Grigsby: Back in the Saddle

Posted Sep 25, 2010

Bill Grigsby Weekend at Arrowhead

Throughout Sunday’s game the Kansas City Chiefs will honor Mr. Kansas City himself, Bill Grigsby. Bill retired at the end of last season after 62 years as a broadcaster, originally joining the Chiefs in the club’s first year after moving from Dallas in 1963.

Grigsby has entertained Chiefs fans on and off the field for the better part of five decades. We remember his calls, commercials and, of course, his one-of-a-kind personality. There’s nobody like Ole’ Grigs, and there never will be.

In honor of Grigs’ career as a broadcaster, writer and entertainer, enjoy this excerpt taken from the book that features hundreds of his archived articles, Don’t Spit in the Wastebasket.

Back in the Saddle After Heart Surgery

Published in 2004

My life requires action. At Arrowhead, The National Golf Course, the Woodlands, a brisk walk on a chilly day or, maybe, just saying (JAZZZZZZZZ) to a bunch of kids.

When the pipeline was shut off for a couple of months while a sure-handed surgeon put the pieces of a well-travelled heart back together, it was a time of testing my free spirit. It was now up to me to follow the rules, letting my body tell me when to stop and go.

Twenty-eight pounds lighter was not a choice, but a happening much to do with a drug I thought was only used at the Churchill Downs, Pimlico or Santa Anita. The drug is LASIX. Or, as Jim Hall, my friend and personal physician said, “You stop peeing six hours after the past dose is taken. With thoroughbreds it’s used to stop bleeding. It’s the boxed dark L on the Rescind Form next to the horses’ name. At any rate, the LASIX was used to rid my magnificent body of the liquids deposited with my pre-dinner martinis, beer or Chianti Classico or a hundred other watering holes wherever they play the NFL game. I’m following orders now given by the lovely people at the Cardiac Rehab in North Kansas City Hospital. They’re as strong-minded as any drill sergeant, but much more understanding.

When you have a family as large as mine out at the Chiefs headquarters, you suffer with every play and instant replay. You see, it has been 41 years of good, bad and beautiful. Love, hate, tears and heartache, but it has always been my Chiefs, win or lose. Make no mistake, this is a great team. How else do you rank in the top two without a lot of good things happening? Three games remain for the real character to emerge.

It will not be easy. Great accomplishments come hard as was the case in 1969 when the Chiefs were carrying a wild card into Shea Stadium, beating Joe Namath and then heading West to beat a Raider team that had won twice that year over the underdog Chiefs. Len Dawson and his gang never trailed as they won and headed to New Orleans and the Super Bowl. Kansas City beat the Vikings and headed home to a ticker tape parade.

Remember, it’s a game of heart when the prize is on the line. Kansas City has the talent, the leadership and the coaching. Carl Peterson mastered the plan for the greatest owner in professional football, Lamar Hunt. Put the puzzle together and it spells a win in Houston. I’m not drinking. The medication may be a factor, but I believe whatever the outcome, we have a winner!

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