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Who Are KC's Most Influential?

Fescoe in the Morning Makes Their Picks

Fescoe In The Morning
April 19, 2018 - 9:25 pm
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Time Magazine came out with it's annual 100 most influential people of the year list, which included some sports stars.

That got us thinking, who are our three most influential sports people in KC for 2018?

Kling - Andy Reid, Bill Self & Dayton Moore.   Seems on the surface maybe a fairly obvious threesome, but I'll explain why.

Reid for being the true czar of the Chiefs operation.  Every decision runs through him (except one, getting rid of Marcus Peters) he's got all of the decision making ability and leads the direction of this franchise.   He got rid of a QB he really, really liked in Alex Smith, because his handed picked drafted QB Pat Mahomes was ready.   He kept Bob Sutton on in the face of criticism, jettisoned some aging yet popular defensive players, and is loading up the offense for a possible run.  As much as the future rides on the new QB, it's Reid's ship to captain and hopefully not hit an iceberg.

Self has ultimate influence in Lawrence, Kansas City and even stretching to Columbia.  He had to green light playing Mizzou for the first time since the Big 12 departure, even though charity played a hand.  It will still be Self that decides if this series resumes again for real.   Nobody else at KU or anyone at Mizzou holds this much influence on bringing back one of the best rivalries in college sports.

Moore has been giving the ultimate benefit of the doubt.  Making back to back World Series, winning in 2015, has given him carte blanche for the foreseeable future (only considering sane non knee jerk social media worriers) to orchestrate another run from within.  We are told the next wave of talent is currently in A ball but that the goal is to win and put out a competitive product to bring another world championship.   After '15 he probably could have walked way, maybe taken the Braves gig or shift off into the full time running of his pet project, the Urban Youth Academy.  Who would have blamed him?   He achieved more than thought possible and then stick around to try to do it again?   His influence will dictate whether or not run #2 comes to fruition.

Fescoe - Cuonzo Martin, Clark Hunt and Scott Boras.  Wait, Scott Boras?  Yeah...Scott Boras.

Let's start with Boras.  This past off season he single handedly held up the Royals until February.  Playing the waiting game with Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and others.  Next to Dayton Moore, Boras had the biggest influence on how the Royals 2017-18 off season was going to unfold.  He is not only very influential here in KC, but he is arguably the most influential man in all of baseball.

Cuonzo Martin has only been on the scene for a year around KC but in that time, man, has he done a lot.  He sold out Mizzou Arena, he made basketball great again in Columbia, he recruited the number 1 player in the nation to play at Mizzou, he made the tournament AND he revived KU vs MU!  Anyone who can get the Jayhawks and Tigers to play a basketball game has to have some kind of influence.  Martin makes my top 3 and is still doing great things in COMO.

Clark Hunt seems like a no brainer but for me Clark makes the list because he really has not only an influence by owning the Chiefs but also by determining who will and won't play for his organization.  Hunt caused a ton of controversy when he traded Marcus Peters back in February.  Many believe he traded Peters because he was kneeling for the National Anthem.  This was clearly not a football move and it could come back to hurt the Chiefs on the field.  He also fired John Dorsey in June, right before the start of training camp, and may have actually improved the organization long term with that move.  We will have to see how it all plays out.  Needless to say, Hunt's fingerprints are all over this version of the Chiefs.

Ryan: Marcus Peters, Eric Hosmer, and Kathy Nelson. 

It's tough to say any athlete was more polarizing, or more discussed, this past year than Marcus Peters. Love him or hate him no fan was short of an opinion on Peters. Not only did he dominate the sports conversations in Kansas City, his trade (which is still a real head-scratcher to me) led him into the national discussion.  

Hoz was easily the Royals' most productive offensive player in 2016, leading the team in plate appearances, runs, hits, RBI, walks, batting average, OBP, and total bases, all while playing in all 162 games. Not only did he have the biggest impact on-the-field of any Royal, he also had the biggest off it. As the team headed into the offseason Hosmer was at the center of their offseason plans. Whether or not he would remain in KC would significantly alter the team's plans for the future. If the Royals were to have resigned Hosmer, or knew earlier on that they had a good shot, I think the rest of the offseason would have gone differently. 

Kathy does a lot of great work that goes unnoticed by many, but in my opinion she should perennially be on this list. Her team's work at the Kansas City Sports Commission this past year has netted KC the 2018 NCAA Women's Final Four, as well as landing us on the list of finalists for the 2019 or 2020 NFL Draft. 

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