Archive for the ‘Kansas Tattoo’

Local Kan. elections getting taken over by bruising DC-style politics – JC Post11.02.21

The race for four seats on the Wichita school board has become a battle between the incumbents and a slate of challengers recruited by the county Republican Party. Suzanne Perez / Kansas News Service

By SUZANNE PEREZ, JIM MCLEAN and BLAISE MESAKansas News Service

WICHITA The notion of low-key elections in Kansas during odd-numbered years largely spared the attack campaigns, mysterious money and blue-versus-red rancor now feels so quaint.

Instead, school board races carry talking points about race and mask orders that would feel at home on Fox News or MSNBC. In one city in central Kansas, residents find themselves in an emotional battle over how much power local officials should have in the midst of a public health crisis. And voters in the states capital find one candidate on the ballot for city council with ties to a white supremacist group linked to the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol.

So now people running for local office jobs where it can often prove hard to recruit volunteers to serve, much less withstand public attack find themselves in increasingly partisan-like contests settled by an ever more polarized electorate.

School board meetings across Kansas have become a battleground for protests about mask mandates, critical race theory and other issues.

That means races for hundreds of school board seats usually low-interest, low-turnout affairs draw more attention than usual this year.

The Project 1776 PAC, a New York-based political action committee, is backing dozens of candidates in seven states, including Kansas. The group has endorsed 10 candidates for school board races in Shawnee Mission, Blue Valley, Olathe and Lansing.

Project 1776 opposes the teaching of critical race theory or anything related to the 1619 Project, a New York Times initiative that aims to reframe American history by focusing on the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans.

In Wichita, the states largest school district has four seats up for grabs a board majority on Tuesday.

Incumbents have faced criticism for more than a year over COVID-19 protocols, including decisions to start last school year with remote-only classes for secondary students and to require masks in schools.

Theyre facing a slate of challengers recruited and endorsed by the Sedgwick County Republican Party who oppose mask mandates.

Both the incumbents and challengers in Wichita are campaigning as a group, which is unusual for school board races, and both are getting support from larger organizations.

A campaign flier for the incumbents was paid for by the Bluestem Fund PAC, which gets contributions from the National Education Association and other unions.

During a recent gathering at a parking lot in east Wichita, Republican state Rep. Patrick Penn rallied the challengers and their supporters. He said Kansas school districts will get more than $8 billion in federal funding for COVID relief, and theyre spending it on the wrong things.

What kind of stuff am I talking about? Im talking about critical race theory, Penn said. Im talking about anything that can be associated with depression, anti-bullying they call it social-emotional learning. Thats what the school board wants to push out there.

Judith Deedy, executive director of Game On For Kansas Schools, says shes troubled by the shift toward partisan elections all over the state.

Theres a lot of anger and frustration, particularly with COVID, and so the more traditional school board members are maybe more susceptible to being picked off right now, she said.Its misguided anger or misdirected anger at the people whove been in there and having to make some really difficult decisions.

In Salina, a town of about 50,000 in the middle of the state, an effort to limit the emergency powers of the city commission is sparking heated debate.

A group of residents angered by a mask mandate and restrictions imposed on businesses during the height of the pandemic mounted a petition drive over the summer to get the question on the Nov. 2 ballot.

This is about a lot of citizens that feel like the government overreached, said Kevin Korb, the leader of the group Salina Freedom during a recent discussion of the issue on Salina radio station KSAL.

The city commissioners are there to represent us, he said, not rule over us like kings.

A rival group, Salinans for Facts, is spearheading an effort to defeat the measure. It includes several former mayors and commissioners who argue the proposed ordinance would usurp the home-rule powers granted the city in the Kansas Constitution.

This isnt about freedom, said former Commissioner Jon Blanchard on the KSAL broadcast. This is about how we best respond to public emergencies.

Passage of the ordinance, Blanchard said, would tie the citys hands when dealing with future health crises.

I fail to see how that makes anybody more free and it certainly does not make people safer, he said.

A court challenge could prevent the ordinance from taking effect even if voters approve it. Saline County District Court Judge Paul Hickman has heard arguments in the case earlier this month but is waiting until after the election to issue a ruling.

A candidate in Topekas city council race has deep-rooted connections to the Proud Boys.

Canada labeled the Proud Boys as a terrorist organization, and the group fundraised legal defense funds for people arrested in the Capitol insurrection.

Joel Campbell, who says he left the group, was a third-degree member with a tattoo professing his allegiance to the group. He is running against incumbent Neil Dobler for Topekas a district city council seat.

Campbell was previously investigated by the states highway patrol for threats against Gov. Laura Kelly. In a now-deleted video he, without evidence, linked Kelly to running a child trafficking ring out of a pizza shop in Salina.

(Kelly) is wearing the red shoes, Campbell said in the video. They are literally throwing this (expletive) in our face. The leader of Kansas, (expletive) Kansas governor, is in on this (expletive).

Campbells social media also follows a super straight" account.

A TikTok user coined the term super straight after saying they didn't want to date transgender people. The post then gained popularity and became closely tied with transphobic posts. It has since been banned from the social media app TikTok because it is associated with hateful behavior.

The Kansas News Service is a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, KMUW and High Plains Public Radio focused on health, the social determinants of health and their connection to public policy.

