How do you measure a year? Social media. According to Twitter data, these are the local stories that were shared and talked about the most in Kansas City in 2014.
10. President Obama Visits Kansas City
July 30th: President Obama made a middle-of-the-map tour stop in Kansas City in the middle of an ugly, but entertaining, blame game with Republicans. It was at the Uptown Theater where Obama made his infamous plea for Republicans to "stop just hating all the time."
Regarding KC BBQ, though, the President was very bipartisan. Obama commented that Arthur Bryant's was "tasty" but refused to declare any winners for best BBQ in KC.
9. Miley Cyrus Cancels Sprint Center Show
April 15th: A wrecking ball of emotion destroyed thousands of
Tuesday nights lives when Miley Cyrus's tummy was turnin' too much to perform her scheduled Sprint Center show in April. Fans had already made the climb from as far as the Ozarks by the time they heard Miley was too sick to perform. Ticket-holding victims took to Twitter to express desperation, denial and, finally, acceptance of the matter.
Miley rescheduled and came back in August. But April 15th, 2014 saw a lot of achy hearts in Kansas City.
8. Local Amber Alerts
2014: It's a positive thing to see that local Amber Alerts cracked the top 10 most-shared "stories" in 2014. Not because anybody likes to see them, but for the very few that KC did have in 2014, word was spread quickly.
7. Ferguson Grand Jury Decision Protests
November 25th: Despite in-state proximity to Ferguson, MO, the epicenter of one of 2014's most polarizing national issues, Kansas City protests remained relatively peaceful, yet powerful. Several people, however, were arrested at local protests, including a KC Star photographer.
February 4th: Besides the dramatic name, Snowmageddon 2014 was a big deal because it was like a snow day for kids AND grown-ups. Most schools and government offices were closed, and many retail businesses closed their doors, too. Then people did a lot of weird snow day stuff and put it on social media.
5. Storm Damage in Kansas City and Odessa, MO
4. Chimps Escape at Kansas City Zoo
April 10th: A few rogue chimpanzees at the Kansas City Zoo escaped their enclosures and harmlessly walked around their complex until they were coaxed back by malted milk balls. Somehow this story won the attention of the Today Show, CBS News, ABC News, NY Daily News and several other major, prominent news outlets.
Animals. The Internet loves them. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
3. Shootings in Overland Park at the JCC and Village Shalom
April 13th: The tragic shooting at Overland Park's JCC and Village Shalom made national headlines in April; three people were killed and a gunman was arrested. The shooting, which was found to be a hate crime, helped initiate dialogue and awareness for the improvement of security for other potential targets of hate crimes.
2. Chiefs Make Playoffs, Blow 28-Point Lead Against Colts
January 4th: Technically, the end of last season was still this year, as much as Chiefs fans would like to forget it. As if being a Kansas City sports fan isn't exhausting enough, the Chiefs were all but guaranteed its first playoff win in 20 years when they were leading the Colts 38-10 early into the second half. And then Kansas City sports luck happened; Andrew Luck happened. If you want to take a look back, Arrowhead Pride has a great recap of the game here.
The Kansas City Star said it all in its headline the next day.
1. Royals Sweep the AL Playoffs, Make the World Series
October 2014: No surprise here. The entire city was blue in October. Actually, most of the country was behind "America's Team" this year, as observed by HuffPost, FOX Sports, ESPN and Bleacher Report. Mayor Sly wrote about it, too.
What made the Royals so special? They embodied the homegrown, do-things-right, underdog story that you really only see in movies. Kansas City hadn't even been to the playoffs in three decades (worst of any major American sports team), and they swept the AL Playoffs without major money or superstars.
Yep. The team with the fewest home runs in Major League Baseball managed to take a team of minor league success stories and find a way to steal, bunt, dive and slide their way to the ultimate show in sports: the World Series.