Tootie once told me: "You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life." And it's true, this season has some good (which the Kool-Aid passers around here often flaunt), a lot of the bad (which comes with a 3-win season) and we have to take them both. In the midst of high levels of emotion surrounding the recent embarrassment known as Sunday's effort, I thought I'd at least help us state a few Chiefs-centered Facts of Life to give some perspective. Some are good, some are bad... oh, you get the point.
1. For every Jimmy Johnson, you'll find three Romeo Crennels.
Some mighty impressive turnarounds can be found scattered throughout NFL history: the Colts moving from 3-13 (1998) to 13-3 (1999) was fantastic. So was the Dolphins recent 11-5 record last year after going 1-15 the previous year. The Pats moved from 5-11 in 2000 to 11-5 the following year and their first of three Super Bowls in the last decade. So, ladies and gentlemen, yes it can be done.
But the reality is that for every inspiring, Gatorade-drenching moment, there's a slew of teams standing alongside waiting for such a moment. The sheer probability of such a turnaround is miniscule and the facts show us that the most likely venture for Kansas City is that we will stay bad, or at the very least mediocre. Sure, it makes for a great story and something to aspire to, but actually believing we will be a playoff contender in just one year is to ignore the facts that current promising teams like the Cardinals and Bengals were laughingstocks for quite some time.
Even the dominant Chargers, let's not forget went eight straight seasons with eight wins or less before their breakout 2004 campaign and current run of dominance. An NFL ship is a large one and, usually, it takes quite a bit of time to work things out toward a successful end with so many factors of luck, coaching, schemes, talent base, opposition, schedule, injuries and salary cap.
More after the jump:
Even if a miraculous turnaround is quite unlikely, the good "fact," if you will, is simply this: there's no single person more qualified for this reconstruction than Scott Pioli. Really the only other person who would remotely make me excited enough to consider another option would be Indianapolis' Bill Polian, who's drafting ability year-in and year-out is quite frankly unbelievable. But in Scott Pioli, the Chiefs hold the trump card - one that still remains a better play than anything available on the table.
As for head or assistant coaches, that's another argument for another day. But the decision makers in place, including Clark Hunt, give the Chiefs a confidence and stability in the long-range plan that few other teams can appreciate, even if the situation seems dire for now. Will Pioli replicate or even come close to his New England success here in KC? Nobody can tell in the shifting climate of the NFL, but if the past is any indicator of the future, we're in good hands.
3. Sunday was a wake up call in a wake up call sort of season.
The ridiculous outing against the Browns only undermined what little hope was left. Let's be honest: every single building block or piece we felt excited about on the Chiefs has come up broken or misleading at some point this season. Last season's much heralded rookies have taken their knocks this year. High draft picks continue to confuse. Before the season, names like Dwayne Bowe and Brian Waters would be included in our sure things list, but this season's been marked by suspensions, benchings and luke-warm results.
Only Dustin Colquitt is the sure thing on this roster and while there are places that look promising, the best of us have to admit that even those flares of potential disappear in random games. It's maddening, but it shows that the overhaul is only beginning of this roster and that we shouldn't get too attached to many names in Chiefs jerseys. Sunday was the sort of game that makes absolutely everyone involved in the organization realize they have to go back to the drawing board and question the way they've done things this year. With the results we've received, that's a good thing. Perhaps moves like ditching the offensive coordinator right before the first game won't recur next season.