OTC: Andy Reid Is Lucky To Be In Kansas City / Enjoy Tom Watson While We Can

“Andy Reid is comfortable in his own skin. He knows what it’s like to have the heat put on him as an NFL coach.”
Stan Weber, on the Chiefs head coach, 810 AM
GH: How much heat will Reid feel here in Kansas City compared to the firestorm of media that he faced for 14 years in Philadelphia? Are we just happy he picked us? Kind of like the homely guy who finally gets a date with the cheerleader? Read on.

“This is just a great place to be. It’s refreshing to him. This is a great football city. Philadelphia is great, too, but it’s tough. In Philadelphia, they’re passionate and intense. In Kansas City, people are just as passionate but not quite as intense.”
Dick Vermeil, on why he promoted Reid for the Chiefs’ head coaching job, Kansas City Star
GH: I am not a great fan of Kansas City being a “not quite as intense” kind of place when compared to Philly. I hope Reid sees his new town as a place that demands winning every bit as much as they do on the east coast.

“The whole thing feels so much different than the past four years that it’s incredible! Now I don’t know if that’s going to help on the field but it can’t hurt.”
Todd Leabo, on the difference he sees at the Chiefs’ minicamp compared to Romeo Crennel’s practices under Scott Pioli’s regime, 810 AM
GH: The media almost to a person have remarked positively about Reid and his practices. I still can’t get the photo of a grinning Steven St. John posing with Reid back when he was hired. It is great to be excited about Reid and what he might bring to Kansas City – but we need to be just as tough on his Philly-fired ass as Philadelphia was both in the media and in the stands.

“There were a lot of people walking around on egg shells here the last few years and I think that’s kind of gone away.”
Todd Leabo, on what he’s observed at Reid’s practices, 810 AM

“Andy’s having a lot of fun. He’s rejuvenated! … You’re very, very fortunate to have Andy Reid.”
Dick Vermeil, on the former Eagles’ coach’s new life as the Chiefs’ head coach, 810 AM
GH: Reid is also very fortunate to have Kansas City and one of the NFL’s most resilient fan bases. In Dick Vermeil’s words, it’s time to take the diapers off, Andy. Don’t expect to be babied here in Kansas City. Our expectations are just as high as every other NFL city.

“Andy Reid loves to throw the football. (The Chiefs) are going to throw the football 50 times a game.”
Dick Vermeil, 810 AM
GH: Can Dwayne Bowe catch 35 passes a game?

“What you can’t sell, you can drink.”
Dick Vermeil, after saying his wine business is at about a break-even point financially but he never expects it to be very profitable, 810 AM

“We’re visiting with Dick Vermeil once again and you know I find it interesting coach too that with your mind, your thought process about quarterbacks and you’re not the only one who a lot of people could have money invested in a previous quarterback so maybe you’re not seeing what you could see in a younger guy and those type of things. I remember it was awesome. You used to have lunch with us in the media after your weekly news conferences on Tuesdays and I remember actually sitting down with you one time and talking with you the opportunity to draft a quarterback versus the opportunity to trade for a proven quarterback. And here in Kansas City we’re still going on there hasn’t been a drafted Chiefs’ quarterback to actually win a game I think since Todd Blackledge. It has been 30 years since this organization drafted a quarterback in the first round. I remember you saying back then that hey, you want to draft that quarterback but rarely does the head coach that drafts that young quarterback get to coach him when he’s finally good. How much of a fear has that maybe dictated what’s happened with the Chiefs at the quarterback position over all these years?”
Nate Bukaty, is a question to Dick Vermeil on 810’s Border Patrol
GH: It continues to amaze me that Bukaty has never fixed one of his most glaring problems as a broadcaster – his run-on questions. I listened to the above question from Nate on Thursday morning and wondered what a college broadcasting major would think of it. We rip MLB players who don’t take walks, we critique college hoopsters who can’t create their own shot. So why do we put up with talk show hosts who seem to never work on their weaknesses?

“You know, I don’t think it’s been a factor. I really don’t.”
Dick Vermeil, responding to Bukaty’s question, 810 AM
GH: Okay. Next question…

“Coming up after the break, an interesting police story about Pop Tarts…”
Henry Lake, cohost of The Day Shift, 610 AM
GH: Man, I am still trying to find this show’s direction, theme or purpose. Is it a local show trying to cover national stories? Is it still too early to expect some chemistry between Lake and Bink? Is it not supposed to be entertaining? Something is missing from this duo and it’s not just listeners.

“This event is very important to me, and I want to play as long as I can.”
Tom Watson, on his participation in the Watson Challenge, the KC-area tourney to determine the area’s best golfer, Kansas City Star
GH: Decades from now when Watson is just a legendary memory to those who knew of him or heard stories of his fabled career, people will marvel that he once played in this very Kansas City event. This Friday, Saturday and Sunday a few scattered folks will take in the tourney at Parkville’s The National and have a chance to tell some of those future tales. How I wish I was good enough at the game of golf to test my swing against our local living legend. Enjoy him while we have him, folks.

