Friday, November 28, 2014

the chiefs donkeys prognostication ...

“I came upon a fallen tree.
I felt the branches of it looking at me.
Is this the place, we used to love?
Is this the place that I’ve been dreaming of?

Oh simple thing!  Where have you gone?
I’m getting old and I need something to rely on.
So tell me when, you’re gonna let me in.
I’m getting tired, and I need somewhere to begin.

And if you have a minute?  Why don’t we go
Talk about it, somewhere only we know.
This?  Could be the end of everything!
So why don’t we go, somewhere only we know?

Somewhere only we know?

Somewhere only we know …”

-- “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane, which in the interest of full disclosure, is my favorite song of all time.

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The Tailgating Plans:

We are leaving the Bus Barn around 12:30.  The early in pass says we get in at 2pm.  We all know that’s Barbra Streisand – the early in gate will be free and clear and wide, wide open by 1pm.  (Normal gates open at 3pm allegedly; again, that’s fertilizer.  They’ll be open by 1:30, and we all know it.)

The menu is bronco Burgers, some deep-fried, uuh, fries, and whatever assorted side items and/or desserts you happen to bring.  Also, rumor has it the best Jalapeno Popper Maker ever is coming out of retirement, to make about 100 jalapeno-y thingies of greatness.  (Fine, this isn’t a rumor: I’ve already been asked to buy the bacon.)

If you need us to save you a spot, please let me know.  I’ll be more than happy to do it.  We’re expecting close to 40 between our group, Roger’s group, and Ron and Ryan’s crew, so it might be a tight fit, but we’ll squeeze you in.   

We’ll be in our usual spot (grassy knoll north of G30) with plenty of time to get properly prepared for satan’s squad (aka “drink even more heavily than me and my mommy did, Wednesday night.)

Oh, and also, there are rumors – and I cannot confirm or deny them – that the Second Greatest Jello Shot Maker Ever is coming out of retirement for this special occasion, with a new Peach and SoCo shot to join the traditional round of them to boot.  Again, that is just a specious, unfounded rumor.  (But you bought the Jello shot cups at Fun Warehouse Wednesday night, right?)  Hell yes I did!

Yes, I am planning to make Jello Shots.  And I might even throw in some (stewie griffin voice) Cool Hwip, to boot, if I get a (stewie griffin voice) hwild hwair.

Stay tuned.  This tailgate could … hang on, I have to do this right.

Ladies and gentlemen, peoples and peepettes, the great Mr. Hugh M. Hefner!!!

(the great mr. hugh m. hefner voice) Thanks Stevo!  Folks?  This is looking to be something … REALLY special!

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The Watching Party Plans:

Considering there’s a gigantic 3:25pm tilt that could seriously impact home-field advantage in both the AFC and NFC postseason (that would be Patriots at Packers), Roger should have the flat screen up and operational, probably at least fifteen minutes before you’d think possible.  I swear to God, how that guy beats us in the gates every week, I cannot figure out … but you gotta admire it.

Other than that, if you aren’t coming out, you’re on your own.  Just be loud wherever you are.

Be DAMNED loud.

And make no apologies for it.

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The Mixology List:

Get your requests in by Saturday afternoon, and they’ll be added to the Mixology list.  

Also, let’s just all hope and pray that this week, when someone walks up to me and says “dude, you’re on fire!”, I don’t interpret that to mean he and/or she loves the Mixologist’s List, as opposed to said Mixologist literally being on fire, like two weeks ago.

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Stevo’s Ten Most Memorable Chiefs / donkeys Games Ever:

A segment I can’t write every week, since I’m pretty sure there’s  a few NFL team, the Chiefs haven’t faced ten times, in my life.  (Although (gulp), that number is dwindling rapidly.)

The Honorable Mention: Chiefs 33, donkeys 19, Week Four 2008.  It ended 345 straight days of losing, and saw so many memorable things happen, it took me not one, not two, not three, but four freaking previews and/or recaps, to accurately express how it felt.

The Dis-Honorable Mention: donkeys 37, Chiefs 34 (OT), Week Seven 2002.  Not only did the Chiefs blow a 14 point lead with 2:59 to play, not only did the Chiefs lose the coin flip, then somehow, someway see the "32 Defense" force a three and out to open overtime?  The Chiefs lost in overtime on a blocked punt.  A freaking blocked punt, that set up a layup field goal.

This is also "The Game", in which I dealt with the defeat by saying virtually nothing, simply heading home, and once I got inside, I grabbed a handle of vodka, and locked myself into my room for the next couple days.  I finally made it to work on Thursday.

