The Influence of Sports on our Community

It is amazing to me the influence sports teams have on the energy and mind set of a community.

A former KU Chancellor told me that it was much easier being Chancellor during the KU basketball season than during the football season…alumni are much more forgiving and more appreciative during a typical winning basketball season.

Even though the Royals had another losing season, we have hope that the rookies brought up at the end of the season to the majors will give us the talent we need to be a contender next year. This hope made it possible for the Royals to draw over 20,000 fans to each of their last few home games this year even though they finished 20 games out of first place in their division.

After only four games, many Chiefs fans have given up hope and are rooting for the Chiefs to lose the rest of their games so they can get a high draft choice.
The entire Kansas City region was uplifted when the Sporting KC opened their new Livestrong Sporting Park earlier this year. Even if you know nothing about soccer, this new park has captured the attention of our community in a favorable way.

The Kansas State Wildcats 4-0 start to the football season has captured the attention of all K-Staters but even more importantly the national media is now giving some publicity to this school that in recent years has been somewhat ignored by the media.

This last weekend, I was with several folks from St. Louis and they could talk about nothing other than the Cardinals being in the playoffs. The Cardinals games last week were in the highest rated TV sports programming in St. Louis history. If Albert Pujols leaves St. Louis after the season ends, St. Louis may become a depressed community unlike any other in the nation.

These few examples show us the influence sports have on our community. I don’t know if this kind of affection for various sports teams is a good thing or not, but it is a reality. Sports should be an entertainment release from our daily lives, but on Monday’s we should all turn our attention back on the real issues that face our families and communities.



The Cardinals games last week were in the highest rated TV sports programming in St.Louis history. If Albert Jolson leaves St. Louis after the season ends, St. Louis may become a depressed community unlike any other in the nation.

I think it says a lot about a city/community when they rally around their home team regardless of a winning record or not. It shows how loyal people can be as opposed to other cities that just jump on the next winning banwaggon.

I wish people cared as much about the uninsured as they do the Chiefs. The Chiefs is a "non profit" agency and should do a lot more for this community!

It is amazing that everything mentioned in this article is a hot topic as of lately. I feel like everyone talks about all these teams and their different sports at all hours of the day. I think it is funny how people can be fans just for a certain season when they are playing a sport they win at. I would definitely agree that KU gets more excited about basketball and K-State about football. Sports really do have a huge impact on our community and lots of events are based around them. I do agree with the ending statement of how following sports should be an entertainment and something to do for fun; but at the end of the day we should stay focused on the things that really matter and need work on in our communities. -Whitney P.

It is interesting how sports in our community can impact KC's health. When we are winning like how the wildcats are it get's everyone excited and feeling good. Then when we are loosing like the Chiefs are it can bring everyone's moods down and make them depressed. It is not good to let these games which are meant for enjoyment stress us out as individuals. I get upset when KU looses but I never let it ruin my whole day, week, or month. I agree with Mr. Roling when he says that when the games are over we should turn back our attention to real issues in life such as family and our community.

I think it is very contagious and exciting when communities get involved and energized by the local sports affiliations. As an alumni of Kansas State I have always been a huge fan of the football program; however as you mentioned it is usually more enjoyable to go to games and be on the national radar in contrast to when we are losing.

It is amazing how much sports influence our nation, even just this little region of Kansas City. The other day we watched Catching Hell in our Sports class and I could not believe how much one act affected the City of Chicago. We become invested in sports because we make a team, "our team".

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About Me

Steve Roling

Steve Roling

Steve Roling is the President/CEO of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. Each week he blogs about issues that inspire him as we work toward eliminating barriers to quality health.



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