Monday, September 12, 2011

chiefs! bills! the password is (fans voice) boooooooooo!

"We suck" -- text from Dusty at 3:53pm yesterday.
"Wow we are bad" -- text from my brother at 3:18pm yesterday.
"Depressing game" -- text from Damien at 2:36pm yesterday.
"I'm leaving. Someone should be fired over this abortion" -- text from me to Damien at 2:24pm yesterday.

And my favorite one of all:

"BOO" -- text from Dusty at 3:55pm yesterday. Apparently 70,000 plus there in person booing for four straight hours wasn't enough, DJ had to chime in from where he was. And you know what? You're damned right he was right to boo. If there is a hell, yesterday was definitely a game from the seventh layer of it ...


I am sure that, in my many years on this earth attending games inside the hallowed grounds of Arrowhead Stadium, that I have sat through worse games than yesterday's "effort" against the Bills.

And I know that, in my many years on this earth watching and rooting for the Red and Gold, that I have left the stadium angrier than I did yesterday.

But rarely have I left that stadium prior to the fourth quarter.

Yesterday, I walked out as the third quarter was drawing to a close, completely befuddled and confused as to what, exactly, the 2011 Chiefs are going to be.

Sadly, Matt Cassel was everything I believe him to be -- incompetent, inept, utterly incapable of elevating this team to the next level, to a championship contender. He was rattled early, confused often, and basically crapped his pants from the opening kickoff in front of the 70,000 plus fans in attendance. It was pathetic, it was embarrassing, it was ... like I said, it was everything I believe Matt Cassel to be -- a glorified version of Brodie Croyle, someone you cannot win a Super Bowl with*. If this is Scott Pioli's brilliant master-stroke, if our GM and head coach (more on Coach Asshat in a moment), if they truly believe Matt Cassel can lead this team to the promised land, then this experiment is going to end very badly a couple years from now.

(*: I am fully aware I'm the f*cking idiot who picked the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl with Matt Cassel under center. The lesson? I'm a f*cking idiot. What, this comes as a surprise?)

I honestly enter this recap with a weird feeling: complete acceptance with what played out yesterday. Yes, we lost 41-7 to a team that went 4-12 last year. Yes, we were outcoached, outplayed, out-everything'd right from the opening kickoff. Yes, our offensive "gameplan" was that epically awful. Yes, our defense completely fell apart when Eric Berry left with a knee injury. Yes, our special teams were that god awful. Yes, our kicker missed a very makeable field goal. Yes, when Coach Asshat said "the blame lies entirely on me", I nodded my head in total and complete agreement. That team that we saw yesterday? If that is who the 2011 Chiefs are, then Herm's last team is going to be remembered in fond terms, because if that team we saw yesterday is who the 2011 Chiefs are, we not only are going 0-16, we are going to get our ass beat every week on the road to 0-16. And I'm talking about a "HHH Memorial Sledge Hammer" type beating. It's gonna be bloody and ugly, if that team we saw yesterday, is who the 2011 Chiefs are.

Thankfully ... I do not believe the team we saw yesterday, is who this team is. Well, except for Matt Cassel, he's dead to me at this point. He could throw an 99 yard touchdown bomb to D Bowe, sprint up the stairs to my seat, and smack my sunburnt shoulders and back in celebration afterwards, and I'd still probably spit in his face*. No, I believe yesterday was the outlier, yesterday was the exception. I firmly believe the Chiefs team we will see in Detroit will not only be vastly improved over the version we saw yesterday, I believe the Chiefs will whip Detroit next Sunday. I think we are going to blow the Lions out of the building next week.

(*: I am the person who called Ed Hearn "that worthless son of a b*tch we traded David Cone for" to his face. I am NOT afraid to let people know exactly what I think of them when they're standing in front of me. Oh, and yes, my back and shoulders are ON FIRE right now. It literally hurts to wear a shirt, I am that sunburnt.)

