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Arrowheadlines: Chiefs News 12/18


Your Kansas City Chiefs news begins with a word: Blackout! For the first time since 1990.

It had to end at some point.

Kansas City and environs are not New York, Philadelphia, Washington and Chicago. There are not enough people in the metro area, plus outlying villages and burghs to guarantee sellouts at sporting events. The Chiefs play in the 29th ranked Metropolitan Statistical Area and the 26th of the 32 markets in the National Football League. Plus, they have the fourth largest capacity of any building used by pro football in Arrowhead Stadium.

Sooner or later the basic math was going to catch up to the Chiefs.

End Of An Era … Friday Cup O’Chiefs from Bob Gretz

Chiefs fans have gotten accustomed to watching home games on live television for the past 19 years.

They’ll have to find something else to do this Sunday afternoon.

The Chiefs had 5,500 tickets left to sell at midweek to ensure a sellout, but they couldn’t get it done before Thursday’s noon deadline. That means Sunday’s game against Cleveland at Arrowhead Stadium will be blacked out locally — the first Chiefs TV blackout since Dec. 16, 1990.

Instead, KCTV-5 in Kansas City will show Miami at Tennessee at noon.

Chiefs game won’t be on local TV from KC Star

The thermal food bag is there every day, never far from Branden Albert’s locker. Inside it are his prepared meals — the low-calorie, smart foods that helped him lose nearly 40 pounds in less than six months before this season.

That much hasn’t changed. What has changed in the months after the weight loss is the outlook for Albert, the Chiefs’ left tackle, and the role his slimmer body — he is listed now at 316 pounds but has weighed as little as 305 this season — has played in what has been a disappointing second season. Nine sacks allowed in 11 games, a number so high that it is second in the NFL, behind only the 9 1/2 sacks allowed by Oakland’s Mario Henderson.

"A humbling experience," Albert said of his 2009 season.

Albert’s poor play has weighed heavily on the Chiefs from KC Star

Former Kansas City Chiefs player Richard Baldinger must complete 100 hours of community service at Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith’s Third and Long Foundation Inc. after pleading guilty to careless driving that killed a Grain Valley woman.

The accident happened on June 27 on U.S. 40 west of Blue Springs.

Jackson County Judge Jeffrey Bushur placed Baldinger, 49, of Blue Springs, on supervised probation for two years on the condition that he complete a traffic safety school course and volunteer at the Third and Long Foundation.

Ex-Chief sentenced in fatal wreck from The Examiner

After starting in four Super Bowls and winning three with the New England Patriots, Mike Vrabel's rude awakening came Feb. 28.

That's when the 13-year veteran linebacker from Walsh Jesuit and Ohio State was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs, along with quarterback Matt Cassell, for a second-round draft pick.

''When you get a call and [they] say you're heading somewhere else, there's a lot of different emotions,'' Vrabel said. ''To say that I was upset, to say that I was confused, there was a lot of emotion that goes [with] being traded after you've been at a place for eight years.

Vrabel must lead by example from The Akron Beacon Journal

For Kansas City, it'd be the third consecutive top-five selection. For Cleveland, it'll be the third time in four years with a top-five pick.

At the moment, the draft order looks like this: Tampa, St. Louis, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City. And that's hardly a surprise, since all five of those teams are in the early stages of major rebuilding projects. All are led by first-year head coaches, and all but St. Louis had new general managers in place this season.

So maybe the real question is this: Which of these franchises is in worse shape? Here's a quick snapshot of each:

Playing for No. 1 -- in the NFL draft from The Detroit News

In the months following the murder of former Tennessee Titans quarterback  Steve McNair, CBS Sports has interviewed NFL players to see if the circumstances that led to McNair's death in a murder-suicide have scared other players from cheating on their wives. Even Chiefs wide receiver Chris Chambers is having his personal life dissected.

CBS Sports published its findings in a lengthy feature yesterday, using Chambers as a cautionary tale of how getting some strange tang will screw up your career.

Chiefs receiver teaches us that strange tang isn't worth the price from The Pitch

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