Well, let’s do this, game by game looking at what the 2012 Chiefs have to face*:
(*: warning up front: when I get to week seventeen, the “gloves come off” my thoughts. I think what the NFL did to the Chiefs in their season finale is OUTRAGEOUS, and heads should roll over it. I’ve never in my life seen a screw job like the schedule gods layed on us (once again!) to close the season, save for maybe Bret Hart and Sean Michaels in Montreal fifteen years ago. I am BEYOND pissed off at the finale. There is not ONE justification for how our season ends, other than “Roger Goodell has peyton manning deep throating him”. Yeah, I just went there. F*ck you, Commish. F*ck you!)
Week 1: Sunday September 9, vs Falcons (noon, FOX). An extremely intriguing home opener, in my (rarely) humble opinion. “Quitter” Gonzalez’ return. A legitimate Top 4 NFC Power testing the Chiefs nucleus right off the bat. You can never call week one “must win”, because that’s absolutely ridiculous. It’s never must win in this League until either you (a) are in an elimination game, or (b) you’re 0-3 (because only one team has ever overcome worse than 0-3 to reach the postseason.) But it would greatly behoove the Chiefs to emerge victorious, if only to reassure the Kingdom that 2012 will be more like 2010 than 2011 (or, God forbid, 2008).
Week 2: Sunday September 16, at Bills (noon, CBS). Holy crap, I NAILED this one on the “Stevo Dream Schedule” last night! Yay me?* An extremely winnable roadie right off the bat, that gives the Chiefs a great chance to build some early momentum (think 2010). I’ll just sum up my thoughts on this contest with this: if my name was Stevie Johnson, I’d make DAMN SURE my medical insurance was inforce, all premiums were paid current, and I had a couple AD&D policies inforce to boot. Because he’s not emerging from this game upright and ambulatory. (Nor should he, the cheap thug.)
(*: and because I knew EXACTLY what the worst commissioner in professional sports would ensure would happen, I also nailed one other prediction: week 17. F*ck you Goodell. F*CK you and your fancy crotch kissing of alleged all time great peyton manning (still sub-.500 in the postseason!!! Oh, yeah – I apologize to anyone reading this who was waiting for the week seventeen thought for me to “take the gloves off”. My bad. As usual, I was early (rimshot!))
Week 3: Sunday September 23, at Saints (noon, CBS). I’m glad this is early on. I’m also glad because the Saints next game is a revenge match against Green Bay, so you might have a slight look-ahead factor in play. And catching them in week three, we catch them at their weakest, when the suspensions are well underway. Color me very happy about where this game landed on the schedule.
Week 4: Sunday September 30, vs Chargers (noon, CBS). A huge, I mean hu-yuge, contest to close down September. The win over San Diego led to a division title in 2010, and damned near salvaged the season and won a repeat title last year. I have been drinking … but tell me that with improved o-line and quarterback play, 4-0 isn’t out of the question? I think 3-1 is highly likely. HIGHLY likely.
Week 5: Sunday October 7, vs Ravens (noon, CBS). The Ravens have owned the Chiefs in recent years, rolling up two blowout wins at Arrowhead (one in the postseason), as well as a two touchdown win at home over the last six years. Of all the home games on the schedule, this one seems the most likely to be a loss right off the bat. But that’s why they play the games on the field, and not on paper …
Week 6: Sunday October 14, at Buccaneers (noon, CBS). Well, I know where I’ll be the second weekend in October, and it’ll be on a beach in the Clearwater area. Look out native Floridians – a pasty white guy from south KC heading for some sun!
Week 7: bye. It’s weeks like this one that I miss “Sur” William Callahan, who somehow would have had his 2007 Cornhuskers surrender 55 to “bye”, then attempt to explain it on the “Bill Callahan Show” hosted by Jim Rose, ending with an exasperated look of utter frustration and a couple expletives. I really, really, really miss the “Bill Callahan Show” – other than “Knicks Live” that fall, as Knicks fans marched nightly demanding Isiah’s firing, and poor Al Trautwig had to interview the coach two hours before tipoff to avoid riot-like conditions in the Garden, that thing was the best thing going in my life in the fall of 2007. (Which I know, I know, doesn’t say much for me. Still. There’s comedy, there’s high comedy, and then there’s Bill Callahan explaining KU’s 10th consecutive touchdown drive by saying “well, Jim, we just … we couldn’t … Christ Jim, we (bleeped!) up.” (cue exasperated sigh and “at least when they fire me, I still get paid” look) Bill Callahan everyone!!!)
Week 8: Sunday October 28, vs raiders (3:05pm, CBS). OOH, a late kickoff! I like it! Gives me PLENTY of time to get properly prepared to “welcome” those assholes* to the finest piece of real estate in the Midwest. (Not only that, late starts = not having to get up at 6am for tailgating. (jim carrey in “ace ventura” voice) YES! YES! CAN! YOU! FEEL! THAT!!!
(*: as always, Stacey and Jose do not count as “assholes”. They are the only two raiders fans I have ever met that I like … and other than their two lovely children, I’m guessing they will be the ONLY two raiders fans I ever meet that I will find myself being friends with.)
Week 9: Thursday November 1, at Chargers (7:20pm, NFLN / (guessing) Channel 9 locally). This is usually the point in the season when San Diego turns on the gas … but last year, this was when the free-fall collapse literally began, as Phyllis Rivers fumbled a snap on the Chiefs 16 yard line with victory all but assured … and one beautiful Chiefs drive later, I was pulling a KJ and cuddling with an empty champagne bottle all night, I was so happy at what had just gone down.
