Tuesday, October 30, 2012

chiefs raiders weekend part uno: somehow, this is the good, with the bad and the ugly still to come ...


“Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice.
And she said, “We are all just prisoners here,
Of our own device".

And in the master’s chambers,
They gather for the feast.
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can’t kill the beast.

Last thing I remember,
I was running for the door.
I had to find a passage back,
To the place I was before.

"Relax", says the night man,
"We are programmed to receive.
You can check out anytime you like,
But you can never leave …”

-- "Hotel California" by the Eagles.

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

I’ve had the last weekend in October circled on the proverbial calendar for a while now.

For starters, some fun people and good friends were coming in to spend the weekend, enjoy the game, and have all the fun, frivolity, tomfoolery and hijinks that a human being is allowed to have.  Our annual winery tour of Central Missouri was set for Saturday (recap below, and it didn’t disappoint).  And of course, one of THE two home games I live for, against the hated oakland raiders.  And to the credit of the Chiefs organization, they gave us not the usual three hours to “properly prepare” for a Chiefs game – they doubled the value by swinging the entrace to Gate 6 wide, wide open at 8:38am CT Sunday for a 3:05pm kickoff.

Toss in the fact that for the first time all year, I wasn’t so p*ssed off at someone that I consented to allowing the washer boxes to come off the bus?  Toss that in on top of everything else that was great to boot?  This should have been a weekend to celebrate, to party, to enjoy life, to smile.

Only … for three hours, it wasn’t.

Because Kansas City Chiefs football happened.

And for me?  And again, I can't speak to anyone who intentionally or accidentally reads this, but I can speak for me.

For me?  This is now personal.  There's nothing -- not one godd*mned thing -- this franchise can do to get the stench and taste of this season out of me.  They can fire the GM, fire the coach, hire our eighth offensive coordinator in eight years.  They can clean house at quarterback, they can trade up or down in the draft, sign the best free agents money can buy.  They can hold the line on ticket prices, hold the line on parking costs, they can even give me six plus hours to tailgate before the game (which happened Sunday.  For once, a decision at One Arrowhead Drive I can get behind!)

They can do all of that, and then some, and it won't matter.  Because this is PERSONAL now.  And read up, because I'm only going to type this about 5,500 more times before this recap is over, but I have never meant four words more than I mean the four I just typed.

This is PERSONAL now.  You and me, Chiefs organization?  This is PERSONAL now.  This abject bullsh*t you are attempting to pass off as a NFL team?  Is so insulting, is so demeaning, is so utterly infuriating, that you've managed to do something to my sh*t list I considered impossible: knock someone off the top line.

This is personal now. 

And I'll be damned if I have a clue how this is going to get fixed.  Because how do you fix the problem, when the problem is the one part of the equation, that can’t be replaced?  More on this in about 7 pages, give or take a couple.

So, after our Chiefs became the first NFL team to fail to hold a lead for even a second of regulation time through eight weeks since 1940 – and yes, let that sink in, Chiefs fans: the last time a NFL team was THIS TERRIBLE, the Blitz was winding to its conclusion over the skies of London* – the morning after?  I’ll attempt to recap what all went down, from beginning to end.

I just hope there’s enough vodka in the five county area, to get me through it.

(*: update!  Arrowhead Pride’s crack research staff went back and found the last NFL franchise to not hold a lead in regulation through seven games.  The answer?  Your 1929 Buffalo Bisons … who folded after their ninth game that season, never holding a lead.  (Pause).  So you’re saying this team’s last breath is at Pittsburgh in twelve days?)

* The weekend started off, ironically enough, in the middle of the week.  I had hoped / planned / expected to take both Friday and Monday off.  I submitted the PTO request.  I was called into the boss’ office, and given the deadlines I’m facing for the projects I’m stuck on, was told that I could have one of the two, but not both.  Oh, and “the expectation is, you’ll get a few things done from home”.

Consider this post “getting something done from home”. 

* After that fun news, had a fun night bowling with two people I hope I wind up as the third bowler with, my co-workers and good friends Penny and DeHart.  Hopefully that works out on a full time basis going forward.  For my own sanity, I NEED that to work out.  (cue everyone voice) What sanity?  God, walked RIGHT into that one.  I have a feeling that won’t be the last time.

