View Full Version : Chiefs Babb: Welcome to The Show with Chiefs’ Bowe

Tribal Warfare
08-03-2008, 01:55 AM

Welcome to The Show with Chiefs’ Bowe
The Kansas City Star

RIVER FALLS, Wis. | Dwayne Bowe has something to say. It must be important. Why else would the Chiefs receiver leave practice early and walk to a lectern after the Chiefs’ first training camp session?

Bowe’s expression is solemn. His hands are on his hips.

This is the lectern that coach Herm Edwards stands behind each day after practice. Edwards speaks to reporters from here, gives updates on injuries and goings on, and sometimes makes light of this game they’re all here to play. It’s a serious place, though, this lectern. Reporters are an unforgiving sort.

The cameras and notebooks are ready when Bowe walks up and grips the sides of the lectern. He leans toward the microphone.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” Bowe says, “I am honored to be here today.”

That’s when Bowe bursts into laughter. He walks away with his fist over his mouth. He’s still laughing when he turns around. This is about as serious as it gets for Bowe.

“That’s just a sample,” he says, “of what you’re going to see from The Show.”

• • •

“The …,” he says, panting, “is a little … out of breath. A little … winded.”

Bowe is sitting on the trainer’s table now, a towel over his head. The Chiefs just finished an afternoon practice, and Bowe is trying to decide which version of himself he’s going to show you. And he needs a moment … to slip … into character.

It’s hard work being this guy and that guy, playing these roles and keeping them all fresh. That’s what Bowe does, saying he wants to reinvent himself. Like Madonna.

“The” is the most extreme of his incarnations. It’s short for “The Show,” which used to be the extreme. And he’ll remind you, the emphasis is on …

“The,” he says, “with a little accent over the E.”

He has caught his breath and is ready now. Bowe drops the towel at his side. He wants to introduce you to the voices in his head. There’s Dwayne Bowe and D-Bowe and — well, maybe it’s better if he explains it.

“If I have a great day,” he says, “I’ll be Dwayne Bowe. If I have an awesome day, I’ll be D-Bowe. If I have an excellent day, I’ll be The Show.”

In Bowe’s world, there are no bad days. No days when Edwards calls Bowe over and tells him to worry about catching the ball, kid, and stop flexing for those cameras. There are no days when Bowe’s teammate and distant cousin, Bobby Sippio, grabs Bowe’s elbow and reminds him that, you know, some people don’t like it when an unproven and young receiver howls or sings after catching a football near the sideline. And no days when someone tells Bowe to knock off the act because the Chiefs don’t have much to swagger and smile about after going 4-12 last year.

No, that’s not any of Bowe’s concern. He’s here to play football and have fun doing it. Like him or not, here he comes.

“I’m going to continue to put on the show, no matter what,” he says. “If they do tell me to stop, I won’t. Even if they’re going to fire me, I’ll go to another team and put the show on.”

• • •

Bowe catches a ball in the end zone and notices a few fans looking at him. He throws the ball back toward the huddle and freezes, standing there for five seconds with his right arm raised and his hand snapping up and down.

A day later, Bowe notices a photographer pointing a camera in Bowe’s direction. Bowe stops and offers three bodybuilder poses before rejoining his teammates.

There’s something familiar about this show. Haven’t we seen it before? Don’t other receivers play the look-at-me game, and doesn’t it irritate some fans and teammates? Dwayne Bowe or D-Bowe or The Show or whomever, well, he wants to be clear: He’s not in this to be the next Chad Johnson or Terrell Owens.

They are two of the NFL’s top receivers, but they’re known as much for their mouths as their hands. Turn on the TV, and Johnson is talking about his contract. Flip on the radio, and Owens is yammering about his quarterback. Bowe says he isn’t about that; he’s out to lighten the mood, not to make a point.

“My personality, I think, is more high-up than theirs,” he says. “I’m not Chad or T.O. I’m D-Bowe. The media sees them as bad guys, but the media loves me. I’m going to have my own reality show.”

Bowe is in his second NFL season. He remains unproven despite some bright flashes last year. He caught 70 passes in 2007 but dropped some, too. And he played on one of the NFL’s worst teams.

Bowe’s behavior sometimes raises eyebrows, and that’s enough for at least one of his teammates to warn Bowe that there is a thin line between having fun and showing off. Sippio says he speaks with Bowe “all the time” about minding that line.

“I understand it might rub some guys wrong,” Sippio says. “They’ll just hold a grudge against him because he’s clowning, having fun, and we probably lost the game. There’s a time to have fun, but then there’s a time not to have fun.

“It’s not always play time.”

Bowe is playing now, standing away from the huddle but attracting attention from it. He’s dancing and jawing with a group of teammates. Bowe points at them and challenges them, Bowe telling one of the Chiefs’ cornerbacks he won’t stop Bowe all year.

Then they all laugh and rejoin the huddle.

“If I had to guess,” Bowe says later, “I think they’re pretty happy with my enthusiastic-ness.”

• • •

Edwards wasn’t happy. Not with what he saw at the end of last season.

The Chiefs’ morale was imploding. Players were sidestepping questions about quitting or loafing during that nine-game losing streak, answering them unconvincingly. They were staggering, slump-shouldered, into work and making it through the day without passion.

Edwards saw their faces and read their comments. That’s when he decided this team needed a dose of “enthusiastic-ness.”

