Wednesday, November 19, 2014

chiefs! seahawks! where stevo lighting himself on fire happens ...

“Life’s like a novel,
With the end ripped out.
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, and shake it off –

(Because) Then You Stand.

Then You Stand!!!! …”


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There’s so much about Sunday I want to hit on, that I know I’ll miss at least three things I wanted to point out. 

Sunday was one of those rarest days in life, where nothing, and I mean NOTHING, makes sense.

Mona too sick to attend a game?  Check.

Roger parking his bus perfectly, to provide the perfect “defend against the wind” shelter, twenty minutes before we arrived?  Check.

Two great moments with the Bulance?  Check, and check.

The Chiefs stopping the defending Super Bowl champions on their final three drives, on fourth down each times?  Check, check, and check!

I have to admit up front, my voice is shot.  My hands hurt like hell, from pounding the seat in front of me so much.  My right arm has (probable) permanent bruising, from Chris pinching and/or punching me on said right arm, for every big play. 

But Sunday?  Damn am I glad I picked “Soldier” by Gavin DeGraw for the theme last week, because Sunday, we were all soldiers for the Kingdom.  In the bastardized words of the great Blake Shelton?  We got loud.  We got proud.

And we got worse.

And that fourth quarter?  Holy God.  I can legitimately argue the greatest fourth quarter in franchise history, occurred thirteen months ago, when the Chiefs not just held onto a one point lead over the Houston Texans, they let the Texans run sixteen plays in the quarter … for zero points, and negative one yard.

The Chiefs weren’t quite that successful on Sunday … and yet, the Seahawks had three fourth down conversion opportunities Sunday.  4th and Goal at the 2.  4th and six inches at the 36.  4th and 18 at the 20.

In order?  The outcomes of those three fourth downs were Incomplete.  Stuffed at the line of scrimmage.  And damned near picked off, before falling harmlessly incomplete.

So let me open by noting this -- and yes, you smart asses in the peanut gallery, I’m actually getting to the open in the, uuh, opening segment of the post.  You’re welcome.

The 2006 Chiefs are my favorite Chiefs team of the last fifteen years.  They never won seven of eight to emerge from 0-2 to championship contenders – they won seven of nine.  The 2014 Chiefs?  Have won seven of eight … and will be heavy favorites to make it eight of nine, before getting three extra days to prepare, for what might be the single biggest regular season game Arrowhead Stadium has ever hosted, in thirteen days.

And more to the point – the 2006 Chiefs?  Never had a Stand like Sunday.

You have to go back to 2005, to find a Cup Check Stand, like what we saw – twice! – inside the last eight minutes, on Sunday.

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Last year on this weekend, I posted what is still my favorite post on this site*, my loving look back as to why I love this team as much as I do.

This year?  I have to try to recap a game in which … well, let me just quote, verbatim, what I told my dad on Sunday night, when he called to praise the Chiefs win:

“Dad?  I have no damned idea how we won that damned game today**.  Our time of possession was atrocious.  We were minus two in the takeaway stat!  I don’t think we completed ten passes!  (Editors note: we completed eleven.  Of sixteen.  For one hundred eight yards.  And won!)  Dwayne Bowe blew two critical first downs.  Hell, we not only blew the final punt by not pinning (Seattle) at the one, we gave them a gimme first down on 3rd and long!  We couldn’t convert a 3rd and six inches with the game on the line!  I guarantee you every stat, says Seattle should have won this game by twenty!”

My dad’s response?

“And you’re upset because?”

Sometimes?  The man has a damned good point.

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(*: yes, it’s still my favorite post … but this one is a damned close second.)

(**: one – and arguably the only – positive to come through Dad going through what he did last October?  It’s amazing how language no longer matters to him.  You drop dead twice in an hour, and live to tell about it?  You learn to pick your battles … and he’s done fighting me, on my love of four letter salty language.  I think that’s a good thing.  You all can decide for yourselves, whether it is or not.)

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To note the opening tag line to the post – yes.  Yes, I did set myself on fire yesterday.  Apparently standing two feet in front of a propane heater while wearing cordoroy’s is not as genius of an idea as it sounds.

