USA Today

“The Madden going on sale tonight at midnight. There’s not a man, woman or child in America not excited.”
Mike Greenburg, ESPN Radio
GH: Well, there is at least one…

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24



Chadiha and SSJ disagree on Chiefs

Posted 8-24-12

“AP commenter on Romeo's postgame words: ‘He does not dance around and sugarcoat his response. No point in polishing a turd, it still stinks.’ ”
Joel Thorman, @ArrowheadPride, after Crennel was critical of the Chiefs’ play against the Rams, Twitter
GH: Word out of the Chiefs’ locker room is that RAC is as loved as any coach the Chiefs have ever hired. This is the season ATH [After Todd Haley] and the positive change in how the players, the GM and the media talk about the Chiefs’ head coach is as different as Paterno and Posnanski. Read on.

“I think [the Chiefs] have a more talented team [than last season] but I think Romeo Crennel is still in question. He’s only won 40% of his games. I’m just not going to concede that this team is some sort of playoff team.”
Jeff Chadiha, 810 AM
GH: Chadiha made his weekly appearance on The Border Patrol on Friday morning and he happened to be in studio this week. Phone interviews are fine for the most part and a necessity in most cases. But there is no comparison in the depth, emotion and entertainment value of an in-studio interview compared to one conducted on the phone. Chadiha refused to board the fast-filling Chiefs bandwagon and his reluctance pushed all of Steven St. John’s bright red buttons. Read on.

“If the Chiefs are 3-3 going into the bye week, I’m good.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: The Chiefs’ opening six-week schedule looks like this; Atlanta, at Buffalo, at New Orleans, San Diego, Baltimore and at Tampa Bay. Their bye week is week seven, October 21st. One of the three wins SSJ has identified is the opener against the Falcons. Chadiha did not agree. Read on.

“You have them beating Atlanta in week one? They’re losing in week one. No Tamba Hali. No Brandon Flowers. They’re losing week one. I’m not being negative, I’m being realistic.”
Jeff Chadiha, in response to SSJ picking the Chiefs over the Falcons in the season opener at Arrowhead, 810 AM

“I’ve seen Matt Ryan fall apart in games on the road. I think that Arrowhead crowd will be special!”
Steven St. John, refusing to agree with Chadiha’s confidence that the Chiefs were doomed against the Falcons, 810 AM

“Where was that crowd last year?”
Jeff Chadiha, recalling the Chiefs 41-7 blowout loss in their home opener last season to Buffalo, 810 AM
GH: I found this to be good radio. Neither SSJ nor Chadiha were willing to budge from their side of the argument. St. John, a passionate Chiefs’ fan, even sounded a bit miffed at Chadiha’s irreverence for the home team. Local sports talk radio doesn’t have enough healthy give and take from the hosts and guests. Two hosts arguing over a topic often sounds manufactured. But a live guest with a confident ego battling a similar host can be an enjoyable listen.

“This is unbelievable. A vice president of the team is sitting there wrapping it up 45 seconds into the interview? Unbelievable!”
Kevin Kietzman, after a post-practice interview with Dwayne Bowe Wednesday was seemingly truncated because Danny Clinkscale asked the Chiefs’ wide receiver if he accomplished what he had hoped to by staying out of camp the first three weeks, 810 AM
GH: I agree with Kietzman here. I long for the old days when the professional teams needed the local media to sell tickets, beer and gear. Teams now view the media as a nuisance instead of an extended marketing arm.

“Eric Berry has the capacity to cover wide receivers or tight ends in the slot, and is a gritty defender in the running game. After watching Berry closely at practice, I'm convinced that he hasn't lost a step following his ACL surgery and is certainly capable of reprising his role as the Chiefs' designated playmaker. With more AFC teams set to feature the tight end as a primary option in the passing game, the return of Berry provides an effective counter to the tactic.”
Bucky Brooks, writer, NFL.com
GH: Very little has been written or said about the Chiefs’ third-year safety. Is he really recovered from his ACL injury? Has he learned how to cover the tight end and not overcommit to the run? Berry could be a huge reason as to why the Chiefs’ defense is great or not in 2012. I am in the minority still unconvinced he understands his role. I would love to be found wrong come December.

“Baseball managers are by far the most irrelevant of coaches in sports. … I just know I TALK to players and that is what they say.”
Bob Fescoe, Twitter
GH: I have always thought soccer coaches have very little impact on their club during the game. Their substitutions are limited and the flow of play limits their opportunities for input or play calling. What’s your pick for most irrelevant game-day coaching position?

“I don’t know if The Star was complicit in this or how this worked. The ad is kind of ugly. The Star didn’t do him any favors in the layout and design and all that. I think maybe they did that because maybe they didn’t want to tick off the Royals. I don’t know. But they’re not in the business of turning down the money either. They had to take the money and they did.”
Kevin Kietzman, on the large advertisement in Thursday’s sports section paid for by a self-professed Royals’ fan and fan donations that implored David Glass to sell the Royals to a local owner, 810 AM
GH: Just the day before KK was chastising the SEC and the way unsubstantiated reports were broadcast or published about their local teams. Kietzman said he would never cross this line. I am guessing The Kansas City Star thinks KK crossed the line and then did the dougie on their reputation. Read on.

“If there was ever a real example of the Kansas City Royals, this is it! They trot out the senior vice president of business operations! I’ve contacted Mr. [Kevin] Uhlich previously. He did not return my calls. Mr. Dan Glass did not return my calls. I was basically told to go fish by the PR department and community relations. … The Royals can’t get out of their own damn way! It’s just pathetic!”
Kevin Kietzman, on his frustration with Uhlich being the Royals’ spokesperson in response to the ad in The Star, 810 AM
GH: I am not the happiest Royals’ fan when it comes to how David and Dan Glass have operated our Royals. But I understand that an irate fan’s advertisement is not reason for the team owner to publicly respond. Kietzman calls this the reason the Royals are such an inept organization. When Chris Kamler, aka @FakeNed, posted
An Open Letter To Kevin Kietzman earlier this year deriding the Host of Between the Lines for lazily allowing his show to become a clone of Don Fortune’s. KK treated Kamler’s posted appeal the same way as Glass – he ignored it. I am not surprised by Glass’ non-rebuttal and neither should Kietzman.

“The @KCStar's 58-pg football prevue printed today, publishes Sunday. Ripe w/sweet reads & 8 pgs of fantasy advice.”
Jeff Rosen, @jeff_rosen88, KC Star sports editor, Twitter
GH: While the pulp version of the daily newspaper may be a dying dinosaur to most, there is no replacing the heft, the visual excellence and the comfort of perusing The Star’s annual football preview section. I will be out on my driveway early Sunday, ready to snare a hook pass reception from my mobile paperboy.

“Here's a video of Dorial Green-Beckham's 65-yard TD catch today, when he went all beast mode on everybody: mutigers.com/allaccess/?med…
Terez Paylor, @terezpaylor, MU beat writer for KC Star, Twitter
GH: The access that Mizzou allows its reporters to their football practices and scrimmages is a breath of fresh nasal bandages. Why doesn’t Kansas and K-State allow their fans the same enjoyment of following their teams’ workouts via Twitter and the web? A friend of mine was in Lincoln last week and he was appalled at the level of security that surrounded Memorial Stadium to keep students and fans away from the college team’s practice. How and why did we ever allow this college football to get so out of whack?

“I don’t know how he recruits the way he does. He kind of puts it off until the end and then gets away with it. You see him get some real steals out of kids.”
Tim Fitzgerald, of PowerCatIllustrated.com, on Bill Snyder’s ability to recruit while seemingly concentrating all of his efforts on his current team, 810 AM
GH: There is no reason I can fathom for the success Bill Snyder has had in Manhattan, Kansas. For that matter, building a 40-year college football powerhouse in Lincoln, Nebraska in the 1960s is just as implausible. What it does say is that success doesn’t have a zip code. Success lives where it breeds. And Bill Snyder is the alpha male of college football success.

“Only 50 days until college basketball season begins…”
Jon Rothstein, @JonRothstein, Twitter
GH: I posted this tweet for my Kansas fans.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Is Armstrong's organization still an inspiration?

Posted 8-24-12

“It’s as if the whole world of cycling changed in just one day.”
Steve Innskeep, host of Morning Edition, after Lance Armstrong announced Thursday that he would no longer contest the doping allegations leveled against him during his cycling career, NPR
GH: This bombshell has been sitting in the midst of the cycling world for almost a decade with a smoldering fuse. On Thursday, against reportedly a mountain of incriminating evidence and former teammates ready to testify against him, Armstrong ignited the bomb himself. He committed harakiri on his career and his seven TDF titles. “Gone,” is how Denny Matthews might put it. Read on.

“Hey Lance Armstrong, the jig is up. No one would get ‘tired of the nonsense’ if they were innocent, they would fight to prove that innocence.”
Trenni Kusnierek, @trenni, Twitter
GH: Trenni shows no sympathy toward Lance…and I do not believe he deserves any. He cheated. Little else needs to be discussed. But many are reluctant to treat him as harshly. Read on.

“[Lance Armstrong] came back from the brink of death to win seven Tour de France races. I think a lot of those people don’t care that he cheated. He remains an inspiration to those people.”
Jeremy Schaap, ESPN Radio
GH: I wonder what the Sporting Kansas City folks think out at LiveStrong Park in KCK? Is Lance’s organization still an inspiration or an embarrassment? And how about all that yellow and black gear for sale at your local Dick’s Sporting Goods?

“I assume Lance Armstrong used a whole mess of PEDs. I also don't really care, and think if nobody caught him back then, let's all move on.”
Sam Mellinger, @mellinger, Twitter
GH: That thinking wouldn’t hold much water in the Jerry Sandusky trial, would it? Is it just because so many of us cheered for Lance and what he did as a cancer survivor? Probably. But should that really matter? Probably not.

“Riding 3000 miles, half uphill, on a bicycle seat. Sorry I'm taking a pick me up to make it happen. And I'm numb to doping.”
Josh Klingler, @joshklingler, Twitter
GH: Sports and competition are about competing on a level and fair playing field. Those who take short cuts are not honorable. When that changes, the hardware and awards become meaningless.



MU over Georgia would be 'seismic'

Posted 8-23-12

“It would be a seismic win for Missouri. Right now the SEC doesn’t think much of Missouri. Beating Georgia would let everyone in the SEC know that coming to Columbia, Missouri would not be an easy win.”
Sean McDowell, the new host of 610 Sports’ Night Shift program, 610 AM
GH: Mizzou 36-27 win over Oklahoma at Faurot in 2010 is probably Gary Pinkel’s greatest win in Columbia. It helped ease decades of frustration for Tiger fans who yearned to be in the football elite. As historic as the OU win was for MU, an MU win in their SEC home-opener against Georgia on September 8th would be bigger. If the Tigers tame the sixth-ranked Bulldogs in CoMo that evening, secure all structures within 300 miles – especially that New Madrid Fault in the Bootheel. BTW; interesting that 610 Sports has tabbed an SEC guy as their evening host. 810 recently added Arkansas’ TJ Carpenter as their night-time talker to bolster their SEC acumen. 610’s McDowell is from Kentucky – which should make hoops season very interesting.


“Georgia is overrated and overvalued. Missouri is going to beat that team on September 8th. Those [experts] have it all wrong. Mark it down! Missouri’s going to win that game! I can’t wait to see that happen!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: KK has been pounding this Mizzou-over-Georgia drum for weeks. Has he really moved over to the Tiger-side of this SEC war? If so, THAT would be a seismic move! Let’s refresh our memories of what Kietzman had to say last October as MU’s move to the SEC became imminent. Read on.


“If Kansas has any stones at all, they’ll not schedule [Mizzou] in anything! They’ll just blackball them – and they should! And Kansas will get a lot of pressure from their brothers in the Big 12 to [blackball] Missouri.”
Kevin Kietzman, October 2011, 810 AM


“If Missouri goes to the SEC and becomes a downtrodden football program, will that affect enrollment? What does it do to the image of the school? And I don’t live my life thinking negative thoughts but….”
Kevin Kietzman, October 2011, 810 AM


“Wow! Is this league getting better!”
Kevin Kietzman, on word that the Big 12 was close to naming West Virginia to replace Missouri, October 2011, 810 AM


“I have been about as big a Missouri booster as anyone who didn’t go there.”
Kevin Kietzman, October 2011, 810 AM
GH: Maybe one of my all-time favorite KK quotes. I’m sure Shakespeare’s will be naming a pizza after Kevin soon. 


“Let’s calm down that Missouri is crap and West Virginia is this juggernaut. … Can we have some semblance of level-headed thought and not all anger and emotion? I don’t like Missouri being pounded like they are some kind of stooge and West Virginia is this shining star. I think people are just frustrated, jealous and angry when they say West Virginia is better than Missouri.”
Soren Petro, October 2011, 810 AM
GH: I included this quote from last fall as a reminder that KK’s rants on Mizzou were somewhat isolated on 810. It was also a rare example of another on-air personality openly disagreeing with KK, even though he went unnamed. So, has Kietzman really converted to the black and gold? Read on for some recent comments.

“I don’t even know of any websites in the Big 12 that would have their name attached to a story like that! These are new days. We have a new media. We have a new conference. Apparently, all gloves are off in the SEC.”
Kevin Kietzman, after Clay Travis, of OutKickTheCoverage.com, told The Border Patrol he thinks Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino faked his motorcycle accident and was actually beaten by his mistress’ fiancé, 810 AM
GH: First of all, I LOVE crazy theories like Travis’ on Petrino. I hope the fiancé took a video and will be posting it on YouTube. Sports talk radio is the perfect media venue to air these kinds of suspicions. KK seems to think the SEC plays loose with the facts. Is he really all that much better? #Muto theB1G

“I’m a guy for so many years has been called the Jerry Springer of sports talk radio in this town. I’ve never really understood that. We have real barriers; we have real lines we will not cross. Apparently, in the SEC and at OutKickTheCoverage, you can do whatever you want.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Here is a suggestion for Bob Fescoe’s next Top Ten; Barriers and lines KK will not cross.

“Maybe they’ll start saying things about Gary Pinkel and his escapades. I wonder if Gary Pinkel has thought about that, moving into the SEC.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Okay, now we understand where this rant is going – right back to what Kietzman was wailing about last fall and the mistake he believes Mizzou made in bolting the Big 12 for the SEC. He has just decided to now disguise his attack.

“You wonder how the SEC became so powerful? It’s a direct correlation to how ESPN has been talking them up over the years, because they have a financial interest in them. So all the sudden, it’s a monster conference.”
Rick Neuheisel, former UCLA and Colorado head coach and current Pac-12 Network analyst, LostLetterman.com
GH: All of a sudden? Could winning the last six national titles also have something to do with the SEC’s reputation? Neuheisel is one of those coaches whom I have always thought was in way over his head. As a football analyst, he has done nothing to convince me he learned anything on the sidelines.


“OK, I've been watching Mizzou practice for over two weeks now. Don't know if I've seen Sheldon Richardson get blocked once in 1v1s.”
Terez Paylor, @terezpaylor, Twitter
GH: This junior out of St. Louis was supposed to be one of MU’s greatest signings ever. This season would be a very good one to exhibit what all the hype was about.


“The ‘DGB’ thing was a big thing to walk in with, but the players are like, ‘Hey, he’s Dorial.’ ”
David Yost, MU’s offensive coordinator, on the Tigers’ highly recruited wide-receiver out of Springfield, MO, Dorial Green-Beckham, SportingNews.com
GH: Dorial Green-Beckham is Pinkel’s most high-profile recruit. All of Mizzou is hoping he causes Georgia some problems with his size, length and speed. That’s not too much to ask of a freshman in his first conference game, is it?

“I wish in hindsight I would have known more about Jerry Sandusky and his terrible, terrible hidden past so I could have intervened.”
Graham Spanier, former Penn State president, ABC
GH: A good friend of mine attended Iowa State while Spanier was there as an undergrad. He called college-age Spanier, “an ass-kissing phony.” No hindsight needed.

“I didn’t conjure up… anything more than throwing water or snapping towels. It’s not in my nature to go around thinking the worst in people.”
Graham Spanier, recalling his thoughts after he was told there had been inappropriate behavior between Sandusky and a young boy, ABC
GH: Who brings towel snapping to the attention of the university president? Spanier needs to crawl back into his hole with the rest of those bastards who did nothing to help those boys.

“I once slept in an eagle's nest. How are you? Are you good?”
Former Girlfriend in TV ad
GH: I can’t even remember what this ad is selling but this nightmare of an ex is one of my favorite characters not cast in a TV series. Love her wackiness.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Poor work, bad radio by St. John

Posted 8-22-12

“The Chiefs’ most well-known team player made a rare selfish mistake, and with it put his team in a tough position. … Really, is there another starter that’s less likely to be in the middle of something like this than Tamba? Maybe Derrick Johnson. Possibly Matt Cassel.”
Kent Babb, on Tamba Hali’s one-game suspension due to violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, Kansas City Star
GH: Hali’s “selfish” mistake will cost him a reported $1.3 million in salary in September and voids a $7.75 million in guaranteed money for next season. That’s more than selfish. That’s just blame dumb. Read on.

“We’re not dealing with Tamba’s personal life here – and I don’t want to. We’re left to speculate as to what he did to miss this game. My bottom line is that he did something wrong and he got suspended. That’s it.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: St. John said these words as if he dared his cohosts to argue with him. He was defiant in letting his listeners know there would be no personal attacks on Hali. This is simply an example of poor work and bad radio by SSJ. Hali’s personal life was openly discussed on SSJ’s show and all over the national media when it was about his struggles as a child in Africa and how he overcame great odds to graduate from Penn State. So now that Hali proves to have faults his personal life is off limits on WHB? Bullshit.

“Tamba did something incredibly stupid and incredibly selfish. I respect Tamba Hali a lot, but did he screw up here? Oh yeah. Big time. I don’t know who I would have expected this less from. I don’t think we should be easy on him. ”
Kent Babb, 610 AM

“There’s not a player who works harder on that practice field and there’s probably not a better player on that field! To be honest with you, there’s probably not a better guy on that [Chiefs’ team] than Tamba. I’m sure he feels horrible about it.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: St. John is too much of a fan to critique athletes. He will eviscerate Royals’ players and Chiefs’ players he doesn’t like, but he defiantly refuses negative comments to flow when the topic is a favorite of his. That’s just bad radio.

“There’s just no reason for it anymore. Nowadays, these guys have all the information. They can call the NFL and ask them, ‘How’s this going to affect me?’ I just don’t understand it.”
Richard Baldinger, on Hali getting caught, 610 AM

“His publicist has informed me that Mr. Posnanski is not doing interviews about the book at this point.”
Kevin Kietzman, who said his email and voicemail to Posnanski requesting an interview were not answered by the author of Paterno, 810 AM
GH: What author refuses to grant interviews about his book the week it is released? Read on.

“Those looking for a book about just the scandal will be disappointed, this book is about the life of Joe Paterno and all that it entailed including the scandal.”
J. Gomez, Amazon.com
GH: Gomez gave Paterno the maximum five stars.

“If your intention is to read this book to learn more dirt about Paterno's role in the Sandusky scandal, you will walk away disappointed.”
Phen Andrews, Amazon.com
GH: Andrews gave Paterno the maximum five stars.

“To be honest folks, there isn't much new about Joe Paterno, the human, in this book. But, Mr. Posnanski has a way with words to make us realize that Mr. Paterno was a person. He had a mother and a father; his own children, and grandchildren. And then he had his football team, which was his life.”
Raeden Zen, Amazon.com
GH: Zen gave Paterno the maximum five stars.

As a biography, Paterno is spotty at best. Some of the writing is flaccid and marred by bad poetry. … One problem is that Posnanski does not know college football, or at least he doesn't know much about it before this century. His book is littered with statements about the game that simply are not true. … It's not enough to say that Posnanski does not do well relating the facts of the Sandusky case and Paterno's role in it. The truth is that he doesn't really try.”
Allen Barra, writer for the Wall Street Journal and TheAtlantic.com and is writing a book on Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle, TheAtlantic.com
GH: Barra did not give Paterno five stars. He pretty much ripped Posnanski’s book from the first sentence to his last. You can read Barra’s complete review of
Paterno here.

“I feel like I made one of the best decisions of my life! I couldn’t be happier! … A lot of talent [here at USC] and no egos. A lot of talent and no egos.”
Silas Redd, running back, in an interview about his decision to transfer to USC from Penn State, Sirius/XM Channel 91
GH: When I heard Redd repeat his comment about “no egos,” I thought he did so with a purpose. One that he hoped was heard all the way back in Happy Valley.

“Is anything more boring than fantasy football questions from callers on radio? no one else cares about your team.”
Bob Fescoe, @bobfescoe, Twitter
GH: A radio talk show host discussing his fantasy draft, team and league is almost as bad as KK’s grilling segments. I think I prefer the BBQ talk.

“The greatest mistake you’ll make in a fantasy football draft is taking someone who played on your college team. Avoid doing that.”
Darren Rovell, @darrenrovell, Twitter
GH: I thought it was drafting Michael Vick? FF drafts will be popping up in every corner of every burg over the next two weeks. My advice? Steer clear of one Peyton Manning. Read on.

“[Peyton] Manning is rusty. No doubt. But, to tell the truth, his arm doesn't look ready. Mind working fine. Body betraying him. Worrisome? A little.”
Mark Kiszla, writer for Denver Post, @markkiszla, Twitter

“Manning's numbers tonight: 16-23, 177 YDS, 2 INT, 55.9 Passer Rating. Moments of Sharpness, 2-minute drill impressive. It'll get there.”
Nick Griffith, @Fox31Nick, former Channel 9 sports anchor currently working at Fox31 in Denver, Twitter

“QB Peyton Manning's stats through 2 preseason games: 20-of-30 (66.7%) for 221 yards (7.37 YPA), 0 touchdowns, 3 interceptions.”
Evan Silva, @evansilva, Twitter
GH: Draft the old Colt if you must but I have my eye on his rookie replacement in Indy. Wish me Luck.

“First time in 6 years I can tell you the positives of this preseason way out weigh the easily correctable bad.”
Bill Maas, @BillMaas, after the Chiefs second preseason game, an ugly loss to the Rams, Twitter
GH: Maas doesn’t seem at all concerned about how the Chiefs’ defense played in that first couple of series in St. Louis. That makes me feel a bit better about the Atlanta game – but not much.

“Wow...I kinda feel sorry for Stanzi… He won't pull the trigger...looks completely unprepared, skittish...OK that's enough.”
Danny Clinkscale, @dcwhb, Twitter
GH: I know what Clink means. I too feel sorry for Stanzi when I watch him struggle. He looks to be as outside his comfort zone as any quarterback I can remember. He appears to lack anything that could even be called fake confidence. He needs to move onto the insurance field.

“KU returns 1k tix for KU/KSU game. Ahearn Fund donors can buy til Thurs, then they go on sale to the public.”
Brian Weber, @BrianWeberKSU, Twitter
GH: This is not a good sign for Charlie Weis’ first year. KU has returned a thousand tickets to their rivalry game? I know the battles have been anything but close of late but still… You have to support your squad in this game, don’t you?

“If we don’t get off to a fast start, it could be a very long year.”
Charlie Weis, KSHB TV 41
GH: Charlie looked very serious as he delivered this message. The Big 12 this season is LOADED. Mizzou will not face any stiffer competition in the SEC than what the Big 12 schools will see on a weekly basis.

“3 burgers 3 hotdogs a lot of popcorn and about 8 chicken tenders! I'm living right now haha #Fatlife at the Royals game.”
Greg Brown, @G_B_LOCK5, KU cornerback, while attending KU Day at The K, Twitter
GH: I remember those days – when I could eat like that and still go shirtless. The problem is, I still eat like that.

“Read where Illinois scribe @BobAsmussen voted Michigan No. 1 in AP. Could anyone tell me whether ESPN is blacked out in Champaign?”
Paul Finebaum, @finebaum, Twitter
GH: Listening to Finebaum’s show I get the feeling those in the SEC consider all football in all other conferences to be akin to soccer. I will be pulling for Denard Robinson and his Wolverines against ‘Bama in their opener.

“Just made it back to da Lou next stop Mizzou Arena was a great trip learned a lot about my teammates now time to get right in the classroom.”
Michael Dixon, MU point guard, @M1keD1xonJR, Twitter
GH: How many athletes tweet about getting things right in the classroom? Much love to Lee’s Summit West’s Michael Dixon.

“Congratulations to Darla and Condoleezza. I hope they both accomplish what I did on 11 [at Augusta National], and that's get an eagle.”
Boone Pickens, @boonepickens, Twitter

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24



Petro: ''If they can't play defense, they can't win"

Posted 8-20-12

“Chiefs Pro Bowl outside linebacker Tamba Hali today was suspended without pay for the team’s 2012 regular-season opening game and fined one additional game check for violating the NFL’s policy on substance abuse.”
Randy Covitz, KCStar.com
GH: With this 33-word sentence, Covitz announces to Chiefs’ fans that a Chiefs’ victory in the opener is in jeopardy. Romeo Crennel’s defense’s attempts to slow down Atlanta’s Matt Ryan and Tony Gonzalez just got a lot more difficult. Read on.

“This might be the biggest loss the Chiefs could have going into week one. Now, Justin Houston becomes by far the most important defensive player.”
Carrington Harrison, on the one-game suspension the NFL levied on Tamba Hali for violating league substance policy, 610 AM
GH: After watching Ricky Stanzi’s impression of an NFL quarterback on Saturday, I would count Matt Cassel as the Chiefs’ most indispensable part. But Hali’s suspension will leave a huge hole at defensive end.

“Tamba's situation is unfortunate. Obviously we are disappointed and will miss him during the suspension, but the NFL's policies are very clear and we respect the league's decision in this matter.”
Scott Pioli, Chiefs general manager, ESPN.com
GH: Pioli makes it sound like the fault here lies squarely on Hali’s shoulder pads. Soren Petro interviewed Pioli this morning but unfortunately the interview took place was before news of the Hali suspension broke. Petro played his taped interview during the 11:00 hour of his show but even though he alerted listeners that the Hali questions would not be included, the interview was stale. When news like this breaks, it is the only question we want answered by the Chiefs’ GM. The timing was unfortunate for Petro but I think a better move would have been to hold the playing of his Pioli interview for later this week.

“I apologize to my teammates, the Hunt family, the Kansas City Chiefs organization and most importantly, our fans. I accept the discipline from the league and will return Week two of the NFL season with a commitment to erase this mistake with my play on the field and my conduct off of it.”
Tamba Hali, in a Chiefs press release

“Unfortunate and disappointed are good ways of putting it. I'm not even sure what to think right now but I hope we get to hear Tamba's side of this. Some players throughout the course of their career have earned the benefit of the doubt; I think Tamba is one of those guys.”
Joel Thorman, ArrowheadPride.com
GH: There does not appear to be any reason to doubt that Hali is guilty. Does Thorman believe he unknowingly violated the NFL’s substance abuse policy? Maybe Hali was ordering off of Melky’s website? The media is confronted with this issue often enough to know how to handle it. A great player who is also likable is caught breaking the rules. The media would like to cut the athlete a break and “give him the benefit of the doubt.” But that kind of reporting serves the athlete and not the reader/listener/viewer.

