The Kansas City Chiefs begin training camp in late July and continue through August when preseason games pick up. From there, it's the start of the season in September. The Chiefs are usually the biggest show in the city by that point. But this year could be slightly different.
The Kansas City Royals are swinging for the fences (baseball phrase) in their bid for a playoff spot. Four and a half games out of the division lead and two and a half games out of the Wild Card, the Royals are going to be a story the rest of the summer (or so we hope). I've had a lot of fun watching the reaction from folks this season at Royals Review because this is new to many of us.
The Royals have been getting better in recent years but haven't been true contenders late into the season in ... well, a long time (does last year count?).
So what happens when the Royals and Chiefs are good at the same time?
I asked Max over at Royals Review, SB Nation's Royals blog, for his opinion.
"Kansas City is a large metro area, large enough I think to devote attention to both the Chiefs and the Royals (and Sporting Kansas City, and college sports)," Max wrote in an email. "We seem to really love our sports here. I think if anything, success for the Royals is good for the Chiefs, as it lifts the city's spirits and helps us shed the "loser" label that the Royals have created over the last 20 years."
This is pretty much my take as well. What's good for the city is good for the Chiefs. The Royals are currently getting great TV ratings. The Royals drew over 30,000 fans last September when they crawled back into the Wild Card race and it didn't seem to have an effect on the Chiefs. The same thing happened in 2003 when the Royals frequently drew over 30,000 late into the summer. There are enough fans in the city that folks will attend both the Chiefs and Royals games if the product is good. Our web traffic numbers can probably prove that if / when we get to that point. (No, I'm not concerned about the traffic to the site if the Royals are good, which should tell you a lot considering this is how I pay Sheldog's vet bills.)
"If the Royals are able to hang in the Wild Card race (which is not a foregone conclusion) I would expect good interest in the club, even as Chiefs camp opens up," Max wrote.
"However, the expectations are also raised for the Royals," Max continued, "so if they're not serious contenders for a post-season spot, interest may wane pretty fast, especially by the time the Chiefs open up against the Titans."
I'm getting way ahead of myself but imagine this great / horrible situation. The Royals are in the hunt but need the one-game Wild Card tiebreaker game. MLB decides to play that game the day after the regular season ends on September 29 ... the same date as the Chiefs Monday Night Football game vs. the Patriots. Like Arrowhead in the playoffs, Kauffman Stadium would light up if it were given the opportunity to host a playoff game. I really hope we get to see that. But maybe not on the same night the Chiefs play.
Also, while we're here, from what I understand, complaining about Billy Butler is similar to complaining about Alex Smith. So feel free to swap out Smith for Butler on this comment thread.