Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Clark Hunt Factor

I was going to title this post "The John Dorsey Factor", but really, it is all about Clark. After the extraordinarily unceremonious firing of John Dorsey everyone has been completely flummoxed. How on earth could we be losing one of the best things to happen to the Chiefs -- we had a really really really good general manager!

I did take a moment to peek around the web at some of the things people were saying about it. Indeed some were justifiably upset -- has Clark lost his mind?! -- others offered some reasons why.

The most reasonable among them was something a number of people mentioned, and something I didn't consider but that I did think about a couple of times before. Two particular players stand out as symbols of John Dorsey's dismissal.

Jeremy Maclin and Eric Berry.

Berry was intensely wooed by the Chiefs and for good reason. He's a fine safety and a phenomenal human being who inspired the entire sports world with his courageous battle not only against cancer but for returning and play football for the Kansas City Chiefs. He had a great regular season last year, making a number of game-changing stops and interceptions, all of which showed up on every highlight reel there could be.

Thing is, Dorsey signed him to a whoppingly huge contract extension the length of which goes way beyond the standard playing years of most defensive players -- especially one who has had a major life-threatening illness. Does Berry deserve it? I don't think many would say he's not one of the best defensive players in the game and a model of strength and character. I've always loved Eric Berry. Not many football fans haven't.

But that much money? And, please, I've mentioned this before, Berry has really pretty much been very subpar in the playoffs. He did do well in the Texans playoff game, but against Brian Hoyer. Otherwise, in order: Joe Flacco, Andrew Luck, Tom Brady, and Ben Roethlisberger have all torched Berry. Sure all of those QB's are great and Berry needs his defenders to help around him, but in each one of those games Berry himself was responsible for key breakdowns. We wouldn't have won the Baltimore game, but the Indianapolis, New England, and Pittsburgh games were all close and Berry's failures definitely contributed to those losses.

Jeremy Maclin was also signed for a gargantuan contract and every Chiefs fan was thrilled. And every Chiefs fan thoroughly appreciates everything Maclin did, I mean he did do some amazing things for us on the football field. But let's face it, was he worth that much money? He was injured frequently -- no fault of his, yes, I understand, but even when healthy, was he so much of a game-changer that he was worth that much?

Now I've always been wary of huge signings and free agency, so it is reasonable for someone to think my perspective influenced by looking at things through crap-colored glasses. But you have to remember, we're talking about how much money a Jeremy Maclin is making against how much any other given player is making and what those players are doing on the football field.

Was Maclin doing more than any other given wide receiver getting paid the same or less?

Will Berry do what he's been doing for each of the next six years? And do his expected job well enough to beat the better quarterbacks in the playoffs? -- After all, really, that's what he's getting paid for.

The point is it does look a lot like John Dorsey had too many dollar signs swimming along his retina.

The counterargument, and it is a good one, is ya gotta pay to win. Dorsey was simply thinking in terms of getting winning players on the field and realizing you've got to pay them -- we needed Jeremy Maclin at the time and he took care of business. That was a very very good thing.

The problem with that is that there is a salary cap, and the reason everyone is saying "Dorsey didn't manage the cap well." And it wasn't just Maclin or Berry, though those are the most glaring examples. This is one of those nuanced aspects of general manager leadership, how do you convince a player to play for money that is just right for him, enough to keep him as a key component of your team?

Fortunately John had drafted phenomenally well. It'd be nice to see a Demarcus Robinson step in a fill Maclin's shoes. But then, this brings up a thought I had since seeing all this come down yesterday.

At the same exact time of the Dorsey firing, Andy Reid got a nice contract extension. How about that -- contract extension for Andy, pink slip for John. I'm wondering. Could it be true that the makeup of the Chiefs team is more Reid than Dorsey?

This is why this is all about Clark.

Could it be that Clark knew the team was mostly Reid's handiwork and not Dorsey's? Could it be?

I don't know, and I'm just not going to look around the web to see what some are saying to find out. Thing is, it'll all come out over the next several years. Will we all, Chiefs players especially, fully understand the reasons behind it and be on board with Chiefs success because Clark did actually do the right thing? That'll come from what we see on the field, ultimately.

You know, a few posts ago when I was pondering Chiefs blessings, I remarked about how John Dorsey was rumored to be cleaning house, and how good that made me feel. Let's get some people in there who will actually win the playoff games we should be winning!

