Here we are, 10 days ‘til Christmas, halfway through Hanukkah, and maybe you’re still looking for that perfect gift for your favorite sports fan. Don’t worry. 'A Fan’s Notes' commentator Victor Wishna is back to tell you what you he really, really wants.
Well, ‘tis the season, as they say. The most wonderful time of the year, when so many of us look forward to getting what we say we’ve wanted, and I’m not just talking about the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl — go ‘Cats!
Last year at this time, I started a tradition of sharing my own Kansas City fan’s wish list. I didn’t know it was going to be a tradition, but, well — just like my 3-year-old, who points at every toy ad he sees — I didn’t get everything I wanted.
So, if you’ll indulge me, I have just a few more items.
I want the Kansas City Chiefs to maintain the poise they seemed to regain this week, as they flattened the Raiders in one must-win division game and prepare for another Saturday night. I want the Chiefs — and their fans — to remember this is the same team, more or less, that steamrolled the Patriots and out-dueled the Eagles. I want to see KC make the playoffs, win their first postseason game at home since Joe Montana, and, on their way to a Super Bowl, stomp all over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Or — even better — not have to play them.
I want the Royals to go all in on a rebuild, even if it means losing a hundred games, just like the Cubs and the Astros did — I mean, for, like, a year or two, not thirty.
I want to go to spring training.
I want Gianluca Busio — the 15-year-old phenom that Sporting KC signed this fall — to blossom into a bona fide star. In good time, of course, like when he’s 16.
I want a nice digital camera, the kind that isn’t a phone.
I want this to become something of a hockey town, because — now that the Missouri Mavericks have rebranded as the Kansas City Mavericks — why not? I don’t know that much about hockey; it feels like I should.
I want the NCAA to disband. And, well, when that doesn’t happen, I want them to enact bylaws that allow student-athletes to earn a living wage or to profit from their own likeness. Barring that, I want 10 percent of every coach’s salary set aside for a pizza fund.
I want a new pair of Converse All-Stars that look really old, the kind that slip on, that have elastic instead of laces; I don’t have time for laces.
I want Twitter to just stop.
I want everyone to know that we have a semi-pro women’s tackle football team: the Kansas City Titans of the Women’s Football Alliance. When their season starts in April, I want to make sure to remember the Titans.
I want to see the new Star Wars movie.
I want more funky events like motocross and monster trucks and professional bull-riding downtown.
I want the streetcar to extend to the Truman Sports Complex.
I want the Jayhawks to turn it around.
I want ...
The thing is, with sports, there’s always a long list. It’s why we keep coming back. And perhaps more so this year — and next — sports plays an important role as both a distraction and a call to action, a form of silly entertainment and a forum for civic re-engagement. Sports is a reflection of what we want and what we need to do better.
And I don’t want that to change.
Victor Wishna is a writer, editor and sports fan. He lives in Leawood.