The edge of a canyon, with only one way down.
Take what you're given, before it's gone;
And start holding on. Keep holding on!
'Cause when push comes to shove?
You taste what you're made of!
You might bend 'til you break,
'Cause it's all you can take.
On your knees? You look up.
And decide you've had enough.
You get mad. You get strong.
Wipe your hand, shake it off.
Then you stand.
Then you stand!"
-- "Stand" by Rascal Flatts.
Holy (blank), Batman!
Yesterday, Arrowhead Nation? Chiefs fans? People that are just sick and (blanking) tired of being pushed around, used, abused -- treated like a piece of "satan's franchise" dung on the bottom of your shoe?
Yesterday, those of us disgusted by this franchise, disgusted by what 2012 was, disgusted for whatever reasons in our lives -- whether it be teams, or friends, or whoever, treating us like we don't matter, treating us like we have no value, no worth, no importance. Like we are meaningless. Like investing a lifetime of energy and dedication and -- dare I say it -- love into them -- the time of feeling like that was a total waste of time, an investment with no worth whatsoever?
That time? Is over.
What yesterday truly was?
"Then you stand."
Yesterday? Was about one thing, and one thing only.
(Sorry, mom. I swear ... well, no (blank) sherlock, but, I swear -- this might be the only one, you truly hate. And you know, like I do, being honest? You're not gonna mind this one).
Then you f*cking STAND!
Because yesterday? Was a three letter word we haven't had much of lately as Chiefs fans ... and in my personal life (and I know -- getting personal on a personal blog site; stunning!), it's been thirteen painful (sorry -- numero dos) thirteen painful f*cking months, three hundred and ninety one days, since I've been forced to endure whatever this period of life is supposed to teach me, began last August 15th. Three hundred and ninety one days since I could say this three letter word, and truly mean it. Three hundred ninety one ugly, brutal, unasked for, undeserved days of pure unadulterated (seventh day adventist voice) "fertilizer".
Because yesterday? And it has been three hundred and ninety one days since I could say this three letter word about a single moment in my day, let alone the entire day, and actually mean it?
THAT? Was (blanking) FUN!!!!
God above, that? That was FUN! At least for me. There was not one damned thing about yesterday, I will ever forget. And yes -- I know. It's the home opener. Of a season in which this team's best effort, might be barely good enough, to get them to a wildcard ass whipping at Cincinnati or New England.
So be it.
Because yesterday? We stood. Yesterday? We had fun.
After after three hundred and ninety one days?
Standing for fun? Is a pretty gosh darned good place to start!
For the record, as I start this recap at 9:12am CT on Monday of (maureen mcgovern voice ... and God, this theme would have worked so damned perfectly as well today) "the morning after" ... my hands hurt. No, really -- I seriously do not have feeling in at least three fingers, and my palms are so swollen and red, you'd think I'd just spent the last thirty minutes having fun with a bottle of KY, said hands, a webcam, and a "webcam friendly adult site". My ears are ringing. Literally ringing. I had to crank the TV up to 44 on the volume level, to make out what was being said.
You want to know what yesterday meant to me? I sent this email to "The Voice of Reason", in case Mr. Reason wants to submit his thoughts and reaction to yesterday (note: he did -- keep reading) ... and honestly? I wanted to high-five someone, just typing this, I am still so ecstatic about everything -- and I mean EVERYTHING -- yesterday meant, not just to this team, but to me personally:
God knows I spent a solid thirty minutes after the game, high-fiving / man-hugging / shamelessly-copping-a-feel-hugging every Chiefs fan who walked by the postgame tailgate. It took me a few minutes to get out there. Once I did? Oh man. Oh freaking man. I have not exited that stadium as euphoric as I was yesterday, since Week Four 2008.
I honestly don't know where to begin. I truly don't.
So let me just see where this goes ... and relive the first day, in the last three hundred and ninety one of them for me, that I can honestly say ...
... was fun.
