The Kansas City Chiefs have found an unlikely source to build team chemistry beanbags.
Players have taken up a game called "Bags" by some, an activity comparable to horseshoes. Two plywood boards set 33 feet apart are placed on the locker-room carpet. Players try to throw one of four beanbags into a hole for three points. If a bag lands on the board but misses the hole, a player is awarded one point. The first person to reach 21 points wins.
Head coach Todd Haley introduced the activity after the Chiefs lost their first three games against the Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions and San Diego Chargers by a combined score of 109-27. Since, Kansas City has won two straight, beating the Minnesota Vikings and Indianapolis Colts. The Chiefs have a bye this week before traveling to face the Oakland Raiders on Oct. 23 at O.co Coliseum.
The idea came in part from quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn. Haley asked coaches and players about creating ways to build chemistry. Zorn mentioned "Bags" was part of the locker-room lifestyle in his previous stops during a 15-year NFL coaching career.
"We've been trying to figure out ways to create some togetherness, and some of that has to be done outside the building, but inside the building, I talked to one of our coaches and a couple of our players," Haley told reporters. "One of our coaches brought it up to me, Coach Zorn, that it was something that they had done somewhere he's been."
The game is familiar to Haley, who plays "Bags" when on vacation with family on the East Coast in the summer. The game also is a popular tailgating activity throughout the country. Haley's wife, Chrissy, made contact with a board-maker in Ocean City, Md., and had the boards shipped to Kansas City.
"A lot of guys stay after we're done with practice and meetings and hang around and play," kicker Ryan Succop told The Kansas City Star. "As long as we take care of business and still have time to cut up, it's good."
After their rough start, the Chiefs are two games behind the Chargers for first place in the AFC West. Haley wouldn't mind seeing an unlikely bonding activity lead to more victories.
"It's just another way to kind of keep guys hanging around and interacting with each other, and I think it's been a nice addition to our locker room," Haley said. "Winning helps that. Had we not won the last two weeks, I don't know, they might be being used as firewood."