I haven’t listened to sports radio, ESPN or seen/heard any recap of the Chiefs game from anyone else aside from the friends who were at the same watch party but I’m pretty sure I can tell you what’s being said. The Chiefs still don’t seem to have the level of respect that other, less talented (and fewer-win) teams do for some reason. I’ve heard the commentary all year long to date and I can almost parrot back every comment made about backup quarterbacks, weak teams and no injuries.
So let me attempt to play Carnak the Magnificent and tell you what 73% of the sports commentators across the United States are probably saying something along these lines this afternoon:
First there will be commentary about how the weather was a force in the game. The tone will be generally one of “if it weren’t snowing, sleeting and cold then the Redskins would have been in the game”. Absolutely the weather was a factor in the game, but a) both teams had to deal with it (I don’t recall it being snowy, sleety and cold when the Redskins were on offense and it was sunny and 75 when the red and gold took over the ball), and b) good teams take whatever weather is thrown at them and adjust accordingly. Good teams like, say, the Chiefs.
Then there will be the excuse about how Shanahan is on his way out and has nothing to play for. Fair enough – he probably should have been fired two weeks ago – but I’m still pretty certain the Redskins are an NFL-caliber football team with NFL-caliber talent (the Houston Texans…maybe not so much). They had contracts to play for, if not pride. They’d heard the hype about the Chiefs and tell me Brian Orakpo wouldn’t love to be part of an upset win like this. Good teams beat bad teams – that’s what they’re supposed to do. Good teams like, say, the Chiefs beating bad teams like, say, the Redskins.
Finally there will be discussion about how it was only poor special teams play that gave them the game. If McCluster hadn’t gotten three million return yards against the Redskins, after all, then Alex Smith would have had to actually play quarterback and it would have been a different game. That’s probably fair – the Chiefs might have won 45-0 in that case because the defense could actually have gotten a rest and finished the shutout (you know Eric Berry was bitching at Dexter McCluster on the sidelines – “dude, next time can you just fall down at the 5 or something so we can catch a breather? And tell that horse to stop looking at me.”). Good teams generally play all three facets of the game – offense, defense and special teams. Good teams like, say, the Chiefs.
It wouldn’t surprise me if some national guys were actually going to bring in some argument that “if RG3 were healthy” or “if they hadn’t pulled RG3 in the fourth quarter” or “if RG3 were on defense instead…” or something like that. I expect they have enough professional pride not to look stupid in that respect (most of them, anyway), but you know that crossed their mind at some point.
The bottom line is the Chiefs did exactly what they needed to do. They capitalized on RG3 being RG3, they gave Dexter room to get loose and they made stuff happen on offense. Need a special teams play? Let’s get two. Need to toss a touchdown? How about a couple. Fourth down? Let’s show the Missouri Tigers how it’s supposed to be done and convert on the ground (I mean seriously – you RUN THE BALL when it’s fourth and one, Mizzou).
By the way – I’m only playing the exaggerated “disrespected fan” card here because it’s fun. Folks in the sports news media – for the most part – have given Chiefs more credit lately than they have up to that point in the season. Some of that waned when we lost to the Broncos twice (despite the fact the Broncos are probably the best team in the NFL right now; second maybe to Seattle) and the Chargers once (disrespect which was completely warranted with that choke job we pulled – at home, no less). Even the post-game team on Sports Radio 810 seems to have realized that the Chiefs are a legitimate football team; I no longer have the desire to vomit and change the channel anytime Danny and Jack come on to talk about the game.
Next up is the Raiders at 3:05 Central next weekend. It’s in Oakland so there’s a good chance there will be solid, material things thrown at the Chiefs (and probably the Raiders players, as well; this is Oakland, after all); drinks, batteries, chairs – I’m sure if the big screens weren’t nailed down they’d be on the field at some point. This is a game the Chiefs can win – and when they do they’ll clinch a playoff spot. It’s been a long time since we’ve solidified a post-season berth before the last week of the season.
Finally: shout out to Steve and Tracy; thanks for a great watch party. And kudos on the chili – it was spectacular. Perfect on the heat.by