Yes, I still believe in this team, in its potential, in its promise. I hope that the rest of you can join me in setting aside yesterday, in refusing to dwell on it, and focus on the task at hand: getting out of Detroit with a season-jump-starting victory that announces not just to us, but to the league, that the Chiefs are a force to be reckoned with.

And if you can't, well, at least enjoy the recap ...

* We left right around 6:30 for the game. Riding the bus yesterday were myself, Russ, Mona, Susan, Katie, Will, Jeff and Paula. I'm not sure if the cat that randomly walked into the pre-party and stuck around for most of the evening was on there or not, but he certainly was trying to hop on board most of Saturday night.

Also joining us yesterday were Anthony and Jamie, some other friends of theirs, and the neighbors, Joyce and Jerry. A solid 20 plus person tailgate. And I kept trying to recruit others to join us via text messaging. Yesterday was an absolutely PERFECT day for tailgating. Not a cloud in the sky, hot enough to ditch the t-shirt and work on the tan -- the only thing missing was Dusty kicking my ass eight ways from Sunday at washers, and it would have been a perfect day.

* We got to the gates around 6:50. Arrival means one thing: bloody mary time! And let me say this -- bacon flavored vodka ROCKS in a bloody mary. The only thing missing was a dill pickle, and I would have been in heaven. (In the interest of full disclosure, the best bloody mary I've ever had was at Cafe Grand Central, in south Milwaukee. It's called (appropriately enough) "The Milwaukeean". It's an extremely spicy and peppery bloody mary, and the garnishment is a massive dill pickle ... wrapped with bacon. It is BEYOND delicious. Oh, and they throw in a 12oz beer chaser with each Milwaukeean. Let me tell you -- drinking that thing, and then chasing it with Bell's Two Hearted Ale, is amongst the best things you will ever consume. God I love Milwaukee! If it wasn't so damned cold there six months a year, I'd totally pack up and move yesterday.)

* Sign yesterday was going to be epically awful number one: we left the flasks at home on purpose, thinking the security yesterday would be ridiculous. I honestly thought they'd have metal detectors yesterday. Security yesterday was a bigger joke than it usually is. It was KU Football-esque. You could have walked in with the entire damned bottle of Weller and been fine.

* Also missing yesterday? As noted come about 7:30am, our "good buddy", Justin Robinson from Channel 9. It simply isn't a pre-entry tailgate without that guy going from bus to van to car, mooching everything he can get his hands on*. I think we gave him at least $50 worth of food and beverage last year alone.

(*: hell yes, we pre-entry tailgate! Right down to hauling the speakers out. If you're gonna tailgate, you gotta do it right.)

* About 7:15am, the dudes with Anthony and Jamie decide to haul the football out and start flinging it around. I mention this ... because ANY of them would have been a tremendous improvement over Matt Cassel. I know you laugh when I drop the "let's just pluck a dude out of Lot G and line him up under center, he can't be worse than Brodie Croyle is" joke, but yesterday? It wasn't a joke. We literally could have plucked any random tailgater out of Lot G, lined him or her up under center, and been better because of it, Matt Cassel was that awful.

Well, ok, you wouldn't pluck me ... but anyone else in Lot G? Improvement over Matt Cassel.

* Riddle me this, Batman: why in the hell do you put port-a-potties out there, and lock them? Why? What in the hell is the purpose of adding three port-a-potties by our tailgating spot, if you can't use them? And spare me the "well, Stevo, those are for Royals games" bullsh*t argument. If a port-a-potty is out there, it should be open for public use, period. The county runs the damned parking lot, not the individual teams. Open the damned port-a-potties.

* Funniest moment of the pre-entry tailgate, part one: me editing the iPod play list. Since some folks in our group don't smile upon gratuitous use of the f bomb or the n bomb, I had to delete at least 30 songs off of there. I also tragically erred on the side of caution and deleted "Shots" by Lil' Jon and LMFAO under the "it's probably not a good idea to have "suck our c*cks" blaring out of the stereo" theory. I f*cked up on that one -- it's going back on there for the Vikings game in three weeks. I mean, we do tailgate in Lot G, after all.

