The best Kansas City Chiefs to ever wear the uniform: No. 12

6 Dec 1998: Quarterback Rich Gannon #12 of the Kansas City Chiefs in action during the game against the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 35-31.
6 Dec 1998: Quarterback Rich Gannon #12 of the Kansas City Chiefs in action during the game against the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 35-31. /

In this special offseason series, we analyze the best players in Kansas City Chiefs history to wear every single uniform number. Here’s No. 12.

There are moments when a single figure is able to unite us as a nation, when someone using their talents or speaking the right word is able to reach inside to the core of what makes us humans and remind us of what is most important.

In these divisive times, the National Football League should be bringing us together, not tearing us apart. Perhaps if the Kansas City Chiefs had kept Ricky Stanzi gainfully employed, none of this would have happened.

In some respects, Stanzi should be the one wearing this crown. Alas, he’s taken his talents to the Canadian Football League. Should it surprise us that they are much friendlier to each other than we are?

I don’t think so.

Onto the others, besides Stanzi, who wore No. 12 for the Chiefs.

The Others

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If misery loves company, it should feel right at home with some of this bunch.

Let’s review how poor the Chiefs options at quarterback were for a half decade from 2006 to 2010. Or at least let’s just do so through today’s footnote known as Brodie Croyle.

Brodie Croyle started games in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Brodie Croyle never won a single start in 2007, 2008, 2009 or 2010.

This means the Kansas City Chiefs kept running a quarterback out there on a part-time basis for four consecutive seasons who never, ever won. In fact, he never looked the part. His final start featured a 7 for 17 performance for 40 passing yards. He also got sacked 4 times in that game for 29 yards, which basically means your starting quarterback had a net positive 11 yards.

That’s embarrassing.

Other options here aren’t Croyle bad to be honest. They’re all just forgettable. In fact, I already forgot their names.

The Runner-up: Albert Wilson

Albert Wilson’s stock is at an all-time high.

The Miami Dolphins just paid handsomely to sign Wilson on the open market (despite already having 100 wide receivers worthy of starting). Wilson also enjoyed his best season as a pro, one that culminated in his finest game as a pro when he caught 10 catches for 147 yards from Patrick Mahomes. He hit free agency at the perfect time.

But history won’t be so kind to Wilson. Let’s be frank, previous offseasons have yielded questions from fans about why Wilson is part of the roster or at least such a significant part of it. Even this year, Wilson had 42 catches for 554 receiving yards. Over the course of four full seasons, Wilson started only 26 games and had 1,544 receiving yards.

Wilson is definitely a receiver who played a nice role for the Chiefs during the Andy Reid years, an under-appreciated asset who was a solid special teams player in addition to a nice outlet for Alex Smith at key times.

It will be interesting to see how Wilson is used in Miami.

The Winner: Rich Gannon

Here’s the thing about Rich Gannon: he wasn’t as great as you think he was with the Chiefs.

That’s not intended as a slight. The Chiefs actually had a decent quarterback with Gannon, and perhaps he would have continued to get better if given the chance in K.C. But Gannon was also ready to turn 34 with a career record (with K.C.) of 11-8.

In fact, until he landed with the Raiders, Gannon had a career mark of 31-27 in 58 career starts with the Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins. He was in the twilight of his career. There was little reason for anyone to envision a guy who would make the next 4 Pro Bowls and win an MVP Award.

It’s likely that anyone reading this will think, “Yep, Rich Gannon was definitely the best” without realizing that it’s more about a lack of real competition here than anything else.

Next: The Best to Wear It: No. 11

Congratulations to Rich Gannon for being the greatest Chiefs player to ever wear the No. 12 on his uniform!