Best Sports Activities in KC

Hello all! Scott Asner here. Kansas City is a great sports town, and it’s no secret that I am a huge sports fan. I love watching games and keeping up with my favorite teams, and I like to do sports to stay active as well. If you are looking for sports entertainment around KC, keep reading. Today, I’m sharing a list of some great sports activities right here in Kansas City.

The Dugout

If you are looking for batting cages in KC, The Dugout is a solid choice. You can make a reservation for batting cages, pitching tunnels, and turf fields to practice or bring your team for drills. The Dugout has a staff of baseball and softball instructors for team classes or private lessons. If you are looking for a kid-friendly activity, The Dugout also hosts birthday parties and camp sessions.

T-Shotz

T-Shotz is an exciting, virtual driving range for all ages. Not your average driving range, T-Shotz has simulations of some of the best golf courses in the world. Even those who are not golf fans will enjoy the fun mini-game simulations! With a full menu of food and drink available, T-Shotz also makes for a great event venue for any occasion.

The Soccer Lot

For the soccer fans, The Soccer Lot has pickup games, leagues, camps, and tournaments. The Soccer Lot is known for hosting 5-a-side teams, so it’s a great way to play a game with a smaller group. With only four field players and a goalie on each side, these games, sometimes called “mini soccer” are usually more fast-paced. This location hosts events and parties, so if you’re looking for soccer activities for a group, look no further.

The College Basketball Experience

Basketball lovers will have a blast at The College Basketball Experience. Home of the College Basketball Hall of Fame, this venue is a sports fan’s dream. There are interactive games and activities, so it’s a fun time for all ages. For all things basketball, there is no better place to spend the day than The College Basketball Experience. 

Kansas Speedway

If motorsports are more your speed, you can’t miss the Kansas Speedway! It’s no wonder NASCAR is so popular in Kansas City, the races are always thrilling to watch. Anyone who loves cars and action will have a great time at the Kansas Speedway, and it’s a popular attraction for all ages. It does get loud at the track, so it is a good idea to bring ear protection, especially for kids.

Needless to say, if you are a sports fanatic like I am, you’ll find no shortage of activities here in Kansas City! Whether you’re a local or a first-time visitor, I hope this list will help you get your fill of sports entertainment in KC. 

~ Scott Asner, wannabe musician and Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Boxing: Three Things You Should Know

Scott Asner boxing

Hello all, Scott Asner here. I have been a fan of boxing for decades, and I’ve watched as boxing has seen a surge in popularity, especially because of the internet. Boxers are not just athletes anymore, they help the sport grow by also being influencers on social media. Many new fans are drawn in first by boxing personalities such as Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, and they learn about the intricacies of the sport as their interest becomes deeper. If you are a fan that is new to boxing, here are some of the basics you might want to know!

Weight Classes:

You may have heard some boxers called “heavyweight champions,” but did you know that there are several different weight classes? Weight classes, also known as weight divisions, are used to group boxers and other athletes into a similar range so their fight is fair. After all, if a 120lb fighter goes up against a 200lb boxer, it’s going to be a much easier fight for the heavier boxer. In professional boxing, there are usually eight recognized classes, ranging from 108lbs to over 200lbs. The classes are: flyweight, bantamweight, featherweight, lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight.

Gloves:

Are all boxing gloves created equal? If you’re a new boxing fan, you may not realize that boxing gloves vary greatly. Similar to how athletes have weight classes, gloves can range from 8 to 16oz. Boxing gloves are designed to protect the wearer’s hand, as well as the other fighter’s head, but although cuts are less common these days, gloves do not prevent brain injuries. Boxing gloves worn in competition have strict regulations about weight, markings, and padding. White markings on gloves help judges see where a boxer’s knuckles are. Padding can be made from horsehair, foam, or both. Horsehair lasts longer and is better for the environment than PVC, a common material for foam gloves, but is also less protective. Most modern gloves use PVC and latex, and boxers also wrap their hands and wrists with cotton bandages for extra protection.

