Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Jack Harry talks smack

It finally dawned on one of our local sports reporters that Sporting Kansas City does not have an actual nickname. The name change was announced months ago and heavily discussed before and after that announcement by fans and media around the country. It's great that he is catching up to the news but you would think (or hope ) that he could do better than this.

Let's do a little fact check and analysis of "Jack Smack"...

Our soccer team worked out tonight for the first time in their brand new $200-million dollar complex at Village West in the Legends.
Actually they worked out a couple weeks ago in a closed session. No public attending is okay but with no media there it didn't happen Jack?

That’s a lot of money for a stadium, in a sport, still trying to find its niche in town.

It is a lot of money for a stadium but it will also be the best and most innovative (my opinion) stadium in the country when it opens officially. That is June 9th by the way Jack since I am guessing you haven't paid attention to that either. Perhaps the really cool and innovative stadium will help the team find their niche despite the best efforts of sports "reporters" such as yourself.

It might be the only professional franchise, in any sport, without a nickname.

The only professional franchise, in any sport, without a nickname? Are you serious? This is soccer, there are lots of teams without official nicknames. The most famous team in the world in any sport (and they visited Kansas City last summer) does not have an official nickname. Manchester United are not the "Uniteds". Closer to home (as in North America) there is DC United, FC Dallas, Real Salt Lake, Chivas USA and Toronto FC. Those teams are not called the Uniteds, the FC's, the Real's or the Chivas's.

It used to be the Wizards, before that - The Wiz.
I'm glad you remembered those names, at least you paid attention at some point.

The guys in our sports department, 
 The guys in your sports department? Both of you? That is more than I have in my "Sports Department" so you got me there. Unless I count my dog, that should even it up.

for a lack of a better name, call them, “The Sporties”

The Sporties? Very clever. At least when bloggers make up bad nicknames (and I hate this one) for the team it is a little more creative. 

A club official sent me an email asking that I refrain from using that name.

So a club official sent you an email asking that you refrain from calling them by an improper name and that set off this rant? Maybe a professional reporter should use the teams name? Hey, at least you are talking about soccer...

My reply, what the hell do you want us to call ‘em?
First of all, the team has won only one game in the first two months of the season.
The Sporties first 10 games are on the road while the club has been waiting for the new stadium to go up.

You threw me a curve here (baseball term so you would understand Jack), what the heck does the one win in the long road trip have to do with you coming up with a goofy nickname?

The price tag began at $140 million, but to add all the bells and whistles, it shot up to $200 million, making it the second most expensive stadium in the league. Only New York spent more.

Back to the price tag of the stadium? Short rant and you are already repetitive...

The team owners, the Cerner Corporation, do everything in a first class manner...

Cerner does not own the team. Some bigwigs who made money at Cerner and some who didn't own the team. That is pretty hard to double check?

...but for the life of me, where in the world did they come up with this European sounding name.

They came up with this "European" sounding name months ago. They posted the reasons behind the name on their very own web site. A little google action and I am sure you could find that info. Is the internet just a little too hard for you some days?

To me, Sporting Kansas City sounds like some sailing club at Lake Perry.
Go figure, a $200 million dollar state-of-the-art stadium and nobody knows what to call the team.
C'mon Sporties, you can do better than that.

C'mon Jack, YOU can do better than that!

That’s Jack’s Smack.

That's Jack something or other. Pretty sure I could come up with a colorful phrase here...

So Jack, were you saving this rant since last fall? Waiting on a slow news day or when you just couldn't bring yourself to talk about the Royals one more time?

I wish I could say this will make me watch his broadcast even less but it can't. Nothing is less than the zero times I have watched this year. I suppose I should be happy that he is noticing Sporting Kansas City at all but really Jack?


  1. Wretched.

    Sporties? Sounds like a cute lil' doggie, or a pants style for young women, or a summer shoe for ladies to lounge about in....

    Even "non-soccer fans" I know have been referring to the team as "Sporting" or "Sporting KC". There's an occasional "Wizards" still, but "Sporties" has NEVER come up.

  2. i think the "nickname" will still be the wizards. and manu's nickname is the red devils but they never actually use it, they just say manchester united. even though our club name is sporting kansas city, i think people will still refer to them as the wizards. chivas usa's nickname is the goats, and people still call fc dallas the burn. i think its funny we change to a european style name when were in america. all the teams here have a nickname and all the teams in europe dont use them. i hate to see how america gives into european styles so easily when our countries are completely different. im not trying to diss ongoal on their decision, i think the name sounds more business-like but the wizards name will still be used because its been that was for about 15 years. and dont go off on jack like he doesnt know anything, the 140 million to 200 million is a big difference, especially for a sport that is still trying to catch attention. we are a small market city and having the second most expensive stadium sounds kinda stupid. I am a sporting kc fan and will always be but jack does make some valid points. oh and you only pointed out 6 teams in the mls without a nickname out of the 18. the 2 newest ones still use nicknames.

