Wednesday, September 12, 2012

chiefs! falcons! where my private eyes were watching ...

“Don’t know what I was on,
But I think it grows in Oregon,
So I kept on going, going, gone
Right on through.

I drove into Seattle rain,
Fell in love, then missed the train,
That could’ve took me
Right back home to you …

I’ve been high!  I’ve been low!
I’ve been yes, and I’ve been OH HELL NO!
I’ve been rock and roll and disco –
Won’t you save me, San Francisco?”


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

That song came on the car radio heading home Sunday, and I gotta admit, as talented as I consider myself to be?  As gifted, blessed, amazingly hot-as-hell as I view myself to be? 

Not even I could have picked a better song.

Because I’ve been high, and I’ve been low.  I’ve been yes … and Sunday?  Yeah.  I was completely OH HELL NO!

Or to carry the chorus out further – I’ve been up, and I’ve been down.  And I’ve been so damned lost since you’re not around!  The “not around” in this case being a competently coached, adequately quarterbacked football team.  We haven’t had that since … when, exactly, Chiefs fans?  My God, every time – EVERY DAMNED TIME – I look at the game from Sunday, and trust me, I’ve rewatched it twice in addition to living it live – EVERY DAMNED TIME I watch that game we played Sunday?  I get angrier. 

Probably because it gives me a healthy appreciation for the Dick Vermeil years.

I’ve been angry leaving a Chiefs game before.  I was so angry after the Ravens loss in 2006 that I literally had complete strangers offering me a joint to calm down.  Let that sink in – someone I didn’t know was offering me weed to calm down, he was that concerned about my mental well-being.  (And in true Stevo fashion, I was so furious I passed on the offer.  The lesson?  As always, I’m a moron.)  I was so furious after the Eagles collapse in 2005 that I damned near broke my foot kicking the lightpole in G30.  (I settled for "it's not broken, but you can't wear a shoe for a couple weeks" instead.)  And infamously, I was so beyond livid in 2002 after the broncos collapse (when the Chiefs led by 14 and had the ball with 2:36 to play), I was so furious after that loss, that I didn’t make it into work until Thursday.  I literally locked myself in my bedroom with a bottle of vodka, no mixer, and went to town for 72 straight hours.

But Sunday?  Is WITHOUT QUESTION, the ANGRIEST I’ve EVER been leaving a Chiefs game.  That was disgraceful.  I can deal with incompetent.  I can deal with unprepared.  I can even deal with a crappy ass team with no talent, because whatever you or I may think of the 2008 Chiefs* (the worst Chiefs team of my lifetime, and I’m in year 35 on this planet), WHATEVER I may think of the 2008 Chiefs, they never quit.

(*: that team also almost made me eat my famous words that “I can live with 1 and 15 every year, so long as the 1 is denver at home”.)

Sunday?  In the second half?  This team QUIT.  I swear, if I had extended the middle finger and screamed “How’s that 21.6 million in cap room looking right now, Pioli!*” one more time, “The Crush” probably would have broken my arm.  I mean, let that sink in – I FINALLY get a damned game all alone with “The Crush”, and THAT is what happened!  I mean, really Jesus -- do you hate me that much?  Really?  I wait five damned years to have three hours of quality time with the coolest chica I’ve ever met, and THAT happens?!?!?!?!  I swear, yesterday was nine layers of awful.

(*: I am aware that I apparently am not the only person questioning why in the hell the Chiefs have over $20 million in salary cap room available to them.  I will react to the “controversy” at the end of this recap.)

And in case you doubt how angry I was?  I finally get those couple hours alone with said coolest chica I know* … and I believe my last words to her were “I’m too goddamned f*cking mad, I have to go!” with fourteen minutes to play, as I raised two middle fingers and dropped a “f*ck you Pioli!” blast to boot.  I didn’t even say goodbye, let alone invite her to come back to the Bus and pound a handle with me.  (As always?  Yeah, I’m the dumbest mo’ fo’ in the room.  Sorry about that chica.  I promise, I’ll be slightly less prickish next time**!  Which I’m guessing there won’t be a next time …)

(*: hence the designation as “The Crush”.)

