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Several cases have been popping up in the news in which former NFL players are suing either the league, or their team organization, for injuries or disorders they have developed after retiring. They claim that the professional organizations that used to employ them are responsible for the health problems they are now experience.

ryanknapp / Flickr--Creative Commons

You've probably heard by now that our very own Major League Soccer team, Sporting Kansas City, has made it to the MLS championship game, called the MLS Cup. The game will be played against Real  Salt Lake (pronounced ree-AL) at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., on Saturday afternoon.

Sporting KC last played in a MLS final in 2004, losing to D.C. United. Kansas City, then known as the Wizards, won the MLS Cup in 2000.

Brent Flanders / Flickr-CC

There's a flurry of professional sports activity in Kansas City this weekend, but it's not for a football game. Soccer is taking center stage. 

On Saturday, Sporting Kansas City will host Real Salt Lake at Sporting Park for the MLS Cup championship. It’s the first time a championship game has been played in Kansas City, and if Sporting wins, it will be their first title since 2000, when they were still known as the Wizards.

Major league soccer is hot right now in Kansas City as we prepare to host this weekend’s MLS championship between Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City.

And we want to know what all the buzz is about.

Tell KCUR: How is rooting for Sporting Kansas City different than rooting for other pro teams in KC?

Tweet us @KCUR, using the #TellKCUR hashtag.

Nate Bolt / CC

We’ve heard the statistics: Over the next two days, some 44 million of us will pack ourselves into trains, planes, and automobiles for Thanksgiving—and perhaps a few more for Hanukkah. Nearly all of us will be headed home. Why? Because even in this age when “contact” is for lists, “touch” is for screens, and “FaceTime” is an app, it’s being at home, together with family, that still brings out the best, or at least, the most emotional, in all of us. Home is where the heart is.

Sports fans know the importance of home, too.

Ryan Knapp / Flickr-CC

The roar of the crowd confirmed what Sporting KC did this weekend at Sporting Park: They secured a spot at the MLS Cup being held in Kansas City Dec. 7.

In the second part of Monday's Up to Date, KCUR's Greg Echlin joins us to give a preview for that game.

Guest:

  • Greg Echlin, KCUR sports reporter

Leaders of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan., have announced plans to purchase and renovate Community America Ballpark – the home of the T-Bones – for $8 million. It would join a growing list of publicly subsidized sports venues. It's good news for baseball fans and  for the Village West shopping and entertainment area – but how should taxpayers feel?  Host Brian Ellison discusses the pros and cons behind the decision with two of the decision-makers behind the proposed purchase. Guests:

Justin Morbeck/ Flickr-CC

In Kansas City, 1969 is remembered as the Chiefs’ last Super Bowl season. It’s also the last time when two stalwarts, one undefeated and the other with only one loss, butted heads this late in the season. The Minnesota Vikings were 10-and-1 when they squared off against the unbeaten Los Angeles Rams.

Sunday night’s game between the Chiefs and the Denver Broncos pits the league’s best defense against the most prolific offense. Taking the rivalry between the two teams to a different level.

Kansas City Chiefs star wide receiver, Dwayne Bowe, was arrested Sunday in Riverside, Mo. 

Riverside police pulled over a black Audi A8 for going 48 mph in a 35 mph zone. When the officer approached the vehicle he said he could smell marijuana.

A release from the Riverside Police Department says the officer was part of a K-9 unit and a dog was able to lead the officer to a black backpack that contained a substance that looked like marijuana. Along with the substance was the wallet of vehicle owner and Chiefs player, Dwayne Bowe.

Greg Echlin / KCUR

A loss by the Denver Broncos Sunday night leaves the Kansas City Chiefs as the NFL’s only undefeated team. But, the Chiefs had a difficult time securing their seventh straight win.

From the outset, everything seemed to favor the Chiefs: a home game at Arrowhead Stadium a week after setting a Guinness Book world record for the loudest outdoor stadium and an opponent that named a rookie quarterback making his first NFL start. But the Chiefs, rejuvenated by Alex Smith — a quarterback with a fresh start this season in Kansas City — grabbed the lead for good on his five-yard run.