“Game 3 always most important of preseason. Chiefs can't afford another stink bomb like that disaster in Stl. Romeo needs a better effort.”
Jack Harry, @JackHarryKSHB, Twitter
GH: This is a bit hyperbolic – even for Mad Jack. Of course the Chiefs can “afford” another stinker. It’s preseason! No one really cares what happens in the preseason except the few idiots who bet these worthless games.

“Take a breath and shake it off. The Chiefs’ season is not headed for disaster, and Romeo Crennel’s defense is not a failure. … There’s so much wrong with preseason football. It plays with our emotions, drains our wallets and makes promises that reality can’t keep — all of it unnecessarily.”
Kent Babb, after the Chiefs dropped a listless 31-17 preseason game at St. Louis, Kansas City Star
GH: So what we thought we knew about the Chiefs after those two gorgeous opening drives against the Cardinals a week ago meant squat. Certainly no more than the ugliness on display inside St. Louis dome on Saturday. Not everyone is so calm. Read on.

“It’s still preseason and there is no reason to overreact but if they can’t play defense they can’t win. … And it’s not looking good.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Watching the Chiefs’ defensive line get gashed early by seemingly ageless Steven Jackson was unsettling. But Petro thinks it might signal a September Armageddon. Read on.

“I’m not so sure [the Chiefs] will not be an underdog in all of those first five games. And a 1-4 start might bury this team.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: What a difference a week makes! The Chiefs have gone from what many of us thought would be a waltz through the AFC West to a 1-4 start. This is why football in August is almost as much fun as in November. Nobody knows what the hell they’re talking about.

“One of the things that’s clear is that Tyson Jackson did not have a good game. At some point the best guy is going to have to get on the field. And to me, Tyson Jackson is not the best guy.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: I heard Bill Maas a couple of hours earlier on Bob Fescoe’s show praise the play of Tyson Jackson. This should be a fun football season for us dial surfers.

“They were flat. They weren’t ready to play. They were playing a vanilla base defense.”
Bill Maas, who seemed very unconcerned about the Chiefs poor play against the Rams having any lasting effects, 610 AM

“Seems like since I left KC all the breaking Chiefs news is coming from the franchise itself. Absolutely no one should be shocked by this...”
Nick Wright, after a Chiefs’ press release announced that Dwayne Bowe had signed his franchise tender agreement on Friday, Twitter
GH: Wright has been in Houston now a few months but he continues to poke away at his former radio station and the rest of the Kansas City media he left behind. Nick always thought of himself as the source for Chiefs’ breaking news. But some of that arrogance was manufactured…or should I say a lie? Read on.

“Some people think I’m arrogant and this probably isn’t going to help.”
Nick Wright, after he played a recording of himself predicting five of the Chiefs’ nine draft picks correctly prior to the 2011 NFL draft, 610 AM OTC May 4, 2011
GH: Wright played an audio clip the Monday after the 2011 NFL draft that he said was from one of his shows prior to the draft. In the audio clip he impressively nailed five of the Chiefs picks. He named Baldwin, Hudson, Houston, Stanzi and Powe. Guess what? It was a complete fabrication. 610 Sports insiders reported that Wright fessed up and said later that he recorded the audio after the draft to make it look like he nailed five of the nine picks. Oh Nick…and we thought we knew you. Read on for an email I sent Wright last April, just before the draft.

“Nick, I would like to post your predictions for the Chiefs' 2012 draft picks in my Thursday column. You stunned me with how well you had the Chiefs' war room nailed down last year and I wanted to see if you would be interested in sending me who you think they are targeting and in what round. Thanks.”

Email sent to Nick Wright on April 25, 2012
GH: Wright never responded to my email from last April. I guess now we know why.


“There’s really no ‘developing’ a starting quarterback in the NFL. That’s the biggest misnomer out there. Developing a quarterback to me is a fallacy. If you’re a good quarterback, you’re a good quarterback. You just draft a good quarterback. That’s where they come from. You have to be a bad team to get a good quarterback.”
Bob Fescoe, on criticism leveled at the Chiefs for not developing a great starting quarterback, 610 AM
GH: Part of developing a great quarterback is drafting a talented quarterback. The Chiefs have failed at every attempt to get this chore accomplished. But can an organization actually develop a lower-round QB into a great starter? I sure think so.


“How good a year is Condi Rice having? Just got into Augusta. Got into Cypress Point earlier this year.”
Rick Reilly, @ReillyRickTwitter
GH: So Augusta National admits its first two female members and the sports world is abuzz? Why does this even matter? Private clubs can admit or not admit anyone for any reason they want as far as I’m concerned. What part of “private” are we missing here? Sure, it’s a goofy archaic club standard but this is golf – a sport with more goofy archaic rules than any other. Wake me when the Catholic Church starts treating females like equals.

“In that [USA Today] column last week, [Joe Posnanski] wrote that the ‘book, I believe, lets the reader make up his or her own mind.’ If only the book had let me make up my mind! For this reader, Posnanski’s “Paterno,” which arrives Tuesday, has complicated the issues of the Penn State story, re-enraged me and then left me with at least as many questions as before.”
Sebastian Stockman, writer,
Kansas City Star
GH: Kudos to The Kansas City Star for paying an outside source like Stockman to review JoPo’s book. Publishing what some will say is a negative review had to be somewhat of a touchy subject at 18th & Grand since Posnanski has such a decorated history as a Star sportswriter. Read on.

“Posnanski deliberately does not dwell on Sandusky and the scandal, preferring to keep his attention squarely on Paterno.”
Sebastian Stockman, writer, Kansas City Star
GH: And the very reason many would have plunked down $20 for Paterno is reportedly missing from JoPo’s book. Disappointing yet familiar.

“Joe Posnanski will talk about ‘Paterno’ in a one-hour discussion with Vivien Jennings of Rainy Day Books, 7 p.m. Sept. 12 at Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th St. The $28 admission includes two tickets and the biography. A book-signing will follow.”
Kansas City Star
GH: I am going to go out on a limb and predict that Ms. Jennings’ interview of JoPo will be even fluffier than the book.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


St. Louis thinking baseball, KC thinking football

Posted 8-17-12

“We’re in the middle of baseball. Nobody really cares to be honest with you.”
Mike Claiborne, of St. Louis’ KMOX, when asked about the city’s opinion of the Rams so far this preseason, 810 AM
GH: As Kansas City prepares for the not-so-vaunted Governor’s Cup on Saturday night, St. Louis apparently is yawning with apathy about the Chiefs/Rams game in their dark, dank dome. The Cardinals are 64-54 and 7 games back of the Reds in the NLC. They are in a heated battle with the Pirates and Giants for a wild card spot. The Royals are 15 games under .500 and 14 games out in the ALC. The difference between our two cities when it comes to MLB and the NFL is so striking it defies our similar geography. KC treats August like football season. St. Louis sees August as one of baseball’s most important months. Odd that history continues to repeat itself so often in these two burgs.

“To hope to stay alive! To put it simply, the offensive line has been terrible. They’ve got to find a way to protect Sam Bradford or he’ll be Mark Bolger – shell shocked.”
Mike Claiborne, when asked what he thought the goals of the Rams’ QB, Sam Bradford, will be for in 2012, 810 AM
GH: Barry Richardson, the much-maligned former Chiefs’ offensive tackle, is now part of the Rams’ offensive line mix. Mr. and Mrs. Bradford should be very, very afraid. Remember when Bradford won the Heisman as a sophomore at Oklahoma? What ever happened to that guy? He sure wasn’t quarterbacking my fantasy team last season.

“I think the thing that has really hurt the Rams’ [attendance] is Direct TV’s Sunday Ticket. You can sit at home and watch every game instead of coming out to the dome and watching [the Rams] collection of poor players.”
Mike Claiborne, 810 AM
GH: Game day attendance will continue to take a hit in a lot of NFL cities this season besides St. Louis. The NFL has an unusual problem. Their game is more popular than ever but it is that global popularity that keeps fans home on game day to keep track of their fantasy teams’ stats and watch the Red Zone channel. It will be interesting to see if Arrowhead is able to fill those empties that have cropped up over the past five years by fielding a more competitive team in 2012.

“Nothing. … Yeah, it was a nice start but overall I don’t think it was that big of a deal.”
Jeff Chadiha, NFL writer for ESPN.com, when asked how much stock Chiefs’ fans should put into their good showing against the Cardinals in their first preseason game, 810 AM

“Is the hype about [Jonathan] Baldwin justified? ... Eric Winston: "The kid's a monster."
Peter King, @SI_PeterKing, in a response to Daniel Kelly, @dbk301, asking about the positive hype on the Chiefs’ second-year wide receiver, Twitter

“Definitely! I can feel it in the air!”
Dexter McCluster, when asked by Steven St. John if he thought he was poised to have his best season yet this year, 810 AM

“I could care less about the officials to be honest with you. They’re gonna call what they’re gonna call. You just have to line up and [keep playing].”
Jayice Pearson, on the NFL using replacement refs, 610 AM

“Average price for a Husker ticket $262 per game.”
Craig Nigrelli, reporter, @CraigNigrelli, Twitter
GH: For much of the 1970s and into the mid-80s, I rarely missed a Nebraska home football game. I also traveled to just about every away game in the Big 8 conference or within 500 miles. I was cash-strapped and looked for every way to get into each stadium other than purchasing a legit ticket. I do not remember ever spending more than $20 – and I rarely had to go over $10. NU football tix are now averaging $262? Insane. Just insane.

Ten Most Expensive Teams By Average Listed Ticket Price (ESPN.com)
1. Nebraska, $262
2. Ohio State, $227
3. Oklahoma, $207
4. Notre Dame, $206
5. Alabama, $205
6. Iowa, $202
7. Texas A&M, $189
8. Michigan, $185
9. West Virginia, $172
10. LSU, $158

“Bo Pelini's description of typical msg board fan: ‘Biff the blogger who sits in his basement and has no job.’”
Eric Olson, writer, @ericolson64, Twitter
GH: What Bo and his ilk fail to realize is that Biff The Blogger plays a major role in the fact Nebraska can charge $262 for a ticket to the Arkansas State game.

“I know a lot of people think Kansas has always been terrible and is always going to be terrible. I think this [Kansas] offense is going to be able to put up points and go up and down the field on anybody.”
Matt Tait, of KUSports.com, 610 AM
GH: Tait strikes me as a guy who is more KU fan than objective journalist. Maybe what he is seeing with Charlie Weis’ offense is really as good as he states. But that “anybody” on the Jayhawks’ schedule this season includes the defenses of Oklahoma, K-State, Texas and West Virginia. With as thin as Kansas will be on their depth chart, that is a daunting task for a first-year head coach.

“Kansas is one of the most improved teams in the country, but that just means they’ll be more competitive. Kansas may steal one or two in the Big 12 but it’s going to be tough to get out of the basement because the Big 12 is a tough conference. ”
Phil Steele, publisher of one of college football’s most revered preseason magazines, 610 AM

“I really like West Virginia this year. I think they have a team that can win the Big 12. I could see a scenario where they win the Big 12.”
Dennis Dodd, college football writer for of CBSSports.com, 810 AM
GH: West Virginia will be good but their travel schedule will be brutal. They play back-to-back road games at Texas and Texas Tech in mid-October. Those two trips will feel like they traveled to the Ukraine and back. They also head to Ames on November 24th. There is no place on the planet colder than Ames in late November. I think the Mountaineers lose all three of these roadies.

“Special. When I’m standing on the sideline and watching, all I can say is, ‘Wow!’ I don’t want to say too much, but when I saw that [number] 3 running down through there today, I was like, ‘that’s going to be a Trent Richardson right there.’ That’s what I can say. Big and fast, that’s all I can see.”
Shawn Williams, Georgia’s senior safety, on the freshman running back sensation Todd Gurley at the Bulldogs’ fall camp, UGASports.com
GH: I have been reading, listening and following the talk coming out of Georgia and all of it appears bad for Mizzou’s first SEC battle. Georgia appears to very, very good on both sides of the ball. It may be a good thing that MU plays UGA in the second game of the season – before the Bulldogs peak.

“I think Missouri will get acclimated quickly in the SEC and be a contender in the East [Division] next year or the year after that.”
Phil Steele, 610 AM

“I think Missouri’s recruiting will be just fine. They’ll probably lose some Texas kids but pick up some from Florida. I think it will still be exceptional. It may even be an improvement.”
Phil Steele, 610 AM

“Everybody that walks up to that plate is looking to get on base. That’s the name of the game, Nate! You get up to the plate, you get on base. If you get on first base you want to move to second. Then when you get to second you either want to go home or to third – but when you get to third you want to go home. So that’s kind of how they invented it.”
Ned Yost, in his post-game response Thursday to Nate Bukaty, asking if Gordon would need to adjust his approach at the plate in the three hole, 810 AM
GH: Soren Petro did not take too kindly to Yost’s flippant response. Read on.

“That condescending, jack-ass kind of an answer is why I think [Yost] will be fired. This to me is where he is about one to 15 months from getting a middle finger from one of his players. An outright mutiny and an avalanche of everybody absolutely tuning him out and him being fired is about to happen! That kind of condescending, in-your-face response will be given to an Eric Hosmer or a Mike Moustakas or a Wil Myers or an Alex Gordon or a Billy Butler. And they’re going to extend their arm and raise their middle finger and tell him to sit and spin!”
Soren Petro, on Yost’s response to Nate Bukaty 810 AM

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24

Posnanski's honesty on the line with his book on Paterno

Posted 8-16-12

“As a writer, I tried to take the measure of the man who was that head football coach. I believe I have written about his life with as much honesty as I have. … There was the bloated superhero of Nov. 4, the savage villain of Nov. 5 … and I searched for the human being in the middle. I believe most of us live somewhere in the middle.”
Joe Posnanski, writing in USA Today about his soon-to-be-released book, Paterno, USA Today
GH: Writing honestly is all a reader can expect from an author. But JoPo too often adds caveats like, “as much honesty as I have,” to muddy the message. Whether JoPo likes it or not – and from his column in USA Today he definitely does not – his honesty is on the line with his book and how he handles Paterno’s story. Read on.


“I have reported as many of the facts of the Sandusky case as I could uncover (including some new ones).”
Joe Posnanski, USA Today
GH: JoPo appears to think he was researching the Sandusky scandal in a vacuum. I didn’t expect JoPo to do all the legwork in uncovering Paterno’s involvement. What I did expect was for him to use the facts and research that was unavailable for his book. But he chose to complete his book before Sandusky’s trial and before the Freeh Report was published. And what are these “new” facts with which JoPo teases his readers? If JoPo has pertinent facts that would exonerate Paterno or incriminate the coach, why make us wait for his book? This line smacks of the kind of sensationalist journalism that JoPo has so loudly denounced.


“I realize some people have opinions about me and the book even before it comes out. This is one of the most emotional stories in memory. … I found myself being quoted and misquoted in stories and being charged with mindlessly defending Joe Paterno against horrible villainy with which he had not yet been charged. All I had wanted to say was that we needed time to find out what was real and what wasn't. … I was pushed and pulled, accused and derided, and that wasn't much fun. There were hundreds of questions, none of them with easy answers. But I had come to write a true book. That was what mattered. I have done my best to do that.”
Joe Posnanski, USA Today
GH: JoPo takes on the tone of a victim here as he complains about how he has been treated by others in the media. While he is correct in stating the book has yet to be published, he has made more than enough statements defending Paterno and attacking those who would be critical of the coach for opinions about how he will handle Paterno’s story to be raised. JoPo says he came to write “a true book.” I just wished he wouldn’t have left early.

“I went underground. I have made my living as a daily reporter, but this required something different. I could not allow myself to get caught up in the shifting winds of this story.”
Joe Posnanski, USA Today
GH: What reporter goes underground while standing at ground zero of the most awful and historic scandal in the history of college sports? A journalist – and JoPo is no casual journalist but rather one of the most decorated sports writers of the past decade – is trained to not be “caught up in the shifting winds of this story.” A reporter seeks out each shifting wind, breeze and odor to unveil the truth. The truth doesn’t lie underground. The truth is in the eye of the storm and sometimes that means being uncomfortable and getting drenched.

“In the last months of Joe Paterno's life, I met with him on several occasions and talked with him at length when he was perhaps the most sought after interview in America. I was granted access to his personal notes, and there were many. I talked to some of the people closest to him and also some of his harshest critics. I also talked with child sex abuse experts and legal experts to offer background and context. I read anything and everything that might give me some insight into who Joe Paterno really was. I reviewed inner-office e-mails (the same ones used in the Freeh Report), documents and timelines. I searched for what is real.”
Joe Posnanski, USA Today

GH: JoPo read and had access to the same emails and memos that were in the Freeh Report? Okay, then I expect one helluva book. He interviewed Paterno when no other member of the media had access to the fired coach? We should expect a bestseller. JoPo has the opportunity to set history straight on who Paterno was and why he allowed Sandusky’s crimes against children to destroy his football empire, his legacy and his name.

“But I also objectively wrote about why so many people admired and idolized Joe Paterno in the first place. I wrote at length about his youthful idealism. I wrote at length about his unprecedented success as a coach. I wrote at length about the last 15 years of his life when he would not quit. I wrote at length about the end.”
Joe Posnanski, USA Today
GH: Not much of that really matters anymore though, does it Joe? We all know that story. That will be the portion of your book I’ll skip – kind of like when you went underground.


“I think the richest and most significant stories defy easy answers.”
Joe Posnanski, USA Today
GH: Paterno’s story is not a rich story. It is a heinous, soul-stealing tale that covered decades of denial to protect a college football program and its head coach’s won/loss record. The answers are ridiculously easy. Be of good character and protect innocent children from your hired monster. Is doesn’t get any easier, Joe.

“I suspect I will never have a more difficult task as a writer — I've been told by several authors that no biographer in American history has had a book change so drastically in the course of reporting. I suspect that's not right, but it is right that I was feeling my way through the dark.”
Joe Posnanski, USA Today
GH: Is JoPo asking us to feel sorry for him? His attempt to twist himself into emotional knots and ask for our sympathy sickens me. Instead of holing up underground and feeling his way through the dark in Happy Valley, he should have been constructing light towers that reached the heavens and illuminated every corner of that campus and Paterno’s past.


“When people ask me if Penn State was right in tearing down Joe Paterno's statue in light of the Freeh Report's conclusion, I ask a different question: ‘Should they have built a statue to him in the first place?’ When people ask me if the NCAA was right in unleashing draconian penalties against Penn State, I ask a different question: ‘Should they have held up Joe Paterno as a paragon of purity and virtue for more than four decades?’”

Joe Posnanski, USA Today

GH: I ask yet a different question: Should Simon & Schuster have made an advanced payment of $750K to a writer for a book about a college football coach? Especially a writer so blinded by his subject’s aura that he uses the term “draconian” to describe the penalties levied for allowing a child rapist to work freely on your campus? Penn State’s problem is not the statue. The problem is those like JoPo who genuflected in front of it.


“Nobody would argue — and certainly my book does not argue — that the good Joe Paterno did in his life should shield him from the horrors of his mistakes. Some would argue, especially in the white-hot emotion sparked by the latest revelations, that Paterno's role in the Jerry Sandusky crimes invalidates whatever good he might have done. My book does not argue that either. My book, I believe, lets the reader make up his or her own mind.”
Joe Posnanski, USA Today
GH: JoPo has told us what his book does not do but far little about what, if anything, it reveals about Paterno’s role in the Sandusky scandal. When a reporter has the access and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that JoPo was granted by the sheer luck of his timing, we should not have to guess. We should not have to make up our own minds. That reporter has an obligation to seek out and tell us the truth.

“No, I don't feel about Joe Paterno the same way I did when I started writing the book. But I don't feel about him the way his most blistering critics feel. He was a human being, filled with ideals and flaws, honesty and hypocrisy, charity and selfishness, modesty and the refusal to abdicate his throne.

There was little simple about him. I chased the complicated story of a man and his long life. I hope that is the story I wrote.”
Joe Posnanski, USA Today
GH: JoPo asks too little of himself. We all deserved more – just as Sandusky’s victims deserved more. We all deserve much, much more than JoPo is telling us he is willing to deliver.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


CBS insider not high on the Chiefs

Posted 8-15-12

“I think they’re a .500 team. Maybe a little better, maybe a little worse.”
Jason LaCanfora, NFL insider for CBS Sports, when asked by Josh Vernier what he thought of the Chiefs this season after seeing them in St. Joe, 610 AM
GH: LaCanfora spent time with 610 Sports’ Big Show on Tuesday and he didn’t make a lot of Chiefs’ fans happy. Read on.

“I’m a little more of a wait and see guy. I’m not going to base anything on their preseason performance. I think that first six-week stretch, if they can hover around .500 they’ll be in good shape. Again, I think they’re somewhere around a .500 football team.”
Jason LaCanfora, 610 AM
GH: Let’s be honest, a lot of our Chiefs’ optimism is based on the ACL Club playing at their previous high levels and the first-quarter play against Arizona in the first preseason game. The Chiefs have rarely looked better than they did last Friday at Arrowhead. It is easy to get excited – even over just two series of play. But LaCanfora is not nearly as high on the Chiefs’ new free agents. Read on.

“I think we’ll see where those [new Chiefs’ free agents] fit in. Peyton Hillis is coming off a season where he went off the rails personally, professionally, emotionally, mentally, physically – so I would say slow my roll on that one. We’ll see what a factor he is. Stanford Routt has great speed and some ability to make great plays but he’s also a guy who has been burned a fair amount in his career and gambles a lot. So we’ll see.”
Jason LaCanfora, after Jayice Pearson asked him what other team in the AFC West upgraded their roster as much as the Chiefs, 610 AM
GH: Pearson was not happy with LaCanfora’s response but unfortunately, he waited until LaCanfora was off the phone to criticize CBS’ NFL insider. Read on.

“I just don’t think he was as informed as he should have been. I didn’t agree a lot with what Jason said. He would say one thing and then contradict himself a few sentences later.”
Jayice Pearson, on Jason LaCanfora’s comments about the Chiefs, 610 AM
GH: So why sit in front of your microphone and not voice your disagreements? What if Pearson would have told LaCanfora, “Hey Jason, I don’t think you are as informed as you need to be about the Chiefs. It sounds like you’re just regurgitating what you read other CBS writers have to say.” Now we have an interview that would have had people cranking up their volume knobs.

“I don’t know that this [Chiefs’] team has the kind of depth of some of the other teams in the AFC, especially when you go outside the division.”
Jason LaCanfora, 610 AM
GH: This comment by LaCanfora went unchallenged by the three-part Big Show. While some talk show hosts believe disagreeing with a guest is rude, I believe most guests enjoy being challenged to explain their opinions. It doesn’t have to be abusive, but some give and take between the host and guest can be entertaining radio.

“CBS has some sort of vendetta against this [Chiefs] ball club.”
Josh Vernier, on the number of CBS NFL analysts who have ranked the Chiefs lower than Vernier expected, 610 AM

“I think Bill Williamson is just a Chiefs PR mouthpiece right now. I wonder what the hell Bill Williamson was watching when he says [Tyson] Jackson and [Glen] Dorsey are better than the stats suggest.”
Soren Petro, after the comments made by the ESPN.com AFC West columnist during his interview on The Border Patrol, 810 AM
GH: Knowing Petro’s past as Carl Peterson’s hand-picked radio mouthpiece, this comment made me smile.

“I’m glad Chris Mortensen is starting to flip [over to favor the Chiefs] because he was an absolute jack when he was on with Carrington [Harrison] and [Robert] Ford. He was talking down to them and I couldn’t stand his demeanor. If the Chiefs do win the Super Bowl, I can’t wait to talk to Chris Mortensen. Excuse me – if they win their division I can’t wait to talk to Chris Mortensen.”
Josh Vernier, 610 AM
GH: Everybody’s a media critic.

“I think Romeo Crennel is a defensive mastermind. Players love him, they all want to play for him. He’s got a great working relationship with Scott Pioli.”
Jason LaCanfora, 610 AM
GH: Expect to hear and read this angle often this season. I call it the “throw dirt on Todd Haley campaign.” Scott Pioli approves this message.

“I heard Romeo’s quote, ‘We’re all teammates.’ Not in training camp. You’ve got 90 guys there. You haven’t made the team. They’re not your teammates. A lot of times they’re your enemy because they’re trying to take your job.”
Bill Maas, 610 AM

“A nationwide helium shortage has put a 70-year tradition of releasing red balloons after the first score [of Nebraska football games] on hiatus. There will be one last game for the balloons - the season-opener against Southern Mississippi on Sept. 1. Instead of 5,000 balloons, it will be 2,500. The university's helium provider doesn't have a supply, and when helium is available, there are more important users like hospitals. Nebraska's athletic department has a few tanks from last year that will fill the balloons for the first game. After that, Nebraska plans to hold one tank back and come up with a way to symbolize the tradition for the rest of the season.”
KETV, Omaha
GH: And we thought the drought was a problem in the Cornhusker state.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Bill Maas says KC's defense could be one of the best in NFL

Posted 8-15-12

“[Dontari Poe] needs to work on technique, he needs to work on understanding the system, he needs to get the calls correct all the time. He’s got a ways to go.”
Romeo Crennel, on his top draft pick, KCStar.com
GH: Few things get Kansas City sports fans more uptight than the Chiefs’ first-round draft pick coming into the preseason and looking like a bust. Poe has only played one exhibition game but his head coach’s words have us concerned we are looking at the next Ryan Sims. Bill Maas says we should all relax. Read on.

“I had to go through a transition [from playing defensive line in college]. You have to learn how to read and that takes away a lot of your aggressiveness. It’ll come. He has the ability and all the tools it takes.”
Bill Maas, when asked about Dontari Poe’s slow start at nose tackle, 610 AM

“You’re going to see a lot of Dontari Poe over one of the guards or in the A-gap on sub situations. And you’re going to see that pocket get pushed – which we haven’t had in the past. The last three years for the Kansas City Chiefs, they’ve had no pocket push in the middle. This guy is going to be a big factor and this is where you’re going to see him shine. He’s going to push that pocket in the sub defense and it’s going to make that quarterback bounce and move around. And that’s when Houston and Hali are going to be there. We have not had that in quite some time.”
 Bill Maas, 610 AM
GH: Okay. So it might not happen this year, as many led us to believe it would when Poe came out of the draft as some super-human freak of nature. No reason sweating the next five months over why Poe is inactive. Chalk him up as a 2013 project. Just pretend he’s on Dayton Moore’s timeline.

“I just think Justin Houston has a chance to really take off and become a great player.”
Mitch Holthus, 810 AM
GH: Houston has quietly become the talk of the Chiefs’ defense. He is the Jon Baldwin of St. Joe on the defensive side.

“Tyson Jackson will not make or break the Kansas City Chiefs this year.”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM

“We’re pretty well into his tenure. Sometimes it is what it is and you are what you are.”
Bill Maas, when asked about Tyson Jackson’s progress, 610 AM
GH: Let’s hope we are not having this same conversation about Poe three years from now.

