Kansas City Chiefs BBQ: In Search Of A Center Piece
I’m in the process of putting together the Kansas City Chiefs football team that I’d field if I could choose from all former players when they were in their prime. I’m not just going by statistics, but also by stories told, and things I’ve witnessed. My all-time best Chiefs team, position by position. Character, wives, middle names and even BBQ… Everything is on the table from my perspective.
There are not many stats to look at when it comes to the center position so I decided to start there. In Pop Warner leagues it’s normally the fat kid who wants to touch the football on every down. In the NFL it’s the guy with the best BBQ (Brains to Brawn Quotient) on the team. Kansas City is well known for it’s excellent BBQ, and I’ve found they’ve had no lack of it inside Arrowhead Stadium either.
Casey Wiegmann is a survivor. He’s played for five different teams in the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Iowa in 1996. His wife, Danni Boatwright, even won Survivor: Guatemala, and she’s hotter than any barbecue grill I’ve been around. He’s been to a Pro Bowl, and he’s fourth on my list. That’s how good the BBQ has been in Kansas City.
The man who groomed Wiegmann as his own replacement is No. 3. If you’re going strictly on character, Tim Grunhard is the man! A devout Catholic, who of course played collegiately at Notre Dame, taught theology after retirement at Bishop Miege High School in Shawnee Mission, Kan. He also coached football there. His first year they were 3-6. They then won five-straight district titles, including a 2009 state championship. It doesn’t hurt that his middle name is Gerard either. That’s my father’s birth name, though, he goes by Gary.
Jack Rudnay played all 13 seasons of his career with the Chiefs. He played in 144 straight games, and played both center and defensive tackle at Nothwestern in college. He comes in second. He went to four Pro Bowls, and was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 1994.
Then there’s E.J. Holub. The center that starts on my all-time best Chiefs fantasy team. This beast was a five-time American League All-Star before the merger for the Dallas Texans and a two-time Pro Bowler after, for Kansas City. He’ s the only player in NFL history to start in two Super Bowls at two different positions. He was a linebacker for the Chiefs in a Super Bowl I loss to the Green Bay Packers, and a center for them in Super Bowl IV when they defeated the Minnesota Vikings.
Stories say he used to arrive at games hours earlier than teammates to have blood and other fluids removed from his knees. All so they wouldn’t doubt his ability to play that day. He was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 1976. Anyone know of another NFL center who has nine professional interceptions?
I’ve had a heaping helping of some prime Kansas City BBQ on my plate as I’ve searched for the best center in Chiefs franchise history. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have.
Troy Alan is a Kansas City Chiefs writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TRantMedia “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.