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Scott Frantz has been quietly preparing for what lies ahead since Kansas State’s football season ended at a bowl game on Dec. 31. It’s a future that could change NFL history.

Frantz, an offensive lineman from Lawrence, is gay. His teammates and the Wildcat faithful have known that for three years. But not since Mizzou’s Michael Sam has a college football player been out publicly before seeking a pro career. 

Segment 1: Odds are good that sports betting won't be illegal in Missouri for much longer.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled two years ago that states have the power to legalize sports betting, and 2020 may be the year that the Missouri General Assembly gives it the green light. If new tax revenue from legalized sports gambling in Iowa is any indication, the initiative could be a moneymaker for the Show-Me State. 

Segment 1: "When the Chiefs needed to pick up the yards, Damien Williams was there," said sports reporter Kennetra Pulliams.

In the wake of an historic Chiefs Super Bowl win, we discussed what went right on Sunday, which players could have also been in the running for MVP, and what the future could hold for the team. Plus, what Kansas City learned from the 2015 World Series parade when it comes to port-a-potties and keeping track of children.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

No more waiting, Kansas City: The Chiefs are Super Bowl champions again, and it’s time to party.

Christy Radecic for HOK

Kansas City is known for its style of barbecue and its jazz icons, but it's also a hub for sports architecture.

Populous, HOK and HNTB have played an outsized role in the design of ballparks and stadiums around the country, including the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, just north of Miami, where the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers play Sunday in Super Bowl LIV.

Chiefs.com

TOPEKA, Kansas — Kansans thinking about wagering a few bucks on the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl appearance this weekend would have to go to one of 14 states to do it legally.

But by later this year, sports betting could be legal in Kansas. This year’s bill is a compromise — allowing people over 21 to gamble on sports through the companies that run the state-owned casinos and via online apps. And it has some critical support.

Segment 1: If you haven't been paying attention to football lately, here's what you need to know.

This is why Kansas City is SO excited for Super Bowl LIV.

Segment 2, beginning at 21:34: What does this year's Super Bowl mean to generations of Chiefs fans?

Courtesy / Stram family

The Kansas City Chiefs are preparing to play in the franchise's first Super Bowl since Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Hank Stram led the team to a title in Super Bowl IV 50 years ago.

Stram's sons — Dale, now 64; Stu, 62; and Gary, 58 — were three of the six children raised by Phyllis and Hank Stram in Prairie Village in the 1960s and 1970s.

Well — yes! — the Chiefs are going to the Super Bowl for the first time in half a century. But why does that matter? Commentator Victor Wishna offers just one reason, in this long-in-coming edition of 'A Fan’s Notes.'

I want to tell you a story. There are thousands like it. On Sunday, inside Arrowhead Stadium, there were about 74,000 stories. But this is mine.

Segment 1: Kansas City's journey toward greater inclusivity takes one step forward, two steps back.

The state of diversity and inclusion in Kansas City is shaping up to be one of this year's most tenuous storylines. We previewed both positive and negative issues facing marginalized communities in the metro, including diversity training for law enforcement and seemingly discriminatory legislative efforts.

Associated Press

Not since Len Dawson guided the Kansas City Chiefs to the Super Bowl IV title has the team had such an elite quarterback at the centerpiece of the offense and the team. 

But even Patrick Mahomes, who’s been the starting QB since 2018, knows he’s not the sum of all the parts on offense and defense. Here are five guys not named Mahomes who also bring something special to the Chiefs:

Segment 1: The Chiefs are the 2020 AFC Champions.

The "loudest stadium in the world" went wild last night after their team defeated the Tennesse Titans and earned a spot in the Feb. 2 Super Bowl game against the San Fransisco 49ers. Our sportscaster guests both picked the Chiefs to win that matchup, but there's still a great deal to consider before the red and gold confetti flies.

Eric Stonestreet / Twitter

Kansas City Chiefs fans weren't the only ones showering their team with love on Sunday after the team beat the Tennessee Titans 35-24 to win the AFC Championship game. 

Turns out, making your first Super Bowl in a half-century makes you pretty popular. 

Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole and rocker Melissa Etheridge chimed in with congratulatory takes on Sunday. Even Missouri-native Brad Pitt got in on the action. 

Segment 1: Meet the bar owner who doesn't think the customer is always right.

Caitlin Corcoran has been a force in the Kansas City food scene for a while now, most recently as the woman behind Ça Va. Her outspoken views on how to create a safe restaurant for both customers and staff have also made a name for her nationally. Does it mean that sometimes certain customers don't like her? Yes, but she's not losing sleep over it.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

With all the hullabaloo surrounding the Chiefs playing Sunday in the AFC Championship game, it is easy to forget there is another huge sporting event looming on the horizon.

Will Kansas City host some matches in the 2026 World Cup? Efforts to start answering that question are picking up steam.

Last Friday, Mayor Quinton Lucas and the Kansas City Sports Commission got a letter from U.S. Soccer saying the 2026 site selection process will resume next month.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City is painting the town red ahead of Sunday's big game.

