Monday, December 29, 2014

(new) post 799: 2014 chiefs best and worsts ...

“Moon river?
Wider than a mile.
I’m crossing you in style,
Someday.

Oh dream maker!
You heart breaker!
Wherever you’re going?
I’m going your way!

Two drifters,
Off to see the world –
There’s such a lot of world,
To see.

We’re after
The same rainbow edge!

Waiting round the bend!
My huckleberry friend!
Moon river,
And me …”

-- “Moon River” by Audrey Hepburn, from one of the greatest movies of all time, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.  And yes, that is Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith, in the role he should be best remembered for, but sadly won’t be …

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Well, as usual, if you peruse this site frequently, I’ve just sold you a rotted batch of goods again.

I had intended Post 800 to be “The Annual Column” … only, I’m not done with it, and I honestly don’t feel like finishing it, after Sunday’s Chiefs victory that served no purpose, other than to ensure a more difficult schedule next season for the Red and Gold.  (Had the Chiefs lost, they’d have hosted Miami and visited Jacksonville; now we host Buffalo and visit Houston.)

I should note, I am not at all unhappy, about that development.  Houston is a damned fun roadie; I’ve gone the last two times the Chiefs visited that fine city, and I am looking forward to making the trifecta.

Then, for Post 799, Youtube! goes and removes the video link, so I just decided screw it – I’ll redo Post 799 as the beginning of the Chiefs Year in Review, and then play Post 800 as I see fit.  So if “The Annual Column” winds up at 806, is anyone really going to be upset?  No?  Good, then done, and done.

Part Uno of the 2014 Chiefs in Review appears below, and it is the Best and Worst Moments of the season that was, according to me.

Enjoy?

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* Best Game (Overall): Week 4, vs Patriots (W 41-14).  How could you pick any other game?  The Chiefs took the Patriots to the woodshed for three straight hours, and gave them the business like no team has in the Bill Belichick era.  (Pause).  It also doesn’t hurt that this kicked off the best three week run of sports fun this fine metropolitan area, has ever seen. 

* Best Game (Honorable Mention(s)): Week 17, vs Chargers (W 19-7).  If the Chiefs had come out that prepared, focused, and passionate a week earlier, this post will still be a week away from, uuh, posting.

* Worst Game (Overall): Week 16, at Steelers (L 12-20).  An unacceptable, pathetic effort in a very winnable, must-win game.  Depressing, and unacceptable. 

* Worst Game (Dishonorable Mention(s)): the back-to-back prime time division chokers, Week 12 at the raiders (L 20-24) and Week 13 against the donkeys (L 16-29).  In the span of ten days, the Chiefs went from tied for the West lead, to also-rans.  Also, we’re going to be coming back to that denver game at least two more times, in the “worst” designations.

* Best Game (Offense): Week 17 vs Chargers.  Yes, the Chiefs settled for way too many field goals (Cairo Santos was 4 of 5, and his miss was from 52) … but they consistently moved the ball up and down the field, with a quarterback who didn’t get starter reps even once in practice all week.  Against a pretty damned solid Chargers defense.  That game plan yesterday was sick, in a good way.

* Worst Game (Offense): Week 13 at Cardinals.  I have a feeling that 200 years from now, coaches will still be using the “two minute drill” from this game, to show their players how NOT, to conduct a two minute drill.

* Best Play (Offense): the fourth and one pitch to Jamaal Charles, who took it 39 yards for the touchdown, at Bills Week 10.  It wasn’t the deciding points (that would be Alex Smith’s offtackle run on the next offensive possession), but this was the play that turned the game around.  Trailing 13-3 with barely 13 to play, facing a 4th and 1 at the Bills 39 – too long to try the field goal, too short to justify the punt, down too many points to justify either kicking option.  This play call was brilliance … and Mr. Charles run was drool-inducing sweet to watch.

* Best Play (Honorable Mention(s)): the long bomb conversion to Jason Avant, Week 13 at Cardinals.  It set the Chiefs up to break the game wide, wide open, which they would have, were it not for two plays that are going to be mentioned in a few more paragraphs.

* Best Play (Defense): Husain Abdullah’s TaINT, vs Patriots Week 4.  The single loudest moment Arrowhead got this past season.  And yes, I’m fully aware of the 142.2 bullsh*t designation.  This moment was louder. 

