Greetings fellow AP users. I’ve been a long time reader here at AP, but only recently did I start contributing with my own comments. A little background about myself, I was born in the late 80’s and chose to be a Chiefs fan after playing Tecmo Super Bowl as a kid and falling in love with the unstoppable one-two punch of Barry Word and Christian Okoye. I didn’t become fully aware of the Chiefs as an actual (non-video game) team until after our most recent playoff win. All I have known since I became a fan of our beloved Chiefs has been heartbreak, but something about this weekend’s loss feels different.
The first playoff game that I can vividly remember was 2003 against Pey-Pey and the Colts. I remember feeling hurt when we lost after the infamous no punt game, but not feeling overly surprised due to the fact that we all knew the Colts offense was high powered, and our Chiefs defense was non-existent. I was out of the country in 2006 and was actually unable to watch our games that whole season, but I read every post game report online and remember feeling as though we were definitely the underdogs in that game, so no big surprise how that one turned out. In 2010, the optimistic side of me wanted to think that we were as good as our record indicated, but the realist side of me knew that my beloved Chiefs really didn’t stand much of a chance.
Then, there was this year. By no means did I go into the game absolutely certain that we were going to win. On the contrary, I went into this game with just as low (if not lower) expectations than I had had in any of the prior three playoffs games that I remembered. I recall (half) jokingly stating before the game that I wasn’t nervous at all, although I wasn’t sure if it was due to confidence that we would win, or due to the fact that I had relegated myself to some permanent void between despair and hopelessness. Fast forward to today, 36 hours after the game has ended, and this one still hurts. Why?
I tried explaining it this morning to Mrs. Underdawg and this was the best analogy that I could come up with. As Chiefs fans, we are all the nerdy kid in high school that gets good grades, but dreams of something more. That playoffs win is the captain of the cheer leading squad that we (along with every other team guy) have had a crush on since we hit puberty. Finally, we decide that we are willing to put ourselves out there and ask her out, fully prepared to accept the ‘no’ that we will inevitably receive due to our social standing as a nerd. However, to our great surprise, not only does she say ‘yes’, but she actually seems legitimately excited about it! Dreams really do come true after all! For days, you can think of nothing else than your upcoming date with the girl of your dreams and you think of all the glorious ways in which this will change your life for the better.
But (and there is always a but), unbeknownst to us, she never had any real intention of going out with us. She just saw it as a cruel opportunity to remind us of our ‘place’. On our date, she acts like she is having a great time, acts like she really likes you, and right when you’ve closed your eyes to go for the kiss that will seal the deal, she drops your shorts in front of the entire student body that has been hidden and watching the whole thing. I could have handled being rejected from the beginning…but how do you handle being humiliated in front of the whole school after getting your hopes so high? Not only does she (very suddenly it seems) not like me, but now the whole league school knows what a pathetic loser I am…
Other AP users have recently referred to our fandom of the Chiefs as being a drug. The Chiefs are one addiction that I just can’t get away from no matter how bad they are for me. At this point, I almost wish that someone would stage an intervention to come drag me away from it all so that I would never have to feel this way again. This morning, I lay in bed wondering if this hurt will ever go away. What if we make the playoffs next year and manage to take a 28 point (or similar) lead? Will I ever be able to trust this team again? How much heartbreak can one fan base take?
I’ve tried to move on, to think about the good personnel moves that were made over the last year and what a bright future this team has. To think about the upcoming offseason, the draft, free agency. To think about the great strides that our team made this year compared to last year. I have tried to be an optimist, I really have, but I just can’t get away from the heartbreak. However, as I lay in bed this morning, I found a little comfort/hope in the words of Frank Turner's 'Recovery'. I’m not techno savvy enough to know how to do anything but post a link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1L5zJ2afLs), but as I lay there this morning, I thought some of the words to myself including, "It’s a long road up to recovery from here, a long way back to the light. A long road up to recovery from here, a long way to making it right." Here is to hoping that today is just the first step of our ‘long road up to recovery’, and maybe, just maybe, next year will be the year…Go Chiefs!!!