John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

Save Our Chiefs

Nice to see you again, Addicts. It’s been far too long. Seems fitting that another terrible effort by the men upstairs is what’s brought me back. They haven’t exactly been killing it this last decade, have they?

I tried to walk away and become a casual fan. Couldn’t do it. Not through another year of this nonsense. You see what you’ve done, Pioli? Nobody wanted this.

As you can probably guess, I got a massive kick out of the banner that flew above Arrowhead a few Sundays ago. I’ll be buying those responsible a round of libations if ever our paths should cross. In my book, the Book of Big Matt — or BoBM, if you will — the Save Our Chiefs movement is deserving of vast praise. As are the men and women donating to the cause, including my boy Whitlock.

What I didn’t see coming, but perhaps should have, was the explosion of self-righteous anger directed at those who have dared take action to show their frustration.

This is, by far, my least favorite part about being a Chiefs fan. It’s worse than the losses; infinitely worse. No matter how bad this team gets, no matter how often we’re lied to, no matter how much of our coin Lil’ Clarkie stuffs into his pockets, we’re supposed to smile and thank them for it. Do anything else and your fanhood, and in many cases your character, will be called into question. This will be done by fans looking to use you to illustrate how correct their behavior is. The implication being that if you were more like them, you would not only be a better fan, but a better human being as well.

I’m going to cite a very specific example here: how many of you have read comments saying the money collected for the infamous banner, and future such efforts, should instead be given to charity? If you’re like me, you’ve seen that comment roughly 200 times in the last three weeks. I recently read someone on the AA Facebook page saying the fans responsible should “donate the money to the charity of Matt Cassel’s choice, sign up for anger management classes and and maybe read ‘how to stop being a raging a-hole.'” Take THAT, people attempting to facilitate positive change through legal means! This comment got 18 likes. 18 likes for the suggestion that these fans are “raging assholes” who should take anger management classes.

What those 18 people, and others like them, were saying is that you don’t have a right to spend your money how you please if it conflicts with their belief system. You want to fly a legal, profanity-free banner saying things I disagree with? How DARE you?! What a terrible person you must be!

The banner used no wording that was anywhere close to offensive. It called for the firing of a GM with a .400 winning percentage and the benching of a QB who led the league in turnovers. The @saveourchiefs twitter feed is PG-rated. What, exactly, is so inflammatory about any of this? Why are these people being criticized?

Unless you’re willing to criticize everyone for all recreational spending, you should probably shut up about the banner, future banners, and the character of those involved with the Save Our Chiefs movement. People work hard for their money, and have as much right to spend it on this as you have to spend it on nice meals, air conditioning, wireless internet, alcohol, movies, your computer, your clothes, your car, your phone, your TV, your bed, decorations for your house, or any of the other luxuries we all work to provide ourselves.

Seriously, where is the line here? If you’re telling people money spent on the banner should’ve been given to charity, can I follow you around and point out the extra money you spend on things every day?

“Did you have desert with that meal? You know you could’ve given that money to charity, right?”

“Did you donate to a politician you believe in? Why did you do that, when you could’ve given that money to charity? What, were you trying to exercise your rights and give yourself a voice? Not cool, bro.”

“What did you say your rent was, $800/month? You could’ve gotten a $500/month place and donated the savings to charity. I find your desire to improve your living conditions repugnant.”

“You know you can make your own detergent, right? That would save you about $10/month. I’m just sayin’, that money could be going to charity.”

“Whoa, man, you bought season tickets to the Chiefs this year? Haven’t you ever heard of charity?”

Allow me to burn this straw man before any of you can attack it: I am in favor of charitable donations.`I’m sure most of the people who contributed to the banner are as well. People can donate to charity, and spend money on luxuries of their choosing. This is how normal humans operate.

How about we all just react to this latest train-wreck in our own way, and let others do the same. Is that so hard? If you’re happy with this product, how this team represents us, the money we pay them and where it ends up, that’s fine. I might not understand you, but I’m not going to tell you your reaction isn’t valid. You’re obviously in this for different reasons than me, and that’s fine too. Some people fish to eat, some fish for fun. I eat at Long John Silver’s. We’re all fishermen.

Everyone roots for this team in their own way. When the team performs poorly, some of us get angry at those responsible. If you don’t, cool, but don’t tell us we can’t. If this were the American Revolution, you would most definitely be the Tories. And as we all know, nobody liked the Tories. They went extinct, if I’m not mistaken.

Final point: I’d like to declare a moratorium on use of the term “real fan.” A fan is something anyone can choose to be, and they don’t need anyone else’s permission or approval to make that choice. Anyone who wants to call himself a Chiefs fan is one. We shouldn’t be turning anyone away at this point.

Cassel in ’13!

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