* I did manage to duck out an hour early on Friday, because I had people to see and things to do.  Namely, I had the Mixology list to put together – old cd’s to load into iTunes, new tracks to download … and go figure, I was still throwing the damned thing together sitting in front of the gates at 8:30am on Sunday morning.

I mention this … because one of the cd’s I loaded, was loaded with tracks from “Stevo’s Most Hated Band Ever”.  There are many things I prefer to listening to the Black Eyed Peas – a colonoscopy, for example.  Ditto having to have my shoulder popped back into its socket*, or watch the Chiefs play – all preferable to listening to even 2/1000ths of a second of a song by the Black Eyed Peas.

(*: still easily THE most painful thing I’ve ever felt in my life.  Here’s a hint: don’t play tackle football when (a) you’ve been drinking, and (b) you’re the smallest dude on the field.  College: what I wouldn’t give to go back!)

* I know the playlist for Sunday still needs to go up … but damn, did I nail it.  I’m not one known to humble brag … ok, ok fine – I AM one known to humble brag … but when four different people come up to compliment “the dude who put the playlist together!”, you did something right.

The best compliment had to come from Paula, who came in with Jeff from Omaha for probably the last game they’ll make this year.  We got off on a solid ten minute argument over what the Rolling Stones’ best effort was (Paula: “Gimme Shelter”, with “Paint It Black” a really close second; Me: “Sympathy for the Devil”, with their most underrated effort, “Mixed Emotions”, a really close second.).  I’m telling you, I do very little right in life.  You can accuse me of a lot of things – most of them negative, pretty much all of them true.  But I can NAIL a playlist for a tailgate.

* Hell, just to show how dialed in I was to the tailgaters in attendance?  In the span of twenty minutes, we went from Clapton’s unplugged version of “Layla” … to Trey Songz and Nicki Minaj’s “Bottoms Up” … to the one song I’ll always find a way to sneak into any playlist, Jim Croce’s “I Got a Name” … to Clapton’s original version of “Layla” … and brought it all home with “Down On The Corner” by CCR, a song everyone knows.  Hell, I gotta sing along for a second … Down on the corner!  Out in the street!  Willie and the poor boys are playing – bring a nickel, tap your feet!

* The other thing I can nail like no other?  (Dusty voice) sketchy women picked up at last call at the Eclipse? (rimshot!)  God, I walked RIGHT into that one.

No, the other thing I can still do right, is jello shots.  I made 106 of them for the trip to Rocheport / Hermann on Saturday, and literally, within 12 minutes of tossing out the first one, we were out of the margarita (with tequila), cherry (with Hot Damn!), and strawberry (with vodka), so many people were digging the things.  And it’s not like I was the only person handing out shots on that bus ride – the dude whose name escapes me, but he and his wife Amy “head up” our bus every year, he was walking down the aisle offering butterscotch, peppermint, and some other schnapps shot, to anyone who wanted one.

* However, from the “yeah, might wanna think this one through a little better next time, Stevo” file … the shots went over so well, that we called Jeff and Paula on the drive down from Omaha to KC, and asked them to pick up some more shot cups and jello, and I promised I’d make another batch of the margarita ones when we got home from the winery tour.  (pause).  Note to self: don’t ever again promise to make jello shots at 1 in the morning.  It usually doesn’t happen.

* Friday night was the pre-game pre-party, since we were gone all day Saturday.  Had a blast with some really fun people.  Some amazing food – the jalapeno poppers were so good, we had to create a second batch early Sunday morning to enjoy at the all-day tailgating extravaganza.

* First thing Saturday morning, it was off to catch the tour buses to go on a winery tour of Central Missouri.  Met up at the Wal-Mart in Blue Springs, with an expected departure time of 8:30.  Thankfully, that was closer to 9, which gave me time to dart across the street for (arguably) my second favorite breakfast I can order*, the sausage and egg on ciabatta sandwich at Panera, with the beyond dark roast coffee to wash it down.  I’m telling you, I could eat that thing every day if I could afford to whiz away $6.92 every morning on breakfast.

