Ahh, I can hear it now. "Here we go again." "Isn't this like the last post?"
And no it's not. Let me go on record for those who misinterpreted the last post. I was not coming down on fans for saying anything negative about the Chiefs. I was not coming down on anyone who doesn't agree. I was being nostalgic for the old AP and just stating my opinion of fandom so to speak. We had a great discussion. Some of us agreed to disagree (MN). We saw posters I thought were long gone make triumphant returns. And at the end of the day, that was as close as AP had been to the "old" AP in a long time.
During that process, I read comments about How saying "what makes a good fan" is wrong, and some people admitting to being negative fans (which I can respect). The point was made that fans are negative because right now, the Chiefs organization is in flux. We as fans are negative because of the negativity going on. Those are valid points, and they got me thinking. Are We the Problem?
More after the jump...
Let me pat myself on the back because guess what.....I did some real research for this. All research came from Wikipedia and Pro Football Reference.com. Ok. Let's go.
What I saw simply staggered me! Here lately, I have seen references and comparisons to The Steelers and rightfully so, because love them or hate them, they have won the most Superbowls, and they seem to ALWAYS be in the running for the playoffs and the Championship. So I figured why not use the Steelers for my theory and question.
Ready for the question?
"Are we the fans responsible for the lack of success from the Chiefs?"............Is it ok to stand up from behind the box I was taking cover behind? Is everyone through booing and hissing? I hope you will hear me out because the research was shocking.
I personally feel as though the Chiefs fans are really split in several ways, but in particular, we are split on support. Many of us support everything no matter what, simply because the Chiefs made the choice. Some call this blind faith, some refer to those types of fans as "kool-aid drinkers".
Then on the other side we have fans who can never see the good, and many will in fact get mad at others who do choose to see the good.
Then there are those in the middle. The fans who don't get too hyped up, but also don't go down in the dumps.
I am not saying one is right and the other is wrong, I am just saying.
The problem is when support is split, someone is always unhappy. Now don't get me wrong, there is likely no fan base where everyone is on the same page, but it seems (when talking to and observing the fans of other teams) that they (other teams) usually have more fans that support regardless, than there are fans who pout until they get their way. I have been on many other team blogs and their fans just seem to as a whole, be more on one accord than we are. That does not mean that the are any more loyal, but just something that I noticed. I believe the two most debated issues in football are the QB, and the Head Coach.
It is my personal opinion that we don't give coaches enough time to bring an idea to fruition. When a coach comes in, they have to decide what type of offense they will run?, what type of defense will they run?, who will be coordinators, ....you get the point.
With all of that change, the likely hood of immediate success is pretty low. So what happens next? The fans stop going to the game and supporting the team. When the fans stop going to the games, the front office is forced to make changes because they are losing money. New toys always bring the fans back if only for a little while. The best thing to do......fire the old coach and hire someone else!
When I did a contrast with the Steelers I started with 1970 since that was when the Chiefs joined the NFL. In 1970 Hank Stram was mid tenure. It has been debated on AP in the last few week if Stram or Marty was the best HC in Chiefs history.
Hank Stram was HC from 1960 until 1974. He coached 5 seasons while the Chiefs were in the NFL and won our only Super Bowl.
In 1975-77 Paul Wiggins was the coach. 3 seasons
In 1977- Tom Bettis 1 (partial season)
From 1978-82 Marv Levy 5 seasons
From 1983-86 John Mackovic 4 seasons
From 1987-88 Frank Gansz 2 seasons
From 1989-98 Marty Schottenheimer 10 seasons
From 1999-2000 Gunther Cunningham 2 season
From 2001-2005 Dick Vermeil 5 seasons
From 2006-2008 Herm Edwards 3 seasons
From 2009-2011 Todd Haley *Almost* 3 seasons
From 2011-present ?? Romeo Crennel Temp.
That makes 10 coaches (12 if you count Romeo and Chan) in the last 41 years. That would average out to around 4 years per coach.
Ready to be shocked? Let's look at the Steelers coaches for the last 41 years.
From 1965-1991 Chuck Noll 26 seasons!! WOW
From 1992-2006 Bill Cowher 15 seasons
From 2007-present Mike Tomlin 4 3/4 seasons and counting.
Now I know that many of you are thinking "that has nothing to do with Super Bowls and playoff appearances". Well, let go deeper.
Hank Stram own our only SB victory, but we wont count it since even though he was an NFL coach for 4 years, he had actually been coaching the team for 11 years and won the AFL Championship when he won the SB. So let's go to Pittsburgh.
Chuck Noll won his first SB in 1976. That means it took him 11 years to win the big one. And for those who don't know, he went on to win 3 more for a total of 4 SB. The most so far and all alone (until Bellichick ties him).
Bill Cowher won his first and only SB in 2006. That was his 15th season as HC.
You see where I am going with this?
Mike Tomlin took over, and yes he added his style, but he largely played it smart and left well enough alone. He won the SB in 09 and has appeared in another.
My point; It took Chuck Noll 11 years to win his first. We have only had 1 coach to last that long. Marty was close. He missed it by one year. Also, it is amazing that the 2 coaches we debate as being the best in Chiefs history happen to be the coaches who were here the longest. I know some will say that they were here the longest because they were the best coaches. Well keep reading.....
Hank Stram had 2 losing seasons in his first 4 years. Marty's win percentage was frankly awesome with 2 losing seasons in his whole 22 year career!! Why did we get rid of him again?
Chuck Nolls record in his first 3 seasons as the Steelers HC....get this,
1-13 for .071%
5-9 for .357%
Those are awful numbers. But look at what they turned into.
Now Bill Cowher was a little different. His first few seasons were very good. .688, .563, .750 were his win percentages. But I would like to point out that in his first 6 years he only got to the AFC championship once. Then he had a stretch of seasons with a record of 7-9 or .438%(1998) and then 6-10 or .375% (1999).
My whole point in all of this is has our impatience and demand for change hindered us as a franchise? In my opinion, we demand the heads of coaches too quickly in KC. We don't allow coaches time to develop and see their visions into reality.
Haley had a justified bad season (after the teams best turnaround in history) and was canned mid season. Herm was also not allowed to complete his vision. The Steelers did not ask for Cowher's head after he tanked after an empty fast start. They didn't ask for his head after the next losing season was even worse! They didn't ask for his head after he started Tommy Maddox.
I know that there are probably several other angles to take in this debate, and I can't wait to hear them. Please don't misinterpret the topic. The topic is not whether Haley should have been fired. That is water under the bridge. The question is about our constant demand for change possibly hindering our ability to make it all the way, and win the big one.
Whhhewww that was long!