Glazer: Scribe Recalls Chiefs Glory Days, Wonders Where Things Went Horribly Wrong

Not counting my dad, I was blessed as a kid…

Every fall weekend all I could think about was, "Will the Chiefs win another one?"  It was the late 1960s. The Chiefs and Oakland Raiders were by far the two best teams in the AFL. As luck would have it, my Uncle Mort owned Glazer Chemical, so several Chiefs worked for him during the off season. That’s right, back then most football players made less than $35,000 a year, some far less. Today that might be a small bonus on a wild card play-off game…for the losers.

Yep, I would ride with my Dad or Uncle Mort after school, sometimes with All Pro Jerrel Wilson (the Chiefs great punter) or maybe Jim Tyrer (all pro lineman). Over the next few years Mort would have about six or seven players working for him selling his product. I even got to know players who you probably never heard of, like Super Bowl back-up guard Dennis Biodrowski. I liked him, pulled for him, but he never got to start. He did give me and my brothers an autographed football of the entire Chiefs team in Super Bowl One. That was cool.

I tried for a couple years to get a player to come to my school, Meadowbrook Jr. High, to give a talk, but no such luck.

However, my dad, Stan, befriended most of the name players and they would take turns having dinner at our house. Len Dawson, Bobby Bell and Fred Arbanas. Man, was Bell ever a gladiator, at 6′ 4" and 230 pounds. That was huge for a linebacker in late 60’s.

I asked Bobby at my dad’s 80th birthday party recently, if they kept track of sacks in the 60’s, what would have been your best year? And he said, "Oh man, I think I had like 20 or more a couple times, but we didn’t count them back then."

Yeah, Bobby Bell, in my opinion was the all-time best linebacker in the NFL/AFL. He was named to the all AFL team and had nine Pro Bowls and went into the Hall of Fame in 1980. Great guy. Today he is a speaker for the Chiefs and the League.

As the years rolled on I made tighter connections with a team mostly two decades or more older than myself.

Fred Williamson and I became pals in LA, where Fred continues his film work to this day. I did a Royals charity game with Fred "the Hammer" Williamson. Len Dawson and I bumped into each other for years in airports when he worked for NBC as a TV announcer and later for HBO and of course Channel 9 and the Chiefs. He helped me organize Red Fridays and was my neighbor at the Sulgrave.

Both of us tried in vain to get Otis Taylor elected to the Hall of Fame – that he isn’t in the Hall is a tragedy.

Yes, those 1965-1972 Chiefs were special.

They truly belonged to Kansas City. Bell even was one of the first black men to move into a nice home in Overland Park. They were loved, still are by most of us that saw them play and got to know them.

Another odd thing, most of them lived here. Today almost no current Chiefs live here or stay here during the off season. One more important thing about those teams; we all knew our Kansas City Chiefs were more than elite. Some say the 1969 Chiefs had the best defense in NFL history. I believe that.

Many of my childhood heroes have passed away Jerry Mays (whose construction company built Stanford and Sons in Westport), Buck Buchanan, Aaron Brown, to name a few.

Maybe one day we’ll have a special group like that again.

THE SUPER BOWL TEAMS OF 1966/67 and 1969/70. They made us all so very proud to be from Kansas City. It was an honor for me to meet them and get to know them.

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14 Responses to Glazer: Scribe Recalls Chiefs Glory Days, Wonders Where Things Went Horribly Wrong

  1. Craig Glazer says:

    Hey Stans Not So Bad
    Hearne threw that line in, my dad and I get along just fine today….you only have one Dad and one Mom…

  2. balbonis moleskine says:

    wow, that kinda sucks that he did that to your story. FWIW, I thought this was a well written and interesting article.

    Bowe and D.Johnson live in my neighborhood. Nice guys. So there are at least a few Chiefs still choosing to live here in KC.

  3. Kerouac says:

    Does size matter?
    Nice story… I’d rather watch highlights of those guys the vintage days than the modern athlete/football today; the ’69 Chiefs won the last ‘true’ Superbowl AFL vs NFL in January 1970… everything since has been anti-climax.

    Speaking of Superbowls, the dynasty that was the Packers remain the best pro football ‘team’ I’ve ever seen, having been watching football since the late 1950’s. Yet people forget that the Chiefs actually were tied at 7-7 with GB Superbowl I; had K Mike Mercer not missed a FG, KC would’ve taken the lead in that game at 10-7 2nd quarter. While the final differential of 25 points might indicate an rout, anyone who actually reviews how that game transpired will see it was still a game until almost the 4th quarter, GB only getting some real breathing room with a minute remaining quarter three. Ditto Superbowl II, where the final 19 point differential belies how close the game actually was for the majority, GB vs OAK.

    Now a rant.

