Some people are fans of the Kansas City Chiefs. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Kansas City Chiefs. This 2013 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the 2013 NFL previews so far right here.
Your team: Kansas City Chiefs
Your 2012 record: 2-14. I feel like that 2-14 needs a little typographical dagger symbol added to it (like so: 2-14†), with a footnote that explains that one of the team's starting linebackers killed his girlfriend and then shot himself to death in front of the team's general manager and head coach. I feel like that would both explain the 2-14 and let you know that, even among 2-14 seasons, this one was particularly difficult. Here is a reminder of the suicide from the Kansas City Star:
Crennel raised both his hands, pleading with Belcher to put the gun down. “You’re taking the easy way out!” Crennel yelled.
Belcher glanced at an approaching police officer, then knelt behind a minivan, made the sign of the cross on his chest with his left hand and fired a bullet into his head above his right ear. After the gunshot, Crennel slumped, dropped his hands and turned away from Belcher.
Jesus. Jesus Christ. Why is the world so horrible? I don't want to go on knowing people can bear witness to something like this.
By the way, Crennel and Pioli were both fired. Imagine how poorly you have to do to not get a grace period after watching someone commit suicide in front of you.
Your coach: Andy Reid. And if Andy Reid chooses a black jacket for winter home games, I will feel beyond cheated. I want that man rocking a bright red puffy coat and looking like a tomato blimp on the sidelines.
Anyway, Andy Reid is an experienced coach with an excellent reputation for building an organization from the ground up and a terrible reputation for freezing up at the exact wrong moment of an important game. It's a good thing Kansas City has never had a coach like that! I hope you fans enjoy watching Jamaal Charles (already hurt, by the way) inexplicably get fewer than 14 carries a game. Todd Haley certainly approves of that strategy.
Your quarterback: Alex Smith. Holy shit, does this franchise have a compulsion for bringing in old 49er quarterbacks: Montana, Bono, Grbac. How Jeff Garcia eluded them is beyond me. The problem with Alex Smith is that, even when he's good, no one really believes he'll stay that way. He completed 70% of his passes last season for a stud team and STILL couldn't keep his job. There will always be a point at which Alex Smith turns back into Alex Smith. BUT WHEN? Don't keep me guessing, fella!
Your one fantasy player everyone will hate: Dwayne Bowe. He could catch 15 TDs again. He could. The fact that he did once upon a time gives fantasy owners the illusion that he can do it twice. Somewhere, buried deep inside his brain, under all the Skittle wrappers, is the soul of a man who has the ability to catch 15 TDs. He even has a shiny new QB to help coax that fabulous player back out of the woodwork. But he'll never do it again, because he sucks. With Smith around, you could easily talk yourself into believing that Bowe will have a rebound year. And then Smith will develop a rapport with Donnie Avery instead and you will give MURDEREYES to Bowe any time you see him run a fade route two steps out of the back of the end zone.
Why your team sucks: It's a measure of how far the Chiefs have fallen that the combination of Reid and Smith represents a COLOSSAL upgrade for the franchise. With Andy Reid as your coach and Alex Smith as your QB, you know damn well that you aren't ever going to win a Super Bowl. But you won't completely suck, and that's about all the Chiefs can ask for at this point. If they win 11 games, get bounced after one round due to a horrendous clock management error and no one dies, they'll have basically had their finest season of the new century.
The problem is that the Chiefs are now locked in for at least three more years of this kind of bland, ultimately pointless competence. Go ask Eagles fans how much they enjoyed "winning" with Andy Reid in charge. By the end of Reid's tenure in Philly, Eagles fans were BEGGING to go 0-16, to fall into a state of unfathomable misery just to be rid of Reid forever. That's the kind of madness that awaits you, Chiefs fans. It seems like a rosier situation now. Soon, it will torture you like a constant drip of water to the forehead. The second you see Anthony Sherman get the ball on 4th-and-1 at the goal line, with Charles sitting on the sideline, you'll know what you're in for.
Time for me to say terrible things about Kansas City, a place I've never been to. All I'll say is that you could live like a god in Kansas City on about $15,000 a year. You could buy a nice house, own a car, have pleasant neighbors, and all that. But no one ever moves there because no one wants to be stuck in Kansas City for the rest of his life. You'd never see a body of water, or a hill, and you'd lose your dog to a tornado within the first five months.
Why your team doesn't suck: Have you met the Raiders and Chargers? Second place in the AFC West has never been more assured. You people should send Matt Flynn a cooler of Omaha Steaks.