Because about 10:40am yesterday, as I’m oblivious to what’s occurring on my lower left leg, Dr. Frank’s son comes strolling in, walks up to me, gives me a back slap of a welcome, and simply notes “dude!  You’re on fire!”

I thought he was referring to the Mixology list (which, in my defense, was exceptional yesterday.)  Then (and of all the names in the world this guy could be named, it would have to be this one), Dr. Frank’s son – whose name is Dustin -- looks at me again, points at my leg, and says “no, really – you’re on fire!”  Thankfully the damage wasn’t too painful, but those pants are (stewie griffin voice) roo-eened.

And yes, the answer to Captain Oats’ question is “very”, to the “how intoxicated were you” question my literally being on fire, and not realizing it, said fire prompts.

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It was a skeleton staff crew that rode out yesterday; Russ, myself, Jaimmie, Anthony’s sister, and Anthony’s mom.  Mona was home sick.  Anthony was off shooting Bambi in South Dakota.  All their friends were unaccounted for.  Susan called at 6am and opted for the “I’ll sleep three more hours and show up” option I wish I used more often, if I’m being honest. 

We pulled through the early-in gate about 6:45am.  Had no issues navigating the cone setup.  Everything was perfectly normal, right up to setting the flagpole stand underneath The Bus’ front right wheel.

And then, nothing made sense.

We never put up a flag.  Of any kind.  Or any HyVee signage, in our blatantly obvious attempt to steal … excuse me, win … a $100 gift card. 

Our sole focus at first, was to get the Easy-Up, uuh, up.  The wind at the top of the hill was brutal.  But one nice thing about Roger somehow beating us in the gate every week, is that he figures out exactly how to position their bus, so that when next to ours, we can create an enclosed, heated area once the tents go up, and yesterday, he played that wind perfectly.  It took about an hour to get the inside of the Easy-Up truly heated, but once we moved the grill over, and then Ron and Ryan arrived and hauled out a second propane heater, we were set.  And yes, it was warm enough, that my pants being on fire didn’t feel awkward, despite the temperature outside the covered area being about 15 degrees.

And if you doubt me it was cold yesterday?  My iPhone stopped working – twice! – in the first twenty minutes the Mixology list was going, because it was too cold to function.  I had to wrap that bad boy in a blanket, and shove it back on the Bus, in order to keep the music going.

That’s bleeping cold.  Or as I kept noting every ten minutes or so, “let’s all pray this is the coldest game of the season!”  Because I am dreading how cold it might be, thirteen days from right now, when The Bus departs for what might be the single biggest regular season game in Arrowhead’s hallowed history.

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When it’s as cold as it was, the menu is kept simple.  Ron and his crew had the same idea as us: chili.  They brought a pot, we had a pot, plus a pot of chicken noodle soup we designated as “Seagull Stew”.  We also threw a few dogs on the grill, for folks who wanted chili dogs (and good grief, Dr. Frank was pounding those things like I pounded the SoCo yesterday.)

The Voice of Reason and his dad showed up a little after 9:30, and they didn’t stay long.  Can’t say I blame them; it was cold. 

There was no Jasson sighting yesterday; I’m guessing he upheld that long-standing family tradition of failing to show up until and unless it’s a 72 degree, sunny day, without a hint of wind in the air.  (Or the Danny Darrell Memorial Day, if you will.)

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I think the moment I knew yesterday was going to be one to remember, was when I arrived at the seat I used. 

Section 132.  Row 25. 

(Pause).  Seat … 13.

Or as it used to be known – Section 132, Row 25, Seat 1.

I sat next to Chris yesterday, in Randy’s old seat, and within thirty seconds of making the decision to sit in 132, go figure – the people who owned seats 13, 14, and 15 yesterday, showed up.  As did the folks who owned 9 and 10 (where Dr. Frank and his son Dustin chose to sit; Chris has 11 and 12 for her and Nancy).

The folks who owned 9 and 10, opted to take 8 and 9, to let Dr. Frank stay where he was.  His son Dustin headed my way … because the folks who arrived owning 13, 14, and 15, assessing the situation, figured out we were one helluva group of friends in these two to three rows in the center of 132, and the dude who had 13’s response simply said “why don’t we take 15 (through 17), and unless someone boots us, we’ll make this work!”