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Local Kan. elections getting taken over by bruising DC-style politics - JC Post

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Rescuing Rally Cat — Inside the secret life of a St. Louis Cardinals legend – ESPN08.09.21

THE SEARCH PARTY gathers at midnight with six traps and an assortment of fish juice, and five volunteers fan out. Under a glow of cellphone flashlights, they methodically sift through the bushes on a muggy summer night in a downtown St. Louis park.

It's Aug. 11, 2017, a little more than a day since Rally Cat disappeared, and half of St. Louis is on the lookout for a long-tailed good-luck charm that ran into their lives during a Cardinals baseball game. The cat was last spotted here in Citygarden, a public park where foot traffic is significant enough in the past 24 hours that officials send out a tweet asking the public to "let the professionals do their job."

And tonight, the volunteers at St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach (STLFCO) are confident. They trap, neuter and return (TNR) about 2,000 stray cats a year, and have a hunch he's still here because of the primal trait that nearly all non-domesticated cats share: fear. Board member Savannah Rigley says even when a housecat runs away, it hunkers down and doesn't travel more than a block or two.

Sure enough, a tiny silhouette appears on a footpath around 1 a.m. He stops for a nanosecond, glances at Rigley, and darts into the shrubbery. The cat is not coming out, not with all these people, so Rigley and three others go home. Amy Jordan, a former certified nursing assistant who, like the cats she traps, is nocturnal, drives to QuikTrip to give him some space.

It's around 3 a.m. Twenty-nine hours earlier, a long-haired kitten went viral when it ran onto the field at Busch Stadium during the Cardinals' game against the Kansas City Royals, repeatedly scratching and biting a young grounds crew member while the crowd roared. What happened next made the cat legendary: On the very next pitch when play resumed, Yadier Molina hit a grand slam, lifting St. Louis to an 8-5 victory.

Had it happened in another city, in another sport, perhaps the kitten would have faded into a statistic, one of an estimated 70 million stray and feral cats wandering the United States. But baseball fans are a superstitious lot, especially in St. Louis. Ten years after the Cardinals won their last World Series, a portion of their fan base firmly believes it wouldn't have happened without the Rally Squirrel that ran across home plate during the 2011 National League Division Series.

Jordan drinks a cup of coffee and listens to half an hour of late-night idle gas-station chitchat, then heads back to Citygarden. She checks the first trap.

Two tiny eyes, shining off a streetlight, stare back at her. The animal in the cage is covered in fish juice and looks as if he stuck his paw in a light socket. He stares imploringly at Jordan, who does something she normally wouldn't with a feral, unsocialized cat. She pokes her fingers through the cage and strokes his cheek.

"Hey, little buddy," she tells him. "You're going to be OK."

She has no clue that the scruffy kitten is about to become a phenomenon.

For one long summer month, Rally Cat would captivate St. Louis. His story was more riveting than baseball. Hundreds would line up to adopt him. The St. Louis Cardinals coveted him, and planned to raise the kitten in their clubhouse. What began as an act of seemingly good intentions eventually devolved into a strange, tense story of a small but mythic figure whose whereabouts remain a secret to this day.

A Facebook post from the feral-cat outreach on July 11, 2018 -- 11 months after his trapping -- included a picture of a magnificently floofy adult cat.

It said Rally Cat was retired.

THEIR ENCOUNTER WAS brief, and involved a trip to the emergency room, but Lucas Hackmann knows this: The cat will be with him for the rest of his life.

"I mean, shoot, he barely weighed a pound," Hackmann says as he recounts the night.

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"I remember just feeling like I was floating. I could've run three miles with that cat. You just had so much adrenaline going through your body ... You almost, like, black out for a moment."

Hackmann is 24 now and studying to be a physician's assistant, but when he meets people in social settings, the cellphone video inevitably surfaces, and one of Hackmann's friends will tell the stranger, "Do you remember the cat guy?"

Rally Cat left no scars, but honestly, Hackmann wishes he did. That night at the hospital, nurses dropped by to snap photos of Hackmann, an average college student suddenly recognizable by his khaki shorts, blue polo and gnarled-up hand. Four hours after he left the hospital, he was on a radio show; two hours after that, SportsCenter. He was the subject of a skit on Conan O'Brien, and would eventually be immortalized in a bobblehead with the cat. The tiny statue is by no means an exact likeness; Hackmann is actually smiling while holding the cat.

It was a Wednesday night. The Cardinals were trailing the Royals 5-4 in the bottom of the sixth, and the game carried a hint of desperation for both teams, who were hovering around .500. Royals' submarine-thrower Peter Moylan had been summoned from the bullpen with two runners on and no out, and he was locked in, quickly inducing a lineout and a strikeout. He intentionally walked Dexter Fowler to face the right-handed Molina.

Then the cat ran onto the field. His back was arched and his gait was more of a gallop than a sprint. He ran through the outfield grass, slowed as he approached Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain, then picked up speed. Cain didn't move from his spot. He watched as the kitten headed toward the warning track.

Hackmann had been standing near the top step of the visitors dugout when the game stopped, and everyone seemed confused. When an unruly fan rushes onto the field, he says, the ushers take care of it. But who handles wayward cats?

