I am beginning typing this at about 6pm. It was right about that time, two years ago tonight, that our tailgating group took top honors at the Thanksgiving Night game against denver.
That night, anything seemed possible. A flawed, beat up, horrendously managed team won 19-10 to get to 7-4, in control of its own playoff destiny. The celebration that night was amazing. (Its in a "classic" recap posted in July).
Since that night ... the Chiefs are 7-25. They have lost 19 of 20, after today. We've started 5 different guys, and played 7, at quarterback. Our franchise running back is likely gone after the season. Our fanbase is so disgusted that it is avoiding the product in record numbers. And we can definitely say that a defense that held the vaunted donkeys rushing game to 38 yards that night, is in utter ruin.
On the bright side ... at least the other team I follow religiously looks good at this point. (fireman ed voice) J E T S Jets Jets Jets!
Here we go ...
* The "core group" today was down to 4. So we made the decision last night that we weren't hauling the tailgating vehicles out, we weren't getting up at the ass crack of dawn, we'd all arrive at Russ and Mona's by 9:30 and just tailgate. Solid decision.
* The sandwiches were delicious. The bloody mary's were delicious. And it was nice to avoid the awkwardness that all the cracks in the current group have created. To say nothing of meeting some new folks. Kind of a Royals Sunday tailgate atmosphere, only at a Chiefs game. Good friends, having a good time, over some good food and booze. I liked it.
* Headed down to the Grigsby's tailgate about 10:45. Had a lovely 30 plus minute stay. Its always good to see good people doing, uuh, good. Which most everyone down there appears to be.
* Got to the seat about 11:30. I opted not to drink during the game today, save for the flask. Mainly because I'm sick of giving this franchise even $0.01 more than they deserve of my money, let alone $10 for the Labatt Blue 24oz.
* KC Wolf's sketch was actually kind of funny for the second week in a row. This week's was a James Bond ripoff. The "magically appearing ATV" trick was actually laugh out loud funny. At least to me. I love the "conveniently and strategically placed ATV" that Wolf finds every week to aid him in his revenge quest.
* Every frigging regular person in 131 / 132 was there today. It was unbelievable. Every single one, save for Gary and his wife (they were there; they just used their other tickets today, ran into him in the bathroom line). I only note this, because you have to figure this might be the final time that opening statement can be said.
* Hootie! Hootie! OK, just Darius Rucker, performing the National Anthem, but man was I fired up.
* I was pleasantly surprised at the attendance today. I guessed 35,000 would show up in my picks. I'm guessing it was close to 60,000. The lower bowl was filled. The club level wasn't shabby. Even the upper deck was pretty populated in the decent seats. To show up in decent numbers to watch a 1-9 squad that's lost 18 of its last 19, is impressive.
* Bills won the toss, and deferred. I don't understand why every team doesn't do that. Of course, I've never understood why you'd want to play defense first, I'd always want to send my offense out and put the opposition on notice that we're shoving it down your throat today, so get your gag reflex ready. But that's probably just me.
* Speaking of get the gag reflex ready, our first drive everyone! Charles cut to reach the end zone was sweet. It was the first time we had scored a touchdown on our opening drive this year. That is ... Jesus, that is horrendous.
* The Bills response? A beautiful drive that ends with a 4th and one plunge into the end zone. They had runs on that drive of 11, 13, 14, and 15 yards. You just have to admire that.
* The Bills scored on 9 of their first 10 possessions: 5 TDs and 4 FGs. They also had the TAINT to add 7 to their total. Call me crazy, but when you can't stop the other team, and they're scoring with their defense, you're in trouble pal.
* Another awful Chiefs stat, courtesy Mitch and Len: the Bills converted a 3rd and 7 on their second drive, that ended in a field goal to go up 10-7. After that conversion, the Chiefs had faced 3rd and 7 or 8 15 times this season. The opposition had convered 11 of those 15 times. Again, call me crazy, but when 3rd and long is easily makeable against you, you're probably 1-9.
* LJ's long run! That helped the fantasy team. Although you watch, I guarantee you his getting tackled at the 2, and not scoring, is going to somehow cost me my playoff game against Anthony when our two week battle is done next week.
* Awesome bootleg by Thigpen, to Gonzalez, for the touchdown.
Now that we're hitting the point the Chiefs opted to no longer give a sh*t, I'll do the same, and go rapid style and end this. That, and the Colts / Chargers are getting ready to kick off, huge game tonight in my never ending quest to see denver miss the postseason:
* Thigpen needs to learn how to throw a slant.
* Bills QB Trent Edwards is really good at play action.
* If Thigpen hadn't thrown pick number two before the half, the Bills utter incompetence at clock management could have really aided us. (They ran out of bounds on 2nd down, then had to burn a timeout after 3rd down because a gimpy player couldn't get off the field. If neither event occurs, they kick the FG with about :20 on the clock, instead of 1:36).
* Edwards TD run right before the half is arguably the single worst play run against us this year. Someone should be sh*t canned for that.
* The halftime show was horrendous. Absolutely horrendous.
* Blatant hold in the end zone on Edwards' second TD. Walker just mauled Jarrad Page at the goalline to spring Edwards for the six. Not called, despite side judge and referee Leavy being right there to see it.
* Nice of the sun to make an appearance after the half. It was a little chilly with the cloud cover. And yes ... I was in shorts.
* Stat courtesy of kansascity.com: of the 16 NFL head coaches with at least 75 career games as head coach in the league, guess who has the worst winning percentage of any of them? Herm Edwards, at .420 and falling after today. When you're worse than Norv Turner, its probably time to make a change. Beginning with the man who not only hired you, but gave away a 4th round pick that turned into Leon Washington to bring you to town.
* I left after the Bills went up 47-27. I couldn't take it anymore. If the team I love doesn't care enough to man up and play some defense, why the hell should I stick around and watch.
* The Chiefs have 6 sacks as a team. 19 individual players have at least 6 sacks. Can someone explain to me why Tim Crumrie has a job?
* Speaking of horrendous coaches, my God, Mike Priefer everyone! If this isn't the worst special teams unit in franchise history, I cringe to think of what's worse. Twice in this game, we had returners crash into each other because neither one called the other off. We had three muffed kickoffs. We had Mike Cox dive to field a ball in front of a returner. The punting game today was horrendous. At least Connor Barth hit his field goal attempt, a tough 45 yarder with the swirling wind conditions.
* I guess, in the end, that you have to view this objectively. This is just another defeat in a long line of them, another setback in a season full of them.
But today ... I don't know. Today felt different. I honestly don't feel angry, or upset. I really don't feel the need to drink this one away, even though I probably will. I'm not frustrated, or punching counters, or even taking a walk to vent.
Today was just another game. Nothing special, nothing to get emotionally attached to, just another Chiefs football game. Nothing more, nothing less.
I don't know whether that's a good thing, or a bad thing ... but I know I don't like it ...