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Count Zarth
03-04-2007, 02:11 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/football/nfl/kansas_city_chiefs/16829363.htm

Lewis thrilled to join Hall

Four-time Pro Bowl cornerback was a hit on field, but rubbed some people wrong off it.

By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star

“If this was a surprise, it’s only due to the fact it wasn’t the most pleasant departure ever.”

If the issue was only his performance in 11 stellar seasons for the Chiefs, Albert Lewis never would have worried about his entrance into the team’s Hall of Fame.

Lewis was arguably the best Chiefs cornerback ever, a four-time Pro Bowler who was a key figure in the franchise’s resurrection under Marty Schottenheimer and Carl Peterson.

But Lewis was often a controversial figure from the time he joined the Chiefs as a third-round pick in 1983 to the time he walked out the door. He was part of the player coup that led to John Mackovic’s firing after the 1986 season, conducted an acrimonious contract holdout in 1990 and issued some blistering criticism of Peterson when he signed as a free agent with the Raiders in 1994.

Lewis feared the bad blood generated by those episodes might overshadow his considerable accomplishments at cornerback.

Lewis, it turns out, never had to worry. He was introduced as this year’s inductee to the Chiefs Hall of Fame on Saturday night at the annual 101 banquet at the Westin Crown Center Hotel.

“I had hoped this would happen,” Lewis said. “It’s a great honor. But I didn’t leave Kansas City in the best of circumstances. I’m sorry about that. It was a different era then. There was a lot of strife in the labor movements in those days.

“If this was a surprise, it’s only due to the fact it wasn’t the most pleasant departure ever.”

None of this is to suggest the strong-willed Lewis would change a thing, even if it meant his exclusion from the Chiefs Hall of Fame.

“There isn’t a whole lot for me to feel bad about,” he said. “Change does not come without controversy. At that time, there were very few friendly departures.

“All of those things were necessary. Everything I did I based on principle. I don’t think any of those things were wrong, but I’m not happy with the way I did some of them.”

In particular, Lewis said he regretted taking part in the player meeting that led to Mackovic’s firing.

“I felt bad about that until I made amends with him later on,” he said.

That stubbornness, as frustrating as it could be for the Chiefs, was also the quality that made him what he was as a player.

Lewis is 6-foot-2, a size considered to be too tall for a competent cornerback.

“He turned out to be our shutdown corner,” said safety Lloyd Burruss, a Chiefs teammate of Lewis’ for several seasons. “But he had to learn the ropes when he came in as a rookie. He was so frustrated at not being able to get the techniques down right away, but that just showed everybody how much he cared about being the best he could be. He really took pride in that stuff. He had the tools but he honed them by really studying the other guy.”

Lewis quickly mastered the nuances of the position and became a starter in his second season. He used his size and uncommonly long arms as weapons against opposing receivers.

“He was the tallest cornerback I’ve ever seen,” said safety Kevin Porter, another former Chiefs teammate and now head coach of the Arena League’s Kansas City Brigade.

“A lot of tall guys have trouble turning their hips, but not Albert. He had just perfect technique. He couldn’t have gotten away with that if he didn’t. But he had that and he had those long arms and he came to play every day. He would play that press coverage all game and he made a lot of days miserable for a lot of receivers.”

Lewis’ career soared after the arrival of Schottenheimer as head coach in 1989. Lewis was built for the one-on-one coverage Schottenheimer asked from his cornerbacks.

With Lewis and fellow Chiefs Hall of Fame members Deron Cherry, Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith, Schottenheimer built one of the NFL’s sturdiest defenses.

“The one thing Albert was so good at was getting a jam on the guy at the line and then turning and running with him step by step,” Cherry said.

“It was very rare to see a cornerback with that size. He could battle the big receivers. But he also had the range and the speed to stay with the smaller, quicker receivers. He had an innate ability to read and react and make up distances.”

Lewis paired at cornerback for much of his Chiefs career with Kevin Ross. The two were among the best corner tandems of their time and were Pro Bowlers after each of Schottenheimer’s first two seasons.

