Red Zone

September 25, 2013

Is Chiefs safety Eric Berry still scared of horses? Well, it’s complicated

Real of pretend, Chiefs safety Eric Berry has battled a fear of horses since coming to Kansas City as a rookie in 2010. An NFL Films production released Tuesday examines this interesting dynamic a little more closely.

Red Zone

The Chiefs and NFL by beat writer Terez Paylor

Think you’ve seen everything when it comes to pro football? Bet you haven’t seen (spoiler alert!) Chiefs safety Eric Berry apologize to a horse. Well, now you can, thanks to a seven-and-a-half-minute video posted today at In it, NFL Films looks at Berry’s (real or feigned, you be the judge) acutely entertaining case of equinophobia. The two-time Pro Bowler’s hangup about horses became public during a home game against Oakland last fall, when he was spooked by Warpaint, the Chiefs’ hooved mascot that was retired in 1989 but revived in 2009. “Oh, hell no, there goes that horse!” a miked-up Berry remarked that day. “I don’t (mess) with that horse!” NFL Films’ satirical mini-documentary chronicles how Berry, like most kids, liked ponies and rainbows — but asserts that sometime between those carefree days, his hard-hitting years with the Tennessee Volunteers and the present, his appreciation spit the bit. Ah, but all is not lost for Berry. Toward the end of the short film, which includes interviews with Berry’s dad, Chiefs teammates Derrick Johnson and Kendrick Lewis and Denver Broncos defensive back Champ Bailey, Berry resolves to proceed with some desensitization techniques ... culminating with a one-one-one meet-up with Warpaint (actually one-on-two, as the horse’s rider, Chiefs cheerleader Susie, plays intermediary) inside a deserted Arrowhead Stadium. Presumably, horse and safety will live happily ever after. In any event, it’s definitely must-see NFL TV:

And while we’re discussing fears, rational or otherwise, enjoy this quintessential Seinfeld moment involving one Cosmo Kramer and Pagliacci the clown:

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