Saturday, October 1, 2016

week four: "the tallest kid in third grade now" ...

The theme for this post, is revealed in the Chiefs prepared comments section, of this post.

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Last Week SU: 10-6-0.
Season to Date SU: 24-24-0.

Last Week ATS: 9-6-1.
Season to Date ATS: 24-23-1.

Last Week Upset O’ The Week: bango!
Season to Date Upset / Week SU: 2-1-0.
Season to Date Upset / Week ATS: 3-0-0.
This Week Upset O’ The Week: raiders (+3 ½) over Ravens.

Last Week SUCK: dammit.
Season to Date SUCK: 2-1-0.
This Week’s SUCK: satan’s squad (-3 ½) over Buccaneers.

(Note: the SUCK gets credit for being wrong, because it’s my favorite bet on the board.  So wager big on those Buccaneers, degenerate gambling nation.  Wager very, very big ...)

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The Non-Jets, Non-Chiefs “Fling It And Pray” Best Guesses:

Byes: Packers, Eagles.

* My Thursday Night Pick was Dolphins 27, Bengals 20.  Whoops.

* Jaguars (+3) 31, Colts 20 (London).  It isn’t last stand time for the Jaguars yet – the AFC South winner might go 6-10 before it’s all said and done.  But it would behoove the Jags – and especially their coach – to win this game.

* Lions (-3) 34, at Bears 16.  Dear God.  I’m taking the Lions as a road favorite.  This won’t end well.

* at Redskins (-8) 45, Browns 13.  From the “No Sh*t Sherlock” Department, this is your Good Times Game O’ The Week!

* at Texans (-5 ½) 30, Titans 10ALF Game O’ The Week!

* at Patriots 28, Bills (+4 ½) 27.  I love the Bills chances in this game.

* at “Shane” Falcons (+3) 34, Panthers 21.  Is Atlanta actually decent, not mediocre?  Is Carolina merely mediocre, not decent or great?  We’ll learn a lot after this (coach don fambrough voice) showdown, hoedown, throwdown, is completed.

* raiders (+3 ½) 31, at Ravens 13.  I’m sorry – the Ravens are the worst 3-0 team the NFL has seen since the 2010 Chiefs.  It’s time for a course correction here.

* satan’s squad (-3 ½) 45, at Buccaneers 20.  If you think I made this the SUCK O’ The Week for a reason … you’d be right.

* at “Super” Chargers (-4) 45, Saints 35.  This is gonna be one epic offensive shootout.  And I guess this is where I should note, the AFC West is not only the best division the NFL has to offer … I can envision every squad at 10-6 or better, when it’s all said and done.

* Cowboys (-3) 21, at 49ers 17.  I don’t care how sh*tty either or both squads are, you simply cannot be a fan of football and hate this game.  This was THE matchup of the year for so damned long in the 1990s, that you just can’t help but feel nostalgic every time these two hook up.  Ditto Green Bay / Dallas, and Green Bay / San Francisco.  That menage a trois was so damned fun in the 1990s.  You knew the Super Bowl winner would be one of those three squads for a solid five, six year run.  (And go figure, it was – Dallas in 1992, Dallas in 1993, San Fran in 1994, Dallas in 1995, Green Bay in 1996, and Green Bay made it back to the Super Bowl in 1997.)

* at “Super” Cardinals 20, Rams (+8) 17.  You can count on about eight fingers the number of people who’ll be watching this one.  Also, Webster Game O’ The Week.

* at Vikings (-5) 20, Giants 14.  I know how good the (hang on, I need to vomit uncontrollably at the next six words I’m about to type) defending Super Bowl champion denver broncos have looked so far.  Minnesota has looked even better. 

Inside Mixology:

Where I explain why a song is guaranteed to play, during tailgating.

This week’s pick is “You Never Even Called Me By My Name” by David Allan Coe.  The reason why should be obvious – it is THE perfect country and western song.  It does contain references to trucks, to trains, to prison, and to momma.

It also is guaranteed to bring thirty plus people to a screeching halt, and immediately start shouting every word, the moment you hear “Well it was all, that I could do, to keep from crying”.

Plus, given the fact that four – (mike gundy voice) four! – of the last six regular season tailgates have involved rain, the chorus is so damned perfect:

“Well I’ll hang around?
As long as you will let me!
(Let me!  Let me!  Let me!  Let me!)

And I never minded standing?
In the rain!

You don’t have to call me darlin’,
Darlin’ –
You never even called me
By my name!”

The Tailgating Plans:

There are no tailgating plans, as this is a road game.  However …

The Watch Party Plans:

This is the one game we should have been guaranteed to get to use The Deck for.  (A lot of my group is in Sioux Falls for the raiders roadie, and at least Anthony, Jaimmie, Miranda and I are going to Indy.  The next roadie after that is November 14, which might be too cold to head outside, and the next one after that, I have already started the “help Stevo post bail” fund for, as I will be setting foot inside the eighth layer of hell itself, literally risking my actual existence, by traveling to the Mile High City for the game against satan’s squad.  Oh, and yes, I cannot wait to legally purchase sh*t, that makes me a mile high.  It’s, uuh, high damned time!  #legalizeit #now)

Then?  Real life happens.

My Second Parents’ house had an issue this week – the washing machine decided to throw down with the kitchen, the basement ceiling, and the basement … and the washing machine won.

Needless to say, there’s a sh*t ton of carpeting and flooring – to say nothing of stuff that matters – that has to be fixed.

But we’re not going to let a washing machine that floods half the house, stand in the way of a GameDay experience.

(At least as of now.)

We plan to have the flat screen set up at least in time for the Cowboys / 49ers game at 3:25pm CT out on The Deck.  I’m not sure what the menu is yet, but it will be purchased.  (Can’t risk running the oven yet, the kitchen apparently flooded so bad.)  But I do know, the (highly likely to be ordered) pizza will taste good, and (thank God!) the Beer Machine escaped unscathed ... and it doesn’t drink itself.

So if you need a place to watch the game with your fellow Chiefs fans, feel free to head over. 

Just don’t judge the place, based on how it looks right now.

The Fab Five:

Where we look back at five great moments, in the Steelers / Chiefs rivalry.

5. Beer Boy, Week Five, 2001.  It was a glorious mid October Sunday – pushing 80 degrees, not a cloud in the sky.  This was the first year I had my ticket in 132, and I was sitting next to The Voice of Reason’s sister that day, when about midway through the first quarter, this dude and his girl come strolling across row 25, to occupy the two seats in front of us.

Keep in mind, it is 80 degrees, at least, and we’re sitting in the lower bowl (which immediately adds 15-20 degrees to the air temperature, since the heat gets trapped low at Arrowhead), so it feels like 95-100.  The girl is dressed as you’d expect – t-shirt, shorts, flip flops. 

The dude?  Oversized sweatshirt, blue jeans, and I didn’t notice the footwear.

Once they get situated, he took off the sweatshirt … to reveal he had a six pack of beer bottles, duct taped to his t-shirt. 

Is this where I note that this occurred, barely a month after 9/11?  Seriously, how p*ss poor was Arrowhead security that day?

That in and of itself, was awe-inspiring.  But oh no, it gets better.

Once they’d plowed through the six pack, he pulls four more out of the legs of his jeans, and then, in the piece de resistance, he reaches into the crotchal region, and pulls out two more.  The dude literally smuggled in a twelve pack!  I was just staring at the guy with a combined look of awe and stunned disbelief.

He finally noticed my stunned look, and concluded I must have wanted one … because he offered me one of the two he pulled out of the crotchal region.  I politely declined.  But damn, what a moment.  The dude literally smuggled a twelve pack in, not even a month after 9/11.

Circle me impressed.

4. Marcus Allen throws a touchdown?  Week Ten, 1997.  There’s an epic backstory as to why I was not at this game, and it involves me calling that (sarcasm voice) fine educator named Doctor Jane Mackay, formerly of TCU (I think formerly; I’m too lazy to look up if she’s still there twenty years later) a “mother f*cking b*tch!” to her face. 

But yes folks, the Chiefs and Steelers threw down in prime time, in one of the most boring games of this rivalry.  And the game’s only touchdown (Chiefs won 13-6), was thrown by Marcus Allen.  That in and of itself is some amazing stuff.

But this folks?  This is the game that gave rise to the moment that destroyed the Marty Schottenheimer Era in hindsight, because late in the first half, Elvis Grbac went down with a shoulder injury that would keep him out of the next five games.  Into the breach stepped … Rich “Dick” Gannon.  Yes, Chiefs fans, this is the game that began the Grbac / Gannon debate debacle that roo-eened at least two Chiefs seasons … and cost the Chiefs what I believe would have been the Lombardi, two years later.

3. The biggest win of the first ten years of my life.  Week 16 1986.  The Chiefs march into Pittsburgh at 9-6, in a “win and you’re in” scenario, to qualify for the AFC playoffs.  The Chiefs win 24-19 that afternoon, to accomplish that.

It is HOW they accomplished it, that is beyond unreal.  The Chiefs managed a whopping 171 yards of offense that day.  Every single point scored that day by the Red and Gold?  Was scored by the special teams – a blocked punt for a touchdown, a returned punt for a touchdown, a returned kickoff for a touchdown, and a field goal, with three extra points thrown in.

That’s about as surreal as it gets.

2. “If you didn’t believe before?  You do now!”  Words uttered by Stevo’s Site Numero Dos’ Official Color Commentator (Emeritus), the great Dan Dierdorf, after the Chiefs, in the only playoff game they have ever staged against the Steelers, completed an epic comeback, to tie the game at 24, with barely a minute to play, via a fourth and goal touchdown pass from eight yards out, from Joe Montana to Tim Barnett.

That final drive is the thing of legend.  It began with a blocked punt by Keith Cash (who’d make an even greater play eight days later in Houston) that set the Chiefs up at the 9 yard line.  Four plays later, Montana hit Barnett right underneath the goal posts.  Barnett got both feet down, and it was party on.

The Chiefs would go on to win in overtime, 27-24, in one of the greatest games Arrowhead has ever staged.

Six years later, the Chiefs would once again host the Steelers at noon on a Saturday.  And it gave rise to what is at least one of the two or three most ridiculous moments, “The Voice of Reason” has ever given us.

1. “BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!  BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!”

Week Fifteen, 1999.  The Chiefs lead the Steelers 35-19 with about forty seconds to go.  Mike Tomczak has just completed a meaningless pass to tight end Mitch Lyons, whose career ended via a vicious tackle that has left him injured on the field.

I had headed up to club level, to meet up with The Voice of Reason and his dad, so we could get out as soon as possible once the clock hit triple zeroes.  After all, we were going to the Cactus Grill for dinner, and you don’t leave squawking nachos waiting.  (Jesus, I miss that place.)

So, I walk in to section 237, head down to row 8, and all of a sudden, out of nowhere, “The Voice of Reason” begins booing uncontrollably.  And I mean BOOOOOOOOING.

The reason for his reaction?  The cart was coming out of the tunnel, to carry poor Mitch Lyons back to the locker room.  I looked at him with a look of stunned disbelief.  I mean, look it, I can boo the opposition like few people can, but unless it’s a denver bronco lying half dead on the field, I’m not booing an injury.

Mr. Reason’s, uuh, reason, for the booing?  “I’m cold.”

Taunting fred biletnikof?  Fun.  Mocking Cris Carter?  Hysterical.  Yukking it up with Ed Hochuli?  Awesome. 

Booing an injured Steelers player because “I’m cold”?

Ridiculous.

The “Klassy” Kevin Keitzman Tweet O’ The Week:

As I noted to “The Voice of Reason”, this is three straight weeks Ol’ Klassy hasn’t tweeted anything worth ripping.

As Mr. Reason noted in response: “it just means he’s overdue”.

We can all hope and pray, Mr. Reason is right.

The Jets Prognostication:

To put it succinctly, this is as close to “must win”, as “must win” gets.

The next two after this week?  At Pittsburgh (the CBS National game), at Arizona (on a Monday night).  If the Jets lose this one?  It’s highly likely they’ll be three back of the Patriots, and they don’t face New England until Thanksgiving weekend.  (And if the Jets lose this one, it’s highly likely NBC will flex out Pats / Jets, and move in Chiefs / donkeys.)

This game might be the defining moments of the Todd Bowles era.  If he can’t get Gang Green refocused after the “abortion at Arrowhead” from last week, then he’ll never get this team refocused, at least in 2016.

This pick is pure heart, not even the slightest part brain.

* at Jets (+2 ½) 20, Seahawks 17 (OT).

The Chiefs Prediction:

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“They said you ain’t got a prayer –
A chance in you know where!
But I just didn’t care!
‘Cause when I looked in your eyes? …”

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Forty eight weeks ago, the Kansas City Chiefs limped home after a (at the time) indefensible loss in Minnesota.  Believe me, I know – I was there.

The Chiefs stood at 1-5.  They stood without “The Franchise”, Jamaal Charles.  Jeremy Maclin was out with (al michaels voice) an injury.  They had shown nothing, absolutely nothing, to make you believe they could defeat the Steel Curtain.

They’d p*ssed away a fourteen point lead against satan’s squad.  They got blown out in Lambeau.  They couldn’t find the end zone in The ‘Nati.  They blew a fourteen point lead, at home, to the atrocious Chicago Bears.  And they lost via yet another crushing fourth quarter turnover to the Vikings.

One.  And.  Five.

Facing the Steelers.

Chiefs 23, Steelers 13, in the game that not only saved the season?

It was a season that demanded to be saved.

