Monthly Archives: December 2018

Smokers and broken air conditioners. UGH!

The Chiefs choked it away last night. The Chargers scored 15 points in the final five minutes to stun Kansas City (aka Mahomesland) 29-28, scoring a touchdown and the game-winning 2-point conversion with four seconds remaining. I think Chargers coach Anthony Lynn was reckless by going for 2, but hey, it worked, so he’s a hero.

Last night started very well but then took a deep dive.

I went to Buffalo Wild Wings to deliver Tori her Christmas card, then stayed to play trivia. At 1900, 20 minutes prior to kickoff at Arrowhead, I went outside despite a temperature of 3 Celsius (37 F) to avoid the crowd and concentrate better on trivia. I brought two layers to wear between my base shirt and parka, so I was fine there. Head covered. Fingers a little cold, but once I started using my stylus, I could keep my gloves on.

The bad thing is Missouri’s smoking laws are far less stringent than Kansas’, so people can go out to the patio and smoke. For the first hour I was outside, the smokers were courteous enough to stay far away from me and not blow the smoke towards me.

How bad is Missouri? Many municipalities, including Cape Girardeau and several suburbs in the St. Louis area, have smoking sections in restaurants and bars. The city of St. Louis has a smoking ban, but many cities in St. Louis County don’t. St. Charles County, home to St. Charles and St. Peters, didn’t have one either until very recently, and articles in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch highlighted angry smokers pissed about it.


In case you don’t know, I DESPISE SMOKING. There are not enough adjectives in the dictionary to describe how much I hate it. I would rather a person do heroin than smoke cigarettes.I will never smoke marijuana, but it is far less addictive than nicotine, so why are cigarettes legal and marijuana isn’t in most states? Even cocaine is less addictive than nicotine. And the worst thing about tobacco smoke is it makes me choke and of course ruins one’s lungs.

I have plenty of anger towards my mother because she smoked while she was pregnant with me, and I firmly believe it caused my Autistic Spectrum Disorder. My father smoked much more than my mother until he finally quit cold turkey three days after Labor Day 1985. He has stayed off of it for 33 years. I’m convinced if he continued to smoke, he would not have made it to Y2K.

Just after 2000 (8 p.m., not the year) an employee decided to smoke right across from me. I asked the asshole to move, but he claimed since he was an employee, he could go anywhere to smoke, even if it was as annoying as hell to a patron.

If I were that person’s supervisor and a customer complained to me about this employee being discourteous by smoking right in front of the patron, I would have fired him on the spot. Yet this piece of fecal matter still is employed by Buffalo Wild Wings.

It got worse when patrons stood right next to the door or close enough to where I was sitting and blew the smoke right towards me.  I had to walk around the patio holding the tablet to play trivia to avoid them.

I got fed up and went inside despite the mass of humanity. Now I know to sit at the end of the patio closest to Interstate 29 (north end) to avoid the smoke as best as possible.

It got worse when I got back to the hotel.

The air conditioning in my room at the KCI Hilton is not working as of now. SHIT.

At least it’s December 13. If it were March 13 through October 13, I’d be pissed beyond belief. It was still too warm; I barely got any sleep, and the sleep I got was on top of the covers. I was ready to check out this morning and find a new hotel, but I will give these people a chance to fix it. If it isn’t fixed, I will demand compensation and probably never stay here again.

Oh boy. Let me get out of this hotel room Epton!

Friday Night (bright) Lights?

The NFL’s insistence on playing Thursday night games has drawn criticism from every corner: players, coaches, owners, media, fans and just about anyone else who has an opinion about the sport.

Three days is a very short turnaround in a sport as brutal as football. However, these men are being paid very good money to play a game, so I don’t feel very sorry for them. If they don’t like it, they ought to try spending day after day after day in the shoes of a coal miner, a construction worker or a farmer.

The NFL should seriously consider playing on Friday if it feels it must have a national game on a weeknight. Yes, I am well aware high school football is the big thing on Friday nights, but there would be a way to make both the NFL and the high schools happy.

To alleviate the problems a Friday night game would cause for the high schools, the NFL could release the Friday night schedule well before the rest of the schedule. That way, high schools in the two cities which are involved in the NFL game in a given week could have plenty of time to rearrange the high school schedule.

For instance, if the Chiefs played the Broncos on a Friday night, high schools in the Kansas City and Denver areas would simply move games to Thursday night or Saturday afternoon. This would NOT be required, but it would be suggested if a school fears it would lose gate revenue. Teams could still play on Friday if they wished.

