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Tribal Warfare
12-29-2007, 09:35 PM
http://www.kansascity.com/sports/chiefs/story/423471.html


Chiefs’ Allen a changed man

This is a man on a shopping spree. You can see the determination on Jared Allen’s face. He pushes the shopping cart, gets some momentum going, hops on back. Whee! He rolls up to a rack of hats, a Christmas tree of Bass Pro Shop baseball caps, and he throws five of them in the cart. Naw, make it six. What the heck? Seven.

He pushes the cart, hops on, pushes it again, hops on, like the cart is an old-fashioned scooter, and he throws stuff in without thinking — boots, flannel, waders, a spotlight, more flannel, walkie-talkies, bow-hunting gear, a GPS system, more flannel, fishing video games, a jacket, camouflaged stuff, a cap with a an extra long bill, more flannel.

His cell phone rings. He doesn’t answer. There’s shopping to be done.

“I need ammo,” he says happily. The radio station, WHB, has given him a $1,000 shopping spree for appearances made, and it’s clear from the way his cart overflows that he’s gone way over the grand. Doesn’t matter. He pushes the cart. Hops on the back. Hangs on. Life is a shopping spree for Jared Allen.

“Whee!” he says.

•••

“Blowfish!” Jared Allen shouts. Yes. Blowfish. This is the story of a wild kid trying to grow up. It’s a work in progress. Or, if you prefer, it is a shopping spree — hairpin turns, sudden stops, impulse buys, thrilling rides, trips down the wrong aisle. Jared never could help himself. He has wanted to live it all.

In the last year, Jared Allen has worked himself into one of the most dominating defensive players in the NFL. He is going to his first Pro Bowl. He has a chance to lead the NFL in sacks, even though he was suspended for the first two games of the season after his 2006 trouble, when he picked up two DUIs in five months.

“My goal,” Jared says now, “is to go to the Hall of Fame.”

Jared never does anything small. He says he’s stopped drinking. He doesn’t eat fried foods (much). He avoids sugar. He does jujitsu training. He has a steady girlfriend. He’s 25 years old, and he’s lived a blurry life of partying, fighting, thrill-seeking, but now he’s calming down (sort of), settling down (kind of), slowing down (mostly), becoming more of a grownup, a man, this is what he says.

So what’s the deal with the blowfish? Allen has already decided that after going to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii, he will take his girlfriend to Japan. “Heck, when you’re that close, you might as well go,” he says. Only, he can’t decide whether or not to eat the blowfish. In Japan, he has heard, blowfish (Fugu) is the ultimate delicacy. The ultimate. The only problem — if you want to call it a problem — is that blowfish is poisonous. Chefs must be specially licensed to prepare it. And if they prepare it just wrong you die.

“Do I eat the blowfish?” he is asking friends. Friends say, “No.”

“But what if there’s a 50-50 shot that it’s the greatest thing I’ve ever tasted in my life?” he asks. “What if it’s so good that’s it’s worth risking death for?’

Yes. A work in progress.

•••

February. The drive to jail could not have stunk more. His best friend’s wife, Summer, was driving, and she kept getting turned around and lost. She was almost in tears. Jared’s best friend since the eighth grade, C.J. Youngkin, was noticeably quiet. And Jared — well, when you’re a football star without a driver’s license getting driven to jail by your best friends, yeah, that seems as good a time as any to reevaluate.

“You messed up good, kid,” his grandfather, Ray Allen, had told him. Ray Allen was in the Marines for a quarter century, and he wasn’t one of those climbers, one of those men who was in it for a rank and a pension, no sir. Ray Allen retired a captain. He was on the front lines. They called him Scarface. They called him Master Blaster. He was the baddest son of a gun Jared Allen ever knew, the one man who struck true fear in him.

“I used to hang out with him,” Jared says, “and I would think, ‘Thank you for not killing me with one hand.’ ”

Then, Jared got that second DUI in five months — the third DUI of his young life — and the phone rang, and it was Ray, who never called. Here’s what Jared remembers hearing: “You know we have your back. But you’ve hurt the family name. We’ve always had a good name. And you’ve sullied it. The question is: What are you going to do about it?”

Yeah, that set him back. What are you going to do about it? Then there was the ride to jail. The NFL suspension. The angry letters from people who had been hurt by drunk drivers. The Chiefs refused to offer him a contract extension. Jared had to ask himself the hardest question: Was he a bad person? Because he didn’t want to be a bad guy. He loved kids. He respected people. He was friendly to strangers. He played football hard. He did not want to hurt anyone.

He did not even love alcohol, not like that. No, he loved the life, you know, the nights out, the scene, the women, the thrills, the feeling of being the coolest guy in the room. Alcohol just came with the package.

