It's that time of year, and like many Chiefs fans (most notably or beloved Village Idiot) I also have a "soft spot" in my heart for Halloween. Of course, that's especially easy to say this year, as the Chief play host to the Chargers on Monday Night Football. And so, let's be as welcoming as we can as we invite the Chargers to Terrorhead Stadium.
Leaning back now and remembering what happened last year, of course ... the Chargers came to Arrowhead on Opening Game of the 2010 season, also a Monday Night Football game, and the Chiefs won in a game that was played largely in the rain, a game that was in doubt until late as the Chargers were driving for a tying score in the 4th Quarter and into the Red Zone before the game was decided.
Still, even though the Chargers currently have a better record than the Chiefs, and are ranked higher by many in the media, the Chiefs have definitely done quite a bit lately to put a smile on the faces of most fans, and their recent road shutout of the Raiders in Oakland over the weekend certainly made a lot of people sit up and take notice.
Not that the Chargers have anything to fear from the Chiefs, of course. The Chargers have Phillip RIvers and, or course, Antonio Gates, one of the best TE's in the league who seems to be healthy and, indeed, caught a TD pass just last week againts the mighty Jets of New York. Certainly the Chiefs coaching staff will have to conjure up something for this upcoming huge game.
No question about it, Todd Haley's beard is at risk this week as the Chargers invade the Chiefs' home turf. First place in the division is on the line, a spot the Chargers will not want to give up easily, a spot the Chiefs would dearly love to be in. Perhaps the real issue is: which team wants it more? Which team has that burning desire to win, that fire in their eyes to emerge victorious this week?
Last year the Chiefs came out of the gate on that fateful and rainy monday night and beat the Chargers in part thanks to a long return by McCluster. Will the Chiefs fans once again be treated to that electric sight? Will the Chiefs defense rise to the occasion against Rivers as they did against Kyle Boller and Carson Palmer? IN short, will the Chiefs once again be able to catch lightning in a bottle?
Of course, for every winner there's a loser. For every happy NFL fan of a team that has won there's an unhappy fan of a team that has lost. For every Blaine Gabbert there's a Joe Flacco. Or something like that. The bottom line is that someone will have a broken heart from this game. Tears, if not blood, will be shed by the time it's all over. And, as Chiefs fans all know having watched Tamba Hali a year ago, bloodshed is possible, too.
Win or lose this week, Chiefs fans will be thankful for their team, thankful for having the MNF game in Arrowhead Stadium, thankful for the respect of those in the know, and thankful for having a team that's good enough to be once again relevant to the national spotlight, good enough to have the NFL's Defensive Player of the Week in Brandon Flowers even while realizing he might not have been the best defensive player on our team last week. Thank you Derrick Johnson. Thank You Kansas City Chiefs. Thank You for coming to Kansas City to the San Diego Chargers, win or lose. And thank you, Kansas City. For everything.