* Funniest moment of the pre-entry tailgate, part two: Larry and Carl opened the gates themselves. They just walked up, and swung the thing open, to get their cars through. We did the math -- even assuming you include a $20 with the proven "dozen donuts" bribe ... it's still cheaper to do that, than actually pay for parking. Let's hear it for the Jackson County Sports Commission everyone!!! Shamelessly ripping off the public since 1960 something.

* Funniest moment of the pre-entry tailgate, part three: some Iowa State students were handing out trash bags for recycling your empty cans and plastic bottles. I think it was a fundraiser of some kind. Anyways, I'm walking back from talking with Larry and Carl, and these two ISU chicks (both very attractive, by the way) come up to me and go, "hey, you guys think you can fill up this bag (with recyclables) today?" Uuh, yes, yes we can.

And yes, yes we did. When you plow through enough liquid courage that you're filling a 30 gallon trash bag with nothing but beer cans and bottles, you KNOW it's a good day.

* I sent "the kids" down to save our parking spot. I am officially retiring from saving parking spots. I've been heading in early for 15 damned years to mark our territory. Let someone else do it. Especially once the weather turns cold. I'm too old to sit out in 15 degree temperatures just to save a parking spot.

* No Glen this year. We got a new parking nazi; I didn't even get his name. He was maybe 23, 24 years old. I walk up, introduce myself, ask him if he wants anything, and let him know there's a few folks coming through to park in the grass that don't have the Red Lot Reserved parking passes. Glen? Took absolute advantage of our "generosity" (aka bribe) for letting a few illegals park in Lot G. This dude? Cared so little about his job, that he didn't even ask for a bribe. For the first time in my life, I truly am concerned for the future of this nation.

* We had everything set up and ready to go by 8:45am. At this point, I was fired up and ready for some washers! Only ... I didn't bring the washer set, and my usual washers opponent wasn't there. So I sent a "tailgating just ain't the same without you champ" text to DJ ... and not even 30 seconds later, I get a "aww, that was sweet!" text back from his better half.

Color me surprised -- I didn't think there was a shot in hell either one of them would be up by 9am.

* The menu yesterday was buffalo wings, leftovers from Saturday night's pre-party, and lots of booze. The buffalo wings were amazing. They were just about the size of Buffalo, and nice and spicy.

* Not much else to report on from pregame tailgating. It took a while, but eventually, our good buddy Castro showed up! If you had "visibly intoxicated, shirt completely unbuttoned, and carrying multiple bottles of tequila in a Bud Light box" as how he'd show up, congratulations, you would have won! The only other interaction I had with his crew was about an hour earlier, when they had cranked up their stereo so loud, that we couldn't hear our music. So, being the diplomatic sort, I walked over and asked them to "turn it down a couple decibels". I was told to "get a better speaker!" Well then. From the "proof there might be a God" department, they then blasted their annoying horn as I walked back to our tailgate. The horn blew out their speakers. They had no music the rest of the day. Karma, it is a b*tch, guys.

* The coolest thing early on? Lot G was filled up back to our tailgating spot by 9:30am. Arrowhead Nation was ready yesterday. Too bad Coach Asshat, his offensive coordinator, and his worthless quarterback weren't.

* Bad idea of the day: we didn't pack any whipped cream shots. Maybe that's why we lost. (Nah, we lost because the offensive gameplan was likely designed on a shot glass napkin over a couple stiff bourbon and waters.)

* I thought the pregame stuff was fine. As Kevin Garnett once noted, "tastefully done". I loved the Anthem -- a massive field-sized American flag, no introduction of the performer, David Cook just launched into singing the song. I was somewhat disappointed that "home of the Chiefs!"* was very audible, but hell, we're Kansas Citians, it's how we roll.

(*: saying "Chiefs" does not bother me at all, but I felt that yesterday, the Anthem should have been sung as Francis Scott Key wrote it. On the other hand, I thought the NFL shouldn't have been playing at all yesterday, so I'm probably a poor judge on the subject of "Chiefs" or "brave").

