Thursday, March 31, 2011

Royals Home Opener 2011 at the K in Kansas City

Oh, say, can you see...all of the awesome new BARS that
we put in!  Don't watch the game - get drunk!
The Kansas City Royals held their Home Opener for their 2011 Season Today at the K
by Kansas City News

Well, once again it's time for adult "ditch day" at the K.  Thousands of Kansas Citians thought up good excuses to take personal days to head out to the old ballpark to watch our pathetic Royals take the field with the equivalent of minor league players at best.  The Kansas City Royals were promptly pummeled by The Los Angeles Angles 4-2.  We decided not to go this year because last year's home opener just had too many negative experiences including the hilarious bathroom situation (two urinals, 2 stalls), and the nearly impossible task of obtaining a friggin' beer.

Former Royals player Mike Sweeney was on hand to throw out the first pitch today and recalled his playing days with The Royals:

“Believe it or not, I was thrown in as a defensive replacement. They thought I was a pretty good catcher back then,” Sweeney recalled. “Paul Molitor hit a chopper down the third-base line and I threw a ball up the first-base line and made an error. And I got fined in Kangaroo Court for having more Major League errors than hits.”  At that point, Sweeney turned to his young son, Michael, and asked him if he wanted to be a Major League player. “Yes,” the boy replied.  Sweeney said, despite the error, his first game was special. “It was all you dream of and more,” he said.

It's not surprising to anyone that the Kansas City Royals are one of the worst teams in baseball.  The entire TEAM in Kansas City makes just under what ONE PLAYER makes for the Yankees.  The Royals entire salary total for 2011 = $36.1 Million.  Alex Rodriguez will make $32 Million in 2011.

When asked about this seriously lopsided salary situation Royals general manager Dayton Moore said “I’m not worried that it’s too low, I look at it as something that gives us tremendous flexibility going forward as an organization to be competitive as we negotiate for players.”  Yeah, OK, whatever.  I think the Royal's money goes into the same sort of pot that the Chiefs money goes into - right back into the owners pocket.  Neither the Royals nor the Chiefs have any plans to spend any serious money on players in the future, why do you think that they turned both stadiums into virtual BARS.

Royals Season Starts Today

The Kansas City Royals' 2011 season officially begins this afternoon against the Los Angeles Angels. It is opening day at the K, where players and fans alike can look forward to the promise a new season brings.

Kansas City has a new opening day starter after Cy Young winner Zack Greinke was traded to the Brewers this offseason. Luke Hochevar gets the start for the Royals, and Kansas City fans never know what to expect from its former first-overall draft pick. Hochevar is as up and down as they come, but many feel he could be poised to finally break out and live up to his draft status and contract.

Recently, Kansas City turned heads as the Royals' minor league system was rated as the best in league history by Baseball America. Most fans feel this season will be another disaster in terms of wins and losses, and I would agree. The Royals are at least a year away from being able to compete for the division, but it should be fun watching the team grow.

Painter Will Stay at Purdue, Mizzou's Search Goes On

Matt Painter was in an enviable position yesterday. He had two big time athletic programs basically bidding for his services. The day ended with him staying put at his alma mater with a sweet half a million dollar raise and eight more years on his contract.

This after a full court press from Missouri Athletic Director Mike Alden, who flew to Florida to meet with Painter who was vacationing there. The Missouri AD reportedly offered north of $2 million/year, but ultimately Painter wanted to stay at the school he played at, Purdue University.

Missouri fans were all a "twitter" yesterday as a report came out of St Louis that Painter would be accepting Missouri's offer. After news that he would stay at Purdue was announced, Mizzou fans felt that familiar punched in the gut feeling. With years of athletic disappointments in the past, most Mizzou fans, I'm sure, could feel it coming. I know I did. Alden went from hero to zero on Mizzou message board Tigerboard.

Mike Alden, the search goes on. There are still good candidates available, two of which are in this year's Final Four - VCU coach Shaka Smart, and Butler Coach Brad Stevens. Anything less than a Home Run hire could be trouble for Mike Alden - I don't think fans will stand for an unproven mid major coach this time around. I would also suggest to Mr Alden to do everything in his power to keep information out of the hands of the media. That can blow a potential deal in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Kansas City Kansas School District Will Layoff More Workers

Financial woes continue for Kansas School Districts in the wake of more state budget cuts to education. The Kansas City, KS School District will layoff more employees starting next week.

Superintendent Cynthia Lane told Board members at a special meeting that the district would have to cut $6.7 million for the 2011-12 academic year. At budget meetings in the past, the Board and Superintendent had pledged not to cut teacher jobs. They made no such promise this time around. Possible cuts would include smaller class sizes (laying off teachers), reductions in busing, Driver's education elimination, and pay cuts for remaining workers. The district may face further budget problems because of reduced valuation of property in the district that leads to lower actual tax revenue. That could force another $2 million in cuts.

Similar budget problems have been faced throughout the state, including a much publicized district downsizing in the Shawnee Mission School District. These are the truths of the times we live in. We all have to suck it up and tighten the belt until better times are upon us. Many industries have cut back as we know, and now it's time for Governments and School Districts to do the same.

Purdue Coach Matt Painter Meets with Missouri

It has now been made official that Purdue coach Matt Painter is meeting with Missouri's athletic department to discuss the open mens' basketball coach vacancy. Painter was expected to have met with Missouri officials sometime yesterday in Florida, where his family is currently on vacation.

In response to this news, Purdue is now issuing statements that they will do everything in their power to keep Painter. One would think it wouldn't be that hard. Painter is from Indiana, played at Purdue under legendary coach Gene Keady, and is already in his dream job. Why exactly would he want to leave?

The simple answer is money. Painter feels like he isn't being given enough for his services as well as the necessary resources to hire good assistants. Painter currently makes about 1.3 million a year in base salary, and Missouri is thought to be offering a seven year deal worth $14 million.