10. Chiefs 44, donkeys 20, Week Seventeen 2009.  Cost the donkeys a playoff berth, capped a tremendous collapse for satan’s squad (from 6-0 to 8-8), and occurred on my 32nd birthday.  Birthday Numero 38 is barely a month away.  Yikes.


8. donkeys 35, Chiefs 31, Week Thirteen 1998.  The 1990s Chiefs last gasp, and they gave 12-0 denver everything those assholes could handle.  A late demon to demon (elway to sharpe) touchdown saved denver’s unbeaten run for one more week.  Until the Danny Kanell-led Giants beat them the following Sunday.

Should also note, this is the last Chiefs game I ever watched in The Apartment in college.  Seems impossible to believe, that’s sixteen years ago now, come next Sunday.

7. Chiefs 26, donkeys 23 (OT), Week Fourteen 2001.  Also known as the third coldest game in franchise history, according to the official temperature at kickoff.  Led to one of the most hysterical one-liners you’ll ever hear:

(cbs broadcast) (comes back from commercial).
(cbs broadcast) (show a very obese shirtless dude).
(kevin harlan) Wind chill of fifteen below, and that guy’s about a point fifteen right about now.
(moose Johnston) yeah, that guy should keep his shirt on if its eighty five and sunny.
(cue the laughs).

But also, after 3 ½ excruciating hours of football (and 3 excruciating hours of tailgating), this is the game where a sober Voice of Reason (and not even remotely sober me) dubbed Todd Peterson “The Golden Toe”.  Why?  I have no idea, other than why do we do anything?  (Because it makes us laugh out loud every time we think about it.) 

6. donkeys 14, Chiefs 10, 1997 AFC Divisional Playoffs.  Everything John Dorsey and “Fat” Andy Reid are building to, must be to erase the shame and the stench, of what occurred on my 21st birthday.  (Pause).  What?  (Pause).  No, that shame and stench wasn’t the one night stand lying next to me!  Come on!

5. Chiefs 42, donkeys 20, Week Seventeen 1992.  This one should be higher.  A true playoff game – the winner got the six seed, the loser missed the playoffs.  Also memorable, because this was Kevin Harlan’s final game calling the Chiefs play-by-play for KCFX, and as he noted, when DT stripped john elway and the fumble was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown: “not even Santa Claus can save the denver broncos today!”  

Also memorable, because the entire second half, john elway was staring at dan reeves with a “if murder was legal, I’d do it to you right now” look.  And in mr. elway's defense?  I cannot think of a jury in Jackson County, that would have NOT convicted him, to the fullest extent of the law, had he acted on that urge, to murder mr. reeves.

4. Chiefs 24, donkeys 23, Week Five 2003.  (kevin harlan) The punt by micah knorr … Dante Hall fields it ... (randy cross) Uh oh! … (kevin harlan)  Dante Hall up past the twenty! … (randy cross) He’s gone! … (kevin harlan) Only the kicker to beat and that’s kno – and that, folks, is probably the fourth loudest that stadium has ever been.  CBS had to actually crank up Kevin and Randy’s audio, because you couldn’t hear them over the crowd.  Awesome moment.

3. Chiefs 19, donkeys 10, Week Twelve, 2006.  The first ever Thanksgiving night game.  The end of jake “the fake” plummer’s career (this was the final time he would ever step foot, on a NFL field).  The dawning of the jay cutler era.  And thanks to the man under center in Red and (hopefully) Red on Sunday night, this game determined the final wildcard berth, in the AFC.

2. Chiefs 34, donkeys 27, Week Thirteen 2005.  (mitch holtgus) 4th and 2 at the denver … 47 yard line.  The draw to anderson … this is gonna be close … first down denver!  (len dawson) aw, no! … (mitch holtgus) and Mike White has thrown the challenge flag, the Chiefs are challenging the spot … (bill leavy) The runner was down before reaching the 49 yard line, theref – and that, folks, is probably the third loudest that stadium has ever been.  You couldn’t hear referee Bill Leavy after he announced the spot was changing.  I still cry every time I hear this sound clip.  Which quite frankly, isn’t often enough.

1. Chiefs 24, donkeys 22, Week Twelve 1997.  (jim gray) Might you think that kick saved the Chiefs season?  (pete stoyanovich, beyond p*ssed at the question) I don’t think (this kick) saved the season; I didn’t know the season needed to be saved!  We’ll just keep rolling from here!  (andre rison) I LOVE YOU MAN!!!!  This is one of the two loudest moments after a play in that stadium’s history.  The only other one up for discussion, was Tamarick Vanover’s overtime punt return touchdown in 1995.