The Chiefs host the Tennessee Titans at 2:05 p.m. Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium in the AFC Championship Game with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. It's the second straight year Kansas City has advanced this far in the playoffs, and with football fever in the air once again, metro motorists are seeing red everywhere.

Chris Madrigal

As you prepare for Sunday's AFC championship game, here are a few tidbits to help.

Who are the Chiefs playing?

Kansas City will line up against the Tennessee Titans, who finished the season 9-7. The Titans got to the AFC championship by upsetting New England in the wild-card game 20-13 and then beating Baltimore 28-12. Both of those playoff games were on a Saturday. Just saying.

Segment 1: Royals' new owner knows "Kansas City fans are incredibly engaged."

Kansas City businessman John Sherman is in his third week as owner of  the Kansas City Royals. He's been working on getting to know the staff and to "get a little flavor for the culture." Sherman spoke about what the revenue from a new TV contract will mean for the team and when it comes to construction of a stadium downtown said, "there's a lot of things to think about, relative to whether or not we can make that happen." 

As the old cliché goes, it’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game. Yet sometimes, as fans know, sports is about much more than just the game. Commentator Victor Wishna sheds a little light…in this year-end edition of “A Fan’s Notes.”

My friends, we are living in dark times.

I only mean that literally. As we count down to the winter solstice this week, each day is briefer than the last. Darkness arrives early and often.

Segment 1: Why Iowa holds the first caucuses in the country, and what their results mean for each political party.

Advertising guidelines and an agriculture convention landed Iowa in the No. 1 spot in the country's presidential primary process. One political science professor said, for Republicans the caucuses show who will not be president, and, since 2000, the Democrat who won Iowa has gone on to be the presidential nominee.

Six players signed contracts, wore Jayhawk T-shirts and put on blue KU ballcaps.

But they won’t be running onto a basketball court or football field anytime soon. They are the University of Kansas’ first varsity esports team.

Simon and Schuster

How did Harry Houdini make an elephant disappear?

It happened in 1918 in New York. One night, the great magician showed the audience a huge cabinet. After feeding Jennie the elephant some sugar, she was led inside. Curtains were closed around the cabinet. And when they reopened, Jennie was gone.

Mention "the hall of fame," and the average fan might think of Cooperstown or Canton. But shrines to our sports legends can be found from coast to coast, including right here in Kansas City. As commentator Victor Wishna contends in this month’s edition of “A Fan’s Notes,” that's a good thing.

Segment 1: Heartland Center for Behavioral Change was not equipped to accept the full array of inmates brought in by the Kansas City Police Department.

Accepting prisoners from the Kansas City Municipal Court system was initially seen as a chance for the nonprofit organization to link inmates with resources that could help them reintegrate into the community. In retrospect, Heartland Center's CEO said serving as a temporary jail "is outside of our scope" of ability.

Jeremy Kaczor

The Benedictine College football team in Atchison, Kansas, will likely help its coach keep a somewhat dubious distinction. Ravens coach Larry Wilcox has more career wins without a national championship than any other active college football coach in the country.

Wilcox has 296 career victories, 14th on the all-time football coaching victories list. Regarded as a legendary figure in Atchison with 41 seasons as a head coach, Wilcox has the Ravens’ home stadium named in his honor — Larry Wilcox Stadium.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

The 2019 calendar for the U.S. women’s national soccer team is over, but for new coach Vlatko Andonovski, who has strong ties to Kansas City, the work is just beginning.

Andonovski’s coronation by U.S. Soccer as the new coach of the women’s team was held, Oct. 28, in New York. He won his first two matches with the team, beating Sweden 3-2 and Costa Rica 6-0. The international friendlies are helping prepare the team ahead of the Olympic qualifiers.

Segment 1: The former U.S. Senator from Missouri says, "traditional qualifications for president are on life support."

Segment 1: Kansas voters will see a census-changing initiative on the November ballot.

The 2020 census is coming up, and Kansas is looking to change where some people are counted. For the past three decades, the state called individual college students and military members who don't live at their permanent address, and asking if they'd like to be counted at their permanent address or their temporary one. We learned why this census calculation method began, and why many in the state now want it to change. 

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

To help celebrate the Kansas City Chiefs’ 60th year, the franchise has asked area artists to design retro game day posters to raise money for area charities.

The idea was inspired by other major league franchises such as the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers, which sold locally designed posters at each of its 41 regular season home games and into the playoffs.

John Cheng

A Grain Valley teen is one of five athletes picked to compete at the world gymnastics championships in Stuttgart, Germany for the United States women’s team.

Kara Eaker, 16, is competing for the U.S. on the senior level for her second straight year. She made the balance beam final at last year’s world championships in Doha, Qatar. 

Eaker looks back at the experience as a useful tool for this year’s competition, especially “being able to get used to going for that long (trip) away from home (and) also training with the gymnasts there in Doha.”

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