Their playing days may be over, but more than 30 former members of the Kansas City Chiefs made their presence felt this week.
From Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Bobby Bell to former All-Pro return-man Dante Hall, dozens of former players gathered at the Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate in Overland Park on Monday morning for the 25th annual Golf Classic benefiting the Ambassadors Charitable Foundation.
“We’re just raising money by having a little fun and playing some golf,” said Ambassadors President Keith Cash, who played in Kansas City from 1992-96. “It’s a lot of fun. There’s a bunch of different companies and partners out here with us - it’s just a great event.”
More than 200 fans participated in the tournament, joining players from nearly every generation of Chiefs’ lore with the collective goal of supporting local charities.
In fact, several of the players in attendance on Monday still call Kansas City home.
“This is one of the things I like about Kansas City. A lot of the guys that played here might end up playing somewhere else, but they always end up coming back to Kansas City,” Bell explained. “I came here in 1963 and I haven’t left yet. You look around, and all the guys that played here, they came back and made this their home.”
This marked the first year that the Ambassadors - a close-knit group of former players who continue to serve the Kansas City community – welcomed additional NFL alumni to the tournament, making for a truly unique event.
“It’s about the fellowship – bringing together these guys from different generations,” said Billy Baber, who played in Kansas City from 2001-03 and now serves as Chairman of the Golf Classic. “Just talking to them and hearing stories from guys like Bobby Bell and Jan Stenerud – they did it before us. It’s about hearing how things were done and what we can do to help them.”
Of course, there was some competition involved, too.
“When a man can shoot his age in Jan Stenerud, we all have problems,” Baber said. “I play golf with him from time to time, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him miss a fairway.”
When asked, Stenerud didn’t exactly dispel that notion.
“Well, I respect Billy’s opinion very much – he’s probably right,” Stenerud said laughably. “No, I used to be pretty good, but I’m so-so. My golf game isn’t quite as good as Tiger’s, let’s just put it that way.”
Talents aside, the event existed as yet another example of how dozens of former Chiefs’ players still find ways to impact their community long after they hang up their cleats.
“I love it. It’s a great day and it raises a lot of money,” Stenerud said. “That’s the main thing – this raises quite a bit of money for some good causes.”
To learn more about the Kansas City Ambassadors, click here.
Photo Gallery: Ambassador Golf Classic
Chiefs Ambassadors host 25th annual Charity Golf Classic and Pairings Party