News and NotesDecember 20th, 2009 by Lee Eldridge
Have been out of town. Just a few sports notes to touch on to start our Sunday.
Chiefs Blacked Out
It’s been 19 years since a Chiefs game has been blacked out. Unable to watch the game on TV today, I’m sure I’ll have the radio on and listen to the Chiefs broadcast with Mitch and Len. For years I would watch on TV but listen to the radio broadcast. Mitch and Len do a great job. But the signal no longer matches up, and it’s distracting to hear a play on the radio and see it happen about 10 seconds later.
Anyway, on to the blackout. I think there’s been a misconception out there by fans about TV blackouts. We’ve seen a number of games the last few years where attendance has been down. You can tell by looking at the stands that there’s no way the game was sold out. There’s been an assumption that the TV stations must be picking up the spare tickets to make sure that the games can be televised. And maybe they’ve picked up a few. But this never made sense to me economically.
810WHB had some good information this week explaining the whole process about NFL blackouts. It’s obvious that the Hunt family has been purchasing the unsold tickets in order to televise the games. They haven’t done this for financial gain. They have undoubtedly spent much more on the tickets than they’ve gained from the games being televised (remember that TV revenues are shared throughout the league). They’ve done this so that the fans can watch the games. And to their credit, they’ve done this without saying a word.
So why did the Hunt family not do this one more time? Hard to know, and I’m sure they’ll never tell. They’ve probably spent significantly more this season purchasing tickets than any season in the past, and maybe they’ve decided enough is enough. Or maybe they’ve decided to use this as leverage to push season ticket sales next year. Those of us who stay home and watch the games can no longer be guaranteed to see all of the games. Or maybe a little of both.
Texas Sized Talent
A nice article this morning in the Star on running back Jamaal Charles. I like this kid, and had called earlier in the season for the Chiefs to use him more. If he can stay healthy, and solve his fumbling tendencies, he could become a star for the Chiefs. I like how Charles responded to being declared inactive against Oakland earlier this season. He went to coach Haley and said that he’d do whatever it takes to play.
This is in stark comparison to linebacker Derrick Johnson.
Johnson and Charles are probably two of the most gifted athletes on the roster. Both were stars in college for the University of Texas. Both were high draft picks (Johnson round one, and Charles round three). Johnson came in and started immediately, but has never lived up to his ability. Every year we heard how this would be the year that Johnson would breakout. But every year we were left with questions about Johnson’s ability to consistently make plays in the pros. This year he was benched by Haley, and plays primarily on passing downs. When asked earlier this season if DJ had spoken with Haley about the benching, Johnson replied that no, he had not talked with the coach about his limited playing time.
I remember being astonished at the time. If I had been demoted at my job, I would want to know why. I’ve always thought that Johnson lacked the passion to be a great linebacker. It appears he doesn’t even have the passion to fight for his job.
Impressed by Turner Gill
Another really nice article in the Star today — this one about new KU head coach Turner Gill. I’m becoming optimistic that maybe, just maybe, this was a great hire by Lew Perkins. Gill can certainly recruit. He appears to be a good leader. A good coach. And a good man. Gill appears the type of man who would be very happy at KU, and willing to stay for a long time.