Next Play: Let’s start with the World Series, even though KC Royals are just spectators

·3 min read

The week ahead brings lots of football and a couple of key games for Sporting KC, not to mention KC NWSL’s final match at Legends Field.

But if we’re honest, wouldn’t it be a blast if we were also looking forward to the Royals opening the World Series?

Adults don’t daydream enough, or at least that’s what some experts tell us. Unless you’re operating a crane or some other piece of heavy machinery, or in a life-or-death line of work, it’s probably OK, advisable even, to let your mind wander sometimes ...

Sports journalism isn’t as serious as something like firefighting, far from it, so let’s close our eyes for a moment and imagine that the Kansas City Royals are back in the World Series that’s set to begin Tuesday. Back in the World Series for the first time since they won it all in 2015.

... There’s a deep drive by Bobby Witt Jr. ... Sal Perez is standing on second, already clapping and looking toward third as the ball screams high in the air, high over his head and ... OVER THE FENCE! THERE IT IS — THE KANSAS CITY ROYALS HAVE WON GAME ONE IN WALKOFF FASHION WITH A TWO-RUN SHOT HEARD ‘ROUND THE WORLD BY BOBBY WITT JR.! What a year he’s had!

It’s 2022, and the Royals just beat the reigning World Series-champion Atlanta Braves 5-4 in 11 innings ... What a year indeed.

Only one problem: It’s 2021, and the Royals, though seemingly on the right track, having just posted their first non-100 loss full MLB season since 2017, are World Series spectators. They probably will be next autumn, too, but ...

Remember, it’s OK to daydream a bit. And heck, we’d settle for a wild-card appearance.

Bobby Witt Jr. (right) is congratulated by an Omaha Storm Chasers teammate after scoring his first Triple-A run .
Bobby Witt Jr. (right) is congratulated by an Omaha Storm Chasers teammate after scoring his first Triple-A run .

World Series Game 1

The Real World Series starts Tuesday night. We’ll be watching and quietly daydreaming about better days ahead for KC.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads Kansas City into a pivotal game against another tough AFC opponent Sunday at Tennessee.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads Kansas City into a pivotal game against another tough AFC opponent Sunday at Tennessee.

Of Titans and Giants ...

Today at noon, Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans in Nashville. A week from tomorrow, the New York Giants at Arrowhead Stadium on Monday Night Football.

These are the next two games for the Kansas City Chiefs. These are the facts, and they are undisputed.

The Chiefs probably won’t be accused of looking past Henry and Co., however. The last time they played at Nissan Stadium, during the 2019 regular season, the Titans rallied and the Chiefs lost. That was Patrick Mahomes’ first game back after a Superman recovery from a knee injury suffered in Denver the month prior.

This one today (Sunday, Oct. 24) could be the beginning of something sustainable, a Chiefs winning streak after their coughed-up hairball of a start. So, no, the Chiefs aren’t likely to be looking past Derrick Henry and the Titans today in Nashville. But they do play on Monday Night Football next.

Sporting Kansas City’s Remi Walter, from left to right, Johnny Russell and Daniel Salloi celebrate Russell’s goal during a recent match in Vancouver, Canada.
Sporting Kansas City’s Remi Walter, from left to right, Johnny Russell and Daniel Salloi celebrate Russell’s goal during a recent match in Vancouver, Canada.

Soccer tricks and treats

The regular season is winding down for Sporting KC and the rest of Major League Soccer. Seeding for the MLS Cup Playoffs hangs in the balance.

Sporting has two games this week: home against the L.A. Galaxy Wednesday evening, at Minnesota next Sunday in a midday Halloween game. That noon start will be a little different, eh?

Kansas City NWSL forward Jessica Silva crosses the ball to a teammate during a recent game at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kan.
Kansas City NWSL forward Jessica Silva crosses the ball to a teammate during a recent game at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kan.

Farewell to Legends

The KC NWSL women’s soccer team has just one game left at Legends Field — perhaps ever.

The team that played its inaugural season in 2021 lines up against the OL Reign at 8 p.m. Saturday in Kansas City, Kan. After that comes a busy offseason that almost certainly includes a new, permanent name.

Also notable: Next season, KC NWSL will play all of its home games just up the road at Children’s Mercy Park. New name, new venue, new start.

Mizzou football coach Eliah Drinkwitz and the Tigers play the Vanderbilt Commodores next Saturday in Nashville.
Mizzou football coach Eliah Drinkwitz and the Tigers play the Vanderbilt Commodores next Saturday in Nashville.

College football fun

We wrap up this week’s look-ahead exercise with college football. All three area Division 1 programs are in action Saturday:

  • KU is at Oklahoma State: kickoff is 6 p.m. in Stillwater, Okla.

  • K-State vs. TCU: kickoff against the Horned Frogs is 2:30 p.m. in Manhattan.

  • Mizzou at Vanderbilt: this one’s in Nashville, too, like the aforementioned Chiefs-Titans game; kickoff is 2 p.m.

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