One Point Short

The other day, I decided to go to my favorite bar: a quaint little place called Sharks.  I’ve mentioned its existence very briefly in my book, HikikoMorey, and I assure you that it’s a real place.  I don’t go there nearly as often as I used to, but for an event like The Chiefs making it to the playoffs, I’ll make an exception.

There is nothing like being in the audience of a Chiefs game in Arrowhead Stadium…  But I imagine a bar full of ravenous Chiefs fans is the next best thing.

I sat at the bar, watching multiple screens playing the same broadcast of ESPN’s coverage.  The Chiefs took on The Tennessee Titans, a team that virtually everyone and their mom insists has no right to even be in the playoffs this year.  In the first half of that game, it was definitely looking like the naye sayers were right.  Two quarters in, it was 21 to 0.

Then, like only The Kansas City Chiefs possibly could, they done fucked up.  They went from unstoppable to paper mache in one quarter.  In the end, The Tennessee Titans, the underdogs of the AFC at this point in the season, did the…  Well, I’d say unthinkable.  Unfortunately, this is The Chiefs we’re talking about.

The Chiefs, god bless ’em, just don’t have what it takes to last in January.  In the last seven years, we’ve been to the playoffs four or five times, and we only ever made it to the second game once.  And for the record, I’m not counting that year we got the bye as making it to game two.  I’ve heard friends of friends on Facebook insist it’s the Andy Reed curse, but honestly, I just think that’s our team.  One of those four or five times I mentioned before, Todd Halley was our coach, and the world’s easiest quarterback to sack was our quarterback.

In the end, Tennessee ended up beating Kansas City by one point.  One measley point.

ASIDE: I have no idea what happened to Ryan Succup.  He was probably the best kicker the Chiefs have had in a while, but as a Titan, he just couldn’t get the extra points to save his life this game.  How the hell do you miss extra points!?  Even if you get ten yard or fifteen yard penalties, those kicks should be the single easiest kicks a kicker can make!  Okay, back on topic.

The game was…  Interesting.  Disappointing, yes, but unlike the rest of the patrons at Sharks that day, I didn’t get nearly as worked up over it.  Let’s be honest, football doesn’t rule my life.  I cheer for The Chiefs, but I’m unbiased enough to see my team for what it is, and our team is…  Weird.  They can either be unstoppable conquerers who can defeat the fucking Patriots, or they can be a team held together with Elmer’s Glue and Thumbtacks that can’t even beat the 1-7 New York Giants.  And yeah, my examples come from the 2017 season.  That’s because the 2017 season is really the best proof of this.

People groaned in fury when The Chiefs lost.  One girl way in back shrieked “GOD DAMN I HATE THIS FUCKING GAME!” at the top of her lungs.  A guy on the other end of the bar was slamming his fists in anger, shouting “FUCK!” at the top of his lungs.  I, and the lady next to me who was helping my blind ass out by telling me important details like how much time was on the play clock and what not, was probably the only one who DIDN’T flip out, and even SHE was bummed out by the loss.

The game was disappointing, but I went more to interact with the crowd.  I fancied myself a bit of a gonzo journalist, more in the sense I was injecting myself into the crowd and writing more about the people I encountered and the adventure I was on, and less in the sense I forgot my job and spent the entire day doing insane amounts of drugs.  Although I did have a ridiculous amount of Angry Orchard, but I digress.

So yeah, KC’s out.  Again.  Can’t say I’m shocked, really.

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From Undefeated to Unbearable to Watch

If I’ve learned anything in life, I’ve learned that being a Chiefs fan is an exercise in masochism.  Every football team has its off-days, and some even have off-seasons (IE, this year’s Indianapolis Colts).  But man, The Chiefs really know how to build your hopes up just high enough to make it hurt that much more when the cleats come down on your balls.

At first, we were 5-0.  We managed to be the longest going undefeated team in 2017, if not one of them, and the playoffs were a guarantee.  Shit, we beat the fucking Patriots in game 1!

Then game 6 happened, and it’s honestly been all down hill from there.