* And noone was more shocked than me when I didn't boo either flyover yesterday. Although my dislike of flyovers is still noted. Saturday, I went up to the Team Store at Arrowhead to look for a t-shirt for the season, and leaving, they were rehearsing for the flyover, because out of nowhere three fighter jets come flying over the parking lot. I damned near crapped my pants worse than Matt Cassel did yesterday. Those things are intimidating as hell.

* OK, let's get into this, and I don't intend to spend a ton of time talking about the game itself because, quite honestly, nobody sits around and discusses that one time when they visited the Planned Parenthood. It's an unpleasant conversation about an unpleasant topic. Ditto talking about what I paid to "witness" yesterday -- it was an unpleasant day inside that stadium that felt every bit as ugly as it looked.

Let's start with the ugliest of the ugly: Chiefs "quarterback" Matt Cassel. To say I wanted to rush the field with a 2x4 and beat Cassel to a bloody pulp, is an understatement. Look it, my disgust of Matt Cassel is fairly well known. I do NOT believe he is a good quarterback. He's not even average. He's a below average player who, at best, should be a career backup, but for some reason, the geniuses running the Chiefs not only believe he is a potential franchise savior, they're paying him $10 million / year to do his thing. (Here's a hint guys: HE'S NOT!)

Here is Cassel on 3rd down yesterday, and warning: you probably want something very stiff to drink, or very herby to smoke, or very powdery to snort, when reading this list ...

* 3rd and 6: Cassel sacked for a loss of 2. Already down 7-0, not a good start.
* 3rd and 7: Cassel throws complete to Charles for a 6 yard loss. This play was worse in person than it looks in print.
* 3rd and 4: Cassel incomplete to Dwayne Bowe. He wasn't within 10 yards of D Bowe on the attempt.
* 3rd and 4: Cassel complete to Jake O'Connell for 15. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
* 3rd and 8: Cassel sacked for a loss of 11. Chiefs missed the ensuing field goal attempt.
* 3rd and 8: Cassel complete to Charles for 9 yards. Got our only scoring drive underway.
* 3rd and 6: Cassel complete to Charles for a touchdown of 6 yards. Our only score of the day.
* 3rd and 16: Cassel incomplete to Dwayne Bowe. I almost walked out at this point early in the 3rd quarter.
* 3rd and 8: Cassel incomplete to Dwayne Bowe. I did walk out after this play.
* 3rd and 11: Cassel complete to Charles for 6 yards. Bills penalty gave us a 1st down ... when Cassel promptly threw an interception.
* 3rd and 5: Cassel incomplete to Jerheme Urban. I was three Gatorade and vodka's deep during postgame tailgating at this point.
* 3rd and 6: Cassel incomplete to Dwayne Bowe. Wouldn't have mattered -- Asomoah was flagged for holding.
* 3rd and 6: Cassel incomplete to Leonard Pope. Enter Dusty C. Exit every remaining fan.

Go ahead, reread the list if you need to. (Data source: Play-by-Play recap). Is THAT a performance a "franchise quarterback" submits? Or is that a "performance" that Brodie Croyle submits?

I'm not going to blame it all on Matt Cassel, however. Bill Muir, take a bow sir, if only so that I can slap a 2x4 across your face, and nail your ass on the backswing. That gameplan yesterday was inexcusable. Someone should be fired over that gameplan. If that's what we have to look forward to for the rest of this season, we are more f*cked than a 20 year veteran of the adult entertainment industry.

I mean, I have the offensive vision of Dr. Tom when playing Madden or NCAA Football (insert year here). I've never met a running play I didn't like, I've never met a 5 yard out pattern I didn't want to call. I am more conservative than Rush Limbaugh when it comes to how I run my offense. But not even I devise a gameplan that inspires 70,000 plus people to question whether or not I arrived to work on a short bus. Yesterday? That game plan? Without question, the people who devised it not only ride the damned short bus, they're the reason the short bus exists. That was mental retardation on an epic scale, fully displayed to everyone in a national forum. I was embarrassed for the Chiefs yesterday. An awful football team rolled into this stadium and beat us like a f*cking government mule. And then they stole our 40 acres to boot! Embarrassing is not too strong a word to describe the efforts of the offense yesterday. If anything, it's too polite.

