Names, Numbers and New Guys
G Newman Lowrance
Warpaint Illustrated Columnist
Posted Jun 26, 2008


One long month remains between Chiefs fans and training camp. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel. So what do we do until then? Why, get to know our new Kansas City Chiefs, of course!

The Chiefs have completely updated their roster page with photographs and number assignments for all of the new free agents, rookies and un-drafted free agents. This is exciting stuff!

Any one of these names could be up on the Ring of Fame in 20 years! Any one of these numbers could be retired in 20 years! How can you not get excited about something so trivial that may or may not happen in 20 years? Someone strap me down!

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. In that case, I’m about to short you readers by several thousand words. Sorry. Enjoy the second edition of Names, Numbers and New Guys, now an annual Warpaint Illustrated.com tradition after it's initial appearance in May of 2007.

#81 – TE Michael Allan

OK, so he’s not new, but it’s worth noting that Allan’s jersey number has been changed from 47 to 81 this year. I can only imagine he felt the same way about his former number as I did – any offensive skill position player wearing something in the 40’s makes them look slow.

I’m not quite sure why the Chiefs would give away Kevin Lockett’s number, because I know all you K-State fans have been anticipating its retirement any day now. Obviously Allan has a bright future if he’s wearing that baby.

But all is not well. What’s up with Allan’s mugshot? Are you telling me the guy staring back at me from my computer screen is a football player? He honestly resembles my mailman. Nothing personal, Michael – everyone needs a career after football.

#76 – LT Branden Albert

It’s honestly horrifying that Albert has chosen to wear 76. There is no more cursed number in recent Chiefs history.

First, there was the John Tait fiasco. Tait wore 76, was the weak link on the greatest offensive line in recent football memory, and left after tumultuous negotiations with the franchise. The Chiefs still haven’t found a competent right tackle to replace him.

Then we have the departed John Welbourn, who also wore 76. I don’t need to remind everyone of his steroid-related suspension and flat-out awful play a year ago.

Let’s hope Albert can restore the tradition of stellar offensive line play from those wearing #76, last seen in the form of the great John Alt.

#29 – HB Jamaal Charles

There’s not much to note here. Charles looks like a football player, and it’s pretty tough to mess up a running back’s number. Here’s what I like – his hair!

With all the talk of safety Greg Wesley leaving Kansas City this offseason, the Chiefs need someone to carry on that tradition of great dreadlocks. Charles fills that role nicely. Just tuck those dreads under your helmet, Charles, lest Larry Johnson give them a good tug.

And speaking of helmets, check out the lid on Charles! He’s wearing one of those funky “revolution” helmets, complete with one of the weirdest facemasks I’ve ever seen. Safety first, Jamaal?

#14 – WR Kevin Robinson

Here we go again – another wide receiver wearing a number in the teens. Last year I lamented Brad Ekwerekwu’s #14, and this year Robinson has deemed fit to take it. Why not take #84? Sure, John Paul Foschi is wearing it, but other players are sharing numbers right now. Foschi's probably going to get cut, anyway.

Even worse, it appears Robinson, a leading candidate to win the Chiefs’ kick-return job, may be the lone wide receiver wearing a number in the teens this year, assuming Kevin McMahan and Maurice Price get cut. Yes, the Chiefs could have had an entire wide receiver corps decked out in spectacular-looking jerseys bearing 80-numbers. But no, my dreams are dashed.

#66 – LB LeRue Rumph

Seriously? LeRue? Is that any kind of name for a football player? I’m shocked to learn this name even exists. Rumph joins Claude “Turk” McBride and DeMarcus “Tank” Tyler as Chiefs defenders with unfortunate first names – note that the two defensive linemen now appear online as Tank and Turk.

In fact, “LeRue” is such an obscure name, I can’t even find it in any etymology directories. The closest thing is “LaRue,” which means ,“The red-haired one,” and clearly Rumph doesn’t have red hair, so I’m just completely baffled.

#75 – OG L.J. Anderson

Anderson’s resemblance to actor Gary Coleman is striking. Maybe it’s just the angle of the photo the Chiefs have used, but I can easily picture Anderson as Coleman’s illegitimate son.

Or, wait – what if Anderson is secretly Coleman himself? His birth date is listed as 1986, the same year Diff’rent Strokes went off the air. Is it possible Gary Coleman quit his role as Arnold Jackson, found a cure for the disease that inhibited his growth, located a convincing doppelganger to convince the public he was still short, and eventually became a 6-foot-3, 292-pound offensive lineman? The truth is out there.

#79 – OT Anthony Alabi

Either someone improperly cropped Alabi’s headshot, or he’s a Vulcan from Star Trek. Look at those pointy ears! Maybe Alabi can recruit Mr. Spock to run the Chiefs after Carl Peterson retires. Every move the front office made would naturally be completely logical, and you know Spock could keep his emotions in check during contract negotiations.


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