(**: although, to her credit – when she got to my second seat, I was all “I apologize in advance, I get a little too into these games”.  Her perfect comeback?  “I know.  You’re Steve!”  Yeah.  When your name becomes a “yup, that’s why” place marker?  You might need to dial it down a couple notches.  Or just embrace it, like I have.  Either way, it’s all good.)

I felt anger, rage, fury – my usual response to a Chiefs game that ends poorly.

And then … the Chiefs go out, and add salt to the wound, with an insanely stupid Twitter response that basically was one gigantic whiz on the fanbase.  “Get a clue”.  Really, Chiefs?  Really?  I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess you don’t want the fanbase “getting a clue”.  Because if they did?

They’d realize that the Chiefs are the ONLY AFC West franchise to fail to reach a Super Bowl in the last twenty years, and you can lump former AFC West resident Seattle in that grouping, and STILL have it be true.

Still, I’m going to try to not overreact, but realize – there can be no overreaction, without an initial action that is so offensive, it leads you to overreact.  And that entire second half on Sunday, was definitely an “offensive initial reaction”.

* The weekend started out epically – Hall and Oates!  Starlight!  Two hours of awesome!  They had not one, but TWO freaking encores!  

* The concert itself was awesome.  They opened with “Maneater”, nailed “Out of Touch, Out of Time” as the third choice, and by the time it was over, had drilled “Say It Ain’t So”, “Sara Smile”, “Adult Education”, “Kiss on my List”, “You Make My Dreams Come True”, “I Can’t Go For That”, and “She’s Gone” out of the proverbial ballpark.  And they didn’t even perform “One on One” or “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling”.

And please – spare me the “really Stevo?  Hall and Oates?  Really?” comeback I know you think is witty and creative.  Because it’s neither witty nor creative.  My buddy Damien signed off on the concert, noting “I love those guys” and “they’re aqesome!”  Sorry Doc – you never make mistakes.  Had to note your typo.  I trust that wasn’t too grouse to point out (rimshot!)

* I had planned to post the finale, an epic version of "Private Eyes" ... only the video uplink function is down right now.  I'll try again later.  It's worth it, if only to hear a horrifically offkey, semi-stoned, completely hammered hot-as-hell 35 year old (hey!  that's me!) singing along.  I've said for years that I have the worst sounding voice in the history of mankind.  Listening to me sing, will do nothing to change that opinion.

* After the concert, it was off to my home away from home, the couch in the basement at Russ and Mona’s that … quite honestly, is more comfortable than my own bed.  I don’t remember a thing from about 11:30 Saturday night, until pushing 6am Sunday morning, when the light started flashing in the room, an attempt to wake me up, since apparently screaming “get up!” from the top of the stairs doesn’t work.

* A healthy contingent of riders on the Bus Sunday morning.  Myself, Susan, Russ and Mona, Anthony and Jaimmie, Paul and his dad, plus a couple other folks I’m forgetting.  What a shame the Chiefs chose to pick Sunday to lay the proverbial turd at midfield, because we were ready for something good.

* Love the “upgrade” to the quarterback position this offseason, Mr. Pioli.  No, really – it’s cool.  It’s cool that peyton manning has so little regard for you and your team that he basically told you to f*ck off.  It’s awesome that you passed on a rock solid QB option in the third round for the second straight year.  It’s great that you failed to keep a competent backup in Kyle Orton, and opted for an overrated dude whose sole talent at this point is that he looks fantastic with a shirt off, in Brady Quinn.  It’s really cool that for some idiotic reason, you actually think Ricky Stanzi is a NFL caliber player.  Again, thanks for the upgrade at the quarterback position.

OH WAIT.  There’s wasn’t an upgrade.  If anything, we got worse.  Thanks, Scott.  You’re the best!

