Thursday, March 14, 2013

professor stevo's grades for the 2012 chiefs

"You.  I hear you're doing fine.
Seems like you're doing well,
As far as I can tell.

Time.  Is leaving us behind.
Another week has passed,
And still I haven't laughed yet.

So tell me what your secret is,
To letting go, letting go like you did,

Like you did ...

How can you just walk on by?
Without one tear in your eye?
Don't you have the slightest feelings left for me?

Maybe that's just your way,
Of dealing with the pain --
Forgetting everything between our rise and fall.

Like we never loved at all.

Like we never loved at all ..."

-- "Like We Never Loved At All" by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.  Needless to say, there was NOTHING I loved, at all, about the season that just occurred ...


Well, I guess I've held off on this for as long as I could.

Here you go, Chiefs fans.  Your Stevo's Chiefs Season in Review: the good (not much), the bad (a lot), and the ugly (December 1).

* Best Game: none.  The Chiefs only won two -- one in which they never led (winning in overtime), the other the result of the team coming together in the wake of the worst moment in franchise history.  If I had to pick one, I'd probably pick the overtime loss at Pittsburgh in week ten on Monday Night Football -- the one major TV appearance this year, where the Chiefs didn't disgrace themselves (the others: a whipping in the home opener against Atlanta, a horrendous showing against oakland, a blowout at San Diego).

* Worst Game: at broncos, week seventeen.  (Dis)honorable mention to the game at Arrowhead against the raiders (week eight) ... but that season ending "effort" at denver, was one of the most disgraceful, disgusting, pathetic displays of football the Red and Gold has ever put on the field.  I know this goes against my personal beliefs, but if it was possible to abort a football game?  I'd pay for the trip to Planned Parenthood myself, to suck the life out of this "effort".

* Best Play: Jamaal Charles' 91 yard touchdown run, at Saints, week three.  Is there actually any other play worth considering?  I ask that in all seriousness -- is this the only highlight of the season?  Sadly, I'd argue "yes".

* Worst Play: Ryan Succup shanks a 41 yard field goal, vs Falcons, week one.  This was the opening drive of the second half, with the Chiefs trailing 20-17, and this would have tied it, to keep up with the Falcons (who were scoring at will).  Instead, he shanked this one, the Falcons scored 24 unanswered, and the worst season in franchise history was very much underway.

* Team MVP: Jamaal Charles.  Honestly, there ain't any competition for this honor, although the linebacking trio of Houston / Hali / Johnson was solid, and Ryan Lilja was the most underrated player this year, shifting positions when Rodney Hudson was lost for the season, and performing admirably.  (Note: I am aware Dusty Colquitt had a great season too, but I am not giving a MVP award, to a freaking punter.)

* Team LVP: Quarterback.  You pick between god awful (Matt Cassel) and beyond sh*tty (Brady Quinn), and so brutally God awful, he can't get on the field (Ricky Stanzi), because I can't.

* Coaching MVP: Gary Gibbs.  Started the season as the linebackers coach; took over as defensive coordinator after the bye.  To Mr. Gibbs' credit, the linebacking corps was the only unit on this team that performed well, and the defense was noticeably better after Mr. Gibbs took over the playcalling.

* Coaching LVP: Brian Daboll.  My God.  I never -- and I'm not joking -- I never in a thousand years, thought getting rid of Bill Muir as offensive coordinator, would be a mistake.

* Best Rookie: Dontari Poe.  Poe actually had a fairly decent rookie season, and brings a highly underrated quality to the defensive line -- he can drop into coverage, and do a decent job. 

* Worst Rookie: Cyrus Gray.  This really isn't fair -- Gray didn't get a good enough look due to position "depth" and injury issues, but someone has to earn this "honor", and you're it champ.

* Best Free Agent: Brady Quinn.  Don't laugh.  You look at the transaction log from last offseason, and you find a better signing, because I can't.

* Worst Free Agent: Eric Winston.  Rot in hell, you f*cking asshole.  Rot.  In.  Hell!  (Or oakland; they're one and the same (rimshot!).)

* Actual Worst Free Agent (Separated From Emotion): Stanford Routt.  Nothing like whizzing away $14 million on a corner that played in six games before he was cut.  Good God.  Even Carlton Gray stuck around for a couple seasons.

