To the coaches and players of the Kansas City Chiefs,
Congratulations on your season to date! Winning nine game in a row in the NFL is an absolutely phenomenal accomplishment, especially considering that in 2012, you only won two games. I think I can speak for most of the Chiefs Kingdom when I say that we are incredibly proud of you.
Hopefully you enjoyed your Bye Week. I understand what punishment you put yourselves through over the last nine games and I imagine the rest was much needed, particularly for Mr. Charles and his ailing feet. I am doubly sure there are many more of you that have been playing through pain and injuries. The team has been remarkably healthy this season (don’t worry, I’m knocking on wood and sacrificing a lamb as we speak) and I am sure a big reason for that is that many of you are playing hurt in order to help your team. Here’s hoping you are all healing well.
We Chiefs fans aren’t particularly hard to please. We understand how the game works and though it has been a long, long time since you have won a Super Bowl, we couldn’t be prouder to call ourselves Chiefs fans. We understand that while hoisting the Lombardi Trophy is the ultimate goal, that there is more to enjoying football than just Super Bowl seasons. We’ve been through the hard times with you and so we have learned to appreciate the occasional season like 2010, where you surprised the NFL and won the AFC West Championship. Sure, you failed (again) to win a playoff game but we had a blast watching you qualify for the postseason.
This season, you’ve perhaps already given us more than we could have hoped for. By winning nine games in 2013, you’ve given us more regular season victories than we got in 2012, 2009 and 2008…combined! I mean, seriously, Halloween came and went without the subjects of the Chiefs Kingdom having to suffer through a loss. It’s been awesome. Thank you.
All that being said, I have a small request. I don’t mean this to sound ungrateful, which is precisely why I’ve spent most of this letter praising your effort, drive and skill. But this is something I’ve been thinking about since it became clear that you were one of the better Chiefs teams that I’ve had the pleasure of watching in my 30 years.
Please, for the love of God, beat the Denver Broncos in Mile High Stadium next Sunday night.
I wish I could say that I don’t care if you win another game but that would be a dirty lie. Still, if I knew you could only win one more game this season, I’d want that game to be next week’s contest in Denver.
All season long, the pundits and talking heads have been doubting you. Arrogant windbags are running around making statements like “the Chiefs are the worst 9-0 team I’ve ever seen.” Internet trolls, mostly of the Raider variety, are dropping by our humble Chiefs fan site to tell us that you haven’t played any good teams and that the Denver Broncos will stomp you.
And the worst part of it is, that deep down inside, just a little bit, we believe them.
That isn’t to say we don’t believe in you. We do. You’ve danced on the edge of disaster game after game and you’ve always managed to make the plays you needed to make to win the game. You haven’t done it with style and you haven’t done it with flash but you’ve done it.
And perhaps that is part of the problem.
Chiefs fans know that what you lack in sex appeal you make up for with grit and determination but only those that love you as unconditionally as us seem to be able to see it. But we’re a smudge insecure. You know, there was this Chiefs kicker one time…
The media and fans of other teams would much rather rave about Peyton Manning’s surgical offensive precision than marvel at your defensive stubbornness. They’d rather not mention that Alex Smith, not Peyton Manning (or anyone else for that matter) is the winningest QB in the NFL over the last two years. Even if they are forced to talk about Smith’s success, they often do so begrudgingly, preferring instead to attribute his wins to coaches, defenses and Santa Clause.
This might be a personal request. Others may not feel the same way. I know that you aren’t going to go undefeated this season. I know that losing next week in Denver won’t knock you out of the playoffs or even the race to win the AFC West. I know that the opinions of the media and other fans aren’t as important as what you do on the field for the rest of the season and come playoff time.
I get all that.
But please, please, please, for me, beat those lousy Broncos on their own field. I can’t think of many things more rewarding, save a playoff win or Super Bowl Championship, than watching you not only beat the “crowned” Broncos but also, in one single, signature victory, forcing every doubter, pundit and talking head to simultaneously shut the hell up for an entire week.
You’d be 10-0. You’d have a two-game lead on the Broncos and you will have accomplished this feat by beating them on their own turf. It would be more glorious than all nine of your previous wins combined.
I don’t know if you’ll make the Super Bowl this season. But I do know you will march into Mile High Stadium Sunday night, in font of a nation audience, to play one of the most important regular season games in franchise history. A win takes you from a cute story to a serious championship contented. A loss will bring a smug chorus of “I told you so.”
I don’t know about you, but I am treating Sunday as my Chiefs Super Bowl. I’m slow-cooking a pork shoulder. I’m importing some Gates BBQ sauce to my home in New York City. I’m buying the good beer.
Nobody expects you to win. I am not even sure I expect you to win.
But I will be damned if I can think of a game in the last 30 years that I WANTED you to win more.
And I know you can do it.
So do it.