I’m not going to bury the lede here (lead? Leed? I refuse to look it up). After seven (SEVEN) years of contributing to Arrowhead Pride and approximately 2-3 years of being a gif machine on Twitter, I have done it.
I have created the Greatest Chiefs GIF.
Get out of here with your Todd Haley jumping up and down. Don’t even try Jamaal vs. the Raiders. Not interested in your Flowers flexing on Oakland fans. Even my own previous favorite (Chris Jones owning an offensive lineman twice in one play) can’t compete.
Ladies and gentleman, I present to you a study in human response to joy and despair turning into despair and joy... The Doink, wide lens:
I did it: the greatest gif of the doink game-winner vs. DEN. Colquitt and 51 on the Broncos PERFECTLY capture fan reactions on both sides. pic.twitter.com/ddhQCmQyO1— Seth Keysor (@RealMNchiefsfan) May 19, 2017
I don’t think I need to explain to you why this is the greatest Chiefs gif ever, but I will anyway because that’s just who I am as a person (overly talkative and desperate to explain things, if we’re being honest). What makes this gif great is threefold:
- We get a chance to see SO MANY different players react to the apparent-miss-turned-make, thus having the opportunity (as mentioned above) to study human behavior with multiple subjects. And who doesn’t like that? It’s like we’re mad scientists, guys.
- No matter how many times you watch it, every time you’ll notice something new. I swear it’s true. I’m on view 271 and I JUST noticed Derek Wolfe’s “I’m gonna start to raise my hands twice thinking it went in only to have it dawn on me that it didn’t, then I’m going to shrug in disgust and turn away” reaction. It’s magnificent.
- If you watched this game as a Chiefs fan OR as a Broncos fan, your exact reaction is in here somewhere. Look long enough and you’ll find it.
So even though we can never make it through all the great things about this gif, let’s talk about a few of them.
Dustin’s reaction is everything. He watches the kick, then bows his head in utter disbelief that the Chiefs weren’t going to win. Absolutely crushed. Then somehow, WITHOUT EVER LOOKING UP, he realizes he was wrong and the kick went in and bounds to his feet looking for his kicker. I’ve never seen complete despair turn into complete joy that quickly. At least until I looked at...
Anthony is in the upper left corner of the gif, even wandering out of the shot for a second. But that actually makes it perfect. Because it’s like seeing two different people (or at least Sherman on two different days). As he leaves the shot his hands are on his head as he tries to process what just happened, completely shocked and dismayed. The next time we see him he’s absolutely about to cause physical harm to his kicker while celebrating.
Another cool thing about Sherman’s reaction... he doesn’t just go from despair to joy. He starts off thinking it’s going in for a split second, then changes his mind and puts his hands on his head, then realizes it went in. That man was in a glass cage of emotion.
Number 51 on the Broncos
His name is Todd Davis, but that doesn’t even matter a bit. What’s important is that I picture every Bronco fan I’ve ever interacted with reacting the exact same way this guy does.
It’s delicious. He raises his hands to celebrate, and begins to cockily signal “no good” for a full second because HIS VIEW OF THE REFS IS OBSTRUCTED BY MULTIPLE OTHER PLAYERS. You can see the exact moment he catches a glimpse of the ref and his heart is ripped out of his chest. He pauses for a moment, and you can just hear his thought process.
“Wait, he’s... no, he can’t be... wait WAT.”
I take it back. Colquitt’s reaction isn’t everything. This guy’s reaction is everything.
Number 31 on the Broncos
This is another special-teamer, he’s named Andy Janovich. He is, by far, the most excited Bronco in this picture, jumping up and down and turning his back on the officials who are literally gesturing that his team lost the game WHILE he celebrates.
This is made doubly sweet by two things. First, the fact that he was thumping his chest as though he’d had anything to do with the tie (if it had ended in a tie). I love that so much. He did nothing to contribute to that game. Nothing. Yet he’s slamming his chest like a rock star. This guy is flying too close to the sun, my friends.
The second thing I love is that you can see him JUST starting to get it as the camera zooms away from him. I mean he is on the precipice of knowledge, having looked at the refs then at his teammates. You can see his movements starting to slow. Some might want to see how he reacts next, but we already have that in his buddy ol’ 51. By not seeing what he does next it’s left to my imagination. I’d like to think that he dropped to his knees, tore off his helmet, and screamed at the sky while ripping out chunks of his own hair.
I’m 99% sure that’s Talib lying in front of Colquitt after a failed attempt to block the kick. What makes him so much fun to watch is that after getting on his hands and knees the man doesn’t move a muscle for five full seconds. He is straight up paralyzed with failure.
I don’t know what he’s thinking there. Maybe he’s thinking about how ill it bodes for his team that they gave KC their best shot at home and lost. Maybe he’s thinking about how it would feel to become the little brother in the Chiefs/Broncos rivalry. Maybe he’s thinking about screaming at a teammate, or gun safety.
Or maybe he’s remembering what Tyreek Hill did to him to pick up a critical 1st down not too long before.
Hill presents an impossible dilemma if you don't have enough safety help. Gotta give cushion and turn hips, but he can stop/turn with ease. pic.twitter.com/GPXicW5ymS— Seth Keysor (@RealMNchiefsfan) May 19, 2017
Either way, the fact that one of the biggest trash-talkers on the Broncos was so shocked and dismayed he couldn’t even move is just... well, I don’t want to say I’m taking joy in his pain, but dangit I really am.
Just a couple more, then I’ll turn it over to you
Eric Fisher and LDT
Eric Fisher was convinced the Chiefs lost the game, and he was just sick about it. He was so sick about it he walked right by a teammate with his hands in the air like he wasn’t even there.
Much like with the Broncos players, you can see the precise moment Fisher realizes something is up. He’s looking at his teammates, and seeing some weird reactions to a loss, turns around. We never see it sink in for him, so once again we’re left with our imaginations. I’m pretending that he ripped his shirt off, then grabbed the Bronco right next to him and rock bottomed him right into the grass at Mile High Stadium.
And LDT... man, that dude never stopped believing. Good for you, LDT. He played a solid game going up against Derek Wolfe (a monster) a great deal, and he never doubted ol’ Cairo for a second.
I’ve talked about this before, but I’ve always felt bad for kickers in these situations. Here are your options:
- You miss the deciding field goal and you are stuck in a locker room for 40-plus incredibly large human beings who are angry, loaded up on adrenaline, and trained in how to violently lay hands on each other. There are no witnesses until the reporters get in there, because everyone is mad, even the trainers and coaches. You are a man on an ISLAND.
- You make the deciding field goal... and immediately get swarmed by several thousand pounds of dude jumping on you, grabbing you, hugging you, smacking your back and helmet, and basically doing things that would be considered borderline felony assault if they did it to someone on the street.
Remember, Santos is 5’8” and 160 pounds. He’s a fairly short, light guy by REGULAR standards. In this situation? It’s like throwing a 4th grader into a mosh put with grown men. I’m just glad he made it out alive.
Anyway, you can see all of this in his reaction as he prays it goes in and then gets mobbed once it does.
“Oh man, please go in... please go in... please go in... my arm’s still up but dangit it’s not gonna... please... YEEEAAAHHHH OH NO GUYS HANG ON LET’S TALK ABOUT THIS” (gets grabbed by Harris as Winchester is coming off the top rope and Sherman closes in to just destroy his existence).
Seriously, there’s just too much joy here in the greatest Chiefs GIF. What’d I miss?