Originally posted on Fox Sports Kansas City  |  Last updated 9/6/12
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."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Grizzlies want Kevin Durant in free agency

WATCH: Karl-Anthony Towns throws down monster dunk

Dos Anjos: McGregor will 'break like a girl' at UFC 196

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell hit in groin by LeBron pass

Kobe Bryant has great response to Tyronn Lue story

Report: St. Louis Blues no longer interested in Jonathan Drouin

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Doc Rivers: Warriors have 'swagger' of defending champion

Damian Lillard added as a finalist for 2016 U.S. Olympic Team

Celtics legend Paul Pierce prepares for what ‘could be’ his last game in Boston

Free-agent WR Josh Morgan accidentally shot himself, charged with crime

Jon Beason retires after nine NFL seasons

Brewers Association sends Peyton Manning case of craft beer

Fighter says sex before fight partly to blame for loss

Kevin McHale: James Harden being out of shape hurt Rockets early

WATCH: Kevin Love re-injures left shoulder

Johnny Manziel’s grandpa on ex-girlfriend: ‘The girl has her problems’

Andy Dalton reunited with missing luggage thanks to social media

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson used to soak his ankles in urine

Why Tom Thibodeau needs to be in New York

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker