Wednesday, January 2, 2013
the happy new year chiefs related fake mailbag!
"Now a life of leisure,
And a pirate's treasure,
Don't make much for tragedy.
But it's a sad man, my friend,
Who's living in his own skin,
And can't stand the company.
Every fool's got a reason,
For feeling sorry for himself,
And turning his heart to stone.
Tonight? This fool's halfway to heaven,
And just a mile out of hell.
And I feel like I'm coming home!
These are better days, baby!
These are better days shining through!
These are better days, baby!
Better days with a girl like you!
These are better days, baby!
These are better days, it's true!
These are better days, baby!
Better days are shining through!!!"
-- "Better Days" by Bruce Springsteen.
Well, one down, one to go.
As expected, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt gave head coach Romeo Crennel his walking papers Monday morning, relieving Mr. Crennel of his coaching duties less than a year after he approved Mr. Crennel's promotion to the top job. To the surprise of many (especially this humble blogger -- who does not live in his mommy's basement), GM Scott Pioli remains in his position, albeit in a far diminshed role going forward.
(It's my opinion Mr. Hunt is basically humiliating in public Mr. Pioli, in the hopes he will simply quit, rather than be insulted in this manner. And if that is the case, job well done, Mr. Hunt. NOONE loves seeing arrogant f*cking pricks get their just desserts more than I do. And Scott Pioli is the biggest mother f*cking arrogant prick this franchise has ever had the misfortune to employ.)
The question now becomes, obviously, who replaces Mr. Crennel on the sidelines next fall. The Chiefs have interviews set up with Falcons OC Dirk Koettner, and Falcons ST coach Keith Armstrong. For the record, I would be fine with Dirk Koettner (who everyone forgets, is the guy that first got Boise State rolling back in the late 1990s, and had Arizona State on the cusp of the Rose Bowl a couple times in the early 2000s), and I'm guessing Keith Armstrong gets the Rooney Rule compliance question out of the way, right away. (Smart thinking ... even though who I want the Chiefs to hire as head coach, is a minority candidate.)
So, as I spend my New Year's Eve getting belligerently drunk, I figured I'd make one last post to the site for 2012*, and I'd make that post be the latest edition of what seemingly everyone's favorite running gag on this site is: the fake mailbag.
(*: go figure, I got too hammered to finish this Monday night. So it's the first post of the new year instead.)
* "Well, you weren't exactly a fan of the Romeo hiring when it happened. Do you feel vindicated? Or disgusted at being right? Nice gambling analogy, by the way. I'd have definitely slid the green chip out and doubled down!" -- Kellie J, KCK.
Thanks! I knew I loved ya for a reason. My answer is the latter ... but not for the reason you might suspect.
Look it, Romeo Crennel is a god awful head coach. God. F*cking. Awful. I mean, me at my baked and buzzed lowest moment, is more competent than Romeo at his finest moment.
But the guy is quite simply one of the finest human beings this franchise has ever employed. I wanted Romeo to succeed, in all seriousness, for pretty much the same reason that the day Gunther Cunningham was hired as head coach in January 1999, I literally had to pull onto the shoulder of the highway, because I couldn't see through my tears, that's how happy I was that Gunther got the job.
I want the good guys in life to succeed. I want the underdog to get his day. I want to see those who bust their ass for forty years to rise to the top of a profession with basically a 100% turnover rate every 4-5 years. I want the good guys to milk those 4-5 years for all they are worth. I hate it that Romeo failed. It pains me.
Even if it was 100% predictable.
* "Did you read the Save Our Chiefs insider info? Clark didn't reach the decision to do this until last night? WTF?" -- Jasson W, Shawnee.
First of all, that's bullsh*t. I know for a fact that Romeo attempted to resign the morning after the Panthers game, because he just couldn't take it anymore, and the Jovan Belcher suicide was his last straw to break ... and Clark Hunt refused to accept his resignation, insisting he coach on for four more games, to hit five full years as a head coach and maximize his pension (Romeo is 65 and now eligible to draw said pension).
But the rest of the report Monday ... I do believe. It's common knowledge that for the last ten weeks, Clark Hunt has been picking the brain of every credible person in this League, over how to proceed. So kudos to Clark for seeking out Peyton Manning Sunday night, after arguably the biggest ass whipping by denver against us in franchise history*, and asking him what reality was, to separate fact from fiction. (And kudos to Peyton Manning for actually being honest.) Apparently what Peyton had to tell Clark regarding Scott Pioli's reputation in the League, stunned the hell out of him. I suspect this is why Clark Hunt has been so pissed off today, and if you didn't catch his interview this afternoon with Soren Petro, as soon as it's up on 810whb.com, you have to listen to it. Clark was FURIOUS. Because he knows he screwed the proverbial pooch four years ago.
(*: I'd rank Sunday's loss as the fourth worst to those people, behind 2009 at home (44-6, featuring the worst play call in franchise history), 1998 (The Monday Night Meltdown, and to this day, the only regrets I have from that night are (a) I didn't make it home to see it (damned collegiate responsibilities), and (b) shannon sharpe didn't leave the field in a body bag), and of course, the worst day of my life, my 21st birthday -- denver 14, Chiefs 10, 1997 AFC Divisional Playoffs.)
In fact, Clark was / is so angry, that us Season Ticket Holders were sent a personal email from Clark Hunt -- not a subordinate, from Clark himself -- letting us know how pissed off he was. I forwarded this email to a couple friends and co-workers, and they all expressed the same reaction:
Day-umn! So let me address two quick obvious questions, before getting back into the "fun" part of this:
* "Yes or no: you renewing?" -- Will D, Independence.
Yes. Both tickets. Just not sure yet if me and the poor soul who gets to suffer next to me will be sitting behind you again (assuming you renew ... oh who am I kidding -- you know you're signing up for another year of misery, just like me), or if I'm grabbing seats 14 and 15 down in 132. I hope to do the latter, and I think my finances will let me sign off on it. But if it's the former, so be it.
Because if 2012 has taught me anything, its that no matter how much the things and people you love do to hurt you ... you love them for a reason, and eventually, they'll do right by you. And God d*mmit, I love this football team.
* "If Pioli stays, albeit in a neutered state, you're ok with it?" -- Drew K, Shawnee.
Yes. Look it, I'm the guy who counseled AGAINST firing Scott Pioli for this season in the last fake mailbag I posted. Scott Pioli is not an idiot. He's not as smart as he appeared to be four years ago, but I'm sorry, the guy is not a moron. He won the division in his second year. He would have won it in his third had Matt Cassel not broken his hand against denver ... or had Jamaal Charles, Tony Moeaki, and Eric Berry not been rendered useless with (al michaels voice) a knee. Hell, even with all that, plus starting Tyler Palko for a month, the Chiefs were STILL just a blocked field goal away from winning the division.
But Scott Pioli is an arrogant f*cking prick. And kudos to Clark Hunt for going out of his way to humiliate him on his way out of town in disgrace. Because arrogant f*cking pricks deserve their come-uppance.
* "OK, obviously, the major spot to address is QB. Who do you prefer the Chiefs target?" -- Damien J, Midtown.
Well, like I noted at the Colts game, we could put you under center, 11 Coors Lights in, and be better off than anything on the roster. At least you throw a tight spiral. The next thing Matt Cassel throws that's tight and spirally, will be the first.
My top choice, is to trade our 2013 first rounder (#1 overall), plus our 2013 third rounder (#65 or #66), plus a conditional 2014 draft pick (anything but the first rounder), to St. Louis for their 2013 first rounder (#16 overall) ... and Sam Bradford, then use our 2013 second rounder (#33 or #34 overall) to either move back into round one to grab our guy, or pick our guy, at the collegiate level.