Losing to The Steelers is one thing: love them or hate them, Pittsburgh’s got one of the better teams in the league.  I could probably forgive our loss to The Cowboys, but only because I missed that game.  Losing to The Raiders was humiliating: partly because it’s the fucking Raiders, but also because they scored that same touchdown, like, five different times in a row, but had to replay it every single time because somebody kept getting ten and fifteen-yard-penalties that negated the play entirely.

And then, we played The Giants.  The 1-7 Giants, I might add.  one of my favorite YouTubers of all time has frequently referred to The G-men as “The NFL’s sentient derp”, and this year, it’s not hard to see why.  This is really the quarterback who led Big Blue into what looked like a slaughter, and somehow managed to pants Tom Brady and the undefeated Patriots?  Because based on the clips shows I’ve seen, the one thing this team has going for it is that it’s not Cleveland, whom as of this writing are sitting ugly at 0-10.

The Chiefs, even during their undefeated streak, weren’t a flawless team.  While not as bad as some teams, our defense left a lot to be desired.  Still, even a team like this ought to be able to get a touchdown.

This game, without a shadow of a doubt, has got to be the most boring Chiefs game I’ve ever sat through.  And I’m definitely counting games that had a score of 35 to 0.  Regardless of who had the 35 and who had the 0.  Fieldgoalmania was running wild, brother, and somehow, this game managed to make it into overtime.  In which it was won by ANOTHER FUCKING FIELDGOAL!

Our next game is against The Bills.  The Giants may be having a bad year, but The Bills are having a bad… decade, I guess.  In their last game, the quarterback threw not one, not two, but FIVE interceptions.  In one half.  And I have five bucks on the table right now that says we somehow lose this one as well.

I’m in disbelief that this is the same team that, at the beginning of the season, destroyed The Patriots.  But I guess this is the sort of thing that happens here in KC.  When the games actually matter, the Chiefs choke.  Fuck my life.

Goodbye, Jamal

Well if you live in KC, then one of the popular topics of discussion is that The Chiefs finally gave Jamal Charles his walking papers.  on one hand, I can see why a lot of guys are mystified.  On the other hand, I can see why The Chiefs did what they did.

On one hand, Jamal Charles was an institution.  He was pretty much the star player of The Chiefs for the longest time.  He’s been on the team since I first started paying attention to football!  I remember him from when Todd Halley was the coach, Matt Cassle was getting sacked every other play, and Larry Johnson were cakin’.

Unfortunately, dude’s been injured for about two years straight.  That’s bad enough.  Add on the fact that the coaching staff have long since figured out how to replace him, and…  Well…  Nobody likes learning they’re obsolete, but…  Charles pretty much became obsolete.  Travis Kelsey, Kniles Davis, and Charkendrick West have all proven to be successful, and we never would’ve figured out they were any good unless Charles was on the injured list.

If The Chiefs had one glaring problem in their strategy, it was that they depended on Charles WAY too much.  Occasionally, they’d hand it off to a guy like McCluster, or Bowe (back when they were around), but it seemed like it always went to Charles.  Not taking anything away from Charles himself, but man, when you hand the ball off to the same guy every single god damn time, then wonder how on Earth the other team was able to stifle your offense so easily without coming to the obvious conclusion, then I think we might have a problem.

When Charles was on the bench, the team had to find work arounds to a strategy that, if you asked me, was barely working at best.  And as a result of giving guys like West and Kelsey a chance, and changing up who gets the ball, we ended up on an eleven game winning streak in the 2015 season.  And in our defense, we lost the playoffs to the fucking Patriots.  There’s little to no shame in losing to The Patriots: they’re nigh unstoppable.  Especially now that Peyton Manning is retired.

It’s sad to see a guy like Charles go, but I think this might be for the better.  Like I said before, dude’s been injured for two straight years now.  It’s really not doing us any good hanging on to him.

All that being said, watch the next team that decides to draft him instantly go to the superbowl and win.  Assuming he doesn’t retire.  Or that team happens to go against The Patriots, and the Patriots are the team that DIDN’T draft him.  Because there are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and Patriots win the superbowl.