The cliche' of 'thinking outside the box' has become so over used, that it no longer holds the positive connotation that it once did. While many would praise it's attributes, it has grown to be viewed as something that risk takers do rather than something that is just another way to problem solve. As a consequence, those who accept the challenge to innovate solutions are generally the recipients of greater rewards for success than those who are more willing to take the 'safe' route and blend in with all those who reside in Club Status Quo.
When that risk is taken and success not achieved, however, the consequences that follow are similarly more severe in nature than what one would expect when success remains elusive even though tried and true methods are applied to the problem. It takes more than your ordinary problem solver to accept the unsuccessful outcome and keep swinging. It takes a Gamer. I submit that the Kansas City Chiefs is being run by Gamers. Personally, I wouldn't have it any other way.
The picture above is humorous because it pokes fun at an innovative solution to an age old problem for our little buddy. Namely, sneaking that cheese off the anvil and keeping your head intact. This little guy is a Gamer. He's willing to put it on the line to achieve the goal. I'll bet all the other mice told this guy it would never work. Based on the evidence we have from the picture, we don't know if it will or it won't.
Gamers make up only a fraction of the population. You can tell because so many out there are willing to 'go with the flow'. Gamers have only two choices in life. Win or keep trying. They don't understand fail. Gamers will never see falling short on achieving a goal as failure, they merely view it as a step in the process of success. Gamers invite criticism on a grand scale. It can be no other way, because the response when a Gamer falls short of an objective comes directly from the influential members of the Club Status Quo collective, that outnumbers that Gamer by the thousands.
Indeed, when a Gamer falls short of an objective on a national stage, the thunderous voice shared by those thousands in the collective is deafening as the critique is regurgitated ad infinitum. The influence that collective has on the masses (that do not have access to their own bully pulpits) becomes accepted as truth because of the simple repetitious pounding of the message that the Gamer was WRONG!
Does this deter the Gamer? Not on you life. The Gamer merely looks for an alternative method to achieve the goal. It is this stubborn desire to ultimately achieve the goal that defines a Gamer.
Scott Pioli, Todd Haley, Romeo Crennel, Bill Muir and Jim Zorn are Gamers.
Scott Pioli is a GM. He is the personnel man. I am quite certain that he has fallen short of his and his team's goals in drafting players on more than one occaision, yet he is heralded as one of the best at his job in the league. Even with the success he has attained (three super bowls), he continues in the quest to reach the next goal. Why? He's a Gamer.
Crennel, Muir and Zorn are all Gamers as well. If you don't know their stories in the NFL, you should educate yourselves. Crennel and Muir both have Super Bowl victories on their resumes as coaches. Jim Zorn is been coaching in the NFL since 1997 and has coached at the Head Coach level. Why is he the Chiefs QB coach? Because he's a Gamer. Haley has surrounded himself with Gamers because he understands the mentality. That's right, our very own Todd Haley is a Gamer.
There is no questioning the fact that Todd is a Gamer. If you measure how much of a Gamer you are by how much flak you catch, Todd must be pretty high on the Gamer list. Todd's been getting hammered by that collective Voice, since he came to Kansas City. Todd employs thinking outside the box as a tool to achieve goals and is willing (like our little friend at the top) to accept the accolades when he achieves, as well as the criticism when he doesn't.
Since taking over as HC in KC, Todd has garnered the ire of the collective over and over. Remember? He was a jerk of a coach that was going to run off all the players. He kept pounding LJ into an ineffective line instead of using Charles. He fired Chan Gailey. He called his own plays. He fought with and ran off Charlie Weis. He told Brodie to snap the f___ing ball. He pissed off the media. He benched Dwayne Bowe and DJ. He told Devard Darling to take his lazy carcass into the locker room and stay there. He didn't give Matt Cassel a QB coach. Then when he did, it took two years to do it. He gave TJ to many carries. He STILL didn't give Charles enough carries. He went for it on fourth down instead of kicking the field goal. He wagged his finger at another HC instead of shaking his hand. He 'supposedly' whined about another team running up the score in a preseason game. He 'allowed' TJ and JB to mix it up and JB to break his thumb. And now, just in time for the start of the 2011 season, he has completely fubared the preseason and gotten Tony Moeaki and (to a lesser degree) Matt Cassel injured by completely mishandling the football team through the 2011 preseason.
Really? Well all I can say to that is...Thank you Todd.
Somehow, through all of that, we have seen a transformation of a team that was beginning to be compared to the Detroit Lions and Tampa Bay Bucaneers of the 70's to one that has had an amazing turnaround and can compete with anybody in the league. We've seen a 2-14 team improve to 4-12 and then 10-6. We played in a playoff game for the first time in four years. We won the division for the first time in seven years. We beat the San Diego Chargers (class of the division--right?) on a Monday night in a revamped Arrowhead stadium on National Television. We have seen the development of the number one rushing attack in the NFL, and we have witnessed a return to relevance for a defense that had become a laughing stock in the league.
Thank you Todd Haley indeed.
What happens now? Whatever it is, it all begins in three short days when the Chiefs take on the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead. It's been very fashionable around here lately to enjoin the collective in a Panic concerning the Chiefs chances this season that this writer feels is unjustified at this point. This is the same team (with a number of improvements) that was able to win 10 games last season. History shows us that preseason play is not a strong indicator of what the regular season may hold.
Just remember that right now, Todd Haley and the Kansas City Chiefs are like the mouse in the picture. They have their helmets on and they are ready to go. Both despite and because of all that has happened over the last two seasons the Chiefs are ready to rumble. Will it work? Will the mouse get the cheese? The answer is forth coming. Once again, Todd will be the Hero or the Goat. The media will take care of that.
I just wanted to take minute and thank Todd Haley for his part in making the Chiefs relevant again. Thanks Todd. And thanks for being a Gamer. This Chiefs fan wouldn't have it any other way.