Anyways, we take off, and 90 some odd minutes later, we arrive at the Les Bourgeouis Winery in Rocheport.  Below, is the group shot of the five of us on the tour.  Hopefully next year, half the group won’t flake the night before (there were supposed to be 10 going), and anyone who noted interest over the last couple days, can tag along.

(*: my favorite “breakfast” item, BAR NONE, is cheezy hashbrowns.  I am fully aware I am lactose intolerant.  I am fully aware that within 20 minutes of consuming said cheezy hashbrowns, I have a date with the porcelain god and my backside.  I don’t care.  I LOVE cheezy hashbrowns.  Kudos to “The Ex” and … uum … wow, I guess he’s been around long enough, now I gotta figure out a nickname for him, to protect the guilty on this site … this might take a couple minutes.  Anyways, kudos to “The Ex” and her significant other for bringing cheezy hashbrowns to the pre-party Friday.  You’re god d*mned right I plowed through half of the pan … and that I’m still paying for it a few days later.)

* After a couple lovely hours in Rocheport, it was back onto the buses for another 45 minute drive to Hermann.  For the first time, we weren’t greeted when we parked by a well-intentioned member of the police department informing us of the local laws and/or regulations (no open containers), and dropping the never funny “don’t have sex in the port-a-potties, please” joke that wasn’t funny four years ago when I first started doing this tour every year.

* Seriously – who in the hell, and I honestly mean this – who in the hell has ever seen a port-a-potty, had a hot girl with them, and thought “yup, let’s f*ck in this foul smelling thing!”  I mean, really?  I freely admit, I’ve made a few “questionable pickups” in my life … I do like the Eclipse for crying out loud.  But for God’s sake, a port-a-potty?  I have never been so freaking turned on that I swung a port-a-potty door wide open, grabbed my significant other, and hopped on the express to Poundtown in a port-a-potty.  A bathroom stall?  I could do that.  A bathroom sink?  Not a problem.  But a port-a-potty?  In the words of Train: “I’ve been high, and I’ve been low.  I’ve been yes … and I’ve been OH!  HELL!  NO!!!”

* Started off at the Tin Mill Brewery, where I had some ale that was really good.  And I’m not a “beer person”.  You give me a good shiraz, a great syrah, a beyond sh*tty vodka and Sprite?  I’m a happy man.  For me to praise a beer, it probably has the Spoetzl Brewery label on it.  Whatever this thing was, was really good.  (Answer: it’s the Arrowhead, which I started pounding at dinner about four hours later.  This thing was really, really good.)

* After some drunk dancing and music listening, it was off to cross the street to the Hermannhoff winery.  To those who have never had the privilege of going on a winery (or brewery) tour, you know going in that you’re getting at least a few drinks on the house.

Not at Hermannhoff.  Which led to this conversation – and I swear on everything I consider to be holy, this went down as best I am attempting to recap it here.  I literally was crying from laughing so hard by the end, seriously.  FINALLY!  Someone gets “the joke”!  That only took 25 years and 180 miles on a bus to make happen …:

(stevo) really?  A tour without samples?
(poor kid working the counter) I don’t make the rules sir.  Gotta pay (to sample).
(stevo) ok, no big deal.  I’d like a glass of the shiraz please.
(poor kid working the counter) (knowing I’m going to possibly come unhinged at his response)
(poor kid working the counter) Uuh, sir, we don’t sell by the glass.  We only sell by the bottle.
(stevo) (about apoplectic) really?
(poor kid working the counter) yes.  (pause).  Sorry.
(stevo) (when in doubt, go with the classics nobody remembers)
(stevo) No problem.  But can you at least throw in a couple Paul Bunyan hats for the kids?
(poor kid working the counter) (ACTUALLY GETS THE JOKE!!!)
(poor kid working the counter) (laughing big time)
(poor kid working the counter) (extends high five to me)
(poor kid working the counter) that’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all day!  (genuinely laughing!)  I love that movie!
(stevo) hey, I love people with a sense of humor!  (returns high five)  I’ll take two bottles (of the shiraz) please. 
(poor kid working the counter) (perfectly timed)
(poor kid working the counter) but there’s nothing in those bottles but grizzle and fat!
(stevo) (erupts into laughter)
(poor kid working the counter) (erupts into laughter)
(random person behind me) what’s so funny?

