* Come on. Cold and rain? And snow flurries?
* None of that really bothers me, but I feel most like a Kansan when I comment negatively on the weather.
* I was born in Winfield, raised in Derby. So, yes, I’m a Kansan.
* I’ve never eaten lobster. What’s so good about it, anyway?
* I’ve always been a picky eater. My family members never understood how it was that I could like ketchup and so dislike tomatoes. I’m not sure I ever offered up a very good explanation.
* As you may or may not know, I’m involved with a great new baseball organization called League 42. It’s for underprivileged kids, ages 5-13 (as of May 1, 2014) in Wichita and we’re starting leagues in the spring at McAdams Park. First, though, we have to get kids signed up. Our first of several Saturday Sign-Ups over the next few months will be held Oct. 26 – a week from tomorrow – at the McAdams Park rec center, 1329 E. 16th. It’s near 17th and Wabash. It’ll be from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and the cost is just $30 per family. Not per kid, per family. Plus, we’ll be providing much of the equipment, including a glove. Please, please tell your friends. Help us spread the word.
* The Cardinals play tonight in Game 6 of the NLCS against Los Angeles and I’m trying not to think about it. How is St. Louis going to solve LA lefty Clayton Kershaw? Can rookie Michael Wacha continue his mastery over postseason hitters? Will the Cardinals get some big hits? I’m a wreck, not sure I can even watch. But I’d be even more miserable if I tried not watching.
* I wonder often how I got to be such a die-hard Cardinals fan? My job has zapped most of that fan stuff, especially when it comes to Wichita State. I was just as much a Shockers fan when I was a kid and into my 20s as I was a Cardinals fan. But being around the team, covering the team, being responsible for unbiased reporting about the team caused my allegiances to Wichita State to disappear.
* When I was in high school, I wanted to do radio play-by-play for the Cardinals. Later, I had a pipe dream of working at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and covering the baseball team. I had the idea at the time that it would be a great job. A fun job. I’m glad it never happened. First, it would have meant that I could no longer be a Cardinals fan. And I would hate that. It’s fun to follow a baseball team, except when it isn’t. Which, come to think of it, is most of the time.
* I actually think the time of the season when it’s most enjoyable to be a Cardinals fan is when the season is over. I enjoy trade speculation, minor-league momement and all of the hot stove activities that help make baseball compelling. But once games start, it’s not fun unless the Cardinals win. And even then, there’s always the next game. And the one after that.
* Casual fans have it made. But feel free to invest in a team. In a player. In something. You casual fans make me sick.
* Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig fascinates me. What an unbelievable athlete. I’ve watched him closely in the NLCS and while he started slowly, he picked things up offensively during the three games in Los Angeles this week. I thought Puig was undisciplined at the plate in Games 1 and 2 in St. Louis, when he struck out six times. But I was impressed by how he laid off of good breaking pitches in the Dodger Stadium games and even took a couple of pitches to right field.
* I found myself wondering whether Puig will be a superstar. He has all of the makings, but will have to overcome his emotions. At least I think he will. Playing at such an emotional high for 162 games will burn him out. Then again, Puig is a different animal. He’s a beast. It’s going to be fascinating to see how he develops. I don’t think there’s any middle ground. He’ll either be one of the game’s greats or a monumental bust. Right now, I’m going with the former.
* I am embarrassed by how long it has been since I read a book. I do read a lot of magazines, some even that make me think. Does that count? Or is the fact I haven’t read a book in ages something I should be ashamed of? I have a bunch of books in my office at home. They look so good on the shelves. But they’re dusty.
* Oklahoma is going to open up a can against Kansas on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence. Not because the Sooners are good. But because they’re angry, coming off a blowout loss against Texas. And let’s face it, KU isn’t capable of stopping OU. I have it 40-17, OU.
* The Chiefs will go to 7-0 on Sunday by beating the Houston Texans, who have descended from 12-4 last season to one of the three or four worst teams in the NFL this season. Yeah, like that’s normal.
* Folks prop up Denver as the heavy favorite to reach the Super Bowl from the AFC. Hold on just a second. The Broncos are explosive offensively, but their defense has gone south. Or, rather, opposing offenses have gone south against the Denver defense. Or north, depending on the quarter. Now I’m confused. Anyway, Kansas City’s defense is a more reliable entity than the Broncos’ offense, in my opinion. So, I think KC gets one of the two games against the Broncos and has a great shot at winning the division and getting to the Super Bowl.
* I cannot lie, part of my optimism for the Chiefs’ chances is based on a woeful schedule. But it’s pretty much the one the Broncos play, except that Denver has to play on the road at Indianapolis and New England. The Chiefs play Indy at Arrowhead and don’t play the Patriots.
* And who else in the AFC is even a threat? The Patriots, I suppose, although I just can’t see that offense getting to a Super Bowl? Baltimore? The Ravens can’t run the football and are allowing quarterback Joe Flacco to get maimed. Cincinnati? Does Cincinnati ever do anything? Miami? Tennessee? I’m telling you, the Chiefs are in this thing. Denver is not invincible.
* I love the name “Tamba Hali.” I wish it was mine.
* I’ve been on a real dill-flavored sunflower seeds kick lately. I’ll probably buy a sack for the trip to Lawrence tomorrow. I think it disgusts my wife when I chew them, but I don’t ask for fear she might make me stop. That’s the kind of thoughtful guy I am.
* I never chewed tobacco, so there’s that. Even though I played a lot of baseball in my youth, the thought of putting that nasty stuff in my mouth was disgusting. Remember, I don’t even put tomatoes in my mouth.
* Cheer for the Cardinals tonight. Please. It’s the least you can do. And have a great weekend. We’re planning a double feature Sunday at the Warren: “Gravity” and “Captain Phillips.” I don’t think we’ll be able to fit in “Machete Kills.”