And while I’m at it, and PFT made this point – KUDOS to the NFL for the parity on the Thursday games. Every NFL team plays one Thursday game. Every NFL team plays the Sunday BEFORE said Thursday game. It’s a totally level playing field for every team on a Thursday. Very good job, scheduling gods.
(Which makes the OUTRAGE that week seventeen (once again!) is, even MORE outrageous …)
Week 10: Monday November 12, at Steelers (7:30pm, ESPN / (guessing) Channel 9 locally). If you’re a Chiefs fan, and believe me, I’m with you – you have to be hacked at getting zero home prime time games. (And the most glaringly obvious flex slot is at denver to end the season … and more on that bullsh*t when we get to week seventeen.) But – but! – look at how what should be a rough stretch of our season is stretched out – we get two weeks to prep for oakland and San Diego (on a short week) … then a long week to prep for the grudge match against (former) Coach Asshat. I wasn’t a huge fan of the hiring of Romeo Crennel, but as I noted before the Chargers Monday Nighter last fall, when the entire season was on the line – “you give Romeo two weeks to prepare for someone, he’ll always beat you”. You give Romeo in essence two weeks to prep for 2/3 of the division, then essentially another two weeks to prep to face his former boss? I’m just saying, he can beat anyone.
Week 11: Sunday November 18, vs Bengals (noon, CBS). I haven’t cheered a fellow Horned Frog during introductions since my buddy Brent was flashing the “Hook ‘Em Horns!” sign at Tracy Simien two decades ago. I felt totally justified booing LaDainian Tomlinson for years. Guess I might as well boo Andy Dalton’s upcoming 8 for 25, 76 yards, 4 INT performance as well. Wait, no, scratch that – if he posts those type of stats? I’m cheering away!
Week 12: Sunday November 25, “The Day I Live For”, vs broncos (noon, CBS). The English language has yet to invent a strong enough word to describe how I feel about those people.
Week 13: Sunday December 2, vs Panthers (noon, FOX). OOH! OTHER THAN the “Day I Live For”, THIS is the game on the schedule I am most anticipating. If I only get to see Cam Newton play in person once in my life, then I’m glad its at Arrowhead.
Week 14: Sunday December 9, at Browns (noon, CBS). Whew, a layup to start the stretch run. And yes, I realize I said the same thing in 2006 … but that eventually turned out ok, right? Right?
Week 15: Sunday December 16, at raiders (3:15pm, CBS). Hey, if I had to pick two road games to play in December? I’d have picked Cleveland and oakland. One team will be in tanking mode, the other we’ve won 8 of 9 in their hellhole they call a stadium. And as if that isn’t a gift enough …
Week 16: Sunday December 23, vs Colts (noon, CBS). The ONLY layup on the home schedule, and it’s the finale? I’ll take it! If the Chiefs aren’t riding a four game winning streak (at least … and ideally six game streak) into the finale, then our injury issues in 2012 will be worse than they were in 2011.
Which brings us to the finale …
Week 17: Sunday December 30, at broncos (TBD, TBD (as of now, 3:15pm, CBS). (stevo sighing in abject disgust …) This makes THREE of the last FOUR years we have closed our season at fake mile high. THREE. OF. FOUR! Are you f*cking KIDDING me? What, Arrowhead is too busy on December 30th to end the season here, instead of at denver EVERY MOTHER F*CKING YEAR? It’s just as cold here as it is there! Almost just as likely to snow here, as it is there. I can’t think of ONE justifiable reason to give denver YET ANOTHER week seventeen home game against their likely chief (pun intended) competition to repeat as AFC Western Division Champs, can you?
(dramatic pause …)
OH THAT’S RIGHT, I forgot – peyton manning plays in denver now, not Kansas City, so let’s make sure he’s set up for the money shot -- at home! -- on NBC to close the season.
This just makes me want to puke. WHAT in God’s name is the NFL thinking? I ask ANY denver fan – if you had to end your season three of the last four years at Arrowhead, would you be happy about it? Or would you be as f*cking pissed off as I am? (The answer: if your brain works, the latter. I have to put that “if your brain works” qualifier in there because, well, you’re a denver fan* – one can’t help but question your intelligence.
(* : save for one family of Broncos fans, of course. See, I like y’all so much, I even capitalized “Broncos” for the first time in my life! Excuse me while I bash my head into the wall until either my head or said wall has a gigantic hole in it ...)
I hate to invoke the Tony Bruno catch phrase this “early” into the 2012 season … but THIS is an OUTRAGE! Granted, the Chiefs are 2-0 in these finales, but still -- I can’t even begin to express how disgusted I am by this finale. It should be at Arrowhead. The ONLY reason it isn’t is because of one player, and the fact that the worst commissioner in major sports will do ANYTHING to coddle him. (judge judy voice) You, sir, are OUTRAGEOUS!
Roger Goodell, you suck balls man, you suck balls. (Cue every fan of how the “real” NFL used to be nodding in vociferous agreement.) I didn’t think much of your predecessor either, but at least he strove to be fair to all the teams under his watch … and he didn’t seek to shut down the sport to gain a couple extra million dollars a year. I believe David Stern has lost his mind. I fear Roger Goodell is still of sound mental acumen.
I can only hope the Chiefs front office, coaching staff, and most importantly, its players are as f*cking pissed off at this season finale as I am right now. And that they’ll still be this pissed off eight months from now, when said “showdown for the divisional title” is likely to play out at fake mile high …