All of our readers who submitted A.A. Reebok Hoody Giveaway Contest entries did a great job tackling the Chiefs‘ approach to the ’08 offseason, but we’ve narrowed it down to one winner and one runner-up contestant. Even though only one reader can win the contest, we felt both efforts merited mentioning…
Second Place: Mike Kruger
I’m probably being a bit understated here, but I think I’ll call the tact that King Carl and Herm and co. are taking pragmatic. Pragmatism is not the quality desperate fans (especially me) clamor for when your team has gone south, and done so with the horn blaring and lights flashing. The declining physical skills that are associated with aging athletes is not something that sneaks up behind you when no is looking. In the Chief’s case, quite possibly management and ownership were the only ones that didn’t notice. In the past, stop gap measures were made via free agency in attempts to fend off this dilemma. The only problem was that many of the free agents were only slightly younger than vets they were replacing, or there wasn’t any noticeable improvement in the level of play. Compound that with over-spending, buyer’s remorse, and even the apparent need to try “something, anything” to blunt the pain (Eddie Drummond). One thing I feel confident in saying is that our drafts have improved exponentially under Herm. He and his staff have proven to be reliable evaluators of talent. Once upon a time, a Chief’s fan could expect a draft pick to be someone you might see on the field in three years, but more than likely would be cut by opening day. Allow me to recite a brief litany of draft grief from my time following the red and gold. Brian Jozwiak. Ethan Horton. Paul Palmer. Harvey Williams( was that his real neck?) Percy Snow. Trezelle Jenkins. Rashan Shehee. Todd Blackledge. Slymo. Ryan Sims. Shattered Hopes. Broken Dreams. Etc.
That being said, I’m willing to let Herm do it his way. We have a lot of picks. It just so happens that this draft is heavy in areas of need for us. I wouldn’t mind trading that number five pick so Herm could load up some more. I guess I’m saying that my delight threshold has been so severely battered that I need to recalibrate. Free agents will not allow me the soul cleansing totality I require. Addition through the draft will. This time next year, I’ll be able to be at peace with the knowing reconciliation of my fanhood mental health. Either blissful nirvana of getting it right, or bile spewing rage in dismal failure, one truth: it’ll all be on King Carl and Herm. Get it right or get out.
First Place: Eric Crane
From the Desk of the longest Tenured GM in Professional Sports
MEMO: Arrowhead Addict ContestTopic: Chiefs’ (my) Approach To Free Agency
To: Online “Fans”
OK Nerds listen up. This is a side of me you rarely get to see. The real ME. The guy who told John Tait and his Book-of-Mormon-beating agent to sit down and STFU… King Carl Peterson. That blubbering toad Whitlock coined me with that nickname and it does fit. You know why? Because I rule.
Let me first tell you that I am the longest tenured G.M. in pro sports today.
Got it? I started this gig in ’89 when your Chiefs were doormats of the NFL that other teams liked to defecate on. The only thing getting barbecued at Arrowhead those days was the team on the field, and no one ever got laid.
Then, I came on board. I decided to personally take over the draft, tell the coaches what time to go to bed each night, and told Lamar to STFU or I was going to slap his face. I decided to draft Derrick Thomas. And I did. Everyone got laid.
You know how much a season ticket was in 1988? Well it was $16.40. Now its almost $90 dollars. You know how big your balls have to be to more-than-quadruple your prices in that amount of time…and how much of a badass Mandingo you have to be to still keep your job? Not to mention charging $22 to park your car on Jackson-County maintained grass next to our parking lot that we don’t even own.
I don’t know what Chiefs fans want from me…I never spend all of our money, and in doing so I was able to give them historic QB’s like Joe Montana. And Steve Bono. And Elvis Grbac. And Steve DeBerg. And Trent Green. And Rich Gannon…well at least until he wanted to pay him too. But you catch my drift. Did I say I brought in Joe Montana? Well, I did.
I drafted you great players like Tim Grunhard, Will Shields, LJ, Tony Gonzalez, Derrick Johnson and William Bartee. Not to mention Percy Snow, Trezelle Jenkins, Harvey Williams, Greg Hill, Victor Riley, Junior Siiavi, Sylvester Morris and Ryan Sims. TRUST ME. Hey the draft is a crapshoot and I draft the guys I know I can bully around the bargaining table. I love BUSTS, because they never get to that second contract…you know…the expensive one. I also brought in great free agents like Donnie Edwards, Joe Horn, Dan Saleamua and Lin Elliot. I did lose some great free agents too, like Donnie Edwards, Joe Horn, Neil Smith, Albert Lewis and Gannon, but I actually wanted to keep those guys…but they wanted the one thing I can’t stand to give and that’s a raise.
You see…I run the show here. I have a jar of black marbles. If I bring a player in and he can’t guess within 3 marbles the total number of black marbles in my jar…I tell him to get out of my office. You think Vermeil retired on his own? He wasn’t crying because he’s emotional…his guess wasn’t even close. He was crying about his shitty attempt to keep his job with his horrible guessing. I told him not to let the door hit him in the ass on his way out, I didn’t care how close we were to a Super Bowl.
Look you want a formula for success in this Midwest white-bread barbecue-stain on-a-white-t-shirt city? Heregoes:
1. Defense First – Why? The players are cheaper, last longer, and make those losses “close ones”. Keeps em comin’ back for more.
2. Thou shalt not sign thy second contract.*
(*except the star RB who could get me fired by being good somewhere else)
3. Raise prices each and every season. Do you have any bill that doesn’t get slightly larger year after year?
We call it meeting expectations…death taxes and ticket price increases.
4. When the going gets rough, fire the coach…and promote from within (cheaper)
5. Raise prices each year. Its expensive to turn the lights on 8 times a year.
By the way, I don’t wear loafers. I wear custom made Italian leather shoes that were broken walking all over agents and Lamar Hunt then polished by jamming the toe up Clark’s ass!
You’ve already heard some of my free agent/ draft plan from Herm, who I used to do blow with back in the 70s at UCLA…some of the guys we sign…fans will be all like “…who?” *rubs palms together maniacally* …all part of my plan.
Just trust me Kansas City…I know what I am doing. I created the Wolf.
But we still have the best fans in the league…
Congrats to Eric and Mike! Mike, we’ve got some Chiefs posters we’ll send your way, that way you won’t place yet come up empty handed. Eric, one hoody is comin’ your direction. I’ll drop both of you a line. Again, great job everybody. We really enjoyed all the entries.
And last but not least, a special thanks to the people at Reebok. Be sure to keep an eye on their NFL line–it’s outstanding!