Rules:

Boxing matches are fast-paced and exciting, but they might be difficult to follow if you are unfamiliar with the sport. So how does boxing actually work? Basically, a fighter can only use their knuckles or they may receive a foul or even be disqualified. Boxers are not allowed to hit with anything other than a closed fist, so headbutting, kicking, elbowing, or using any other body part will be considered a foul. Even hitting with an open hand or the side of the hand is not allowed. Boxers are also restricted to punching certain places: hitting below the waist or “below the belt” is not allowed. Hits to the back of the head, neck, and kidneys are also prohibited.

So how do boxers win their match? One way to win is to simply score higher, which is determined subjectively by the judges. You’ve probably also heard of KO’s and TKO’s, which stand for “Knock-Out” and “Technical Knock-Out,” but boxers are not necessarily unconscious when they lose a match— boxing would be a lot more dangerous if that were the case! A knock-out happens when a boxer falls to the mat and does not get up before the referee counts to ten. A technical knockout usually occurs when a boxer can no longer safely continue, usually decided by the judges, coaches, or doctors. Some rules say that if a player is knocked down three times, it is considered a TKO.

If you are a new boxing fan, I hope you learned something from this post, and I hope you’ll continue to enjoy this exciting sport. Thank you for reading!

~ Scott Asner, wannabe musician and Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Best Live Music Venues in KC

Hello again! Scott Asner here. Many of you know that music is one of my passions, and Kansas City is a vibrant hub for music lovers. With such an active live music scene and breadth of genres, it’s no wonder that KC is home to some fantastic venues. Today, I’m sharing a few of my favorite spots to see live music shows in Kansas City.

The RecordBar

Steve Tulipana’s RecordBar perfects the balance between small, local artists and internationally famous performers. RecordBar has been open for over 15 years and has had two locations, and survived through the height of the pandemic— and it’s easy to see why. Great shows, genres for any musical palate, and a welcoming-community-feel result in a venue with a lot of appeal. Any music lover will see that RecordBar is a top-notch example of what Kansas City has to offer.

Lemonade Park

Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, Lemonade Park is a new addition to the Kansas City music scene. Created by Steve Tulipana (co-owner of the RecordBar) along with Wes Gartner and Jill Myers (co-owners of Voltaire), Lemonade Park was conceptualized as a way for the community to gather safely and support local musicians during the pandemic. This hip outdoor venue is tucked in a lot in the Stockyards District, offering food and drink from Voltaire. Lemonade Park’s casual setting is a great place to enjoy local music and cold drinks on a summer night.

The Rino

The Rino is a youthful, intimate venue, and a perfect slice of KC culture. Whether you’re a born-and-raised local or a first time visitor, the Rino is sure to please. They offer a rotating selection of beer on tap, and their menu often features local breweries such as Colony Ales. As well as hosting small shows, the Rino also offers open-mic comedy nights on Wednesdays.

KC Live!

KC Live! is a bustling concert venue with a covered outdoor stage, often featuring popular musicians and bands from around the nation and the world. Located in the heart of the power and light district, KC Live! is also a great spot for food and drink, with lots of options available. If you’re seeing a show at KC Live!, you’re bound to have a good time.

Kansas City Music Hall

The Music Hall at the Kansas City Convention Center is a spacious venue for musical performances and other world-class stage productions. This timeless spot opened in 1936 and has been a gem in the crown of Kansas City’s entertainment scene ever since. An evening at the Music Hall makes for a great outing.

No matter what your favorite genre is, there is something for everyone in KC! Next time you’re looking to get a taste of Kansas City’s music scene, I hope you’ll visit one of these venues.

~ Scott Asner, wannabe musician and Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

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My Favorite Hiking Gear

Scott Asner favorite hiking gear

Hi all! Scott Asner here. You may already know how much I love the outdoors, especially hiking.  Beginners may not know what they need for the trail, and even seasoned hikers overlook useful items on their packing list sometimes. Today I wanted to share some of my favorite hiking gear or hiking equipment, so you’ll be prepared on your next hike.

