When discussing the storied history of the Kansas City Chiefs and the legends who have carried the franchise through thick and thin, recently-retired fullback Anthony Sherman probably won’t top any of those lists. Most people tend to think of names like Tony Gonzalez, Derrick Thomas, Len Dawson, Will Shields or Jamaal Charles. Names of current players like Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce will be staples in the hearts of Chiefs fans forever. However, there is a place in Chiefs lore for players like Anthony Sherman.
With a nickname like "The Sausage" and for all of the crazy stunts he pulled at training camp each year, Sherman will always have a cult following among Chiefs fans of this generation. He was never the best player on the field, but he always did his job. He was the working class pro’s-pro of the Andy Reid era. He also made the lead block for the game-sealing touchdown in Super Bowl LIV.
Sherman isn’t the only off-the-wall fan-favorite the Chiefs have given us over the years. Let’s take a look at a completely subjective top-five list of under-the-radar Kansas City Chiefs players who became fan-favorites.
5. Christian Okoye (Running Back, 1987-1992)
The "Nigerian Nightmare" was a huge part of the transition from terrible teams of the 1980s to the playoff teams of the 1990s, and he looked more like a linebacker than a running back. He isn’t the most off-the-wall choice, which is why he landed at No. 5 on the list, but he only had two really good seasons with the Chiefs, in 1989 (when he led the NFL in rushing) and 1991 (when he topped 1,000 yards and scored nine touchdowns), but anyone who grew up in the ’90s would think he was one of the best running backs of his era. Looking back, Chiefs fans will always wear the red shades and think fondly of those early years of the Martyball Era, featuring Okoye running like a bowling ball through defenders.
4. Marc Boerigter (Wide Receiver, 2002-2005)
There isn’t a single person who watched the Chiefs in the early 2000s that will ever forget Boerigter’s record-setting 99-yard touchdown. His eight-touchdown season in 2002 was an incredible feat for a small-town kid from Hastings, Nebraska. Boerigter’s career season also aligned with Dick Vermeil’s overhaul of the Chiefs and led to the Chiefs having the best offense in the NFL. Sure, the Chiefs had Trent Green, Priest Holmes, Tony G, and Dante Hall on that squad, but Boerigter’s ascent will always be etched into our memories forever.
3. Tyler Thigpen (Quarterback, 2007-2009)
From third-string quarterback to starting quarterback and fan-favorite, Tyler Thigpen had a memorable run. Chiefs fans knew Brodie Croyle wasn't going to be the answer after a rocky start to his young career. Damon Huard was washed up. It was Thigpen’s time to shine in 2008. After Huard was knocked out with a concussion, Thigpen tried to make the most of his opportunities. Despite a rough outing in his first NFL start against the Atlanta Falcons, Thigpen was not phased. The coaching staff adjusted their offense from a run-heavy scheme to a spread system to help facilitate Thigpen’s strengths and limit his weaknesses. It led to Thigpen having moderate success throughout the rest of the season, but the wins never materialized and he finished the season 1-10 as a starter. One feather added to his cap was the fact he led all quarterbacks in rushing yards that season. Unfortunately for Thigpen, the team hit the reset button in 2009 by bringing in a new head coach (Todd Haley) and a new quarterback (Matt Cassel) and he was never given the chance to start again. We’ll never forget that beautifully disastrous season with Thigpen as the signal-caller.
2. Elmo Wright (Wide Receiver 1971-1974)
Having the name Elmo alone puts him up on this list, but that’s not the only reason why Wright belongs here. He was the first player to ever perform a dance in the end zone for a celebration after a touchdown. While Wright may not have been the best player on a team that featured a few future NFL Hall of Famers, he certainly was entertaining. Wright’s best season was his rookie year when he caught 26 passes for 528 yards, including three touchdowns. He was recently inducted into the college football hall of fame. His induction reminded an older generation of Chiefs fans that Elmo made football more than just a game, it was about having fun, too.
1. Keith Cash (Tight End, 1992-1996)
There is no greater player to put at the top of this list. A tight end two at best, Cash made one play that vaulted him into Chiefs fans' hearts forever. A touchdown in the playoffs will do that for a guy. It was in the 1993 playoffs, specifically, with the Chiefs trailing the Houston Oilers 10-0. Joe Montana found Cash for a touchdown that sparked a comeback. It wasn’t just the points on the board, but largely because of what Cash did after the touchdown. He chucked a fastball into the face of a painted Buddy Ryan sign and the rest was history. Chiefs folk hero forever.