I am one of the handful of fortunate (maybe unfortunate) guys on AP that have seen every year the Chiefs have been around. I remember most everything about them, good and bad. Until this year the good has outweighed the bad by a landslide. There has always been highs and lows with this team, same as with most all teams. If you think this year is bad, try 1976-1988 when we had a 76-119 record along with 5 different head coaches.
Then Martyball came along and all was well...until one night in 1998...
The Broncos were cruising toward an easy 30-7 victory in Kansas City when Derrick Thomas, the late linebacker, was the culprit in one of the most infamous implosions in "MNF" history. Five times in Denver's final touchdown drive the Chiefs drew personal foul penalties, three of them by Thomas, each one blatant and intentional and each, if you believe him, inspired by Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe. Sharpe said he had memorized the phone number of Thomas' girlfriend, and that he was reciting it number by number across the line of scrimmage. "I knew at that particular time, at that stage of the game, I could say some things to him and it would bother him," Sharpe said. Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt declared his organization "disgraced," head coach Marty Schottenheimer was reduced to tears, and Thomas was suspended for the next game.
That is the night I believe the Kansas City Chiefs franchise took the plunge into the depths of hell. It wasn't any one persons fault, we can't blame Carl 100%, Marty or even Lamar completely for what happened from that night on. But I really believe, taking a line from a famous song, "That's the night that lights went out in Kansas City". And there was also this from Derrick Thomas:
“I’m realistically looking at 16-0,” Thomas said Monday. “There’s no reason why we can’t be 16-0. With this kind of lineup, you’ve got to look at that. You can’t look any other way.”
So what did we get after that? The Chiefs have gone 97-128, with 5 different coaches and 5 quarterbacks. No consistency because we never have got it right. Only Hank Stram and Marty Schottenheimer have coached for more than 5 years with this franchise. Is it possible the Hunts just don't know how to run a NFL franchise? Or do they just not know how to hire the right people? Let me offer this: When Marv Levy was hired, my two aunts worked at the Stadium and knew most everyone there. There was much anticipation for Levy's arrival. But he couldn't make the team winners. He went to Buffalo and what happened? We have tried different GM's, different Head Coaches, different quarterbacks and players and even different groundskeepers. But one things is common for all these years, the Hunt's.
Most successful teams stick with the same coach and quarterback for a long period of time when things seem to work. We cant find any right combination that works. I do know this, when they say, "he is a players coach" those teams seem to suck after a short period of time. (eg, Gansz, Herm and Romeo for the Chiefs)
I don't know the answers to these questions, but I do know this: At 51, I may not see another Superbowl appearance by the Chiefs in my lifetime.