1. Insulated Water Bottle

Everyone knows it’s important to stay hydrated, especially on a long walk or hike. If you normally use a plastic or single-walled bottle, try a double-walled metal bottle. Using an insulated bottle to keep water cold makes a big difference. It’s amazing how a cold drink of water can feel so refreshing!

2. Hiking Socks

High quality hiking socks make a world of difference when I go on a hike. Make sure your socks are long enough to protect your ankles from being rubbed by your boots. Thick socks can prevent blisters, and these days, most hiking socks wick away sweat and moisture.

3. Hiking Boots

I think most people will agree that a good pair of shoes or boots is the most important gear you can have for a hike. Anyone who has been on a hike knows that good footwear can make or break your experience. Always remember to break in your boots before wearing them on the trail!

4. Whistle

It’s important to bring adequate safety gear, especially on rocky or unfamiliar trails. Even if you are in a familiar location, you could get turned around or injured. It takes no effort to pack something as small as a whistle, but if you end up needing one, you’ll be glad to have it with you.

5. Sun Hat

I always bring a hat to a hike. Even on a cloudy day, UV rays can give you a sunburn, so it’s a good idea to wear some sun protection. Hats are great for keeping the sun and sweat out of your eyes.

6. Sunglasses

When you’re out in the elements, it’s important to protect your eyes as well. Make sure your sunglasses have polarized lenses to keep out UV rays. Wearing cheap sunglasses can damage your eyes, so it’s good to invest in a good pair and take care of them. Your eyes will thank you!

7. Walking Sticks

A pair of walking sticks is great for keeping your balance on a trail. Also called hiking sticks or trekking sticks, they help you on uneven terrain and steep hills. Walking sticks are not necessary on every trail, but they can be a great addition to your hiking gear collection.

8. Cotton Bandana

A cotton bandana is great for the hiking trail, or anywhere. You can dab your face with it in hot weather or tie it around your head. If you pack a picnic lunch for the trail, a bandana can be your napkin.

9. First Aid Kit

It’s a good idea to bring a small first aid kit on any hike. A simple pack of bandages, wipes, and antibiotic ointment will help you keep small cuts, scrapes, and blisters clean.

10. Camera

A camera may not seem like essential hiking gear, but it’s great to bring one on the trail, and to take pictures of the wildlife, and the views. When you’re hiking with friends and family, snap a few shots of them as well! It is fun to make memories with loved ones while enjoying the outdoors and fresh air.

I hope this list helps you step up your hiking experience, so you’ll enjoy the outdoors as much as I do!

~ Scott Asner, wannabe musician and Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Five Ways To Enjoy Nature in Kansas City

1. Visit a Nature Center

Kansas City is home to several nature centers as well as the Kansas City Zoo. Nature centers are great for a family-friendly outing, and they are so educational! Some of the nature centers offer free programs or affordable children’s passes, and the Lakeside Nature Center is free. Going to nature centers is a great way to learn about local wildlife and ecology. Nature centers are also great resources to learn about sustainability. As the threat of climate change looms, we should learn more about what we can do to make the planet greener.

2. Take Pictures

Even in urban areas, there can be a lot of natural beauty to observe. It can be fun to snap photos and identify trees, other plants, or wildlife in your area. Bird watching is also a great activity in cities. Parks are an easy and accessible place to spot birds and other wildlife. You can also set up a bird feeder in your yard. Feeding the birds helps local wildlife thrive. Hummingbird feeders are a fun addition to any yard or deck, especially if you have kids. You may be surprised how many types of birds you can photograph, even from your own window! You can also frame your favorite pictures and display them on your wall.

3. Volunteer for a Cleanup Project

Kansas City is full of beautiful parks, rivers, and lakes, but unfortunately litter still ends up on the ground. In an effort to keep nature beautiful and clean, try volunteering for a park cleanup. Not only is it a great way to help care for KC and the Earth, it’s also an opportunity to meet others in your community. It is much easier to make a difference when we work together!

