Oct 13, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs fans cheer during the second half of the game against the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 24-7. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
The Chiefs face real competition for both attention and money for the first time since the 1980s. The Royals have captured the hearts and minds of the local sports fan with their second straight playoff appearance.
Young fans captivated with the Royals have become devoted fans, who in turn become season-ticket holders. Fans who continually watch the Chiefs sputter and may cheer for a local team, but usually don’t feel captivated to purchase tickets and merchandise. From a business perspective, this is bad news. Along with the short-term apathy developing this season, the defection of young fans hinders the ability to build a solid ticket base in the future.
This is a team and an organization in need of some good news and mojo. Their star player is out for the year, and his career with the Chiefs may very well be over. Kansas City has lost four straight games and its supposedly vaunted defense is ranked 26th, allowing a staggering 28.6 points a game. The “franchise” quarterback has proven to be anything but, and the highly paid coaching staff has shown an inability to truly develop a roster of young talent. Also, there is really no belief this team has many winnable games left on their schedule, as after losing to the Bears at home, every game on the schedule is a potential loss.
Also, the Chiefs play all of one home game between now and Nov. 29, when they host the Buffalo Bills. The Chiefs will play the Steelers at home on the 25th of October, then comes the London game against the Lions, which at this point may be for draft position. What follows is the BYE and road trips to Denver and San Diego. They travel again the next week, on the road against the Oakland Raiders. Kansas City does get three of its final four at home, but by the time the schedule turns to that point, there may be nothing to truly accomplish or play for.
Through the first three years of their coaching regimes, Todd Haley and Andy Reid will have very similar records. Obviously, Haley won the AFC West his first year, losing in the playoff game to the Ravens before the wheels began to come off. Andy Reid didn’t win the division his first year, but did qualify for the playoffs, barely missed his second year, and appears to be barreling towards a high draft spot and a hot seat for next season.
My last point is on Alex Smith. The Chiefs appear destined to be in a somewhat favorable spot to get a quarterback. While it’s not completely fair to lay the blame of the team’s quarterback drought at the feet of Dorsey and Reid, another draft of ignoring the quarterback will and should be considered dereliction of duty, and result in immediate firing.
In fact, if one of the top two or three quarterbacks is on the board and the Chiefs draft another position (God forbid it’s a lineman), I wouldn’t be opposed to firing the entire staff before the end of the first night. The time has come.
It’s time for the team to give this city something to get excited about, something that will give hope for the future. Certainly appears its not happening this season. As they say, hopefully it will be better next year.