FanPost

Nature of fanhood

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From the FanPosts -Joel

So I was commenting in another post and I kind of went off on a rant and I wanted to flesh it out a little bit. I have seen a whole lot of comments on here lately questioning fanhood. It's been a lot of stuff like the following: (all these are real comments that I have seen lately, please forgive me if the wording is a little off)

  • "Stop your complaining, you're not a real fan, just go away"
  • "The only thing worse than this game is the whiny bitching from grown men complaining about this game"
  • "Why don't you go root for another team if you are so unhappy with this one"

That's only a couple of the statements I've seen but there have been a lot of them throughout this year. These kind of statements annoy the hell out of me and I want to explain why but also explain why there are some "pessimistic" fans, or ones who don't just assume the best is going to happen.

As for why the statements annoy me. Last I checked, this was a Chiefs blog. I'm pretty sure that most everyone here is a Chiefs fan. I say most everyone because we have people from other blogs here but other than the migrant posters from other sites, I'm pretty sure everyone here is a fan of the Chiefs. We came to our fandom in different ways. I became a fan when I was a kid, it was something my father and I shared. After his loss, the times we spent at games and discussing the Chiefs are some of my most treasured memories. I can't imagine not being a fan of this team.

The point is I'm a fan, you are a fan, we are all fans of the Chiefs and none of us are better fans than any other. Someone owns a Chiefs van, congrats but it doesn't make them a better fan. You have season tickets, well Carl Peterson may think that makes you a true fan but it doesn't. Other people have Chiefs tattoos, cry when we lost in the playoffs, get angry when we lose a bad game, got excited when Dante Hall ran one back for a win, question personnel moves, have good days when we win, whatever. None of that makes those people better or worse fans than any other fan. We are all, plain and simple, just fans.

Fanhood is a weird and almost undefinable thing. What is being a good fan to one person isn't the same for another. Do some of us (Most of us) get a little carried away at times? Oh yeah, but isn't that part of the nature of fanhood? We are fanatics. It sometimes makes us emotional, irrational, maybe a little crazy about the Chiefs. When it comes down to it though, were all fans. We all want to see this team win and do well.

So to call someone's fanhood into question, or tell them to go away is just plain ridiculous. Maybe that person isn't the same kind of fan as you. Maybe that person is upset about something you think is ridiculous. Maybe that person just came to being a Chiefs fan recently but that doesn't mean they are a worse fan than any other. They are a fan and win or lose; the Chiefs fan bus has enough room on it for all kinds. The appropriate response to a fan making a statement you don't like isn't to tell them to root for another team. Most of us don't have that option. (If you do have that option then maybe you really aren't a Chiefs fan). The appropriate response is debate. Explain why you think their comment is silly. Use facts, reason, argument, and say why you think what you do. Promote discussion, try to convince them that you are right, just don't tell them to go away.

Now, as for why some fans on here are more, I'll use the word pessimistic even though I don't think that fully explains the feeling, than others. It's different for everyone and I will say that there are some who are naturally more negative or positive but for me, and I believe many, it's experience.

Experience? Yeah, this negativity wasn't born into me. This shit was beaten into me by the Chiefs. I remember being a young Chiefs fan, all full of hope and dreams, thinking we could go to the Super Bowl every year. I would sit and watch Bill Kenney throwing the ball down the field and tell my dad we were the greatest team ever. Then years and years of experiences reached up and smacked me in my face.

Some people on here think that if a fan complains about the team that we are pessimistic, that we are just negative, the glass is half empty type of people. That's just not true for most. Let me tell you why I don't just always assume the best and why I'm critical. It's because I remember and have experienced most of the following:

Since the last time we won in the playoffs:

  • It's been 20 years
  • Every team in the AFC West, including former member the Seahawks, have played in the Super Bowl
  • Only 2 of the 32 teams in the league have a longer playoff victory drought than us (Cincinatti, Detroit)
  • Manning is 9-11 in the playoffs in 16 of those years. In our history we are only 8-14. Yeah, in almost 40 more years we have 1 less playoff victory than Manning and only 2 more playoff games.
  • There are multiple classes of HS Seniors who have never had a Chiefs playoff victory in their lifetime.
  • In that time we have gone 0-6 in the playoffs. 13-3, 3 times, with home-field advantage and lost each time.
  • That 0-6 includes some hideous gut-wrenching losses (No punt game, kicker who shall not be named game, Grbac/Gannon controversy game)
  • We've had 7 head coaches in those 20 years. 7 in 20 years. We get a new coach almost every 3 years
  • In the 20 years since we won a playoff game we have had 12 QBs start games for us. 12 in 20. (Bono, Gannon, Grbac, Green, Huard, Croyle, Thigpen, Cassel, Palko, Orton, Smith, Quinn)
  • 7 of those went into the season as starters. 7 different starting QBs in 20 years. (Bono, Grbac, Green, Huard, Croyle, Cassel, Smith). (That's a new QB every 3 years.)