    One thing about ‘official’ heights/weights of players: they’ve always been subject to massaging up or down depending on coaches/ PR desire. They also to this day continue to be no sure thing when determining the better player/team (sometimes, they are a sure thing: like the Chiefs post season game vs the Ravens in January 2011, when the bigger, stronger, faster Ravens dominated.)

    Modern: QB Jamarcus Russell anyone? Listed at 6’6 260 (to 300 lbs., reportedly); he should have equated to an HOF career.
    Old school: WR Bullet Bob Hayes, he of the 9.1 100 yard dash the 1960s; I haven’t seen a faster NFL player since, 40+ years.

    Everything is realtive: the bigger, stronger, faster players are better, today > yesterday, so goes the party line. Hogwash. The better players/teams win, regardless of height/weight. DEN’s small offensive lines/cutback scheme dominated with their running game for years against bigger, stronger, faster defenses- talent the difference; KC’s small offensive line 2011 shows what lack of talent AND size can result in.

    There have always been bigger, stronger, faster players – if that was what determined greatness then all that would be necessary would be to toss team rosters out on the field beforehand, no need to play the game. Both the Chiefs and the Raiders were bigger, stronger and faster than the Packers in Superbowl’s I & II… Green Bay won both; ditto for the 1968 Jets vs Colts… Jets won. Only in Superbowl IV did the bigger, stronger, faster team – KC – win.

    As for specific players, Bobby Bell was ‘listed’ 6’4 228, but was moreso 215 tops, actually not large for an OLB then (various OLB’s the era listed at least 6’3 or taller and 240 or more, Green Bay’s Lee Roy Caffey, Dave Robinson and BUFF’s Mike Stratton among those who come to mind.) Bell was however the best OLB of his era with apologies to Mssrs. George Webster, Dave Wilcox, Dave Robinson et al; and in my opinion no one to date has ever been better than Bell… not bad for an ‘undersized’ LB.

    WR Otis Taylor was listed anywhere from 6’2 – 6’4 during his career & from 211 to 225, but usually 6’3 215; Otis told me he actually played at about 227, which would make him bigger than LB Bell, for what said is worth. Bless OT’s heart, if it was a matter of talent he’d be in the HOF – as it is based on stats (and bias), I sadly fear he will never make it in (PITT’s Lynn Swann has lesser stats, yet is in.)

    Chiefs MLB Sherrill Headrick listed as much as 240 when in fact he played at 215/220 during his career… TE Morris Stroud listed at 6’10, was moreso 6’8 3/4… Noland ‘Supergnat’ Smith was listed at 5’8 163 as a rookie – he ‘mysteriously’ shrunk to 5’6 1/2 154 once he arrived in KC… OT Dave Hil listed at 260 for years, when in fact he was no less than 275 and eventually almost 300 by the end of his career. Fred Williamson was ‘big’ for a CB in the 1960’s- he’d still be large today at 6’3 and 209 (or 215 as he sometimes listed; that his talent wasn’t as large as his head was affirmed whenever he faced legit WRs.)

    Ernie Ladd DT listed 6’9 290 with KC (he listed as much as 6’9 324 earlier in his career; 335 was more accurate.) I still chuckle at what C Jon Morris of the Patriots said about facing the tall and wide Ladd: “It was dark. I couldn

  4. Craig Glazer says:

    Well Done, Great Information Kerouac
    That was an interesting read. Thank you.

  5. chuck says:

    Kerouac
    Morris and I used to get hammered in the 70’s. Great guy, dated a friend of mine and I knew him pretty well for a couple of years. He was right at 6′ 10″, we made jokes about it with Patty I, and this is a fact. Dude was oil derrick tall.

    Bobby Bell, Willie Lanier, Curtis McClinton and all of the Chiefs used to come down to Walter Mitty’s in 1974 when I got out of the service. Bobby Bell was a fuckin freak of nature.

    Glaze is right, he was EVERY bit of 230, and cut like hell.

    I was with Buck Buchanan in a drug store a couple of years before he died. Glaze should be a better reference than I am on this, but Buck was skinny, way skinny. It made me think of the Blue and Yellow pills, that a tight end named Gary Butler told me about back in the 70s on Eastwood Trfkway and 435. He told me the yellow ones made him crazy, but he had to take them to play.

    I had NO fuckin clue what he was talking about, there was a fishbowl of pills on his coffee table, and a bunch of guys who were ripped as fuck drinkin beer.

    Turns out, those pills, those steroids, killed many old NFL guys who used them to make the team.

    IMO, Buck was one of the guys who died way early, for the team.

    He was a nice guy to talk to. No one recognized him but me. He DID NOT have cancer then, he just wasted away to his normal weight (IMO) and looked like a fromer forward in the NBA.