“The thing about playing against us was that it was a total contrast,” Ross said. “He was 6-2. I’m 5-9. You’re not going to treat a 5-9 guy like you treat a 6-2 guy, so the other teams had to prepare for two totally different styles. That was in our favor.

“He was great at getting the ball away from the receiver. He had those long arms and when he would swat at the ball, he would come down with a lot of force.”

Lewis was also a proficient kick blocker early in his career, his long arms allowing him access to punts. Lewis blocked 10 kicks with the Chiefs. Four were returned for touchdowns.

“He was so quick to the ball,” Cherry said. “Those guys on the outside always thought they could get their hands on him. Usually they were wrong.”

Lewis left the Chiefs and finished his career in 1998 after five seasons with the Raiders. He was an assistant coach for a time under Schottenheimer with the Chargers and now lives on more than 300 acres in Centreville, Miss., where he raises and trains race horses.

Like all residents of the Gulf Coast region, his life was disrupted by the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.

“I came out of it OK as far as life and death,” Lewis said. “I was one of the lucky ones. I’m back and fully operational. Everything was just torn up for a little while. It took awhile to recover. Horses are all I’ve ever known other than football.”

HemiEd
03-04-2007, 03:51 AM
Albert was the biggest reason the Chiefs made the playoffs after their long absence in 1986.

Spott
03-04-2007, 06:03 AM
He should get in the hall just for publicly criticising Carl.

boogblaster
03-04-2007, 06:58 AM
Lewis was is and will be a class-act ....

Guru
03-04-2007, 07:08 AM
He became a Raider. NO.

Skip Towne
03-04-2007, 07:19 AM
One of the greatest Chiefs ever.

Frazod
03-04-2007, 08:12 AM
He became a Raider. NO.

I'm not happy about it either, but this certainly isn't as offensive as inducting Bronco Neil. :grr:

StcChief
03-04-2007, 08:17 AM
Great to hear. Chiefs org recognizes his accomplishments

Going to the Raiders well it's a Business. I don't like it either but.,,,,

Are we happy Marcus Allen is in NFL/Chief HOF with Chief Red when he was a Faider before ?????

Guru
03-04-2007, 08:21 AM
I'm not happy about it either, but this certainly isn't as offensive as inducting Bronco Neil. :grr:
Yeah, I don't like that one either. But at the time, becoming a Raider was the ultimate slap in the face.

Frazod
03-04-2007, 08:25 AM
Yeah, I don't like that one either. But at the time, becoming a Raider was the ultimate slap in the face.
I don't recall Lewis dissing the fans like Bronco Neil did.

Also, Lewis enjoyed zero success with Oakland. He was never actively involved in cheating that resulted in us being bounced from the playoffs and sending the Raiders to a Super Bowl.

gblowfish
03-04-2007, 08:46 AM
I'm against it.

When Albert was here he was my favorite Chief. He was a great player.

And yes, he crossed swords with King Carl. But so did a lot of other players, and they didn't defect to the evil Raiders. As a free agent, he could have chosen to play anywhere. He chose to be a Raider. When he did that, he was dead to me.

I can't abide any Chiefs player who willfully chooses to leave KC and play for the Raiders or Donks. Sorry, for me it goes beyond just "business." It's a slap in the face to the fans, and a disgrace to our best players who fought with everything they had against the Raiders and Donks over the years. Hell, why not put Ken Stabler and John Elway on our ring? They both had lots of really good games in Arrowhead, and sure played well here. C'mon people, do you think the Packers have any ex-Bears on their ring? Think the Cowboys have any ex-Redskins on their ring?

It's the same reason I was totally against putting Neilbonics on the ring. I'd be against Dale Carter on the ring for the same reason. But hey, after they put Steadman up there, the ring is totally meaningless to me now anyway. Why not put Tony DiPardo, Bill Grigsby and Warpaint the Horse up there too?

On the day they induct Albert, I'll get up, turn my back, go up to the concession stand, get a beer, take a leak, and come back to my seat. I won't cheer for a guy who ended his career with the Raiders.

Chiefs who willfully became Raiders or Donks are not worthy to be included with players like Len Dawson, Willie Lanier, Derreck Thomas or Bobby Bell.
That's just the way I feel.

