Victor Wishna | KCUR

Victor Wishna

Victor Wishna is a contributing author and commentator for Up to Date.

Sgt. 1st Class Anthony L. Taylor / U.S. Army

This just in: The National Football League is hiring! But unless you’re about 20 years old and have been preparing for the NFL your entire life, you’re better off watching the draft live on TV with millions of other fans. Commentator Victor Wishna explains why in this month’s edition of 'A Fan’s Notes.'

Don’t let the calendar fool you. Fans feel that distinct chill in the air, which can only mean one thing: Football season is here.

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The calendar has turned to March, and with it come certain expectations. For example, temperatures above freezing, and the Kansas Jayhawks cruising to another Big 12 title. But this year — not so much. Commentator Victor Wishna faces the cold reality in this month’s edition of “A Fan’s Notes.”

When the Kansas Jayhawks take on the Oklahoma Sooners tonight, they will do so as underdogs. Not in the game — they’re slight favorites. But the odds that they will win their record 15th consecutive Big 12 conference championship are ... less than even.

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There certainly wasn’t much action in last Sunday’s Super Bowl. But that wasn’t the case at casinos in several states, where gambling on sports is legal for the first time thanks to a landmark Supreme Court ruling that you might have missed. Tax collectors and investors stand to make millions, but is it good for the fans? Commentator Victor Wishna weighs the odds in this month’s edition of 'A Fan’s Notes.'

Did you bet on the Super Bowl? I bet you did.

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On Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs will play for their first Super Bowl berth in half a century. But first, they needed to vanquish the Colts—and all the ghosts—of playoffs past. Whatever happens next, “A Fan’s Notes” commentator Victor Wishna will always remember the day the postseason curse was broken.

On Saturday, as you probably know, the Kansas City Chiefs finally won a home playoff game—for the first time in 25 years!

Kansas Collection / The University of Kansas

'Tis the season of giving — and for sports fans wishful thinking, as visions of playoff wins dance in their heads. Commentator Victor Wishna once again inventories his own hopes and dreams for the Kansas City sports scene in this holiday edition of 'A Fan’s Notes.'

Photo of Sporting KC fans in the Cauldron section of Children's Mercy Park
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You may not remember where you put your keys or what you had for breakfast. But if you’re a sports fan, you probably know exactly where you were when your team won it all because, unlike the blur of our modern daily lives, sports moments are rooted in time, and place. Victor Wishna explains in 'A Fan’s Notes.'

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The NFL season is only three weeks old, but the Kansas City Chiefs are the hottest team in the league, and the most hyped, thanks to the skyrocketing stardom of quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Commentator Victor Wishna goes along for the ride, in this month’s edition of 'A Fan’s Notes.'

VICIS

The first preseason Chiefs game is in the books and September is just around the corner, which means it’s time to ask yourself: 'Are you ready for some football?' As commentator Victor Wishna admits in this edition of A Fan’s Notes, that isn’t the easiest question for everyone to answer.

As training gets underway at camps and campuses from coast to coast, football is back in the headlines — and most of them are bad:

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Here’s a newsflash: It’s hot. The sky is blue. The grass is brown. And the Kansas City Royals are really, really bad. Commentator Victor Wishna doesn’t need to elaborate, but he does in this July edition of 'A Fan’s Notes.'

Ah, the dog days of summer. The heat. The humidity. The sense of powerlessness and impending doom. And that’s just for local sports fans.

Photo of Sporting KC fans in the Cauldron section of Children's Mercy Park
ryanknapp / Flickr--Creative Commons

Without the frenzied cheers and boos from the stands, that Major League Soccer match or NBA Final or American League showdown really would be only a game. But sports fans are far from just a madding crowd with a mob mentality. As Victor Wishna explains in “A Fan’s Notes,” they—that is, we—contain multitudes.

If you’ve been to even one Sporting KC home game at Children’s Mercy Park, then you’ve seen them, and heard them.

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The underground economy of amateur college sports — where agents, boosters, and other deal-makers pay to play — has long been an open secret, to coaches, student-athletes and even fans. But now that someone — specifically, the Justice Department — is making a federal case of it, could a real cleanup be on the way? Commentator Victor Wishna explains in this month’s edition of “A Fan’s Notes.”

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Commentator Victor Wishna attended his first Royals game as a toddler, and he was there in person to witness the final out of game seven of the World Series. But he'd never journeyed to where it all begins: spring training. That changed this week. Victor reports back from Surprise, Arizona, with this travelogue edition of 'A Fan's Notes.'

If, like me, you’ve never been to spring training, it’s quite a trip.

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The nations of the world are gathered once again for the Olympic Games and — wouldn’t you know it? — there still isn’t peace on earth. Yet as commentator Victor Wishna explains in this month’s edition of 'A Fan’s Notes,' in times like these, it really may be the thought that counts.

When the delegations of North and South Korea walked in to Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium this week as one team, was it a big deal or just a big show?

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Look around any stadium on game day and you’re bound to see more than a few in the crowd — from George Brett to Tony Gonzalez; the old jerseys our favorite players left behind. But All-Stars fade and rising stars soar … out of reach of the payroll — especially in Kansas City. Parting can be such sweet sorrow — well, sometimes. Victor Wishna explains, in this month’s 'A Fan’s Notes.'