13.  Some of you’d argue it’s an unlucky number.

13 … is the jersey number of my Coozie, that has seen so many amazing moments the last few months, between the Royals and the Chiefs (to say nothing of Bowling League every Wednesday night, where 13 has become somewhat of a celebrity.)

I went and bought a Jacked Up and a bag of peanuts to watch the game with.  (And yes, one Jacked Up turned into three – funny how that happens.)

I am that guy in life, who does not believe in coincidence.

You’re damned right, 13 fit perfectly, on the Jacked Up glass, the Chiefs Bar in Section 131, sold me shortly before kickoff.



(13's finest hour, after the Royals clinched the ALDS series against Baltimore.  Image credit: me, via the iPhone 5c.)

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Meant to share this one a few weeks ago, but go figure, I forgot.

A few of us in my tailgating group, at the Jets game:



(Let me try to get this right.  Back row, L-R: me, my buddy Ryan, his dad Ron, my Second Mother (aka Mona), and a chick that’s a friend of Will’s, whose name escapes me.  (I know, stunner.)  Front row, L-R: Anthony, Jaimmie, and dude that’s a friend of Will’s, whose name escapes me.  But if you look back right upper corner, you can see the Easy Up setup we used Sunday.  Damned near perfect.  Image credit: kcstar.com.)

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So let me start to get into the game recap, by noting, HisDirknesS’ recap at Arrowhead Pride was perfect on Monday.

This team was built, to take advantage of the biggest glaring weakness in most NFL teams’ structure.  This team was built to beat the crap out of you, to wear you down hit by blow by tackle by incredible scamper to the end zone on a misdirection toss on 4th and 1.  This team is what people my age (and, gulp, I’m less than fifty days away from changing the 7 to an 8, after the 3, in my age) grew up loving.

This team lines up and hits you.  It pounds you.  It out-mans you.  This team takes every blow you give it, and simply refuses to concede defeat.

There are two stats about this season that is now ten games and eleven weeks old, that blow my mind, and they are these two stats:

* The Chiefs have yet to throw a touchdown pass to a wide receiver.

That in and of itself, is incredible, and nearly incomprehensible.  Even the best of Marty and Carl’s creations in the 1990s, managed a wide receiver touchdown by week twelve.  Think JJ Birden’s bomb against Philly in 1992.  Willie Davis’ epic winner at Real Mile High in 1994. 

In fact, just for sh*ts and giggles, I went to my favorite geek website, pro-football-reference.com, to see when the Chiefs first recorded a wide receiver touchdown in the Marty and Carl years.  Here’s your answer:

1989: Week One (Carlos Carson TD in 4th Quarter), at denver.
1990: Week Two (Stephone Paige TD in 4th Quarter), at denver.
1991: Week One (Emile Harry TD in 4th Quarter), vs Falcons.
1992: Week Two (JJ Birden TD in 1st Quarter), vs Seahawks.
1993: Week One (Willie Davis TD in 2nd Quarter), at Bucs.
1994: Week One (Willie Davis TD in 1st Quarter), at Saints.
1995: Week One (Willie Davis TD in 1st Quarter), at Seahawks.
1996: Week One (Tamarick Vanover TD in 1st Quarter), at Oilers.
1997: Week Two (Andre Rison “burns al davis’ house down!”, with 0:03 remaining), at raiders.
1998: Week One (Andre Rison TD in 1st Quarter), vs raiders.

The Chiefs haven’t had issues with scoring in 2014.  (Pause).  What?  (Pause).  Oh come on!  What do you mean, “unlike the author of this post!” That’s, that’s … that’s so, so true.

But – but!  You know who else has had issues with scoring in 2014?  Every team the Chiefs have faced, if they’re handing the ball off.  Because the second unreal stat of this season so far?

* The Chiefs have yet to allow a rushing touchdown this season.  To any player on the field.

Nobody – no quarterback, running back, wide out, tight end, or lineman on a Fumblerooskie, has crossed the goalline against the Chiefs by taking a handoff for six.

If this was Week Three?  That’s understandable.  But this is through Week Eleven!  The Chiefs have already faced denver, Miami, New England, San Francisco, San Diego, Buffalo, and Seattle – seven teams at .500 or better – and haven’t let them reach the end zone on the ground!  (They’ve also held out Tennessee, St. Louis, and the Jets, which frankly, should surprise noone.)

