Kansas City Chiefs 1995 Season: Why I Still Need to Bleach My Brain

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Kansas City Chiefs 1995 Season: Why I Still Need to Bleach My Brain
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Derrick Thomas

The 1995 Kansas City Chiefs were arguably the best squad Kansas City has fielded since they won the Super Bowl in 1970.

They finished with a record of 13-3 and the No. 1 defense in the NFL.  Even more remarkable, this is a team that was led by quarterback Steve Bono.

I can still picture Bono's bootleg run against the Arizona Cardinals.  It was so improbable and hysterical. I think he crossed the goal line last Tuesday.

Led by defensive stalwarts Derrick Thomas, Neil Smith and Dan Saleaumua, the Chiefs gave up a league-low 241 points on the year—about what this year's team gave up in the first two games.  That's approximately 15 points a game.

Their average offense and stellar defense led them to the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

One of the reasons this was one of my most painful Chiefs memories had to do with my own set of personal circumstance surrounding the playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts.

I was in Disney World in Orlando, Florida, to run the Disney Marathon. Even though I was away, I had it all set up. The race started at 6:00 a.m., which is a very unusual time for a race to start.  The folks at Disney World made it clear they wanted us out so they could get paying customers in.

On a side note, this was the inaugural Disney Marathon.  They did not realize what takes place before and during this type of race.

Though it was a small race (approximately 6,000 runners), we all drank a lot of water prior to the race.  We also wore "throw-away" cloths before the race.  It is cold, even in Florida, at such an early time. 

Therefore, everyone wears sweatshirts, gloves, etc., which they throw away right as the race starts.  That is a lot of clothes strewn all over Disney World.

Additionally, the organizers did not realize how many portable toilets 6,000 nervous, over-hydrated runners would need. Marathon runner are a very uninhibited group.  One does what one needs to do, before, during and after the race.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse were not prepared for any of this, and needless to say, they have adjusted as the year have passed.

I ran a very good race and was back in my hotel feeling good.  Part of the reason for my good race and good feeling was the anticipation of the Chiefs, in just a couple of hours, destroying the Colts.  The first step to the Super Bowl.

I had just enough time to shower, order massive amounts of food from room service and spread it all over the bed. 

My wife, wanting nothing to do with a football game, made plans to go somewhere. I was alone in my bliss.

To illustrate just how much she wanted nothing to do with football, I once brow-beat her into going to Arrowhead with me for a game. Being the loving, supportive wife she was, early in the game she jumped up, screaming and yelling for a good play.  I said, "Susanne, when you see the 78,000 people dressed in red jump up, that's when you jump up and cheer."

Returning to the Chiefs-Colts playoff matchup—we all know what followed, I assume.

Lin Elliott, the Chiefs placekicker, missed field goals like a blind-folded four-year-old trying to hit a piñata.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Neil Smith

Jim Harbaugh, the Colts quarterback, completed only 12 passes for 102 yards.  The Colts fumbled four times. They gained a total of 248 yards for the game.

They won, 10-7.

Steve Bono finally caught up to the Chiefs.  He only completed 11 passes for 122 yards and threw three interceptions.

I'm not sure how long I sat there with that stupid look on my face.  I think when my wife returned, she thought I was in a coma.

The next day my wife dragged me on some stupid Disney boat thing.  I just wanted to stay in the room and cry. It was a small boat, and I noticed the other six people on it were very big.  They had big video cameras and were having a good time.  I was not.

We ended up in a conversation, and it turned out they were all players on the Jacksonville Jaguars.  I told them my story, briefly. They said they were shocked at the game.  They told me the consensus among the NFL players was that the Chiefs were going to win the Super Bowl.

Somehow, this didn't make me feel any better.

It appeared, however, that redemption would come in 1997.

That horror story is a brain scrubbing for another day.

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