I will admit it. When the Chiefs brought in HC Todd Haley, and he had his first press conference, my first thought was, “Wow, where did they find this guy?” Seriously, while watching that press conference I rolled all of the high caliber coaches around in my head that were out there that the media had brought up (Bill Cower being at the top of that list) and wondered, “With all of that talent out there, why the !@#$ did we hire this nobody?”
It only got worse. After watching Thigpen and company win two games the previous season under Herman Munster Edwards, then start out under the new management with a record of 1-5, I saw the Broncos go 6-0 after bringing in the offensive coordinator from the Patriots. I can only liken my disdain at that period to watching someone you start a job with get promoted to management while you’re still stuck cleaning the bathrooms. The fact that it was the Broncos only made it worse. I felt like they had found the superstar coach of the future while we were stuck with some hard-nosed idiot that was a wet towel in the media and sat our best players. I was starting to expect to lose. I was starting to get angry with the team. I was starting to become a hater. What an idiot I was.
Since that period in time, the Chiefs have gone 11-11 (.500 for those of you keeping score at home), while the Broncos have gone a glorious 5-17 (.227). God it feels good to be wrong.
I will admit it, I didn’t write for this site back then, but if I had, the focus of the articles would have been about what a bad move the Chiefs had made after Hot Carl resigned and Pioli put Herm out to pasture at ESPN (he doesn’t get enough to eat because Trent Dilfer takes the lion’s share of grass). I didn’t follow the Cardinals, so although I knew that they had an awesome offense, and that Haley was the coordinator, I chalked it up to Kurt Warner finding a bottle of the same magic that gave Elway his late run. After all, the guy started out with Montana-esque numbers so it wasn’t that farfetched. All I knew was that my team was still terrible, and although we had some sparks of good and even great players we were so far from being a good team that it was going to take years to develop if at all.
Enter those of you that want to profess your unconditional support for Haley from day one.
At that point in time I was the worst combination of super-loyal homer and hater. I loved the team, and I picked them to win every week in my weekly football pot, but I picked them knowing it was a loss. I picked them only because every time I looked at the sheet it felt wrong not to circle Kansas City. I had no faith, no matter how much I loved the team. I was bitter at Herm Edwards for taking the high-powered offense of the Trent Green years and turning it into a shit-pile that couldn’t do anything. I was angry that after getting rid of Carl Peterson, Herm Edwards, and Chan Gailey that we still couldn’t compete. Most of all I was pissed that it never just felt like it was our turn to win.
I have been a Chiefs fan my entire life. When I was younger my brother and I would wave our jerseys in the living room doing the arrowhead chant before the game on Sundays as a pre-game ritual (yeah it’s cheesy, but I was nine). I watched the team come out of the cellar and go to the AFC championship, but they could never get it done. After an undisclosed amount of years I started to feel like the last guy in the group that hasn’t gotten laid. I started to look at other teams’ successes and hate them because my team hadn’t had that success. The very definition of a hater.
I am the first to admit that I was wrong about Todd Haley and his system. I think that Lyle expertly lined out exactly why I was wrong at that period in time in his article this week. I also think that the last guy in the group to get laid is about to not only score, but score big, and repeatedly. Sorry, this post isn’t politically correct.
I have been given new life as a fan this year, but not because of the Chiefs winning record. I knew under Vermeil that they were not championship material even with their W-L columns. Call it haterism, but I just knew that it wasn’t the team. I feel like this year the dynasty of the future has started to take shape. I think the attitude of the coaching staff, GM, and ownership is one that is not going to accept failure. I believe in what they are doing, and their close to the chest media approach. Watch some other head coach press conferences and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Most of all, I think that it feels different to be a Chiefs fan right now. Maybe I will be proven wrong and look like a fool. Maybe now that some of my hateristic tendencies have gone away I am leaving myself wide open to future ridicule. Maybe I don’t care. All I know is right now it feels damn good to be a Chiefs fan, and for more reasons than an 8-4 record. It feels like it is finally going to be our time, not this year, but soon enough.