Edwards pulled Bowe aside this offseason and told the second-year receiver he has a new job: keep his teammates’ attitudes in the right place. Edwards gave Bowe permission to put on The Show.

“He’s got a little bit of a leadership role,” Edwards says. “One of his roles is, he’s going to bring energy to the football team. That’s a good thing. That’s why we drafted him.”

Bowe admits it. “The Show” is a character, a figment of his imagination. In reality, Dwayne Bowe is a laid-back man with a troubled past. His parents abandoned him when he was a baby, left him alone in a filthy Miami apartment, sitting on top of a pile of grime until his grandmother, Dorothy Williams, took him in.

ears later, Bowe rolled with the wrong crowd, starting arguments and finishing fights. He’s moved past all that, but he’s still guarded, and he figures if he blinds you with what he’s doing, you won’t ask about where he’s been.

There are shreds of Bowe in “The Show,” but the act is for the benefit of the media, fans and, most important, Bowe’s teammates. Edwards decided that if Bowe could distract the ones with all the questions, he could do wonders for the men who already believed.

“This game’s not fun,” Bowe says. “The fans, the media talk down about the team. Some players go in the tank. My job is to not let them go in the tank.”

Then Edwards decided quarterback Brodie Croyle could benefit from some Show time. Edwards assigned Croyle and Bowe to be roommates for more than three weeks in River Falls — the quiet Southern passer with the cropped hair on one side of the room, sleeping across from the brash South Florida receiver with the dreadlocks.

“Brodie loves me,” Bowe says.

Edwards’ idea was to broaden each player’s horizons, re-introduce the men and kick-start a bond Edwards expects them to have on Sundays. It was designed to show Croyle and Bowe they’re not all that different, after all.

Well, some things take adjustment.

Croyle wakes up each morning to a stereo blaring Bowe’s playlist, which is heavy with Lil Wayne and a steady stream of hip-hop the quarterback has been forced to get used to. And Bowe says he hasn’t yet gotten used to Croyle’s Southern accent, which Bowe can’t help but mimic when the cameras are nearby.

“Sometimes I act like I know what he’s saying, but I really don’t,” Bowe says, smiling. “Half of the words he says, I’ll just be like, ‘Yeah, yeah.’ He’ll be like, ‘Youraygo?’ I’ll be like, ‘What? What’d you say? Oh, are you ready to go? Say it slow.’ ”

Edwards laughs at stories like that. That’s what it was supposed to do. And by the time he’s finished laughing, Edwards has forgotten that a few minutes earlier, he was talking about the prospect of another losing season.

• • •

He’s not in the mood. No, The Show isn’t always on.

On this day, Bowe walks into the University Center at Wisconsin-River Falls with his hat over his face, smiling behind it. He’s not off, but the volume is low. Until he tells you why he doesn’t feel like performing.

“I’m huuungry!” he announces, walking toward the team cafeteria and sliding the hat over his dreadlocks.

Bowe is a microcosm of the Chiefs this season. He’s young, unproven and trying to settle on an identity. He wants you to take him seriously, but that’s sometimes hard to do. There is work to be done, and regardless of what Bowe or the team says, the only thing to speed the process is proof.

His teammates say having Bowe helps them take life and the Chiefs’ shortcomings less seriously. It makes them have fun, even during the late practice and another series of the same team drill they did in yesterday’s 95-degree heat.

“He walks around with no worry in the world,” Chiefs linebacker Demorrio Williams says. “That’s really how it’s supposed to be. You’ve got to have a sense of humor around here. Days like today, man, you need guys like that around, guys who are going to laugh and guys who are going to smile.”

Bowe walks out of the cafeteria and heads toward the door. He’s been fed and is in a better mood. He adjusts his hat and slips back into character. He apologizes for earlier and says it with a straight face.

Then he bursts into laughter, saying he was simply building the suspense. After all, this is about as serious as he gets.

“I’m just being myself, man,” he says. “I just keep my smile on and keep coming out here, doing what I’ve got to do, putting on a show, letting everybody out here know it’s not over.

“What’s wrong with that?”

08-03-2008, 01:59 AM
And home of "THE!"

Chiefs Pantalones
08-03-2008, 02:44 AM
My favorite Chief, I love Bowe.

08-03-2008, 03:31 AM
We will turn on him!/chiefsplanet

Hog Rider
08-03-2008, 04:35 AM
"HIM" could do it!



08-03-2008, 04:54 AM
It's time to shut this down.

Between Gonzo, LJ, and Bo we might be in danger of this team having both pride and confidence...

08-03-2008, 05:51 AM
Bowe = Pro Bowl

the Talking Can
08-03-2008, 06:41 AM
we need 20 more of him at every position....

good article....

08-03-2008, 09:55 AM
I've liked Babb so far
don't know if he'll turn into a Carter
KCChief.com has a new scribe I see

08-06-2008, 05:38 PM
Okay I caught part of a Reebok commercial
Bowe leading the Chiefs back to the NFL field
several other teams -but Bowe was leading KC

08-06-2008, 05:56 PM
let's hope he puts his skills where his mouth is. I'm not real fond of a player grab assing and laughing it up when we lose.

08-06-2008, 05:59 PM
Okay I caught part of a Reebok commercial
Bowe leading the Chiefs back to the NFL field
several other teams -but Bowe was leading KC

welcome to 4 months ago

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