Darren Whitley / Northwest Missouri State

The second of two college football games at Arrowhead Stadium this season takes place Saturday. Northwest Missouri and Pittsburg State, two powerhouse NCAA Division II teams with undefeated records, will meet head-to-head. But the future is uncertain for this and other major college games being played at Arrowhead.

There have been no major college games at Arrowhead the last three seasons. That’s since the University of Missouri announced it would be departing for the Southeastern Conference and the University Kansas announced they would refuse to play Mizzou.

Beth Lipoff / KCUR

Covering sports in Kansas City can be a real rollercoaster. Often, you’re reporting on a losing season, but sometimes you hit a high point, like the current Chiefs’ season. 

On Thursday's Up to Date, we talk with Kansas City Star sports columnist Sam Mellinger about what it’s like to write about sports in this town.

Guest:

  • Sam Mellinger is a sports columnist for the Kansas City Star.
Greg Echlin / KCUR

Kansas City Chiefs executives and players distributed frozen dinners Tuesday at Arrowhead Stadium to agencies representing low-income families.

The Chiefs are celebrating their 10-year partnership with Tyson Foods and the Lift-Up America organization. 

"Twenty-five thousand families will be blessed with a meal as a result of the giveaway," said chairman of the board, Clark Hunt, who spearheaded the program 10 years ago.

Elana Gordon / KCUR

Through six games, the NFL is down to two undefeated teams, and the Kansas City Chiefs are one of them.

After their 24-7 victory over the Oakland Raiders, the Chiefs are tied for first in the AFC West with the NFL’s only other undefeted team, the Denver Broncos.

Arrowhead Stadium also had another milestone moment during Sunday's game.

Flickr

On Sunday, the still-undefeated Kansas City Chiefs will take the field to face their mortal enemy: the Oakland Raiders. In this month’s “A Fan’s Notes,” commentator Victor Wishna tells us why it feels so good... to be a Raider-Hater. 

fansided - Google

The Kansas City Chiefs had the worst record in the NFL last year with just two wins and 14 losses. Now, they are sitting pretty with a perfect 5-0 record. But how did we get here and how long can we keep it going?

Joel Thorman, editor of Arrowhead Pride, is just as shocked as everyone else in Kansas City. "The Chiefs have set an NFL record for the best start after winning two or less games from the year before. It's really just shocking."

Greg Echlin / KCUR

The Kansas City Chiefs aren’t the only area football team with a 5-0 record. On the major college level, the Missouri Tigers are 5-0 and ranked number 25 in this week’s Associated Press poll.

The Tigers opened their Southeastern Conference schedule last Saturday with a victory over Vanderbilt University. The Tigers head deeper south this weekend to face the 7th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs. It’s still an adjustment period for fans following the Tigers in their second year of the SEC.

Greg Echlin / KCUR

NASCAR’s Sprint Cup drivers are still trying to shake off the “cheating” label that has shrouded the sport  over the last month. They’ll be at Kansas Speedway for the year’s biggest entertainment weekend in Wyandotte County.

From the highs of professional baseball and even the World Series to the lows of drug addiction and bankruptcy, former Royals player Willie Wilson has had quite the journey.

The Kansas City Chiefs are 3-0 so far this season, and with that kind of record comes more attention and fan interest. As a result, the Chiefs are dealing with ancillary issues as they prepare for Sunday’s home game at Arrowhead Stadium against the New York Giants.

In the preseason, some Kansas City Chiefs employees feverishly worked behind the scenes on a separate issue: traffic and parking. But, it may not have been enough.

"Operationally, we had some significant missteps," says Chiefs president Mark Donovan, who suggests fans leave early to avoid traffic gridlock.

In pursuit of post-season play, the Kanas City Royals revived interest September baseball.  For the final home game at Kauffman Stadium a crowd of more than 27,000 gathered. Manager Ned Yost sensed the enthusiasm.

“We needed to get the crowd into the game early, and we couldn’t do it,” said Yost.

Then the Royals loaded the bases in the tenth inning of the scoreless ballgame when Justin Maxwell stepped to the plate.