The 11 worst Chiefs ever:
1) Brodie Croyle. BUT HIS WIFE WAS SUCH A HOT SLAMPIECE BRO I'D CRUSH THAT HIGH FIVE!
2) Belcher. Objectively speaking.
3) Ryan Sims. They managed to grab Sims while the Vikes were sleeping on the draft clock. Oh, I bet they felt like geniuses when they managed to draft him. WE GOT OUR GUY!
4) Sylvester Morris. FACT: The name of KC's mayor is Sly James. Sounds trustworthy!
5) Victor Riley
6) Dwayne T. Robinson. "Could be a fucking bartender for all we know!"
7) Snoop Minnis. I can't tell you how disappointing it is for a football player named Snoop to not be good.
8) Tony Casillas
9) Matt Blundin
10) Herm Edwards
11) Todd Blackledge. This team does not excel at the quarterback selection process.
Emails from Chiefs fans
Alex Smith and Andy Reid are being hailed as franchise saviors. Can't wait until Alex decides the best way to lead a 2:00 drill is to throw 3-yard hooks to a tight end while Andy stares at the goddamn play sheet like it's a Chinese takeout menu.
Zero playoff wins in 19 seasons. I was legitimately excited when they hired Andy Reid, which probably says enough itself.
For whatever reason, the only other Chiefs fans I've ever met have been at poker tables.
Ghost of Joe Delaney:
You should hear all the bubbling optimism from KC Chiefs' fans in the area. This team went two and fourteen last year, and Peppy McPepperson is breaking down the schedule saying, "I can really see an 11-5, MAYBE 12-4 season." Bullshit. It's going to be a shitty 5-11 season, culminating in an awful draft pick, right before a future Hall of Fame QB is taken by another team. The only player to be excited about is Jamaal Charles, and he is probably going to step on another first down marker in Week 2.
Nothing screams "inferiority complex" like thousands of chubby-faced, rosy-cheeked mid-westerners donning the ketchup and mustard and cramming their faces full of ribs at 10am on a Sunday and then bragging about the greatest tailgate in the country. It's a parking lot in the middle of nowhere. People bring coolers and barbecue grills to a desolate field and act like they've reinvented the kegger. You know what would be more fun? Going to a bar, walking to the stadium at game time, and then leaving and going to another fucking bar. But we can't do that because the Chiefs conned KC taxpayers into spending $600 million polishing their turd in Independence.
Also, I don't know whose kid chose firetruck and school bus as a color scheme, but he deserves to be drowned. Anyone working in an office in Kansas City that observes "Red Friday" and has to stare at this all day knows what I'm talking about.
The upgrade from Romeo Crennell to Andy Reid is like opting for an upgrade to first class in your flight to Des Moines, Iowa.
Being a Chiefs fan is fearing winning 13 games and getting the top seed at the best homefield in the NFL because we've blown it three times in that exact manner. It's constantly watching the team decide to trade and make the San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback our franchise QB (seriously, Steve Bono?). It's having people look at you like you're Hannibal Lecter for hating random people who have the same name or half of the name of kickers who've destroyed our seasons (Lin Elliot, Jon Baker). It's hoping and praying the Chargers never get a clue because if they win a Super Bowl than KC REALLY will be the most inept franchise in the division. It's having our heart and guts torn out by this bizarre curse of deaths (Derrick Thomas' was my favorite Chief ever and that death still hurts).
And the crazy thing is, it shouldn't be this way. The Chiefs used to be a gold standard franchise with leadership that literally changed pro football. Lamar Hunt was the guy who started the AFL, hell he pushed for the creation of the Super Bowl and even named the damn thing. Kansas City was one of the most successful franchises from about 1960-71 with a roster full of Hall of Famers. They played in the first Super Bowl. They won the fourth and legitimized the AFL by proving Namath's win was no fluke. Hell, the modern NFL Films started getting popular when they put a microphone on Hank Stram as he wailed nonsense on the sidelines of that game. They were the only NFL team in the 70s with the foresight to realize what dumps cookie cutter stadiums were and built Arrowhead, the best stadium in the NFL that still looks like it was built yesterday 40 years later. We've basically had the same sharp and traditional uniforms forever without changing them to some goofy USFL/XFL looking joke (See-Broncos, Vikings, etc).
And yet this is what they've become.
