2013: The best year in Kansas City sports

Kansas City is home to me and I intently watch as much KC sports as I possibly can.  Now it is the last month of the 2013 calendar year and after watching the Chiefs, Royals, and Sporting KC play all year I can say with confidence that 2013 has been the best year in Kansas City sports since I have been alive.  In years past one of the three major league teams in Kansas City might have had a good year but the Chiefs have not won a playoff game since I was 4 years old in 1993 and the Royals have never been to the playoffs while I have been alive.  Sporting KC, formally known as the KC Wizards, won the MLS Cup for the second time in team history this December after waiting over 10 years in between titles.  The Royals still did not make the MLB post season but they were fighting to get into the playoffs up until the final couple games of the MLB season.  While to most baseball teams an 86-76 record may not be satisfactory to the Royals it was a big step in the right direction.  It was the first time since 1994 that the Royals finished the season with a winning record.  And while there are still weaknesses on the team they are on the upswing and when they do make the playoffs all the years of losing will be briefly forgotten as joy takes over.  The Chiefs are my favorite Kansas City sports team and they are having an incredible turn around, one of historic proportions in fact.  After a 2-14 season in 2012 the 2013 offseason brought widespread change to the Chiefs.  First Andy Reid was brought in to coach then John Dorsey to be general manager and finally the Chiefs traded two draft picks for shunned San Francisco QB Alex Smith.  With the new leadership in place and 6 pro bowlers from the 2012 team the 2013 Chiefs hopped out to a league best 9-0 start and are now 10-3 with three games left.  If the Chiefs win a playoff game in the playoffs it will end the NFL’s second longest playoff win drought.  But in the 2013 calendar year the Chiefs have won more regular season NFL games than they had the two previous season combined.  To me that spells success no matter how you look at it.  As for Sporting KC they are champions of the MLS and it has been behind the play of goal keeper Jimmy Nielsen and midfielder Graham Zusi.  Nielsen may have played his last season as a professional goal keeper but he was the reason KC won its first MLS title in 12 years after he played brilliantly in the shootout to decide the MLS Cup.  Graham Zusi is an emerging US mens national team star and is poised to be the next face of American soccer.  These past 12 months of watching Kansas City sports has been surreal for me after years of watching losing teams all three major league teams have winning records and the city has one title and is hanging their hopes on the Chiefs to make a playoff run to New York for a Super Bowl.  The future is looking bright in Kansas City and if KC sports begin to sustain winning teams people will look back and say 2013 was the year it all started.