The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 29, 1996 · Page 11
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 11

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Salina, Kansas
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Tuesday, October 29, 1996
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TUESDAY OCTOBER 29, 1996 THE SALINA JOURNAL Sports MONEY/ B4 CLASSIFIED / B5 FUN / B8 B «PPS5»WSBISS$Wai5$ T COMMENT T PRO FOOTBALL JASON WHITLOCK The Kansas City Star Kansas City wandering nowhere DlENVER — The Chiefs are halfway to nowhere. Halfway to 106. Halfway to a wild-card playoff berth. Halfway to playoff disaster. Halfway to reaching the conclusions they should have reached eigUt-months ago. T$e Chiefs came to Denver's Mile; High Stadium on Sunday hoping $Q recapture the feeling, the confidence, the aura that carried thefji-tliVlS regular-season victories ayeKr'ago. IfrKiidfi't happen. ThSy>jgot a look at it. They stood nexjjto that aura throughout the day > .%ii that unquantifiable-but-to- taliyTrdal feeling has changed colors *$ 1§96. It now wears orange anrfblue and calls the Rocky Moun- tairisrhome. Bt&fteos 34, Chiefs 7. Ran'gas City's latest "game of the year" left no doubt that the Chiefs aren't going anywhere. Kansas City's offense, defense, special teamspeoaching and management failjed miserably. 4t«SfOn-the-surface respectable 5-3,;$igJstill clear that the Chiefs are'lJ|lttJYay to nowhere. Dhfiyre halfway to nowhere be- caUse tReir belief in the direction of the;organization — i.e., the personnel^ quarterback, the offensive phiko^ophy and play calling — has beefo Jindermined by human nature, £ peculation and common serisei leaving the Chiefs an incom- peteniiinconsistent wreck both of- fensifefy and defensively. A defense that was focused and lethaj;in 1995 is confused and harmless in 11996. It has spent top much timje wondering about its misfiring offence to recapture the focus of a year ago. "i would love to dispute that," linebacker Derrick Thomas said, "but at this point I can't." linebacker Anthony Davis added: "Right now we're pointing fingejrs too much." Jiijt so we're clear. This is not an offense vs. defense thing. Or players;vs. Coaches thing. Or manage- menCvs. coaches vs. players thing. "AJiytime you don't have success,';; receivers coach Al Saunders said,5"it creates questions in everybody's mind." Ruhning back Kimble Anders addeg: "When you don't win, everybody starts to wonder why, everybody starts asking questions in theirTown minds." Lacked Carl Peterson, the club's president/general manager, whether those lingering questions were!undermining the Chiefs' suc- cess.JHe responded: "You're right." As; a'group, the Chiefs have lost confidence in quarterback Steve Bono 4nd offensive coordinator Paul&ackett. That's why Kansas City's offensive priorities seem to change from week fo week. That's why Hackett public}y criticized Bono after KC's loss atjSan Diego. That's why Peterson tyon't rule out pursuing Jeff Georgfc at the conclusion of this season. That's why Thomas verbally assassinated Hackett after the Pittsburgh loss. TlJeiChiefs are halfway to nowhere because this year they ne^erjjiruly believed they could get anywpre with this quarterback and fhjs offensive coordinator. 'fyjfe/ve got to get back to not giving! a (expletive) about what the offense does," Thomas said, referring to 1;hfe defensive mind-set of a year ago. '"If"we've got to make big plays, if wq've got to score points, then that's what we need to do. We've got to get that attitude back." Davis said: "It's the same team, saifui scheme, same players. I know players get old, but it was only eighf months ago. Something's got to $& wrong. 'IGuys are saying, 'He did it,' or, 'The^ didn't do this,' or whatever. Peojpe have been blaming Steve Boiwi or blaming the offense for nin>jmonths, and then we come out hereland give up 34 points." IJjpebacker Tracy Simien added: "E|drybody's got to look in the mir- ron. 'racy Simien has to look in the miri )r and ask what he's doing." Moments after leaving the field Sunt heijti swei ant) aSM ay, coach Marty Schotten- er told his team that the an- s to the Chiefs' problems can be ec Ived by the current players caches. t if the Chiefs are working on ier Bowl problem. Chiefs picking up pieces Debacle in Denver leaves KC searching for answers, looking at rugged schedule rest of season By DOUG TUCKER The Associated Press SCHOTTENHEIMER The Associated Press Denver quarterback John Elway (7) scrambles for some of his 62 yards rushing against the Chiefs on Sunday. Broncos angry at Carter's hit on Washington By The Associated Press DENVER — For once, it's not the Oakland Raiders who have the Denver Broncos fuming. The bad-reputation Raiders are next on Denver's schedule, but it was Kansas City cornerback-receiver Dale Carter who was public enemy No. 1 at Broncos headquarters Monday. Denver cornerback Lionel Washington partially tore a ligament in his left knee and will miss two to four weeks after being blocked at the knees by