The Other Side


We are passionate fans of the Kansas City Chiefs.  So much so that even though very few of us know each other, we meet on the internet and talk about them.  What this essentially means is that each and every one of us has deemed we aren’t getting enough Chiefs talk in our real lives. “Sorry, people I actually know” we think. “You’re just not cutting it anymore.  Time to hit up some strangers.”

It’s funny, but in a sense we’re also taking our preferred leisure activity very seriously.  I think thats a good thing.  A friend recently said that without interests, a person hardly seems to be alive at all.  I agree with that.  The world has a lot to offer.  We should be able to find things that move us.  And if you’re still perusing the Chiefs blogosphere despite this ridiculous lockout, they definitely move you.

We love the Chiefs.  And with love, comes certainty.  We’ve dedicated so much of ourselves to this team, we’re bound to be confident in our opinions of them.  We’re experts, right?

Yes.  And no.  There are two sides to every coin.  Six sides to every die.  Twelve sides to those special kind of nerdy die.  And lets face it people, we’re all pretty big nerds around here when it comes to the Chiefs.  I’ve had to stop myself from writing the “If Chiefs players were characters from LOTR” post like five times this offseason.

What I’m getting at here is that although we are all Chiefs experts in our own way, none of us can really be sure any of our opinions are correct.  We can’t even be sure they’re free of bias.  In fact, the more I think about it, the more sure I am that every opinion everyone has (myself included) is chock-full of bias.  We can’t help it.  We are the products of our genetics and our experiences, neither of which are under our control.

Our formative years are dominated by our parents.  We’re born directly into their religion, they choose what kind of education we receive, and they unknowingly (or sometimes knowingly) indoctrinate us with their beliefs.  This isn’t a bad thing.  Our parents have our best interests at heart.  But they undeniably shape who we are, just as they were undeniably shaped by their parents before them.  Our very identity was, in a sense, passed down to us through generations uncounted.

Eventually we strike out on our own, and are left to make our own decisions and think our own thoughts.  But are even these thoughts ever truly our own?  Our opinions are constantly being affected and altered by those we come into contact with. Our friends, our coworkers, the books we read, the music we listen to, the websites we visit.  Our brains are like sponges, absorbing all they touch.  Can we ever really be sure what all we’ve picked up, and where?  I certainly can’t.  My thoughts and opinions have changed much over the years, and I’m not so naive as to think myself above influence.  No one is.  When we see the world, we’re seeing it through the prism of our own perspective.  We each wear our own personal me-colored glasses.

I could be wrong about any of the opinions I’ve expressed on this website.  I’ve been wrong many times before (last place in both the AA March madness competition and the 2010 preseason predictions).  So has everyone else.  There is no point hiding from that.

If you’ve been reading me regularly, you know I’ve been very critical of Tyson Jackson, Thom Jones, and Mike Vrabel.  You also probably know I don’t much care for Clark Hunt, or the rest of the NFL owners.  I have my reasons for these feelings, and to me they seem very logical.  But I am me.  None of the rest of you are.  Naturally, some of your opinions will be very different, despite the fact that we have access to the same information and watched the same games.  This is pretty crazy, when you think about it.  Goes to show just how subjective a lot of this stuff really is.

Four statements you never thought you’d hear me make after the jump:

1) It’s possible Thom Jones will lose weight, improve his quickness, and break that mythical 4 YPC barrier.  And even if he doesn’t, its possible the locker-room leadership we hear so much about actually exists, actually does help the team, and somehow requires Jones to start games and carry the ball many times to be put into effect.

2) It’s possible Mike Vrabel‘s intangibles (or should that read “Mike Intangible’s Vrabels”?) really are invaluable to this team.  And, again, that he needs to be on the field for that to be the case. 

3) It’s possible Tin Man is developing according to plan, and that he’ll be our left defensive end of the future.

4) It’s possible Clark Hunt actually deserves our respect and admiration.

Man, I can’t believe I just typed those things.  They all sound absolutely ridiculous to me.  But you know, so have many other things that have ended up being true.  Do I believe I’m wrong in my opinions of the aforementioned men?  Of course not.  I believe I’m right, just like we all do about every one of our opinions.  And I have to say, the evidence does seem to be on my side in these cases.  Statistically, Jones, Vrabel and Tin Man were terrible.  They failed the eyeball test even worse.  And Clark Hunt, as far as I can tell, does nothing for the Chiefs but hold his hand out and take our money.  These seem like unquestionable truths to me.  But back in the day I used to think Ron Edwards was undeserving of a spot in the NFL, and now I call him Sweet Ron and he’s one of my favorite players.  As I’ve said many times before, truth changes quickly in the NFL.

This doesn’t just apply to fans though.  Professional coaches and GMs are wrong all the time too.  Scott Pioli thought Colin Brown was a prototype right tackle and that Mike Brown could be his Rodney Harrison.  Todd Haley thought Quinten Lawrence was part of his core and that Larry Johnson was better than Jamaal Charles.  These guys are fallible.  Very.  Everyone in the NFL is.  And not through incompetence.  We’re all at the mercy of what our brains tell us.  And when watching a sport, no matter how much of it we watch, our brains aren’t going to tell us the whole story.  We’re foolish to think otherwise. 

So really, I guess this post is a confession.  I am biased against the NFL owners.  I’m also biased against players whose value is based entirely in leadership and intangibles.  I’m biased against and for a lot of things, and that effects how I view the Chiefs. Damn, thats tough to admit.  But its true.  I’m no better than anyone else. In fact according to my psychiatrist I’m much worse.