This column has been declared pandemic free. Honestly, I cannot take it anymore. If you came here for pandemics, protests, or anything related, you have turned to the wrong page. Keep turning. Let us get on to some important matters that are slightly less depressing.
Patrick Mahomes has been like a gift from God to the Kansas City sports and entertainment world. He is the biggest national/world star that Kansas City has ever had. No disrespect to George Brett or Tom Watson but they were never in the same stratosphere that this kid has already entered. He not only seems good at playing the football, he is rather good at life in general. Says all the right things, supports the local community and seems to have made Kansas City his home. Local sports fans could not ask for much more.
But what if we did get greedy? Is it possible that Patrick could have a neighbor with a similar skill set on and off the field? We can dream. The lack of a baseball season to date has clouded the fact that this is the first year for Bobby Witt Jr. in the Royals organization. Like Mahomes, Witt is the son of a former major leaguer. He has grown up around professional athletes and might have the same moxie that comes with that experience. His draft bonus was near $8 million bucks which is one of the largest since 2011 and he is still a teenager. He is still young enough that he can’t legally spend his earnings picking up a bar tab. Speaking of his birthday, it is this Sunday, in case you are like me and creepy that way.
Anyway, it’s within the realm of possibilities that Kansas City could have young, rich, nationally recognized stars for both major sports franchises at the Truman Sports Complex, at the same time. How cool would that be?
A New York Times opinion editor resigned over a Sen. Tom Cotton editorial that called for a show of force against lawbreakers during protests. As promised, I am not touching protests, but I have found the newspaper issues to be interesting. The Philadelphia Inquirer top editor also resigned over a headline about civil unrest and closer to home the St. Joseph News Press issued an apology last week over an editorial cartoon.
America needs to make up their minds about newspapers. Either they matter or they don’t. Obviously, I think they do. But the longer major newspapers run away from their editorial opinions the quicker they erode their own credibility. How can opinions and ideas that are on every single social media platform be “out of bounds” for newspapers? They cannot, and newspapers that bend to pressure to apologize and fire people over opinion erodes their credibility and impact; even when those opinions and content are abhorrent and repugnant to some. It is the backbone of the industry and large newspapers that fed at the trough of no competition for information dissemination have had trouble understanding that. They would like to go back to pages of classified advertising and having the only voice in a community. Those days are gone.
The positive note is that people still care enough about what newspapers say to call for apologies and firings. The bad news is that corporate newspapers are way too eager to give in to the masses.
(Guy Speckman can be reached at email@example.com or dreaming of dual sports stars for Kansas City)