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A Promise Kept, A Demand Made

 

At the beginning of the season I promised I’d get a tattoo if the Chiefs made the playoffs.  I like tattoos (although this is only my second), I love the Chiefs, it seemed like a great match.  Of course, I didn’t actually think we’d reach the land of milk and honey.  Few did.  But that doesn’t mean I had any intention of waffling.  When the Chiefs clinched that spot, I was more than happy to fulfill my end of the bargain.  I felt they’d earned it. 

The first place I went was staffed by a fat, dirty hippy with white man’s dreadlocks.  I stood at the counter for five minutes while he told his co-worker an inane story about swimming in the East River (filth is cool!).  When he finally acknowledged my presence and I told him what I wanted, he scoffed, looked at his equally grotesque compatriot, and disdainfully remarked “that shouldn’t be too hard.”  I turned around and walked out without saying a word.  My God did I hate that guy.  I think I still do. 

The second stop was better.  Cute, friendly girl behind the counter who appeared to have decent hygiene.  I told her I wanted the biggest KC Chiefs Arrowhead $250 would buy.  She laughed.  Then she introduced me to John the tattoo artist, who instantly recognized my LOTR ink.  I was sold.  Two hours later I was walking home with a sore shoulder, an empty wallet, and an inflated sense of pride.  Thanks, Three Kings! (and F you, East River tattoo)

That was last week.  The shoulder is still sore, the wallet is still empty, but the pride took a serious hit yesterday.  It isn’t easy to bask in a division championship after yet another humiliating loss to a rival.  All three AFC West teams own a blowout victory over the Chiefs this season.  The combined score in our six divisional games was 153-90.  Think about that for a second.

I’m not trying to say we don’t deserve our playoff spot.  We do.  For all the Raiders’ AFC West heroics, they lost to some pretty bad teams outside the division, as did the Chargers.  Denver, obviously, was a train-wreck.  If anyone from the West deserves a playoff spot, its us. 

Still, this loss definitely tells us a few things, none of them good.  First of all, it tells us all Haley’s noise about improving every week and giving max effort was essentially whistlin’ Dixie.  This team laid down twice in a month in the midst of a playoff race.  Just absolutely laid down.  When evaluating Haley, how can we possibly overlook that?  I’m not going to act like I know why our team came out flat in important games, but I’m not going to pretend it didn’t happen either.  For whatever reason, on multiple occasions our coaching staff did not have these guys ready to play.   

Big Matt Monday continues after the jump:

People are saying we were exposed Sunday.  That’s a half-truth.  I believe our coaches were exposed, and maybe The Patriot West Way was exposed, but what we witnessed from our players this season was no fluke.  We have plenty of legit talent on this team.  These guys have what it takes to compete at the highest level if the men in charge don’t hamstring them.  But after yesterday’s beat-down, I find that my faith in the men in charge is once again waning.

Remember all the talk of how close these coaches are?  About how they’re like family, and their various families are like family, and they and their families are all one big happy super-family?  Yeah, well it turns out that was a bunch of bullshit.  After one season, the fat uncle is hittin’ the road.  Yes, he wants to be with  his son*.  Nonetheless, this most definitely puts a chink in the “we all love each other” armor.  If these guys were half as close as we’ve been led to believe, Weis wouldn’t be checking out for a coordinator job in the college ranks on the cusp of something special in the NFL.

* His son, who despite just graduating high school is going to be an assistant coach at Florida.  Nepotism baby, you gotta love it!  Seriously though, this is how football works.  People get jobs because of who they’re related to, who they’re friends with, or who owes them a favor.  Those who use the “he’s a professional, he knows what he’s doing” defense of NFL coaches and execs should really consider this.  Should, but won’t. 

We’re now being told Weis wants a head coaching job in college, and the only way to get one is to return to the college ranks in some capacity first.  This is pure malarkey, and I find it very telling that the Chiefs feel the need to employ such obviously false spin.  I mean Christ, Paul Hackett got the head coaching job at USC after being run out of Kansas City on a rail. 

I’m not saying Weis and Haley dislike each other, because I don’t know whether thats true or not.  But my ears perked up as soon as I heard the bogus spin.  When someone is lying, there is a reason for it.  We’re not being told the full story here.  The only possible explanation for this is the full story reflects poorly on the Chiefs somehow.  When a notoriously tight-lipped organization is desperate to “leak” spin to anyone who will listen, that should raise some red flags.  And keep in mind, this is the second good offensive coordinator Haley has lost in two years. 

Of course, none of this will matter if we beat the Ravens.  Because if we win our first playoff game in 17 years, the season was an unqualified success no matter what else happened.  But we have to win that game.  One and done is not acceptable.  I know none of us expected to get this far, but that doesn’t excuse an end-of-season collapse.  I’m in no mood to give thanks for a bone thrown. 

Years of small payrolls and losing seasons have KC fans living in a world where any meager success is an unbelievable gift.  We need to stop thinking that way.  We need to stop accepting vague promises of future championships and start demanding the wins that are right in front of us.  We are in the playoffs, we’re playing at home, and we have a team full of top shelf talent.  We’re not rebuilding.  We’re either seizing an opportunity, or we’re not.  If it’s the latter, I’m not going to be happy about it, I don’t care how bad we were last year.

I paid hundreds of dollars to sit in a chair with needles in my back for 2 hours.  The least these coaches could do is stop wasting important carries on Thom Jones.

Tags: Charlie Weis The Patriot Way Thomas Jones Todd Haley