In the spirit of Halloween, I wanted to run a poll regarding who YOU, the Kansas City sports fan/person who just wants to have an opinion on the matter, would least like to meet in a dark alley. An absolute monster of an athlete in regard to their playing ability, their intimidation factor, or just their personality. I'll provide 3 below, but if you've got more I'd love to hear them. They can be current or former KC sports stars, and you can include college athletes as well (Yes this includes Suh, Coach Pearson) Let's get spooky folks...
Arguably the best defensive player in Chiefs history, Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Thomas had an incredible intimidation factor that made him even more of a force to be reckoned with. The way he destroyed opposing tackles in route to a sack was demoralizing to the tackle, and nightmare fuel for quarterbacks. To this day, guys like John Elway and Rich Gannon still stand by Derrick Thomas as the most feared defender they've ever faced. With 126.5 career sacks, 3 All-Pro nods, and being a 9 time Pro Bowler, the skill matches the scare with Thomas. He also played a huge part in building one of the most intimidating crowds in pro sports in Arrowhead Stadium. One of the best Chiefs ever, he was truly a force to be revered.
2. Bo Jackson
Now I know what you're thinking: "The Burn how can a BASEBALL player be on this list? Baseball isn't an intimidating sport!" Well, you're wrong first and foremost. I personally would not be able to keep ahold of my bladder if I ever had to go up to bat against the likes of Cal Ripken or Sandy Koufax, mainly because of my fear of public embarrassment but that's beside the point. Secondly though, Bo Jackson wasn't JUST a baseball player, Bo was an athlete. Arguably the greatest athlete of all time in fact. The man had incredible athletic ability, as people who watched him play can attest to. The man also broke a bat OVER HIS HEAD in a fit of rage, not exactly a guy that I would want to confront if he crossed me. A bruising back for the Raiders, a big hitting, gravity defying outfielder for the Royals, and overall the greatest "What If?" story in sports. Truly an icon.
3. John Riggins
John Riggins played for Washington, and had an incredible pro career winning multiple Super Bowls, All-Pro nods, and Pro Bowls on his way to Canton, Ohio. Before that though, however, he was a Kansas Jayhawk and the pride of Seneca, Kansas. The very definition of bruising back, Riggins recorded 2726 yards from scrimmage in his 3 years at KU, as well as 21 TDs. Though he was only ever on one really good KU team in 1968 that went 9-2, Riggins still defined the power back position with guys such as Larry Csonka back in the 70s. Hard-nosed, full force, 3 yards (and then some) and a cloud of dust type running back play that had been somewhat forgotten because of the advent of the speed back with Gale Sayers, Walter Payton, and others. Riggins roughed up the competition throughout his football career, and was one of the hardest players to tackle in NFL history. Personally I am 1000% good with not getting in his way, even now.
Again, please let me know who you think is the scariest KC athlete of all time. It could be anyone from high school to pro level athlete, maybe you've got a cool story about facing an athlete that would carve out a solid pro career in high school (Khalen Saunders was a big, scary man, from personal experience) or have a cool story of witnessing one of the guys above or someone else that I may not have mentioned. Best answers will get featured in the upcoming ScorchCast. Happy Halloween everyone, don't eat too much candy.
Burn Notice: 10/10 Candle in a Jack-o-Lantern