Before I say anything else, let's get one thing out of the way: I am a Cassel supporter. I have been since the day he came to Kansas City from the Patriots and despite some ups and downs the past few seasons, my support has actually grown instead of diminished.
I make this clear because the honest-to-God truth is that there are many times I wish I wasn't such a believer in the guy. The tide has turned on Cassel since the end of his 2010 season, and to have to constantly defend a belief in a player that most have given up on can get tiresome. It would be a relief to be able to listen to some of his detractors' arguments (some of which are valid points but which I sincerely believe have equally good counter points), say to myself, "Yep, now that I look at it that way I can admit I was wrong." I wouldn't have to be one of those few left wandering the streets to be viewed as a madman for supporting a QB that's so "awful" (and believe me - or ask others on here who also have faith in Matt - we really are looked at as though we've got some contagious mental illness).
But I can't say that, because I don't believe it. And I can't join the opinion of the masses simply for the sake of not wanting to be a dissenting thought. So I'm stuck - and all I can do is wait. Whether it be this season or three from now, for the greatness I see Cassel capable of in the right circumstances to either come to pass and validate my faith, or for him to crash miserably into the earth and prove how wrong I've been the entire time.
I am confident in the former coming to pass rather than the latter, and while this post is truly not meant to spark animosity, argument, or yet another Cassel debate, I did want to make clear where I stand and a simple reasoning for why.
I've rambled all of this in order to lead up to an article I read by Adam Teicher today - one many of you, especially those that receive the Kansas City Star, have likely already read. It's a story on Ryan Lilja which I think is worth everyone reading - whether you are for or against our current starting quarterback.
As I said, I am not trying to incite anything, nor am I using this article as some sort of proof. I will say that radio personalities, journalists, bloggers, and fans can say whatever they want about any player. While we would like to think that all opinions are equal, in truth they are not. There is a pecking order. And the closer the one holding that opinion is to the person under discussion, the more validity that opinion should be given.
Ryan Lilja is honestly about as close as one can get to the source and anyone who has read this far and plans to read the article itself would be doing themselves a huge injustice not to give a large amount of weight to the thoughts of someone so well respected - both in KC as well as the entire NFL - who works so closely with the object of our debates.
And in the end, if his words are taken as truth, I also think Kansas City as a group of people owe our quarterback a lot more respect. To work as hard as he does, to know his potential is far greater than what he is given credit for and to hear, see and read nothing but negativity from the entire fanbase he is playing for...
Kansas City has always been known for its fans. As one of those fans I think we owe it not only to our quarterback, but to our legacy of fandom to treat the man better.
I apologize for the length of this. This actually started out as a Fanshot and then had to be copy/pasted over to the Posts. The article can be found HERE.