Sure enough, the first major casualty of this semi-quasi-house-cleaning was John Dorsey himself.

Again, to switch to the rose-tinted glasses with frames inlaid with little Super Bowl trophies, let's hope we can get that general manager who can do the nuanced thing, the most important of which is to put players on the field who will pull out those clutch playoff wins.
__

Friday, June 23, 2017

Now What? I Was Getting Used to Thinking the Chiefs Were Really Doing Things Where They Could Actually Win

Just picked up the news that the guy who has been most responsible for the Chiefs splendid revitalization was fired.

John Dorsey is gone.

What the ----?...

Details are still coming in, and there seems to be all kinds of conjecture about what happened. It seemed Dorsey had dispelled the considerations that he'd bolt to Green Bay -- good. It appeared he'd pulled off another spectacular draft, snatching up a quarterback everyone knew was going to be groomed for success a few years out -- good, this means John's planning to be around.

Now this.

Sorry, but this is crushing for the Chiefs. We can try to put a nice coat of the sweetest vanilla frosting over this, but it is still a rotting heap of sewage. You absolutely have to have a guy like Dorsey at the top making wise personnel decisions every single day, not just on draft days.

Sure we can hope for the best from a new GM coming in, that's fine, it's all we got right now anyway, really, so there's that. But what about the stability of a franchise that just dumped one of the very best, most respected GM's in the game? Are we really going to get someone who is just as good as John?

::Sigh::

As it is we have to really hope that Clark had a really really good reason for this that everyone will really really really understand was justified.

Really.

Because if the wholly reasonable justification and the widespread certain assurance among everyone isn't there, I truly fear for our beloved franchise, I really do. Call me melodramatic, but I've seen too much sports stuff and seen too much the critical importance of having stable and skillful front office people driving team success.

Again, here's hoping there's a reason and that we're better for it.

Right now though, it's pretty much just mourning.
___

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

The 2017 Season Foremath (or, if you must, The Draft Aftermath)

It's easy to progress through the Chiefs draft ramifications with a post titled "The Draft Aftermath", but really, since this blog enterprise is only about game day activities, it really should be "The Season Foremath". It could even be "The Draft Foremath" because what transpired for the Kansas City Chiefs over the course of the draft was already established.

Long before last week's developments, Clark Hunt got serious about Chiefs winning by plugging in John Dorsey and Andy Reid to run things.

Those two in turn have been fastidiously building a stout, reputable organization of winning professional football in a number of ways. It has paid off with four straight winning seasons and a roster that is considered one of the deepest in the game. This has enabled Dorsey and Company to prosecute this draft like no other Chiefs brain trust ever has. A plethora of draft picks were deftly parlayed into higher picks to get stronger talent available at the top.

Now I didn't watch any of it, I never do. Again, I can't handle listening to the television commentators speak about how splendid some guy taken by another team is going to be, and then speak about how neato our guy is going to be, getting our hopes all up and later discovering he's a bust. Percy Snow, anybody?

But that was then, this is now.

John Dorsey knows what he's got, both in his coaching staff and in his own ability to find guys who can play. And while I didn't watch any of it or volitionally look at any of it except for a few peeks at Patrick Mahomes -- I couldn't help it! -- my radar picked up some and my friends and family told me about some.

Here's who I know we got, in the order of being drafted. Sorry, I don't know names, except for that first guy. A couple of them I saw were delightfully unusual, but let's just say I'm looking forward to them becoming households names, then all of us can really know them. And sorry, I don't even know who else we may have gotten last week, not even sure we had any other picks left after these guys. But these guys alone are just fine. So yeah, here they are.

QB, DE, RB, WR, LB.

That first one is that Texas Tech guy my brother said we should avoid, but I had to peek at what they said is so great about him. (Hey, a Chiefs quarterback first-round pick, yowza!) Great arm, great mobility, great confidence. Thing is aside from any of the other things that may be not-so-good, the big question is is he a good decision-maker? That's the most important thing of all, and every Chiefs fan is eager to see what Reid can do with him and trust that John did enough of his homework to trade up to No. 10 overall to get him.

Whatever the case, I trust John. Don't give a rip about the expense (a 3rd this year and our ::gulp:: No. 1 next year), if this guy will take us to the promised land this deal was pretty cheap actually.

