Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The 2012 KC Chiefs - An Enigma

Those who know me best understand my love (read: IRRATIONAL INFATUATION) with the Kansas City Chiefs.  My first real memory of my team was the kicker who shall not be named missing 3 field goals against the Colts in the playoffs.  That memory pretty much sums up the Chiefs/Tom relationship fully.  The Chiefs are the fairly attractive girl that wants to make out with you but right before the kiss she kicks you in the junk and walks away laughing after stealing your wallet.

You might think this relationship is unhealthy, but you would be wrong  right.  But with all of its drawbacks, there have been some highs.  The 2010 AFC West Championship that we shouldn't have won.  Going to the playoffs year after year in the 90's.  Priest Holmes running behind what is perhaps the most dominant o-line ever assembled.

But lately, oh so many lows.  The Herm years: where 4-12 and 2-14 happened.  Then the Matt Cassel Era:  Where deep down-field throws COULDN'T happen.  The Todd Haley/Homeless Man coaching fiasco.  The ACL Trio (Berry, Charles, Moeaki).  TYLER F*CKING PALKO.

But none of that quite compares to this season.  So much hype going into the season.  Our GM told us that we would be going into the draft without any glaring holes.  We could just pick the best player available throughout the draft.  We were thought to be a surprise team in the AFC and several pundits picked us to win the AFC west.  Matt Cassel was back, and with a new throwing motion.  We replaced our horrible offensive coordinator who once fell asleep in the booth with a legit play caller who made Reggie Bush/Matt Moore look like studs.  The ACL trio was back and healthy, and chomping at the bit.  And the man who nearly saved our season the year before, Romeo Crennel, was here to lead us to that title.  The man who was considered a defensive genius/guru/savant would take care of that side, Daboll would do offense, and we would be winning home games and kissing babies in no time.

The first preseason game seemed to confirm all the hype.  The offense came out, looked unstoppable.  The defense was an immovable force.  14-0 and no one could have ever beat us.  I was so excited about a preseason game that I had goosebumps.  And oh how wrong I was.

Blow outs and Kansas City Chiefs have never been uttered so often in the same sentence.  Unable to acquire a lead through the first 9 games.  Longest such tenure since the 1927 Buffalo Braves?  And that team immediately folded out of pure embarrassment.  Sadly my Chiefs couldn't do the same.  We made the Chargers and Raiders look like world beaters (they of the combined 7-17 record).  We were on pace to set the single season record for turnovers, pt differential, turnover differential, and times I wanted to vomit watching our offense.  Nearly 6 QB changes from suck to unknown suck to suck (again) to (known) suck again.  Our right tackle called out the entire fan base for cheering when Cassel went down and somehow came out looking like an even bigger dbag for defending his QB.  Not 2 weeks later, the other guy gets a concussion.  Maybe block someone instead of bashing the fans that pay money to come see you let our horrible QBs get beat over the head.

And this doesn't even come close to how embarrassing a Romeo press conference can be.  The man used the players thinking about thanksgiving turkey as an excuse for a loss.  He repeatedly said it was the players fault.  He used the word BOOM far to many times in a press conference.  He advised he had to make sure his team avoided a LET DOWN after we narrowly lost to the Broncos.  At home.  By Eight.  We would be playing the Panthers (a horrible but moderately exciting team) the next week and Romeo wanted to make sure we took them seriously.  Our record was 1-10.  You cant take a team with a better record lightly.  Because you suck worse than anyone.  No one has a worse record.  NOT ANY OTHER TEAM.  Everyone looks at us as a win, and the man said we needed to avoid a let down.  Holy shit.

Needless to say, I was embarrassed to be a fan.  I couldn't defend the team, nor the coaches, or the GM.  I could barely defend going to the games.  If it wasn't for a fantastic tailgate every week, I would be home watching whatever else is on on Sundays (something on Lifetime about women being abused by evil terrible men Im sure).  I hated Romeo, I hated our situation, I hated Pioli and I hated that we were finally bad enough to draft a QB #1 overall in the draft and no one could decide how to get Notre Dames starting middle linebacker to play the position.

Suddenly, my perspective changed.  Jovan Belcher took the life of his GF in a dispute over their child.  He shot her nine times and then got in his Bentley and drove to the stadium.  He was seen by security, who called the police.  Scott Pioli also saw him, and had a discussion with him.  Jovan thanked him, and asked him to have Crennel and coach Gibbs down.  When they showed up, he thanked them.  The cops began to arrive on the scene.  Jovan turned around, walked away, and put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger.  In a matter of a few hours, he orphaned his daughter, a 3 month old, and changed the lives of 3 men forever who had to witness him falling apart before their very eyes, unable to talk him out of taking his own life.

I, like everyone else, was in shock.  I followed the story on every news outlet and social media site.  I didn't understand why.  And I knew for sure that I thought playing the game the next day was out of the question.  But the chiefs leadership and team captains gathered and decided to play.  And they played the best football of the season.  No penalties, no turnovers and a six point win.

I walked out of the stadium after the win running a gamut of emotions.  I was happy we won.  I was proud of the players and coaches for playing the way they did.  I was proud of Romeo for his guidance.  He was a rock for the team.  But, at the same time, I was disappointed.  I was disappointed that it took the tragic event on Saturday for us to finally become a team and do the things it took to win.

I guess in closing, all I can say is:  Romeo, Pioli, I respect you as men.  I'm glad you were able to guide the team through what happened.  But after this year, we all need a clean break.  We need to move on from you, and you need to move on from us.  And that cant happen soon enough.  This city needs the Chiefs to heal the wounds from this weekend, and we cant do that with you here.

Tom Haslett


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    1. For your


      Mind the camera shaking, it adds to the quality.