I am now over my rant of last night about the Kansas City Chiefs’ loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs. Sort of.
My football begins and ends with my team. I don’t have other “favorites,” I don’t play fantasy football, and I’ll probably watch the Super Bowl only if I happen to be in front of the TV and I happen to switch to that station. Football is over for me, and it will begin again in late summer. My sports fan life is now dormant until the Kansas City Royals play their opener. Basketball bores me.
So what happened to the Chiefs? It’s easy to blame the officiating (and I do). It’s easy to blame the underhanded playing by the Steelers which the officials apparently chose not to see (and I do). It’s easy to blame first-round draft pick Eric Fisher for his idiotic holding penalty that cost us our two-point conversion (and I do and they ought to trade him away). I have a half-dozen other things to blame. But this begs the question: Why did I go into this game with them, knowing they were good enough to win?
Because they are good and they should have won.
Here are some football clichés, but maybe the reason they are cliché is because they are so true that we repeat them all the time: Linemen know that they have to break the rules and hold sometimes. The trick is knowing when to do it. Or better said, knowing when it’s important to make no mistakes. Fisher needs to go. He was a great idea who didn’t pan out and serves only as a danger to our quarterback. Trade him, if somebody else will have him. If not, let him be that guy who squirts water bottles on the sideline. Here’s another one: You have to stop the opponent’s running game. You simply have to. Here’s a third one: When you’re paid lots of money to catch passes and you’re in the playoffs, you catch them. Don’t tell me the other guys aren’t playing fair. Don’t tell me it’s cold. Catch the damn ball. Here’s a fourth one: Don’t let your temper override your talent. Travis Kelce, that’s exactly what you did. And I have to admit, even though it’s setting a poor example, I enjoying watching you plant that guy on his backside. I enjoyed every replay of it, because they were all over you all night. But that’s sort of my point; I’m the guy who gets to secretly enjoy it. Not you. They are actually paying you to not do that, and they’re not paying me anything. (But I really did enjoy it).
So, even though all those things went so badly awry, we are still a better team than the Pittsburgh Steelers, and we very definitely could have beaten them soundly. And instead, we beat ourselves. Here’s a final cliché: Any given Sunday, any team can beat any other team. Or on any Sunday, any team can beat itself.
Now I think my rant is over, unless I think of something else.