• KC STINKS UP THE JOINT — That aroma in the air Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium wasn’t from the barbecue of the pre-game tailgates.
No, this had more of a barnyard stench.
The Chiefs, really for the first time this season, closely resembled last year’s 2-14 stumblebums. After a quick touchdown to warm up those brave fans who endured the elements — I was in Kansas City earlier Sunday and I know how miserable it was — this should have been a game where the fans were given a free ticket for use next year. They certainly were cheated by the Chiefs’ laydown effort in a 23-7 sad-sack loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
For those keeping score at home, the Colts have now beaten the Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers and the Chiefs, all teams with double-digit victories. They’re no fluke. They also exposed all the Chiefs' weaknesses, which on this day were aplenty.
The normally even-keeled Alex Smith morphed into Matt Cassel for one day as he threw two picks and lost a fumble. Knile Davis also lost a fumble, as this was a four-turnover day for the team that entered Sunday leading the NFL in the least number of turnovers.
Jamaal Charles was Jamaal Charles, carrying what little offense there was on his back. The receivers? A bunch of nonaccounts, as usual.
Growing concerns about the Chiefs’ powder-puff secondary are nearing the panic mode. Sean Smith thinks he’s wrestling and his constant arguing with officials is wearing thin. Kendrick Lewis is afraid to hit anybody and his swing-and-miss performance was almost comical. In fact, do any of the Chiefs’ defensive backs other than Eric Berry know how to wrap up? It’s a shoulder here, a roll of tackle there. Opposing receivers are becoming less and less fearful of the Chiefs’ secondary, as it has jumped to the head of the class as far as weaknesses on this team. And where is the pressure on the quarterback? Andrew Luck sat in the pocket barely breaking a sweat. Tamba Hali, hello?
Kansas City is still 11-4 and a nice little story. But this season so much resembles the playoff team of 2010 as that year also was highlighted by a friendly schedule and an early first-round playoff exit. That is going to be the case again this year because Kansas City has yet to beat a good team, especially one with an outstanding quarterback.
• WEEKEND DISAPPOINTING FOR MHS BOYS — McPherson High's boys basketball team was all dressed up with no place to go.
The Bullpups were more than ready Saturday for their second appearance in the Hy-Vee Shootout in Kansas City, only to see their game with Kearney (Mo.) postponed because of the weather. A last-minute effort was made to line up another opponent, but Shootout officials decided to cancel the final sessions for safety purposes.
I was in Kansas City on Saturday and have to admit the weather got really bad, so much so that our trip home was put off until Sunday. MHS' team wound up staying in a hotel Saturday night before venturing home on Sunday as well.
The Bullpups thus finished the pre-Christmas portion of their schedule 3-0, which probably is the least number of games the team has played before Christmas since I've been here. Last year, the Bullpups played six games in December.
It's obvious off the three-game snapshot that this is a fun team to watch. The Bullpups get the ball up and down the floor in a hurry and take a lot of 3-pointers, probably more than coach Kurt Kinnamon would like to see. But perimeter shooting from Kyler Kinnamon and the Horton twins is going to be a staple for this team and we've yet to see what Drew Pyle can really do when he starts to heat up. He'll be a factor at some point.
MHS has a busy week when it returns from the break with three games, starting with the always-riveting showdown with Buhler, which has turned many heads with its early start, which includes wins over El Dorado and Winfield, teams picked ahead of it in the preseason. That's followed by a home game with Hutchinson and a road game at Winfield, so the Bullpups' mettle will be tested early.
• WRONG KU FRESHMAN HYPED — Andrew Wiggins, Andrew Wiggins, Andrew Wiggins.
That's all you heard about before the season.
The hype masters, however, got it wrong. They have hyped the wrong freshman.
Wiggins is a nice player, don't get me wrong. He's putting together a decent season, but certainly not at the level that was unfairly expected. His body language from the very first game has not been good, as he's either been bored and perplexed how at times he is lost, especially on the defensive end.
Now Joel Embiid, that's another story. If you're talking long-term NBA upside, Embiid has it all over Wiggins.
Remember, Embiid did not play basketball until he was 16. For him to be the player he is now is remarkable. If he'd been playing from the time Wiggins started, there would be no comparison. He is freakishly athletic and is absorbing Bill Self's coaching like a sponge. He is going to be the Hakeem Olajuwon of our generation.
It's too bad like Wiggins, he'll be gone after this year. The call for the NBA will be too strong. He won't be ready after this year, but he'll go anyway — maybe No. 1 overall. He'll be a project for a team, since the NBA now drafts on potential, not for immediate need. But in five years, look for him in the All-Star Game.