KANSAS CITY, Mo. — ESPN’s Dan Graziano ranks the NFL’s MVP candidates each week. This week, with the Kansas City Chiefs advancing to 2-0, he has nose tackle Dontari Poe as No. 10 on his list. Interviewed in Philadelphia this morning, Poe demurred with a chuckle when asked why he’d played so well up to this point in the season.
“It’s truly humbling just to be recognized,” Poe said. “Honestly, I wish I could take more of the credit, but I can’t. All I can do is keep giving 100% on the field and thank Kansas City barbecue for giving me the ability to play football.”
When asked to elaborate, Poe let out a breath and turned westward as his eyes glazed over with a 1,136-mile stare. “I’m just really grateful to have so many good men in my corner. There’s Arthur [Bryant’s], Jack [Stack], [Oklahoma] Joe, Gates, and the list goes on. When we take the field tonight, I’m going to give my all for them.”
Poe famously gave up eating barbecue to get in shape for the season, a necessary discipline he said. “I loved barbecue too much. I was so obsessed with barbecue that I wasn’t being the man it needed me to be. Those guys in my corner, when we met, it was a sweet ‘n’ tangy love affair. Comforting, full-filling. But I got abusive, and pretty soon I was finding myself into some weird stuff. I was putting “Night of the Living Sauce” sauce on my Cheesy Corn Bake, even on my vegetable medley. I was catering one meal from three different restaurants. I’d taken something pure and simple and turned it into a free-for-all, barebecue gangbang.” Poe broke his 1,136-mile stare and sighed.
“I had to quit. Did it out of love. But Creed already said it better than me:
I hear a fire in the distance
See a vision of a sauce
I feel the pain that was given
On that sad day of loss
A pig squeals in the darkness
Only he holds the key
A bite to free me from my burden
And grant me bbq eternally
Thanks again for the recognition guys. Truly humbling.”
The Chiefs play the Philadelphia Eagles at 8:25pm eastern time on NFL network.