A Trip Down Memory Lane — 36 Years of the Chiefs

 

 

Jan. 11, 1970; New Orleans, LA, USA; FILE PHOTO; Kansas City Chiefs receiver Otis Taylor (89) scores a touchdown past Minnesota Vikings defensive back Karl Kassulke (29) during Super Bowl IV at Tulane Stadium. The Chiefs won the game, 23-9. Mandatory Credit: Dick Raphael-USA TODAY Sports

 

On Monday, I will turn 36. While I feel like I’m getting old, I know I’m not old enough to remember the Kansas City Chiefs’ only Superbowl win. However, as I prepare to celebrate the day of my birth, I thought I would sit back and reflect on what the Kansas City Chiefs have done during my lifetime, take you — my faithful readers — on a trip down memory lane (as painful as it may be) and finally, present five birthday wishes I hope the football gods bring to me this season.

The Chiefs’ season the year I was born (1977 for those of you who don’t feel like doing the math) looked very similar to the one Chiefs fans just finished suffering through. The team only won two games and wouldn’t see another winning season until four years later in the 1981 season when they went 9-7 under future Hall of Fame coach, Marv Levy. It seems during the 80’s the AFC West was quite the division and 9-7 wasn’t even good enough to make the playoffs. No, the post season would elude the Chiefs until 1986 when they went 10-6 under head coach John Mackovic but lost the Wildcard game to the New York Jets.

The following two years were disasters and between the 1988 and 1989 seasons, Chiefs’ owner and founder Lamar Hunt completely overhauled the Kansas City front office. He brought in “King” Carl Peterson and the man who would define football in the BBQ City for a decade, head coach Marty Schottenheimer. With that, “Martyball” was born.

As I researched this piece, it absolutely blew me away to see the coaching roster from that 1989 team. Coach Schottenheimer knew how to put together a staff. In fact, I counted three future head coaches (Bill Cowher, Tony Dungy and Bruce Arians) who worked under “Schotty” that first season in KC. For the next nine seasons, Chiefs fans were on top of the world. “Martyball” reigned supreme and the team had a winning record every year (except Marty’s last), winning three AFC West Division Titles and qualifying for the playoffs in seven of his seasons. The 90’s were a great time to be a Chiefs fan. However, it was the last time the Chiefs ever won a playoff game. Ever.

The Chiefs’ winning ways declined a bit over the next four seasons until the second year of Coach Dick Vermeil’s run as head of the organization. With the exception of Joe Montana’s legendary run to the AFC Championship game (and aforementioned final playoff win) following the 1993 season, the 2003 season was probably my favorite football season and the ‘03 Chiefs were my favorite team of all time. The Chiefs started 2003 with a nine game winning streak that had even the ’72 Miami Dolphins biting their fingernails with anguish. Many thought the Chiefs, despite their weak defense, could ride the tidal wave of their “O” all the way to Superbowl XXXVIII. However, the Chiefs were slowed down when they lost two of their last four games and went into the AFC Divisional game against the Indianapolis Colts in the now infamous, “No Punt Bowl.” I can remember watching that game as if it were yesterday, screaming at the tv with every score the Colts made, and hoping the “X” Factor, Trent Green and Priest could lead the Chiefs to the promised land. Though KC came out on the losing end, it was still a great season to watch.

Post-Vermeil, Chiefs fans were forced to suffer through a litany of bad coaching and even worse on-field play. In the years spanning from 1989 – 2005, the Chiefs won four division titles and went to the playoffs nine times. Even though head coach Herman “Harm” Edwards took them to the playoffs his first season (many say he was reaping the benefits of the leftovers from Vermeil) the Chiefs wouldn’t see another division title, nor even a winning season until 2010 under head coach Todd Haley. In fact, the Chiefs have been so bad since the 2007 season, their combined record is: 29 – 67. They haven’t even been able to win 30 games in the last six years. That’s bad.

So, fellow Addicts, as I’ve taken you through the last 36 years of Kansas City Chiefs history, a couple of things have become quite clear. History always tends to repeat itself, and a pattern has emerged. The Chiefs are due. They were magical during the 1993 season, led by Joe Montana. They were magical during the 2003 season, led by Trent Green. Here we are; it’s the 2013 season. It’s time for what I like to call the “Ten Year Turnaround” to take effect. It really seems that at least for the last twenty years, the team has turned it around every ten years on the “threes”. Could this be the year? Since we’re talking in the realm of superstition, I’d like to make a few birthday wishes.

