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Dwayne Bowe Has Special Connection with Chiefs Kingdom

Posted Dec 2, 2014

After eight years in Kansas City, Dwayne Bowe feels a special connection to Chiefs fans

If it’s possible to quietly become one of the best receivers in a franchise’s history, that’s exactly what Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe has done.

After eight years of donning the red and white, not only does Bowe currently sit as the Chiefs’ franchise leader in receptions from a receiver (518), but he’s also the fastest Chiefs player to get 6,000 yards receiving in his career (95 games).

As Bowe sits just 337 yards away from becoming the Chiefs’ all-time leader at receiver (Otis Taylor, 7,306), the records are just a small piece of the legacy Bowe will ultimately leave in Kansas City. 

Bowe, the team’s first round pick (No. 23 overall) out of LSU back in 2007, is always the last player to leave the field after pregame warmups. While other players head for the tunnel, Bowe can be found with fans signing autographs, taking pictures and ultimately sharing moments with the fabric of Chiefs Kingdom.

“It's something internal I get from them,” Bowe explained of the extra time spent with fans before the game. “When I look into their eyes, when I spend time with them and they're chanting my name and you see the sea of red, that blood just gives me a rush. To see their face when I walk up to them to give them a hug, a glove or a football, then to get the letters the next week in my locker saying that it was a life-changing experience, it’s amazing.

“I just remember when I was a kid, my life changed after meeting Jerry Rice. It makes me want to be that guy so when I'm done playing. I can be that guy someone talks about or had a life-changing experience about."

Developed from a brief meeting with arguably the greatest receiver of all time in Rice, Bowe’s relationship and attitudes towards connecting with fans aren’t simply just to make someone else’s day. He takes something from it as well.

“Just thinking about being a child or a fan that’s been coming to games almost their whole life and to be able to interact with one of their favorite players, it brings some kind of warmness to your heart,” Bowe said. “You have to play for those people and that's the reason I do it—to get that warm-hearted feeling, and then to go out there to play my tail off."

Bowe currently leads the Chiefs in targets (73), receptions (46) and first-down receptions (33) this season. He’s made a name for himself throughout his career by making tough, contested catches.

In his second season with coach Andy Reid, Bowe spoke of the relationship he’s developed with Reid.

"You could definitely say a father-son relationship,” Bowe explained. “He's going to be on you, he wants the best for you and he knows how to get it out of you. To be around a coach that also you can look at as a father figure, it helps your game. It definitely boosts your game.

“He's going to discipline you if he has to and I think that's the camaraderie we have with the whole team.

“He treats everybody like a son, and also like a man.”

Off the field, Bowe recently spent some of his free time out in the community right before Thanksgiving.

“(Anthony) Sherman and I delivered some food to an unfortunate family and no matter what they go through, they want to see the Chiefs win,” Bowe said of the experience. “It's all about the Chiefs and for us to just be a part of making someone's day, it drives you to keep going and the more love you get, the more you want to do."

As one of the veteran players on a team filled with young players, especially at receiver, Bowe understands the leadership needed from him to help develop these guys.

For Bowe, that means not doing much different.

"I think the more you win, the more it's magnified,” Bowe said of his perceived leadership. “People look at you as more of a leader when you’re winning. But I've always been the same person; unfortunately the wins haven't shown it.

“When you have a great offensive-minded coach and a good quarterback and a good defensive team around you, it makes you want to be a part of something special as an individual.”

The Chiefs recently added another veteran receiver in Jason Avant, who caught two passes for 30 yards in his debut against the Denver Broncos last Sunday.

Avant, who spent eight years with Reid in Philadelphia, brings another type of veteran leadership to the Chiefs receivers group, which is something Bowe believes is a good thing.

"[Avant] is very quiet but he's a leader by action,” Bowe said. “He brings poise to the room. He brings that medium level. I'm always uppity and he's just smooth sailing. He teaches the young guys how to be a very calm professional and I come in with the high spunk and let everybody know to show your personality.

“A mixture of both of those ingrained in the young players is nothing but good for everyone."

This Sunday in Arizona, as the Chiefs look to rebound from back-to-back losses for the first time since they opened the season 0-2, Bowe admitted there’s something that can be learned from these losses.

“Sometimes it takes losing to understand what you have to do to win,” Bowe said. “I think guys now know from these two losses to combine everything we did when we won five straight and just emulate it.

“It starts in practice. I think putting back on shells and banging and going outside is going to get us back into that groove where we started when we won those five straight."

As the Chiefs fight through these last four regular season games to get back into the playoffs for the second consecutive season, something they haven’t done in 20 years (1994-95), Bowe can still look at the bigger picture and understand how lucky he was to land in Kansas City almost a decade ago.

“The people in this town and this city just make you feel loved and make you feel like you're doing something right no matter if you're winning or losing,” Bowe said. “That's why I take my time out to acknowledge them, to let them know it's real and the love I have for them is real.”

Bowe will have an opportunity to feel that love two more times at Arrowhead Stadium this season. The Chiefs host the Oakland Raiders on December 14 and the San Diego Chargers on December 28.

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