Since the last time we were in the Super Bowl

  • Every team but 6 has played in the game. 3 of those 6 were expansion teams: KC, Detroit, Jets, Houston Texans (not Oilers/Titans), Jacksonville, and Cleveland (new one).
  • 17 teams have played in the Super Bowl more than once. (More than half the league)
  • Most of us weren't alive the last time we played in a SB.

General:

  • In our 53 year history we have only had 1 QB start more than 5 years (Dawson)
  • 3 others lasted 5 years (Green, Kinney, Livingston).
  • We have not drafted a QB in the first round in 30 years (More than half our history)
  • We've only drafted 3 QBs in the first round (Livingston, Fuller, Blackledge)
  • Since Blackledge in 83, we have only drafted 10 QBs (Stanzi 11, Croyle 06, Killian 05, Barnes 97, Stenstrom 95, Matthews 94, Blundin 92, Elkins 89, McMannus 88, Hudson 87)
  • None of those were drafted in the 1st round, only 3 in either the 2nd or 3rd. Everyone else in lower rounds.
  • Since 1960 (53 years), the Chiefs have won the AFC West only 8 times.
  • Raiders have won it 16, Chargers 15, Denver 13 (including this year)
  • We have finished last in the AFC West 13 times.

I remember drafting Todd Blackledge. I watched the no punt game, the kicker who shall not be named game, the Grbac v. Gannon game. I've watched coaches and QBs come and go. I've watched us get the best GM prospect in football and then watch it turn into a train wreck. I've watched every rival we've had go to the Super Bowl since the last time we won a playoff game. I've watched us change QBs every 3 years but never draft one. I've watched this team make mistake after mistake and just don't understand why we can't have a franchise QB over a 40 year period. Why can't we have a "Chiefs Way" like other teams have the Patriots Way, 49ers Way or whatever. Why can't we have a team that has sustained excellence for a decade that I can be proud of? Instead we have had multiple coaches, way too many QBs, crushing playoff loss after crushing playoff loss (In the few times we've made the playoffs). Damn it, I've earned the right after watching all that to be a little pessimistic. I've earned the right to tell this team to live up to the state motto and "Show me" something. I will always root for this team but that doesn't mean I have to have blind faith in it. I will root for this team, buy their merchandise, go to games, but I don't have to be happy about every decision they make. I can be critical because I've earned that right as a lifelong fan.

So, why the hell are we all fans of this team? It's mostly been a mediocre to terrible organization throughout its history and my lifetime. Well, because it's my team. No matter what, I am always going to be a Chiefs fan. I will always root for them and hope they will win. I will always look forward to a season and be disappointed and angry when they don't live up to expectations. I will be excited when they play well but I will be upset when they play like garbage. This is the team I grew up watching. It is the team that I used to watch with my father before he passed away. I still remember him taking me to my first NFL game (Houston at KC, Warren Moon kicked our butt). It is the team that I talk with friends about. This team is the one I set time aside on Sundays away from work, friends, and family, so I can watch. This is the team that I check AP somewhere between 5-200 times a day (don't tell my boss). I believe it is that way for many of us. It's our team.

I am happy that our year is much better than most thought. I think our fans deserve way better than what they have received for years now but I'm still a fan! I can be happy for the overall success but also critical of moves and players, those things are not mutually exclusive. Many of us on here get upset about some things and we let it show, many others are optimists and always look on the bright side of life (Thank you Monty Python) but we are all still fans of the team. Smith lovers and Smith haters still care about the team even if they disagree about its QB. So, remember that when you are posting an angry response to someone who disagrees with you (yeah, I've been guilty of it too). That person you are about to blast for having a different opinion, he (or she) is a fan as well and maybe they've just had to experience way too much to be fully and blindly optimistic. Maybe they just view things differently than you. Maybe they just don't have all the facts. Maybe they let some things bother them more than they should but all of that is ok because they are still a fan. Just like you. (Unless it's a troll, ridicule those "people").

So, why are you still a fan?

(Also, sorry for the lack of photos and typos, did most of this on my break from work and didn't have time to add that or edit much. Also, apparently copy and paste from Word is weird on indenting and other stuff).

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

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