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Former Chiefs and "Monday Niters" Meet and Greet at Local Diabetes Awareness Event

The “Monday Niters” have been fans of the Chiefs since their arrival to Kansas City


Former Kansas City Chiefs Bobby Bell, Curtis McClinton, Ed Lothamer, Jan Stenerud and Dave Lindstrom gathered at Gregg-Klice Community Center Monday afternoon for a Type 2 Diabetes prevention session, also in connection with the Chiefs' Black History Month celebration.

The "Monday Niters," a group of Chiefs fans that have followed the team since their move to Kansas City back in 1963, joined the former players. Five members of the "Monday Niters" were among the first people to buy season tickets for the then-transplanted Dallas Texans.

"To see these guys that have been around, they enjoy it," Bell said. "For them guys to have been doing this for more than 50 years, that's a long time. They made it where it was something that they had to do. The older you get, that's when you want to lay down or something like that, but them guys make sure Monday night, they're going to watch the game."

During the panel, the former Kansas City mayor and current member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Emanuel Cleaver II, described how he and his fellow "Monday Niters" continue to meet for Monday Night Football to this day.


"We get together and we all know more than anybody on the planet about football," Cleaver said. "We talk about all of the days gone by and when we got started, these were the Kansas City Chiefs. These were the guys out on the field who actually inspired us to want to do this."

Bell and many of the Chiefs who played at Municipal Stadium lived among individuals like Cleaver during their playing days.

"I lived next door to the Super Gnat (Noland Smith) and Emmitt Thomas in the apartment building where we lived, so this is a fabulous opportunity for these young people to see the 'community Chiefs,' the greatest generation of Kansas City Chiefs."

In recognition of Black History Month, the Chiefs Ambassadors visit with the Monday Nite Footballers to reminisce about playing at Municipal Stadium.

Before the panel got underway, the Gregg-Klice Community Center hosted a seminar on ways to prevent Type 2 Diabetes. A member of the "Monday Niters," Ike Gardner, passed away due to the disease several years back.

"When he [passed], it generated a great deal of concern and interest in what we could do," Cleaver added. "The thing is, you can successfully defeat diabetes if you know the symptoms, first of all, and then, if you know how to treat it and understand that you could fight it off if you are active, if you will not become sedentary, as someone said earlier.

"So what better way to advocate for moving and athleticism than Dave Lindstrom and Bobby Bell, Curtis McClinton, Jan Stenerud?"

As part of the session, those in attendance received informational pamphlets and direction on how to handle the disease, before having an opportunity to meet and greet with the former Chiefs and "Monday Niters."

Studies estimate that there are at least 15,000 known African Americans with Type 2 Diabetes in Kansas City and another 100,000 are considered to have pre-diabetes. For more information, click***here***.

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