Sideline Report: The ‘Golden Age’ of Kansas City sports


Braden Shaw, JagWire editor-in-chief

I used to almost be ashamed to say I’m a fan of the Royals and Chiefs. Kansas City has been known  for mediocrity since, well, before I knew what a football was. There have been a few winning seasons in the past few decades, but nothing worthwhile to help my hometown teams come back from epic collapses which kept fans utterly disappointed and outraged.

Not to beat a dead horse, but it’s both incredible and horrific to think that the Royals went 29 years without a taste of the postseason. It’s even worse now that the Chiefs haven’t won a playoff game since beating the Houston Oilers — who aren’t even an NFL franchise anymore — January 16, 1994 when Joe Montana was the Chiefs starting quarterback.

What’s interesting is that there have been substantial opportunities in the past to win, at least for the Chiefs. They’ve made the playoffs multiple times since 1994, most notably in 2003 and 2013. Both losses to the Indianapolis Colts, but in much different circumstances — the 2003 team finished the regular season 13-3 and possibly could have won a Super Bowl, and the 2013 team who finished the regular season 11-5 and blew a 28 point lead with an epic collapse by the defense.

Amidst all the ineptitude plaguing the team’s inhabiting the Truman Sports Complex, the team on the Kansas side — Sporting Kansas City — really began the turning of the tides for Kansas City sports. Sporting has won two MLS Cups (2000, 2013) and three U.S. Open Cups (2004, 2012, 2015) since the turn of the century. Soccer still isn’t the sport grabbing the most attention, but still gave fans hope that winning is possible here.

Now in January of 2016, the Royals are coming off of back-to-back American League Championships and their first World Series title since 1985. Sporting has captured the aforementioned titles. As for the Chiefs, they have made arguably the greatest turnaround in NFL history, starting the season 1-5 and are now winners of 10 straight games to clinch a Wild Card berth in the playoffs.

It also doesn’t hurt that the University of Kansas men’s basketball team is the number one team in the country, coming off one of the greatest college basketball games I’ve ever seen. I don’t write about KU often, but this team deserves some respect after beating Oklahoma in triple overtime 109-106 Monday  night.

It’s been talked about some, but this shouldn’t be taken lightly. This is the golden age of sports in Kansas City. After seasons of losing, these teams have finally brought victory as well as a new spotlight to the area. These teams will be remembered for their achievements for the rest of history and will hopefully continue this success.AFC

Another opportunity has come for Kansas City teams in the form of a Chiefs playoff game against the Houston Texans on Saturday. It’s almost poetic that postseason redemption could come against Houston. It also seems to be a pattern of these two cities clashing in the postseason as the Royals have recently won the 2015 American League Division Series over the Houston Astros along with the fierce rivalry between Sporting and the Houston Dynamo.

The Chiefs stand a legitimate shot against the Texans, even though it’s a road game and they are set to face the number three ranked defense in the NFL. This is the best chance the Chiefs have had to go deep in the playoffs for a long time, even more so than the 2003 team. The defense has played out of their minds over the winning streak and the offense doesn’t turn the ball over.

I expect the Chiefs to win on Saturday. The rest of the AFC playoff field is a mess, riddled with injuries and inconsistency. This might be the year the Chiefs make a Super Bowl run, potentially lifting their first Lombardi Trophy since the 1969 season.

Sports captivate people in amazing ways and the current state in Kansas City is something to be proud of. I’m no longer ashamed to cheer on the Chiefs and Royals and no matter what happens in the future, the present victorious state of mind can only be thought of as a gift to a city all too familiar with failure.

Junior Braden Shaw is a passionate sports fan who follows sports at both the college and professional level. He loves to defend his unpopular opinions on the University of Nebraska, Sporting KC, Chiefs and Royals and is always up for a debate over any game or team.

(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)