Some people are fans of the Kansas City Chiefs. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Kansas City Chiefs. This 2014 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group.
Your team: Kansas City Chiefs.
Your 2013 record: 11-5. No franchise in football is better at rendering a successful regular season utterly pointless than the Chiefs. Remember: this team was coming off a 2-14 season in which the GM and coach witnessed one of the players commit suicide at the team facility (I believe Roger Goodell retroactively suspended Jovan Belcher for half a game after the fact). So going 11-5 without incident sounds like a fantastic leap forward, right? Well, see … Look, if you're a Chiefs fan, you should emotionally prepare yourself before we rehash all of this:
This team was up 38-10 over the Colts with just over 13 minutes to go in the third quarter. After that, a giant chasm opened up in the space-time continuum and Andrew Luck was granted Santa Claus powers. Seriously, he had FOREVER to come back. Every time five minutes ticked off the clock in that game, 10 additional minutes were added to it. And to cap it all off, everyone for the Chiefs got hurt: Jamaal Charles, Brandon Flowers, the bus driver, EVERYONE. By the time the comeback was finished, the Chiefs had nothing but Alex Smith and a bag of old onions left. Cyrus Gray could have stopped the bleeding by catching a sure touchdown, but he dropped it because that is what happens when you put the Chiefs in the playoffs. It was sad and shocking and yet somehow predictable and 100% preventable because…
Your coach: Andy Reid. OH YEAH!
The Chiefs passed the ball TWENTY-FIVE times in the second half in that game against the Colts. Whyyyyyyyyy??? Why would you do that? This team was averaging 4.7 yards per carry that game. Knile Davis was DESTROYING the Colts. And yet here is Andy Reid, who can never help himself, calling eight million passes and extending the game by 50 hours. Jesus. It's like the polar inverse of Martyball. Every year, fans scream at Andy Reid to run the ball more when his team is running well and he never listens. Why does he hate running the ball? Does it remind him of exercise? By the way, Jamaal Charles got a new contract this offseason. Which means it will be twice as infuriating when Andy Reid doesn't run him enough.
Your quarterback: Alex Smith, who wants $17 million a year from the Chiefs because he has deemed himself ELITE. Watching Alex Smith play quarterback is like playing the penny slots: not much risk, not much reward, you're obviously the broke dude just trying to get through the rest of the night without incurring serious financial harm. Football Outsiders ranked Smith as the 20th most effective QB in football last season, behind even Sam Bradford, who is dead. Smith threw for just over 3,000 yards and was only picked off seven times last season. You know had a better season than that for Kansas City a few years back? Matt Cassel. So yes, let's pony up Fuck You money for the guy whose ceiling is somewhere south of Prime Matt Cassel.
I bet they extend him within the next two weeks.
What's new that sucks: Dexter McCluster is gone! OH NO! Now the Chiefs are left with just six fragile, undersized hybrid backs. Left tackle Branden Albert is gone, and now #1 pick and TMQ wet dream Eric Fisher will have to protect Smith's blind side, despite being fucking terrible last season. The secondary that allowed Andrew Luck to come back from 28 points down despite throwing a billion interceptions is somehow worse than a year ago. There is no one at corner. And the team failed to provide Smith with any additional weapons to throw too many short passes to.
That Colts comeback wasn't even the end of last season's misery. Turns out the Chiefs now know how to concuss each other in exhibition games, so look forward to more of that. Also, they tased the one black Chiefs fan in the stands this preseason. MISSOURI.
By the way, given all the shit with Ray Rice and Greg Hardy this offseason, it's amazing that the Chiefs could sever ties with Romeo Crennel and Scott Pioli and effectively render the Jovan Belcher murder/suicide all but forgotten. That all happened less than two years ago. And it happened mid-season. And only NOW is the NFL starting to talk about domestic violence and what not. The League still really doesn't talk about mental health issues with players (Belcher, Junior Seau) at all. It's just, "Welp, that happened! Let's wait for it to happen again!" Trauma doesn't just magically erase itself.
