Family Fun Night lives up to name


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Jan 22, 2006
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Family Fun Night lives up to name

By Tully Corcoran
The Capital-Journal
RIVER FALLS, Wis. -- It had all the trappings of a carnival.

The smell of grilled food, the piped-in music, the games, the public address announcements for parents to reclaim their lost children.

The only things missing were clowns, although one fan inexplicably dressed as a wolf in Chiefs clothing.

This year at Family Fun Night at Chiefs training camp in River Falls, Wis., even an autograph seemed possible. The impossibly long lines that frustrated fans last year were streamlined this season. While the most popular players -- Larry Johnson, Trent Green and Ty Law -- remained a tough snag, many fans loaded up on autographs from multiple players.

Sam Summers, 18, of Overland Park was one of them. He made his third trip to training camp this year. A Kansas fan, decked out in a St. Patrick's Day green Kirk Hinrich jersey, Summers immediately targeted former Jayhawk Nick Reid, who obliged, as did Dante Hall, Boomer Grigsby, Kawika Mitchell and Michael Bennett.

The challenge for fans was choosing a side of the field. Those who picked the side closest to the grand stand had the worst shot at landing Green's signature. Johnson posted up on the opposite corner from Green.

Fans formed an extensive line near the fan entrance, a line that quickly dispersed when it was discovered Green was 50 yards away.

Summers was on the entrance side, which was opposite Green, Law and Jared Allen.

"We came over to this side and said, 'Dang, we don't have (anything) over here,'" he said.

After 20 minutes, the Chiefs ended the signing and began a practice that lasted about an hour and 15 minutes. Fans, which numbered about 2,500, saw the team in numerous game-like situations.

During 11-on-11 work, Law played the right cornerback spot while Patrick Surtain manned the left side. In a goal-line situation, Samie Parker beat Law on a fade pattern for a touchdown. Going the other direction, Eddie Kennison split Surtain and Greg Wesley on a fly pattern for a gain of more than 30 yards.

"We put them in some situations because that's what happens in games," Chiefs coach Herm Edwards said. "Our players need to learn situations. They need to put themselves in the game as a coach.

Chiefs notes

• Much of the campus at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where the Chiefs are staying, was without electricity from mid-afternoon Friday until about 3 p.m. Saturday.

Edwards, who enjoys inconveniencing his team anyway, loved it.

"It was fantastic," he said. "A bunch of guys were standing outside because it was hot. I told them the story, 'When I growing up, we didn't have air conditioning. Go to bed.'"

• The Chiefs have today off, making Saturday night a prime opportunity to escape to bars and nightclubs in the nearby Twin Cities, or towns like Stillwater where Chiefs players had run-ins with police last year.

Edwards gave his team a list of off-limits places and warned players if they got into trouble, they would have to speak for themselves.

"I told them,'If you get yourself in a jam, I'm not gonna talk for you," he said. "I'm going to make you talk to the press. They know the places not to go."
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