I think I saw that the DE is 6'7", something like that? To firm up the D-line with a pick that high -- I like it. (Update: my brother just texted me saying he saw this guy play in person when Villanova played his team, James Madison. Said he was freakishly athletic. We'll take it.)

We traded up to get the running back too, and I've been getting the idea running backs are too costly in the first couple rounds, but are at a premium there in the 3rd. If this rule holds, we scored big here too. The WR we got had a terrific year in 2015 but not in 2016 -- those guys can be real finds because I'd always heard if you can see a guy do something amazing once he can do it again. A work colleague told me about this LB -- he said he is a big, fast, phenomenally relentless guy who comes from a small college, a factor that may have scared away other takers.

I don't know about you, but John and these five guys, all of them not only solid but filling needs -- add them to the team we already have -- I'm great with that.

I was also informed a little while ago that the Chiefs open the NFL season against the Patriots in Foxboro on national television, Thursday Night Football. I'd been told that we should be afraid, be very afraid. Eh, no doubt the Patriots are a historically great team, but I really like John and Andy.

And that we're picked to play in the inaugural showcase game of the season, against the Super Bowl champs? Some people must be noticing too.

There is no question every Chiefs fan is thrilled beyond ecstasy that a Chiefs GM would actually have not only the ferocious ganas to trade up so brazenly on draft days, but to back it up with a record of getting the best players in the draft and outside of it.

All of the culminates in another of the most important items in "The Season Foremath". I happened to catch that getting Mahomes to run the offense over the course of the next several years may be a major indicator that Dorsey and Reid are here to stay for a while.

Oh that that would happen.

That means this not only comprises "The Season Foremath", but the "The Chiefs Dynasty Foremath".

I can't wait until September 7th.
__

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Draft

As I've shared a million times before, I don't pay attention to anything Chiefs, at least not right now. Um, ahem, why then do I not only have a Chiefs blog, but actually squeeze in some time to write down a few things about what's going on with the Chiefs right now?

I do this blog because I really like the Chiefs. I don't pay any attention to anything except game action stuff because no matter what, all the outside stuff just drives me crazy. I am writing now because I'm presently going to write about future game action, naturally related to what's happening tomorrow.

I'm not so dense to fail to recognize that the first round of the draft is tomorrow. This is the first time I've blogged about it before the event itself. Some years in the past I've posted about this or that guy we got. This time I'm posting before, for one simple reason.

I trust John.

So far John Dorsey has killed it in the draft. This is why I'm great with whatever John decides to do. I'm thrilled we have someone there who's going to make whatever decisions that need to be made to ensure our team will win playoff games.

See, that's the key.

Look, as it is I confess I have been nervous about hoping one of those fine QB's or RB's is there for us to snatch at our, what, 25th pick? Again, I don't know, but the pick is down there somewhere.

I know there's the Clemson QB, the Notre Dame QB, and some other QB's they've talked about. I don't know much about any of them except that I saw them play a bit in college a couple times, and my radar has picked up that these guys are highly considered. My brother mentioned that we should not get that Texas Tech QB, he says he's not as good as they say. That makes me nervous, but if we end up with him -- again, I'm great with what John thinks Andy can do with him.

I know there's the Louisiana State RB, the Stanford RB, and the Florida State RB, and if we can't get that QB, I'd love to pick up one of those guys.

We really really really need that QB, though -- oh that for once that guy would land in our laps -- 

For ----- fuh-reekin' ----- once.

But then I think, what if all those guys are taken by the time our pick comes around.

Disconsolation. Mnffnmph.

But then again...

I trust John.

If all those guys are gone, he'll do what he needs to. Everyone debates obsessively about whether or not the selection should be fill-a-need or take-the-best. If we don't get that world-beater QB or RB, then I think it should be take-the-best, but you know? John knows best.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter who we get.

There's only one thing that counts.

I can't deny that it'd be really really really nice to enjoy, for once in a Chiefs fan's lifetime, there on that crisp Sunday late afternoon, first, second week of January, the Chiefs methodically driving down the field, under two minutes left and behind in the score, but within range and yes, our incisively confident QB

Just takes care of business.

Yeah, it'd be nice if we could enjoy a few of those days, over the course of the next few years or so. With the quarterback we get tomorrow gettin' it done. Or the running back setting things up so whichever quarterback we have can get it done. Or whoever it is that was a take-the-best guy we got in that great 2017 Chiefs draft doing something extraordinary to add to the dramatic proceedings and protracted exuberance of postseason game conquest. Yeah, that's our vision.