* A draw play with 14 minutes to go, down 23?  Really?  I don’t throw the term around a lot, because it’s the worst accusation (short of “murderer” or “woman beater”) you can toss at someone … but the Chiefs QUIT on Sunday.  The coaching staff QUIT.  The players QUIT.  That team QUIT on us on Sunday.  They threw in the damned towel.  You can accuse Coach Herm of a lot, most of it true.  But he never quit on a game.  (Coach Asshat quit a few times.  Hence the affectionate name for Todd Haley, “Coach Asshat”.)

Sunday?  Is what happens when an overrated GM, a completely overmatched coach, and an incompetent quarterback, conspire to play a season opener.  And I’m not sure what has me angrier right now – the fact that I can legitimately type that previous sentence without half the people who will read this chucking their beverage at their laptop screen in righteous anger … or the fact that it’s true.

* So much for not “over-reacting”.  The lesson?  As always: there’s never an over-reaction, unless there is an offensive action to react to.  Again, and let me type this so that it sinks in: there cannot be an over-reaction on my part?  Unless someone does something offensive as the initial action.  You can hate the over-reaction, and be justifiably offended by it.  But that over-reaction doesn't occur, unless something offensive occurred prior to said over-reaction.  Got it?  Good.  

* Sign I Should Have Known Sunday Would Be Awful: I won a washers game.  Me and some dude who rode out with us whipped Paul and Anthony’s ass.  When I’m beating anyone at washers – hell, when I hit double digits on the scoring, AND nail two center pipe tosses?  Apocalypse.

* Hey, we had a “Steve Pederson of Tailgating” sighting!  Before 11am to boot!  Another sign Sunday would be awful – the Stevo “fake polite” conversation!  Whatever you may think of me, you have to give me that – I can fake being polite, like nobody else walking the planet can.  If fake politeness was an Olympic sport?  I’d be the eight time reigning gold medalist.

* Here, according to nfl.com, were the Falcons drives on Sunday, and please – do NOT read this without something strong to drink, smoke, or snort:

Drive 1: 12 plays, 80 yards, touchdown.
Drive 2: 4 plays, 8 yards, field goal.
Drive 3: 8 plays, 73 yards, touchdown.
Drive 4: 11 plays, 77 yards, field goal.
Drive 5: 9 plays, 70 yards, touchdown.
Drive 6: 1 play, 7 yards, touchdown.
Drive 7: 5 plays, 31 yards, field goal.
Drive 8: 4 plays, 8 yards, field goal.
Drive 9: 5 plays, 17 yards, punt.  (HEY!  Finally!)

Here’s a hint, Mr. Crennel: when your defense doesn’t force a punt until 3:01 remains in the damned game?  You ain’t winning said game. 

What a disgrace.

* From the “whoa!  What the …” file: no Larry or Carl Sunday!  They weren’t at the gates before the game, they weren’t in their usual spot on the walk in through Lot G.  And yes, the part of me that loves catfish was pissed off.  Uum, not that they always offer a healthy helping of seafood on the walk into the game to me.

* Also from the “whoa!  What the …” file: no Phil, Grandma, Texas and crew either.

* And from the “whoa!  Oh.  Son of a …” file: yes, Castro and his crew were there, horns blaring, by 9am.  THAT?  I could have done without.

* KC Wolf’s sketch was as worthless as it usually is.

* Worst moment of pregame: the “moment of silence” tribute to Art Modell. 

* Best moment of pregame?  The reaction to said “moment of silence” for Art Modell.  I am PROUD to report that I was not the only one who booed the entire time during said “moment of silence”.  Art Modell is one of the worst human beings to ever walk this planet.  What he did to Cleveland, should have been punishable by a firing squad.  You’re damned right I booed him.  I am PROUD to have booed Art Modell on Sunday.  PROUD!  (All comes back to that “there’s no overreaction without an offensive initial action” thingy.)  And I’m beyond proud at least half the 72,000 in attendance joined me in said booing.  I hope there’s an eighth layer of hell, Art.  Because you’re definitely residing there.  (And probably actively seeking to relocate it because you out-leveraged your bank account.)

