I didn't get much sleep last night. My future wife had a case of the cuddle bug and thought an arm, leg, knee to the crotch was a comfortable way for me to drift into dream world. After trying a couple of evasive maneuvers, a little slide roll blanket kick, with subtle shimmy-to-side rotating gas action, I thought I was set. And I was wrong. She's very persistent. So I sucked it up, enjoyed my third of the bed, and tried to fall asleep anyway.
Relationships are a fine and fickle thing. You never know where they will take you or how they will end, but if they're important enough to you, you stick with it and see it through. Even if occasionally you have to pull a side roll blanket shimmy, or sleep in the space between the wall and the mattress because the wife and kid have your space covered for you. This is just part of life. It happens.
"I am not young enough to know everything." - Oscar Wilde
"The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime." - Babe Ruth
The first Truth about the NFL, is that it is the definitive example of a TEAM sport.
Just like the game of Chess, pieces are assembled and strategically moved about the board in an effort to defeat the opposition. There are many ways to go about doing this, each piece has a purpose, and each piece is used in accordance to the master plan.
Every NFL team lists a 53 Man roster that comprises three units: The Offense, The Defense, The Special Teams. Each unit can be broken down further into complimenting units. The Offense for example, is made up of several pieces: The Offensive Line, TE's, WR's, RB's, FB's, and the Field General, the QB. The Offensive Line must work as a cohesive unit to allow the QB or RB to make a play. Without that teamwork, the offensive unit as a whole collapses and the game plan as a whole goes down with it.
I can already see some of you making the argument that "certain players can carry their teams without all the teamwork." To that I simply say, do those players have an offensive line to protect them? Do they have weapons to throw to? Let's not kid ourselves here, the only players capable of carrying that label are QB's. They still have to have a Center to snap them the ball. They have to have a RB, at least one WR with hands, and hopefully a defense that can give them the ball back or keep the other team from scoring at least once a game. So they can't do it all by themselves. It really does take a team.
Others might point out that "our QB sucks and he makes our offensive unit collapse by himself." Again, this is about the team on a whole. While I agree that some players are much, much better than others, at the end of the day it takes a team to win, and it takes a team to lose. Unless your name is Marion Barber or Phyllis Rivers......anyway moving on!
The second Truth about the NFL is that it is a business first and foremost. Yes, the players play and that's why the fans watch, and cheer, and rant, and rave, and act like lunatics, but that's our relationship with our team and with the sport. We watch for the entertainment value. Its a production, a game, being marketed and televised on a massive scale all in the name of the Almighty Dollar. The League is a 9+ Billion Dollar Industry worldwide. And we buy it. We're like greedy fat pigs just wallowing away in this stuff. If you don't agree look at us here on AP. I'm on this website daily, devoting my down time to reading articles, comments, and arguing with idiots, to so eloquently borrow from MN (FYI, "I don't like to argue. I just like telling you how wrong you are" - Woody Paige. I don't care if that guy is a Donkey fan, he cracks me up).
The NFL is a monstrosity of a business in the sports industry, with each team/club governing their respective franchise. Every team is solely responsible for drafting, signing, developing, coaching, staffing, and providing a respectable team to represent the city and region they're based in. All while keeping in check with the books and balances provided by the NFL and NFLPA per the negotiated limitations, spending requirements, and Cap. Not an easy task. One of the principles of this league that we're beginning to see stems from this quote:
"A budget tells us that we can't afford it, but it doesn't keep us from buying it." - William Feather
The Raiders have been dismantled for handing out obscene contracts. The Cowboys and Redskins, although how unlawful they truly are given the NFL greenlighting the deals they made, are now facing financial ramifications for overspending. The Houston Texans were forced to give up a few marquee players they will undoubtedly miss (Arian Foster Fantasy Fans think twice before drafting him high. He earned most of his yards behind Brisiel and Winston on the right side, and now Foster's gone vegan? Winston's probably thanking his lucky stars he got out of dodge and came to KC, the Land of Flowing Milk and BBQ).
There are certain teams that meet specific criteria to create the staple formula for success. Granted these teams have Franchise QB's, an issue I expect will be addressed for us in the 2013 Draft, but these teams follow certain principles that have built, remolded, and reshaped themselves into consistent and proven winners. The Pittsburgh Steelers are at the head of this pack IMO. The very team our Owner wants so badly to emulate. The Patriots, are another, followed by the Packers.
These three teams philosophy regarding the draft, Free Agency, and the value of coaching up and retaining in-house talent on value driven contracts is bar none. How many times have the packers released a player only to revisit and resign said player for a cheaper, more team friendly deal? Before the 2010 season they did it with AJ Hawk. While it sound callous and cold, that is the nature of this industry. Because in the end, its a business, with it's players acting as investments, and sold to us on a grand scale as the very definition of entertainment.
We can hypothesize, banter, argue, speculate, surmise, and hope and pray that the Chiefs in their infinite wisdom,(since they are after all trying to emulate the top tier teams) will resign their own in-house talent, and build from within. But that's all hearsay. We don't know what's going on within the inner workings, and we probably never will. In the end, our owner has given his GM the power to choose to do what he feels is best for this team. As a whole. And while that might leave certain individuals out in the cold, its justified from a business perspective. And while we may guffa and bemoan actions that we don't agree with, like the Legend himself said, "The only yardstick our society has for success is being a Champion. No one remembers anything else." - John Madden
Should the Chiefs ever win the Super Bowl, or be in contention for it in the near future, I have a feeling many, if not most, will all but forget about our feelings here and now in the present. And just like all good relationships, we'll stand by them the whole way. Even if occasionally you have to pull a side roll blanket shimmy, or sleep in the space between the wall and the mattress . Because that's part of the life of a fan. It happens.