sports

After the Kansas City Chiefs made history by becoming the first team to host the AFC Championship in the same stadium for three years in a row, they’re set to make more history with a trip to Super Bowl LV after a 38-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills.

The Chiefs are bidding to become the first back-to-back Super Bowl champions since New England in ’03 and ’04 when Tom Brady was under center for the Patriots.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

Sports are back, but where are all the fans? This week on The Range, we examine the age-old existential question: If a golfer makes a hole-in-one and no one's there to see it, did it really happen?

Plus, we take a tour of an architectural wonder of Wichita that's hiding in plain sight.

Courtesy Wichita Thunder

Since 1979, Roy Turner has been fixture on the Wichita sports scene, first with the Wichita Wings indoor soccer team and now with the Wichita Open golf tournament.

And for every one of those years, his job included attracting fans.

"I've been 40 years in this town, basically selling tickets," Turner said, his voice still sprinkled with an accent from his native Liverpool. "And now I've got a plan to keep tickets in my pocket and keep people away. It's just a brand new thing for me."

Thanks to the pandemic, it’s a whole new ball game for sporting events.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Inc.

A historic meeting at the Paseo YMCA in 1920 may never have happened if not for a series of world-altering events, including the 1918 flu pandemic.

Getting past a disruption caused by a global pandemic is nothing new for professional baseball. Even as Major League Baseball considers a shortened season this year amid the ongoing coroanavirus outbreak, the sport faced an even more dire threat a century ago with the flu pandemic.

That event, combined with World War I and a major gambling scandal, jeopardized the very future of the game.

Stephan Bisaha / Kansas News Service

Six players signed contracts, wore Jayhawk T-shirts and put on blue KU ballcaps.

But they won’t be running onto a basketball court or football field anytime soon. They are the University of Kansas’ first varsity esports team.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

By now, you may have heard, and seen, the name and logo for Wichita's new baseball team: the Wind Surge.

The brand came about after months of work, driven in part by acclaimed sports logo designer Todd Radom. In his decades-long career, Radom has crafted logos for the Los Angeles Angels, the Washington Nationals, the Cleveland Browns, and Super Bowl XXXVIII — but his true passion is baseball.

Courtesy of Boost Hoop

A group of Wichita State University students has invented a way for young basketball players to improve their shooting.

The Boost Hoop is a funnel that attaches to the top of a basketball hoop. It requires players to put more arc on their shots while also improving accuracy and confidence.

The hoop was designed by the Boosted Ideas Lab and recently won the Shocker New Venture Competition. The four students on the winning team are Logan Cassity, Andrew Haden, Isaac Wilson and Jason DeGarmo.

Garden City Community College has broken its silence and released a summary of an internal investigation into the death of a New Jersey football player after a practice in August 2018.

Braeden Bradforth died of exertional heat stroke, according to an autopsy, two days after arriving in Garden City from his home in Neptune, New Jersey. Former GCCC head coach Jeff Sims initially said the 19-year-old died from a blood clot.

Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar / flickr, Creative Commons

The debate over legalizing sports betting in Kansas could hinge on how gamblers’ personal data is used.

Some House lawmakers studying the issue are concerned personal data could be used to target habitual gamblers and encourage them to gamble more.

To avoid that, Republican Rep. Francis Awerkamp wants the state lottery to directly manage online sports betting.

“It allows the Legislature to better control what happens to the personal data collected through the apps so that it’s not used in ways which we don’t agree with,” he says.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansans could be placing legal bets on their favorite sports teams next year.

A legislative committee met Tuesday to discuss options for sports gaming. Many states are eyeing the tax money they could gather now that a federal ban on sports betting has been knocked down.

Lawmakers on the committee believe it’s likely that Kansas will legalize sports gaming. The question is what it might look like, and how much it’s taxed.

Republican Sen. Bud Estes said the state must be careful to avoid too many taxes.

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