Kansas City Chiefs: The Seven Most Infuriating Players in Team History
In the storied history of the Kansas City Chiefs, there are several players who have become fan favorites because of their giving attitude, work ethic, and success on the field. Of course, there are others that cause Chiefs' fans to shudder at the mere mention of their name.
These seven fall into the latter category.
While Kansas City fans have not always been able to count on the team to win, they have been able to count on blaming one of these players for much of the Chiefs' failures.
Sure, there are other players that Chiefs' fans would prefer not to think about, but these are the seven most infuriating players in Chiefs' history.
Todd Blackledge, QB
Taken seventh overall in 1983, Todd Blackledge was going to be the quarterback to lead the Chiefs back to glory. An award-winning college quarterback, Blackledge seemed like a decent choice at the time.
What followed was a legendarily infuriating career with the Chiefs. Blackledge finished his career with a 60.2 quarterback rating and only 5.286 yards in seven NFL seasons. Mix in his 38 interceptions and Blackledge is remembered as legendarily bad.
To make fans even angrier at Blackledge, the Chiefs chose him over four future Hall of Famers, including quarterbacks Jim Kelly and Dan Marino.
Mark McMillian, CB
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Mark McMillian earned a place in the hearts of several Chiefs' fans his first season with Kansas City. His second season landed him on this list.
The self proclaimed Mighty Mouse stood at 5’7”, but was heralded for his leaping ability. In 1997, McMillian only started two games but managed eight interceptions. This and his animated celebrations made him popular with some Chiefs' fans.
Expectations were much higher going into 1998. McMillian would be given the starting cornerback job. Teams spent much of the season taking advantage of his height, frequently posting up for easy first down catches.
Though he did grab two interceptions, his actions and constant speaking out had run their course, particularly as the Chiefs finished fourth in the division with a 7-9 record.
McMillian would be cut before 1999 rolled around.
Trezelle Jenkins, OT
Drafted 31st overall in 1995, Trezelle Jenkins is synonymous with first-round bust.
In three seasons, Jenkins managed to play in only nine games, only starting one of those games and successfully frustrating Chiefs fans to no end.
He would be waived before the 1997 season, answering the prayers of many of the Kansas City faithful.
The final insult of Jenkins career came when he was drafted by the San Francisco Demons in the ill-fated XFL. He was cut before the season started.
Ryan Sims, DT
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The Chiefs gave up two picks to move up to sixth overall in the 2002 NFL draft, selecting defensive tackle Ryan Sims. When a team gives up that much to get a player, fans' expectations are bound to be high.
Sims held out until 10 days before the 2002 season, finally agreeing on a hefty signing bonus of $9.75 million. When he finally arrived, he was out of shape and unprepared, a recurring theme throughout his NFL career.
After 74 games with the Chiefs, Sims had only managed 54 tackles with a paltry five sacks. The Chiefs rid themselves of Sims with a trade to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2007, receiving a draft pick in his place.
Needless to say, Chiefs fans were not saddened by his departure.
Larry Johnson, RB
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It was almost as if running back Larry Johnson went out of his way to make Chiefs fans angry with him.
Drafted 27th overall in 2003, Johnson immediately rubbed head coach Dick Vermeil the wrong way, causing Vermeil to public state that Larry Johnson needed to act like an adult and “take the diapers off.”
Despite this, Johnson earned the starting job in 2005 after injuries forced Priest Holmes out during Week 8. He proceeded to rush for 1,750 yards and 20 touchdowns, following that up with 1,789 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2006.
2007 saw Johnson begin to destroy any fan support he had, threatening to sit out if he did not receive a new contract. The Chiefs would eventually sign him to the biggest Chiefs contract of all-time, paying out $45 million over six years.
By 2009, Johnson had been suspended twice for breaking team rules. He was waived by the Chiefs while sitting only 75 yards away from the all-time franchise rushing record after a fan petition stated that Johnson was not deserving of the record.
Any fans who possibly still liked Johnson immediately forgot about him once backup Jamaal Charles became the starting halfback.
Steve Bono, QB
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After having luck with former 49ers quarterback Joe Montana, the Chiefs brought over another 49ers quarterback in Steve Bono to back up the Hall of Famer. When Montana retired, Bono took over starting duties for Kansas City.
Things started off rocky for Bono, rubbing the fans the wrong way by claiming the worst San Francisco restaurant was better than the best restaurant in Kansas City.
Bono might have been able to turn around the fans' perception in 1995, with the Chiefs riding their stellar defense to a 13-3 record, earning a first round bye in the playoffs.
Unfortunately for Bono, the Chiefs lost to the Colts 10-7 with Bono throwing three interceptions. While another player would earn the blame for this loss, Bono was benched for backup Rich Gannon in the fourth quarter, cementing his place in Chiefs infamy.
Lin Elliott, K
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After being cut by the Dallas Cowboys, general manager Carl Peterson thought he had located a bargain in Lin Elliott. Legendary kicker Nick Lowery had left the team after the 1993 season, so Peterson signed the former Cowboys kicker despite the fact that he only made 69 percent of his kicks in 1992.
In Kansas City, Elliott’s name has become the face of failure. While he was never successful, the epitome of his failure came in the 1995 playoffs, when Elliott missed three field goals in a tight game, allowing the Indianapolis Colts to win 10-7 and move on to the AFC Championship.
Elliott was cut shortly after, but he will always be known as the kicker who missed wide left.