* Best In-Season Development (Storyline): the rise of Save Our Chiefs.  Watching a simple protest against losing spread into a 70,000 plus fan movement that forced complete and total change to, uuh, save our Chiefs, was awe-inspiring.

* Worst In-Season Development (Storyline): the murder of Kasandra Perkins, and the suicide of LB Jovan Belcher.  Every other negative from this season combined, doesn't come within 2/1000ths of 1/100th of 1 percent, of this development for worst storyline of the season.

* Coolest In-Season Development (Storyline): the national media's reaction to us booing Matt Cassel as he left the field, vs Ravens (week five).  Some ripped us ... but most not only understood what was happening in Kansas City, they supported it, they exposed it, they held it out as an example of what every fanbase should be at its' passionate core.

* Best Tailgate: Tie -- Falcons (week one) and raiders (week eight).  The Falcons was a perfect weather day -- sunny, warm, great day.  The raiders game gave us eight hours to tailgate, plus our good friends from South Dakota came in for it.  That was cool.

* Worst Tailgate: Colts (week sixteen).  It had the coolest outcome (more on the next bullet point item), but there were only four of us there, since everyone was gone for Christmas or other assorted holiday activities ... and this was the only game I did not attend in shorts, because it was the only game where the temps at kickoff were below 45 degrees.

* Coolest Tailgating Development (Storyline): being filmed for an episode of "Tailgate Takeover" on the Travel Channel.  (Our episode has yet to air).  I'm really curious to see how it turns out.  No matter what, the nation now knows where the best tailgate is located: on the grassy lot across from the G30 sign.

* The Grades: Offense.

For those of you who have never read Professor Stevo's Year End Review before, a few notes up front:

1. I do not grade on a curve.  If every member of the Wrong 53 flunks?  They all flunk.  You have to earn your grade with Professor Stevo.  And Dear God above, have these guys in the Wrong 53 "earned" their grades.

2. Personal feelings about the player, coach, or executive, do factor into my overall evaluation of said player, coach, or executive.

* QB Matt Cassel: D-.  He only avoids flunking because of the classy way he handled both the fan revolt, and his demotion to backup.  His on-field play was atrocious.  He damned near single handedly cost the Chiefs the week four game against the Chargers via three INTs and a fumble, and he did single handedly cost the Chiefs the Ravens game, with his fumble at the goalline.  Thank God this four year nightmare is over.

* QB Brady Quinn: D.  Do you realize that, despite starting nearly half the season, Mr. Quinn managed to toss exactly two -- two! -- touchdown passes all year?  And that both were in the same game (vs Panthers)?  It is that game, that gets Mr. Quinn a passing grade, if only for his presence of mind to execute clock management perfectly down the stretch of that contest.

* QB Ricky Stanzi: F.  If you can't get playing time on this team, given what we trotted out there at the position?  You must suck so well, that Ashlynn Brooke is calling you for tips and pointers on how to suck so well (rimshot!)  (Pause.)  What?  (Pause.)  Oh come on -- (dana wright voice) For.  The.  Love!  I made it to page four before dropping a cheap, gratuitous, absolutely unnecessary sex and/or porn star joke!  That's restraint, dammit!

* RB Jamaal Charles: A-.  The sole bright spot on offense.  Led the AFC in rushing, proved beyond the shadow of all doubt that he has not only recovered from his knee issues of a year ago, he's still capable of producing at a top-flight level.  Again, Chiefs fans -- I know we all loved Jared Allen.  But would you rather have Branden Albert and Jamaal Charles, or Allen?  Carl made one helluva trade, to get that, for a defensive end who is (still) one beer away from a year long suspension.

* RB Shaun Draughn: F.  If he's on the roster come September 8th, the Chiefs will have epically failed at cleaning house.  I'm sure he's a nice dude.  He's just not the answer, to back up Jamaal Charles.

* RB Cyrus Gray: Inc.  Battled serious injury issues this year.  I like this kid.  I think he can absolutely turn into an effective third down back / change of pace option. 

* RB Peyton Hillis: F.  Is there a grade worse than a F?  There's not?  (florida evans voice) Damn, damn, damn!  This might go down as the second worst free agent signing in franchise history, behind only Carlton Gray.  What a waste of money, a waste of space in the locker room and the team charter, and a waste of time, he was last season.

