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Dixon’s Arrowhead Pride mailbag: the Raiders, tight ends, Bob Sutton and Oscar snubs

It’s time to open up the mailbag and answer some questions

Iowa v Indiana Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Welcome to Dixon’s Arrowhead Pride Mailbag! I’ll attempt to answer your questions about the Kansas City Chiefs and anything else that interests you. If you have a question, you can hit my profile page to E-mail me, or ask me on Twitter.

While you’re at it, please follow me on Twitter, too.

John I am trying to figure out for the life of me why you people in Kansas City are so concerned with what the Oakland Raiders are doing. A lot of the Jockeying and stories in the media about where they are going to play I believe are in fact fake news.

— Robert

Robert had a lot more to say — as have quite a few Raiders fans who have expressed similar sentiments to me in recent weeks as I have written about where the Raiders might play in 2019. So thanks to Robert and his Raider brethren for their questions.

The interest that Chiefs fans have had in this issue is entirely self-serving. Unlike 28 other NFL teams, the Chiefs are guaranteed to play the Raiders at home at least once every single season. So where the Raiders will play those games matters to Kansas City — especially when it is credibly suggested that a home location for their 2019 games could be a far-flung location like London.

Furthermore, leaving this issue unsettled until now has disadvantaged every NFL team, because it has pushed back the complicated process of settling the 2019 NFL schedule. I explained this in my February 13 story.

31 other NFL franchises know where they will play their 2019 games. But they cannot plan other events in their stadiums — something that most of them depend upon as revenue streams — until they know when their venues will be used for NFL football. With each passing day, the situation becomes more acute.

In March of 2017 — now almost two years ago — Raiders owner Mark Davis knew two things: that starting in 2020, the Raiders would play in Las Vegas, and that his team’s lease on the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum was only good through the 2018 season. That’s not fake news.

The easiest, most responsible thing to do would have been to immediately make a deal to remain in that stadium through 2019, and have an option for 2020, too — whatever the cost. But Mark Davis chose not to do that. That’s on nobody but him. If it offends Raiders fans to have their team owner criticized for not doing something any reasonable owner would have done in the same circumstances... well, I’m sorry. But that criticism was more than justified.

Could tight end TJ Hockenson fall to #29 — and if he does, will Chiefs take him?

— Brandon

He sure could, Brandon. Between now and late April, the number of things that might happen that could affect how the NFL Draft plays out is limited only by our imaginations.

But even if Hockenson falls to within the Chiefs’ reach at pick 29, I seriously doubt the Chiefs would take him. I agree with Matt Stagner’s evaluation: the most pressing needs are on defense. Positions like cornerback, safety, Sam and Mike linebacker are far more likely to be addressed with the Chiefs’ first-round pick.

But that assumes that between now and draft day, the Chiefs are unable to address those needs in-house or in free agency.

While most consider it very unlikely that both Justin Houston and Dee Ford will remain on the 2019 roster, it is possible that Steve Spagnuolo will think Houston would be an ideal Sam linebacker, and Brett Veach will find a way to keep him.

Likewise, there are plenty of folks who would instantly release any two (or three) of the four safeties the Chiefs had besides Eric Berry in 2019: Daniel Sorensen, Eric Murray, Armani Watts and Jordan Lucas. But what if Spagnuolo likes what he sees in those four players, and tells Veach that it isn’t the priority we imagine it to be?

Even if all of that turned out to be true — and let’s be fair, it’s unlikely that all of it would be true — that still leaves cornerback as a position where the Chiefs are thin. But maybe there’s a move or two the Chiefs might make in free agency before the draft, opening up the possibility of an unexpected pick in the first round. And it is true that the Chiefs could use another tight end.

So you keep on being you, Brandon. There’s always the chance Veach has a slip of paper in his pocket that reads, “TJ Hockenson — no matter what.”




I really can’t blame people for shouting about this. I know that for many fans, Bob Sutton wore out his welcome in Kansas City years ago. While I didn’t agree with that point of view until after the 2018 season, I fully understand why those fans felt the way they did.

But all of that is now water under the bridge, isn’t it?

Steve Spagnuolo is now the man for the Chiefs defense, and he has assembled what appears to be a top-flight staff to assist him in improving it. It’s hard for me to imagine that Spagnuolo’s attitude and enthusiasm alone will not make some difference. I believe there’s a strong argument that players like Anthony Hitchens — who in Sutton’s scheme appeared to be misused — will perform more to our expectations and that players like Dorian O’Daniel will find themselves in situations where they can thrive.

That’s going the long way around to say that I agree there was plenty of talent available on the Chiefs 2018 defense. I’m on record saying that if Sutton couldn’t get his house in order in 2018, it was going to be time for him to go. He didn’t, and now he’s gone. Let’s move on and see what happens.

What was the biggest snub of the Oscars — Glenn Close as Best Actress for The Wife, or Sam Elliott as Best Supporting Actor for A Star Is Born?

— Steve

Thanks for asking, Steve. I thought both Close and Elliott gave incredible performances in their films and would have richly deserved those awards. But that’s not what bothered me most about the Oscars this year.

My issue has to do with Marc Martel, a Canadian vocalist whose singing voice seamlessly replaced Rami Malek’s voice in his electrifying performance as Queen’s Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody.

Malek deserved to win Best Actor for his performance, which was an incredibly compelling — and entirely believable — take on a complex man who fronted one of the world’s more unique and popular bands. But without the vocals provided by Martel (and to be fair, some recordings of Mercury himself) Malek’s performance would have been far less amazing than it was.

Malek won an Oscar. All Martel got was an Additional Vocals nod buried in the Music Department’s credit roll of the film.

This isn’t a new phenomenon. Ever since The Jazz Singer added sound to film, many hundreds of talented professional singers have made their livings by lending their voices to Hollywood stars in musical films.

I’m not campaigning for these unknown vocalists to receive Oscars.

But the 2019 Oscars presented a unique situation. Suddenly without a host, the producers opted to have Queen open the show with two songs — which under the circumstances was a brilliant move. It would have been a perfect opportunity to recognize what Martel — and all the singers who preceded him — have contributed to Hollywood films.

I have nothing against Adam Lambert, who has been collaborating with Queen’s remaining members since 2011, and has toured with the band as its lead vocalist. I would have understood if the band didn’t want to miss the opportunity to showcase Lambert. But would it have been asking too much for Martel to at least appear with the band for one of the two songs? It would have been a terrific Oscar moment.

I am Attorney Sarah Koffi, from the Republic of Togo. I am contacting you for a business proposal of an Inheritance claim value of (100,000,000) One Hundred Million United States of America’s dollars) in your name as the beneficiary.

— Sarah

Shame on you, Sarah. When my uncle passed in Togo last spring, I know for a FACT that he had less than $10,000,000 to his name. You can’t fool me with this brazen ruse.

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