"Christ, you know it ain't easy!
You know how hard it can be!
The way things are going,
They're gonna crucify me ..."
-- The Beatles, "The Ballad of John and Yoko" ...
Let me begin, by stating up front, congratulations to the denver broncos, to their players, their organization, their front office, and their fans, who showed up in full force yesterday. They whipped our ass eight ways from Sunday, and earned that victory yesterday.
Perhaps the most sickening feature of a day that so leveled me, that (according to the chick at the CVS Minute Clinic) I am currently running a 102 degree fever and haven't been able to hold a thing down in over 24 hours*, perhaps the most disgusting thing from yesterday was at the end of the game, as thousands of die-hard denver fans stuck around, congregated in the west end zone (where I sit), and high-fived their team after that win. I think every die-hard denver fan in attendance was down there. Certainly no die-hard denver fan walked out until there were zeroes on the clock. (Because if they did? They ain't a die-hard fan. Sorry, but that's reality -- there isn't a shot in hell I'd leave a Chiefs win at fake mile high until the clock had been bled dry.)
(*: and yet somehow, I was at my desk at 8am this morning, and completed a full day of work without the need for an IV and/or other assistance. You're not the only one stunned at reading the previous sentence.)
As the clock struck "midnight" yesterday, I turned to Ray, shook his hand, we warmly wished each other a great Thanksgiving, promised to be there in two weeks, when "The Palkos" make their home debut against the surging Steelers, and walked up the aisle.
Nearly 30 hours later, after a couple bottles of wine and consuming a product that ensures I'd flunk any legitimate drug test for the next couple weeks (it rhymes with "need", as in, "I definitely needed it last night, and thank God I had some available), we now are faced with our current reality, and it is this.
The Chiefs came home two weeks ago, with the path to the division title completely and totally there for the taking. They leave fourteen days later, in the worst shape possible.
If it is possible for a team one game back with seven to play, with tiebreaker over the team it's chasing, to be drawing dead, then this Chiefs team is pretty much "drawing dead". And I am sure a large collection of Chiefs fans are now saying "Stevo, you're a freaking idiot for refusing to back "Suck4Luck", for refusing to embrace tanking the season for draft positioning (even now), and for refusing to see this season is over."
And my response to that is simple. Yes, this season for all intents and purposes, is over. "Amazing Grace" is playing over the loudspeaker, and the pallbearers have lined up next to the coffin. If you choose to embrace the tank-it mentality, if you choose to reject that this season is salvageable, I won't argue with you, I won't criticize your belief, I will simply say this:
In the words of Colonel Hannibal Smith, "the two people who will never believe the reports of your demise, are the person who loves you ... and the person who hates you."
(Then again, Colonel Smith also once famously noted, "it's always darkest just before it goes pitch black". Uuh, I think after the news about Matt Cassel today, that yesterday was darkest? Because I REALLY don't want to see what "pitch black" is, if starting Tyler Palko isn't it.)
I know it sounds ridiculous. I know it sounds insane. But why CAN'T this flawed team still win this division? What, is Tyler Palko THAT big of a downgrade from Matt Cassel? I mean, really? Is he even an actual downgrade? Seems to me Palko had one possession yesterday, moved the ball fairly effectively (save for the MORONIC playcall with :28 to play, and that is NOT on Palko, that is 110% on "Coach Asshat", who (triumphantly?) made his asshat-ish return to the sideline yesterday), and did exactly what you ask the backup to do: put you in position to steal a victory you have no business winning. Again, Chiefs fans, we've watched Matt Cassel play this year, or at least "play", I refuse to believe a starting quarterback wearing the precious Red and Gold is that incompetent. I ask you, is Tyler Palko REALLY a step back?
(And to the "tankers" ... if he IS a step back, is that a bad thing?)
The 2011 season has now, finally, officially, reached "nothing to lose" status. If the Chiefs crap out in their last seven games? We're drafting in the top five come April. If Tyler Palko revives a comatose offense? We're picking 21st at worst, and have an intriguing quarterback competition next August.
And if we're somewhere in between? We land the quarterback I want the most out of anyone available in next spring's draft, Boise State's Kellen Moore.
The Chiefs, from this moment forward, officially have "nothing to lose". And I'm surprisingly ok with it.
"Christ, you know it ain't easy / you know how hard it can be". Yes, yes we do, beginning a little under seven days from right now, at Foxboro. The last two times the Chiefs have traveled to New England, the Patriots were coming off a Super Bowl appearance and/or win. They were huge underdogs. And lost in overtime (2002), and on the final play of the game (2008).
I'll take my chances. (Game thoughts, tailgating recap, and other assorted oddities coming tomorrow. Assuming I can shake this insane flu bug that has knocked out at least two people from our tailgating group yesterday.)
Because as the person who loves this team, I refuse to believe the report(s) of its demise ...