* RB Nate Eachus: B+.  He got the job done at fullback.  He's the one who sprung wide open the gaping hole Jamaal Charles sprinted through to spark the comeback at New Orleans.  Did a good job of protecting the quarterback as well.  Could be a keeper in the Tony Richardson type role.

* WR Dwayne Bowe: B-.  Not even God could have put up decent numbers with our crappy quarterbacks throwing to him.  Now that he's got a credible NFL starter throwing him the pigskin, let's see what happens.

* WR Jon Baldwin: F.  Of all of Mr. Pioli's moves in his four year reign of (t)error, this one might go down as the worst.  And that's saying something.

* WR Steve Breaston: F.  Not quite sure what he did to p*ss off Romeo and the coaching staff, but I wish him the best of luck going forward.

* WR Dexter McCluster: F.  This just isn't working.

* WR Devon Wylie: C.  I like this kid.  I'm very, very excited to see what he's capable of in "Fat" Andy Reid's scheme.  (Think DeSean Jackson).

* TE Kevin Boss: F.  He's probably spent every moment of this season thanking God above for his concussion that ended his season before it really began, because he might have died going over the middle, trying to catch the crap being thrown in his general vicinity by our quarterbacks.

* TE Tony Moeaki: D.  Can you recall a single catch, block, or big play he made this year?  Me neither.

* TE Steve Maneri: F.  Was it really just five short years ago we had the best tight end combo in the game in Tony Gonzalez and Jason Dunn?  

* LT Branden Albert: B+.  Did a decent job this year.  I am glad we franchised him, and if the Chiefs hold onto him, he should stay at left tackle.  He's good at what he does.  (That, and if we use the first overall pick on an offensive lineman, my television screen is going to have a gaping hole in it, from where my bottle of Coors Light hits it, after I chuck it in anger.  You don't waste top five picks on linemen, on either side of the ball.  You take the best skill position player available drafting that high, not the fattest dude on the board.)

* LT Donald Stephenson: F.  I will remind you, Chiefs fans -- Russell Wilson went one pick after Mr. Stephenson, who played the role of a matador at a bull fight to perfection last year.  We haven't seen a wide open road to the quarterback like what Mr. Stephenson laid last year, since "Route 65" Jordan Black was getting Trent Green and Damon Huard killed back there.

* LG Jeff Allen: B+.  I don't recall any major penalty gaffes, or serious blown assignments.  Decent player who'll have to step up more next year, and did effectively step up this year, when Mr. Hudson's injury forced serious shifts along the line.

* C Rodney Hudson: Inc.  Was doing fine until he was lost with a season ending injury.  I think the Chiefs have a decent, upper 25% center on their hands here.  That's a good thing.

* C / G Ryan Lilja: A.  Did fine work at guard the last few years, and performed capably when forced to shift to center after Mr. Hudson went down.  I wish Mr. Lilja all the best in retirement, and look forward to applauding him at future Alumni Weekend introductions.

* RG Jon Asomoah: B+.  The interior of the Chiefs line -- Allen / Hudson / Asomoah -- looks set for the next five years, barring catastrophic injury.  I'm good with that.

* RT Eric Winston: F.  Lost in the heat of the debate over us Chiefs fans booing Matt Cassel as he lay unconscious during the Ravens game?  Guess who badly whiffed on the block, that led to the hit on Cassel that knocked him out cold?  (sarah palin voice) You betcha!  Eric Winston.

On behalf of Chiefs fans everywhere who love this franchise, sir?  Goodbye, good riddance, and please, let the door not only hit your ass on your way out the door, have it do things to said ass that would make Candy Strong blush from embarrassment.

* The Grades: Defense.

* LDE Tyson Jackson: B-.  I might be in the minority, but Mr. Jackson made progress this year.  He's developed into a solid run blocker, who effectively engages the tackle, to free up the edge for Justin Houston.  I'm glad he'll be back.  I'm really glad he'll be back at a far more reasonable salary and cap figure.

* LDE Shawn Smith: Inc.  The former Chief was signed late in the season.  Did not make much of an impact.

* NT Dontari Poe: B+.  Again, I might be in the minority, but Mr. Poe showed some good signs of things to come last year.  A nose tackle that can cover the safety valve.  Seriously, who was the last one that could do that effectively, Keith Millard?  Could be a sneaky good pick when it's all said and done.