And wasn’t even 2/1000ths of 1 / 100th of 1 percent as loud, as it would get in that sports complex, about 25 hours later.

* Best Play (Honorable Mention(s): the goalline stand against the Chargers, Week 17.  San Diego gets it to the Chiefs three yard line, and on second down, it appears that they have converted the touchdown pass, to pull to within 6 at 19-13, with the kick pending.  In Section 132, this hot-as-hell-itself almost 38 year old decides the change of possession is the perfect time to finally deal with the three beers I had consumed to that point in the game.

I reach the men’s room (which is three sections away, no matter which way I head from that seat), and Len Dawson is adamant on the FOX broadcast that the ball hit the ground.  Sure as sh*t, Pete Morelli overrules the play, and the next two downs, were just gorgeous.  Phyllis had nowhere to throw, and more to the point, he had no time to throw – between the insane crowd noise and his line’s utter inability to stop our front seven yesterday, he was a sitting target most of the afternoon.

* Worst Play (Offense): Travis Kelce’s fumble, at Cardinals Week 13.  Setting aside the fact that if that play is a fumble, then I’m not going to need a new liver in a few years ... that play just crippled us.  If Kelce isn’t a f*cking idiot and doesn’t put the Chiefs in that position (aka “don’t showboat, jackass”), they are highly likely to have won that game at Arizona, and they’d be in the playoffs.

Sadly, this isn’t even the play that truly cost us that game.  It’s still to come.  But this one stunk.  And hurt.  Or as Bart Simpson would note, “I didn’t think this was possible, but that both blows and sucks!”

* Worst Play (Honorable Mention(s)): 4th and goal, at donkeys Week 2.  The Chiefs trail 17-24 with a little under four minutes to play.  They have 4th and goal at the denver 4.  And Alex Smith throws one of the ugliest, most indefensible passes you’ll ever see, into double coverage on Travis Kelce.

* Worst Play (Defense): the offsides jump, at 49ers Week 5.  I’ll get more into this in another section of the post, but this is a very, very strange season to look back on.  Usually when you miss the playoffs by a game or on tiebreakers (as the Chiefs did this year), you can only point back to one, maybe two moments, that defined why that occurred. 

This Chiefs season?  I can think of seven plays right off the top of my head, that had ANY of them gone differently, the Chiefs are traveling to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers on Saturday night, instead of the Ravens.  This is just one of them that stands out – the Chiefs had forced the 49ers into a punt, trailing by two, with five and change to play … only they’d crossed the line early on that 3rd down play, giving the 49ers a first down, which they then used to bleed precious time off the clock, before kicking a field goal to seal the Chiefs fate.

* Best Play (Special Teams): Cairo Santos’ 48 yard game winner with 0:21 remaining, at Chargers Week 7.  It’s strange to contemplate ten weeks later, but nobody thought Cairo Santos had the mental make-up, to make this kick, at that time.  Now, we’re stunned when he misses.  But ten weeks ago, we were delirious with shock, when he hit one.

* Worst Play (Special Teams): the fake punt, vs broncos Week 13.  As my buddy Pickell would say, “put it this way”: I was 12 hours of drinking in, it was barely 6 degrees outside (with a windchill 20 degrees south of that), early in the first quarter of a game that for all intents and purposes would decide the division … and even I called the fake punt as denver lined up to attempt it.  Even I saw it coming.  If my drunk ass, that hasn’t watched the game film and has no need to prepare for this moment, if I am that prescient, what’s Dave Toub’s excuse?

* Best Call (Officiating): ruling Dwayne Bowe fumbled two inches short of the goalline, Week 17 vs Chargers.  If you’re going to suck, epically suck.  Ruling that Bowe fumbled at the goalline, resulting in a touchdown via fumble recovery by Travis Kelce, ensured the Chiefs WR’s would not catch a touchdown pass all season long.  Long after the nuts and bolts of 2014 are forgotten, that record will still stand the test of time – literally, as it had never happened before, in the National Football League, since the merger.

* Worst Call (Officiating): Jesus, picking one from four that screwed the proverbial pooch is impossible, so I’m going to channel this site’s official resident asshat, our Ol’ Buddy, Ol’ Pal, Ol’ Descomisado, “Screw You” Pete King, and split my vote four ways.

Because all four calls were that indefensible, and crushing.

