Resurrection has been a recurring theme for the Chiefs in the last few years. Unfortunately, the team has mostly risen from the dead just to be driven back into their grave after causing only minor mayhem.
The term “Zombie Chief” was born in Week 8 of the 2011 season, when the team improbably came back from being obliterated in its first three games with a collective score of 27-109 to briefly lead the AFC West with a 4-3 record after topping the Chargers in overtime. The game, fittingly, played out on Halloween.
As most of you remember, it was all downhill from there. The mortal teams of the NFL tore the Zombie Chiefs to pieces but most damaging wasn’t actually the losses, but the two surprising wins the team pulled off at the end of the season after Todd Haley was fired. These games led to the abominable decision to promote DC Romeo Crennel to head coach, which was basically a headshot. Actually, it was worse. Crennel shredded this team like he was driving a windmill tank made out of an Oldsmobile (if you haven’t yet, seriously, go watch Army of Darkness).
Luckily for us Addicts, the Chiefs are a never-ending horde that just keep coming back for more punishment as if the rest of the league is playing Survival Mode in Left 4 Dead. If you are unacquainted with the game, basically there is no way to win survival mode, you just waste zombies for as long as you can stay alive and set new records. That’s pretty much what the team’s opponents did in the 2012 season – mowed down our moaning, directionless team while high-fiving each other over the redonk scores and records they racked up.
But, with every new season comes a new chance for the Chiefs to saunter back to life and attempt to conquer the world. The question for us now at the dawn of the 2013 outbreak, is what type of zombies with the new-look Chiefs be?
The Walking Red
The zombies that haunt the 21st century clan of Chieftain Rick Grimes aren’t much of a threat individually and in the open. At times in the Walking Dead, the zombies are merely troublesome parts of the décor, like that ugly lamp your aunt gave you. Then again, they did take down human civilization in just a few weeks. If the Chiefs get off to a quick start this season but lose their direction, we may very well be complaining that they resemble those screeching lemmings clutching the prison fence.
28 Days/Weeks Later
I expect the first quarter of the Chiefs’ season to be very telling. Not only will it be our first full look at the changes made by Head Coach Andy Reid and GM John Dorsey, but, on paper, the first four weeks look to feature mostly winnable games against Jacksonville, Dallas, Philadelphia and the New York Giants. Together they are: the team that was and still is the worst in the league, plus three teams that Reid is very familiar with after 14 seasons coaching the Eagles in the NFC East. How will we feel 28 days into the season in early October? If we sweep those first four games like the “infected” swept Britain, I may find myself like Cillian Murphy — waking up naked in a hospital with half my hair shaved off.
Twenty-eight weeks after the season opener, will the Chiefs be getting ready for the Super Bowl? My guess is that our team of zombies will be out of action by that time, much like all the starved British zombie-things. Still, we can hope that the sequel to the Chiefs 2013 season will be better than this one.
World War KC
As post-apocalyptic film nerds and zombie enthusiasts know, the biggest change in the genre since The Living Dead has been the advent of running zombies. Previously, zombies had been pretty lethargic creatures that were long-dead and mostly just groaned and reached through the gaps in broken doors like cats locked in the basement. 28 Days Later shook that up with its sprinting, blood-vomiting, high-frame-rate sick people. However, even in 28 Days Later, the zombies were real people. In this summer’s hit, World War Z, the zombie disease makes humans in to computer-generated super-people that are apparently faster than normal humans and are able to climb over one another insect-style with surprising dexterity (at least until the final 20 minutes of the film, for some reason).
Many Chiefs are similarly inhuman. RB Jamaal Charles has the type of insane speed to win a foot race against even the most unrealistic CGI beasts. Imagine zombie versions of LB’s Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson and Justin Houston coming after you. That’s enough to make me want to pack up the Constitution and set sail for the middle of the ocean somewhere.
Just as Brad Pitt’s money made zombies into an unstoppable force, the new additions to the Chiefs during this offseason have made them special in my opinion. We don’t really know how this year is going to go, but the reports out of training camp already have me thinking that the football world isn’t going to know what hit them. However, while I think team will definitely take down some opponents that we don’t expect them to beat, they’re bound to overlook a few beatable foes. Like the WWZ guys (spoiler alert!), the Chiefs always seem to be felled by the foes that are already dead men walking – cough! Buffalo! Cough! Cough!