From the FanPosts -Joel
Imagine, for a moment, that the NFL is a simplified stock market. You have the option of buying stock in (putting your support behind) any of the 32 NFL teams. Some of these are good investments (supporting a playoff team). Some of these are bad investments (Jacksonville). If you're reading this, that means that to some extent you currently support the Chiefs, and you're faced with a tough decision. Kansas City started 9-0, causing more and more people to buy in on the team as the rewards grew. But after three straight losses, should you sell some of your stock in the Chiefs, get out before things get any worse, and regroup for next year?
There are many of you who have been die-hard Chiefs fans since day one, who would never think of sellingany your stock in the Chiefs. Good for you. You can stop reading.
But reading the comments on this site and listening to the fans I know, there are others of you who are more tentative to buy in completely to the Chiefs. This isn't to suggest that you'll stop being fans of the team- merely a way of stating that you aren't convinced the team can contend this year. And that's fine. You could be a relatively new fan, or someone who has been wronged by Kansas City sports teams one too many times- you're not going to fall for this again. You might believe that there is legitimately something wrong with the Chiefs and their glory days- at least for 2013- are over. Who knows? You might be right.
* * *
I think there's something to these Kansas City Chiefs, something that is worth investing in. They might not win a championship, but it's at least going to be an interesting ride through the playoffs.
I've mentioned before that I'm not just a fan of Kansas City teams; I'm also a fan of Buffalo teams. Between the two cities, I've had plenty of experience dealing with losing. In the past, I've completely bought into just two teams- the Buffalo Sabres in the mid-2000s, and Sporting KC over the last couple of years. Out of all of the teams I've supported in my life, those are the only two that I've legitimately thought had a chance to win it all. Not even the 2003 Chiefs- the last Chiefs team to start 9-0- made the cut.
What made those two teams in particular stand out? They were complete teams. Ryan Miller was an All-World goaltender for the Sabres in those years, and their offense was led by a combination of veterans and rising stars that outpaced everyone else. Sporting has had a lockdown defense this year and play with a confidence that makes me believe no deficit is insurmountable. These are teams that were firing on all cylinders and came very close to winning it all. (Sporting, of course, still has a chance this Saturday)
The last two weeks have convinced me that the Kansas City Chiefs are a complete team. I knew we were strong defensively, but when the powerhouse offenses came to town, would we be able to match them? I've been pleasantly surprised with the answer. The offense has picked up the slack for a defense that has been riddled with key injuries. And there's nothing to indicate that the level of offensive production will decline once the defense returns to full strength. I'm confident in the defense's ability to shut the door on third down and to make the necessary adjustments to stop any team. I'm confident in the offense's ability to make the long drives when they are necessary and convert the short fields into points. And as for the special teams- Dustin Colquitt is still an elite punter, and every return man the Chiefs have put on the field have shown the potential to go the distance. The Kansas City Chiefs are a more complete team than they've been in years- possibly decades.
That said, a Super Bowl this February is still a tall order. That's why my investment in the Chiefs isn't a short-term one; it's long-term. The moves that John Dorsey and Andy Reid have made have given me no indication that the Chiefs will get worse over an offseason. They will only get better. The waiver claims on players like Marcus Cooper orSean McGrath earlier this year prove that Dorsey knows how to take advantage of every opportunity to improve, and we can be confident that the Chiefs will only continue to improve with little or no decline each season. Peyton Manning andTom Brady can't last forever. And when they retire, the Chiefs will be there, ready to assume the mantle of the AFC's top team. (And maybe before)
* * *
My reasons for investing in this team might not be the same as yours; that's understandable. You might not be buying into the team to the extent that I am- and I may just be hopelessly optimistic. But let's look at this season from another perspective. The Kansas City Chiefs are 9-3. It doesn't matter how they got there. What matters is they got there, a guaranteed winning season and an all-but-guaranteed playoff berth. This is more than any Chiefs fan could've asked for coming in to the season. Yet because the three losses have occurred in the three most recent games, we worry that it's time to sell our stock in the Chiefs. Why? If we moved the Denver and San Diego games to the beginning of the season, started 0-3, and then went on a 9-0 streak, we'd be on top of the world. If the losses were interspersed throughout the season, we'd still be very happy.
When the playoffs come around, it doesn't matter how you got there. What matters is that you made it in. Now's not the time to be selling your stock in the Chiefs- you should be buying "low"- as much as 9-3 is "low"- and buckling up for what will be a wild ride into January.