So he volunteered, and raced out onto the field, with 88,000 eyeballs on him. He could feel his heartbeat pounding through his head. He cornered the kitten on the warning track, and bent over to pick him up. He hadn't thought this through.

Hackmann's experience with the family poodle and Shih Tzu offered no insight on how to pick up a scared feline during a Major League Baseball game. His only guidance was adrenaline and instinct. He tucked the kitten under his arm like a football and ran, and the kitten squirmed, poked and thrashed his body into Hackmann's chest. He used his other arm to corral the kitten, and switched to an awkward sort of grip that looked as if he was holding a dirty diaper, all while he was running. Instinct told him to run to the dugout, but that's where the team was. His biggest fear was that he'd drop the kitten, and the game would be further delayed. Every bite, scratch and pained reaction elicited roars from the crowd.

He didn't drop the kitten. Instead, he made a running leap over a wall and into the stands, and disappeared.

Moylan, who loves animals and jokingly referred to the kitten as "an evil, witchcraft-spelling cat" during an interview with ESPN last month, said he tried his hardest to stay focused in that two-minute delay that seemed to last 20. But he couldn't.

"I watched the whole thing," Moylan says. "It was entertaining."

Hackmann ran to the concourse, bleeding and in pain, and needed to find a first-aid station. Eager to rid himself of the cat, he said he set him down in the concourse and watched him scurry out of Gate 3 toward the Stan Musial statue outside.

Molina crushed a fastball over the left-field wall, and Hackmann heard the stadium erupt. "What happened?" he asked. His phone was buzzing nonstop in his back pocket. The first call he answered was from his boss, who of course checked on his well-being but had another pertinent question: Where is the cat? The cat was gone.

"At the time it wasn't a rally cat," he says. "It was just a feral cat."

THE FIRST OWNERSHIP of Rally Cat lasted less than 30 minutes.

Korie Harris' favorite three things are Christmas, the Cardinals and cats. She was watching the Kansas City-St. Louis game in a standing-room-only area near home plate, and when Hackmann left the field with the kitten, Harris had to do something. She asked an usher what would become of the kitty, and the usher, according to Harris, told her it would probably be thrown out onto the street.

Harris rushed to the main gate and spotted the kitten.

"He was just in this corner on the ground," Harris says, "and there were a couple of people standing around him. I was like, 'Hey, that's my cat; I'll take him home because he's really scared.' At that point, I still don't think Yadi had hit the home run. We just left right away."

Harris' apartment was about a half-mile from the stadium, but the walk that night seemed to take much longer. They stopped to take pictures, and fans were asking if they could hold the cat. (Harris said no.) Near the end of the parking lot, Cardinals' security approached her and asked about the cat. She told them she lived nearby and was taking him home.

She had plans for the kitten. She'd take him for walks in the stroller she used for her other cat, Mimzy Jackson. She was going to name him "Yadi." They were just a few blocks from her apartment, near the tall grass and greener pastures of Citygarden, when the cat leaped out of her arms and disappeared into the night. Harris believes he was startled by a noise.

The next day, the Cardinals issued a statement about the odd events of the night.

" ... as our ushers tried to contain the cat," the statement said, "a fan grabbed it and claimed it was hers. As she left the ballpark, our security team caught up with her and asked her some questions. She then abruptly left with the cat. We understand from media accounts that the woman intended to take it home and care for it, but lost track of it in City Garden. We are hopeful someone will find the cat and contact us so we can properly care for it."

The Cardinals declined an interview request for this story, so it's hard to know the full backstory of the news release, and why the club would want a possibly feral kitten returned to them. Harris said nobody cared about the kitten until Molina's home run.

Though her name wasn't specifically mentioned in the release, she was "bummed" by the way the team described her role in it. She did a radio interview the day after the game, and then reporters were hounding her, knocking on her apartment door, showing up at her work. Anonymous strangers blamed her for the disappearance of the Cardinals' good-luck charm, and accused her of trying to capitalize on the cat to make money. People were painting her as a cat thief.

"My phone just started going crazy," she said. "I don't want to be part of the drama. I had to take off work. The news kept coming up here trying to get a hold of me.

"I just stayed in my house and started going through the rabbit hole and looking at what people were saying about me, and it was just horrible. I mean, I sat there crying. I just wanted to make sure the cat was OK."

Harris was conflicted, upset at the team she loved, but also worried that they'd hold the situation against her.

The Cardinals have one of the most passionate fan bases in baseball, and Harris is a microcosm of it. She has a Cardinals tattoo on her arm, and six months out of the year, she yearns for the other six when she can pay $32 a month to stand, not sit, and watch her games.

She laid low for a few weeks, and not being at the ballpark was killing her. But she worried that an usher would scan her monthly pass and tell her to leave.

One day, Harris decided to go incognito. She straightened her curly hair, wore big sunglasses and flashed her pass.

"Nobody noticed me," she says.

WOMEN WHO DO TNR work are sometimes stereotyped in three words: crazy cat lady. The connotation assumes the person is single, lonely and surrounded by felines. But there's actually a detachment in what this subset of animal advocates does, otherwise they'd be living with 300 cats. They trap and neuter the cats to curb overpopulation, then return them to their colonies.

Rigley, one of the volunteers who searched for Rally Cat in Citygarden, said TNR people are often confused with rescuers.

