It was a huge sports night in Kansas City 50 years ago tonight, with the Chicago Bears in town for an exhibition contest against the defending AFL champion Chiefs. The game alone would be a welcome distraction, as KC’s other major sports team, the A’s, were in the national headlines because of a major “Mutiny On The Bounty” involving Charlie Finley and his players, in which a manager was fired, a player suspended and another player given his unconditional release. Of course, it was just a matter of time before the A’s would depart the Heartland for the East Bay of Northern California, making the Chiefs the only game in town until the expansion Royals entered the MLB picture in 1969.
That night’s Bears-Chiefs game was blacked out in KC, but aired on tape delay on WBBM in Chicago as Fahey Flynn was taking off his bowtie. As for what aired in Kansas City that night, network fare was on channel 4(NBC) and CBS(5,13), but after Batman got out of his latest predicament on ABC, the local station blew off ABC’s scheduled movie presentation of Sodom and Gomorrah to air the movie “Battle Cry.” So here’s what aired while the “Kansas Comet”(Gale Sayers) was trying to streak through that tough Chief “D:” (all times CDT)
WDAF(4, NBC) 6:30-8:00-The Virginian 8:00-9:00-Bob Hope Chrysler Theater(Wipeout) 9:00-10:00 I Spy(Wipeout starred Shelley Winters as a fading film queen falling for surfer boy Tom Tyron, who also coveted her precious jewels)
KCTV(5, CBS) 6:30-7:30-Lost In Space 7:30-8:00(also on 13 in Topeka) Beverly Hillbillies(also on 13) 8:00-8:30-Green Acres(also on 13) 8:30-9:00-Gomer Pyle USMC(also on 13) 9:00-10:00-CBS News Special on the Middle East(also on 13)(that night’s “Acres” was ripped from the headlines as one of Hooterville’s finest got his draft card-Arnold The Pig)
KMBC(9, ABC) 6:30-7:00-Batman 7:00-10:00-Movie Special(Battle Cry)
No doubt Chiefs-Bears got plenty of post-game on the local news that followed as well as another chapter in that A’s soaper. As for that player who got unconditionally released, he’s winding down his long broadcasting career with the Chicago White Sox, that noted YES-man, Ken Harrelson.