But no matter what, it is nice to know John'll get it done now.

So it'll get done then.
___

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Kansas City Blessing, Part III

My cousin, the die-hardest of die-hard Chiefs fans, sent out a Facebook notice shortly after the Chiefs latest playoff debacle, a simple but impassioned declaration that it didn't much matter any more. Yes there was much more depth to the message than that, but the thrust was something every Chiefs fan feels every time after time after time after time after time we refuse to win a playoff game that is ours for the taking.

Oh believe me I feel the same way. In my last post I'd spoken about the galaxy of hope we have if and when John Dorsey waves his wonderful wonder wand and does what he must this year -- however dramatically disruptive it may be -- to get the Chiefs to put a playoff team on the field that will nfncknking win a playoff game for once. But I do realize that in my exuberance I may have been a bit hard on some of our better players.

Don't get me wrong, the essence of what I said still holds. I'm hearing that the Chiefs are going full-throttle to ink Eric Berry, and that's perfectly fine, really -- but let's face it, arguably the best safety in the NFL still loses to good quarterbacks in the playoffs. Berry's been the lesser player four times -- Flacco, Luck, Brady, and Roethlisberger have all schooled him. He did beat Brian Hoyer (yay!)

But to Berry's credit, a ton of other factors weigh on the Chiefs. The NFL/media/business/officiating/Norse-god military-industrial complex is still consistently destroying the Chiefs chances to advance to games that'll lose too much money should the Chiefs appear in them. And the evidence is clear from one thread raging through the rumor mill I happened to see when one time this past week I peeked at Chiefs stuff.

Yeah, I peeked for just a moment to see if my work colleague's rumor threads had some veracity...

Big mistake.

Right after I'd posted about how splendidly awesome it was to have John Dorsey at the wheel driving an organization that is scorching up the player personnel development highway, I see that everyone is convinced he's slipping off to Green Bay after this year.

You are nfcknghfcncghkcking kidding me.

This is precisely the kind of thing that verifies everything I've said about how much the complex is crushing Chiefs fans hopes to enjoy some decent measure of postseason joyfulness. You know, I like looking (when I do which is rarely) at Arrowhead Pride and Arrowhead Addict and any number of other Chiefs sites and blogs, because the articles are indeed for the most part optimistic. That's a nice thing, an encouraging thing -- really, not being facetious at all, it is good to read good things about good Chiefs things happening often enough. There's a place for that.

But then there are my cousin's sentiments, and frankly, how many other Chiefs fans not only feel this way but know why they do?

How many Chiefs fans look at this gathering storm projecting Dorsey going the Packers and know that this is precisely the kind of thing that justifies the abject despair Chiefs fans feel all the time? That there is no reason in the world Dorsey should be going there except that the complex is loathe to see him continue to do great things for a team they simply do not tolerate being successful?

The best that happens is Dorsey likes the stability and purpose of the Chiefs organization right now and wants to see his work to its end -- a Super Bowl championship by 2023. Really, this is the way it should be. There is no reason in the universe the Chiefs are any worse than the Packers organization-wise -- at least that I've seen, no reason. So yeah, maybe Dorsey will see that the Chiefs Kingdom at every level appreciates everything he does here and he'd make no more money and have no more accoutrements in Green Bay than in Kansas City.

The second best is that after Dorsey is gone to the Packers, we can pray his replacement will take what he's done and do almost as well, hoping what we'll have from Dorsey's work and his successor's will propel us to that success we've all been so longing for.

Thing is the precariousness of that latter scenario, oh how familiar are we with that, is precisely why smarter Chiefs fans like my cousin legitimately, justifiably, and teleologically feel the way they do.

This is why in the face of knowing exactly what we're up against, seeing it, beholding it, being honest about it -- one of the main elements of the Kansas City Blessing is simply the fortitude any Chiefs fan has in the face of the impediments. I mean, what if the blessing at this exact moment in time is that being so sought-after means John Dorsey is as good as we all know he is? Maybe Dorsey stays after all, or if he's gone his replacement will be even better?

There is always that one thing I've shared a few times before -- that the horror of all the playoff horrors gets Chiefs people to do that much more they know they must do to win championship football, and that when they do it will be that much sweeter.

