I am a Chiefs fan. This post is not an anti-criticism post or to make any attempt to change or make light of the fact that we just got it handed to us from a division rival. The Chiefs are the only thing, next to anything regarding family, that can truly make me feel like crawling in a hole. I feel sick to my stomach after watching this game. This isn't how it was supposed to be, right? We had the "easy" schedule and we had a firm grasp of the lead in the division just a short time ago. How can this be happening?
The reason I can still hold my head up and look forward to better days in the future is very simple. I am a Chiefs fan. We are not an organization that jumps ship when things go bad. We are not an organization and fanbase that jumps ship when we lose three in a row. We do not turn our back when things aren't going well. That is what seperates us from other fans across the NFL. These "fans" begin to make fun of their own team and trash them in protecting their own personal ego. I live in San Diego and I see it happening, until they start playing better and then they're back on the wagon.
We have people around AP right now that just want to throw in the towel and they have that right. We'll probably see them again around draft time. It's one of the reasons that I spent more time away from AP this week than any time in the last 2 years. The reason is, at least to ME, that this is not what being a Chiefs fan is about. I'm not telling anyone how to be a fan, or that this makes me any kind of a better fan, it's just how I feel about why the Chiefs fans are different. The reason is because, as a whole, we are fiercely loyal to our team, through good times and bad.
I am a Chiefs fan when Cassel overthrows his receivers. I am a Chiefs fan when he throws for 470 yards and 4 TD's in a divisional road game. I am a Chiefs fan when our defense gives up 49 points. I am a Chiefs fan when we shut down Peyton Manning. I wear my Chiefs shirt in San Diego when our team is 4-12 and when our team is leading the division. I know many of you are the same way. (Even thinking you HIV)
Anyone who has played sports growing up has heard the same cliche'. Character is revealed not when things are going right, but when things are going wrong. I think the character of a fan can be judged the same way. It's easy to root for the team and support them when they're 5-2 and looking good. It's a lot harder right now to support the team in the same way that was so much easier just a few weeks ago. It was easy to put on the Chiefs apparel and walk around town showing your pride for your team when we beat Jacksonville. How much red will be worn around KC this week? I'm not saying that people not wearing red are not fans so please don't get me wrong. But it's much easier to say, "Nah, I'm not going to wear that today, cuz we sucked last weekend".
We can be as pissed as we want. The bottom line is that this organization had won 2 games just two years ago, and only 4 wins last year. I understand in "instant gratification" society we live in today that patience isn't exactly displayed all that often. But in the "big picture" we are still tied for 1st in the division after 9 games and we can still reach all of the goals that every Chiefs fan has set before the season began. I'm not making any excuses for how this team has played here recently. But if we don't win the division and/or make the playoffs. You realize why that is? It's because we weren't good enough to make the playoffs. For no other reason than we just didn't earn it. You know what? I'm still alright with that. If I were a coach I wouldn't be saying these things, but I am not a coach and I have the luxory of finding "the brighter-big-picture" soon after a loss like this.
I understand that at the end of the year only one team can finish the season on a truly high note. But the journey to that destination is not a easy ride. We all like to point at the Miami Dolphins going from worst to first. 1-15 in 2007 and then 11-5 in 2008 and making the playoffs. But in 2009 they fell back to 7-9. Right now they're clawing around the .500 mark. We want to build a sustained winner here in KC, and I believe that is going to happen. It'll be a sweet day when the Chiefs clinch a playoff birth, whether it's this year, next year, or some year down the road. We will make the playoffs, we will win a Superbowl, and we will have seen the journey from the first steps out the door at 1 Arrowhead drive.
I am a Chiefs fan and this game does not change anything regarding my faith or love for this team.