Skip Towne
03-04-2007, 08:47 AM
The Chiefs HOF doesn't mean much to me. Not only does it have Raiders and Donkeys in it but it has Jack Steadman. The man who engineered 20 years of losing. (The seats were empty as well)

Frazod
03-04-2007, 08:51 AM
I'm against it.

When Albert was here he was my favorite Chief. He was a great player.

And yes, he crossed swords with King Carl. But so did a lot of other players, and they didn't defect to the evil Raiders. As a free agent, he could have chosen to play anywhere. He chose to be a Raider. When he did that, he was dead to me.

I can't abide any Chiefs player who willfully chooses to leave KC and play for the Raiders or Donks. Sorry, for me it goes beyond just "business." It's a slap in the face to the fans, and a disgrace to our best players who fought with everything they had against the Raiders and Donks over the years. Hell, why not put Ken Stabler and John Elway on our ring? They both had lots of really good games in Arrowhead, and sure played well here. C'mon people, do you think the Packers have any ex-Bears on their Ring? Think the Cowboys have any ex-Redskins on their ring?

It's the same reason I was totally against putting Neilbonics on the ring. I'd be against Dale Carter on the ring for the same reason. But hey, after they put Steadman up there, the ring is totally worthless meaningless to me now anyway. Why not put Tony DiPardo, Bill Grigsby and Warpaint the Horse up there too?

On the day they induct Albert, I'll get up, turn my back, go up to the concession stand, get a beer, take a leak, and come back to my seat. I won't cheer for a guy who ended his career with the Raiders. Just can't do it.

Chiefs who willfully became Raiders or Donks are not worthy to be included with players like Len Dawson, Willie Lanier, Derreck Thomas or Bobby Bell.
That's just the way I feel.

I was at the game when they inducted Bronco Neil. I held up a Bronco sticker with a red circle/slash over it and booed throughout the length of the ceremony. Unfortunately, I doubt if anybody heard it from my nosebleed seats. I know you have great seats - were there people booing loud enough to be heard on the field? God, I hope so.

And I agree, the Ring took a serious hit when that traitor scumbag was inducted. Might as well put Elway in, too. :shake:

jlscorpio
03-04-2007, 08:56 AM
IIRC, Lewis was on one of the pre-game shows before his first game against the Chiefs, and said he always wanted to be a Raider anyways. He was dead to me from that point on.

gblowfish
03-04-2007, 09:03 AM
I was at the game when they inducted Bronco Neil. I held up a Bronco sticker with a red circle/slash over it and booed throughout the length of the ceremony. Unfortunately, I doubt if anybody heard it from my nosebleed seats. I know you have great seats - were there people booing loud enough to be heard on the field? God, I hope so.

And I agree, the Ring took a serious hit when that traitor scumbag was inducted. Might as well put Elway in, too. :shake:

I got up and took a whizz during the NeilBonics thing, so I don't know how many people boo'ed him. I didn't want to watch it.

A lot of Chiefs fans have no sense of history, or don't care about this kind of stuff. They see the game as just a day of entertainment, like going to a rock concert. I'm sure a lot of current Chiefs fans don't even know who Albert Lewis is, or particulary care who he is. These are the same kind of fans who come out of the stadium laughing and cutting up after a Chiefs loss. That's always bothered me a lot, but some people don't care that much if we lose.

I guess since football has become such a business, maybe things like tradition and rivalries don't mean squat to a majority of fans. Those kind of detached fans have the attention span of an Irish Setter, and only remember what happened in last week's game. It means more to me. Maybe it shouldn't. Every year I have to re-evaluate my emotional attachment to the Chiefs. You can only get hit in the face with a frying pan so many times before you learn to duck.

milkman
03-04-2007, 09:08 AM
I'm against it.

When Albert was here he was my favorite Chief. He was a great player.

And yes, he crossed swords with King Carl. But so did a lot of other players, and they didn't defect to the evil Raiders. As a free agent, he could have chosen to play anywhere. He chose to be a Raider. When he did that, he was dead to me.

