OTC: How Smart Are KC’s Sports Talk Jocks As Gamblers? / Being In The NIT Is Embarrassing

“People say I hate Missouri basketball. Are you kidding? Betting against them paid every bill I had in February.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: I remember when I was young and dumb enough to think betting on sporting events was a profitable form of entertainment. When Soren Petro took a job in Las Vegas he told me his plan was to pay his rent with the winnings he’d make gambling. Kevin Kietzman also likes to hint at how good he is at beating the sports betting lines for profit. Maybe all of these guys are the anomaly and every bookie in town refuses to take their calls because they’re so smart. But a large part of me thinks those who continue to gamble real money on games once they’re making real money are far dumber than they believe.  

“Davidson +7 was the greatest bet ever.”
Danny Parkins, @DannyParkins, tweeting while Davidson was building a 13-point lead at Mizzou Arena Tuesday night, Twitter
GH: Mizzou ended up winning by 8. Isn’t that how it almost always is? 

“I don’t think you’re a KU homer. I think you see these guys play a couple of times and you go goo-goo-gaga over them.”
Carrington Harrison, talking to his co-host, Danny Parkins, 610 AM

“Coach McKillop is a great coach. Being here has changed my life. I’m not just a better basketball player but also a better man. It was the best decision of my life coming to this school. I’d do anything for anybody affiliated with this school.”
De’Mon Brooks, Davidson senior forward, in his postgame comments, Mizzou game note
GH: As senior speeches go, you can’t get much more perfect than this one.

“He’s a very special player. He will go down in Davidson basketball as one of the all-time greats.”
Bob McKillop, Davidson head basketball coach, on De’Mon Brooks, Mizzou game notes

“There’s no reason for people to play in a postseason tournament if it’s not the NCAA tournament. There’s too much rewarding of mediocrity. I see no redeeming value in the NIT at all.”
Jay Binkley, on the irrelevance of the NIT, 610 AM
GH: The box score for the first-round NIT game at Mizzou Arena reported that the attendance Monday night was “NA” or Not Available.  Really? How difficult is it to count three or four thousand people? Playing in the NIT is an embarrassment for a school like Missouri. Any attempts by Mizzou or Frank Haith to prop these worthless games up as anything but a disappointment speaks volumes to how far MU hoops has fallen in just two seasons.

“First I want to thank the fans that came out tonight, they were outstanding. We truly appreciate that and it means so much to us and our players to have the fans come out and support us; the energy they brought tonight was outstanding and I am forever grateful to them. We play Sunday and we do not know the time; I know it is spring break, but if we can get folks in town out here again it would be really appreciated. I thought our guys competed their butts off. I thought that from start to finish even when we got down 13; we were playing hard. Davidson is a really good ball club and you look at them on tape; they are an outstanding team.”
Frank Haith, in his opening comments following MU’s comeback win at home over Davidson, Mizzou game notes
GH: I am sure it is fun for the players and coaches to extend their season in the NIT. But these games mean next to nothing for fans. If anything, they are embarrassing. I’d prefer to watch Maty Mauk’s passing drills in March than MU playing in the NIT.

“Not expecting #Chiefs to say anything publicly on this (Emmanuel) Sanders situation, but don’t be confused. They’re plenty mad.”
Adam Teicher, @adamteicher, on Denver signing the former Steelers’ wide receiver after the Chiefs thought they had him, Twitter
GH: So the Chiefs got beat by John Elway once again? Let’s hope John Dorsey does more than gets mad and actually learns from his mistakes. And there is certainly no reason for the Chiefs or Chiefs fans to be upset with Sanders. These NFL teams will treat every player like a disposable resource so why shouldn’t a player get whatever he can from each bidder however he can? 

“I keep coming back to this: Who did the #Chiefs whiff on b/c they thought they had Sanders? Edelman & LaFell signed today too.”
Terez A. Paylor, @TerezPaylor, Twitter

“I respected Teicher and all, but @TerezPaylor is putting in the kind of work this city deserves.”
Ryan S. Hall, @ryanscotthall, Twitter
GH: Paylor is receiving rave reviews from Chiefs fans on Twitter. The Kansas City Star continues to replace the talent they have lost with more than acceptable writers. I still get a pang when I see a Bob Dutton tweet that talks only about the Seattle Mariners, but Andy McCullough has stepped in and made Dutton’s departure very tolerable. 

