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DT Chester McGlockton, right, played six years for the Raiders before signing a
$30 million contract with Kansas City in April, 1998. Kansas City Star photo

Adios, Mr. Underachievement
Pro Bowl defensive tackle Chester McGlockton typifies the tarnished image of pro athletes in the 1990s. For every big play he made the past two seasons for the Raiders, there were countless other occasions when the former Clemson All-America jumped offsides or was on cruise-control -- not giving maximum effort in a sport that commands commitment and sacrifice to be successful.

Instead of providing leadership for a struggling team that lacked mettle, McGlockton was undisciplined and selfish. His departure, one day before the start of the 1998 NFL draft, signalled a significant acknowledgment by Oakland management: There is no "I" in the word "team."

At the end of their acrimonious six-year relationship, each side got what it wanted. McGlockton received a megabucks contract (reportedly $30 million over five years) from his new employer, AFC West rival Kansas City, while Oakland was compensated with two second-round draft choices for losing its designated exclusive franchise player.

Two sequences in 1997 exhibited McGlockton's blatant disrespect for teammates and unprofessional demeanor. He danced in the Oakland huddle during a timeout in the fourth quarter of an embarrassing 13-10 home loss to New Orleans. A few weeks later in a 30-0 loss to the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, he walked over to the sideline to chat with Kansas City coach Marty Schottenheimer during a timeout. On each occasion, McGlockton's message was clear: I don't give a damn!

And so, another Raiders star joins the hated Chiefs. Maybe a rejuventaed Chester will be as successful against his former team as future Hall-of-Fame running back Marcus Allen. No one ever questioned Allen's desire. You can't make the same statment about McGlockton.

Published: 4-20-98


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