Twitter Tuesday: tragedy, football, baseball trades and a Camaro
The Kansas City Star
Last week, I got frustrated that we ran out of milk. Couldn’t eat cereal. My gorgeous and awesome wife left the beautiful house we bought together and went to pick some up at the store. As I type this, my dog is laying her head on my feet. Oklahoma Joe’s is less than a mile away. The Peanut, maybe just a few steps more. My parents are great. Awesome friends. I love my job. One of my “stresses” right now is finding the right Christmas presents for the people I love.
All of this is an inadequate way of saying my life experience doesn’t allow me to even imagine what the families of Kasandra Perkins and Jovan Belcher are going through now and for the rest of their lives.
I am exceedingly fortunate to be ignorant of their pain^, and to so far never come face-to-face with a man holding a loaded gun to his head and hearing the sound of death. I have eternal respect for how Scott Pioli, Gary Gibbs and especially Romeo Crennel reacted and are navigating through an impossible situation that will presumably leave them changed and scarred forever.
^ That link has some harrowing details. It is terrific reporting by Christine Vendel about the final details of two people’s lives.
I’ve been as hard on Pioli and Crennel this season as just about anyone. Now more than ever, I’m glad I never went personal. No matter what any of us think about the football part of their lives, I think they’ll always have our respect for what they went through in that parking lot — and that goes double for Crennel’s leadership Saturday and Sunday.
Anyway, the rest of this feels at least a little bit silly, but I guess in a lot of ways that’s why we’re here, so this week’s reading recommendation is the Atlantic’s look at out-of-control costs of TV sports. The food recommendation is the steak melt at Happy Gillis, and a bonus food take since I tried Freebird’s the other day: 1. Chipotle, 2. Burrito Bros, 3. Qdoba, 4. Freebirds.
Let’s get to it, and as always, thanks for your help — particularly this week, since I forgot to send the siren call out until 9 pm and you maniacs came through quickly. The night crowd might be where it’s at for this. Sorry, morning people.
@jdplantinga Where to even start? #TwitterTuesday
We’re never going to forget what happened last weekend, even for those of us who don’t count loved ones among those directly impacted. It will be around the franchise forever, a permanent tattoo of sorts, just like the too-soon deaths of Joe Delaney and Derrick Thomas and Jim Tyer^.
^ I’ve written a few times now that what Belcher did is thought to be unprecedented in major professional sports, and some emails have come in saying I must’ve forgotten about Tyer (or Steve McNair, or a few others). But Tyer and McNair were retired, among other differences. What I’m saying is I don’t know of an athlete in major professional sports who’s acted out a murder-suicide, in-season, the day before a game. Maybe I’m missing someone.
The rest of this season, certainly, will be tinted with the memory of what happened. A lot of people are naturally wondering when’s OK to move on, to get back to regularly scheduled fanhood. We’ll get to that.
@the_gingefactor This has to be rock bottom for this organization. We cant really honor the death of a murderer. Where does our org. go from here?
It’s difficult, like I say in the column this morning. I haven’t seen the Chiefs — talking organization here, not players — honor Belcher’s death. The direction comes straight from Clark Hunt, and I’ve been really impressed so far with how they’ve handled it.
They haven’t mentioned his name once in an official statement or action, as far as I can tell. They’ve done their best to keep the focus on Kasandra Perkins, symbolized by the moment of silence being for victims of domestic violence.
There is another side to this, obviously, the one of the players and those who knew Belcher personally. That’s what the column is about, and I do hope you’ll read it.
As far as where the organization goes from here, it’s not a satisfying answer, but the only thing they can do is go one day at a time. Get through now, and worry about later, well, later.
So far, I think everyone involved has done as well as could be expected.
@gabkris72 Does the events over the weekend change Pioli or RAC’s future with Chiefs?
I’m just not ready to seriously think about this. Not yet. Not quite. I don’t know if this tragedy effects their futures. I don’t know if it should. My initial thought is it might for Crennel more than Pioli, just because he’s with the players every day and there should be no underestimating the amount of respect he’s earned — last weekend and before.