“Man, you’re young, single, you have money, what do you do?” Jared asks. “You go out. You look for women. You go to bars. That’s just what you do. And I didn’t know when to say no. I did stupid, bad things. I didn’t mean anything by it. But that’s no excuse. I was just doing what I had done all my life.”

In that car, darkness of February, riding to jail, his grandfather’s voice echoing, he made the silent promise to himself. It was time to grow up. It wasn’t the first time he’d made the self-promise. He can’t tell you it will be the last. But work in progress.

•••

“Will you promise me?” Summer is asking. “Yeah, I promise,” Jared says. “I’ll be on my best behavior.”

Jared is waiting for a phone call from the NFL Network. This is Thursday. They want to talk to him about being a sideline reporter during the playoffs. Jared thinks that would be so cool. He likes doing TV. He likes being around the action. He likes playoff intensity. Last year, when the Chiefs lost in the playoffs to Indianapolis, Jared could not believe how fiery and emotional the game felt. It was like high-def football.

“You’ve got to get us back to the playoffs every year,” he told Chiefs coach Herm Edwards after the loss. “That was the ultimate rush.”

Well, as everybody knows, that playoff return isn’t happening. The Chiefs are one of the worst teams in football. So this could be the next best thing. Jared wants this job, wants to be on the sidelines, wants to see how these guys react to the playoffs. He wants it. But Summer knows Jared. She knows he can’t help himself. He will say something goofy. He will mess it up for himself. The phone rings. Summer glances over — best behavior. This is serious. Jared nods. He answers.

NFL Network guy says: “So, Jared, I guess you know what we want you to do.”

Jared: “Yeah, you know, I’ve never tried male dancing, but I think I can probably give it a shot.”

You can imagine the look on Summer’s face. Jared has seen that look a lot in his life.

•••

Eight years ago. Lots of colleges wanted Jared Allen when he was at Live Oak High in Morgan Hill, Calif. Jared can’t even remember all the schools — there was Colorado, Washington, Michigan State, Fresno State. Stanford even called once. Stanford. He still gets a kick out of that.

“Would you be willing to take the SAT again?” the Stanford recruiter asked.

“To tell you the truth,” Jared said, “no.”

The colleges stopped calling after he got thrown out of high school. Well, he didn’t exactly get thrown out. It was what public relations people like to call “a mutual decision.” The issue was a prank involving stolen yearbooks. Allen, who is never afraid to own up to his mistakes, insists he wasn’t really involved. But he did end up with a couple of the yearbooks. And he appreciates that, as a troublemaker, he was a convenient scapegoat.

“You know you’re (bleeping) up my life,” he apparently told the principal in the mutual-decision meeting. Not surprisingly, this did not move anyone. Allen went to Los Gatos High his senior year. Only Idaho State stuck with him. He went there. He hated it.

“People wanted to fight us just because we were from California,” his friend C.J. says.

“We might have instigated some of it,” Allen says.

“Yeah,” C.J. says. “Maybe.”

Allen got into fights off the field. He once got into some trouble with a police officer. He also got into fights on the field, too — he got thrown out of a game after punching a guy in the face. “I’m a jerk on the football field,” Jared says.

“What do you mean on the football field?” C.J. says.

Funny, he hated it then. But he likes Idaho State now. He remembers fondly the 4-inch-thick sheet of ice that would form on his front windshield. He laughs about much fun he was able to have in Pocatello, Idaho. He pleads guilty to the crazy times and college mistakes, but he did win the Buck Buchanan Award for being the best defensive player in Division I-AA. He did get drafted in the fourth round by Kansas City, even if the Chiefs saw him, at least partly, as a long snapper.

“We’ll find out if he can (long snap) at this level,” Chiefs GM Carl Peterson said then.

Then, Jared went out and led the team in sacks. The next year, he did it again, and this time also forced seven fumbles, one shy of Derrick Thomas’ team record. He did, against the odds, against the opinions of all those people who thought he would never amount to anything, become an NFL star.

“Ever since I was 8 years old, I wanted to be an NFL star,” Allen says. “I was definitely going to enjoy it.”

•••

July. So, Jared stood there waiting to see the first bull. He had promised his buddies he would not start running until he saw the bull. But, he warned them, when he saw that first bull, he wasn’t waiting around for them, no, he was gone, look out, he was going to show every bit of his 4.5 speed, he was going to unleash every ounce of the athleticism that once made Chiefs defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham shout out during a late-night film session, “Holy cow, this kid’s got everything.”

He waited. He would tell it like so: He was feeling that rush, you know, that thrilling feeling he had craved ever since he was a kid. So few things ever really scared him. He was in Pamplona, Spain, about to run with the bulls, about to risk life and limb and, he says, he was cold sober. There was the first bull. See ya. He was off, full speed, like he was chasing Philip Rivers, and his heart was pounding, and he looked to the right and he saw a bull, two feet away, running with him, eyeing him, sizing him up, and he felt that petrified fear, loved it, and he watched the bull gore someone else, and he felt.

