We were talking with our sports director, Bill Pollock, this morning about some former pro football players, wondering where they are now and whether they still have their Kansas City Chiefs jerseys and helmets.
Guys like quarterbacks Matt Stevens and Alex Espinosa, wide receivers John Trahan and Richard Estell, running backs Woodie Pippens, Chris Smith, and Ralph Stockemer, or center Jim Pietrzak and linemen John Walker, Mark Nelson, Lloyd Mumphrey, Dan Doubiago, James Harvey and Doug Hoppock. James Hamrick was a kicker.
All of these guys were on the opening day roster of the Chiefs in 1987. They were the replacement players who went 1-4 for the Chiefs before the regular guys came back and finished 4-11.
For three games they realized a dream. Forget the circumstances and the scores. They, and their counterparts with the St. Louis (football) Cardinals played in the NFL.
They played the game, knowing their days on the field wouldn’t last. But we’ll bet there are some kids today who tell their friends with some pride, “My grandpa played for the Chiefs.”
And that’s probably worth a lot.