Bowe more complex than he sounds

January, 15, 2014
Jan 15
7:30
AM ET
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Dwayne Bowe's interview on Tuesday with Kansas City radio station 810 WHB was interesting on a number of fronts. Before I get to what Bowe said, I wanted to offer some observations about the Kansas City Chiefs' leading wide receiver.

From what I've observed of Bowe during his time with the Chiefs and from talking with several people close to Bowe, he might be the most misunderstood player the Chiefs have ever had. He might have come across publicly over the years as a boastful diva but the truth is that Bowe is probably closer to the opposite.

Between his public comments touting his abilities and the fact Bowe points to the name on the back of uniform at every chance he gets, it's easy to get the idea Bowe is in love with himself. Remember the days of the D. Bowe Show?

Turns out all that stuff was indeed just that, a show. People who know Bowe well describe him as someone with low self-confidence who needed to inflate himself publicly to get ready to play and succeed in a game.

Bowe has, to my knowledge, never publicly complained about not getting the ball enough. That alone is enough to disqualify him as a diva. I had a long talk with quarterback Matt Cassel in his final days with the Chiefs and Bowe was among the subjects of the conversation.

Cassel, knowing Bowe would shortly become a former teammate, still spoke of Bowe in glowing terms. He said Bowe practiced as hard as any receiver he'd ever played with and never once complained to him about how getting the ball.

Last year, with his contract winding down and his time with the Chiefs looking like it might be near the end, rumors were floating that Bowe wanted out of Kansas City. At the time, I was working for the Kansas City Star and Bowe sought me out to tell his side of the story and say he was hurt by the rumors and would prefer to stay with the Chiefs and finish his career with them.

Cynics immediately suggested Bowe was merely engaging in some public contract negotiations by trying to make it appear he was still interested in returning to the Chiefs. Time has proven that Bowe was being sincere, something I strongly suspected at the time because of the look in his eye and the tone of his voice.

Mainly of his own doing, I don't think Bowe gets treated fairly in Kansas City. He certainly didn't help his cause with the interview on Tuesday.

In it, Bowe suggested that:
  • He put three of his teammates in the Pro Bowl with his great play in 2013.
  • He was being profiled by police in Riverside, Mo., in his November arrest for marijuana possession.
  • The media in the hick town of Kansas City was out to get him.
  • Next season he will be as fast and quick as Philadelphia's DeSean Jackson.
  • The passing game would flourish next season if the Chiefs find another great receiver to play along with him, a not-so-subtle dig at Donnie Avery and his other fellow Kansas City wide outs.

As far as the profiling and what will eventually become of his marijuana possession case, I'll hold off judgment on that one. I don't know what it's like to be Bowe and until I do I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt on that one.

On everything else, that's just Bowe being Bowe, or more correctly Bowe being the guy he thinks he needs to be.

Adam Teicher

ESPN Kansas City Chiefs reporter

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