So there I was, warm and cozy in my living room on Dec. 28 doing what any true fan of the Kansas City Chiefs was doing.
Wasting that $200+ NFL Sunday Ticket package to watch the most meaningless game on TV that day.
I'm sure I wasn't alone. Surely there were others hoping to see the Kansas City Chiefs display some shred of talent that would give us hope to feel optimistic about the 2009 season. I mean, couldn't the boys in red, yellow, and white at least give us another heart-wrenching 4th quarter loss by seven points or fewer?
A Chiefs fan need not look any further than that game to come up with a list of hopes for the new leadership at Arrowhead Stadium. On that day, the Chiefs defense succeeded in making a group of 2nd- and 3rd-string offensive players look like perennial Pro Bowlers and, more importantly, displayed no pride or heart.
The bottom line in football, or any sport, is that winners win even when there's no reason to. In games that have no meaning, winners still find a way to walk off the field with either a victory or, at minimum, with their pride intact.
Chiefs fans should hope that this spirit of winning permeates the organization in 2009. Forget big names like Mike Shanahan or Bill Cowher. We hope that, at his core, new general manager Scott Pioli is a true winner, the kind that does not rest until there are trophies in the cases and rings on the fingers.
If he is, then his ways will resonate through the front offices, locker rooms, the field and into the stands. If he is a true winner, then his hires and fires over the next several years will revolve around creating the right chemistry between staff and players to get the job done.
It won't be a quick fix, Chiefs fans, so don't expect a miracle overnight. Give Pioli time to work some magic. Hopefully, those December games will no longer be heartbreakers or wastes of time.