Overall, this feels like a reach on Mizzou's part. Most insiders expect Painter to stay if Purdue's counter offer is good enough, and I would agree. Painter is likely using Missouri to get a better offer from Purdue, and so far it appears this is working. Credit Missouri Athletic Director Mike Alden for going after the best possible candidate (and trying to avoid another Quin Snyder hire), but it appears Painter might be too hard to get.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

UFO Sightings Kansas City - New Kansas City News

UFO Photo by Joe McKay
More Video Cameras / Phones = More Proof of UFO Reality
by Kansas City News

As a firm non-believer in UFOs for most of my adult life, I have recently watched a few great documentaries that have tipped the scales in the other direction.  UFO sitings were always a topic reserved for science fiction geeks and the like, but since the general public now has more access to video and photo equipment in an "on the spot" format (cell phones, etc.) the UFO sitings have been pouring in as of late.

If you haven't seen it already, and you have NetFlix (which is an AWESOME program by the way), then you should definitely check out Dan Aykroyd's documentary on UFOs and how the world will soon be forced to publicly release information about UFOs in order to further our education on this topic...if nothing else, for our own safety.  According to Aykroyd in this documentary, it is only a matter of time before a UFO appears at a large enough gathering of people (rock concert, sporting event, etc) that will witness a UFO sighting together and validate this phenomenon.  The Mexican government released some pretty good videos of a UFO sighting in 2005, and to make the UFO case even stronger many former US astronauts have come forward with UFO encounters that they had while traveling in outer space on various voyages and missions.  Several credited and famous astronauts (among them Gordon Cooper) have claimed that UFOs have "followed" their missions in outer space and an increasing amount of video footage has come out recently proving their statements.  Gordon Cooper claims that a group of UFOs in "military formation" followed one of his flight missions, flying directly next to Cooper's plane and even "immitating" his movements - and then showing off with some of their own moves.  Many believe that the US Government designed the B-52 Stealth Bomber based on their study of documented UFO photos and possibly even recovered wreckage.

Most UFO researchers believe that the US Government has definite proof of the existence of UFOs and possibly even recovered UFO wreckage in storage, hidden from the general public.  I have to believe that these claims are true, and with everyone in the US walking around with video and photo recording devices such as cell phones I believe that UFOs will become a future topic of discussion, at the least.

Retired Players Try To End NFL Lockout

A new twist has emerged in the battle between NFL owners and players that could potentially eliminate next season's lockout. Four retired NFL players, including former Chief’s running back Priest Holmes, filed a federal class action, antitrust lawsuit against the NFL on Monday. These players hope their actions will break the NFL lockout.

One big development in this suit is the inclusion of draft-eligible prospects. College players awaiting next month’s draft are not represented by the union, and therefore cannot be held accountable for its decertification. However, the NFL lockout is affecting these players, and the suit argues that it is rediculous to hold a draft in April and then lockout the players drafted.

The suit appears to be in good hands, as it is led by attorney Michael Hausfeld of the Washington D.C.-based Hausfeld LLC. Hausfeld has a history of winning complicated cases such as this one, and could possible force the NFL owners into a corner. It is good to see that for the time being, there is some hope for an end to the lockout.

Monday, March 28, 2011

VCU Stuns Kansas

Kansas seemed poised to make it back to the Final 4 for the first time since winning the 2008 national championship, crashing the Elite 8 by dominating inferior teams and relying heavily on the offense of Marcus and Markieff Morris. Many people thought KU would walk over 11th seeded Virginia Commonwealth, and later 8th seeded Butler, to another appearance in the national title game.

Unfortunately, the Jayhawks ran into the hottest team in the country, and turned in its worse offensive performance of the season. KU fell to the rams, 71-61, and only has itself to blame. VCU played well, but KU's offensive performance was shocking. The Jayhawks shot 2 for 21 from three point range and 15 of 28 from the free throw line. Unbelievable.

There are two ways to look at this loss - on the positive side, KU was not expected to be much of a factor this season, and the Jayhawks still managed to win its seventh straight Big 12 title and make it to the Elite 8. However, KU may be losing the Morris twins to the NBA, and rumors of Josh Selby jumping to the NBA have lingered all year. If KU returns the twins, it will likely enter the polls next season ranked in the top five yet again and get another title shot in March. Should the twins jump to the NBA, KU will really struggle next year, and will likely be in a full rebuilding mode.

Earnings Tax Vote Next Week in Kansas City

With Kansas City's ultra-boring Mayor's race decided, we now move on to something so much more fun-The Earnings Tax. Next Tuesday, Kansas Citians (at least those who give a shit) will go to the polls to decide the future of the city's earnings tax. Since the 1960's, anyone who lives in or works in Kansas City has paid a portion of their earnings to the city - since 1970 that percentage has been 1%. Doesn't sound like much, but after the Feds, the State, FICA, and insurance get done with you - the last thing you need is the City feeding at your teet as well. Supporters of continuing the E-tax cite the loss of $200 million in funding for the city and devastation it would cause. It certainly would not be easy, but neither is living on half of what I used to make. Many, many households are getting by with less, and there is no reason why the city can't as well. There are roughly 25 cities in the country that currently have earnings taxes - how do all the other cities survive? Scare tactics used by the pro tax side may well work, though. They claim the city will lay off Police and Fire, and streets will go unrepaired. Well, that's the job of the city leaders - they need to figure it out.

Really in the end, fairness is not the issue. It's just the right thing for the city to do. It will promote new residents and businesses. I can tell you from personal experience as someone who left Kansas City after living there my entire life until age 32 that the E-Tax was a strong consideration to my leaving. I do not work or live in Kansas City anymore, so I really don't have a dog in this fight (my apologies to Michael Vick), but I do want what is best for the city and defeating the E-tax would be best in the long term.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kansas vs. Richmond Preview

After losses by many top seeds, including the defending champion Duke Blue Devils, many college basketball pundits now think Kansas has a cakewalk to the Final 4 and possibly the national title game. First, the Jayhawks will have to get by Richmond, who crashed the Sweet 16 with an upset over Vanderbilt and a beatdown over Morehead State.

While the Spiders have been playing well recently, Richmond has the profile on your average talented mid-major team - they have lost to most of the good teams they have faced and taken care of business in a weak league. Thats not to say this team lacks talent - senior forward Justin Harper is very dangerous and guard Kevin Anderson is a big-time player as well. If both play well, Richmond will go toe-to-toe with the Jayhawks and this one could come down to the last possession. However, if Richmond's star duo struggle, KU will likely walk.

