Thursday, November 26, 2015

week 12: chiefs! bills! the biggest game of the regular season ...

“These days?
Well they’re looking up!
We’ve got so much to say,
We’ve got someone to love!

We’ve got good friends –
They’re so good to us!
So haters can hate,
And fakers can front!

(And) so we try to live?
Like it’s all we’ve got.
‘Cause for all we know?

This …
Could …
Be …
The …

Last night, of our lives!
Gonna chase down our every desire!
We blaze the night!

What if all we’ve been waiting for
All this time?
Reaches such great heights?
(And) gives us just one perfect night?

To say oh!
What a beautiful life!
Oh, what a beautiful life!

Here it comes!
Out of the dark!
We’ve got nothing to fear –
We’ve got nothing but heart!

We can’t just wait here,
To see what it brings;
We’ve got too many hopes!
We’ve got too many dreams!

So we try to live?
Like it’s all we’ve got!
‘Cause for all we know?

This!  Could!  Be!  The!
Last night of our lives!
Gonna chase down our every desire!
We blaze the night!

What if all we’ve been waiting for,
All this time?
Reaches such great heights?
And gives us just one perfect night?

To say oh!
What a beautiful life!
Oh!  What a beautiful life! …”


In case you missed Part Uno, which was a look at the other contenders for the wildcard slots in the AFC with six weeks to play, you can read it by clicking here.

Part Dos is a look at where our beloved Red and Gold stands, and in an homage to things you people seem to love about this site, I give you a callback to the ages, to prep for Sunday.


(late 1980s nbc announcer voice) And now, Part Dos of AFC 2015: A Conference In Crisis.


* The Kansas City … CHIEFS!
Current Record: 5-5 overall / 4-2 conference.
Head to Head Tiebreaker(s) Held: Steelers, Texans.
Head to Head Tiebreaker(s) Lost: none.
Remaining Schedule: vs Bills / at raiders / vs Chargers / at Ravens / vs Browns / vs raiders.

Thoughts: that of every team either in as of today, or within a game of being in as of today, the Chiefs are in the best shape of everyone?  They have ZERO H2H tiebreakers to worry about – barring epic Biblical-style collapses, the two conference losses (denver, Cincy) are winning their divisions.  

(And -- psst! -- dirty little secret (aka all the ***'s in Part Uno) time: the Chiefs hold tiebreaker over denver, believe it or not, via conference record … and that isn’t likely to change.  The West is not won yet by those classless jackasses, if we can catch them.  Not by a long shot.  (Pause).  Now might be the time to turn into Patriots, Bengals, Steelers, and (gulp) raiders fans, to say nothing of Chargers fans, as those five teams make up satan's squads final six contests …)

Let that sink in – every single non-division leading AFC team the Chiefs have faced?  They’ve beat!

Furthermore, let’s just address the Captain Oats in the room, shall we?  Damned near EVERY team they have left to fear for a playoff berth? 

They play!

Beginning Sunday, against the Bills.


Because Sunday, as noted a whole post (and an hour) ago, is THE biggest non-playoff game of the “Fat” Andy Reid era.

Sunday will go a damned long way towards determining, if this is an Era … or an Error.

Let’s play “peek-a-boo” for a minute, kids.  Let’s say the Chiefs win Sunday.  They’d be 6-5, 5-2 conference, with five to play.

Let’s also just acknowledge the Captain Oats in the room, and state the obvious: they’re not losing to San Diego at home, and they’re not losing to Cleveland at home, even if it's Chase Daniel under center.  (And for what it's worth?  I truly believe Aaron Murray would roll Cleveland 33-3.)  

I also think it's highly probable the Chiefs will win at least one of their other three remaining contests: at Baltimore, and home / away against oakland.

That sets 9-7 overall / 8-4 conference, as the floor.  9-7 / 8-4 is the WORST CASE SCENARIO, with a victory on Sunday.

(With 11-5 / 10-2 your previously established ceiling that – ssshhhh! – will likely top the donkeys, to win the division.)