* After a half hour enjoying the purchase, we were off to search for a decent place to eat dinner.  We went to my favorite place, the name of which I can never remember … but they make THE best BLT sandwich I’ve ever had in my life.

We sat down about 5pm, and knew it would take awhile to get served, because the joint was packed.  Somehow … this led to arguably the most impressive moment of my life so far, and granted, that’s not saying much, but …

There was a lady in our group who was … uum … wicked intoxicated by this point.  Let me try to set this up so that you can picture the scene.  We were sitting at a table in the middle of the room, 5 of us at a table designed for six.  (The seat on my right was empty).  Sitting directly across from me, in a booth along the wall, was this decent gentleman with (what I, in hindsight, correctly assumed) was a daughter of his, and a couple of her friends.  There also was another gentleman about this dude’s age (I’d put him in his early 50s) sitting at the end of the booth.  Two guys, obviously there with their kids.  I mention this for a reason …

Because apparently this lady with us, has serious relationship issues either past or present, because for some idiotic reason, she stands up and starts very audibly ripping into these two guys for “the whores you’re here with”.  Noting how “that’s so wrong”, to stop “robbing the cradle”.  Her friend that was with us managed to get her to sit down and shut up long enough for me to play damage control.

The one guy (the second one) was accommodating, accept my apology on behalf of our group, understood this lady was wickedly drunk.  The first guy?  Reacted as I would have – furiously.  He didn’t care what my explanation was, he was pissed.  (In his defense?  I was as pissed off as he was at this lady.  I HATE defending the indefensible.  I HATE it.  I have to do it 16 times a year with the Chiefs.  That’s bad enough.  If I had a daughter and some drunken lady called her a whore, I’d be as ready to throw down as this guy was.)

After convincing him not to call the cops (and boy, did that take some “hit my knees” apologizing and pleading), we decide to just cancel our order and move on to another restaurant, to prevent anything else from having.  We get our tab, and I notice the folks the lady with us had offended, were also ready to leave.  I grab our mutually shared waitress, and told her to give me their tab, I’d cover it.

The first guy, the irate one, refused to allow me to cover it.  Not because he was still angry, but because “you shouldn’t have to pay for that lady’s mistake”.  I wouldn’t take the $60 back, and he wouldn’t allow me to pay.  So we reached a compromise, and left it as the tip.

* After that excursion in dining incompetence, we were off to the sports bar we love there, appropriately enough called “Wings!”  And I gotta admit, they made THE best buffalo chicken sandwich I’ve ever had in my life.  Soaked in hot sauce, it was comprised of four breaded chicken strips, tomato, mayonnaise, and pepperjack cheese. 

For $6.29.  With fries.

Unreal.

* Got back from the long day a little after midnight.  I was sound asleep by 12:15.  And I was cursing the wake up call at 6am.

* Since now we’re getting into the GameDay portion of the recap, allow me to offer a brief moment of praise to the Chiefs organization.  Six plus hours of tailgating on Sunday was EPICALLY cool.  Guys?  If you have a 3pm home game in September next year (and why you would, I have no earthly idea), please – let’s do this on a nice 86 degree and sunny day, as opposed to 38 and overcast when the gates opened.

* Folks riding the Bus: Russ and Mona, myself, Susan, Jeff and Paula.  Folks arriving within an hour of the gates opening: Anthony and Jaimmie, Anthony’s dad, the dude whose name I can never remember, the chick whose name I can never remember*, (I think) Michael, and other assorted folks who rode out in their two cars.  Arriving shortly afterwards, the lovely Dusty and Kellie, followed by Will and Robin.  At some point, Jose (who used my extra on Sunday) and the South Dakota folks in town for this game arrived.  I’m pretty sure “The Voice of Reason” and his dad showed up at some point too, I seem to vaguely recall that occurring.

(*: when in doubt, I’ll just call them “Tony and Lisa”.  Good God, I’m the dumbest guy in the room 99.2% of the time.)

