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Ramblings of an Idiot: Length Matters

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*excerpts paraphrased from Wikipedia

In their 1962 season, the (Chiefs) Dallas Texans strolled to an 11–3 record and a berth in the team's first American Football League championship game against the Houston Oilers. The game was broadcast nationally and the Texans defeated the Oilers 20–17 in double overtime. The game lasted 77 minutes and 54 seconds, which still stands as the longest championship game in professional football history.

In the 1971 season the Chiefs tied with the Miami Dolphins for the best record in the AFC, and both teams met in a Christmas day playoff game which the Chiefs lost 27–24 in double overtime. The Dolphins outlasted the Chiefs with a 37-yard field goal. The game surpassed the 1962 AFL Championship Game as the longest ever at 82 minutes and 40 seconds. The game was also the final football game at Kansas City's Municipal Stadium.

So there it is folks. The Kansas City Chiefs hold the record for not only the longest game in NFL history, but also the longest championship game in professional football history. Historic records for sure, but not all records concerning length are as favorable.

The Kansas City Chiefs currently own the third longest active streak without a playoff win. That streak is eighteen years years long. The last playoff win for the Chiefs happened on January 14, 1994 (the 1993 NFL season) against a team that no longer exists, the Oilers.

Only two other teams surpass the Chiefs in playoff futility, the Bengals (twenty-one years) and the Lions (twenty years). Both Cincinnati and Detroit made the playoffs in the 2011 season. Both the Bengals and the Lions seem to be on an upswing behind quarterbacks Andy Dalton and Matt Stafford while the Chiefs futz around behind Matt Cassel and/or Kyle Orton. The Bengals and Lions made early playoff exits this season, losing in their respective first games. However, the tag teams of Andy Dalton to A.J. Green and Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson don't appear to be cooling off any time soon. There is an all too real possibility that the Chiefs could hold sole possession of this 'to be avoided record by the end of the 2012 NFL season.

"But..but.... you're just filled with hate because you want a new quarterback", you say.......

Maybe. We've already established that I'm filled with hate and that I store it in my feet, but my hate doesn't affect the Chiefs play on the field. Or should I say lack of play? According to the Chiefs 2011 team rankings force me to read almost the entire length of each list in order to find the teams name:

Total Offense: Twenty-seventh, Passing Offense: twenty-fifth, Scoring: thirty-first (behind such offensive powerhouses as the Manning-less Colts, Jaguars, and Browns), Touchdowns: thirty-first, (and in what should not be a surprise because we didn't score enough times to kick off very much) Kicking: thirty-first.

In rushing the football the Chiefs managed to remain in the middle of the pack, even with the best running back in the NFL on the sidelines for the vast majority of the season. Kansas City finished 2011 ranked fifteenth in total rushing offense. And in related news sure to draw ire and lengthy stat filled responses from uptamtn, the 2011 Kansas City Chiefs offensive line was ranked fourteenth; Further supporting my opinion that the Chiefs offensive line is not nearly as bad as some fans make it sound.

The Chiefs offensive line collectively ranked ahead of the playoff Lions, Packers, Broncos, and 49ers, as well as the Jets, Cowboys, and Steelers; just to name a few. It's the quarterbacks making the line look bad, not the other way around. Take a bow Tyler Palko and Matt Cassel, you're finally getting the line the recognition it deserves by displaying complete ineptitude, and being benched with an injury. (Shout out to Orton, who gets rid of the ball in an actual normal NFL quarterback amount of time. Too bad he can't score touchdowns either)

The Chiefs did manage to crack the top ten in two categories. They finished the season ranked twenty-sixth in rushing defense. Not surprisingly, when you can run versus a team (to the tune of over 130 yards per game) you don't have to rely on the pass to win. That's a good thing for every team not named the Chiefs, because facing the sixth ranked pass defense would be a real bitch if you couldn't just fall back on running the ball through a weak middle of the defensive line. Emmit Thomas and Romeo Crennel deserve a lot of credit for what they have done with the secondary. Of course, the front seven (especially the nose tackle and inside linebackers) can't be overlooked when handing out credit for a great pass defense. It takes all the pressure off the secondary when you just let your opponents run for a first down whenever they need one instead of being forced to throw.

