As a thirty five year-old male, the Kansas City Chiefs have endured periods of transition during my lifetime, and I fully expect them to rebound from their recent struggles in the near future.
From the year I was born in 1973, until 1986, the Chiefs enjoyed only two winning seasons.
Mediocrity continued until the arrival of Martyball to Arrowhead in 1989. In a ten year stretch through 1999, the Chiefs compiled a record of 101-58-1 and made the playoffs seven times.
Gunther Cunningham followed Marty Schottenheimer and compiled a .500 record in two seasons at the helm for the Chiefs before giving way to Dick Vermeil in 2001.
Vermeil broke the mold of the Chiefs' tradition of the '90's by winging the ball around and relying on a premiere offensive line and solid ground game. Defense was optional. Vermeil recorded forty four wins vs. thirty six losses in five seasons with the Chiefs.
Herm Edwards inherited a playoff caliber, though rapidly aging team, in 2006 and struggled to a 15-33 record in three seasons.
For 2009, enter new GM Scott Pioli, head coach Todd Haley, and numerous coaching and personnel changes.
What will we produce over the next ten years? Only time will tell.
For the last two decades, the Chiefs have enjoyed solid leaders and players who could truly be pegged as the "face of the franchise."
Derrick Thomas, Joe Montana, Marcus Allen, Priest Holmes, Tony Gonzalez and others have all shouldered the load of being the recognizable faces of a proud franchise.
However, the Chiefs' most recognizable figure of recent significance, both on the field and in the community, now resides in Atlanta.
Who will be the face of the franchise for the next generation of Kansas City Chiefs?
Is it Dwayne Bowe, Matt Cassel, or Jamaal Charles? Will the defense resurrect itself and be led by Derrick Johnson, Glenn Dorsey, Tyson Jackson, or Brandon Flowers?
Someone needs to step up and identify themselves as this team's leader. Whomever that shall be, I pray they will do as good of a job as those in the past and lead us back to glory.