The Jayhawks have been very business-like this tournament, playing steady defense and relying on the Morris twins for offense. The team continues to get consistent play from point guard Tyshawn Taylor, and the Morris twins are on a roll. The Jayhawks have yet to get scoring from its other guards, and tonight seems like the perfect opportunity for Tyrel Reed to knock down some threes and get his shot back. It'll be closer than some experts think, but expect KU to wear down Richmond and advance to the Elite 8.

Toy Story 3 on Ice at Sprint Center This Weekend

Woody, Buzz, and all their friends are appearing at the Sprint Center this weekend. Toy Story 3 on Ice opened Wednesday night and continues through Sunday with 2 shows each day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Good tickets are still available at Ticketmaster, or as I suggest, avoid the fees and go to the Sprint Center box office.

I attended Thursday night's show with my four year old daughter. Luckily, the crowd was not too large - getting concessions and finding our seats was a breeze. Also, there was no line for the men's restroom like there was at the women's - no surprise at a children's event. I was surprised to notice that beer was served during a kid's show, although as old and grouchy as I am it probably would have improved my mood. I ordered a $4 bottled water at the concession stand and was told I could not have the cap!?! Apparently a water bottle cap can be used as a weapon - Of course the three year old sitting in front of me had a 2-foot long plastic sword that flew towards my face every 3 minutes, and that was OK.

Anyway, as far as the show goes, it was actually quite good. The scenes were short and varied enough to keep a small child's attention for the nearly 2-hour (including intermission) show. My daughter was excited every time a new character appeared on the ice - many even dropped in from overhead. Some of the highlights include the Army men number near the beginning of the program, and my daughter REALLY liked the Barbies.

The kids really seemed to enjoy the show , and that's what's important anyway. The tickets are reasonably priced, and if you can stomach the ludicrously priced food and toys ($22 for a Buzz Lightyear Spinning toy) - or you can avoid buying any of these items - I recommend taking your little one to Toy Story 3 on Ice.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mike Anderson Leaves Mizzou - Not As Significant As You Think

Many Missouri fans are up in arms after the news that head coach Mike Anderson will leave the program to coach the Arkansas Razorbacks. However, they really aren't losing that much. Anderson is a good guy, but in the end he is a system coach, and this season proved that he will never be able to get Mizzou to the top.

Missouri needed someone to clean up the program after the Quin Snyder debacle, and the coach has run a tight ship. In the end though, it is all about wins, and Anderson never really had a real memorable season apart from the 2008 campaign where the Tigers went 12-4 and made an Elite 8 run. Missouri has still never made a Final 4 in its program's history (which is simply embarrassing), and Anderson and Snyder both had an Elite 8 run.

Just for kicks, lets compare the two coaches:

(Big 12 record, then postseason finish)

Snyder Years:

2000 – 10-6 NCAA first round

2001 – 9-7 NCAA second round

2002 – 9-7 NCAA Elite 8

2003 – 9-7 NIT

2004 – 7-9 NIT

2005 – 3-7

Mike Anderson:

2006 – 7-9

2007 – 6-10

2008 – 12-4, Elite 8

2009 – 10-6, NCAA second round

2010 – 8-8, NCAA first round

Snyder had success when the Big 12 was at its competitive peak - Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State all crashed Final 4's and Iowa State was a dangerous team as well. I will give Anderson credit for cleaning up the program, but in the end, he hasn't really been anything special. However, there aren't a lot of sexy coaching picks out there this offseason, so Mizzou might make a coaching hire mistake, something like hiring Quin Snyder over Bill Self. Ouch.

Mike Anderson Leaves Missouri for Arkansas

Mike Anderson should brush up on his SOOOUY pig call, or whatever it is those rednecks down in Arkansas yell at Razorback games. Wednesday night Coach Anderson announced his decision to leave the University of Missouri to rejoin the Arkansas Razorbacks program he was a part of for 17 years. The decision was not a shock in this age of coaching carousel that is college sports especially taking into account the years he spent there as an assistant to Nolan Richardson.

The only thing a little surprising is that less than a week ago Anderson reiterated that he was Missouri's coach and planned to "retire here". I always though Coach Anderson was an honorable man, but I guess, like most men, his honor only goes so far. I can say I appreciate the coach's efforts in bringing Missouri back to respectability, but as for wishing him luck in Arkansas? I'll pass. I hope he loses, a lot. I hope Arkansas regrets paying him $2.2 million per year. Oh well, good riddance.

Now let's look to the future. This could be a great opportunity for Missouri to make a great hire. Some possible candidates?

Cuonzo Martin - currently the Head Coach at Missouri State -played collegiately at Purdue and several seasons in the NBA. Grew up in East St Louis. Never been to an NCAA tournament as a coach, but is a rising star. Would probably accept if offered.

Brad Stevens - Currently coaching at Butler. Went to the NCAA championship game last year. Missouri would take him in a heartbeat, but he probably would not leave Butler, even for more money. He stated this when he was being courted last off season, he is a man of character and will probably stand by his word.

Gregg Marshall - Currently coaching at Wichita State. In the Final FOur of the NIT this year. Another up and coming coach who would probably come to Missouri if offered.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sly James is Kansas City's New Mayor

Sly James is the new mayor of Kansas City. He defeated Mike Burke by about 6,000 votes - His victory margin was particularly large in Jackson County. Turnout was a paltry 21% - about what was expected. The friendly nature of the race might have hurt turnout, or general voter apathy is a likely reason as well. It was better than the 15% turnout for the primary, however.

Though he has never been elected to political office before, James won over voters with his likable personality and his portrayal as a political outsider. He is a successful lawyer with a knack for leadership, having served as President of the Kansas City Bar Association. He had endorsements form local labor unions and hispanic organizations, as well as the Kansas City Star (whatever that was worth). Mike Burke, his opponent, was endorsed by "three former mayors", as he would tell anyone that listened - in fact, that seemed to be the only thing he said during the campaign. Congratulations Sly James, and good luck figuring out the Kansas City budget without the e-tax that will soon be defeated.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

NFL Owners OK New Rule Changes

The NFL owners have passes several new rule changes that will take place whenever we have football again. Out of the five proposals that were voted upon by the owners, four ended up passing, meaning fans will see a slightly different game in 2011 (hopefully).

