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Change Chiefs to Yardbirds, Anyone?

Updated: Mar 6, 2021

by Mark Edelman, KCJA President

I’m as bummed as anybody about the Chiefs’ loss to Tampa Bay (without our offensive line, it was bound to be a long night). Now that it’s over, though, the time has come to consider the inevitable: a name change. With the demise of the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians, well-meaning folks are going to come after Warpaint, the Tomahawk Chop, Arrowhead--- everything politically incorrect about our hometown football heroes.

I’ll admit, I thought the term “Chiefs” was an honorific. But recently, I’ve come to understand the other side of that argument. Being Jewish, I guess I’d be uncomfortable if they called Patrick Mahomes and company the Kansas City Rabbis and drunken eighteen year olds screamed “Hava Nagila” every time Travis Kelce caught a pass in the red zone. So I have learned to empathize with this sociopolitical call for action.

With that—and the tide of social justice—bearing down on us, why not be proactive and turn the Chiefs’ name change to our advantage? Isn’t there a better image out there, one that fits Kansas City, a town that gave birth to some of the greatest music the world has ever heard? Okay, Utah already has “Jazz,” a terrible injustice caused by that team’s move from New Orleans. I mean, they could have changed their name to “Utah Polite White People” or something and left “Jazz” to folks who swing something other than ski poles. But that option is long gone.

Which brings me to my humble suggestion for our football team: The Kansas City Yardbirds. The NFL already has Ravens, Seahawks, Cardinals and Eagles, so the bird reference has plenty of precedent. We’ve got Jayhawks in Kansas, so even fictitious birds count for something around here.

Imagine a tough, scrawny gallus domesticus, ready to kick some butt before ending up in a frying pan—a KC Yardbird! Some great logo and concession stand ideas jump to mind, as well as a perfect tie-in for those Price Chopper ads (“Yardbirds 39 cents a pound this week only”). Clark’s brother Lamar Jr is a musician himself; and who wouldn’t enjoy some of Lucille’s fried chicken at Hunt Stadium? Keep Red FRYday and add Blue Monday.

I don’t understand hashtags and all that social media stuff; but if you even slightly agree with the above, go and ahead and post #changechiefstoyardbirds on Twitter, Instagram, wherever—see if there’s any transaction out there for this idea. BTW, this column does not reflect the opinions of the KC Jazz Ambassadors—just mine, after a couple of drinks.

Just kidding, really.

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