So ever since I reached my 20s, I've come to this point: I enter every year just hoping the team is entertaining to watch. I don't expect Super Bowls or playoff wins or division titles. I just hope they don't suck too much, all the while knowing in the back of my head that they probably will. What's the point of being like Viking and Chargers fans who, despite their teams constant failures, still get so wrapped up and believe in them to the point that they get either physically violent or devastated when the inevitable choke comes? Aiming low at least allows Chiefs fans to enjoy the season (even if we can't actually enjoy the Chiefs). And hey, maybe some day KC will finally figure it out (or get lucky) and win it all. Being a Chiefs fan is like being the guy who always asks out the hottest girl in school/at the club: we know we probably don't have a shot, and get shot down in flames every time, but boy will we enjoy it if we ever do get lucky.
Alex Smith is going to get a concussion at some point this season, and then every hick in Missouri is going to jizz in their Zubaz when Daniel starts a game.
The Chiefs have not won a game with a quarterback that they drafted since 198-fucking-7.
Only the Chiefs would end up with the first overall pick in the most boring draft ever. How many people even remember Eric Fisher's name at this point?
What was formerly the greatest home field experience in the NFL is now a sad, intentionally ignorant shell of its former glory. The tailgating experience has a real District 9ish feel to it now. Only instead of being inhabited by degenerate crustacean refugees, the parking lot is full of the genetic consequence of allowing the two worst states in the union to fuck each other in the mud for 160+ years.
Fuck Herm Edwards.
We picked up a QB who was known as a bust his entire career until just a couple years ago, and we're legitimately excited about it.
I hope Carl Peterson's boat explodes in Miami.
Because the most dangerous scoring threats they’ve had this past couple generations have been return specialists. People still wear Tamarick Vanover and Dante Hall jerseys to games.
Because the last game I went to, the halftime entertainment was a dog who caught footballs…he caught more balls than any Chiefs receiver did that game.
Because arguably their biggest moment in pop culture history is the Snickers ad where the groundskeeper misspells their name on the end zone.
Because no matter how bad they are, they get a pass because they still won’t suck worse than the Royals. (oh wait - the Royals are in the wild card race this year? Uh oh...)
The Chiefs are so fucking God-awful, that they can get a bunch of injured starters back (Charles, Berry, Moeaki) and manage to be far worse.
Todd fucking Blackledge.
Bruce Matthews? No. Jim Kelly? No. Tony Fucking Eason? No. Willie Gault? No. Joey Shit Browner? No. Cocksucking Ken O'Brien? Fuck No. Goddamn Sonofabitch Motherfucking Dan Fucking Marino? Oh Jesus Christ No. Darrell Christ All Friday Fucking Green? Perish the fucking thought.
Todd fucking Blackledge. Fuck the Chiefs.
Joe Montana's time with the Chiefs is rightly regarded as an asterisk attached to the end of his career. Yet it represents the franchise's high water mark since Super Bowl IV.
I want to say fuck Scott Pioli and Fuck Romeo Crennel, but really, fuck Bill Belichick for starting to coach and starting a tree that has borne less fruit than a fucking orchard in Chernobyl.
Fuck Lin Elliot.
The first thing I thought when I saw this commercial is that only the Chiefs would be stupid enough to blow the #1 pick on a 46-year-old man.
A long time ago the Chiefs found a Hall Of Fame quarterback off the NFL scrap heap. Forty years after lucking into that bullshit, the Chiefs are still convinced that chasing castoffs at the most important position on the field is a grand idea, refusing to believe the evidence that for every one Len Dawson there are too many Steve DeBergs, Dave Kriegs, Steve Bonos and Matt Cassels to count.
Go to any sporting goods store in this suburban wasteland and you'll find a clearance rack full of jerseys of the last failed savior of the Chiefs franchise. From Cassel to Hillis to Dorsey to Jackson to Dexter McCluster to Larry Johnson, you can always buy an overpriced physical manifestation of the Chiefs organizational incompetence for $50.
The Chiefs' ownership isn't much different than the French. Lamar Hunt plays Louis XIV, beloved by all. Then comes little Clark Hunt playing Louis the XVI: The hermit leader who refuses to talk to the media, who inherited his title as CEO, loves soccer more than football (All-American soccer player, owner of FC Dallas, prior owner of the KC Wizards), brought in overpaid fatty Scott Pioli and even fatter Andy Reid, and makes 2nd rate ketchup that no one likes.
Until we tank hard enough to get a stud quarterback, we'll be lucky to make one wild card appearance in the next five years. By the way, fuck Dexter McCluster.
While most of us were hoping we’d get a flashy young QB like Geno Smith, we do the Chiefiest thing we can do and trade for his white half-brother. A guy who happens to have a worse career QB rating than Matt Cassel.
Hopefully, Jon Baldwin will not try to punch someone again. I know that is asking a great deal, but I'm an optimist.
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Art by Jim Cooke/Photo via Getty