The first rule passed, and the most significant change, was moving the kickoff spot to the 35 yard line. This was done largely as a safety measure, however it has drawn a strong opposition from some of the NFL's most dangerous return men. While I understand the NFL is trying to improve safety, this new rule almost eliminates big returns, some of the most thrilling and game changing opportunities in the sport. Strong-legged kickers will be able to boot touchbacks with ease. The NFL also debated moving the starting position after a touchback to the 25 yard line, however this failed to pass.

The other major rule change is instant replay - now the booth official will have to confirm all scoring plays and will review other plays as well. This is similar to college's instant replay system, and allows coaches of visiting teams a more level playing ground (replays that would benefit opposing teams are usually not shown during games in the stadium).

So in the end, the NFL got the replay rule correct, but failed in its attempt to better player safety. The league needs to find ways to keep its players safe without dramatically altering the game, which is what it is doing with the new kickoff rules.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Kansas Last Big 12 Team Standing in Sweet 16

Kansas State coach Frank Martin recently commented that the Big 12 was disrespected by the media as well as the general public after Colorado was snubbed from the NCAA tournament. I thought Martin had a valid point, until the smoke cleared in the NCAA tournament and Kansas was the only team left standing.

To get here, the Jayhawks simply took care of business, playing average basketball and being the better team. The scary thing is KU has played nowhere near its best; in its win over Illinois, the Morris twins almost single handily beat the Illini and buried the memory of the Northern Iowa upset for good. If KU's guards start hitting outside shots and the Morris twins continue to play at a high level, the Jayhawks should take advantage of its favorable draw and make it back to the Final 4.

The problem for the Big 12 is once again, Kansas is the only team making any noise on a national level. The league needs sustained success from other programs to be credible, not a few flashes in the pan. Last year, K-State and Baylor both had strong Big 12 finishes and made the Elite 8 before falling to the two teams that made the final. This season, the Wildcats entered the tournament as a 5 seed and lost in the second round, while Baylor isn't even found in the NIT. Despite some regular season success, Texas once again fell short in the NCAA tournament, while Texas A&M and Missouri got bounced in the first round. KU's seven straight Big 12 titles doesn't help the Big 12's reputation as a one team league, despite the talent level the conference boasts. With the new, tougher league next year and coaches like Billy Gillispie entering the fray (or re-entering in Gillispie's case), the Big 12 could be the best conference in America. Hopefully America will notice.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Omar Bravo Scores 2 Goals in Sporting KC Opener

Omar Bravo introduced himself to Kansas City Soccer fans last night with two goals in the season opener in Los Angeles against Chivas USA. The 31 year old Mexican Striker was brought to Sporting Kansas City in the off season to help a club who struggled to score goals last season. Bravo has been a standout for years with Mexican club Guadalajara. Sporting went on to beat Chivas 3-2.

Beating Chivas USA may not be a monumental feat (they are the worst team in the league working under a completely new system for this season), but opening the season with a road victory is important, especially seeing as how Sporting is playing nothing but road games until June when their new stadium opens.

Starting the scoring for Sporting was newcomer C J Sapong with a goal in the game's second minute. Sapong was Sporting's first round draft pick on the off season. He is an up and coming American forward who played his college soccer at James Madison University.

While it seems the offense is in high gear, it's a little troubling to give up two goals to a Chivas team who has struggled to score goals and will continue to struggle. But lets not focus on the bad and enjoy a victory to start 2011 MLS Season. Sporting is next in action on Saturday the 26th in Chicago.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Japanese Do Not Respect Americans

Before we go chucking millions of relief dollars out of America...
by Kansas City News

It seems that even though America is completely broke and in a crippling depression, we have found yet another way to throw our money out the window.  Before the tsunami hit Japan, most Americans were trying to find a way to keep American dollars in America.  We were questioning the validity of budget spending for things that we should put off for the future such as space exploration and other worthless spending endeavors.  Most of us were tired of feeding and educating the children in Africa - ANNOUNCEMENT TO THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES LIKE AFRICA:  If your country is poor and there is no food or money, DON'T FUCKING HAVE CHILDREN!  Instead of sending money over there to feed their 5 or 6 children per family, we should send over some of our experienced college students to show the males how to "pull out" during sex.  That would put an end to that problem.  But I digress, the situation in Japan, and the fact that Americans are once again chucking money out of our country bothers me for a few very good reasons:

The Japanese do not like, or respect Americans - period.  Now this is no surprise as very few countries (or maybe no countries) respect America, but let's take a look at a cold hard fact about the Japanese and what they think about Americans - ponder this one before you send money over to Japan:

It is considered SHAMEFUL for a Japanese woman to marry an American.  Most Japanese families will disown a daughter who marries an American.  Now what does this tell us about what the Japanese think of us?

I Don't want to harp on this subject for long, and if it makes you feel better about yourself by sending money to Japan, then do so if you must.  This feeling of self worth is probably similar to attending church on Sunday, you figure since you attend church every once in awhile that you are somehow a better person, which is only the case if you are a good person outside of the church, which is not the case for most people.  Sending money out into a void where you're not even sure what it is being used for is just senseless, and you're most likely doing it just to make yourself feel better.

Remember that the Japanese do not respect us in the slightest degree, just as most countries don't.  I'm not trying to "hate" on the Japanese, I'm simply saying that we have an economic crisis right here at home and we can't afford to send money to these other countries who don't even really like us in the first place.  C'Mon people!  We need to get tough over here.