Assuming that's not gonna happen ... how about this? And yeah, I know -- this might get Clark Hunt and whoever calls the shots next year crucified, given the past four years ... but why not offer our 2013 fourth rounder (either #97 or #98 overall), plus a conditional 2014 pick to New England, for Ryan Mallett? I've documented on this site how much I wanted Mallett two years ago at #21. And #50. And #70. In hindsight, taking Rodney Hudson at #50 looks solid, and taking Justin Houston at #70 is genius.
Unfortunately, taking Jon Baldwin (after the trade back, at #26) over Mallett? Looks even more retarded today, than it did then.
So why not right a past wrong?
* "But of the current college guys, who's your choice? You gotta figure we're drafting one of them right?" -- Cam C, Olathe.
Hey, welcome to your fake mailbag debut, buddy!
Aaron Murray is my preferred choice, but he appears likely to return to Georgia for his senior year, in hopes of making up the four points he fell short of scoring, to keep his Bulldogs out of the BCS title game. (I think it's the right decision, actually ... although Matt Barkley is on line four, and Landry Jones is on line six, prepared to argue otherwise.)
My top choice, non-Aaron Murray division ... is Ryan Nassib of Syracuse. Kid was a stud all year (trust me -- as a Syracuse fan? There ain't much in the cupboard, so to speak. Something about former coach "Greg" and "Robinson" destroying the program). And in the blizzard against West Virginia on Saturday? He not only led the 'Cuse to a 24 point win ... dude quarterbacked, in a blizzard ... in short sleeves. Not even a long-sleeve t-shirt underneath. Elements don't phase him. As stupid as this sounds ... that's important in Kansas City, where as I type this, it's been snowing since I arrived at work at 7:30 this morning, and it was a lovely walk home from the Metro station tonight in said snow. You ain't catching me in anything less than seven layers when it's like this. Nassib? Is insulted by my pansy ass attitude.
(Draft the kid!)
* "Who's your top choice for head coach?" -- Heath C, Harrisonville.
Patience. If only because virtually nobody reading this, is going to agree with me, when they first read the name.
* "Oh Jesus, please, please, PLEASE tell me it's Josh McDaniels! That guy was AWESOME! The Chiefs SO deserve Josh McDaniels!" -- Wade B, Gering NE.
And congrats on your fake mailbag debut, sir!
I noted four pages ago that my top choice, is a minority candidate. Unless "Special Olympian*" now qualifies as a minority under the Rooney Rule, Josh McDaniels is not on my radar screen. (dan dierdorf voice) Nice try!
(*: that was meant as a joke, and nothing else. I apologize to anyone who was offended by that reference. Having said that ... yes, hiring Josh McDaniels as your head coach, is the equivalent of turning your franchise over to Corky from "Life Goes On". Which compared to turning your franchise over to Romeo Crennel? Looks brilliant. God f*cking dammit, this team sucked eight layers of awful this year ...)
* "So it's Art Shell! I knew it! You're gonna LOVE Art Shell!" -- Jose P, Olathe.
Nope, it ain't Art Shell. Right team though.
* "Oh sweet merciful Jesus, please do not say Terry Robiskie! You will NOT enjoy the Terry Robiskie era!" -- Will Y, Raleigh NC.
In the words of the late, great Randall Carlyle Wakefield, "I may be stupid ... but I ain't that stupid. (Pause.) Well ..."
* "So who the hell is it?" -- Phill R, Shawnee.
(Stevo taking a deep breath, knowing the sh*tstorm he's about to unleash ...)
* "WHAT?!?!?! No, really -- WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!" -- Arrowhead Nation, all 50 states, the District, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and gunning for Guam.
