Category Archives: ESPN

Royal spotlight

The Royals are taking on the Indians in the final game of the weekend series at Kauffman Stadium. Cleveland won the first two games of the series, 6-1 Friday and 3-2 in 11 innings last night.

Why is this significant? It’s not because the Royals are playing the Indians, it’s WHEN the Royals are playing the Indians.

Sunday night.

For the first time that I can remember, the Kansas City Royals are featured on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, meaning people from San Diego to Bangor and Seattle to Key West can flip their televisions to ESPN and watch Major League Baseball live from the City of Fountains and its beautiful ballpark, which looks a heck of a lot different than the last time ESPN broadcast a Sunday night game from Kansas City.

The Sunday Night game invariably is skewed to feature the popular teams of Major League Baseball. The Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals, Cubs, Braves and Mets all make multiple appearances per season. In fact, if the Yankees and Red Sox play a weekend series, you can almost be certain the Sunday game will air on ESPN.

The Royals have been so bad for so long ESPN has had no compelling reason to put them in the Sunday night slot. Since ESPN began televising Major League Baseball in 1990, the Royals have had only FOUR winning seasons out of 24, and one of those was the strike-shortened year of 1994, when the final 47 games and the playoffs were wiped out. The four winning seasons matches the number of 100-loss seasons the Royals have suffered through in that period; those occurred within five years (2002, 2004, 2005, 2006).

Tonight, the Royals get to strut their stuff for the sporting public. And tonight is a good night to do it, since starting next week, most sports fans will tune to NBC for Sunday Night Football, and baseball will be on the back burner, except for St. Louis and a couple of other places.

The Royals lead 1-0 n the top of the third. They’d better get this game in, because there is a line of very heavy rain marching east. The leading edge is at Manhattan right now, meaning it should arrive in Kansas City between 9:30 and 10. Yikes.


I never dreamed I would say thank God for Major League Soccer, but here it goes.

Thank God for Major League Soccer.

Sporting Kansas City was playing at Columbus tonight, so the match was on the big screen at Buffalo Wild Wings instead of the ESPYs, the abominable self-aggrandizing awards for athletes just so they can get dressed up in tuxedos, their significant others can get dressed up in evening gowns, and then they can go inside an auditorium and brag upon themselves the same way actors do when they win an Academy Award or an Emmy Award.

The ESPYs have been pointless ever since they began in 1993, save for Jim Valvano’s heart-stirring “Don’t Ever Give Up” speech as his body was being ravaged by cancer in March 1993. Sadly, he died 55 days later. The V Foundation has done great work to aid cancer research, but the ESPYs have a whole have been mostly a waste. I refuse to watch.

In case you’re curious, Sporting won its match 2-1 by scoring in stoppage time in the second half. Sporting is the defending champion of MLS and is in second place in the Eastern Conference (Kansas City is not in the East, people), putting them in prime position to defend the title in the fall. Association football fever has really captured Kansas City, especially since the MLS team left Arrowhead Stadium and moved into Kansas City, Kansas and the $250 million Sporting Park, which was originally named Livestrong Park due to corporate sponsorship by Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation, but due to Armstrong’s doping scandal, Sporting KC demanded Armstrong withdraw his sponsorship. Like Arrowhead and Kauffman Stadiums, Sporting Park does not have a corporate sponsor. In fact, the only major sporting venue in Kansas City which has a sponsor also does not have a team, Sprint Center.

Buffalo Wild Wings was pretty tame tonight, save for the frantic comeback I needed in one round of Countdown to nick MOLDAV, who usually occupies Rondo’s barstool on Wednesdays. Other than that, no real challenges. SIX had a couple of questions which got me, but I still was over 46,000, which is close to my average, and that was without 6,000 bonus points I earn more often than not for perfect rounds. I stuffed myself pretty good tonight with two orders of the chicken tacos–those are addictive–and the bratwurst which Buffalo Wild Wings is offering now through Labor Day. The pretzel bun that brat was served on was so awesome.

I got back to te hotel about 15 minutes ago, and I’m going to try to make it through this four-episode DVD of The O.C. without falling asleep. I’ve tried each of the last two nights and failed miserably. Then again, starting them in the vicinity of 2 a.m. hasn’t helped.