So yeah, I'll still blog about each game, however much that is. I'll still be one of the faithful -- through the pains and thrills and likely even more pains, but knowing there are those like me, that's cool.

The best of the Kansas City Blessing, however, is really in that image of the Chiefs fans at the top of this blog post. A random image from an event the Chiefs had at an elementary school --

Those kids are the Kansas City Blessing.

Hopeful still, enjoying the delights and wonders and beauties of the Chiefs Kingdom which is much more than football -- that's awesome.
__

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Kansas City Blessing, Part II

I wasn't planning on putting up a new post. I'd figured the most recent one would be the last for the 2016-2017 pro football episode, but I felt compelled to write about a few more specific things, for a few more quite significant reasons. There had been a number of other things on my mind that I didn't get to last time and I won't be revisiting them here, though a thread that ran through this latest postmortem to the Chiefs season is still quite prominent.

Yesterday a colleague of mine came in to my work area, someone with whom I converse about sports items at times, and while he knows I am a bit of a sports celibate, as it were, I indulge him and we have moderately engaging discussions. I don't contribute much except for whatever my sports-attuned radar has picked up from news or other sources.

He is, by the way, the gentlemen who mentioned a number of weeks ago that he felt the Chiefs are the only team with five game-changing players on the team, five of them (Hill, Kelce, Berry, Peters, Houston), and that he could think of no other NFL team with any more than two or three. Game-changers mind you, players who can almost single-handedly win games merely by their extraordinary talent and persistent will.

Which is why what he shared with me on Friday afternoon is something I felt I simply must address here in this blog. It starts with this still resounding truth every Chiefs fan knows so well and is so painfully familiar.

There is no way this team should have lost yet another playoff game, this one to a far less talented Steelers team.

This truth simply cannot be lost on wise insightful Chiefs management, it simply cannot be.

Here is what my colleague told me, and again, I know nothing about any of this, I have not in any way pursued discovering more about these possibilities, I haven't the faintest idea the veracity of the things my colleague divulged. I know nothing other than what he said, except that I do know

What these things mean for the Chiefs Kingdom.

He said the Chiefs are jettisoning a lot of high-priced guys, in surprising fashion. Any of us can think of anyone the Chiefs could do without, but some of the names were surprising. He mentioned Albert Wilson, but that's not a surprise because he simply could not run open routes underneath coverage and he dropped far too many passes he should've been able to grab.

He mentioned Jamaal Charles, but that's not really a surprise either except that Jamaal was such a valiant Chiefs player for so long, and really, so damn good. But you know? When you think about it, how well did Jamaal do for us in getting us to promised-land glory? You know, when you think about it, really very little.

In 2009 the Chiefs were poor. In 2010 Charles did well to get us the playoffs, but the rest of the team was not up to his ability, so that was really not on him. He was injured for the year in 2011, and 2012 was a catastrophe for everyone. There was 2013, but he got injured early in the Colts playoff game so that wasn't really on him either. In 2014 he was again spectacular but you know? He simply was not spectacular enough, because we inexplicably lost games to Tennessee, San Francisco, Arizona, and Pittsburgh we had no business losing. And then in 2015 there was the second ACL tear -- worse than the first because even today he has still not fully recovered from it, so yeah, not on him, but if he's not out there on the field, then he can't be employed as we need him to win postseason football games. Thing is, everyone has been pretty certain Jamaal, as great a Chiefs player as he will always be, is gone. Not much of a surprise.

The real surprise was who my colleague also mentioned, Eric Berry. Yeah.

Eric Berry.

I'd thought we'd surely be keeping Berry and likely letting Dontari Poe go, but ya know? As I think about it, if Berry is going to ask for the moon, I'd say good-bye too. How come?! Well, here's the thing, and this will give you a hint of what I think is going on within the inner workings of the Chiefs Kingdom.

Those playoff games.

In 2010 we got smoked by Baltimore. Berry was a rookie, and the team just wasn't as good as the Ravens, so that's fine. But Berry wasn't a world-beater in that game either. Then there was 2013 when Andrew Luck torched us in the last quarter-and-a-half of that nightmare game. Even though our D-backs were hurting, Berry was still back there letting the Colts get quick huge plays when stopping any two or three of them would've won us the game. That's a big one on Berry.

Then there was 2015 when Berry blew key coverages that allowed the Patriots, a team with absolutely no running game, to beat a better Chiefs team. And then there was this year, when Berry again blew critical coverages allowing the Steelers to get into field goal range one too many times.