What has always sucked: God, Dwayne Bowe is still here. He'll never be as good as he was in 2010. At least Josh Gordon had the courtesy to be suspended and literally be absent from games. With Bowe, you go into every Chiefs game knowing he could catch three touchdowns but will choose to draw penises on the playsheet instead. I look forward to Andy Reid scheming six fourth quarter drops for him with a two-touchdown lead on a capable opponent.
All of this will be in service of a KC fanbase whose loudness is vastly overrated (the Chiefs have nine home wins in the past three years). It's the Chiefs who began the decibel-scale arms race between fans that has led to the Seahawks having the most obnoxious fanbase in the universe. So thanks for that, Kansas City. Assholes. The only way Kansas City makes anything good is by burning it. The best song about Kansas City is about the fear that someone from Kansas City is about to visit.
Worst of all, Kansas City is the city that allowed Jason Whitlock to have a career. I blame hip hop. Also, someone made this:
What is this? This is shit.
What might not suck: This is an Andy Reid team, so they will always be competitive. The front seven is great. Charles is a beast. Like, they'll tie the game 20-20 and then elect to punt from the opposing 35 with 10 seconds left. They will always manage to underachieve in a telegenic manner.
Hear it from Chiefs fans!
Can't even talk about that playoff loss. Fuck you Andy.
Instead of making BOLD MOVES, the organization's preferred philosophy is to draft seemingly "safe" picks who nonetheless fail to materialize—studs like Victor Reilly, John Tait (two middling tackles in consecutive years!), and Ryan Sims—or to chronically overrate LSU products (Dwayne Bowe, Glenn Dorsey, and Tyson Jackson). There will be some bright spots along the way, primarily on the defensive side: DT, Neil Smith, Tony Gonzalez, Derrick Johnson, and Tamba Hali. Their careers will be overshadowed by the front office's failure to surround them with replacement-plus level players.
This philosophy, combined with a real taste for retread 49er QBs, produces serviceable but not truly competitive teams. That keeps dumbass fans like me hanging on; it's not like there's much else to root for in KC given the Royals perpetual shittiness. I hate that the Chiefs are my favorite team.
Our quarterback may get the largest contract in NFL history simply for not being Matt Cassel. Our old star OLB is probably on his way out and the new star OLB wants to get paid, meaning that we used our first-round pick on a backup OLB and ignored the fact that our entire WR corps was tragically born with no hands. To afford these contracts, we released our best cornerback, who signed with our division rivals and openly boasts of wanting to send us a message twice a year.
There are now legal-to-drink adults in Kansas City that were not alive the last time the Chiefs won a playoff game.
Oh...fuck Andrew Luck, fuck Fivehead Manning, and triple fuck the city of Indianapolis.
Alex Smith wants $18 million to not shit the bed.
The last year the Chiefs were in the Super Bowl was the same year that we landed on the Moon.
Ghost of Joe Delaney:
There are still plenty of deluded fans looking at this schedule and believing we can "really build on last season's success." "We get Seattle at home! That's a winnable game!" "The Patriots aren't so scary! And Arrowhead always gets up for Monday Night Football!" Please. The last time Kansas City won a Monday Night Football game in Arrowhead, it needed Marmalard to fumble a snap when he was just trying to take a knee to kick the game-winning field goal. There is simply no way this team gets the insanely lucky breaks they got last year to ride a 9-0 wave to even a first round playoff loss. The fans will be packing it in by the end of October, only to re-emerge with the same sad, misplaced optimism around this time next year.
My friends from Denver drive out to KC every year, and we go to the Chiefs/Broncos game. Last year, was the first year KC has been any good and boy did KC fans talk a lot of shit. Before the game a guy was walking around selling "KANSAS-FUCKING-CITY" t shirts in the parking lot, I probably saw a hundred people wearing them in our section of the parking lot. One of the guys next to us had a personalized Chiefs jersey with the name "DAVINATOR" on the back. Who the fuck would pay $200 for that? Then when we get in the stadium, a couple of my buddies nearly got in a fist fight in the bathroom, when a Chiefs fan pushed my buddy while he was at the urinal. We were hounded the whole second half by a drunk soccer mom who kept saying in a slurred voice "All you guysss can do is hold, you hold on every play", "If you didn't have Petyon Manning, you would fucking suck". Which was all you heard after the game was the only reason "The greatest defense ever" didn't get a single sack, or pressue was because the Broncos were holding. After the game we found out a Chiefs fan was beaten to death by some other Chiefs fans when he mistakenly passed out in the wrong car. That is the second year in a row someone died at the stadium....what the fuck?
