99 Great Things About Kansas City

99 Great Things About Kansas City

The world’s spotlight has been on Kansas City in recent weeks due to the Royals’ thrilling post-season run and dominant victory over the New York Mets to win KC’s first World Series since 1985. But KC is about more than just baseball. There is a lot about this city that makes it a special place, an American gem of a metropolis in the midst of “flyover country.” Here are 99 of the best things about this wonderful city.

Soccer: It's Not Our Game

I don't mean to say soccer isn't a good sport or that Americans shouldn't pay attention to it. I personally don't find it all that exciting, and clearly most other Americans agree with me. But the rest of the world finds it VERY exciting, and I'm happy for them. America doesn't have to win at everything.

A Sports Lament

But skewed visions of the past notwithstanding, I think it's good and right to lament the endings of things. The dissolution of the Big 12 was inevitable. All things fall apart sooner or later. I guess it just caught many of us by surprise that—in the span of a week—it all unraveled so quickly and unexpectedly. But so it goes in life. Impermanence is a constant.

I Heart March (Madness)

T.S. Eliot once said “April is the cruelest month.” I don’t know about that, but I do know that March is one of the best months there is. We have Spring Break vacations, St. Patrick’s Day, and, most importantly, the NCAA Basketball Tournament. For college basketball fans, March is one big, energy-filled party. It’s madness. And hopefully this year it’ll be Jayhawk madness. (Again.)

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!!

In what was undoubtedly one of the best NCAA championship games of all time (and only the seventh to go to overtime), the Kansas Jayhawks beat Memphis and won it all! I said KANSAS WON! My team, my home state... this is just utter joy! Mario Chalmers, you're my hero! And you will go down in history as making the miracle shot that made this a game for the ages. Ahhh, this is what it's all about. March Madness could not have ended on a better note. Kansas fans everywhere: BELIEVE IT! 1952. 1988. And now 2008!!!

Five 2007 Sports Highlights

Lest it appear my blog has no interest in the finer things in culture (i.e. sports), here’s my list of the top moments (or events … or just interesting things) that happened in the wide world of sports in 2007.

Crazy College Football Season – Kansas and Illinois in BCS bowl games? Division II Appalachian State beating then #5 Michigan? Something was up this season in college football. It was a wild ride in which unranked teams dethroned top five teams thirteen times (a record) and the AP No. 1 and No. 2 teams lost in the same week three times.

Tom Brady and the Patriots’ Perfect Season – Knock on wood, but could this be the second team in history (the first was the 1972 Miami Dolphins) to go undefeated and win the super bowl? They look unstoppable so far… And Tom “Mr. Gisele” Brady is on track to break Peyton Manning’s single season record of 49 touchdown passes. Pretty impressive.

Boise State and the 2007 Fiesta Bowl – No one really thought Boise State had a chance against the powerhouse Oklahoma Sooners on the Jan 1st BCS Fiesta Bowl. But on the first day of 2007, the BSU Broncos gave one of the most remarkable sports performances of the entire year. The trick plays, statue of liberty shenanigans and balls-out showmanship (going for two to win or lose the game with seconds left!) left those of us who stayed up to watch it utterly breathless.

David Beckham moves to the U.S. and no one cares – Talk about a tree falling in the forest! The arrival of Posh n’ Becks to L.A. this summer was a media-constructed mega event… akin to a visit from the Queen or a new baby for Angelina Jolie or something. But almost immediately after Beckham started playing for the L.A. Galaxy he got injured, popping the already-deflated hype balloon. At least Posh had the Spice Girls Reunion tour to fall back on!

Ridiculous Scandals – Forget the Mitchell Report, Roger Clemens, and Barry Bonds… my favorite sports scandals of the year were much less predictable: 1) Michael Vick’s dogfighting (dogfighting?), 2) NBA ref Tim Donaghy’s sports betting scheme, and 3) Don Imus’s “nappy-headed h*s” radio comment. You can’t make this stuff up.