Six for the weekend: Chiefs, Royals, Mizzou, KU, K-State and Sporting
The Kansas City Star
We are absolutely knee-deep in my favorite time of the year in Kansas City. I might be projecting here, because I love the crisp weather, but there just seems to be a different energy around town this time of year. Sometimes that’s even true about the Chiefs.
You have First Fridays tonight, the American Royal all weekend, two good concerts at Grinders … this is the kind of weekend I wish we could just replay 52 times a year.
Also, if the rest of this is a bit disjointed I’m going to blame it on the work we’re having done on the house. Before we bought this house, the Lady gushed about how we really didn’t need to do anything to it. The day we moved in she started insisting that we take out a wall.
So my soundtrack right now sounds like this.
Anyway, I do hope you’ll read this morning’s column on a good player on a bad team with a great inspiration from his older brother.
It’s a busy time so here’s something quick on each major team:
This is a bad weekend for the Chiefs to be in desperate need of a win. I’ll have more about this in Sunday’s column, but the potential swing of the outcome against Baltimore is enormous and has far-reaching consequences. The problem, of course, is that it’s really hard to see how this ends well for the Chiefs.
I did mention this on Twitter, though: the last two times nobody off the payroll gave the Chiefs a chance to win, they beat the Saints and Packers.
But I’m willing to be fooled again.
The big Royals news this week is the firing of hitting coach Kevin Seitzer, and it’s a wildly unpopular move among fans but also very easy to justify.
The offense regressed this year, particularly Eric Hosmer, and as my friend Rany put it, you don’t need anything more than Hosmer’s struggles to justify firing the hitting coach.
Part of the backlash, I think, is perception vs function. It’s easy to read this as the Royals unfairly scapegoating Seitzer for a disappointing season when in reality the biggest problem was starting pitching. But Seitzer’s been around for four years, pitching coach Dave Eiland just one, and coaches tend to have a quick expiration date. I don’t read this as Seitzer being scapegoated nearly as much as I do a recognition that Hosmer’s struggles are an enormous concern and the team is doing everything possible to get that fixed.
Good thing, too, because they’ve got to get this thing moving.
I still think the most Snyder stat ever is when K-State is outgained against a favored team with more NFL talent and still wins, but the fact that KSU has committed eight penalties in four games is also pretty good.
They’re also averaging two turnovers per game on defense, and less than one per game on offense. There is no limit to what they can do if they can keep near these paces.
I won’t ever freak out about college kids smoking pot, but it’s also true that Dorial Green-Beckham and two teammates being caught hot-boxing in the football stadium parking lot is a bad look and the continuation of a mildly troubling trend.
Maty Mouk had a run-in with police, so did some assistant coaches, and of course there is Gary Pinkel’s DUI last season.
The worst on the list is Pinkel’s arrest, of course, not even close, and with everything else it opens the discussion about discipline within the program.
Charlie Weis made the silly decision to criticize the Kansas student newspaper running an illustration calling the football team “road kill” for tomorrow’s game against K-State.
This is a no-win for Charlie. He either looks out of touch for not knowing nobody who’s not on payroll or scholarship thinks KU has a chance, petty for worrying about something relatively few people would’ve known about without him bringing attention to it, a bully for trying to push around some students (while going out of his way to say he has no problem with other criticism), or some combination of all three.
I assume Charlie’s side would be that he’s sticking up for his players, and there’s some value in that, but why not tell the team in the locker room: “Those guys are a-holes, that’s b.s., so let’s go out and show them by beating K-State?”
The only way he wins this is by winning tomorrow in Manhattan, but then, that would’ve been a win for him no matter what.
I present this question about Sporting KC: what is enough? What is disappointment? It’s hard to remember a team in this area building up as much fan goodwill capital as Sporting has these last two seasons, but how should we be looking at their upcoming postseason?
Thrilled that anybody in town is actually in the playoffs?
Disappointed if they don’t reach expectation?