"We're tougher," Rigley says. "We'll go to places alone, we'll go to places we've never been, we'll set traps in dark alleyways. And we can return cats when other people can't, even though it's hard."

Around 3 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, a group of women at STLFCO were finally calling it a night. They described their brush with the silhouetted cat in a Facebook messenger chain among a few others who didn't go to Citygarden, and offered Jordan suggestions on trapping him.

"Goodnight RC wherever you are!" someone typed at 3:12 a.m.

Less than an hour later, Jordan sent a message.

"Got him!!!"

She sent a photo of the kitten staring up from the cage. While husbands, partners (and possibly a few cats) slept nearby, the women compared stripes and fur colors from the photo to the pictures plastered all over the news of Rally Cat.

He looked smaller than the kitten that ran out onto the field. Jordan took the cat to Terri Zeman's house, who laid the trap in a clawfoot tub of her newly remodeled bathroom. Zeman gave him half a can of seafood Fancy Feast, turned out the lights and closed the door.

One distinct marking -- a bull's-eye on his right side -- helped determine that he was, indeed, Rally Cat.

At 7:31 a.m., STLFCO tweeted.

We did trap a kitten at @CitygardenSTL overnight. We will be trying to determine if it is #Rallycat.

They had no idea what would come next, that they'd be on the radio within an hour, and by midday would be so crushed with requests that they'd have to hold a news conference in a storefront used for community yoga, with the cameras fixed on a kitten in a metal cage.

They didn't know much about Rally Cat. He went to the veterinarian that day for a health check, and was handled with leather gloves and a bamboo scratcher to test his temperament. He wasn't necessarily feral, a term used for unsocialized cats who are fearful of people. But he wasn't a lap cat, either. He was deemed healthy, male, and 4 months old.

That afternoon, the Cardinals posted a photo of the kitten on Twitter. "The #RallyCat has been found!" it said.

The Cardinals, in early-to-mid August, were soaring. They swept their I-70 rivals that week, and won eight straight games. After a miserable start to the season, the Rally Cat game drew St. Louis to within one game of the National League Central-leading Chicago Cubs.

After that game, skipper Mike Matheny (who, coincidentally, now manages the Royals) confessed to reporters that he is not a cat person.

"But I sure like that one," he said.

THE TEAM QUICKLY planned a "Welcome Home" ceremony at the ballpark for late August, and a "Rally Cat Appreciation Day" for Sept. 10. The relationship between the team and STLFCO was cordial at the start, but the women were still skeptical, especially over the plan to house the kitten in the chaos of 25 ballplayers. How would that go with an animal who'd spent 24 hours hiding in the bushes?

Rally Cat would have to be held in quarantine for 10 days because of rabies concerns, and one of the first signs that things were about to spin out of control came when news of the rabies hold was reported. At least five people claimed they'd been bitten by the kitten so they could hold him.

"Everybody wanted the cat," STLFCO president Christine Bowen says. "They had their different tactics."

Still, if a wildly popular entity could draw attention to the plight of the United States' 70 million stray cats, the women thought, it could only be a good thing. They said Purina even offered to bring in a cat behaviorist, who would help design a playhouse at the stadium where the cat could live.

But the relationship between the team and the feral-cat volunteers was hurt by miscommunication. The women felt outmatched. "They're a multimillion-dollar corporation," Rigley says. "They could crush us if they wanted to." They wanted any meetings to include their five board members, who worked day jobs to pay the bills and could meet only at night.

A few days after the game, Ron Watermon, then the Cardinals' vice president of communications, called to inquire about the kitten. He reached Lindsey Slama, a volunteer who happened to be one of the biggest Cardinals fans at the nonprofit. She was naturally excited to talk to someone of Watermon's stature -- she'd loved her hometown baseball team since she was a child -- and told him that it would be "neat" if one of the players adopted the cat, so he could live in an actual home.

But she wonders if Watermon misinterpreted that as permission for the team's adoption. (Watermon, who runs a communications company and is no longer with the team, declined to comment for this story.)

On Aug. 15, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran a Tony Messenger essay titled, "Rally Cat finds a home, but what about other cats in St. Louis?" Unlike some of Messenger's opinion pieces, this was by no means controversial; it gave an inside look into STLFCO's work. But one line apparently rankled the Cardinals. It said that after Rally Cat's 10-day rabies hold, the cat would be sent to a no-kill shelter and adopted.

"It created a little bit of a stink," Messenger says.

In an interview with the paper shortly after that, Watermon referred to the kitten as "our cat," and said it would be returned to them. "Mike and our players are looking forward to loving and caring for him," Watermon said.

STLFCO followed with a statement saying it was shocked by Watermon's "bullying tactics," and that no decisions had been made about the cat's long-term placement. Watermon countered by calling their statement "childish." Suddenly, the feel-good story turned into a full-blown catfight.

A group of volunteers who'd quietly spent their free time helping cats who nobody wanted were now in the middle of a very public spat for one stray kitten. Who was right and wrong depended on whether you were a cat person or a baseball fan. STLFCO's business address at the time was actually the home address of one of the volunteers, and for days, the family would hear people shouting obscenities outside their home, and the occasional, "I hope you die!"

Rally Cat had been staying with Zeman, but now the women were nervous that he'd get stolen. So they moved him three times.

