I left my house before noon on Sunday smiling with anticipation. I knew that the Chiefs had laid an egg the previous week but, last year they always seemed to bounce back and so I was prepped for the pendulum swing.
With my bright red Arrowhead Addict t-shirt on I traversed the two miles, here in the North Dallas area, to a local bar that carries all the games and pulled into the parking lot. As I did so, I had a sudden and great feeling when I thought I saw the first good omen: I’d found a great parking spot.
The Point After North is a rather scrubby little place with about 10 screens and a dark atmosphere so it took a while for my eyes to adjust. Chiefs fans were stuck in a corner but, we’re a close-knit group compared to the Green Bay brood whose numbers spill over into the streets. An over-exaggeration of course but, not when it comes to the noise they make.
It was my first time this season at the Point After North and I was pleased to see they’d replaced all the TVs on one wall with new HD 60-inch flat screens so, I thought again: another good omen.
It didn’t take long before the game got rolling, and the Lions were driving down the field when the Chiefs got a good push and Lions QB Matthew Stafford had the ball sail on him as he released it. Chiefs safety John McGraw picked the ball off and… at that moment… I knew… things were going to go the Chiefs way. For a flash, I considered that this was the third omen of the day… a very good sign in the realm of omens.
As is often the case with omens, and such, we read into situations what is really being reflected in our own lives. They don’t really exist. John McGraw rolled over and fumbled the ball right back to the Lions, as if to say, “Here, take my baby, raise it as your own; I’m not interested.”
Shortly thereafter the Lions scored what would be the first, and winning, and only touchdown they would need to win the game. Who would have guessed that the Chiefs could only muster 3 paltry points in the Detroit. That’s how the story goes.
Well, that’s “my” story anyway.
Once upon a time, I had a close friend who went to seminary school. She and I would speak frequently about a course in religion she was enrolled in called, “Stories.” You see, from a certain perspective every situation in our lives is a story. Reality is a separate issue. You can say, “this is my reality” but, the reality is, that’s just your story.
I’m making a point about the Chiefs, and I’ll get to it in a moment.
I have an older brother named Barry. He and I often chat about childhood memories. He remembers some events one way, and I remember them a different way. Is one of us right? Is one of us wrong? Of course not, but, for each of us, our story has become our reality. Every writer at Arrowhead Addict is doing the same thing. They are making a story out of some part of their reality or experience of the K.C. Chiefs.
There are a lot of fans right now calling for the head of Todd Haley. Why? Because he lost two games in a row? Because he lost two games in a row badly? Just two games ago he was a bit of an offseason hero because he had led the Chiefs to a playoff game.
So, what’s the reality of Todd Haley? Or, is it more important to ask what story you’re telling yourself about Todd Haley?
The Chiefs organization lost the first two games of the season. It wasn’t just Todd Haley out there by himself. And, it wasn’t just the players. Not just Clark Hunt and not just Scott Pioli. Everyone involved has had their hand in the outcome.
Not only that but if the Chiefs had to play in Miami every other weekend, like the Dolphins do, I’d say the 12th man, or lack thereof, would have an effect on the outcome of some games. Well, that’s one of the stories we tell ourselves. It makes us feel more important.
The two recent losses the Chiefs have suffered could be painful for each of us for different reasons. However, it can also be painful because of a common thread. The Chiefs coaches and players who have been here, and have been growing together for the past three years, have become “a great story” and now… we’re thinking about abandoning that story?
It may be a little early to give up on this story.
You know… the one that involves Todd Haley leading the Chiefs to new team heights. With 1-1 Denver visiting Tennessee (who just beat the pulp out of the Ravens) and the 1-1 Raiders hosting the 2-0 Jets… the fact is… when the 0-2 Chiefs play the 1-1 Chargers this coming weekend, they will likley be playing for a share of the AFC West Division lead.
That’s right, friends, Romans and countrymen… if the Chiefs win this weekend, they will be in first place… in all probability.
What story will you tell yourself then… if that eventuality comes into being?
The past two games may have made you “not so proud” to be a Chiefs fan. I can understand why: 89-10 would be hard to swallow. However, I’ll bet the good people of Joplin, Missouri are still proud of their Chiefs.
But, that’s their story. Their perspective. So, sometimes our story isn’t right. Nor is it wrong. Everyone has a right to their story.
At the Point After North I heard some fans around me whipping pretty hard on the Chiefs. I don’t really expect anything less than that. From my standpoint, a fan who’s had a triple bypass, every game is a gift. It was great to be in the presence of others who love the Chiefs and yes, who are equally disappointed when they don’t win.
Fortunately, a loss, no matter how bad, is still only one loss.
How can I be so positive… or blind… you ask? Well, we could be in first place next weekend (I’ll bet that would change the AA story lines).
Then again, based on the past two weeks, we could also get the holy crap beat out of us. But, that’s another story.
What’s your story?