“I think this can be one of the best defenses in the NFL this year. This defense could be really, really good.”
Bill Maas, 610 AM
GH: If the Chiefs have a top-five defense, how do they not win the AFC West? If you listen to Kevin Kietzman, two words – Peyton Manning. Read on.

“I want to officially let everyone in Kansas City know that I am freaked out! I am absolutely and completely freaked out that Peyton Manning plays for the Broncos! Without overstating it, I’m sick to my stomach today. … Regardless of what the Chiefs do, you can’t change that that guy’s there.”
Kevin Kietzman, after he watched Manning play one series in the Broncos’ preseason opener, 810 AM
GH: Manning was 4 of 7 for 44 yards in his only series and it ended in a tipped red-zone interception. And Kietz wonders why we think he is nothing more than a shock jock. Read on.

“If Peyton Manning plays 16 games this year, the Broncos win this division and they win a minimum of 11 games. This division is over! It is closed for business!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: KK is a gambling kind of guy. I’ll bet the host of BTL that Manning doesn’t start 16 games for the Broncos this season and that the Broncos don’t win 11 games. He can pick either bet or both. Not only does the aging Manning not freak me out, his presence in a Denver uniform excites me. His skill set has diminished and his body is about to experience how different it is to recover from game day at the age of 36 than 26. He might not even be on the active roster when the Chiefs first see the Broncos on November 25th. Peyton is about to learn that he should have retired – just like almost every other superstar athlete who chases fame and fortune one season too many.

“Stanzi to dirt is working well today.”
Bob Fescoe, tweeting from Monday’s Chiefs’ practice, Twitter
GH: Fescoe’s tweets from Chiefs’ camp are concise and often entertaining.

“Want to get excited about a 3rd string player, get excited about Steve Maneri, not Ricky Stanzi.”
TJ Carpenter, tweeting from Monday’s Chiefs’ practice, on the tight end from Temple, Twitter
GH: Getting excited about a third-string tight end is why people like my wife make fun of sports nerds. So tell me more about this Maneri…

“In terms of rust and all that, there’s not going to be all that much rust. I don’t expect to see a lesser Brandon Flowers if he misses all the preseason games. He’ll be fine.”
Jayice Pearson, 610 AM
GH: Pearson is an entertaining listen for all the wrong reasons. He sees everything from the player’s perspective and will take every opportunity to bash management or conventional thinking – like attending practice. Jayice and Allen Iverson would get along well.

“Why do you need to practice if you can just show up [the week of the first game] and play?”
Jay Binkley, responding to Pearson’s above comment, 610 AM
GH: The Big Show is having growing problems. Pearson’s cohosts are still trying to find a comfort level with this former Chief. Binkley appears to have taken on more of the lead host role now that this is a three-man booth. That may be a sign that Josh Vernier is having a tough time fitting in and warming to the KC audience.

“When rich white people start losing money, that’s when you’ll see something get done. … I’m not concerned. I think it’ll get done by week one.”
Josh Vernier, on the NFL using replacement referees during the preseason, 610 AM
GH: “Rich white people?” Maybe Vernier would be more comfortable down the hall at Entercom at KMBZ with Parks and Wreck.

“The Shake and The Quake.”
Jay Binkley, on some of the nicknames being floated about for the Chiefs’ running back combination of Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis, 610 AM
GH: How good did Hillis look in those two series against the Cardinals? I love his Bane-like villain facemask. Maybe the equipment guys can add some teeth to that little loop to complete the look.

“Fattest states in the nation: Mississippi (#1), Louisiana (#2), Alabama (#4), Arkansas (#7), S. Carolina (#8). Congrats to the SEC.”
Darren Rovell, @darrenrovell, Twitter

“You shouldn’t run over 21 miles a week because it’s been proven it wears your joints out.”
Rob Kingsbury, Coach K, 810 AM
GH: I find Coach K’s show and too-infrequent segments on Kevin Kietzman’s show entertaining – but far from informative. Coach K makes the same mistake many personal trainers make – they tailor their programs and health advice around what works for them instead of the individual. Many people should not run at all for fitness, but others can handle far more than 21 miles a week. Running is not available to all – but to those who can run, there are few things you can do as cheaply and easily to improve your health and attitude. As the fall weather approaches, I urge you to get outside and get moving.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24




Haith gets reactionary overseas

Posted 8-14-12

“After seeing elbows fly, words exchanged and a surprising ejection, Missouri Head Coach Frank Haith had enough. The second-year head coach at Missouri had just been ejected from a game in Amsterdam for questioning a non-call on an elbow to the head of Missouri freshman forward Stefan Jankovic and pulled his team from the floor midway through the third quarter against the Dutch national team.”
Missourian staff
GH: What did Haith expect on his trip to Amsterdam? Missouri was up on the Dutch team by 25 at one point. So the game got a little chippy, that’s no reason to quit and pull your team from the court. Read on.

“In my mind, I was just fearful for the safety of our players, but in retrospect I wish I had let our team play it out and learn from the adversity. I take complete responsibility. This is a learning experience for us all.”
Frank Haith, Missourian
GH: Haith showed his inexperience here as a head coach by pulling his team from the game after he was ejected. Quitting is never an option when you are coaching college athletes unless Haith truly was fearful for his players’ health. But he contradicts that comment when he states he wished he would have let his team play the game out. Either the game had become dangerous or it had not. Haith comes off as accusatory and apologetic all in the same paragraph.

“This in no way reflects how the Dutch team played tonight. They are a great team and for us to be up 25 at the half, we were obviously playing well. I had a split second to make a decision and I chose to err on the side of caution.”
Frank Haith, Missourian
GH: How else is the public supposed to interpret pulling your team from the game and quitting? Traveling to play these exhibition games abroad is not a vacation for the home teams. They want to beat the dog out of the American college kids. Haith needs to understand that and not embarrass MU with what appears to be an emotional and poor decision to pull his team.

“There were inconsistent calls on both sides including a technical foul on the Dutch, so our staff could understand that the game was stopped. It was just a pity it got to that point.”
Matthijs Groot, Dutch team manager and the event organizer, Missourian
GH: Groot appears to be far better at diplomatic relations than Haith.

“If you think this world ain't crazy try Amsterdam on for size!!”
David Leitao, @CoachDLeitao, assistant basketball coach at Missouri, Twitter
GH: Again I ask, where did Mizzou think it was going? Let’s hope Gary Pinkel has his football team better prepared for their trips through the SEC. Amsterdam is going to seem like Lubbock when you compare it to Knoxville, Tuscaloosa and LSU’s Death Valley.

“First-year coach Bruce Weber was ejected near the end of Kansas State's 74-72 exhibition loss to Tijuca Club in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Monday. Five K-State players fouled out of the game, which featured 78 total free throws, 41 of which were attempted by the home team. The game officials also handed out four technical fouls, two of which went to Weber, who was ejected and escorted off the court after arguing a call with about six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.”
GH: Bruce Weber is about a decade older than Haith and it showed in how he handled the on-court turmoil his Wildcats faced in Rio de Janeiro. Read on.

“Never been in a game where I was fearful that my players would get hurt. … Great experience for our guys. We hung together in a very crazy atmosphere and chance to win it with ejections and 4 players fouling out.”
Chris Lowery, @CoachLoweryKSU, commenting on KSU’s game in Brazil, Twitter

“It was a tough, hard-fought loss tonight. It was a foul-plagued game with lots of technicals and double-fouls. I have been on many international trips and you never know what type of officials you are going to get in these games and FIBA rules are pretty different. They let us play pretty physical in our first three games and tonight we had five guys foul out, but give our kids credit for coming back.”
Bruce Weber, K-State’s first-year head basketball coach, SBNation.com
GH: Weber saw the chaos his team experienced in Brazil as a great teaching tool for his Wildcats. I expect Frank Haith will react more professionally the next time he and his Tigers find themselves on the International stage. I just find it disappointing that he has to learn on the job at $1.5 million a season.

“Sometimes, you get a false sense of who you are by playing against each other. Playing against other people put a totally different spin on it that shows us there’s a lot of work to be done.”
Bill Self, on his Jayhawks rough play while dropping back-to-back games in Europe, KUSports.com
GH: Self didn’t sound overly concerned with his young team’s play – but the vulnerability the Jayhawks showed in Europe has to be somewhat encouraging for the rest of the Big 12.

“It was a big eye-opener, just playing against men, getting used to the speed and adjustment. Even though the court and ball were different, (we’re) getting used to making adjustments — just learning how to play basketball at such a high level. This is a great experience for me.”
Andrew White, KU freshman, KUSports.com
GH: Mizzou, K-State and KU basketball teams just spent a week or more in exotic places like Amsterdam, Rio de Janeiro and Paris. Playing big-time college hoops in the heartland is not a bad gig.

GregHall24@yahoo.com  and Twitter / greghall24


Channel 9 misreports the Bowe signing

Posted 8-13-12

“Holdout wide receiver Dwayne Bowe has reached agreement with the Kansas City Chiefs over his contract dispute, a source has told KMBC 9 News.”
GH: With this report on Friday, KMBC Channel 9 jumped into an area of news reporting they have no business treading. Read on.


“Not in the business of knocking anyone’s hustle but in a world of Schefter, Glazer and Mortensen, Karen Kornacki ain’t breaking news folks.”
Carrington Harrison, after KMBC 9 TV issued a report that Dwayne Bowe had “reached an agreement” regarding his franchise offer last Friday, @cdotharrison, Twitter
GH: If there is one thing we have learned over the media shake-up the past five years, it is that television sports reporting is well behind the print, radio and blogosphere when it comes to credibility in breaking stories. Most TV sports desks no longer even try to compete when it comes to breaking stories. Channel 5 tried to get into the Big realignment news a year ago and their reports were so ludicrous they were dismissed almost immediately.


“The [KMBC 9 website] copy no longer says Bowe ‘reached an agreement’ with the team. It’s ‘he will be ending his holdout’ which, if you wanna play a game of semantics, means they can’t be wrong. Because he will be ending his holdout…eventually. Also missing from the story is the multiple sources. The initial report was sources, as in plural. Karen Kornacki’s live report yesterday was “unnamed sources”. The multiple sources angle is something I pointed out yesterday. I see now it’s just “a source” on the website. There’s still no byline on the story, but Kornacki read the report live on the air last night so I guess it’s hers. Or the cameraman. Whose name I still don’t know.”
Joel Thorman, writer/publisher, ArrowheadPride.com
GH: With online beat writers like Thorman and his excellent website, Kornacki and her ilk have no reason to me making up stories and hope they stick — and fortunately for the free world, there are few TV people as incompetent and unprofessional as Kornacki.


“Because this story was tracked via social media [Friday] — see the details here — people will soon start crapping all over Twitter, saying this is the problem with social media. But it’s not. In fact, social media is the only part of this who got the story accurate. Dwayne Bowe was on a flight from Atlanta and did land in Kansas City. Those were facts. It was KMBC who took it a step further by reporting something as fact that, as of now, doesn’t appear to be accurate.”
Joel Thorman, ArrowheadPride.com
GH: Twitter was made the villain by Joe Posnanski when the news of Joe Paterno’s involvement in the Jerry Sandusky scandal first broke. It is an easy and naïve criticism of a medium that some simply still do not understand. Twitter is a tool. No different than your radio, your television or your computer. What has the old media guard most upset with Twitter is its immediacy and how it threatens conventional news reporting. In the Bowe story, his sighting was reported by a Chiefs fan on Twitter, complete with photos. Remember WhiteMamba’s scoop last year on Jonathan Baldwin’s fight and how Nick Wright shrugged off the timeline evidence and still claimed to “break” the story? Twitter is not our enemy. Twitter is holding poor journalists like Kornacki accountable for their make-believe reports.


“I’ve never seen a media member hug players and coaches as much as Kornacki. She’s truly a clown professionally.”
Chris Hamblin, @hamblinradio, Twitter
GH: Karen Klownacki.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Teicher says Poe nowhere close to being a complete player

Posted 8-10-12

“To me it’s not boring preseason football. To me it’s intriguing.”
Mitch Holthus, as the Chiefs prepare for their first of four preseason tilts starting Friday night against the Cardinals, 810 AM
GH: Every football fans see the NFL preseason a bit differently. Mitch finds it intriguing. I find it an incredible rip-off and far more hype than substance. But it is football and most of us will pay some attention to it. But I’ll pass on heading to Arrowhead tonight. Paying $27 just to park to watch Dontari Poe fend off blockers is not all that appealing. My DVR is set. Read on.

“[Dontari Poe] has got a long way to go. This guy is nowhere close to being a complete player.”
Adam Teicher, on the Chiefs’ top draft pick’s play in camp at nose tackle, 810 AM

“So try to remember that: If Poe is contributing very little thru half the season, doesn't mean he's a bust. Means KC is sticking to its plan.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter
GH: Huh? Sometimes Babb tweets with a South Carolina accent that is more difficult to decipher than a Sonic commercial.

“I love [Poe’s] combination of athleticism, strength and power, and believe he will emerge as an effective inside rusher in the Chiefs' nickel package. Although Poe will eventually need to become a starter and dominant all-around player to justify his lofty draft status, I don't mind Kansas City bringing him along slowly to foster his development.”
Bucky Brooks, writer, NFL.com
GH: Everyone appears to be telling us to be patient when it comes to Poe’s productivity. If there is a trait that Chiefs/Royals fans have perfected – it is patience. How about one of these years drafting some bad-ass defensive lineman who turns into the next B.J. Raji? Patience we’ve got. Bad-ass defensive linemen, we need.

“That’s like getting a test before you’re taking a test.”
Kendrick Lewis, on practicing against the Cardinals this week in camp prior to their game on Friday night, 810 AM

“More and more the guy I see when I see Jonathan Baldwin is Tony Gonzalez.”
Adam Teicher, KC Star Chiefs’ beat writer, 810 AM
GH: No Chiefs’ player – not even Dwayne Bowe – has created more conversation during camp than the Chiefs’ second-year wide-receiver out of Pittsburgh. And all of the buzz has been good – very good. NFL analysts are raving about the changes they’ve seen in Baldwin. Read on.

“[Jonathan Baldwin] is all business this year.”
Matt Miller, of BleacherReport.com, 810 AM
GH: A year ago we were bemoaning the immaturity of Baldwin and how his locker-room fight with Thomas Jones cost him valuable learning reps for the first two months of the season. His me-first reputation at Pitt was coming back to haunt him as a rookie NFL receiver. Bowe holdout has allowed Baldwin room to mature and time with Matt Cassel. All early signs point to him having a breakout sophomore season.

“I don’t know if the Chiefs need [Baldwin] to be that good [as Julio Jones].”
Adam Teicher, alluding to reports that Bill Belichick compared Baldwin’s talents to those of the highly-touted second-year Atlanta Falcons’ wide-out, 810 AM
GH: We’ll go ahead and take it though, right Adam?

“I just think it’s a matter of getting some repetitions for [Ricky Stanzi]. Friday night is big for him.”
Mitch Holthus, on the Chiefs’ third-string QB, 810 AM
GH: Holthus is the forever optimist when it comes to the Chiefs. As great as the camp reviews have been on Baldwin, they have been equally poor regarding the former Iowa quarterback’s play. Matt Miller called him “just not ready.” His thin frame and inaccuracy has all but his ardent fan base ready to send him back to Iowa City.

“I was a little up and down consistently throughout camp. I could be a little more consistent.”
Ricky Stanzi, when asked to access his play so far in camp, 810 AM
GH: Stanzi has been plenty consistent – just not in a good way.

“I'm convinced the Chiefs have an emerging superstar on their hands. [Justin] Houston displays outstanding first-step quickness and shows a natural knack for getting to the quarterback off the edge. While Houston must continue to refine his hand skills and countermoves, he possesses all of the requisite traits (speed, athleticism and burst) that you look for in an elite pass rusher. Playing opposite Tamba Hali, he will thrive against the isolated matchups he receives. If the Chiefs can routinely force opponents into long-yardage situations by successfully defending the run, I would expect to see Houston collect 10-plus sacks as a second-year player.”
Bucky Brooks, writer, NFL.com

“When they go to their sub-packages and they can turn him loose, he is going to be an animal! He is going to be very hard to block.”
Mitch Holthus, on the Chiefs’ Justin Houston, 810 AM

“This will be the best Chiefs’ pass rush since DT and Neil Smith. I think they’ll both have double-digit sacks.”
Mitch Holthus, on Tamba Hali and Houston recording double-digit sacks this season, 810 AM

“I love Mitch and I love the Chiefs but you’re not going to hear a whole lot of bad things come out of their mouths about their players.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: And I was just starting to get excited… KAN-SAS SIT-EEE!

“There’s not a guy that looks better in training camp than Dexter McCluster. Do you think if there was a redraft that he’d be a second-round pick? I don’t.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: A lot of positive vibes have been floated McCluster’s way up in St. Joe, with many believing Brian Daboll’s new offense will finally find a way to utilize the former second-round draft pick. The easy-to-tip-over Dexter needs a lot of space to excel – space that you rarely find available in an NFL game.

“You know how they always say players got to be good on and off the field? Our fans are good in the stadium and out of the stadium. They just treat everybody with respect.”
Eric Berry, Chiefs commercial
GH: Chiefs’ fans treat everybody with respect? Why make Berry read this line of copy? Arrowhead is a wild, untamed NFL environment. It is what most fans expect and every NFL team wants – but it is not the kind of place where respect is all that prevalent. My wife stopped going with me in 1989 when three different fights broke out around us and a guy in front of us pissed in his cup. Respect, baby.

“Race for the Cure”
Re-titled name for Susan G. Komen 5K
GH: Last December the Susan G. Komen organization made the decision to withhold funds for breast cancer screenings performed by Planned Parenthood. The decision was greeted with such a backlash from the public that SGK quickly relented and restored the funding – which angered the conservative side of the political scene. All this bad publicity has resulted in the very popular 5K races suffering drops in registration in big cities up to 35% and 40%. I have noticed that recent emails and marketing efforts for this Sunday’s 5K at Union Station have removed the Susan G. Komen name from their marketing. A number of high-profile people have recently been fired or reassigned at SGK. Too often charitable organizations mistake money for political power. It is up to the people to remind them of the difference. The downtown route should be far less crowded this Sunday.

“I’ve never been to an Olive Garden.”
Carrington Harrison , 610 AM
GH: This is a man who is not very familiar with the opposite gender.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Star reporter has different outlook on Chiefs/Royals taxpayer 'slush fund'

Posted 8-9-12

“I don’t think anyone has told me that what [both the Chiefs and the Royals] are doing is illegal. Maybe they have said they broke the law to you, but I haven’t heard that. … Once you create a slush fund, it’s hard to complain about what is spent on slush. The problem isn’t the way the Royals and Chiefs spend this money. It’s that’s there is this fund to begin with.”
Dave Helling, 810 AM
GH: Kudos for Kietzman for inviting Helling on his show for a live debate on this issue. Either KK wanted to promote another viewpoint on how the Chiefs and Royals are spending tax dollars or he woefully underestimated his ability to verbally spar with Helling on a political/tax issue. Knowing how KK does not like to be made the fool, I am guessing the latter. Read on.

http://www.greghallkc.com/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gif“Dave Helling is the best news reporter I have ever worked with. He is the best political reporter I have ever worked with. And he is the best news producer I have ever worked with. I absolutely think the world of you. I can’t imagine that anybody in the media has had more impact than you have over the last how many years.”
Kevin Kietzman, as he introduced the Kansas City Star business reporter, 810 AM
GH: Whoever posts the audio files for KK’s podcasts on the WHB website must not be nearly as informed about Helling’s prowess. The WHB website lists him as “Dan” Helling.

“We’ve both been in this business a long time. Sometimes a story needs a real hook that you go, ‘Oh my gosh! This is going to grab the reader or listener.’ ”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I understand that talk radio is not a fertile field of journalistic ethics. But KK’s breaking stories are too often about the baited hook and not about the catch. While pointing this out was not Helling’s intent, it was the result. Read on.

“The Royals and the Chiefs are really, really smart and they’re really, really good. And they pulled one over everybody’s eyes. They really did!”
Kevin Kietzman, attempting to convince an unconvinced Helling that his story on the Royals’ misspending taxpayer funds had teeth, 810 AM

“Do you think though that the public is prepared to lose either franchise over this dispute? Do you think Jackson Countians are so upset over this that they are prepared to lose the teams?”
Dave Helling, 810 AM
GH: KK and Helling disagreed on whether or not Kansas City could be in jeopardy of losing one or both teams. KK is adamant they would not go but Helling thinks a new owner might be tempted to find another city that would be more profitable.

“I don’t want to defend the teams and I didn’t come on your show [to do that]. I really don’t have a dog in the hunt, other than to say everyone should be clear on what’s going on – as clear as they can be. The fact is the teams are very smart and whether it happened in the last six months or just ahead of [signing the agreement], they were clearly intent on getting something in the lease agreement that would defray some of their costs. In exchange for that, they agreed to put a cap on future taxpayer responsibilities for improvements to the stadiums.”
Dave Helling, 810 AM
GH: Helling presented this cap as a fair trade off for the teams to spend the funds at their discretion. He cited past contracts that contained no cap and placed the county in peril of paying unlimited costs for the stadiums’ upkeep.

“There’s nothing imminent. There’s no [law] suit that’s been filed. I’m not even sure on what basis it would be filed. The desire of everyone I’ve talked to is that the dispute be settled without involving the legal system. I don’t think the teams want to force default. And I don’t think the county wants to enter into a default on the rental agreements either.”
Dave Helling, after Kietzman spoke of the possibility of the county suing the Royals, 810 AM
GH: Helling’s approach in this argument was steady, controlled and confident. He wasn’t trying to show Kietzman up or pound the drum for either the Royals or Chiefs. In other words, he took a 180-degree different approach to this topic than Kietzman. I found the contrast to be informative and entertaining radio. You can listen to the entire half-hour interview here.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24



Sporting KC more relevant than KU football? No

Posted 8-9-12

“[Seattle] Sounders FC goalkeeper Michael Gspurning threw his bottle of Gatorade in disgust. How could it end this way? After a wicked storm delayed the match for 41 minutes, after a grueling 120 minutes of tense competition, after drama, frustration and five decisive penalty kicks from each team, history succumbed to anger, confusion and allegations of biased officiating.”
Jerry Brewer, writer, after Sporting Kansas City defeated the Sounders 3-2 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 tie in regulation and 30 minutes of extra time, Seattle Times
GH: Seattle thinks they got robbed. So soccer isn’t all that different from every other sport. I followed the Sounders/SKC title match on 810 [as best I could with that odd-sounding English chap’s accent] and on Twitter. My U-verse connection doesn’t provide me with the obscure GolTV channel where this supposed “major title” was broadcast. ESPN2, FoxSoccer and another sports cable channel were broadcasting soccer matches Wednesday night. None of them thought enough of the Lamar Hunt Trophy match to show it to the rest of America.

“It's difficult when you're playing against a team at home, so the crowd helps them, and then when you're playing against the referee as well, and he makes some absolutely, I thought, ridiculous calls.”
Sigi Schmid, Sounders head coach, Seattle Times
GH: It was reported that Sporting Kansas City paid to get the final match played at home. This is simply another reason as to why I have a hard time considering this a “major” sport. What league or tournament allows you to buy a home title game?

“Schmid can't help feeling that there was a conspiracy to keep the Sounders from winning the Cup again.”
Jerry Brewer, writer, Seattle Times

“Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid blamed referee Ricardo Salazar for much of the bitter result. From his opening post-match statement on, Schmid criticized Salazar's officiating. He was angry over the Sounders receiving five yellow cards to Sporting KC's zero in a match that was physical on both sides. He was angry about what he considered a phantom handball that resulted in Sporting KC's goal in the 84th minute. He was angry about Sporting KC midfielder Paulo Nagamura being awarded a do-over during penalty kicks, and about the decision to do the penalty kicks on the rowdy side of the field.”
Jerry Brewer, writer, Seattle Times
GH: Schmid also made not-so-guarded comments in the Times that he thought there was a conspiracy by the Cup officials to keep Seattle from winning a fourth consecutive title. I wonder how Roger Goodell would handle those comments?

“An announced crowd of 18,863 — which probably makes Sounders fans say, ‘Oh, cute!’ — came to see history of a different kind. Sporting KC followers felt it was their time to win the title. They tossed bean bags during a pre-match tailgate and talked trash. It was an intimidating place to attempt the unprecedented [four-peat].”
Jerry Brewer, writer, Seattle Times
GH: Brewer is referring to the 60,000 fans who attended a Sounders game earlier this season. While KC may not have attracted 60K, I was blown away that almost 20,000 fans jammed into LSP on a Wednesday night with a thunderstorm rolling through KCK. The soccer fan in KC is getting his/her due. I suggest they enjoy the hell out of their team, their stadium and quit trying to reform all the naysayers who don’t care about the sport.

“Oklahoma City Sounders”
Large Sign held up by Sporting fans at LiveStrong Sporting Park

“Before the shootout, we had mentioned that to the ref. We watched film, and their goalie likes to cheat a little bit and come out before the shot. That’s something Jimmy told the ref before the shootout and he got caught.”
Matt Besler, Sporting KC player, on the Sounders keeper being called for moving off his line prior to the first penalty kick by Paulo Nagamura, Kansas City Star
GH: This proved to be huge. Nagamura made the re-kick and it sealed the Sounders’ doom. The Seattle keeper, of course, did not agree with the call. Read on.

“Maybe people forget that I'm quick. I didn't do something bad. I was unlucky.”
Michael Gspurning, Sounders goal keeper, Seattle Times
GH: I recall using this same excuse a number of times when I was a lithe point guard, and unfairly whistled for traveling. The refs never listened to me either.

“How does a team commit an equal amount of fouls as the opponent and one team gets five yellow cards and the other team gets zero? That's unbelievable to me. The other decision — I don't know where that came from — is why we took penalty kicks at the other end of the field. I heard that wasn't the referees' decision. Apparently, Kansas City got to decide where the penalties were taken. So, what can you say? You sit there and you throw up your hands and go, 'OK.’ ”
Sigi Schmid, Sounders head coach, Seattle Times
GH: Was SKC really allowed to choose which end of the pitch they would hold the penalty kicks? There is no coin flip to decide this? Soccer just seems to be disorganized and chaotic. It’s like they are making up the rules as the match progresses.

“Our ownership group has made a strong commitment — not only to soccer, but the community, facilities and everything.”
Peter Vermes, Sporting KC manager, Kansas City Star
GH: For SKC to win this Cup, whether or not it is a major mid-season award that has nothing to do with their ongoing MLS season, it is a huge lift for a rebranded franchise. I am extremely happy for the soccer fans in Kansas City – even if I do not share in all the excitement.

“Before I came to Kansas City I was a Seattle Sounders supporter. But since then I’ve had a change of heart. I’m very much in the Sporting Kansas City camp.”
TJ Carpenter, new evening sports talk host on 810
GH: How long has Carpenter been in Kansas City? Three months? Four? How do you dump your team just because you moved zip codes? KC fans don’t expect sports talk hosts to convert to become fans of our local teams. What we really don’t want is sports talk hosts who pretend to root for KC-based teams over their favorite teams. Please see Bob Fescoe and his Yankees/Royals make believe.

