I have written a great deal about two things: One is that the Kansas City Chiefs get little to no credit from the media. The other is that they have built the best foundation of management and players in my 40 years of watching them.
The Chiefs have won 10 games in three years. Do they really deserve the respect of the national media or the average fan after three games? Also, unless you are a pretty avid fan of the team, why would you know they've made such drastic changes internally?
Conversely, the Chiefs are not the Detroit Lions or the Arizona Cardinals, pre and post Kurt Warner. In 1995 and 1997 they had the best record in football and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
During one of those years, their defense did not give up a touch down in the second half in the last eight games all year. Of course, if they scored 10 points we we're thrilled. They never won a playoff game in those two years.
I still remember the 1995 game against, who else, the Colts, as if it were yesterday. I had just run the Walt Disney Marathon. I did pretty well and I felt great. I was done, showered, and surrounded by food in my hotel room by noon. My wife, wanting nothing to do with the football game left for the afternoon.
After three interceptions by Steve Bono, three missed field goals by Lin Elliot, any semblance of "feeling good" had vanished.
The next day my wife dragged me on a boat ride. It was a small boat with about a dozen people on it. It turned out all the others on the boat were players for the Jacksonville Jaguars. I told them briefly of my utter shock and sadness. They said they were shocked, and many NFL players expected the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl that year.
Fast forward to 2003. It's almost unimaginable to see a team change it's philosophy that quickly. It's equally unimaginable to swap your weaknesses and strengths, but that they did.
In 2004 the Chiefs hosted the Colts in the divisional playoff game. Neither team punted and the Colts won 38-31.
The truth to all of this is even though the Chiefs didn't win a Super Bowl from 1995 through 2005 they were almost always in the playoffs and always in the discussion.
They don't deserve the disrespect they've received for being lousy for the last five years. That disrespect comes from their fans too. You can't turn an NFL franchise around overnight and this team will be among the elite by next year. That's pretty damn fast.
Look across the parking lot. That's a team that deserves disrespect. Some say you should always support your team, good times and bad. I say that's a lot of bunk. The Chiefs are the Connecticut Womens Basketball Team compared to the Royals.
Any company that put out a product or service like the Royals for just a fraction of that time would have been out of business a long time ago. I was a huge Royal fan in the 1970's and the 1980's and into the 1990's. At some point, they don't deserve my attention, and certainly not my money.
Keep one thing in mind this Sunday: The Colts are a better team than the Chiefs, for now. I say that for only one reason, and a good one. Peyton Manning. If you took Manning off this team and replaced him with an average quarterback they are probably a four or five win team.
Peyton is, however, still on the team. I think the rest of the Chief team is better than the Colts' team. Quarterbacks like Manning, Brady and Brees can beat teams with an average supporting cast.
There are three schools of thought. The Colts will destroy the Chiefs. KC will keep it close and lose. KC will pull out an upset. The only thing not on the table is the Chiefs will destroy the Colts. I think that's fair.
The first thought is the media's. The other two are the fans'.
It doesn't matter if the Chiefs lose, and it doesn't even matter how they lose. It will not change the direction of the team. It will not change the positive things they have done. It will not change the good chance they have of winning their next game and the one after that, and so on.
Do I think the Chiefs will win this game? No, not really. Do I hope like hell they will? You better believe it. Do I think they have a better chance now than when the schedule first came out? No question about it.
Very soon when fans look at their team's schedule and see the Chiefs on it, they will put an "L" in their mental win-loss count.
Having hope is better than having none. One game does nothing to alter my hope for this team in the coming years.
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