  3. you find your niche in town based on club tradition and club performance. you look at the boston red sox, green bay packers, new york yankees...etc. they didnt need a stadium to grasp attention of a city. them winning grasped attention. a stadium only attracts attention for so long. you look at the royals. their stadium renovations were all the talk last year and people went to games partially to see what they have done. but last years losing season killed all the hype of the stadium and now no one talks about the stadium, we just want results. The green bay packers do not draw attention from fans by their stadium. Their stadium is nothing but innovative or futuristic, it is just a landmark just like fenway park and old yankee stadium. so my suggestion to sporting kc is to produce a winning product on the field and start winning some cups.

  4. My gut reaction is to join in berating Jack Smack. I agree that they come across as a novice, uninformed party when it comes to Kansas City soccer. Personally, I try (and don't always succeed) to avoid mocking or criticizing something without knowing the facts.

    That being said, Jack Smack is in the vicinity of being right (from my experience).

    Every year, I have three or four people ask about Wizards' games. One or two end up coming to one with me. This year, I've had between 20 and 30 people ask about the new stadium. About half of them regularly play soccer and half are new to the sport. All of them have seemed quite interested in the new stadium and possibly coming to a game . . . until I correct them, and explain that the Wizards are now Sporting K.C. Almost unanimously the response is some variation of, "what K.C.?" When I explain the new name, the new logo, and the direction the team is going with the "sporting club" concept, interest in coming to a game drops like a rock. I try to recover by detailing the passion of the supporters, the experience at the game, etc., etc., to no avail. Most people respond that the name sounds like a department store. I have yet to hear someone speak positively about the logo (in fact three people mentioned that it looked like it had bodily fluids on it - the squiggly SC). In the end, I have 3 people out 20 to 30 that still want to go to a game. Everyone else dismissing the team as being minor league and silly.

    I wish it weren't true, but that's what the prospective new fans I've met seem to think.

  5. Jack doesn't know squat. He's the herpes of Kansas City Sports. People have tired of him infecting the Royals crotch, so he moved on to a new target with a name that his ignorant soccer hating cleft anus audience can make fun of on a weekly basis.

  6. Wow umm if you listen to 810 at all (BTL in particular) KK has been calling them Sporties for a while. This is old news to me, what took you so long to pick up on this? Everybody knows Jack is a tool! This rant is gonna do what? Besides make you feel better? Call in next time he is on BTL and let him have it or at least let him know how you feel.

  7. Sporting Nation. I say we let these yahoo's know who we are. How about a email and call in campaign? Call Keitzman and Harry every day next week (leading up to the opener). If you get them live, just say "We are Sporting" and let the chat begin. If you get vmail, say "We are Sporting" and hang up. Send emails with subject line "We are Sporting".

  8. its funny how most of you were upset about the name change now you are all on the bandwagon....

  9. I don't listen to 810, so I didn't know SKC was being referred to as "Sporties". I won't listen or call in. I found Jack annoying before he "retired" years ago.

    Anecdotally, many more people are interested in SKC and the stadium than in the past. I don't personally know anyone who has not renewed tickets. I know people buying season tickets that never did before. If SKC has sold 11,000 season tickets thats more than CAB could hold right there.

    If people refer to SKC as the "Wizards" I don't correct them. Why bother? It's like saying "You're doing it wrong" - doesn't really generate enthusiasm sorta a buzzkill. They'll figure it out.

    Finally, you're right - nothing beats winning to generate interest! But the stadium seems pretty kick ass! I applaud OnGoal for taking it seriously and trying to get it right from the start. Yeah, it's costs some pretty hefty coin, but do'er up right!

  10. Suggesting that "winning" is the way to get fans is foolish. That's true in an established sports league that's been around for 100 years. If the Royals go on a playoff run, the place will be packed.

    But when you're talking about soccer in America, especially in a league that's a virtual toddler, you need to build the initial credibility for "winning" to even mean anything. The GAME has to matter before anyone cares about WINNING it.

    If I win a thousand straight games of flip cup at the local bar, who cares? However, if it took place at Flip Cup Stadium and was televised during prime time on ABC, people might start to care.

    This is pretty basic stuff.

  11. point is the stadium is a HUGE deal. The fans and supporters groups are MASSIVELY helpful. Look, if the Chiefs LOSE a lot, that's big news too. If Sporting KC LOSING becomes big news, then they're officially a big deal. Because the NFL has an established credibility. Winning will happen eventually. Leave it to Jack Harry to freak out over a slow start.

  12. Moop, I've got to ask though, How old are your friends? I'm not a huge fan of the name myself but I can't imagine rational adults interest "dropping like a rock" because of a name. If you call boobs "dish towels" I will become a HUGE fan of dish towels. "A rose by any other name is still a rose," you know? If we're talking high school kids, I could almost see that. They get hung up on things like this initially.