Football is Upon Us All

The smell of freshly cut grass fills the air. Soon the sounds of pads crashing, coaches yelling and players grunting will overtake the idyllic town of River Falls, Wisconsin. As July fades into August, the eyes of the Chiefs nation are focused squarely on this small college town. This is the beginning.

Not since the arrival of quarterback Joe Montana, has this much optimism surrounded a Chiefs training camp. The Chiefs are fielding the most prolific offense in the NFL, a rebuilt defense and some of the most dynamic special teams' players in the game.

The Kansas City Chiefs did an excellent job this offseason, in both free agency and the draft. If the Super Bowl were determined by the offseason, the Chiefs would definitely be contender. Unfortunately, that isn't the case.

No, the Chiefs have to go to work, and the work begins now. Training camp is the start of a marathon that hopefully will end in Detroit with the Chiefs hoisting the Vince Lombardi trophy. The Chiefs players will spend the next month paying the price with sweat and pain. The defense will begin the gelling process. The offense will incorporate new players.

For some players, this is their first NFL training camp. For some, this is the last. Head coach Dick Vermeil has indicated that he will likely retire after the season. Future Hall of Fame guard Will Shields and left tackle Willie Roaf are on a year to year basis. At the opposite end of the spectrum, rookie linebacker Derrick Johnson will be attending the first of hopefully many training camps with the Chiefs.

Camaraderie is built not only by the players, but also the fans that come to catch what is the most intimate glimpse of the teams. No where else can the fans get this close to the team. Spectators can stand as close as mere feet from the activities on the field. People are friendly, chatting with complete strangers, or friends they have made through the annual pilgrimage to training camps. Residents of River Falls welcome this disruption, making visitors feel at home in this beautiful area.

Even members of the media are gracious. In fact, if you see a smallish, dreadlocked reporter around the Chiefs practice facilities or at one of the local watering holes, don't hesitate to stop him and say hello. More than likely, it's probably none other than yours truly. So feel free to say, "Hey, Nuge!", or if you see Mighty Mike or the even the elusive Chiefs Insider, say hi. We like hearing from our readers, and we know that without the members of the Warpaint Illustrated community, we wouldn't have the opportunity to do what we love to do.

So, if you can, try to make it to camp. If you do, I promise you won't be sorry. How many times will we see the Chiefs have the opportunity to kick off a legitimate Super Bowl run?

If you can't, rest assured that the staff of Warpaint will be bringing our readers the absolute best coverage of the Chiefs, period. In fact, invite your friends over to check out site with you and chat it up. If you stand outside, it'll be just like being there, almost. Top Stories