The Kansas City Star announced last week the promotion of Kent Babb to columnist and Babb's first column takes aim at the take of one of his co-workers, Sam Mellinger. Babb and Mellinger have both written about Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe recently and they have opposite takes on the matter.
Last month, Sam took the stance that Bowe has matured in the last two years and much of the knucklehead talk is just recycled criticisms that don't necessarily apply anymore.
Look closely, and you see a grown man handling his business the way it should be handled. He works hard. Mouth shut, except to say the things you'd want your teammate to say. He's not doing any interviews during this holdout (like Welker, for instance), not blasting anyone, even through back channels. He's staying in touch with teammates.
In other words, Bowe's reputation as a knucklehead is so ingrained around Kansas City that it's easy to skip over the fact that it doesn't apply to anything he's done in the last two years.
And from Babb, who names the area's best-looking sports blogger in his column, this morning:
When the cameras are off, Bowe is still occasionally an attention hog who flexes after big catches in practice, who has for five seasons needed a public-relations valet to monitor what he says to reporters, and who is moody and still shows signs of that young knucklehead of his first three seasons. These are signals that the dependable behavior has perhaps been an act, and once he gets his money, what are the chances he stays in character.
This is not going to be an easy negotiation to solve because I can see both sides of the issue.
On the one hand, Bowe has generally kept himself in line in the past two years. His numbers in the last two years have been very good and, really, he's put up good numbers in four of his five years in the league. We can bitch and moan about the little things but he's been productive.
On the other hand, it's hard to shake first impressions. Bowe came into the league and personified what we all thought of as a "diva" wide receiver. He was out-spoken, funny and (gasp!) had a personality. The Chiefs don't seem to like that sort of thing.
This will come down to what everything comes down to -- money. The Chiefs obviously want Bowe back in the fold or else they would not have issued him the franchise tag. Bowe has yet to say anything that indicates he doesn't want to be back in Kansas City. Because both sides seem to want to get something done, I'm betting that it does....eventually.
But the Chiefs are in a tough situation here. It's fair to wonder what will happen when the carrot is finally removed and Bowe gets to, um, eat the carrot.