1. The Kelce fumble, at Cardinals Week 13.  Mentioned above already.  Sadly, I’d argue that wasn’t as crushing as a call on the previous drive …

2. The Anthony Fasano Offensive Pass Interference call, at Cardinals Week 13.  It’s been six weeks, and I still don’t see it.  It cost the Chiefs six critical points, gave the Cardinals new life (which they promptly took advantage of), and of every play of the seven or eight or nine of them that we can point to and say “there, that’s the one that did us in!”, THIS is the one that will drive me bat sh*t crazy until I am, uuh, officially declared bat sh*t crazy, and sent off to Two Rivers or Charter to “please, get help somewhere!”

This call was so atrocious, even Mike Carey objected to it.  When Mike Carey thinks you f*cked up, you royally f*cked up.

3. The Jamaal Charles fumble, at Steelers Week 16.  Another “what the hell?” call from the officials that screwed the Chiefs.  If that was a fumble – he had possession of the ball, a knee on the ground, and a Steelers player touching him – if that was a fumble, then I went to bed sober last night, and the night before, and – hell, pick any night over the last 20 some odd years.  All of them, I went to bed sober, if that was a fumble.

4. The Ben Incomplete Pass, at Steelers Week 16.  This one is more on “Fat” Andy, for not challenging the call, but it was a clear fumble on the Steelers second possession, that would have set the Chiefs up inside the red zone, with a chance to do some damage early, in a game that they absolutely had to win.

You rank which of those four indefensible officiating blunders screwed us the most.  (I’d rank them 2 / 3 / 1 / 4 … but I’m not locked into that order.)

* Best Tailgate (Overall): vs Patriots, Week 4.  A perfect late September day (85 and not a cloud in the sky).  A great afternoon spent with some great friends, having some great times at the beer pong table, and other assorted moments.  Did I mention 85 and not a cloud in the sky?  On September 29th?  Circle me happy Bert!

* Best Tailgate (Moment): vs Chargers, Week 17, when “My Special Little Guy” came strolling in like he owned the place, and then, after consuming a breakfast burrito, realized there were a few tailgating buses around him, and looked at me and said “Teve?  Is this yours?!?!?!?!”  Well, it’s not mine … but it’s close enough.

Seeing the A Man hop up on the Bus, his eyes as wide as anything you’ve ever seen, filled with excitement and happiness, the sheer joy of a six year old, at his first Chiefs game that counts, getting to take all of it in?  Was freaking awesome.

* Worst Tailgate (Overall): vs Seahawks, Week 11.  Where do I begin on this one.  It was literally 5 degrees when we arrived.  That’s not the windchill, that’s the actual temperature – five.  Mona missed it with the flu, and we were freaking clueless how to react.  It took an hour to get the tent up, although we at least managed to create a warm corridor by the time we were done.

* Worst Tailgate (Moment): Stevo forgets the Quad Noose, vs donkeys Week 13.  I will forever blame myself for that defeat.  I left the damned noose at home.  What.  Was.  I.  Thinking?  (Or, more accurately, what was I drinking?)

And finally …

* Worst Moment of the Season, and Nothing Else is Even in Contention for This “Honor”: Eric Berry is diagnosed with cancer.  #bebold  #bebrave  #beberry  Which also leads us to …

* Best Moment(s) of the Season, and Nothing Else is Even in Contention for This Honor: the way every opponent responded to the news.  I would like to think, that even I could manage some class, decorum, and sympathy, if a denver bronco or oakland raider ever found themselves in Mr. Berry’s position.  (And for those you who doubt that I am capable of that?  Who do I NOT mock, that sadly and tragically is dying of dementia, who just happens to own a team I hate worse than ISIS?)

The pure class so many players and organizations showed when Mr. Berry was diagnosed, was really cool to see.  If only to reaffirm that even after (almost completing) 37 full years on this planet, I still have so, so much to learn, about what life is really all about.

And with that, the Best and the Worsts are done.

Up next?  The Dream Schedule … then Professor Stevo’s Grades.

And if I’m feeling frisky, the Ten Things Stevo Would Do This Offseason, If His Name was John Dorsey, “Fat” Andy Reid, or Clark Hunt.


And in a tease, one of those ten, is to allow Season Ticket Members to purchase the Early-In Pass, like a regular parking pass, rather than require us to cash in our points, to spend even more time in the presence of the greatness, that is the Chiefs Kingdom …

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