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The State of the Kansas City Chiefs Fanbase

Please welcome Jon Yoon to the Arrowhead Pride front page. Jon is a long-time Chiefs blogger and you can see his most recent work over at Home of the Chiefs. He has been one of my favorite Chiefs writers for awhile now so I'm very jazzed he's coming on board. -Chris

First, I wanted to thank Chris and Joel for welcoming me to Arrowhead Pride. I've always thought that AP has the most exceptional Chiefs content on the web and one of the best contributing communities on the net.

I hate writing introductory pieces. I'm just not good at it. So I thought to myself: "how can I say hello to the Arrowhead Pride community without blabbering on too much about myself." This is what I came up with.

I thought I'd start the column off with a more informal piece about the state of the Chiefs' fanbase today and then speak to what I hope to get out of my contribution to Arrowhead Pride.

Talk to enough Chiefs' fans and you quickly find out that many of them are angry, and rightfully so. Chiefs' fans are hungry for a Super Bowl and the organization has failed to put anything on their plate. It doesn't matter who's to blame. The more important discussion centers around how the Chiefs can finally get their act together.

People often search for two things in dark times: scapegoats who can take all the blame and heroes who will pull them out of the darkness. Well, we have plenty of scapegoats in Kansas City: Carl Peterson, Herm Edwards, and everyone in between. Fans hope that purging the Chiefs of everything and everyone associated with this cast is the solution for solving this team's woes. On the other hand, a few heroes have emerged: Scott Pioli and Todd Haley. Pioli has the bulletproof resume, while Haley has the impressive recent results. Everything they do is refreshing, simply because it's something Peterson or Haley wouldn't have done. The truth is, we did some decent things over the last few years and there are plenty of young players on this roster who are salvageable. We also did some things over the past offseason that I don't agree with. I refuse to believe that the previous leadership was completely incompetent, just as I refuse to believe that the new leadership can do no wrong.

What happens is that it becomes easy to demonize any player or coach associated with Peterson or Edwards. Kansas City fans have a weird knack for finding players and coaches who can do no right. On the flip side, it becomes easy to not question Pioli or Haley for decisions that we think are a little questionable. We have to be careful as fans not to fall too deeply into this trap. Otherwise, we become too obsessed with wanting to see certain players fail and we set unreasonable expectations for the new leadership, which can only lead to disappointment. Either that, or we get lulled into a state of homerism, where we accept everything as "okay." Carl Peterson's Super Bowl drought was okay for 5 years. 10 years. That was fine. Things would change. Things were okay. 15 years later and it was suddenly not "okay."

I sense that Chiefs' fans have learned the hard way that winning a few games is unacceptable if it doesn't bring you to the Super Bowl. And I hope that means that fans will scream loudly when they disapprove of the front office. The Chiefs have the most accepting, loyal fan base in the NFL and that is both a blessing and a curse. But the key is balance homerism with criticism, and that can only come by being objective and understanding what we as fans are complaining about. Not being swayed by coachspeak, but also not being swayed by majority opinion. And oh, by the way, not booing Matt Cassel in his second game as a pro and not throwing a hissy fit if the Chiefs only win four or five games this season. The only way we can get through these "dark times" is to have reasonable expectations.

I don't have all the answers. I'm not always right. And I encourage all of you to call me out on those many moments where I'm wrong. What I hope my columns will do is to promote healthy, objective discussion. As Chris and Joel know, I am not afraid to be loud about an opinion, but I love and respect disagreement.

I love the Chiefs with a passion and I want them to win a Super Bowl, but I don't always agree with their approach to getting there. We'll start from there. That seems like a good place to begin.