Let me begin with this: to whoever in the Chiefs Public Relations Department may read this (and you will be emailed this recap, just like I already (classily ... minus the c, and the l, emailed you), you all are truly -- and I honestly, and sincerely mean this -- you all are truly, the most inept, incompetent, utterly clueless and worthless PR organization in the recorded history of mankind.
For starters, you make those of us who support you the most (aka "season ticket holders"), "redeem" perks that shouldn't require redeeming. One of those -- the early-in pass -- I redeemed for our group yesterday.
That literally took up half my "points" I had earned so far this season.
What, pray tell, SHOULD that pass have entitled us to?
The admittance of one vehicle, into the parking lot, at 7am, via the far left lane of Gate 5, ninety minutes ahead of everyone else.
What, pray tell, DID that pass entitle us to?
Being moved across two lanes of traffic -- since the far left lane of Gate 5, is apparently devoted to employee arrival parking only, and seeing me have to "barbra streisand" my way past not one, not two, not three, not four, but five -- five! -- clueless parking attendants, before we were finally able to arrive at our usual parking spot north of G30 ... at 7:22am.
Where our tailgating neighbors -- Roger and his crew -- who did NOT get the early-in pass ... were wondering what took us so long, to get there.
Hey -- you jump off a bus moving along at 15-20 mph five times in the span of ten minutes, somehow miraculously land on your feet, convince parking dude you're talking to, to let you through, and hop back onto said moving bus, five times in ten minutes, and you tell me, how easy that is.
(The answer: it's not. That's another thing hurting big time today: my feet. I did not "land properly" at least once, based on the amount of blood in my sock this morning. Curt Schilling is jealous of my left sock, it's that ugly.)
What, pray tell, Chiefs organization, what good is an early-in pass, when you let EVERYONE in early?
If those 2,500 points are not credited back to my account?
Yeah, I know. Who am I kidding. We'll be there come 6:45ish two weeks from yesterday, come rain, snow, or shine. (And we got two of the three yesterday.)
But still. It'd be nice, if for the second time in three hundred and ninety one days?
You all did just one thing, absolutely right.
The best, most favorite moment, of yesterday? At least for me, anyways?
I was sitting in the Leinenkugel chair I got from The Champ and The Chica as my Christmas gift a couple years ago*, enjoying a steak, some salad, and a baked potato the way God intended it to be eaten (loaded with butter, sour cream, and cheddar cheese), when The Voice of Reason's dad walked up, to simply say hello.
When Mr. Reason had arrived twenty minutes earlier, his dad had gone off to meet up with someone or something, so I figured I'd just have to exchange pleasantries with Gordon in two weeks.
Instead, he came back, we spent a couple minutes getting caught up, and hugged it out before he took off for their tailgate.
I thank God, for the little moments, like that. The little moments noone else notices, and frankly noone else cares about. But the moments that do matter -- because they're personal.
Yesterday for me, had a boatload of personal moments, like that.
(*: for those wondering, the Rolling Rock chair is still alive and well ... but due to space constraints, was sadly left behind yesterday. But it's still ok, and will make its' ... hang on, carry the eight ... good Lord! SIXTEENTH season debut! At the Giants game. Let's just all hope it's so nice out, that it can return in the style it deserves: with me, nearly passed out drunk, in 80 degree heat, at 10:30am ... with no t-shirt in sight.)
"The Voice of Reason" just promised ... or at least offered, to work up his thoughts. It is 9:46am CT as I type that.
My response? Is how I still feel, thirty minutes into this thing:
(note: unless otherwise specified, all pics courtesy me, via Snag-It 10, on the laptop.)
Shawn Michaels in the pregame.
Shawn freaking Michaels, helping lead the Chiefs onto the field!
Has there EVER been a more appropriate person to be a fan of this team, than the man known as "The Heartbreak Kid"?
The most surreal moment of the day: as the pregame ceremonies were ongoing, and the huge -- and I mean hu-yuge -- balls of fire and smoke were being blown into the air, along with a healthy feeding of fireworks?
It was pouring down rain in the stadium. Not a monsoon -- but a steady feeding of water from the heavens.
And man, it felt good.
It felt damned good.
