Jeremy Bernfield / KCUR 89.3


Another NFL season kicked off last week, and the opening spectacle in Kansas City was most unprecedented, in more ways than one. Commentator Victor Wishna expounds on the situation in this month’s edition of “A Fan’s Notes.”

If all you knew about Sunday’s win at Arrowhead was the final score, you’d think the Kansas City Chiefs had done exactly what they were supposed to do. After all, the six-point margin was just a half-point off the Vegas line, and with four straight victories over San Diego, beating the Chargers had become routine.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

Pull into the Arrowhead Stadium parking lot for a Kansas City Chiefs game and what do you notice? Besides the plume of smoke from the barbeque grills, you can’t miss the sea of red. Not only do fans wear the colors, more tailgate vehicles display them.

And, in recent years, more old school buses are converted into party buses. 

As time ran short before the Chiefs pre-season opener against Seattle on Aug. 13, Dallas Kidd and his co-workers used 30 cans of spray paint to transform a small, old yellow school bus into a party vehicle for Chiefs games.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

In major college football, there were only two teams in the country last season that failed to win a single game—Central Florida and Kansas. The Jayhawks play their first game of the season this Saturday.

The crimson and blue program is buoyed by a corps of fans even during their struggles last year.

In KU’s season opener last year against South Dakota State, the Jayhawks never got the chance to kick the potential game-tying field goal in the final seconds. As a result, South Dakota State won, 41-38.

On this edition of Up To Date, the Ethics Professors take on the recent outcry involving athletes Ryan Lochte and Colin Kaepernick, and look at the University of Chicago's refusal to create safe spaces on campus.


  • Wayne Vaught is dean of the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences and a professor of philosophy, medicine and bioethics.
  • Clancy Martin is a professor of philosophy at UMKC and a professor of business ethics at the Bloch School of Management. 

One year ago, the Chiefs celebrated the return of veteran safety Eric Berry after his recovery from cancer. But he was conspicuously absent from the annual Chiefs Chamber of Commerce luncheon Friday afternoon.

Berry hasn’t yet signed a contract, but he is set to earn $10.8 million this season, and multiple reports say he’ll return to the Chiefs after Saturday’s pre-season game in Chicago.

Courtesy Photo / HNTB

No, we haven't forgotten about the heartbreaking loss against the Patriots that took the Kansas City Chiefs out of the NFL playoffs.

But Kansas City will be represented in a big way on Sunday as the Denver Broncos face off against the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.

Courtesy / Alex Smith Blake

Alex Smith has been married 15 times.

No, not the star quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs.

We found 15 Alex Smiths who have been married in Jackson or Johnson counties in the last 20 years.

The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Oakland Raiders Sunday, 23-17, to finish the season with 10 wins in a row and an 11-5 record.

But it wasn’t enough to overtake the Denver Broncos in the AFC West since they also won.

When the Chiefs players were on the field, the score of the Broncos game wasn’t shown on the scoreboard at Arrowhead Stadium. Chiefs coach Andy Reid claims they didn’t care.

“They wanna play. You put somebody in front of them. They go play,” said Reid.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen gave its blessing to a measure aimed at keeping the St. Louis Rams in town.

Now, it’s up to the NFL’s owners to see if this potentially expensive gambit paid off.

Jeremy Bernfield / KCUR 89.3

The year is winding down, and if this wasn’t already one of the greatest years in local sports history, here come the re-energized Kansas City Chiefs. The Royals took the crown, but as commentator Victor Wishna explains in the latest edition of A Fan’s Notes, this might really be “our time.”

So. how ’bout them Chiefs? No, really — if you'd asked a month or so ago, most would’ve said, “Uh…what about ’em?”

Courtesy of

University of Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel says he will resign at the end of season.  The announcement is the latest twist in a dramatic week for the team.

On Friday, the 63-year-old Pinkel announced his resignation, effective at the end of this season.  Doctors have been treating Pinkel for lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, since May.  Pinkel says his health and not the turbulent week at MU drove his decision.

Mizzou Legion of Black Collegians / Twitter

Update 6:30pm:

Football players from the University of Missouri say they are boycotting football activities to protest what they say is insufficient response to incidents of racism on the Columbia campus.

