“She’s a little complicated.
She’ll make her mind up, just to change it.
The kind of girl who keeps you waiting,
She likes to get her toes done bright red;
She’s always reapplying her lipstick.
The muddy river bank?
She’s first in and last out.
She’s got something I can’t figure out,
That everybody’s talking about …
She’s got the blue jeans painted on tight,
That everybody wants on Saturday night!
She’s got the mood ring; she’s never the same!
She’s sunny one minute then pouring down rain!
And she’ll do whatever she wants!
And when she moves? Every jaw’s gonna drop!
And I do – but don’t – want her to stop!
(Because) I want, I want, I want?
Whatever she’s got …
Whatever she’s got …”
-- “Whatever She’s Got” by David Nail. Saw this dude three years ago at Sandstone as the lead-in to Eric Church. (Pause). Jesus, how life changes so damned fast sometimes, and not for the better. Oh, and yes, I really do sound that hideous, trying to sing ...
Allow me to state something up front, something that quite frankly I’ve been thinking ever since leaving the donkeys game, knowing that for all intents and purposes, the Chiefs have to win 3 of 4, to reach the playoffs.
Would there be anything – and I mean anything! – more pure Chiefs, than going into Pittsburgh on Sunday, beating the Steelers in convincing fashion … and then crapping the bed at home against San Diego next Sunday?
It’d be 1999 all over again – win four straight against either decent or bitter rivals (at oakland, at denver, vs Pittsburgh), along with a prime time epic classic against a damned good Vikings team … before blowing a 17-0 lead, at home, in the finale, to the god awful raiders, to whiz away the playoffs, after overcoming ridiculous odds* to be in position to make it in to (carl peterson voice) the tournament?
This is my nightmare scenario that’s been dominating the thoughts in my head, for 2 ½ weeks now. Because face it, isn’t this what we expect? To finally buy all-in, only to have the rug yanked out from under us in the cruelest way imaginable? If that doesn’t describe what being a Chiefs fan feels like season after season, what possibly could?
(*: entering Thanksgiving 1999, the Chiefs stood at 5-5, having lost three straight games. They stood three behind the Seahawks in the West … and three out of a playoff spot period. The Dolphins, Colts, Bills, Titans, Jaguars, and Seahawks all were at least 8-2. Four weeks later, the Chiefs controlled their own destiny for the postseason, before losing the final two to miss out on the fun.
To call the Chiefs at Steelers the game of the weekend … wouldn’t be that big of a stretch, honestly. There are some gigantic games on the board:
* Seahawks at “Super” Cardinals (Sunday Nighter): winner likely wins the NFC West, and is in the drivers seat for home field advantage, as both hold tiebreaker over Green Bay.
Stevo’s Pick: “Super” Cardinals 17-16, on some crazy ass fluky finish.
Chiefs Fans Rooting Interest: who cares; the outcome doesn’t affect the Chiefs chances at all.
* Colts at Cowboys (CBS National Slot): the Colts have already won the AFC South, but can still move up as high as the two seed with a little help. The Cowboys, if they win out, win the NFC East, and if they lose even once, they could become only the second team in modern NFL history with 11 wins, to miss the playoffs. (Your 2008 Patriots are the other.)
Stevo’s Pick: Cowboys 34, Colts 30. Don’t sleep on Indy though; they’re getting better every week, and every single one of their losses (at donkeys, vs Eagles, at Patriots, at Steelers) looks better by the day.
Chiefs Fans Rooting Interest: another one with no real effect on us. Although I wouldn’t mind seeing Indy slide to the four slot, especially if Baltimore (as I expect) wins out to seal the five seed (at worst). I was there last year. I have no desire to see a seventh Chiefs season (in 19 years) ended by a team that used to, or currently does, call Baltimore home.)
(And yes, if the Chiefs get in, I’m going. We already had this discussion, at the raiders tailgate last week. Provided it’s not at Baltimore. Opening at Indy, Cincy, or denver, and there’s a group of us going. Open at Baltimore? Would probably have to fly, and that’s a b*tch to get together on one day’s notice.)
* Falcons at Saints (noon, FOX). Whoever wins controls their own destiny in the NFC South. If Atlanta wins, however, Carolina controls its own destiny in the NFC South. You all have no idea how much I’m rooting for a 6-9-1 Panthers squad to win this division.
