Kendall Gammon and sons are ready to entertain
When you think about a professional football player, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t juggling. But that is the unique hobby former Kansas City Chief Kendall Gammon picked up as a child, and has passed along to his sons Blaise and Drake.
Kendall was a long snapper for the Chiefs for six years and he was the first long snapper selected to the Pro Bowl in 2005.
What is a long snapper? He is the person who snap the ball to the punters and place kickers. It’s not a job that sees the field very often, but one mistake can easily cost a team the game.
So why would a 6-4, 250-pound NFL long snapper get into juggling?
“My cousins started juggling and I decided to learn myself,” says Kendall. “That was in the eighth grade. The positives (for juggling) are hand eye coordination and it is a lifetime hobby. I don’t see any negatives.”
Gammon, who grew up in Rose Hill, Kansas, and attended Pittsburg State, played in the NFL for Pittsburgh, New Orleans and our hometown Chiefs. He was very active in high school participating in not only football, but also basketball, baseball, track, spring musicals, show choir and band.
These days Kendall is the sideline voice for the Chiefs Radio Network and the Special Assistant to the President at Pittsburg State.
And he’s still juggling.
“I have juggled center ring for Ringling Bros. Barnum Bailey Circus and I juggle when I give speeches. I use it to illustrate different points I’m making.”
To keep the tradition going, Kendall has taught juggling to both his sons.
“The boys started juggling in the first grade,” he says. “It really helps in hand-eye coordination.”
Blaise just finished his sophomore year at Kansas State and is playing tight end for the football team. He is considered a red-shirt freshman on the football squad. At the end of spring football practice he was second on the depth chart at tight end.
The 6′ 8″ Blaise played four years of basketball at Blue Valley West where he helped lead the Jaguars to a third-place finish at the 2015 Class 5A state boys basketball tournament. Additionally, he played football his senior year for the Jaguars
“I would say juggling helps you with hand eye coordination and the ability to focus on multiple things at a time, which can be related to sports,” says Blaise.
Younger son Drake just finished his sophomore year at Blue Valley West where the 6′ 4″ sophomore played on the sub-varsity teams in football and basketball.
“My dad had always juggled when he was younger and taught me and my brother Blaise,” says Drake. “That’s what originally got me interested in it.”
And juggling has helped in his athletic career.
“I think it helps with your coordination and it’s just a cool thing to be able to do,” he adds.