Friday, March 18, 2011

St Patrick's Day DUI Checkpoint in Kansas City Yields Arrests

According to the Kansas City Police Department's website, Alcohol is related to 63% of the city's traffic deaths in 2010. While that figure is alarming, it might be more alarming that the other 37% of the time everyone involved was sober - that just goes to show that people can't drive whether they have been drinking or not. But seriously, the KCMO Police has a new weapon in the battle against the drunken driver. The new mobile DWI enforcement center was unveiled this week, and what better way to christen their new toy than with a St Paddy's Day Party on Southwest Trafficway!

The state of the art vehicle was paid for with a US Government grant. The cost was nearly $400,000. The previous command post was a modified RV that was nearly a quarter century old. Up to five suspects can be processed at one time, breath tests administered, and computer links to Police Headquarters.

Police made 41 arrests in their Westport checkpoint on Thursday night. More than 800 vehicles were stopped. One arrest was made for assault on a Police Officer, three for possession of marijuana, and numerous persons arrested on various warrants. Though I am not usually a proponent of DUI checkpoints, if you were stupid enough to be driving drunk near Westport on St Patrick's Day, you deserve to be arrested - and made fun of. Enjoy your thousands of dollars in fines and fees!

NCAA Tournament Has Begun

Yesterday was one of the most thrilling starts to the NCAA Tournament ever, with buzzer beaters deciding seemingly every game and plenty of upsets. In the Big 12, results were mixed - Missouri predictably got mauled by Cincinnati while Kansas State pulled out a tough win against Utah State. The results were predictable, as most fans and experts expected Missouri to continue to play terrible basketball and KState to be tested by the Aggies. Up next for the Wildcats is a tough Wisconsin team.

Today, three Big 12 teams are in action, including President Obama's pick to win it all:

(1) Kansas vs. (16) Boston University - 5:50 p.m.

We all know the story here - No 16 seed has ever won a first round matchup (although it has been close to happening a few times). The Terriers have nothing inside to match up with the Morris twins and Thomas Robinson. The Northern Iowa loss still lingers in the minds of the Jayhawks, and this one should be ugly.

(4) Texas vs. (13) Oakland - 11:15 a.m.

Oakland has played some talented teams this year, and appears to have some weapons that could give the Longhorns trouble. Texas appears to be too deep and talented to fall to the Grizzlies, however I could see this one being a lot closer than most think. The Longhorns appear to have the talent to make a deep run, however their history under Rick Barnes suggest an early exit is more likely.

(7) Texas A&M vs. (10) Florida State - 3:10 p.m.

This team features two teams that hang their hat on tough, physical defense. Florida State struggles to score at times, but has a few big wins this season. This should be a low scoring, defensive affair which could come down to the last shot.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Today's Big 12 NCAA Tournament Games

Despite Colorado's NCAA snub, the Big 12 still has five teams who are ready to make a run at the Final 4. Only Missouri and KState are in action today, where the Tigers will try to turn its season around while the Wildcats try to avoid an upset.

(11) Missouri vs. (6) Cincinnati - 8:50 p.m.

The Bearcats are back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in six years, and face a Mizzou team that hasn't played well lately. The Tigers closed their regular season with four straight losses, barely got by lowly Texas Tech in the Big 12 tournament, and then got creamed by Texas A&M. It is hard to turn around a late season tailspin, but Missouri has some talent. One has to wonder if the rumors of Mike Anderson going to Arkansas are having any affect on Missouri, or if the team's psyche is hurt from so many late season losses. Cincinnati is well seasoned from battling tough Big East teams all season, and is as predictable as they come. The Bearcats have lost to most of the highly ranked teams they have faced, and beaten everyone they should have beaten. They don't score a lot or push the tempo, so this could make for an interesting matchup of contrasting styles.

(12) Utah State vs. (5) Kansas State - 8:57 p.m.

Kansas State is happy to be in the tournament after its horrible start to Big 12 play made us all wonder what happened to the Wildcats from last season. Now KState gets a ticked off Utah State team who felt it should have a better seed. This will be a tough one for KSU; the Aggies have only three losses on the year, and two of those were to solid opponents (BYU and Georgetown). KState will need to use its athleticism to force some turnovers and get out in transition, or they could be heading home early.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sporting KC Could Benefit From Chad Ochocinco

It has now been confirmed that NFL star Chad Ochocinco will be trying out for Sporting KC. Never one to shy away from the spotlight, many soccer fans are simply waving this off as yet another publicity stunt from the talented and outspoken wideout. While joining a soccer team would no doubt be a lot of fun for Chad, who has mentioned that it has always been his dream to try out for an MLS team, would it benefit Sporting KC?

It might be a crazy idea, but this could actually have a lot of benefits for Kansas City's soccer team. Look at the stir David Beckham caused when he joined MLS - both casual and die hard soccer fans across the country turned out in droves to catch a glimpse at one of the world's most recognizable athletes. Only San Jose had a lower attendance rate than Sporting KC in 2010. You wouldn't tell me the possibility of seeing Ochocinco in the game, as remote as it might be, wouldn't sell tickets?

Imagine all the buzz about the signing on ESPN, sports channels cutting to Sporting KC games anytime Ochocinco enters a game. If you think this is an exaggeration, clearly you haven't tuned into ESPN during a Brett Favre retirement saga or if an athlete or team is close to a record. The media eat this guy up, and Kansas City could reap a lot of the benefits.

I'm not saying sign Ochocinco to a huge contract and insert him in the starting lineup. However, there are plenty of times where KC could insert him in a game and not sacrifice anything in the process. Start with the preseason - Sporting KC played 12 preseason games last season. These games don't mean anything, play him some then. Let him make some cameos in regular season games that have already been decided. It might be crazy, but signing Ochocinco could be a huge cash cow for Sporting KC and the city in general. Why not take a chance?

Chad Ochocinco to Try Out for Sporting KC

In an odd bit of news today, Peter Vermes (Sporting KC's Head Coach) announced the Chad Ochocinco of NFL Wide Receiver Fame has been given a tryout with the Kansas City Soccer Club. He will be on 4 day trial starting next Tuesday. Chad has always had an interest in Soccer from age 4, he says. The NFL lockout will give him the opportunity to pursue a "lifelong dream to play Major League Soccer".

