“But we’re better than last year!”
“Nobody expected us to be so good this season, can’t you just enjoy it?”
“Why are you being so negative?” “We’re 9-3.”
Earlier, I received some rather harsh criticism to the fact that I refuse to do the “Earning Their Arrowheads” feature as long as the Chiefs are on this losing skid. I, for one, do understand that many of you enjoy reading the weekly piece and that it has been a feature here on Arrowhead Addict for quite some time.
I get that, so I get your gripe.
With that said, I have my own bone to pick with some of the Chiefs’ fan base. Not all mind you, but some.
Here’s a little back story on where I come from. I’m from Detroit, which means I am very used to observing a struggling and until recently, mediocre NFL franchise.
The Lions have been the laughingstock of the NFL for as long as I’ve been alive, and true, much of that has been due to front office decisions and bad play on the field.
I’m a firm believer though, that although they were far from apathetic, Lions fans played into the problem as well. They grew used to such a poor level of football (0-16, anybody?) that even the slightest of improvements were met with great excitement.
They were happy with each and every win, as all fans should be, but they were almost defensive about the team. Because of how bad the Lions had been, many fans were just content with some improvement and a few more wins. As the team got better, it almost caused them to ignore obvious flaws about the team because they were just so darn happy that the team was finally starting to win.
Still, a flaw is a flaw no matter if you chose to recognize it or not, and in the NFL, flaws eventually become exposed.
Contentment from a fan base is a dangerous thing. It allows a team to do just enough to get by and be interesting.
So what if they get blown out in the first round of the playoffs? At least we were there, right?
So what if the team is on a three game losing streak? At least we were 9-0 at one point, right?
Now that I’m in Kansas City covering the Chiefs, it’s easy to recognize the same contentment in some Chiefs fans. “We went 2-14 last season, anything we do this season is just gravy!”
“I’ve never heard so much negativity about a 9-3 team.”
Perhaps this is how I view sports, but in my opinion that is a loser’s mentality. Feel free to disagree, because perhaps I’m wrong, but when you’re a professional sports organization, isn’t the goal to improve on a year-to-year basis? Isn’t that the expectation?
Why are we rewarding a team by turning a blind eye, just because they went out and exceeded some expectations? Isn’t that what they’re supposed to do?
The fact of the matter is, this Chiefs team is flawed and those flaws have been exposed in the past three weeks.
The secondary has been awful, and without the ability to get pressure—teams have figured out a way to counter Bob Sutton’s aggressiveness—the defense has been average, at best.
In three weeks, the Chiefs have given up 1,453 yards of total offense, to two divisional opponents, mind you.
In three weeks, the Chiefs have gone from the top team in the NFL to the No. 6 team in the league. In three weeks, the Chiefs have gone from the top team in the AFC West and the AFC Playoffs, to the No. 5 Wildcard seed.
Is this something that you expect me to ignore? Does the fact that the Chiefs have wildly exceeded expectations make those kinds of stats, and that kind of fall from grace okay?
In places like New England, New York, New Orleans, Green Bay and Pittsburgh, the past three weeks of production would have been unacceptable. The fans wouldn’t have tolerated that kind of play from their teams, and they would make it known.
Sure, players and coaches don’t (usually) read blogs, newspapers or message boards, but that mindset of a higher standard, of not being happy with just being good, permeates a sports culture and I do believe that it wills a team onward and upward.
If you’re happy with being a flawed team that makes the playoffs this season, than be my guest, bash me all you want.
If you’re okay with turning a blind eye to the problems your team has, that’s ultimately your prerogative. But don’t be mad at me when that sense of complacency comes back to bite you in the back after years of just doing just enough to be relevant. Or years of being a great team, but not winning it all.
Unfortunately, Andy Reid has a history of doing just that, but let’s not bring up the facts.
Have I hit my head and woken up in an alternate universe? Is the Super Bowl no longer the ultimate goal of an organization and its fans?
If you’re not going to demand it, I’ll be the one to say it: Super Bowls are won by teams that demand perfection. Super Bowls are won by teams that aren’t okay with their flaws, and they do everything in their power to fix them.
Has anything been fixed by the Chiefs? Sure, the offense has improved, but the defense continually gets worse and worse; and no, injuries aren’t an excuse, this is a big boy league.
Where are the fans demanding accountability? Why isn’t Bob Sutton and his defense feeling the wrath of fans? Is it because they were dominant and exciting to watch for nine games?
Does that give them an excuse to play like horse manure for the rest of the season?
Right now, at this moment, I’m not afraid to say that I see a team trending downward at the wrong time of the season. Sure, they started off hot and were 9-0, but in the NFL it’s not who you were in September or October, it’s who you are in November, December and January that counts.
Buck up, Kansas City. If you want a championship team, you’ve got to have a championship mindset.
Champions aren’t okay with three game losing streaks. They don’t yearn for the happy-go-lucky times of 9-0 and cry when somebody dares to tell them that not everything is rainbows and roses.
My job isn’t to pump you full with sunshine and send you off on your merry way. If you want sunshine, go tanning. Go read KCChiefs.com, at least there you’ll never hear a negative word. It could be better for your palate.
No. My job is to give you my honest opinion of your football team, and right now, I am not satisfied with the product.
I don’t think you should be either.