"It was too obvious he would be at her house," Rigley says. "If you're part of the St. Louis cat mafia, you know the cat's at Terri's house."

RIGLEY CONCEDES THAT they were probably a little paranoid at times. They put a microchip in the cat and immediately registered him to the people of St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach. Rally Cat lost his manhood in cloak-and-dagger fashion, during a mobile spay-and-neuter clinic. Since the events are run at a community center and can draw people from outside of their circle, the women didn't know who they could trust. So they placed his cat carrier in a corner facing a wall, covered it with some items and, when no one in the room was looking, had a veterinary tech whisk him out to the spay-and-neuter van.

But it was an unprecedented time. By Aug. 24, a week after the "perceived bullying" salvo, the women just wanted the media circus to end and for Rally Cat to be left alone. They wanted to go back to their old lives. The group called Albert Watkins, a prominent St. Louis lawyer and self-proclaimed loudmouth, to communicate with the team.

Watkins represented the women pro bono. He said his sister also does TNR work and that he never fully appreciated the "sensitivities of cat people" until he opened her freezer one time and saw two dead cats. She told him she wanted to give the cats a proper burial, and that she had to wait until the ground thawed.

Watkins worked quickly, in statements loaded with cat puns, and communicated that Rally Cat wasn't going to the team.

The Cardinals stood down. The club held Rally Cat Appreciation Day in September without Rally Cat. Around that time, Watkins said he had an Italian dinner with an undisclosed member of Cardinals management who "rules the roost," and it was cordial. After that dinner, Watkins said, the Cardinals donated money to the feral-cat outreach.

"Not enough to buy a Caribbean island," Watkins says, "but enough to make sure a cat that opened the public eye was taken care of."

A former STLFCO board member said they received a check from the Cardinals in September 2017 for $1,853, which was believed to be part of already-promised proceeds from Rally Cat Appreciation Day. Still, members of the nonprofit saw the gesture as an olive branch. They'd no longer have to fight.

The Cardinals' eight-game winning streak ended on Aug. 13, with a 6-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves. They lost five of their next seven games. St. Louis could not match the rhythm of the early days of August, and fell four games short of a wild-card bid.

IT'S WEEKS BEFORE the four-year anniversary of the Rally Cat game, and Rigley, Zeman and Bowen are at a mobile spay-and-neuter clinic near the house where Rally Cat spent his first night.

In the room adjacent to them are tables full of caged cats in various stages of anesthesia. Most of them are feral, and would normally thrash against the metal walls. But for now, they're zonked out and docile.

Bowen's husband is waiting outside in the car, and they're supposed to run errands. But he has learned to adjust when a cat calls, and is conducting business on his phone.

STLFCO will spay and neuter nearly 50 cats in the mobile van outside, and tonight they'll eat a good meal, then return tomorrow to their outdoor colonies. Rigley says the colonies are everywhere; people just don't see them.

It's been almost four years since Rally Cat was spotted, and the women are still protective. When asked if ESPN can meet the cat, they reach out to the owner. The reply: "It's a hard no."

Random people still ask to adopt the cat. A man from Ohio emailed in March, attaching a photo of his long-haired cat named Willow. He said his grandfather played Major League Baseball in the late 1930s, and that he'd be willing to pay anything to give a famous baseball cat a home.

"Would you please reach out to Rally Cat's owners, let them know I'll offer them a few thousand dollars, and am willing to drive from Ohio to St. Louis to pick him up?" the man wrote.

"Goodness knows that of any city in the USA that needs some luck, it's certainly Cleveland!"

ON MONDAY NIGHT, a cat ran out onto the field during the Baltimore Orioles-New York Yankees game, and the crowd erupted as a handful of workers tried to contain him. But the cat was elusive. He climbed walls, ran between legs, and ran back and forth.

Jackson Galaxy, a cat behavior and wellness expert who hosts the Animal Planet show, "My Cat From Hell," received a flurry of texts that night. Galaxy said the Yankee cat, Rally Cat or any feline that runs onto a field, just wants to find a way out.

They're lured to stadiums because they provide shelter and a source of food. Galaxy was talking to some of his colleagues recently about why feral cats that spend their lives hiding from people suddenly end up on the field, in front of thousands of people, during a game. Maybe a cat falls asleep in a tarp and wakes up at the worst time, he said. Or maybe someone dumps the cat there.

While the natural reaction is to laugh at those moments, Galaxy said the cat in New York had run so long and gotten so worked up that it could have died.

"Let's imagine if it was a dog on that field," he says. "We would be able to read that dog, and understand their fear. We wouldn't be screaming, we wouldn't be goading them on, we wouldn't be laughing. We would feel sorry for that dog because we get dogs. We don't get cats."

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Rescuing Rally Cat -- Inside the secret life of a St. Louis Cardinals legend - ESPN

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Anthony Sherman’s Top 5 Moments with the Kansas City Chiefs – Chiefs Digest07.09.21

Former Kansas City Chiefs star-spangled fullback Anthony Sherman deserves to be featured on this Fourth of July weekend in Kansas City. Though he's now retired from the NFL (which he announced with the help of a helicopter) Here are the now-retired back's top five moments from his time in Kansas City.

