Game Day! Yes, it's Game Day and there are some great Kansas City Chiefs stories to get through before kickoff. I think most of you will enjoy the story from The Bergen Record. To my recollection, it's the first story I've seen that lauds Dwayne Bowe, Matt Cassel, and Jamaal Charles equally while putting their performances in perspective with their peers. Also, be sure to read the Sun-Times article. There are some errors in it, but the content makes me proud to be a Chiefs fan. Enjoy (and dress warm)!
When Berry saw the old video, there were things he wanted to recapture. This game used to matter, and he wanted it that way again. Rookies are such idealists. Berry asked Emmitt Thomas, the Chiefs’ secondary coach and a member of the team’s hall of fame, what it used to be like. Berry wanted it to feel like a college rivalry again.
Several of Berry’s former teammates at the University of Tennessee play now for Denver. Robert Ayers is a Broncos linebacker, and Britton Colquitt is their punter. They might have been friends before, and they might be again. But Berry says he likes some things the way they were in that old footage.
"During the game," he says, "we’re not cool."
Chiefs-Broncos rivalry heats up again from KC Star
Passionate fans can tell you that six of the Chiefs’ seven draft picks this year were college team captains, the highest percentage in the NFL. The Chiefs signed Thomas Jones as much for his leadership as for his running ability, and contract extensions for Derrick Johnson and Andy Studebaker are rewards for their attitude and hard work as much as for their sacks and pass coverage.
This is the part of the Chiefs’ story that we’re getting to know very well.
What virtually nobody is aware of is that the team is also a fascinating, if unwitting, social experiment.
Today: Partly sunny, with a high near 33. North northwest wind between 7 and 9 mph.
Game Day Forecast from The National Weather Service
NFL.com Video: Playbook: Broncos vs. Chiefs
What do all three have in common? They play for the Kansas City Chiefs, which is one reason they do not pop to mind when you think about the most productive players in the NFL.
The Chiefs have made just one prime-time appearance this season, and that was way back in the opening week, when they beat San Diego in the second half of that Monday night doubleheader. That was an omen of things to come for the team that finished just 4-12 last year and therefore did not get a whole lot of consideration when the prime-time schedule was formulated.
Hail to the Chiefs: K.C. under the radar but over expectations from The Bergen Record
Broncos wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, the former Blue Springs star, has been in the NFL for eight seasons, but today’s game against the Chiefs will be his first regular-season game at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Broncos dominated the Chiefs in a 49-29 win three weeks ago in Denver, but things should be much different this time around with the game being played at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won three of their last four home games by at least 18 points. The final margin on Sunday might not be so fat. But with the league's top rushing attack, a red-hot passing combination in Cassel to Bowe and an opportunistic defense, the Chiefs will have too much for the Broncos this time. Prediction: Chiefs 31, Broncos 24
Chiefs-Broncos scouting report from KC Star
The museum touches on the stories of Lloyd "The Judge" Wells, the first full-time African-American scout for a professional football team.
"By the 1969 Super Bowl, half of the Chiefs' starting lineup was black players," said team historian/curator Bob Moore. "That was unheard of."
Wells died in 2005 of complications from Alzheimer's at an assisted living facility in Houston, where he had been a sports photographer and journalist.
Moore designed a map that depicts the pipeline of small, black colleges that Wells visited. While working part time for the Chiefs, Wells recruited future Hall of Famers Buck Buchanan (Grambling) and Willie Lanier (Morgan State) to sign with Kansas City. The exhibit features Wells' photo and Super Bowl ring.
Kansas City's new Hall of Honor a real winner from The Chicago Sun-Times
You also have some family connections here.
My older brother, Lamar Jr., lives here. And my wife is from Kansas City and her entire family lives here. There's sort of a cute story there. When she and I started dating and she and I got engaged, she said, ‘Well, you had to get engaged to a girl from Kansas City because you couldn't trust somebody who'd grown up in Dallas to be a true Raider hater.' Her father had done a very good job of raising her properly.
Clark Hunt is the new Chiefs generation from The KC Star
Tennessee, Houston, Denver, Indianapolis down.
Kansas City to come.
"It means nothing if we go out and lose to the Raiders," free safety Eric Weddle said.
Sunday, in the powder blues, withQualcomm Stadium likely rocking a bit of silver and black too, the Chargers host the Oakland Raidersin yet another must-win game.
Raiders are Bolts' next step to playoffs from The San Diego Union-Tribune
Kansas City coach Todd Haley is well aware of what time of year it is.
"This is a marathon and the true grind-it-out period of the season where I think teams are going to start to define themselves as good teams, in-between teams and not-so-good teams. And the teams that can grind it out and find ways to win during this time of year are the teams that will give themselves a chance to win down the road.
"That's all we're trying to do - just slug it out, keep trying to land body blows and move forward."
The fiercest month: December games to set NFL playoff stage from USA Today
The consensus inside and outside the Broncos' organization is that Josh McDaniels has two chances of keeping his job next season.
(A) Slim chance. (B) No chance.
In fact, though, the Broncos' 12th head coach has six chances.
Paige: Time running out on McDaniels from The Denver Post
Being a rookie in an NFL locker room can be tough enough, what with the steep learning curve for the on-field game and the playoff razing from veterans in downtime.
So imagine the fun the Broncos' veterans had when the October issue of GQ magazine made its way into the locker room at Dove Valley. Inside was a six-page fashion spread featuring Broncos rookie wide receiver Eric Decker, modeling a variety of fall and winter sweaters and coats on the campus of his alma mater, the University of Minnesota.
Decker is now starting to make an impact - and not just in the locker room - for the Broncos. He caught his first two career passes last week against St. Louis and maintains a consistent role on the special-teams return and coverage units.
Eric Decker: A model of cleanliness from The Denver Post
While McDaniels' 11-16 overall record, combined with heavy no-show crowds and questionable personnel moves, have hurt, it's the integrity assaults the organization has taken in the aftermath of its recent videotape violation that has Bowlen and Ellis likely to huddle at season's end.
Amid the confusion regarding McDaniels' future as Broncos coach, Bowlen released a statement late Monday that said: "This has been a very trying and disappointing season for all of us. We will continue to monitor the progress of the team and evaluate what's in the best interest of this franchise. Josh McDaniels is the head coach of the Broncos, and you always strive for stability at that position. However, with five games left in the 2010 season, we will continue to monitor the progress of the team and evaluate what's in the best interest of this franchise."
Broncos' McDaniels is in trouble from The Denver Post
Kansas City's Arrowhead in December:There always has been a unique relationship between the blue-collar, physical style the Chiefs have long utilized and the hard-working residents of the Kansas City area.
Cold December games tend to bring out the best in both. The Broncos are 2-17 lifetime in December games at Kansas City. Think of all those good Broncos' teams - this will be only their fifth full losing season since 1975 - and yet they have only two victories in 19 December games at K.C.
It's possible one or two other fan bases restrict their game-day wear to their team colors. But no other game-day crowds are so filled with red as those who show up on Sundays at Arrowhead.
There must be something about a stadium filled with red in December that chills the cackles out of visiting opponents.
Klis: Gillette: a cut above rest from The Denver Post
"It's been a great deal of fun,'' Muir said from his office with the Chiefs, a surprising young club that leads the AFC West at 7-4. "From Year 1 to Year 2, we've upgraded ourselves, and it's been a pleasure to see this team grow.''
Kansas City's ground attack averages 4.9 yards per carry and 174.3 yards per game, making life easier for quarterback Matt Cassel.
"It starts with an identity, and it starts with the run game,'' Cassel said. "It starts with the offensive line as well. They've done a tremendous job and everything kind of piggybacks off of that.''
Ex-Bucs assistants help turn around new clubs from Tampa Bay Online