* NT Jerrell Powe: C.  Didn't distinguish himself, didn't embarrass himself.  Sadly, too many Chiefs couldn't say either statement about their play last year.

* NT Anthony Toribio: Inc.  Didn't play enough to warrant a grade, either pass, average, or fail.

* RDE Glenn Dorsey: B-.  He'll never justify being a top five pick, but he's still better than average.  Like Mr. Jackson, he did a very effective job of occupying the tackle, freeing up Tamba Hali to rush the quarterback.  That's every bit as important, as posting solid tackle numbers.

* RDE Allen Bailey: Inc.  Missed a lot of the second half of the season with injury.  What little playing time he saw, I was slightly impressed with.  A solid backup end, and every team needs at least one of those.

* OLB Justin Houston: A-.  Mr. Houston was about one of five Chiefs to not defecate on themselves this year.  He provided a solid pass rush, was at least average at covering the tight end / swing back, and avoided a second positive test for weed.  All good things in my book.  Especially that last one.  Gotta know how to beat the system*.

(*: that is still my favorite story about The Champ.  It's laugh out loud hysterical ... and one hundred percent true.  To protect the guilty, I'll avoid posting it.  But trust me -- you would laugh your ass off.  God knows I did.  And man, did I have to eat that laugh.)

* OLB Andy Studebaker: B+.  Rock solid special teams player.  (Pause.)  Other than Dusty C, he's just about the only one of those we have.

* ILB Brandon Siler: B-.  Showed flashes of what I've always believed he had to offer.  (In the interest of full disclosure, I irrationally like Brandon Siler.  I think he can be a damned good linebacker.  From what my friends and trusted fellow Chiefs fans have said, I am bat sh*t crazy, and seeing things that don't exist.  In my defense ... that wouldn't be the first time that's happened.  (Pause.)  Or the five hundredth.)

* ILB Derrick Johnson: A.  Did everything asked of him, and then some.  With Houston / Johnson / Hali, the Chiefs have a rock solid linebacking core for the rest of this decade, barring catastrophic injury or incompetent salary cap management.

* ILB Cory Greenwood: B.  Did a decent job stepping into an impossible situation.

* ILB Jovan Belcher: F.  Failed on the field, failed his fiance, failed his daughter, failed his mother, failed Coach Gibbs, failed Coach Crennel, failed Mr. Pioli, failed every fan of the Red and Gold, failed every human being to ever draw breath -- past, present, or future.  I could continue, but why honor this absolute failure of a man by saying anything further about him.

* OLB Tamba Hali: B+.  Effectively battered the passer this year, and has developed a knack for being around the ball.  I can think of at least five passes he batted down, when after realizing he couldn't reach the quarterback, he instead fell back and waited for the throw.  A smart, effective presence at the position.  Docked half a letter grade for his drug related suspension in week one.

* CB Brandon Flowers: F.  Yes, F.  If it was possible to grade lower, I would.  He missed large periods of time with injury, and despite getting his payday as a top tier corner, refused to play like one.  You know who else was like that?  Who else the Chiefs threw an elite level corner contract at, and his game promptly went down the sh*tter?  Eric Warfield.  I do not like the trajectory of Brandon Flowers right now.

* CB Stanford Routt: F.  This was (allard baird voice) no question, THE worst free agent signing from last year -- possibly in the entire league -- and save for possibly Tyler Palko, the worst transaction period of the Pioli era.  He didn't even make it to midseason before being cut.

* CB Jalil Brown: F-.  Quite simply, the worst player on the Wrong 53, in terms of talent and contribution.  And with nothing else to add, may I ask a question that has always fascinated me, but noone seems to have an answer for?

Why does an F grade, not carry a plus or minus designation?  Every other possible grade has a plus, an average, and a minus.  But not F.  I mean, if you've got red ink all over your paper, and a gigantic F circled in red at the top of the page, what further harm could you do to a kid by adding a plus or a minus?  Really, like little Johnny isn't going to be upset at getting a F already?  Inflict some more trauma on the kid!  Or, give him a reason to hope by tossing a plus sign on there.  Give him a reason to aim for that D!  Am I the only one who thinks this way?  I am?  Figures.

