Saturday, December 30, 2017

World's Greatest Chief Fan

You may have noticed the title of this post is "World's Greatest Chief Fan." Then, you may  have thought to yourself "what an idiot the guy writing this must be. Doesn't he know its the CHIEFS not Chief? Moron."


I digress. I will explain later.

Anyway, I was going through some of my dad's old stuff and wanted to share it with you all, which can offer SOME (not ALL, don't pin every one of my quirky mannerisms on my dad) explanation for my behavior to this day:

Anyone who knows me knows that I am The World's Greatest Kansas City Sports Fan, including for both the Chiefs and Royals (along with anything else KC - Mavericks, Kings, Scouts, Blades, Phantoms, etc.). (You will also notice that I used the correct form of "Chiefs" in that sentence Mr. or Mrs. Sharp Observational Skills Person - now get off my lawn) My KC fandom is the direct result of how I was raised by my father. He was a Chiefs season ticket holder for a long time, and some of my earliest and most favorite memories are going to Kauffman or Arrowhead Stadiums to catch a game. We never needed nachos or fancy little gimmicks during the games (like those midget-sized Royals bats they sell in the fan store - what exactly is the point of those?!?) - rather we just watched the game and my dad explained the rules and complained about the refs (Tony Gonzalez was TOTALLY IN BOUNDS ON THAT TD CATCH AGAINST DENVER IN 1998 DAMMIT!). Everything I know about sports, I learned from him.

And so it was exciting to go through some of his old stuff and see the roots of why I root for all things KC. I grew up in KC, lived there until I was 22 when I moved away to finish college then grad school then grad school AGAIN then entered the workforce then my daughter was born and finally after 12 years away, I returned to my homeland. Through those 12 years, I maintained my KC fandom, which included starting this blog and suffering through crappy WiFi and low bandwidth signals in the mid-2000s when I was learning how to stream KC teams on the internet. So I relished the chance to sit down with my older brother and go through my dad's stuff and see if there were any amazing KC sports items to help us remember our dad and maybe provide some cherished memories. Below are some of the things I found:

Bo Jackson Tie: No explanation for this thing, but KXXR was apparently a short-lived radio channel that played "Today's rock & roll." What a phenomenal piece of history. I may wear this to my next Black Tie Event. The particular date on the back of the tie was Game 2 of the World Series between the A's and Dodgers. The Dodgers won 6-0. Not sure if that is significant as it relates to the tie.
 George Brett baseball cards: Apparently my dad was a huge George Brett fan (I never knew!) and some of these cards he collected were before my days of collecting cards. I wonder if my love of baseball cards came from my dad!
 George Brett Newspapers: Since we have already established my dad was a George Brett fan, it should come as no surprise that other George Brett items existed in his stuff. Below are some (full) newspapers from the KC Star of Brett's highlights in the early '90s, including when he got his 3000th hit. Awesome stuff! Also, please make sure you take a closer look at the Full House blurb in the upper left corner of the newspaper with Brett's 3000th hit - that is too funny!
 George Brett Button: MOAR GEORGE BRETT STUFF! Presumably this button came from 1980 when Brett had his historic year chasing a .400 batting average for the Royals. This thing is priceless.
 Jan Stenerud Personal Autograph: Jan Stenerud was the famous Norwegian kicker for the Chiefs and I can remember my dad always telling stories of him. He came well before my time, playing 13 years for the Chiefs between 1967 and 1979. It was pretty clear my dad always liked him, and finding this personal autograph (no explanation for how or why or where it came from) was very exciting to me.
 1981 Chiefs Sticker: Isn't this sticker and helmet style GREAT? I'm telling you, the 1980s were the best decade (although technically, the 1980s were the second-worst decade in the Chiefs existence).
 Autographed 1986 Chiefs Program: The 1986 Chiefs went 10-6, clinching the AFC Wild Card and winning their most games since 1971. Notably, the Chiefs beat the damn Steelers on the last game of the season to seal their playoff berth. SUCK IT PITTSBURGH. My dad had 3 of these team pgorams signed by various players - the one I took has Todd Blackledge (the last QB drafted by the Chiefs to win a game for them!), Carlos Carson, Paul Palmer, Henry Marshall, Jeff Smith, Stephone Paige, Bill Kenney, and someone I cannot figure out (Carl Maul? Cal Mauil? WTF). Pretty sweet find!

