I'm sure many of you have been following the stories floating around the last couple of days regarding Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant. There was the lawsuit claiming he didn't pay for a quarter million dollars in jewelry, a second suit with even more allegedly unpaid bills for jewelry and now a third claiming he has unpaid rent dating back to January 2010.
Oh, and then the shopping mall incident.
I'm not trying to pile on here but the negative attention is nearing ridiculous levels. With the lockout right now, the Cowboys can't reel him in because there cannot be any contact between the two.
All this news had me thinking earlier today -- isn't it nice not having to worry about stuff like that? I'm not saying all the Chiefs are choir boys but GM Scott Pioli has put an emphasis on character -- it was the buzzword in every post-draft report last year -- and it's showed with no Bryant-esque stories.
I'll rewind back to the day of the 2010 NFL draft. Jason Whitlock, then with the Kansas City Star, wrote a story pushing for the Chiefs to draft Dez Bryant. I think he made some valid points in the Chiefs need for a top flight receiver -- I'll admit he got me to put at least one foot on the Dez bandwagon -- but he brushed away the off-the-field concerns.
The stories floating around this week show that, even if the talent is real, so are the off-the-field concerns.
As a fan, I'd love a top receiver running down the field with 65-yard touchdown catches and 90-yard punt returns. Believe me, that's something that I absolutely want.
But I've also lived in Kansas City my entire life and been a Chiefs fan my entire life. The off-the-field stuff is important to me. I don't want to be embarrassed about my team. I don't want to remember the ESPN clips the day after the Monday Night Meltdown in 1998. I don't want to remember Tamarick Vanover's stolen car ring and Bam Morris' drug situation.
What prompted me to write this was reading some of the stories about Bryant and, while at my folks house the other day, coming across a hat Albert Lewis signed for me at a shopping mall in 1991. 20 years ago! And I still have it. Those are the types of memories that are important to me.
[Editor's note: It's weird the things you remember as a kid meeting players on your favorite team. My Mom saw a glass of water on the table on which Lewis was signing hats and said, 'All they give you is a glass of water? Don't you want a glass of Coke?' He then told her that Coke actually wasn't good for you, especially athletes. Now, whenever I drink a Coke, I feel like I'm letting Albert Lewis down.]
I really, really want that Pro Bowl player but there are certain things you don't sacrifice and I think the Chiefs front office gets that.
Alright, enough with the corny stuff....it's amazing what finding a 20-year old hat will prompt you to write.