It was like seeing an old friend you hadn't seen in a long time ... and didn't realize how much you missed him, until he was there.
Yesterday, Chiefs fans?
We got our friend back.
We got our team back.
It was so epic, so amazingly awesome ... that even in Heaven's watching party? The room got a lil' bit dusty for about twenty minutes.
Tailgating was pretty solid. Other than me, who couldn't figure out why the Mixology wasn't cranking out loud and proud.
Because once again ... I plugged the speaker wires in backwards.
It takes a special level of talent ... to be as "special", as me.
Lynched Donkey hung at about 8am. Both nooses intact. I feel like this is important. His helmet is a little bit broken, and he actually looks semi-cute, hugging the NFL football like he does.
But he's Lynched Donkey.
And he'll be joined in 76 days by his (oj simpson voice) "good friend", Pinata Bronkey.
But until that day comes, it's still cool to see that thing hanging in effigy.
Via two nooses:
"The Voice of Reason" promises to type something up. It is 10:09am CT. And I truly, still have no idea, how to express how much yesterday meant.
In fact, I just sent the following ... and those of you from the KC Metro area, who've ever eaten at that fine dining establishment, will get the joke:
Let's just say, for those of you who wouldn't get the joke ... that Don Chilito's, is no Joe's.
(You gotta scroll down awhile ... but it's worth it. Also, RIP Bandit. God above, we have lost way too many of the absolute godd*mned good ones in life, this last year. (Pause). What? (Pause). Hell yes the high chair joke still makes me laugh out loud! God, what is so hard to understand about our fight, seriously? Sh*t happens! You get mad, you get strong, wipe your hand, shake it off. Because then? Then you stand. Then. You. (Sorry mom) F*cking! Stand! I'd still take a bullet for The Champ. And The Chica. (Pause). Yeah, true -- especially The Chica ...)
So I guess I have to start somewhere.
And I'll start with this.
Yesterday, was a fresh start.
Every so often in life, for whatever reason, you have to start over. You have to hit the reset button, with those you truly love, because they've hurt you, you've hurt them, you've screwed up, they've (rhymes with "bucked") up, and you care too damned much about them -- and they do, you, if forced to be honest -- that neither side can walk away. You have to hit the reset button. (Although unlike Mrs. Clinton? Reset is spelled correctly here. God above. Even the one thing about this administration worth admiring and respecting, can't spell "reset" right.)
Sunday? The Chiefs hit the reset button with us fans.
And our hands?
Were pushing that damned button right along with them.
When I've referred to "the morning after" so many times these last three hundred and ninety one days? That's what I mean. You have to forgive those who offend you, because if you don't? You become them.
It took me three hundred and eighty nine days, to see that in my personal life.
It took the Chiefs, three hundred and ninety one days, to do it for us, the fans.
Which is why yesterday will always -- always! -- occupy a spot in my hierarchy of games. My favorite Chiefs game I've ever attended, believe it or not, is the Dolphins game from 2002. That was the day the Chiefs turned the corner, turned the page, on four ugly years, and moved on. My second favorite game I've ever attended, was the donkeys game in 2006. The one time in my life, I truly believed the Kansas City Chiefs, were the best team in the League.
Is at worst, my fourth favorite game I've attended.
The question is, does it top Jacksonville, to end that 2006 season?
OK, let's finally get serious, and do this. But first, here is my reaction to "The Voice of Reason"'s thoughts on yesterday (to be posted below momentarily):
(Pause). What? (Pause). OK, that's it -- in the words of Vincent Kennedy McMahon: Mr. Stevo's Site Numero Dos Non-Existent Editor Dude?
Of COURSE I'm posting Mr. Reason's thoughts! If only because, like I said ... it's better than whatever is about to follow.
But, since the natives are getting restless ... and it is after high noon ... my latest email missive with Mr. Reason, as I am now into hour four of typing this up:
In the interest of full disclosure, I have known the friend affectionately known on this site as "The Voice of Reason", for over half my life. We met our freshman year of high school, but truly met our sophomore year, because ... uuh, wow ... gee ... how to put this delicately ... we were both running an illegal gambling pool, and figured it was easier to combine, than divide.