4. Take Advantage of Community Gardens

Even if you don’t have your own garden, you can rent a plot in a community garden. Gardening is a fun hobby where you’ll learn a lot about nature. Try learning about native plants so you can add them to your plot. Native plants will usually fare better than invasive species because they evolved for the local conditions. You can also try growing vegetables such as beans, tomatoes, or peppers. After your hard work, you can harvest them and make a healthy meal from your own locally grown produce. Community gardens are a great way to get to know your neighbors too. If you have extra vegetables, share them! Your fellow gardeners may share with you as well.

5. Compost

Whether you garden in your own backyard or in a community garden, compost will be great for the soil. It all starts in your kitchen, and compost is an easy way to turn food waste into something useful. There are several ways to compost, but cold composting may be easier for beginners. You can put a small compost bin on your counter or put a larger one outside. Add veggie scraps, cardboard, eggshells, and coffee grounds. In an outdoor bin, you can also add lawn trimmings or raked leaves. Compost takes time, but it’s a great way to reduce food scraps in landfills.

I hope you try one of these tips so we can all keep Kansas City—and the world— green and beautiful. Remember, you can always put on your shoes and just go for a stroll or a hike as well. Thanks for reading!

~ Scott Asner, wannabe musician and Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Why Habits Are the Key to Success

Hi everyone, Scott Asner here. I’ve been thinking a lot about habits lately. Many people think attaining a goal means you made major strides, took big steps, and overcame immense odds to reach it. I think that’s possible but what’s more probable, is that a series if teeny tiny steps were taken along the way, some consistently and with intent, and that these micro-increments led to macro-results.

Habits may seem insignificant, but I’ve learned over the years that the way we do things has great consequence. To enact a big change, I find I need to start small. To read a chapter of a book at night – a recent goal – I had to build my way to that habit. First, I identified a book I really wanted to read. Next, I put it on a table where I had to see it several times a day and that was in direct eyesight come evening. Lastly, I set an alarm to go off every night at the same time to prompt me to begin to read. At first, I’d read a few pages but slowly I began to read more and more. And while I still set my alarm, I don’t actually need it anymore. I look forward to my nightly reading and I am now in the habit of doing it.

People are creatures of habit. If there’s something new you want to train yourself to do, the secret to your success lies in the small steps you can systematize. It’s much more important that you take a small action toward your goal every day, than taking a big action inconsistently once in a while. It seems counterintuitive, to take a million little steps than a few big ones, but the truth is you can reach your destination much more quickly when the next step is realistic and within reach. You’re also more likely to stay the course when you can see that you are making progress.

I’ve been in business a long time. Every large accomplishment my peers and I have reached has consisted of many small victories, several slip ups, and lots of dusting oneself off and continuing forward. Perhaps resilience is another quality that’s just as important as habit. Then again, the act of standing up when you’ve fallen down, is in itself a habit. I regress: habit is the definite key to success. Set a goal, choose your habits, do them consistently, and see for yourself what happens.

~ Scott Asner, Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Best Hiking Trails In and Around Kansas City

scott asner hiking

Hi all, Scott Asner here. As many of you know, I’m a big fan of everything related to nature – whether it’s green workplace initiatives or all the greenery in and around Kansas City. I love being outside in the great outdoors.

I recently went on a hike. I find the best way to clear my mind and get some exercise is making my way through our beautiful landscape. It occurred to me how fortunate I am to live in Kansas City and have access to such spectacular hiking trails. As a way to remember my past adventures more vividly, I thought I’d write about my favorite hiking trails in and around Kansas City.

These are my top five favorite places to hike:

White Tail Trail at the Parkville Nature Sanctuary

This mesmerizing White Tail Trail at the Parkville Nature Sanctuary spans a 3-mile loop. It features a waterfall and truly has an urban forest-type of feel to it. As you know, Kansas City is famous for its waterfalls and this trail has a reputation to keep. I greatly enjoy this trail though I rarely have it to myself. The waterfall lures locals and travelers from far and wide. While it’s a relatively short trail and you will likely complete it in less than an hour and a half. Still, the bench conveniently situated by the waterfall makes it an ideal place to sit in awe at the beauty that abounds. I love that it’s open year-round.