I can't abide any Chiefs player who willfully chooses to leave KC and play for the Raiders or Donks. Sorry, for me it goes beyond just "business." It's a slap in the face to the fans, and a disgrace to our best players who fought with everything they had against the Raiders and Donks over the years. Hell, why not put Ken Stabler and John Elway on our ring? They both had lots of really good games in Arrowhead, and sure played well here. C'mon people, do you think the Packers have any ex-Bears on their ring? Think the Cowboys have any ex-Redskins on their ring?

It's the same reason I was totally against putting Neilbonics on the ring. I'd be against Dale Carter on the ring for the same reason. But hey, after they put Steadman up there, the ring is totally meaningless to me now anyway. Why not put Tony DiPardo, Bill Grigsby and Warpaint the Horse up there too?

On the day they induct Albert, I'll get up, turn my back, go up to the concession stand, get a beer, take a leak, and come back to my seat. I won't cheer for a guy who ended his career with the Raiders.

Chiefs who willfully became Raiders or Donks are not worthy to be included with players like Len Dawson, Willie Lanier, Derreck Thomas or Bobby Bell.
That's just the way I feel.

Lewis was my favorite when he was a Chief, also.

But when he signed with the Raiders, he could kiss Al's hairy white dead ass as far as I'm concerned.

Neither he or Smith have any ****ing business on the Chiefs RoF.

Because of those guys, and Steadman, I really don't give a rat's ass about the RoF anymore, either.

Raiderhader
03-04-2007, 10:24 AM
IIRC, Lewis was on one of the pre-game shows before his first game against the Chiefs, and said he always wanted to be a Raider anyways. He was dead to me from that point on.



That is what I remember too. Perhaps that was just a way of slapping the front office in the face, I don't know. But regardless, saying that moved his departure to Oakland up from kick in the nuts to dagger in the heart. He is even more dead to me than Niel Smith. F#ck him.

Ugly Duck
03-04-2007, 10:32 AM
Albert Lewis was a Chief? Are you kidding me? The guy was a Raider... how the heck are you guys going to claim our Raider guy in the Chiefs hall of fame? Is this serious? I'm gonna check to see if our Albert Lewis ever played for the Red Devils of KC....

OK - Well I'll be durned - I guess he did play for you at one point. He was a great Raider anyway, in spite of that!

Guru
03-04-2007, 10:54 AM
I don't recall Lewis dissing the fans like Bronco Neil did.

Also, Lewis enjoyed zero success with Oakland. He was never actively involved in cheating that resulted in us being bounced from the playoffs and sending the Raiders to a Super Bowl.
Well I cant argue with that one.

ChiefsFanatic
03-04-2007, 11:03 AM
He became a Raider. NO.

I agree. It makes me sick to my stomach.

Coach
03-04-2007, 11:18 AM
:shake:

Hopefully whoever the new GM would have the balls to remove those three (Smith, Lewis, and Steadman) off the HOF Ring. I know I would do it.

Coach
03-04-2007, 11:31 AM
Here's a good question. Would ya'll want to see Marcus Allen up there?

milkman
03-04-2007, 11:33 AM
Here's a good question. Would ya'll want to see Marcus Allen up there?

No.

gblowfish
03-04-2007, 11:53 AM
Just to show I'm not being unreasonable, let's look at some other NFL rivalries.
Probably the most famous are:
Packers/Bears
Cowboys/Redskins

Here's the "Ring of Fame" entrants in the Cowboys/Redskins:

Cowboys Ring of Honor
74 Bob Lilly
17 Don Meredith
43 Don Perkins
54 Chuck Howley
20 Mel Renfro
12 Roger Staubach
55 Lee Roy Jordan
HC Tom Landry
33 Tony Dorsett
54 Randy White
22 Bob Hayes
GM Tex Schramm
43 Cliff Harris
70 Rayfield Wright
8 Troy Aikman
88 Michael Irvin
22 Emmitt Smith

Redskins Hall of Stars
Arthur "Dutch" Bergman,
80 Gene Brito DE 1951-58
65 Dave Butz DT 1975-88
Jack Kent Cooke, Team Owner
37 Pat Fischer DB 1968-77
68 Russ Grimm OG 1981-91
55 Chris Hanburger LB 1965-78
56 Len Hauss C 1964-77
66 Joe Jacoby OT 1981-93
47 Dick James RB 1955-63
22 Charlie Justice RB 1950-54
17 Billy Kilmer QB 1971-78
14 Eddie LeBaron QB 1952-59
Vince Lombardi, Head Coach
23 Brig Owens SS 1966-77
65 Vince Promuto G 1960-70
87 Jerry Smith TE 1965-77
17 Doug Williams QB 1986-89
Edward Bennett Williams, Team Owner

Notice that in Dallas, there's no former Redskins. In Washington, there's no former Cowboys.