Best decision I've ever made in my life. Mr. Reason would probably disagree -- God knows I've caused him far more harm, than good, over the years.
And yet, there he was yesterday, for a solid thirty minutes for tailgating, along with his dad for a solid ten minutes of tailgating ... and there he was yesterday -- standing there, yelling, screaming, being himself, for three plus hours inside that stadium.
Because that's what yesterday was truly about: the things you love. The things that you not just love -- they are FUN.
The people you love, the things you love, the teams you love. The things that make you feel good, and you owe no apology, for enjoying them.
If they screw up? And God knows the 2012 Chiefs did? You forgive them.
If they misrepresent themselves to you -- and every Chiefs fan knows, the 2012 Chiefs, and that epic asshat scott pioli* (whose name will never again receive capitalization on this site), the 2012 Chiefs lied to us bigtime, claiming to be a professional franchise, a playoff contender, the "Right 53", simply a team worth giving a sh*t about -- when the things that matter fail you?
You not just say "it's ok; we're cool, dude" ... you stand for three hours and thirteen minutes, you clap so much your hands swell up in hurt, you shout so much your voice goes from ... whatever mine was, to a baritone. That's another thing hurting this morning -- my vocal chords. It hurts to breathe, let alone talk.
Mr. Reason's Immediate Reaction To Yesterday:
(*: watching mister pioli last night, say he would "never" draft Johnny Manziel? Explains more than I could ever say, about why he's arguably the worst general manager of the 2010's, in the League.)
And Mr. Reason's Actual Prepared Comments To Yesterday (as always, only edited for font and size):
Here you go:
The feeling was back. That was one of the first things I said to my dad as we were walking to the car yesterday. It’s been a long time since I had that feeling leaving a stadium. It’s possible that the donkey game in 2003 (82 punt return game) when both teams entered 4-0 was the last time I truly felt that way after a game. It’s too early to know for sure, but I definitely felt like this was a real, live National Football League team yesterday. Dallas was better than I expected. Their defense was phenomenal (I think they’ll end up top 5 or 10 in the league) and Romo didn’t make any mistakes until his fumble in the middle of the 4th quarter. Dallas played well yesterday. Well enough to win 75%+ percent of NFL games. Kansas City played better.
Alex Smith certainly looked better than anyone since Trent Green’s Pro Bowl season (I’m aware that’s not saying much), and he really showed his ability to move around in the pocket and out of the pocket when necessary (probably more than I would have preferred). Jamal Charles was more than serviceable playing at, what looked to me, was 75% at the most, and he pounded the hell out of the ball in crunch time to ice the game. Dwayne Bowe got some more touches and had his first TD in 350 days (aw, the Romeo Crennel era). The offense did everything they needed to do to win…outscore Dallas and commit ZERO turnovers to a team that had 6 takeaways last week against a good Giants team.
Brandon Flowers was torched by Dez Bryant for 100 yards in the 1st quarter, but settled down by the 2nd half when they needed him. Dontari Poe looked as good as any nose tackle since Dan Saleamua. He was a beast and might be the key to the defense the rest of the year. Eric Berry stepped in for Dunta Robinson and played his heart out as the nickel CB most of the day. Tom Bahali and Justin Houston both had off days, which means this defense will only look better in the games to come.
But, in addition to the balloons, probably the 2 things I loved more than anything were the all red uniforms and the return of individual player introductions. It was heavily rumored that the donkey Thanksgiving game a few years ago was going to be the unveiling of the all red uniforms and Lamar Hunt nixed it at the last minute. While I didn’t agree with that, I’ll always respect any decision made by Mr. Hunt. Yesterday was the perfect time to break those out. I hope they become a once or twice a year fixture in the years to come.
Secondly, I understand why teams have the entire team come out together, but what real purpose does that serve? I love how the new administration at Arrowhead is letting the players have their own personalities again. Has a very early 90s feeling to it. Yesterday, we got to hear Dan Roberts give us the 11 starters on defense and both the players and crowd loved it. It’s little things like this that are changing the attitude at One Arrowhead Drive…and that’s a winning attitude you haven’t really, truly seen there since 1997.
Finally, the noise was back….there have been louder moments in the last 10 years, but I don’t remember the stadium being as consistently loud for an entire quarter as it was during the 4th quarter on Sunday. When I watched the replay of the game last night, the TV broadcast didn’t even come close to doing justice on the crowd noise. There were multiple occasions I tried to tell something to my dad and he couldn’t hear a thing I was saying less than 2 feet away. That’s a damn good feeling.
I’m by no means predicting a playoff season yet this year, but you can feel the tide is changing for our men dressed head to toe in Crimson. I have this feeling the next few years ahead could be very special.
I think, in a way, he was saying three simple words.
The first drive was a thing of beauty.
Absolute perfect beauty.
The Chiefs won the toss, chose to receive. (Note: there are two, and pretty much only two, things my buddy Gregg and I will never see eye to eye on, regarding football. The first, is the idiocy of drafting Derrick Johnson over Aaron Rodgers, in the 2005 draft. I know I'm right on that one -- then, and especially now. The second? You always take the ball. He always opts to defer. That might explain my (approximate) .172 winning percentage at Madden and NCAA (Insert Year Here) against him over the years. And yes -- the urban legend is true. There really was one game we played (5 minute quarters) ... where I never had the ball in the second half, and he kicked a field goal to win, as time expired.)
If you were there? You'll understand what that first drive was set up to be. Rodney Atkins nailed the National Anthem. The smoke from the pregame stuff, mixed with the rain, would make even Jim Nabors himself shed a tear. To say nothing of the epic balloon launch that never fails to move one's emotions.
(Note: from this point on, any questions in my mind, are verified by nfl.com's play by play recap.)
Chiefs start at their own 23. And immediately, you knew -- these weren't the imposters of the team we love, that posed as the 2012 version, of these guys.
The Chiefs first ... hang on. Let's play a quick game here, pleasantly called "How Many Straight Passing Plays Did The Chiefs Open With For 400, Alex!"
And ... time.
(D) is your correct answer.
The Chiefs did not call a designed run play until the EIGHTH play of the drive, and of the game, a draw to Jamaal Charles on 2nd and 10 from the Cowboys 30, for no gain.
The Chiefs ran thirteen plays on the initial drive of "Fat" Andy Reid's home era in Kansas City.
That draw for no gain?
Was the ONLY designed running play called.
And yet, people think "Fat" Andy has to "adapt" to the Chip Kelly's of this League.
Give me a (blanking) break.
Because when push came to shove?
We tasted what Alex (blanking) Smith, is made of.
On 3rd and 15, at the Dallas 35, opening drive of the game, every receiver covered, every one of the 76,592 of us in attendance, and the 400 some odd official players, referees, league employees, and various team officials in attendance, knowing the play had to be a pass ...
Alex Smith rolled right, the pocket collapsing ...
... and gained 17.
Three plays later, he hit Jamaal Charles on a sweet short screen.
In the words of the (not even remotely) great Mitch Holtgus, three -- again, that number matters! -- three sweet magical words, we heard far too infrequently last year.
"Touchdown! Kansas! City!"
Even Vice President Biden, loves that three word phrase. Because it's what football -- like life -- is all about.
Mr. Vice President?
(vice president biden voice) Folks! Yesterday was fun! A three letter word -- fun!
Thank you sir.
You all know I do not believe in coincidence.
Everything -- everything! -- in life, happens for a reason.
I spent yesterday sitting next to one of "Vice Grillmaster" Anthony's buddies, and his significant other.
Because the two tickets they bought, were right next to my seat.
A "what are the (blanking) odds?!?!?!" moment to some ...
... a "yup, there is a God, and He does give a sh*t about us!" moment, to me.
You all have no idea how awesome it was, to stand as one, with those you truly like ... when you never see it coming. Especially yesterday. After everything my life has been for three hundred and ninety days ... on day 391?
Then you stand.