The Apology:

I owe all of you an apology, for the lack of predictions the last two weeks.  I had them typed up last week, but they never got posted, because for some reason, my Wi-Fi would never connect to Ron and Becky’s network.  And this week, I knew I wouldn’t get them done before Thanksgiving, so I figured I’d just prognosticate the game I care about.

I’ll try to do better next week.  Believe me – I know how much the gambling public, relies on what I am thinking, to make damned sure they bet the opposite.

The Poem:

The Poem is getting its own post this week.  It will should be up by midday Saturday.

The Chiefs Prediction (and Commentary):

Honestly, there is no need whatsoever for me to provide a pep talk for this game.  If you can’t get fired up for two bitter rivals battling for the division (and potentially home-field advantage throughout the playoffs), then you don’t have a pulse. 

In many regards, this is the biggest Chiefs / donkeys tilt since Thanksgiving Night 2006.  (I know both games last year were to determine the division and home-field advantage, but both teams knew by late October they were going to the postseason.  Those contests – while huge – were just for seeding.)

We all know the ugly stats.  The donkeys are favored by 2.  Their QB, satan manning, is 12-1 against the Chiefs in his career (including two playoff wins).  He’s 5-0 as the donkeys starter against the Chiefs.  The donkeys are the better team on paper – they enter at 8-3, coming off surviving an upset threat from the decent Miami Dolphins.  Even when they struggle, they still put up thirty plus.

And as if facing satan and his unicorns isn’t bad enough, we have to deal with the single most smug, arrogant, obnoxious set of assholes this side of oakland.  At least there’s a few raiders fans I don’t mind at all (and I spent last week with virtually all of them).  There isn’t one bronkeys fan I can stomach to be in the presence of at this point, and I suspect that stat will not be changing Sunday.

The Chiefs enter at 7-4, fresh off one of the most humiliating, embarrassing, and utterly indefensible losses in franchise history.  They enter trailing the donkeys by a game, but due to the loss to those people in Week Two (to say nothing of the two looming roadies that will likely make or break the season), well … in times like this, allow me to defer to the experts.

In this case, ladies and gentlemen, peoples and peepettes, please give a warm welcome to Stevo’s Site Numero Dos’ Official Color Commentator (Emeritus), the great Dan Dierdorf!

(dan dierdorf voice) It would BEHOOVE the Chiefs to win this game.

Thanks, dude!

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And of course, then there’s the five hundred pound proverbial “elephant in the room”, that being the stunning news on Monday that Eric Berry’s season is over, due to the discovery of what is likely a cancerous mass on his chest*.  This is the second time in three years tragic news about a Chiefs defender has rocked this team on Thanksgiving week(end). 

Thankfully, this isn’t nearly as tragic, as the previous one.  Hopefully the doctors have caught this in time, and with aggressive treatment, Mr. Berry will be back on the field sooner, rather than never.

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(*: this explains a lot from Thursday night’s debacle to me, actually.  Mr. Berry not only looked slower (especially on the ridiculous long touchdown run by oakland), but he looked timid in his tackling.  If the dude is struggling to breathe, and it hurts to be touched, that explains a lot to me, actually.  Because if there is one thing Eric Berry has never been, it’s timid.)

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There are very few sane, logical reasons to pick the Chiefs to win this contest.  

I can think of many sane, logical reason to predict a close denver victory, not the least of which is that, save for the clunker to end the 2012 season, even though satan manning nearly always beats the Chiefs, he rarely blows them out.

Don't believe me?  Here's the roll call ... and you might want a stiff, stiff drink of something, before reading the next few paragraph ...

His first matchup in 1999 saw the most ridiculous warning I’ve ever heard at a NFL game (the Colts noting a ban on bringing in “missile like objects”), and saw the Chiefs with the ball, down three, with a minute to play.  To say nothing of a "it's 11:30 the night before, you wanna drive to Indy? / Sure, why not!" road trip that ended in the parking lot of a Steak and Shake after an all-night drive.  

In 2000 the Chiefs had the ball, down six, with three to play.  In 2001, the Chiefs rallied from 21 down to nearly force overtime, before falling by seven on a Thursday night in October, for a game originally slated for noon on Sunday.  (9/11 really caused some screwy schedule changes that year.) 

