Tag Archives: kansas city chiefs

Dawson, Len

Card: ProSet 1990 Super Bowl MVP
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Work
Sent: 12/15   Received: 12/31   (16 days)
Failure: 2013, C/o Work

Len Dawson saw a storied NFL career that stretched from the late 50s to the mid 70s.  After putting together a strong career at Perdue, Dawson was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers with their #1 pick in 1957.  Unable to dislodge Bobby Layne from the starter position, Dawson was traded to the Cleveland Browns in 1960 where he also faced an uphill battle for the starting position under center. He’d join the rival American Football League in 1962, where he’d become the unquestioned starter of the Dallas Texans.  Power plugged into the Texans offense,  Dawson immediately turned the franchise into contenders going toe to toe with the Houston Oilers and winning the AFL Championship. Soon thereafter the Texans moved to Kansas City and Len went on to record numerous accolades including league single-game and season records including career touchdowns with 182 for the American Football League.

The AFL had never earned the respect of the NFL brass. They felt that the AFL played an inferior kind of ball- even though Joe Namath led the Jets to victory the previous year in Super Bowl III. While the Chiefs appeared to be snake bitten all season long- with injuries to Len or just plain bad luck, they made the playoffs after not even winning their division. The Chiefs then dethroned the Jets on their home field in the first round, and then beat the Raiders on the road in Oakland – after not even beating them during the regular season. The hard fought victory, didn’t bring the Chiefs any respect. In fact, most media and sports writers had predicted that the Minnesota Vikings were going to roll Kansas City in Super Bowl IV.

Instead, KC which had become used to the underdog role, relished in victory, smothering the Vikings 23-7.  Dawson paced the Chiefs throwing for 142 yards and a TD on 12 of 17 passing, earning himself MVP honors- all while under duress of a gambling probe that was proven unfounded.  Dawson avenged himself for his previous loss to the NFL, when the Chiefs lost to the Packers in Super Bowl I.
Len played an additional 5 more seasons retiring after the 1975 season- after 19 seasons.

Len is incredibly popular in Kansas City Chiefs’ lore. He had his number retired and was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame. Dawson has done color commentary and insider reporting in the NFL for many years. In 1987 Len was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As of 2017, Len is a sports anchor for a Kansas City NBC affiliate.

G/GS 211/159    ATT 3741    COMP  2136   YDS 28711    PCT    57.1
TD 239    INT 183     RAT  82.6
RUSH 294    YDS1293     AVG 4.4    TD 9      LG 43

Demps, Quintin

Cards:  SP Authentics 2008 (351/1399), Playoff Contenders 2008, Bowman 2008, TNT UFL 2011
Acquired:  In Person 2016, Houston Texans Battle Red Stampede Tour

What a long, strange, windy road its been for Quintin Demps.  A ballhawk at safety, Demps punctuated his career with the rare accomplishment of two 100 yard interception returns for touchdowns. He also recorded a total of 17 career interceptions while playing at Texas-El Paso.  His combine numbers were encouraging enough, and again he proved that he had the wheels to be in the pros with a 4.39 40 combine showing.  Scouts scrutinized his tape and did not like his fundamentals. They thought he was a sloppy tackler, didn’t have the size (5’11”) to play safety, and despite his 40 showing, scouts were doubtful he could transition to cornerback because of a perceived lack of speed at the second level. Demps was selected in the 4th round of the 2008 draft by the Philadelphia Eagles.

He set out to prove scouts wrong, and as a kick returner Quintin had a solid debut with 52 returns for 1314 yards, a 25.3 yard average, and a TD on a 100 yard return.  He did not see any playing time as a starter, but recorded his first sack and forced fumble playing sparingly on defense during his rookie season.  Quintin didn’t see much time playing for the Eagles in 2009 either. He’d be released among the final cut downs in 2010.

Unable to find a team, Quintin signed with the Hartford Colonials of the fledgling United Football League mid-season and made an immediate impact. He recorded 8 tackles, and a spectacular interception against the Las Vegas Locos, returning it 73 yards to paydirt.  The Texans liked what they saw and took a flyer on the young defensive back, stashing him behind  Bernard Pollard, Eugene Wilson, and Troy Nolan as a special teamer.

In the off-season the Texans fired defensive coordinator Frank Bush. In came Wade Phillips to retool everything. After releasing Pollard and Wilson, Houston made many free agent moves, including bringing in Danieal Manning. They also drafted Brandon Harris and Shiloh Keo.  By the end of camp Demps was the odd man out, but soon thereafter was resigned by the Texans as Manning suffered a fibula injury.  He’d see more action on defense than ever before, recording 2 interceptions for 47 yards and 20 tackles in 2011. Although he missed some time in 2012 with a broken forearm, he still contributed another 21 tackles.

