As I’ve analyzed, compartmentalized, and digested the last football season for the Kansas City Chiefs in a year where they exceeded all expectations with the exception of the crazy homers, I look forward to the new schedule and realize that as much as the Chiefs appeared to grow this year they will in all probability appear to digress proportionally next season (if there is a season). Long story short, I would advise you Kansas City fans to put a bit of a leash on your expectations for the upcoming season.
A few reasons why after the jump…
I am going to put it out there that I understand that this is not a new opinion, and has been covered before, but since the list of teams the Chiefs are set to play was released there have been external factors that seriously impact the progress of this “young developing team” that exacerbate this situation further. The most important of these factors so far has been the lack of free agency due to the lockout.
Think back to how excited we all were as the season drew to an end and we looked forward with feelings of providence for our beloved Chiefs. In the off season we started to enumerate the needs of the team and look into the vast field of restricted and unrestricted free agents to converse about how to best fill those needs. We still hope against hope for a Larry Fitzgerald trade, but realistically with the lockout still in effect none of those needs have been reposed. Now the counter argument is that no teams have been able to take advantage of free agency, but I would say that it is more detrimental to a young team trying to go to the next level to be locked out of free agency than for an already elite team with a proven system in place. It leaves me worried that last year will seem like that summer romance that you cannot rekindle the next year after you both have had time to grow apart.
So with free agency locked out we throw all of our chips at the draft. Kudos to everyone that gives me the heads up on who is working out for which team, and what players are going to be on the boards at which points during what rounds because otherwise I would be lost and I don’t have the patience to try to understand such a hypercube of events. Still though, the one thing that baffles me about the draft excitement is that once these players are drafted and sign a rookie contract they are in the employ of the Kansas City Chiefs and thus can have no contact with the coaches or owners after that point. Please correct me if I am wrong because I have not had adequate time to research this, but unless the labor dispute is resolved in enough time for the offseason workouts and camps to ensue, as fans we are really reaching to hope that these players are going to have that large of an impact on our team this year.
Finally we reach the last issue. Team training. Matt Hasselbeck has been throwing a football around in parking lots to try and stay fresh because he said he is reluctant to work out at a high school field where he could be thrown out. How embarrassing would that be. Side note here, who would throw out a pro football player that wanted to practice at their high school? Matt Cassel has opened up his home to teammates so they can continue to work out without signing up for a membership at the Y, but without their team provided workout coaches, they may be relying on P90x to get them through the owner imposed vow of silence. This brings us back to the analogy of the summer romance, only this time the spark has left because the other person decided to go on the Klondike bar diet and looks like they consumed another person over the winter. Let’s face it, Shaun Smith cannot afford that kind of weight gain, he wouldn’t have the gusto to play cock-knocker in the dogpile anymore.*
* FYI I will never get tired of Shaun Smith penis grabbing jokes
I am normally optimistic, and things may move in another direction entirely, but if you consider the phase of team formation the Chiefs are in right now, I do not believe that these things add up to a very successful season against the best in the NFL next year. I hope to God that I am wrong, but I also have added a little alcohol into the blood surrogate that comprises my expectations for the upcoming season. What do you think Addicts? Are you still holding hopes of a better record for next season? Would you be happy to end at 10-6 again next year? Do you have the same sick feeling in the pit of your stomach that I do when you look at the schedule?