Friday, September 4, 2009

Kansas City: Beleagured Sports Town

And I thought my beloved Buffalo was the saddest sports town in America...

While each of Kansas City's three sports teams have won the championship in their respective leagues, it's been years since any of them have been genuine contenders.

The Chiefs (NFL) won the Superbowl in 1969 and have had some impressive teams since, but over the past 10 years have only topped the .500 win percentage 4 times. Over the last two season they have a deplorable 6-28 record. New GM Scott Pioli and Head Coach Todd Haley will try to bring the hardcore New England Patriot mindset and work ethic to the Chiefs, but even if their new approach works, it will take some time. It'll be a long 2009 campaign once again.

The Royals (MLB) won the world series in 1985 and still live in a nostalgic la-la land about that era. The fact is, however, they have consistently gotten worse since that title almost 25 years ago. Despite boasting one of the nicest stadiums in baseball and a relatively loyal fan base (considering) they cry "small market" every year as they find new and creative ways to leave lots of their runners on base and give up ridiculous runs. Since 1995 they have only been over the .500 win percentage mark once. They have lost over 100 games 4 times in the last 5 years and are threatening to do it again this season. Small market teams are at a disadvantage, no doubt, however there is no excuse for the abysmal showing of the Royals these last 10 years.

The Wizards (MLS) won the league title in 2000 and boast the best winning percentage of KC's professional teams over the last 10 years, but barely. MLS has built in parity by way of a stringent salary cap, so few teams finish way over .500. The Wizards have managed to climb over .500 4 of the last 7 seasons and finishing close the other seasons this decade. Nevertheless, the wheels have fallen off this season, it happens that fast in MLS. Curt Onalfo was hired by the new ownership group in 2006 and seemed to be turning things toward a new style and approach that would produce an exciting "attacking style" offense and more wins. Instead the team has fallen flat this year and is on pace to have one of its worse seasons in its history. Onalfo was fired and the Technical Director (GM) Peter Vermes was named interim head coach. It seems like a prelude to his firing as they have lost 3 games under his leadership looking lost, confused, and frustrated.

Recent years have been tough for Kansas City as it relates to sports teams. My biggest fear is we would get a NHL hockey franchise. There's no way it would work here. We couldn't even support an NBA team in a region that is basketball-crazy. We do still have awesome Barbecue, however.


jeff said...

Contrast that with my area, NY/NJ.


no barbecue.

I'd be willing to make a trade perhaps...

Frontier Forest said...

Okay, I’ll give you that one! But Kansas City ranks right up there with the really big cities in drive-by shootings, gang banger beatings and bad drug deals that turn into murders, usually of innocent people. So there, we can be #1 in something!

Frontier Forest said...

O’ I forgot this #1: We have to be #1 in turnovers and replacement of Kansas City School Superintendents, corrupt City Council members, and lest we forget, some of the greatest of the lowest academic scores in the nation.

Rick Calohan said...

I was born in Springfield, Missouri and grew up on the Northeast side of Kansas City, Missouri. Yes I am a Steelers, Celtics, Yankees, and Blues fan. In addition I root for the St Louis Cardinals. Yet when the Chiefs, sorry no NBA team they moved to Sacramento, Royals, sorry no NHL team the Scouts moved to Colorado and later New Jersey do not play my favorite teams I root for them.

The trouble with the Chiefs was that under Carl Peterson the only thing that mattered was putting fans in the stands there was a time believe it or not that getting a ticket to a Chiefs game was easier than to a Royals game.

I am currently 9,000 miles away in Butuan City, Philippines a place that time has forgotten, but I am proud to say I am from Kansas City regardless of how our professional sports teams do. And when my family and I return on September 9th and exit the MCI/KCI terminal I will click my heels three times and say, “There’s no place like home.”