Today I was sitting at my computer with the TV on behind me, blaring what the sports analysts had to say about all of today's games. Who's in, who's out, what the latest updates around the league are, and so on so forth. And then the Chiefs get mentioned. In fact they get mentioned several times. And each time that they were mentioned, words like AWFUL, PATHETIC, and SORRY, seemed to follow.
I had two immediate reactions. One was a feeling of resigned agreement. The other was of anger and frustration. I know this team is bad. But its like when someone insults your drunk Uncle. Yeah, he has his problems, but he's still family. Watch your mouth.
I keep seeing this word on AP: REBUILD. That word is becoming commonplace among fans in KC. Fire everyone, clean house, rebuild again, hire Cowher because he makes the most sense. Everyone has an answer, everyone has an easy fix. But how does rebuilding easily fix anything? Rebuilding takes time and I thought we just went through the rebuilding process? Do you want to go through that again?
I thought it was interesting that before, and during the Preseason, the Chiefs were in a neck and neck race (no pun intended, okay, maybe a little one) with Peyton and the Broncos, as the favorites to win the AFC West Division Title. Peter King, Mike Lombardi, even Mike Mayock each said, "watch out for the Chiefs...they're playoff sleepers...they've quietly built one of the deepest rosters in the league...".
On WalterFootball, a long time draft site, Walt's latest mock says "The Chiefs are Terrible. They need to clean house and start over..." but just last year Walt was singing a different tune, "...the Chiefs have one of the deepest rosters in the league and are a QB away from being contenders...".
Obviously hindsight is 20/20.
Chiefs are the worst team in 2012. Does that mean the Chiefs HAVE to clean house, fire everyone, start from scratch, and, gulp, REBUILD again?
I watch a lot of DIY and HGTV (I'm not proud). I'm a big fan of the remodling shows especially. I love House and Yard Crashers. There's just something about watching a bland room, or yard, that looks so-so, get redone and turned into this amazing creation that floors me. Holmes on Homes is another one of my favorites.
For those of you that don't know what that is, Holmes on Homes is about a General Contractor named Mike Holmes, who remedies poor renovations done to houses by other, previously hired contractors. Its sometimes hilarious (and equally disturbing) to watch how inept and dishonest these so called "professional" contractors are to paying customers, yet so awesome to see how efficient and effective Mike Holmes is at fixing each and every existing issue those inept contractors left behind.
We could use some of that here in KC, wouldn't you agree? But do the Chiefs need to rebuild?
*The following information is a summation of events that comes from Wikipedia. Yes, I went there.
The San Francisco 49ers hired Dennis Erickson to take over for Steve Mariucci after several terrible seasons. Erickson led the 49ers to a 7-9 season, followed by a league leading worst, 2-14 season in 2004. Erickson and General Manager Terry Donahue were fired, and Mike Nolan was brought in as the new head coach. With the #1 pick in the 2005 Draft, Nolan's Niners selected Alex Smith, QB Utah (over local product Aaron Rogers).
Hindsight really is 20/20
In the Nolan era ('05-'08), the Niners went a combined 23-41 without a single winning season. Seven games into the '08 season Nolan was fired, and Assistant Coach Mike Singletary was named Interim Head Coach. Although the team was 2-5, Singletary was able to spark his team to a 7-9 record.
The 49ers went 8-8 in 2009, and heading into the 2010 season, they were heavy favorites to not only win the NFC West, but to push into the Playoffs as a surprise team, led by Singletary's defensive prowess and the emergence of Patrick Willis.
After an 0-5 start, the melt down began, and by the end of the season the Mike Singletary experiment had ended with a record of 14-18. Singletary was let go along with General Manager Scot McCloughan, leaving a talented team up in the air.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Jim Harbaugh was named Head Coach and Trent Baalke became the team's newest General Manager. The team drafted Aldon Smith DE Missouri in the first round, and went on to go 13-3. They barely missed a trip to Super Bowl 46, losing a knock-down, drug-out home game to a resilient Eli Manning, and a resurgent New York Giants team.
Coming off the BYE in week 9, the 49ers are 6-2 in the 2012 season.
I want to pose the question I asked earlier one more time. Do the Chiefs need to rebuild again?
In San Francisco it took the right guy, with the right attitude and plan, to lead a talented group of individuals to reach one common goal. Win. In one season, a coach was able to command the respect of his team, trim the fat (players that were lazy/didn't fit his system) and get a team of individuals to play together as a unit. The result was more impressive than any room or backyard the DIY/HGTV Crashers ever did.
MURanger had a brilliant post involving the importance of leadership to a unit, in any capacity, and he is right on the money ( I strongly encourage any who haven't read it to do so here).
The talent is there for the Chiefs. Numerous analytical minds of higher status than you or I possess, were in agreement just a few short months ago. Find the right leader and this team could go far. The Chiefs potential to be great is through the roof. They just need someone to lead them, to push them, and to motivate them to reach that potential. They need their own version of Mike Holmes and Jim Harbaugh. Guys that can come in, assess the situation, cut, tweak, fix, and build upon the preexisting foundation that was already laid for them.
Clark Hunt has a daunting task ahead of him, but I believe it is something that he's capable of pulling off. I won't say the Chiefs are Super Bowl bound in 2013, but with the right GM and Coach to lead them, I can see them pushing their way into contention in no time. This team is ripe for the kind of success the 49ers are now enjoying. I firmly believe that.