Please also note that although the picture on the program is clearly at Arrowhead, there is only a SINGLE Chiefs item worn by fans in the background. WHAT THE F*&%. Did people not wear team gear in the 1980s?!?

World's Greatest Chief Fan pin: There was no explanation for this pin, including the very obvious typo, but APPARENTLY MY DAD WAS THE WORLD'S GREATEST CHIEF FAN AND I HAVE NOW INHERITED THE PIN SO THAT MAKES ME THE WORLD'S GREATEST CHIEF FAN HAHAHAHAHA YASSSSSSSSS!. I will proudly wear this pin everywhere, and even change my email signature to read:
Matt Chrisman, World's Greatest Chief Fan, and son of the former World's Greatest Chief Fan.

I love this thing and I love and miss my dad. RIP. 
 So there you have it, some of the cool KC sports items my dad collected, which I now own, and which have helped explain not only the "typo" in the title of this post, but also the roots of why I love everything related to KC sports. Anyone claiming to be the best or biggest Chiefs fan better damn have some evidence to back their claim up!

Make sure you get to Arrowhead next weekend and cheer on our CHIEEEEEFFFSSS in the playoffs.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

12 Days of Chiefsmas - 2017

We have finally arrived at the 12 Days of Chiefsmas. This has been a long, frustrating, up-and-down roller coaster season that has lasted the past 15 weeks. Good play and bad from everyone on the roster (except Buttkicker) has culminated in a 8-6 record leading into the final two games and the push for the playoffs. But before we consider whether the Chiefs will actually make the playoffs (probably) and how they might fare (terribly), let us revisit some festive Chiefs stats and info, both past and present, complete with a video I made to accompany the 12 Days of Chiefsmas. Enjoy, and Happy Holidays!

On the 12th Day of Chiefsmas, Clark Hunt gave to me:
  •  12 yards per completion (Alex Smith's career high, and likely due to Pat Mahomes providing some pressure on Smith from the bench)
On the 11th Day of Chiefsmas, Clark Hunt gave to me:
  •  11 interceptions (now 14, which includes 5 from Marcus Peters)
On the 10th Day of Chiefsmas, Brett Veach gave to me:
  •  10 games (now 11) from The Buttkicker, the greatest rookie kicker in Chiefs history
On the 9th Day of Chiefsmas, Clark Hunt gave to me:
  •  9 1/2 sacks from Justin Houston
On the 8th Day of Chiefsmas, Andy Reid gave to me:
  •  a +8 turnover differential (now +12)
On the 7th Day of Chiefsmas, Clark Hunt gave to me:
  •  Victories over seven NFL teams
On the 6th Day of Chiefsmas, the Hunt family gave to me:
  •  Six decades of greatness
On the 5th Day of Chiefsmas, Clark Hunt gave to me:
  •  Five seasons with Andy Reid (he might win his 2nd AFC West Title this season!)
On the 4th Day of Chiefsmas, Travis Kelce gave to me:
  •  Four players sack racing! LOL
On the 3rd Day of Chiefsmas, the Chiefs gave to me:
  •  Three 4th quarter TDs to beat the Patriots on the Opening Night of the NFL Season
On the 2nd Day of Chiefsmas, the Chiefs gave to me:
  •  Two Super Bowl appearances in franchise history
On the 1st Day of Chiefsmas, Clark Hunt gave to me:
  •  One thousand yard rusher (and pretty soon Travis Kelce will join Tyreek Hill as a 1000 yard receiver - NOT BAD!)