    Those steroids they took back in the 60’s, 70’s and maybe 80’s, were some virulent and fast acting.

    Earnie Ladd came down there too. Gigantic. He had some huge mitts, he was a wrestler I think.

    Anyway, Morris was a big guy, who by the way, stayed big after football, at least as long as I kept running into him.

  6. Craig Glazer says:

    Photo Is Stan, Ed Budde(Chiefs Hall of Famer) and Me
    I was remiss in not mentioning another all time great Ed Budde, who is in the Chiefs Hall of Fame and deserves the NFL Hall of Fame, he was a six time pro bowler, All Time AFL Player like Bobby Bell and was the heart of the Chiefs two Super Bowl Offensive Lines….nobody was better, at 6’5″ and 260 he more then “got her done”….Ed today is still a Chiefs Rep with the Gold Coats along with other pals of mine like Ted McKnight, who came along later. Ed was the first O Lineman named Offensive Player Of The Week in the NFL….he was that good.

  7. chuck says:

    Just My Opinion Kerouac
    But most of those players back in the 60s and 70s would in no way make the cut today.

    Jim Brown would be a second string afterthought on any NFL team today.

    One guy, who I think, imo, could get off of the bus, and play right away, is O. J. Simpson. OK, I am not excusing the murders.

    I am saying, that the guy was the complete package as a running back, who could easily play with bigger faster players, now, in the new millenium.

    I know he is an asshole, but I think he was the greatest running back I have ever seen in the NFL.

    JMO

    🙂

  8. Craig Glazer says:

    I Don’t Agree Chuck
    They would just be TODAYS guys, with roids, more weight, more training, Jim Brown would be good today Chuck, he was a monster…yeah some average guys back then, no they would play today…its a strange argument..like would the Babe matter today, I think so…I knew Simpson, not an asshole a drug addict…that made him nuts and he had no education to speak of, just a suit and tie…

  9. Kerouac says:

    The (tall) tale(s) of the tape
    Not looking to argue – will stand by what I said… he was measured 6’8 3/4, pre-draft 1969. An inch & 1/4 isn’t much, but 6’8 3/4 is not 6’10, so we’ll agree to disagree.

    What I’ve noted over the years in listening to stories (sort of like fishing tales i.e., whoppers) is that some player(s) when talking about themselves/other players embrace “when I was a kid we walked uphill to school both ways” as in ‘everything gets larger / greater’ etc. over time, unintentionaly or not.

    Back to the players in question, Buchanan was listed variously at 6’7 to 6’8, and from 276 as a rookie to 300 lbs. early on pro football career. He listed most usually his heydey at 6’7 287 up until 1969, when he dropped some lbs. as he aged, down to 273. By the time his final couple seasons, he was listing 254 lbs. – in fact he was even lighter. He always had spindly legs / a huge upper body, even when younger. I knew the end was near for Buck as a player in ’74 when Chargers OG Doug Wilkerson pancaked Buck onto his back – that NEVER happened to him before. The guy’s legs were shot at the end his career; in truth Buck was descending as a player from about ’70 on compared his former HOF dominant self.

    According my info Bell was never 230 in his career. 60’s he did ‘reportedly’ have a 29 inch waist, the days before the workout/training regimen that is in place today… this later became 28, then 27 inches depending on source; sometimes the size of the fish caught changes over time, or the team figures a player listed 230 or 6’6 sounds more intimidating than one listed 215 or 6’4.

    The beat goes on.

    Remember when the Chiefs swore Brodie Croyle was 6’2 206? I think even the player himself affirmed that. Well, on him I cannot speak definitively, but observing other players standing beside him / their purported height/weight, I would doubt BC topped 6’1 or reached 200 lbs. even aft a phenomenal Thanksgiving dinner. I’m certain that extra inch & 6+ lbs. both intimidated the opposition and saved Brodie from an even worse fate than he realized in KC : )

  10. Kerouac says:

    OK, and here’s my opinions Chuck
    “But most of those players back in the 60s and 70s would in no way make the cut today.”

    – no way to validate or invalidate. My opine, many wouldn’t – and many would. I also second the comments CG re: putting yesteryear’s players en masse in today’s game with the same access training regimen/’progress’, etc. renders moot the advantage modern. As I stated before, everything is relative.

    “Jim Brown would be a second string afterthought on any NFL team today.”

    – out of respect will not specifically tell you just how ridiculous that comment of yours is… Brown is the best RB (or at worst tied with Gale Sayers at #1) who has ever played the game, my subjective opine. His records still stand today too, many of them… go figure.