Chad is obviously a world class athlete who could probably excel in a number of sports and this seems to be a serious tryout, though one could have doubts with Ochocinco's past antics. He certainly will be missing the attention if the NFL season is indeed canceled for the upcoming year.

In other soccer news, tickets went on sale today for the upcoming Men's National Soccer team Gold Cup game against Guadeloupe. This game will be played at Sporting KC's new stadium, LIVESTRONG Park. The US game will be preceded by Canada vs Panama.

Kansas Legislature Defeats Prescription Cold Medicine Bill

The Kansas Legislature killed a bill in committee that would have required a prescription for the decongestant pseudoephedrine. Missouri is currently is considering a similar law. The chemical, which is the active ingredient in medications like Sudafed and Actifed, is used in the illegal manufacture of Methamphetamine. Some lawmakers would like to limit the availability of the drug to help in their fight against Meth, but others say making the medication prescription would put a burden on all people by making a costly and inconvenient trip to the doctor a prerequisite for using a safe and effective treatment for the common cold.

Currently, anyone purchasing medications containing pseudoephedrine have to provide an ID and purchases are logged in a database with info kept for two years. The system is real time and is designed to keep a "smurfer" as they are called from going from pharmacy to pharmacy buying small amounts of the substance.

The two states (Oregon and Mississippi) that currently have prescription pseudoephedrine laws on the books have reported a substantial decrease in Meth production. Laws like this can work, but we have to decide as a society if we are going to give up our rights to help fight the insidious Meth epidemic around the nation. I, personally am not in favor of these kinds of laws. I always stand on the side of more liberty, not less - but I do understand the other side. Meth is a horrible, horrible drug that truly destroys lives.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sizing up Bill Self's Successes and Failures

Being a KU fan, I have nothing but respect and admiration for Bill Self. I am grateful that he is the coach of my alma mater and wouldn't trade him for any other coach in America. However, last year's loss to Northern Iowa still stings. This year's tournament could go a long way in shaping Self's present legacy.

Self's success can be hard to define. Apart from his first season, KU has won at least a share of the Big 12 title every year he has been coach, and pretty much dominated the league. However, during that span Self's teams have made only one Final 4, where they beat North Carolina and later Memphis to win the national title.

It is still early, but how do we look at Self? A good coach who, apart from one magical run, always falls short? This criticism seems unfair. Self's teams are almost always one of the tops seeds in the NCAA tournament, and no team is going to crash the Final 4 every year. As a result, KU has been given a "choker" label mostly due to its regular season dominance. However, the tournament results have been a little disappointing. Taking away the national title run, here is how the Jayhawks have done in the tournament:

2004 - 4 seed, Elite 8
2005 - 3 seed, first round
2006 - 4 seed, first round
2007 - 1 seed, Elite 8
2009 - 3 seed, Sweet 16
2010 - 1 seed, second round

The 2004 and 2009 seasons were viewed as successful runs, given that KU had little to no expectations in terms of competing for a championship. While the early exits seem often, lets not forget that every great coach is going to take his lumps. While Roy Williams never lost in the first round in his tenure as KU's coach, his teams lost in the second round five times during his 14 seasons, including three straight from 1998-2000. However, Williams' teams made four Final Fours in his tenure, despite failing to win a national title.

The counter argument to defending Self can be found in Michigan State's Tom Izzo. In Izzo's 15 seasons coaching the Spartans, his teams have six Final 4 appearances. However, like Self, he has one national title.

Does it matter how many times you make a deep run if you ultimately fall short of winning it all? Dean Smith, regarded as one of the greatest coaches in NCAA history, made 11 Final 4's during his 36 year tenure as North Carolina's head coach. His team won the national title twice. A deep run in this year's tournament would help erase some of the bad memories of early exits for KU fans, as necessary or unnecessary as that may be.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Colorado Snubbed from NCAA Tournament

Despite expanding the field to 68 teams and having less tournament-worthy "mid-majors," the NCAA selection committee just committed the biggest NCAA tournament snub in the history of the college basketball. While there are several other teams with arguments as to why they should be in the field, the Colorado Buffaloes have received the worst NCAA snub of all time .

You may not get into all of the math and statistics of college basketball like many college basketball followers, but even the casual fan can see at first glance that Colorado got hosed. The Buffs finished 21-13 overall and 8-8 in the Big 12. Not bad, especially in a tough league that featured five other tournament teams. Colorado beat several teams that not only made the tournament, but are a high seed as well. The Buffs beat Kansas State three times, while knocking off Texas as well. Missouri, who finished with the same Big 12 record as Colorado and had a terrible finish to its season, made the field as an 11 seed. Colorado beat the Tigers as well.

The real crime here is not so much Colorado being left out while less deserving teams such as UAB and VCU get in, it is that fans are going to be robbed of seeing some good basketball. You really think UAB, VCU, or USC can make a deep run in the tournament? The answer is no. If UAB or VCU makes it out of the first round it will then be destroyed in the round of 32. Thats why Colorado's snub is worse than the traditional bubble teams that don't get in - Colorado had a chance to go deep. We aren't comparing two mid-major schools that will both get hammered early. Colorado routinely beat good teams, and also gave league powerhouse Kansas two scares. This isn't your routine bubble punching bag, this is dangerous team from a BCS conference.

A big factor in the selection committee's criteria is the "eye test," or how a team looks simply based on watching their games. How does Colorado not get in based on this alone? Did the committee watch any of the recent games? Doesn't Colorado's third win of the season over KState or the Buffs' single digit loss to Kansas look better than UAB's loss to East Carolina in the Conference USA quarterfinals?

I realize Colorado had a weak non-conference schedule and has dropped some bad games this season. However, it is time for the NCAA tournament to select bubble teams that can do some damage, not serve as a punching bag for the top teams. UAB and VCU have no chance to go deep in this year's field, Colorado did. That is why this isn't your ordinary tournament snub, and hopefully the outrage over this injustice will lead to some changes in regards to how bubble teams are selected to the NCAA tournament.

