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Keeping up with the Jones: One week in Kansas City

By |  March 11, 2024 0 Comments

A week ago, I was welcoming guests to my home for a Super Bowl party. It was the same crew from last year — Ted and Heather and their kids, Sean and his girlfriend and the neighbors. I guess we’re all a bit superstitious because it seemed like everyone was trying hard to repeat what we did last year, hoping that would help the Kansas City Chiefs repeat what they did last year.

Seth Jones

Seth Jones

And they did! What a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat game. So many things had to go right for them to pull off the win, and somehow, it all went right. I pulled out my one leftover firework from the 4th of July that I hid away last summer. We all ran outside to set it off and celebrate the back-to-back Super Bowl wins for the Chiefs.

The parade was scheduled for Wednesday. The weather was ideal, mid-60s. I was on deadline for the magazine and big crowds like that aren’t my thing, so I didn’t entertain the idea of taking my kids to it. I did record it. My plan was to have it on as background noise as I wrote up some of the contents of this issue in the afternoon.

My kids got off school early that day and saw me working on the magazine in the Hall of Justice — HOJ for short — my Morton Building I’ve turned into my own personal sports bar (you’re always invited, just give me a heads-up). On the big TV, I had just pushed play on the parade, so it was over two hours behind. The smaller TV was on the live feed and it was muted. My kids wanted to hear Patrick Mahomes’ speech and asked me if I’d flip the audio from one TV to the other. We watched a few of the speeches together. When it ended, I walked back to the house to fetch something from my office. I came back to see my daughter with a scared look on her face. “Dad, something bad is happening,” she said. Me being an eternal optimist, I said to her, “It’s probably nothing. Maybe someone set off fireworks.”

My daughter Evey wasn’t having any of it. She insisted something bad was happening. And sadly, she was right.

Photo: Golfdom staff

Photo: Golfdom staff

What went from a happy watch party with my kids turned into a reminder of how quickly things can turn violent. Gunfire did indeed erupt at the parade, with dozens shot and one person killed. My plan to write pages of this issue with the parade on as background noise changed. I turned off both TVs and went back into the house to write this issue’s 19th Hole Q&A with Grant Jones. I was grateful I had that interview at the ready because I was able to wrap myself into that project and get my mind off what I just saw.

Once I clocked out for the day, I got wrapped back up into the TV coverage. Maybe because it was my city or my team, it all hit me very hard. Was I even allowed to be happy that the Chiefs won the Super Bowl anymore, or did I need to put it behind me?

At dinner, I asked the kids, “Can you believe the Super Bowl party was last Sunday?” Everyone agreed that so much had happened in a week, it seemed longer … two weeks ago, maybe three weeks ago. But last Sunday? No way.

I’m flying out tomorrow morning, and I’ll already be driving to the airport before anyone is awake. I’m attending a three-day conference in Austin. After dinner ended, as is tradition when I’m not going to see my family for a few days, I gathered the group in the kitchen for a “family hug.” As we all embraced, the family mutt, Koko, jumped into the middle, making us all laugh.

Win or lose — I sure prefer winning — but everything is all right when we’re all together and safe. For these moments, I’m most grateful.

This article is tagged with and posted in Columns, From the Magazine

About the Author: Seth Jones

Seth Jones, a 18-year veteran of the golf industry media, is Editor-in-Chief of Golfdom magazine and Athletic Turf. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Jones began working for Golf Course Management in 1999 as an intern. In his professional career he has won numerous awards, including a Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) first place general feature writing award for his profile of World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman and a TOCA first place photography award for his work covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In his career, Jones has accumulated an impressive list of interviews, including such names as George H.W. Bush, Samuel L. Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Charles Barkley. Jones has also done in-depth interviews with such golfing luminaries as Norman, Gary Player, Nick Price and Lorena Ochoa, to name only a few. Jones is a member of both the Golf Writers Association of America and the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association. Jones can be reached at sjones@northcoastmedia.net.


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