Posted by Lee Brumitt
July 19, 2018
President Kara Bennett called the meeting to order. Bob Lager led us in an A cappella version of God Bless America. This is the first time in recent memory that the piano player did not make the print, and he was missed. President Kara led the Pledge of Allegiance followed by Lon Lawton’s invocation penned by a thoughtful, fellow Rotarian. Carl DiCapo was recognized for his 42nd anniversary in Club 13 followed closely by Bill Mitchell’s 38th.
President Kara thanked the greeters from the Membership Committee and said that efforts are underway to rejuvenate the weekly greeting line. Announcements included a report of the upcoming After Hours event on July 24 at Pierponts’ patio. Dan Nenonen, Camp Chair, reported on the very successful Camp Rise event conceived and run by the local Rotaract club (Katie McCalla and Branden Ehlers) and reminded us of the annual and free Camp Picnic on August 12. President Kara then reviewed some housekeeping items, including the likelihood that our mashed potatoes will be served with gravy! We do have it good, don’t we?       
Paul Searcy then introduced our speaker, Blair Kerkhoff, a long-time KC Star sports columnist and beat writer who presented on “Taking the Pulse of Kansas City Sports.” As we know and our speaker reiterated, the Royals appear to have no pulse (despite the sweep of the Twins this past weekend). Mr. K. used the term “abysmal” to define the first half for the Royals. When a team is abysmal these days, they ironically get rid of their best players, become even more abysmal, and restock with younger players. As a result, we are likely to see the last of Moustakas and Merrifield. Gordon will ride out his excessive contract for one more year, and Salvy will likely stick around to lead the new pack of players. Our speaker predicted the Royals will return to .500 ball by the year 2020 and will reach the play-offs in 2021. Even our sports writers are eternal optimists! Speaking of optimism, Mr. K. is bullish on Patrick Mahomes, the next generation of QB for the Chiefs. However, he did raise a caution flag as it will be Mahomes’ first year at the helm, there is a lot of pressure on him, and there is a steep learning curve in the NFL. In other words, give him some time! Mr. K. noted that KU’s football coach has little time. It’s win this year or goodbye. K. State should be decent under Coach Snyder, and, hold the presses, our speaker “loves what he has heard” from the Mizzou Tigers and Drew Lock! The soccer boys at Sporting KC have a pulse but have gone through a tough stretch with a rash of injuries and uncharacteristically bad play of late. Lastly, if you were hoping for an NBA or NHL franchise to land in KC, don’t hold your breath...
Kara left us with this word: “Step out of the history that is holding you back and step into the new story that you are willing to create.” We then stepped out into the warmth of the K.C. afternoon thankful we live in this great sports town.
**You can watch weekly meetings via Facebook Live at Downtown Kansas City Rotary Club 13.**