© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Up To Date

Commentary: Kansas City Sports Fan's Wish List Tradition Continues

Kansas Collection
The University of Kansas
What does commentator Victor Wishna want for the holidays? A Super Bowl win for the Chiefs would be nice. The team's only championship came in 1970, under the head coaching of Hank Stram, shown here at a celebration shortly after the game.

'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.'

It’s that time of year again. I’ve made a list. And I’ve checked it, I dunno, three times? And sure, Hanukkah just ended — sad. But, like every sports fan in history, I haven’t yet gotten everything I want. That’s why I started this wish list a couple years ago, and then continued it. And by now it’s become a tradition.

I’ll start with an easy one.

I want the Kansas City Chiefs to win on Thursday. I want it be a blowout — or a heart-pounder — as long as Patrick Mahomes once again does something we’ve never seen before. I want the Chiefs to keep winning, to host the AFC Championship — and win it — at Arrowhead Stadium, something we’ve never seen before.

And, of course, I want them to win the Super Bowl. And this time, I mean it.

I want former Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt to, as the euphemism goes, “better” himself. I want Hunt to have the chance, after discipline and direction, to make a living. I want the NFL to show the same commitment to the truth as TMZ. I want us all to realize that there is a victim here, and it is neither Hunt, nor the league, nor the Chiefs, nor the fans.

I want former Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith to make a full recovery and a triumphant return to football, if that’s what he wants.

I want a pair of Zubaz pants, just to wear at home.

I want Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes to get some kind of silly, special award — maybe an ESPY? — for that moment in the conference final when he confronted thousands of his own team’s rowdy, angry fans. I want Sporting’s 2019 squad to hone playoff heartbreak into a mandate to finish “unfinished business,” just like the 2015 Kansas City Royals.

I want the Royals’ plan to stick with young talent to work, like it did once before. I want general manager Dayton Moore to do whatever he sees fit this offseason to improve the rotation and bullpen, even if that means reuniting with reliever Joakim Soria for a third time, which, you know, could be the charm.

I want the Kansas City T-Bones to defend their title as American Association champs, and become the first KC team to go back-to-back since the 1953 Kansas City Blues.

I want Kansas City to host at least one match in the 2026 World Cup.

I want to understand why Adidas can’t pay a high-school kid a couple thousand bucks in the hopes that he might go to a certain school, but can pay that same school nearly $200 million in apparel and sponsorship cash.

I want to know how compensating the players in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowlwould violate the sanctity of the amateur game. I want to see whether the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl, between the University of Alabama-Birmingham and Northern Illinois, leads to spike in sales of Cheribundi tart cherry juice. I want to watch the Cheez-It Bowl, while eating a big bowl of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish.

I want to finally go to the roller derby: the Fountain City Roller Derby, the Kansas City Roller Warriors — so many choices.

I want peppermint ice cream with chocolate Magic Shell.

I want to learn more about rugby — or at least I want to try — if someone can explain it to me in a way that I can understand it as more than the mix of soccer, football, wrestling and ultimate frisbee that it seems to me to be.

I want to see the Kansas City Blues — our town’s nationally respected amateur rugby team — take its place in Major League Rugby, the sport’s recently formed pro league, because, as a Kansas City sports fan, I always want more sports of which to be a fan.

Am I asking too much? Probably. And I could go on asking. And I know I will, because that’s the promise of any good tradition: There’s always next year.

Victor Wishna is a writer, editor and sports fan. He lives in Leawood.

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