“The first (Chiefs) pick has to be wide receiver or safety. But it won’t be.”
Jake Gutierrez, 810 AM

“We’re going to do the top 32 bad Chiefs of all time!”
Bob Fescoe, on his Wednesday morning show, 610 AM
GH: Can sports talk radio get much lazier than this? Click.  

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.

50 Responses to OTC: How Smart Are KC’s Sports Talk Jocks As Gamblers? / Being In The NIT Is Embarrassing

  1. M says:

    Greg — I took my 9-year-old last night and it cost me $20 for both of us. We sat 15 rows up and he got to watch good college basketball players play both ugly and good ball and he could tell the difference. It was a great time and he was able to see and learn that sometimes you get down in a game (or life) but that you can keep fighting back. Experiencing a game live is nothing like watching it on TV. I wasn’t embarrassed for myself or MU or my kid and I doubt the players were embarrassed. As Gary Link says, as long as there are games to play, you play them. I’d suggest people get over this idea of ascribing self value to whether you attend a game or not. If people want to go to a game and its value is worth the cost, then they go. If not, they don’t.

    • Greg Hall says:

      M, Fans who want to enjoy any sporting event have no reason to be embarrassed. It’s my opinion that a school the size of Missouri, with its strong basketball tradition, should be embarrassed to not be in the NCAA tourney. For Haith to pretend a home win in the NIT is worthy of praise pisses me off. I’m glad you and your son had a good time but that team was a huge disappointment this season and continues to be in my mind.

      • Crackers Be Shaking says:

        Greg, would you mind taking a moment to enumerate the qualities that Missouri University possesses to be honored with a title such as, “Strong Basketball Tradition” I need a good laugh today.

        • M says:

          MU basketball had a stretch in the ’80s and ’90s that was strong. That time frame is well within fan’s memory range and was good enough to justify MU fan having high expectations for the program.

          • Crackers Be Shaking says:

            Hmm, a quarter century ago, there was a “strong stretch” Elite 8′s? Final Fours? Enlighten me.

            • M says:

              multiple conference championships, multiple NCAA tourney appearances, multiple all-americans, lots of wins, etc. I didn’t say MU was an elite program during that time, I said MU was a strong program during that time. It’s that memory that has set an expectation level for MU fans where they are disappointed when the program falls below it.

              I can tell you’re itching for yet another comparison of MU to kU hoops and if that’s your thing then good for you.

              • Crackers Be Shaking says:

                No, not itching for anything, comparing MU to KU’s BASKETBALL program is fruitless. They are on different planets.

                Just curious how MU fans think MU stacks up against other area basketball programs such as Wichita State, Kansas State, St Louis University, Iowa State etc…. Would you characterize those programs as “strong” as well, or maybe stronger than MU’s?

                Or would you maybe say that MU is closer to Missouri State, Creighton, Arkansas, or any other of the lesser programs in our region?

                Just trying to see where MU fan sees their program?

                • M says:

                  The characterization was “strong basketball tradition”. MU is clearly down right now as a team.

                  Of the programs you reference, Missouri State, Creighton and SLU all have no where near the basketball tradition of MU, Arkansas, ISU, Wichita State or KSU.

                  As far as teams: WSU had the best season in the nation. Creighton has it’s best team ever. SLU has had better teams in the past but this is probably as strong as their program has ever been. ISU has a strong hoops tradition and this team may be as good as some of the Eustachy/Floyd years. Ksu has been much stronger in the past.

      • M says:

        Fair enough. I just took this at face value: ” I am sure it is fun for the players and coaches to extend their season in the NIT. But these games mean next to nothing for fans. If anything, they are embarrassing. I’d prefer to watch Maty Mauk’s passing drills in March than MU playing in the NIT.”

        Teams have down seasons and down stretches of seasons. That’s MU right now — a not very good coach with not very good players, especially at key positions (PG and Bigs).

        If by “embarrassment”, you mean a program should be driven to improve, like the MU football program did from Year 1 in the SEC to Year 2, then sure. I agree.

        We’ll see what MU’s administrators and the coaches do to achieve that same turnaround in basketball. If Haith doesn’t turn it around, he’ll be replaced just like at any other school.

