Take a look at how closely this year matches resembles the Chiefs two decades back ...
After a playoff appearance in 1986 (which the Chiefs lost in the Wild Card game) followed by two disappointing seasons, in 1989, Lamar Hunt hired Carl Peterson as Chiefs' General Manager (and President and CEO). Hunt fired Frank Gansz and hired Marty Schottenheimer.
Marty was known as a hard-nosed, take-no-crap kind of coach with a demanding training camp regimen and a reputation for finding ways to win (200-126-1 overall, but 5-13 in the postseason).
After a playoff appearance in 2006 (which the Chiefs lost in the Wild Card game) followed by two disappointing seasons, in 2009, Clark Hunt hired Scott Pioli as Chiefs' "President of Football Operations" (ie: General Manager). Pioli fired Herm Edwards and hired Todd Haley.
Todd is also known as a take-no-crap kind of coach with a demanding training camp regimen. Evaluation of his reputation and, as a head coach, finding ways to win will have to wait for now.
In the 1988 and 1989 NFL Drafts, the Chiefs had used their first round picks on a Defensive End (Neil Smith) and a Linebacker (Derrick Thomas). One became a Hall of Fame-level pass rusher, thanks to help from the other collapsing the pocket.
In the 2008 and 2009 NFL Drafts, the Chiefs have again used their first round picks on the Defensive Side of the ball (Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson, both Ends); with one expected to be a fierce pass rusher, with help from the other collapsing the pocket.
Early in his tenure, Carl was known for bringing in quality veteran players to help strengthen the team -- Barry Word, Joe Montana, Marcus Allen -- often players that other teams had given up on as too old (though, arguably, this would eventually become his downfall). Early in his tenure, Scott has shown that he's willing to do the same thing -- bringing in Mike Vrabel, Zach Thomas, Amani Toomer, Bobby Engram -- again, players that other teams had given up on as too old.
What Lamar, Clark and Marty built was a team that was a perennial play-off contender. The first season together, they went from last in the AFC West to 2nd in the AFC West. They missed the playoffs that season, but they made the playoffs in 7 of the next 9 years, with a combined record of 101-48-1 over those 10 seasons.
What Clark, Scott and Todd are trying to do is build a team that won't just be a one-shot playoff contender, but a perennial playoff contender. This first season together, there are very real expectations that they'll go from last in the AFC West last season to 2nd in the AFC West (ahead of Oakland and Denver, behind only San Diego).
It's beginning to look as though history does, indeed, repeat itself. And, for Chiefs fans, that's looking like a very, very good thing.