Thursday, September 29, 2011

week four: do or die

"There ain't a corner of this hallowed ground,
That we ain't laughed or cried on,
It's where we loved, and lived and learned,
Real life stuff -- it's everything we're made of.

It sure left it's mark on us,
And we sure left our mark on it.
Let the world know we were here,
With everything that we did.
We laid a lot of memories down,
Like tattoos on this town ..."

"Tattoos on this Town" by Jason Aldean.

-------------------------

Last Week ATS: 12-4-0.
Season to Date ATS: 24-22-2.

Last Week SU: 9-7-0.
Season to Date ATS: 25-23-0.

Last Week Upset / Week: accomplished it's purpose!
Season to Date Upset / Week ATS: 2-1-0.
Season to Date Upset / Week SU: 0-3-0.
This Week's Upset / Week: Seahawks (+4) over Falcons.

The Irrelevant Prognostications:

* at Bears 24, Panthers (+6 1/2) 21. A virtual must win for the Bears, given what's on tap.
* at Rams (+1 1/2) 27, Redskins 20. Even at 0-4, Rams would still be the favorites in the putrid NFC Worst.
* Steelers (+3 1/2) 28, at Texans 20. The real Houston Texans showed up last week.
* Saints (-7) 34, at Jaguars 13. Smells like a good old fashioned woodshed beating.
* at Browns (PK) 24, Titans 20. Not sold on either of these teams, or this pick.
* Lions (+1 1/2) 41, at Cowboys 20. How in the hell is Dallas favored in this contest?
* Bills (-3) 30, at Bengals 20. Bills next two are Eagles and Giants. It would behoove them to win this one.
* at Seahawks (+4) 20, Falcons 14. Something isn't right with this Falcons squad.
* at Cardinals (1) 23, Giants 13. The Giants stink worse than a tuna melt sandwich left out in the sun for a week.
* Dolphins (+7) 27, at Chargers 14. Chargers are due for a stink bomb loss. Too bad last week wasn't it.
* Patriots (-4) 45, at raiders 21. I refuse to take the raiders as a credible threat to reach the postseason.
* at Packers (-12) 56, broncos 3. I can live with 1-15 for the Chiefs, so long as the 1 is denver at home.
* at Eagles 20, 49ers (+8 1/2) 13. Will be closer than you'd expect.
* at Ravens (-3 1/2) 27, Jets 10. Nothing like seeing a team you like get whipped in prime time.
* at Bucs (-10) 31, Colts 14. Nothing like seeing a team you despise get whipped in prime time.

The Chiefs Prediction:

I am beyond exhausted today. I suspect that many of you, if you are sports fans, are dragging just as much as me. And I suspect at least one of you is on freaking Cloud Nine.

There are many people in the Chiefs fanbase who have written off this season. Many who believe an 0 and 3 start dooms the season to failure. Anyone who believes that the 2011 Chiefs season is over, clearly has no clue what just happened this month in Major League Baseball.

Or what just happened last night at Tropicana Field.

(Note: if that wasn't the greatest two hour stretch of regular season baseball history, I have absolutely no idea what could possibly top it. The Rays rally from down 7 with 6 outs to go to steal the wildcard, after trailing by 9 games 23 days ago, the biggest comeback in baseball history. The Cards blow out the Astros, then see the Phillies, playing for absolutely nothing, rally from an early deficit to beat the Braves and hand them a gift wildcard berth, when they were 8 1/2 games back 23 days ago. Amazing stuff. Oh, and what I would not give as a Royals fan for just ONE FREAKING NIGHT like the Rays and Cards fans enjoyed last night. Just ONE FREAKING NIGHT like that. Let's get on that, 2012 Boyz n Blue.)

Sometimes, it helps to just state the obvious, and the obvious is this: Sunday is a MUST WIN game for the Kansas City Chiefs. We have reached our proverbial fail-safe line drawn in the sand. The good news is, we're facing possibly the only team more inept the first three weeks than we have been, in the winless Minnesota Vikings. The better news is, with a win on Sunday, it's not a (crack) pipe dream to see this team 6-3 heading to Foxboro in eight weeks. Our next six weeks? At winless Indy, bye, at oakland (where we've won 8 of 9), then home for three straight -- the Chargers in prime time, the winless Dolphins, and "the game I live for", against the woeful denver broncos. A win on Sunday? Absolutely could lead to one hell of a momentus run.

