“Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their mind, wake in the day to find that all was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible.” -- Sir Lawrence Olivier.
Let’s play a little game, shall we?
I’m going to provide statistics for you. QB statistics. These are from actual games* played by the Chiefs. And I want to see if you can identify what game(s) I’m talking about.
(*: source: nfl.com/schedules)
Game 1: 6/8, 25 yds, 0 TD, 0 INT, L 10-20
Game 2: 14/19, 125 yds, 1 TD, 0 INT, L 15-20
Game 3: 14/23, 85 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT, L 17-20.
Game 4: 4/9, 58 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT, W 17-13.
Overall: 38/59, 293 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT, 1-3 record.
Now, I think any reasonable person can look at the stats this QB put up, and reasonably conclude “well hell, they were lucky to win game 4!” That’s certainly what I would think. Three outright pitiful performance and one “average” effort.
This stretch of four games? The QB behind these god-awful crappy statistics?
Matt Cassel, 2010 preseason.
Anyone reading this that is still panicked, upset, scared, frightened, or ready to abandon a season that hasn’t seen one second of football that counts played yet, re-look at those stats. That was Matt Cassel in preseason LAST YEAR!
Cassel’s regular season statistics? 262/450 (58%), 3116 yds, 27 TD, 7 INT, 10-6 record, AFC West Champions.
Do I need to keep going? Or do you now get it, that the preseason doesn’t matter one damned bit! The ONLY thing the preseason is good for is (a) seeing how young players react in game situations, and (b) uum … hang on … oh, on really perfect weather days? Like, say, 90 and sunny on a Saturday afternoon for a 7:30 kickoff? You can get one helluva tan during tailgating.
That’s it. Preseason football is so god awful, so utterly unimportant, that I haven’t attended a preseason game in three years. I’ve been to one in the last four years, and the ONLY reason I showed up for the Houston scrimmage in 2009 was because it was Grigsby Reunion Day for tailgating.
Now, to be fair, I had legitimate reasons for missing all these games:
2008: skipped Cardinals game due to monsoon like conditions.
2008: skipped Rams game for President Obama’s acceptance speech at DNC.
2009: went for Texans game, sat through monsoon for a half.
2009: skipped Seahawks game for float trip.
2010: skipped Eagles game for float trip*.
2010: skipped Packers game because it was raining.
2011: skipped Bucs game for float trip.
2011: skipped Rams game for concert.
(*: I also had a backup plan – my sister in law was due to give birth that weekend. Thankfully she held off until Sunday. But either way, I wasn’t showing up.)
And why do I point this out? Because it’s me! I’m that guy who basically raised two middle fingers to his mom last December when putting the Titans game ahead of the family Christmas dinner. I came home from college (a solid 8 hour drive) a lot to see the Chiefs play. I schedule my PTO around the Chiefs schedule. Hell, read any typical Chiefs post on this blog – other than Gregg, I’m the biggest Chiefaholic you will ever meet!
So read the list. I am intentionally SCHEDULING events and activities to attend, to avoid going to preseason games I have already paid $84 for! That is how utterly meaningless preseason football is!
And yet, panic is beginning to set in because (gasp!) the Chiefs “aren’t taking the preseason seriously”. Well hells bells, if the biggest Chiefaholic with a blog thinks the whole thing is so meaningless that he eats $170 / year (and I’m not exactly “independently wealthy”), why should the professionals take it seriously? Todd Haley has the absolute right attitude when it comes to preseason – see what the kids can do, and for the love of God, don’t get any key contributors hurt.
So here’s the plea. DO NOT PANIC! The Chiefs are exactly who I believe they are. A damned talented football team, the defending divisional champions, and ready to take the next step and enter the Pantheon of Great Dynasties. Frankly, I hope Coach Haley leaves every player that’s guaranteed to make the roster at home Thursday night. Don’t even let them out of their hotel rooms – no sense risking someone tripping over a chain or a headset cord on the sidelines and blowing out a knee.
Come Sunday, September 11th, the Chiefs will put all your fears, worries, and concerns to rest. They will obliterate the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead that afternoon. It will be a “perfect Steve day” – in the low 90s, not a cloud in the sky, and I’ll be doing what I do best by 8:30am – sit in the sun, t-shirt nowhere to be found, getting my drink on. And come 4pm, you’ll be laughing that you ever doubted this team, this coaching staff, this quarterback, after the first comfortable, laughable opening day win since 2005.
Part of being a fan, I get it, is being concerned over the unknown. Is overreacting to what you see. And I’ll be the first to agree with you – Matt Cassel has looked awful, absolutely awful, out there so far this preseason.
And yet, all I can say in response, in the words of “The Voice of Reason*”, (shouting it) ITS PRESEASON! Exactly. The Chiefs will be fine. The Super Bowl Express is gassed up, the coolers are loaded with vodka, shiraz, and Bud(weiser) and bud(not weiser), so hop on board. This is OUR season we have waited a lifetime for. Don’t let some dumb f*ck talk show host derail your hopes because of a meaningless scrimmage. Look at the roster. Look at the talent. Pop in the DVDs of last year’s games, or pull up the awesome site kcchiefsgames.com and rewatch last season’s games. Your eyes don’t lie.
Believe in this team. Do NOT let a couple meaningless scrimmages alter your opinion of what is in front of you! Dare to dream!