“I would rank Sporting Kansas City slightly over the Kansas football team in relevance in this city. On an every-day basis, Sporting Kansas City is more relevant than KU football.”
Carrington Harrison, 610 AM
GH: No. Harrison, a well-known Mizzou fan, has little respect for KU football. But there is no comparison to the number of people interested in KU football and Sporting. KU football has a 100-year head start on SKC in building a fan base and that cannot be ignored.


“It’s very tough for me to ever think that the MLS can ever become even on the level of the NHL. Therefore, it’s really hard for me to put this title on the celebratory level.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM


“If you’re like me, you don’t care about soccer. Sporting Kansas City’s cup does not make me feel like a winner. There’s a small group of people that enjoy soccer. For them, it’s a title. For the majority of people, it’s not.”
Carrington Harrison, 610 AM
GH: Nate Bukaty has been telling his listening audience that SKC has now delivered Kansas City that title we have longed for. Did the Wizards’ MLS title cause St. Louis Cardinal fans to look at Royals’ fans any differently? I don’t think this Lamar Hunt Cup is going to do much for Royals and Chiefs fans this time around as well.


GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / gregahll24



Callers are key to Finebaum's show

Posted 8-9-12

“A decade ago, [Paul] Finebaum was a local show in Birmingham. Then it went regional—you can hear it everywhere in Alabama, and on stations in Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia—and now it's national, via Sirius XM.”
Jack Dickey, writer, on Finebaum’s SEC-football based call-in radio show, The Paul Finebaum Sports Radio Network, DeadSpin.com
GH: Finebaum’s show is the one where the Alabama fan called in last year and told the SEC audience that he had poisoned the Auburn trees. The caller said he was driven to this heinous act because he was so upset with some of the Alabama callers on Finebaum’s show. With Mizzou now part of the SEC, I have spent more time listening to Finebaum’s show and I marvel at how different it is from our local shows. Read on.

“There's an attitude toward callers that they're stupid and don't know what they're talking about.”
Paul Finebaum, host of SEC satellite afternoon-drive radio show, on the attitude of most sports talk show hosts, Sirius XM 91
GH: Finebaum’s show’s format is in direct contrast to almost every other sports-talk radio show. Where Jim Rome likes to state that more of him and less of you is a good thing, Finebaum is very comfortable allowing his callers be the stars of his show. Read on.

“We have [a caller named] Legend, who was in jail for capital murder charges. He told the story on the air. We had several callers, after Penn State, who talked about being abused when they were young. You couldn't do this on Colin Cowherd or Jim Rome.”
Paul Finebaum, Sirius 91
GH: There was a time in Kansas City, back in the early years of Kevin Kietzman’s career, when callers were a large part of the local stations sports talk format. Names like MU Dog, Wolverine Willie and Cajun were as much a part of the show as the hosts. Sports talk has moved away from highlighting unscripted callers in favor of regular well-known guests and analysts. Some shows, like WHB’s The Border Patrol, audibly cringe when they allow a few callers air time. Does it make local sports talk radio better or worse? It definitely makes it tamer. Read on.

“Finebaum's approach seems less inspired by conventional talk radio than by Dale Carnegie. He lets others talk about themselves, and he engages them by asking follow-up questions. His interest rarely seems genuine, but it doesn't have to be. He wins over the callers by letting them talk about themselves. … He flips the formula every way: He privileges small-time callers over national guests. He doesn't do a monologue. He doesn't cut callers off for saying stupid things.”
Jack Dickey, writer, DeadSpin.com
GH: Kevin Kietzman has built 810 into a sports talk juggernaut with a formulaic approach that has replaced the caller with scheduled weekly guests that most of us can recite with hour-by-hour accuracy. KK depends on his flair for dramatically building up “breaking” stories to draw attention to his show’s sameness. While Finebaum uses the zaniness and passion of his callers to drive topics, KK and his ilk are more comfortable driving the bus with their in-studio radio friends.

“Listening to Finebaum's show is a lot like watching Maury or Jerry Springer. An educated onetime journalist plays tickled ringmaster while crazies holler. There are media guests, but they hail primarily from the murky world of college football. USA Today oddsmaker Danny Sheridan recurs. So do old Alabama and Auburn coaches, like Gene Stallings and Pat Dye. There are a few national types, like Kirk Herbstreit, Gary Danielson, and Bruce Feldman, who pop up weekly. But the civilian callers define the show. They aim to irritate other callers, and Finebaum works to coax out their tempers. Where tabloid television guests talk about babydaddies and meth, Finebaum's talk about Cam Newton and synthetic weed and their fellow audience members.”
Jack Dickey, writer, DeadSpin.com
GH: 610 Sports has failed in their attempts to dethrone 810 as the sports talk leader with every firing and hiring. 610 has mostly copied the format that Kietzman laid down over a decade ago. Jay Binkley is on record saying the 810 format is what 610 Sports would like to emulate. But what if they went away from the very structured guest/host analysis format and returned to a more caller-driven show like Finebaum has perfected? Finebaum’s show draws some insane personalities who are willing to flaunt their insanity on the air. Does Kansas City have those same personalities? I believe we do – and lots of them.

“I'm surprised how well [Paul] Finebaum seems to have translated nationally, because the stuff he's talking about is mostly Auburn and Alabama fans screaming at each other.”
Jeremy Henderson, editor of the War Eagle Reader, DeadSpin.com
GH: Entertaining radio is entertaining radio – no matter the topic. A bad caller doesn’t become entertaining by screaming into his cell phone. But witty, informed and passionate fans can be a great resource for a sports talk host who understands how to incite, edit and move from caller to caller to maximize his show’s value. It takes talent to be a Finebaum-like ringmaster on live radio – but the rewards can be a show that sells to all sports fans.

“Good times today practicing with the Chiefs. [They’re] a good football team. About to lift weights then team bonding over Gate's bbq 4 dinner.”
Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals’ wide-receiver, @LarryFitzgerald, Twitter
GH: I would have sent Fitzgerald and his Cardinals’ teammates to about five other KC-based BBQ joints before I sent them to Ollie’s place but here’s hoping they received the good Gates and not the bad Gates I too often am presented on my tray.

“Jonathan Baldwin: The buzz surrounding Chiefs camp has centered on the rapid development of Baldwin, who has been sensational. I walked away impressed with his playmaking potential. Baldwin possesses the size, speed and athleticism to overwhelm defenders in isolated matchups, and he has started to figure out how to utilize his superior physical traits to dominate on the perimeter. Chiefs officials raved about his ability to make highlight catches appear routine.”
Bucky Brooks, writer, NFL.com
GH: Baldwin and Fitzgerald both played their college ball at Pittsburgh. How giddy would we be to find out that Baldwin will become a wide-receiver with some of the same greatness as Fitzgerald?

“I would never tell this [Chiefs] team that Peyton Manning can’t beat you alone – because he CAN beat you alone!”
Kevin Kietzman, after Romeo Crennel was asked about Manning being added to the Broncos’ roster, 810 AM
GH: If there is a more ardent Peyton Manning fan in Kansas City than Kevin Kietzman, I have yet to meet him. I don’t know if Manning once destroyed KK’s fantasy football season or if he simply became a Peyton admirer because he likes white, nerdy-looking guys. But there is no doubt Kietz is all in when it comes to expecting greatness in Denver for their new QB.

“Gary [Lezak] says we've had 20 days over 100 degrees so far in the metro this year. To turn a phrase from @MayorSlyJames, Un-Frosty!”
Alex Spearman, KCTV 5 News, @AlexKCTV5, Twitter

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Gil Brandt likes Cassel

Posted 8-9-12

“I think [Matt Cassel] is much better than people think he is. All you have to do is go back to 2010 and see how good he did then.”
Gil Brandt, former Dallas Cowboys’ VP of player personnel, in an interview with Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: I have been ignoring Gil Brandt’s NFL takes since Soren Petro first brought him out of moth balls as a reoccurring guest on his national show out of Vegas.  Brandt deserves credit for building some of Tom Landry’s greatest teams but I don’t think he knows anymore about today’s player personnel than 810’s roster-challenged TJ Carpenter. Read on.

“Trent Green and I just got done chatting, we are of one mind, Cassel's going to have a great season. It's always nice to have your assessment reaffirmed by someone who played the game at a high level.”
TJ Carpenter, @TJCarpenterWHB, Twitter
GH: I am beginning to wonder about 810’s newest hire. Does this Arkansas fan really think former players have any additional insight into how players will perform? Has he listened to Jayice Pearson’s show? Has he caught Rex Hudler’s act? I hope Cassel has a great season but there are no indications on his resume that say we should expect it.

“Matt Cassel: After enduring an offseason of harsh criticism following a disappointing performance a season ago, Cassel has been impressive through the first few days of camp. He looks confident and decisive in the pocket, and his accurate throws are the result of his self-assuredness as a playmaker. More importantly, Cassel appears to have complete command of Daboll's offense.”
Bucky Brooks, writer, NFL.com
GH: If only they played NFL games where the QB wore a yellow jersey and Jared Allen and his like weren’t allowed to try and separate the QB from his appendages.

“There is no doubt that this is the best personnel group we've had since we've been here in Kansas City."
Matt Cassel, telling reporters about the multitude of offensive weapons at his disposal, NFL.com
GH: Well, at least we’ve got that going for us – which is nice.

“Initially, I picked Kansas City over San Diego [in the AFC West]. But after being out there [in San Diego], I flipped my picks. Who knows, I may flip them again.”
Gil Brandt, on his favorite to win the AFC West, 810 AM
GH: Brandt also mentioned he thought all four AFC West teams could finish 8-8. They don’t make them like GB anymore and we are damn lucky.

“There’s no doubt that my favorite Kansas City Chief is Jon Asamoah. He is amiable, talkative…  He’s very nice. If you want somebody to root for, Jon Asamoah is your guy.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: It is interesting how each of his choose our favorite players. Clinkscale likes Asamoah because he is friendly, approachable and makes his job easy by being conversational. My favorite players are the ones who thrill me on the playing field with athleticism I will never know. Derrick Johnson fits that description. Tamba Hali, who might be the toughest interview on the team, is also a Chiefs’ player I would call a personal favorite. Who are your favorites Chiefs and why?

“In what might be the most St. Joseph Missouri thing ever, Dexter McCluster autographed this dudes head. Steve AKA autograph head guy just told me he plans to get Dex's signature TATTOOED on his head ‘because it's my 1st autograph.’”
Danny Parkins, @DannyParkins, Twitter
GH: Steve had not only secured McCluster’s signature on his bald dome, but the almost surely soon-to-be-cut trick-shot QB, Alex Tanney. The hot sun of August makes men do strange, strange things.

“Hey national guys, unless you have a solid date as to when [Dwayne] Bowe will be in, stop wasting time. We know he will be here by week 1. Mike Florio saying Bowe will be in by week one is like saying it may rain sometime in the future.”
Bob Fescoe, @bobfescoe, Twitter
GH: Florio’s report caused a mini stir late Monday afternoon when he announced his sources have Bowe showing up sometime before the Chiefs’ first game. As Fescoe so adroitly wrote, Gary Lezak knows as much about Bowe’s arrival in camp as Florio.

“His arm strength is average and he has funky hitch in his throwing motion. Mechanically, he’s a disaster. He’ll never have a future as a quarterback in the NFL. He is, however one of college football’s best quarterbacks—right now. And there’s the rub.”
Matt Hayes, writer, on K-State’s senior QB, Collin Klein, Sporting News
GH: Cat fans will argue that Hayes’ portrait of Klein is old news and no longer accurate – and they would be somewhat correct. Klein is far more polished as a passer than he was three seasons ago. But in the eyes of NFL scouts, he is a tight end hurling medicine balls to his receivers. And that makes him all the more fun to root for. Read on.

“He’s not a dynamic threat and not that athletic. He’s everything you can’t imagine would work—yet it somehow does.”
Matt Hayes, writer, Sporting News
GH: Not athletic? Not dynamic? Not a threat? This is where I have to leave Hayes’ skewed viewed of Klein and completely disagree. Klein is the biggest problem Big 12 defenses will face – as long as he remains healthy. I’d love for Hayes to don a helmet and try and stop Klein on the little shuffle along the line of scrimmage and then his forward blast for whatever yardage he can gain. I call that move very athletic.

“People are going to say what they want to say. … Some people think you’re going to be great and some think you’re going to be terrible.”
Collin Klein, Sporting News
GH: If all of us could adopt Klein’s mantra, oh what a rotten world this would be for therapists.

“Collin Klein accounted for 40 touchdowns last season, led Kansas State to 10 wins and returned the Wildcats to the elite of the Big 12. All in his first season as a starter. But there’s no preseason hype. No Heisman Trophy campaigns or All-American honors. He’s not even the No. 1 quarterback in his own conference; maybe he’s No. 3.”
Matt Hayes, writer, Sporting News
GH: Klein got plenty of run in the national media last season as K-State’s weekly fairytale season played out on national television. If KSU wins games again this season, Klein will reap plenty of praise. To the victors goes the Heismans.

“If I go eat somewhere and I'm told later I’ve consumed a Walmart steak someone is getting a beat down.”
@fakecyrilfiggis, Twitter

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Royals can first base coach and Yuni

Posted 8-6-12

“We have been living in a losing culture here for many, many years. We cannot get over the hump. In order for us to get over the hump, we have to have 25 guys that are solely invested in one goal, and that’s turning this organization around to become a champion. “
Ned Yost, after the Royals released utility player Yuni Bettencourt, Kansas City Star
GH: How do the Royals answer one of their worst Julys in the history of the franchise? They get tough by firing their first base coach on Saturday and releasing an immobile utility infielder on Sunday. Talk about reversing the losing culture! That ought to do it.

“The reasons the Royals cut Yuni are hysterical. ‘Yuni wants to play more?’ ‘We have to have 25 guys...invested in what we're trying to do?’ Not entirely clear who's more delusional - Yuni for thinking he deserves more PT, or the Royals for signing him in the first place. Yuni had a .292 OBP & the worst SS defense in the majors BEFORE you signed him - oh, and he wasn't good in your clubhouse either? Brilliant.”
Rany Jazayerli, @jazayerli, Twitter
GH: The Royals’ losing culture has nothing to do with Yuni. The Royals losing culture has to do with the guy who signed him TWICE, got rid of him TWICE and the guy who gave him four at bats on the day they released him. When you’re looking for reasons for the Royals’ losing culture, look no further than the guys in front of the microphones.

“All of these tough, big-boy moves [by the Royals] have happened after everyone’s attention has turned to the Chiefs.”
Carrington Harrison, 610 AM

“I'd say the 5 most used words were Christ, Jesus, Devil, Christianity, and dip.”
Danny Parkins, @DannyParkins, on his review of Josh Hamilton’s talk to the Faith & Family postgame audience at The K on Saturday night, Twitter

“There's always room for a nice little sacrifice bunt.”

Rex Huddler, Royals TV
GH: This might be the Royals’ slogan for 2013.

“I apologize. I’m not the best with names just yet.”
T.J. Carpenter, new night-time host on 810, when asked by Kevin Kietzman to name some Chiefs’ players who are causing a buzz at camp, 810 AM
GH: I have enjoyed Carpenter’s solo work so far but how does he not know the Chiefs’ roster in camp? 810 is promoting him as their only guy who will cover Camp St. Joe for all three weeks. Apologizing for being “not the best with names,” is not an acceptable excuse. It is a red flag that this Carpenter better start sawing wood if he wants to work in a market outside of Arkansas. In KC, we expect you to be an expert on not one football team but three college teams and the Chiefs. Knowing the rosters [or having one in front of you while on the radio] is sports talk radio 101.

“I think Randy’s not well informed yet. He’s just reading publications and just talking.”
Jayice Pearson, disagreeing with Randy Cross’ rating Matt Cassel over the Raiders’ Carson Palmer, 610 AM
GH: Which is different from the often MIA Jayice’s preparation how? Just talking?

“I can say that though, because I’m black.”
Jayice Pearson, while discussing the merits of rooting for Tiger and LeBron, 610 AM
GH: Huh?

“He’s a guy who’s not going to dog curse you.”
Dexter McCluster, when asked to describe Romeo Crennel’s style as a head coach, 610 AM

“Coach Gun is a beast, love his mindset!”
Ndamukong Suh, @ndamukong_suh, on playing for Gunther Cunningham in Detroit, Twitter
GH: Coach Gun is definitely a guy who will dog curse you.

“For a team that’s been as bad as [Kansas] the last two years, they have an enormous amount of confidence right now. It’s weird to see but it is pretty cool to see them walk around believing.”
Matt Tait, of KUSports.com, on the Jayhawk football team’s new swagger under Charlie Weis, 610 AM
GH: The positive vibes coming out of Lawrence this camp are either a fairytale in the making or sugarcoated hyperbole from a starved media and fan base. I am leaning heavily toward the fairies.

“We now have two K-States in the area because nobody thinks anything of Missouri. They’re no good.”
Kevin Kietzman, on the lack of respect Missouri football is getting nationally as a new member of the SEC, 810 AM
GH: I spent much of the weekend listening to Sirius’ SEC football channel and their glowing reports from the Georgia camp. They have me believing Georgia will beat Mizzou by 30 and beat the Packers in the Super Bowl. I’m sure glad the games are played on the field and not through southern-fried imaginations.

“I would love to go to Vegas and bet on Missouri to win that Georgia game. Georgia’s not getting out of there with a win.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Georgia has a #6 preseason ranking and one of the best defenses in the country returning. Unranked MU will be an 8-point underdog. Maybe more. This game will be as tough as any MU plays this season – including Alabama.

“If I’m a Big 12 team, I want Missouri to do pretty well in the SEC.”
Gabe DeArmond, of PowerMizzou.com, 810 AM
GH: This makes sense to anyone who has some common sense. Unfortunately, that leaves out all passionate college football fans. You will be hard pressed to find any fans in Kansas, Oklahoma or Texas who will be rooting for the Tigers this fall. But Tiger fans need to only ask themselves how many of them were rooting for Nebraska to roll through the Big 10 last season?

“I think your top five- or top-six teams in both leagues are very similar.”
Gabe DeArmond, comparing the Big 12 and the SEC, 810 AM
GH: This might be a stretch. The top two SEC teams are simply in a class by themselves. The next four in each conference might be considered comparable. I actually thing the lower teams in the Big 12 are better than the bad teams in the SEC. But none of this speculation really matters in August. But it does get me pumped for September.

“No there’s not. Not this year. The closest team I would say is Michigan and possibly Wisconsin. They’re solid January bowl teams but they’re not ready to compete for the crystal yet.”
Eddie George, former Ohio State RB, when asked if the Big 10 had any teams that could contend for the national title this season, Sirius XM Channel 91
GH: The Big 10 is the most even football conference when it comes to how many teams have a chance to win it. Unfortunately, one of the reasons for their parity is their mediocrity.

“Part of sports writing is explaining what it feels like to be at an event. But yet my first draft -- "Wow-wow-wow-wow-wow" -- got rejected.”
Sam Mellinger, @mellinger, tweeting from the men’s 100-meter final at the Olympics, Twitter

“Sorry, prosthetics should not be allowed. Maybe he can grab some flippers and beat Phelps.”
Kevin Kietzman, @kkwhb, on the double-amputee 400-meter Olympic runner who was allowed to compete with prosthetic limbs, Twitter
GH: Kietz fired off some odd tweets Saturday night that had some speculating his thoughts might be laced with alcohol. I happen to agree with his premise above, though. The unnatural advantages the runner has over his competition would appear to me to be an easy call that has been overlooked by sympathetic judges.

“What Serena did was akin to cracking a tasteless, X-rated joke inside a church. It wasn’t quite as bad but it was in the same ballpark of the idiot sportswriter who decided to channel Andrew Dice Clay on Twitter the night Jeremy Lin channeled Allen Iverson. … Serena deserved to be criticized and she should’ve immediately apologized. Wimbledon isn’t the place to break out a dance popularized by California Crip gang members. … Crip Walking inside an NBA arena that is routinely filled with the sounds of edited versions of popular gangsta rap songs is different from Crip Walking at Wimbledon. That fact has nothing to do with race. It has to do with tradition and atmosphere. Wimbledon is a sports church, falsely prim, proper and respectful.”
Jason Whitlock, after Serena Williams performed a celebratory Crip Walk dance following her overwhelming gold-medal win over Maria Sharapova, Foxsports.com
GH: Wimbledon is no church. Tennis is nothing more than another sport with a bat and a ball. Confusing religion with sport is simply an avenue for columnists who are stretching for a topic to justify their expense report.

“I bet in a private moment Friday night or Saturday morning, Serena told her sister Venus, ‘I’m going to kick this $*%& ass and Crip Walk all over this crusty-ass place.’”
Jason Whitlock, Foxsports.com
GH: What Whitlock does here to Serena is far more blasphemous than the little dance she performed at centre court. This is the kind of made-up conversations that JW used to get upset about Joe Posnanski inserting into his columns.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Jayice Pearson coming off as an apologist for players

Posted 8-3-12

“Jon Baldwin, not Dwayne Bowe, has been the most important player for the Chiefs during this first week of the preseason, and boy, has he answered the challenge. Baldwin, not Bowe, is not only in attendance but is emerging as a player who looks like a young star who could give quarterback Matt Cassel a tall, powerful option down the field. Baldwin, not Bowe, is doing everything right when the man who was supposed to be his mentor is making a career mistake by refusing to sign his franchise tender — and allowing a second-year receiver to show the Chiefs how it’s done.”
Kent Babb, columnist, Kansas City Star
GH: Babb’s praise of Baldwin and his scolding of Bowe drew the ire of 610 Sports’ Jayice Pearson, the former Chiefs’ defensive back. Read on.

“I think Kent [Babb’s] article was off base in a lot of places. And I’d be the first to tell him that face to face.”
Jayice Pearson, on Babb’s column on Dwayne Bowe, 610 AM
GH: Unfortunately, Babb was not available at the time for Pearson to deliver a facial. He had to settle for delivering a verbal. Read on.

“[Babb] talked about Baldwin in that article so much and downplayed Bowe so much! How many practices have there been? And you’re going to say his chemistry is better than Dwayne Bowe’s had with Cassel? He was 30 pounds overweight by whose standards? Todd Haley’s standards! It wasn’t 30 to begin with! So you’re going to make him the devil because of that? I just had a lot of issues with Kent’s column.”
Jayice Pearson, on Babb’s column on Dwayne Bowe, 610 AM
GH: Pearson is just getting started as a full-time member of the new threesome that makes up 610’s drive-time The Big Show. To my ears, he appears to be doing the show with a constant sour face, upset with just about everything his cohosts or anyone else has to say about the Chiefs or the game of football.

“Another thing I don’t agree with is just because Baldwin’s doing well, it’s going to devalue Dwayne Bowe. Why is that? It doesn’t even factor into one another! Just because Baldwin is doing well in camp, that has nothing to do with Dwayne Bowe’s situation!”
Jayice Pearson, on Babb’s column on Dwayne Bowe, 610 AM
GH: Pearson is coming off as a player apologist instead of an objective commentator. He talks about Bowe as if they are friends. If that is so, he needs to leave that relationship off the microphone. Of course Baldwin’s improved play devalues the importance of Bowe. Is Pearson an analyst or a boyfriend?

“I think the media, us, are all talking about the situation way too much Why do all the speculating? Why bash this side, bash that side? The situation is what it is. . Let’s wait for him to get here and then let’s just roll with it.”
Jayice Pearson, 610 AM
GH: Spoken like a football player and nothing like a sports talk jock who has 20 hours of drive-time radio to fill each week. Why do all the speculating? What did Jayice think he signed up for, a scoreboard show? Speculating is pretty much all sports talk radio is. Jayice may have chosen the wrong profession. He sounds about as comfortable criticizing his buddies as Bowe does practicing in St. Joe.

“I don’t think he’s a good one. I don’t know if he’s a bad one. He’s sort of a weird guy. … Dwayne Bowe looks after himself. I can understand that – he looks after Number One. He’s a bit of a cartoon character. I don’t think he understands sometimes how that alienates him in the locker room.”
Kent Babb, when asked by Carrington Harrison if he thought Bowe was a bad teammate, 610 AM
GH: Somebody get Jayice on his cell phone…

“I don’t even know what our radio deal is with the Chiefs. So if you want to claim that I’ve got something or whatever, forget about it! I don’t care about making the Chiefs mad. I don’t care about making the Royals mad. I’m a dangerous radio guy! I don’t care what any of them think of me! And they can’t touch me!”
Kevin Kietzman, responding to criticism that he  is quick to criticize the Royals but not the Chiefs due to his company’s business relationship with the Chiefs and the poor relationship 810 has had with the Royals since their partnership ended, 810 AM
GH: It is always amusing to hear KK go “dangerous radio guy” coo-coo on the air. One of KK’s most entertaining qualities is his overinflated self-importance when it comes to being a mover and shaker in this town. Few things drive him battier than when the decision makers treat him like nothing more than a sports radio host.

“Nobody has served me papers saying they’re going to sue me because I’m too good at what I do here to get sued! I’m not going to put something out there that isn’t true and open this company up to a lawsuit! I’m not going to do it!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: KK almost sounds like he is daring his detractors to come get him. He might have returned from vacation a week or two too early.

“If it quit being fun for David Glass to be the owner of this team, he might just sell it.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman still doesn’t understand David Glass. He is a business man. Fun for Glass is being a financial success. He has turned the Royals into a money-making business venture. He isn’t selling anything. We are all jokers in his Royal court.

“With the odd comments by Josh Hamilton lately is he still the speaker for faith and family night this weekend at the K?”
Greg Schaum, @GregSchaum, on the Royals choice of the Texas Rangers’ slugger to make a postgame speech to the fans on Faith & Family Day at The K, Twitter
GH: Every time I hear this Royals’ promo I cringe. Josh Hamilton? Was family man Walter White not available? Read on for Hamilton’s recent odd comments.

“People are not going to understand, I’ll share more later. It’s out there that my marriage is falling apart and people are trying to figure out what’s going on. But it’s nobody’s business. When I let you know, I’ll let you know. When the time is right, I’ll be honest with you, you’ll be right in the loop. I’ve been shown a lot of things over the past week. There’s disobedience and there’s obedience to God. I’ve been being disobedient. It may be a small thing to you, but it’s a big thing to him. There’s consequences. It’s like a father and a kid. There are disciplines. You guys can chew on that and think about it.”
Josh Hamilton, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
GH: Can’t wait for the kids to meet ol’ Josh at Faith & Family Day. What are the odds the Royals pull the plug on this almost certain public relations disaster?

“I always tip 20% even if I get bad service. Why is that? I feel like I’ve lost my edge. Kansas City is uncomfortably nice. I need my edge back.”
Danny Parkins, who believes he has lost his Chicago-edge since moving to Kansas City, 610 AM
GH: Kansas City is a very friendly town but that is no reason to reward those who provide poor service. I am the greatest customer you’ve ever seen until I am the recipient of lackadaisical or incompetent service. That’s when  I become a dangerous blogger guy.

