Anybody that watched much television in the 80s probably recognizes those words. They accompanied the credits at the end of some 80s sitcoms along with this picture:
I don’t know why those words have stuck with me over the years, but to this day I’ll say them jokingly to my two small kids when I want them to behave. They just look at me like I’m crazy and sometimes my three year old will even say, “Daaaaaaaaaaaad, we’re not doggies!!”
I’ve always wanted to name a dog I owned Ubu. My current dog’s name is Ellie. If you ever wanted to meet a dog that personified the words “sweet and loyal”, that’s Ellie. She’s part basset hound and part beagle. The poor thing inherited the playful personality of the beagle but is stuck in the big plodding body of a basset hound. She is definitely not the smartest dog in the world, which has led to me occaisionally getting frustrated with her when she does things like pee on the carpet during a thunderstorm or chew up one of the kids’ toys. However, no amount of scolding could ever run Ellie off. I could rub her nose in her own poop every day for the rest of her life, and she would still come running up to me every time I came home, tail wagging and looking up at me with her big brown eyes.
What do we really want from a dog? Unconditional love, loyalty, and obedience perhaps? Have you figured out where I’m going with this yet? (If not, don’t worry, I am getting ready to make a Chiefs-related point soon). Here’s a good question for you: Should dogs be so loyal? I think it goes without saying that there are thousands of dogs out there that love undeserving owners unconditionally. These owners don’t always appreciate their pet or flat out mistreat it.
So should we admire our four-legged friends for their devotion or are they mearly suckers who are being taken advantage of?
I ask the same question of Chiefs fans after the jump.
There has been a lot of talk the last few weeks about the future of the Chiefs. Is Scott Pioli building a winner in KC? Should Todd Haley be back next year? Should Matt Cassel ever start another game for KC? If not, then should KC turn the QB position over to a 1st round draft pick? Chiefs Nation seems to be split. Some still have a lot of hope. They still believe. Even if we don’t win another game this season, these fans will still be out at Arrowhead cheering for their team to turn it around. Others are fed up. They seem ready to run everyone from the players on up to Clark Hunt himself out of town for not doing their jobs. Either that or boycott games until the product gets better. So which crowd is right? Better yet, is there a “right” in this scenario?
Let me start with a confession:
I am definitely a “good dog” of a fan when it comes to the Chiefs. The Chiefs may have metaphorically swatted me with a newspaper or rubbed my nose in dog poo, but I always tune in for the next game, my tail a waggin’.
I’m one of those fans that’s proud of his loyalty. One of those fans that will still wear his Chiefs gear the day after a horrible loss. One of those fans that has used cliches like, “I’m a real fan, and real fans still support their team when they’re losing.” I’ve noticed that I like to say “we” when talking about the Chiefs, too. In fact, I often have to edit my posts because I find that I have used “we” instead of saying “the Chiefs.” There is a since of ownership that is probably not warranted, but it is probably that feeling of connection to a team that causes fans like myself to overlook flaws in the team the same way we look past flaws in our loved ones and just “love them for who they are.” To this day, I honestly believe that the best fan bases are those with fans that think like this. Is there a worse thing for a sports fan to be called than a “fair weather fan” or a “bandwagon jumper”? I would say it is definetly the general consensus of sports fans that you should always stand by your team.
The question is, is that really admirable? Are we as Chiefs fans being taken advantage of because of our loyalty?
This week the Chiefs announced that they are offering some “treats” to season ticket holders that renew their season tickets early this year. These “treats” include things like use of a private suite for a game or a trip to the Super Bowl (Ellie prefers chicken flavored chew sticks, but to each their own). It doesn’t take a genious to figure out that the Chiefs are trying to get as many fans as possible to renew their season tickets before things get too ugly and they start to reconsider spending that money again next season. This could be because they think (like many of us) that the Chiefs may not win a lot of games the rest of the way and could finish the season with a pretty poor record, but perhaps they are preparing for even more growing pains that could come with a new head coach and a new starting QB next season. Those kind of changes are usually accompanied by the dreaded word “rebuilding.” If it does become clear to fans that next season the Chiefs could be “starting over” so to speak it would be understandable if some chose not to shell out top dollars to watch this “rebuild” up close and personal.
Now to give credit where credit is due, I should point out that the Chiefs also announced that most tickets will either see no increase or even a reduction in price for next season. Is this a kind gesture that recognizes that money is tight, an admission that they overpriced the seats previously, or a foreshadowing of even more bumpy roads ahead? You can be the judge.
So what should we as Chiefs fans do?
I honestly don’t know what the “right” answer is.
Should fans be like yours truely and keep coming back with our tails wagging even if the product on the field is sub par? Or is the best thing we as fans could do be to stay away? Would a loss of ticket dollars (not to mention parking, concessions, etc.) ensure that the team did whatever it takes to win? Would that be in the best interest or our beloved team for the long term?
My emotional response is that seeing Arrowhead empty is not something I could ever be happy about. My reasonable response would be that I could not blame anyone for not wanting to shell out hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a product that they aren’t happy with.
I still believe in this team. Maybe that makes me a sucker. I still believe that Scott Pioli wants to build a Super Bowl winner more than he wants to line the pockets of Clark Hunt. I still believe that there is enough talent on this roster to build a championship caliber team around. But even if I didn’t, I would still tune in. I mean I’m going to tune in tonight to watch every last snap of a game that most would agree is probably not going to end well for KC fans. Despite that, I’m still looking forward to watching it. I’m still excited for kickoff. Part of that may be because of the cliche “This is the NFL and any team can win on any given day,” but it’s more than that. The truth is that I’m excited to see “my team” take the field. Deserved or not, I take pride in seeing the Red and Gold take the field. I feel that sense of connection. I tell my wife “Man, I hope we play well tonight.” And even if my team “rubs my nose in it” again tonight I’ll still be back again next week. My tail will still be wagging.
What can I say, I’m a good dog.
I’ll leave it to those that are much more objective then I am to decide whether that makes me admirable or a sucker.
As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!