It is summer, and the voice of the coach is heard in our land. His exhortations are designed to drive a team to the Super Bowl, a journey that for every NFL player begins with timed 40-yard sprints in July. So it was for 74 Kansas City Chiefs and a dog, off to a hot start in Liberty, Mo.
With the race to the swift, what better test of burning—or steaming—ambition than driving off the line in full pads in a series of 20-yard sprints up and down the practice field at William Jewell College? The method behind the madness is: if you can hack it in 90° and 90% humidity in July, you can fire out or pursue in 15° in the fourth quarter come December.
High atop his portable tower Head Coach Hank Stram, chin in hand, seeks out malingerers. One sight sure to incur his displeasure is the ample midriff of 298-pound Guard Elbert Walker (right), an 11th-round draft pick.
Back to earth, the flamboyant Stram adds his 207 pounds to the blocking sled and gets pushed around by a brace of his employees. Urging the churning linemen to take their boss for a ride is Offensive Line Coach Bill Walsh.
July 30, 1972
In theory the agony of camp is compensated for by the ecstasy of making the 40-man squad. It is the prospect of this Nirvana that sustains Defensive Tackle John Kahler while in the clutches of a Nautilus Torso Machine.
During the postlunch break Offensive Tackle Sid Smith (left) and Wide Receiver Elmo Wright ponder the first game of the Fischer-Spassky world championship match. The board was set up by Wright's roomie, Defensive End Aaron Brown, the Chiefs' chief chess freak.
When you come to the end of a training camp day, you sign autographs for kids and pose for Instamatics—that is, if you are Quarterback Len Dawson. If, however, you are Guard George Daney, you just sit wearily and wonder: Can I make it through tomorrow?