With training camp underway, I thought I’d take the opportunity to put my prognostication prowess to the test. So the time has come for “Black Babe Ruth” (me, not Gibson) to step up to the plate and call his shot. It’s always easy to make safe predictions about your beloved franchise in the dog days of summer. I’m prepared to potentially make a fool out of myself and forever consign my foreshadowing failure to the annals of Arrowhead Addict. I will sneer in the face of public humiliation over the next 5 minutes though (depending on how fast you can read).
Submitted for your approval:
January 16, 1994: The last post-season victory for the Kansas City Chiefs.
January 5, 2013: The next post-season victory for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Good for an 18 year, 11 month, and 20 day drought, my friends.
I was a sophomore in high school when the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Houston Oilers to advance to the AFC Championship Game. Bill Clinton was closing in on his first full year as commander-in-chief. Arsenio Hall and the late-night talk show of the same name were on their way out at Paramount. Mariah Carey’s “Hero” was atop Billboard‘s Hot 100. Basically, that was a long long time ago. Kansas City children born the same year as that game are likely to be freshmen in college this fall.
Joseph Clifford Montana, Jr. was your starting quarterback. He retired, met the Canton eligibility requirements, and has owned a golden jacket for 12 years since winning two consecutive playoff games for this franchise. Marty Schottenheimer led two other franchises, stepped away from coaching twice, and spent time as an analyst for ESPN. General Manager Carl Peterson was one win from making good on his five-year plan. Founder and owner Lamar Hunt lived for more than a decade following that game. Think about all of that (preferably in a room free of sharp metal objects).
It all ends in just under six months. This football team will finish the regular season 10-6 and secure the #4 seed in the playoffs. There, Matt Cassel will silence every Doubting Thomas in this fan base for at least three hours. Brian Daboll, his trusted sidekick, will aid him in the most spectacular game manager performance this side of Trent Dilfer. Cassel will play efficient, mistake-free football and his two touchdown passes will be sufficient in dashing the hopes of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Running backs Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis will earn every yard against that stingy Steelers run defense, but they will turn in a third offensive TD and keep them honest enough for Cassel to operate. Todd Haley’s return to One Arrowhead Drive will be an unpleasant business trip that ends in his successor Romeo Crennel stifling his offense with a brilliantly called defensive game. The Steelers’ OC will make another unceremonious exit from Arrowhead, but not before gifting 70,000 fans with another one-fingered salute.
Cassel will win over his detractors for finally bringing another playoff victory to a town that’s gone nearly 20 years without one. He will be celebrated and thrown a ticker-tape parade in Kansas City until the following weekend. Unfortunately when the lights go up in Gillette Stadium, he’ll remember he’s Matt Cassel, throw two interceptions, orchestrate an embarrassing loss for this football team and officially end his tenure in Kansas City. You simply can’t win them all, but we will get off the playoff slide to begin the new year. And it will be glorious…
That is unless the Mayans have their “I told you so” moment a week after the Chiefs qualify for the postseason.