What Could Have Been … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

From No Longer in Indianapolis, Indiana

The pro football world has been focused on Lucas Oil Stadium for the better part of the last week as the NFL Combine went down.

What a gold mine for Indianapolis. There were more than 2,000 visitors checked into hotels at the end of February. That’s a convention business that any city would love to have in the winter months, especially one where the snow fell for several days. That’s 11,000 to 12,000 hotel room nights for the week. Indianapolis’ downtown restaurants were packed all week with club personnel, agents, folks from the NFL Players Association, media, job seekers and players.

And all of it – the Combine, the hotel nights, the packed restaurants, the newspaper and Internet datelines – could have been in Kansas City.

It was just about four years ago that the folks who put on the Combine each year, National Football Scouting, Inc., were taking bids not only for hosting future Combines, but for relocating their offices from Tulsa. Kansas City was a finalist under consideration at the time. The other finalist was Indianapolis.

Ultimately, NFS accepted the Indianapolis bid because there was no facility in Kansas City able to host the Combine.

Remember that roof that Jackson County voters turned down in 2006? The voters approved the rehab of the stadiums at the Truman Sports Complex. That was ballot question No. 1. The second question would have paid for a rolling roof that would have been paid for by funds generated from a use tax on businesses in the county.

That ballot initiative was rejected and Kansas City lost a chance at hosting a Super Bowl 49 in February 2015; the NFL had guaranteed that game with a roof on Arrowhead. The no vote also ended any chances of a college football bowl game, the NCAA Final Four and other events.

Like the NFL Combine. Without a dome to make Arrowhead useable in February, there was no way Kansas City could match what Indy had to offer. Even with the roof, I wonder if K.C. would have been able to pull off stealing something as big as the Combine from Indy.

Almost two decades ago, political and business leaders in Indianapolis decided they were going to become the amateur sports capital of the country. They’ve gone out and made deals for years with associations and organizations. They stole the NCAA offices from Johnson County. They stole the National Federation of High School Associations from Kansas City. They convinced sports federations and associations from other cities and towns to move to the middle of south-central Indiana.

They’ll have a new office opening soon. USA Football is the national governing body of football on the youth and amateur levels. Since the group was formed its offices have been in suburban Washington, D.C. But they will soon be moving to Indianapolis.

Jeff Foster is the president of National Football Scouting Inc., the service used by 20 NFL teams, including the Chiefs, to help them scout the world of college football. Foster spent four years (2001-04) working in the Chiefs personnel department as an area scout and pro personnel assistant. He left the Chiefs to take over NFS.

When searching for a city to hold the Combine the No. 1 qualification was a facility to hold the event. The second top criteria: a central location making it easier to access from the NFL teams and the players.

With a roof on Arrowhead and an effort as aggressive as the folks in Indianapolis do on nearly a daily basis, Kansas City could have had the Combine.

Instead, it remains in Indy, along with this year’s Final Four and the Super Bowl the year after next.

And Kansas City has no Combine, no Final Four and no Super Bowl.


The Combine wrapped up on Tuesday with the defensive backs going through the paces on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium.

A pair of safeties caught everybody’s attention: Eric Berry of Tennessee and Taylor Mays of Southern Cal. Berry ran the 40-yard dash in an official time of 4.47 seconds. He had a 43-inch vertical jump and did 10-feet, 10 inches in the standing broad jump; all outstanding numbers.

Mays was credited with running the 40 in 4.43 seconds, although his old coach at Southern Cal Pete Carroll claimed he clocked the safety in 4.1 seconds. Mays had a 41-inch vertical jump and 10-10 in the broad jump.

Kansas safety Darrell Stuckey had an impressive vertical jump of 39.5 inches.

In honor of the just concluded Winter Olympic Games here are the gold-silver-bronze medal winners for the Combine:





 40-Yard Dash

Jacoby Ford

WR Clemson

4.28 seconds

Trindon Holliday



Jahvid Best

RB California


 Bench Press

Mitch Petrus

G Arkansas

45 reps

Jeff Owens

DT Georgia


Linval Joseph

DT East Carolina


 Vertical Jump

A.J. Jefferson

CB Fresno St.