A group of students has been leading protests to draw attention to the school’s reaction to a string of incidents and have called on University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe to resign.

Mike Foster
Julie Denesha / / KCUR

Some innovators develop something completely new. Others take something that everyone thought was working fine and make it better.

College football isn’t about touchdowns or bowl games— it’s about money. That's according to Gilbert Gaul, author of Billion-Dollar Ball: A Journey Through the Big-Money Culture of College Football. Gaul spent years finding out just how far universities will go for a winning football pro gram. 

You've seen it on the field of every football game in the United States — that black-and-orange marker that measures down and distance. It was actually invented in Kansas City. Now, another local guy has created a new version that uses lasers to measure the placement of the ball.

The NFL Draft takes place Thursday night, and a Kansas City area high school graduate was projected to be among the early picks. That is, until the news came out this week about Shane Ray being pulled over on I-70 and cited for marijuana possession.

Ray, a defensive lineman from Bishop Miege High School, was honored two weeks ago by the Kansas City Sports Commission for his three-year career at the University of Missouri. At that time, he was asked about the NFL Draft.

Cody Newill / KCUR

The NFL's Pro Football Hall of Fame will be moving a portion of its collection into Union Station this summer. 

The "Gridiron Glory" exhibit is a self described "best-of" collection of the full Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. More than 200 items like former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway's jersey and vintage film footage of Super Bowls past will fill the exhibition.

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder was on hand in the Dallas-Fort Worth area Friday for the College Football Hall of Fame announcement. He is one of two coaches and 15 players who being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Before Snyder was hired at Kansas State in 1989, the Wildcats had been to only one bowl game in the history of the program. When he arrived, the cupboard was bare. 

A Fan's Notes: Are We Not Entertained?

Dec 11, 2014
Greg Echlin

The late, great George Carlin had a classic bit on the differences between baseball and football. One’s a game, he explained. The other is, well, more like war. After all, baseball is played in a park, football on a gridiron. The aim is to blitz and sack the opponent, to break through the line with traps, bombs, even a shotgun. The object in baseball? To go home, and be safe.

Not since the Missouri Tigers squared off against the Kansas Jayhawks in 2011 has any big-time college football team played at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. Next year, however, MU will play a game there against Brigham Young University.

MU athletics director Mike Alden said he knows fans would love a rematch between the Jayhawks and Tigers, but it's up in the air whether that could be arranged.

"Boy, it would be awesome if one of these days we could get that together," Alden said. "But who knows?"

Greg Echlin / KCUR

Saturday morning, Northwest Missouri will play in the NCAA Division II football national championship game in Florence, Ala. A Kansas City delegation is in attendance, and not just to cheer on the Bearcats. They’re taking notes because next year the championship game moves to Kansas City.

How did Kansas City land the championship for next year? The answer may surprise you.

Kansas City led the way in cities awarded future men's and women's NCAA championships.

Of the 14 NCAA men's and women's championships awarded to Kansas City, 13 are scheduled for soccer venues built within the last three years - either at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., or the new Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Mo.

The most significant announcement centers around the Division II football championship. It will be played at Sporting Park, starting next year and running through 2017.

Monicas Dad / Flickr - CC

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.

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.


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. 

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend multiple times around 8 a.m. Saturday, drove to the team's training facility, thanked coaches for supporting him, walked away and shot himself in the head, police said.

Jeffrey Beall

When the bad news is about the fans instead of the game, you know things just aren’t right.

Though the nation's football fans — from President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to the average couch quarterback — are begging the two sides to settle their contract dispute so that regular NFL referees can come back to work, there seems to be no clear reason to think that's going to happen in time for this week's games.

Rejoice! KC Has An Incredible Football Team

Jul 5, 2012

With All Star weekend ahead, Kansas City has gone baseball crazy. And, why not? It’s not like we have a decent football team anymore... oh, but we do. Meet the KC Tribe.

One of the most anticipated and widely watched sporting events of the year is happening right now—and it isn’t a championship game or a playoff series or a competition of any kind.