Hear me out. Here's the criteria as I see them:
1. Bright, young offensive mind who, if successful, is likely to stick around for 9-10 years.
2. Proven quarterback guru.
3. Proven winner.
4. Hates oakland and/or denver with the same hatred as I possess for them (and ideally, hates both as much as I do).
What criteria there does Hue Jackson not fit? He's an offensive genius. He helped turn Andy Dalton, carson palmer, Joe Flacco, and jake plummer into credible NFL quarterbacks or prospects. Christ, his offensive instincts are so damned solid, that Steve Spurrier let him call the plays in Washington. As Wikipedia notes: "it is the only time in Spurrier's career that he delegated play-calling duty".
Let that sink in, Arrowhead Nation. The guy that was Carl Peterson's desired first hire for this franchise*, a man that is an unquestioned offensive genius? Delegated play calling to the guy I want us to hire. Sign me up!
(*: forgotten that, Chiefs fans? Carl's first choice in 1989 was the head coach of Duke. His second choice, was Vince Tobin. His third choice? Marty. Sometimes, a third place victory is a good thing.)
As wide receivers coach in Cincinnati, he developed the Chad Johnson / TJ Houshmanzadeh / Peter Warrick combo that routinely finished in the top five in receiving and scoring totals.
He fell one game short of winning the AFC West in his only year as a head coach ... and in case you've forgotten, the reason the Chiefs did not win the AFC West last year, was because Hue Jackson's raiders came into Arrowhead, and beat us in overtime.
(Seriously, (re)read my opening to the post I linked above. Sweet merciful Jesus Christ above, I NAILED what ails this team, a full year ago. Genius? Or random "broken clock is right twice a day" moment? I lean the latter ... but still.)
And yeah -- he HATES the davis family, which means restoring the hatred of oakland that was taken for granted around here ten years ago, is back on the table.
You give Hue Jackson access to (according to my dream questions above) Sam Bradford and Ryan Nassib, you bring in Al Saunders as offensive coordinator again (as he was under Jackson last year, and as he served here from 2001-2005), your offensive issues are solved. I mean, dear God -- can you imagine what Al Saunders can do with Jamaal Charles? To say nothing of an even semi-credible quarterback under center? Look at what he managed to do with Larry Johnson and Trent Green for Christ's sake! You give Hue Jackson and Al Saunders our weapons, with a legitimate NFL quarterback under center? Holy crap!
* "I hate the idea on principle." -- Gregg G, Bonner Springs.
I hate every godd*mned f*cking thing, principle or not, this organization has been over the last twelve months. F*ck principle. Give me wins, and a reason to believe. Hue Jackson? Reason to believe. And a winner. At every job he's ever held. To haul out a classic "Saturday Night Live" sketch -- "in case you've been living in a cave" ... the Bengals are playing on Saturday. We're not. I rest my case.
* "Really? Hiring an ex-raider? Have you lost your freaking mind?" -- Chris N, Quality Hill.
Well, some would argue I never had one to lose (rimshot!). But no, I haven't lost what I never had (rimshot!). Besides, Tom Flores, arguably oakland's best coach post-John Madden? Long-time Chiefs player. If they'll embrace Tom Flores, we can learn to embrace Hue Jackson.
And have I mentioned that Hue is 2-0 at Arrowhead while working for the raiders, and 3-1 overall against the Chiefs while on the davis family payroll? To say nothing of the fact that his Bengals made us look like the proverbial biggest mother effing "c word" in the room at Arrowhead back in mid-November? Things like that matter to me.
* "So Hue for head coach, Al Saunders for offensive coordinator ... uuh, defense?" -- Brent S, somewhere in Johnson County.
I'm fine with Gary Gibbs returning. The defense was not the problem this year in any way, shape, or form.
Or, go out and get the best coordinator you can. You can do a lot worse than Dave Wannstedt (canned in Buffalo today). Greg Robinson immediately comes to mind. Ditto Kurt Schottenheimer.