* CB Javier Arenas: D.  Is in over his head as a starter, and provided virtually nothing in the return game.  Remember folks -- this is what we got for Tony Gonzalez.  Anyone happy about that deal still?

* CB Neiko Thorpe: B-.  Showed potential at times.  Saved the only game the Chiefs won in regulation with a late interception.  Should be a solid third down nickel / dime corner next year, as he was this year.

* S Eric Berry: B.  Was a bit timid early on, but can you blame him?  I don't.  By the end of the season, he was again showing his Pro Bowl form from his rookie season, and had put the effects of the knee injury behind him.  I am looking forward to seeing a healthy Eric Berry on the field come September.

* S Tysyn Hartman: A-.  I like this kid.  Showed some good flashes this year.  Plus, if that isn't the most f*cked up spelling of Tysyn any of us have ever seen, I can only cringe in horror, at what a worse spelling of Tysyn, would look like.

* S Travis Daniels: C.  A perfectly league average safety.  He's not gonna win a game for you, but he's not gonna lose one for you either.  Every team needs at least two of these guys in their secondary.

* S Abram Elam: C.  Another perfectly league average safety.  And since I have nothing else to say here, let me say that I had to look up whether he was black or white.  There aren't a whole lot of players, you have to do that for, anymore.  (Pause.)  Wait, what?  (Pause.)  Oh come on!  That was not racist! 

* The Grades: Special Teams.

* LS Thomas Gafford: A+.  I don't recall a single botched snap on a field goal or a punt this year.  And God knows Mr. Gafford had plenty of chances in the punting game, to screw the proverbial pooch.

* PK Ryan Succup: F.  Had the worst season of his career, missing nearly 30% of his kicks, becoming wildly inconsistent inside of 40 yards out, and had a couple costly misses (vs Falcons, at Steelers) that swung those games against the Chiefs.  Let's do better next year, ok, Mr. Irrelevant?

* P Dusty Colquitt: A+.  The cynic in me would note "well he should -- he had a boatload of practice!" to the suggestion that this was Dusty C's best season to date.  And with nothing else to add, seriously guys -- how ridiculously loaded is the AFC West at the punting position?  You can make the legitimate argument that the four best punters in the league, all reside inside our division (Dusty C with the Chiefs, britton colquitt with the broncos, shane leckler with the raiders, Mike Scifres with the Chargers).

* The Grades: Coaches.

(Not for the faint of heart).

* Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll: F.  From baffling play calls, to an outright refusal to coach to his team's strengths, Mr. Daboll's year with the Chiefs will go down as one of the worst coaching efforts in franchise history.  I honestly -- (joe biden voice) Folks?  I honestly cannot recall a single game plan this year that I didn't have an issue with, save for the first preseason game.  And in the words of "The Voice of Reason": it's preseason!  (My God, remember how optimistic everyone was after that preseason opener?  Talk about a cocktease.)  This is normally where I would note that "his replacement cannot possibly be worse ...", but that's what I said about Bill Muir in 2011, and Holy Mary mother of God, his replacement was worse.

* Offensive Line Coach Jack Bicknell, Jr.: B.  The Chiefs line had serious injury issues, but for the most part, they kept the quarterback upright (which may or may not have been a good thing), and there's no question -- (allard baird voice) no question! -- that the run blocking was amongst the league's best.  Bumped up a full letter grade for having to deal with and coach the biggest asshole this franchise has ever allowed to wear the Red and Gold (I'm looking at you, Mr. Winston.) 

* Quarterbacks Coach Jim Zorn: C-.  For on-field production, he deserves a F minus ... but for God's sake, look at what he had to work with!  To plagarize a line from Rick Pitino back in the day: "Trent Green or Len Dawson ain't coming through that door".  Not even the best offensive coordinator in the league (and for my money, that's Jay Gruden of the Bengals) could have won more than 5 games with this steaming pile of doggie doo doo.  He'll land on his feet, and probably succeed; Zorn's a good coach caught in an impossible situation last season.

* Wide Receivers Coach Nick Sirianni: F-.  Should have been purged at the bye week.  Granted, some of it is on the quarterback play, but every single receiver regressed this year.  Even last year, with Tyler Palko and Kyle Orton (who had no time to learn the playbook) under center, Jon Baldwin had made some improvement by the end of the year, and Steve Breaston was making a significant contribution to boot.  This year?  Breaston went "Where's Waldo" on us, Baldwin was about as effective as a condom Antonio Cromartie would use, and Dwayne Bowe had all but disappeared from relevance. 