1.      I Wish that Alex Smith Proves He is the Quarterback I Think He Is

I’m not going to go on and on with endless stats about Alex Smith and how I think he’s the answer. I’ve already done that here and here. I am going to say that twenty years ago a quarterback moved to the BBQ City from the City by the Bay and took Kansas City deep into the playoffs. Many thought his career was over after he was injured and he proved them all wrong. I will also say that ten years after that, another quarterback who wasn’t drafted by the Chiefs led them to the best season they’d had since #19 was under center. My point is, I think #11 in your programs (but #1 in your hearts) Alex Smith is the next big thing for the Chiefs. I just hope he shows it this year.

2.       I Wish that Jamaal Charles Finally Wins the NFL Rushing Title

I really want to see #25 rush for 2,000 yards this season. I would love to see his name sitting alone at the top of the list of NFL rushers when the final whistle blows on Week 17. I really think this kid is an elite running back (don’t we all) and I love that he wasn’t a Trent Richardson or a Larry Johnson, first round draft pick. I love that he came out of nowhere, took advantage of the opportunity he was given, put his foot on the gas and hasn’t let up, even when he blew out his knee! I really want him to check that box as the NFL Rushing Leader.

 3.       I Wish that the Chiefs Sweep the Broncos

I actually would take one victory against the Peyton Manning led Denver Donkeys, but if I’m wishing, I’m going to wish big. There are five teams that I hate in the NFL. I hate the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots because I think they’ve both been too good for too long. I hate the San Diego Chargers because I think Rivers is a cry baby and I can’t understand why any team would want their colors to be “powder blue.” Plus they drafted Ryan Leaf (who is from my hometown and rival high school). I hate the Oakland Raiders because they’re the Oakland Raiders and because I think they’re dirty; I think they cheat and they hate us as much as we hate them. Finally, and most importantly, I hate the Denver Broncos. I’ve hated the Broncos longer than I’ve been a Chiefs fan. I hated the Broncos when Dan Reeves was the head coach and a kid I went to elementary school with (who shared the head coach’s last name) was convinced Reeves was his uncle — and I hated him. I hate John Elway and his big buck teeth. It’s always the Donkeys who are running with the Chiefs. If the Chiefs are the team I think they are this year, it’s Denver who will be the competition. The Chiefs need to beat them at least once to be in the thick of the AFC West race at the end of the season.

4.       I Wish the Chiefs Can Make the Playoffs This Year

I love football. I love everything about football. I love the Chiefs, but I still watch football even when they’re not playing. It’s just not as much fun. Watching football after Week 17 hasn’t been a whole lot of fun the last few years. I want to wear my #19 jersey or my #82 jersey (thanks for sticking around D-Bowe, so that $100 wasn’t wasted) past December. The Chiefs need to make the playoffs. I truly hope they will.

5.      I Wish the Chiefs Win the Superbowl

There is one reason and one reason only that professional football players play and the fans watch the game. The Superbowl. I hate hearing things like “if we go 8-8 this year I’ll be happy.” I won’t. I’m sick of going 8-8 or 7-9 or 9-7 or hell, even 10-6 and then losing in the Wildcard round of the playoffs. I want to go to the big dance! I want to know what it feels like to have a Superbowl party at my house, and be able to cheer my team on. Unless you’re older than me and remember the days of Len Dawson and the Chiefs winning Superbowl IV (God bless you if you if you do), none of us know what’s it’s like. The dry spell has been long enough. The Chiefs need to win the “big game” and I won’t be truly happy until they do.

There you have it, Addicts. My 36 year run down memory lane and my five birthday wishes for the 2013 Kansas City Chiefs. Do you have any wishes you think I should add to my list? Or, did I go too big with my wishes? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Birthday to me.

Until next time, Addicts!

Topics: Kansas City Chiefs

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  • chiefridgy

    I’ll take a #3. F-ing hate hate hate the donkeys!

    • Jason Seibel

      Me too. Can you tell?

      • KCMikeG

        Old horse teeth is going to take one (or two if your wishes come true) in the chops this year!

        • Jason Seibel

          Finally. Something you and I can agree on!