What does a Chiefs team at 9-7 overall, 8-4 in the conference, with head to head tiebreakers over Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and Houston (and probably) oakland mean?

It means the following:

* Buffalo (at 5-6) would have to win out to make the playoffs ahead of Kansas City.  They would HAVE to finish ahead, based on Head to Head Victory.  It’s doable … but highly unlikely.  * Cough Roadie at Philly Cough *.  * Cough Facing Dallas Cough *.  * Cough Kirk Cousins On the Road Cough *.  * Cough ("the voice of reason" voice) ITS BUFFALO! Cough *.

* New York (likely 6-5 after Sunday) could only lose once in the last five weeks, to finish ahead of Kansas City in the standings.  They would HAVE to finish ahead, based on Conference Record.  Given they travel to Dallas, “The Ralph” (our personal house of horrors) and host the Patriots – to say nothing of facing the Giants – that’s highly unlikely.

* Houston (coin flip Sunday – 5-6 or 6-5), would either have to win out, or lose only once, to finish ahead of Kansas City.  (If they beat the Saints, they have one to play with.  If the Saints win, they'd have to win out.)  They would HAVE to finish ahead of the Chiefs in the standings, based on Head to Head Victory.  They have to travel to Buffalo to open December, have to travel to Indy in the middle of December, and the Patriots are the game in between.  Good luck with that.

* Pittsburgh (likely 6-5 after Sunday) would have to lose only once more, to finish ahead of Kansas City.  They would HAVE to finish ahead in the standings, based on Head to Head Victory.  Given that they still have to go to Cincy, host denver, host Indy, AND visit Crab Cake City, that’s HIGHLY unlikely to occur.

And, if you want to include the 4-6 squads?  Then do it!  Here's what they would have to do, to finish ahead of Kansas City:

* oakland’s only loss could be to Green Bay.  ANY other defeat, they’d be done, via (pick one) conference or divisional record.  (Or head-to-head, as well; if the Chiefs simply split with them, they’re toast.)

* Miami’s only loss could be to the Giants.  Any other defeat, they’d be done, via conference record.

* Jacksonville’s only loss could be to either the Falcons or Saints.  Any other defeat, they’d be done, via conference record.  (Or divisional record, if they’re tied with Houston or Indy, at 8-8 or 9-7.)

Honestly folks, there’s only one thing left to say.

If the Chiefs win Sunday?

It will take nothing short of catastrophic injuries and/or physical calamities of Biblical proportions, to keep them out of the playoffs.

Considering the best player on the squad on offense, already suffered the catastrophic injury, and the root-like-hell-for-him player on defense has emerged victorious against the physical calamity?

I like the Chiefs chances to become only the second team ever to open 1-5 (or worse) and make the playoffs, if their reality is 6-5, come 3:30pm CT on Sunday, November 29th.


But first, the Chiefs have to make THEIR reality?

OUR reality.

Which is where WE come into the calculation.

OUR team?  OUR town?

Needs US, on Sunday, like they rarely have before.

Which means, one final Captain Oats in the room, has to be addressed, and it is this:

Are YOU up to the challenge that awaits The Kingdom, come high noon on Sunday?

More to the point ... let me ask you a question.


That I'm going to wait a moment or paragraph or page or six, to pose.


Because I most assuredly am, up to the challenge.

I've been quiet all season folks.  I’ve given things time to play out on their own. 

And this?  So far? 

It ain’t working for me.

It's time to start acting, like Stevo is supposed to act, when it comes to the Red and Gold.


I ask, I request, I beg, I plead, I implore, each and every person reading this who considers themselves in any way, shape, or form, to be not just a Chiefs fan, but a die-hard Chiefs fan, to find a way to get your ass not just planted in that stadium come Noon CT on Sunday … but find a way to get your ass out there early enough, to be “properly medicated”, for the three-hour stress-test on tap.

(Having endured one of those -- no, really, for real, an actual stress-test -- less than a month ago?  Get ready.  You have NO idea what you're in for.)

This team needs US.  Not me, not you – US!  

