Current day players don’t live in the towns where they play much anymore.
Some of it has to do with free agency and the ability for today’s NFL player to move from team to team making him something of a transient over his career. But once upon a time players quickly established roots in the towns where they played and Kansas City became home to many of the early Chiefs players some of whom continued to live here long after their careers were over.
Early Texans players and later Chiefs Walt Corey (1960-66) and Fred Arbanas (1961-70) bought homes in Kansas City and never left. Corey went on to coach in the league but put down roots in Raytown while Arbanas joined the Dawson and Tyrer families in Red Bridge, which at the time was a new development. While many of the players’ moves and locations within the city changed Kansas City remained home.
Interestingly, Arbanas and teammate Al Reynolds (1960-67) also had a ranch called The Ponderosa, a name taken from the popular TV series, Bonanza.
Reynolds tended the ranch daily while Arbanas did promotion work for Coca-Cola. Arbanas’ visits to the ranch could be disastrous, Reynolds remembered. Reynolds had been clearing trees from the spread one week and when he returned from a weekend found that Arbanas had left six trees in the lake, a broken saw and an open gate!
By 1965 16 Chiefs and their families made Kansas City their permanent home to include: Jerry Mays (1961-70), Len Dawson (1962-75), Curtis McClinton (1962-69), Jim Tyrer (1961-73), Buck Buchanan (1963-75), Al Reynolds (1960-67), Fred Arbanas, and Ed Lothamer (1964-69, 1971-72) to name just a few.