This might cause problems in cities where there are a large number of teams sharing a municipal stadium. This comes to mind in New Orleans, where five Catholic schools and several public ones play home games in one of two stadiums in City Park. There are usually six windows for games in Tad Gormley and Pan American: Thursday afternoon, Thursday night, Friday afternoon, Friday night, Saturday afternoon, Saturday night. Sometimes Saturday games are played in the morning.

Until Pan American opened in 1973, Tad Gormley was the only municipal stadium for high school football in New Orleans. Games were often played on Sunday afternoon and Sunday night. This continued even after the Saints came into the NFL in 1967. The high schools did not usually schedule games at the stadium when the Saints were playing at home, but often did when the Saints were on the road. The last regularly scheduled Sunday game was in November 1987 when Shaw defeated Jesuit 21-0.

In Kansas City, this would be a problem at Olathe, Shawnee Mission and Blue Valley, where five schools share two stadiums in each district. St. Thomas Aquinas, Bishop Miege and Rockhurst all have their own stadiums, as do schools in Blue Springs and Lee’s Summit. Liberty and Park Hill each have one stadium shared by two schools, and one is usually on the road when the other is home.

Fridays would allow more rest from a Sunday game. On the back end, it would be only one less day off.

I’m a firm believer the NFL should give each team two byes. Start the season the weekend of Labor Day like it used to be. I don’t get why the NFL is so against playing before Labor Day. Sure, they say it’s because of the colleges, but I don’t buy it. The NFL tried this in 1993, but teams complained. I think it would be good.

If teams had two byes, no team would be allowed to have a bye before week five, meaning each team would play at least four games before their first bye. Then no team would have a bye AFTER week 14, meaning all teams would play the final four weeks consecutively. There, problem solved.

The NFL could have its usual Thursday night kickoff game. No Thursday night games weeks two, three and four; instead, there would be a Monday night game, with one game kicking off at 1800 Eastern, and the other kicking at 2145 Eastern (1845 Pacific); ostensibly, you would attempt to have two western teams in the late slot, but not force any east coast teams to play in the west.

I could live without Thursday night football. I lived without it for the first 37 years of my life. I don’t watch the games much on Thursdays. Why the heck does the NFL need the money? It’s not like they’re filing for bankruptcy tomorrow.

Faster than Santa’s sleigh

I spent most of the second half of yesterday preparing more than two dozen Christmas cards. I had to get them done before the end of this week so they arrive in their destinations before Christmas.

I sent Peggy and Caitlyn’s cards in a FedEx envelope to Norton. I was shocked to learn the envelope arrived yesterday. I dropped the envelope in the FedEx box on 7th Street in Hays across from Crista’s office Tuesday afternoon. I selected two-day delivery, so that meant Thursday.

Yet by 1700 yesterday, I discovered via e-mail the envelope had been delivered. Peggy told me that they came. She was waiting to open her card until Caitlyn got home from Ottawa Saturday.

The FedEx I sent to St. Joseph’s Academy with cards for Brenda and Dorinda also arrived a day early. However, that wasn’t so shocking, since Baton Rouge is much easier to access than Norton.

Both envelopes went from Hays to the sorting facility in Salina, which is off of Interstate 135 between the exits at Schilling and Water Well Roads. From Salina, they got on the plane to Memphis.

From there, the St. Joseph’s envelope flew straight to New Orleans, then was driven to Baton Rouge. Easy enough.

The one to the Cox residence took a more serpentine route. From Memphis, the envelope flew to Omaha’s Eppley Airfield, which is on the Missouri River on the Nebraska/Iowa state line, about 3 km east of TD Ameritrade Ballpark, home of the College World Series.

From Omaha, the envelope made its way to North Platte, 283 miles (456 km) to the west on Interstate 80. It wasn’t driven there, because it would have been easier to peel off I-80 at Elm Creek, drive south on US 183 into Kansas, then take K-383 to US 36 to Norton. It was flown there, but North Platte’s airport is nowhere near big enough to handle the large planes FedEx uses flying from Memphis. I’d like to know what kind of plane ferried the envelope west.

The final journey from North Platte to Norton was on the ground, meaning the driver got to go on some very narrow highways though quaint towns like Elwood and Arapahoe.

