Good vs Evil
Character vs Talent
Chiefs vs Bengals
(Before you jump, anyone who knows me, knows I hate the Term "The Right 53"...its a term that's thrown around more than loonies at a Canadian Strip Club, but I needed a title for this stupid post)An interesting subplot has taken form for the 2010 season. While the Chiefs brass has gone out of their way to assemble a team of "High Character, team players", the Cincinnati Bengals have gone a COMPLETELY different way. By now we all know that Terrell Owens has joined forces with Ocho Cinco to create the biggest rag tag bunch of "Me first, team second" players. Joining 81 and 85 are Cedric Benson, Tank Johnson, PacMan Jones, Matt Jones, and Antonio Bryant. Wow, that's quite the crew of criminals and jackasses.
My question to you is, does character trump talent, or visa versa?
Certainly if the current Bengals squad would shut up and play ball, they could seriously challenge for a Super Bowl in 2010 but it's not that easy. Character is not something that can be learned, it is something innate...either you have it or you don't. Certainly not all 53 players have to be best friends and sing Koom-ba-ya in the locker room, but football is the consummate team sport and the sum is often bigger than the sum of the parts. So, are the Bengals a serious Superbowl threat, or just a fantasy football team created by an Owner who seriously needs to get himself a freaking GM?
Then there is the current Chiefs squad. Pioli and Haley are preaching, fast, smart, strong, high character guys. We have a team of men who have been team leaders in every level of football and are passionate about the game. They appear to have bought into the current regime and will do whatever it takes to be successful. But is there enough talent on the current Chiefs? Certainly a team of Rudy's and Mother Theresa's would make for a wonderful locker room, but would get shitkicked every Sunday.
This is something I'm going to follow closely this year, as it appears the Bengals are Dr Jekyl to the Chiefs Mr. Hyde. Obviously the best case scenario is a combination of talent and character, but its just interesting how 2 different football teams took wildly different routes to hopefully become SuperBowl Champions.
If I may add my $0.02, I do think the Bengals route is good for "short term, get asses in the seats" success but the Chiefs (hopefully) are preparing for long term sustainability. I still believe in Pioli's process, I don't always (or even often) like the moves he makes, but as a Chiefs fan, I have to trust the process.
Well this is just something I've been thinking about lately...thanks for reading.