I don’t give a sh*t who you are – if you need a place to tailgate?  I’ll save you a spot.  We welcome ANYONE who either (a) loves football or ... well hell, that's the only reason you need.  We have enough non-Chiefs fans most weeks, to prove that point.

But if you love the Chiefs?  This team -- OUR team! -- NEEDS you on Sunday!

Because Sunday?  Is THE defining game of the “Fat” Andy Reid era.  It is THE defining game of the 2015 season.

Sunday?  May damned well be the day you look your child, your grandchild, your great grandchild in the eye, and note someday that “it was the day the Chiefs assumed their rightful position, as the best team the National Football League has to offer”!

Sunday?  Is a day you do NOT want to miss.  Because (may God grant) win, (may God forbid) lose, or (may the late, great Bert Convy decide) draw?

Sunday, quite probably, defines a season. 

And quite possibly, a legacy, for this regime.

Because ...


(julie chen voice) But first!

(tony dumas voice) Your flight plans, sir!

The current menu for Sunday is various people’s interpretations on chili, with all the fixins, and a hot dog / brat / sausage assortment on the grill to boot, if need be.  Ryan and Ron will have the Gates (the late, great mr. william grigsby voice) Prrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrresidential Platter for you.  There will be various side dishes, assorted desserts, and only God knows what else.

I have secured the early-in pass.  The Bus departs no later than 6:30am.  Currently there are nine riding out, with another eight headed up from Springfield, and other assorted friends arriving after the gates open.

Also, after conversing with "Rufus” (aka “my highly placed source with intricate knowledge of the Truman Sports Complex parking situation”), I feel very safe in saying we will be in our spot no later than 7am. 

Provided the bastardos running Gate Seven manage to open it on time. 

(“Rufus” promised he’d remedy the delay from the Steelers game.  I have no reason to doubt “Rufus”.  He’s always been right … so far.  Up to and including predicting exactly what would happen for denver.)

The first song on “Mixology: The Bills” to play?  WILL be “Penny Lover”.  The last song to play, nine hours later?  (Pause).  Had damned well better be "Dancing On the Ceiling".  

Everything that plays in between?  Is up to you.  Send in your requests; I'll add it to Mixology.

A great friend is coming in from Ohio for this one.  Usually we have to head his way (he’s a Colts season ticket holder).  “Cowboy Ron” and his group are showing up in the hopes we’ll get another great tailgate in Indy, come the second weekend in January.  (That, and his family is here.  Priorities people.  Priorities.)

Our regular crew is all-in.  Nobody’s missing this, save for Chris.  She’s got a damned good excuse – Puerto Rico with one awesome gentleman she’s met, and hopes to settle down with.  We’re all rooting for this, chica.

Having said that?  I wouldn’t be surprised in the least, if I get a “is there still a spot saved?” text come 9:30am on Sunday, out of her.  It would be a total Chris move to come home a week early, because OUR team needs every damned bit of support, encouragement, and love, we can offer them.

My brother is coming out, hopefully bringing My Special Little Guy with him.  (Update: he’s not … at least as of now.  “Unca Teve” may have to get involved here.  Priorities, brother.  Priorities.)

Just like oakland in six weeks is my birthday weekend?  This one is Drew’s.  Come out and celebrate appropriately.  (AKA "bring beer.  Lots and lots of beer!")

Our buddy Neeck will be there.  Quiet and stoic?  He is not.  He’s not Jerry.  But he is boisterous and loud, as each and every godd*mned last one of us, HAS to be.


Wait – I object to an offensive word, in that previous sentence.  I strongly object to it.

But he is boisterous and loud, as each and every godd*mned last one of us?

NEEDS to be!


The Chiefs are selling their remaining tickets for $25 on Friday.  There aren’t many left – this game, like all but one prior to this for the last 24 years, will be an official sellout.  But if you want a cheapie?  Email / text / call / IM me; I’ll forward you the Season Ticket Member email with the offer code.

Tickets on Stubhub are hawking right now for even lower -- $22. 

Because seriously people -- is buying Junior a 12th Lego set to shove under the tree, really a higher priority than watching one of the most epic turnarounds in League history, unfold in front of your eyes?

