Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tradition Twednesday: The Weird, Wild West

The rough focus of this blog is the rivalry between the Kansas City Chiefs (heralded by Bankmeister) and the Denver Broncos (championed by Cecil and Old No. 7). It may seem unfair that it's two versus one, but once KC gets that second Super Bowl win we'll even out the delegation.

Seven years ago we started The Tradition, in which Bronco fans travel out to the Truman Sports Complex with their team, and Chief-lovers return to the Rocky Mountains with theirs. We tailgate, we talk massive amounts of shit, our wives are occasionally assaulted by rival fans, and we almost always watch the visiting team lose. It's a grand old time.

Here at the HoG, we're going to keep The Tradition going with Tradition Tuesday--a weekly state-of-the-rivalry address.

Well, kids, I don't know what to say. Things aren't looking so hot for the HoG right now. For the second time in our six-month history, the House has gone for three days without new material. For those of you die-harders that were counting on your Tradition Tuesday post being up yesterday, please allow me, on behalf of the staff, to apologize to both of you. Due to the demands put upon us by the bill-paying jobs of the world (Editor's Note: To all InterWebs publishers and advertisers, this is us officially offering the non-discreet discretional cough: Eh-freakin'-hem.), our creative abilities have collectively been sacrificed as of late, and it would appear there's little we can do about it, beyond apologize, at this time. We'll continue to put forth our best effort, but our wives insist that we hang out with them away from work, and our livers command a regulated intake of adult beverages, which leaves the HoG kind of like that tool shed in the backyard you always said you'd build. Yeah. Unbuilt.

Nevertheless, I'm hear with you this evening, and I'd like to say I have a WAHCW in me as well, but it might have to wait until the morrow. While I'm in the neighborhood, though, I figured I'd spend a few moments looking over the AFC West as a whole through the first three weeks of the 2007 season. I'll start at the bottom.

Your defending AFC West champions are, according to my paper, snoozing in the cellar. Kind of a surprise, kind of not. It's a surprise because of these reasons: a) They won 14 games last year; b) The two they lost were defeats suffered by low margins; c) They are, toof for toof, the most talented club in the league, a fact asterisked by the fact that the reigning MVP and the second-best tight end in the game are members of this team; d) They could've exacted revenge upon the Patriots and instead chose to lay down for an all-out beating; and e) They let that wily senior citizen Fah-vuh-ruh and his cheesehead cohorts come from behind and put them to sleep like the drowsy after-dinner dogs that they appear to be.

Here's why it's not a surprise: a)Norv Turner; b) Kharma is making an example out of AJ Smith; and c) Norv Turner.

A step up from the Bolts is Lane Kiffin and his Raiders. After posting a .500 pre-season record, the collective NFL fan base scratched its head once or twice. Add to that that, aside from allowing the God-empowered Jon 10-win Kitna and his Detroit Lions beat them rather mercilessly, Oakland has been very much in its other two contests, especially the one they won. (Note: For the record, it's not very difficult to be considered "in" the game when you win it, especially if you employ the same cheap tactic that was dispersed upon you the previous week to win the game). That said, if anyone deserves to hold the finger up to his critics, it is Mr. Kiffin, and perhaps that skeleton of an employer of his as well. Now, with Daunte Culpepper at the helm, perhaps they can string together consecutive wins as they prepare for the Trent Green-led, victoryless Miami Dolphins. Stranger stuff has in fact occurred. And things, schedule-wise, certainly don't get easier for the silver and black after week four, so they'd best cash them chips in when they can.

In second place is none other than my very own Kansas City Chiefs. (Note: I technically do not own them, and, again, this is how my paper lists the standing. It could be a points for/against deal, but it also conveniently works out that, of the three 1-2 teams in the division, they're alphabetically listed in the reverse order that I have listed them. For actual, concise research, check out some of those well-paid, more professional sports blogs.) Nonetheless, there they sit. The Chiefs mustered their first win of the season on Sunday, and, in doing so, brought their season point total to an astonishing 26. They boast, however, the league's fourth-best defense right now, which has, Houston season-opener aside, kept them in games. They also got this guy back on Sunday, which, considering his monster performance, helped out a wee bit. How KC performs this Sunday in San Diego will be nothing shy of fascinating. The home-opener win against the Vikings was stuffed with controversy. Damon Huard freaked out on QB Coach Dick Curl. Two Chiefs were penalized for delay of game via slamming the ball to the ground in frustration. LJ almost threw another temper tantrum. Herm considered a QB switch, but then allowed his OC to send in pass plays instead. Oh, and a drunk fan stormed the field and got body slammed by Old No. 7's favorite NFL mascot, KC Wolf. If anyone's hungry for a win in this division, it's the Chiefs foes that call Qualcomm home. They'd best have their act together or consider this season forked.

Finally, we have the first-place Denver Broncos, who are the only club in the division to not have a sub .500 record. Oh, alright. It's above.


Denver's football club is a bit of a puzzle. They have a fleet of offensive weapons, coupled with would appear to be an improved defense. Yet they've barely won the two games they have, and got schooled by their first and, thus far, only worthy opponent. At home. (Note: If Herm Edwards could, just once, display a fraction of the sideline emotion that Jack del Rio does, I might weep with joy. Don't get me wrong. I'd still head Operation Out With Herm In With Cowher just as fervently as I do, but whatever.) The Broncos' maestro has been in a trio of fascinating situations. In the first, he miraculously gets the offense off the field and the special teams unit on to nail a game-winning field goal as time expired. I posit that, under those exact circumstance, very few teams could pull that off two out of three times. But they did and snuck out of Ralph Wilson (Note: The Bills are still winless) with the victory. The following week, Shanahizzle cheated concocted an allegedly brilliant endeavor to get his team another win, and last week, he made a call that would have most coaches offering a sacrificial testicle before even thinking about it: going for it on fourth and six deep in your own territory. I give him credit for having the brass.

Beyond Raiders@Dolphins and Chiefs@Chargers, the Broncos cap off an AFC West weekend with a trip to the RCA Dome, which is certain to be an interesting match. The Colts haven't lost a non-pre-season game in over nine months, and they've had the Broncos' number in recent years. Upset? Perhaps. I for one, certainly won't be upset if history repeats itself. Cut that meat, baby.