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Ranking the Chiefs: without Bobby Bell, the team’s story is incomplete

On Saturdays through May, Arrowhead Pride contributors weigh in on the five best Chiefs of all time. This week, Kent Swanson takes his turn.

NFL: AFC Championship-Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturdays through May, Arrowhead Pride contributors list (and explain) their top five Kansas City Chiefs of all time.

My top five all-time Chiefs

  1. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes
  2. Edge rusher Derrick Thomas
  3. Quarterback Len Dawson
  4. Guard Will Shields
  5. Linebacker Bobby Bell

The best player in the history of the Chiefs organization just won a Super Bowl MVP and league MVP before he turned 25 years old. It is just the beginning for Mahomes — who has a chance to be the greatest player in the history of the National Football League. There is not a hint of recency bias here — Mahomes has already locked it in. There are players in Canton, Ohio who can’t claim the accolades he has in just a short amount of time.

Thomas, Dawson and Shields have deservedly seen a lot of attention on the lists of my fellow writers. Thomas is one of the first players to whom I was drawn as a young kid. I remember the day he passed away. Shields is quite possibly the greatest guard in the history of the league. No list would be complete withoout Dawson, the first quarterback to lead the Chiefs to a Super Bowl — and a big part of my formative years (and beyond) as I listened to him in the broadcast booth.

But with all due respect to my pals at Arrowhead Pride, how has Bobby Bell not yet made anyone’s list? He was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1969 and a major figure in the only other Super Bowl in franchise history. Bell was on the NFL’s 1970s All-Decade Team and the AFL’s All-Time Team. You cannot tell the story of the Kansas City Chiefs without Bobby Bell.

We haven’t even gotten to his coin trick yet!

Besides highlights, I never saw the man play. But the Chiefs’ rich tradition owes much to one of the best players on their Super Bowl IV team — and in the history of the organization. Since the end of his playing days, he has also been a fantastic ambassador for the team.


How perfect is this list?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    Strongly perfect
    (259 votes)
  • 47%
    Somewhat perfect
    (339 votes)
  • 12%
    Somewhat imperfect
    (89 votes)
  • 3%
    Strongly imperfect
    (23 votes)
710 votes total Vote Now

Cumulative ranking

  • Patrick Mahomes (15 points)
  • Derrick Thomas (11)
  • Len Dawson (10)
  • Will Shields (4)
  • Travis Kelce (2)
  • Derrick Johnson (1)
  • Jamaal Charles (1)
  • Bobby Bell (1)

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