Ding dong, Pioli is gone!  The Kansas City Chiefs have finally parted ways with Scott Pioli and will now begin the search for a competent general manager with several names already being discussed.  It also appears the Chiefs and Andy Reid are very close to coming to terms on a contract for Reid to become the new head coach.  All the Chiefs need now is a new quarterback and some offensive help and they will be in business.  It’s been a while since there has been any sort of sense of optimism but I for one am starting to feel it now.  Clark Hunt listened to the fans and did what was best for the organization, I’m sure Reid isn’t coming cheaply and the new general manager probably isn’t either but it takes a lot of money to rebuild a franchise that has fallen as far as the Chiefs have and Hunt appears to be willing to spend to improve the organization. 

While we are on the subject of the NFL, the playoffs start this weekend with some excellent matchups.  Three weeks ago the Houston Texans looked like a lock to get the top seed in the AFC but they have kind of spluttered their way into the playoffs with the No. 3 seed and I am predicting they could very well lose to the Cincinnati Bengals.  The Bengals are a strange team in that they are not a particularly good team in my opinion but sometimes play much better than the are which could make for an interesting game given that the Texans are struggling right now.  Things were coming so easily to the Texans  earlier in the season and they are still a young team who do not seem to be coping with adversity well.  Don’t be at all surprised to see the Bengals move on to the second round of the playoffs although if the Texans can get back to where they were earlier in the season they should very easily win.  . 

Saturday’s other game features the Grene Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings playing their second game against one another in less than a week.  The Packers looked flat and rather lethargic in their loss to the Vikings in Minnesota and will have to play much better on Saturday to come away with a victory. 

Sunday finds the Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts squaring off in a game that to me is very interesting.  The Colts are playing with a lot of confidence right now and the Ravens are in my opinion a good team who doesn’t always play like they are a good team.  The game is in Baltimore and the Ravens are more accustomed to being in this type of situation than the Colts and rookie quarterback Andrew Luck are but the Ravens have to assert themselves early in the game in my opinion and keep the pressure on throughout the game to win. 

The final matchup of the first round of the playoffs features the red hot Seattle Seahawks and the resurgent Washington Redskins with their rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III who has taken Washington DC and the NFL by storm.  The Redskins have been up and down all year and have struggled for consistency while the Seahawks began the year not playing very well but ended the year with some outstanding offensive football.  It’s a great game between two young up and coming teams and should be fun to watch. 

The Missouri Tigers men’s basketball team play Bucknell on Saturday in their final game before beginning their first year of SEC basketball next week.  Hopefully the Tigers can get past their tough loss to UCLA last week and use Saturday’s game to bolster their confidence heading into conference play next week.  The Missouri Tigers women’s basketball team begin SEC conference play on Sunday against Auburn. 

Both Truman State basketball teams resumed their final campaign in the MIAA with a double header sweep of Lincoln University on Thursday.  Truman is on the road this weekend for games at Lindenwood on Saturday.  Lindenwood is in the midst of their first year in the MIAA and are definitely a program to be reckoned with. 

The Kirksville High School wrestling team certainly didn’t show any rust after being off nearly two weeks as they destroyed Brookfield and Centralia in a triangular meet on Thursday.  The Tigers have a busy six weeks ahed of them as they prepare to defend their state title in February. 

The KHS girls basketball team had another impressive victory earlier in the week in Trenton and they and the KHS boys team will also be very busy over the next few weeks. 

We’ll be back on Monday with a review of this weekend’s sports action as well as a preview of the BCS national championship game.  Please continue supporting all the blogs on this site and thanks for taking the time to read this one.

Have a great weekend!