    Funny, all these super-dooper pooper scooper athletes today – yet – so many of the greatest records in sports history still belong to the old school hero’s various sports:

    Chamberlain’s 100 points ~ the Celtics Championship run… Unitas 47 straight games with a td pass ~ Packers 5 Championships in 7 years… DiMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak ~ Cy Young’s 511 wins… Montreal Canadians hockey Championship runs… Marciano undefeated heavyweight boxing champion … Nicklaus golfing records… and on and on and, DESPITE all the advantage the modern athletes/teams.

    One would think or at least presume that with all this modern day evolutionary ‘progress’ that these records as well every other would by now have been not merely bettered but totally obliterated by the ‘superior’ athletes… nope.

    “Yeah but, yeah but, yeah but’… yeah but nothing. Any plea or suggestion today’s players are better is subjective assumption, logical though it might seem.

    SNORT

  11. chuck says:

    Ok.
    Here ya tell me that we all exagerate things as time goes by.

    “What I’ve noted over the years in listening to stories (sort of like fishing tales i.e., whoppers) is that some player(s) when talking about themselves/other players embrace “when I was a kid we walked uphill to school both ways” as in ‘everything gets larger / greater’ etc. over time, unintentionaly or not. ”

    Then, in your last post, ya tell me the old guys were better and will never be surpassed, after you discount my claims on a guy’s heiight that I knew personally for years (Casually, sure, but we broke bread, got drunk and I was great friends with his off and of girlfriend and we constantly made jokes about his heigth with him, it was an on going topic of conversation. He was a very nice guy.).

    Full disclosure, Patty was 5′ 11″, and she also dated Kareem Abdul Jabbar. He would come into town in 1975 (I remember, I had my first Harley back then.) and get a hotel. Patty would always ask us to go down there and see him. I never did. The guys told me he always dressed in dashiki, wore the little hat too and they would sit on the floor and smoke pot through a hookah. He was grouchy.

    Jim Brown moved like a glacier, or a Glazer by today’s standards.

    Whatever…

  12. chuck says:

    No, I have no clue how Patty met these guys.
    I have not seen her in 20 years. She became a nurse. Great sense of humor, very funny girl.

  13. Kerouac says:

    Fact vs fiction
    “ya tell me the old guys were better and will never be surpassed”

    – didn’t say they’d ‘never’ be surpassed – just noted the ‘facts’ that they have not been (if ever they will be) to a large extent, i.e., their records severally are still intact despite the advent of ‘progress / PED’s’ etc, whatever one wishes call said.

    I call it the bastardization of sport stats – like a Barry Bonds et al employing artifical medicinal enhancements – and yet still falling far short of say a Babe Ruth almost every stat category imaginable when both were at a similar point in time ‘opportunities’ – seems to suggest the modern athlete is not ‘all that’ after all, even with his advantages variously. Arguments for & against yesteryear / modern player advantages can be given and end up a ‘wash’ all considered – the stats however are not fluid; as such, Ruth beats Bonds like a drum (I may post some of it which I researched, wrote up & saved some years ago.)

    The national scribes/sports mag writers are just as susceptible to overhype. Back in the 1960s they & their enablers (team PR types) fed the lies to the public. Chiefs players like Emmitt Thomas & Noland Smith were said to be 4.1 40 yard dash guys according some – they were fast but not THAT fast; in truth they were high 4.3 guys, just like Otis Taylor was not a suggested by some 4.3 guy but a 4.5 (Otis verified the latter time to me personally, for whatever said is worth.)

    “after you discount my claims on a guy’s heiight that I knew personally for years (Casually, sure, but we broke bread, got drunk and I was great friends with his off and of girlfriend and we constantly made jokes about his heigth with him, it was an on going topic of conversation. He was a very nice guy.)”

    – sort of like a guy claiming that his (blank) is ‘this big’ or whatever, etc. the believability factor in the eye the beholder, as it were. Shy someone impartial taking measurement I’ll retain my cynicism. This case, the info I utilized came from a person who ‘did’ so in ’69, and the player was not 6’10 on his best day… he is likely shorter still today decades later. Ego is not lost only upon the modern – Jim Brown said he was going to come out of retirement several years ago and claimed he could still run faster at his advanced age than Franco Harris – when the stopwatch was employed, the folly of Brown’s statement was affirmed. I put as much stock in any player’s out of hand ‘claims’ as I do in the formerly great (by evidence) Brown’s.

    To each their own ‘beliefs’…

  14. harley says:

    glaze..glaze..glaze…
    you’re sounding your age. You’re sounding like an old man. You’re sounding like a grandpa with all these
    “oh..i wish it was the good ole days”..
    stop…that perriod is over…those days are gone. Long gone. and if you keep talking about them you get lost
    in the old thoughts.
    Do you drive your lotus looking in the rear view mirror? NOOOOOO…you drive it lookking to the road
    ahead. If you drove it looking in the rear view mirror you’d crash. Live your life looking forward…
    it’s easier and you’ll enjoy the world a whole lot more!

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