Kansas City Chiefs: Confidence plus preparation key in 2020 and beyond

The Chiefs will need confidence and preparation to match their lofty goals.

Confidence plus preparation is a formula proven successful for many, many years. The Kansas City Chiefs appear to have no shortage of the former, with both Chris Jones and Tyreek Hill making seemingly outlandish comments in the last week or two.

Both believe the Kansas City Chiefs have the capability to win multiple Super Bowls. In fact, they predict so many that the team would be mentioned in the same breath of dynasties like the Chicago Bulls and New England Patriots.

Much has been made about these comments, which is understandable, but what should Chiefs fans think about them? What are some positives and negatives of this mentality? I’ll start with the bad and then round that out with the good.

Cockiness or arrogance, the bastardization of confidence, has hamstrung the efforts of talented people and teams for all of human history. Most will remember Lebron James’ famous quote claiming the Miami Heat, replete with talent, would win a historic number of NBA titles. While the Heat were an objectively successful team during his tenure, they fell well short of his quota with only two.

Some may remember Vince Young and his comments regarding the “Dream Team” of the Philadelphia Eagles. They were a team with so much talent, and expectations to boot, that ended the season with the same number of losses as wins. The list goes on and on. We haven’t even discussed Rex Ryan, who made the same gaffe multiple times during his tenure with the Jets.

In comparison, confidence is an important element to any successful person’s mentality. Whether you are in business, professional sports, or any number of professions, if you’re not confident in yourself, you won’t be successful. Many prominent individuals have talked about the value of confidence, but one of my favorites comes from the Golden State Warriors Draymond Green:

“As a competitor, if you’re trying to do something meaningful, if you don’t have the mindset that you’re the best ever you’ve failed already.” – Draymond Green

Here’s one of the most famous examples of this mentality playing out in modern sports. Tom Brady, widely regarded as one of the most successful athletes ever, was seemingly overconfident early in his career. After a relatively forgettable college career that saw him fall to the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, he famously told Robert Kraft he would never regret having drafted him.

The Patriots had an entrenched starter, one they would later sign to a record 10-year, $103 million deal. That might seem small today, but the NFL cap at the time was only $67 million. In today’s NFL dollars, that’s the rough equivalent of a 10-year, $304 million dollar deal. Given the way the franchise viewed Bledsoe, Kraft probably heard Brady’s claim and chuckled to himself at the absurdity at the time.

For another example, let’s take a trip back to the beginning of the Super Bowl era where some of you might remember Joe Namath’s crazy guarantee that the lowly AFL Jets, 18-point underdogs to the mighty NFL Colts, would win the third NFL-AFL Championship. He was nuts, wasn’t he?

The difference between the first group of examples and the second likely comes down to one thing: preparation. That’s not to say that the players and teams in the first group didn’t prepare; they most certainly did. Yet in those moments of arrogance, they believed so thoroughly in themselves that they likely began to overlook the finer details.

They believed themselves without weakness, and this belief inevitably leads to under-preparation. Are the Kansas City Chiefs, led by Andy Reid and captained by Patrick Mahomes, in danger of the same?

Some undoubtedly saw the recent comments by Chris Jones and Tyreek Hill and thought, “Who do they think they are?!” While they’re the defending champions, which usually comes with some sizeable clout, overconfidence without preparation will end in disappointment. Seemingly, this Chiefs team has great leadership who won’t let that happen.