“Way too much.”
Dwight Gooden, former Mets’ superstar pitcher, when asked how much cocaine he was doing at the peak of his drug use, NPR
GH: Gooden said he has been sober for two years as of March 8, 2013. I remember when he burst on the scene and every one of his starts was like an event – even in my office in Omaha. We followed his starts like he was Sandy Koufax. What an unbelievable talent he was. 

“I can’t guarantee what’s going to happen next week or next year. It’s a lifelong commitment. The main thing is that I don’t carry the guilt and the shame that I had before.”
Dwight Gooden, NPR
GH: Gooden has a new book out titled, Doc. I hope he keeps it together and beats his addiction. He has already lost much.


I am out of town the rest of the week attending my mom’s funeral in Omaha. What a great lady she was for all of her 93 years. She and my dad raised 15 children on a mailman’s salary over parts of five decades. Dad once told me when he signed the mortgage on our family home they purchased in South Omaha for $10,000 in 1952 that he had no idea how they would pay off that mortgage.

Dad was a hard-working provider and one very tough disciplinarian, but mom was the emotional rock of our family. She buried two sons, a daughter and her husband – and all the while never questioned her maker’s plans for her life. She didn’t just roll with the punches. She taught her kids to look beyond their problems for solutions. Her attitude was that while life isn’t fair, it is more importantly what you make of it. I am very proud to have been one of her brood.

I am sure many of us have similar stories about the women who raised us to be men and women. Our goal should be to do our job as parents so that someday our children will remember us as fondly. It is a tough but rewarding life-long job. I am very glad my mom was there to accept it.

and Twitter / @greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.

44 Responses to OTC: Andy Reid Is Lucky To Be In Kansas City / Enjoy Tom Watson While We Can

  1. FrankM says:

    Thanks Smartman – also found something a David Leadbetter glove that basically has the grip lines already on it. I like your strategy of just drawing the lines on the glove yourself.

    • The Smartman says:

      Nice thing about the grip solid is that it forces the grip in the proper position so you don’t always have to look down for a visual confirmation. If you’re a “feel” player it’s a great way to learn that feel. Butch Harmon has a similar product. The interesting thing about my experience with Tom Watson was he was able to watch me hit balls, and I wasn’t hitting bad shots, and he knew that my left hand grip was off. After he marked my glove I was hitting balls longer and straighter and my attempts to pull or fade the ball were actually pulls and fades, not hooks and slices.

      • Phaedrus says:

        Smartman, you should give up the glove and get the lines tattooed on your palm. Real golfers dont wear gloves. Think of all the money you’ll save…you can blow it on more coke.

        Your grip actually should depend on how your arms naturally hang. There’s no one-size fits all. Some have a naturally strong left hand and others a weak one. Just got to pound enough balls to figure out what works best for you. Or ask Tom, I suppose.

        Sorry to hear about your mother, Greg. She sounds like quite a lady.

        • The Smartman says:

          If I don’t wear a glove my left hand gets all calloused and rough which upsets the misses during foreplay.

          You are correct in that there is no one size fits all grip. Besides all of your personal geometry the clubs you use also have a big impact on your game. I recently bought a new set of clubs that were properly fitted and lofted for my human condition. Wasn’t cheap but probably the best money I ever spent on golf. I would say that over the last 30 years I probably spent $1,000.00 a year minimum on just on lessons training aids, books and videos.

          Latest trend I learned of a couple of weeks back while playing with clients in SoCal is that they get high before playing to relax, reduce stress and tension and improve focus. They all have medical marijuana scrips, which are not hard to get. It works, for them. They’ve all lowered their handicap. They tried to get me to light up but I couldn’t do it knowing that the closest In N’ Out or Del Taco were miles away.

  2. MUC says:

    Thoughts and prayers Greg

  3. Ultimate Dude says:

    Sorry for your loss Greg. I can relate with big families, although 15 is incredible! Imagine if there were reality tv shows in the 50′s-60′s. Sounds like your mom is a “Hall” of famer.

    KC is not as intense as other cities regarding its sports fandom. I agree with whoever said this city just seems content with having pro sports. People don’t demand championships to-a-man, like in other cities. I’m not saying we start rioting and setting the city on fire with each bad season, or throw batteries at opposing players and beat up opposing fans in the bathroom stalls or parking lots, and I’d never boo Santa. But KC doesn’t do the necessary things to send a messege to our owners that we demand better. Too many people would rather fork out the money to take their kid to a game, regardless of our record, than to boycott for a few weeks and have an empty stadium to send a messege. I think the owners know this about our city. Glass could probably care less either way, and Hunt seems to be the type that just wants to get by (with an okay team) as long as profits go up every year.

    Love Smartmans take on Bukaty, who I started calling Gaffe Bukaty about 2 yrs ago. The only thing Smartman missed on, was a couple gaffes only Bukaty can come out with, such as calling the speedometer the tachometer or mph gauge. I don’t understand how most these people keep their jobs for so long at 810. They should change their slogan to “more loyal than Dick Vermiel”.