* Also arriving: “The Crush”.  I do sincerely apologize to “The Champ” and “The Chica”, and to “The Crush” for any awkwardness.  It sucks when two people you love break up, and you have to straddle the fence.  I’ll try to do better at straddling said fence going forward. 

* My “special little stuffed animal” made an appearance again!  So allow me to say this, as I know some people from western Nebraska’s finest family tend to read this from time to time (hey, shoutout!  Look at Stevo being all shoutout-y, “Price is Right” style!) … ok, let me say two things.  First, it’s a joke.  I can understand why a Denver Bronco hanging by multiple nooses might be offensive, but it is all in good humor.  (Plus, he’s a convenient punching bag for the inevitable postgame meltdown that shockingly – SHOCKINGLY – did not emerge from me this week.)

But second, re-read that last paragraph and see if you can spot the “what’s different here” part of it.  It’s cool, I’ve got at least two pages of outright ranting to go, take your time.  (cue “Jeopardy” theme song music).  And … time.

The words “Denver” and “Broncos” were capitalized for the first time ever on this site.  Why, you ask?  Because they’re a franchise I can respect.  They are owned by a guy who is so desperate to win every year, that he blatantly circumvented the salary cap to make a second Super Bowl run in 1998.  (Gee, lose a fourth round pick three years later, or keep Terrell Davis on the roster?  Tough, tough call.  NOT.)  They’re run by a man who … hang on, let me grab a trash can here for the inevitable projectile vomit about to occur … they’re run by a man who I not only consider to be the greatest quarterback to ever play the game, he’s a damned solid general manager who “gets it”.  They’re quarterbacked by my most hated player in this League … but even I have to admit, I cannot WAIT to see Peyton Manning at Arrowhead in 26 days.  Peyton?  Buddy?  Dude?  Do yourself a favor – study the Oilers at Chiefs game from December 1990.  To this day, and it’s been 22 years, to this day, I have NEVER seen a more amazing display of quarterbacking in that stadium, than Warren Moon pulled off that day.

Please, Chiefs organization?  If we’re going down to defeat in epic, all-time-worst-team status?  Can we at least ask Jeff Donaldson, Stan Petry, Lloyd Burruss (sadly, the one person who gets lumped in with this craptacular foursome that was our secondary that day), and Chuck Mincy, to be the honorary coinflip captains on November 25th?  Can you see what cardboard box Haywood Jeffries is living in, and ask him to show up, steal the coin mid-flip, and run 82 yards untouched to the east end zone?  If we’re going to suck at an all-time worst-team ever level, can we at least have a little gallows humor here, Chiefs?  Please?  Thanks, your buddy Stevo.

And PS – you are not only atop my sh*t list … this is now personal.  This season, is personal.  If you see Andy Garcia playing the worst version of an Italian mobster ever to appear on a movie screen, strolling around the grounds, Chiefs front office?  Just assume you’re Joey Zaza*. 

(*: ok, I know I’m the only person alive who thinks “The Godfather Part III” was not only not bad, it’s extremely watchable, entertaining, and the penultimate scene is legitimately “holy f*cking sh*t!” good, even if it’s obvious what’s going to happen 20 minutes before it does, Pacino is that good in that scene (and ditto Diane Keaton and Talia Shire.  George Hamilton?  Not so much.)  But for God’s sake, is there anyone with an IQ above that of a brick that buys Andy Garcia as an Italian mobster?  Really?  I mean, Bridget Fonda playing a naïve reporter in this thing was more believable, and Puzo and Coppola saw how crappy her acting was, and changed the script to kill her off sooner for crying out loud.  Wait, where was I going with this?)

* OK, let’s move on to the game itself, and specifically, there’s only one play I want to focus on, and then, I’m going to explode in a way I’m not sure I’ve ever come as unhinged like before.

(Also – late note: I’m splitting this into two posts -- everything up through the 5th play from scrimmage of the game … and coming tomorrow, the actal gameday thoughts.  It’s getting late.  I’m tired.  And I’m getting sick of typing.)