I guess I think we’ll all feel differently in a week, or two, or a month. I don’t think Crennel and Pioli would want to keep their jobs based solely on what they lived in that parking lot. I also think what happened there shows something about them, and will be considered in the bigger picture.
But the NFL is a brutal business. If men do their jobs well enough to keep their jobs, well, generally they keep their jobs. If they don’t, they don’t.
@ruby92879 how long will this #Chiefs tragedy quit the masses. If Chiefs lose Sunday are Pioli and Crenel back in crosshairs? #FirePioli
See, this is what I’m talking about. There are four more games left, and I think we all understand that people in the NFL are judged first and second and third on how many games they win.
What happened last weekend won’t be forgotten, but I also don’t think it will drastically change major football decisions.
@CelloJordan Maybe I’m out of line for even asking this, but how soon can we resume criticism of the Chiefs? Not joking; seriously asking. #TT
I understand. You’re not the only one thinking this, obviously, and I’ll tell you this: I think you can criticize them right now.
I think you could criticize them yesterday.
I think the football is always fair game, but maybe this is an extreme reminder about why it’s dangerous to let the criticism leak into the personal.
It’s OK to recognize that the Chiefs have sucked on the field, but that in the last four days have been resilient and inspiring and admirable.
And on that note, let’s take a football question!
@bmalcolm88 SF just benched a better QB than Quinn and Cassel. Do #Chiefs pursue him or risk a dud in the draft? #TwitterTuesday
Well, for at least one more day, I am obligated to point out that Quinn may have had his best day in the NFL on Saturday, on and off the field. He went 19-for-23 for 201 yards and two touchdowns, no interceptions, and all of that stunk compared to what he said afterward.
But, yes, the body of work is underwhelming.
Without knowing specifics, most importantly what it would take to acquire Alex Smith (or Mike Vick, or another veteran who might be available) I’d lean on drafting a guy. I think the Chiefs have tried to make do with other teams’ spare QBs for long enough.
History says there is at least one quarterback in this draft who will be a really good player. It’s the Chiefs’ job to find that guy.
@jeremyneely Great stuff over the weekend. Struggling to find a sports question, I wonder: other favorite bands besides the Black Keys? #TT
Ah, yes, the awkward segue comes from a topic I can’t resist.
Some favorites: TV on the Radio, Citizen Cope, ZZ Ward, Gary Clark Jr, Lupe, The National, Patrick Sweany, Arcade Fire, My Morning Jacket, Plants and Animals, Wale, Hacienda, and Jeff the Brotherhood.
@ojohnson1 With Klein winning the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (Best QB in Nation) what does this mean, if anything, for the Heisman?
I don’t think it means too much. I see them as separate awards, with somewhat different criteria, and with very different selectors.
I still see him as a slight longshot, for a lot of reasons, but I do think he helped himself a bit with the game against Texas.
@ApexToApex Favorite holiday dessert and adult beverage? #OddTwitterTuesdayContribution
The Lady put peppermint M&Ms in little bowls all over the house and I’ve just been going to town on those things. I don’t know if I can call that my favorite dessert, because it’s more like a snack right now so I guess I’d say peppermint bark and now I’m sensing a theme. Your boy can’t turn down peppermint, apparently.
And I don’t get too fancy with my adult beverages. This time of year, I’m all beer, whiskey or scotch.
Make me pick one, and I guess it’s scotch.
@ebelden Are you going to try this year’s Blvd aged in Templeton barrels, or do you prefer to keep your beer and hooch separate?
I, um, well, (pauses for a Google search…)
Yes, I do think I’ll try that. Check back next week, and thank you for your service here.
@fancypantsbeer Costas turned his SNF commentary into political discourse. Is that appropriate or should sports journalists stick to sports? #TT
I thought it was a little out of place, but then, I don’t usually like those commentaries from Costas — who I think is one of the most talented, conscientious and defining broadcasters of this generation.
