• Bill Althaus: Time for Chiefs to start over

  • I spent Sunday night working with a church group at the Salvation Army kitchen on Truman Road in Independence.

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  • I spent Sunday night working with a church group at the Salvation Army kitchen on Truman Road in Independence.
    A personable young man approached me for a meal and we began talking about football.
    “I play football,” he said, “but thank goodness I don’t play for the Chiefs.”
    If that statement isn’t a head turner, then I don’t know what is.
    This teenager, who was living at a homeless shelter, felt like he had it better off than the highly paid players who continue to embarrass themselves week after week in the NFL.
    Midway through Sunday’s humiliating 26-6 loss to Cincinnati, fans began to leave.
    Some had bags on their heads to cover their faces.
    Others wore black T-shirts to provide a silent protest to this lackluster season.
    And the smart ones simply didn’t show up.
    The stands looked like a scene from the closing minutes of a meaningless presason game that only means something to the players on the bubble.
    As Jeff Fox, our business editor, pointed out to me after the game, “The Chiefs found a new way to embarrass themselves Sunday.”
    It happened when a member of the special teams was flagged for intentionally running out of bounds en route to tackling a Bengals return man.
    This team was picked by many “experts,” and I use that term loosely, to make a legitimate run at a division title.
    I would say they have a better chance at making a run to the toilet bowl, but I washed that idea down the drain because I don’t want to kick a team when it’s down.
    As a kid, Len Dawson, Bobby Bell, Buck Buchanan and coach Hank Stram were bigger than life personalities who made Sunday afternoons at then Municipal Stadium, and later Arrowhead Stadium, memorable.
    When those Hall of Famers retired, the Chiefs went through a long dry spell before Marty Schottenheimer and Carl Peterson took command of the team.
    They were berated and criticized for never making it to the Super Bowl, but compared to the inmates who are now running the asylum, they look pretty darned good.
    It’s time to tear this team apart and start all over again. Anything would be better than watching a 1-9 team that has lost seven in a row and appears to be headed for the type of season that results in another top draft pick which the brass can whiff on.
    n I don’t know if you believe in prayer. If you do, please say one for 10-year-old Ryan Christian, the daughter of former Missouri Mavericks standout Jeff Christian.
    She suffers from a rare form of cancer that affects just a handful of children across the world.
    Page 2 of 2 - The past two Sundays she has been rushed to Children’s Mercy Hospital with breathing problems. Doctors discovered that she had suffered a collapsed lung, and she is now on around-the-clock oxygen.
    She’s fighting a valiant fight, and her parents say she is in good spirits now that she can breathe on her own.
    Hockey players are tough, but they’re nothing compared to Ryan.

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