The play: 4th and 5, at the oakland 39, not even two minutes into the contest.  The first play of the game is a Stanford Routt interception that he returns to the oakland 44.  After a Charles carry, and two incompletions (one to Charles, the other to Bowe), the Chiefs face said 4th and 5, at the oakland 39.

Let me make sure the scene is set properly.  Chiefs on the raiders side of the field.  Chiefs have not led for EVEN A SECOND of a game so far this year.  They have a makeable fourth down, against who many Chiefs fans (not me, but I get why) consider to be our biggest rival.  We’re two minutes into the game.  EVERYTHING about this moment … well, you know what?

Let me let one of the audience answer what was going through my head at that moment, and frankly, all season up to this point.  Mr. “Voice of Reason” (via email today)?  Take it away!

"It pains me to agree with you....and when it comes to the chefs, it's not often (probably why I'm the voice of reason).....but Good Lord....that coaching performance yesterday was something to behold....when you punt on 4th&5 from the 39 on the first series, you know it's going to be a long day....."

That … is the diplomatic way to put it.  Since I’m only good for two diplomatic moments a year – and I’ve already whizzed away the first in Hermann this weekend, and am dreading with a passion the second one – let me state exactly what I said at that moment:

(stevo screaming at the top of his lungs voice) You're 1-5!  (Sticks arms out in utter disgust, begin pointing said arms / hands / fingers at the Chiefs sideline.)  You haven't scored an offensive touchdown since September!  (pounds seat in front of me.)  You've been handed a gift interception by a bad team!  (smack seat.)  You're at home!  (kicks seat.)  You're on their half of the mother f*cking field!  (smacks seat so hard, my hand still hurts 50 hours later.)  You have led for exactly 0:00 so far this season!  (slams Jets cap to the ground in disgust.)  You have NOTHING to lose by going for it!  (combined smack, kick, and Jets hat slam all at once, and that’s one HELLUVA trifecta to pull off after basically drinking non-stop for the last 54 hours.)

So of course, the Chiefs don't hesitate to send in Dusty C.  Did they at least try the ol' "try to draw them offsides, then take the delay of game penalty if they don't jump, because we want more room to punt" play?  OF COURSE NOT!  Why, you ask, would they not at least do something that anyone with an elementary understanding of the game would attempt?  Because the Chiefs don't have even that basic understanding of the rules!

Go figure, after a decent punt pinned the raiders inside the 6, the raiders promptly marched down the field, aided by a horrific defensive play that allowed a simple checkdown pass go for 58 yards, kicked a field goal, and took a lead they would never relinquish.

Are you starting to see why this is so godd*mned infuriating?  This is beyond gross incompetence.  This is beyond bad drafts, bad quarterbacks, inept gameplans, players that have openly quit on their teammates and the coaching staff.  This is beyond players scared to death to take the field.  This is beyond failed promises, unmet expectations, and faded hopes and dreams.  This isn't even about the losing anymore.  This is all about how and why we are losing, how and why what is occurring on the field, is occurring.  This is now insulting.

This is now personal.

We literally … oh boy, here we go … we literally are coached by the dumbest man walking the planet, with all due apologies to “The Champ” at this point.  Coach Baffoon is THE dumbest man walking the planet.

He says he “doesn’t know” why Jamaal Charles had eight touches on Sunday.  He says he “can’t explain” why this team has trailed by at least 17 points in every game save for one.  He “doesn’t have an answer” for why his team has given up THIRTY PLUS PLAYS of over 20 yards, and no other defense in this league has topped 20 yet, and I’m fully aware this year’s Saints defense is making “32 Defense” from 2002 look like the 1985 Bears or 2000 Ravens.

The gameplans are beyond baffling.  I mean, if you have two quarterbacks you have no faith in, and you’re playing a close game (it was within a touchdown for well over 40 minutes on Sunday), why in the hell are you only running the ball 13 times?  The defense, dear God.  I actually feel sorry for Emmitt Thomas, a helluva good guy, a tremendous franchise legend, and damned good coordinator, who has to be literally hurling his headset into the window of the press box at this point over how clueless Coach Baffoon’s play calls on that side of the ball are.  (And for what it’s worth, if Coach Baffoon is fired on Friday, which is a damned distinct possibility, I’d give Emmitt Thomas the interim gig.  “The Voice of Reason” argues for Jim Zorn to get it, because, and he has a valid point, the dual defensive coordinator / head coach role?  ISN’T!  WORKING!)