I also sat (on my left side) next to some dude I'd never seen before, and probably never will again.
I knew this guy was a keeper, when on the Charles touchdown reception, he shouted out even before I could "the middle is open! The middle is open! Throw it!"
That dude (whose name was Paul), is responsible for approximately 42.3% of the damage done to my left hand this morning ... from smacking his hand and back so much, in celebration yesterday.
Which probably also explains the gigantic palm prints, on my left shoulder I noticed in the mirror this morning.
Then you stand.
The score at halftime was 10-7 Dallas.
To be honest, it should have been 28-7 Dallas, they were so thoroughly whipping us.
And yet, every time the game could ... and perhaps should, have been decided?
Then you stand.
The defense held Dallas to a long field goal (good) on their opening drive, after they moved fifty yards in barely five plays.
The defense broke once, on Dallas' second drive, started near midfield. (To Jason Garrett's credit, the deep ball to Dez Bryant? Amazing. My God, what I wouldn't give for one, just one, Chiefs play to unfold like that. Brilliant play call, brilliant execution, perfect spot for both.)
And it was 10-7 Dallas, entering halftime.
I do not remember the last time, I walked down the aisle to relieve myself, and buy the second half Coors Light ... that I felt optimism, and hope.
I especially don't remember the last time I felt happy enough, to buy three Coors Lights -- for me, Anthony's friend, and Paul -- to enjoy for the second half.
I did feel that optimism. And I did drop that (gulp) $27.75 ($30.00 after tip) on those Coors Lights.
Best damned thirty bucks I've spent, in a damned long time.
"Then you stand".
Three words I kept coming back to, the entire second half.
Gregg's recap of yesterday above, kind of hinted at the stadium's feelings, at the fan's involvement.
Let me tell you -- it was LOUD in there yesterday.
I think I sat for exactly two plays in the second half ... and one, I'm pretty sure, was to grab that Coors Light for some refreshment.
Yes, there were plenty of Cowboys fans in there, including five -- five! -- from our tailgating group, including our driver, Russ the Bus Man.
But who cares.
'Cause when push comes to shove?
You taste what you're made of!
And Chiefs fans?
We're made of what matters.
Then you stand.
The first huge play of the second half, Dallas' opening drive. They're using us, in the words of the great Clark Judge, formerly of kcchiefs.com, now of CBSSportsline., the Cowboys are using the Chiefs defense "as their own personal urinal". We couldn't stop their opening drive. It's first and goal at the Chiefs 5.
When Dontari Poe stood.
And -- more specifically -- Tony Romo, sat.
On his ass.
After being sacked for a seven yard loss.
The defense forced the field goal. Dallas had driven 75 yards at that point ... and couldn't get the last five.
In Section 317 ... this (not even remotely humble) blogger, began to believe.
And standing in front of (approximately) section 122, "Fat" Andy Reid's offense, believed as well.
Because the Chiefs took the kickoff -- and wow, how amazing is it that yesterday happened as it did, and if anything, the only part of the team to complain about was the special teams? -- the Chiefs took over after a touchback, and put together what I would argue is their best drive since Steve Breaston converted a 3rd and 15 to beat San Diego nearly twenty three months ago.
The key play, being the third down bomb to Donnie Avery, to go from 3rd and 9 inside our own 40, to 1st and 10 at the Cowboys 30.
It might be the best thrown pass any Chiefs quarterback has thrown since ... uuh ... wow ... uuh ... golly gee ... hang on ... yeah, I got nothing.
If you didn't witness this play live? I feel sorry for you. Because something happened on that play, that simple Avery shifts left / Smith hits him downfield throw that you dream about completing when you're thirteen years old, playing with your buddies in the backyard, and call the "three jet all go" route that (if you're me anyway) winds up with a football, your mom's kitchen window, and a very visibly upset mom dropping a few salty words at you that your father ... ok, fine -- my dad laughed his ass off. But still -- that play? In the grand scheme of things?
Every NFL playoff team, makes eight to ten times a year, minimum.
