Why it’s time for Chiefs Kingdom to forgive the Hall of Famer
Jarrod Thurman @JarrodChiefsFCS Chiefs Focus @ChiefsFocus
Tony Gonzalez. Depending on the Chiefs fan, that name will either irritate you or make you smile, but why is that? He spent 12 seasons in Kansas City and some Chiefs fans hate him.
Gonzalez was traded to the Falcons on April 29, 2009, in exchange for a 2010 2nd-round pick, which was used to draft corner back and punt returner Javier Arenas. I remember this day pretty well.
I went to see a movie and during the movie, a friend of mine sent me a text saying he had been traded. I was devastated. Tony Gonzalez was a bit of a hero to me as a teenager. I wrote two different papers on him in high school, one in Spanish class where we had to write about a famous person of Hispanic descent and another one about a hero of ours for English class.
I even bought one of his Falcons jerseys after the NFL began selling them, which was the first non-Chiefs jersey I had ever bought. I had a huge smile on my face when I went to an autograph session he was at and I got to meet him and get his autograph and he had a brief conversation with my dad.
I cried happy tears when he finally got that playoff win that had eluded him his entire career when he played for the Falcons. I cried during his Hall of Fame induction speech. My mom still to this day has a crush on him and used to say “Tony wants a touchdown” when the Chiefs needed a score.
Enough about my thoughts about him, this article is why you should forgive him. The first comment he made that rubbed Chiefs fans the wrong way was when he said his time with the Falcons would be about winning instead of about records, like when he played for the Chiefs.
Let’s keep in mind, he only made 3 playoff appearances and only had 5 winning seasons in his time with the Chiefs, and was the sole bright spot on offense in his final year with the team in 2008. He definitely shouldn’t have made that comment, but I do understand it.
The next comment that Chiefs fans didn’t like is at Super Bowl LIII, the year the Chiefs were an off-sides call away from the Super Bowl. While being interviewed by Atlanta TV stations mind you, he said the Falcons made his career.
This was the final straw for a lot of Chiefs fans. Again, I do not blame them for being mad, but I think a large portion of this was Chiefs fans who were still a little upset about the ending of the AFC Championship game against the Patriots. I was pretty upset too, especially, as I said earlier, he was a bit of a hero to me as a teenager.
Why should Chiefs fans forgive him for his comments? For starters, he did almost immediately apologize directly to Chiefs fans. If you didn’t catch his apology, here’s what he said:
“Kansas City Chiefs fans, I just want to tell you from the bottom of my heart, thank you. The 12 years I spent there were fantastic. I always tell people I became a man, obviously on the field but off the field as well out in Kansas City.
The fan support I had out there is second-to-none. It’s die-hards and people that supported me through the tough times and through the great times that we had out there in Kansas City. I’m looking forward to Canton. For those that can make it, I would love that, first of all. And I just want to tell you guys once again, thank you for my marvelous 12 years out there in Kansas City. Go Chiefs.”
That shows me he has genuine love for the Chiefs and Chiefs fans. Additionally, when he worked for CBS when he would be asked to pick a game the Chiefs were playing in, he would act insulted that they expected him to pick anybody but the Chiefs, on more than one occasion even saying “Of course, I’m picking the Chiefs.
When he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019, he gave love to the Chiefs in his speech. With a big smile on his face, he said “And then to the fans, the fans of the Kansas City Chiefs. Are in the house Chiefs fans?” To which the crowd cheered.
He even channeled “and the home of the CHIEFS!” from the end of the National Anthem that we always hear at Arrowhead Stadium. In his final quote about the Chiefs, he said “And so, you Kansas City Chiefs fans, know how much I appreciated you and how much I cherished the relationships before the game, after the game, coming out to the parking lot, giving cookies, giving burritos, words of encouragement. I love you guys. Thank you.”
When the Chiefs won the Super Bowl, he was genuinely excited. He posted frequently during their Super Bowl run. He joined Chiefs fans at the celebration leading up to the game as well. I did see some Chiefs fans try and claim he didn’t pick the Chiefs to win, but he most definitely did.
Long story short, this man loves this team. He gave Kansas City 12 years of his life and the best years of his career. He rewrote the team’s receiving record book on the way to rewriting the record book at the position.
Despite how well Travis Kelce has played in his career, he is still (entering the 2022 season) 1,934 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 212 receptions behind Gonzalez. I understand Chiefs fans being upset about what he said, but I know he regrets it.
It’s definitely time for Chiefs fans to look deep down and forgive him. We forgave Jamaal Charles for signing with the Broncos and Derrick Johnson for signing with the Raiders, I think we can forgive one of the best players to ever wear that Arrowhead on their helmet.