    Too young to have seen Dawson play, but I know a lot of people that question his HOF stature for not doing a whole lot stat wise, but winning the chiefs lone super bowl. Most will say QBs didn’t throw it back then, if at all, like they do now so I can understand both sides of the argument. I do personally think if Len is the best we have to prop up as a KC legend, we haven’t had too many great guys (on the field) within our franchise. I wonder who other fanbases point to when asked to name a Chiefs iconic player? Most would prob say D. Thomas, I imagine. Still a short list, too short if you want to be an intense, demanding fanbase.

    • JP says:

      Dude, great take on KC fans. Too many people have that “we don’t want to lose our teams” mentality and don’t demand excellence. The alleged sports journalists talk tough but fail to ask the tough questions when given a chance. If it wasn’t for the grass roots sports fans of this city, Scott Pioli would still be GM of the Chiefs.

      Furthermore, it is amazing that Dayton Moore keeps getting a pass because “he’s a nice guy”. It was the antithesis of that monaker that helped turn the city against Carl Peterson, even when the Chiefs were having good years. Carl figured out KC very early and got a 20 year career out of it. Once the Royals went in the tank, just put an average team on the field and the city will flip out and buy tickets. See the 2000′s for how that worked. A good Royals team will prop up the Chiefs. If you wanna know why Sporting is now the hottest ticket in town, see the Chiefs and Royals of the last 4 years.

      KC Fans: Demand Excellence!!!

  4. Ultimate Dude says:

    Almost forgot, what’s with the picture of a ku fan representing Chiefs fanbase??? Was that on purpose? Are you a “ku is Kansas City!!” promoter?? I guess I should thank the dweeb for spending his money in my homestate.

    Also for Smartman and golfers, I always heard you never let your palms touch the club, grip with your fingers/fingertips only. But who am I to question Watson, my game blows.

    • The Smartman says:

      UD, you are somewhat correct but that distinction between palm and fingertips is what separates the men from the boys. In the world of golf “feel” means something different to each of us. When I went to the David Leadbetter Academy all I heard for the first three days was that I was gripping the club too hard and the wrong way. My instructor literally taped my left hand to the club in the proper position and told me to let the tape hold onto the club and let my fingers go along for the ride. Things were further complicated by the fact that I was a shit golfer who played with blades. They offer no forgiveness on mis hits. You have to strike the ball perfectly every time, which I thought was an incentive to become a better ball striker. My instructor told me I was an idiot that would spend the rest of my life trying to break 90. He was right for a long time. I did break 90 and then 80 but only after I took my driver and 3 wood out of my bag. It was never the blades that did me in. It was winding up two fairways over off the tee trying to crush the ball. The only place I’m long now is in bed!

  5. Taxee says:

    Sorry about your loss Greg.

    Nate’s questions aren’t all a bad thing. I got through all but the last chapter of War And Peace when he was talking to Coach Vermeil.

  6. Java Man says:

    Sorry for your loss, Greg.
    Cherish those memories that will flood back in over the coming days, weeks and months.

  7. Gavin says:

    Greg, I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. Not much to say except that it really sucks. I know it’s a huge cliche to say that if there’s anything I can do, let me know (and I can’t imagine what that would be anyway) but, huge cliche or not, if there’s anything I can, please let me know.

  8. chuck says:

    Very sorry to hear of your mom’s passing.


  9. Mike B says:

    THANK GOD!! I thought I was the only one that noticed how long it takes Bukaty to spit out a thought or question. I CANNOT stand how many directions he goes when formulating something in hi mind.

    • JP says:

      I wonder if Nate gets paid by the word. Either that, or he is totally insecure against SSJ and wants to be thought of as the smartest man in the room.

  10. Twy's Gibman says:

    sorry to hear about your loss Greg – good reminder about the responsibilities and challenge parents have. I cannot imagine raising 15 animals, much less human individuals.

  11. KSbugeater says:

    Greg, missed this column yesterday. My prayers are with your family. You have so many to comfort each other. I’m an only child, so when my parents pass, I’ve only got my wife and cousins to cry with.
    Mrs. Hall must have been a legend in South Omaha for raising such a huge family. I always thought that the nickname for South High (Packers) came from the rendering in the Stockyards… now I know it came from the Hall family automobiles (or your pew at Mass).

  12. If the pop tarts story involved any nudity, hobos, drunkenness, fits of rage, oddball weapons, or outhouses, then I’m fine with Day Shift covering it.

  13. John Landsberg says:

    Condolences Greg. Just buried my 93-year-old father-in-law last week. They really were the greatest generation.

  14. Will says:

    Sorry for your loss Greg. God’s blessings to you and your family.

  15. Scott Simon says:

    Greg, sorry to hear the news about your mom.

  16. Diggity Dawg says:

    Little behind on your columns…

    My most heartfelt condolences, sir. She sounds like she was a hell of a lady.