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Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill are part of the Chiefs’ Las Vegas contingent for Sunday’s 2022 Pro Bowl. They and other NFL stars (minus those of Super Bowl participants Cincinnati and the LA Rams) play at 2 p.m. on ESPN.

Photo of KC Chiefs

It’s hard to get too excited about the Pro Bowl when your team has set the bar high in the conference championships and Super Bowls, but that’s where the Chiefs find themselves today.

Literally, today.

Last weekend’s AFC title game loss to the Cincinnati Bengals means some Chiefs players will be playing in this year’s Pro Bowl in Las Vegas this afternoon. Judging by their lighthearted interactions with fans during weekend practices in Sin City, they’re doing their best to get over the disappointment of missing a third straight Super Bowl.

So we’ll start our weekly preview of upcoming events here. And hopefully, what happens in Vegas will stay in Vegas, and the Chiefs will return to play the Super Bowl in 2023.

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AFC (and Tennessee Titans) head coach Mike Vrabel, left, chats with Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes during a Pro Bowl practice on Thursday. Mahomes doesn’t seem to reveal any secrets in their conversation, does he? Gregory Payan photo AP

The Chiefs’ star power in the Pro Bowl

The Pro Bowl always boasts of marquee talent. It’s a show for fans across the league.

This year, the AFC roster coached by Mike Vrabel will include Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, tight end Travis Kelce, wide receiver Tyreek Hill, left tackle Orlando Brown Jr., safety Tyrann Mathieu and , replacing Chris Jones (who declined the invitation in order to heal), defensive end Frank Clark.

Played at the Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium, the 2022 Pro Bowl begins at 2 p.m. on ESPN. Maybe seeing the Chiefs contingent having a great time in Vegas will ease some lingering wounds at KC and help people look forward to another run this fall.

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KU forward Mitch Lightfoot and the Jayhawks rejoin the Texas Longhorns on Monday. Rich Suggestions [email protected]

Pivotal moment for basketball

How’s that for a happy thought: We’re only a month away from conference tournaments. March Madness will not be far behind.

On the men’s side, KU is at No. 23 in Texas Monday at 8 p.m. and gets Oklahoma at Allen Fieldhouse Saturday at noon; Kansas State hosts Baylor at 7 p.m. Wednesday and travels to Iowa State for a game Saturday at 3 p.m.; and Mizzou is at Vanderbilt on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. and hosts Ole Miss on Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.

Several local women’s programs could participate in the NCAA Tournament this year. K-State entered the weekend 16-6 (6-4 Big 12). KU was 14-5 (5-4). And in the SEC, the fearsome Mizzou Tigers were 16-7 (5-5 in conference).

The Kansas City Roos women’s team went 17-5 over the weekend, good for third place in the Summit League at 7-4. Schools in Dakota jumped at a blistering pace – South Dakota was 18-4 (high 11-0) and South Dakota State was 14-8 (10-1). The Roos men’s team entered the weekend tied for third in the Summit at 7-4 (14-9 overall).

Sporting KC is in Arizona preparing for the 2022 MLS season. The team plays two more friendlies in the coming week, with their season opener scheduled for Feb. 27 in Atlanta. Picture of Sporting KC

Spring training… for soccer

As the Major League Baseball lockout continues, spring training is taking place in Arizona and Florida … for football.

Sporting KC are in the Grand Canyon State warming up for their Major League Soccer opener on Feb. 27 in Atlanta. In the coming week, Sporting will face El Paso Locomotive on Wednesday and Phoenix Rising on Saturday – both games start at noon.

KC Current, through a newly agreed collective bargaining agreement between the National Women’s Soccer League and its players, has also recently started training. The current’s NWSL season begins in May; until then, the team will play three Challenge Cup matches in April (plus a fourth in early May).

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Participants walk up Grand Boulevard during the 2015 Cupid’s Undie Run to benefit the Children’s Tumor Foundation. This year’s edition takes place on Saturday in the P&L. KC Star file photo

Finally, and briefly, a fundraiser

Every once in a while we use this space to highlight something offbeat. The Cupid’s Undie Run qualifies.

Yes, it’s a real thing, and it’s happening at noon Saturday in Kansas City’s Power & Light District. McFadden’s, which has hosted countless Royals and Chiefs victory celebrations and many other dressed-down events over the years, is the local headquarters as runners across the country strip down for a good cause.

The event website explains, “Each February, thousands of underwater racers in cities across the United States come together, whether in person or virtually, to support those affected by neurofibromatosis, a genetic disease which causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body and affects 1 in 3,000 births. Cupid’s Undie Run starts with drinking and dancing then we run with a one mile(ish) run and let’s top it all off with an epic dance party!”

Be sure to wear your good drawers.

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