* Offensive Quality Control Coach Jim Bob Cooter: A+.  Come on, there is no way I'm giving anything but an A to a dude named "Jim Bob Cooter".  And yes -- he really was our Offensive Quality Control Coach last year, he does exist.  Just like Rusty Kuntz actually exists.

* Tight Ends Coach Bernie Parmelee: F.  Bernie Parmelee is to quality coaching, what I am to sobriety.  He should have stuck with his UPS delivery day job*.

(*: in case you've forgotten -- the Dolphins signed him to be their running back in 1993, when he was working as a UPS delivery guy.  That might be the best move their franchise has made in twenty years; Parmelee was a decent back for a solid four or five seasons.)

* Assistant Head Coach / Running Backs Maurice Carthon: B+.  You can question damned near every position's result you want ... but the running game is one of two areas on this team, that performed at or above any reasonable expectations.  He'll be the one departing member of this coaching staff, that I am sorry to see go, and that will be difficult to replace with an upgrade.

* Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers Coach Gary Gibbs: A.  Linebacker was the other position on this team that met or exceeded expectations.  I thought Mr. Gibbs did an outstanding job as well when he took over as defensive coordinator at the bye week.  This was a vastly improved defense the last two months of the season, save the season finale, when everyone had already mailed it in -- they nearly won in Pittsburgh, gave denver all it could handle, shut down Cam Newton, and nearly sprung the upset of the Colts.  I am extremely pleased that "Fat" Andy Reid has retained Gary Gibbs as linebackers coach.

* Defensive Line Coach Anthony Pleasant: C.  The line was at least average, which by 2012 Chiefs standards, is Canton-esque.  Still, with not one, not two, but three top 11 picks from the last four years starting or seeing significant playing time, average is an unacceptable outcome.

* Defensive Backs Coach Emmitt Thomas: B+.  Given the alarming number of first and second year players he was forced to employ due to injury, release, and lack of depth, Mr. Thomas worked a minor miracle this year.  Like with Gary Gibbs, I am very happy that "Fat" Andy Reid retained Mr. Thomas in this position.  (That, and because I also hate to see former Chiefs players who return to coach with the team, essentially get fired a second time from the organization.)

* Defensive Quality Control Coach Otis Smith: A.  I didn't notice any equipment malfunctions, any missing helmets or pads, a lack of towels or Gatorade, so he did his job.  Plus, I love the name Otis.  We need more people named Otis in this world.  And Ralph.  I love the name Ralph too.

* Defensive Assistant / Assistant Linebackers Coach Anthony Zimmer: A.  The position didn't suffer one bit after Gary Gibbs assumed the coordinator's role, and that's a tribute to Mr. Zimmer.  Hopefully he lands on his feet with a quality organization; he's got a future in this league, based on the last two months of this season.

* Special Teams Coach Tom McMahon: C.  Half of the unit's responsibility (punting and coverage of said punt), he earns an A+ for.  Dusty Colquitt and crew turned in a season for the ages.  But half of the unit's responsibility (returning kicks and punts; field goal attempts), he earns a F for.  So I split the difference and gave him a C.  Mr. McMahon will not be returning in 2013; it's probably for the best.

* Strength and Conditioning Coach Mike Clark: F.  Every position, save for running back, had someone suffer a disasterous injury this year.  While some of them were unavoidable despite the best training regimen, this part of the team simply did not deliver the goods this year.

* The Grades: Head Coach.

* Head Coach Romeo Crennel:

This is going to be the toughest grade to decide, and the hardest review to write.  Seriously.

Mr. Crennel is arguably the worst head coach in franchise history.  (It's him or Frank Gansz Sr.)  Most everyone -- myself included -- thought this was a bad hire from the beginning, and ripped it early and often.  And as the incompetence shone through each week, and each defeat got worse, and the anger grew, and Mr. Crennel stood at the podium claiming that he "didn't understand" why things were collapsing around him, I turned on him in a way that I've never turned on a Chiefs coach before.  I resorted to calling him Coach Baffoon -- and purposely misspelling buffoon, because I didn't want to insult legitimate buffoons.

