Blog: 2013 Predictions for Kansas City

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The number 13 is historically very unlucky, but as I look into my crystal ball, I foresee the number 2013 being a very good one for Kansas City. All of our sports teams will finally give us something to cheer about. Our local economy will prosper. Schools will improve. We are a city on the rise, and heretofore are my predictions for our fates in the coming year.

Chiefs: After one of the worst seasons in franchise history, change is in the air at One Arrowhead Drive. I foresee a coaching change that will spark the team to 10 victories next year. I believe general manager Scott Pioli will be retained and replace Romeo Crennel with an NFL assistant like Kelly Shanahan of the Redskins or Bruce Arians of the Colts, not a college coach like Kirk Ferentz of Iowa or Chip Kelly of Oregon. I predict Pioli will trade the first pick in the draft for more picks (a New England Patriots tradition) and take a solid quarterback prospect in the second round. I also see him signing a free agent quarterback along the lines of Alex Smith or Mark Sanchez. I foresee Pioli filling many other needs like offensive lineman, cornerback, linebacker, and defensive tackle with the extra draft picks. With the talent already assembled, I predict Kansas City will compete with Denver for the AFC West and get into the playoffs as a wild card.

Royals: This will be the year the Royals break the playoff curse. The addition of pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis will give the Royals a starting rotation that will lead the Royals to a 90 win season, and the solid bullpen will help the team keep the leads the offense generates. I expect Eric Hosmer and Salvy Perez to have monster years at the plate, and I believe both will be All Stars this year. I see the Royals winning the AL Central by a game over Detroit and playing deep into the playoffs, but will fall short of a world championship.

Sporting KC: Kansas City will be able to celebrate a championship when Sporting KC wins the MLS Cup. The addition of Designated Player Claudio Bieler will give Sporting the firepower they need to actually score goals in clutch situations. The loss of Roger Espinoza will be felt in the middle of the field, but Sporting has so much talent, you can expect a couple younger guys to step up and fill that spot. I predict Graham Zusi and Matt Beasler will play with the National Team this year and help USA secure a spot in the World Cup, and I see the US/Mexico game being played in Kansas City.

Colleges: There will be a lot to celebrate this year when our area college teams take the court and the gridiron. I see another Final Four run this spring for KU while Mizzou will make it to the Sweet 16. K-State will get in the Big dance but be upset in the first round. As far as the football teams go, Mizzou will improve by two wins and go to a bowl game while I see K-State finishing a more pedestrian 8-4. KU will definitely improve on its win total from 2012, which won’t be hard to do since they only won one game, but I believe the Jayhawks will still struggle to win more than 4 games.

Schools: From sports to news, the biggest issue facing Kansas City right now is school funding. Cuts in Missouri and Kansas have forced major districts to close down schools, cut teaching positions and decrease the overall quality of education. Times are still tight, but I predict the Kansas legislature will finally give cities the ability to raise local taxes to help pay for improvements to education. I also believe that Missouri Governor Jay Nixon will find new monies in the coffers to improve education funding. I also think we’ll see major improvements in the performance of Kansas City students now that Dr. Stephen Green has had two years to right the sinking ship. Police officer’s efforts to send students playing hooky back to school will also lead to test score improvement.

Economy: Our national economy might be in ruins but locally, incentives being offered to businesses that move to the Kansas City area will continue to pay off (pun intended). I see the local unemployment rate dropping as new businesses open and hire local workers. Google will continue to attract people to KC who want to be on the cusp of the future of technology. With more money coming into our area, there will be more funds for local governments to spend on improving infrastructure and developing other shopping center projects.

Violence: Unfortunately, I see violence rising in the coming year. We ended 2012 on a down note, and every day we hear of people killing others. The root of all this is mental illness and depression. Whenever budgets get cut, mental health services is usually one of the first departments to feel the axe. Prisons are overcrowded and those who need help are released with no support. With more people than ever turning away from faith and battling depression, many are taking to ending their own lives along with the lives of others. As much as we want to talk about gun laws, we should spend the same amount of energy talking about improving mental health services and giving troubled individuals an outlet for releasing their anger and frustration in a healthy way. Until we address this issue, I predict we will continue to see horrific acts of violence in our communities.

FOX 4: At the beginning of this year, I never predicted I would be leaving one Kansas City station and working for another, but I am so blessed to have landed at FOX 4. I love my co-workers, and I love the way we do news. Instead of focusing on all the negative out in the world, FOX 4 makes a major effort to tell uplifting stories, stories of people overcoming the odds, and you, the viewer, are rewarding us for our efforts. Ratings for our morning show are on the rise as people turn to us for a fun escape from their daily lives. The chemistry amongst our anchors, reporters, photographers and producers is second to none, and because we genuinely like each other, you genuinely like us. Thank you for watching, and I predict your support will help FOX 4 rise to number one in the ratings this year as we become the station you turn to every single day.

May each and every one of you have a safe and successful 2013!

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