        • Will says:

          Why can’t people accept that Mike Anderson left the point guard and big man cupboard bare at Mizzou? He couldn’t recruit unless he was related to the kid. It’s going to take a few years to get class sizes and talent level straightened back out. That’s the biggest problem Mizzou is facing.

          Just like Mizzou football wasn’t broken in year one of SEC play. It’s been pretty well proven they were just injured beyond repair for the season. The talent didn’t get better. It got healthy.

  2. nick says:

    Greg, Have to disagree with you about embarrassing. Is it dissapointing that this is the tournament mizzou is in, but it is most certainly not an embarrassment.

    What part of last night was embarassing? I saw Ross, and Brown have as much fun on the basketball court as theyve had in months. I saw Post and J3 get minutes in a game that is vital for freshment and their development. I saw Feldman get into a game and play his ass off, maybe missouri has found something in him going forward. I saw a mighty 3000 thousand people make a good deal of noise.
    Think of the NIT as the equivalent as spring training. Extra games, extra minutes, extra guys getting a shot they wouldnt usually get.

    • Crackers Be Shaking says:

      Seriously? You’re NOT embarrassed by:
      1. Your basketball school actually accepting an invite to play in the NIT?
      2. Only 3,000 (by your estimate) fans showing up for an on campus game?
      3. The camera coverage, showing absolutely EMPTY end zones, and upper decks?
      4. The fact that admission for some was only $5.00?
      5. All of this happening on National TV?

      If not, then you deserve the program you have.
      Still laughing at “A mighty 3,000″ Gawd that’s funny.

    • Greg Hall says:

      nick, Where was that fun the past few months when the Tigers needed wins to secure an NCAA bid? I’m glad the players had fun but there were sure a lot of MU fans who decided they’ve seen enough of this team.

      • nick says:

        Cant blame fans for having there fill. I sure as heck am not gonna travel 2 hours for the NIT because its a disappointing but it still have value for the program in the development of players. I dont think anything that improves the team going forward should be called embarrassing.

  3. Richard Cranium says:

    The 2 comments above describe EXACTLY what Missery basketball is all about right now. Have some pride. Be embarrassed for having a crappy basketball team. Demand more from your school and the program. This is exactly the same situation the KU Football program has found itself in. Maybes and Ifs. Not enough Dos. Expect more.

    • Java Man says:

      I caught the second half of the MU game on the tube. Even with just a few thousand in attendance, it seemed like one of the more enthusiastic crowds of the year. Not the usual fat ass alumni sitting arms folded.

    • M says:

      What does pride have to do with it? Should kU Football Fan have less pride in himself just because his football team sucks? I don’t think any less of kU Football Fan as a person just because the team he follows is bad; Conversely, I don’t think any more of kU Basketball Fan just because the team he follow is good.

      Teams and programs get better when they get better coaches and players not when their fans feel pride or embarrassment.

    • Greg says:

      For anyone to compare Missouri’s current basketball situation to kansas’ football program now is ridiculous. Kansas football is a nuclear wasteland. Missouri basketball is a dumpster fire. Not even close.

      For those that are only in their 20′s, missouri won the Big 8 regular seasons in 76, 79-83, 87, 90, 94, and then they haven’t won a title since, but they have four Elite Eight’s. 1976, 1994, 2003, and 2009. So yes Missouri fan has expectations unlike the nuclear holocaust that is kansas football.

      • RockChalk says:

        So Mizzou has an Elite Eight appearance in 2009 and KU Football won the Orange Bowl in 2008. Seems like both have had recent success. KU football is way down, but to claim they aren’t both in bad situations is false. Granted, it’s much easier to turn a basketball program around, so the task is harder for KU football. I expect progress this year for KU football, but we’ll see.

        • Mac6uffin says:

          Mizzou has never gone multiple years without winning a conference game. So no, you can’t say the teams are on the same level.

          As disappointing as Mizzou bball is this year, it’s the equivalent of a 6-6 football team going to Shreveport for a bowl game.

  4. JP says:

    The Chiefs have every right to be pissed over the Emmanuel Sanders situation. When you have a hand shake deal, it is supposed to mean something. I don’t expect the Chiefs to comment publicly, but I am sure they are having their lawyers look into everything including tampering. This may end up being handled behind the scenes at the NFL offices.