I really thought we were going to win. I thought it was going to be a magical season. I was going to write a five-thousand word Thought Catalog article to my 10 year old self about sticking with the Chiefs, that it gets better. It doesn't.
I was super excited about Andy Reid and Alex Smith coming to the team. That shouldn't be possible.
The last quarterback drafted by the Chiefs to win a game for Kansas City was Todd Blackledge.
Last year, I made it up to KC for the Chiefs/Browns game where Jason Campbell almost beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead because the Chiefs sucked and only made the playoffs because they played the kind of schedule Nick Saban likes to play in the non-con.
I made a list of all the dumb-ass and outdated Chiefs jerseys I saw around me at that game. You ready?
Rick (Just Rick)
This is a fan base who hasn't seen the team win a playoff game since I was in 3rd grade and yet every Sunday, they still clog interstate 70 with shitty old short buses that have been spray painted red and had AstroTurf installed as carpet. But damnit it's the tailgate capital of America, they know how to party in that shitty parking lot! This is the NFL's equivalent of Ole Miss.
If I had a nickel for every time the Chiefs lost a playoff game to the Colts, I'd have a handful of nickels to throw over the upper deck like I've seen drunken fans do with their empty beer bottles.
Fuck Herm Edwards and Carl Peterson forever.
May Matt Cassel freeze solid playing outdoors in Minnesota and then shattered into a million pieces by Clay Matthews.
We give up 45 points in the playoffs and decide "Nope, we don't need cornerbacks"
This franchise has fucked me so many times that it should at least make me a mix-tape.
Lin Elliot can suck an extra crispy bag of dicks.
I wish the Chiefs had the Redskins' problem. I wish the team had a growing call from Native American groups to change our name, logo and uniforms. Because clearly, this team has angered some ancient Indian spirit with its stadium full of Type 2 Diabetics shoving their fat ass ham glazed heads into faux feather warbonnets and all that dumbassed tomahawk chopping. There is no other explanation for the nearly 30 years of playoff fucksplosion after fucksplosion.
Our best pro team is the Kansas Jayhawks.
We really enjoy hiring fat football coaches. Not just fat, like fucking FAT.
1) They finished the season 2-6. So everyone can shut the hell up about how we're good again.
2) Alex Smith is a garbage QB. He ranked 21st in passing DVOA and tucks the ball for a 1 yard scramble anytime he feels a breeze.
3) Their GM isn't going to save them either. His first big move was to extend Dwayne Bowe to a huge deal. His second big move was to extend Jamaal Charles. The two death sentence transactions of the NFL are overpaying for an overrated wide receiver and going long-term with an aging running back. We should just give up now.
The funniest thing is when other fans came up to me after the Indy playoff game and said "I bet you were devastated by that one, huh?"
Devastated? How could I be devastated when I've seen the same fucking script play out over and over again? I know it's coming and I accept it.
Kansas City's weather is the worst in the world (100 degrees with 100% humidity in the summer, cold as balls in the winter), all BBQ outside of Oklahoma Joe's is overrated, and the conversation on KC sports talk surrounding the Chiefs makes Colts fans seem positively educated.
FUCK SCOTT PIOLI
My wife can throw the ball as far as our quarterback.
We rave about the tailgating experience in KC more than we rave about our football team, and even that is bullshit. This year, they have outlawed glass (yes, GLASS) in the parking lot. I guess Wyandotte County residents are going to have to go back to stabbing each other the old fashioned way.
* The Chiefs have more player-committed murder-suicides than playoff victories in the past two decades.
