Hey everyone. In between the occasional argument with an idiot or Jarrad Page intervention, I find that I have some time on my hands to think. Now this is naturally a distressing problem that I try to avoid at all costs by filling my life with trivial things like a wife, kids, and work. However, sometimes those distractions are to no avail and I'm forced to give some honest thought to a subject. When that happens, I do everything I can to direct my thoughts (such as they are) towards the Chiefs. After all, why waste good thought on anything less important?
During my most recent musings, I found myself pondering an interesting phenomenon; overreaction. That human tendency to take a situation and blow it way out of proportion, while deciding that we've learned all we can on a subject with a limited amount of actual facts presented to us.
Now this overreaction especially applies to us as football fans. You all know what I'm talking about. We try to fight it, but the desire to draw immediate conclusions from one game is just too strong to resist totally. We feel like we NEED to draw conclusions, and we'll be darned if we'll let limited information stop us!
Now this urge can draw us in two different directions. On one hand, we may look at a few plays in a given game and decide that the Chiefs will be a playoff team. On the other hand, we may look at a few different plays in the SAME GAME and decide that we're in for another 4-12 season.
Let's guard against that, shall we? We've got our first preseason game coming up, and I know a lot of us are excited. So here's a list of some things to remember during the upcoming game...
1. Matt Cassel is not going to be a Pro Bowler OR a second coming of JaMarcus based on the few snaps he plays this next game. Don't flip out either way.
2. Jamaal Charles will see the ball this year, even if he doesn't see it much on Friday.
3. We have no idea how they will use McCluster. Don't freak out if he's only in on a few plays and doesn't see the ball once. This does not mean that he's a training camp wonder and is going to be a bust. This may simply mean they aren't ready to reveal much about the offense this early.
4. On the flip side of that, if McCluster has 7 catches for 110 yards and a TD, don't get yourself worked up into a frenzy thinking he's a shoo-in for ROY. It could very well be that the other team was merely taken off guard, or that he had a favorable matchup, or any of a million other things.
5. Don't lose your mind if Eric Berry (insert a crowd gasping, "Not Berry!") plays like a rookie in his first NFL action. This is normal, and no reason to hit the Panic button.
6. On the off chance (VERY off chance) that our 1st team defense looks good, don't let that get you too excited. Remember, this is the preseason. We're not seeing the best the other team has to offer in the form of plays.
7. On a similar note, if our offense stinks and/or is amazing, don't read too much into it. There's no need to go out and bet 10 grand on the Chiefs winning the Super Bowl or hurl yourself off the top of a tall building. Keep a clear head about what you see.
8. Don't kid yourself if Belcher or DJ or Lewis or one of our backup O-linemen or any other 2nd/3rd stringer looks like an absolute beast out there. Is this good? Yes. Does it mean that they need to instantly be inserted into our starting lineup? Well, no, not if they're going against the other team's scrubs.
9. While the final score does matter, don't treat this like a regular season game. A win doesn't mean much, and neither does a loss. We could go 0-4 in the preseason and then win 10 games (that's happened to teams) or we could go 4-0 in the preseason and lose every game we play this year (that's also happened).
Freud once suggested that true mental health rests in "the middle" (between obnoxious and mute, between rage and passivity, etc.). We should all remember this on Friday as we watch the beginning of a very hotly anticipated season.
Any other suggestions on things we should keep in mind as we watch the game? If so, feel free to add them on. I'd be stunned if I thought of everything, since my thinking time was cut short by those distractions I call my sons... where's their mom? Isn't it her job to watch them or something?
Take it easy Chiefs fans, and remember, stay in the middle! Don't OD on Kool-Aid or Negative Juice. Small doses of each (with maybe just a tad more Kool-Aid) should be sufficient for a healthy diet :)