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Chiefs mailbag: It’s Raider week plus predicting the next four games

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It’s Raiders Week, the game is nearly upon us, and life is good (for now, we’ll see how the game goes). Let’s pass the time with a mailbag, shall we?

Without getting too much into the scores, I think the Chiefs go 3-1 over the next four weeks. I think they lose to Oakland at Oakland, but look a lot better than what we saw against Pittsburgh. They then have a three week stretch against the Saints, the Colts and the Jaguars. Call me crazy (wouldn’t be the first time), but I see them rolling off three straight in those games.

That will put them at a relatively respectable 5-3, but still in a tough spot given a loss to the Raiders (tiebreakers are probably going to matter this year. A lot). When you look at the remaining schedule, though, the Chiefs don’t have it too rough other than Atlanta and the divisional games.

I’ve ALMOST talked myself into the Chiefs taking Oakland down. I’m sure by the time I’m ready to watch the game I’ll believe they’ll win by 30. Fanhood is fun.

I’m very ready. I still can’t make up my mind who gets axed... uh... baseball batted. But I’m ready to know. It’ll be interesting to see the series shift back into a full-fledged “us vs. them” show, which hasn’t been the case since the Governor storyline. Hopefully it’s well executed. The actor who plays Rick is always at his best playing desperate OR ruthless. He’s been a really pleasant surprise after a really uneven first few seasons, going from a “this guy can’t act” performer to “hey, he’s kinda crushing it” character.

Bring it on, Negan.

San Diego’s win over Denver showed us a few things.

First, the Chiefs win over the Chargers wasn’t quite as garbage a win as we might have thought. Really, the Chargers have suffered from horrific luck this season, and they looked pretty competent against the Broncos (other than some of their usual “hey, let’s try and give this game away” antics). Rivers is an absolute monster of a quarterback, and the Chiefs should be proud they were able to shut him down during the comeback.

Second, as people have long suspected, Denver isn’t as unbeatable as many thought early in the year. Their defense isn’t as dominant as last season (though still very good), and their offense clearly has some stuff to figure out.

Much like last season, the division is up for grabs. Hopefully this year the Chiefs are able to take advantage. And, of course, that starts with Oakland.

Easily Bill Romanowski. I know he was only on the Raiders for a short period of time, but I hate that guy (as a player. Maybe as a person he’s really nice, who knows?). In my opinion, players like him are a disgrace to what sports are supposed to be about (competition, bringing out the best in yourself and others, discipline, and sportsmanship. You know, things Superman likes).

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a player more clearly out to hurt the opposition than Romanowski. I look forward to seeing some other names offered in the comments, but I can’t think of a Raider I hated more during his time with the team.

I think with Hill it’s just a matter of time. He’s running some downfield routes now, and the team clearly wants to get him involved. Alex Smith is going to have to demonstrate a more accurate deep ball before Hill is going to be a big threat on the sidelines, though. His speed is as advertised, and you can tell they’re going to figure out a way to take advantage of that.

One problem for Hill, though, is that Chris Conley has emerged as a solid number two wide receiver on the outside, and Jeremy Maclin is ... you know, Jeremy Maclin. There aren’t a ton of opportunities on the outside for a guy like Hill at this point. One thing I’d be interested in seeing is more of Maclin in the slot, where he can really put defenders in a bad position by taking away the sideline as a defender. That would be one way to get Hill on the sideline more often.

As far as DAT goes ... I really have no clue what’s going on. I agree that a roster spot is going to waste, and I think DAT is a player who would catch on somewhere else if released. It’s hard not to say it feels personal at this point, like he’s being punished for something. The only other explanation I can think of is he’s Hill insurance. But still, taking up a roster spot for insurance seems like overkill.

I hope they figure something out with DAT. He does have a skillset that can help, here or elsewhere, and I think he should get a shot to play a little SOMEWHERE.

That’s some downright existential stuff, right there.

Look, we’re not going to be able to solve this here. In part because we cannot determine what moral obligations we have to artificial intelligence (or whether these AI beings are “real people”) without answering the following questions:

  1. What divides a “person” from all other forms of biological life, if anything?
  2. What divides biological machination from artificial machination?
  3. What is it that defines our “personhood?”
  4. From where do we derive value of a “person?”

