As you’re out doing your holiday shopping this month, you certainly don’t want to forget your favorite sports fans — a team hat, a scarf, a jersey, maybe even some season tickets. Yet as commentator Victor Wishna details in this edition of 'A Fan’s Notes,' his own wish list is a little longer than that.
Well, it’s that time of year again. By which I mean, the time of year when there isn’t much time left in the year. It’s a time when everyone, it seems, is making lists — best-ofs, in-memoriams, resolutions — and, you know, checking them twice.
And if your house is like mine — meaning it has small children, who’ve been long awaiting one of those commercialized December holidays — then you know all about lists: “Daddy! I want this! Daddy! I want that!”
So, if you’ll forgive me, in this last “A Fan’s Notes” of the year, I have a list of my own:
I want the Kansas City Chiefs to win on Sunday, which would clinch a playoff spot, for the second year in a row. I want them to wrap up a first-round bye, and then win a postseason game at home for the first time in 23 years. And then I would like them to win the next one, because at that point, they might as well go to their first Super Bowl in my lifetime.
I want Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith to get the respect he deserves.
I want Chiefs rookie sensation Tyreek Hill to return at least one kick for a touchdown in each game from now on. After every score, I want the commentators to remind us that he plead guilty to felony domestic assault. I want us to feel conflicted, and I want the Chiefs to take a more forceful public stand against domestic abuse.
I want Sporting KC to become a really big deal again, like they were a few years ago — when the Royals and Chiefs were still struggling.
I want FC Kansas City to become a big deal, too, and I want the National Women’s Soccer League to raise its minimum annual salary above the federal poverty line, for starters.
I want Idaho to win its first-ever appearance in the Great Idaho Potato Bowl.
I want KU basketball fans to relax a little bit.
I want the 10-member Big 12 Conference to change its name to the Big Ten, and the 14-member Big Ten to change its name to the Big 12 — and to give its two teams on the Atlantic coast to the Atlantic Coast Conference.
I want an iPhone 7.
I want flannel-lined sweatpants.
I want an electric toothbrush.
I want the Wade Davis trade to work out. I want Jorge Soler — the young outfielder the Royals got from the Chicago Cubs in the deal — to become the power hitter KC has really never had, and I want him to hit at least one home run — perhaps off Davis — when the Royals beat the Cubs in the World Series.
I want to keep the rest of the Royals’ championship core intact for one more year — unless, of course, GM Dayton Moore has a better idea.
I want to go to a T-Bones game, perhaps on Midget Wrestling Championship night.
I want to see the new Star Wars movie.
I know I’m not going to get everything on my list, just like my kids know they’re not getting everything on theirs — or, well, they’ll find out soon enough.
So, how about this:
I just want more of what we’ve been pretty lucky to have around here recently. I want sports to continue to play a role in unifying us as much as possible, as well as sparking controversy — the kind that we need, in the service of issues we should all be tackling, such as safety and equality and civil society. And next year, I want to keep the conversation going.
Victor Wishna is a writer, editor and sports fan. He lives in Leawood.