Kansas City Chiefs President Denny Thum called in to Soren Petro’s weekly Red Zone Podcast today on KCChiefs.com.
Listen to the show via the player below or check out my notes on the interview after the jump.
Thum talked about everything from his longevity with the franchise (36 years!) to his favorite Derrick Thomas memory. Check it out.
All of Petro’s questions and Thum’s comments are paraphrased.
If he ever thought he’d be with the Chiefs for so long:
Never. This will be my 36th season. When I started, there was no chance I’d have the opportunities I’ve had. Working for the Hunt family, Lamar specifically, has been real special. The organization has always been willing to give opportunities for people to succeed.
Why did you decide to hand deliver select season tickets yesterday?
A great way to say “thank you”to season ticket holders that have been with us for a while. We randomly picked out 20 season ticket holders and we spread them out over the five decades of the Chiefs organization.
What will be this year’s ticket design?
This one is very special. It commemorates the 50 years of this franchise. On the front it has the 50th anniversary emblem and then each game has a different picture. Every one of the Chiefs members that have been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The special one is game No. 8, which is the Bronco game when we will honor Derrick Thomas.
On the upcoming induction ceremony of Derrick Thomas into the Hall of Fame:
From early indications, we have somewhere in excess of 350 people that have contacted the HOF that plan on being there to honor Derrick Thomas.
How was Derrick Thomas not elected to the HOF on the first ballot?
You never know what the selection committee is thinking about. It’s one of those things where you keep persevering and doing the right things. Sometimes you think you are doing too much, but when it was all said and done I think it was the right move and we’re so glad he will be honored this year.
Will Arrowhead Stadium be ready to go for August 15th and the Houston Texans?
I have my fingers crossed. There is a lot of work to be done and more than anything it’s clean up. I know all of our fans that come out to Arrowhead will be inconvenienced slightly for another year, but I believe it will be worth the wait for 2010. I think the biggest change people will see is we should have completed the ribbon board that will encircle the inside perimeter of the club level which will be a great message board and be able to keep fans more in tune to the game and other games that are going on . We should have completed the new sound system and our two scoreboards will now be full bleed all the way to the edges, HD screens.
Thoughts on the final year in River Falls?
I think there are mixed emotions with a lot of people that have had the experience up in River Falls, Wisconsin. When you add up the three weeks of training camp over 19 years, I’ve spent more than one year of my life up in one of those dorm rooms, but I think change will be good. We were able to work with MWSU, who were ecstatic about the opportunity and it will be good to bring the Chiefs closer to our fans. There will be a lot of fans that have made the trip up to River Falls that will miss the opportunity to get away, but the change will be good.
Favorite River Falls memory?
The first year making the parade down Main Street on fire trucks. Dave Redding, our strength and conditioning coach thought he was still in Animal House and was up on top of a building throwing water balloons at the players during the parade.
Will the Chiefs ever change their uniforms?
Knowing the history of Lamar Hunt — you’ll see the ’62 uniforms, not a lot has changed — so I’ll say they stay the same.
Favorite Derrick Thomas memory?
I think if you really want to know about Derrick Thomas and who he was. When he was drafted and Carl Peterson and I negotiated his first contract, we negotiated a 7-year deal. Part of the deal was that if he could go to 4 consecutive Pro Bowls that the last three years would be voided and we’d have to redo the contract. We figured there was no possible way that Derrick Thomas as a rookie coming in would ever make the Pro Bowl his first year, but hopefully he’d make it by the second or third. Not only did he make it to the first, but the second, third, went to nine straight. To his credit, that was special.
Good stuff from Denny. It was fun to hear him struggle trying to pick just one memory of Derrick Thomas just like any Chiefs fan would. When talking about his longevity with the franchise, Thum mentioned the “Not For Long” league and I would add that 36 years is a long time in any industry. My boss just celebrated his 20th year with our company and we were talking about how you rarely see even twenty years anymore and Thum is going to double that soon!