    While I understand the Chiefs are in Cap Hell, they better strike good with the Draft. Regardless, they have a philosophy and are sticking with it. It should pay dividends down the road, but it is frustrating due to the cap number. Everyone looks at Denver as the role model. Remember that Denver is going for Super Bowl or Bust and they have a 2 year window until Manning retires (or breaks down). Those contracts will be an albatross around the Broncos as there is a lot of guaranteed money they will be unable to hide under the cap, so they better win now.

    • BlackJack says:

      But it is OK for the team to sign a player to a contract in good faith, then turn around and cut him after a year in the best interests of the salary cap?

      For all intents and purposes, the Chieffs appear to be getting their lunch eaten in the early stages of free agency. Denver may be setting themselves up for salary cap hell in a couple of years, but at least they are trying and maximizing all of their cap resources.

      Would be nice if the Chiefs tried that once in a while. Instead we have a team that approaches free agency and the draft (let’s draft a right tackle from a mid-major school with the overall top pick!) seems determined to be built to go 9-7, 7-9 year after year.

      Meanwhile, Denver is swinging for the fences and loading up on skill position players who might actually make a difference..

      • JP says:

        The Chiefs don’t have the Cap room, plus they want to re sign some of their star players down the road. Specifically Alex Smith, Justin Houston and Eric Berry.

        I understand the frustration, and I am still PO’d over the playoff loss. But it appears they are going down this road of modeling after the Pittsburgh and Green Bay programs. I will await the draft before judging the total offseason. Emmanuel Sanders was a debacle one way or the other, and this team looks like they may take a slight step back in 2014 based on early returns.

        • Kyle R says:

          Eric Berry’s contract needs to be redone, not extended, and I’m baffled they haven’t done that yet. Paying over $10 million/year for a safety is ludicrous unless that safety is Ed Reed in his prime, which Eric Berry is far from.

  5. BlackJack says:

    It is hard to overstate just how bad radio it is on Fescoe’s show when he tries to do that insipid “Top 10″ or whatever list he always does, in his swing-and-miss attempt to riff on the Letterman Top 10 gags. The subject is always sophomoric and ridiculous, and Fescoe always expresses opinions like everything is black-and white, and obvious to him.

    Always a satisfying “click” of the button.

    • RockChalk says:

      He’s just plain awful. I’m a KU fan and wish he’d pick a different school to root for. So bad.

    • JP says:

      Fescoe’s show has become just awful. He actually will have on occasion some interesting sports takes, but the format of the pop culture and radio meant for 20 something slackers is just awful. Fescoe is not a funny guy, and his absolutist comments about things are irritating to listen to. The Top Ten List is usually some inside joke or another “…Aaaah Cooter” reference. Apparently that’s what Bulldog finds funny.

      • BlackJack says:

        Fescoe is actually OK on Twitter. Apparently, that medium is more suited to whatever strong points he has. Maybe it is because has has to make his point in 130 characters, and can’t sermonize

  6. ZMan says:

    I really don’t have an opinion but would sure like to hear what KyleRohde and Gavin have to say. C’mon boys, I know you are chomping at the bit to post so let it rip!!

  7. Smith says:

    You know when you’re having a conversation with someone who shares an opinion on something and you instantly realize everything they say suddenly lacks credibility? I had a guy the other day tell me he thought Fescoe was funny.

  8. bizzaro kyle r says:

    chiefs suck. zman too.

  9. PV_Pathfinder says:

    Other than the cost to participate, I don’t see much of a difference between NIT games and some low level bowl game played in Albuquerque 2 weeks before Christmas. Coaches get a few extra practices and the athletic department gets a little more TV exposure. But when it’s all said and done, no one really cares.

    As far as the gambling thing goes, nuts to the on air talent. If a pro like Joey Bag O’Bucks is so good, why is he schlepping an 800 number on AM radio in the midwest? Frankly, I’ve always thought it was a ENORMOUS conflict of interest to talk gambling on stations that carry college and pro sports. If the NCAA had the stones to follow their own bylaws and go after someone OTHER than the athletes, they would put an end to NCAA broadcast affiliates pushing off shore sports books etc.