Yes, Eric Berry is a hero, to everybody, always will be, always will be one of my favorite players no matter what. But I'm sure John Dorsey is going to go to Berry and say, "Look, it's about dubyas, and you didn't get it done when we needed it -- a number of times when we really needed it, in a big way. We still like you and would like for you to be a Chiefs player forever. Here's our offer, we'd love to have you return to play for us." Again, if he doesn't, then you know what?

I trust John.

My colleague mentioned there were other guys with their heads on the chopping block, he couldn't recall any, but he said one might be Eric Fisher. Eric Fisher?! Well, you know, Fisher is a fine offensive lineman, and last year we did sign him to a long term deal, but you know what? He still could've easily not held that Steelers guy when we really needed him to just play even modestly like a No. 1 overall pick.

The first item my colleague brought up, however, was about quarterback. He said that the Chiefs are going hard after Tony Romo. Now my first thought is, oh no, yet again we're going after some veteran who'll be around for maybe three years -- it's the Chiefs standard practice ::sigh:: But then I thought, good, the Chiefs are finally wanting to really take care of business.

Sorry, but Alex Smith, let's face it, you haven't done the job. You've actually played okay in the playoffs, really, you have, but please -- you haven't won us playoff games. You're good, but not winning-playoff-games good.

So if the Chiefs get Romo, cut loose Smith and all these other high or overpriced players, draft a fine quarterback for the future and stockpile a slough of other selections (some with compensatory picks -- oh do I like John Dorsey more and more), and with a ton of saved cap space snatch an undervalued free agent here and there...

We're in business.

Thinking about these things my colleague shared actually gave me a glimmer of hope. No, actually, it is giving me a galaxy of hope.

John Dorsey wants a team that will win playoff games and he'll do what he does really well to get it.

I like it a lot.

The strategy is simple, and he's got the skills to pull it off. We already have the game-changer pieces in place. I'd like to believe Dorsey has already told Andy Reid, we like you, you're a fine play-maker and strong team-leader, let me get the guys you need. Now some may wonder why Dorsey doesn't consider getting rid of Reid too, but please, finding good, solid coaches is much harder. Yes we can justifiably blister Reid about his inability to adjust or failure to be much more organic or refusal to manage late-game clocks or whatever, but he's still a terrific coach.

I'd also like to believe that Dorsey's gone to players like Tyreek Hill and Chris Jones and told them, look, you are the future, we really like you, and we will put a winning team around you.

And I know he's going to go to those players like Romo et al and share with them the vision for winning Chiefs football by bringing them on board to do the great things the Chiefs can do. Regarding someone like Romo, Dorsey's got a feather in his cap and something the Chiefs have really never had: a core of three terrific wide receivers in Maclin, Hill, and Conley, as well as the best tight end in football.

And I know he's going to run the table on draft day because he's already shown he's got the eye for nabbing talented players where he can get them.

A key takeaway in all this is we know he means business because he's going to toss anyone who isn't going to be serious about winning Chiefs football. He summarily did it to his third-round pick, Keivarae Russell, right in the middle of the season, and everyone was stunned he did that. Why though? Why so surprised? If he's no good or doing nothing to show he'll get better, get rid of him.

Oh my do we need bosses who are serious about lighting a fire under the ass of guys when it counts the most. No more spells, curses, deer-in-the-headlights looks from Chiefs players on the playoff football field. We're so sick of seeing that, every Chiefs fan wants to puke.

Get the job done, dammit.

Who cares who anybody is, who cares how much money someone's making or how special anyone thinks anyone is or what anybody thinks one way or the other?

We need a winning Chiefs football team, and that means winning postseason football.

Period.

This is the delightfully wonderful thing about hearing what my colleague shared with me yesterday.

John Dorsey means business. He's going to get guys who will win and if you're not one of those guys, you're outta there.

Wow. Wow, how many times have you felt the way you do now about this?

Now again, I can't say whether or not any of this is veritable or the extent to which things will change or whether we even have a legitimate shot at Romo or not. The veracity of any particular thing one way or the other is not even what really matters.

You know what matters.

I can't wait until next January.
__

Thursday, February 02, 2017

The Kansas City Blessing

September 30, 2014.

That was the day the Shuttlecock Curse silliness was finally put to rest.