That second stat?  Got tested big time Sunday … and held.

So, let’s hit the recap.  As always, I pull up NFL GameCenter at nfl.com to get the stats, down, distance, and timing as accurate as possible.

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* Chiefs win the toss, choose to defer.  Normally I hate that; I always prefer to start with the ball.  But hey, it worked on Sunday, so who am I to complain?

* And the Chiefs immediately force a three and out.  That’s not why I point out the Seahawks opening drive.  I point it out, because they went shotgun formation all three plays.  Yes, folks – zero plays into the game, the defending Super Bowl champs were already so concerned about our front seven and crowd advantage, they went shotgun.

* After a gorgeous fifty plus yard punt, the Chiefs take over at their own 14, and, well, all I can do is just retype the text I sent to the Voice of Reason:

“That was a textbook Gregg drive!”

15 plays, 86 yards, Jamaal Charles pitch right from one yard out to score, after nine minutes and a second come off the clock.  If you want to beat your opponent?  Keep them off the field.  The Chiefs did that to perfection on this opening drive.

* Unfortunately, Seattle stole our playbook, because their next drive was even better!  16 plays, for exactly 9 minutes, that tied the game on a 7 yard touchdown pass on 3rd and goal.  We’re tied at seven.

* The entire first quarter took 26 minutes of real time.  Kickoff was at 12:02.  The quarter ended at 12:28.  Unreal.

* Even more unreal, might be what happened next.  Because the Chiefs march 80 yards … in 4 plays, and barely two minutes.  Or as Gregg texted back: “that was NOT a Gregg Memorial drive!”

Alex Smith to Travis Kelce for 20.  Jamaal Charles up the gut for 30. Alex Smith to Anthony Sherman for 15.  Jamaal Charles offtackle for 15 and the six.

Alex Smith completed eleven passes Sunday (on sixteen attempts), for 108 yards.  2 and 35 of those stats, were on this drive.

* Seattle gets the ball back down seven, and goes to work, securing a field goal just after the two minute warning.  This is one of those unsung, underrecognized stats … but red zone conversion.  Seattle had the ball in the red zone five times Sunday.  They got two touchdowns … and two field goals, plus were stopped at the two on fourth down.  40% success.  To quote the (still with us), great Jim Mora Senior, “you ain’t gonna beat anybody I just talked about, doing (bleep!) like that!”

* The Chiefs ensuing possession was a debacle, with a replay overturn giving Seattle the ball at the Chiefs 40 with about a minute to play.  To be honest – and if there is one thing in life I strive to always do?  (Pause).  Yeah, it isn’t being honest.  But to be honest, I couldn’t tell from the replays shown in the stadium whether it was a fumble or not.  I texted four friends – Heath, Anthony, Phil, and Damien – to ask for their input.  The three who replied indicated it was clearly a fumble, so I’ll defer to the experts with quality HD setups, that weren’t freezing their balls off on Sunday.  (So they’re smarter than you?)  Hell yes they are.  What’s your point in asking the obvious?

* Seahawks kick a field goal as the half ends, to make it 14-13 Chiefs at halftime.  For what its worth?  Halftime arrived at 1:08 in real time.  Yes, the first half barely took an hour. 

Which is probably good.  If only because the second half – especially the last twelve minutes – seemed to take a freaking eternity, to play out.

* I missed halftime; I headed up to pee, and in a rare moment of clarity for me, I bought not one, but two Jacked Up’s.  (I tried to buy four, but apparently you can only buy two adult beverages at a time.  Sumbeach!)  I still had at least half of my first Jacked Up to finish.  I prepared properly, for the stressful second half about to unfold.  (Also, I am never again forgetting the pint of SoCo, to mix with a large coke.  $12.50 / cocktail is outrageous.  Outrageous!)

* The Chiefs receive the kick, and bleed half the third quarter off the clock, before settling for three, to take a 17-13 lead.  I was strangely calm at this point.  I guess I’m sometimes too analytical.  I mean, the Chiefs had had the ball four times, scored on three of those possessions (with the only whiff being the Kelce replay-caused fumble), and the defense has more than held its own.

