sports

Courtesy of Phil Dixon

In the late 1940s and early 50’s, Kansas City, Kan., native Tommy Campbell became the world’s number-two-ranked lightweight fighter. He won almost as many fights as Muhammad Ali, but his boxing career was cut short when he stood up against mob-controlled promoters and boxing matchmakers.

Author Phil Dixon, tells Campbell's story in his upcoming book Tommy Campbell: A Boxing Bout with the Mob.

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.

KC Sports: Covering The Rollercoaster

Oct 17, 2013
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.

Former Royals Outfielder Looks Back

Sep 29, 2013

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 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.

Not Slowing Down: The Fastest Man Over 75

Jul 11, 2013
www.usatf.org

In 1959, Bob Lida dominated the Big Eight championship with his time in the indoor 440-yard dash.  More than 50 years later, he's still running-- and still a champ.

Greg Echlin

Because of a hand injury last year, Tom Watson was unable to defend the last tournament he won, the Senior PGA Championship. But he’s healthy now and in the frame of mind to win another championship.

This year’s Senior PGA Championship takes place at the Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, MO.

Though Tom Watson is 63 now, he’s not ready to give in easily to age. He compares his attitude to another legendary golfer, Arnold Palmer.

"He still thinks he can do it. He goes out there and may not be able to, but he still thinks he can do it," says Watson.

Competition

Apr 1, 2013

It has been quite a week for one of the biggest sports competitions of the year. And just as march madness comes to a end the Kansas City Royals, kick off their season opener in Chicago.

In honor of these events we’ll be taking a look at the psychology of competition. It permeates not just sports, but almost every aspect of our lives as we compete for money, prestige and more.  But, when is it healthy and when does it become detrimental not just to our personal, but social wellbeing?  And how do we tell the difference?

The first bow and arrow is believed to have been used around 12-thousand years ago, but with the rise of guns, archery fell out of favor.  Now, it’s being revived with the help of school programs across the county. Eric Edwards from the Missouri Department Conservation and coordinator for the Missouri National Archery in Schools Program shares with us how archery is helping young people learn discipline, love of sport, and concentration.

Last week, the International Olympic Committee announced it will be taking wrestling to the mat--the 2016 Games will be the last for the ancient sport. But with March Madness approaching and spring training already underway, why should the casual fan care? Commentator Victor Wishna explains in this month's edition of  A Fan's Notes.

For every Arrowhead Stadium, there are a handful more named for banks, cell-phone companies, or airlines. In big-time sports, corporate naming-rights deals aren't just a trend, they are the rule - with millions of dollars at stake. 

But what's in a name? Sometimes more than was bargained for. Commentator Victor Wishna explains in A Fan's Notes

A Royals Season Preview

Jan 17, 2013

The organ music, peanuts and even that occasional flying hot dog are all part of going out to Kauffman Stadium for a Royals game.

Audio Pending...

As the year comes to close, A Fan’s Notes commentator Victor Wishna looks back on “the year that was” in the world of Kansas City sports… with a glimmer of hope at what could be.

U.S. Department of Defense

Was it wrong for fans to cheer at Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel's injury? What about the scandal of Gen. David Petraeus and his extra-marital affair-- is it any of our business?

Missouri Mavericks

Name the area professional sports team to make it to the playoffs the last two seasons.  Hint: it doesn't play in Kansas City.

KC Sports Report

Oct 15, 2012
flickr / Jeremy Brooks

We’re unfolding the newspaper for a look at the latest headlines from the sports section. Did you miss a game this season? ...or all of them?

Lamar Hunt: A Life In Sports

Oct 10, 2012

During the second half of Wednesday’s Central Standard, a look into the legacy of a sports icon... not to mention the founder of the Kansas City Chiefs.

We’ll be talking with Michael MacCambridge, author of the new biography Lamar Hunt: A Life In Sports.

The Kansas City Chiefs open their regular season this Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. It’s hard to see underneath those protective uniforms, but this years’ team is….well, let’s not sugar coat it – young.

Getty

The 30th Summer Olympic Games come to a close on Sunday in London.

Raytown Native, And His Family, Head To London Olympics

Jul 23, 2012
"Awesome Joolie" / Flickr

Many athletes dream of going to the Olympics, but few ever succeed in representing their country on sport’s most prestigious stage. 

Regarding BBQ Inc.

Although you're more likely to find people huddling over their smokers in warmer weather, barbeque is a year-round passion. And for some, it's a whole lot more, says A Fan's Notes commentator Victor Wishna:

Susan B. Wilson / KCUR

Five-time all-star Frank White always thought he would finish his baseball career at the Royals.  He was the hometown guy who played second base with the team for 18 seasons, starting in 1973. 

Police ask council to include daylight hours in prowling ordinance.  Tom Watson and other atlhetes are playing later in life.  A daily digest of headlines from KCUR.

It’s time for peanuts, cracker jacks and rooting for the home team ... so we’re heading out to the ballgame!

The final dance of this college basketball season is tonight. Fans everywhere are counting on their team to pull off the big win in New Orleans.

The nominations have all been announced and the Academy Awards are almost here. As any sports fan knows, the thrill of athletic competition is the stuff dreams--and movies--are often made of.

It’s long since been commonplace for presidents to flaunt their inner sports fan…to joke about their golf game, invite championship teams to the Rose Garden, or toss out that ceremonial first pitch.

But perhaps, says "A Fan's Notes" commentator Victor Wishna, politicians - including the President and Congress - should pay more attention to sportsmanship.

Council Funds Stadiums Over Mayor's Objections

Jul 2, 2010
Video frame courtesy of KCCG-TV.

Kansas City, MO – Preparing for a July fourth week off, Kansas City's City Council turned out a prolific load of legislation Thursday, finalizing a computerized traffic ticket system, new-home security standards, a loan to pay off TIF obligations, art for the KC-Live District, appropriations for street repairs, and an ethics reform project.

And the council went head to head with the mayor, on funding for the Sports Complex.

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