Let's look at Green Bay and Chicago:

James Lofton
Forrest Gregg
Mike Michalske
Willie Wood
Jim Ringo
Herb Adderley
Clarke Hinkle
Cal Hubbard
Henry Jordan
Tony Canadeo
Don Hutson
Curley Lambeau
Johnny (Blood) McNally
Arnie Herber
Vince Lombardi
Willie Davis
Ray Nitschke
Bart Starr
Jim Taylor
Paul Hornung
Reggie White

Chicago Bears Ring of Honor
3 - Bronko Nagurski
5 - George McAfee
7 - George Halas
28 - Willie Galimore
34 - Walter Payton
40 - Gale Sayers
41 - Brian Piccolo
42 - Sid Luckman
51 - Dick Butkus
56 - Bill Hewitt
61 - Bill George
66 - Clyde Turner
77 - Red Grange

Again, in Green Bay, no former Bears. In Chicago, no former Packers.

Here's the Donk's Ring:
Steve Atwater
Gary Zimmerman
Karl Mecklenburg
Dennis Smith
JohnElway
Louis Wright
Tom Jackson
Randy Gradishar
Craig Morton
Haven Moses
Jim Turner
Billy Thompson
Frank Tripucka
Charley Johnson
Paul Smith
Floyd Little
Rich Jackson
Lionel Taylor
Goose Gonsoulin


Oakland has former players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but they have no stadium ring. Why? Everyone knows the Raiders have no honor.

So, what does this tell us?
Other teams DON'T HONOR PLAYERS WHO DEFECT TO A RIVAL!!!

Another reason why the Chiefs front office doesn't get it.

Sully
03-04-2007, 01:14 PM
When I was in high school Albert Lewis and Kevin Ross put on a football camp every year at Jewell that I went to. It was a lot like the Bill Maas camps. I was a lineman/ LB in HS, but I actually learned a lot from those guys, believe it or not. Albert Lewis was teaching disruptive Special teams stuff, and how to bock kicks, and for some reason I really picked that up. My senior year in HS I blocked something like 9 kicks.

Not to sound like Al Bundy living the HS years... thats just my Lewis memory (in addition to watching him).

DaWolf
03-04-2007, 02:33 PM
SCREW Albert Lewis and all traitors like him.

And no, I never warmed up to Marcus Allen either. It was nice to see Al Davis squirm but Allen was never a true Chief to me, he was always tainted...

Deberg_1990
03-04-2007, 02:37 PM
I got up and took a whizz during the NeilBonics thing, so I don't know how many people boo'ed him. I didn't want to watch it.

A lot of Chiefs fans have no sense of history, or don't care about this kind of stuff. They see the game as just a day of entertainment, like going to a rock concert. I'm sure a lot of current Chiefs fans don't even know who Albert Lewis is, or particulary care who he is. These are the same kind of fans who come out of the stadium laughing and cutting up after a Chiefs loss. That's always bothered me a lot, but some people don't care that much if we lose.

I guess since football has become such a business, maybe things like tradition and rivalries don't mean squat to a majority of fans. Those kind of detached fans have the attention span of an Irish Setter, and only remember what happened in last week's game. It means more to me. Maybe it shouldn't. Every year I have to re-evaluate my emotional attachment to the Chiefs. You can only get hit in the face with a frying pan so many times before you learn to duck.


Hey George....i used to feel exactly the same way that you do but then i gave it up.

Over the past 15 years or so (roughly since free agency became what it is today) I realized the players themselves dont have any more loyalty or pride in the uniform they choose to wear. Its all about the $$$$$$ to them.

Count Zarth
03-04-2007, 03:13 PM
Next year: Rich Gannon!