Kansas City Chiefs Coach Todd Haley, It's Time for Gambler's Anonymous

James AdkinsCorrespondent IINovember 2, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 10: Todd Haley of the Kansas City Chiefs argues with Terry Brown #43 over a penalty call against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts defeated the Chiefs 19-9. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Scott Boehm/Getty Images
More than a century ago, Kansas City represented the last great trading post for those heading out on the Santa Fe, Calif., and Oregon trails. Settlers from all points East packed their wagons and risked everything in an effort to strike it rich and stake their claim to the fame and fortunes that awaited them in the West.

Fast forward to 2010, and Chiefs head coach Todd Haley continues to blaze a trail for his football team with the same vigor and spirit of the pioneers who preceded him so long ago. If he’s successful, Haley will find his own playoff riches at the head of the AFC West.

Of course, Haley’s style of being a wanton gambler just may catch up to him before he can accomplish that goal.

As he has shown a tendency to do all season long, Haley rolled the dice on Sunday passing up a short field goal attempt in the second quarter in an effort to put a touchdown on the board and grab an early 7-0 lead. Quarterback Matt Cassel was sacked on the play, and the team would have to later hold on and dodge a few Buffalo Bills bullets in the fourth quarter and overtime to eventually secure a 13-10 victory.

If Haley had just kicked the easy field goal, the Chiefs likely never would have had to go to overtime and nearly lose to the NFL’s only team without a win this season.

As it stands, Haley and his team are on a nice 5-2 run, a run that could change very quickly if Haley doesn’t curb his gambling ways before his luck takes a turn in the opposite direction.

Just like those original pioneers who ventured across Kansas and Nebraska, they all had to slow down and play it conservative at some point in their journey or face being devastated by the perils of a Midwestern thunderstorm or the wrath of raiders out on the frontier who could quickly put an end to all dreams of western glory.

Coach Haley’s team dodged a bullet on Sunday against the Bills, and now head to Oakland and Denver for the two most important games of their season to date, against two AFC West rivals. If Haley continues to gamble in these two games and pass up points like he did on Sunday, his team could find itself returning to Kansas City in three weeks without the division lead for the first time this season.

So here’s my plea…

”Coach Haley, put the dice away and take the Kenny Rogers cassette out of the tape deck this week against the Raiders. Chiefs fans would like to see two good old-fashioned, hard-fought AFC West victories this week and next, and we’ll all appreciate you that much more if you can get it done without relying upon lady luck to do so.”