“Man, that was awesome,” he told friends on the plane ride back home to America. He had to get back for teammate Brodie Croyle’s wedding in Jackson, Miss.

“You ran before you saw the bull,” his friends said.

“Did not.” “Yeah, you did.”

“Shut up,” Jared said. “You know I waited. Hell, I’m still crazy.”

•••

The doorman rattles the door handle — Jared has locked himself out of his $700-a-month apartment. He’s not sure how he did that since he’s not the type to lock doors. He has this crazy notion that the old guy down the hall wanders into his apartment sometimes. Maybe that guy’s locked the door.

“It’s been a pleasure meeting you,” the doorman says. “Will you be back next year?”

“I don’t know,” Jared says. Then he smiles. “No,” he says.

Jared thinks a lot about leaving Kansas City. He thinks it would be good to get a fresh start, get a little further away from his past, play for a team that isn’t facing a tough rebuilding process. And, yeah, there are some hard feelings. Peterson refused to give him a contract extension before this season. He still feels betrayed.

“I never held out,” Jared says. “I played out my contract, even though I was obviously playing way above that level. Larry (Johnson) did what he had to do; he held out and got his money. But I gave this organization my all, and they didn’t give me their all.”

Jared knows the score. Peterson said plainly that after the off-the-field troubles, it was too risky to give Allen a long-term deal. Peterson has also made it clear that he will not let Jared go, even if he has to slap on the franchise tag — sort of the NFL’s golden handcuffs. The franchise tag would give Jared a lot of money next year, but he would not be allowed to negotiate with anyone else.

“Yeah, I expect that,” Jared says. “I expect the worst now. Look, I know I brought my troubles on myself. I’m not blaming anyone else. But loyalty is a big thing with me. I have stuck with this organization through thick and thin. I have played my heart out for the Chiefs. And to me, the way I see it, the Chiefs showed no faith in me.”

That feeling of betrayal is a big part of Allen’s dominance this season. He worked out so hard in the offseason — mostly jujitsu and ultimate fighting training — that he had to eat several meals a day just to keep on the weight. He started watching film of his opponents obsessively. He changed his whole attitude.

He had eight tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and two pass deflections his first game. He was ready to dominate. And, often, he did dominate. He had 10 tackles and two sacks against Oakland. He knocked down four of Peyton Manning’s passes and had two tackles for losses against Indianapolis. He had two sacks and a forced fumble last week in Detroit, when there was nothing but pride at stake.

And all along, he kept telling himself” “I’ll show them.” This was his sense of purpose.

“It’s no fun playing on a losing team,” he says. “But I’m not going to let that ruin what I’m accomplishing. Here’s what you learn in the NFL: It’s a team game, but you have to be a little selfish. You help your team by being the best player you can be. I guess that’s another part of growing up. You have to look out for yourself.”

•••

His drink of choice this night is an Arnold Palmer — half iced tea, half lemonade — and he talks about going out to a gun club afterward to take a little target practice.

“My life’s boring now,” Jared says.

“The wildest thing we do is play (the video game) ‘Rock band,’ ” C.J. says.

“We’re getting old,” Jared says.

Then Jared talks about the time he went skydiving, and how he felt that rush for a week. He wants to do that again. He talks about going to New Zealand to hunt this offseason. He talks about going to play golf on St. Andrews and getting a role in a movie (“I want to be the ultimate cliche,” he says) and being in a rodeo (despite what people believe, he’s never actually been in a rodeo) and fighting jujitsu and going bow hunting and visiting the troops in Iraq and playing the drums on stage with one of his country music idols. Boring isn’t the word. The shopping spree of life is still rolling.

“Yeah, I still believe life is to be lived,” he says. “I’m not going to change that. I don’t drink, but I still go out. There’s so much stuff I want to do. I’m not going to miss out.”

He laughs: “It’s funny, when you drink and act like a fool, everybody tells stories about you. When you don’t drink and act like a fool, everybody just says: ‘Oh, look at the way he’s embracing life.’ That’s me. I don’t drink. I’m still embracing life.’”

With that, his phone rings. It’s his girlfriend. She’s apparently a little peeved. He was supposed to call her before, but he let it slip his mind. He was on that Bass Pro shopping spree and all, and he got distracted. Jared makes some excuses, tries to laugh it off, then they hang up. It’s time to go get some dinner.

“Hold on one second,” he says, and he calls her back. They talk privately for a few minutes, and then he returns.

“I had to apologize,” he says. “I mean, that’s what grownups do, right?”

BCD
12-29-2007, 09:38 PM
Doesn't Allen suck?

