The difficult decision. The folk hero. The long shot. The fan favorite.
This year, once again, thy name is WR Bobby Sippio, the star of Arena football, struggling to make himself known on a rebuilding Chiefs squad during training camp.
This is what training camp is all about. You've absolutely got to love this.
Sippio has won over no small number of fans on this blog as well as countless other Chiefs websites as we all puzzle over whether this guy has what it takes to make it in the NFL.
His detractors point to his lackluster 4.7 speed. His supporters point to his velcro hands. His detractors point to his inability to crack the lineup. His supporters say he has made the most of every chance he's received.
Now the debate has been elevated, from the trenches of blog comment sections to the lofty perches of KC Star beat reporter Adam Teicher, KC Star analyst Jason Whitlock, and the mothership's Bob Gretz. Teicher is irritated by the craze over Sippio, while Gretz supports it whole-heartedly. Whitlock is basically just Whitlock.
To get good.
One of the many negative aspects of last summer's visit to Chiefs camp of NFL Films and the Hard Knocks crew was that the show glorified a wide receiver of rather average talents by the name of Bobby Sippio.
How miserable must a person be to stomp on a player who goes out to practice every day and does nothing but bust his butt to make the team? Fans got to know Sippio from the Hard Knocks series last year. It was exposure that Sippio didn’t ask for. Why hold that against him?
Sippio did his work in the fourth quarter of a preseason game. That's the domain of guys who will be looking for jobs in another few weeks. It's a sign, Sippio fans, that your hero is going to have a tough time making the team. And he caught his three passes against players who will soon be ex-Bears.
That may not mean much to you, but I guarantee that it does to the Chiefs.
Sippio will always struggle to make it in the NFL. He’s got attributes every coach wants, like guts and heart and he catches everything thrown in his direction. But Sippio lacks the kind of speed coaches want from their wideouts. That means he’ll always be in a fight to keep his job.
Nobody knows this better than Sippio himself.
Sippio isn't fast. It's why he was playing in the Arena League when he joined the Chiefs. It's why he doesn't get more playing opportunities.
Whitlock going postive...
Thankfully, it appears Sippio is going to force his way onto the team and into the lineup. He’s a big, physical receiver with reliable hands. He has a swagger, too. And he can play on special teams.
The wide receivers who will play for the Chiefs when the season begins will come from this group: Bowe, Devard Darling, Franklin, Price and Webb. Not Bobby Sippio.
And that's something the billions of Bobby Sippio fans out there will just have to deal with.
He did not survive all season because he had a cadre of fans. He hung in there because he did the thing Herm Edwards always says is the most important task for any player on his roster: he did his job.
Whitlock going negative...
The Chiefs would prefer Sippio, the former Arena League star, not make the team. It’s not personal. He’s just not a Bill Kuharich draft pick.
Kuharich is one of Sippio’s boosters. Although he’s not a draft choice, he is a Kuharich guy. It was Bill Kuharich’s brother Larry, who coaches in the Arena League, who tipped the Chiefs VP of player personnel to Sippio. Rest assured that Kuharich is one of Sippio’s greatest supporters.
You couldn't script it any better.
Preseason football, folks. Catch the fever.