Costas’ commentary was based on this column by my old colleague Jason Whitlock, an excellent piece even as I disagree with the premise.
But that’s not what you’re asking. You’re asking if sports journalists should stick with sports. And my answer: for most of us and most of the time, yes.
But we’re missing a lot of opportunities if all we do is talk about blitzes and zone defense. Sports can be a powerful metaphor and accessible entry to a lot of otherwise difficult topics. It’s up to the consumer — you — to decide who and what you listen to, but I feel very strongly that we’re all putting silly limitations on ourselves if we decide we can only talk about what happens between the whistles.
@MooreGregarious you’re NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell, how would you have handled the League response to Saturday’s events? #TwitterTuesday
The principals involved wanted to play, so I say let them play. I’m not sure they’d have been better off at home, or wherever, on Sunday than they were sticking with their routine and doing something they love.
I don’t think sports can heal all wounds, but I do think they can be part of a healing process. I do think people’s work and passions can help pull them through dark times.
I guess the only thing I wish would’ve happened is a major statement from the NFL about domestic violence. This was an opportunity for them to spread awareness through the broadcast — like the Chiefs did with the moment of silence before the game — and as far as I know they didn’t. I talked to a league source about this on Saturday, and he said all these things were up to the team.
That’s unsatisfying. The league could’ve used the broadcast as a vehicle, could’ve used its deep resources to make an impact.
@Brad_Fischer if Mizzou played kU in the non-con in KC, who do you think would win? #tt
Would be a fascinating game, because Phil Pressey would drive KU’s backcourt bonkers. He’s unguardable for most in college, but I think that would be especially so for the Jayhawks. On the other hand, like most games, I think Jeff Withey would be a mother–– in the paint, even with Mizzou’s improved size with Alex Oriakhi and Laurence Bowers.
In the end, I think KU would win on defense.
Hate that we won’t find out.
@DnrWnr do you put off your Christmas shopping as long as you do your job? #LastMinuteTwitterTuesday
Ohmygosh yes. But I’m going to try to be better this year. In part, because I have to. Headed to Cleveland this weekend, then my sister’s (in Oakland) next week, and then my mom’s for an early Christmas the week after. So I really need to get this stuff done, like, now.
But I’ll probably get hungry and make a sandwich or something instead.
@jlmacn913 #TT Kansas State vs. Oregon, who do you got?
First: I LOVE this matchup. I adore it. I want to take it out and laugh at its jokes and buy it a beer. This is, no exaggeration, my favorite college football matchup this season.
Three weeks ago, a lot of us thought this would be the national championship game, which, I have to admit, might’ve tested my bladder control.
As it stands, it’s an absolutely fascinating football matchup. Old vs new, strong vs fast, an old coach inescapably tied to his community vs a younger one many think is about to leave for the NFL. A program that hasn’t changed uniforms since the 1980s, against one that would change between possessions if it could.
My concern for Oregon is that their defense might get worn down, with all the pounding from Klein and the rest of the Wildcats. My concern for K-State is that they might have trouble chasing down all that speed, even with a fast defense of their own symbolized by Arthur Brown.
I’ll need to think more about it to give you a prediction you should pay much attention to, but right now I’ll take K-State because I think the Texas game showed they fixed some of their issues from the Baylor loss.
@DDSF now that year one is done, any thoughts on how KU does with Weis in year two?
I have a friend who — believe it or not — is an intense KU football fan. He likes the basketball just fine, too, but honest-to-goodness he’s more of a KU football fan. Anyway, we go back and forth about Weis a lot and I don’t think we’re too far off: he could see Weis failing, but would have to be convinced; I could see Weis succeeding, but would have to be convinced.
Just looking at the record, obviously, Weis was a big F this fall but I don’t think it’s quite that simple. They were competitive in more games, and you have to assume they’ll be better if he can get more of his own guys in there (though it’s worth remembering that this year’s seniors, like Bradley McDougald, were Mark Mangino recruits who came to KU when it was a top 25 program.