I say no.  I say hell no.  I say f*ck no!

See you Sunday!  No excuses!  Be loud!  Be damned loud!  Pound that seat back in front of you into submission!  Scream until it physically hurts to open your mouth ... and then get even louder!  This is our time!  Come be a part of it!

Because Sunday?  We have our chance, to answer the question that needs to be answered.

And that question is ...


I choose to close with this.

Twenty five years ago, in the third year of the Carl and Marty Era, the Buffalo Bills rolled into town.  It is a day, it is a night, that no Chiefs fan over the age of thirty will ever forget.  Monday, October 6, 1991.

Because it is the day the Kansas City Chiefs -- and the Arrowhead Experience -- introduced themselves to the nation.  It is the day the Chiefs arrived as a credible, legitimate force in the National ... Football League, after twenty years roaming the desert.

By the time that night was over, there was no doubt this team was an ascending power.  They trottled a 5-0 Buffalo team that was the defending AFC Champions 33-6.  The score could have been 70-6, the Chiefs so thoroughly gave the Bills the business that night. 

Twenty five years later, in the third year of the Dorsey and "Fat" Andy Era, the Buffalo Bills roll into town.


It's time to ask the Captain Oats in the room.


What if all we've been waiting for, all this time?
Reaches such great heights?
And gives us just one perfect night?


Monday, October 6, 1991, is as perfect of a night as any Chiefs fan under the age of forty has ever experienced.  

Chiefs fans?  It's time for something greater.

Because we in this amazing, awe-inspiring metropolitan area we call home know, what greatness is.

We saw our "perfect night".

Sunday, November 1, 2015.

Our Royals gave us that perfect night.  I still cannot type anything about that team, without immediately crying.  Christ, I've been typing up my thoughts on this postseason for the better part of six weeks now, and I still can't compose my emotions into readable thought yet.

I can tell you my reaction when it was over -- I literally dropped to my knees, and cried for ten straight minutes.  I could not stop crying.  And I gotta admit, in minute eleven, when Gus walked through the door, tears streaming down his face?  It just hit me even more.  

Uncontrolled emotion.  Unexplainable love.  Indefensible passion.  That's the only reaction any fan could have, for the 2015 Kansas City Royals.

That's how I used to react to the 1995 Chiefs.  The 1999 Chiefs.  The 2006 Chiefs.  Even the 2013 Chiefs.

Those squads?  All phonies.  All frauds.  All imposters who either (a) couldn't reach the postseason, or (b) crapped out against the ponies once they got there.

(Please, spare me the "what about 1993, or 1997, or 2003?  1993 hit its ceiling, as did 2003.  And the 1997 squad would have won the Super Bowl, if instant replay had been in existence ... or if, you know, satan's squad hadn't broken every salary cap rule the League has in place, to pay terrell davis under the table, to keep the team together.  (Pause).  What?  (Pause).  You're damned right it p*sses me off my squad didn't think of doing that first, for Neil Smith!)

Chiefs fans?

What if this, what if two thousand and f*cking fifteen, what if THIS is the team we've been waiting for all this time?

What if THIS is the team, that reaches such great heights?

What if THIS is the team, that gives us just ONE perfect night?

What if THIS is finally the Chiefs team, that fulfills every hope and desire, and blazes the night?

What if THIS is finally the Chiefs team, that makes us scream "oh!  What a beautiful life!"

If THIS Chiefs team, is to be that team?

Sunday is must-win.

Please, do your part.  It's time to stand folks.  Scream, shout.  It's time to turn the seatbacks in the lower deck black, and the seatbacks in the upper deck blue.  (Come on -- not even I'm dumb enough to think folks in Club Level give enough of a sh*t, to turn their seatbacks bright red, with the blood their hands are releasing from pounding that damned hard.)

It's time to turn the greatest home field advantage in professional sports, into what it is -- THE greatest home field advantage in professional sports.

It's time to take OUR perfect night.

(Or at least pleasant afternoon).

* at Chiefs 13, Bills (+6) 9.

Please -- let me see you Sunday!

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