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Old 12-03-2004, 01:06 AM  
tk13 tk13 is offline
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Whitlock: The woes not about the nachos

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansas...s/10325598.htm

The woes not about the nachos
JASON WHITLOCK

Wednesday night at Mi Cocina on The Plaza, I joked with Chiefs running back Priest Holmes about “the nachos,” the ones CBS cameras caught Holmes munching on in an Arrowhead Stadium suite while the Chiefs were getting tossed by the San Diego Chargers.

We were at Mi Cocina celebrating the birthday of a mutual friend. Priest was in good spirits, and didn't mind laughing at the absurdity of the latest minicontroversy to engulf the disappointing Chiefs.

Some Chiefs fans are bothered that Kansas City's best player — though nursing a knee injury — isn't on the sidelines with his teammates during games. Priest has watched the last two KC defeats from a comfy and warm suite. Shouldn't he be on the sidelines supporting his teammates?

Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil says it doesn't matter where Holmes watches the game. He can't help the team. It's potentially dangerous for Holmes along the Kansas City sideline. And Holmes wasn't the only injured member of the Chiefs to watch the game from an Arrowhead suite.

Vermeil is right for all the reasons he stated and for at least one more. Holmes isn't a rah-rah leader. It's not within his personality — or at least the personality he shares with the media inside Arrowhead Stadium — to yell and scream and be a vocal game-day leader. Holmes is a leader by work ethic, example, preparation and production.

However, the nachos controversy is not much ado about nothing. The shot of Holmes eating nachos while the Chiefs were falling to 3-8 symbolizes the Kansas City 2004 season. The shot — a quirk of fate that says nothing about Holmes or his commitment to the Chiefs — will live on as a symbol of why the Chiefs couldn't come close to duplicating their 13-3 season.

Vermeil's Chiefs have had a total breakdown in team chemistry and togetherness. And they have a major void in leadership.

Yes, without question, the Chiefs need to improve their defensive personnel. And yes, their schedule was more difficult this season. But if the Chiefs were all on the same page, if the Chiefs had some true leadership, if this year's Chiefs had a modicum of the togetherness that powers the New England Patriots, the Chiefs would be 5-6 or 6-5 this season.

The Chiefs are a mess. We learned this week that the Chiefs are a fractured and split group. During a practice session, they brawled as if they were South Carolina and Clemson or Ron Artest and sanity. According to a report, Vermeil swore his team to secrecy about the brawl.

This team isn't together. Priest Holmes sitting in a heated stadium suite while his teammates chilled against the Chargers symbolizes the split.

Holmes isn't to blame for the split. It falls on Dick Vermeil. His indifference to the defensive side of football contributes to the split. Vermeil sets a tone that the whole team and organization follows. He helped hatch the failed plan that called for the Chiefs to retain their own defensive players.

Do you think Vermeil would try to win football games with offensive players as mediocre as his defensive players? Heck no. But he asked Gunther Cunningham to win with inferior talent.

Teams get split when egos run out of control. Cunningham's ego made him believe he could turn around a defense solely with scheme and attitude. Cunningham and Vermeil should have never signed off on Carl Peterson's policy of retaining the group of players who cost Greg Robinson his job.

But Peterson and Vermeil wanted to prove they were right about the 2003 Chiefs team. That team, they believed, was good enough to win a Super Bowl. That team lacked leadership, too. But it was so talented offensively and caught so many breaks that no one noticed the team lacked leadership.

The Chiefs haven't been consistently good since Marcus Allen retired. He was the last member of the Chiefs who had the total respect of the entire organization, players on both sides of the football, players of all race and backgrounds.

Marcus retired after the 1997 season. The Chiefs fell into the toilet in 1998, Marty Schottenheimer's last year. When Marcus spoke, everybody listened. He had charisma and star power. He wasn't near the player that Priest Holmes is, but Marcus contributed in other ways. He gave the team confidence. He was backed up by great players — Derrick Thomas, James Hasty, Neil Smith — and a resume filled with individual and team accomplishments.

The Chiefs have some would-be leaders — Trent Green, Tony Richardson, Eric Hicks, Brian Waters, Will Shields, Tony Gonzalez. But they've never won anything. They haven't won a playoff game since 1993.