When FedEx delivers to Russell, it goes through Salina then goes on the truck there for delivery. UPS has a sort facility in Hays about 2 km west of Hays High and not too far from the Hays airport, so it goes through there.

Peggy and I were both amazed at the speed with which FedEx got the delivery done. For the record, it was 28 hours from drop off to delivery at the Cox residence.

I’m guessing the cards I mailed will take a little bit longer. The cards heading to Dan Borne’s residence in Baton Rouge will arrive for certain by Saturday because I used Priority Mail, but the others? Some in Louisiana may take a week. That, combined with rapidly rising costs, is why many Americans hate the U.S. Postal Service. I don’t hate them for certain, but I do have my beefs occasionally.

I had to mail four cards to the Borne residence–one for Dan and Lisette, one for Elizabeth, one for Rebecca, plus a birthday card for Rebecca, since her birthday is next Friday. Coincidentally, the Bornes’ youngest child, David, was born 21 December 1983, so Rebecca’s seventh birthday party never happened. Or it happened at Our Lady of the Lake hospital.

I went back and forth on sending cards to quite a few people, but I didn’t say no to anyone I listed originally. And then I thought about those I missed while driving today. That happens.

If you happen to receive a card from me in the coming days, please complain in the comments. Or text me with your complaints at 785-324-2453. Have a great day.

If it’s not the Chiefs, it doesn’t mean squat in KC

Kansas City (Mahomesland) is oblivious to the outside world today. The only thing which matters to most in the city of 460,000, and the metropolitan area of 2.5 million, is what will happen at Arrowhead Stadium starting at 1915 this evening.

For the uninitiated, the Kansas City Chiefs are having one of their best seasons of the 56 the team has played in the City of Fountains. The Chiefs are 11-2 heading into tonight’s game with the Los Angeles Chargers, and barring a collapse, will win the AFC West and have a first round bye in the playoffs.

Should the Chiefs win all three of their remaining games–Chargers tonight, at Seattle Dec. 23 and at home vs. Oakland Dec. 30–they will finish with their best regular season record in franchise history. Only once before have the Chiefs lost only two games in a regular season. That was 1968, when Kansas City and Oakland finished tied atop the American Football League’s West division at 12-2.

Tiebreakers were not in effect in the AFL in 1968. It wouldn’t have mattered, since the Raiders and Chiefs each beat the other in their home stadium during the regular season. Therefore, the Chiefs and Raiders had to play a third time for the West division championship, with the winner heading to New York to face Joe Namath’s Jets for the AFL berth in Super Bowl III.

As fate had it, the Chiefs lost the coin toss to determine the home team, so they had to jet to Oakland. Sure enough, the Raiders were lying in wait, and won 41-6. The Raiders lost 27-23 to the Jets in the AFL championship game, and…most football fans and those who aren’t football fans probably know the rest.

Due to the Chiefs not making the playoffs despite going 12-2 in 1968, the AFL allowed the second place teams in each division qualify for the playoffs in 1969, the last year before the merger with the NFL. Kansas City went 11-3 compared to Oakland’s 12-1-1 that season, and the Raiders won both meetings. However, with new life due to the expanded playoffs, the Chiefs took full advantage, winning in New York AND Oakland before rolling over Minnesota in Super Bowl IV.

Back to the present. The Chiefs are on the verge of having the best record in the AFC for just the fourth time since the merger. Each time the Chiefs had that distinction, they lost in their first playoff game: 1971 to the Dolphins in the famous double overtime Christmas marathon, 1995 to the Colts, who had to win their last regular season game just to squeeze into the playoffs, and 1997 to the Broncos, who finally ended their Super Bowl hex when they defeated the Packers three weeks after.

Back to the present. The Chiefs NEED home field advantage in the playoffs (not counting the Super Bowl, which is in Atlanta), since Thomas Edward Brady and his New England Patriots are nearly invincible at Foxborough during the postseason. The Patriots won two AFC championship games in Pittsburgh in 2001 and ’04, but since then, they have failed to reach the Super Bowl when they have to travel in the postseason. Baltimore has won twice in Foxborough (2009 wild card, 2012 AFC Championship), but it is not worth pressing your luck if you’re Andy Reid.

If Kansas City wins tonight, it will need to only defeat Seattle or Oakland to clinch home field. The Seattle game is almost a throwaway, since it’s against an NFC team and has no bearing on tiebreakers. However, the Patriots have the won that counts the most, winning 43-40 over the Chiefs at Foxborough the night after my birthday.

Red is the color of the day. But instead of green, it’s complimented by gold.

I’m in my usual area of Kansas City near KCI. I want nothing to do with Interstate 70 today. Fans are being encouraged to arrive at Arrowhead by 1600 if at all possible, because after that, I-70 will be jammed with cars driving from downtown towards Interstate 435, and further east of the stadiums towards Independence and Blue Springs. Many downtown stadiums, such as the Superdome, don’t have as many traffic worries for weeknight games, since people are coming into downtown, but in Kansas City, it’s different, since the stadiums are 8 to 10 miles (14 to 22 km) east of downtown. Add in the fans who will be coming from Kansas, and it will add up to hell on the highways.

I’m tired. I might not make it to the end of the game. I don’t care who wins. I’m not a Chiefs fan. My loyalties lie with the team in my native city, and to a couple of others. The Chargers are due to win since losing nine straight to Kansas City, including a 38-28 setback on opening day at Carson, when Chiefs fans outnumbered Chargers fans 3 to 2. However, if Melvin Gordon, the Chargers’ top running back and one of the best in the game, doesn’t play, I just can’t see Phillip Rivers carrying the team by himself.

The Chiefs should win. But anything can happen in the NFL, especially in a division game between two teams which are a combined 21-5.

November ends with a flurry

I spent SIX HOURS at Buffalo Wild Wings Zona Rosa yesterday, more time I’ve spent there in a single day in a long, long time. Finally, the restaurant has new tablets to play trivia after saying for over a year it was getting new ones. The first one I used locked up on me after 20 minutes, and I was logged off the second one a couple of times, but after 1415, I was good.

Robb and Theresa showed up for a couple of hours. I hadn’t seen Robb since the day before my birthday, which is a long time, although I’ve gone longer without seeing him.

Three big pieces of news happened yesterday. Well, two big pieces happened and one didn’t.

The one that didn’t involved Kansas State and its fossilized football coach.

Bill Snyder is still the football coach of the Wildcats, despite calls from most respected members of the media in Kansas and Kansas City and most Wildcat fans for Snyder to call it a career.

Snyder was expected to meet with K-State athletic director Gene Taylor Wednesday. No meeting. Then Thursday. No meeting. Then Friday. No meeting. Today, Snyder is acting like he will be the coach in 2019, hosting recruits at the Vanier Football Complex, the impressive facility at the north end of Bill Snyder Family Stadium which was considered nothing more than a pipe dream when he was hired 30 years ago Friday.

Kevin Kietzman, who hosts the 1400-1800 show on WHB 810 AM in Kansas City weekdays, has advocated for Jim Leavitt, the former South Florida coach who was once an assistant under Snyder, to be the new Wildcat leader. Leavitt, currently the defensive coordinator under Mario Cristobal at Oregon, had a brutality charge leveled against him in 2009 which led to his ouster at USF. The details are murky, and while he would not be my first choice, he is far more palatable than the option Bill Snyder wants.

Of course, Bill Snyder wants his pride and joy, son Sean, to be his successor. Sean Snyder was an All-American punter under his father during Bill’s first four seasons in Manhattan, and has been at K-State ever since. He has NEVER been an offensive or defensive coordinator. He has NEVER even been a regular position coach, instead coordinating the Wildcat special teams for the last 26 seasons (Sean was kept on by Ron Prince during his three seasons).

If Bill really wanted Sean to succeed him, he should have given him full responsibility over one side of the ball when he returned in 2009. Better yet, Bill should have encouraged Sean to branch out and become a head coach somewhere else. He could have done it at one of the four Division II schools in Kansas (Fort Hays State, Emporia State, Pittsburg State, Washburn), or a Division I school (FBS or FCS) outside the Power 5.

Instead, Sean has stayed inside the cocoon working for daddy, refusing to even INTERVIEW for another position. It smacks of pure nepotism. It’s as if Sean believes the head coaching position at K-State is his birthright. It isn’t.

This reminds me of the situation at Texas after Darrell Royal retired in 1976. I wasn’t born until the middle of the 1976 college football season, so it doesn’t remind me per se, but I read about this in the early 1990s.

