The Chiefs’ amazing 2013 success is difficult to explain. Therefore, it must be a sham.
A 9-0 start for a team that ranked as the league’s worst last year is beyond improbable, it’s historic and the provocative nature of that run ruffles a lot of feathers around the league.
Let’s start with a list of everyone who is likely to look at the Chiefs and see a fraud and why:
1.) Any team that has ever gone 9-0 or undefeated in a regular season.
If you were on one of those teams, chances are you’re pretty proud of that achievement and so seeing a team that did it one year after being the league’s worst has got to annoy you. Clearly, some conspiracy must have aided the Chiefs to get to this point.
2.) Any team that has been the worst in the league, and stayed that way.
You remember what it was like when the Chiefs had back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back awful seasons. We had plenty of excuses and plenty of pre-set reasons why we were headed for failure the next year. In short, our failure wasn’t our fault. The team was poorly structured and it would take years to fix. Well, GM John Dorsey and HC Andy Reid just threw all those excuses in your face.
3.) The Cult of the Quarterback.
True, teams with high-performing quarterbacks tend to go far in this league, but this has become more religion than science. It was definitely not the two best quarterbacks who made it to the Super Bowl last year. Joe Flacco was 24th in the league in Total QBR during the 2012 regular season and the other guy took over a winning team from, oh, what’s his name? Quarterbacks win championships … except for when the defense does. Still, the pattern has been consistent enough that no pundits believe it can go any other way in the modern NFL. To them, the Chiefs are heretics.
4.) Anyone (the media) who makes their money making pre-season predictions.
No one picked the Chiefs to go 9-0, win their division and coast into the playoffs. This team is losing a lot of people a lot of money and street cred the longer they keep this run alive. The Chiefs will fall back to Earth … any minute now … my preseason predictions will turn out to be right …
That’s not even counting Vegas.
5.) The former regime and those who highly respect the former regime.
Although he is widely despised among people who have worked with him, Scott Pioli has quite a following in the media for some reason. SI’s Peter King has always been on his side inexplicably, and several other commentators have been huge Pioli apologists for years. If you believe in what Pioli was doing, then the Chiefs’ 2013 success is all his work, and Dorsey/Reid are getting way too much credit.
6.) The major networks.
Football is a business, and it gets the vast majority of its revenue through the media. Most of that revenue comes from the big markets – it’s not a coincidence that we are bombarded with news about locker room scandals in New York and Dallas every year. When a small-market team like the Chiefs becomes an amazing story, they inevitably have to start talking about it more, and every second they spend talking about a team that’s not in one of the country’s biggest cities, they lose viewers and lose money. Better to call Kansas City a paper tiger and move on to discussions about Mark Sanchez’s headbands.
Honestly, I think if the Chiefs were now 8-1 or 7-2, they would be getting a lot more respect from the national media. As long as they are 9-0, the pundits have to try and explain why and they either can’t or don’t want to. No, the Chiefs must be the worst 9-0 team ever! That’s the only explanation! They’re horrible! Please, don’t make me talk about them anymore!
Sorry folks, the Chiefs are for real, and they aren’t going anywhere.