I'm glad we're 0-4. In fact, I wouldn't have it any other way, given the realities surrounding our team. And I think you might be inclined to agree with me.
It's fairly clear heading into the season who's going to be good in the NFL. And after the first few weeks, it's becomes quite easy to predict who's going to be contending and who isn't. If the team I root for isn't going to be contending in a season, I'll take a completely lost effort over any middling level of success any day.
Consider the examples of some teams who consistently dwell in the top 10 on draft day: the Raiders, the Browns, the Bengals, the Bills. Each of these teams has largely done nothing in the past several years. They linger with coaches for a few years. They draft guys they hope will put them over the top. They hope the few wins they get in a given season reveal some momentum (finally!) only to find they're just not that good and occasionally, in today's NFL, any given team can at least upset another.
But look at the win totals of the Buffalo Bills in this decade, counting backward: 7, 7, 7, 5, 9, 6, 8, 3, 8.
The Browns? Going back to 1995 (!), again counting backward: 4, 10, 4, 6, 4, 5, 9, 7, 3, 2, 5.
What about the Raiders? 5, 4, 2, 4, 5, 4 in the last six years (with endless years of futility ahead, it seems).
Perhaps the Bengals give us the best example: exactly ONE playoff appearance in the last EIGHTEEN NFL seasons.
More after the jump...My point is this: if you're a middling team who flirts with 3 to 7 wins each season, the chances of retaining the same personnel year after year is much higher than if you tank. There's enough signs of life to convince a patient owner (which it seems we have in Clark Hunt) to "just give it one more year" if you tread just enough water. And in each of the above cases, the culture of losing surrounding each team becomes a dark cloud that's nearly impossible to shake.
BUT, if a tanks it - I mean, completely tanks it, something has to happen. A winless season in today's NFL is a warning signal to absolutely clean house. And even just one win becomes a ridiculously futile season. And when such an atrocious effort takes place, that's when the squeeze is put on.
That's what this year's Chiefs need more than anything, I'm convinced - a good squeeze. You find out just how good your coach can be if he still holds respect and presence with the team after an endless string of losses. That's when you find out who your locker room leaders are - the players that you can absolutely count on to be in it for the right reasons. That's when you see the players who are simply checking in and out and the ones who are in it to win it.
Take a quick look at the recent comments from Jeff Garcia concerning the Raiders. In his quotes, he identifies Oakland as a team full of players who don't care sprinkled along with a few who do. That's the worst. That's a team that hasn't felt the squeeze. That's a team content with picking in the top 10 in the draft each year. And the Raiders aren't the only ones guilty of that.
For years, the Lions were the laughingstock of the NFL, but somehow GM Matt Millen retained his job season after season. It wasn't until the floor completely caved in with one of the worst seasons in NFL history that everything was blown up and they started all over. And now, despite only one win, there are actual signs of life in the Motor City.
So I say it's better if the Chiefs go into the bye week without a single win. Then we will see a squeezed Head Coach in Todd Haley and find out if he has the capacity to truly lead when the going gets tough with a much easier second half schedule. If the Chiefs can eke out a few wins at that point, then we'll realize that brighter days are truly ahead. And if not, then it will be much easier to pull the trigger than pretend that moral victories might someday turn into true victories.