The second category in which the Chiefs broke into the top ten should be no surprise to anyone that's been paying attention thus far to the scoring and touchdown rankings. As opposed to kicking, which happens most often after the team scores (for the Chiefs it happened mostly at the beginning of the game and second half), punting most often occurs when your team fails to end a drive with a score. Kansas City did a whole hell of a lot of punting in 2011. Thus, they rank seventh in the league in that particular statistic. Feel free to credit the coverage units and Mr. Dustin Colquitt for their incredible skills on punting plays if you like. I won't argue for even a second. I do, however, reserve the right to point out that practice makes perfect, and the Chiefs punting unit didn't have any shortage of snaps in which to practice.

Enough about the length of the Chiefs placement on lists. Let's get back to actual length of time since something good has happened. The last time the Chiefs appeared in a conference championship game was eighteen years ago. To put that in perspective the Houston Texans (as opposed to the Dallas Texans, now Chiefs) have never been to a conference championship game. And yet, it's only been a ten year drought for Houston as opposed to Kansas City's eighteen years. (The Texans have only been in existence for ten years). There are 5 teams that have a longer conference championship appearance drought than the Chiefs. That would of course include the Bengals and Lions, as well as the Browns, Redskins, and Dolphins.

If you include only the years from 1966 to present, in which there was a Super Bowl not league championships, the Kansas City Chiefs have the second longest active streak since their last Super Bowl appearance. Obviously this stat won't include teams that have never been to a Super Bowl. It has been an astounding forty-two years since the Chiefs have competed in a Super Bowl. The only team with a longer streak is the Super Bowl III winning Jets at forty-three years.

We move on to the goal of every NFL team, winning the big game. Again, including only the years from 1966 to present, the Chiefs have the 4th longest active drought since winning a Super Bowl. The Falcons (forty-five years) and Bengals (forty-three years) have never won the big game. The Jets (forty-three years ago) won it the year before the Chiefs who haven't won a Super Bowl in forty-two years.

Our Kansas City Chiefs seem to have an affinity for length. They set records for the length of games, and are on the verge of setting records for the length of time that a professional football team can remain completely inept without being booed out of town, or disbanded.

In the Chiefs history they have had 3 quarterbacks that were first round draft selections. Len Dawson was selected by the Steelers in the first round and won a Super Bowl with the Chiefs oh so many years ago. Steve Fuller was drafted by the Chiefs, and earned a Super Bowl ring (along with a gold record and platinum video for the Super Bowl Shuffle) with '85 Bears, and finally (the one that no Chiefs fan or front office member seems to be able to let go) Todd Blackledge.

That's three first round quarterbacks with two Super Bowl rings and one complete bust. Warren Moon went undrafted, Joe Montana was a third round selection at the end of an incredible career. Rich Gannon was a fourth rounder, and Trent Green was an eighth round pick that the team traded a first round pick to acquire. It's been twenty-nine years since the Chiefs drafted a first round quarterback. It's been eighteen years since the Chiefs won a playoff game. It's been forty-two years since Kansas City has appeared in, or won a Super Bowl.

I was born in 1974. That will make me thirty-eight years old in September of 2012, and I've been a die hard Chiefs fan since I got my first jersey at three years old. I have never seen my team in a Super Bowl, and have only low resolution videos of the game to re-live post-live. Thirty-five years of suffering. I can barely remember a playoff game win by my Chiefs. I will never forget the first round bust of a quarterback that proved he couldn't read an NFL defense. And yet, I'm ready to move on from Blackledge. I'm willing to try again. I'd like the chance to put painful memories aside, replaced by new ones of possible greatness. I'm sick and tired of hearing how long it's been since.......

I, for one, am ready to build a Chiefs future that doesn't require me to post-live an era in which I hadn't even been born yet to justify my blind love for the Chiefs. Length matters, it's time to end the streak. Twenty-nine years is long enough. Do whatever it takes Mr. Pioli. Go out and get us Andrew Luck, or Robert Griffin III. The way I live my life, it's more than half over. I'd like to RE-live a Chiefs Super Bowl before I die, instead of just post-living one.

It's Game Time.

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