Merry Chiefsmas to all and to all a good night!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

KC: City of Champions

Last night was a tremendous and historical night for Kansas City sports teams, for two fantastic reasons:
1. Mike Moustakas set the Royals news single season home run mark by mashing his 37th home run of the season
2. Perhaps more importantly, Sporting KC won the US Open Cup with a thrilling victory at Children's Mercy Park

Have yourself a day KC!!!

Kansas City is now cementing itself as a City of Champions AND the Soccer Capital of America (see pic):
For instance:

The Kansas City Royals have won two championships and played in four championship games in the past 40 years

Sporting KC/the KC Wizards have won two league titles and four US Open Cup titles in their 21-year existence

FC Kansas City, the professional women's soccer team in KC, has won two titles (back-to-back) in their brief (4-year) existence

And the Chiefs, the golden child of the city, the bread and butter of KC's national sports scene, have won a whopping one championship and played in an additional title game.

Dear Chiefs, IT IS TIME TO STEP YOUR GAME UP. As much as I love the Red and Gold, it truly is time for them to make some noise and get to a Super Bowl (for the first time in 47 years no less). So far, the team looks good - below are some stats and rankings:

Alex Smith has the 5th most passing yards in the NFL
Kareem Hunt has the most rushing yards in the NFL
Tyreek Hill has the 4th most receiving yards in the NFL
The Chiefs are ranked the #2 offense (#5 passing and #2 rushing)
The Chiefs have the #2 scoring offense (34.5 points per game)

Not too shabby for the start of the season! Here's hoping their run continues...

Monday, August 14, 2017


The Royals currently sit in third place in the AL Central, half a game behind the Twins and 5 games behind the Indians. They are also one game out of the second Wild Card with 45 games left to play. Plenty of time to make a run and forget about the awful way that August started (4-9 record to start this month – UGH).
In order to forget about the Royals’ recent slate of terrible baseball, I thought it would be fun to rank the AL Central teams in terms of Twitter followers (and also the AFC West because CHIEFS). I also included the teams’ last WS appearance and title:

AL Central:
Tigers – 1,340,000+ followers (last WS appearance: 2012; last title: 1984 – LOL)
Royals – 914,000+ followers (last WS appearance: 2015; last title: 2015)
Indians – 796,000+ followers (last WS appearance: 2016; last title: 1948 – LOL)
White Sox – 768,000+ followers (last WS appearance: 2005; last title: 2005)
Twins – 540,000+ followers (LOL) (last WS appearance: 1991; last title: 1991)

It gives me great pleasure to know that both the Twins and White Sox have more recently won a World Series than the Indians and the Tigers LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. (Oh what fun that is to know on a Monday!)

AFC West:
Broncos – 2,320,000+ followers (last SB appearance: 2015; last title: 2015)
Raiders – 1,130,000+ followers (last SB appearance: 2002; last title : 1984)
Chiefs – 924,000+ followers (last SB appearance: 1969; last title 1969 – sad face)
Chargers – 678,000+ followers (last SB appearance: 1994; last title: NEVER – LOLOLOL)

On the other hand, the Chiefs definitely need to step their game up and get to a Super Bowl. Forty-eight years without a title game appearance – YUCK. I also find it interesting that the Royals and Chiefs have similar numbers of Twitter followers. 

Here’s hoping the Royals continue their winning ways and the Chiefs have a great season!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Goin' Streaking

The Royals last night pummeled the Tigers, 16-2. They slayed them, annihilated them, embarrassed them in front of their home crowd. It was glorious. Of note is the fact that the Royals had their most hits and runs of the season, and their largest margin of victory in 15 years. And perhaps more importantly:


Yep, the Royals, who finished the month of April with a record of 7-16, have completely turned things around with a scorching record of 46-31 since the beginning of May. They currently sit at 53-47, 6 games above .500 and 1.5 games behind Cleveland, with a 1 game lead on Tampa Bay for the 2nd Wild Card spot. Not too shabby considering how awful Alex Gordon, Brandon Moss, Raul Mondesi, Jr., Travis Wood, and others have played this season.