Royal lobbied the Texas Board of Regents hard to name his defensive coordinator, Mike Campbell, as his successor, but the board rejected Royal’s suggestion and instead hired Fred Akers, who coached defensive backs on the Longhorns’ 1969 and 1970 championship teams. The reason: Akers left Austin to be the head coach at Wyoming in 1975 and ’76, leading the Cowboys to the Western Athletic Conference championship in the latter season. Campbell had no head coaching experience. Akers went 86-34-2 in 10 seasons at Texas, but was fired after going 5-6 in 1986.

I believe Snyder will coach the Wildcats through spring practice and fall camp. He’ll lead the team in the season opener against Nicholls State (the team which beat Kansas in this year’s season opener). He will announce his retirement to the team at halftime. When the game is over, Snyder will be carried off on his player’s shoulders. When the team reaches the locker room, Bill will find his wife, Sharon, and the two will walk straight out of the Vanier Complex into a waiting limousine. Sean will go to the press conference and announce he’s in charge.

It might be a little far-fetched this could happen without Taylor and K-State President General Richard Myers knowing, but stranger things have happened.

If you’ve read my blogs, you’re aware I don’t worship Snyder like many in Kansas do. In fact, I find him to be grossly overrated. But I won’t go into detail again.

The thing which DID happen to affect the sports scene in these parts involved Kareem Hunt, who went from NFL rushing champion to unemployed in the space of 11 months.

The Chiefs star was released at 1900, six hours after TMZ released video of a February incident in the lobby of a Cleveland hotel which saw Hunt push away, then strike, a 19-year old woman. Hunt lied to the Chiefs and told Clark Hunt, Brett Veach and Andy Reid the incident was nothing to worry about and it wasn’t serious.

Hunt obviously did not listen when his high school history teacher lectured on Watergate. Yes, what Hunt did was terrible and he should have been punished. But covering it up and openly lying about it got him in much more trouble than he could have dreamed of.

Had Hunt told the truth, he would have likely been suspended. That would have been the bad news. The good news would have been he probably would still be employed by the Chiefs, who undoubtedly would have paid to get Hunt the help he needed to prevent this from happening again. He might not have been able to use the team facilities to keep in shape, but I’m sure the Chiefs would have reimbursed the expenses of a private trainer and gym membership.

Hunt is a PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE. In the United States, professional athletes are under the microscope constantly, which says this country is screwed up, but they know once they put on an NFL, MLB, NBA or NHL uniform, they are immediately subject the same scrutiny as an amoeba under an electron microscope.

Kareem Hunt has nobody to blame but Kareem Hunt for his unemployment. He won’t be unemployed long, because undoubtedly some team will claim him on waivers. If the Browns have the chance to claim him, he’ll be playing behind Baker Mayfield beginning next season, since (a) Cleveland GM John Dorsey drafted Hunt in Kansas City, and (b) Hunt grew up in Willoughby, an eastern suburb of Cleveland.

The much more important news of Friday came at 2230, when it was announced George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States, passed away at 94.

Death is always sad, but in this case, nobody will be sad for too long. President Bush lived a wonderful life, and now he is joining his soulmate, Barbara, who passed away earlier this year.

What did President Bush not do? Fighter pilot in World War II. Oil tycoon. U.S. Representative. Chairman of the Republican National Committee. US Ambassador to the United Nations. CIA Director. Vice President. President. Father of a President, Grandfather. Great grandfather.

Of course, there will be a state funeral at the National Cathedral in Washington, the same way one was held for Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford (Richard Nixon declined the state funeral, instead holding a simple service at his presidential library in. Yorba Linda, California). Then Bush will be buried next to Barbara at his library at Texas A&M, meaning the Bushes will be about the 13th and 14th most prominent figures buried on the A&M campus, trailing all the Revile mascots through the years. Just kidding.

I’m guessing George W. Bush will speak at the funeral. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama might. I don’t know about the current Commander in Chief. Given the elder Bush’s love of sports, it wouldn’t surprise me to see a few sports figures speak in College Station. Among my guesses would be Nolan Ryan (George W owned the Texas Rangers before he was elected Governor of Texas, Ryan played for the Astros, and now he’s an executive in Houston), Justin Verlander (George HW and Barbara were often spotted in the very front row behind home plate at Minute Maid Park during Astros games) and Jimbo Fisher.

RIP, President Bush. You’ve earned that right and then some.

Midway through the second quarter of the Big 12 football championship game, Texas leads Oklahoma 14-6. SIX POINTS in 23 minutes? Did the Sooners leave their offense in Norman?

Oops, check that. Sooners just scored a touchdown. Now 14-13 Longhorns with five minutes left before halftime.