Left unprotected, Quintin signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013. In 6 starts, he put up 4 interceptions for 61 yards and 25 tackles.  He also had his most extensive playtime since his rookie year returning kicks with 33 returns for 992 yards and a 95 yard TD. Demps then played in 2014 for the New York Giants. Demps started 9 games for the Giants, and recorded 4 interceptions for 19 yards and 41 tackles.

Demps returned ‘home’ to the Texans in 2015 and is seen in the show Hard Knocks on HBO talking to general manager Rick Smith. He was brought in to compete with veterans Stevie Brown and Rahim Moore in the safety rotation, but in the end became the starter at strong safety over Eddie Pleasant.  Demps started 13 games for the Texans hauling in an interception, 1 FF, 35 tackles, and .5 sacks. Happy with how Demps had matured like a fine wine over time, the Texans signed him again for the 2016 season.  Quintin responded with his best season as a pro, starting 13 games and pacing the team by intercepting 6 passes for 54 yards and 38 tackles. The Texans finished first in total defense for the first time after the 2016 season, largely due to the coheasive secondary play, led by Jackson, Bouye, Joseph, Hal, and Demps. Quintin gets no respect. Even though he was first at his position in interceptions on the #1 defense in the league, he didn’t earn a Pro Bowl berth. After the season, the Texans once again allowed Demps to leave for greener pastures. In March of 2017, he signed a multiyear contract with the Chicago Bears.

With one of my friends visiting from out of town, she got to see how geeky I could get about these sorts of things.  Quintin was a really cool guy at the Academy Battle Red Stampede Tour with fellow player Jonathan Grimes. Demps really liked the custom I did of him from back in the UFL days. He was amazed that I had gotten a photograph of him after he returned that interception for a TD against the Locos.  I was very proud of that find as I actually got a high resolution screen shot from the video feed of the game.  He kindly signed 4 cards for me during the event.

Word, Barry

pset90 bword pset91 bword cpotyCards: ProSet 1990, ProSet 1991 CPotY, Score Supplemental 1990, GameDay 1992, Action Packed 1991.
Acquired: 2016, Philadelphia Exchange Paid Signing

Barry Word was a surprising comeback story. Out of football for over a year and working for a telephone company in Virginia, Word was called up by the Chiefs to attend camp in 1990. He not only made the squad, Word made a potent one two punch with Christian Okoye. Possessing a similar downhill running style to the Nigerian Nightmare, Barry had 204 carries for 1015 yards and 4 TDs- netting himself NFL Comeback Player of the Year Honors.

sco90sup bwordBarry was originally a 3rd round pick by the New Orleans Saints out of Virginia in 1985. Over his 4 year career for the Cavaliers, Word rushed 405 times for 2257 yards, and 17 TDs. The problem is that Barry tested positive for Marijuana at the combine. The Saints didn’t have a problem with that. They had a problem with the conspiracy to distribute cocaine that he got busted for. The Saints let him go, but retained his rights, while Barry bode his time in ap91 bwordprison.

Word returned to the Saints in 1987.  He suited up for 12 games, and started 1 contest rushing 36 times for 133 yards and 2 TDs.  The Saints were knee deep at runningback however, and in 1988, Barry just suited up for only 2 games. He’d spend the entire 1989 season out of football.

With Barry’s comeback complete, he’d play for Kansas City in 1991 gday92 bwordand 1992. He’d be an excellent insurance policy for Okoye in the meantime. In 1993, Barry was traded to the Vikings.  He’d start 8 games for Minnesota, rushing for 458 yards and 2 TDs on 142 carries. Word then signed with the Arizona Cardinals for the ’94 season, but did not see any action.

He’d retire and has been a difficult find through the mail. I decided to do a paid signing for the enigmatic back through the Philadelphia Connection. The price was so reasonable I was able to get 5 cards signed by him. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but Barry Word’s autograph is one of the worst I’ve seen in a while. It’s up there with George Zimmer from Men’s Wearhouse with just the ‘B’ and the ‘W’ being legible. The rest is well- there at least. Some great cards however of Barry graced his short lived career. Of them the ProSet 1990 is quite dynamic, and briefly during the short lived heyday of the card boom, along with its Score counterpart were valuable cards. It’s a shame that speculation and over production killed the market so badly its never completely recovered.

G/GS 72/26     Rush 705      Yds 2897     Avg 4.1      Td 16     Lg 53
Rec 30        Yds 280        Avg 9.3        Td 0       Lg 27