* During last year's meltdown against the Colts in the post season, it looked like the injuries slider was turned up to 100% and they were carting bodies off the field like they were filming B-roll for "The Strain".
* Brodie Croyle (!) is the only quarterback drafted by the team to start a game for them since the mid-80's...and he barely beat out Damon Huard in the process. Croyle then promptly lost all six of his starts. He couldn't even beat out Tyler Thigpen once he returned from injury.
The Chiefs' entire offseason was spent letting guys go to save cap space, which would be all well and good if they actually spent the money toward other players to replace them. Nope… instead they're going to become the most cost efficient 8-8 team in football.
It's the classic bullshit "addition by subtraction", "good teams build from the draft!" rhetoric. It's as if they've conned the fans into thinking their cheap tactics are actually saving THEM money.
You can get away with this when your other professional team is the Royals.
At no point in the playoff game against the Colts and their mongoloid ogre of a QB did I or anyone I know feel like the Chiefs would win. They were up 35 in the 3rd quarter and I texted my friend "We're going to blow this."
Last week I watched the Todd Blackledge segments of the Elway to Marino 30 for 30, just to emotionally prepare for this season.
Sporting Kansas City games sell out more often than Chiefs games, and it isn't just because Arrowhead happens to be in the meth capital of the USA. SKC is run in a competent, fan-friendly manner while also offering more excitement than Chiefs games, which shouldn't be possible considering that it is a fucking soccer team.
All our fans are delusional and think the fact that we had 8 pro bowlers last year (I know! 8! Can you fucking believe that?!) means we are a shoo-in for the playoffs. All these guys made the pro-bowl because they are the 3rd best player at their position in a shitty conference and everyone better is still in the playoffs. And, of course they are getting signed to cap crippling extensions that make 10-6 our ceiling for the next 3 years.
Brad Childress is on payroll as "Spread Game Analyst".
I grew up in Nebraska where there's no pro team, so I could have picked any team to root for. I picked the Chiefs. They made the AFC Championship that year (yay!). It was the last year they won a playoff game. I was 7 at the time and am now 28 fucking years old. I sent a text to two other idiot Chiefs fans when the Colts cut the lead to 38-17 last year saying 'I guarantee we piss this away', they agreed, and the next roughly hour and a half summed up our 21 years of fandom nicely.
Our secondary was fucking abysmal by the end of last year (see: Colts, Indianapolis game), so we decided to upgrade in the offseason. Just kidding, we let our best corner walk, and didn't sign jackshit to replace him. Our #1 corner this year is a 2013 7 th rounder who the 49ers cut before last season started. Our O-line is garbage. Poor Jamaal Charles. I feel terrible for good players and good guys like him and Tony Gonzalez that get stuck playing for this bunkass franchise.
KC traded draft picks for Herm Edwards.
The Chiefs last won a playoff game when I was less than a year old. I can now legally drink the pain away.
The owner Clark Hunt lives in Dallas and has never even lived in Kansas City. His father and ex-owner Lamar Hunt never lived here either, but that didn't stop him from spending his last few months of life engineering a county tax initiative so shady and complex that it took nearly six years for residents to realize how badly they had been suckered.
I remember watching that last playoff game against the Oilers with my step-brother when I was in seventh grade. Shit, a few years ago I spent a drunken night scouring the internet to buy some bootleg DVD of the game burned from a warped VHS tape. I've spent countless drunken nights watching this grainy fucking DVD too. It's like a divorced guy rewatching his wedding video over and over again to the point that he's lost touch with present day because he's stuck in a past that wasn't even all that great to begin with. I mean, the Beatles still hadn't released "Let it Be" the last time the Chiefs were even in the Super Bowl.
You'd never know of this 44 year drought from talking to a Chiefs fan though. These people, myself included, honestly believe we're on the same level of "storied" franchises as the Packers, Steelers, 49ers, or even the fucking Oakland Raiders.
The delusion us Chiefs fans have about our success is on par with Kim Jong-Un's imagined basketball skills. It's a shame too, because Arrowhead is probably the best gameday environment in the NFL. There's very little corporate tents and booths compared to the rest of the league, and shit, the stadium's still called Arrowhead, not #BigMayo Field or something.
