Saturday, October 26, 2013

week eight part dos: what this man wants to feel ...

"'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.
Decide you've had enough.
You get mad.  You get strong.
Wipe your hand, shake it off.

Then you stand."


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For part one of the week eight picks, click here.

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The "Klassy" Kevin Keitzman Tweet O' The Week:

I want you to flash back with me for a minute, to a time of great joy and celebration for Chiefs fans.  I want you to take a trip back with me to four years ago, to Week Sixteen, 2010.

The Chiefs have just finished throttling the Tennessee Titans 31-3, to clinch at worst a wildcard berth in the postseason.  If the Chargers lose the late game at The Paul, then the Chiefs would win their first divisional championship, since every political observer known to man felt that Howard Dean would be the party nominee.  (It'd been a while, gang.  It'd been a long, long while.)

At the postgame party, we sat around watching that Chargers / Bengals game, and as Phyllis Rivers kept chucking interception after lost fumble after brain-fart throw down the field, the excitement started building.  A 2-12 Bengals team was going to do it.  They were going to deliver the division to the Chiefs.

Which is exactly what they did; the Chargers lost that game, and the Chiefs could start printing postseason tickets for wildcard weekend at Arrowhead.

After the celebration calmed down a bit, my buddy Tyler realized that he was hungry.  Or so he said.  So he and the girl he was with at the time told us all that they were going "out for a pizza", and would be back later.

They never returned.

Because we all knew what going "out for a (piece of)" meant.

In that same vein, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Ol' "Klassy" Kev's Tweet O' The Week:



Kevin!  You randy fool!  How cheeky of you!  Rick Pitino would approve!

"The Voice of Reason"'s Reason:

(Note: Mr. Reason did not submit any prepared statement for posting this week.)

TB +6.5 (moves me to 0-8 on Thursday nights)
Jax +15.5 (ALWAYS take double digit home dogs…especially when the road team is crossing multiple time zones)
Det -3 (I like Dallas this year, but Det is too much at home)
NYG +5 (Andy Reid has more wins in philly this year than the eagles do)
Cle +7.5 (Jasson Campbell was 2-0 as raiders qb in KC)
Buf +11 (I will rarely lay 10+ pts in the NFL)
NE -6.5 (At least belicheck doesn’t have to worry about Jerome boeger this week)
NYJ +6.5 (Nice way to barely avoid a black out, cincy)
Oak +2 (Always go against teams traveling coast to coast)
Wash +12.5 (Not good that Merriweather misses this game)
Atl +2.5 (I think Atlanta comes back and wins the nfc south)
Min +9 (Wow….great idea putting minn on primetime 2 weeks in a row)
StL +11 (double digit dogs on MNF are money) 

The Flashback: Chiefs vs Browns.

There haven't been many meaningful Chiefs / Browns tilts, although the franchise does share a few common links.  Former Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel, affectionately known on this site as Coach Baffoon, coached the Browns for four years, failing to make the postseason.  The Chiefs starting quarterback last year, Brady Quinn, was a first round pick of the Browns in 2007, and started a few games for them.

And of course, there's the one, glaring, obvious connection between these two franchies, and that is former Chiefs head coach Marty Schottenheimer, who came to Kansas City after being fired in Cleveland for daring to lose two AFC Championship games to Satan's Team, and a wildcard tilt to the Oilers, while starting a third string quarterback.

Marty returned to Cleveland in November 1989 for the first time.  It is one of the most painful non-victories the Chiefs have ever suffered ... and one of the most painful non-defeats the Chiefs have ever suffered.

It was a cold day -- brutally cold, according to pro-football-reference.com.  30 degrees at kickoff, 19 degree windchill, a 15 mph wind swirling around old Municipal Stadium.  The Chiefs entered the game at 4-6, after losing a heartbreaker the week at Arrowhead to elway and the broncos.  (Note: to this day, I cannot say the name "bobby humphrey" without immediately thinking of this game, the first truly crushing defeat I can recall being at in my life, and immediately beginning to swear like a sailor.  The Chiefs and donkeys were tied at 13 with less than a minute to play.  The donkeys were at midfield, and called a draw to bobby humphrey.  He took it 49 yards to the Chiefs one yard line, where david treadwell won the game as time expired.  I truly do not know what frightens me more: that I can recall every detail of that game ... or that it is, at best, the sixth most painful defeat to the broncos, I've ever sat through.)

The game itself was horrific.  The Chiefs turned it over five times; the Browns three.  The teams were flagged for a staggering twenty two combined penalties.  Chiefs starter Steve DeBerg's line?  You might want to hide the women and children: 17/40, 209 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT, 1 fumble (lost).  He also went down five times via the sack.  DeBerg was so horrific, he was yanked for Steve Pelleur for a series, who managed to go 2/4 for 16 yards.  And Browns starter Bernie Kosar wasn't much better: 21/42, 198 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, and a lost fumble that was the Chiefs only touchdown on the day.  The Chiefs leading rusher that day was my favorite Chiefs player of all time, Christian Okoye.  He had 21 carries ... for 40 yards.  My God.  The Browns leading rusher, eventual Rookie of the Year Eric Metcalf, managed to somehow post an even WORSE performance: 23 carries for 49 yards (and a touchdown).

Yes -- we are all professionals here.

The score was 3-0 at the half.  Yes -- Browns 3, Chiefs 0.  It was tied at ten headed to overtime.  Because really gang -- when you're playing football this atrocious, sixty minutes of hell is not enough, for what you paid for your ticket.

And in that overtime cession, the Chiefs missed (wait for it ... wait for it ...) not one, not two, but three -- three! -- field goals, and wound up kissing their sister, in this case the Browns, at tens for the final.

Why, you ask, did I pick a game from 24 years ago, as this week's classic game focus?

For starters, this is pretty much the only meaningful Chiefs / Browns game ever played.  One of the other of these squads has sucked something awful it seems, every time they have met.

But this one game, this one contest, had hu-yuge, and I mean HU-YUGE, consequences on the postseason.

It literally affected every single AFC postseason slot, save for the one seed.  (denver was the one, via best record in the conference and its' AFC West championship, at 11-5.  Yes, boys and girls -- an eleven win conference top seed.  The AFC was HORRIFIC in 1989, as you're about to see.)

Because of the tie between the Chiefs and the Browns, the following DID occur:

1. The Cleveland Browns won the AFC Norris at 9-6-1, a half game ahead of the Oilers and Steelers at 9-7-0.
2. The Cleveland Browns won the second seed thanks to the tie, knocking the AFC East Champion Bills to the three seed at 9-7-0.
3. The Oilers and Steelers were awarded the two AFC wildcard slots, and faced each other at the Astrodome.
4. The Chiefs finished a half game out of the playoffs at 8-7-1. 

Because of the tie, this was your AFC standings in 1989:

1. denver broncos 11-5-0.
2. Cleveland Browns 9-6-1.
3. Buffalo Bills 9-7-0.
4. Houston Oilers 9-7-0.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers 9-7-0.
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6. Kansas City Chiefs 8-7-1.

But what if the Chiefs had WON?  What if any of Nick Lowery's three misses in overtime sails through the uprights?  Then the following happens:

1. The Buffalo Bills would have been the two seed, at 9-7, via tiebreaker.
2. The Cleveland Browns still would have won the AFC Norris, but via a three way tiebreaker at 9-7.
3. The Cleveland Browns were now the three seed.
4. The Kansas City Chiefs would have been the top wildcard, and would have hosted Arrowhead's first playoff game.
5. The Houston Oilers would have been the opponent.  The Chiefs beat Houston 34-0 in early December at Arrowhead.
6. The Pittsburgh Steelers would have missed the playoffs. 

And this is how your playoff puzzle would have appeared:

1. denver broncos 11-5-0.
2. Buffalo Bills 9-7-0.
3. Cleveland Browns 9-7-0.
4. Kansas City Chiefs 9-7-0.
5. Houston Oilers 9-7-0.
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6. Pittsburgh Steelers 9-7-0.

And think about what else would have likely happened, had Nick Lowery made a freaking kick:

* Chuck Noll likely retires after twenty years as the Steelers head coach.  The Steelers likely don't even interview the Chiefs first year defensive coordinator, a man by the name of Bill Cowher, let alone hire him. 

* If you think Marty is diety now in KC for the amazing job he and Carl did to save this franchise, can you imagine his stature if the Chiefs make the playoffs in his first year, AND host Arrowhead's first playoff game to boot? 

* Your AFC Title Game likely would have been Buffalo at denver, instead of Cleveland at denver.  Which would have meant the Bills would have appeared in a "never going to see this again" incredible SIX STRAIGHT AFC Title Games!  Just think about that.  I've always thought the Bills early 1990s run is one of the most amazing feats in this League's history.  To appear in four straight conference title games, is incredible.  (Buffalo's run: 1990 W vs los angeles; 1991 W vs denver; 1992 W at Miami; 1993 W vs Kansas City).  I can only think of two other teams, that have pulled that off in my lifetime -- "Fat" Andy Reid's Eagles (2001 L at St. Louis; 2002 L vs Tampa; 2003 L vs Carolina; 2004 L vs Atlanta), and the height of the Triplets era in Dallas (1992 W at San Francisco; 1993 W vs San Francisco; 1994 L at San Francisco; 1995 W vs Green Bay).

* And what really would have been interesting?  Flip where the Chiefs and Steelers drafted.

The Chiefs, picking 13th, took Michigan State LB Percy Snow.  Yeah.

The Steelers had the 17th pick.  They traded it, to the Cowboys.

Who drafted Emmitt Smith, RB, University of Florida, with the selection.

Sometimes, one kick -- especially three misses -- can change history.

"The Poem":

Sunday at high noon,
The Browns are coming to town.
Let us all hope the Chiefs
Avoid the inevitable letdown.

The Kingdom will arrive,
Dressed up in the Red and Gold,
Hoping the story unfolding,
Winds up being the greatest ever told.

We'll be there when the gates open;
A spot for you?  We'll always save.
So don't be a stranger!  Show up!
Why not experience Game Day?

The Cowboys, G-Men, and Texans,
Have all gone home with L's;
The star and Gotham couldn't save them,
And neither could the Texans cowbells.

The Browns are next up
To face the firing squad.
This defense, folks?  This defense?
Sure as all hell ain't a fraud.

"But then I stop,
Because I spot a car,
That might contain,
My special little star." (c)

"Then I open the program,
To see who our referee will be.
And I shout out in horror,
"Sweet Jesus!  Ed Hochuli"!" (c)

Show up early,
Plan to stay late.
This season so far,
Has been just (tony the tiger voice) GRRRRRRRRRRRRRREAT!

Sunday, the momentum continues,
And after the Chiefs have won?
I hear there's a ceiling
That's going to be danced on!

(c) 2013, Stevo Productions, No Rights Reserved.  Absolutely may be reprinted or rebroadcast at any time without the expressed, written consent of Major League Baseball.

The Jets Prognostication:

The last time a Jets / Bengals game had an ounce of relevance for both squads, was back to back weeks in the 2009 season.

The Bengals rolled into the Fake Meadowlands for the final game of the regular season.  They had already clinched the NFC Norris, and this game would determine their seeding: three with a win, four with a loss.  The Jets entered at 8-7, and for them, the game also had significance, albeit of a greater kind.  Win, and they were the five seed; lose, and the season was over.

(Note: I personally loved the 2009 season's finish, because this was the AFC Wildcard Standings:

NY Jets 9-7-0
Baltimore 9-7-0
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Houston 9-7-0
Pittsburgh 9-7-0
denver 8-8-0 (lost their finale)
Tennessee 8-8-0 (lost their finale)

Now THAT'S a cluster(buck) for the six seed!)

After tuning the Bengals to close the regular season, the Jets tuned them at The Paul, to open the postseason six days later.

(Pause).  What?  (Pause).  Yeah, no fooling -- was it really just four short seasons ago Mark Sanchez started his second straight AFC Championship game?

Anyway, this is your late CBS game this week, and I'm glad for that, since the Chiefs go at noon.  (FOX has the doubleheader; key game, Shanarat's return to fake mile high.)  Means I can at least catch the second half of action.

And it should be some action.  The Bengals are 5-2, lead the AFC Norris, and could really grab a commanding lead at the midpoint with a win.  (Especially if oakland upsets Pittsburgh in the black hole.  And that's not an unreasonable thought to have.)  They could be 3 1/2 clear of both the Steelers and Ravens, and 3 clear of the Browns, by the time the worst Sunday nighter of the season kicks off.

For the Jets though, this one is also a biggie.  They sit at 4-3.  "If the playoffs started today", a phrase I despise, but if the playoff started today, they'd be in.  But the next four are brutal: at The Paul against the Bengals, home against the Saints, bye, at The Ralph against Buffalo (their personal house of horrors -- bad, bad things happen at The Ralph, for both of my squads, come to think of it), at Baltimore.  They also still have both Dolphins games left, plus a mid-December roadie at Carolina, who figures to be in the cluster(muck) for the NFC's final postseason ticket.

My way of saying, they need this one.  Badly.  Especially since with a win, coupled with a Steelers victory, the AFC Norris is wide, wide open, and the Bengals might be in the mix for the wildcard, not seeding.

What the hell.  You have to suspend belief sometimes, right? 

* Jets (+6 1/2) 24, at Bengals 21.

The Chiefs Comments and Best Guess:

“Until you’ve been beside a man?
You don’t know how he feels.”

That line just hit me this week, like a “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan 2x4 with an American flag attached to it. 

(Pause).

This week has significant, uuh, significance, for me.

There are two anniversaries of past events, that fall in this week, that have deep, significant meaning to me.

