Chiefs Fans: Bamboozled, Embezzled, Bedeviled Fo Shizzle

I don’t know who’s been snorting what or when or where, but I must say the Chiefs had me buying their potion called belief — that is until last Sunday.

Do you remember the old Wendy’s commercial line, “Where’s the beef?” Well, I’m wondering, “Where’s the team?”

Where’s the friggin’ T-E-A-M?

Can you think of one possible member of the Chiefs who had a good performance on Sunday against the all powerful Buffalo Bills? Don’t say Dwayne Bowe either because he had another drop in this game to add to his arsenal of awful. Of course you know he was second place in the league last year — in drops. Second only to Roddy White — geez, a Chiefs player can’t even finish first in that category.

Which makes you begin to wonder if the Chiefs have a grand design to “Suck for Luck”? Minus the Luck, of course. A year late and a dollar short, naturally. Two straight losses — perhaps a little early for a conspiracy theory but not for media types who like to be right about predicting outcomes before they ever happen. So, shouldn’t you at least be happy that you heard about the unhappiness here first?

In Week 1, I placed a majority of the responsibility for the loss on the coach, GM and owner for not spending cap money to get higher quality depth. Week 2’s loss is on the whole organization— from the kicker to the QB to the strength and conditioning coach to the owner. Everybody.

However, these two losses, in tandem, make the club look bad. Really bad. Piscitelli bad. Palko bad. Okay — I’ll stop — I guess I should apologize. No, wait; the Chiefs should apologize!

Consequently, my rising concern is whether or not the public will now buy into the Chiefs’ promotional plans. What can the Chiefs possibly promote that the public will believe in?

One hang-up that’s been bothering me since before the season began is whether or not the “right-53” kind of guy is too quiet, passive and unassuming for a public relations department to splash on the cover of programs or promotional materials. The face of the franchise is the face of complacency, not urgency. The face of Tweety Bird, not Sylvester the Cat. Matt Cassel, JC, DJ and Tamba: all fit that sweet and silent description. Sometimes I think a guy like Jared Allen is needed. He puts the pizzazz in the razz-ma-tazz.

I’m not sure the Chiefs have anyone like that on their roster. And, they haven’t had anyone like that for years. Football is entertainment and since Kansas City has a reputation for jazz, the whole city should be asking: “Where’s the jazz?”

While being concerned about the public relations department for the Chiefs is quaint, it’s the action on the field that should concern you most. Don’t the Chiefs need a few flashy and high-profile gentlemen on their roster who can impact games? The whole place has gone to the drones.

Or maybe that’s exactly what Clark Hunt had in mind all along: to start a droid army which would be maintained by the Pioli Federation to transport fans to the Arrowhead facility for the purpose of controlling routing numbers and passcodes — uh, wait; sorry, that was last night’s nightmare.

While there may be some truth to the idea that the Chiefs’ backward owner, Clark Hunt, would be satisfied filling the seats of Arrowhead without fulfilling the team’s potential, his recent statements counter that sentiment. However, it is a popular sentiment nonetheless. Although actions speak louder than words.

Query: is there a hoax that soaks the folks, while their hopes are on the ropes?

I’d hate to think that was the case, but following a loss like the last two — it’s actually comforting to dabble in the dribble of impractical possibilities (probably because it’s too painful to simply accept the reality that the Chiefs are just that bad). One being that the Chiefs’ loss was by design. It would be like learning that you had that car accident on the way to the bank — the one that put you in the hospital — only to find out later that the bank was being robbed at the exact time you would have been walking into the lobby. The same bank robbery in which people died.

It turns all of those horrible feelings into warm fuzzies — right? Well, not exactly.

So, this was “An Affair Not To Remember.” For the past 10 years I have been watching games with a group of Chiefs faithful. One member of our entourage said that if it keeps going this way he might have to wear a bag on his head and cut the eyes out (I’m sure not so that he could see the Chiefs continue to stink things up — more to hide his identity as a Chiefs fan).

It reminds me of why it’s so much fun to follow the Chiefs: the fans are loyal to the end. Not one fan in the group said anything close to, “I quit.”

This past week I walked into a Nike Outlet at a local mall here in the Dallas area. When I approached one of the sales people who were gathered and talking sports, I asked if they had any Chiefs T-shirts or jerseys …. and they began to laugh. A sales rep said,  “Nooo, beside, I’m a Raiders fan.” I smiled and scowled simultaneously and told him I’d be back for him later. They all chuckled — an uncomfortable chuckle — as I tipped my cap and strolled away slowly a la Hannibal Lecter in the last scene of “The Silence of the Lambs.” It seems that Chiefs fans get more respect than Chiefs players do these days.

However, after going to two such malls and half a dozen stores, I found that no one carried Chiefs shirts. Then I wondered if there was a new and disappointing legacy developing that the Chiefs have been devolving into. Aside from a few scattered seasons of success, Chiefs fans haven’t had much to cheer about since Lenny and the boys stormed Super Bowl IV.

We’ve had a few memorable Mike Livingston moments but, not a lot of success. We’ve had some Gary Barbaro, Gary Spani and Art Stills thrills but, not a lot of winning. We’ve had Christian Okoye, Joe Montana, Marcus Allen, DT and Neil in the ’90s but, only two playoff victories to show for it. We’ve had Priest, Gonzo, Jared, Will Shields, Willie Roaf and the dominating line of 10 years ago but, — “but.”

Too much but, but not enough and.

It’s the legacy — or lack thereof — that’s beginning to vex. Have the Chiefs become the contemporary adaptation of a horror story known as the “Lions, Browns, Jaguars and Texans” — teams with no Lombardi Trophies? It’s been over 40 years with no appearance in the Super Bowl — aren’t most of the Chiefs’ current fanbase under 40 years old now? There are fewer and fewer fans who can recall those glory days as being part of the Chiefs history. To them — it’s more mystical — more of a mystery — less real — and less possible.

How long is long enough? How long does it take an owner to say what he’s saying — without success — before anyone believes what he’s saying is no longer sincere?

Like last season — the Chiefs could lose their first two or three games and then win four in a row and we’ll all be dazzled and say the Chiefs have turned the corner.

I hope they can get to the corner sooner than later but, right now — there are no corners in sight. No corners, no linebackers, no wide-outs, no quarterbacks……….


A special thanks for the graphic to Rob Rogers @ the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette

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