We sports fans love our teams — and even when we hate them, we sort of love to hate them. There are ups, there are downs, the relationship continues.

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Here we are, 10 days ‘til Christmas, halfway through Hanukkah, and maybe you’re still looking for that perfect gift for your favorite sports fan. Don’t worry. 'A Fan’s Notes' commentator Victor Wishna is back to tell you what you he really, really wants.

Well, ‘tis the season, as they say. The most wonderful time of the year, when so many of us look forward to getting what we say we’ve wanted, and I’m not just talking about the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl — go ‘Cats!

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Fans know their favorite teams are full of drama, on the field and sometimes off. Players come and players go, but at every game there’s at least one real character whose only job is to be a good sport. Commentator Victor Wishna explains in this month’s edition of 'A Fan’s Notes.'

Who says there’s no good news anymore?

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There was a time when the phrase "armchair quarterback" was a put-down, but the armchair may be exactly where a new breed of competitor will be making a living or earning a scholarship. Victor Wishna explains in this month's 'A Fan's Notes.'

It’s amazing, and silly, how some ’80s movies managed to predict the 21st century.

Vicis

The Kansas City Chiefs are off to a championship-caliber start. But their prospects, and the future of football itself, may depend on whether the game can be made safer — for players to play, and for fans to watch with a clear conscience. Commentator Victor Wishna elaborates in the September edition of “A Fan’s Notes.”

Hey, don’t look now — and it’s only been two games — but the Chiefs are Super Bowl favorites.

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The term “fan” first entered the sports lexicon as shorthand for “fanatic” — and it wasn’t meant as a compliment. But as commentator Victor Wishna explains in “A Fan’s Notes,” when done responsibly, there’s no shame in getting carried away. It’s all part of the game.

So, how’s everybody’s summer?

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As the Major League Baseball season enters the stretch run to fall, this is shaping up to be the summer of slam: Baseballs are flying out of the park at a record pace. But nowhere is this power surge more noticeable than right here in Kansas City. Commentator Victor Wishna explains, in this mid-season edition of “A Fan’s Notes.”

The sound ... is unmistakable.

Crack. “High fly ball! Deep left field! Gone!”

KC Roller Warriors

On movie screens everywhere, the latest superhero sensation wields a sword, a shield and a magical golden lasso. The only thing missing from Wonder Woman’s arsenal might just be a pair of roller skates. Wait—what? Commentator Victor Wishna explains, in this latest edition of “A Fan’s Notes.”

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Sports fans in Kansas City and beyond are generally a forward-thinking bunch — “There’s always next year,” goes the rallying cry. But what keeps fans coming back for more is a healthy sense of history and, as commentator Victor Wishna explains in “A Fan’s Notes,” an occasional blast from the past. 

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Royals are off to a rough start. But what can fans do about it? What should they do? Simply wait it out? Well … yeah. Sorta. Commentator Victor Wishna explains, in this April edition of “A Fan’s Notes.”

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From biblical birthrights to the Belmont Stakes, people have always been obsessed with finishing first. Racing is the most fundamental form of sporting competition and, for better and for worse, a part of human nature. Commentator Victor Wishna elaborates in “A Fan’s Notes.”

You may not even know about it, but there is an earth-moving event happening right downtown. More than 3,000 tons of dirt is being hauled in to the Sprint Center, dumped on the floor, and bulldozed into a twisting track of moguls, ramps and jumps.

Lance Cpl. Matthew Bragg / U.S. Marine Corps

This Sunday, the NFL playoffs return to Kansas City for the first time since 2011, and the Chiefs have a chance to go further than they’ve gone in a generation. But as commentator Victor Wishna explains in this month’s edition of 'A Fan’s Notes,' that’s not all that’s on the line.

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As you’re out doing your holiday shopping this month, you certainly don’t want to forget your favorite sports fans — a team hat, a scarf, a jersey, maybe even some season tickets. Yet as commentator Victor Wishna details in this edition of 'A Fan’s Notes,' his own wish list is a little longer than that.

Well, it’s that time of year again. By which I mean, the time of year when there isn’t much time left in the year. It’s a time when everyone, it seems, is making lists — best-ofs, in-memoriams, resolutions — and, you know, checking them twice.

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In these heady weeks of, well, transition… perhaps you’ve found yourself asking, “What happens next?” Sports fans know there's no such thing as a sure thing. And, as Victor Wishna explains in 'A Fan's Notes,' that's the point.

Uncertainty. It’s a word you might be hearing a lot right now. And whether you’re jubilant or traumatized or just bewildered, you’re probably feeling it, too. Can’t think why.

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Football season… baseball season… none is as seemingly endless as election season. This one has been particularly nasty, brutish and long—and now, as Victor Wishna explains in “A Fan’s Notes,” it’s bullied its way into the sports headlines, too.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR 89.3 file photo

  

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.

Fernando Frazão / Agência Brasil / Source http://agenciabrasil.ebc.com.br/rio-2016/foto/2016-08/natacao-rio-2016

It’s been a week since the Olympic flame was lit in Rio de Janeiro, and so far these Games have gone more or less as expected — for better and for worse. Amid all the storylines and golden moments, "A Fan’s Notes" commentator Victor Wishna muses on a larger, urgent meaning for all of us watching back home.

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