Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez might have gotten caught up in the moment, and the location.
After the former Chiefs and Falcons tight end was elected to the Hall on Saturday, he did some local pandering with Atlanta television station WSB.
“The Falcons, honestly, it made my career to come here,” Gonzalez said. “It really did. Nothing against Kansas City, I was there 12 years, but only three playoff games. But when I got to Atlanta, it’s like all of a sudden you’re part of this winning organization, . . .”
As you might imagine, Chiefs fans may not have received that news well, and math may be on their side.
In 12 seasons with the Chiefs, Gonzalez made the All-Pro team five times. He caught 916 passes for 10,940 yards and 76 touchdowns for Kansas City.
In five seasons with the Falcons, Gonzalez made the All-Pro team once. He caught 409 passes for 4,187 yards and 35 touchdowns in Atlanta.
He won his only career playoff game for the Falcons, but he was 1-3 in the postseason in Atlanta compared to 0-3 in Kansas City, so it’s not exactly like he went from the Buccaneers to the Patriots.
In fact, the Chiefs actually have a much better record over the course of history, with a .528 winning percentage (469-419-12) that’s just behind the Steelers all-time mark, while the Falcons have the third-worst winning percentage among active franchises (.442, 358-452-6). Gonzalez caught them on a bit of a hot streak, but the Falcons went 42 years without back-to-back winning seasons, so he might have been overstating the whole “winning organization” thing a bit.
But because he’s a good guy, he recorded a message to Chiefs fans, saying the initial remarks were for the Atlanta audience.
“Kansas City Chief fans, I just want to tell you from the bottom of my heart, thank you,” he said, via the Kansas City Star. “The 12 years I spent there were fantastic. I always tell people I became a man, obviously, on the field but off the field as well out in Kansas City. The fan support I had out there was second to none. It’s diehards.”
Honestly, his accomplishments transcend the record of either franchise, so there’s not much to apologize for, other than a few bruised feelings for Chiefs fans who had to watch a 13-3 Super Bowl and wonder what might have been.