Reader Submission: Chief Life Flashing in Front of Me


This our 3nd reader submission article. As you know, we are searching for a new staff writer or two. Over the next few days, I will be posting submissions of writers I am considering. Please take a look at the work and let them know what you think in the comments. What you guys think matters to me because these people will be writing for AA. This is your chance to weigh in so please do so.

Submissions are currently closed. I am still sorting through them. If  we don’t find what we are looking for we may reopen submissions so keep an eye out.

Thanks to all who have already submitted. I really appreciate your work. We have gotten a lot of great stuff and it is very competitive.  More submission posts are forthcoming.


This article is from Rich Steen.

Four decades ago, my dad took me to the old municipal stadium when I was 8.  It was the greatest experience a kid from a small Kansas town could ever have.  I saw Lenny throw to Otis.  I saw Noland “Super Gnat” Smith run back kicks.  I saw Buck Buchanan, Bobby Bell, Willie Lanier and Emmitt Thomas play D the way it was supposed to be played.

The Chiefs crushed the Chargers that day.  No kid in the world could love a professional football team more than I loved MY team, the Kansas City Chiefs.  I would bleed Chief red for the rest of my life.

As we made our way out, a giant man wearing a red turtleneck sweater danced over to me waving a Chief pennant.  He yelled “Super Bowl, baby!” then handed me the pennant, and danced away.  The Chiefs went on to win the Super Bowl that year.  I still have that pennant on my office wall.

On Christmas day1971, I watched Ed Podolak rack up 350 yards against the Miami Dolphins on TV, only to have the greatest kicker in the NFL – Jan Stenerud – miss a game winning field goal in regulation.  Eleven Hall of Famers played in the longest game in NFL history, and the Chiefs lost in the sixth quarter when that little bald bastard, Garo Yepremium, hit a 37 yarder.  Yes, the SIXTH quarter…I not only cried that day, I wept and moaned like a little girl for hours, ruining Christmas for my family.

More after the jump:

My mom kept asking me why I was crying.  I told her that I had an ugly feeling my beloved team was going to suck for a long, long time, and our glory days were over.  She told me I was acting ridiculous.  That shows you what mom’s know about football…The Chiefs did not make the playoffs again until 1986…fifteen years later!

In 1990, Frank Gansz was replaced with Marty Schottenheimer, and the Chiefs became the best NFL team in the 90’s.  That’s right…the best!  Too bad we couldn’t win a playoff game, because in the regular season opposing teams dreaded coming to Kansas City.  Arrowhead was the scariest place to play in the NFL.  Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith would kill quarterbacks.  John Alt would open holes and the Nigerian Nightmare would stomp on your face as he got his 100.

But no Super Bowl.

Marcus Allen and Joe Freakin’ Montana were brought in, and yet – the Chiefs STILL couldn’t get to the big dance.

Soooooo, when all else fails, what do you do?  Road trip!

I went to the Oakland Coliseum on a Monday night in 1997 to see Elvis Grbac connect with “Spiderman” Andre Rison on a glorious game winning TD pass.  As I triumphantly waved my Chief jersey, I was pummeled with peanut shells, orange peels and various black and silver items. I was escorted out by security, and it was beautiful.  “THIS is the year,” I told myself.  But alas…it was not.

The Chiefs won only seven games in 1998 and the Kansas City fans wanted Marty’s head on a stick.  Less than two years later, Kansas City fans wanted Gunther Cunningham’s head on a stick.

So, King Carl went looking for Dick.  Carl’s old UCLA pal Dick Vermeil would roll down the I-70 and lead the Chiefs to the Super Bowl, just like he did in St. Louis.

No more defense, the offense ruled!  Trent Green and Priest Holmes scored more than Wilt Chamberlain.  Tony Gonzalez had flypaper hands.  Larry Johnson took off his diapers.  Vermeil would cry and say how much he loved his players, but still no championship.  So long Dick…

King Carl then ushered in the “Herm era” and the Chiefs became a joke.  Thank God, the Raiders were the worst team in the league during the “Herm era”, or I might have eaten a bullet.  Sorry, I can’t write any more…it’s too soon.  The pain is still too great….

It is 2010, and it is time for a new era to begin.  There is no doubt in my mind that Todd Haley is the best coach in the NFL.  Golf coach, that is.  As a football coach, he won only 4 games, so he hasn’t earned my love.  Yet.  Yes, I believe he will be a good coach someday, but you just don’t fire your OC right before the season unless he’s fooling around with your wife.  You know what I mean?

This year?  This year, the Chiefs have an Arrowhead remodel, the best assistant coaching staff in the league, and what could be the best running game in the league.  KC has two good WR’s and a new TE named Tony.  The Chiefs have two good rookie safeties, a good rookie CB, and four first round draft picks in the front seven.  If the young defensive unit steps up, the Chiefs could be a very, very scary team this year.

As a matter of fact, I say they go to the Super Bowl this year.  But, I’ve said that every year since 1970…