GregHall@24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


KC Star's choice to ignore Kietzman as source is embarrassing

Posted 8-2-12

“Reports that the Royals and Chiefs spent taxpayer money on personnel costs and other expenses rocketed through the blogoshpere and on local sports talk radio Tuesday and Wednesday. Some critics were particularly steamed that the teams had used taxpayer money to cover payroll taxes.”
Dave Helling and Karen Dillon, writers, Kansas City Star
GH: The Kansas City Star should be embarrassed. Kevin Kietzman broke this story on his Tuesday afternoon show and on 810’s website. KK’s report was detailed and included numbers showing how the Royals had spent the repairs, maintenance, management and operations [RMMO] to pay payroll taxes. This is Kietzman’s story. So Helling and Dillon reduce Kietzman’s role in bringing this story to their attention with the phrase, “the blogoshpere and on local sports talk radio?” Embarrassing. The editor who either removed KK’s name from this Star story or did not think to include his name should be removed from future editing decisions.

“Sources said the teams were furious with Sanders for the release of the teams’ RMMO spending, including tax dollars used for payroll taxes and other operating costs. Details of that spending dominated local sports talk radio Wednesday, as well as several websites.”
Dave Helling and Karen Dillon, writers, Kansas City Star
GH: Sanders has denied he released the RMMO spending numbers but he has been a frequent guest on Kietzman’s show. It would not take much of a stretch to think Sanders handed over the information to KK to embarrass the Royals – something Kietzman is always interested in since David Glass spurned the idea building a new downtown ball park.

“On Wednesday, Sanders and Glass discussed issuing a joint statement about the spending, but couldn’t reach an agreement by day’s end.”
Dave Helling and Karen Dillon, writers, Kansas City Star
GH: The Star thought enough of this story to place it on the front page of Thursday’s edition. I was hesitant to run with it initially because of Kietzman’s blind dislike for David Glass and the Royals. I was wrong. Kietzman did his job and The Star’s as well.

“I think it was the Royals who called DeadSpin and tipped them off [about the Chiefs]. They said. ‘We’re not going down this alone!’ ”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: This is the kind of made-up reporting from Kietzman that makes me wary of his breaking reports. KK did not include the Chiefs in his initial report – only the Royals. KK’s radio station is a business partner of the Chiefs while his competition at 610 Sports is the Royals flagship station. KK’s determination to spin his reports to his favor undermines his credibility.

“Do you know how fast that baseball stadium is going to become obsolete and outdated? It’s like a two-minute hour glass!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM

“Anybody running for office is a scumbag! They’re all scumbags! … I think they all suck and I don’t want to sign up for either side.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Listening to Petro’s vocabulary, I am often stunned he spent four years earning a degree at Syracuse. He is a lucky man that he lives in a world where he can make a living talking about sports.

“Matt [Cassel] seems to have complete freedom – to check [off] or call his own plays.”
Mitch Holthus, on the flexibility new Chiefs’ OC Brian Daboll’s offense gives to the quarterback, 810 AM
GH: I am an old-school football guy when it comes to today’s NFL coordinators wanting complete control of the play calling and limiting the QB’s freedom to audible. Len Dawson is a proponent of allowing the man in the huddle the freedom to adjust the play calling when the defense dictates it needs adjusting. Todd Haley was a control freak when it came to his offense. Good to hear Daboll might be the exact opposite.

“You can bet your bottom dollar that if Matt Cassel goes down, it’ll be Brady Quinn going into that ball game.”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM
GH: Ricky Stanzi is getting no love from anyone who is watching the Chiefs’ practices. Is he just a slow developing player or a vastly overrated prototype quarterback? I’m thinking the latter.

“I think [Eric Berry] is on the cusp of being the best safety in the NFL – in either the NFC or the AFC.”
Mitch Holthus, 810 AM
GH: Holthus commented that Berry’s “ball cover skills” have improved greatly since his rookie season. I have been one of the few who is still not buying into Berry as the next superstar safety. He showed too often he was unable to cover even the tight end his rookie year. I am hoping Mitch is right and I am wrong.

“There’s not a lot there [in St. Joe] but that’s not the reason we are there, to enjoy the scenery.”
Jim Trotter, of SI.com, when asked by Danny Parkins what he thought of St. Joe, MO, 610 AM

“Well, I’ve seen the other guys play. I’ve seen what the other guys can do. They were there a whole spring.”
Charlie Weis, when asked how he could list players he has yet to see play ahead on the depth chart of those he has evaluated, KUSports.com
GH: Weis continues to talk about his team as if he were a consultant. He doesn’t seem completely engaged as a college coach, but more as an expert football guru here to try to undo the complete havoc wrought by two years of Turner Gill. I’m not saying it’s bad. I’m saying it is very different.

“The honesty coming out of the press conferences and the [Kansas football] program is nice.”
Aaron Swarts, 810 AM
GH: Weis has been brutally honest about his team to this point. It will be interesting to see if that continues throughout the season.

“Win some more games this year and don’t embarrass your fan base on a weekly basis. That will make your fan base so much happier.”
Nate Bukaty, on the goals for Kansas first football season under Charlie Weis, 810 AM

“I think at the end of the day, [Missouri] is still way down there when you look at the pecking order of the SEC.”
Bryan Fisher, CFB writer for CBS Sports, 810 AM
GH: Are Mizzou’s expectations for their first SEC season out of whack? I don’t hear many MU fans wanting to just be competitive in their new conference. They all have Georgia on their minds.

“Just got off the phone with @MU_Highflyer21, Laurence Bowers. Said today's the first day he's cleared for full contact practice since injury.”
Rob Dauster, @RobDauster, of ESPN.com, on the Missouri senior post player, Twitter
GH: Welcome back, Laurence.

“If they’re not going to play [Jeff Francoeur] everyday, then it becomes a hamstring situation.”
Jeff Montgomery, after Danny Clinkscale asked him if the Royals needed to play Francoeur in order to make him attractive for a trade, 810 AM
GH: I don’t usually ding a broadcasters for a verbal slip but this one struck me as too funny to pass up. Clinkscale obviously knew Monty meant “hamstrung” instead of “hamstring” but he never missed a beat as they moved on to another topic.

“All I know is that August looks sizzling hot!”
Gary Lezak, when asked the forecast for next week when local high school football teams will begin two-a-day practices, 810 AM
GH: Lezak is predicting we break the all-time high of 113 here in Kansas City this month. I cannot remember a summer where I spent less time outside after 10 AM than this year. I feel like I’m living in Phoenix – but still having to mow my fescue lawn.

“I have never bought a bottle of water. I would never buy something that I can just open a tap.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: I give you Danny Clinkscale – the world’s second most interesting man.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


SI.com writer picks Chiefs to win division

Posted 8-1-12

“Unlike teams that have mastered the art of saying as little as possible, the Chiefs have no problem telling you they expect to win the AFC West for the second time in three years.”
Jim Trotter, who was at the Chiefs’ camp in St. Joe this week to evaluate the team for Sports Illustrated, SI.com

“The one thing I took away from my time [in St. Joe] is that no one there is backing away from the belief that the Chiefs should win the division – including head coach Romeo Crennel. I like a team that isn’t afraid to talk the talk and it has the ability to walk the walk.”
Jim Trotter, 610 AM
GH: This is not what we are used to hearing about Scott Pioli’s Chiefs. Has Romeo Crennel brought a swagger to the Chiefs? Is it justified when you consider the Chiefs have been without a playoff win for almost 20 years? No matter. It is now August and the Chiefs’ roster gives us reason to think positive thoughts. Read on.

“Somebody asked me about Dwayne Bowe and I said I’ll be surprised if he sees St. Joe.”
Soren Petro, on the Chiefs’ franchised wide receiver’s hold out, 810 AM

“Would you bring in a wide receiver to send a message to Bowe?”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: It looks like they may already have one in camp. Read on.

“WR Jonathan Baldwin looks like he's the top receiver on this football team. Dwayne Bowe better think twice about his hold out!”
Nick Athan, @ChiefsInsider, of WarpaintIllustrated.com, Twitter
GH: Lots of positive tweets coming out of St. Joe about the Chiefs’ second-year wide receiver. Baldwin got cheated out of OTA his rookie season and then lost most of the preseason and first few months due to a hand injury when Thomas Jones decided to flex his fading seniority. If Baldwin becomes a true number-one wide-out, Arrowhead may truly rise from the depths of Todd Haley.

“I'm told, however, there is virtually no chance that Bowe will pass up game checks that amount to $559,000 a week.”
Jim Trotter, on Bowe sitting out training camp, SI.com
GH: We all know Bowe has shown signs he is not bright. But how smart do you have to be to pass up a check for over a half million every week?  Imagine cashing that paycheck every week during football season. And Bowe is upset with how the Chiefs are paying him?

“I like being around the players. I like being around the team. The most disappointing thing from my standpoint was that the media are limited in terms of where they can go. You can’t be on the sidelines. You can’t be as close to the action as you normally are. The closer the media are to the action, the more insight you can gain and the more you can learn. The more you can educate the fan base on. I would say that was my biggest disappointment there.”
Jim Trotter, on the limited access the media has at Chiefs’ camp in St. Joe, 610 AM
GH: The media covering the Chiefs at Missouri Western doesn’t have much better access to the team during their practice sessions than most of the fans who come to attend the workouts. Instead of preventing vital information from leaking out, I think it fosters more rumors and innuendo. The media are always going to form opinions – whether or not they are informed or not.

“Not a good day for Stanzi or Quinn...couple picks-Horne and OConnel also had drops on nice Stanzi throws Chiefs camp.”
Mitch Holthus, @mitchholthus, after Monday’s practices, Twitter
GH: The word from almost everyone who has been at the first week of camp is that Quinn has looked average at best and Stanzi has been  Brodie bad…and maybe not even that good.

“If the Chiefs stay healthy this year, I expect Matt Cassel to have a very good year.”
Jim Trotter, SI writer, in an interview with Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: If Matt Cassel has “a very good year,” the Chiefs will win the AFC West and have us all waiting in line to buy playoff tickets. If Cassel again goes down with an injury, RAC City will be relocating to a defensive coordinator job far from you.

“They’ve got to stay healthy but if they do, this will be the best offensive line the Chiefs have had in seven years.”
Mitch Holthus, 810 AM
GH: That sounds a lot better than it likely is when you examine the last seven Chiefs’ offensive lines. But giving Matt Cassel time to throw this season is paramount to keeping him healthy and the Chiefs winning.

“I really think that the Chiefs are going to win the division. I think the roster is as deep and talented as any time since Scott Pioli’s been there.”
Jim Trotter, 610 AM

“I don’t know what the Chiefs are going to be right now. I still want to find out what they are going to hang their hats on. If you don’t know who you are, you are going to struggle in the NFL.”
Jeff Chadiha, of ESPN, on whether the Chiefs are a running team, passing team or a combination of both, 810 AM
GH: Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis are far better at running the football than Matt Cassel is at throwing it. The Chiefs will be a running team who hopes to capitalize with a passing game against defenses geared to stop the run.

“Amazing trade for Royals. I might rather have Donnie Joseph than Broxton in the big leagues right now.”
Kevin Goldstein, @Kevin_Goldstein, after Dayton Moore was able to deal Broxton to the Reds for two pitching prospects, Donnie Joseph and J.C. Sulbaran, Twitter
GH: The Royals’ Twitter geeks loved this trade. The only sports guy I heard knock it was Bob Fescoe, who wanted Moore to stay true to his word and trade for a major-league-ready pitcher. I can’t believe that the Reds looked at the Royals’ bullpen and said, “Broxton is who we want.” Greg Holland, who will take over for Broxton as the Royals’ closer, is maybe the best pitcher in the Royals’ organization.

“Rany [Jazayerli] has a very analytical mind, which fails him only when he is writing about the Royals and gets overly optimistic. That's kind of cute."
Rob Neyer, discussing his one-time co-blogger, Chicago Tribune
GH: Rany is not nearly as “overly optimistic” when writing or tweeting about the Royals as he was when he and Neyer traded online opinions. Click on the Chicago Tribune link above to read a feature story about our favorite dermatologist.

“NBC just ran a promo of what happens to Missy Franklin after she wins a gold medal.. BEFORE they showed her winning the gold medal.”
Trey Wingo, @wingoz, on Monday night, Twitter
GH: This was a classic screw up by NBC of Heidi proportions. Imagine the viewers who had avoided all news on Monday to be able to experience Franklin’s race “live.” Let’s hope most of them were in the restroom during the commercial break.

“To answer questions, yes, The Daily laid off sports staff today, including me. I'll be fine. Enjoyed the opportunity tremendously. … I've had a ton of lucky breaks in this business. I can deal with a bad one.”
Dan Wolken, @Dan Wolken, Twitter
GH: Wolken showed maybe the most optimistic tone of any person I’ve known who was just fired. The news media continues to morph and search for how to be profitable – whether it’s pulp or pixels.

“I think this is the cost of doing business the way I think it should be done in NFL journalism these days -- and I tell you this because it may affect my ability to know as much about the Saints as I've known in the past few years. Joe Vitt and Mickey Loomis, the New Orleans past and future 2012 brain trust, are not speaking to me, presumably because of my reporting on the Saints' bounty case. Sean Payton told me earlier in the year he wouldn't speak to me either, because he didn't think I reported the story fairly. I'd had great relationships with Loomis and Payton. But that's how it goes. For the record, I regret nothing that I've written or said on the case.”
Peter King, SI writer, MMQB column on SI.com
GH: My greatest fear when it comes to the need for journalism to be profitable is that decisions like Peter King's will be taken out of his hands and placed into those who count the beans.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24




NBC's Olympics coverage catching heat on Twitter

Posted 7-30-12

“8:22 pm central and NBC comes out of a canned interview with Phelps family teasing the big race with Lochte as if no one has a clue who won.”
Mike DeArmond, @sptwri, Twitter
GH: Many Americans are shouting, “Bollocks!” about NBC’s decision to hold the live broadcasting of marquee Olympic finals from London for tape-delayed viewing during primetime. Never before has the social-media savvy television viewer had more access to live information about Olympic results than this 2012 Olympiad. Read on.

“Sorry to those unhappy that we're tweeting news live from London. Not my call on when NBC broadcasts. We report the news as it happens.”
Pat Forde, @YahooForde, Twitter
GH: Anyone upset with the reporters and writers tweeting and discussing events that have already played out to their conclusion, needs to crawl into a cardboard box each morning and wait for NBC’s evening broadcast. I want to know now, not when Bob Costas thinks I should know.

“Could u imagine real sports like NFL MLB NBA NCAA etc televising events after we knew the outcomes? Would u watch? … I just can't watch events I know the outcome to.”
Bob Fescoe, @bobfescoe, Twitter
GH: I don’t have a problem watching events where I know the outcome. I have a problem with NBC pretending they don’t know the outcome – a full six hours after the event was completed. Television networks believe they can dictate everything, even our timelines.

“Overnights [ratings for Olympics on NBC] in Kansas City & everywhere else are ‘through the roof.’ Not unusual.”
Kris Ketz, @KrisKetz, Twitter
GH: Do the great ratings mean NBC is right and DeArmond, Fescoe and I are wrong? Nope. It means America has a strong nostalgic pull when it comes to gathering the family and watching the Olympics on evening televisions – no matter how much the network’s screw them up.

“Allow me, in one word, to explain why Olympics TV ratings are high despite a high volume of complaints about being in tape delay: women. Women watch the Olympics for the human interest stories and aren't on twitter or ESPN as much getting the results ‘ruined.’ ”
Danny Parkins, @DannyParkins, Twitter
GH: Parkins’ explanation might sound sexist but it has a ring of truth to my ears.

“The Olympics viewer is not your typical sports viewer. There's no reason for NBC to care about tape-delay complaints if ratings are high.”
Danny Parkins, @DannyParkins, Twitter
GH: I disagree with Parkins’ thought that NBC has no concerns about the tape-delay complaints. The first few days of the Olympics is sure to drive a large audience. It depends on the viewers’ experience as to whether or not that audience grows over the next three weeks or shrinks. I would like to see NBC broadcast the finals live during the afternoon and then treat them like a SportsCenter-like newscast for the evening broadcasts.

“Thirty years ago you got about 1 percent of what Olympics was about on TV. Now you get about 95 percent. People don't appreciate progress. Is it really that big an inconvenience that NBC holds back a 4-min swim race?”
Michael DeCourcy , @tsnmike, Twitter
GH: DeCourcy sounds like some fossil stuck in the 1960s who is scolding “today’s generation” because they demand high-speed Internet access and 3-D flat screen TVs. The viewer is NBC’s customer. It is not up to NBC to tell us what to want, expect or be satisfied with or without. People more than appreciate progress. We also demand it. The disgruntled consumer is how great ideas, service and products happen.

“If you want to not know, not that hard to do. I love how every four years everybody forgets they have cable and the Internet because it means they get to yell at NBC.”
Michael DeCourcy , @tsnmike, Twitter
GH: I have a feeling NBC enjoys getting yelled at over the Olympics. It is how they’ll get better at giving us what we want.

“Interesting to see Lochte ads for Procter & Gamble, Gillette & AT&T after win. If it were Phelps, would it have been Omega & Subway?”
Darren Rovell, @darrenrovell, Twitter
GH: Let us not forget that NBC’s prime reason for paying ridiculous sums to broadcast the Olympics is to sell car insurance, Nike shoes and Coca Cola. NBC is far more interested in putting their sponsor’s products in a good light than Ryan Lochte.

“Forget all the complaints with NBC's tape delays. Most Twitter complaints in my feed last night dealt with MASN.”
John Ourand, @Ourand_SBJ, Twitter
GH: The MASN TV network that broadcasted the Washington Nationals vs. Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night experienced a technical glitch that turned the ball players Smurf blue. Check out the story here; washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sport…

“The IOC would never tell NBC to broadcast all live. TV rights $ is its main source of revenue, worth more than 2X ticket sales.”
Darren Rovell, @darrenrovell, Twitter

“Watching Jim Rome on "Face The Nation.” Who ever would have thought.”
Frank Caliendo, @FrankCaliendo, Twitter
GH: The odds are not quite as long as the reason Rome was on FTN – the implosion of Joe Paterno’s legacy at Penn State.

“About 130 football coaches from some 80 colleges have descended on the campus of Southern Methodist University over the past two days, attempting to lure away the best of the college's football team. … Among the larger schools that were reportedly represented on campus were Penn State, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Texas, Oklahoma, Houston, U.C.L.A., Arizona, Tulsa, Alabama and Kansas.”
Peter Frank, writer, in an article from February 28, 1987, NY Times
GH: As they say, what goes around, comes around. I found it interesting that 25 years later, Kansas is still shopping for good players to improve their faltering football program.

“Surprised SEC settled for equal revenue split of Champions Bowl w/ weaker, smaller Big12.”
Chadd Scott, @ChaddScott, Twitter
GH: Scott is an SEC writer who has no problem tooting the SEC’s horn and tweaking the other conferences. Just another reason the old Big 12 schools should be rooting for Mizzou to have success in their inaugural SEC season. But I know that is expecting way too much.

“Several things i learned while with the Chiefs: eric berry wrote 3 screenplays and 100+ poems while out w/ a knee injury last year.”
Jim Trotter, @SI_JimTrotter, SI writer, Twitter
GH: At the first opportunity, we need to have someone in the media ask Berry what the plots are for his three screenplays. At least one of them has to be a mob movie.

“How weird is it to see Mariners dominate a team? OK, it's the Royals, but still…”
Art Thiel, @Art_Thiel, Seattle-based sports writer, Twitter
GH: The Royals have slipped from Our Time to Swine Time – where they wallow in the mud and muck of chasing another last-place finish. The really bad news is that it is still only JULY!

“Most unique name from the Kansas Shrine Game has to go to Anthony Buffalomeat. He will play at Emporia State this season.”
Kellis Robinett, @KellisRobinett, K-State beat writer, Twitter
GH: How good is that going to look on the back of a Hornets’ jersey?

“Mizzou fan just traded seats with me on this plane from Norfolk to ATL.. Gives up his first class seat to sit coach!! And refused to take no for an answer!!!”
RiCardo Ratliffe, (@Kismyts_Son10), former MU basketball player, Twitter

"As we navigated through our coaching search, we quickly saw that Jacque [Vaughn's] spirit and leadership strengths made him the clear choice. We are confident that his diligence, attention to detail and communication style will help establish the bedrock of our culture moving forward. His commitment and passion to building a sustainable program will help steer our organization for years to come.”
Rob Hennigan, Orlando’s GM, on choosing the 37-year-old former KU Jayhawk as the Orlando Magic’s new head coach, ESPN.com
GH: This one surprised me. But almost everything that Vaughn has accomplished in the NBA has been a surprise to me. I just never saw him as an NBA talent during his years at KU, but he more than proved me wrong with his 12-year NBA career. If he can talk Dwight Howard into staying in Orlando, he might even have a chance to be a successful NBA coach.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24



It seems KU's goal is just to not get rolled every home game

Posted 7-25-12

“Somewhere, Bill Snyder is laughing. OK, it is easy to guess where he’s at. His office, of course. And the Kansas State coach probably managed just a casual smirk, assuming someone dropped the Big 12 media poll on his desk, in addition to the latest college football annuals, with predictions duly sticky-noted.”
Kevin Haskin, columnist, on the preseason poll that has the Wildcats finishing sixth in the Big 12,
Topeka Capital-Journal
GH: Haskin apparently has spent too much time at the Bill Snyder Altar. The five teams picked to finish ahead of KSU are; Oklahoma, Texas, OSU, TCU and West Virginia. If Snyder is laughing, I’ll bet it is a nervous chuckle. Wildcat Nation’s expectations are as high as they have been in a decade, but the Big 12 is now more difficult than it has ever been. Ever. Arkansas exposed KSU’s overall lack of talent in the Cotton Bowl. Snyder is a miracle worker of a coach, but expecting him to duplicate last season’s fairytale should be left to the Purple People – not those in the media covering the team.

“I think [Missouri’s departure to the SEC] made the KU/K-State rivalry stronger. Things we're hearing from KU right now are things we never thought we'd hear before. And it's all in good fun. … In football, you always want another team or another school that you just can’t stand. It makes for great excitement and atmosphere on game day.”
Tre Walker, K-State linebacker, KUSports.com
GH: KU leads this series 65-39-5. That is how awful KSU football was prior to Bill Snyder. Ron Prince lost to KU all three of his seasons at KSU. But Snyder has put 59 on the Hawks the last two seasons. Few around the country care about the Sunflower Showdown. But everyone inside the borders of Kansas cares. With Mizzou off their schedule, the Jayhawks will care even more.

“I know where we are in this whole pecking order. I know that everyone sees, ‘Here’s the good teams,’ and then they work their way down to Kansas at the bottom. But we’re not gonna be one of those teams where you’re just gonna roll into Lawrence and say, ‘OK, we got an easy W, let’s go whup up on the Jayhawks and go on to the next one.’ ”
Charlie Weis, KUSports.com
GH: Here is where the expectations for K-State football and Kansas football differ greatly. KSU thinks they can win a Big 12 title. KU is merely hoping not to get clocked at home by every Big 12 opponent.

“He was a lot nicer today than he usually is.”
Toben Opurum, KU co-captain, when asked about Weis’ appearance at the Big 12 Media Days, KUSports.com

“Asked if he had glanced at the Penn State roster, Weis answered with a single word: Yes.”
Matt Tait, writer, KUSports.com
GH: Weis is rarely held to single-word responses. Read on.

“First of all, you have to be respectful to (PSU) coach (Bill) O’Brien and the people who are trying to make good of a bad situation. But, at the same time, the rules are the rules. When the dust settles, I think there will be several players that entertain the thought of going somewhere else, especially the way it was presented to them. So I think that any program that didn’t do homework prior to this decision coming out was behind on that one.”
Charlie Weis, KUSports.com
GH: Penn State is reporting that no current players have shown any desire to leave Happy Valley. Weis believes that number is about to increase dramatically. I agree with Charlie.


“I'm not sure how many bowl games play in front of 108,000 people, but I know we do here at Penn State. Our fans will be out here this year. We're playing on TV. We're playing our season, and that's the most important thing to me. We're playing football on TV, so these kids have a lot to stay here for.”
Bill O’Brien, Penn State head football coach, ESPN.com
GH: If O’Brien and Penn State were really interested in what’s best for their student athletes, they would assist them in finding a school where they could realize the football dreams PSU promoted while recruiting them. But O’Brien has 108,000 tickets to sell for every home game, so once again in Happy Valley, football dictates what is best.


“We, as student-athletes, are being punished for going to class, graduating, being involved in the community and playing football. … It is not Nittany Lion Football. It is Nittany Lion family. I encourage all players, recruits, and supporters to stay committed to the greatest football program in America. Scholarships and bowl games cannot destroy the fabric of our family. Coach O’Brien and his staff will lead us through this difficult time. All I ask is for the fans to continue to believe in us.”
Matt McGloin, PSU quarterback, Scout.com
GH: How sad that McGloin is reacting through the eyes of a 21-year-old and does not have the wisdom he will have a decade later. His football career and his Penn State degree have been tarnished by the Sandusky scandal and cover up. A friend of mine whose daughter was a PSU All-Conference athlete changed out of his Penn State t-shirt before going to a scout outing. “I just couldn’t sit there in front of those kids wearing that shirt,” he explained.


“We feel very positive about where the direction we are right now.”
Bill O’Brien, Penn State head football coach, ESPN Radio

GH: What direction is that coach? College coaches have zero shame.


“Those [Penn State] players are open to go to any program. So I don’t really think it’s a big deal if a player were to come to U.S.C. because players have left our program.”
Lane Kiffin, head football coach at USC, on his interest in Silas Redd, the PSU running back, New York Times


“Vintage Lane Kiffin at Pac-12 media day today. Offers O'Brien advice while trying to swipe his top player.”
Pete Thamel, @PeteThamelNYT, Twitter

GH: Kiffin is one of my favorite college coaches. He is the WYSIWYG of coaches – what you see is what you get. He doesn’t give you the Frank Martin fake bluster about loyalty and then bolt to another school. Kiffin doesn’t hide his ego, his attitude or the fact he wants Silas Redd. College football needs more Kiffins and less Joe Paternos. I wonder if that will be in JoPo’s book?


“Can't wait until everybody gets to see how good @mmurphy6 is this year. Only people that know are inside the locker room. Bout to change.”
T.J. Moe, @TJMoe28, on MU’s sophomore running back Marcus Murphy, Twitter
GH: These kinds of tweets get me jacked for the smell of analgesic balm and leather.


“Heard you are on vacation. Last time we talked you said you've never listened to the show bc you didn't have time. You do now.”
Carrington Harrison, @Cdotharrison, in a tweet directed to Soren Petro, who hosts his show on 810 opposite Harrison’s on 610, Twitter

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24




Where were you when the Pine Tar event took place?