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg really. But such things are worthy of our attention. However, the answers to where the value of a “person” comes from is inevitably going to colored by our preconceived notions of the rest of the universe.

For me, personally, I don’t believe we have a moral obligation to AI the way we do with people. When a computer “feels” sad, it’s no different than when the computer opens Google Chrome when you click on it. That is, it’s obeying code (or whatever it is that’s the correct term) that tells it it’s obligated to react this way. There’s no choice involved, no actual feeling.

Granted, the counterargument to this (if you’re going with a Hawking view of humanity, at least), is that we’re no different in that we simply respond to our DNA and hormones the same way a computer responds to electronic commands. It’s a compelling argument in theory. However, given our inability to determine the “why” of the human brain to the most finite detail (or even close) the way we can with a computer, I remain unconvinced.

And so, I believe (in part based on faith rather than sheer logic, which sadly finds itself incapable of unraveling all the mysteries of the universe at this point) that a person holds intrinsic value in a way that AI never can, nor an animal. Where does that intrinsic value come from? Well, I think we all need to ask ourselves that question seriously at some point in our lives. By doing so, we will inevitably (hopefully) make ourselves better people (I personally believe our intrinsic value is a gift, and will leave it at that).

So what is our moral obligation to AI? I don’t see any, really. But I do think the way in which we treat the things we create and/or control paints a very accurate picture of who we are. That’s worth thinking about.

(looks around)

What happened? I blacked out for a second there. Oh, hey, football!

That’s an extremely difficult question. Rather than putting too much thought into it I’m going to go right off the top of my head.

Excluding current players, my all time guy (again, without any thought other than my very first “this is who I think of”) would have to be Marcus Allen. He was part of the Chiefs when I became a fan (back in the Montana years as a kid), and there was something about the way he ran the ball that made me feel like he just couldn’t be denied, even though he didn’t LOOK like a running back.

I’m already re-thinking that decision (Willie Roaf, Priest Holmes, Tony Richardson, Derrick Thomas, Will Shields, Tony Gonzalez, Joe Montana and a million other names are screaming through my head right now), so let’s talk about a current Chief.

Again, without overthinking it, my current Chief is Jamaal Charles. I’ve written extensively about his abilities and how beautiful he makes the game, so I won’t spend much time on that here. All I’ll say is that Charles is one of the most gifted football players I have ever seen play, and it’s been an utter privilege to watch him. In my opinion the only reason he may not be remembered as an all time great will be longevity. In terms of production and changing games, he’s one of the best to ever play.

One Super Bowl win at this point. Just because that season would be a wild ride, and I love the game itself enough to suffer through the other nine years.

Not really. Before the season started I thought I wouldn’t be surprised if they went to the Super Bowl OR missed the playoffs. This team is just that difficult to figure out at the moment. The talent is there, but the performance is lacking.

I still, despite everything, wouldn’t be that surprised if the Chiefs made it all the way this year. I’m not kidding. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they continued to underachieve and missed out on the dance.

So far, it’s been a weird season, and the offense needs to get itself together. But it’s early. It’s still early. Plenty of time to fight left.

Oh man, this is embarrassing.

OK, a little background. I dated a series of increasingly unstable women from the ages of 19-22, all while partying WAY too much and generally living like a miscreant.

When I had just turned 22, I had started to get my act together a bit. My dad asked me if I wanted to meet a young lady (I swear those were his words) who went to their church.

Yep, my first date with Mrs. MNchiefsfan was a blind date set up by my parents. Oh, and they came along. Oh, and we all rode together.

I’m gonna go ahead and give ya’ll a second to stop laughing hysterically at me.

(waits)

You good? Got it out of your system? Anyway, we managed to make it past the awkwardness of that first date and, turned out, there was something there (on my end, at least. I still have no idea what she was thinking). It wasn’t too long after that we were together, and less than 4 months later we were engaged (I wasn’t letting her get away once I had her. I’m dumb, but I’m not stupid).

Now we’re coming up on our nine year anniversary and, man, life is good. Funny how things work out, eh?

Go Chiefs, here’s hoping they stomp da Raidas.