But to be honest, I’m not expecting much from Weis next year. Two wins, maybe three. I think a bowl game in year three is a reasonable goal, and it’s just hard to see that happening right now.
@sleepydt #TT Any validity in the claim of co-champion in the B12 by OU? Can’t be co-champ with a team that whooped u, can ya?
Well, the league gives them a trophy so of course there’s SOME validity to it. But it also has the feel of something that should come with orange slices and a pack of Capri Suns.
Because everyone — Bob Stoops and the whole town of Norman included — know that K-State is the Big 12 football champion.
Want to know how I know that?
Because a year ago, Oklahoma was in K-State’s position and OSU was in OU’s position and Stoops said “there will be one (champion), that’s just how I see it.”
@T_Kohn With the UK home loss, KU now shares the longest home winning streak with Syracuse. How long will this current streak last? #tt
Next year, at least. It’s just hard to find a loss on that home schedule. No offense, but the rest of the Big 12 just isn’t that good.
@jlmacn913 #TT Ben McClemore has the potential to be the best forward for KU since……….?
Let’s not get out of control here. KU had a forward who made consensus All-America last year and went fifth in the draft.
Maybe a different McLemore question…
@BenJamminField will Ben McLemore stick around KU for longer than a year? #twittertuesday
I don’t think so. The kid is the definition of an NBA prospect. He wouldn’t be a “traditional” one-and-done guy, either, because he was on campus and practiced the second semester last year.
Depending on where you look, McLemore is projected to go toward the top of the draft and it’s just hard to expect a guy to turn that kind of opportunity down.
@tigerdan4 Can you think of a more cursed fanbase anywhere than people who are #Chiefs, #Royals, and #Mizzou fans? #TwitterTuesday
@royals_psi how about eagles, sixers, and penn state fans?
But you guys have the Phillies. So shut it.
@jlmacn913 #TT in which scenario do you trade a player like Wil Meyers?
If he could bring back a guy who’d be the Royals opening day starter in 2013, and under contract for at least three years, and this was the only possible way … I’d do it.
Myers’ trade value will probably never be higher, or at least won’t be until and unless he makes multiple All-Star games. If you’re going to flip him, now’s the time, and keep in mind he might be a bust. None of us really know. Look at the career arcs of former uber-prospects Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer for unexpected turns.
@pchpaman Riddle: The Royal’s manager says Luke Hochevar will ‘turn the corner’ this season. What year is it?
That story is getting so old, sometimes it feels like they’re just screwing with all of us, always talking about his “great stuff.”
It’s been said a million times, but…
Batters vs Hochevar with nobody on base: .252/.313/.425
With runners on base: .304/.372/.480
With runners in scoring position: .315/.388/.504
@EvanUebe Sammy. Tell me a lie. Convince me the Royals are going to sign Zach Greinke. Let me live in an alternate universe for 10 seconds.
Yes, of course they’ll sign Greinke!
Has it been 10 seconds yet?
The Royals have only a slightly better chance of signing Greinke than Kansas City has of landing an NBA or NHL team.
@smileyksus Will the Royals make a substantial signing/trade this week at Winter meetings?
Yes, I really believe this. Their opening day starting pitcher is, right now, a free agent or on someone else’s roster.
If he’s not, this whole thing is built much more on hope than it needs to be.
@RealJEllis you’re an AD and you can hire Snyder or Self in their prime, and guaranteed they stay 10 years, who ya got? #TwitterTuesday
Wow, two completely different styles, different men, different talents, and different situations. Both are among the best five in the country at what they do, and any AD would make a career out of hiring either.
I’m not sure if this answers your question, but: what Snyder has done at K-State is more impressive than what Self has done at KU, national title and all.
@kcroyalsfann #TT My wife says if I buy a new 2013 Camaro she will divorce me. Better make sure it’s a V8 then, right?
Hate to say it, buddy. But I’m with your wife on this.