Mizzou Squeeks into NCAA Tourney with 11 Seed

University of Missouri's Basketball team just barely slipped into this year's field of 68 teams for the NCAA Tournament. They secured an 11 seed in the West region - 11 and 12 seeds are generally reserved for the final at large bids into the tournament. Mizzou will play the Bearcats of Cincinnati University on Thursday night in an 8:50 Central time tip. The game will be played in Washington, DC - kind of ironic seeing as how this is the west region and you can't get much further east than DC.

Missouri was the last of 5 Big 12 team to get in the tournament. Most pundits thought Colorado would make it, but the committee chose UAB and Virginia Commonwealth instead. Strange, since Colorado finished with the same Big 12 record as Missouri with arguably better wins than the Tigers (they beat K-State 3 times) - in the Conference, anyway.

The Bearcats are a decent match up for the Tigers. It should, at the very least, be an entertaining ballgame is you like a fast pace. Cincinnati plays a similar style to Missouri's "40 Minutes of Hell". They both push the ball down the court and like to full court press. The 11 seed is actually a bit of a break for Missouri. Projections had the Tigers in the dreaded 8/9 game where the winner has to face the region's #1 seed. I don't think Cincinnati is markedly better than any 8 or 9 seed in the tournament. The highest seed Missouri could face if they beat Cincinnati is #3 Connecticut - a big step down from any of the #1 seeds.

Also on Sunday, Arkansas officially fired their coach renewing speculation that Coach Anderson could be headed to the University where he was an assistant for 17 years under Nolan Richardson. Coach Anderson reiterated what he said several weeks back that he is a Missouri Tiger and has no plans to leave, he would like to "retire here". I take the man at his word, and hopefully turning down Arkansas will be the end to yearly speculation of his leaving.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Kansas Wins Big 12 Tournament

For the fourth time in the last six years, Kansas and Texas met in the final of the Big 12 Tournament. Once again, Kansas defeated the Longhorns, heading into the NCAA tournament as a one seed with both the Big 12 regular season and Big 12 Tournament titles.

After losing to Texas in the regular season and seeing its 69 home winning streak snapped, the Jayhawks were out for blood in this one. All week, KU players and coaches mentioned that the death of Thomas Robinson's mother was a distraction before the team's last meeting, and this time the outcome would be different. Kansas backed up its talk with one of its best games of the season, torching Texas' defense (one of the nation's best) with a balanced attack.

If KU continues to play at this level, it will coast into the Final 4. However, the Jayhawks have a tendency to lay up at times, and the second round loss to Northern Iowa still lingers in the minds of the Jayhawk faithful. KU should have something to prove this year, which could be trouble for NCAA field.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Unclaimed Property in Missouri - See If You Have Any Money!

Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel wants to give Missourians their money back!
by Kansas City News

According to our State Treasurer, Missouri has opened up the state's largest "lost and found" which contains over $600 million in unclaimed assets (cash) in over 3.5 million Missourian accounts.  The average return is $365 and 1 in 10 Missourians has Unclaimed Property.  Zweifel claims that the Missouri Treasury has returned more than $60 million in unclaimed property to Missourians. 

What is "unclaimed property"?  Well, that's a good question.  When we looked up some of our names it appeared that the unclaimed property was usually somewhere between pennies and $50.00 and the dollar amount is listed next to either your current address or a previous address.  Most people don't even realize that this money is sitting there.

How to Claim Your Unclaimed Property $$
Go to the following website and follow the instructions:

For Kansas Unclaimed Property Visit:

This is NOT a scam - it is an official government website.  This story was also featured on KMBC news by our good friend Larry Moore.

Here is the official definition of "unclaimed property":
Lost, mislaid, and abandoned property are categories of the common law of property which deals with personal property which has left the possession of its rightful owner without having directly entered the possession of another person. Property can be considered lost, mislaid or abandoned depending on the circumstances under which it is found by the next party who obtains its possession. The rights of a finder of such property are determined in part by the status in which it is found. Because these classifications have developed under the ancient and often archaic common law of England, they turn on nuanced distinctions. The general rule attaching to the three types of property may be summarized as: A finder of property acquires no rights in mislaid property, is entitled to possession of lost property against everyone except the true owner, and is entitled to keep abandoned property. This rule varies by jurisdiction

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Kansas Liquor Stores Face Changes in Law

Liquor store owners in Kansas fear a bill in the Kansas Senate will force them to close their doors. For those lucky folks out there who don't frequent the state of Kansas, the liquor laws of the State are quite archaic. Beer (except 3.2%), wine and Liquor can only be sold in Retail Liquor Stores - and those stores can only sell products with alcohol in them - no lottery, cigarettes, mixers, nothing but booze. In fact, some stores, to get around these ridiculous regulations actually have a separate cash register in a different room to sell cigarettes and mixers in. The clerk finishes the liquor transaction and then walks to the other room to do the second transaction - completely idiotic.

Kansas SB 54 is trying to change all the nonsense. Liquor store owners are all twisted about the possibility that the false market for all those small liquor stores in Kansas is about to be squashed. You can't blame them, but it is for the common good of the consumer and the Kansas economy in general. Besides, the Kansas Senate has put in a nice provision to help. The bill stipulates that for 3 years after it goes into effect, there can be no increase in Class C Liquor licenses in the state (A class C license is the only way a store can sell liquor with beer and wine). What this means is that if the Price Chopper next to the little liquor store wants to sell booze, he has to buy the license from a current holder. This should allow the small business owner a way to minimize the damage financially from the law.

The bill also would get rid of the stupid law restricting minors from ringing up beer in a grocery store - how annoying is that. Are you listening Missouri?

The only people opposed to this bill are Liquor Store owners and do-gooder teetotaler types who would outlaw alcohol if they could. This is a good law for Kansas, it will increase tax revenue, jobs, and bring prices down - not to mention reduce inconvenience to the customer.

Big 12 Tournament Underway

The Big 12 Tournament is officially underway, as the opening round games yesterday set up the quarterfinals, which will begin today with Kansas vs. Oklahoma State.

The Cowboys survived a 53-52 win over a Nebraska team that was fighting for a slim chance of sneaking into the NCAA tournament. Oklahoma State built a big lead, lost it, and then held on for dear life at the end. A nice win for the struggling Pokes, but 53 points is not going to cut it against KU, who absolutely manhandled Oklahoma State in the team's regular season meeting. I expect a similar performance this morning.