That's really all I care about -- don't hire a Schottenheimer, no matter their first name. Brian is worse than Kurt. And Kurt was so sh*tty that ... well, I'm giving one person's inanimate object a question, posed as a comment:
* "Kurt! Must! Go!" -- Gregg G's old school Trapper Keeper, high school, twenty years ago.
Those three words are as true today, as they were then. Although I should probably be grateful for Kurt -- it was me laughing my ass off at said Trapper Keeper, that spawned twenty years of friendship (and gambling ridiculousness). God love ya, Kurt Schottenheimer. Because only God could.
* "So we know our opponents. Thoughts on a potential schedule?" -- Chris M, Blue Springs.
Welcome to your fake mailbag debut, chica!
Let me open by saying that it is abject bullsh*t that the League flipped us and San Diego's home/road breakdown this year. I was SO looking forward to a massive weekend in Dallas, and to seeing RGIII at Arrowhead. Instead, the Cowboys come here again, and we go to FedEx for the second time in five years.
But since you asked, my dream schedule for 2013:
* Week One: Sunday, September 8th: vs Browns, noon (CBS).
* Week Two: Sunday, September 15th: at raiders, 3pm (CBS).
* Week Three: Sunday, September 22nd: at Bills, noon (CBS).
* Week Four: Sunday, September 29th: vs broncos, noon (CBS).
* Week Five: bye.
* Week Six: Thursday, October 10th: vs Texans, 7:30pm (NFLN).
* Week Seven: Sunday, October 20th: at Chargers, 3pm (CBS).
* Week Eight: Sunday, October 27th: at Titans, noon (CBS).
* Week Nine: Sunday, November 3rd: at Redskins, noon (CBS).
* Week Ten: Monday, November 11th: vs Cowboys, 7:30pm (ESPN).
* Week Eleven: Sunday, November 17th: vs raiders, noon (CBS).
* Week Twelve: Sunday, November 24th: at Eagles, noon (CBS).
* Week Thirteen: Sunday, December 1st: vs Giants, noon (FOX).
* Week Fourteen: Sunday, December 8th: at broncos, 3pm (FOX).
* Week Fifteen: Sunday, December 15th: at Jaguars, noon (CBS).
* Week Sixteen: Sunday, December 22nd: vs Colts, noon (CBS).
* Week Seventeen: Sunday, December 29th: vs Chargers, noon (CBS).
That's a pretty soft opening, first off. The first three are all winnable, and the fourth is doable. Then (as the League SHOULD DO), 10 days to prep for the mandatory Thursday nighter*, then the tough three game road trip that we're long overdue to have, before coming home for 3 out of 4 (including home on Veterans Day, as the Hunts have requested for years). You close with 3 home / 3 road, a fair balance.
With the right QB, the right coaching staff, this is a 10-6 schedule. 10-6 has won the AFC West 4 of the last 5 years ... and the last AFC team to miss the postseason with ten plus wins, was five years ago (the Patriots won 11 in 2008). In fact, only three AFC teams have won ten or more, and failed to make the postseason, since the expansion to six teams in 1991: the 2003 Dolphins (10), the 2005 Chiefs (10), the 2008 Patriots (11). You get to ten, you tend to get in. And once you get in, anything can happen.
(*: this also means no Chiefs game period on NASCAR week at the Speedway. For some of us, that matters.)
* "When are your year-end grades of the Chiefs coming out? Always a must read!" -- Anthony V, Overland Park.
Patience. Jesus dude, this was the worst season in franchise history. It's gonna take me a few days to objectively flunk every person in the front office or sidelines not named "Jamaal Charles" or "Justin Houston".
* "OK, be objective here -- you have to know Hue Jackson isn't going to be the hire. Who do you honestly think will be the Chiefs next head coach?" -- Brett H, Harrisonville.
I fear it will be "Fat" Andy Reid. I'm terrified it's going to be Kirk Ferentz.
I honestly believe it will be Bill Cowher.
And it's going to be a gigantic mistake.