Maple Woods Natural Area Trail at Maple Woods Nature Preserve

Moss-lined paths and towering maple wood trees are in full splendor at the Maple Woods Natural Area Trail at the Maple Woods Nature Preserve. This 1-mile loop is dog-friendly, though dogs must be leashed. It’s also well-traveled and can be completed during your lunch break since it’s about a 30-minute hike. I like how quickly it’s as if you’re transported to a different world and the humbling feel one finds beside the tall, tall, trees. Sometimes I’ll hike this path twice in a row and I never tire of its beauty.

Larry Mattenon Memorial Trail at South Prairie Lee Park

Depending on what my morning looks like, the 4.8-mile Larry Mattenon Memorial Trail loop at South Prairie Lee Park can be my very first stop. It’s incredible if you get there early enough to see the sunrise through the leaves. I have one particular trail I like, but there are a few to choose from and all have their special glory. Check your phone from time to time and if you’re lucky enough to find your next meeting is rescheduled, stay a little longer and explore some more.

Buckeye Creek Trail at Buckeye Greenway

Buckeye Creek Trail at Buckeye Greenway is less than 2-miles but it’s mighty cute and offers quite the change in scenery, particularly considering its size.  This hike features a picturesque bridge and ample views of wildlife. The trail itself is easy to traverse but finding it might be another matter. Some people think finding the trail is part of the adventure. If it’s your first time, you’ll want to bring a trail buddy. It’s not as popular as some of the other trails but I’m still rather fond of it.

Orange, Violet, and Red Trail at Shawnee Mission Park

There are many varied paths to explore at Shawnee Mission Park and many are paved and accessible by most everyone. This is a go-to for team building activities and family outings. The Orange, Violet, and Red Trail is a good workout at 7-miles around a moderately challenging loop. You’ll see a lake, horseback riders, and mountain bikers along the way too. This trail is best to visit April through October.

I hope if you visit one or more of these trails after reading this, you enjoy every moment. Kansas City and the surrounding areas have much beauty and grandeur. There really is nothing quite like the great outdoors – especially here.

~ Scott Asner, Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Must-See Museums in Kansas City

Hey y’all! Scott Asner here. Kansas City is well-regarded for its picturesque fountains, jazz, and barbecue, but did you know that it’s a must-see destination for museum-goers? We have an interesting variety of artifacts, and we’re also home to the only museum in the United States dedicated to the of America’s Western trails. Here are some of my favorite local museums:

National Frontier Trails Museum
Just 20-minutes from Kansas City, in Independence, Mo., you’ll find covered wagons and nearly 3,000 original, first-person accounts of settlers who traveled the Oregon, Santa Fe and California trails at the National Frontier Trails Museum. The site itself was a main starting point for hundreds of thousands of pioneers who risked their lives to start anew in the American West.

The National WWI Museum and Memorial
History buffs will wander in awe at The National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City. Built in Egyptian Revival architectural style, the building is an iconic landmark that boasts more than 100,000 artifacts. It’s been designated as America’s official WWI museum by Congress. Visitors can walk through a life-size howitzer crater, peek into trenches, and more. The museum’s centerpiece is the Liberty Memorial Tower structure, which rises 217-feet above the main courtyard and features an open-air observation deck with incredible city views.

The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures
If you ever want the experience of feeling like a giant, head to the The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. The museum is home to the world’s largest collection of fine-scale miniatures and one of the largest collections of historic toys currently on public display. Toys here document our society’s cultural beliefs and technological advancements, making this a fun discussion with friends, families, and peers. Some toys date back to the 18th Century.