Eric Berry

S Tennessee


Dorin Dickerson

TE Pitt


 Broad Jump

Chris Cook

DB Virginia


Eric Berry

S Tennessee

10′ 10″

Brandon Ghee

CB Wake Forest

10′ 7″

 3-Cone Drill

Scott Long

WR Louisville

6.45 seconds

Cody Grimm

LB Virginia Tech


Emmanuel Sanders


6.6 seconds

 20-Yard Shuttle

A.J. Jefferson

CB Fresno St.

4 seconds

Blair White

WR Michigan St.


Jerome Murphy

DB South Florida


 60-Yard Shuttle

A.J. Jefferson

CB Fresno St.

11.04 seconds

Scott Long

WR Louisville


Vern Verner





There were 337 players invited to the NFL Combine. The league will draft somewhere around 250 players in late April. Some of those names called will not have stepped foot in Lucas Oil Stadium. Last year, the Patriots drafted OT Sebastian Vollmer in the second round, the 58th player selected. He wasn’t invited to the ‘09 Combine.

Our man Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News is all over the draft each year and he has a list of 11 very draftable players who did not get a plane ticket to Indy. Here’s the word from Goose, in alphabetical order:

  • G Thomas Austin/Clemson – three year starter and team captain.
  • WR Freddie Barnes/Bowling Green – led the NCAA in catches, including 22 in one game.
  • C Jim Cordle/Ohio State – he started 33 games at all three offensive line positions.
  • S Van Eskridge/East Carolina – three-year starter with 11 career interceptions.
  • DE Jeff Fitzgerald/Kansas State – started 25 games at Virginia before transfer; 7 sacks in ‘09.
  • RB Deji Karim/Southern Illinois – averaged 7.1 yards per carry and 18 TDs.
  • OT Chris Marinelli/Stanford – started 41 games and was an All-Pac 10 selection.
  • MLB Joe Pawelek/Baylor – started four years for the Bears, with 422 tackles.
  • S Brad Phillips/Northwestern – three-year starter and All-Big 10 in ‘09.
  • CB Rafael Priest/TCU – started 51 games with the Frogs, with five interceptions.
  • QB Joe Webb/UAB (above/right) – passed for 5,771 yards, ran for 2,774 yards with 61 total TDs.


Jacob Hickman was the starting center at Nebraska for 36 straight games over the last three seasons.

That usually means an invitation to the NFL Combine. And Hickman got his. But he turned it down.

A potential NFL draft choice in April, Hickman instead has ended his football career.

“I enjoyed everything I did here,” Hickman told an Associated Press writer in Lincoln. “I had a great experience. I didn’t feel the need to continue playing. It just didn’t feel like it’s what I wanted to do with my life.”

A 6-4, 290-pound native of California, he played four seasons for the Huskers and has the scars to show for that playing time. There were surgeries on a knee, ankle, elbow and hand. He played in the ‘09 season with a hip pointer. He’s already developed arthritis in several of his joints. “I’ve got 14 screws, two plates and a washer in me,” he said.

Hickman is 23 and knows that he’s walking away from potential in come. But the key for him is he’s walking away under his own power.

“If I play for another 10 years, I might be walking with a limp when I’m 40,” he said. “I would like to be able to play ball with my kids.”


  • BILLS – signed DT Marlon Favorite.
  • JAGUARS – re-signed WR Troy Williamson.
  • PRO BOWL – will return to Hawaii in January 2011, and will be played on the Sunday before the Super Bowl.
  • STEELERS – presented a tender offer with first-round compensation to RT Willie Colon.

14 Responses to “What Could Have Been … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • March 3, 2010  - Blake says:

    Bob wouldnt Dickerson have beat out Berry for Silver in the vertical jump?