The guy best suited to lead the Chiefs, the guy with the Super Bowl ring, the NFL records, the spectacular talent, doesn't want the job of vocal team leader. He'll sell T-shirts promoting “Keep the Faith.” But he's not coming out of the suite as long as the heat is on and the nachos are good.
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Old 12-03-2004, 01:12 AM   #2
|Zach| |Zach| is offline
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So how many people are going to make their 5th consecutive "usually I hate fatlock but this column is right on" post?
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Old 12-03-2004, 01:21 AM   #3
tk13 tk13 is offline
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Bingo was his name-o! YEAH! Go Whitlock!

Seriously though, I would say that Marcus Allen's just don't grow on trees... this team was lucky to have a leader like that for 5 years.
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Old 12-03-2004, 01:25 AM   #4
Count Zarth Count Zarth is offline
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Just another indication that Whitlock does indeed read the planet.
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Old 12-03-2004, 01:27 AM   #5
Logical Logical is offline
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Quote:
During a practice session, they brawled as if they were ... Ron Artest and sanity.


Oh and for Zach, I don't disagree with Whitlock in this article, but it was not an especially great article.
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Old 12-03-2004, 05:35 AM   #6
Chief Henry Chief Henry is offline
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Good job Jason. Our Chiefs are in a big mess... Next year we will play a weaker schedule and we could have some success, that weaker schedule could put some makeup on our problems, that will be sad.
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Old 12-03-2004, 06:27 AM   #7
ptlyon ptlyon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Henry
Good job Jason. Our Chiefs are in a big mess... Next year we will play a weaker schedule and we could have some success, that weaker schedule could put some makeup on our problems, that will be sad.
Only 2 games are decided by this years outcome.
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Old 12-03-2004, 06:36 AM   #8
Chief Henry Chief Henry is offline
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Originally Posted by ptlyon
Only 2 games are decided by this years outcome.

Please explain what you mean. I'm not following you.
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Old 12-03-2004, 06:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Henry
Please explain what you mean. I'm not following you.
14 of our 16 games next season are decided regardless of the outcome of this year. Only 2 games next season are affected by this year's results.
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Old 12-03-2004, 06:43 AM   #10
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14 of our 16 games next season are decided regardless of the outcome of this year. Only 2 games next season are affected by this year's results.

Thanks, I didn't know that. I wish we could play ourself's !!!
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Old 12-03-2004, 06:46 AM   #11
ptlyon ptlyon is offline
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Thanks, I didn't know that. I wish we could play ourself's !!!
Henry - what do you want me to tell Steve again? Just that you want to talk to him?
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Old 12-03-2004, 06:48 AM   #12
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This article is as fractured as the Chiefs themselves...

I understand that the team lacks leadership and that makes sense as to why the team has 'lost it', but is Whitlock blaming Holmes or not blaming Holmes.

The first half of the article blows it off, the last part doesnt.

I think Whitlock's trying to have his cake and eat it too on this one...
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Old 12-03-2004, 06:50 AM   #13
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I can't believe JW wrote this column about Holmes and the nanchos and didn't once mention what kind of dip he had with them...
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Old 12-03-2004, 07:05 AM   #14
Count Zarth Count Zarth is offline
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The Chiefs schedule next year IS easier, regardless of how they do this year.

Just like it was harder this year, regardless of how they did last year.
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Old 12-03-2004, 07:08 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCTitus
This article is as fractured as the Chiefs themselves...

I understand that the team lacks leadership and that makes sense as to why the team has 'lost it', but is Whitlock blaming Holmes or not blaming Holmes.

The first half of the article blows it off, the last part doesnt.

I think Whitlock's trying to have his cake and eat it too on this one...
I thought the same thing. Here's what I concluded.

Quote:
Wednesday night at Mi Cocina on The Plaza, I joked with Chiefs running back Priest Holmes about “the nachos,” the ones CBS cameras caught Holmes munching on in an Arrowhead Stadium suite while the Chiefs were getting tossed by the San Diego Chargers.

We were at Mi Cocina celebrating the birthday of a mutual friend. Priest was in good spirits, and didn't mind laughing at the absurdity of the latest minicontroversy to engulf the disappointing Chiefs.
When Priest is sitting in front of him, he doesn't have the balls to call him out.


Quote:
The guy best suited to lead the Chiefs, the guy with the Super Bowl ring, the NFL records, the spectacular talent, doesn't want the job of vocal team leader. He'll sell T-shirts promoting “Keep the Faith.” But he's not coming out of the suite as long as the heat is on and the nachos are good.
When he is penning the article, he all of a sudden has huevos grande.
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