Stevo’s Pick: Falcons 34, Saints 31 (OT). C’mon Panthers! C’mon Cam! Lose at home against Cleveland!
(Seriously, how excited would NBC have to be, for the second time in five years, to have to flex two atrocious teams into the Sunday Nighter slot to close the season, simply because it’s the “best” game on the board? If you thought 7-8 St. Louis visiting 6-9 Seattle was riveting television five years ago, just wait until Panthers at Falcons!)
Chiefs Fans Rooting Interest: none. Unless you want to watch Roger Goodell defend the indefensible again, of a 6 win team hosting a 12 win team in the playoffs.
(My thoughts on this have evolved somewhat. I used to think every division champ should be guaranteed at least one home game, as they have been since 1990. Now? I still think if you win your division, you should be guaranteed a home game … provided you’re at least .500. If you can’t win half your games, you shouldn’t be rewarded for it. A sub-.500 division champ should still get in, but they should have to go on the road, to the team that earned it more.)
* Bills at raiders (3:25pm, CBS). The Bills are still alive folks. They’re still alive. At least until next Sunday, when the Patriots will welcome them to Foxboro as they always do: with an ass-kicking of Biblical proportions.
Stevo’s Pick: Bills 31, raiders 6.
Chiefs Fans Rooting Interest: hang on, I need something stiffer than a Coors Light to type these next three words. (stevo heading to the liquor cabinet …) The oakland raiders. A Bills loss puts them on life support, with Dr. Brady and Dr. Belichick awaiting next week.
* Ravens at Texans (noon, CBS). I know you will think I am nuts for what I’m about to type … but I believe in Case Keenum. He thoroughly impressed me last fall at Arrowhead. I look forward to hopefully watching him (or Stevo’s Site Numero Dos’ Official Unhealthy Mancrush Quarterback Ryan Mallett) at Reliant next fall. (Chiefs would play at Houston if both teams finish 2nd in their division; the Chiefs are guaranteed to play at Houston in 2016.)
Stevo’s Pick: Ravens 20, Texans 17.
Chiefs Fans Rooting Interest: Houston. Houston, Houston, Houston!
* donkeys at Bengals (Monday Nighter). This is as close to a must-win, without being one, as they come for the Bengals. (Next week is truly the must-win, at Pittsburgh. But this one’s damned close.)
Stevo’s Pick: donkeys 24, Bengals 20. I think Cincy loses out and misses the playoffs. It’s 2006 all over again.
Chiefs Fans Rooting Interest: we’ll pretty much know the Chiefs fate by the time this one kicks off. (There is a wacky ass 11 way scenario where the Chiefs can get in with a loss on Sunday, but trust me – it’s so effed up and unlikely to happen, it makes 2006 look sane and rational and reasonable … when there were only eight distinct outcomes we needed. Lose on Sunday? We need 11 distinct outcomes, and try as I might, I just cannot see Buffalo winning in Foxboro, or Cleveland winning in Baltimore, both of which we’d need to occur.)
For now, it's root for the Bengals, on principle. If the Chiefs lose Sunday, we have to choke down the biggest man-package imaginable, and root for denver.
* “Super” Chargers at 49ers (Saturday Nighter). Halle-f*cking-lujah, we have Saturday Night Football back in our lives for the first time in nearly a decade!
Stevo’s Pick: 49ers 24, “Super” Chargers 20. Win one before Mr. Harbaugh heads across the Golden Gate to make our lives a living hell over the next five years.
Chiefs Fans Rooting Interest: the 49ers, of course … although a Chargers win does nothing for them; the Chiefs finish ahead of them with a win next week, no matter what happens in this contest.
* Packers at Bucs (noon, FOX). Yawn.
Stevo’s Pick: Packers 38, Bucs 2.
Chiefs Fans Rooting Interest: doesn’t matter … although if the only NFC team you give a sh*t about is the Cowboys or the Lions, root for the Bucs. (Note: one of those two teams, is the only NFC team, I give a sh*t about. And it’s at most a 10% sh*t.)
So that leaves the Chiefs and Steelers.
I’ll have my thoughts about them … tomorrow.