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Charlie's Inside Corner: Sept. 15
NFL whistling in the dark
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The National Football League kicked off its’ 2017 season a week ago Thursday with a marquee matchup: Kansas City at New England. The team that everyone loves to hate, the Patriots, tangling with the darlings of the Midwest, the Chiefs. Yes, the Patriots have become the modern day Yankees of years gone by. People don’t care who wins, just so it isn’t them!
We were all happy that our Chiefs throttled the dastardly Patriots, 42-27, the first time they had ever lost an opening game in that stadium. Of course the Chiefs’ Marcus Peters had to sit during the National Anthem. That would have gotten him fired if Lamar Hunt still was alive and owner of the franchise. Let’s hope it still does.
What the NFL isn’t telling you is that the viewership for that game was the lowest opening-season ratings in years. Has the bloom come off of the NFL’s flower? The protests during our National Anthem, the huge salaries, the arrests, the seeming never-ending attraction to having Hollywood be part of the game and telecast, the trashing of politicians AND the lack of backbone by the NFL offices and the owners alike has started to put a dent in the polished image of professional football. Meanwhile, the NFL owners are working on a five-year contract extension for Commissioner Roger Goodell. Goodell’s contract us up after the 2019 season. He earned just over 31 million for the 2015 season and looks for a nice boost upward. Another reason for fans to be disenchanted?
“There’s trouble in River City”, are the words from the broadway play, and they are fitting for the National Football League. A lot of fans are turning away and once they leave, they are harder to get back than an upset girlfriend! The warning shots are being fired. Is the NFL listening? If not, they are just whistling in the dark!

— OU quarterback Baker Mayfield has apologized for planting the Oklahoma flag in the middle of the Ohio State field after Saturday’s big 31-16 win. Come on guys! To the victor goes the spoils! They shoulda also parked that prairie schooner wagon at midfield!
— You could hear the sighs of relief and cheers all over Big 12 country following the big Sooners win over second-ranked Ohio State. The Big 12 (with 10 members) really needed that shot in the arm and that single victory just catapulted the other top tier teams in the conference up in national respect.
— The Kansas football team looked like, well, a Kansas football team, and that’s not good. Just when the Jayhawks had fans somewhat interested , somewhat thinking that maybe, just maybe, this year would be different, they laid an egg in an uninspired loss to Central Michigan. In reality , losing to a MAC team is not unusual or even unlikely but it SEEMS like a bad loss when you read it in the papers across the country. SO, can KU make restitution? Not quickly and not easily. They get another MAC team this week, at Ohio U. They thumped KU last year 37-21. It seems silly to call this a MUST win for KU but, golly, it really is!
— How will the Black Panthers of Great Bend rebound this week after a disappointing loss to Hays last Friday? Will one bad game turn into two? Wichita Northwest (1-1) comes calling with a high-powered offense that averages 36 points a game. This could be a season changer for both teams. Panther offense that struggled last week should get going in front of a home crowd. Nod to Great Bend.
— Hoisington gets back on track with a win over Hillsboro while Central Plains loses a close one to Otis-Bison and Ellinwood struggles against Victoria. .Two big games in the Central Kansas League this week: Nickerson vs. Pratt and Hesston at Larned. Both Hesston and Larned got into the victory column last week as they balanced their seasons at 1-1. Hesston is a perennial state qualifier but this Larned team is coming off of a fine performance against favored Smoky Valley and looks to be a really good offensive machine. The Indians have shown a lot of big play capabilities in their first two games. We like the Indians 27-19!

Buddy Tabler is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and his views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at