  • John Plazak

    Thats an excellent piece. Im 21a so like you in thirsty for that superbowl but i cant even remember us winning a playoff game! I was 2. Id give just about anything for us to win a Lombardi. HAIL TO THE CHIEFS, i would scream and itd finally be true. Everyone bows to US.

    • Jason Seibel

      Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  • berttheclock

    Great rundown of some of the history. One thing with Marty is his hiring excellent assistants. Later, he would give Mike McCarthy a chance, as well.
    Being quite a bit older than you, my first question concerning them was “What’s a Chief?” Uttered to a bartender in The Apartment on Broadway in very early November, 63, just after being discharged from the US Army out of West Germany. After walking into the bar, I noticed a group of very large young men and asked the bartender who they were. He told me they were KC Chiefs who had come in from Dallas. Having not read anything about them in Germany, my response was such. Ah, how well I have learned “What’s a Chief” and have bled Red and Gold ever since.
    Now, I will go out on a limb and proclaim that John Dorsey may become the best thing to happen to the Chiefs since the days Don Klosterman built the SB championship team.
    Hail to the Chiefs and beat those Donkies.

    • Jason Seibel

      Thanks, man! I’m glad you enjoyed the piece!

  • mitch

    I was 13 in ’70 and only hope that I live long enough to see my beloved Chiefs win another Superbowl.

    • KCMikeG

      Hang in there brother – it’s closer than you think!

  • KCMikeG

    Great post Jason! Great overview and Amen on the $$ for that #82 jersey! As a fan who does remember the SB IV win over the Vikes, I couldn’t agree more with you about us deserving a trip to the Show. Hope you have a great B-Day and that ALL of your wishes come true!

    • Jason Seibel

      Thank you very much, Mike. Let’s hope that it comes sooner rather than later.

  • http://insidemyteam.com/ InsideMyTeam.com

    Good article, I really think that we have a chance to beat Denver at Arrowhead but beating them at their field will be very tough! At least we have a MUCH better shot at beating them this year! Its gonna be fun watching Peyton run from Tamba and Justin!

    • Jason Seibel

      Thank you! I really am looking forward to watching Peyton run for his life from our hungry LB corps!

  • jimfromkcj

    I think we will be very lucky to win 1 game in our division.

    • Jason Seibel

      Based on what?

      • jimfromkcj

        Based on what I see as how the other teams are doing in our division. It seems to me that it is hard to beat the Raiders twice, even when we have what we think is a better team. That is where I think we will get one win. We have two chance to beat Denver and they are slim and none. They are just a better team man for man then the chiefs at almost all positions and there depth is also much superior. The Chargers, may be the surprise team. They have lost several players, but for the most part, they were players who were on the downside of their careers. As long as their QB is healthy and he has receivers who are average, they wil be hard to beat. It’s possible we might pick up another win there, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

        • Jason Seibel

          So you’re not on board with R&D inc.? I don’t know what you’ve been looking at but I think this team has gotten considerably better this offseason. The Raiders will be a 4-12 team again this year and I don’t think Chargers will amount to anything this year. Phillip “Cry Me A” Rivers has been exposed the past few years for the non-elite QB he is. I think we at least split the division this year at 3-3 if not 4-2. We shall see.

  • jimfromkcj

    To the haters. do you ever try to figure why you hate? Could it possibly be because we have been the doormat of the AFC West for most of our history? Maybe what we should hate is the chief’s organization for Not putting together a sustainable team that can win consistently. It’s hard to build up a hate when you are a perennial winner.

    • Jason Seibel

      Dude, you lost me. Are you a hater or a hater hater?

      • jimfromkcj

        I am just not a hater at heart. My hate is for those who would harm our country and it’s citizens. I am certainly not so simple minded to hate a football team because they are more successful over the years than my hometown team. I love to watch good clean competitive football. I am of the old school when we rooted for the team from our division when they moved on and always for the AFC team in the super bowl. It is called loyality, something a lot of people seem to have a lack of these days. I can remember when the Broncos were sort of the doormat in our division and we didn’t have a hate for them then. It was only when they got a better team than we had and Elway beat us pretty consistently that all the hate became noticed.

        • Jason Seibel

          More power to you, sir. If two AFC West teams play each other I hope that they somehow both lose. And I root for anyone but them to win in the playoffs. To each their own I guess.

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