When Jared Allen entered the NFL in 2004, the Kansas City Chiefs gave him No. 69 – and he was not happy about it.
“I was just like, ‘This is a fat offensive lineman’s number,’” Allen said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “In high school, I was No. 1 the whole time. I just had that bravado. I was so mad.”
But one of Allen’s defensive coaches, Bob Karmelowicz, helped him get over it.
“He grabbed me aside and said ‘Hey, that’s an old-school number and you’re an old school player. Numbers don’t make the players cool. Players make the numbers cool. You keep that number,'” Allen recalled. “I said, ‘You know what? I’m going to keep it, I’m going to rock it and I’m going to make that number cool again.’ That’s what we did.”
Allen became a five-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro.
“Obviously people thought I chose (that number),” Allen said, “but no, they gave it to me.”
Allen, 35, was a rock star in Kansas City, where he played from 2004-07. He had a sack dance and a silly-yet-dominant style.
He was Gronk before Gronk.
“That’s what everybody tells me,” Allen said, laughing. “I used to do Gronk back when Gronk wasn’t cool.”