My first and only FanPost on this site was published on November 27th, 2012. It has been 343 days.
I thought it would be interesting to examine exactly what has changed since that day, when my spirits were crushed, and I asked, "Where's the Hope?"
You can read that post here.
I talked about how I was listening to Len Dawson on the radio actually breaking up into tears looking for anything positive to say about his team. He spoke about the 33-6 Bills Monday night game when Arrowhead arrived. Being a Missouri area fan for 20 some years had me conditioned to expect the worst, but it had finally worn me down. I haven't been around as long as some of you, however. And even though we all complain about our team, the other fans that have been through it all and seen the ups with the downs told me just to hope for next year. Next year it will be different. The comment on that post that stands out belongs to NigerianNightmare:
I fully anticipate to be back in the playoff hunt next year with a New HC and OC, as well as a fancy new QB.
Yeah, I said it.
I don't know about the fancy new QB, but he is new. And the HC and OC are new too. As well as the DC. And the GM. But what has really changed this team?
There have been plenty of marriages of successful coach and QB that end badly. We've seen our share. There have been so so many reboots of franchises that end in still more despair. (And I hope the Raiders continue those train wrecks.)
The last game I got to go to was the 2011 Raiders game when we lost in OT. It was my girlfriend's first game and she hadn't known the desperation we all had that day that we needed that win. That when those two field goals were blocked for us I felt doomed. Then Fatikowski's duck went through the uprights right in front of us and the crowd could sense something. We could feel that this new regime just wasn't going to work. Romeo, Haley, or otherwise. It was yet another failed experiment. 2012 happened to prove that feeling.
When Andy Reid was hired, I for one was ecstatic. I have always liked the guy, and I grew up watching his teams always play hard. They might not have been dominant, but they were always competitive. After watching my Chiefs be doormats for so long, that's all I wanted. Then the GM hire came and I was even more excited. Living up here in Minnesota, I get a lot of news about the Packers, and this guy was obviously a great choice for GM for me.
So all summer, I was back. I watched every press conference. I watched Andy get excited about the fans and the stadium. I watched John talk about the same. Could it be that these newcomers had to show the faithful back to their faith?
What really happened to this team in my opinion, is people from outside the Kingdom had to come back and remind us of where we came from. We have the best fans in sports. Period. We have the best stadium in sports. (Outside of Fenway) Period. John Dorsey and Andy Reid and Alex Smith weren't here for the dark times. That's why they seem so long ago. This new regime came in and didn't preach returning to success. They preached working hard. They preached learning hard. They preached family.
We don't put up 40 points a game. We don't get media coverage. But when I see those players play on Sunday, even on TV I can see the desire. I can see the bond between them. I can see the will to win. Every time a big moment comes up, I can feel the fan base, the years of being a laughing stock, the tragedy we all went through last season, the real tragedy that happened in our beloved parking lot, and I know the players feel it too. This season is special. This team is special. No matter what happens, those two things will remain true.
The hope was right under my nose the whole time. The hope was family. The hope was camaraderie. The hope was fellow man fighting for fellow man. This team has gone back to basics taught to every middle schooler to strap a helmet on. Fight for the guys to your left and right. They are your brothers. They are your family. This team is KC's family, and I for one hope to celebrating with them long past New Year's.
Sorry for the long read.