ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the Buffalo Bills tries to get away from Justin Houston #50 of the Kansas City Chiefs during an NFL game at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 16, 2012 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
The Chiefs are my hobby. That might sound like a strange way to approach fanhood, but it's the truth. See, I don't have much money (well, I don't have any, but I digress), and I don't have much time either (I think I have less of that than I do money). As many of you know, I'm in law school. That's roughly a 65-70 hour a week commitment. When I'm not researching the Equal Access Act (I know, enthralling!) or writing some memo (the excitement continues), I'm spending time with my family.
This leaves me without the time for a real hobby, which I couldn't afford anyways. So I come to Arrowhead Pride and read about the Chiefs. Living in MN, I don't know any other Chiefs fans. So this is my "place of zen," where I can totally immerse myself in the team I love and talk/argue with other similarly obsessed fans (hi saintschiefsfan!). It really is a hobby. It's what I do to relax. It's what I do to forget about the child abuse case I was just working on. It's what I do to take a break from the daily grind of parenting.
As a direct result of this time spent on the Chiefs, I care deeply about the team. I know more than normal people do about "my" team. I spend hours speculating on (and discussing) player development and roster moves, both real and those I wish would occur. I've probably spent more time thinking about Dontari Poe and how he'll pan out in the last few months than I thought about last semester's Contracts class. I don't think I'm alone in this either.
Here's the problem: all the speculating we do, all the "I wonder how this guy will develop" and "is this a guy we should sign" and "my 900th mock draft" conversations center around what is a very small window of time. A football game lasts 60 minutes in football time, a little over 3 hours in real time. At the end of the day, that's what it's all about: what happens on the field.
And when what happens on the field is shockingly, disgustingly bad... well, it kind of makes the rest of the process seem like a moot point to me.
I won't be watching the Chiefs/Bills game.Like I said last week, I watch games on NFL Rewind. My wife and I (as well as my friends/family and I) have a running arrangement: don't tell Seth (my real-life name, nice to meet you) ANYTHING about the Chief's game until Monday. The lone exception to this rule lies with my wife. I've told her that if the Chiefs are getting absolutely killed, feel free to let me know. I said this to her offhandedly early last season. I didn't realize at the time just how often that "exception" would rob me of watching Chiefs games without knowing the result.
Yesterday evening, my wife quietly let me know that the Chiefs were losing. I said, "it must be bad if you're telling me."
To which she said, "I really think you should look at the score." I refused, and asked instead if it was past 20 points. The pity in her eyes told me all I needed to know. Of course, I didn't expect her next sentence.
"It's more than 30."
That sentence crushed me. Crap, I care about this team.
I care about Derrick Johnson and loved watching him go from inconsistent to dominating. I care about Tyson Jackson and rooted for him to prove the so-called "haters" wrong one day. I care about Allen Bailey and his alligator-killing ways. Dwayne Bowe, Eric Berry, Jamaal Charles, Tamba Hali, Dexter McCluster... the list goes on. I've spent hour upon hour dissecting every single starter and role player we've got. When you spend that much time on something, you get invested. And when that investment doesn't pay off... what do you have?
I could sit here and rationalize that it's still early (it is) and that we've still got a talented group of players (we do). But honestly... this one took it out of me. I'm right there with (if what I've been reading here on AP about our players is true) the guys wearing the uniforms in that I don't have any fight left in me right now.
Again, everything we do here revolves around 60 minutes on the field. The 15 updates a day Joel gives us, NJ's excellent "Arrowheadlines," the multiple fanposts and fanshots, Kalo's breakdown's, Aiken's angst, H2E's biting humor, Dirk's jokes, the at times insanely funny comments seen here... all of it revolves around that 60 minutes. And when that 60 minutes is taken away... what are we left with?
Can someone explain to me why I should care about Poe's development as a NT (crap, the kid's looked better than I thought he would) when the Chiefs are getting beat like they stole something? Can someone explain to me why having a special talent like Jamaal Charles matters if we only get to see his skills in losing efforts? Honestly, what's the POINT of all the speculation if the final product presented is a gaping chasm of nothingness?
Gameday last week stole a lot of the fun out of being a Kansas City Chiefs fan. And this week? The 60 minutes that we were given was so bad, that a guy who cannot get enough of the Chiefs has absolutely no desire to watch the game. None. I'm not even a little interested in the "why we sucked" aspect. Isn't that pretty much the final stage for a fan? I'm very afraid I've skipped the "anger" stage and gone right to indifference.
I care about the Chiefs. They're my (and millions of other fans') fun escape. But when that escape becomes another point of stress all on its own, it's tough to continue caring on the same level.
That's why I won't be watching the game. I've had about all I can take from this team right now. Some are mad (like Bob Fescoe... what a rant. Atta boy, Fescoe). Me? I'm just disappointed. Enough to the point that I'm going to choose to direct my attention elsewhere for a few days (I'm guessing it doesn't last nearly that long, but oh well...). Disappointed enough that I don't really care to point fingers and try to "dissect the problem."
Clark, Scott, Romeo, and every single player... you're breaking my spirit, fellas. To the point that I'm losing interest in the 60 minutes. And if I lose interest in the 60 minutes... well, the rest kind of falls by the wayside, doesn't it?
Also, while I can't speak for any other Chiefs fans, I can tell you that if you're breaking me, you're likely breaking almost everyone.
Get. It. Together.