"Any win in the NFL is a good win, no matter what the stat sheet says." -Mike Lombardi
NFL writer and former front office exec Mike Lombardi made this statement in a recent column at the National Football Post and it had me on two levels. First of all, I believe the statement to be true. You're judged in the end by the win-loss column and come playoff time, nobody remembers if you really won by 1 or 100. Well, actually if you won by 100, I would absolutely remember, but that's beside the point.
But this statement gripped me at another level. And that's this: is this true on the opposite side? In other words, "any loss in the NFL is a bad loss, no matter the stat sheet says." My first instinct is to say "yes, that's true." It's the physical law of nature of sorts - the yin for the yang. There's an equal and opposite reaction... and all that sort of stuff. In other words, if a win is a win, then a loss must also be a loss.
But we don't treat it that way and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. If we lose, we often look for the silver lining saying, "Well, we might have lost, but we definitely had 'em when it came to [insert position or player name here]." Sometimes we even say "Man, we should have won" and take pride in a moral victory of sorts. Over the years, the amount of losing that teams like the Chiefs have endured lead fan bases to accepting solid play from their prospects and a lack of injuries as good news. And the teams that win just keep on winning, no matter how ugly or beautiful things may be.
I can see it both ways. I can see why we look for the positive spin and cross our fingers for the next week. It's a lot more fun to watch football that way and keeping hope and belief until the end are certainly admirable qualities. But there's a downside to this. After all, the fan's relationship with his/her favorite team is just that - a relationship. Thus if your friend were in an unhealthy relationship, you would encourage him/her to get out of it and treat it like it deserved to be treated.
So perhaps what the Chiefs need is for fans to treat a loss like a loss. If fans aren't okay with losing and stop looking for the silver lining, then attendance goes down and revenue is lost. It might send a message to the team to "hurry up and win" and that losing won't be tolerated. Of course, that's easier said than done and there's a great reason for hope on the horizon with the new front office in place. But I also realize that there was a load of salary cap room to spend this offseason and we stood still.
We have to trust there's a plan in place, and that's what we've been told, but I've also watched my friend's girlfriend tell him the flirting with another guy was no big deal and that he's not a threat. If a win is a win, then a loss also has to be a loss. And I wonder what the repercussions of that should be.