Sports this past weekend kept fans on the edge of their seats. The Masters golf tournament illustrated just how difficult the game of golf can be – even for the greatest golfers in the world. The games of golf and baseball are both a game of failure not success.
It seemed unbelievable that Jordan Spieth could take a 7 on a par-3 hole. Stress can take its toll anywhere, but it is particularly damaging in a major golf tournament. The first three days of the Masters was played with very windy conditions which can turn an already tough game into nearly impossible.
Baseball is another game of failure but the Kansas City Royals seem to have a lock on using all the players on their 25-man roster in order to stay ahead of the field. On Sunday, the defending World Series champions used the speed of little-used Terrance Gore to win a 10-inning game against a division rival, the Minnesota Twins. The Royals were unable to do anything at the plate all day but they still had enough to win at the end of the day.
It was a surprise that Ned Yost kept Gore on the roster when the team opened the season. Yost said that he thought Gore could help the team off the bench during the absence of Jarrod Dyson, and was he ever right. If the Royals end up winning the AL Central Division by one game in September, we can thank Ned Yost for being ahead of the game.
The NFL draft is looming big in a little more than a week. Everyone is trying to figure out what the Kansas Chiefs will do this year in the draft. The 2016 mock drafts are all over the place for the Chiefs. Some have them picking Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch on the team’s first pick. Some have defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche from Mississippi going to the Chiefs. Another has Alabama inside linebacker Reggie Ragland. The last mock draft I checked had Baylor corner Xavier Howard going to the Chiefs.
Two areas that I do not think the Chiefs will draft early are at the offensive line position and at running back. However, Dorsey and Reid combinations have been surprises in the past. The offensive line should be very solid after the free agent acquisition of Mitch Schwartz. His ability added to those returning should make the offensive line a strength in 2016. If Jamaal Charles is able to return to a high physical level, the Chiefs will be stacked with backs who can complement one another. If the offense can come up with a solid inside receiver like Ohio State receiver Braxton Miller, the offense has a chance to be the biggest strength of the 2016 team.
The Kansas City Chiefs team, though, is built on defense and the NFL is a pass-first league. It will be very surprising if the team does not try to pick up a cornerback in the first or second round. The team lost its third round pick because of a tampering violation, but it would not be a surprise if the Chiefs pick two defensive players with their first two picks.
NFL success always hinges on a talented quarterback, but you have to be able to rush the quarterback and you must have the corners to be able to play man coverage. Man coverage players are a must in the NFL.
It would also not be a surprise to see the Chiefs select another outside linebacker in the first two rounds. The injury to Justin Houston may keep the team of the philosophy that you never have enough rush personnel.
A very interesting twist to this year’s mock drafts are the names of two local players – Evan Boehm, center from Missouri and a Lee’s Summit West graduate, and Deiondre’ Hall of Northern Iowa, a Blue Springs grad who is projected at corner or free safety.
Local pundits have questioned all of the Chiefs’ draft moves since Dorsey and Reid took over the team. However, the two have used free agency and the draft to create a playoff contender. The challenge of the duo is to fill in the pieces to take them to the next level to be a Super Bowl contender.
The NFL Draft is a crapshot in every sense of the word, but if the draft can bring in at least five guys who can make a solid contribution over the next three years, it will be considered a success. Hopefully this year’s 2016 class will result in a jackpot year!
• I tend to talk too much about men’s sports. The greatest dynasty of any sport in America today is the women’s basketball team at Connecticut. For them to win 11 NCAA national championships is a spectacular accomplishment. They totally dominate in their sport. Hats off to the entire UConn women’s program for establishing such a standard of greatness. Wow!
• My quote of the week comes from NFL legend Joe Namath: “You must be honest with yourself. If your best isn’t good enough, then you’ve got to find something else to do – another sport where your best will be good enough.”
Tim Crone, a William Chrisman High School graduate, is a former activities director and coach for Blue Springs High School and is a host of a weekly radio show, “Off the Wall with Tim Crone,” on KCWJ (1030 AM) 6 p.m. every Monday. He writes a weekly column for The Examiner. Reach him at email@example.com