Honey, I Shrunk The Packers


It’s all so arbitrary. Eleven men on the field. 15 minutes in a quarter. 16 games in a season. 19 straight wins within a season, if you want to be “perfect.”

It’s an illusion that doesn’t really exist.

In 1972, from a statistical standpoint, the only “perfect” team in the history of the NFL was only best at running the ball. Larry Csonka, Mercury Morris and Jim Kick were great together but, 15 other teams in the league that year were better at passing the ball. The point is… perfection has its limits.

Everybody says this year’s Green Bay Packers had a chance at greatness and blew it. That’s ridiculous, they are great, right now. History… and time… should prove that point.

And… the Romeo Crennel-led Kansas City Chiefs flat-out shrunk their rears down to size on Sunday, December 18, 2011.

And oooh what a pleasure it was to experience.

Me vs. the old lady Packer fan

I watched the game at a family sports bar in North Dallas. Knowing that there would be a large Packer contingency, I arrived 50 minutes early to reserve seating. Three faithful Packer fans had beat me to some prime tables in front of the biggest screen and set their coats and purses on a few chairs at 16 tables where an older lady said, “These are all reserved and I’ve been coming here for 10 years.” I thanked her for the history lesson, went ahead and took one table in the middle of the Packer bee hive and immediately she started calling me an idiot. I assured her there was no reason for name calling but, at that moment… I said to myself…

IT… IS… ON!

More Honey, I Shrunk The Packers after the jump

Me vs. a 12 year old Packer fan

I’m a computer literacy instructor by day and at work on Friday, a student in a Packer sweatshirt came up and started taunting, “Sorry that your Chiefs have to lose on Sunday.” I knew he was probably right, but as a true Chiefs fan I took my stand and I said to him a couple of time during the period, “On Monday, YOU will be crying. On Monday, YOU will be crying!” Inside, I thought… if only that dream could come true….

Back at the sports bar, half a dozen other Chiefs fans showed up and took a seat beside me and the Packers fans circled their wagons believing that on this day… by the middle of the afternoon… they would be the ones scalping some Chiefs, or some Chiefs fans anyway.

The Chiefs opening drive and eventual field goal was cheered as much by the Cheese whizzers as the Chiefs fans because we all knew the Chiefs would have to score a truck load of points to stay in this contest and they looked at holding the Chiefs to a field goal, as a small victory.

The Packers fans brought a big blow-up Packers doll and set it up by the big screen TV. They would also throw red flags, like the one’s NFL coaches carry, at the screen on plays they didn’t like.

They had many different chants and cheers which were irritating enough but, each time the Packers would get a first down, they’d chant, “1-2-3, FIRST DOWN!, Green Bay… PACKERS!” and then ring a cow bell furiously. This became tiresome quickly and so we began to chant, “1-2-3, FIRST DOWN!, Kansas City… CHIEFS!” pronouncing the word CHIEFS with the low guttural glee that you often hear at the end of an Arrowhead Star Spangled Banner.

They didn’t like that very much and some of us Chiefs fans joked about hoping we’d be able to make it to our cars alive after the game.

When it became obvious that the Chiefs were going to make a game of it, the atmosphere grew rather tense. We, of course, were having a great time. You know the saying… “they were the best of times… they were the worst of time.” Well, these were the best of times, believe me.

Things got even more intense when, after each Chiefs sack, someone in our group started yelling, “CUUUT   THE   CHEESE!” When the Chiefs got their first 3-and-out, you could have heard an apron drop so, I decided to yell… “GET OFF THE FIELD.” It’s funny how silence can get more silenter.  :)

I’m sure they wanted to slap us in the face, but I think most fans knew this little Packers entourage at the front of the sports bar was just getting a healthy dose of their own. Other Packer fans came up to our small Chiefs pow wow afterwards and said “not all Packers fans are like those Packers fans, ya know.” Actually, we already knew that, but it was nice to have it confirmed.

Also, probably the most obnoxious guy from the Packers clan came up to us afterwards to shake several hands in our group and offered his congratulations with the caveat that, “I guess that makes up for us beating you in Super Bowl I.”

Cute.

Touche.

Whatever.

Nothing will ever be able to take away the very real hurt the Chiefs laid on these “nearly infallible” Packers on the third Sunday in December in the year two thousand and eleven.

It was all in good fun, but the most fun was had by fans of the Chiefs on this day. And, the comment I heard most on Sunday was, “It’s a great day to be a Chiefs fan!”

Indeed. Indeed.

Now, we’re looking forward to more results like this.

The old lady Packer fan? Well, she gave our Chiefs contingency some tongue lashings during the game for sure. However, when Derek Sherrod was hurt and had to be carted off the field later in the game, I began to clap when Sherrod finally gave a thumbs up, meaning he was all right, and at that moment she turned around to see I was clapping and gave us a thumbs up of her own. Ah, peace in the valley.

When the Chiefs took down this “juggernaut of flawlessness,” the pundits came away touting all of the obvious reasons that the Chiefs prevailed. Kyle Orton’s passing yards (299), Tamba Hali’s sacks (3) and the time of possession dominance (36:11 to 23:49 ).

What stood out to me were the couple of little hiccups that could have cost the Chiefs the game but… didn’t. The Packers receivers all looked like first-year receivers. Their offensive line looked like… well… like the Chiefs offensive line in 2009.

Kyle Orton’s quick release on passes in the flat made those plays work to a degree we haven’t seen in K.C. for a long time. When the Chiefs receivers learn to catch the balls Orton was throwing to their back shoulders, then the Chiefs offense is going to take another big step forward.

Although the Chiefs started out with a run-run-pass sequence, the play calling was frequently unexpected and effective… which was unexpected as well. The Chiefs had 23 first downs. 23, and it felt like 1000.

K.C. had 139 yards of rushing, but so many of the runs were timely and if you take off Kyle Orton’s negative yards and Dexter McCluster’s 30 yard run for -2 yards and… the Chiefs RB committee looked very, very good… against the “supreme beings of impeccability.”

Time and time again the Chiefs CBs were blanketing the Packers receivers, and Aaron Rodgers would have to leave the pocket. My thought about Rodgers has always been that he’s better when he’s on the run like that, but Romeo Crennel said their goal was to get Rodger off his spot… and it worked. Many of his throws were just a bit off and his WRs had a bad day. Or did they?

The question is… how much of that was because of  the Chiefs’ pressure? Up front and on the back end too. I watched the game again last night and the pad level, tackling, blocking and running the ball were all top notch. The fact is, the Chiefs played an excellent, excellent game.

Back at work on Monday… I tracked down the fateful Packers fan/student and he was, of course, unrelenting, and unapologetic saying, “Yea, but we’re still better than you and we’re going to win the Super Bowl.” I found him again in one of his other classes and gave him a cookie… in the spirit of the season. The next day he brought me a bag of chocolates pictured to the right. The bag, of course, was covered in Packers paraphernalia.

Sweet.

So, what have we learned here today?

Is it better to be perfect… or be the bigger man?

Well… at least bigger than a kid and an old lady.

Here’s wishing each and every one of you a huge jolly holiday… and a bag of candy!