“I was just thinking of trying to hit it hard,” said Maxwell.

There was no doubt when Maxwell hit it. It was a grand slam.

Elana Gordon / WHYY

The Kansas City Chiefs are gearing up to play in Philadelphia tonight.  It’s an awkward homecoming for the Chiefs' new coach Andy Reid, who was with the Eagles for 14 years and was fired last December.

But there’s at least one spot, in the heart of South Philadelphia, where Reid won’t get booed when he walks into the stadium.  That’s Big Charlie’s Saloon, the home for Chiefs fans in Philadelphia.  And most of those fans aren’t Kansas City ex-pats.

Heading into late September, the Kansas City Royals are holding on to their hopes of reaching baseball’s playoffs for the first time since their World Series championship in 1985. A late season surge reversed a downward spiral at the All-Star break.

A rocky start to the season  

This spring the Kansas City Royals tied a franchise record set only one year earlier for 11 straight losses at home. Manager Ned Yost seemed at a loss about what to do next.

The Kansas City Chiefs are now 2-0 in the young NFL season after a 17-16 win over the Dallas Cowboys Sunday in the home opener.

Only two weeks into the 2013 season, the Chief's record is equal to last year's entire victory total. They grabbed the lead for good late in the third quarter, and the fans at Arrowhead Stadium sniffed a chance to bask in the Chiefs' second win of the season under new head coach Andy Reid.

"When our fans are going, you can feel that field," said Reid. "It just rumbles a little bit. It's crazy but an awesome feeling."

Susan B. Wilson / KCUR

According to the National Cheerleading Association, more than 3 million Americans participate in the sport. But cheerleading is no longer just about pom-poms and whipping crowd spirit into a frenzy, it has evolved into a bona fide sport where many athletes — as they are now considered — train year-round.

These athletes work on the strength, balance and gymnastic skills they need to stand out and win competitions. I recently visited a gym in Grandview where teaching girl power and the sport of cheerleading go hand in hand.

Mike Morbeck / Flickr--Creative Commons

The Kansas City Chiefs open the 2013 NFL season with a road game Sunday in Jacksonville, Fla. With general manager and coaching changes this year, hopes are not just resting on a reversal from last year’s 2-14 record. It’s more about ending a drought that has now lasted 20 years.

Ironically, at the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce luncheon last week for the Kansas City Chiefs everyone there enjoyed a full plate, while eight-year veteran linebacker Derrick Johnson shared with the event’s emcee, Mitch Holthus, a rather desperate feeling.

David Reber's Hammer Photography / Flickr - CC

The Kansas City Chiefs suffered a number of challenges last season both on field, finishing last place in the NFL, and off the field, with the murder suicide of Kasandra Perkins and Jovan Belcher.  Management has turned a new page hiring coach Andy Reid to set a new tone.  But, can a team who has seen such hardship transform itself in one season?  

Kansas City Chiefs President, Mark Donovan, believes the expectation is very high from the fan base, but right now he just wants to focus on Jacksonville and coming back 1-0. 

Wikipedia Commons

This week the 2013 Little League World Series has bought teams from across the world to Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The championship game will be played on Sunday.

In this month’s “A Fan’s Notes”, commentator Victor Wishna tells us what Major League players could learn from their Little League compadres.

Royals In The Play-offs?

Aug 22, 2013
Wikimedia Commons - CC

It's nearly September, and the Royals have won more games than they've lost. This might seem like a minor achievement, but here in Kansas City, this is a huge deal. We haven't had a winning season since 2003 and before that, 1994.  An entire generation of baseball fans have not seen the Royals do well. To put this into perspective, Eric Hosmer, the Royals' first baseman is 23 years old. He was born in 1989, a full 4 years after the Royals last made the play-offs (and went on to win the World Series).

Greg Echlin / KCUR

The new road course constructed within the oval at Kansas Speedway will be the site of sports car competition for the first time this weekend. Pricier models such as Porches, Ferraris and BMWs are more associated with this group of drivers compared to the more common Chevy, Ford and Toyotas on the NASCAR circuit.

And, the brand of cars isn’t the only thing different about sports car racing.

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