The Royals won their 8th straight last night largely from the strength of Eric Hosmer, who smacked his 1st career Grand Slam (only took him 7 years and 117 homers!), and Ian Kennedy, who allowed only 1 earned run and 3 hits with 4 strikeouts for his 4th win of the season. "We're going streaking!"
I thought it would be fun to take a look at the Royals notable wining streaks over the years:

Longest winning streak: 16 games in 1977. The team won 102 games that year.
Second longest winning streak: 14 games, set in 1994, right before the god-awful strike ended what could have been their first winning season since winning it all in 1985.

# of winning streaks of at least 10 games: 3
# of winning streaks of at least 9 games: 9

Recent years winning streaks
2016: 9 games
2015: 7 games
2014: 10 games

Next up for the Royals is the Boston Red Sox at Fenway. KC took 2 of 3 from them in KC back in June, with Kelvin Herrera notching 2 saves. The Red Sox sit in first place in the AL East, and have the second-fewest home losses in the AL (Yankees have fewest). Can the Royals extend the streak and salvage their 10th winning streak of 9 games? Hope so - it could be a pitcher's duel featuring two lefties - David Price versus Jason Vargas. MUST SEE TV!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Jason Vargas Fan Club: Volume 3 (Nicknames)

Today is the day folks. Jason Vargas pitches for the Royals tonight and we here at the Jason Vargas Fan Club World Headquarters are so excited we just can't hide it. We are as overjoyed as Jason is virtually all of the time:
 (Jason does appear to crack a smile in the second image on the top, but you be the judge)

We previously took a look at Vargy and his pitching matchup here, and rather than re-hash some old stats and memories of the 2014 World Series, we thought it would be fun to instead come up with some nicknames for our beloved Vargy. Many of the other Royals players have nicknames or something the fans affectionately know them by, so why not have something for JV?! Might throw up a twitter poll to pick the best ones later tonight...

If you have any thoughts or comments, please feel free to chime in!

Possible nicknames for Jason Vargas:
  • Junior Varsity (because of his initials JV)
  • El Zurdo ("The Lefty" in Spanish since he is of Mexican American descent)
  • The Expressionless (since his facial expressions virtually never change)
  • VarGAS
  • Mr. Changeup (since that is his best pitch)
  • J-Varg
  • Vargy
  • Jason (since he is pretty boring and Jason is a boring nickname)
  • and, 69er (since he currently has 69 wins as an MLB pitcher)
What do you think? Shoot me an email or comment or a tweet (@mattfromkc) and let me know!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Jason Vargas Fan Club: Volume 2

After Jason Vargas' sweet showing against the A's a few days ago, his next chance to shine comes this week. This post marks the second edition of the Jason Vargas Fan Club (see here for the inaugural edition!), and boy are we excited here at the Jason Vargas Fan Club World Headquarters!

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the last place San Francisco Giants come to town in a rematch of the 2014 World Series. I know, I know, no one wants to be reminded of that awful night and Madison Bumgarner and his greasy locks shutting down the Royals. Ugh. But the Royals winning it all in 2015 made up for everything so all is well with the world, assuming the Royals get sweet revenge by destroying Bumgarner, who is scheduled to pitch on Wednesday.