Former Kansas City Chief Anthony Sherman is proud to be an American. Maybe its the patriotic spandex he wore to training camp or the tattoo of the American Flag painted on his right bicep. Hes 100% American made and isnt ashamed of it.

Not only that but his nickname is the sausage, and who doesnt love a fun time grilling and hanging out with friends and family on the fourth of July weekend? Seems like it was only appropriate to highlight the top plays of Shermans career with the Chiefs.

First Touchdown (10/27/13)

No one will ever forget Sherman's first touchdown as a Kansas City Chief! A bowling ball type runner even after the catch, all the way until he crossed the goal line.

First Playoff Touchdown (1/4/14)

In the first playoff action of his career, Sherman capitalized on a first half shovel pass from Alex Smith to give the Chiefs a 24-7 lead over the Indianapolis Colts on the road during Wild Card Weekend. We wont talk about how the rest of the game played out, but it was exciting for Sherman and the rest of Chiefs Kingdom in that first half.

Fireworks with Mahomes (9/9/18)

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes dropped an absolute dime to a streaking Sherman down the sideline. This was one of the first of many touchdown passes to come in Mahomes career and Im sure Sherman would agree it is the most explosive play of his career.

Shovel From Mahomes (9/28/20)

In what would be the first under-hand touchdown pass of Mahomes career, Shermans execution was impeccable and he was able to get in the end-zone on a beautifully drawn up play.

Pro-Bowl MVP Snub (1/27/19)

Sherman went off in the Pro Bowl and should have won MVP. His teammate, the starting quarterback for the AFC, ended up taking home the trophy. We will always know in our hearts that Sherman deserved it.

Bonus: Blocking to a Super Bowl Ring (2/2/20)

Sherman was the lead blocker and opened up the hole for Damien Williams memorable touchdown run that sealed the Chiefs 2020 Super Bowl victory. This was Shermans role more often than not, doing the dirty work that goes unnoticed by most, but he played an important role on the Chiefs for years.

Hopefully Sherman is drinking a cold one, wearing some Patriotic spandex, and showing off his tattoos while enjoying his weekend celebrating the birth of our great nation. Heres to hoping you enjoy your Fourth of July weekend as well.

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Anthony Sherman's Top 5 Moments with the Kansas City Chiefs - Chiefs Digest

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NASCAR Cup Series 2021 TV schedule, start times and results – The Athletic06.29.21

Here is the schedule, plus start times, TV networks and key storylines for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season.

Xfinity Series Saturday, July 3Henry 180Start time: 2:30 p.m. ETTV: NBCSN, TSN4

Cup Series Sunday, July 4Jockey Made in America 250 Presented by Kwik TripStart time: 2:30 p.m. ETTV: NBC, TSN3/5

The Top 5: Breaking down the NASCAR Pocono weekend

Listen to The Teardown Tricky Times Two: After a pair of exciting races at Pocono Raceway (of all places!), Jeff and Jordan digest the NASCAR weekend and what it all means with seven races remaining in NASCARs regular season. Listen here.

Jeff Gordon leaves Fox Sports for Hendrick vice chairman role: What this means for both organizations

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Camping World Truck Series Knoxville Raceway, Friday, July 9Corn Belt 150 Presented by Premier Chevy DealersStart time: 9 p.m. ETTV: FS1

Xfinity Series Atlanta Motor Speedway, Saturday, July 10Credit Karma Money 250Start time: 3:30 p.m. ETTV: NBCSN, TSN TBD

Cup Series Atlanta Motor Speedway, Sunday, July 11Quaker State 400Start time: 3:30 p.m. ETTV: NBC, TSN TBD

Sunday, February 14

Daytona 500

Daytona International Speedway

Michael McDowell

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Sunday, February 21

O'Reilly Auto Parts 253

Daytona road course

Christopher Bell

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Sunday, Feb. 28

Dixie Vodka 400

Homestead-Miami Speedway

William Byron

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Sunday, March 7

Pennzoil 400

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Kyle Larson

The Top 5: Breaking down the NASCAR Las Vegas weekend

Kevin Harvick hopes Las Vegas result was an anomaly; teams a challenger across racetracks

Sunday, March 14

Instacart 500

Phoenix Raceway

Martin Truex Jr.

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Sunday, March 21

Folds of Honor QuickTrip 500

Atlanta Motor Speedway

Ryan Blaney

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Monday, March 29

Food City Dirt Race

Bristol Motor Speedway

Joey Logano

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Saturday, April 10

Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500

Martinsville Speedway

Martin Truex Jr.

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Sunday, April 18

Toyota Owners 400

Richmond Raceway

Alex Bowman

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Sunday, April 25

GEICO 500

Talladega Superspeedway

Brad Keselowski

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Sunday, May 2

Buschy McBusch Race 400

Kansas Speedway

Kyle Busch

The Top 5: Thoughts on NASCAR at Kansas, IndyCar at Texas and Formula One in Portugal

Listen to The Teardown: After a stray tire changes the course of Sundays NASCAR race at Kansas Speedway, Jeff and Jordan ponder the timing of the caution and its effect on the results. Plus the guys chat about IndyCar at Texas, the All-Star Race format and Formula One in Portugal. Listen here.

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Sunday, May 9

Goodyear 400

Darlington Raceway

Martin Truex Jr.

