The Royals are finally beginning to show some signs of new life with some of their young talent. It is all Royals fans have to hang their hats on for the rest of this season.
However, the real sports excitement in Kansas City these days is the start of the Chiefs preseason camp and their upcoming season. The buzz in every venue in town is all about 2018 AFC West Division champions.
Patrick Mahomes, new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and all the new defensive personnel are bringing hope for a Super Bowl appearance. The only elephant in the room is the unfortunate situation with Tyreek Hill. Opinions by fans all over town are many and varied. It is difficult to see any right answer when it comes to child abuse and bullying. Opinions can be debated, but I cannot tolerate anyone who is an abuser.
The Chiefs are faced with a complicated situation. Proof is the only avenue to follow. It will be up to the prosecutors, lawyers, social workers and other professionals to investigate and determine guilt or innocence. That is the simple part. An analysis by the Chiefs organization, coaches and teammates is a whole different side to the story.
Andy Reid and general manager Brett Veach went out of their way to provide an opportunity for a second chance for Hill after his first encounter with domestic violence. Most everyone would agree with a second chance, and Hill seemed to understand and be grateful for that second chance.
He is a gifted athlete and is a deep threat in the NFL. He may be the best return guy in the league. If he continues to be a part of the Chiefs, his natural athletic ability will without question make the team better.
The real question that Reid and Veach have to face is does he really get it? You could see an attitude change during last season. He established himself as a star in the league but was he really a team-first player? On four occasions he received unsportsmanlike penalties after a touchdown or big play. Two of those four penalties were imposed on the kickoff and resulted with the opposition set up to score points against a very poor Chiefs defense.
The is a perfect field example of a player who does not get it. He was arrogant while warming up before the game and appeared out of control several times on the sidelines when his coaches had discussions with him. These may seem small but can turn into something much bigger in a team situation. Hill seemed to be a player with all the right answers until he grew into a player that felt he was bigger than the team.
The primary concern for now is that Hill, his girlfriend, their son and their expected twins get the psychological guidance needed to overcome this problem. The question from a football standpoint is if an individual – no matter how talented – is able to really get it or if it is time to move a different direction.
The Chiefs have to evaluate the ability of Hill to sacrifice for the benefit of the team in their quest for success. No one person on any team is greater than the team itself. Championships are not won with self-absorbed players.
The only responsibility of Reid and Veach is to do what is best for the team. They will make sure the Hill family receives the professional help they obviously need, but Hill still may not be the type of player the team needs to be a successful championship team. The next three months should prove interesting for the NFL, the Chiefs and Hill.
• The quote of the week comes from former NFL player and head coach Monte Clark: “Over and over it has been made crystal clear to me that the basics of life are important – love God, family and friends; a commitment to integrity so that you will be respected and respect yourself; a commitment to leadership so that by your own actions, others will respect you.”
– Tim Crone, a William Chrisman High School graduate, is a former activities director and coach for Blue Springs High School and is a host of a weekly radio show, “Off the Wall with Tim Crone,” on KCWJ (1030 AM) 6 p.m. every Monday. He writes a weekly column for The Examiner. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.