Originally written on Fox Sports Kansas City  |  Last updated 10/23/14

ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 13: Tony Gonzalez #88 of the Atlanta Falcons against the Miami Dolphins at Georgia Dome on September 13, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. There may never be another tight end as good as No. 88 in Chiefs' red. And this Sunday, Tony Gonzalez will revisit the place Arrowhead Stadium where his illustrious career started, this time wearing No. 88 in the red and black of the Atlanta Falcons. It will be the first time Tony G has returned to Arrowhead since requesting a trade after the 2008 season, and it seems certain it will be the last. Gonzalez said he is 99 percent sure this will be his final season in the NFL. "It's going to be a little weird being in a different locker room and coming out of that tunnel when we first come in," Gonzalez said in a conference call Wednesday. "It's going to be a little weird, but I'm looking forward to it. "I know this is the last time that I'll ever get to play in Kansas City and that stadium. That's a beautiful thing to me. I'm going to go out there and enjoy the hell out of it because it's my last time." Gonzalez holds virtually every Chiefs receiving record, and he left Kansas City as the NFL's all-time leader in receptions (916), receiving yards (10,940) and touchdowns (76) by a tight tend. None of that will be lost on the Chiefs' faithful who will be in attendance Sunday. Expect a huge ovation for Gonzalez who was immensely popular, not just inside Arrowhead, but all around Kansas City where he was a familiar figure in the community particularly on the night scene. Gonzalez said he was always appreciative of the support from Kansas Citians. "My ties are more in the community and to the people than inside the organization," Gonzalez said. "Just the fans and the memories, being down on the Plaza and going to the new Power and Light District for that year it was open, but really the Plaza since that's where I did all of my damage while I was out there in Kansas City." Gonzalez expects to do some harm on the field Sunday with a Falcons team most experts agree will make another playoff run. And that's at the heart of Gonzalez's goal this season win that elusive, first playoff game of his career. "We have a really good football team, there's no doubt about that, and it's not just false chatter," he said. "We have a really good football team from top to bottom both offensively and defensively. I realize we have an opportunity to go to the playoffs, win a playoff game, and that's what I want. "I've been playing my whole career for a chance to go to the Super Bowl and I feel we have as good a chance as anybody." The first roadblock, of course, is Romeo Crennel's Chiefs, who will be short-handed defensively without rushing linebacker Tamba Hali, out because of a one-game suspension, and possibly linebacker Derrick Johnson and defensive back Brandon Flowers, both because of injuries. Stopping Gonzalez, even at age 36, wouldn't be easy, Crennel said, even if the Chiefs were at full strength. "Tony is probably a future Hall of Famer," Crennel said. "He's got size, he's got speed, he's got hands, he's got savvy and that poses a lot of problems, particularly with the other weapons that they have. "If you double Tony, then you're leaving other guys singled up. If you single Tony, Tony can get open, so you have to kind of pick your poisons and try to keep the opposing quarterback off-balance a little bit, give him a couple different things to look at." Crennel believes Gonzalez probably ushered in the new wave of tight ends that changed the way the position was viewed -- from not just a pass-catching tight end but to a weapon equivalent to that of a wide receiver. "He probably was the leading edge of that transition to pass-catching tight ends and being able to flex them out and use them almost like a wide receiver," Crennel said. "But to do that, you've got to have that ability. You've got to have that tremendous ability hand-eye coordination, great hands, that savvy about reading coverages and knowing how to get open and Tony has all of that." But as much as anyone, Gonzalez understands that the season's first test won't be easy, not at this venue. "Everybody (on the Falcons) is asking me, 'What's it like in there? Is the stadium loud?' " Gonzalez told The Kansas City Star this week. "And, I'm like, 'Oh yeah, it's going to be crazy, it's opening day, they've got a pretty good football team wait until you hear the national anthem, and wait until you hear, after every first down, the whole crowd shouting, 'That's a Chiefs' first down!' " And Gonzalez admits there will be plenty of nostalgia churning inside him when he hears that crowd on Sunday. "The way (the fans) accepted me and the way they stuck with me throughout the years and the appreciation that they showed to me, I want to give it right back to them," Gonzalez said. "They made my time in Kansas City a wonderful experience. In fact, that's what I miss most about Kansas City. "The fan support, no doubt, was number one and the best in the league while I was there. Even when we were losing they were packing the house. To look up and see the number 88 jerseys was always a special thing to me and they are truly the best in the business as far as I'm concerned."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

2014 World Series: Game Three live blog

Memorabilia dealer at center of Todd Gurley scandal fired

Colt McCoy on learning he was starting ‘it’s about f—ing time’

Four Questions for Game 3 of the World Series

Percy Harvin not planning on changing

Ricky Williams: People are let down when I turn down weed

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

Randall Cobb: Contract situation played role in slow start

Notre Dame WR faces discipline if he hooked up with porn star?

PGA president calls Ian Poulter ‘lil girl’ for Nick Faldo comments

Belichick declines to address Revis' reported tardiness

Texas mayor delays Halloween for Friday night football game

Big trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks, possibly more

Blazers, Seahawks owner Paul Allen gives $100M to fight ebola

'FIFA 15' glitch turns goalie into headless giant with no arms

WATCH: HBO releases trailer of 'The Offseason: Kevin Durant'

Broncos corner snags INT, then takes pregnant wife to hospital

Gurley dressed up as a pirate for Halloween, yelled, 'Free me'

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Nick Saban pens touching letter after high school coach dies

NBA Replay Center readies for its debut on Opening Night

WATCH: Former NBAer delivers vicious flying elbow Down Under

RNS looking to add agents with existing client rosters

Would World Series win make the Giants a dynasty?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Lakers: Steve Nash out for season

Is Mack Brown SMU's best option?

Are sports leagues finally getting serious about domestic violence?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.