Thankfully, I didn't listen to the postgame, although I've read enough from it to get a general idea of how it went. And let me say this -- Todd Haley is an asshat. Of COURSE that loss is on you coach! What's galling is that you feel the need to state the obvious! This team has taken the turf at Arrowhead for it's last three games that count. Three straight home games, three straight woodshed beatings. The raiders rolled in here last January and b*tch slapped us. The Ravens, in the words of the great Jim Barnes, "used us as their own personal urinal", they whizzed all over the Red and Gold en route to sending us to our seventh consecutive postseason defeat (a NFL record, by the way).

Yesterday? The Bills slapped us around so hard and so brutally that Ike Turner was outraged. Like I noted last night on Facebook, you don't panic until you're 0-4. Only one NFL team has ever recovered from 0-4 to reach the playoffs (the 1992 Chargers, and go figure, they whipped our ass in the wildcard round*). No NFL team has ever recovered from worse than 0-4 to get there (although the 2001 Redskins came damned close). One loss does not a season destroy, unless it eliminates you from championship contention. But man, if yesterday was a sign of things to come, start checking the parachutes and make sure there's a couple cars with the engines running, gas tanks filled to the top, ready to make a quick getaway.

(*: that loss occurred on my 16th birthday. We lost to denver in the divisional round on my 21st birthday. We got pole-axed in the wildcard round at Indy right after I turned 30. I am FRIGHTENED for what lies in store a little over 5 years from now, when the "3" in my age changes to a "4".)

* Chiefs win the toss, and DMC immediately fumbles the kickoff. Bills recover, and score five plays later. That didn't concern me -- sh*t happens on kickoffs, and if a team takes over at your 26, you'd expect them to score. What did concern me, and still has me worried over 24 hours later, is that Eric Berry left the game after one of the cheapest, low-brow takeouts you'll ever see. Stevie Johnson had better be heavily fined AND suspended at least one game over his takeout. He dove right for Berry's knees. It was ridiculous. Again, fine AND suspension should be in order for that assmunch. (Which means he'll get off suffering neither punishment).

There's still no word on how long Berry will be out, but holy God, is one player THAT vital to our secondary? Apparently the answer is a resounding "YES!", because our secondary after that play was getting lit like a dugout during tailgating.

(Update: multiple media outlets are reporting Eric Berry is out for the season with a torn ACL. It's definitely time to start prepping the parachutes and verifying an escape route ...)

* Already down 7-0, the Chiefs gain one first down on a sweet pass to Leonard Pope, before punting. As angry as the gameplan yesterday made me, and I was extremely upset, I liked how we used the tight end position yesterday. Rather than go away from it because of Moeaki's injury, we're attacking with his replacements. Leonard Pope and Jake O'Connell will never be appearing in a Pro Bowl, but they're two serviceable dudes who catch and hang on to the football. Tight end can still be a big part of the offense, even without Moeaki.

* Reading the play-by-play, I now totally understand why it took a damned hour to play the first quarter. Lots of punts. LOTS of punts.

* Funniest fan out there yesterday? The Bills fan sitting two rows in front of me had a gigantic chicken wing on his head, like the Packers fans have their cheeseheads. I found that to be funny. Then again, when you're getting blown out at home by a 4-12 team, you'll find just about anything funny if it helps you avoid reality.

* I know this will sound ridiculous, but I honestly did believe the Chiefs would rally and win yesterday. When we got to the half, my entire thought process was that we'd go in, make some adjustments, and come out and take control of the game.

I could not have been more wrong. If anything, we were worse after the half, than we were before it.