    • Tim says:

      During the next football season, tune in to 610 on Saturday morning. They carry this program where the main host used to call himself the G man, then he was Fats Wendell, and last year he became Jerry Hendell. He claims he’s the only 3 time winner of the Sporting News handicapping tournament, but he’s been that for at least 5 years now. He blurts out his phone number at least 50 times in the one hour show. And everybody else on the show has a heavy New York accent. I swear these guys used to be extras on the Rhoda TV show back in the 70s.

      • PV_Pathfinder says:

        I think I’ve heard him before. Sounds like Tommy DeVito from Goodfellas. Simply awful radio.

        • Big D in the O says:

          They are awesome. I especially like when they go for the big fish. It is like a double team sales pitch. “If you have 10,000 to invest with us we will turn it into 80,000 in 3 months!” “That’s right! We know things. We know people. Things that you don’t…”

          • RockChalk says:

            Exactly. I cringe every time I hear them try to claim sports gambling with them is an “investment.” So irresponsible.

    • Kyle fan fan says:

      Dead on. The NIT like the Beef O’Brady’s bowl etc. exist only to give a coach who should get fired an excuse to not be fired.

  10. Hoppy says:

    Paylor was terrific on the Mizzou beat and is just as good on the Chiefs beat. He is really refreshing, he definitely goes the extra mile in all the stuff he writes and it shows. Nice to see someone with work ethic rather than just mailing it in.

  11. Phaedrus says:

    Most (all?) people consider themselves to be above average (which explains why a lot of people thinks they can make money betting sports).

    Paying the rent through your gambling winnings? That’s one of the dumber ideas I’ve heard of. Reminds me of the imbeciles that claim the martingale betting system (if you lose your bet, you just double up the next one) is a guaranteed winner. It sure is, until you lose 9 in a row and are suddenly having to put down 512 times your original bet.

    There’s a reason these guys are sports radio talk show hosts….they’re not the sharpest tools in the shed.

    That being said, I was going to use my Mega Millions winnings to pay my rent….can anyone loan me a few bucks?

  12. Ron says:

    Has anyone ever turned down an NIT bid?

    • PV_Pathfinder says:

      Per Wikipedia…

      Because the post-season NIT consists of teams that failed to receive a berth in the NCAA Tournament, the NIT has been nicknamed the “Not Invited Tournament”, “Never Important Tournament”, “Nobody’s Interested Tournament”, “Needs Improvement Tournament”, “No Important Team”, “National Insignificant Tournament,” or simply “Not In Tournament”. It has also been called a tournament to see who the “69th best team” in the country is (since there are now 68 teams in the NCAA Tournament).

      David Thompson, an All-American player from North Carolina State, called the NIT “a loser’s tournament” in 1975. N.C. State, which had been the previous year’s NCAA champion, refused to play in the tournament that year, setting something of a precedent. In succeeding years, other teams such as Oklahoma State, Louisville, Georgia Tech, and Georgetown have declined to play in the NIT when they did not make the NCAA tournament. One such team was Maryland; after being rejected by the NCAA selection committee in 2006, head coach Gary Williams announced that 19-11 Maryland would not go to the NIT, only to be told that the university had previously agreed to use Comcast Center as a venue for the NIT. The Terrapins were eliminated in the first round by the Manhattan College Jaspers. In 2008, however, Williams announced that if invited, the Terps would play, because it would serve as a chance to further develop six freshman players on his squad and to give senior forward James Gist more exposure.

  13. Kyle says:

    Prince advertising on Greg’s blog. You’ve hit the big time Mr. Hall!

  14. John says:

    I think I’m convinced sports radio in Kansas City in general is just awful. I wish everyone would stop listening so we could get better guys on the radio.

  15. Ron says:

    610 radio has had many, many chances to get better guys and failed every time. Their priority seems to be young, inexperienced graduates of Syracuse. They probably could have got Petro and/or Clinkscale from 980 at one time or another, but didn’t. Big mistake. Either of them would draw a bigger audience that what they have. These days they seem to be looking for cheap, not good.

  16. Harry Balczak says:

    Hell if 610 could have just kept guys like DA and Nick Wright, they wouldn’t suck so bad. It’s like as soon as someone can command more than about 25K per year, they let them move on.

  17. Jay says:

    Question, which is more embarrassing, playing in N.I.T. like MU or having to play into the NCAA’s like NC State & Tennessee?

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