Carter in the third quarter of Denver's 34-7 win over the Chiefs Sunday. Although Carter's block technically was legal, he hit Washington during a running play 15 yards away from the ball T COLLEGE FOOTBALL * — after the play was over. To make matters worse, Carter showed little remorse, reportedly telling Broncos players to "get (Washington's) a- off the field." "For him to laugh and make jokes and smile when a player's career is on the line, means a whole lot," Washington said Monday. "It didn't show any class at all." Denver coach Mike Shanahan said he will not send a tape of the play to league officials, but emphasized that he will lobby for a possible rule change at next year's NFL meetings. "Within the rules and the guidelines, they (the Chiefs) are doing what's legal in the National Football League," Shanahan said. "At the same time, there's a code of ethics among players that you don't take out somebody's knee. Is it legal? Yes it's legal. From my standpoint, it's highly unethical." Washington will be missed next Monday when the Broncos (7-1) — off to their best start since 1986 — begin the second half of the season against the Raiders, who know all about quick starts and fizzled finishes. The Raiders (4-4) were 8-2 last year before a season-ending, six-game losing streak caused them to miss the playoffs. The example is a good one for the Broncos, who have played five home games an'd play six of their last eight games against teams .500 or better. "We know the second half of our season is tougher than the first half," Shanahan said. KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs are far beyond the 13-3 regular season of 1995 that made them this year's AFC Super Bowl favorites in the' eyes of many. They're 5-4 in their last nine games, counting a 107 playoff loss to Indianapolis, and they're reeling from one of the worst whippings of the Marty Schottenheimer era. "Frustration and disappointment," Schottenheimer replied Monday when asked his feelings 24 hours after the Denver Broncos roasted the Chiefs 34-7. The most lopsided defeat in the 37-year history of Broncos-Chiefs competition left Kansas City (5-3) two games behind the 7-1 Broncos in the AFC West, where the Chiefs were undefeated during their franchise-record run of 1995. "We worked hard and worked well last week. You'd like to reap the reward and we didn't. That's the frustrating part of it," Schottenheimer said. •; The players reaped one small reward. After meeting with them, Schottenheimer called off their regUr lar Monday workout and sent everybody home until their next scheduled practice on Wednesday. "I had my annual mid-point-in-the-season discussion with them today, so I decided to go ahead and let them go," Schottenheimer said when reporters, caught up with him in the deserted locker room. "I got done what I needed to get done." The only good news for Kansas City was that so many other A.FC contenders also lost on Sunday. At 5-3, the Chiefs trail only Pittsburgh (6-2) and the Broncos (7-1) in the standings. Bunched with them at 5-3 are Buffalo, Indianapolis, New England and Houston. The Chicago Bears are the only team on thg, Chiefs' second-half schedule with a losing record.. After traveling to Minnesota this week, they're home the following week against one of the NFC's" other top clubs, the Green Bay Packers. Two more home games against the Bears and the San Diego Chargers will complete the home schedule except for a date with the Colts on Dec. 15. Other road games include trips to Buffalo, Oakland and Detroit. Mason reinstates Henley after one game Kansas star running back will play Saturday against Cyclones, but will not start By BLAIR KERKHOFF The Kansas City Star LAWRENCE — June Henley's pro football prospects didn't end with his arrest last week for suspicion of drunken driving. "But obviously," said Neil Cornrich, a Cleveland-based agent, "this doesn't help." It's with an eye on Henley's future that Kansas Coach Glen Mason reinstated his star running back Monday. The suspension ended after one game. Henley will practice with the Jayhawks this week and probably will travel to Iowa State for Saturday's game. T KANSAS CITY ROYALS He won't start. Had this been any other year in his career, Henley, a senior who ranks eighth in Division I-A in rushing at 131.7 yards per game, wouldn't be back this season. "To eliminate the rest of n * s season I thought was too harsh," Mason said. "He's on my probation. Anything else and he's done." After averaging more than 200 rushing yards in his first three games, Henley was mentioned as a Heisman Trophy candidate and a player whose stock was rising among NFL scouts. It's too early to determine the damage Henley may have done to a potential HENLEY pro football career, Cornrich said. Perhaps, none, if he stays out of trouble. "Further incidents would be a problem," said Cornrich, who represents former Kansas defensive tackle Dana Stubblefield. "But this involves a person who had no such incidents." No other drinking-and-driving incidents, but Henley has had