2003 saw the Colts win one of the greatest games in playoff history.  2006 saw the Colts hold the Chiefs without a first down for 44 straight minutes … and yet the Chiefs had the ball, down eight, midway through the fourth quarter.  2007, a Chiefs team that over two seasons would lose twelve straight contests, saw them nearly beat the Colts in Indy (Colts FG as time expired).  

2010, a 3-0 upstart Chiefs team more than held its own in Indy, before losing late -- thanks in no small part to an indefensible Dwayne Bowe drop, that would have given the Chiefs the lead, late in the fourth quarter.

2012, the worst Chiefs team of all time nearly beat denver in Arrowhead.  (Fun fact!  The only two teams to hold satan manning under 20 points in a game, his entire tenure in denver?  The Chiefs in this game (we lost 9-17) ... and the Rams a couple weeks ago.  The lesson?  Damned if I know.)  

Both games last year, the Chiefs had the ball, in the fourth quarter, with a shot to take the lead or tie, and the Week Two battle this year, saw the Chiefs with goal to go, down four, inside of two minutes to play.

There’s only two times the Chiefs have faced satan manning, when one side has thoroughly taken the other to the woodshed, and given it the business.  The 2012 finale in denver, a game that meant nothing for either side, other than the end of the worst season in franchise history for the Chiefs.

The other virtually non-competitive matchup?

Glad you asked.

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(mitch holtgus) Chiefs lead 45-35, but time is running out on the Colts.  manning shotgun snap, he’s back to pass, and it is … intercepted!  Intercepted by Greg Wesley!  Wesley still on his feet!  (len dawson) Get down!  Jesus, just get dow – ooh, great block!

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Halloween, 2004. 

October 2004 saw four of the strangest, most confusing Chiefs results you’d ever see.  (It also saw a lot of personal tragedy for this dude.)

The month opened with 0-3 Kansas City, fresh off a “how the hell did you lose to that squad?!?!?!” brain fart defeat to the hapless Houston Texans, traveling east to face the Ravens on “Monday Night Football”.  A Ravens team that was your defending AFC Norris champion.  Somehow, the Chiefs battled to a 30-27 victory in a night so many people reading this simply refer to as “The Night Before Everything Changed Forever”.

Then came the bye.  Then another inexplicable “what the hell is happening here” last second defeat, this time to the woeful Jacksonville Jaguars.  Now at 1-4, the Chiefs are in trouble**, and worse yet, they’ve got their next two at home against the two teams that would ultimately lose their conference title games in 2004 – The “Shane Falco”ns, and the Colts.

I’m not even going to try to remember the Falcons game, other than I will acknowledge that that game, is the drunkest I’ve ever been at a sporting event, and nothing else is even in the realm of discussion.  As my buddy Pickell would note: "put it this way" -- I was a case in, at 9:30am.  The Chiefs dropped eight rushing touchdowns on the Falcons, to win 56-10.

Then came the biggie.  Indy.

One chance, against a quarterback we simply could not beat – 0-4 at this point – with the season on the line.  Win or else.  Do or die.

And every member of The Kingdom, knew it.

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(**: if you ever want a good laugh, ask "The Voice of Reason" about his trip home from this game.  Let's just say, if you're an employee of Delta Airlines, or a hotel in Newport, Kentucky, you probably don't want to do this.)

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Making matters even more tricky, was this pesky thing known as “Election Day” looming two days later.  Sure, Mr. Bush vs. Mr. Kerry was an interesting decision to make***.  But that wasn’t the vote that made this game tricky.

Bistate II, to save the Sports Complex and ensure the Royals and Chiefs stay in Kansas City for another generation, was on the ballot.  And given that 2004 is widely known as “the worst season in Royals history”, and the 2004 Chiefs have crapped the bed to a 2-4 start, uum, well, gee, how to put this delicately.

Let’s just say, the Chiefs needed the performance of a generation.

And they brought it.

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(***: the only Presidential vote I regret casting, is Mr. Bush in 2004.  For the record, I voted for Mr. Clinton in 1996, Mr. Gore in 2000, Mr. McCain in 2008, and Mr. Romney in 2012.  And I am chomping at the bit, to vote for Mrs. Clinton, to save the party and the country from the far left loons currently running both into the ground, in twenty three months.)

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It was a weird weather day.  I looked this one up just to confirm it, but (for once) I was right: 53 degrees at kickoff, with an insanely high humidity level of 63% for October 31.  It created a kind of foggy atmosphere to start, sort of like the game at Cincinnati a year earlier (that was actually delayed, because the fireworks mixed with the clouds blinded the field from view).

The Colts opened the scoring – a touchdown from satan to Marvin Harrison with four and change to go in the first, to take a 7-0 lead.  The Chiefs struck back, and quick – not even three minutes later, Trent Green found Tony Gonzalez for the tying score.

And then … came a quarter, I pray – and in case you think I’m joking, I literally moseyed up to St. Regis earlier today, and lit a few candles in reverential respect and religious hope – I pray, we see from the Red and (hopefully) Red, on Sunday night.

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The Chiefs stop Indy on a 3 and out, with two (and please, Chiefs fans, SHOUT IT on Sunday night) IN-COM-PLETE (waa waa waa waa!) passes.  And on the punt, Dante Hall did what Dante Hall do, returning it to the twelve.  Two plays later, the 2nd Quarter Bonanza was underway, via a Johnny Morton touchdown pass.  14-7 Chiefs.

On the ensuing drive, satan craps out, the Colts punt.  The Chiefs ensuing drive lasts five plays.  The last four all go for at least fifteen yards, and it’s 21-7 Chiefs after a Priest Holmes scamper.

The Colts did score a touchdown on their ensuing drive to make it 21-14, but the Chiefs tack on another Priest touchdown and a Larry Tynes field goal, for a 31-14 halftime lead.

Here’s what stuns me about a quarter, that saw the Chiefs score on every single drive of significance.  (Larry Johnson took a handoff with :04 after a Colts punt, to end the half.)  You ready, because honestly, if a team drops 24 on you, and posts a 31-7 run on you, as the Chiefs did in the last 16:23 of that first half ten years ago, you expect one side to implode.  Turnovers galore.  Interceptions.  Fumbles.  Botched punts.

The Colts had one turnover all day.

The satan manning interception, that sealed the game, to Greg Wesley, play-called above.

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I happen to think that Sunday night, we’re going to see greatness.

(Well, to be fair – that’s a given.  I may refer to him as satan manning, but face it – the dude is greatness.)

And for once, it ain’t gonna be the sideline, with people wearing puke orange and blue, that deliver it.

If you need a ride out Sunday, we’re leaving between 12:30 and 1.  My contact info’s above if you don’t know it and want to save the $30 on parking; we welcome anyone (especially those wanting a Chiefs victory.  Seriously, if you’re rooting for denver, stay fifty effing feet from me at all times, as much as humanly possible.  I don’t want to deal with any of you people.)  

The menu is detailed above; it’s not changing.  I’ll get The Poem up by sometime tomorrow, since the person that thing was originally crafted for, will be in the house Sunday night.  I’ll try to get The Mixology List up by midday tomorrow as well.

Sunday the Chiefs are collecting for Harvesters; please, help those less fortunate and blessed in this life, than we all are, during this Chrismukkah season.  Ditto if / when the Toys for Tots folks walk by where you are.  In this amazing, awe-inspiring experiment that is the greatest nation the world has ever known?  It should be a crime, for any child, to go without at least one meaningful gift given to them, at Christmas.

I put my money where my fingers typing a keyboard are, for those of you who doubt me:


(L to R back row: "The Bus", Russ the Bus Man, Dr. Frank, Dustin, me, Roger's bus.  Next: Marine, Chris, Nancy, Marine.  Up front: Chiefs collector.  Image credit: PrimeSport / kcchiefs.com / nfl.com)

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Show up early.  Stay out late.

And prepare to celebrate a win, that will change who holds the power position, the AFC West.

As Barney Stinson noted in the episode “Sunrise”: “Whatever you do in this life?  It’s not legendary, unless your friends are there to see it.”


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Sunday night, Chiefs fans?  Believe that we're going to go somewhere amazing, somewhere special, somewhere only we know.  (If only because no donkeys are allowed ... save for Quad Noose and his new buddy.  God, the things I want to do to violate that thing, would make Nina Hartley blush.)

Yes, folks – I honestly, truly believe, that on Sunday night, we’re going to finally – finally! – see greatness dropped on satan manning, by the Red and (hopefully) Red, for the first time in ten years.

I know the season statistics don’t matter anymore due to missing last week … but this week’s “Screw You Pete King” Upset O’ The Week?

(stevo very, very angry voice) For the second time all season – take a mother f*cking guess.


* at Chiefs (+2) 33, donkeys 19.  I really wanted to go 19-10 to honor the 2006 Thanksgiving Night victory … but honoring the 2008 “holy crap, it’s over!  345 straight days of losing is over!!!” upset of those people, seemed more appropriate ...

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