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Listen to The Teardown: After one driver beats up on the rest of the field at Darlington, Jeff and Jordan wonder about the perception of NASCARs 750 horsepower package, discuss what they learned on Sunday and predict what fans will say about the race. Listen here.

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Sunday, May 16

Drydene 400

Dover International Speedway

Alex Bowman

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The rest is here:

NASCAR Cup Series 2021 TV schedule, start times and results - The Athletic

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KCKCC womens hitting stride as they look to repeat as national champions – fox4kc.com04.22.21

KANSAS CITY, Kan. Theres banners on the ceiling, but two stick out among the rest.

At KCK Community College, they welcome the target.

I like having that on our backs and I feel like, at the end of the day, Aliyah Myers, guard, said. Were going to perform when we need to perform.

I embrace it, I like where were at, I like the position that we put ourselves in, head coach Joe McKinstry said.

Its been a long season for the reigning national champions, dealing with COVID and a lead scorer being out the past 8 games.

Weve had some girls that have really stepped up their role on the team, just because, when I did go out, we needed people to step up and its really showing with their play, Hannah Valentine, forward and guard, said.

So how do they do it? Just watch their practice. Pace and putting the ball in the bucket.

I think were about 5th or 6th in the country in scoring, McKinstry said. Playing fast and playing at a high pace is something that we really focus on.

We are a fast break team, we score a lot of points and so, I feel like it helps with conditioning, communication and ball movement, Myers said.

After winning seven in a row, winning the JUCO college tournament will take depth and endurance to win four in five, but theyre confident and ready to repeat.

I feel like were finally clicking at the right time, Myers said. I think its good for us.

And make Coach McKinstry add another championship tattoo to his arm.

I didnt even get completed with it and then we won another national championship, McKinstry said. Got some more to add to it.

They fly out Sunday. Win or lose, they drive back from North Carolina.

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KCKCC womens hitting stride as they look to repeat as national champions - fox4kc.com

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With snow in the forecast, here’s what to expect in the Kansas City metro on Tuesday – Report Door04.22.21

The New York Times

NEW YORK After an hour of discussing her mother, the afterlife and the shamelessness sometimes required in producing art, Michelle Zauner adjusted her video camera to show her Bushwick, Brooklyn, apartment. Her coffee table, suddenly in view, was covered with Jolly Pong Cereal Snack, NongShim Shrimp Crackers, Lotte Malang Cow Milk Candies and other Asian junk food. This whole time weve been talking, she said, youve been in front of these snacks. These are her favorite selections from H Mart, the Korean American supermarket chain that for her serves as both muse and refuge. Zauner, best known for her music project Japanese Breakfast, wrote about the beautiful, holy place and the death of her mother, Chongmi, in a 2018 essay for The New Yorker, Crying in H Mart, which led to a memoir by the same name that Knopf is publishing Tuesday. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times In the essay, which is the first chapter of her book, she relayed her grief, her appetite and her fear that, after losing Chongmi to cancer in 2014, am I even Korean anymore if theres no one left to call and ask which brand of seaweed we used to buy? The rest of the memoir explores her identity as a biracial Asian American, the bonds that food can forge, and her efforts to understand and remember her mother. Zauners parents met in Seoul in the early 1980s, when her father, Joel, moved there from the United States to sell cars to the U.S. and Canadian military. Chongmi was working at the hotel where he stayed. They married after three months of dating and traveled through Japan, Germany and South Korea again before landing in Eugene, Oregon, where Michelle Zauner grew up. In early drafts of the book, she said during our interview, she tried to imagine what it was like for her mother to marry so quickly, to face a language barrier with her husband, to uproot herself over and over. When she asked her father questions like Do you remember how she was feeling?, he answered with geographical facts and figures. As with many immigration stories, scarcity threaded its way through a lot of what Zauner found while writing the book: In their family, her father was so focused on providing that he couldnt give her the emotional support she sought, while her mother viewed identity crises almost as a waste of energy. I feel like shed be moved by parts of the book, Zauner said, but I think there are parts shed think, I dont know why you had to go on about this for the whole book when youre just like an American kid. Zauner, 32, writes about their volatile relationship, contrasting her mothers poised restraint with her need to express herself, her sense of urgency that no one could possibly understand what I went through and I needed everyone to know. After graduating from Bryn Mawr, she threw herself into the Philadelphia rock band Little Big League in 2011 before striking out on her own as Japanese Breakfast. Her first two solo albums, like her memoir, focused on grief: Psychopomp, in 2016, and Soft Sounds From Another Planet, in 2017. Her next one, Jubilee, is scheduled for release in June, and it is more joyful, influenced by Kate Bush, Bjrk and Randy Newman. In between these projects, she worked on video game soundtracks, directed music videos and crashed into the literary world, reflecting her maximalist and, yes, shameless approach to creativity. The thing about Michelle is you just need to give her a little push in that direction an affirmation and suddenly shes just flying, said Daniel Torday, a novelist and the director of the creative writing program at Bryn Mawr, who has been a mentor to Zauner. For her the artistic process, whether it is in her music or her writing, often feels all-consuming and anxiety-producing, something she handles by working through it. If Im going to take the time to go in on something, Zauner said, I want to be terrified of it. And there are terrifying parts she confronts when retracing the last few months of her mothers life. It is not exactly the cancer in the book, she describes the disease with polish, crushing Vicodin for her mother with a spoon and scattering its blue crumbs over scoops of ice cream like narcotic sprinkles. It is that Chongmi was dying just as their relationship was at its best, a sort of renaissance period, where we were really getting to enjoy each others company and know each other as adults, Zauner said. In 2014, she moved back home to help care for her. Chongmi died that October, two weeks after Michelle Zauner married Peter Bradley, a fellow musician. By Christmas, he joined her and her father in Eugene, navigating the first heavy moment of their new life together like a baptism of adulthood, Bradley said. She and her father havent been in contact for more than a year, save for an attempt at therapy over Zoom. After her mother died, our grief couldnt come together in this way where we could experience it together, Zauner said. He started wearing this big ruby in his ear and then got a big tattoo, lost 40 pounds, started dating this young woman, and it felt like kind of a second death. In an essay for Harpers Bazaar published this month, she wrote about the pain of that experience, then searching for a way to make peace with him and his new relationship, which has since ended. Joel Zauner, in a phone interview, expressed sadness about their estrangement. He avoided reading Crying in H Mart for months (Michelle Zauner sent him an advance copy), but when he did, he wept throughout and was stung that he wasnt included in the acknowledgments. The tattoo was done on the anniversary of Chongmis death, he said, and is of her name in Korean, with the Korean word for sweetheart underneath. Im not a perfect guy, he said. But I certainly deserve more than I was given in both the article and the book. Today, Zauner feels ready to shake this period of loss and just tour, and there is still more she wants to unpack about being Korean, possibly by living there for a year. I think theres a big part of my sense of belonging that is missing because I dont speak the language fluently, she said, and she is determined to preserve the thread she has to the Korean side of her family. She became engrossed at one point with Emily Kim, who as Maangchi is known as YouTubes Korean Julia Child, finding peace in the way she peeled Korean pears the Korean way, Kim wrote in an email using the knife to remove the skin in one long strip, the way Chongmi used to. In 2019, the two starred in a Vice video that explored the effects of migration on cuisine, and on Zauners 30th birthday, Kim made her dinner. Shes a real Korean daughter, Kim said. Zauner feels wary, however, about her work in any conjunction with the anti-Asian attacks in the past year. Im fearful of using this tragedy to try and promote anything Ive created, she said in an email the day after the Atlanta shootings. Its a little hard to encapsulate my feelings on such a heavy thing with a few words. Her belief system has become more nuanced than before. She is an atheist, but then there has to be some smudging of the edges for me, she said. In some ways it is impossible for me to not feel like my mother was looking out for me because of the serendipitous, fateful way that things happened in my life. Almost a year ago, when she finished writing Crying in H Mart, she posted a photo of herself in her living room with her eyes closed and a peaceful smile, holding the books draft in her hands, with the caption Happy Mothers Day, Mom. There are instances when even though it goes against everything you believe, its important, Zauner said, to create an ambiguous space for things. Like when I leave flowers on her grave, I know technically what I am doing is Im leaving the flowers for myself. Im creating a ritual and commemorating her with my time by doing this. But that is not enough for me to feel OK about it, she said. I need to kind of believe that she knows that theyre there. This article originally appeared in The New York Times. 2021 The New York Times Company

