Postcard from camp: Chiefs
For the 19th and final year, the Chiefs are summering in tiny River Falls, Wisc. (population 12,560), a charming hamlet where Chiefs banners hang from light-posts on Main Street and Chiefs gear is sold in storefronts of sporting goods stores. Think of the Dodgers in Vero Beach. River Falls is less than an hour from Minneapolis and less than four hours from Green Bay, but the restaurants and bars have signs out front welcoming Chiefs players, staff and fans. The team trains on the lush fields at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, cheered by road-trippers from Kansas City and locals who over the years have adopted the Chiefs as their own. Just as the Dodgers left Vero for Arizona, the Chiefs will move next summer to Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Mo., which of course makes the most sense for their hometown fans. But for Cheese League loyalists, it stings nonetheless.
The Chiefs made so many changes this offseason, it's surprising they kept the arrowhead. In addition to their new quarterback, new head coach, new staff and new front office led by new general manager
The Chiefs believe their first round pick, defensive end
With three defenders flying in front of him, tight end
Crossing the border from Minnesota to Wisconsin, over the majestic St. Croix River, the first town you hit is Hudson, named because the original mayor likened the St. Croix to the Hudson River. On the main drag, you'll find Barker's Bar and Grill, a 1900 brick building with tin ceilings and an oak bar, where the motto is "A Bistro of a Tavern" and the bread is brought in daily from River Falls. Try the Silver Bison Burger -- raised in Baldwin -- and a Rush River Amber Ale to wash it down.
• Yes, the Chiefs were 2-14 last season, but they did come within six inches of sweeping Denver, lost two games to San Diego by a combined two points and lost in overtime to Tampa Bay after blowing a 21-point lead. Haley is unsympathetic. As the team ran sprints Saturday, one observer overheard him say: "Go through the motions and you'll be 2-14 again."
• Haley is in his first year with the Chiefs, but he knows the club's history. He wore a red Dallas Texans hat to practice Monday.
• Why were the Chiefs 2-14? They only have three players on the current roster that they drafted from 2001-2005: Larry Johnson, Derrick Johnson and punter
• The Chiefs media guide reports that Larry Johnson upholstered his Mercedes Benz G500 with throwback jerseys of NFL greats such as Jim
• Evidence of how River Falls has embraced the Chiefs: The Oscar-Mayer Wienermobile came to practice Monday, not as part of any promotion, but just because the driver had the day off.