Arabia Steamboat Museum
The Arabia Steamboat was one of many casualties on the Missouri River – the longest river in the U.S. The Arabia Steamboat Museum houses 200 tons of cargo from life on the American frontier in 1856. This is one of Kansas City’s most popular attractions, and for good reason. The museum offers visitors a rare opportunity to experience everyday items that made life possible for pioneers during that time period. It also features the largest single collection of pre-Civil War artifacts in the world.

Shoal Creek Living History Museum
If you really want to stroll down memory lane, head to the Shoal Creek Living History Museum.
Tucked away on 80 acres (out of the 1,000 acres that makes up Hodge Park), the museum has 21-structures and 17 authentic buildings from the 19th century dating as far back as 1807! Interestingly, the historic log cabins and homes were relocated from nearby counties to make a village setting.

Truman Library and Museum
One of only 14 U.S. Presidential Libraries, the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum chronicle’s the life and career of the 33rd President of the United States. The museum recently finished a huge renovation, the first in more than 20 years and the largest since the museum opened its doors in 1957. Exhibits depict Truman’s most difficult decisions, like the atomic bomb, Cold War, and more. Visitors will see two of Truman’s offices ¬¬– the actual office he used from 1957-1966 and a replica of his Oval Office. The museum also has a vast collection of historical possessions, political memorabilia, and diplomatic gifts.

The next time you’re in town, make sure to leave plenty of time to visit these must-see museums in Kansas City. If you’re a local, any of these museums are such an incredible opportunity to feel transported to a different place. I highly recommend taking your time exploring the many important and historical findings at Kansas City museums. I don’t have much free time, but when I do, you’ll find me wandering the exhibits.

~ Scott Asner, wannabe musician and Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

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3 Fun Things to Do in Kansas City

scott asner

Hello everyone, Scott Asner here. I’m a long time Kansas City guy. While we’re not the most visited city, maybe we should be. This place is very special with much to do. Allow me to share three of the best things to do in Kansas City.

  1. Feel the Mist of a Local Fountain
    Kansas City is known as the City of Fountains. We have more than 200 fountains, 48 of which are open to the public. In fact, we’re rumored to have more fountains than Rome! It’s not in every city that you can spend the day fountain hopping, but you can in Kansas City.

If you’re short on time, I recommend you put the Women’s Leadership Fountain in the Paseo West neighborhood at the top of your list. This is the city’s oldest working fountain and dates back to 1899. Another great one to visit is the Mill Creek Fountain. It’s the most photographed of all our fountains and for good reason. It’s beautiful and has a fascinating history. It arrived here in 1951 from Paris, where it was built more than 40 years prior.

  1. See Larger than Life Art
    Kansas City is home to some of the best museums and art galleries in the Midwest, but to me, our most exciting art is found on walls, sidewalks, and bridges. We have incredible murals – and much like the fountains, we have about 200 of them too. They are large and commanding. You could spend all day, all week, even all month, visiting these jaw-dropping works of art.

Some of the murals tell a story from the past while others call attention to local values, activities, and people. As a sports fan, one of my favorites is the 1,600 sq ft mural on the side of Tom’s Town Distilling, it’s the Chiefs Kingdom Mural honoring the city’s championship football team. I also particularly enjoy the mural that’s the facade of the parking garage for the Central Branch of the public library. The garage looks like a row of books on a shelf, but these aren’t your average library books. These “books” are 25-feet tall and nine-feet wide. The books are quite detailed too. There are 22-titles represented, ranging from “The Lord of the Rings,” by J. R. R. Tolkien, to “Fahrenheit 451,” by Ray Bradbury, among others. When you go, look for the books along the south wall of the Central Library’s parking garage on 10th St. between Wyandotte St. and Baltimore Ave., but, really, you can’t miss them.

  1. Head to Market
    Kansas City’s River Market is well known for its weekend farmers’ market but it’s located in a beautiful neighborhood as has much more to offer than just fruits and veggies. Shop for locally made goods, browse the mom-and-pop stores, then stroll along Berkley Park and take in the stunning views over the Missouri River. If you have time (and to keep with my 200 theme) check out the Arabia Steamboat Museum, where you’ll find an impressive collection of pre–Civil War artifacts and hear the legendary tale of the loss and discovery of the steamboat’s 200 tons of mystery cargo.