Chiefs fans? When was the last time, OUR team, made that play? 3rd and 9, for 40 yards, to extend a drive, that potentially would define a season?
If you were there yesterday, you get it.
If you weren't? I feel sorry for you. Not just because you weren't there ... but because the TV coverage, did NOTHING to convey, how that stadium went from "give us one -- just one -- godd*mned (sorry numero cinco) f*cking reason to believe" ... to "don't stop believing!", literally -- in one snap.
That play? If "The Voice of Reason" is right (and God knows I'd wager on him, long before me), if he's right, and this season has purpose, meaning, and value and worth?
That play? Smith to Avery for a first down midway through the third?
In Section 317, after that completion, and what it meant?
It got a lil' bit dusty, up there ...
... if for no other reason, than we stood.
Three plays later, Smith to Bowe, touchdown Chiefs. Lead, Chiefs.
And as history is now forced to record --
My second favorite play of the game, is the next highlight, when Akeem Jordan stripped the Cowboys receiver of the ball, Eric Berry recovered it, and thus all but ended the third quarter, putting the Chiefs in spectacular position at the Cowboys 30, to open the 4th quarter.
It only led to a field goal ... but it's the noise, and again, if you weren't there, TV did not do us justice, the noise inside that stadium after Succup made the field goal, to make it 17-13?
The last thirteen minutes, were a freaking madhouse.
If you weren't there yesterday? You won't get it -- the TV didn't do it justice.
But in the words of the great Blake Shelton: "(We) get loud! (We) get proud! And it gets worse!"
I have rarely been prouder, to be a member of Arrowhead Nation, than I was for the last 13:49 yesterday.
To say nothing of this corporate farce known as The Chiefs Kingdom.
(Pause). What? (Pause). You know what? It is almost time, for those three magical words, that make seasons worth enjoying. It is almost time. (Go figure -- three, again!)
But not quite yet.
Not quite yet ...
The illegal touching penalty.
I'm still trying to figure out, how that was illegal touching.
No, really -- it's only been twenty four hours, and a few re-watchings of the game later ... and I still don't have a damned clue, how that was illegal touching?
Oh, for Mrs. Voice of Reason --
The t-shirt came off, and was draped John Thompson II style, at the two minute warning, of the first half.
And yes -- I'm stunned it took that long, as well.
(Pause). What? (Pause) You're damned right she* -- and everyone by me -- was welcome!
(Note: it's an inside joke, dating back to the donkeys game in 2008. For the clueless:
And yes ... there were visible bite marks on the shirt, when yesterday came to its' happy ending. (Pause). What? (Pause). Oh come on, allow me one classless sex joke! I fired the first Mr. Stevo's Site Numero Dos Non-Existent Editor Dude four pages ago for less, replacement dudette!)
I didn't honestly think they'd try the field goal.
It's 17-13 Chiefs, a little over four minutes to go, and Dallas has it at our 35, 4th and 10. And I honestly was stunned, they tried the field goal.
Me and Paul (the dude next to me yesterday) went at it verbally over this. (Another reason I loved this guy: he's biased as hell for KC ... but loves thinking the situation through, for both sides, for what the right thing to do is. As I love to do. I love people like me. There are far, far, far too few of us, left in this country, let alone this sport, anymore.)
He supported the field goal, given (a) the time left, (b) the timeouts left (Dallas had all three), and (c) the down and distance. Down four, 4th and 10, at the opponents 35, kick.
Me? I argued that with one first down (if played correctly), Dallas would never see the ball again, and what good would a field goal do? If it's good? You're still losing, with no guaranteed shot to get the ball back. If you miss? Then the Chiefs take over maybe 15 yards farther downfield (as opposed to a kickoff if the field goal was good.)
And if you punted? Well, any head coach in that spot who opts to punt, should be fired on the spot ... but only after confirming he has at least one of Hillary Clinton's pair.
But they kicked. 17-16 Dallas.
Push ... has come to shove.
(paul, to me) One or two (first downs needed)?
(me, to paul) Two, at least. And I fear, three.
(paul, to me) We don't have (three) in us.