* Also, to the national writers such as Clark Judge (a writer I enjoy tremendously, by the way), to suggest that the Modell family requesting the Browns NOT have a moment of silence was the right thing?  Absolutely.  Absolutely right.

Which begs the question Clark: why the hell did WE in Kansas City have to endure a “moment of silence” for that vile human being?  I get that Art Modell was a league-wide figure.  Who meant NOTHING to ANYONE in Kansas City.  And if he did mean anything to anyone in Kansas City?  His meaning was so despicable, it’s not worth remembering.  I was outraged at that “moment of silence”.  And damned proud there not only was no silence, it was a solid minute of non-stop booing for arguably the most despicable human being to grace this planet since Judas.  And yeah, I just went there.

* Flyover was perfectly timed.  (pause.)  Waste.  Of.  Time.  And.  Money.  Period, end of statement.  And please, spare me the “you’re anti-American!” response to my vehement disgust for flyovers.  I am anti-pissing away money.  And other than strip clubs, there’s no bigger waste of money known to man than a flyover. 

* Falcons win the toss, choose to receive.  Makes sense to me.

* The wind headed into the end zone I sit in (the west side) was ridiculous Sunday.  This would bite us in the proverbial ass in the third quarter … but it was ridiculous.  A solid 20-25 mph breeze, blowing the ball hard right as you headed into the end zone.  Our players and coaching staff did a lot wrong on Sunday … but opting for the wind in quarters 2 and 4 wasn’t one of those wrongs.

* I thought part of the beauty of the Falcons game plan on Sunday, was that they attacked every inch of the field.  They didn’t pick on Routt or on a (obviously) injured Flowers, or even on DJ or Houston covering the tight end or linebacker, they attacked everyone.  It was literally “we dare you to stop us” hubris.  I loved it.  In a “made me puke” kind of way.

* The first half, was damned fun to watch.  The Falcons threw a right hook, and the Chiefs kept answering with a left jab.  For a half, the Chiefs offense was flawless.  Unfortunately, the Chiefs defense was beyond flawed … as neither team managed to force a punt in the first half.  The only non-scoring drive … was a one-play kneel-down by the Chiefs to end the half. 

* Halftime!  KU Marching Band!  And you know what?  I LOVED that the Mizzou fans in the house booed the hell out of the Pride of Kansas.  Did you hear that, Bill Self?  This rivalry still breathes.  It still lives.  It NEEDS to happen!  So Coach Self?  Make.  This.  Happen.  Stop disgracing yourself, stop disgracing the greatest rivalry in college sports, stop disgracing your university, and “grow up”. 

Make.  This.  Happen.

* And then … came the second half.  Yikes.  I mean, yikes.

* It started off well enough – trailing 20-17, the Chiefs managed to drive to the Falcons 22 yard line, to set up a 40 yard field goal.  That hit the upright.  Aye yay yay, no me gusta.

The wind definitely affected the kick – as I noted earlier, the wind in the west end zone was ridiculous on Sunday.  But still.  It’s a 39, 40 yard field goal.  Inexcusable miss.  And it completely swung the game.

* Because you could feel the deflated attitude of the crowd after that miss.  The Falcons next four drives: touchdown, touchdown, field goal, field goal.  Then came the draw play by the Chiefs, down 40-17 at that point, to open the fourth quarter, and that was it for me.  I was done-zo.  And gone-zo, because as Russ always puts it so accurately, “the beer’s cheaper and colder at the Bus”.

* For the record, I could care less than Tony Gonzalez dunked the ball after scoring.  It’s what he does.  So be it.  What offends me, to this day, is that Mr. Gonzalez put personal achievement ahead of the team against denver in 2008, spending the postgame presser b*tching about not getting one more catch to set the tight end reception record, rather than focusing on the fact that the Chiefs had just won a game for the first time in 345 days.  It’s all fun and games until you put yourself ahead of whipping the denver broncos’ asses.  At least in my book.

