I am an avid life-long learner and I consider myself very fortunate to have learned innumerable things about the Chiefs and football in general, from reading the articles and comments here at Arrowhead Pride. I have never really been an Xs and Os guy, so I am truly thankful for the insights of some truly gifted analysts here. Of course, along the way I have also learned some non-football related goodies such as military history, boobs, and the best use of a candy wrapper. However opinion is what really drives this website and I wouldn’t change a thing in that regard.
Nevertheless, some opinions do get repeated so often that they eventually become regarded as fact, whether deserving or not. In such cases, although I am not currently a resident, I was fortunate to reside in Missouri long enough for a good dose of "Show-me" to stick. And one idea bandied about here continues to give me trouble: This idea that the only path to a Superbowl trophy lies through drafting a first round quarterback.
It’s not that I haven’t been listening carefully. I have heard that the game has changed, even in the last ten years. I’ve heard that it’s a passing league now. I’ve heard repeatedly that Tom Brady is an anomaly. I understand that as an outlier, his name may not be allowed in the discussion of how to build a winner. I have heard it explained over and over that in those rare cases where less than elite QBs hefted the trophy it was only because of a freakishly good defense, the likes of which will never be seen again. And I have heard hundreds of comments pointing at the fortunes of the Manning-less Colts, (Although no one seems to recognize them as a team in disrepair that quite likely would not have made the playoffs this year.) Actually, I believe Peyton is getting out at a good time and that Luck is being set up for failure).
With my limited reasoning ability however, this argument seems less than airtight. As I look at the last ten years of football I don’t see any sure-fire recipes for creating a Superbowl winner, especially none that inspire me to want to mortgage a ton of Chiefs’ draft picks. In the last ten NFL drafts there have been 27 quarterbacks selected in the first round. That tells me that nearly every team has had a shot at one (and yes, the Chiefs are a notable exception). Yet, of the last ten Superbowls only five have been won by quarterbacks drafted in the first round.
These are not necessarily the same people, of course, because it took Peyton Manning, who was drafted in 1999, eight years to notch his first and only Superbowl win. Additionally Ben Roethlisberger has won two of the last ten. However, it gets harder to discount Brady as an anomaly when he has won three of them. That would seem to weight the argument just a bit in favor of the viability of lower round picks (but I’m no mathematician.) So among the last 27 first round quarterbacks, only Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, and Aaron Rodgers have truly rewarded the hopes of the draft day fanatics who figured they had a sure thing.
Forgetting draft status, there is still the matter of patience. As I said, it took Peyton eight years to reach the mountaintop, the same as Drew Brees. (Brad Johnson, a 9th rounder, won in his 10th season but I don’t think I’m allowed to mention him). Who got there fastest? Well, there was Ben Roethlisberger and that pesky sixth-rounder, Tom Brady. Both of them won in their second year of professional football. I guess all I’m saying is that there may still be different avenues toward winning the Superbowl and that I desperately wanted an excuse to make a poll.