Now there’s a game that was worth losing some sleep over!
Chiefs 21, Chargers 14. Finish time: about 12:15 a.m.
It might go down in the annals of local sports as the game that put Kansas City back on the NFL map.
Isn’t it amazing how one game can lift the spirits of a town that has seen so many years of frustrating losses for its two primary major-league franchises?
All that losing, combined with the Chiefs’ relatively poor pre-season play, had a lot of people on edge and gloomy about the team’s prospects. Why, just a few weeks ago, The Star’s Adam Teicher and Chiefs’ head coach Todd Haley had a testy exchange at a news conference, and it looked like bitterness was going to be the season-long tone out at Arrowhead.
I was one of those people who was gloomy about the team’s prospects. On July 22, I wrote, accurately, in this space that the sun was setting on Jason Whitlock’s career at The Star. (He resigned last month.) I went on to write, terribly inaccurately, it appears, that one of the reasons Whitlock was verging on irrelevance in Kansas City was that “the Chiefs are in a sorry state.”
I went on to say: “…they have a hot-headed, yet dull-as-dirt coach in Todd Haley; they have an egocentric president, Scott Pioli, who hides in his office; and they have a sub-par group of players. So, really, what does it matter what Whitlock might write about this year’s Chiefs?”
Now, clearly, there’s a guy who didn’t know what he was talking about! There’s a blogger — the kind I like to complain about — who was just standing on a soap box and making noise. I could have, and should have, qualified it, as I learned to do in my many years at The Star, and said, “It appears that the Chiefs are in a sorry state.” That would have given me some cover.
At least, however, I was swimming in a crowded pool. And now all of us who were in that pool want out; we want out of the pool of despair and into the waters of rejuvenation because football is back in Kansas City. Once again, the Chiefs own the town…Well, I guess I better say it appears that the Chiefs own the town.
And what about Whitlock? How do you think he feels today? Wherever he’s writing now — Twitter or Foxsports.com — look for him to try to minimize this thrilling victory, to write it off as an aberration. But deep down, where his little heart is beating, I’ll bet he’s sorry that he’s not here writing about this team, with its talented, enthusiastic young players and its new, deeply experienced offensive and defensive coordinators.
If he were here, I’ll bet he’d be calling today on Chiefs’ fans everywhere to “Get on the bandwagon…This team might go undefeated!”