OTC: Is Alex Smith Too Ordinary? / Can Mitch Holthus Just Be Sane? / Ned On PenaGate

“My grandfather came to Ellis Island from Serbia right around the turn of the century. He took the name, ‘John Smith.’ He was so proud to be an American that he never told anybody his real name. Not his wife. Not his family. Not anybody. That’s where the family name Smith came from.”
Alex Smith, who was a guest of Mitch Holthus’ Monday night on his Chiefs Kingdom radio show, 810 AM
GH: I thought it appropriate to lead off my OTC column today on the 121th anniversary of 9/11 with this short story from the Chiefs’ new quarterback. Imagine the fear, anxiety and yet pride so many of our ancestors felt as they entered Ellis Island and a completely new country over 100 years ago. John Smith would be proud of what his grandson has accomplished here in this new land. Both my sets of grandparents came from Europe as well about the same time as Smith’s. I have often wondered if my surname is more from the imagination of an official at Ellis Island rather than the farms of Hungary.

“I thought we did a great job with tempo offensively – especially the guys up front.”
Alex Smith, in an interview with Mitch Holthus on the Chiefs Kingdom show, 810 AM
GH: I liked what I saw from Smith and his offensive line. The Jags are not the best test but any road game is more than a walkover for the visiting team in the NFL. Not everyone was all that impressed with Smith and the Chiefs offense. Read on.  

“What Alex Smith and the Chiefs did Sunday with their passing game is not good enough. It’s not even close to being good enough! Other teams are going to score more points and be much better opponents than the Jacksonville Jaguars. We did not see enough out of Alex Smith and the passing offense to lead me to believe that they can go out and win games.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I believe Alex Smith is a weekly guest of Kietzman’s on Between the Lines. How about we get KK to replay these comments for Alex as an intro to his next appearance? Now THAT would be an interview with a pro athlete that would be worth a listen.

“We didn’t see a lot of explosiveness out of this (Chiefs’) offense yet. We may come out of this week saying there are even more questions because it’s going to be tougher (against the Cowboys). You can’t just dink and dunk now. You’re going to have to make some plays because they are going to get after you.”
Jayice Pearson, 810 AM
GH: How explosive are the Chiefs’ offensive weapons? Can Dexter do more than impress us in August and grow killer dreads? Can the offensive line give Jamaal enough daylight to go fantasy football crazy? Can Alex Smith throw the ball over 30 yards? Lots of questions yet to be answered. Lots of games left to answer them. 

“I don’t think (Alex Smith) is going to risk the football.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Smith looked very, very poised to me. What a difference in watching Smith in the pocket instead of the shell-shocked Matt Cassel. It’s early but I like what Mr. Smith brings to Kansas City. 

“Just don’t even look at the score. Just keep going, guys. Keep believing in them. Be aggressive. Keep thinking, ‘What can I do that will help these guys?’ I know you’ve got to search and stuff…”
Gus Bradley, head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, as he spoke to his other coaches on his head set while wearing a live mic on the sideline as the Chiefs were thumping his Jags 28-2, ESPN
GH: One word for this and the Jags; depressing. And there are 15 more games yet to go for this sorry mess of a franchise. 

“They said we wasn’t good enough! Me included! Me included! I’ve never seen more disrespect for the Super Bowl champs in my life!”
Terrell Suggs, linebacker and team captain of the Baltimore Ravens, in the pregame huddle prior to their opening game in Denver last Thursday Night, ESPN
GH: Suggs might want to rethink his above comment about never seeing more disrespect for a Super Bowl champion. What Peyton Manning did to Suggs and his Ravens’ defense was as disrespectful and embarrassing as anything any SB champs have had to endure on national television. Seven touchdown passes. And it looked E.A.S.Y. 

“Let’s give some credit to Scott Pioli. I saw Junior Hemmingway catch a dart in traffic (for a TD) and Dontari Poe was a beast! The guy was not a complete incompetent moron.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Granted, Pioli did draft a couple of pieces – and Poe looks like he might be on the verge of becoming a monster. But I’m not so sure Pioli doesn’t still fit the “complete incompetent moron” tag.

“Jamaal Charles into the sweet nectar of the end zone for the first time this season!”
Mitch Holthus, on Charles score in Jacksonville, Chiefs Radio
GH: Mitch was good in his interview with Alex Smith. He was, well, normal. So why does he go Uncle Mitchy Goofy when he’s calling a Chiefs’ game? The sweet nectar? Who is telling him these are endearing trademarks for his broadcast career? He sounds like a such a doofus. 

“This is my 20th year in the league.”
Mitch Holthus, 810 AM
GH: Wow. If you are a young broadcasting major with desires to one day call play-by-play for an NFL team, Mitch’s career should give you hope. I loved Mitch as K-State’s PBP radio voice. I find him to be a cartoon with the Chiefs. 

“Chiefs LB Justin Houston has been named AFC Defensive Player of the Week. Had three sacks vs. Jacksonville.”
Terez Paylor, @TerezPaylor, Twitter
GH: Dallas – you might have a problem.  

“You put Carlos Pena up there with ten years of experience. He understands what it takes to be a quality pinch hitter. Um, and a guy that puts a little bit of a threat in the box when he walks up there. And that’s exactly what happened! Now all of a sudden they’re playing the infield back. … In that situation, you want your veteran players in those situations. I learned a long time ago in the National League that it’s tough for young hitters to pinch hit – because they haven’t learned how to do it yet. … Carlos Pena is a guy who’s been through championships with Tampa. He’s been through these situations before. In those situations we want our most veteran hitters at the plate.”
Ned Yost, in an interview with Ryan Lefebvre, prior to Tuesday night’s game in Cleveland, discussing his decision to pinch hit Carlos Pena in the ninth Monday, Royals Radio
GH: What Lefebvre did not do is follow up Ned’s answer with asking, “So why did your veteran stick who has been through the wars take all six pitches and strike out?” Yost hates young players. HATES them. He’s just so, so wrong for the Royals or any team that aspires to win. 