But as the (sadly, not late … and not really great) Chris Berman would note: “that’s why they play the game.”

* Chiefs force a punt, and DeAnthony Thomas has one helluva return!  They’re in business inside the Seattle 40!  Arrowhead going nuts!  (Pause).  Damned replay review.  This one I knew wasn’t going our way, because the scoreboard operator dude only showed it once.  Go figure – DAT stepped out of bounds at the 29.  And yet, the Seahawks felt way too frisky on the play, because a personal foul – with an ejection to boot! – was tacked on.  So the Chiefs have it at their own 44 (not bad), up four (no complaints), with 3:16 to go in the third quarter (against the defending champs?  Spectacular!)

Cue eighteen minutes of play time (and about ninety minutes of real time) of stress, in three … two …

* … one, which is the number of plays the Chiefs ran on the ensuing drive.  Jamaal Charles fumbles on first down, and the Seahawks recover.  Yikes.

* More yikes: the Seahawks not only need five plays to tie the game, they do it in my end zone, with a one yard pass to former Chief Tony Moeaki.  I wanted to vomit after that.  Seattle has the lead, about to enter the fourth quarter, and they got it when (arguably) the best running back to enter the league since Barry Sanders fumbles, and (arguably) the most worthless third round pick in franchise history scores to take the lead against us.  Scott Pioli draft picks: the gifts that keep on giving!

And boy, would they … in the fourth quarter!

* We open the fourth quarter, with the Chiefs trailing 20-17, but having the ball.  After a defensive holding penalty sets up a first down, what else needs to be said?

Jamaal Charles happened.

(Note: I love, love, love that this is synched up to The King and Good Ol’ JR, calling the play.)

One play later, Knile Davis is in the end zone, the Chiefs are up 24-20 … and, well, it’s not often I nail something.   (Pause).  What?  (Pause).  Oh come on!  Stop making references to my sex life!

It’s not often I nail something … but I nailed (for better or for worse) what was about to come.  (Pause).  No, no joke on that one, please.  I’m trying to keep this site at worst NC17 for God’s sake!

Because this conversation occurred after the Davis touchdown.

(chris) This reminds me of the last time you sat by me!
(stevo) Houston.
(stevo) If we do, I know what seat I’m buying next year.

The Chiefs on Sunday weren’t that epic.  They didn’t hold the Seahawks to negative one yards for the quarter.

Somehow?

They were better.

Three straight drives, the Seahawks had their chance.

And three straight times, they were denied.

* Their first shot, after the touchdown.  Seahawks take over at their own 23, and immediately go to work.  Barely three minutes later, they have goal to go at the Chiefs 9. 

Cue The Stand Uno, from Sunday.

First down, five yards for Marshawn Lynch.
Second down, no gain to Doug Baldwin.
Third down, two yards to Marshawn Lynch.

This launched a “do you kick or go” debate in Section 132 … and I agreed with Pete Carroll – you go.  Seven minutes and change to play, you’re at the opponents two, and the Chiefs have shown they can grind out an eight minute drive if need be.  You take your chance.

Fourth down?  Harmlessly incomplete, on beautiful coverage by Sean Smith.

Chiefs take over, up 24-20, at their own two.

You can guess how that drive went.

* If you said “three and out with no gain!”, congrats, you’re a winner.  Although this is the drive, where you had back to back false start calls on the Chiefs (I know the second was delay of game, but Eric Fisher moved early as well), that cost us 54 inches.  If you’re gonna try to cheat, you can do worse than trying to do it on first down at your own two.  All you cost yourself is half the distance.

Plus – and I know I may be mentally challenged – but I think the Chiefs had something bold planned for that first down.  I don’t think the eventual play (Charles up the middle) was the planned call.  I think they were going deep.  (Think Chargers game in 2002 – Trent Green 99 yards to Marc Boehricter from the end zone).  I think they were going to challenge Seattle. 

Whether that’s the case or not, the Chiefs do go three and out, Seattle gets the ball back at the Chiefs 45 with a little over six minutes to play, and here we go again.

The Stand Dos, from Sunday.