I can deal with incompetence.  I can deal with fireable offenses.  I can deal with crappy play, a boatload of losses.  I can deal with a roster that doesn’t have a quarterback on it who could start at the University of Kansas right now.  I can deal with the grouse misuse of the one offensive weapon that we can rely on (Charles).  I can deal with the absolutely fireable offense of picking a worthless OL named Donald Stephenson at 74 last spring, while Russell Wilson, who despise his flaws, is not only better than ANYTHING at the position on the roster, but would at least have us in the heart of the race to win a sh*tty division, I can deal with picking Stephenson over Wilson, who went to Seattle with the very next pick.

I can deal with paying $800 for tickets, $270 to park (of which a full $50 is refunded at year’s end.  Wohoo?), $91 for a crappy windbreaker that doesn’t block the rain, $12 for the most pathetically weak vodka tonic known to man.  I can even deal with (as I got to on Sunday) a toilet clogging issue in the men’s room that had human waste laying on the floor at times. 

Because honestly?  Smelling the stink in the men’s room in 338 at 6:06 Sunday evening?  

Beats the HELL out of the smell coming from the sidelines, into the stands.

Chiefs?  This is personal now.  You’ve committed the one unforgiveable sin in my book – you’ve willingly made decisions that put me in a very negative position without (a) asking me for my input and thoughts of the situation, (b) acknowledging there is a situation, and (c) informing me what the outcome of said discussions of said situation is.

I can deal with getting the shaft.  I can deal with abject mother f*cking idiots who are too stupid to see that how they’re handling a situation, is so wrong on so many levels, that it literally leads me to question my own sanity.  (As in, “wait – said person can’t REALLY be this stupid, right?”)

What I cannot, and I will not, accept … is the realization that the core issue, the core problem, the fatal flaw this team has?  Is the one part of the equation that is guaranteed not to change.

Namely, I cannot, and WILL NOT, accept for even 2/1000ths of a second, the idea that the architect of this mess, will escape any and all responsibility for said mess he (and or she) at a barest minimum, were directly responsible for allowing to occur.  Read into that anything you want ... but my point is this:  

This team can fire it’s head coach (it better), it’s coordinators (maybe), it’s assistant coaches at various positions (absolutely).  It can clean house in the sh*ttacular scouting department (a no brainer).  It can even replace the dude making the personnel decisions (and incredibly enough … I’m still undecided about firing Scott Pioli.  Seriously.  I know you don’t believe me … but I don’t have a strong feeling one way or another.  Gun to my head, make a decision and live with the consequences?  I give him at least one more year.  But only give it with the understanding that it’s divisional round of the playoffs – not wildcard, DIVISIONAL – or else.)

But it doesn’t matter one damned bit, if the owner is too stupid for his own good.  For what it’s worth, Clark Hunt doesn’t strike me as a stupid person.  Naïve, perhaps, but definitely not stupid.  (And please, spare me the “he needs to move to KC” crap.  For Christ’s sake, I came home all the time from the Metroplex when I was in college for Chiefs games and other assorted reasons.  It’s NOT an issue.  If Mr. Hunt lived in Morocco?  Issue.  Highland Park?  Not even close.)

The next ten weeks, in my rarely humble opinion, will determine this franchise’s next ten years.  Either our owner will step up, spend the money he needs to, to make this roster commesurative with the fanbase’s expectations, and fire / hire who needs to come and go (hee hee, he said “come and go!”) … or he’ll be what I fear he is.

His father’s child.

Which is why this is personal.  Lamar Hunt was fine with 1 playoff berth in 17 years (Steadman / Schaff).  Lamar Hunt was fine with 6 head coaches in that run of futility (Stram, Wiggin, Bettis, Levy, Mackovic, Gansz).  Lamar Hunt was fine with Carl’s end run, of 2 playoff appearances in his last 10 years (2003, 2006), and zero playoff wins in his last 15 years (last win: January 16, 1994.)

I’m not.

Clark better not be either …

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