Chiefs Notes: Hawaii Bound for Three O-Linemen

The Chiefs will send five players to Hawaii, three from their vaunted offensive line, but no one will have taken a more circuitous route than guard Brian Waters.

Joining Waters as starters are perennial Pro Bowlers Will Shields and Willie Roaf, both selected for a 10th time and Tony Gonzalez for the seventh time. Tony Richardson won a second straight trip at fullback; selected as alternates were 2003 honorees Trent Green, Priest Holmes, special teams' standout Gary Stills and returner Dante Hall.

Having three offensive linemen named Pro Bowl starters isn't that unusual, actually. Denver did it as recently as 1998, but that was on a Super Bowl team. The Chiefs, remember, are 6-8. The last time a guard tandem was selected, as Shields and Waters were, was when the Dallas Cowboys had Nate Newton and Larry Allen honored during their Super Bowl run.

But this was Waters first selection. He was a college tight end who became a defensive end in his senior year before he signed as an undrafted free agent to play center in Kansas City. He spent a year in NFL Europe before returning to the Chiefs to settle in at a new position -- left guard.

"I've been around the world to get here," the fifth-year guard said Wednesday after learning he was among five Chiefs voted into the Pro Bowl.

"I've changed positions multiple times. I've played in all kinds of places (in Europe) I couldn't even name before I got there. So, yeah, it's been a long road, but it's been worth it."

Well, maybe. As the Chiefs' first-year representative to the Pro Bowl, Waters understands that the drinks are on him.

"He's going to be buying all the Mai Tais," promised tight end Tony Gonzalez, who was voted as a starter for the sixth straight year. "He'd better not give out his room number or he's going to have a very big bill by the end of the trip."

It's a mathematical possibility that all but defies credibility, but there a scenario by which the Chiefs could finish 8-8 and qualify for the playoffs. Really we're not kidding.

No, it isn't probable, but it's there. The only even modestly believable part is that the Chiefs must win their last two games against Oakland and at San Diego in the finale to even consider this lottery-ticket proposition.

But here it is anyway.

Should the Chiefs finish 8-8, they can make the playoff if all other teams currently 8-6 -- Denver, Baltimore, Buffalo and Jacksonville -- lose their final two games and fall to 8-8. There's 10 games right there -- including KC's two as their part of the deal -- that all have to go the Chiefs way.

And we're not done.

There is an 11th game that would have to fall for the Chiefs. Houston must beat Jacksonville and lose to Cleveland. If the Texans win both and finish 8-8, they'd have a tiebreaker on Kansas City.

Your odds of getting 11 games to all fall your way are about as good as getting in and out of your local DMV in a half hour. Sorry to even bring it up.

But can you imagine if they did? Who would want to play them in the playoffs? Nobody!

KR Dante Hall was named the AFC's special teams' player of the week Wednesday for his 97-yard touchdown return with the opening kickoff last week against Denver. It was the sixth such designation of Hall's career after he was so honored four times in 2003. Hall has two kickoff return touchdowns this year and just missed a third when he fumbled while moving the ball to another hand 15 yards short of the end zone.

BY THE NUMBERS:
22-8 - Kansas City's record vs. the Raiders since 1990, including one playoff victory.

QUOTE TO NOTE:"Watching football on Christmas is a family activity, isn't it?" -Coach Dick Vermeil, when asked if the NFL wasn't intruding on family time by scheduling games on Christmas Day.


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