But without a win on Sunday, it's pointless to dwell on what could be.

Which means come Sunday, we have a job to do.

I hope every person who still considers themselves a die-hard Chiefs fan, comes out and supports this team with every last ounce of energy you can muster. If you don't believe this team can rally from 0 and 3, please, do us all a favor and stay home. No Debbie Downers. This team CAN recover. 0 and 3 is not a finish. It is a beginning. Granted, a horrific beginning, but it is NOT a finish. Believe in the potential this team has. You saw it in the second half last week. I believe you are going to see it for four quarters on Sunday.

Last week, I invoked a political rant into this normally politics-free column. This week, I'm going to violate another rule, and invoke religion into this post. The apostle Paul noted two thousand years ago that "now exists faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love." I have faith the Chiefs are going to win Sunday. I have hope that this season is going to turn around. But even if my faith and hope go unrewarded, one thing won't change, and that is my love for this team.

I refuse to give up my faith, or my hope, in the potential of this team. Who gives a damn about the injuries, about the inept offensive gameplans, about the outhouse-smelling stink that is our starting quarterback? If you love this team, come out and will them to victory on Sunday!

As noted in the opening lyrics this week, there ain't a spot in that Complex that we haven't at some point in time laughed, cried, cheered, booed, or just boozed in support of the Red and Gold. Sunday, we'll be in our same bat spot, at our same bat time*. If you need a place to tailgate, we'll save you a spot, a burger, and a beer.

(*: since I'm guessing most people reading this won't get that cultural reference ... "same bat time, same bat channel" was how the original Batman show, starring "the Mayor of Quahog", signed off at the end of every episode. Oh, and if you don't know who the Mayor of Quahog, Rhode Island is, then ask a used record store salesman who didn't graduate from North Providence High, isn't friends with Gary down at the dry cleaners, and is offended by you offering to whiz on Amy Grant cd's to help you, because I sure as hell can't.)

Sunday, be loud. Be passionate. Mock people wearing purple and gold. And if any of them start that horrendous “Skoal, Vikings, skoal!” chant followed by the “aaauuuggghhhaaa!” foghorn noise, boo it mercilessly. It’s the stupidest cheer and noise in pro sports. (Just please, don't get violent with them. As someone who's been physically assaulted in multiple NFL stadiums by the other team's fans, trust me -- it ain't funny when some drunk decks you or throws beer on you, because of the t-shirt or the hat you're wearing. And yes, one of the stadiums I have been assaulted at, was the Metrodome. So hang on, maybe I should rethink this "no violence towards Vikings fan" request ...) Show up early, party late. If you love this team, the time has come to push the chips all in with your support. We need as many die-hards in the stands as possible on Sunday. I hope you'll be one of them.

"Let the world know we were here, with everything that we did." The Chiefs have certainly left their mark on us -- it's why we're fans of this team. Sunday, leave your mark on them. When the Chiefs are 6-3 heading to New England a few weeks from now, don't look back with regret at missing out on the start of something special.

I believe 9 wins will win the AFC West outright. I believe 8 will get into tiebreaker territory. It's time, Chiefs fans, to notch the first of those 9 in the win column. It's time to get this season started. Sunday looks beyond perfect -- pushing 80, not a cloud in sight. A beatable opponent, on a perfect sunny day that's not excessively hot, but warm enough to employ the Kenny Chesney philosophy of life that I absolutely agree with. (“No shoes? No shirt? No problems!”)

I still love this team. I always will. Even if hope and faith disappear after this week, love still remains. For one last week, I’m buying what Coach Asshat and his players are selling. I hope. At Chiefs (+1 ½) 24, Vikings 13.

And if I’m wrong? If this season is about to violently fly off the cliff and explode into a ball of gasoline and fire when it smashes into the rocky ravine below? Well, hang on. (stevo checking his liquor supply) I can handle it …

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