I’m not going to attempt to explain why one of the two events – both utterly and totally unrelated to the other – matters.  But I am going to attempt to explain why the other one does.

Because until you’ve been beside a man?

You don’t know how he feels.

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One year ago on Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs hosted the oakland raiders in the national CBS slot.  (And Stevo’s Site Numero Dos trusts whatever brain-dead network executive green-lit broadcasting two 1-5 teams to the nation, has been fired.)

One year ago on Sunday, the unthinkable happened at Arrowhead Stadium.  No, losing to oakland wasn’t the unthinkable.  Hell, oakland was favored.  The unthinkable was what was broadcast to the nation, with color commentary provided by Marv Albert, for the entire fourth quarter.

The Sea of Red … was a massive Wall of Black.

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The Save Our Chiefs movement truly began, one year ago on Sunday.  The first blackout.  The first true test of whether those of us who love this team to our core, are willing to stand as one against the disgusting, repulsive thing it had become.  The first true test of whether a grass-roots movement to take this team back from the evil it gave into, could work.

The first true test of whether we loved this franchise enough, to risk losing it forever, because we felt so strongly, about how wrong everything with this team was.  Were we willing to risk our past, to save the future from the present?

The answer, was “hell yes”.

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Let that sink in, what Chiefs fans were willing to resort to, to make a statement to this team, to this owner, to the (at the time) general manager, the (at the time) head coach, the (at the time) coaching staff, the (at the time) roster.

We’re showing up in the enemy’s colors, to strike against what you are.  To protest what you have become.

And not just the enemy’s colors.  We’re showing up in OAKLAND’S colors, in one last gasp effort to b*tch slap you into reality.  We’re willing to lower ourselves, sink to a level of disgust and contempt so disgusting and contemptable, I’m still shocked I was able to do it.  We’re willing to wear BLACK, to spite what the Red and Gold, stands for.

Some people would say, confronting wrong when you see it, confronting someone you care about who has lost their freaking mind, who has become so rotted to their soul, that the stench of their character and integrity repulses you, is a waste of time.  Just cut your losses and move on.

Chiefs fans disagreed with that belief.  Chiefs fans believed in not just tackling the present, in not just dealing with the rot-gut this organization’s soul was. 

We demanded accountability for the past, as well.

You simply cannot disrespect someone for twenty years, and “let it go”, because “well, you can’t change the past, so just accept it, just swallow and choke it down”.  Bullsh*t.  Pure, unadulterated bullsh*t.

When wrong is done to you?  You hold the offending party responsible.

It’s called “justice”.  It’s called “fairness”.

It’s called “the right thing to do”.

How I wish the cause of the second miserable anniversary I will have to swallow hard and deal with this week, understood that common sense fact.

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Everything this season has been so far, was made possible, because of what truly started, one year ago on Sunday.

The movement kept growing.  By the time the season hit its disgusting crescendo, when LB Jovan Belcher murdered his wife, then killed himself, the morning before the Panthers game, the disgust and repulsion we felt towards this franchise, was almost comical.

Nothing about this season, has been comical.  Nothing about this season, has hurt.  Nothing about this season, has been insulting.

Nothing about this season? 

I’d change for anything.

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Sunday, the Chiefs will seek to ensure that, as a worst case scenario, they will travel to the Eighth Layer of Hell Itself on November 17th, tied for first place.  A win on Sunday, and the WORST CASE SCENARIO entering the first donkeys game, is two 8-1 teams fighting for the division, and control of the conference.

I’m 52.6% talked in to a road trip to denver for that game.  52.6%.  If the Chiefs win Sunday, that number rises to closer to 63.8%.  Because if the Chiefs win on Sunday, they can all but clinch one helluva postseason advantage, with a win at denver on November 17th.

I’d love to say, I was there to see it.

But we have to win this one, first.

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And we will.

I believe in this team.  I believe in the changes that have been made. 

Last Sunday, folks?  That final stand, that epic moment when Terrorhead was so loud, Case Keenum had no clue who was coming from his FRONT side, to sack him, force the final fumble, and clinch our second one-point home victory of the season (ironically both by a 17-16 score)?

That’s what this team is.

That’s who we are.

That’s what your Cleveland Browns have to overcome on Sunday.

They’re not capable of it.

* at Chiefs (-7 ½) 34, Browns 3.

Until you’ve been beside a man?
You don’t know how he feels.

Because when “Dancing on the Ceiling” hits the stereo about 3:15pm on Sunday afternoon?


You have no idea, how good this man, is going to feel ...

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also, apologies on the layout ...

Something went bat sh*t crazy when I tried to upload the previous post.  I'll work on fixing it Tuesday.  I didn't change a thing; t...