(It is worth noting that the Royals defeated Bumgarner in the regular season in 2014; I will never understand why they were unable to replicate their regular season success against him in the postseason)

Coincidentally, Jason Vargas will be facing off against Bumgarner. Most people (probably, all sports fans actually) would say that Bumgarner is better than Vargas. Their season stats are below:
However, I am not most people. I am the founding member of the Jason Vargas Fan Club and therefore, I think all Jason Vargas haters (and Madison Bumgarner lovers) can suck it. Pete Grathoff from the KC Star posed a question on twitter for KC Fans regarding Bumgarner returning to KC:
My response to that question is that I want Jason Vargas riding a horse into Kauffman Stadium, flashing his magnificent arms through the outfield with the majestic fountains in the backdrop. Can you imagine seeing Vargy trotting out onto the field like this?!? Amazing... (if you are unsure of why I chose Vargy to ride a horse, see here)

Then I want Bumgarner to give up 6 home runs in the first inning. I hope he cries in his cereal the next day. The Royals have won 4 straight and the Giants have lost 2 straight. Even with all their stud pitchers (Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Matt Cain), the Giants are still crap. Here in KC, we have three aces!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Royals 420

Danny Duffy was amazing for the Royals last night, He walked two batters, struck out 6, and lowered his season ERA to 1.80 while winning his second straight start. He was also backed by some monster home runs from Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez, who now have hit 4 and 5 home runs on the season, respectively.

I saw someone point out on Twitter that Duffy has allowed 4 runs in 20 innings, and his next scheduled start is on April 20 (4/20). All 4 of the runs he has given up were earned and opponents are batting .20 against him. In 4 of his seasons as a Royals pitcher (including this one), he has posted a record of at least .500 when pitching at least 20 innings.

With all of these allusions to 420, I thought it would be fun to take a look at other 420 references in the Royals' history:
  • The most famous Royals to wear #4 on their jersey include: Daryl Motley, Danny Tartabull, Gary Gaetti, Angel Berroa, and of course the current great Alex Gordon.
  • The most famous Royals to wear #20 on their jersey include: Jim Campanis and the GOAT Frank White.  
  • On their first 4/20 in team history, the Royals lost to the A's 5-1 and the losing pitcher was Bill Butler. Hilarious. 
  • On 4/20/1994 - The Royals beat the Tigers in a battle between David Cone and another future Royal (Jose Lima). Notable in that game was that Bob Hamelin scored 3 runs despite having 0 hits. 
  • On 4/20/1998, both Ken Griffey, Jr and A-Rod hit home runs and the Royals lost to the Mariners 8-7. 
  • On 4/20/2013, Kelvin Herrera blew a save and lost to future Royal Jonny Gomes and the Red Sox 4-3. 
  • 4/20/2016 was notable because the Royals lost to the Tigers 3-2 despite the fact that they cranked out 10 hits and hit two home runs in the 9th inning. 
  • Lots of losses on 4/20 for the Royals. In fact, by my unofficial count, they have lost 14 times on that date since the strike shortened seasons of 1994 and '95 ( 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016). They did not play on 4/20 every year so that is pretty bad.  
  • It's worth noting that Lorenzo Cain's career slugging percent as a Royal would round up to .420
Here is hoping that this year's 4/20 game against the Rangers brings better results! 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Jason Vargas Fan Club: Inaugural Edition

Last night, Jason Vargas was masterful against the Oakland A's. It marked his 11th straight start allowing 2 or fewer runs, a Royals team record. After watching him keep Oakland hitters off balance all night, I finally decided to declare my fangirl appreciation for Vargy and become the founding member of the Jason Vargas Fan Club (JVFC). So welcome to the JVFC: Inaugural Edition. In this initial post, I would like to highlight some of his stats and post shoddy photoshop jobs to indicate my affection for the Lovable Lefty.

Jason Matthew Vargas was drafted in 2004, made his MLB debut in 2005 and has played for five MLB clubs (Marlins, Mets, Mariners, Angels, and Royals). He has had a decent career so far, sporting a 4.14 ERA and registering 69 career wins (NICE).
After 2 starts, Vargas is 2-0 with a sparkling 0.66 ERA, which is the best of the Royals starting pitchers. He has thrown 14 strikeouts and given up only 2 bases on balls. He has started the season on a high note, one of the few Royals players who is currently not terrible. He's living that Thug Life and all the haters gotta Deal With It.