I openly questioned, both on this site and in casual conversation, how in the hell this owner, this general manager, this team -- how any of them could not fire Mr. Crennel at the bye week.  Six weeks into the season, and the Chiefs had yet to hold a lead for even a second, had lost four games by double digits (Falcons, Bills, Chargers, Falcons Bucs), and if something drastic didn't happen pretty f*cking fast, it wouldn't be just Romeo who paid the price with his job.

I even contemplated resurrecting something for the Bengals game that I hadn't done since the dark days of 2007 -- buy a pinata, print off a large Romeo Crennel head, slap it on said pinata, and hang it up on the tree at our tailgating spot, to let the masses know what you thought of Romeo.  (Hey, I lynch a donkeys doll for every home game.  I have serious anger management control issues when it comes to the Chiefs.)

But still, no matter how ugly it got, Mr. Crennel had one last chance to redeem himself -- November 25th.  Circle the wagons and beat the broncos at Arrowhead.  I am the person who has noted on more than a hundred occasions that "I can live with 1 and 15 every year, so long as the 1 is denver at Arrowhead" ... and I actually do mean that.  Obviously, it's not what I would want, but if the Chiefs are destined to suck, then for God's sake, at least beat the My Little Ponies at Arrowhead.

It didn't happen. 

This is how I opened the recap to the broncos game:

I was absolutely convinced -- beyond the shadow of all doubt -- that there was nothing, not one God damned thing, that Romeo Crennel could do, to salvage anything than the most scathing and insulting of grade and review, in this post after that defeat.  He was destined for the most hate-filled, angry diatribe I've ever posted on this site, and I remind you -- I have posted the recap of both the Ravens defeat in 2006*, and the victory over the Rams in that same year, on this site ... and neither is exactly a complimentary piece towards the intended targets that day (Herm Edwards in the Ravens piece; the CBS broadcasters in the Rams piece).

(*: I thought the Ravens recap was posted.  I'll have to search the archives for it, and if it didn't post, I'll find it in my old sent emails and post it.  Trust me -- it's a Stevo meltdown for the ages.) 

And then came the morning of December 1st.


I was sitting in bed, watching a "Law and Order" rerun, scrolling through my friends' Facebook statuses from the night before, when my phone started going berserk.  First, my brother: "Get on Twitter.  Now!"  Then friends various texts: "Hey, what's going on at Arrowhead?"  "Did you hear a player's dead?"  "What the hell do you know about this Chiefs player killing himself?"

And as the initial sorrow, turned into outrage, and then grief, suddenly football seemed as trivial as it actually is.  I'll be honest -- I was in the group of fans that did NOT want to play the next day.  Partly out of respect for what happened, but (and if I am one thing, it's always brutally honest about how I feel about something) because from a selfish standpoint, this was the one truly winnable home game on the schedule (the only other one left was the Colts), and I had no desire to go 0-8 at home.  I knew -- I just knew -- there was no way in hell the Chiefs would be ready to play that game, barely 24 hours after their teammate killed his fiance in front of their daughter and his mother, and then killed himself in front of his position coach, the GM, and Romeo himself.

Instead, what transpired is, simply put, the most amazing coaching performance I have ever had the pleasure and the privilege to witness live.  And the most meaningless, pointless, absolute "I don't give a sh*t about it" Chiefs game of my life.

On the basis of on-field performance, Romeo Crennel should be given an F, and he should be sued for every cent of compensation provided to him for his on-field "coaching" this season.

On this site?  I'm gonna do something I rarely do: I'm going to act like a typical Barack Obama supporter.  I'm going to grade Mr. Crennel based solely on emotion and feeling, rather than fact, logic, or reason.

Don't get used to it.

Grade: A+.

* The Grades: General Manager.

* General Manager Scott Pioli.

This one?  Much easier to write.  Mr. Pioli failed at nearly every aspect of his job.  Save for linebacker and place kicker, this franchise is infinitely worse at every single position upon his departure, than it was upon his arrival.  He turned off half the fanbase with his prick attitude, and he turned off the other half with his incompetence.

Rany Jazayerli put it best: fans will support a jerk who wins, or a lovable guy who loses.  They will never support a jerk who loses.


Grade: F.

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