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Insider Blog: Summer Vacation?

Posted Jun 20, 2010

The typical vacation destinations are on hold for many of the Chiefs as there is still plenty of work to be done, even if it's not at Arrowhead.

Take a stroll through the football wing at the Arrowhead Training Facility. There are lots of closed doors, dark offices and unattached cords where laptop computers typically rest.

Make your way downstairs into the Chiefs locker room. One of the most active rooms in the building, foot traffic is minimal at the moment. Some of the lockers have even been prepared for a move to training camp in St. Joseph. Practice begins on July 30th.

Right now, the Chiefs football headquarters house a ghost town.

Coaches, players, members of the football operations crew and the front office staffers have officially begun vacation. The rookies are part of the few still in attendance each and every day at the facility. Outside of those newest Chiefs, you’ll have to do some detective work to find the majority of the football crew.

Luckily, you won’t have to search very long to find many of the names that make up the 2010 Kansas City Chiefs roster. Many of those names are spending their vacations out in the community.

As members of the Chiefs Rookie Class were boarding busses on Friday afternoon to visit Ft. Riley, Kansas, starting quarterback Matt Cassel was loading up an SUV with golf clubs in a travel case primed for flight.

“You packing up the clubs for vacation, Matt?”

“Well, actually, I’m heading up with some of the guys to participate in Charlie’s golf tournament,” Cassel said. “It should be a really fun weekend.”

Charlie’s golf tournament?

Per WSBT, South Bend…

By the middle of July, Maura, daughter Hannah and son Charlie Jr. won’t be around either. They’ll join Weis in Kansas City, Mo., where he is now the offensive coordinator for the NFL’s Chiefs and where he has been essentially a bachelor for the past five months.

What won’t be packing up with them is the Weis family’s Hannah & Friends Charity. In fact, it’s Hannah & Friends that brought Weis back to the South Bend area this weekend for a charity gala Friday night and his celebrity golf tournament Saturday at Blackthorn Golf Club.

The centerpiece of the charity, which raises awareness and provides programs for people with special needs, is Hannah & Friends Farm, named after Weis’ special needs teenage daughter. The 40-plus acre property on Hollyhock Road north of South Bend is a residential community for adults with special needs, and also the hub for activities for special needs children in the Michiana area.

“When I got let go, there were a lot of rumors around town that Hannah & Friends was going away, too,” Weis said. “Not only did we not go away, but we expanded the types of things we do.”

Yes, the Chiefs quarterback spent his first weekend of vacation with the man who he meets with, daily, throughout most of the year. On the other side of things, offensive coordinator Charlie Weis chose to spend his first weekend of vacation hosting a charity golf tournament in the town of his previous employer.

Charity. It’s not what many people think of when a much anticipated vacation period arrives, but it seems to be a common theme among Chiefs players.

Per TimesNews.net

Beyond athletic abilities, fallen coal miner William “Rosie” Roosevelt Lynch and NFL Kansas City Chiefs running back Thomas Jones share a common heritage: both are part of the deep-rooted African-American history in Appalachian coal mines.

Jones is a legendary tailback at Powell Valley High School in Big Stone Gap and at The University of Virginia before moving on to the NFL. Jones will be the keynote speaker at a unique event in West Virginia to honor Roosevelt Lynch and Joel “Jody” Price, two black miners who lost their lives along with 27 other coal miners in the April 5 mining disaster at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine.

“The Soul of Coal” will begin at 2 p.m. on July 11 at the Tamarack Conference Center in Beckley. The event will focus on the rich history and diversity in southern West Virginia’s coal mining past with proceeds going to the Lynch Memorial Fund set up through the Beckley Area Foundation.

Yes, RB Thomas Jones will spend a portion of his vacation by giving back at a coal-mining event. The cause is close to his heart because Jones’ mother worked the graveyard shift for 20 years at a Virginia coal mine while raising Jones and his six other siblings.

Next, up Eric Berry pulling double-duty.

Per WVLT, Knoxville

The University of Tennessee and AstroTurf have officially broke ground on the new $1.5 million Research Center for Safer Athletic Fields. UT and the artificial turf maker first announced the project a year ago. Once complete the outdoor facility will feature 60 small-scale research fields with different surfaces. UT Faculty members and AstroTurf researchers will then study each surface in hopes of improving athletic performance and reducing injuries.

Volunteer legend and Kansas City Chiefs first round pick Eric Berry was present at the ground breaking. AstroTurf officials say Berry has been especially passionate about the project, which he told Volunteer TV News can really help make a difference.

Yes, the Chiefs first-round pick is mixing in public appearances back in Knoxville on the weekend’s while he trains in Kansas City on the weekdays.

There’s more…

Per the Americus Times-Recorder

Americus native Leonard Pope wanted to do something different this year for his annual event for kids in his hometown. So on June 26, Pope, along with the C.H.A.M.P. foundation (Creating Hope And Making Progress), will partner with Phoebe Sumter Medical Center in an effort to create awareness about the dangers of childhood obesity with a Kids Day at the Sumter County Fairgrounds.

“Childhood obesity is an epidemic here in the United States, and those numbers are even worse in the South,” said Pope, a three-year NFL veteran who plays for the Kansas City Chiefs. “With that in mind, I wanted to use this event as a way to draw attention to this cause and try to make a difference by stressing the importance of kids getting in motion and living a healthy lifestyle.

“The NFL has a program in place that stresses the importance of kids getting out of the house and getting active (The NFL at 60), and I wanted to use that as a basis for my annual Fun Day here in Americus. We will still have fun, but there will be a lot of activities for the kids to keep them moving and help them work up a sweat.”

Yes, Chiefs TE Leonard Pope is spending part of his vacation hosting a Kid’s Day back in his hometown. One of his offensive mates is doing something similar as well.

Per The DeKalb Chronicle

Wanting to do something for young football players in the area, Alicia Daniels called on some family to help her. Luckily for Daniels, her cousin, Kansas City Chiefs and former Pro Bowl wide receiver Chris Chambers knows a few things about football.

Daniels called Chambers and his foundation C.A.T.C.H. 84 (Children Achieving Through Community Help) hosted a free football skills camp for kids ages 10-15 and high school players with Chambers as an instructor on Saturday afternoon at DeKalb High.

"It was nice to come into this community," Chambers said. "They spearheaded everything for us. We've been doing camps for about seven years now. We were able to run this camp with the support of the coaches and that made it a great success for the first year and I'm looking to come back next year."

Each of these snippets was found in local newspaper on online clips published over the weekend. Though many of the hallways, offices and lockers are dark at Arrowhead, not everyone is setting up shop on the beach, in Las Vegas, New York or Miami. Some of those trips may come over the next few weeks, but many of the Chiefs are spending their vacations by working on their game off the field.

It’s a good thing to see and hear.

As for those still in Kansas City…the rookies will get a lift and run in this morning. The group is behind and has Haley’s training camp conditioning test looming in the not-so-distant future. After that lift, however, they’ll head out to yet another community appearance.

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