“They should fire (Yost) for that response. Choosing the veteran bat and ignoring the statistics? That’s Francoeur thinking. They should fire him but they won’t.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: Can we get a Danny Matthews – GONE! 

[email protected] 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.
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31 Responses to OTC: Is Alex Smith Too Ordinary? / Can Mitch Holthus Just Be Sane? / Ned On PenaGate

  1. Twy's Gibman says:

    I agree on Hotlhus. He wasn’t as over the top in Manhattan, saving some goofiness “Bill ‘Moses’ Snyder parts the red sea” for rare occasions. I think his first few years replacing Kevin Harlan were better than the last 10 to 15.

    • E. Jack Hewlett says:

      It’s not easy to appear over the top when you are working with the StanBot. Even Holthus came off as normal with weird Stan as his sidekick. And what kind of college football dweeb is Husker Greg that he was listening to KSU game broadcasts?

  2. Jim says:

    Anybody that draws ANY sort of conclusion from the Chiefs lack of “explosive” plays on Sunday is jumping the gun. Could it be an issue this year? Sure. But when are up 21-2 at the half, you ain’t going to see SHIT in the 2nd half. no way the Jags are coming back from that deficit without our offense turning it over 2 or 3 times in the 2nd half. Reid (and the OC) played the EXACT offensive game they should have Sunday. Let’s see a few more games before we label the Chiefs offense as “not good enough”, Kev! Dude does have 4 hours to fill. Gotta trump something up to talk about.

  3. Joe Blow says:

    If you ever watch a Peyton Manning game, he dinks & dunks like there’s no tomorrow..

    It’s funny that Ned Yost HATES HATES young players, but also take shit for sticking with young players too long,

    • Joe Blow says:

      It’s such an asinine statement…Hosmer, Moustakas, Perez, Cain, Lough, Duffy, Escobar, Holland, Collins, Coleman, Joseph, Herrera, Smith, Crow, etc..

      • Twy's Gibman says:

        Most of the players he’s stuck with for too long have been vets. No one has blamed him for relying too much on half your list there, and Lough is a player he has to be forced into putting in the lineup.

  4. PV_Pathfinder says:

    I don’t know what kind of access Holthus has to the team, but in the week leading up to the draft he was on the 810 afternoon show and multiple times, questioned the health of Brandon Albert’s ailing back. This was the same time the Chiefs were (allegedly) in trade talks with the Dolphins. As the draft got closer and it was apparent that Miami wasn’t going to part with a high draft pick, I couldn’t help but wonder if they caught wind of Holthus’ comments and backed out. The play by play guy is just that, the radio voice. He’s not a doctor or GM. If he indeed poisoned a potential trade, he should be canned.

  5. Orphan of the Road says:

    The most damning aspect of Yost’s talk of the Pena at-bat is he is placing his faith in a player who was picked up from the worst team in baseball. And he has more faith in this castoff than any player on the roster.

    I notice KK is EXTREMELY silent on those franchise QBs in the last draft the Chiefs didn’t take.

    With all radio broadcaster in the Paris of the Plains, Homers to the left of me, Homers to the right…

    • Alphonse Tooty says:

      And he (Yost) has more faith in this castoff than any player on the roster? If Yost had the “entire roster” to pick from at that moment I seriously doubt he would have called on Pena. Come on …

  6. Java Man says:

    “My grandfather came to Ellis Island from Serbia right around the turn of the century. He took the name, ‘John Smith.’ He was so proud to be an American that he never told anybody his real name. Not his wife. Not his family. Not anybody. That’s where the family name Smith came from.”- Alex Smith

    Holy Shit! Papa Smith was in witness protection.

  7. david says:

    Sweet, Royals win again!

    Yost should be fired for…
    (a) playing a vet over a younger guy (Carrol over Moose)
    (b) letting Shields start the 9th instead of going with Holland
    (c) just being Ned Yost
    (d) all/any of the above, just fire him.

    • Twy's Gibman says:

      Love your logic: Royals win, then the manager is perfect. Royals lose, crickets. Look at Yost’s all time wins and losses, change the subject.

    • Joe Blow says:

      Yost should be fired because he let Gordon homer on the first pitch. Every SABR nerd knows taking pitches is the most important thing ever..

  8. Kyle says:

    2 1/2 back. Let’s keep bitching about anything and everything!!

  9. JP says:

    How many people were on ESPN, Yahoo or other sites following today’s game? A beautiful win, and now we have to cheer for the Red Sox over Tampa. (Yankees play Baltimore, so it will cancel out). WE were so close to getting a sweep. To quote Pearl Jam “We’re still Alive!!”

  10. Mike says:

    I believe Rob Neyer wrote a nice piece this morning on why Ned’s logic re: Dyson vs Pena is quite shaky. He wasn’t fire-and-brimstone. He just simply pointed out why Yost’s thinking was just flat wrong.
    If Ned can somehow get out of his own way in those ninth inning lineup situations, he’ll be fine. A big IF.

    • Joe Blow says:

      Neyer is still trying to get over getting canned for his awful “Feeding The Green Monster” book. That’s when it became clear what a truly terrible writer he is..

  11. Twy's Gibman says:

    HA! that’s why we needed Getz, he helped balance things out. Is that why Johnny Gio was sent down, he was a right hander?

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