* For the record, “The Stand”, as I like to officially refer to it, occurred Week Thirteen 2005.   At Arrowhead.  On 4th and 2, against the denver broncos, with the Chiefs leading by four (31-27; the eventual winning score).  There was 2:07 on the clock, when the play began.  Initially, donkeys running back mike anderson was ruled to have gained the first down.  Richard A. Vermeil challenged the spot.  He won the challenge; the Chiefs ultimately won the game.

Sunday?  Seattle had a 3rd and 8.  Marshawn Lynch was ruled to have gained the first down.  “Fat” Andrew Walter Reid challenged the spot.  This one, I had no doubts about.  Marshawn Lynch was clearly short of the 35.  Bill Leavy gave the Chiefs the replay victory, and Seattle had 4th and 1 at the Chiefs 36.

That ensuing play?  Was about as damned loud as I’ve heard Arrowhead, since “The Stand” nine years ago.  Because when Marshawn Lynch was all but, uuh, lynched, by a gang of Chiefs, well behind the line of scrimmage, all I could note was what I texted.

“I think Arrowhead has woken up!”

Jesus, it was loud in there after that stop.  I still have fingernail marks on my right arm, from where Chris was digging into me, dragging my sleeve down, from the stress.

But – but!  This is the Chiefs.  Of COURSE that wasn’t the ballgame.

* Six inches.  That’s about how far Jamaal Charles needed to get on third down, with 3:13 to play, to all but seal the victory.  And he couldn’t get it.

The Chiefs punt, and folks?  If you didn’t see this punt?  It’s one of the greatest punts you’ll ever see in your life, and should have been even greater than it wound up.  Because Dusty C – at his own 45 – punted this one 54 yards, 2 feet, and 10 ½ inches.  It landed at the Seattle one and a half inch line.  And Junior Hemingway redeemed himself for the debacle that was the 49ers game out of him, by perfectly timing the jump, to throw the ball back into the field of play.  And not just perfectly throw it back – he threw that sucker damned near where it landed, at the one and a half inch line.  Unfortunately, the Chiefs let it bounce a couple yards east, and Seattle started at their own 4.

Still – here we are again.  Just like that Houston game last year, when Case Keenum, trailing by one, was nearly decapitated by Tamba Hali, right in front of me.

Cue first down.

* Because on first down, Russell Wilson came as close to taking a safety as you possibly can, actually being tackled in the end zone as he threw the ball … complete, for a one yard gain.  And then, right before the two minute warning, he completes a pass for a nearly 25 yard gain, to set Seattle up with first and ten, at the Chiefs 28, trailing by four.

The Stand Tres, from Sunday, was about to occur.

* First down, nothing.  Great coverage by Eric Berry.  The guy behind me (sitting in my old seat, ironically), leans down and screams (because you had to scream, it was so loud in Arrowhead at that moment) “sorry if I hit your back!”  Why, you ask, would he say a thing like that?

Because he was pounding the seat assigned to me so damned hard, his hand kept hitting my back, on the recoil.

Apologize for nothing, dude.  Apologize for nothing.

* Second down, the Seattle offensive line collapses.  Again.  For all of our offensive line issues, Chiefs fans?  Seattle’s might be worse.  Russell Wilson saved their ass all day long Sunday … until he couldn’t.  Down he goes.  Dontari Poe.  Now it’s 3rd and 18, Seattle’s out of timeouts, the clock has dropped below 90 seconds to go, the noise is bat-shit crazy inducing deafening, and not just my arm (from where Chris is trying to separate my shoulder by tugging on it so hard), but my back (from dude behind me pounding it) are hurting.  My voice is shot.  My hands hurt like hell. 

Worth it.

* Third down.  Of all the reasons our Chiefs are in this position they are – tied for first with six to go, and denver has to come here in two weeks – of all the unsung reasons we’re here, can we properly praise Husain Abdullah?  This kid excites me.  And not just because it’s the one and only time in my life, I’ve ever left my Voice of Reason, uuh, reasonless:

(from a game (I think) last year):

(gregg) He’s a Muslim.
(stevo) Oh come on!  You can’t determine a guy’s religion by his name!
(gregg) Name just one person with a Muslim sounding name, that isn’t.
(stevo) (no hesitation) Barack Hussein Obama.
(gregg) (silence).