* Postgame, not much to report.  We stuck around for a little while, enjoyed a few adult beverages, said our goodbyes to Dusty and Kellie and Cam and Ashley, and then it was off for home.  Let’s hope the mood after the Chargers game in a couple weeks is more, uum, celebratory.

* Finally … I guess this deserves to be addressed: the Chiefs Twitter dude telling off a fan who raised the salary cap room.

The Chiefs exact tweet was: “would help if you had your facts straight.  Your choice to be a fan.  cc get a clue.”

I’m probably not as outraged as a lot of fans are over this, simply because in one regard, the Chiefs Twitter dude or dudette (note: I have no clue who it is; Josh Looney’s last day on the job was Sunday, and this was posted on Tuesday.  Also, best of luck to Mr. Looney in his new gig in Indy.  You’ll be missed sir.) was absolutely right.  Salary cap room doesn’t equal money spent. 

In terms of money spent?  Actual cash outlays?  The Chiefs rank in the upper half of the league.  Also, the primary reason the Chiefs have so much cap room, is that they don’t have a single player on the roster over the age of 30.  Young players = smaller salary obligations.  I get that.  And I honestly don’t have a problem with it, for the most part.  (Other than that whole “we’re upgrading the quarterback position” promise by Mr. Pioli this offseason, a promise he failed to deliver on for reasons known only to himself.)

So I can understand why the Chiefs Twitter dude or dudette would overreact and respond with a tweet that “crossed the line”.  As I noted a few pages ago, there’s no overreaction unless there’s something to overreact to.  And sometimes, that initial action IS so offensive, that an overreaction is inevitable.

And being a fan of this team?  Is a choice.  All of us eventually choose a favorite team, for reasons obvious, or oblivious.  On that point, the Chiefs PR department is also absolutely correct.  Being a fan is a choice.

It’s the “cc: get a clue” part that offends me. 

Get a clue?  Really dude?  That’s as offensive as being told to “grow up”.  There’s no “clue” to be found here.  We’re fans of this team.  We’ve bought into what they’re selling, even if what they’re selling is the equivalent of a broken down Ford Pinto.

Get a clue?  Really dudette?  You know what, you may have a point – why in the hell am I giving your organization thousands of my dollars every year, when you haven’t delivered a playoff win in 20 years come January!  Why am I showing up every week, when you’ve made the playoffs only 7 of the last 19 years … and only 3 of the last 14?

Why am I whizzing away money on a product that, simply put, isn’t worth the financial investment?  A product that has a current NFL record for most consecutive playoff games lost (7 and counting), a team that hasn’t won a playoff game since Steve Bono was backing up Steve Young in San Francisco, a team that –again – is the ONLY team in the damned AFC West to fail to reach even ONE Super Bowl in the last twenty years, and you can toss the former AFC West resident Seattle Seahawks into that equation and it’s still true.

Get a clue?  People like me never will, Chiefs organization.  People like me, and I have said this before, are the worst kind of fan a team can have, because we show up every week regardless of what the team looks like, regardless of how it performs. 

But other Chiefs fans, have gotten a clue.  It’s why there are sections of empty seats, why what used to be a five year waiting list to buy season tickets has been replaced by near daily emails from Zach Cook regarding the privilege of buying season ticket right now, why there’s the reaction you’ve seen regarding this tweet.

Because we have “gotten a clue”.  As a fanbase, we’re through with the way this team is being run.  That team was flat out atrocious, especially on defense, on Sunday. 

Chiefs organization?  It’s you who needs to “get a clue”.  It’s you who needs to spend the cap room you have when half the defense is on IR to get better players.  It’s you who need to acquire a quarterback who can win a damned playoff game.  It’s you who needs to hire better trainers and/or medical staff to keep players healthy.  It’s you who needs to stop half-assing a head coaching hire.  It’s you who need to step outside your “comfort level”, and begin to look for players who aren’t the “right 53”, but the BEST 53. 

January 16, 1993.  That’s the last time a Chiefs team won a playoff game.  Chiefs organization?  Get a clue.  Because if you aren’t working your asses off to change that date?  Then I have one question for you, and it is this: why are you employed by this team?

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