* "What the hell? How is hiring Bill Cowher a gigantic mistake? He's everything this team needs!" -- Justin B, Olathe.
My objection to Cowher, mirrors my objection last year to Jeff Fisher: he's nowhere near as good a coach, as his reputation suggests.
I mean, Cowher coached the Steelers for fifteen years. Five times -- five! -- they hosted the AFC Title Game (1994, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2004). They lost four of them, and were a dropped pass in 1995 from going 0-fer. A sixth time (1992), the Steelers had home field advantage, but crapped out in their postseason opener (to the Bills). Hell, here's the Steelers postseason history under Cowher:
1992: 11-5, lost divisional round vs Bills.
1993: 9-7, lost wildcard round at Chiefs.
1994: 12-4, lost AFC Championship vs Chargers.
1995: 11-5, lost Super Bowl XXX vs Cowboys.
1996: 10-6, lost divisional round at Patriots.
1997: 12-4, lost AFC Championship vs broncos.
1998: 7-9, no postseason.
1999: 5-11, no postseason.
2000: 9-7, no postseason.
2001: 13-3, lost AFC Championship vs Patriots.
2002: 10-5-1, lost divisional round at Titans.
2003: 6-10, no postseason.
2004: 15-1, lost AFC Championship vs Patriots.
2005: 11-5, won Super Bowl XL vs Seahawks.
2006: 8-8, no postseason.
Regular season record: 149-90-1.
Postseason record: 12-9-0.
If that's what we hire? I guess I'm ok with it. Hell, I was talked into accepting Romeo. But I'd rather take a chance on potential greatness (aka Hue Jackson) ... than known mediocrity. If going 10-6 every year (Cowher's average) and losing in the divisional round (again, Cowher's average) is what you aim for? Then hire Cowher. If you want a rerun of the Richard A. Vermeil era Chiefs? Hire Cowher.
If you're effing pissed that the only AFC West team to NOT make a Super Bowl since 1970 is the Chiefs, and you want to remedy that? Hire Hue Jackson.
And yes, all FIVE other AFC West teams since 1970 have been amongst the last two teams standing -- the broncos (five times), the raiders (six times), the Chargers (once), the Seahawks (once) ... and your Tampa Bay Buccaneers (once). Christ, the raiders and Bucs faced each other in Super Bowl XXXVII. Hang on, there's a desk that needs my head to smash against ...
* "So ... you've completely changed your tune from ten years ago? You're admitting I was right? That nine sh*tty years, with the tenth ending with holding the Lombardi, trumps ten awesome years without a championship?" -- Dusty J, KCK.
Of course you'd be the one to ask that.
You were cor ... corr ... correc ... possibly not wrong.
And yes, if I'm conceding that I was wr ... wro ... wron ... possibly incorrect?
* "Happy Birthday, sir!" -- Joe G, Gallatin.
God, if I'm acknowledging I turn 36 tomorrow, we're damned close.
* ""Better Days" wasn't even close to the best song on that album, and you know it! Shame, son. Shame!" -- Stevo's mom, Lenexa.
Yeah, I know it ... but how do you choose between "Lucky Town", "Better Days", "Leap of Faith", or (according to the man himself) the best song on his most criminitely underrated album, "If I Should Fall Behind"? As underrated and unappreciated as the "Tunnel of Love" album is (seriously -- "Brilliant Disguise" is so good, it's sick; "One Step Up" is beyond awesome; and the title track ain't bad) ... "Lucky Town" is my favorite album by The Boss.
And yes, I know -- if I'm calling any album not titled "Born In The USA" or "Nebraska" as my favorite, I need help.
And yes, I know -- if my mom is getting a shout-out ... we're really damned close.
* "The mistletoe was genius! Although you didn't need it." -- Megan K, City Market.
Yup, these are my friends.
Happy 2013! This will be the best year of our lives, peoples and peopettes. These will be better days! Better days with people like you ...