Sometimes the “change” we seek is not to be found in lifting more weights or merely making other decisions. Sometimes, it’s mystical — unknown — and cannot be easily grasped.
That probably best describes the game on Sunday. Neither the New Orleans Saints or the Kansas City Chiefs want this game. Meaning, somebody’s got to lose — and somebody will lose — so why play the game at all?
For one or the other of these teams to win may require the breaking of a curse. A victory in this game may in fact be the breaking of a curse — for one of the teams.
The Saints recent troubles are well documented. Prior to the time the Saints had brought HC Sean Payton to town followed closely by Drew Brees — you could say they appeared to be cursed. After decades of incompetence and miserable teams, the Saints finally broke through on February 7, 2010 with their first ever Super Bowl victory. Now, a shadow hangs over that accomplishment too, because of what has popularly become known as Bountygate.
The Chiefs have been plowing their own earthen path to ineptitude. Ever since they passed on Dan Marino in the 1983 draft, they’ve won all of two playoff games — and that took the herculean efforts of probably the best QB to ever play the game, Joe Montana. Prior to 1983, the Chiefs won the AFL title three times including the Super Bowl which they appeared in twice. Since 1983? A shut out: in championship game appearances — or victories.
Did you know that since Hank Stram gave up the reins in 1973, no Chiefs coach has had two winning seasons in a row — except for Marty Schottenheimer, who had nine straight winning seasons with the Chiefs in the 1990s. Of course Marty had a curse of his own to deal with — tons of regular season success (200-129-1) but, no championships and a bewitching and bewildering playoff record (5-13).
So, how does one predict the outcome of a game like this? Call in the shamans? Consult the astrological calendar? Wield the voodoo doll needles?
Might as well try any and all of those because summoning the angels hasn’t worked so far — not that I personally know how to summons the angels, but you can bet I’ve tried.
Talking about what the Saints or the Chiefs each bring to the table in this game seems as meaningless as ever considering the history of each. Recent and distant.
So, let’s talk about something really meaningless — how to break this curse.
Here are the Top Seven Curse Busters (has to be seven, right?) that Chiefs fans can use to break the spell against the Saints this weekend.
1. Try Stone Soup
In a large pan, fill halfway with water, add some arrowroot, a large bay leaf, a pinch of salt then ask each of your friends to bring: a potato, carrots, onions, prime stew meat. I don’t know for sure if it will break the Chiefs’ curse but, it’ll be great to see some friends and share some soup. If you didn’t read “Stone Soup” when you were a kid, try it now — I’m betting you’ll like it.
2. Trick Reality
Believe in a better future because one is possible. Infinitely so. Since the universe seems to have arbitrarily chosen Ethan Horton for the Chiefs at number 15 instead of Jerry Rice for the 49ers at number 16 in 1985 — which never made any sense to me at all — then — one must first accept that there are no good reasons for anything. And yet, anything is possible. Just imagine what the past 30 years could have been like had the Chiefs drafted: Marino over Blackledge, Leslie O’Neil instead of Brian Jozwiak, Bruce Armstrong instead of Paul Palmer, Emmitt Smith instead of Percy Snow, Brett Favre instead of Harvey Williams, Isaac Bruce instead of Greg Hill, Curtis Martin instead of Trezelle Jenkins, Hines Ward instead of Victor Riley, Tom Brady instead of Sylvester Morris, Ed Reed instead of Ryan Sims, Nnamdi Asomugha instead of Larry Johnson, or Matt Schaub instead of Junior Siavii. It was all possible. Can you see it? Still feel cursed? Yea, me too.
3. Repel Bad Spirits
Get some sage. Tie a string around it. Light the sage with 13 other Chiefs fans doing the same while standing around Drew Brees house — chanting, “Salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo.” Even if it doesn’t break the curse it’s definitely going to freak him out — or his kids will love it and he’ll just think you’re like all the other weird fans in New Orleans.
4. Use Occam’s Razor
The theory attributed to 14th century logician Franciscan friar William of Ockham basically says, ”When you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better.” Now say out loud, “I predict that the Chiefs will beat the Saints this Sunday.” Come on now … mean it this time. You’ll see, the team who applies this K-I-S-S (keep it simple, stupid) Principle will win this week. It may not remove a curse but, can get you a win.
5. Love Will Find a Way
Oscar Wilde once said, “One should always be in love. That is the reason one should never marry.” So, if you’re feeling too “married to your Chiefs — rely upon the love and remember — Love is the Answer (an England Dan and John Ford Coley reference, just for you sweetie). You need to know that — listening to that song at least once per week can totally change your life — and if it changes your life — everything you perceive will be changed — curse goes kaput. Works for me.
6. Channel Your Parallel Universe
Sit with your eyes closed and imagine yourself traveling out into the universe. If you go far enough you will again arrive at a home just like this one (or so the parallel universe theory purports). Although everything will be mostly the same there — according to physics — there will be one big difference: the Chiefs will have won half a dozen Super Bowl trophies. BTW, that trophy there is called the Hank Stram trophy.
7. Shoot the Moon
Since today, Saturday, Sept. 22, is the Autumnal Equinox, you could host a drumming circle tonight. Get neighbors together and howl at the moon. If you’ve never done that, you’re really missing out. It’s a great alternative to visiting Machu Picchu and even if a drum circle doesn’t oust the Chiefs demons, it should be the highlight of your weekend when the neighbors — who didn’t attend — call the police.
There’s a Chinese proverb that says, “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” Now, the past does not equal the future, so here’s a toast to believing that the Chiefs can make their new reality come true — beginning today. And tomorrow.
Happy Autumn, All!