Yes, 31 teams end the season on a bad note, but the Chiefs take that extra step to numb your heart and soul into non-existence and you slowly lose the ability to not just love, but to not even trust people at a basic human level.
I have such great memories of watching the 1990s Chiefs in middle and high school. There's only a handful of games I've missed over the last 20 years, and those were all due to extreme circumstances. They only lost 17 home games in during the 90s, so they were good, right? I don't know anymore. It all seems like a dream, and now that I'm old enough to have a job I hate everyday, the memories of the Chiefs glory days (once again, the glory days weren't even that great) seems all the more cruel.
The last time I went to a Chiefs game a single 50ish man in a 25 year old rusted out pickup parked next to us. I watched him for the next 30 minutes down a fifth of Jack and polish of 2 joints without getting out of the drivers seat. He proceeded to stumble out of his car and just kept yelling CHIEEEFFFFS as he stumbled toward the stadium. No one even batted an eye and just yelled it right back to him.
The fans in Kansas City still think its 1993 and Marty-ball and Derrick "The Original Travis Henry" Thomas are gonna run out of that tunnel to ground and pound em towards another playoff loss to Buffalo. We act like Arrowhead is the goddamn Taj Mahal because 20 years ago they went 8-0 at home. I can't wait til Blaine Gabbert becomes the next San Fransisco backup qb to be the savior.
Also, we've lost our last 7 playoff games.
I've been watching this team since 1991. That's 2 owners, 3 GMs, 7 Head Coaches and I don't know how many starting QBs (but at least 5 of them were backups on loan from the 49ers). Yet within every single one of those "regime changes" this team STILL can't stop the big play. Whenever theChiefs defense is on the field, I don't care if the opposing QB is Tom Brady or Ryan Fitzpatrick. As soon as he winds up to throw the long bomb - before it's even caught - I've already thrown my hands up in the air and said "Ah shit, here we go..." because it doesn't matter who the team leader, captain, Head Coach, General Manager or President/CEO of the Chiefs is, we're about to get burned…by Jason fucking Campbell, etc...
You'll get at least 12 letters from other Chiefs fans about the Kickers (likely more, but that's the only amount of fans I can personally confirm), and they'll all be 100% correct. And yet it's only myself and literally any of the 31 other Head Coaches in the league who seem to notice you could put Stephen Hawking in a Buick and drop him in the middle of the field and he'd probably breakup more completions that anyone in our secondary over the last 15 years.
Fuck Scott Pioli.
I root for a team where I have better hands than the #2 WR, a better leg than the kicker, and a stronger arm than the quarterback. And if all that wasn't enough, our head coach consumes more calories in one meal than I do in a whole week. And if THAT wasn't enough, I ordered a Dwayne Bowe jersey from a shady online jersey dealer and the 2 fell off leaving me with just an 8, which will probably represent how many "that couldn't be any worse timing" drops Bowe has in 2014.
Lost to the Colts 3 times in the playoffs. Once by 7 in a game when nobody EVER punted.
Also F Lin Elliot
Arrowhead Stadium is always full of the most white trash, stuck in the 90s, I'm-probably-gonna-beat-my-kids-if-the-Chiefs-lose-this-game people from the shitty parts of the KC metro (basically the Missouri side). These assholes wear Zubaz pants because they think it's still socially acceptable. It was never socially acceptable.
On top of that, the Chiefs will actually get your hopes up (like their professional baseball brethren from across the parking lot), just to blow an 87-point lead to the fucking Colts and their Amish quarterback.
God hates Kansas City.
The only alcohol I had after the wild card game was gin. I poured it into some Pepsi. It was disgusting.
This is currently hanging in the Kansas City International Airport.
Wanna be part of the Deadspin NFL previews? It's simple. Just email me and give me ample evidence of why your team sucks: personal anecdotes, encounters with fans, etc. I'll throw any good material into the post and give you proper credit. Next team up: THE RAIDERS.