Well, as we learned during the Monday Nighter against the Patriots, Mr. Abdullah is a Muslim.  (Which is perfectly fine with me.  I personally despise religion of all kinds … but even I admit there is a God, and it is the God of Christianity, Islam, and Judiasm.  Which makes the Islamic world’s hatred of Israel and the Western World so idiotic.  We all pray to the same God.  Why are we fighting each other?)

But Mr. Abdullah had a huge third down bat-down, to set up fourth and long, with the game on the line.  So many times as Chiefs fans, we’ve seen how this plays out, and it rarely plays out well.

* Fourth down: Russell Wilson’s pass is nearly intercepted by Sean Smith, then falls harmlessly to the ground.

Game, set, match.

After The Stand Tres from Sunday, the streamers flying out of the upper deck were ridiculous.  It was like 2002, 2003 all over again.  The crowd noise was insanely loud.  We’d done it.  The defending champs were chumps, at least for an afternoon.  And when the scoreboard operator dude showed satan manning’s failure on 4th down, to seal defeat in St. Louis, the noise got even louder.  We’ve caught denver!  And they still have to come into the insane asylum known as Arrowhead, and somehow beat this team!

* I guess I’ll begin to close the recap with this.  September closed with me sitting next to a kid named Brooks all game long, for the single greatest sporting event I’ve ever attended.  (And nothing anytime soon is topping it … and yes, I typed that specifically to ensure, something does top it.)  Sunday, a kid named Blake sat in front of me.  He was maybe seven, possibly eight.  (He looked “My Special Little Guy’s” age.)  Like Brooks on that magical Tuesday night, he stood on his chair all game long.  He cheered.  His daddy held him up, when he couldn’t see over the person in front of him.  And like Brooks, he saw a win nobody saw coming, as recently as two weeks ago.

As I was walking out the aisle on Sunday, Blake slapped me on the back, to celebrate the win.  I turned around, and he had the biggest smile on his face, and simply yelled “CHIEFS!” as he offered up his left hand for a high-five.

This game?  Was to him and his dad?  What December 7, 1986, was to me and my dad.

Welcome aboard, kid.

* “Steve!”  I haven’t heard that shout in a long time, walking out the aisle between 131 and 132 … but I heard it Sunday, and damn, was that one awesome hug with a girl who once texted me at 2:32am that “I want to use your body as a jungle gym!” 

* The walk out was real, and it was spectacular.  The Rumble was playing the Tomahawk Chop headed out the Hy-Vee Gate, and everyone (myself included) was pounding the side of the walkway.  Just pounding it.  Awesome stuff.

* Saw a few people headed out I try to always say hi to.  Enjoyed a quick Jello shot with Larry.  Enjoyed  a Fireball shot with Lindsey.  And once I got back to The Bus – and go figure, I’m usually the last one to arrive – had a great high-five with Ryan.  And then, this happened:

(jaimmie) Really?  You’re not gonna play it?
(stevo) I don’t want to lug the speakers out …
(ron) Play it.
(stevo) But the speaker –
(ryan) Play the godd*mned victory song!

So, I cranked up the phone as loud as I could, and you heard this:

“What is happening here?
Something’s going on, and it’s not quite clear.
Somebody turn on the lights;
We’re gonna have a party, starting tonight!

Oh!  What a feeling!
When we’re dancing on the ceiling!
Oh!  What a feeling!
When we’re dancing …”

* Postgame, not much to report.  Headed back to the Bus Barn, unloaded everything, and eventually we all headed our separate ways.  And since I’m in Day Five of “Don’t Have To Work For Eighteen Straight Days”, it ended wonderfully well.  (AKA, “I don’t remember how it ended; I passed out drunk”.)

Tomorrow, we leave for South Dakota, to watch the raiders game with some really great friends that always come down for the raiders game, and usually come down for a weekend or two in the summer. 

So I’ll close with this.  The 2006 Chiefs are my favorite Chiefs team of the last fifteen years.  Just like this Chiefs team?  They faced oakland and denver back to back, with one on a short week, the last two weeks of November.



I’m guessing I’m not the only person reading this, rooting for the same outcome, eight years later …

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