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Reppin’ KC: Eddie Kennison

The former Kansas City Chief finds a new passion as a wine connoisseur and tastemaker.

Get to know Eddie Kennison, one of the men elevating Kansas City who we’re highlighting in our Reppin’ KC series.

Story by Alex Hoffman  |  Photos by Landon Vonderschmidt

Even in retirement, Eddie Kennison has been all business.

The former wide receiver, who had two 1,000-yard seasons and 25 touchdowns in his seven seasons with the Chiefs, just started his latest venture, Barrel 87, in January. Barrel87.com is an idea Kennison had a few years ago, a resource for the aspiring or seasoned wine connoisseur that helps pair the right food with the drink of your choice. He’s also getting ex-teammates involved as well as chefs he knows from around the world with cooking videos for members of the Barrel 87 site.

“Because I played football for so long, and I was always on someone else’s time clock, being an entrepreneur resonated well with me, because I didn’t want to sit and punch a clock for the rest of my life after football was done,” Kennison, who wore jersey number 87, says. “I wanted to get out and explore and see things and be on my own time.”

Kennison played for five teams in the NFL, and could’ve picked any city to get involved in businesses ranging from restaurants to real estate. But he chose Kansas City and signed a one-day contract to retire as a Chief in 2010.

“Kansas City is the only place that embraced our family with open arms and didn’t pass judgment on things that were going on in my football career on other teams, or my personal life,” Kennison says. “My wife and I really blossomed as a husband and wife, as parents, as men and women of God, and I had some of my best seasons as a professional athlete right here in Kansas City. Everything just came together.”