Posted 7-24-12

“I think the Chiefs are in a great spot here to roll off quite a few West Division championships.”
Matt Miller, of BleacherReport.com, on the young talent that permeates the Chiefs’ roster, 810 AM
GH: How good does that sound as we slog through yet another triple-digit day in July? The Chiefs open camp in St. Joe on Friday and Gary Lezak is calling for a high in the 90s – at least until Sunday.

“Not that I’m aware of.”
Ken Whisenhunt, Cardinals head coach, when asked by SSJ if he has ever been to St. Joe, MO, 810 AM
GH: The Cardinals will spend some time scrimmaging the Chiefs at their Missouri Western camp in August. Any recommendations from our Pony Express Country readers for the coach and his Cardinals for St. Joe dining and sightseeing?

“I believe the Chiefs are going to win the AFC West.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM

“I’m just kind of a beaten down fan. I feel like none of my teams are ever going to win anything ever again.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman predicted during the off-season that Denver will rule the AFC West if they signed Peyton Manning. Well, Manning is now a Bronco and KK is not the only voice calling for a Chiefs’ failure this fall. Read on.

@PriscoCBS picked each game of reg season; has KC starting 0-3 and 2-6 in season's first half. Has Den/Oak sweeping #Chiefs, split w/SD.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter
GH:Prisco's predictions mean absolutely nothing but it is entertaining reading.

“I don't agree [with Prisco], either, but he has brass ----- & works his butt off.”
Chris Mortensen, @mortreport, on Prisco’s dire predictions for the Chiefs’ 2012 season, Twitter

“If that happens, all hell will break loose! And I will be leading the charge! Talk about meltdown!”
Steven St. John, on the possibility of Prisco’s predictions coming true, 810 AM

“Said it long ago: Pioli's biggest mistake as GM wasn't trading for Cassel; it was giving him 6yrs. Been too stubborn to bring in competition.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter
GH: I think Cassel is overpaid but serviceable. Pioli’s biggest error in my book was hiring the unproven and unshaven Todd Haley as his first head coach. That one decision – and it was a major decision – makes me question every decision Pioli makes.

“Can we talk about something else?”
George Brett, when asked by Bob Fescoe to discuss the recent slide and continued poor play by the Royals, 610 AM

“On this day in 1983 @GeorgeHBrett's "Pine Tar" home run put KC up 5-4 top 9th vs. Yankees. Martin protested, Brett blew up & rest is history”
Nick Vasos, @NickVasos, Twitter
GH: I was in Maryville getting gas for a trip back to Omaha as I listened to Denny Matthews describe the pine tar scene. Where were you?

“THAT is an out-making machine!”
Steven St. John, after reviewing Jeff Francoeur’s box score from Monday night where he went 0-4, had two strikeouts, hit into a double play and was thrown out attempting to steal second, 810 AM

@DannyParkins Yeah, he didn't throw as hard because he wanted to lose.”
Robert Ford, @raford, responding to a tweet from his coworker at 610 Sports, Danny Parkins, where Parkins criticized Jonathan Sanchez’s body language and effort as a Royals’ starter, Twitter
GH: Parkins and Ford got into a Twitter war of words Monday night that proved to be more entertaining than the Royals/Angels game I was watching. Read on.

@raford3 lets leave the condescending and dismissive to any point other than your own tone for postgame callers, not coworkers.”
Danny Parkins, @DannyParkins, Twitter
GH: I do not know either Ford or Parkins except for their professional work. But Ford strikes me as the most unflappable person this side of a corpse. While Parkins is more flappable than even Walter White’s trousers stuck to an RV. Read on.

@DannyParkins The idea Sanchez wasn't throwing as hard because he didn't care is worthy of the response I gave it.”
Robert Ford, @raford, Twitter

Danny Parkins, @DannyParkins, Twitter

“I love seeing my former 610 coworkers fight on twitter. It's like hearing that your parents sleep in separate bedrooms after you moved out.”
Jared Carter, (@JaredLCarter), Twitter

“Sometimes, what people don’t say, says a lot.”
Kevin Kietzman, after failing to get Bob Bowlsby to agree with him that the NCAA should now pursue all members institutions who are found guilty of criminal activity, 810 AM
GH: And sometimes people don’t say things because they do not agree with the talk show host…which doesn’t stop this talk show host from flipping a no comment into an affirmative comment once he was off the phone.

“It’s just something you can’t celebrate. The other issue is too big, it’s too magnified.”
Bobby Bowden, when asked about surpassing Joe Paterno’s win total now that the NCAA vacated all Penn State wins since 1998, 610 AM
GH: The more I hear Bobby Bowden try to sound respectful about gaining ground on the deceased Paterno’s record, the less I believe it.

“I would defend my dad. You would defend your dad. I think that’s a natural response.”
Bobby Bowden, when asked about Jay Paterno’s continued defense of his father, 610 AM
GH: My dad taught me to do the right thing. I would not defend my dad, my son or my friend. Guilt does not dissipate when viewed through bloodlines. Unconditional love is an idiotic concept.

“If I was recruiting a high school player [to come to Penn State I would say, ‘Look, Penn State has always stood for something greater than one particular man or one particular sport. … Why don’t you come to Penn State and help us make history to rebuild and claim what we believe to be true, and that’s one of the greatest institutions in the world.’ That would be my recruiting pitch.”
Chris Spielman, college football analyst, ESPN
GH: And the BS continues. Recruiting players to Penn State after these NCAA crippling sanctions is just another form of child abuse. Read on.

“With the loss of scholarships, recruiting is not an exact science. … If you’re cutting that down to 15 scholarships per year, you can’t miss on talent. Think about it, you’re not really selling the opportunity to play for a championship or a bowl game. You can’t compete for a Big 10 championship. You can’t compete for a national championship.”
Chris Spielman, college football analyst, ESPN
GH: So the same guy who would recruit high school kids with a phony bravado and a corny pitch also tells us the program has no chance of any real success. Where are these lines in his recruiting pitch?

“You’re talking about over a decade before Penn State is ever going to matter.”
Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN
GH: This is why these penalties were put in place – to diminish the importance of football at Penn State. Too many do not yet understand that simple concept.

“Was told by an #SEC coach that another #SEC coach had offered 3 #PennState players scholarships by 9:30 a.m. [Monday].”
Mark Schlabach, (@Mark_Schlabach), Twitter

“Could write 10 different columns on Penn St. One I didn't but should write: The coaches picking at Penn State's carcass are scumbags.”
Dan Wolken, @DanWolken, Twitter
GH: I could not disagree more with Wolken. The most innocent people on stage in this Penn State tragedy are the current players in Happy Valley. Why should they be trapped in a program that no longer is recognizable to the one they pledged their allegiance to on signing day? The coaches offering them a way out should be welcomed on campus by the PSU administration. If the school truly cares for their wellbeing, they would assist the players’ departures rather than resist.

“If a school chooses to make a statement about Penn State today, they should also agree not to take any of their recruits.”
Darren Rovell, @darrenrovell, Twitter
GH: Is Penn State now the victim? This is what happens to an institution as out of control as Paterno’s Pen State.

“At least one bookstore said it believed its event with Mr. Posnanski was still on. Vivien Jennings, the owner of Rainy Day Books in Fairway, Kan., says she has known Mr. Posnanski for years and still plans to host an event for him in September, where she will interview him on stage for an hour, then take questions from the audience. In town for the All-Star Game this month, Mr. Posnanski stopped at the bookstore to say hello, Ms. Jennings said.”
Julie Bosman, writer New York Times
GH: What are the chances of JoPo keeping this date? Read on.

“I asked him, ‘We’re good for your signing, right?’ And he said, ‘Absolutely. This is a balanced biography.’”
Vivien Jennings, the owner of Rainy Day Books in Fairway, New York Times
GH: Balanced? And I thought JoPo had a mastery of the English language.


“I know the ask is a little unorthodox, but I'd like for as many people to get to Legend's Culver's as possible. http://curtiskitchen.com/panjada-running-to-stop-cancer-kck-culvers-fundraiser-5-8p-tonight
Curtis Kitchen, of CurtisKitchenKC.com

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Penn State's penalties, and more on Posnanski's book

Posted 7-23-12

“This is one of the most painful chapters in the history of college athletics.”
Mark Emmert, NCAA president, as he fielded questions from the media following the announced sanctions against the Penn State football program that included a $60-million fine, four year bowl ban, removal of all wins since 1998, immediate release from for all current PSU players and a reduction in scholarships for four years,, 610 AM
GH: Many would typically question the hyperbole of a statement such as this – but few will when considering the facts of Sandusky’s crimes and the Penn State cover-up. Read on.

“NCAA says games didn't exist? I got the metal plate in my neck to prove it did…I almost died playing 4 PSU…punishment or healing?!?”
Adam Taliaferro, former PSU football player, who was elected to Penn State's board of directors in May, Twitter
GH: I have heard of and read of many Penn State slums who simply do not understand why their football team has been so penalized and why Joe Paterno has been so demonized. One PSU alum said on KMBZ radio this morning that she was troubled by the removal of Paterno’s statue. She complained that fans were given no warning and that she was unable to say a final farewell to the statue. Too many of us continue to value football wins over child rape. This is why Paterno sympathizers continue to draw the ire of many.

“Paging Charlie Weis!”
Josh Klingler, @joshklingler, on the NCAA allowing Penn State football players to relocate to other DI schools without penalty, Twitter
GH: How aggressive will college programs be in trying to benefit from Penn State’s penalties? Very. Read on.

“There have been about eight coaches that have contacted me since I decommitted.”
Ross Douglas, a 4-star Penn State signee who officially decommitted from Penn State on Monday, Rivals.com

“It was something we decided before [the NCAA's announcement] because my family saw it coming. We prepared ourselves for it, and today was just the icing on the cake. I love Penn State to death, but I have to do what's best for me and I'm going to look elsewhere.”
Ross Douglas, Rivals.com
GH: How many other recruits and current Pen State football players will follow Douglas to other programs? I would expect almost all who are not seniors. This might not officially be the death penalty for Penn State but it could prove to be even more devastating to the program’s long-term success. How many people will be in that 107K-seat stadium in 2015?

“I don’t think this will change anything.”
Jay Bilas, on the sanctions delivered by the NCAA on the Penn State football program, ESPN Radio
GH: Bilas is on record saying the NCAA is far extending their scope of power by ruling on crimes against society instead of athletic violations.

“NCAA 9am: We must change culture of college football! NCAA noon: Welcome the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl!”
Dan Wetzel, @DanWetzel, Twitter

“Football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people.”
Mark Emmert, NCAA president, AP
GH: The arrogance of the NCAA has never been more evident than in Emmert’s above words. Has Emmert ever been to Lincoln? Tuscaloosa? Columbus? Or just about any DI campus that sells out each Saturday for college football? Words mean nothing when they are so poorly supported.

“Now Simon & Schuster is limiting interviews with Mr. Posnanski and scaling back a planned book tour.”
Julie Bosman, writer, on JoPo’s book tour for his upcoming biography on Paterno, New York Times
GH: It appears JoPo learned well from JoePa – when the criticism for your actions gets heated, retreat and hide. Read on.

“While [Posnanski] has written on his blog in recent weeks about Kansas City, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game [which was in Kansas City, Mo., on July 10], fireworks and Andy Griffith, he has not posted about his Paterno biography.”
Julie Bosman, writer New York Times
GH: JoPo is the most prolific writer I have ever encountered. He can get 4,000 words out of an episode of Mayberry, RFD. For him to go silent on a book he was advanced $750K to write, should tell us all we need to know. He is either unable to handle the public scorn or he is just as embarrassed over his lack of journalistic integrity as we are embarrassed for him.

“I will say this — I think there has been a lot online about this book. And I’m amazed by some of the vitriol with regard to Joe Posnanski, who is a truly gifted writer. People can pass all the judgment they want about Joe Paterno, but Joe Posnanski deserves a chance to be read.”
Jonathan Karp, publisher of Simon % Schuster, New York Times
GH: Karp’s defense of JoPo reminds me of the Paterno’s defenders. Karp points to JoPo as a “gifted writer,” much like Gary Pinkel and others have called Paterno a “great man” and a “great football coach.” Being a great writer has little to do with doing the right thing. The right thing for JoPo was to hold his book until Sandusky’s trial, the Freeh report and the NCAA sanctions were final. Instead he and his publisher rushed the release date up 18 months. Why? To sell more books to those who still love JoePa. And Karp is concerned about us passing judgment?

“I'm not sure how anyone benefits with rushing a book out. It takes advantage of the timing, but it's awful timing. It's timing that basically just obliterates Joe Paterno. If I'm (Posnanski), I may have just cut bait. I also might have said let's really take a step back and wait…I have a feeling this is not going to be pretty.”
Jon Wertheim, a former colleague of Posnanski’s at Sports Illustrated, New York Times

“Much of the negative opinion aimed at Mr. Posnanski has stemmed from a column he wrote in Sports Illustrated in January that was seen as overly sympathetic to Mr. Paterno … In the column, Mr. Posnanski contrasted Mr. Paterno’s ‘full life’ with ‘a single, hazy event involving an alleged child molester.’”
Julie Bosman, writer New York Times
GH: Gee, why would we question JoPa’s perspective on JoePa?

“I just don’t want it on my shelf. It’s distasteful and it’s not up to date. I’m sure there’s a lot of college football fans who want to read about the greatest coach of all time. But it’s not something I want to have in my store.”
Michael Fox, owner of Joseph Fox Bookshop in Philadelphia, New York Times
GH: How does the decorated Posnanski live this chapter in his writing career down? He doesn’t.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24



Fescoe listed as one of the top talkers

Posted 7-21-12

“TALKERS magazine, which covers the talk-radio industry, used input from industry leaders to compile the top 100 and used a set of criteria that included ratings, revenue, courage, effort, impact and recognition.”
Brian Manzullo, writer, Detroit Free Press
GH: Only one current Kansas City area radio sports talk host made Talkers Top 100 list – 610 Sports’ Bob Fescoe. Talkers magazine has long distributed an annual list of the best radio talk show hosts in the nation and the locals hosts that have been “honored” with that distinction have often puzzled me. Tom Becka, formerly of KMBZ, seemed to always appear on that list – a guy who went from KMBZ, to Omaha’s KFAB and is now on a Fargo radio station. Not necessarily the path you would expect for one of the country’s top talk radio personalities. KMBZ’s nighttime host, Darla Jaye, has made Talkers list six consecutive years. If Darla Jaye is one of the country’s best radio hosts, why did KMBZ shuffled her off to their evening time slot years ago?

“These [Talker Top 100] lists usually generate a lot of controversy with the various radio personalities featured on the list. The selection processes appears to be totally arbitrary. There’s no formula or criteria involved in the selection process.”
GH: Fescoe was ranked 69th in Talkers.com’s list of 2012 Heavy 100 of Sports Talk. No one from 810 made the list. I have little knowledge of how this list is put together but a blind hog rooting through a stack of talk-show host names might not be far off. If Fescoe is this city’s best sports talk show host, the foreheads of every sports fan in KC should be branded with a large “F,” as in flunked.

“Talkers Magazine has written in the past that they ‘acknowledge that it is as much art as science and that the results are arguable.’”
Larz, ChicagolandRadioandMedia.com
GH: That sounds like a polite way of saying, “We don’t have a freaking clue.” Talkers refers to itself as “The bible of talk radio and the new talk media.” They define their list as, “The 100 most important sports talk radio hosts in America.” Some others on the list who have Kansas City area roots are Doug Franz and his cohost in Phoenix at number 50. Franz teamed with Tim Grunhard at 610 before he was bounced. St. Louis’ Bernie Miklasz, the oversized St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist, is number 54. Nick Wright and John Lopez out of Houston are 60th. Wright must be the next Dan Patrick if he’s made that much of an impact in one month. Bottom line; almost all of these media lists, awards and honors are little more than a way for a website or magazine to create publicity for themselves. Sometimes that means naming people who are starving for the recognition.

“Look, I’m an inciter. I know what I am.”
Kevin Kietzman, on his role in renting a plane to incite the booing at the home-run derby contest, 810 AM
GH: If Kietzman would openly commit to that role and stop pretending to have the ethics of a journalist, we would all be far more tolerant of his act. We still wouldn’t enjoy the grilling segments but that’s a different issue.

“There were just drugs everywhere!”
Kevin Kietzman, as he compared the way Carl Peterson and the Chiefs handled the Bam Morris and Tamarick Vanover drug scandal to Penn State’s cover-up, 810 AM
GH: Not only is KK an inciter, he is an exaggerator of the most entertaining proportions. Has anyone else enjoyed his 180-degree turn on Missouri this summer? He is now softly blowing kisses into every orifice in the Mizzou student body – where last fall and winter he was laying down a verbally scorched path between the Big 12 and the deceitful Brady Deaton’s Tigers.

“I can’t count the number of ‘click’ emails I got from our SEC Media Days coverage the other day. I guess we’re going to have to live with that. We’re going to cover all of the programs we always have. That’s just life.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: KK stated that he has heard from a number of Kansas and Kansas State fans who told him they are clicking off their radios when the talk on 810 turns to Mizzou and the SEC. This is going to be a very interesting football season for all of Kansas City college football fans. 810 has hired Arkansas alum T.J. Carpenter to host an evening sports talk show with an emphasis on the SEC. I think it is a great idea and so far I’ve enjoyed Carpenter’s guests and shows. But I’m a sports oddity. How 810, 610 and The Star serve the varied sports tastes of their Big 12 and SEC fans will be an interesting dance to observe.

“The only thing Missouri fans need to remember – you’ve got to be competitive your first year in football and basketball. You HAVE to be competitive. You can’t go out there and just get lacerated by the SEC the first year.”
Frank Boal, KSHB TV 41
GH: I have heard this refrain from a number of people – that Mizzou MUST compete immediately. So what happens if they don’t? Is Mike Slive going to boot them back to the Big 12? Moving to a new conference and playing an entirely new set of conference foes is going to be very tough on MU and A&M. If the Tigers slip and fail a bit in their first year, I don’t think the secret money backers in KC will ask for their $30 million back.

“Everybody knows who they are.”
Mike Sanders, Jackson County Executive and MU alum, on who the unnamed parties are in the Kansas City Trust, a philanthropic group who donated $30 million to Mizzou athletics, 810 AM
GH: This comment surprised me. I am guessing by “everybody,” Sanders means local Mizzou movers and shakers. Harley? JoJo?

“He’s the most humble kid we’ve got coming in, in the whole freshman class. … He's so humble. Everybody loves him. … A lot of guys come in feeling like they own the world. That's not him at all.”
T.J. Moe, while discussing MU’s prize recruit, Dorial Green-Beckham, SEC Media Days
GH: Moe described DGB as an athletic freak. He compared him to a slimmer version of LeBron James. “LeBron James but 40 pounds lighter,” is how Moe described the 6’6 wide receiver. I wonder if Frank Haith will be sitting on the 50-yardline to scout the freshman.

“No. Never. Never have I felt like a father giving birth.”
Les Miles, LSU’s head coach, when asked by Jack Arute if having to piece together a new team after graduates leave the program felt like a father giving birth, Sirius Radio
GH: I think this SEC trip is going to be a fun ride.

“Quick history thing. Only one K-State linebacker has ever been on 4 major award watch lists. That's Arthur Brown. Now let that sink in.”
D. Scott Fritchen, @DScottFritchen, Twitter
GH: I know Mizzou football is getting all the media hype their entry into the SEC but K-State is the local team that could be the most compelling story yet again this fall. I look forward to reading every chapter.

“People who run professional sports are very detached. Very detached. They’ve forgotten what it’s like to be a fan.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I was thinking the same thing about Kansas City radio stations that broadcast four days of programming from Lake Tahoe.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Pinkel looks bad with Paterno comments

Posted 7-21-12

“Joe Paterno’s a friend that I got to know professionally, and you can’t take away the greatness of this man. He was a great man. However you analyze this, you can’t erase all that this guy’s done. You can’t do that. Nobody can do that. I think when you come out of such a tragic situation, certainly involving children and the magnitude of this in our country from a media standpoint, I anticipated really what happened. I anticipated that they would do this. You’re not going to sit back there and say, ‘Well, just things happen.’ You’re not going to do that. They’re going to be firing, and people, they’re going to make statements and they’re going to point fingers, and that’s what I anticipated a little bit. But he was a great man, a good man. I’m sure he would, maybe if he could do it over again he would have followed up a few things. But don’t take away all this guy did, and to sit there and blame him for all this, I think is wrong.”
Gary Pinkel, SEC Media Days
GH: Gary Pinkel just did every football coach, AD, SID and university a huge favor on the opening day of the SEC football media days. He showed them all how not to respond to a question about Paterno – and how out-of-touch it sounds to defend the man who was once revered by college football. You can bet Pinkel’s words will be used against him in recruits’ kitchens across the SEC and beyond.

“I know I’m the voice of Missouri on this station. As a Missouri fan, I was very disappointed in Pinkel’s comments.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: Many college football coaches are not well read, not in tune with the world the rest of us live in and clueless when it comes to discussing anything outside of football. St. John, Jake Gutiérrez and Aaron Swarts attempted to give Pinkel the benefit of the doubt, saying he must not have read or be aware of the Freed Report. If so, shame on Pinkel. Every high school and college coach should read every word of that report. Every AD should make sure this happens. There are no excuses for what happened at Penn State nor are there excuses for coaches who do not know. Pinkel looks bad here. Real bad.

“You simply can’t make comments like that – even if you believe it! He’s not on a good run right now in Columbia. I’m just baffled by some of the comments by Pinkel. Is it just that you think you’re the king of football?”
Soren Petro, on Pinkel, 810 AM

“Pinkel's ignorant, right-is-wrong puke confirms what happened at PSU could happen on his watch too.”
Brooks Melchior, SportsbyBrooks, Twitter
GH: Pinkel is being obliterated by the media over his comments – and deservedly so. Pinkel points to the media as the main problem at Penn State, when the exact opposite is true. It is the media who tirelessly worked to expose what college football refused to uncover.

“This might be the most controversial thing I’ve ever said on this radio station. I think this happens everywhere. I think this this happens at Kansas, at Missouri…”
Kevin Kietzman, on the cover-up executed at Penn State to hide Jerry Sandusky’s crimes, 810 AM
GH: When you read Pinkel’s comments above, it is very hard to argue against KK’s comment. We must all be vigilant and refuse to treat mere men like gods.

“T.J. Moe has taken over SEC Media Day. He's now the story of Day 1. T.J. Moe got a standing ovation at SEC Media Days. I'm just sayin.”
Matt Hayes, @Matt_HayesSN, Twitter
GH: If Pinkel could have avoided sounding like a Neanderthal, Mizzou would have come away from the SEC media days looking fantastic – thanks to their senior wide-out from Fort Zumwalt West. Read on for some of Moe’s more memorable quotes to the SEC media.

“They say girls are prettier here, air's fresher and the toilet paper is thicker.”
T.J. Moe, SEC Media Days
GH: I’m just glad it’s not that the girls are thicker and the toilet paper’s prettier.

“Everybody wears a tie or sundress to games. Look at me. I wore a Dry-fit polo to Big 12 media day last year.”
T.J. Moe, SEC Media Days
GH: I can’t imagine that Mizzou fans are going to start showing up at Faurot wearing suits and ties and dressed like they are heading to the prom. But this is exactly how the SEC crowd dresses. MU’s trip to Ole Miss a few years back was proof that the SEC treats there football like church.

“Anyone ever had a standing ovation after a media day press conference? I just did.”
T.J. Moe, Twitter

”[Sanchez is] a solid No. 3 starter on a championship-type club.”
Dayton Moore, after dealing Melky Cabrera for Jonathan Sanchez in the off-season, Kansas City Star
GH: Curtis Kitchen of CurtisKitchenKC pulled some old quotes from when the Royals acquired Sanchez that offer little solace but some humor after he was DFA’ed on Tuesday. Read on.

“He’s thrown a no-hitter in the major leagues. When you look at this guy’s strikeout rates, his swing-and-miss ability, it’s among the very best in the game. That’s something for us to build on. We are excited to make him part of our rotation.”
Dayton Moore, Kansas City Star

“As of this morning, there are eight teams -- EIGHT -- within two games of each other in AL wildcard race.”
Buster Olney, @Buster_ESPN, ESPN MLB columnist, Twitter
GH: The Royals are not one of those eight. Our boys in blue have instead crawled back into their annual July coffin to sleep away the rest of our summer. What a lost, lost franchise our Royals have been, are and look to continue to be.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24

The Chiefs' strategy with Bowe

Posted 7-21-12

“This is not the Chiefs in any way shape or form being cheap. Dwayne Bowe is going to cost the Chiefs a lot of money this year and next. I think all of this is to get Dwayne Bowe to play as hard as he possibly can.”
Kevin Kietzman, after the Chiefs allowed the NFL signing deadline to pass without locking up their franchise wide out to a long-term deal, 810 AM
GH: Signing Bowe to a long-term contract make sense for only Bowe. This way, Bowe gets franchise money and the Chiefs are free to drop him or franchise him again next season. Either way, the player gets paid and the franchise remains fiscally conservative. That’s good business on both ends.

“I think [Bowe] basically doesn’t speak [to the media] because he knows he can’t control himself. He’ll say something like a knucklehead and then, whatever.”
Danny Clinkscale, on Bowe’s silence, 810 AM
GH: Bowe spoke earlier this summer to ArrowheadPride.com’s Joel Thorman and said he will be wearing a Chiefs’ uniform this season and that he’ll be in training camp. Maybe that’s all he had to say.

“I’m not about to give a guy who is about to turn 30 a long-term deal.”
Josh Vernier, on Bowe, 610 AM

“You can’t keep rolling this guy out there for the sanity of your lineup.”
Josh Klingler, on the Royals continuing to use the inept Jonathan Sanchez as a starter, 610 AM
GH: I have been expecting the news today that the Royals have released Sanchez with the fatal Designated For Assignment tag. It may still come. Did you see the body language of the Royals in the field during that five-run start Monday night? There comes a point where keeping a pitcher on the team becomes more costly than his salary. Now is that time for Sanchez and the Royals.

“I’m not going to answer that question.”
Ned Yost, after 610’s Carrington Harrison asked him for a reason to keep Sanchez in the rotation, 610 AM
GH: Harrison’s question and Yost’s response were the sound bite of Monday’s postgame presser. What I found most surprising was Ned’s chuckle prior to his non-response. I had no problem with the question. I just wish Yost would have channeled Ozzie Guillen for his response.

“The game is relentless. It just comes every day and you have to have a pitcher ready every day. And you can only carry a certain number of players. They use Omaha as the bullpen[en for Kansas City.”
Todd Leabo, on the demands a 162-game schedule puts on MLB pitching staffs, 810 AM
GH: The Royals are rumored to be considering bringing up Omaha’s Doug Davis as tonight’s starter against the Mariners. Davis is a journeyman lefty who some consider to be the slowest worker in the game. Greg Schaum urged his followers on Twitter to listen to Denny Matthews’ play-by-play tonight if Davis gets the nod. We all know how much Denny likes a pitcher who takes his time on the mound.