You remember, being a Kansas City sports fan. Apparently in 1986 or something, shortly after the Royals won their first World Series title, the Nelson Gallery put a big honkin' shuttlecock on the front lawn. The thinking was since it was there, the Chiefs and Royals have stunk in postseason play, or worse, not even been there at all.

Seemed like eons. It was all the fault of that stinkin' shuttlecock.

Well, on that brisk September day, the Royals annihilated that sucker.

As every red-blooded Kansas Citian knows so well, the Royals defeated the A's in the American League Wild Card Game in one of the craziest fashions imaginable. Then they dispatched the Angels who only led the majors in wins that season. Then they disposed of the Orioles who some said were better than the Angels. Then they were 90 feet away from putting it to Madison Bumgarner -- who was only having the greatest pitching performance in World Series history -- and damn well winning the World Series outright.

Never you mind. For the Royals came back with a vengeance in 2015, first storming to the AL Central title, then taking down the Astros, then the Blue Jays, then the Mets to finally win it all with the greatest display of clutch hitting in major league postseason history tallying seven wins across that span in games they trailed by two or more runs.

Kansas City major professional sports team, World Champions.

Now yeah, it wasn't the Chiefs. And while there are likely a few Kansas Citians who care little about baseball, it was still a sign.

It was a major sign that a team with exceptional on-field talent, strong front office leadership, and the heart of a champion could overcome the gargantuan non-$$$-generating non-media-darling impediments and not only win it all but

Win it all being real and true and courageous.

You just saw it all over the Royals for two straight years. And if you are someone who likes the baseball Kansas City team and followed them through that delightful run, you know how phenomenally exhilarating it was. And everyone knows that much of that joy came from the what-seemed-like-an-eternity feeling of excruciating despair when the Royals were the absolute dregs of major league baseball.

I share this because I think this is a key component to what is happening with all this Chiefs stuff. I don't think there is any question there is something, something beyond anything we can explain that is keeping the Chiefs and their fine team from winning anything meaningful once they get into the playoffs. The Chiefs have been too talented far too often for there to be any other reason.

But that's where the Kansas City Blessing comes in. I shared a couple years ago that "Winning is a curse." For a number of reasons, it really can be. One of the things that makes losing a blessing is that when your team does win, it is that much sweeter. I am looking forward to the day when the Chiefs win the Super Bowl again.

For one, it will be that they deserved it. They certainly aren't getting any help from the officiating or the NFL business/media interests or any of that, but that's the way it should be. I don't even want there to be any charmed plays or any of that going our way. I'm looking forward to the postseason games the Chiefs gut out, battle to the end, get the clutch win, and captivate the nation by their merits both in their talent and their character.

And for two, it will be overwhelmingly joyous because we've been faithful to the team. My heart breaks for all the fans who took on the ice storm effects and got to Arrowhead early this year only to have their hopes crushed yet again. I feel it when I think about the Charlie's Saloon patrons in Philadelphia who are so devoted for no reason other than the owner one time looked at the Chiefs and thought, "Yeah, that's a team worth rooting for."

What is so encouraging is that none of them will give up on the Chiefs. And right now, in spite of this season's woeful turn in the playoffs yet again -- right now is the best time to be a fan. It can't be said enough, Clark has brought stability and purpose, John has brought wisdom and insight, Andy has brought inspiration and industry, and the players know it, feel it, and consider their teammates as family.

It'll happen soon, I believe it will.

But you know? I don't care if it's 2039 when Joe Montana's grandson, five-year Chiefs veteran and original D&D! quarterback Jedidiah Montana leads the team to their first Super Bowl win since IV, I'm good with that, really.

As long as I know they're on the right track as they are now.

It's a blessing to be a Chiefs fan, it really is.

You may know I am a Christian man, and after our season ended I had read from the 51st chapter of Isaiah in my devotional time. It was good to be assured there is a God who restores, who honors those who seek righteousness as it says there in the first verse of the chapter. The third verse is the one that is most meaningful for now, and I'd like to share it with you here.

Yes, there will be a time when Chiefs success will be deliriously glorious. It's great to talk about Chiefs things anytime, whenever, about whatever, but I've said everything about this season for now. There'll be much more for next year, certainly.

To conclude this one, a promise from God. Yes, this particular message was for the Israelites, I know, but He cares about Chiefs fans too.

"The Lord will surely comfort Zion, and will look with compassion on all her ruins; He will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing."
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