* After witnessing more ineptitude and pathetic football through most of the 3rd quarter, I was done. I left after Buffalo scored to go ahead 34-7. I grabbed my t-shirt, said my goodbyes to Chris and Ray, exchanged "this is f*cking ridiculous" head shakes with Justin (our tailgating neighbor), and headed for the exits. I wasn't angry, I wasn't irate, I was just ready to leave.

* Fittingest moment of the day: on the walk back to the bus, the stadium PA dude could be overheard saying "Cassel's pass was intercepted by ..." More "this is f*cking ridiculous" headshakes.

* After two and a half hours watching the team I love get its ass whipped, what to do? Pound the vodka. Hard. The Gatorade flavors yesterday were lemon-lime and grape. I had multiple fans of the lemon-lime vodka concoction.

* A day like yesterday, you have to sit outside and enjoy it. As I noted on the walk in to Katie, "this is the best weather game we've had since before I knew you". Uuh, yes, it really has been three freaking years since it was a nice, humid, sunny day at that stadium from start to finish. At least for a regular season game -- as already noted, I refuse to attend preseason unless (a) I have literally nothing else to do, and (b) it is a weather day exactly like yesterday. And (a) doesn't happen very often, I can almost always find something better to do than attend a preseason game.

Normally when we get embarrassed like that, I'm ready to bolt as soon as possible, but I cannot stress how nice outside it was yesterday. I had no interest in being anywhere other than out in the sun, and everyone agreed with me. So we hauled out the speakers, fired up the iPod, made some libations, and got our party on.

* We were back at the bus barn by 3:30pm. I do not believe, save for the Chargers debacle in 2009, we have ever gotten home that quickly. Rather than head home, I decided to try to sober up a bit (smart thinking). We hauled the TV out, and eventually, come 6ish, I noted "hey, my favorite NCIS episode is on next on USA!" So hell yes, those of us still there stuck around for another hour to plow through "Heartland".

Finally, about 7pm, it was time to close the day down. Except one last funny moment occurred. Sarah, one of our pool friends (she's 10) called up Russ to make fun of the Cowboys (which is his team). We missed hearing the phone at first, but you couldn't mistake the voice and what it was saying.

J! E! T! S! Jets Jets Jets!

* I made it home, had a couple more cocktails, started to work on this recap ... and passed out around 9:30. To add insult to injury, the drive in this morning was horrendous -- there was a massive wreck on 435. It took me nearly an hour to get to work. Usually it takes me 20 minutes at most. Anyways, I didn't wind up arriving until almost 9am, which prompted this exchange:

(stevo) good morning!
(stevo's boss) wow, I lost that bet.
(stevo) what bet?
(stevo's boss) I bet Heather you'd call in drunk this morning.
(stevo) really?
(stevo's boss) well yeah! You have called in three straight days before after the Chiefs lost!*
(stevo) (has no comeback)
(stevo's boss) I figured you drank yourself into a coma after yesterday's game!
(my coworkers) (all laughing)
(stevo) wow, am I really that predictable?
(my coworkers) (now really laughing)

The lesson? Figures -- I could have gotten away with drunk dialing in sick. (florida evans voice) Damn, damn, damn!

(*: after we lost at home to denver in 2002, when the "32 Defense" blew a 14 point lead with 5 minutes to go, I literally stayed home and drank for three straight days. You think YOU take Chiefs losses hard? I got the market cornered on "overreacting to one game", pal.)

* So to close this thing down, don't panic. That's the message this morning. Don't panic. Yes, that was a horrendous game yesterday. Not one thing went right. We fumbled the opening kickoff. The secondary got lit like a roach. The offensive gameplan was seemingly designed by writing in crayons on the back of the kid's plate at a Denny's. The offensive line, holy Lord. If they play like that next week, Matt Cassel is going to get killed. Not metaphorically, I mean literally killed, when Ndamakung Suh lands on him in the fourth step of a seven step drop.

And don't even get me started on the awful, absolutely awful, play of Matt Cassel.