“Over the next ten days it’s going to be 108 [degrees]. You hear guys talk about the grind once you get to the middle of July and into August. This is what it’s all about.”
Jaime Bluma, former Royals pitcher, 810 AM
GH: How many fans are going to show up at The K on Sunday and bake in those navy blue seats with 108-degree temps for that 1:10 PM game against the Twins? Bottled water should be free to anyone coherent enough to ask.

“August is going to be hotter.”
Gary Lezak, TV 41 meteorologist, 810 AM
GH: Lezak is predicting that temps will top 108 this weekend and then once August hits, we should see the all-time Kansas City high temperature of 113 in 1936 topple. I am glad my days of two-a-day football practices in August are far behind me. Can you imagine how hot it’s going to be for the Chiefs at Mo West this summer? Maybe they can sell cheese curds at the concession stands to remind the players of River Falls.

“Yeah, [Hosmer] can go down there [to Omaha] and throw up a couple of hits, but that is a false sense of security – because if they were worth a damn they’d be up pitching in the American League! … There’s no doubt he is going to play in the major leagues a long time and have a very successful career.”
Mike McFarlane, when asked if sending Hosmer to Omaha would help his hitting slump, 810 AM
GH: Hosmer has been maddening to watch this season. Each time it looks like he has crawled out of his slump he falls back into chasing off-speed stuff away and posts a 0-fer-series. 2012 can’t end soon enough for the big Hos.

“I’m going to offer this up one more time and I hope the Royals are listening. Somebody get [Hosmer] out to Dr. Silverstein and check his eyes. I would suggest the Royals get his vision tested. It was a huge problem five or four years ago and it’s gotten worse and worse over the past four year. They wouldn’t even know!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Just a guess but I’m pretty sure the Royal have already checked Hosmer’s vision and just about everything else on him. Sometimes you just have to graduate to end a sophomore slump. 

“The first review of Joe Posnanksi's Joe Paterno biography is in and it isn't good: Offered first serial rights to a book written by a former Sports Illustrated senior writer, the magazine said no. Assistant managing editor Chris Hunt confirmed to Deadspin that SI passed on running an excerpt. Posnanski, who left SI earlier this year for a USA Today-MLB Advanced Media joint venture called Sports on Earth, did find another taker, however. We hear that GQ will publish an excerpt from Paterno in an upcoming issue. … sources at the magazine who read Paterno in galleys say the biography is short on fresh details about the Jerry Sandusky scandal. And Posnanski apparently didn't wring much out of Paterno that wasn't already on the record, our sources say.”
John Koblin, writer, DeadSpin.com

“[The] people who are responsible for it are the media. The media created this smokescreen behind which Sandusky operated, and then they’re trying to blame Paterno. … You're saying everything revolves around [Paterno]. It's total nonsense. [Paterno] had very few allies. He was isolated and he was not nearly as powerful as people imagine him to have been.”
Bill James, baseball author and Red Sox advisor, in an interview with Doug Gottlieb, defending Paterno’s role in the Sandusky scandal, ESPN Radio
GH: Bill James is a friend of Posnanski. A good friend. It would not be a stretch to think James’ opinion has been influenced by JoPo.

“By this point, Gottlieb has lost his mind, and around 14:10 asks James, ‘have you ever showered with a boy? Do you know anybody who has showered with a boy?’ James: ‘Yes, that was actually quite common in the town I grew up in. That was quite common in America 40 years ago.’ And that ends the conversation.”
Jason McIntyre, writer, thebiglead.com
GH: James grew up in Holton, Kansas, just north of Topeka. He is 62. Anyone from Holton care to argue with James’ memory?

“Watch for my autobiography due to be out in November.”
Frank White, @Frank20White, Twitter
GH: White is working with Bill Althaus, longtime sports writer at The Independence Examiner, on his autobiography. I will be interested to see if White chooses the high road or the truth.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Frank White wages war with the Royals

Posted 7-16-12

“I'll never set foot in that place again. I'm done with the Royals. I just can't do it.”
Frank White, in an interview with USA Today prior to the All-Star Game, stating he would never return to Kauffman Stadium, USA Today
GH: The reasons for White’s firing during the off-season have never been publicly acknowledged by the Royals. Rumors say he was too negative as a TV analyst. When you consider the Royals hired the giddy and goofy Rex Hudler to replace White as their TV analyst, there appears to be some truth in these rumors. Those closest to the Royals blame the firing on White making private but disparaging comments about the franchise to other MLB organizations. Others just say the Royals were tired of dealing with White – a franchise legend who has always thought he should be held in higher esteem – or to put it more bluntly, paid more money to be Frank White. Read on.

“This is a tragedy. I can tell you that few days go by where I don't think about it personally. I don't know why Frank feels the way he does, but it's been a complex situation. This isn't what anybody wanted.”
Dayton Moore, Royals’ GM, USA Today
GH: Okay, the least we have here is a difference of opinion. White thinks he was so wronged by the Royals he is refusing to step foot into The K. Moore is flabbergasted that White feels this way. Somebody is not telling the truth or somebody is clueless to what really happened. I think the Royals should come clean and admit why they fired White. The more they keep silent, the uglier the rumors and the more White appears to be the victim.


“These days, [White’s] earning $10,000 for the season as a first-base coach for the independent league Kansas City T-Bones, working mostly home games, with a side job as a roofing salesman. It's hardly glamorous, but White says this is the happiest he has been in years. He doesn't second-guess his decision to resign from his community relations job in 2010 after the Royals told him they were cutting his salary to $50,000. He stayed on as the team's broadcaster but was fired after the 2011 season. He was told by Royals officials that he was too negative on broadcasts, but he thinks it was payback for quitting the community relations job.”
Bob Nightengale, writer, USA Today
GH: Franks selling new roofs? Think about the commission he could rake in by rekindling that rolling-roof idea for Arrowhead and The K.


“I got to a point where I looked at myself in the mirror one day and didn't like myself. I called my wife (Teresa) into the bathroom and told her, 'I can't take their crap anymore. I have to get away. If we have to sell everything we got, we've got to leave here, because I can't put up with these people.' I gave so much, but they took so much away. You can't compromise everything you believe in. In simple terms, they broke my heart.”

Frank White, on his decision to resign from his Royals’ community relations job, USA Today
GH: Frank sounds to me like he’s whining. “I gave so much…” That line almost always is met with a roll of the eyes. White was a fabulous ball player for the Royals for 18 years. They “discovered” him through their academy and made him and his family rich and famous. The Royals continued to employ him in a number of roles after he reluctantly and loudly complained about retiring. So why does White feel the Royals, “took so much away?” People get fired, Frank, especially in baseball. Get over it.


“Royals owner David Glass and President Dan Glass declined to speak publicly about White's departure, but Moore said it was not a personality conflict between White and the Glass family but an organizational move.”
Bob Nightengale, writer, USA Today
GH: I don’t know who would be surprised by this news. Do the Glass boys get involved in any organizational moves? Is Dan Glass still in the country? When the last time his voice or profile were captured on tape?


"At the end of the day, what you want from a leadership position is organizational harmony. And that's created in a lot of different ways. I don't know what else to say about it, but no one is bigger than the game.”
Dayton Moore, attempting to explain White’s firing, USA Today
GH: Dayton appears to be as skilled at interviews as he is with winning pennants. If this was meant to appease Royals’ fans, he should take a hint from Dan Glass and disappear.


“I was the black face on the TV that people could identify with in the inner city. But by letting me go, it's like they're saying they don't care. There's such a disconnect between the Royals and the inner city now. They really made a huge mistake.”
Frank White, USA Today
GH: The Royals haven’t connected with the inner city since baseball quit being relevant to young blacks. The NBA and NFL are king in the inner city. I interviewed young black kids outside the Negro Leagues Museum a few years back -- some wearing Monarchs’ gear -- and not one of them had ever been inside the museum or was even a baseball fan. Blacks just don’t typically attend MLB games here in Kansas City. Is that because the Royals fired Frank? I doubt it.

“They can take away my statue, they can give away my number. It won't matter. What they can't do is take away my reputation.”
Frank White, USA Today
GH: No, the Royals cannot take away White’s reputation. Only White can sully his star status by continuing to hold a grudge and making this fight public.

“Eventually, there will be reconciliation. Frank is too important to the community and the history of the franchise. It would be nice if it happened when everybody is still alive.”
Steve Fehr, White's former agent, USA Today
GH: Grown-ups acting like children. What a waste of the years White has left on earth.

“I highly encourage fellow Royals fans to boycott the team completely, as I am, until Frank White is welcomed back w/ open arms.”
Brooks Melchior, @SPORTSbyBROOKS, Twitter
GH: I am going to pass on Brooks’ call to boycott the Royals. White needs to grow up and understand that sometimes  life isn’t fair, even when you’re a millionaire ex-ball player who isn’t used to being treated like the rest of us.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24



A list of winners from the All Star Game in Kansas City

Posted 7-12-12

All-Star Game Winners

The Kansas City Star: It is no secret that the pulp version of the daily newspaper has become less popular than the rotary phone. But those who missed paging through The Star’s daily coverage of the All-Star Game missed some of the Sports Daily’s best work. Huge full-page posters and fabulous photography – John Sleezer’s pic of the fans catching a homer in the HR Derby should be in the Royals HOF. The Star delivered in-depth stories, stats and just great home-plate to hometown coverage of everything that went on around town.

Mell & Babbs: The Star now employees two coltish young sports columnists who have a chance to bring some readers back to their sports pages who gave up on the paper when Jason Whitlock and Joe Posnanski departed. Sam Mellinger has been slow to take a strong foothold amongst local sports fans in my opinion due more to his topic choice than talent. Did we really need a boxing story in the middle of All-Star week? But Mellinger’s column on how Royals’ fans united to serenade Robby Cano was the kind of stuff that can elevate a writer’s worth. Adding Kent Babb as a second sports columnists doubles Star readers’ opportunities to read a daily column – and a good one at that. Babb’s front-page column on his dad and his baseball memories struck a nostalgic chord with many – and even elicited a tear or two from some. Mell & Babbs might look back on KC’s All-Star week as their honeymoon.

Mayor Sly James: I have no idea if Sly can run the city, fix the sewers, get the school district accredited, clear the streets of snow after a blizzard or work productively with the city council. What I do know is that Mayor Frosty is one helluva cheerleader and dynamo of positivity when it comes to promoting Kansas City. Sly uses Twitter like he was a 14-year-old girl. He follows regular Joes and Janes on Twitter, retweets their tweets, tweets blasts about where he’s at, what’s going on and how abfab everything is in his world and our town. He also has made the term “frosty” very, very cool. James says frosty was a term popular from his days as a Marine. I’d like to see the KC Chamber of Commerce adopt it as our town’s war cry.

Power & Light District: So many folks want to point to the P&L and scream about what a disaster Mayor Kay Barnes’ pet development has become with the annual tax revenues being unable to meet expectations and debt costs. Okay, so the P&L has cost us money. Sprint Center doesn’t have an NBA or NHL team. So what? Does anyone not think that Kansas City has been greatly enhanced by the additions of both? Our federal, state and local governments waste money on dead-end projects with almost every fiscal vote. At least this boondoggle has created a great environment for locals and visitors to enjoy themselves.

Royals Fans: If the nation did not realize that Kansas City still houses some of the most passionate baseball fans in the country, they certainly do after the Boo-B-Qing of Robby Cano. How much do we enjoy baseball? I still shake my head thinking about the lady at The K’s ticket window telling me she had no tickets to sell me for the Futures Game because it was sold out. I made her tell me three times because I just could not believe a minor league game at 4:00 PM on a Sunday in a 40,000 seat stadium could be sold out. I mean, where else does this happen? So many runners participated in the ASG 5K that the last block of the race resembled the Grandview Triangle at 7:30 AM. People waited at FanFest for five and six hours for Bo Jackson’s autograph? Despite some sad-sack media types who called the booing classless and embarrassing, Royals fans will be remembered for showing up – in record-like numbers to every event MLB rolled out.

Kauffman Stadium: How many 40-year olds look as good as The K after a couple of facelifts? Would we prefer a new downtown stadium near the P&L? Sure. But what we’ve got is pretty damn special. Over and over again the national media, MLB players and fans remark glowingly about our ball park. Has it ever looked better than it did for the Futures Game, HR Derby and ASG? Never.

Kansas City BBQ: A cliché? Maybe, but out-of-town guests flocked to our local BBQ joints like they were giving away free flat screens this past week. Fox showed ribs stacked high in giant smokers as cooks speared them with pitch forks. I got so caught up in the BBQ craze that I have eaten BBQ for lunch for four consecutive days. (This has also been motivation to lengthen my daily morning runs this week.)Memphis, Carolina and Texas all have their own claim to fame when it comes to BBQ. This past week gave KC a bit of an edge over all of them.

George Brett: We have all heard the stories how Brett can be an ass and how he treated a friend of a friend’s uncle poorly when he bumped into George one night. I do not doubt George has bad days like the rest of us. But this guy was Kansas City’s All-Star for five days during our city’s biggest week. Brett was everywhere I went and in almost every video clip I saw of any and all ASG events. He was there at 7:00 AM to start Sunday’s 5K, he was on radio stations and TV stations all week leading up to the festivities, he was a hit being interviewed by Chris Berman on ESPN and handing John Kruk a platter of Meat Mitch ribs. I saw Brett hounded by fans at every venue. He looked burnt, he looked exhausted but he was there and came alive for every microphone. “This is huge for our city,” he told Berman. “It really is.” Brett not only talked the talk, he walked the walk.

Twitter: Following the HR Derby on Twitter and the Can0 Boo-B-Q might was easily one of my all-time nights for Twitter. My timeline allowed me to share the experience with thousands of fans and still have my fridge and bathroom all to myself.

Baseball: If you thought baseball was slipping in popularity, you might want to reexamine the facts. MLB attendance continues to grow while other pro sports, particularly the NFL, are scrambling to find ways to bring their season ticket holders back to the stadium. The three-day love-fest that was broadcast from The K during All-Star week only enhanced the national pastime’s aura.

David Glass: Surprised? While Glass may be the least successful owner in baseball when it comes to postseason play, he continues to be a financial genius when it comes to owning the Royals. How high do you think the perceived value of his team jumped after the nation watched Royals fans act like Cardinals fans for three days?

Trevor Vance: The K’s ground crew chief is a miracle worker. In the heart of one of KC’s hottest and driest summers, this guy rolls out an Emerald City lawn and a crown pattern in center field that none of us will ever forget. I wonder what Trevor charges for house calls?

KC Police: Did you see the KC cop catch the home run ball at the derby and then give it to a kid? How about Joe Buck praising the work of KC’s finest on the nationally televised Fox broadcast? Take a bow, men in blue, you shined brightly during All-Star week.

Wil Myers: All Myers did was get three RBI, two hits in the Futures game and then head to Buffalo and win the MVP award for PCL All-Star game. I have to think 20,000 of those 40K who showed up to watch the Futures game were there to see Wil. He was popular before we met him but now that we’ve seen the Farm, we want that harvest. 

Billy Butler: CountryBreakfast handled the adoration just like you’d want your hero to -- with unbridled glee. Billy’s country-sized grin made the cheering all the louder.

Mother Nature: Somehow the weather goddess slipped up a couple of tolerable days in the midst of this Hades-like summer. Thank you, bitch.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


KC shines at All Star Game despite boos

Posted 7-12-12

“Pretty impressive how the fans continue to bring back Billy Butler. Marvelous!"
 Tim McCarver, as the All-Star crowd continued to cheer Butler whenever he was front and center, Fox
GH: Is there a baseball fan anywhere who doesn’t know who Billy Butler is after the past two days? While being a Royals player has not always been a good thing for those chasing rings, Butler, his teammates and MLB got a glimpse of what this city could be like if a winner ever reemerges inside The K. Read on.

“The saddest part of the All Star week is that Kansas City fans have so little going on that Billy Freaking Butler is important to them.”
Jim Souhan, @SouhanStrib, writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Twitter
GH: Some media inside and outside of Kansas City just want to belittle our fan base, our team and our town. Not many mind you, but enough to notice. Is Souhan’s attempt to scoff at our passion for our lone member of the All-Star team supposed to make us feel small? It made me smile. Hell yeah, we back CountryBreakfast! I am hoping we see some “Billy Freaking Butler” signs in the yard the next time the Twins are in town.

“Has any city anywhere ever loved anyone as much as KC loves Bill Butler? I think he just blew right by George Brett in terms of popularity. … That was just the biggest groundout in Royals history.”
Jim Rome, @jimrome, after Butler’s first at bat, Twitter
GH: Rome had his sarcasm tweet going strong last night during the All-Star game, ripping Royals fans for idolizing Butler. Good to know Jimbo isn’t at all bitter about The Jungle having its vines clipped by 610 Sports and is now without a KC home.

“If you're a baseball fan, it's nearly impossible to hold in a smile when you see/hear how passionate these Royals fans are for the game.”
Jared Carrabis, @Jared_Carrabis, Red Sox blog writer, Twitter
GH: Hey David Glass, are you listening, watching and reading this stuff about your fans? Come on down and be a part of it. Get to know Kansas City, Royals fans and our passion. Then hire us some professionals in the front office to get us all a winner. In case you haven’t noticed, those guys you have in place are in their sixth straight year of building another losing season.

“KC fans look classless with Cano booing. … When the booing continued before every pitch - and when fans were cheering for Cano's outs - it got a little ugly, as the national TV commentators pointed out.”
Yael Abouhalkah,

“In the aftermath [of the Cano booing] , however, Kansas City grew defensive against the accusations from outsiders that the booing was petty and bush league and silly. It was. It was ridiculous.”
Jeff Passan,
GH: Maybe, but it was also fabulous. It was franchise defining. It was our time and we made the most of it on one of MLB’s biggest stages. Kansas Citians aren’t defensive about how Passan, Abouhalkah, Rome and the rest reacted to the Boo-B-Q. We are chuckling over your handwringing. So, we aren’t the panting little brother you thought we were, groveling for you to notice? Too bad for you. Good for us. Real good.

“They have had fun here in Kansas City, I’ll tell you, the city rolled out the red carpet for everybody coming here. It’s been a great event. The people in law enforcement could not have done a better job.”
Joe Buck, Fox

Tim McCarver, Fox
GH: Both Buck and McCarver went out of their way to praise how well Kansas City performed during All-Star week. For some reason, Jeff Passan, Yael Abouhalkah and other locals in the media went out of their way to write how embarrassed Kansas City should be about how they came off to the rest of the nation. Kansas City came off as passionate, tough and wildly entertaining. Sounds a lot like the Wild West from which we sprung. Frosty!

“Tony LaRussa on KC: ‘Everything about our stay was as perfect as possible. Win or lose.’”
Sam Mellinger, @mellinger, Twitter
GH: LaRussa said he began his career as a teenage minor leaguer here in Kansas City and closed his career as a manager in the City of Fountains with Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

“Since we got through the ASG spotlight without a naked guy in a dog collar emerging from a KC house, this already tops '88 Final Four.”
Kurt, OTC email
GH: As we remember them – the good old days.

“That was a moment that I'll never forget."
Chipper Jones, on the standing ovation he received from the All-Star crowd, MLBNetwork
GH: Chipper’s first and last appearance at The K will be one he will never forget. It is pretty darn cool that an American League town took it upon themselves to honor a National League future HOFer with that kind of respect. Kansas City is a baseball town. A damn good one.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24



Glass walks out of interview with 610

Posted 7-9-12

“While on with 610 Sports Danny Parkins at the Bartle Hall Fan Fest, Glass was being interviewed about Fan Fest.  He was asked about the rumors of him selling the team and called those claims ‘stupid.’ When questions turned toward his ownership and fiscal management of the team, Glass set down his microphone and walked off the set.”
Chris Kamler, aka @FakeNed, RamblingMorons.com
GH: I did not hear the David Glass interview with Danny Parkins live. I listened to the replay on Kamler’s website, RamblingMorons.com – which is the only place on the web it is available. 610 Sports, which podcasts all of its shows, chose to not post this interview. It appears that was not a popular decision with Parkins’ cohost, Carrington Harrison. Read on.

“Our show had a top 10 moment in the history of sports talk radio in this town today. I’m proud of that.”
Carrington Harrison, @CDotharrison, at 2:13 PM on July 6, 2012, referring to the David Glass interview, Twitter
GH: So why did 610 Sports choose to not post this “top-10 moment” on their website? When that question was posed to Harrison via Twitter, his response was cryptic but revealing. Read on.

“I stand by that statement. Anything else is outside of my control.”
Carrington Harrison, @CDotharrison, Twitter
GH: It is apparent from this tweet from Harrison that he believes the Glass interview should have been available on their show’s podcast. His boss or his boss’ boss must have not agreed. 610 Sports is the flagship rights holder of the Royals radio broadcasts. Someone at Entercom or with the Royals believed the interview to be too embarrassing to Glass or Parkins to post. I’ll let you decide.

“People are talking about whether or not you are going to sell after this big event coming to town. [Glass laughing] It’s like you have this game and then when it’s done then you will sell the team.”
Danny Parkins, to David Glass, 610 AM
GH: This quote and the transcript that follows is from Kamler’s RamblingMorons.com website. As I listened to the replay of the interview, I did not get the sense that Parkins’ questions were unfair or rude. I also did not get the sense that Glass was overly upset (at least verbally) with the line of questions. Read on and make your own conclusions.

“Yeah, that’s stupid. Uhh, I’ve never considered doing that and I would have no idea where that came from.”
David Glass, 610 AM

Parkins: “You would never consider selling the team?”

Glass: “No.”

Parkins: “What do you say to fans who would like you to sell the team?”

Glass: “Uhh, yeah, I’m sorry.”

Parkins: “Do you know where that comes from?”

Glass: “I don’t have a clue, I have no idea.”

Parkins: “What do you say to fans that wish you spend more on payroll for this team?”

Glass: “Uhh, Well, in a market this size you can spend a certain amount on payroll. You… You’re never going to be able to spend what the Yankees and the other big market teams can spend but our approach from the very beginning has been that we’re not looking to make money with the franchise we simply want to break even and if we have an if we have an opportunity to win we’ll step up and do whatever it takes to… to help us take that extra step. But for the most part all the money that we can generate we’ll
spend on payroll and singing amateur players.”

Parkins: “Would you be willing to operate a season at a loss in order to sign a big time….”

Glass: “We’ve done that before and I suppose we’d do it again.”

Parkins: “We’re talking with Royals owner David Glass here on the Danny Parkins show…. Putting the microphone down? Oh… oh… alright. Thank you sir for coming on the show he just put the microphone down and walked away.”
GH: Maybe the scene played out differently live – but I did not get any sense from the audio of this interview that this was even in the top 100 moments in KC sports talk radio. The bigger story for me is what 610 Sports has refused to make the interview public on their website. How do you trust a radio station that censors its talent and protects the teams they are contractually bound to? 610 Sports took a giant hit to their credibility with this decision.

“I was stunned. The interview was obviously not over; Parkins certainly had more questions to ask. I could not believe that Glass would just walk away from questioning like a spoiled teenager. To make matters worse, 610 is the flagship station of the Royals’ radio network. It just seems like a really bad idea to treat a business partner like that.”
Darrin Watson, writer,
GH: Some who heard the interview believe Glass may have simply thought it was over. From Parkins’ comments, I find that hard to believe. Is Glass too old and crotchety to handle these less-than-friendly live interviews? I hope not. The owner of a team as perpetually awful as the Royals needs to be accountable to his fan base.

“Fred pa-TEK.”
Danny Parkins, introducing his interview with the former Royals’ shortstop, 610 AM
GH: 610 Sports has a problem with introducing new talent to this market and attempting to push them to far too fast. Both Parkins and Josh Vernier are new to town but the lead hosts on their midday and afternoon-drive shows. Correctly pronouncing Patek is just one of the credibility problems that new voices present. But it is one that listeners remember.

“4 all the chatter bout what the media would say about KC, this city is shining in the spotlight & showin MLB what great baseball fans r here.”
Josh Vernier, @JoshVernier, Twitter
GH: Kevin Kietzman was one of the loudest voices last year declaring the All-Star Game would be a disaster for Kansas City and the way the MLB players and the national media would portray us and our town. I don’t understand anyone who gives a flip about how we are viewed by NYC, LA, Atlanta, Toronto or Vietnam. But it appears many if not all of these Chicken-Little fears have been unfounded.

“Winner tonight... Kansas City. Talk of the media was how big KC supported the Futures and Celebrity Games today. Congrats to KC fans.”
Soren Petro, @theprogramkc, Twitter
GH: I walked up to the ticket window for the Futures Game at 4:00 PM and was told it was sold out. I was flabbergasted. “Sold out???” I asked the nice lady. “We don’t have one ticket left to sell,” she replied. I had to return to the parking lot and purchase one from the scalper I had shunned only five minutes before. “You ain’t with the PO-leese, are ya?” he asked. I assured him I was as much a criminal as he and traded $20 for a ticket.

“40,000 plus at the Futures game. Can't David Glass see what a winner would do for KC..AND...is pocketbook! How shortsighted can u be?”
Frank Boal, @realfrankboal, Twitter

“Incredible experience at @MLBFutures today. I'll never forget the support #Royals fans gave me!”
Wil Myers, @wilmyers, Twitter
GH: I cannot imagine what that atmosphere was like was Wil Myers and those minor leaguers. That had to be a very fun day for them in front of that throng.

“So after the game..the royals send myers back to omaha...why?? He's done everything he can do in the minors..this is crazy!!”
Frank Boal, @realfrankboal, Twitter

“Could see them waiting until June 2013.”
Robert Ford, @raford3, on when Royals’ fans can expect to see Wil Myers in Kansas City, Twitter
GH: No one knows what the Royals are thinking in regard to calling up Myers. My guess is we see him as soon as they can dump Frenchy and his contract – if that is even possible.

“Talked to the likes of Bo Jackson and Ozzie Smith over the past hour but am still bummed b/c Bones Jones was supposed to be here and isn't.”
Danny Parkins, @DannyParkins, Twitter
GH: Really? This might be why 610 Sports is in a constant spin cycle.

“Wow -- Matt Cassel was BOOED. In his HOME SPORTS COMPLEX. Harsh. Giant boos for Bill Self, too! Wow again. Lots of #mizzou peeps in the hizzy, apparently.”
Jeff Rosen, KC Star sports editor, @jeff_rosen88, Twitter
GH: The boos for Self and Cassel upset many KU and Chiefs fans. I see the boos as simply part of the job. Both are multimillionaire performers whose job it is to win games. That is always going to evoke strong passion from those who agree or disagree with how you do your job. I cannot imagine either took the boos as anything more than another day at the office.

“It's not they don't like [Cassel] ,they don't like being told he's good by Chiefs. Fans can make up their own minds.”
Bill Maas, @BillMaas, on fans booing Matt Cassel at All-Star softball game, Twitter

“Booing Bill Self is a bad look for KC. Remember folks this is on national tv, not just here in KC.”
Bob Fescoe, @bobfescoe, Twitter
GH: Fescoe is obsessed with how the national media reports on their time here this week in Kansas City. I would think the boos signal just how great a rivalry the KU/MU battle was/is and how serious Chiefs fans are about demanding a winner. I see both as positives for KC.