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“You were a long shot from the start –
An easy way to break my heart!
But as perfect as you are?
You’ve gotta risk it all sometimes! …”

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From there, to continue quoting from “Pete for President”, the great Pete Stoyanovich *, the Chiefs just kept rolling from here.  A blowout win in London.  The single worst game satan manning ever played.  Dontari Poe scoring to cap the blowout in San Diego.  An epic comeback in the rain against Buffalo.  An even more epic comeback in the black hole.  Dee Ford batting away Phyllis Rivers’ final pass to hold on to win. 

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(*: if you don't tear up hearing Andre Rison scream "I Love You Man!"?  Then you aren't a Chiefs fan.)

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Blowing out the Ravens in Baltimore.  Holding on in the one great game Johnny Manziel will ever play in the NFL, to clinch a playoff berth.  And giving me the best 39th birthday present imaginable – a victory over the Evil Empire that led to the single funnest Chiefs road trip I’ve ever made.

Simply put, the Steelers game from Week Seven last season, was the defining game of the season.

And now, here we are, forty eight weeks later.

Chiefs.  Steelers.

And in the (not even remotely) mother of all upsets?

In prime time. 

The eyes of the nation are on this one.

As well they should be.

Because when it’s all said and done, come Sunday, January 22, 2017, at approximately 8:40pm CT?

This game – Sunday night – might prove to be the reason why, we’re going to have to rename the Truman Sports Complex?

Lake Arrowhead.

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“We bought a four room fixer up,
On the side of town, where times are tough.
Short on cash but long on love?
Yeah – we sure showed it! …”

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Five weeks ago, before the season began?  This was a no brainer pick – Steelers 30, Chiefs 14.  Four weeks ago, as preseason concluded?  This was a no brainer pick – Steelers 34, Chiefs 17.  Three weeks ago, after the nearly disasterous opener against the “Super” Chargers?  This pick was beyond a no brainer – Steelers 45, Chiefs 7.

And just like that was the actual outcome in the Steel City ten years ago?

You’d easily predict the Steelers would “use the Chiefs as their own personal urinal”, still one of my favorite descriptions of a blowout I’ve ever read.  (And go figure – it appeared on the Chiefs website, in their reporter’s recap of that game.)

Two weeks ago, after the definitely disasterous effort in Houston?  The pick was still a no brainer – Steelers 35, Chiefs 10.

And I’d argue that one week ago right now?  The pick was still so obvious, the word “captain” should appear before obvious – Steelers 31, Chiefs 13.

Then?

Last week happened.

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“Then you gave me?  Our little man!
So small?  He fit inside my hands!
Two months early?  Two pounds?
The tallest kid in third grade now! …”

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Perhaps I should have chosen “Out of My Head” by Theory of a Deadman for the theme to this week’s pick post.  Because I cannot – no matter how hard I try – I cannot get last week, out of my head.

Folks?  This Chiefs team is good.  It’s damned good.  That’s a really decent Jets squad they faced last week, and they delivered a defensive performance none of us my age or younger (and I turn 40 in (gulp) 94 days), have EVER witnessed before, out of the Red and Gold.

That was an ass kicking so epic, Reverend Sharpton no longer wants the government mule, we beat to a bloody pulp, inside the hallowed walls of Terrorhead.

And God bless, the Eagles gave us the blueprint.  Doug Pederson, with a rookie quarterback, with far, far less talent than the Red and Gold will be traveling with for Sunday night’s game, absolutely de-pantsed the Steelers.

Using OUR playbook.

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“The bank’s still breathing down our necks;
We’re still living check to check.
Girl, we dig deeper every day –
And still hit our knees and pray.

We pray.

We pray! …”

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I think I’ll let the chorus of this week’s theme, close out the post.

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“I believe?  In the underdog!
Who chases dreams, and breaks down walls!
How a guy like me could get the prom queen?
I’d never been the star of anything!

We were two lovers,
Hitched at city hall!
We’ve still got each other,
So we’ve got it all!

Call me a dreamer!
Say I’m a little naïve!

Yeah – you can call me a dreamer!
Say I’m a little naïve!

But I believe?
In the underdog!”

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I believe in this team.  I believe in OUR team.  And come about 11:15pm CT on Sunday night?

These Chiefs, aren't going to give you a choice.

You'll believe in them, as well.

* Chiefs (+5) 27, at Steelers 24.


(Your theme this week was “Underdog” by The Lost Trailers.)

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also, apologies on the layout ...

Something went bat sh*t crazy when I tried to upload the previous post.  I'll work on fixing it Tuesday.  I didn't change a thing; t...