Peterson was standing in the middle of Arrowhead Stadium gabbing with Trent Green before a preseason game against the Miami Dolphins when sheer genius struck. The moment was captured on HBO's Hard Knocks.
"When things are over with in about another five years," Peterson said, "come back. We'll have you here."
With that, Peterson smiled and pointed to the Arrowhead Stadium press box.
Carl is long gone but Green in Kansas City makes sense again. He has a place in Arrowhead Stadium – the broadcast booth, right next to Mitch Holthus.
Green, who announced his retirement from the NFL last Friday, should become the next Chiefs color analyst for KCFX Radio. It makes too much sense. It's too perfect a fit. It's too easy a transition to consider anything else from where I'm sitting, at least.
I don't want to tug on Superman's cape, but with Hall of Famer Len Dawson cutting back his duties as sports director at KMBC, might we be able to speculate that he's near the end of his run as Holthus' sidekick? Dawson is 73. A younger, fresher perspective in the booth might be just what the Chiefs need, especially with all the other changes around the organization.
It's difficult to think of anyone else who would bring more instant credibility as color man than Green. Chiefs fans still love him, and a good portion of the fan base wanted him to retire from the NFL last year, fearing for his health. On a given Sunday, there are dozens of #10 jerseys still scattered around Arrowhead Stadium.
Green had a messy divorce with the organization before he was traded to Miami, but the coach who orchestrated it (Herm Edwards) is now gone and there don't appear to be any hard feelings whatsoever. I suspect Green could walk into almost any Kansas City barbershop or watering hole and be instantly mobbed by an adoring public (and I wonder if he'd have to pay for anything, too).
Fans would tune in just to hear Green talk about Chiefs football. The sense of familiarity he has with the organization, community and team would give a warm, fuzzy feeling to the broadcast an outsider couldn't hope to replicate. That's a bit sappy, but think about it – to a die-hard Chiefs fan, listening to a celebrated quarterback over the radio for three hours while you watch the game is like having an old buddy by your side. It's comfortable.
Green's experiences in Kansas City make him the ideal choice to chronicle the current regime. In 2001 Green entered Arrowhead with a new coach, a new offensive system, and the expectations that came with the cost of a high draft choice. The same scenario has played out in 2009 with Matt Cassel and Todd Haley, who will be expected to replicate their prior offensive success in Kansas City.
Green is highly familiar with the boo birds that will undoubtedly be heard should Cassel stumble in his first season as a Chief. He'll have a better idea of what's going through a quarterback's head than anyone else at that point. Who better to speak to Chiefs Nation at that critical juncture?
Then there's the post-game arena. As a recent NFL quarterback, Green will have instant credibility with the players in the Chiefs' locker room. As a former teammate, his ability to get Larry Johnson, Brian Waters, Derrick Johnson, Jarrad Page, Monty Beisel, Tamba Hali and Dustin Colquitt to open up in interviews will be unparalleled.
Are there negatives? Certainly. Green already spent time as an analyst with NBC Sports during the playoffs. While he did a great job, it's obvious the networks are chasing him. Would ESPN offer Green a bigger salary than the Chiefs?
There's also the Scott Pioli factor. The front office has already been swept practically clean – will he want to bring in his own broadcast team? No one can say for certain, but it wouldn't be out of character.
Finally, we have to consider Green's feelings. Maybe he'd rather sit in a cozy TV studio somewhere on Sundays. Perhaps he's sick of dealing with professional athletes or he wants to spend more time with his family. He might have hallucinations of Robert Geathers and feel queasy every time he looks at Arrowhead Stadium.
But if you ask me, the Chiefs ought to throw the bank at Green, welcome him back with open arms and make him a part of the franchise again. And while we're at it, KMBC can throw him in a suit, too. Maybe it's a pipe dream, but it sure sounds like a lot of fun.
Green Should Return
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