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Tim Crone: Chiefs’ Duvernay-Tardif made the right decision

Staff Writer
The Examiner
Tim Crone

It was great to watch the Royals play in Cleveland last Friday night, however I think the Royals’ bats may have had COVID-19.

The Cleveland pitcher Shane Bieber matched a mark by Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson with 14 strikeouts in just six innings. He struck out the side in three of those innings. The Royals struck out a total of 18 times in the nine-inning game.

Even though it was a disastrous offensive start, it was still great to see baseball back. Even with the 2-0 loss, it brought back a form of normal for sports fans. Hopefully, they will keep the mask on their bats so they can overcome such a sick starting offensive performance.

The new normal is beginning to set in and every sports team will have challenges. Many Chiefs fans were disappointed that Chiefs starting guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff opted out of playing the 2020 season with the Chiefs because of the COVID-19 virus. Tardif is the only medical doctor who is an NFL player. His decision to sit out was difficult to believe for many people.

After all, he played on a Super Bowl championship team last season and this year’s team most likely has a real chance to repeat. He said it was one of the hardest decisions that he will ever have to make. The Chiefs have been more effective when he is playing the right guard position. It will result in a big hole to fill.

Everything has gone the Chiefs’ way during the off season with the signings of their best offensive player and franchise quarterback Patrick Mahomes and their ability to sign Chris Jones, their best defensive player, to a multiple year contract.

The team also hit a home run in the latest college draft by picking up players like RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LB Willie Gay Jr., OT Lucas Niang, DB L’Jarius Sneed, DE Mike Danna, and CB BoPete Keyes. These are young guys who can play. Look for Lucas Niang to now move from tackle to guard as a result of Duvernay-Tardif’s decision to sit out this season.

The Chiefs will be fine, but I think Dr. Laurent Duvernay-Tarif deserves a lot of credit for his decision. He obviously has firsthand knowledge about the virus. The battle being fought in hospitals all over the world is much more important in the long run than missing one football season.

Instead of fans complaining, they should be respectful and understanding. It is rare to see someone at the top of their career make a selfless sacrifice. Individuals in the medical field are fighting one of the most difficult challenges in the history of mankind.

“Larry,” as he is known by his teammates, is a great football player but can see a bigger picture right now. Fans need to slow their roll with their criticism of him.

Former NFL coach George Allen once stated, “You have to do what you believe, and you have to be yourself. If you try to do anything else, it is not going to come over. Emotion is part of the game. Emotion is important in anything that you do. If you feel that you should do it, there is nothing wrong with it. The important thing to remember is to always be yourself.”

Duvernay-Tarif should be thanked for making the responsible and right decision. He will be welcomed back by the Chiefs organization when this hideous pandemic is over. Until then critics will need to take a chill pill.

• The quote of the week comes from Pro Football Hall of Fame coach and Chiefs legend Hank Stram on Kansas City’s 1969-70 Super Bowl-winning season: “The important thing was to believe in something strongly enough to make it work. In other words, to have the courage of your convictions. I believe at the start of the season that we had our best team ever. We then went out and proved it.”

– 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 t.crone@comcast.net.