  • March 3, 2010  - jimbo says:

    It’s a crying shame that a domed stadium is a NFL priority for a Superbowl.(exception southern states) Real NFL notables like Vince Lambardi & Hank Stram would be calling it the Pansybowl.

    I understand we are all taxed to death. (surely more to come)but KC metro area voters were not fully versed on the impact of no retractable roof as Bob clearly pointed out. Alas, Arrowhead is still the best outdoor facility on the planet.
    Go Chiefs.

  • March 3, 2010  - Jack says:

    But Bob…Mayor’P'unkhouser said that the Chiefs and Royals (or any professional sports team for that matter) don’t bring any real $$ to the city of Kansas City, Missouri (Where most of the best hotels, restuarants, and entertainment venues are)And we all know that nobody attending a Super Bowl or Combine would NOT want to go downtown to have fun, get some great KC BBQ, and spend $$…right?

    And the Mayor proved this point by aggressively putting up a PR compaign, complete with news coverage..stating that he wanted to keep the KC Wizards in Kansas City and was shocked that the team might move to Wyandotte County!

    I agree, it’s sad to see the way things turned out. But I am glad to see the improvements to the sports complexes that “Don’t make any money for downtown KC businesses.” While I don’t live in Missouri, I live in Wyandotte, I’m one of the few in the minority that isn’t against seeing Wyandotte and Johnson counties chipping in a little extra for the effort. I feel it would be a win for all counties!

  • March 3, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    I for one LOVE that we didnt get the dome. REAL football is meant to be played in the elements. I hate watching games on tv in a dome, boring. Though it would be nice in 5 deg weather, I will set through it and freeze my butt off with a smile across my face!!

  • March 3, 2010  - SG says:

    “Mayor’P’unkhouser said…”

    I’m not a resident of KCMO – so I have a question…how have these people been allowed to continue in office (the mayor, councilmen, and any incumbent county commissioners) with this kind of exemplary leadership?

  • March 3, 2010  - SG says:

    “I hate watching games on tv in a dome, boring.”

    And we all love the idea of Arrowhead not being a host site for the Super Bowl. Nice…

  • March 3, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    I for one LOVE that we didnt get the dome. I hate watching dome teams on tv. Football is meant to be played in the elements, people need to grow a pair and bundle up.

  • March 3, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    sorry for the double comment, my server is messing up.

    SG, I would like to have the Super Bowl and other activities at Arrowhead too, great income for the local economy. I dont live in the immediate area, so it doesnt impact me at all. Its a toss up, but if I was voting, Id say no dome. Maybe if we did have one I would grow to love it, but I doubt it!!

  • March 3, 2010  - colby says:

    Kansas City needs more attractions to make it special. BBQ is awesome but not enough. Jazz scene is solid, but not enough jazz fans out there to make it relevant. Downtown KC is a joke anyway and there is no real reason to come here as a tourist. The rolling roof would have been a step in the right direction, but alas, KC remains one of the lamest major cities in the country that NO ONE wants to go to.

  • March 3, 2010  - Chris says:

    kansas city makes the planet rock?

  • March 3, 2010  - arrowhead1978 says:

    lol… hey the chiefs let Dantrell Savage go and Devard Darling…

  • March 3, 2010  - SG says:

    Anybody heard anything about Joe Webb or Freddie Barnes being on anybody’s radar?

  • March 3, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    arrowhead1978 says:
    “hey the chiefs let Dantrell Savage go and Devard Darling…”

    And signed a QB…Tyler Palko.

  • March 3, 2010  - ChiefsAddict63 says:

    I agree that football should be played outdoors, but come on guys, there is no way in hell that they would have a SB where the weather could be 10 degrees in February. Anyway, as Gretz pointed out, it wasn’t just to get the SB, but other sporting and non-sporting events. The city is in dire need of attractions and a domed stadium would bring more events to the city. I live in CA and people’s perception of KC is a podunk town and I’m always defending my hometown. Once people visit KC, they have a good impression of it, well most do anyway.

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