Rain Man
12-29-2007, 09:41 PM
I love Jared Allen and I hate Carl Peterson, but it's Allen's fault that he didn't get the long-term contract last year. I'm sure that Peterson wouldn't have given it to him anyway, because I hate Peterson, but Allen gave him a convenient excuse.

I just hope that next year I see Allen on the sidelines and not Peterson. The opposite may be more likely, though, which is why I hate Peterson.

I hate Peterson.

Tribal Warfare
12-29-2007, 09:41 PM
With that, his phone rings. It’s his girlfriend. She’s apparently a little peeved. He was supposed to call her before, but he let it slip his mind. He was on that ]Bass Pro shopping spree and all, and he got distracted. Jared makes some excuses, tries to laugh it off, then they hang up. It’s time to go get some dinner.

“Hold on one second,” he says, and he calls her back. They talk privately for a few minutes, and then he returns.

“I had to apologize,” he says. “I mean, that’s what grownups do, right?”


I wonder ......... LMAO (ChiefsPlanet humor)

Douche Baggins
12-29-2007, 09:45 PM
No way Allen runs a 4.5.

Tribal Warfare
12-29-2007, 09:46 PM
No way Allen runs a 4.5.


if I remember correctly on a few draft bios said he ran a 4.6

KC Tattoo
12-29-2007, 09:48 PM
The only chance we have at signing JA to a long term deal and for him to want to be here is for Carl Peterson to get fired or just go away. This deal reminds me alot of the Neal Smith situation. Um JA deserves a big time contract and he is worth the money for the long term for this team. I don't blame JA for this, he has proven his worth and Carl Peterson is just an arogant asshole.

el borracho
12-29-2007, 09:51 PM
I hope Allen gets 7 sacks tomorrow. Peterson would shit himself!

Douche Baggins
12-29-2007, 09:52 PM
I hope Allen gets 7 sacks tomorrow. Peterson would shit himself!

Hell, he could. New York's left tackle, Ferguson, has given up 11.75 sacks this year. Brutal.

I still don't think Allen is worth a long-term deal, at least not 70 million. If they can sign him to the deal LJ got, I'd be in favor of that. For now, though, he should be franchised until he proves this year wasn't a fluke.

KC Tattoo
12-29-2007, 10:05 PM
Hell, he could. New York's left tackle, Ferguson, has given up 11.75 sacks this year. Brutal.

I still don't think Allen is worth a long-term deal, at least not 70 million. If they can sign him to the deal LJ got, I'd be in favor of that. For now, though, he should be franchised until he proves this year wasn't a fluke.

A fluke? JA has gotten better every year and he will be out to prove himself again next year. He is getting better, he is doing more in rushing defense too. JA has been double teamed for most of the games. I don't see this year as a fluke.

el borracho
12-29-2007, 10:10 PM
Jared Allen will look like a monster once we get S. Ellis in the middle or C. Long on the other side.

Zeke Ziggle
12-29-2007, 10:23 PM
He did get drafted in the fourth round by Kansas City, even if the Chiefs saw him, at least partly, as a long snapper.

“We’ll find out if he can (long snap) at this level,” Chiefs GM Carl Peterson said then.


I'm not sure whats worse. The fact that a guy who Carl thought could be our long snapper leads the team in sacks or that he drafted a long snapper in the 4th.

blueballs
12-29-2007, 10:24 PM
I'm impressed
what the hell is he wasting his time in KC for
Posnanski is good

unothadeal
12-29-2007, 10:28 PM
I'm not sure whats worse. The fact that a guy who Carl thought could be our long snapper leads the team in sacks or that he drafted a long snapper in the 4th.
ROFL ROFL

chiefbowe82
12-29-2007, 10:58 PM
I'm not sure whats worse. The fact that a guy who Carl thought could be our long snapper leads the team in sacks or that he drafted a long snapper in the 4th.

what was wrong with gammon at the time that we needed a long snapper in the 4th round

Extra Point
12-29-2007, 11:06 PM
what was wrong with gammon at the time that we needed a long snapper in the 4th round

There has to be 4.5 or 4.6 reasons why.

alanm
12-30-2007, 07:32 AM
Jared Allen will look like a monster once we get S. Ellis in the middle or C. Long on the other side.
While that would be nice and all. And I would want the Chiefs to take the best player available regardless of position. I fully expect them to go O Line with their first pick.

the Talking Can
12-30-2007, 07:44 AM
sign LJ
don't sign Allen


smart way to build a team......

KC Tattoo
12-30-2007, 07:57 AM
While that would be nice and all. And I would want the Chiefs to take the best player available regardless of position. I fully expect them to go O Line with their first pick.

Yea, the Chiefs will definitely reach for an O-lineman regardless if the Incredible Hulk was was there for DT.

philfree
12-30-2007, 08:41 AM
I love the guy but he's still a high risk player. I hope Carl shows him the money but if Jared thinks he's grown up he's fooling himself.

PhilFree:arrow: