Sandra doesn't live in this neighborhood anymore. Dontari bought her a house across town, in an upscale suburb, the first place she's ever lived without paying rent. Dontari's parents split up when he was 7. He respects his father, and has a good relationship with the man.
But the real bond, the closest bond, has always been with mom.
"This is my way of paying her back," Dontari says.
"I think it was his dream to grow up and help mama," Sandra says.
The story of how Sandra got there from here is one of luck and hard work, of love and toughness, of a 15-year-old tuba player taking up football and becoming one of the sport's most dominating interior defensive linemen in a remarkably short time.
Chiefs Preparing For Keenun-Led Texans from The Mothership
With a light wind and a temperature in the mid-40s, practice began shortly before noon and near its end, the rain made an appearance, under the overcast sky. Regardless of rain or shine, the Chiefs aren't concerned about the climate, color of the sky or any type of precipitation, instead focusing on improving as a football team and preparing for the talented Texans.
Following practice, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid addressed the media and was asked to describe the Texans starting QB on Sunday, Case Keenum.
"I think any time you make decisions, tough decisions as coaches, there's always going to be maybe guys that didn't think that's the way you were going to go That's OK. They're human. I tell them that all of the time," said Kubiak, who indicated there had been a warming by Friday. "They've responded. They've really been behind the kid. They understand his challenge as a player. The best thing they can do is play well around him."
And the best thing the coaches can do is contour the game plan to his skills and the circumstances.
Game Day Activities: Chiefs vs. Texans from The Mothership
The game on Sunday against the Houston Texans was rescheduled from a 12:00p.m. kickoff to 3:25p.m. Parking lot gates will be opening later than normal so, check below for a detailed list of gate times and everything you need to know for Sunday's game at Arrowhead.
But, before you leave the house, set your DVR for Hy-Vee Chiefs Insider on KCTV5 at 9:30a.m. in the Kansas City area. Find out when it is playing in your area here.
Chiefs' Avery Has Inside Knowledge Of Texans' Keenum from KC Star
Houston quarterback Case Keenum may be a mystery to most of the Chiefs, but not to wide receiver Donnie Avery.
Keenum, who will make his NFL debut on Sunday against the Chiefs, was Avery's quarterback for his senior season at the University of Houston, and they still work out together in the offseason.
"He was pretty good," Avery said of Keenum, who is still ranked as college football's most prolific passer, setting NCAA records for career yardage (19,217) and touchdowns (155). "He's a good athlete, very smart, very agile."
Avery caught 91 passes for a Conference USA record 1,456 yards when playing with Keenum in 2007 and was a second-round draft pick by St. Louis and the first wide receiver taken in the 2008 draft.
I watched the All-22 clips of the Chiefs-Raiders game with the specific intention of getting a better idea about what the heck is up with Dwayne Bowe. The defense is on arecord pace, but the offense is struggling and Bowe represents the greatest amount of untapped potential.
He is second behind Jamaal Charles with 20 catches, and third behind Charles and Donnie Avery with 229 yards. He and Charles share the lead with two TD receptions each. These things are often misleading, but that's a pace for 53 catches, 611 yards and five touchdowns. That would be the fewest yards and catches of Bowe's career, other than his second season, which started with a four-game drug suspension.
Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe OK Trading Stats For More Wins from KC Star
But while the 2010 and 2011 seasons helped Bowe cement his status as one of the NFL's best receivers, it appears the Chiefs' miserable 8-24 combined record in 2011 and 2012 had an equally profound effect on his outlook.
"This part of my career ... this should be everybody's mind-set: It's not about numbers, it's about letters," Bowe said, referring to his desire to get "W's." "You want to reach the ultimate goal? You gotta sacrifice some things."
For Bowe, that meant giving up his targets so others can get involved.
"He's the most unselfish person I know," receiver Donnie Avery said. "He's got the numbers, you know? It's been a long time for him (to experience) winning ... that's what he told me from the start. He said he's tired of losing. He said he doesn't care if he has 200 yards (this season); as long as we're winning, he's OK with that."
Chiefs' Sack Race Rolls To A Record-Setting Pace from KC Star
The most amazing part of the Chiefs' sack story is that just five years ago they set an NFL record for fewest sacks in a season with 10.
Their 30 sacks are three more than the Chiefs had all of last year, and they are sacking the quarterback, if not hitting or hurrying him, once every 8 1/2 pass plays.
"Kansas City has kind of snuck up on everybody," said former Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy, an analyst for NBC. "But they have had some great defensive players. The problem in the past was the offense was turning it over so much, they were never ahead in games.
"Now, you're getting to see what this defense can do ... The pass rush in Arrowhead, with the noise ... when you get ahead, and if a team has to throw, and the tackles can't hear the snap count, and they have to go on a silent count, there are a lot of things that go in the Chiefs' favor."
But even with his legacy entrenched a half century this month since he quarterbacked his first home game in Kansas City, what stood out about our conversation was how Dawson still marvels at all the reasons he might never have been known at all here.
Dawson, of course, was highly skilled. And he had, and still has, a tremendous work ethic, and thus made plenty of his own luck.
Just the same ...
"You would never have heard of my name," he said, "if it hadn't have been for Lamar Hunt hiring Hank Stram."
For starters, even that move was improbable.
Chiefs-Texans Scouting Report from KC Star
Chalk this one up to the power of Arrowhead Stadium. The venue that once powered the great Chiefs teams of the 1990s has its mojo back, as the fans proved last week when they broke the Guinness record for loudest crowd at an outdoor sporting event. The fans made it difficult for the Raiders to make their offensive calls, and the Texans should have similar problems.
Bottom line: Chiefs 23-10
Watt is ticked off because of his team's 2-4 start, and it's easy to see him having a big day against an offensive line that has battled injuries, overall, and inexperience at the right tackle position. But at the end of the day, it's hard to imagine a young quarterback winning his debut at a rejuvenated Arrowhead Stadium.
KCChiefs.com Photo Gallery: Fans At The Stadium In Photographs
KCChiefs.com Video: Focus Point - Week 7
KCChiefs.com Video: Chiefs Organization Host Lift Up America
Wade Phillips On Hos Late Father: 'He Was A Legend, And The Legend Will Live On' from Ultimate Texans
Bum Phillips was as country as a cowboy could be.
A Texas-size cowboy hat, pointed boots to fit in stirrups, dusty blue jeans and a belt buckle as big as Goliad, where he died Friday night with his wife Debbie and other family members present.
Most of all, though, Phillips always had a warm smile and a firm handshake for just about everyone he met.
"I was blessed to have him as a father and coach," Wade Phillips said late Friday night. "I got to coach with him for 11 years. He taught me everything I know about coaching. He taught me right and wrong. He taught me to enjoy life."
Wade Phillips, the Texans' defensive coordinator, went to Goliad after practice Friday.
Succop Has Become Mr. Relevant Among NFL Kickers from FS Kansas City
Succop, taken with the 256th and final pick of the 2009 draft, thus earning the moniker Mr. Irrelevant, continues to elevate himself toward the NFL's elite status.
Succup is a perfect 10 for 10 on kicks inside 50 this season, and has been making his way into the Chiefs' record books. He set a franchise record last season by kicking six field goals in a game in the upset win over the Saints. The year before, he tied a franchise record held by Pete Stoyanovich by nailing 22 straight field goals.
"And the sky's the limit for him," Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub says. "He's got all the tools and the mental makeup. He keeps getting better."
Predictably, Chiefs Give Keenum His Due from ESPN
Chiefs coach Andy Reid also showed the proper amount of public respect for Keenum, the NCAA's all-time leader in passing yards, touchdowns and completions.
"We know he had a good preseason,'' Reid said. "We also know he was a heck of a player in college. He's an active player and has a live arm.
"I kind of liked him [coming out of college last year]. I thought he was a good player. I know [Chiefs general manager John Dorsey] liked him. It doesn't surprise me at all that he's having a chance to play."
The endowment, just one of a handful awarded nationwide, was a Field Surface Grant to finance the installation of an artificial turf surface on Bryan Field.
Superintendent R. Stephen Green; LISC Executive Director Stephen Samuels and Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame linebacker and current Director of Special Events Gary Spani and students were involved in the 30-minute event.
Other Chiefs personalities were also on hand.
More Help Might Be On Way For Secondary from ESPN
"He's a very good athlete," defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said. "He has great speed. He's a thicker, big guy, so there are a lot of things he can possibly do.
"We're going to ... give him a chance to get in here and get back on the field and show us what [he] can do individually, not even talking scheme here, and then say, 'OK, our best way to utilize this guy for the last whatever many games if he's activated is at this position.'"
Week 7 Preview: Texans @ Chiefs from Chiefs Spin
Foster's 714 total yards from scrimmage ranks second in the AFC to Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (775 yards).
Additionally, the undefeated Chiefs rank 23rd against the run, allowing 116.7 yards rushing per game.
The numbers cause concern, but games aren't played on paper.
The Chiefs have met their share of some of the NFL's big-name running backs through six games and only one topped the 100-yard rushing mark.
Jamaal Charles Overworked? Not According To Him from FS Kansas City
The expected return of tight end Anthony Fasano this week won't necessarily boost the Chiefs' passing offense. During his seven-year career, he has never caught more than 41 passes in a season.
But Fasano, who has been out a month because of ankle and knee injuries, should bolster the team's blocking in pass protection and running.
Chiefs Not Overlooking Keenum from Chiefs Spin
It's easy to discount a quarterback getting his first NFL start, which also marks his first time ever being active for a regular season game.
However, the Chiefs are proceeding with caution against Houston Texans second-year quarterback Case Keenum.
"He's a good quarterback, he should've got drafted," Chiefs safety Quintin Demps said. "We're definitely not sleeping on him. We respect him and we got to come on with it."
Texans vs Chiefs Preview: Dial It Up from Warpaint Illustrated
Because if the Chiefs do shine on Sunday it may turn out to be a coronation for the rest of the NFL to see how good this football has become. If the Chiefs are going to remove some doubters around the country, this is the game they have to take it up a notch on offense.
We all know outside of the fourth quarter, the Chiefs offense has struggled to be consistent in quarters one thru three. That has to change on Sunday. It doesn't have to be lights out (not until they face the Broncos) they can still punt here and there but they have to score points in the early quarters.
Facing A Familiar Foe, NFL Style from FOX Sports
The 6-0 Broncos' visit to the 4-2 Colts isn't only a nice little chapter in Manning's narrative. It's also an important battle for primacy in the AFC, which is increasingly looking like it's the Broncos' and the Kansas City Chiefs' to lose.
Ranking Best Secondary Units In NFL from USA Today
The Chiefs have been absolutely dominant against the pass this year, and safety Eric Berry will almost certainly make the Pro Bowl. Detracting from their case? It's tough to know how good their secondary is because their front four is so amazing at getting to the quarterback. The Chiefs have the second-best rate in the league for passing YPG allowed, but they also have 30 sacks. Basically: they very well might have the best secondary in the league, but with their front four getting so much pressure on the quarterback, it's tough to know how good they are versus how much the opposing QBs are just throwing rushed balls.
Andy Reid Thinks QB Alex Smith Has Been A Great Game Manager from CBS Sports
Here's the thing: Despite the Chiefs' cream puff schedule through the first six games (yes, we know, the Broncos have had virtually the same easy road to 6-0; we discussed it in detail here), there's the very real possibility that Kansas City will be 9-0 when they face the Broncos for the first time in Week 11. The Chiefs' next three games are against the Texans, the Browns and at the Bills. Then they'll have their bye week before heading to Denver with their all-he-does-is-win game-managin' quarterback.
Waco High Routs University, 42-0, In Hall Of Fame Game from The Waco Tribune-Herald
On a night in which former Waco High legend Derrick Johnson was inducted in the Waco ISD Athletic Hall of Fame, the Lions turned in a defensive performance that would have made the linebacker proud...
...Johnson, whose Kansas City Chiefs are preparing to play the Houston Texans on Sunday, couldn't attend the ceremony. His older brother, Dwight, accepted the honor on his behalf.
A Look Back At Why Case Keenum Went Undrafted from CBS Sports
Why did Keenum go undrafted? Below average size (6-1, 208), average-at-best arm strength and limited mobility to do much with his legs. His ball appears to flutter, especially when he doesn't have a chance to wind up and step into his throws. Keenum holds several NCAA passing records, but those numbers came in an offense that inflated his statistics and allowed him to take advantage of a quick passing attack where he didn't need to make extensive pocket reads. He wasn't asked to consistently make NFL throws as the Cougars quarterback and at the end of the day, his lack of ideal physical tools were enough for teams to pass.
So why should Texans' fans be encouraged with Keenum at the helm of the offense? He's resilient, tough and very smart -- all qualities that cannot be measured by a scale or 40 time.
Manning And Moreno Could Help Denver Be An All-Time Great Team from The Red & Black
Obviously the Broncos have the weapons to succeed in running the table, but their schedule from here on out is not an easy one with regards to three particular games: versus the Kansas City Chiefs in week 11, the following week at the New England Patriots, and the following week at Kansas City.
Yes, that is a gauntlet of tough matchups, but I think Denver will persevere through all of them as long as they stay healthy.
The Chiefs' defense has been very efficient in stopping the pass: they are third in the league in opponent's average passing yards per game with about 190. They are 23rd, however, in stopping the run with an average of about 117 yards. Not only will the Chiefs have to deal with Moreno, but they will also have to respect Manning on play action, and he is one of the best in the league at selling the play-fake.
The Sports Scene in downtown Lee's Summit says fans are asking for more fan gear than owner Tim Huber has seen in the six years he's been in business.
The store mostly sales Mizzou hats, shirts and souvenirs but he says he has tried to order more Chiefs supplies, but can't get it in because so many other stores are doing the same thing.
5 Things To Watch: Texans At Chiefs from HoustonTexans.com
Coverage is key- Safety
Danieal Manningis on the injured reserve, and so is cornerback A.J. Bouye. The former had resumed returning kickoffs in Week 6 and the latter was a key on coverage units for both punts and kicks. Cornerback Elbert Mackwas signed to the roster, and linebacker Mike Mohamedwas called up to the 53-man roster from the practice squad.
All those changes will certainly have an impact on how the special teams units perform. The Chiefs are a Top-10 team in both kickoff and punt returns, averaging 25.6 and 11.7 yards per, respectively. Field position will be important in helping Keenum and the offense operate more efficiently, so watch what happens in coverage.
Winning Fantasy Calls For Week 7 from CBS Sports
The Texans will need a complete team effort to pull off the win here. Houston's defense has looked pitiful the last few weeks; they have to step up against the ball-control Chiefs offense. Houston's offense has to lean on its ground game. The Chiefs probably know the Texans will run at them a bunch to set up misdirection passes off play-action. With Kansas City allowing a pretty decent 117.5 total yards per game to running backs this year, it'll be a chore for Arian Foster to have a sensational game.