(me, to paul) I know. (Smacks seat back in front of me) God bless it, I know!
(paul, to me) (silent)
(me, to paul) What, no response?
(paul, to me) Saving the voice for when it counts.
God bless it, can we get that dude season tickets already? No, really -- I can at least front the next couple games ...
History will show, the Chiefs took over, at their own 16, with 3:50 to go.
To which every person there yesterday will respond with "really? Only 3:50? Really?"
It felt like half an hour, that last 3:50.
The Chiefs got one first down. The Cowboys used all three timeouts. It was 3rd and 10, at the Chiefs 44, with maybe 2:50 to go, if that. A first down, ensured as close to a guaranteed win, as could be delivered. Anything less? No bueno.
I hate doing this yet again ... but sometimes, when I pick the theme for a recap or prediction post, or whatever?
"Then you stand."
Or in Donnie Avery's case, sit.
On his ass.
Via a very, very, very fortuitous pass interference penalty on Maurice Claiborne.
(Pause). What? (Pause). No, we're not there yet!
But we're getting really, really damned close ...
This? This is what this season, and every season, is about to me.
A simple towel, from the day after I turned twenty one.
A towel I carry into every home game. A towel I make no apologies for having on me, at any point in time.
This? This is what must be avenged ... eventually:
Yesterday? The Chiefs took their first step, to erasing the shame, of the day after I turned twenty one.
The feeling after the game? Was euphoria.
I cannot possibly describe, how awesome it felt, hearing the columns being pounded, on the walk out. Hearing the Tomahawk Chop, for so much of the fourth quarter.
Mr. Reason noted that "the feeling was back" so many pages ago, and I would never want to step on his territory.
But I'd say something a little bit different, regarding what yesterday meant.
Yesterday wasn't about bringing the feeling back.
Was about making damned certain, beyond the shadow of any reasonable doubt?
That it never left.
Because we stood.
We f*cking stood!
I didn't need Lionel Richie's classic "Dancin' On The Ceiling" to celebrate this win.
The offer was there -- haul the speakers out, get the iPhone plugged in -- I was even told to my face, by two different people, "come on, you have to end this day right!"
I didn't need it. A song on a speaker? Doesn't make a tailgate, doesn't define a season.
DID this right!
We stood. We (blanking) stood!
God, it felt good leaving yesterday! I had to smack hands with at least 300 people walking back to the grassy area by G30. I finally made it back, and literally looked at (I forget which) Anthony or Jaimmie, and didn't have to say a word, after they looked at me.
I had the bottle of champagne in my hand, not even twenty seconds later.
Skipped the middle man.
And smacked hands, backs, and anything else offered, for the next thirty minutes, of every Chiefs fan who walked past.
Yesterday, Arrowhead Nation? Yesterday, Chiefs Kingdom?
Yesterday, peoples and peepettes?
We f*cking stood!
And damn, it feels good!
And God bless it, you all have NO idea, how awesome -- how blanking epically awesome! -- it feels, to type these three words, about to be typed.
Three words, I never once got to send out last year. Three words, I regret sending out (again, the themes, they keep tying in!) "the morning after" the Chargers game in 2011.
The three words, first texted out by me, seven years ago, after the win in the desert against the Cardinals.
Three words ...
"'Cause when push comes to shove?
You taste what you're made of!"
Yesterday, Chiefs fans? Push came to shove.
And we tasted what this team is made of.
And it tasted damned good.
"You might bend 'til you break,
'Cause it's all you can take."
We bent yesterday, Chiefs fans.
We NEVER broke!
"On your knees? You look up!
Decide you've had enough!"
"You get mad, you get strong;
Wipe your hand, shake it off ..."
"Then you stand."
We f*cking stood, as one, all 76,425 of us.
Which means there are three words left to say, to make sure everyone knows, beyond the shadow of all doubt, what yesterday meant, for this Chiefs team.
Three words, first so (bias alert!) perfectly texted by me, after a week four win at Arizona, seven years ago.
Yeah -- it's time. It's (blanking) time! Because it's ...
Season! F*cking! ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!