Actually, do get me started on that, please. (everyone looking at each other with a "someone get him started, I wanna see what he's going to say" look ...) OK, fine, twist my arm.

Matt Cassel stunk up the joint yesterday. This is now three consecutive home games where something big was on the line -- against the raiders, we were still alive for a first round bye. The Ravens was a playoff game. Yesterday was Opening Day, and as last year proved, a win there can be the launching pad to a great season.

Here is Cassel's statistics from each of those three contests:

* vs raiders: 11/33, 115 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT, 19.1 QB rating. raiders 31, Chiefs 10.
* vs Ravens: 9/18, 70 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT, 20.4 QB rating. Ravens 30, Chiefs 7.
* vs Bills: 22/36, 119 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 64.5 QB rating. Bills 41, Chiefs 7.
Average: 14/29, 101 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT, 34.6 QB rating. Chiefs 0-3.

As Shakespeare once wrote, "something is rotten in Denmark", and that something in this case is Matt Cassel. Matthew, buddy, man up. Those stats are PATHETIC! A 34.6 QB rating over your last three games that count? That's awful! 72.4 -- that is Kordell Stewart's career QB rating, or the "Kordoza Line" as the folks at PFT call it. Matt, champ, even if you doubled that QB rating ... you STILL wouldn't top 72.4!

Now, I will grant you, not even Tom Brady could have done anything with that offensive gameplan yesterday. (I mean it -- I want visual proof that Bill Muir's playcall sheet wasn't a coloring book.) But for crying out loud dude -- we're paying you to be a difference maker! And godd*mmit, you ARE making a difference -- for the other team! Stats don't lie Matty, and God don't like ugly. Your stats are Ratty from "My Night of Infamy" ugly man! No NFL team can win with a quarterback who craps his pants on the field. Matty, dude, you not only are doing the crapping, nobody's sparing you a square to clean up with.

If this season is to be salvaged, it is time for Matt Cassel to step up and play like a decent quarterback. He doesn't have to be great for this team to win -- the running game and (usually) the defense is strong enough to overcome his mistakes ... provided he's not making a mistake every time he drops back to pass.

I've read that Cassel and Jim Zorn nearly threw down yesterday, their verbal confrontation over the playcalling was that intense. Good! We need more of that! Except going forward, when you are given a gameplan like the Big Chief tablet yesterday's was doodled on, overrule the gameplan! It's called an "audible", Matt. Use it!

If this season is to be salvaged, Matt Cassel HAS to step up and deliver. I get that he's playing hurt. LOTS of NFL players play hurt. And if his injuries are so severe that they are impacting his play, he needs to sit his ass on the bench and give someone else a shot.

I refuse to give up on this season yet. I believe the Chiefs will fight back, will overcome this debacle, and rally with a gut-check victory at Detroit this week. I genuinely do believe that. This season is NOT over. It was one game. Granted, an AWFUL game, but it was a start. It was not a finish.

Every time last season that this team, and this quarterback especially, faced a moment of truth, they came through:

* week 1 against the Chargers: held on the goalline to jump-start the season.
* week 6 against the Jaguars: coming off two straight losses, the Chiefs blow out the Jags, capped by DJ's TaINT.
* week 11 against the Cardinals: coming off two straight losses, the latter of which was an epic beatdown, the Chiefs blow out the woeful Cardinals, then ride that momentum to a huge victory in Seattle.
* week 15 against the Rams: coming off the worst game of the season, the Chiefs go across the state, with a QB less than ten days removed from emergency surgery, and beat the Rams, ensuring they controlled their own destiny in the AFC West.

Now? It's another "Moment of Truth", uuh, moment. Two consecutive road games, both against teams many experts are predicting to make the playoffs. I believe the Chiefs CAN win both of these contests. But they won't win either if they play like they did yesterday. It's gut-check time once again. If this team is half as good as I believe they are, they'll answer the bell.

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the third thursday thirteen ...

"So you're dancing on the ocean -- Running fast, along the sand. A spirit born, of earth and water -- Fire flying from your hand...