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Tyreek Hill Just Explained the Meaning Behind His Most Personal Tattoos – menshealth.com01.09.21

Tyreek Hill, the Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver known to fans as "the cheetah" on account of his incredible speed on the football field, usually shares insights into his offseason training on his YouTube channel. In a recent video, however, he sits down and answers a question that he's been asked a lot throughout his career: What do all of those tattoos mean?

Hill was just 14 when he got his first ink; 'LIL' on his left forearm and 'MOAN' on his right, after a nickname he used to have in middle school. "Probably one of my butthead decisions," he admits, "because I still look at this tattoo every day like 'What? Why did I get that?'"

Further up his arms on his biceps are his second tattoo (his initials), and his third and fourth (the initials of his mother and grandmother) on his triceps. "Those are the two who really supported me throughout everything I've been through in my life," he says.

After that, he covered his right arm in a sleeve, which took around eight hours to complete. "I went in one day and I was like 'Hey, could you just freestyle me an arm sleeve?'"

On the back of his right hand, he has the face of a cheetah, in honor of his nickname in the NFL. Then, on each of his fingers, he has S.R.4.L.: Soul Runner 4 Life, which is the name of Hill's clothing brand. "These two are probably my favorite tattoos, but they hurt like crap," he says.

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Hill got a lot of his ink in high school. Then, when he went to college, he impulsively got a gun on his stomach. "I don't know why I've got a gun tatted on me, I don't know what I was thinking," he says. "No idea how to explain that one... My dad always told me a real man doesn't need a gun, so, yeah, sorry dad." As if trying to cancel out the gun, right next to it is an inked image of a hand making the peace sign.

Above that are the words "THUG LIFE", an homage to Tupac, one of Hill's icons, and on his side are a pair of headphones. "Music is my escape route when I'm dealing with adversity," he says. "I put on some jams and just zone out and fly with the clouds and do whatever."

"I really feel like I'm done getting tattoos," he continues. "The saying is once you get one or two or three you're going to continue to want more, but I feel like I'm really done with tattoos... I've moved past that stage in my life."

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