The best game of the day was Colorado's close win over Iowa State. Colorado was fighting for its tournament life, and used a 12-2 run late to erase a late deficit and beat the Cyclones, 77-75. Now the Buffs get a well rested KState team that has been on fire lately. However, Colorado swept the Wildcats during the regular season. This 4 vs. 5 matchup should be the best second round game. If CU wins, it almost assuredly has punched a ticket to the NCAA tournament.

The worst game of the afternoon was Oklahoma's drubbing of Baylor. Baylor lost star center Perry Jones to a suspension, but that was no excuse to get blown out by a crappy OU team. Scott Drew continues to solidify his reputation as one of the worst coaches in the Big 12, and with upcomming NCAA violations (seriously, how else do you think he kept bringing talented players to Waco, Texas), it appears this is the likely end to Baylor's recent run of success in the league. Back to the bottom where you belong, Baylor. Oklahoma will now have the honor of getting destroyed by Texas, who is trying to avoid yet another classic late season collapse under Rick Barnes.

Missouri continued its recent run of poor basketball in its nailbitter against mighty Texas Tech (the same Tech that just fired head coach Pat Knight). Mizzou won 88-84, but it appears the Tigers are in a funk they cannot get out of. MU doesn't play defense and is prone to stretches of poor shooting and turnovers. The Tigers still have time to turn it around, but the past month has been nothing but disappointment for Mizzou fans. Missouri has a chance to get back on track tonight against a tough Texas A&M team.

New IRS Agents Hired by Obama Auditing Small Businesses

Obama uses "health care reform" excuse to hire 16,000
new IRS agents to aggressively audit the middle class.
Middle Class and Small Business Owners Beware!  Obama's new 16,000 IRS agents aren't just here for the new health care plan...
by Kansas City News

Striking another blow to the already fragile middle class, Obama has hired 16,000 new IRS agents to (ahem) "support" the new health care plan.  This is curious because the health care plan doesn't even go into effect until 2013 or later.  The IRS agents have already been hired, or at least most of them, and they aren't going to be doing anything related to the new health care plan for another 2 years.  What do you think they're going to be doing in the meantime?

Well, I know exactly what they're going to be doing:  Aggressively auditing the middle class and especially those who own their own businesses and small companies.  This is becoming an epidemic as over 3,000 local Kansas City small businesses reported that they are currently being audited.  The audits mysteriously started in October of 2010, and seem to be continuing with no end in site.  Businesses that are being targeted are small "mom and pop" stores and small companies.  Easy targets for the IRS since most of them can't afford accountants and tax lawyers, etc.  So basically we have thousands of new IRS agents sitting around with nothing to do, and they are going after the middle class - more importantly, right here in Kansas City.  Kansas City, like most US cities was founded on small businesses like Hallmark, AMC Theaters, Black and Veach and countless others - granted, those companies are big now, but had they been cut down before they had a chance to grow, we wouldn't be near the great city that we are today.  If the IRS and the government keep attacking the small companies in Kansas City, our choices as Kansas City residents and consumers will become limited.  We will be forced to go "crawling to Potter" - basically having no choice but to buy from the big companies.  It's an old story, you know, WalMart took over and ruined the mom and pop stores, etc. - but this IRS attack isn't moving us in the right direction.

We all get it, the country is broke, so let's hire 16,000 IRS agents to go get money from the little guys who can't defend themselves or cleverly hide their money like the big companies.  Once again, our government got themselves in a bind and the middle class will have to ultimately pay for it.

On a more intelligent note, the UK is proposing that small businesses will not be subjected to audits AT ALL as it costs the country too much money.  The UK is estimating that they will save over 400 Million Euros each year after this law is passed.  Smart country.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Zack Greinke Breaks His Rib Playing Basketball

Former Kansas City Royals star Zack Greinke has a fractured rib from a pick-up basketball game and will likely miss games in April
by Kansas City News

Zack Greinke's new team, The Milwaukee Brewers, will not receive his services for at least the first part of April.  Somewhat of  a "poetic justice" situation for Kansas City fans, it wouldn't have bothered me if he was out for the season.  As it stands, the Brewers have reported that Greinke fractured his rib while playing in a pick-up basketball game.  While it is in Zack's contract that he cannot participate in professional basketball, it doesn't say anything about staying of the playground courts.

Ironically enough, Greinke had recently stopped former MLB player Aaron Boone in a New York hotel and asked him about his career ending injury that Aaron sustained during a pick-up basketball game.  Boone recounts "I don't know if he was looking for advice or what, but he told me he played basketball quite a bit, and how much he enjoyed it. He asked me what I thought. I don't remember if I said, 'Play, or don't play.' But when I read how he got hurt, I said, "Whoa!'"

Zack "Donald" Greinke will begin the 2011 season on the disabled list and will not start the home opener as planned.

Bio Info:
Donald Zackary Greinke ("Zack") was born in Orlando, Florida on October 21, 1983. Selected from Apopka high school in the first round of the 2002 player draft, Greinke was named Gatorade National Player of the Year that same season. Greinke entered the major league on May 22, 2004, playing in the same game that saw the retirement of Reggie Jackson's number.
Greinke's performance has seen its ups and downs largely due to his battles with depression and anxiety. In 2004, he ended the season with 8 wins and 11 losses and an earned run average (ERA) of 3.97. His 2005 season was not as successful (5-17, ERA of 5.80), and in February of 2006 he left the Kansas City Royals spring training camp because of depression and anxiety.

Greinke spent some time away from baseball, eventually returning to sign a one-year contract with the Kansas City Royals in 2007. In 2008 he had a good year, posting 13 wins and 10 losses and an ERA of 3.47. In January 2009, after winning the Cy Young Award, Greinke signed a 4-year contract with the Kansas City Royals worth $38 million, and pitched 24 consecutive innings without giving up a run.


This is a legally confirmed "open forum" website that is not responsible for any content posted within. The opinions, articles and comments on this site do not reflect the opinions of the owner of this site, or it's subsidiaries.