Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Kansas City Geography Lesson

My home town has been in the news lately:

  • Yes, someone is driving around our city shooting at cars. The good news, the police made an arrest before anyone was seriously injured. 
  • Who knew Lorde loved George Brett? 
  • And of course, Miley Cryus was hospitalized here in Kansas City since she cancelled her show on April 15.
Miley tweeted this message the night she got sick:

As soon as I saw it, I heard the nails dragging down the chalkboard. Really? Once again, a celebrity shows their complete and utter lack of knowledge about Midwestern geography. 

I recognize that it is not just celebrities. Almost every visiting sports team references how they are going to "beat Kansas!" I attended a football game in Denver many years ago. The Denver Bronco's were playing The Kansas City Chiefs. A fan stood up and hollered out, "Go back to Kansas!"  

Even my beloved Miss Medical Student asked, "What is there to do in Kansas?" when she was about to visit us for the first time.

Okay, so here is the deal. Yes, there is a Kansas City, Kansas. But, there is also a Kansas City, Missouri. Trust me, everything you might know about Kansas City is mostly in Missouri. Not Kansas.
Kansas City Map, Kansas and Missouri, United States 1920

Let me just break it down: Rock group Puddle of Mud and Rapper Tech N9ne started here. Thomas Hart Benton. Even Walt Disney lived in Kansas City, Missouri as a young child. Kansas City host the American Royal Barbecue and Livestock show every year.  You can visit the Negro League Hall of Fame or the Liberty Memorial - The National War World I Museum. The Kansas City Chiefs as well as the Kansas City Royal. They are all Kansas City, Missouri. Not Kansas. 

Besides our sports venue and our event center, Kansas City, Missouri has other famous residents.  H&R Block, Hallmark Cards, Cerner Cooperation, AMC Movie Theater, Applebee's Restaurant, Russell Stover Candies, and even Boulevard Brewery Company all call Kansas City, Missouri home. 

There is a significant size difference between Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas. KCMO, the largest city in Missouri, reports a population just over 467,000. It is the 37th largest city in the USA by population and 23rd by area. Kansas City, Kansas on the other-hand reports a population of under 146,000 residents. 

I guess part of the misconception is that other states who have a city named after their state are actually located in their state. The way New York City is in New York. Or Oklahoma City. It must be unfathomable that the Kansas City everyone reference is in Missouri not Kansas.

I don't want you to think I am hating on Kansas City, Kansas. I am really not. I should note that if you ever visit our area to watch the Major League Soccer's 2013 Winners of the MLS Cup, Sporting Kansas City, they do in fact play in Kansas City, Kansas. NASCAR's Kansas Speedway is also in Kansas City, Kansas.

There is an outdoor amphitheater in Kansas. When I was a young person I attended a lot of concerts there. It would be more than appropriate to address the crowd with a "Hello, Kansas!"  But the same greeting given at the Sprint Center in the heart of The Power and Light District would not be appropriate. 

When Miley tweets out an apology to Kansas when she was scheduled to play in Missouri, it is most likely offending her fans.I do have to wonder do fact checkers and public relations managers still exist?  I get that Miley is a performer and waking up in a different city each night is hard but is it too much to think that a personal assistant would educate her on where she is at and how to greet her fans? 

Is it? 

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