“Mark Trumbo's avg distance of 419.5 feet ranks first in the majors, minimum 10 home runs. 18 of his 22 home runs have been at least 400 feet.”
John Buccigross, @Buccigross, Twitter
GH: Trumbo just might hit one onto I-70 tonight. And at $350/ticket, that’s about as close as I’ll get to tonight’s Home Run Derby contest.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24



Mellinger's 'worst that could happen while KC hosts All-Star Game'

Posted 7-6-12

The Kansas City Star’s Sam Mellinger was asked via Twitter what was the worst that could happen while KC hosts the All-Star Game.  Here is his list of the top five.

  1. Oklahoma Joe’s serves bad meat.
    GH: Almost no chance of this happening, but OJ’s is far from KC’s signature BBQ joint. I love their food, fries and service but how “Kansas City” can a place be when they’re from Oklahoma? When someone asks me where to get the best BBQ in town, I tell them Jack Stack’s for brisket and beans, L.C.’s to avoid the crowds, Gates for the sauce and the spicy “HI, MAY I HELP YOU” greeting, Bryant’s on Brooklyn for quantity and the original cuisine and OJ’s for sandwiches and fries. Ribs are just too subjective to offer one definitive opinion. I like Jack Stack’s baby backs but others prefer Gates’ crunchy crust. Let’s just say if you are from out of town, you have almost no chance of not being impressed with whatever BBQ fare you sample.
  2. Bud Selig faints from the heat.
    GH: Selig going down here in Kansas City might earn our town legendary status. But the latest weather forecasts call for two of the summer’s coolest days to land on Monday and Tuesday! Looks like most of the heat will be directed at Robinson Cano for his Billy Butler snub. Depending on how united Royals’ fans get during the HR Derby, that scene could get pretty wild. Any chance Nate Bukaty goes White-Trash-Sox on Cano by jumping the rail and pummeling him in the on-deck circle?
  3. A tornado rips through the Plaza.
    GH: If Aunty Em pays us a visit during All-Star week, almost every cliché and fear the coastal crowd harbors about this part of the country would take on biblical meaning. But tornado season ended in May, so we have a better chance of a cow or two getting loose and trampling a New Yorker.
  4. People see Kent Babb and think we’re all like that.
    GH: Babb is a USC grad – but not the good USC. He is a Gamecock from South Carolina. That is a Trojan of another color. While Babb (like most USC fans and grads) is likely still evolving, he is Einstein compared to 610’s Bob Fescoe. If All-Star visitors hear Fescoe’s show and think he grunts for us, expect the out-of-town media to paint us as if Jesse James still rides here.
  5. Carlos Beltran and Melky Cabrera hit back-to-back home runs to win it for the National League.
    GH: This would be awful. I can imagine David Glass and Dayton Moore taking back-to-back swam dives out of the press box if this happens. And I wouldn’t be too sure that they weren’t pushed. How do you think the KC crowd will react to these formal Royals? Beltran is now a Cardinal so he has zero chance of getting any love. Melky was only here one season but he has Jonathan Sanchez’s fallout to overcome. Both probably get Canoed.

“What would happen if we had a plane fly a banner over the stadium before the [All-Star] game that said, ‘Sell the team.’ Wouldn’t that be a kick in the pants? … We’ve got other billionaires in this town that could buy and sell [David Glass] a couple of times over.”
Kevin Kietzman, calling for Glass to sell the Royals, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman is pushing for the ownership group of Sporting Kansas City to buy the Royals. Garmin’s CEO, Min Kao, lives in Mission Hills. According to Forbes he is worth $1.8 billion and the top-ranked KC-area person on their list of the 400 wealthiest people in America. Donald Hall of Hallmark is worth about $1 billion. The Forbes list shows no Kansas City, MO residents on its list of the 400 wealthiest people in America. Read on.

“Boy, you’ve got more money than you know what to do with if you’re going to waste it on that thing. He ain’t gonna sell the team, buddy.”
Jack Harry, on KK’s banner idea, 810 AM
GH: I think Glass loves being a MLB owner and I think MLB loves David Glass. But Dan Glass might be willing to sell the Royals if he and his family inherit the team. Can you imagine this franchise run by the ownership of Danny Boy? Beanies for everybody!

“Why doesn’t one of these guys just step aside and let [Billy Butler] in there? There is no reason why you can’t have a local guy in there.”
Jack Harry, on Butler being left out of the All-Star home-run contest, 810 AM
GH: The solution is to include a hometown team of sluggers in the first round of the homerun derby. Allow the Royals to pick four players to compete with the four-player American and National teams. This would allow the best sluggers to participate from both leagues and give the hometown fans something to cheer. BTW, I found this analysis of the
HR Derby online and it might be the most detailed breakdown on each contestant available.

“He reminds me of a young Buck Martinez. I wish! He’s one of the best young catchers I’ve ever seen come into the game. Having watched him, he really understands that he’s in charge of the game. And the pitchers trust him.”
Buck Martinez, former Royals’ catcher and current broadcaster for Toronto, when asked his opinion of the Royals’ Salvador Perez, Royals Radio
GH: Perez is proving to be even better than advertised – and he has been advertised by some as the next Johnny Bench! When you consider the Royals best young players are at catcher, first, short and third, it makes you salivate for a great centerfielder to top off that core of talent. Is that Lorenzo Cain? Is it Wil Myers? How about Cain in center and Myers in right? That is a team that should be very fun to watch over the next five years – especially if Dayton Moore can find some pitching.

“We’re going to get this pitching straightened out. I promise and guarantee you we’re going to get this straightened out.”
Dave Eiland, Royals’ pitching coach, 610 AM

“Danny Parkinson? … You’re shaking so much I thought you had Parkinson Disease.”
George Brett, in typing a tweet as he spoke to Danny Parkins, the 610 Sports host, 610 AM
GH: Parkins sounded a bit miffed when he responded with, “I’ve never heard that joke, George.” I thought it was an odd retort from Parkins, but maybe he thinks Brett should know who he is. Parkins must go through life disappointed much of the time.

“How can Major League Baseball possibly tell us that we can’t put that in there? We’re scared enough that we’re covering [the ad] up. We had interns down here taping a gray piece of paper on all 30,000 copies. It’s really hurt our distribution.”
Kevin Kietzman, on an ad for country singer Luke Bryan promoted his appearance at a local venue in an All-Star Game publication produced by Union Broadcasting, 810 AM
GH: Bud Selig will be touring Kansas City neighborhoods this weekend to make sure your kids aren’t playing with non-MLB trademarked equipment. Lew Perkins would fit in well with MLB.

“Johnny Damon's left arm doesn't stop the running game, it emboldens it. So when Damon throws out a runner, it's not just an assist, it's a happening. Well, a happening took place Wednesday and Damon missed it. He threw a strike from along the left field grandstand to get Albert Pujols trying to stretch a single into a double for the last out of the third inning, but instead of watching the play he was critiquing it with a fan. … After the third out, Damon sprinted toward the dugout slapping hands with fans along the grandstand. It was Damon's first assist since he recorded two in 2010 for the Tigers. Someone cue the music from the Twilight Zone because they were both against the Angels.”
Paul Hoynes, writer, Cleveland Plain Dealer
GH: I still remember a quote from George Brett after he first saw Damon play as a Royals’ rookie. “He throws like a girl!” How embarrassing for Fat Albert.

“Just had a dream that me, michael jackson, and taylor swift were playing knockout at the sprint center. Really?”
Danny Duffy, @dduffykc23, Royals’ pitcher, Twitter
GH: Duffy might be the most uninhibited pro athlete on Twitter. Follow him before the Royals shut his account down.

“I need to find a tatt artist n dc any help?”
Thomas Robinson, @Trobinson0, former Jayhawk and first-round pick of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, Twitter
GH: My first thought? Where on TRob’s bod is there space for any more tattoos? Ouch!

“This is the first real social media Games and it’s going to be a feel-as-you-go-along type of thing. It will be interesting to see how [Olympic officials] monitor 10,000 athletes’ social media accounts. I feel I can represent my country and also run a successful business.”
Nick Symmonds, the USA champion in the 800-meter race, on profiting from a temporary tattoo on his shoulder, USA Today
GH: According to USA Today, Symmonds received $11,100 to wear the tattoo. He covered the tattoo during the Olympic Trials in Eugene but it appears he might be willing to test the rules once he is loose on the London stage. Symmonds is worth tuning in to see. He runs like he lives his life, fast and hell bent for victory.

“Growing up in the 90s, I became a hip hop fan. I think I can hang right there with anybody. … No, I do not have any tattoos or piercings. ”
Josh Vernier, new drive-time host on 610 Sports, 610 AM
GH: Milwaukee’s Eminem?

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Reggie Jackson gives 810 an entertaining interview

Posted 7-5-12

“I don’t want any boos when people see me [in Kansas City]. I want pats on the back. And I’ll be looking for some ribs, brotha.”
Reggie Jackson, who will appear here in Kansas City on Sunday night at the Kauffman Performing Arts Center for KC’s Salute to Baseball, 810 AM
GH: Todd Leabo and Danny Clinkscale conducted the interview with Jackson and it was one of my favorite radio bits of the week. Jackson came off as friendly, knowledgeable, confident and yet respectful. Read on.

“If everybody was like Steve Busby, I wouldn’t have gotten into the Hall of Fame. I couldn’t hit Steve Busby at all.”
Reggie Jackson, on facing the Royals’ former ace, 810 AM
GH: Here is my Reggie story. I had talked my way into the photographer’s field-level booth on the third-base side of a Yankees/Royals game in the mid-80s. I had no credentials [or any reason to have credentials] but somehow I lasted the entire game without being discovered and getting tossed out by security. As I looked to exit the booth, I found myself alone in the Yankee dugout with Reggie. He had just had the game-winning hit [I think it was a homer] and he was gathering his gear. We walked together down the narrow corridor that led from the dugout to the visitor’s locker room. We talked like two regular guys for the short stroll. He was humble, reserved and friendly. Not unlike the guy I listened to Leabo and Clinkscale interview on Tuesday.

“I’ll tell you what I’m going to do my friend. When people say you were a showboat or a hot dog, I’m going to say, ‘No, I was a vanguard!’ I like that my friend! I like that.”
Reggie Jackson, after Clinkscale called Jackson a vanguard of the now prevalent stylish home-run trot, 810 AM
GH: Jackson was relaxed and seemed to really enjoy his conversation with Leabo and Clink. Leabo told his listeners after the interview that they weren’t sure what to expect. Jackson had told them prior to the interview that he didn’t want to talk to them all day – but once they got him on air, he just went on and on. That is a sign that Leabo and Clink did their jobs well.

“I’ll be around there for the Home-Run Derby. I think I’m sitting in Buck O’Neil’s seat, which is a privilege.”
Reggie Jackson, 810 AM
GH: My how time heals old wounds. Reggie was one of Kansas City’s most despised foes during his time with the A’s and Yankees, but now we honor him with a perch in Buck’s hallowed seat. Reggie laughed when he told Leabo and Clink that even he and George Brett are now friends. “I always tell George he named his son Jackson after me,” said Reggie.


“We are happy to announce that @ErinAndrews will make her @FOXSports debut at the @MLBONFOX 83rd MLB All-Star Game Tues. July 10 in KC. #ASG.”
Dan Bell, @danpbell, spokesman for Fox Sports, after Andrews’ much publicized departure from ESPN to Fox, Twitter
GH: Andrews will bring her flowing blonde locks and swimsuit-ready bod to Kansas City to begin her new role as a Fox Sports personality. Andrews has gone from sexy sideline reporter to the studio host of Fox’s college football show. This looks like the Peter Principle in action to me – on a couple of levels.


“While we all know she is easy on the eyes, Andrews has always conducted herself professionally and asked relevant questions. While most sideline reports are generally inane, Andrews actually provides insight to a broadcast.”

Michael Hiestand, media writer, USA Today
GH: Hiestand must be listening to Andrews’ sideline work more with his eyes than his ears. I have not found Andrews’ to be any less inane than her sideline counterparts – and she might have one of the most annoyingly flat voices in all of sports broadcasting. She is very lucky it is attached to an Olympic-sized set of lungs.


“My hope for the All-Star game is that every time Joe Buck deadpans an otherwise exciting moment or Tim McCarver says something a bit too obvious, they'll just cut to Andrews with an interesting tidbit from the game or a quick interview with a player. She could be a saving grace for the broadcast, folks. Just you wait and see.”
Michael Hiestand, media writer, USA Today
GH: Especially if she wears an age-inappropriate outfit.

“I very much feel like I’m a massive dork, you know that. I just kind of laugh at all of it. There are times when you wake up in the morning and your friends are texting you that your picture was on TMZ or you’re walking through the airport and you’re [saying] ‘Why, I don’t get it? Lamar Odom was just on my flight. Why is this is such a big deal?’ ”
Erin Andrews, when asked by Dan Patrick if she had become too famous for ESPN, The Dan Patrick Show
GH: If Erin Andrews doesn’t understand why she is famous, that might be our first hint she might not be a great reporter. I don’t have a problem with TV using pretty women to attract an audience. But I do chuckle when everyone involved pretends it has little to do with T&A.

“Obviously, I’ll still have a good time [attending the Home-Run Derby contest], but it’s significantly less significant.”
Nate Bukaty, on Billy Butler being left out of the Home-Run Derby contest when the Yankees’ Robinson Cano reneged on his earlier statement to pick a hometown Royal, 810 AM
GH: I would have preferred that Cano kept his word and picked a Royals’ player. Since he did not, I have no problem with anyone who wants to boo him or chant “Billy Butler” when he is in the box. For the price of those tickets, boo, chant or cheer to your throats content.

“I will absolutely be embarrassed for every Royals’ fan who’s ever lived if the Fox broadcasters on Tuesday night’s broadcast aren’t forced to explain why the fans are booing [Robinson Cano]. I will be so embarrassed for Royals’ fans if Cano is not booed when he comes to the plate. If not, I’ll be embarrassed for Royals’ fans forever.”
Kevin Kietzman, making the point that this is just another example of New York overlooking little Kansas City, 810 AM
GH: KK takes this New York/LA/STL stuff to the extreme. I get the feeling when Kietzman boos at a sporting event; he really, really means it.

“Don’t be surprised if you see Wil Myers play all nine innings. That’s the advantage of being the manager in Kansas City”
George Brett, who will be the manager for the AL side of the Futures Game, 610 AM
GH: Brett said he is looking forward to seeing Myers bat three or four times at The K in the Futures Game and that he knows Royals’ fans feel the same. Since the Royals designate Mitch Maier for assignment on Wednesday, they now have two openings on their 40-man roster. Some speculate that Wil Myers will fill one of those spots and never make it back to Omaha. If so, the Royals will still need to thin their outfield roster. Bringing Myers up just to sit like Maier did makes no sense.

“Why does Dayton Moore have to have Wil Myers on this ball club this year? I don’t have a problem with him staying in the minors this year.”
Josh Vernier, 610 AM
GH: I am beginning to question if Vernier understands the art of marketing. Is he trying to alienate himself from his new KC audience? Read on.

“I’d bring [Wil Myers] up now and test his mettle while the season is still in contention.”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM
GH: Or maybe these two toss out topics during their prep meetings and Binkley is just more savvy as to which side he is going to debate.

“There’s a chance if the Royals would have kept Melky Cabrera and put him in the starting rotation, he’d have better numbers than Jonathan Sanchez.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM

“I do think that Rex Hudler did speak for the fans on Sunday and when he was critical – not to that degree that he was on Monday, but he spoke for the fans, as did Joel Goldberg speak for the fans, that he, you know that they were, were saying what fans were thinking.”
Soren Petro, on Hudler’s critical comments during the Twins’ series earlier this week, 810 AM
GH: Petro has a little Neil Smith in him at times. Petronics?

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Hudler backtracks on Sanchez comments

Posted 7-5-12

“If you don’t want the opponent to score on you, you’re thinking about [covering home plate]. Instead, [Jonathan Sanchez] is a spectator. What would have been nice is that he went to home plate and the runner would have ran his hind-end over and just put him out. That would have been a beautiful thing. Too bad that didn’t happen.”
Rex Hudler, Royals TV analyst, in an interview Monday morning on The Border Patrol, discussing Jonathan Sanchez’s failure to cover home plate from the mound in the loss to the Twins in the first game on Saturday afternoon, 810 AM
GH: This is the Rex Hudler we have come to know on the radio. His softer and more company-line TV persona has started to take on some of this same entertaining honesty of late – especially with his critical comments about the Royals’ play and Ned Yost’s managerial decisions in Minnesota. Read on.

“I don’t think you can send [Sanchez] out there anymore. I think he’s hurting the team.”
Rex Hudler, in the same Monday morning interview, 810 AM
GH: Hudler is calling for Yost and the Royals to sit their $5-million-a-year starter. That is Paul Splittorff-like tough talk from the TV booth. But somewhere between Monday morning and Tuesday morning, Hudler had a change of heart – or should I say tummy. Read on.

“I don’t have a problem with Rex Hudler making those comments [on The Border Patrol] Monday morning and I hope the Royals don’t either. I got a lot of feedback from people saying he’s going to get fired.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Hudler and Petro must have heard from the same folks Read on.

“[Hudler] texted me and said he wanted to clarify some of his comments.”
Nate Bukaty, on Hudler requesting to come back on Bukaty’s Tuesday show to “clarify” what he said regarding Sanchez, 810 AM
GH: When I heard Bukaty preview Hudler’s return engagement, I had little doubt as to what were his reasons. Unfortunately, I was correct. Read on.

“I told Jonathan [Sanchez] that, ‘When I said it, you know what, when I talked about it on that play, had you covered home the runner would have come home and put you out for the season and ha-ha, put you out of your misery.’ You know what he did? He looked at me and he laughed! And he goes, ‘You know what? That might not have been a bad thing.’ I told him I try to control my tongue but sometimes people take it wrong. He said, ‘You know what, when you’re having the kind of season like I’m having, those things happen.’ ”
Rex Hudler, on Tuesday morning, 810 AM
GH: I came away from this explanation with a lot more respect for Jonathan Sanchez than Rex Hudler. Rex said nothing about putting Sanchez out of his misery. He said, “…ran his hind-end over and just put him out.” Was Sanchez supposed to “ha-ha” about Hudler’s comments that he was hurting the team and that the Royals shouldn’t send him back out there? But Hudler thinks the problem is that “sometimes people take it wrong?” I don’ think the problem has anything to do with fans taking his comments wrong. The problem is more likely that we understood and agreed with almost everything Hudler had to say – the first time.

“Never ever would I ask or impose that somebody get hurt. I’m really honored to have a position in the community like I have as a broadcaster and moving my family here to the Midwest. It’s all about the people, guys. Thanks a lot.”
Rex Hudler, 810 AM
GH: Translation: I have no interest in being the next Frank White.

“I just want the folks to understand that I like to be real. I like to be honest.”
Rex Hudler, as he attempted to clarify his comments on Tuesday morning, 810 AM
GH: Okay, Rex. Just tip us off as to when you’re being real and being honest and when you’re playing the role of the Royals’ puppet. Maybe you can wear a Howdy Doody hat for your puppet performances.

“He probably got told to take that back. Whatever.”
St. John, after Hudler’s clarification appearance, 810 AM

“I respect immensely that Rex Hudler immediately sought out the guy who the comments were made about.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Why? Because Hudler caught heat from the Royals and tried to smooth things over with a player whose performance, effort and body language deserved every critical word that Hudler uttered? I would have respected Hudler more if he would have sought out Sanchez and simply said, “I meant every word of it. If you’ve got a problem with it, I can live with that too.” Instead, Hudler pranced and danced like a trained puppy. Embarrassing.

“Everybody was on Rex Hudler when he first came in. The guy never got a fair shake. He really didn’t. I’ve been watching this guy. He’s starting to grow on me a little bit. He’s crazy. He’s a little whacky but we’re a little whacky too.”
Jack Harry, KSHB TV 41
GH: Hudler is what he is – a goofball broadcaster who has little interest in doing nothing more than staying employed. Guys like Hudler are everywhere – because sports teams love homers in the broadcast booth. What a sad reflection of what is supposed to be a proud profession.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24


Royals are a rollercoaster ride

Posted 6-28-12

Brad Stephens, @BradKCTV5, on the Royals lose some, win some road to playing .500, Twitter

“The Royals are Luke Hochevar. He is a microcosm of what the Royals are.”
Jay Binkley, on the Royals’ up-and-down sorta, kinda, ace, 610 AM

“They tease us! They get really close, they play well and then they tighten up and they play terrible!”
Mike Boddicker, on the Rollercoaster Royals, 810 AM
GH: The Royals are still five games under .500 but they remain just five games behind the White Sox in the ALC. The Royals begin a four-game series in Minnesota Friday night, with a rare day-night doubleheader on Saturday. With the All-Star festivities heating up in two weeks, the Royals face maybe their most critical road-trip of the season. 11 road games against the Twins, Jays and Tigers. Getting to .500 is an almost impossible task before the break but a 7-4 trip would be invigorating. A 4-7 trip would make July all the more uncomfortable around here. It is time for these Royals to make good on their “Our Time” slogan.

“Disappointing. I wish he had more fire. A lot of pitchers that I played with that were battlers, that were gamers, would go in [the dugout] and throw their glove down and throw their hat down and get mad. He just kind of walked in [the dugout on Sunday] and laid it on the bench and sat there. I wish he had a little more fire, a little more determination. Hopefully he will someday, someday in the near future. But right now it’s frustrating watching him pitch.”
George Brett, on the Royals’ Jonathan Sanchez and his last outing against the Cardinals, 610 AM
GH: Brett made the point that he never wanted to make an error when Mark Gubicza was pitching. Brett said Gubicza would turn and glare at any player who booted a ball while he was on the mound. Can you imagine the stones it took for a kid like Gubicza to stare down a future HOFer like Brett? Wish the Royals had some of those kinds of guys on the mound now.

“That’s kind of why I shut [my career] down at the end. I was only going out there for five or six innings. I wasn’t able to do what I’d done [early in my career]. I felt like I was letting my teammates down.”
Bret Saberhagen, 610 AM
GH: Sabes shut himself down doing what the Royals’ starters do now. Times have changed.

“Who do you believe in more; Cassel or Hochevar? … I think Matt Cassel is a much bigger tease than Luke Hochevar.”
Josh Vernier, 610 AM
GH: Vernier is trying hard to fit in here in Kansas City but maybe too hard. Cassel or Hochevar? Is he kidding? Cassel would have to turn into Brodie Croyle to make that comparison work. Vernier also tried to make the point Wednesday that Dayton Moore should not “cave into” trade demands for Jeff Francoeur. Huh? Has this guy spent the last four years in Milwaukee? Oh, right. Well, just don’t broadcast your ignorance about the local teams with such volume.

“It might not be a bad idea.”
Josh Vernier, after a caller suggested they change the name of “The Big Show,” 610 AM
GH: On this Vernier and I agree. The Big Show sounds like they spent all of 10 minutes working up a name. Any suggestions from the Comments section?

“At some point he might want to go to the game and I’ll have to ask him to drop me off.”
Frank White, on his role with Mayor Sly James during All-Star week here in Kansas City, 810 AM
GH: White has not shied away from mentioning he has not and will not step foot back into Kauffman Stadium since his firing by the Royals. I have heard that White can be an ass and I am sure the Royals have their reasons for continuing this public feud. But the Royals cannot win this one in the court of public opinion. They need to patch this wound this week and get Frank back inside that stadium for the All-Star festivities. He has said he would come if the Royals invite him. This is a great opportunity for Dan Glass to show the KC fans he does more than mumble. Make this happen now.

“I don’t see any way that the Royals’ would trade [Wil] Myers.”
Jason Stark, of ESPN, 810 AM
GH: Myers might be the Royals next Carlos Beltran. Why not get him to Minnesota this weekend so he can start playing in meaningful games and help this team win a pennant?

“I like Garza. He’s what I call a ‘three plus.’ I group players in ones, threes and fives.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: How many listeners have even a remote idea what the hell Petro is saying here? This is good radio?

“Got the perfect idea for a Royals T-shirt Tuesday design? Submit your art & you could see it featured on 8/14! atmlb.com/LgMqzz
Kansas City Royals, @Royals, Twitter
GH: Please send your ideas for a T-shirt design to the Royals. The last one I saw was a circle. I think we can do better than that.

“This is Kansas City. This is our time. Ron Washington needs to pick a Royals’ hitter and play him in the game to give him an at bat.”
Todd Leabo, on a Royals’ hitter batting in the All-Star game at The K, 810 AM
GH: I think the Royals will place two players on the AL roster. Unfortunately, one will be their closer, Broxton. The other should be Escobar, Moose and Butler -- in that order.

“Fans came up with [CountryBreakfast], everyone seems to like it, it’s in good fun. Every time I do something good, it comes up on ESPN. Even on the video game, when I homer, they say it. The guys on the team only do it when they’re messing around with me. Guys will call me CB every now and then.”
Billy Butler, when asked his “honest opinion” of his CountryBreakfast nickname, kc.com
GH: If Butler does make the All-Star team and gets into the home-run derby contest, CountryBreakfast is going to stick to him like a sausage and gravy biscuit to a fat man.

“Music is music. It’s timeless. I grew up on the Beatles, Beach Boys, stuff like that. My dad listened to Motown music. It’s what I grew up on.”
Mike Moustakas, when asked by Bob Fescoe why the Royals’ clubhouse was listening to some Fleetwood Mac, 610 AM
GH: I am not sure I could like Moose more.

“I’ve always thought I had what it takes [to make it in the NBA] ever since I was a little kid. This is the only thing I want to focus all my time in. So it better work out because it’s all I got right now. I guess in the next couple of hours we’ll find out.”
Tyshawn Taylor, former KU guard, on his draft status for tonight’s NBA draft, 610 AM
GH: Taylor was a guest on The Big Show Wednesday night and he was his usual amicable self. Read on.

“It’s kind of all over the place. If one of those teams really likes me in the first round… if not – who knows?”
Tyshawn Taylor, on what he is hearing as far as his possible draft spot, 610 AM
GH: Most mock drafts have Taylor going in the early second round, which is also where many project Kim English to go. Marcus Denmon though, is expected to have to sweat out the draft until the late second round…if he is drafted at all. Two rounds makes getting drafted in the NBA a very tough career choice.

“Depending on what the contract looks like, I’m gonna for sure get myself a car. I think I deserve that. My favorite car right now is the Porsche. I like the Porsche Carrera. I’ve been looking at that a lot!”
Tyshawn Taylor, when asked by Jay Binkley what the one thing is he is looking to buy once he signs his NBA contract, 610 AM
GH: A Carrera will set Tyshawn back about $100K. Let’s hope he saves some money for the insurance premiums.

“Once I get comfortable and once I get good, then I’ll talk a little bit. Maybe not to Kobe, though. We all know what happens when you talk to Kobe. He hits you with 81 real quick.”
Tyshawn Taylor, when asked by Josh Vernier if he would be trash talking in the NBA, 610 AM

“Sometimes just because you get drafted it’s not a good thing.”
Will Purdue, when asked about Kim English’s draft stock, 810 AM
GH: Purdue said having the op