When the Chiefs faced off against the Jaguars in Week 1, there was no doubt in my mind that Kansas City would win, and by a commanding margin. After all, while both teams had finished 2-14 in 2012 the Chiefs had made dramatic improvements over the off-season and the Jaguars had not.
The glow of victory only lasted so long, however. There are no Jaguar fans at my college (or none brave enough to wear apparel in the open), but the Cowboys fans--including my roommate--were more than willing to expound upon how Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, et al would make a mockery of the Chiefs defense in Week 2. Having seen how the Cowboys offense had torn into the Giants, who nobody honestly expected to do as poorly as they have, I began to doubt the Chiefs myself. Yes, I've since learned my lesson, but just before kickoff for the home opener, I resigned myself to being made fun of.
Just as the Cowboys fans said he would, Dez Bryant racked up quite a stat line in the first half. At least twice, I left the lounge where we were watching the game, ostensibly to use the restroom but mostly because I couldn't bear to watch. The thing is, though, Dez Bryant racked up a great stat line in the first half.
In the second half, Dez Bryant barely got open. Tony Romo was buried over and over beneath the Arrowhead Avalanche. I laughed in my roommate's face. When the game ended, I was ecstatic again. And thus began a cycle.
At the end of each Chiefs victory, I laugh at a Broncos fan, make some rude gesture, and check Arrowhead Pride for more articles. I bemoan that the only decent part of my fantasy team is the Chiefs defense, but keep on smiling because I know that in my 8am calculus class I can make fun of my Vikings fan friend ("I'm telling you, man, Josh Freeman is gonna tear it up"). By Wednesday night, though, I'm nervous as can be. What if we can't keep LeSean McCoy locked down? What if we can't contain Terrelle Pryor? Early Sunday morning, I'm barely functioning. How long can this Cinderella story last, really?
As I settle into my seat at kickoff, though, I forget about my worries. I forget about the obnoxious Broncos fans who trash talk Alex Smith, I forget about the media stooges who talk about strength of schedule and sustainability and offensive weaknesses, and I just think to myself, this is it. This is the season to take the world by storm. We've had most of the talent for a while; now, we finally have the coaching and--most importantly--the attitude to break records, win games, wrench victory from the jaws of defeat, and in general exceed expectations. Every time an unfortunate quarterback becomes the meat in a Houston-Hali sandwich, every time Jamaal makes an impossible cut and turns a loss of two into a gain of nineteen, every time Dexter McCluster embarrasses guys twice his size is a victory. In each of those little victories I forget about my nerves. I'm sure there's plenty of Chiefs fans who feel the same way, and I can diagnose what's causing our perfect emotional storm. Finally, we have everything to lose.