There are many more things to do in Kansas City but if I had a handful of hours to meander, I’d do one or all of these. Enjoy your time in our fabulous city.

~ Scott Asner, wannabe musician and Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

Also follow Scott Asner on: Medium, About.me, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Xing.

This is Why Boxing has Changed Forever

scott asner

Hi guys, Scott Asner here. As you all know, I love sports and I particularly love boxing.

Boxing is one of the purest forms of a sport you can find; two men, competing directly against each other with no external forces influencing the outcome. Or, well, it was previously like that. Boxing has changed.

When Muhammad Ali fought George Foreman in 1974 it was just two men trying to best each other with pure technique, strength and determination. The best boxers didn’t just have the best physiques, but possessed an extra gear; a voice that simply said “I won’t lose.” Mike Tyson fought people much larger than him, weathering barrages that should have knocked people much bigger than him out, but his competitive spirit refused to lose. These boxers were concerned with nothing other than beating their opponent; it was as simple as that.

Today boxing has become something very different. While I love the notoriety and prestige that boxing has enjoyed in recent years, I thinks the sport has changed. Where there was once a pure, unadulterated contest between two athletes, there is now more circumstance than fight. Publicity has taken center stage, with sport playing second fiddle.

Much like other sports, boxing has adapted to social media; but the sport lost something along the way. Boxers used to fight each other for accolades. The desire to be number one was their main driving force, but today that force is money. It’s hard to say when exactly this change happened, but the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight of 2015 is a good example. You might remember how that fight went, or rather how it ‘didn’t’ go, with both fighters trading what seemed like inconsequential blows until a judge’s decision mercifully ended the altogether unremarkable bout.

While you may remember the fight, chances are, most people remember the build-up much more. The media had a field day with the headlines, the whole world was on the edge of its seat. I couldn’t help but think about how out of hand things had become. Boxers have always been interested in the prize money, but $300 million for a single fight is ridiculous; a prize like that can’t help but change the ethos of any sport.

Muhammad Ali and George Foreman each took home $5 million dollars for their historic fight in ’74, but even adjusted for inflation (about $27M in 2021) that only represents 1/10 of the purse earned by Mayweather and Pacquaio for their 2015 bought. The focus of the sport has undoubtedly shifted to generating revenue. The names on the ticket being almost more important than the fight itself.

More recently, boxing has taken another strange turn. Where it was once an arena for seasoned athletes, today it has become a place to settle celebrity beef. It’s shocking to see internet personalities that I’ve never heard of before on the billing cards of high-profile fights. Jake Paul comes to mind. This is someone whose internet fame seems to eclipse his athletic accomplishments, but he still garners attention in a boxing match. When Jake Paul fought Nate Robinson, I had little respect for either fighter. Here was a retired basketball player and an internet celebrity fighting in the ring, a place made sacred by the likes of Sugar Ray Robinson and Mike Tyson. It felt like people were there to watch the story of the fight, to cheer for the ‘underdog’ when neither fighter was even a boxer by trade. The purity of the sport is long gone, and what remains is unproven.

Jake Paul, after handing Robinson a loss by K.O. went on to fight a former MMA fighter and won that bought as well, but any boxing fan understands that these wins mean very little. Paul hasn’t fought a real boxer before, but at least he’s fought, unlike his brother.

Logan Paul, Jake’s brother, fought Floyd Mayweather in June 2021. Logan has fought only once before, losing to fellow ‘YouTuber’ KSI. I was outraged. What happened to climbing up the ranks; having your eyes set on the championship title as you progressed past ever more challenging opponents? How is it that someone who has never even participated in a professional boxing match now gets to fight one of the greatest of all time without qualification?

The easy answer: it’s all about the money. This boxing fan, however, misses the time when it was all about the competition.

~ Scott Asner, wannabe musician and Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

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