The best Kansas City Chiefs to ever wear the uniform: No. 4


In the first of a very long offseason series, we analyze the best players in Kansas City Chiefs history to wear every single uniform number. Here’s No. 4.

Picture the opposite of Canton, Ohio. Not the city itself (because most of northern Ohio would feel largely like what I’m going to describe), but rather the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Imagine loading up the family station wagon—wood paneling and all—and pulling into the parking lot of the Pro Football Hall of Shame. You step inside, receive your stipend to be there (because no one would actually pay someone for the privilege) and the doors are then opened to the busts of, well, busts from football past. You might find yourself blurting any/all of the following:

“Oh man, I completely forgot about that guy!”

“How in the world did he ever play for so long?”

“I’m embarrassed he was ever on my team.”

“The entire coaching staff should have been fired for ever playing him.”

I bring all of this up because looking at the candidates for the greatest Kansas City Chiefs player ever to wear No. 4 feels like its own Hall of Shame. It’s hilarious. It’s embarrassing. It’s a bit mortifying. Bryan Barker, a journeyman punter from the ’90s, was more valuable than most of these guys but I’m also done with specialists, so I punted Barker the moment I saw his name.

Other than punted punter, the junkyard known as “I wore No. 4” looks like a laundry list of “reasons a coach got fired.” Let’s take a look:

The Others

If we were really at a Hall of Shame, the tour might begin like this:

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“Folks, look to your left to see the very football Tyler Palko threw for his 7th interception in 4 starts! Oh, and straight ahead, make sure to note the trampoline Alex Tanney used to bounce his baby high in the air as an obstacle for one of his trick shots. And finally on your right, here’s a pile of bodies with Steve Fuller at the bottom to represent how often he was sacked.”

Let’s be a bit more straightforward.

  • Tyler Palko is, in my opinion, the worst quarterback to ever earn multiple starts in the NFL.
  • Tyler Thigpen had 18 TDs and only 12 INTs in a near full season of work. Then you look and see he went 1-10 in that stretch. Don’t be fooled. (Some of you were/are still in on Thigpen, but I don’t care.)
  • Steve Fuller is a trivia answer, an ’80s Chiefs QB who led the NFL in sacks taken. The David Carr of his era without a No. 1 pick pressure hanging over his head.
  • Alex Tanney. Nothing to say.

I’m going to go take a bath.

The Runner-up: Chad Henne

Just for the sheer fact that he hasn’t thrown a pass, which means he’s already had a better career as a Chiefs QB than any of the options left.

The Winner: Nick Foles

Nick Foles, Super Bowl MVP is not the Nick Foles we are referencing here, although that shiny Lombardi certainly makes this choice seem better than it is. Remember, Foles only played a single season in Kansas City. Foles also only started a single game in Kansas City. The fact that he’s still the best to wear the No. 4 uniform says all you need to know about Kansas City’s QB history.

In his very brief tenure with the Chiefs, Foles looked like a great back-up. He had 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions in his reunion with Andy Reid. He played significant reps in two games and won both of them, against the Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars. His three touchdown passes even went to three different targets: Albert Wilson, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce.

Anoint him now!

Congratulations to Nick Foles for being the greatest Chiefs player to ever wear the No. 4 on his uniform!

Previous Uniform Winners