I am not an attractive man.
I know that is not likely the first sentence you expected to read in a article that is ostensibly about football, but hear me out. Maybe 10 years ago I was an OK-looking dude. But at this point, the extra years and pounds have me solidly in the “that dude is not good looking” zone.
It’s fine. It really doesn’t bother me. I’m married to an 11 who for whatever reason still likes me, so I don’t have to care what I look like. The only reason I bring it up is I feel the need to stick up for ugly people everywhere.
As I drove home from Arrowhead Stadium Sunday, my son and I had the rare privilege of listening to both 610 and 810 post-game shows (when Mrs. MNchiefsfan and I make the trip, the radio is not dialed into sports talk. It’s a compromise: she agrees to travel 500 miles and spend lots of money and not leave me, I agree to let her run the radio. Seems fair). And I have to say, as a not-attractive person I started to get offended pretty quickly.
“That was such an ugly win.”
“The Chiefs can’t play ugly like that and expect to go anywhere.”
“Ugly football doesn’t win playoff games.”
“They need to clean up the ugly play.”
“All this talk about ugly reminds me of MNchiefsfan.”
Most of those statements were made by hosts of the shows I listened to following the game. And frankly, it grinds my gears. So I’m here to offer a defense to ugly wins (and ipso facto, ugly people) everywhere.
First, let’s keep in mind that, much like an ugly person is still a person, an ugly win is still a win. You do not get “style” points in the standings at the end of the year. When it’s time to determine who wins the division and gets some kind of home field advantage in the playoffs, no one is going to be all, “All right Frank, before we talk about the team records we gotta add in those style wins.” I wouldn’t put it past Goodell and the owners to attempt something like that, but for right now a win is a win is a win.
And let’s keep in mind, beating ANY team in the NFL doesn’t come easy (except for the Browns. Unless it DOESN’T come easy against the Browns like that time the Chiefs almost lost to Johnny Manziel. Yikes, let’s move on). This is the wonkiest football season in forever, and the difference separating the “good” teams from the “bad” teams is even more razor-thin than normal. Remember that Steelers team that beat the Chiefs by 400 points? They just lost to the Ravens. Those same Ravens lost to both the Raiders and the Jets. BOTH of those teams got spanked by the Chiefs... who, you know lost by 400 points to the Steelers, who lost to the Ravens... and on and on we go.
(Side note: I think this is a good place to mention that ESPN’s new darling Raiders lost by multiple scores at home and could only muster up 10 points against a Chiefs defense that was battling injuries. That has nothing to do with this article, but it’s important)
Anyways, winning is winning. It is not losing. So there, ug-ists (that’s not someone who is racist against uggs, it is someone who is racist against ugly things. I fully support racism against uggs).
The second thing to consider when talking about an ugly win so meanly is the WHY behind an ugly win. The Chiefs were missing as follows on offense:
- Their starting quarterback (turns out the offense doesn’t dominate without Smith. Huh. Interesting. I may write about that this week).
- Their starting running back. Then their No. 2 running back. Both of whom are forces of nature that account for a third of the offense when they’re healthy.
- Their best wide receiver (thanks for giving it a go, Jeremy Maclin. The fact that you cared enough to try with a sore groin is a testament to the importance of ugly things everywhere)
- Their starting left guard (if you had told me during preseason that Parker Ehinger would get hurt and it would adversely affect the Chiefs I would have snorted milk out my nose if I was drinking milk when you said it, and maybe even if I wasn’t).
- Their best tight end’s brain (I love Travis Kelce, but holy smokes man).
So jokes aside, the Chiefs did not have their quarterback, starting RB, and best WR. That is hardly a recipe for pretty in the NFL.
Does the offense need to improve? Oh boy, you bet. The defense shouldn’t have to carry the team so completely, even if it leads to awesome moments like this.
Most important defensive play of the day IMO. 3rd and 1, Poe changes the whole 4th down scenario by blowing up the run with a TFL. pic.twitter.com/UYAqjelCGl— Seth Keysor (@RealMNchiefsfan) November 7, 2016
While Dee Ford’s apparent newfound dominance (another thing I’ll be writing about this week, I promise) and the leather magnets the Chiefs defense seems to possess when it comes to taking away the ball would indicate otherwise, a team can’t win without balance. The offense must be better, and you certainly don’t want every week to be an ugly win.
But you know what? Eking out an ugly win shows character (along with struggles, but we’re ignoring that for a second, ok?). It shows grit. The Chiefs kept slogging through the mud and tripping over themselves and getting back up and fighting their way forward, and it led to a win. You WANT your team to have a few slugfests during the year. Character, and all that.
So let’s all just leave that nice, perfectly attractive-enough win against a flawed Jaguars team alone. You’re not perfect either, I’ll bet.
And hey, what do you call a Chiefs team that suffers through 11 more ugly wins? Super Bowl champions, that’s what (OK, that may be over-simplifying it a little. But like I said, I bet you’re not perfect either).