You put in all this work all week… there’s a lot of buildup
as the week goes on and the intensity builds.
It starts Wednesday, then Thursday, then Friday and it builds.
You start cranking your mind up as the week goes on
and getting it ready for what’s to come on Sunday.
This one is big. Only four times in the Super Bowl era has there been an NFL team who repeated as the team with the worst record. There’s an 83 percent chance it won’t be the Chiefs and as you can only imagine, the Chiefs don’t want to be one of those teams.
So, this one is big.
Realistically, there’s no way to describe how big this game is to a Clark Hunt led Kansas City Chiefs organization. A win, and the possibilities are limitless. A loss, and a generation of misery perpetuates, perhaps, who knows how far into the future.
Earlier in the week the voice of the Chiefs, Mitch Holthus, was being interviewed on WHB 810 radio’s program “Between the Lines” and he said, the best record the Chiefs have had to open the first two games of the season in the past 13 years was 1-1 and that every other year they have started the season 0-2. Holthus said that to him, this game is like a playoff game because it will mean the world to the team, and organization, for it to win the first game, especially when that’s exactly what they’ve been unable to do for so very long a time.
These Chiefs are a team with oodles of talent across the board and have playmakers all over the roster. On the defensive side of the ball they have impact players at every level. Mitch Holthus said that when a you’re able to field a team with impact players at “each level on defense” you are reaching the level of teams like the Packers, Steelers or the Ravens.
Why would this game hold any more significance as a first game of the year than any other year? Well, you could call this… “the answer” game. It’s Clark Hunt’s answer to those who stood up last year and said, “We’ve had enough.” See “Save Our Chiefs.“
As you read the evaluations of this matchup, they’ve said uniformly that the Chiefs “should” beat the Jags, and handily. If they don’t it will be an indictment of Clark Hunt’s moves. The doubting Thomas’s of the world will renew their insatiable howl.
This summer Cheryl Hall, a staff writer for the Dallas Morning News interviewed both Clark and his younger brother Dan about the 1.3 billion dollar empire Lamar left to his family. Clark said,
I go to work thinking about preserving and growing my father’s passion and legacy. Dad looked at himself as a caretaker, now we’re caretakers trying to grow the business for the next generation… my siblings don’t work for me, we work together.
MSL commissioner Don Garber describes Clark as the quiet silent type who runs deep and has inherited his father’s style of… when he speaks, people listen.
Clark’s brother Dan says,
We can talk about how Dad would want things done, we’re on the same page on almost everything. He can really put the pressure on you. And I can’t escape him when I go home because he lives two blocks from me.
The worst thing, is that [Clark] has big expectations.
Garber says Clark has, “taken Lamar’s legacy to new heights.“
If you think that includes losing on Sunday in Jacksonville, think again.
When the off season began everyone knew there was a solid base of talent on this team. That’s why so many fans were as disillusioned as they were and why so many others called for the coach and GM’s ousters. So, there were holes that needed filling and the owner, new GM and head coach, went about doing all that they could to repair those “holes.” 30 new players on the 53 man roster will attest to that.
Now, Chiefs fans everywhere want to know, on the field, in regular season game action… if those changes made any difference.
Most so-called “experts” you talk to will sell you on 8-8 or 9-7 as an amazing turnaround for this team to achieve such “success.” However, most casual fans I speak with really just care about the first game. They want to know right now: are the Chiefs better? And specifically, are they better than that other “worst team in the league?”
They better be. Or there will be a major band wagon jumping off party early in the season.
You see, hopes have been raised. Exponentially. Expectations have been peaked.
Why would they be peaked?
The new coach brought in a new competent QB and there is even a QB of the future on the roster to dream about now. Perhaps the best WR in the history of the organization, Dwayne Bowe, is in his prime and he’s promising big things. The same can be said of the Chiefs star RB, Jamaal Charles as well as their Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Johnson (who’s only 125 tackles away from the team record and he’s averaged 125 the past three seasons).
Is this game “big” to all the players?
I’ve heard it reported by more than one competent reporter who covers the Chiefs up close and personally that all… yes all… of the players on the roster have “bought in” when it comes to following what Andy Reid is selling.
That’s rare. And that’s huge. How huge? Well, let’s just say, it means the Chiefs players will be treating this game like it’s “big.”
If you’ve been keeping up with what Chiefs players have been saying in recent months you hear a lot of them saying they want to win for each other, for their team mates. That’s a major shift in team attitude. No one needs to sell these Chiefs on the idea of “team” now… because they already are it.
Mitch Holthus also said he is now the longest standing game day announcer for an NFL team without a playoff victory (he wasn’t around in 1994).
At least we know Holthus will be going all out on Sunday in Jacksonville.
Let’s go boys, “win one for the yipper.”
In an interview with Randy Covitz of the KC Star, Alex Smith stressed the importance of winning the first game,
For me, it’s going to be about getting a win. Anything it takes to win… It’s 100 percent different than a 0-1 and the feeling… especially with this team and a lot of new faces and coaching staff coming together, would reinforce everything you’ve been doing.
Because of Thursday night’s Denver Bronco victory, the Chiefs are already half a game behind. That elevates the importance of Sunday’s contest all the more.
Also, keeping pace with Denver will likely be an ongoing scenario for the Chiefs this year, as the Broncos have already been tabbed the front runner in the AFC West and the AFC at large.
That makes a game against the lowly touted Jaguars bigger than ever.
Of course they’re all big games now that the season has begun.
But, this one… this one is big!
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So Addicts, how big is this game for you?