previous brushes with the law at Kansas, including a 1993 petty larceny charge for shoplifting. Henley paid a fine, and his 180-day jail sentence was suspended. Henley was arrested last Thursday around 2:30 a.m. near his Lawrence home. He was stopped for speeding, failed a Breathalyzer test and was found to have an expired license and no proof of auto insurance. He was released on an $850 bond, and his first court ap- pearance is set for Nov. 6. Mason said he considered several factors" in determining Henley's status, but the Jay- hawks' three-game losing streak and 3-4 record weren't among them. "I'm not doing it because I think we need him to beat Iowa State," Mason said. "That's not the reason. This wasn't an easy decision. I asked myself, 'What would I do if that was my son or daughter?' " Mason told Henley of his status Monday morning. "He came in with his tail tucked, embarrassed," Mason said. "That isn't always the case with kids. Sometimes you discipline kids, and they think you're the biggest jerk in the world, and so do their parents." "I know there's a lot of people would like me to cut the kid's head off." Gubicza traded to Angels Kansas City gets DH Chili Davis in deal for 34-year-old pitcher By The Associated Press KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals on Monday traded right-hander Mark Gubicza — the last active player from the 1985 championship team — to California for designated hitter Chili Davis. "We're excited to bring in a player the caliber of Chili Davis," said Royals executive vice president and general manager Herk Robinson. "He has been very productive throughout his career and will fit nicely in the middle of our lineup. "I have nothing but positive things to say about Mark Gubicza," Robinson said. "He's been a valuable part of our organization for many years and we wish him nothing but the best." Gubicza, 34, lives an hour from Anaheim in Northridge, Calif. He has been with Kansas City GUBICZA since 1981, when he was picked in the free agent draft. In 1997, he was to start the second of a two- year contract with the Royals. "It was a tough decision for me to make," said Gubicza, who could have vetoed the trade. "But I told Herk that if he could improve the ballclub by trading me, I wouldn't stop that. I believe the Royals helped themselves by acquiring Chili," he said. "The fans in Kansas City have treated me great. I always gave my best and I think they appreciated that," Gubicza said. "The organization has been good to me and I always will feel a part of the Kansas City Royals." Davis, 36, spent seven of his 16 major league seasons with the Angles. He hit .292 this season with 28 homers and 95 RBI and was with the Angels for the past four years, rejoining them after an earlier three-year stint with the club. A three-time All-Star, he ranks second on the Angels' all-time list with 156 career homers and 618 RBI. Davis was a member of the NL West champion San Francisco Giants in 1987 and World Series champion Minnesota Twins in 1991. The right-handed Gubicza had a 4-12 record for the Royals in 1996, going out for the season when he was when he fractured his left tibia on July 5 when struck by a line drive at Minnesota. Gubicza had two complete games, one shutout and a 5.13 ERA before he was hurt. He has spent all 13 years of his big league career with the Royals and has a 132-135 lifetime record and a 3.91 ERA. His best year was in 1989, when he had a 20-8 record. The Royals also sent minor- league pitcher Mike Bovee to the Angels. Bovee, 23, posted a 10-11 record and a 4.84 ERA in 27 starts for Class AA Wichita. T COLLEGE BASKETBALL Kansas men picked first; K-State 9th in Big 12 poll By The Journal Staff DALLAS — The Kansas Jay- hawks are favored by the media to • win the first Big 12 Conference men's basketball title. The Kansas men received 573 points, followed by Texas (491), Iowa State (474), Oklahoma State (392) and Missouri (361) in E the polls released Monday. The polls didn't break down the teams by divisions. Texas Tech was sixth (330) followed by Oklahoma (278) at seventh, then Nebraska (255), Kansas State (219), Texas A&M (140), Colorado (113) and Baylor (95). KU point guard Jacque Vaughn and forward Raef LaFrentz were named to the preseason all-Big 12 team along with guard Reggie Freeman of Texas, Iowa State guard Dedric Willoughby and Colorado VAUGHN LAFRENTZ guard Chauncey Billups. Vaughn also was chosen the preseason Player of the Year. KU forward Paul Pierce was a second-team choice and center Scot Pollard and guard Jerod Haase honorable mention selections. Preseason Freshman of the Year honors went to Oklahoma State's Desmond Mason, a 6-6 forward. Oklahoma's Lou Moore, a 6-7 forward, was tabbed the Newcomer of the Year. Moore transferred from Indiana after playing in three games last season. He had played at Southern Union (Ala.) Junior College. 1— L. SUGGESTIONS? CALL BOB DAVIDSON, SPORTS EDITOR, AT (913) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363

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