My favorite bartender went to Vegas last week. I took the opportunity, as I often do when a friend* is going to Vegas, to lay some bets down at the sports book. My boy Nick Diaz over GSP? Check. Chael Sonnen over Brian Stann? Check. Kansas City Chiefs to win the Super Bowl? CHECK.
*Did I just list a bartender (who I never hang with outside the bar) as my friend? Shit. Social life just hit a new low. Next step down the rung: online gaming. Check back with me at this time next year.
I’m told there was laughter when the bet was placed, although that may have been a playful exaggeration. To people on the east coast, the Chiefs are a joke. Synonymous with the Royals. I used to bristle at that attitude, but since we haven’t won a playoff game since before The Shawshank Redemption came out and we’re once again leading the league in cap space*, I can sort of see their point. Whatever. The odds were 40-1, which is an unbelievably sweet bet for a division champion in my opinion. If the Chiefs win the Super Bowl, your boy Big Matt will pocket 2 Gs**. I gotta think that would go down as one of the top 5 best moments of my life. Pretty sure it would edge out that awesome double filet-o-fish I had at McDonalds last lent.
*REALLY looking forward to 2013 and that cap floor. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve got a feeling when Clark Hunt is legally obligated to spend at least 90% of the salary cap, he may very well do it.
**The following people will be receiving Big Matt fan club t-shirts if I win that 2 grand: Paddy, Double D, Jeremy, Lyle, TIDL, Block Eater, The Centaur, Greens, Jackie Rubbinson, Danny W, Victor’s daughter, my grandma, Clark Hunt, Sweet Ron, Mo-Leg, and Justin Houston. Also probably the guy at the corner store who’s always smiling like a pervert. I like the cut of his jib.
I made the bet because I think the Chiefs can win. Allow me to repeat that: I think the Chiefs can win the Super Bowl this year. How’s that for a negative nancy?
I should clarify here that I don’t think its likely. But we have the best offensive weapon in the game, a great young secondary and a pass rush that should be incredible if Todd Haley can get out of its way (MORE JUSTIN HOUSTON AND WALLY GILBY PLEASE). Thats enough to give any team a shot.
more after le jump:
I’m still not sure what to make of this preseason. Are we caring about this? I mean its just preseason, right? And yet, there were some undeniably troubling sights. Andy Studebaker. Barry Richardson. Tony Moeaki. Our offense. Our defense. Todd Haley’s bizarre strategy. I’m certainly not going to poo-poo anyone thats worried. I’m a bit worried myself.
Those of you still angrily defending Haley’s training camp and preseason need to slow down and take a deep breath. Sarcastically arguing against straw men doesn’t get our discourse anywhere, and neither does inventing excuses for everything Haley does. Our coach has made some pretty obvious mistakes in his time here. Its OK to admit that. Every coach makes mistakes. Haley has done well in some aspects too. He mixes good with bad, just like any man. And this preseason, most definitely, has been bad.
I want to discuss the logic of Haley’s offseason strategy here, because I know to some people it makes sense. And to me, that doesn’t make sense. Allow me to quote Bart Simpson (from the Hank Scorpio episode):
“Let me get this straight: we’re behind the rest of our class and we’re going to catch up to them by going slower than they are? Coo-Coo!”
Essentially, this is what Haley has attempted to do. Catch up by going slower. Similar to Herm Edwards’ “rebuild” strategy, in a way. Attempting to get better by choosing to be worse. We had less time to prep, so we chose to…..prep less with the time we had? I don’t know, that seems insane to me.
The supposed payoff is that we’ll be healthier than other teams. That may or may not happen. Tony Moeaki and Brandon Siler are out for the year. Do we take that as proof Haley’s plan isn’t working? No, we do not. Injuries are, by and large, random occurrences*. Which is precisely why going to these lengths to avoid them seems foolish to me. Football players are going to get hurt. Even if Haley’s plan slightly lessens the chance of that, is it worth it to go into the season flat? If we start 1-4, is it going to matter how much “fresher” we are down the stretch?
*You know what isn’t a random occurrence? When your quarterback gets hurt because your offensive line isn’t ready to protect him.
As of right now, our team has as many receivers as offensive linemen. Terry Copper, Quin Lawrence and Thom Jones are our coach’s favorite players. Not only did we hang onto Jon McGraw, we brought in the poor man’s McGraw. And Donald Washington will be paid US dollars to play football for us. There is some weird stuff going on with this team right now. It looks like they were totally unprepared for this shortened offseason, and have gone into a shell because of it. I don’t know whats going to happen when we play Buffalo. Its a game that was seemingly gift-wrapped for us and now it appears we may be taking a mulligan.
When I daydream about this game, I picture Jamaal Charles taking that first handoff, running left for 10 yards, and Arrowhead Stadium heaving a collective sigh of relief. The preseason was a nightmare, but nightmares can’t trouble you in your waking life. Its over. We can still play.
But then there’s this other nagging vision that creeps in on its own. In this one, Thom Jones takes the first handoff into the line for a one yard pickup. We’re flat, we lose, and I spend the next week reading excuses and hanging my head.
I want to make a few things clear right now: we are not rebuilding. This is our regime’s third full year together, and we won the division last year. We’re returning 17 starters. The lockout affected everyone equally. There are no excuses left for this team, and no reason we shouldn’t put it on Buffalo Sunday.
No more messing around. Jamaal Charles left for 10 yards.