View Full Version : Whitlock: Conversing on the way to camp

08-07-2005, 07:37 AM
Conversing on the way to camp

RIVER FALLS, Wis. — The best part of Chiefs training camp is the seven-hour drive up I-35. You don’t fly to Minneapolis, rent a car and drive to River Falls. Nope.

You pack a car with preseason football magazines, a library of music CDs, junk food, and you and a couple of buddies discuss every aspect of the Chiefs’ organization while taking a leisurely drive through Iowa and a piece of Minnesota.

When you tire of second-guessing Carl Peterson or speculating about whether Ryan Sims will be a bigger bust than Trezelle Jenkins, you mix in other NFL topics, women, movies and music.

By the time you reach the conclusion that your buddy doesn’t know a thing about football, and you now understand why his ex-wife left him nine months into their marriage, you’re on I-94 East headed to Wisconsin and wondering why you just didn’t spend the extra money on a second hotel room.

It’s an awesome trip. This year I made the mistake of taking the journey with my good friend Jimmy Dodds. He’s a deputy sheriff. Most of his friends know him as “Lil’ Shawn Kemp,” because he has child-support payments going to Wyandotte County, Jackson County, Johnson County and Atlanta.

“I take care of my kids,” is Jimmy’s life philosophy.

Anyway, Jimmy and I headed out for training camp Saturday morning, a full day behind schedule, so that Daddy Dearest could quiet some baby’s mama’s drama before getting out of town.

Our debates were lively.

The most heated discussion centered on the greatest R&B slow jams of all time. It wasn’t until we reached Minnesota that we realized a glaring omission: Neither of us included an R. Kelly song in our top fives. I’m still wondering how H-Town’s “Emotions” didn’t make my top five.

My list: 1. Guy’s “Let’s Chill;” 2. New Edition’s “Can You Stand the Rain;” 3. Heatwave’s “Always and Forever;” 4. Jodeci’s “Freak’N U;” 5. Isley Brothers’s “Between the Sheets.”

Lil’ Kemp: 1. Tony Terry’s “When I’m With You;” 2. Larry Graham’s “One in a Million;” 3. Joe’s “Good Girls;” 4. SOS Band’s “Weekend Girl;” 5. Luther Vandross’s “If Only For One Night.”

The dumbest discussion: Jimmy believes there should be an open competition between Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson for the starting tailback position.

“Dude, positions should be open during training camp,” Jimmy complained. “You should have to earn your spot. And based on what Larry did at the end of the season, how can we be sure he’s not the better back?”

We can be sure because Priest has the superior contract, the superior resume, the NFL record for touchdowns in a season and because in professional sports you don’t earn playing time in practice. You earn playing time with your performance in games that matter. LJ hasn’t done squat in an NFL game that matters. It’s nice that he finished last season strongly. I’m happy for him and the Chiefs. But there was zero pressure on Johnson or any of the Chiefs the last month of the 2004 season.

What would you do with a million dollars discussion: This is the typical fantasy debate football fans have everywhere when they talk about things that will never happen.

“You know there’s a rumor that the Chiefs are going to sign Zach Thomas if the Dolphins cut him?” Jimmy said when we passed through Ames, Iowa. “Yeah, you put Zach with Derrick Johnson and Kendrell Bell and we have the coldest linebacking corps in the whole league.”

Of course, I still haven’t given up on Ty Law. The Jets are getting close to signing my favorite cornerback, and it’s only going to cost them about $6 million in guaranteed money. Why can’t the Chiefs come up with $7 million and pair Ty with Patrick Surtain? The Chiefs would have the best secondary in football.

The worst thing that could happen discussion: This is when Chiefs fans ponder what could make them give up on the season before October.

“If Trent Green gets hurt, it’s curtains,” Jimmy said before we hit Liberty. “The Chiefs ain’t never developed their own quarterback. You can’t go into a season counting on Todd Collins. It’s ridiculous. When was the last time we developed our own quarterback, Lenny Dawson?”

I’m afraid the Big Willies — Roaf and Shields — won’t make it through the season. Kansas City’s offensive line has carried this offense for three straight years. The starters have all managed to stay healthy. Now Will Shields is already having back problems. How long will Willie Roaf’s knees hold up?

Stranded on an island with just five movie DVDs to watch: Adult movies and TV series were outlawed.

My list: 1. “The Godfather”; 2. “Scarface”; 3. “Cooley High”; 4. “Good Will Hunting”; 5. “Fast Times At Ridgemont High.”

Lil’ Kemp: 1. “Color Purple”; 2. “Do The Right Thing”; 3. “Friday”; 4. “Harlem Knights”; 5. “Boyz N The Hood.”

Predictions for the Chiefs:

“They’re going to lose four or five games, that’s it,” Jimmy predicted when we crossed into Wisconsin. “I’ll say 11-5, with a top-10 defense. I’ll take it another step. They’re going to win the AFC West and play in the AFC title game.”

The schedule is a monster early – Jets, Raiders, Broncos and Eagles — but the Chiefs will rally late, winning their last four games – Cowboys, Giants, Chargers and Bengals — and finish 11-5. If the offensive line is healthy at the end of the season, the Chiefs reach the Super Bowl.


08-07-2005, 07:51 AM
If the offensive line is healthy at the end of the season, the Chiefs reach the Super Bowl.

The f#cking kiss of death. Thanks Jason. :cuss:

08-07-2005, 08:09 AM
Wow. That was totally not interesting. Was there seriously not anything else about which to write than this, Jay? Hell, I'd rather see the race card dropped. What a seriously disappointing article.

08-07-2005, 08:33 AM
Looks like JWhit needs to spend more time on the Planet. A bad Rain Man poll is better than most of the tripe he's offering up in his column these days.

the Talking Can
08-07-2005, 09:37 AM
I had forgotten about Whitlock.

Didn't miss him.

This article WAS boring and pointless.