Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 2/15/12
Loyalty to a Fault

 

There is a fine line between loyalty and foolishness; in recent years, Kansas City has been tightrope-walking it. 

 

In a league where it is increasingly difficult for organizations to quench fans’ thirst for instant gratification, Kansas City’s mentality has predominantly resisted change. 

 

Arrowhead has been the home of an assortment of exceptional running backs – from the bulldozing “Nigerian Nightmare” Christian Okoye, to the Chiefs’ current ankle-breaker Jamaal Charles. Thomas Jones, however, does not belong in this elite fraternity. The 33-year-old averaged 3.1 yards per carry in his 151 rushing attempts during the 2011 season. In comparison, the speedster Dexter McCluster boasted a 4.5 average, while bruiser Jackie Battle finished with 4 YPC. The two running backs share little stylistically, however, they do have one thing in common: both carried the ball less than Thomas Jones. 

 

In 2010, All-Pro Jamaal Charles concluded the season averaging 6.4 yards per carry – to put that into perspective, Matt Cassel averaged 6.4 yards per completion in 2011. During his pursuit of Jim Brown’s infamous single-season YPC record, Charles, too, received (15) less attempts than Jones. 

 

During Tyler Palko’s six-game campaign of personifying mediocrity last season, the second-year quarterback threw two touchdowns in contrast to seven interceptions. Echoes of “Stanzi” reverberated throughout Arrowhead, but Head Coach Todd Haley refused to oblige the fans’ wishes. This, along with a multitude of other reasons, ultimately led to Haley’s demise. 

 

Spot a trend?

 

Over the past two seasons, hearing the phrase “Thomas Jones on the carry – three yards” blare throughout Arrowhead was more predictable than seeing a play on the name “Lin” after logging into Twitter this week. Haley’s unwavering allegiance to Tyler Palko resulted in the former head coach being demoted, along with a change of zip code. 

 

Herm Edwards and Carl Peterson, the regime that preceded Haley and Pioli, showcased the same mentality with players such as Larry Johnson. 

 

Here’s hoping that Crennel places more stock in his head than his heart when when glancing at the depth chart. 

 

Dallas Texans Logo
 

Now, for a moment in Chiefs’ history:
 

The NFL denied several requests by a 26-year-old Lamar Hunt to establish a new franchise in Dallas. Taking matters into his own hands, Hunt, accompanied by seven other businessmen, founded the American Football League in 1959. Led by Len Dawson and Head Coach Hank “Matriculate the ball down the field” Stram, the Texans won their first AFL Championship in 1962 before migrating to Kansas City the following year. 

 

The Dallas Texans evolved into the Kansas City Chiefs. 

 

Paying homage to the franchise’s origins, Kansas City’s helmets now depict the AFL Texans logo – an outline of the state of Texas – every time that the team clashes with their former inner-city NFL competitors, the Dallas Cowboys. 

 

Some would argue that remembering one’s roots by paying tribute to tradition is not demonstrated enough in today's society, but in this particular instance, it has occurred one time too many. 

 

Annually, through the woeful valleys and playoff peaks, Arrowhead is revered for its atmosphere; many opposing players proclaim that it is the loudest stadium in the National Football League. The local stadium-dwellers – commonly referred to as “The Red Sea” – are extraordinarily passionate because they view the Chiefs as their team. 

 

Stop wearing the Texans logo. 

 

The Kansas City faithful hope to outshine the opposing team, not endorse them.

 

K.C. Wolf
 

Personally, the K.C. Wolf is more than “just another mascot”. The ornery, impetuous successor to Warpaint has been a fan-favorite staple since being introduced in 1989. When the mascot’s name infiltrates a conversation, fans often reminisce about the 90s: Neil Smith Band-Aids, Derrick Thomas shattering the league's single-game sack record against Dave Krieg, Joe Montana lambasting John Elway’s Denver Broncos that concluded with a game-winning strike to Willie Davis on Monday Night Football. 

 

These memories, amongst countless more, pop into my head when the mascot is mentioned. However, K.C. Wolf symbolizes one thing, above all else, to me: Zubaz pants. 

 

Yes, Zubaz pants. 

 

Look, the NFL embodies every male stereotype to date: models need not apply. Trying to find fashionistas inside of a football stadium is like trying to find Jesus at a strip club in the outskirts of Las Vegas.

 

An outsider would be hard-pressed to find a Chiefs’ fan that didn’t have a favorite, signature K.C. Wolf moment. Every time that I see Kansas City’s boisterous mascot, I feel an urge to YouTube his greatest hits – including the time he bull-rushed Wolf-rushed a fan on the field, before belly-flopping on top of security guards to apprehend him. The only problem is, the Zubaz make me want to lace up Reebok Pumps while waiting for my 56.6K modem to load the video on AOL. 

 

Outfit him with a Chiefs uniform, red and yellow athletic pants, anything not named “jeggings”. 

 

Even after the overhead rant, I would still grade K.C. Wolf’s wardrobe an “A” – only because everything about Zubaz should remain in the 90s. 



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