Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Magnificence: A Win for the Ages

I have spent much of the last two years inside this House of Georges being a crabby prick. That's not what I aimed for, initially. Honest. I'm not asking for any pity parties here, but life just ain't that easy when your sports teams seldom give you anything positive about which to write. When your Sunday is miserable, and that bleeds into your Monday, Tuesday, and sometimes Wednesday, and that happens in more weeks than not, you become a very miserable human being. There are two sides to yesterday's 24-27 overtime win against the Steelers at Arrowhead, and they are this: 1) It's important to not get too hyped up about one win. Period. Exclamation point. Etc. 2) As much as I'd like to pipedream about running the table, and stealing a division win, I know that the reality of the optimistic side of things is nothing more than this: That was, regardless of all details, a great win, the best victory this franchise has seen in a long damn time. A quick expansion of that second aspect, after the jump.

In 2006, the Chiefs lost to the Bengals in the home opener, gave a valiant effort in Denver in an overtime loss the following week, destroyed the 49ers in week three, and handled the Cardinals in week four. In the second quarter of the season, they had their Passion-Party embarrassment, defeated the Chargers, Seahawks, and Rams. For the third they dropped games to Miami and Cleveland, but beat the Raiders and Broncos, and in the fourth they lost to Baltimore and San Diego, but downed Oakland and fended off Jacksonville, in that epic New Year's Eve Day where no team has ever needed more help from more teams to get into the post-season, and gotten it.

There were some borderline good wins that season, but there were almost as many games lost that shouldn't have been.

Year two of the Herm Edwards regime went, uh, much worser:

After dropping two to Houston and Chicago, KC beat the Vikings and Chargers to even things up. They then lost to Jacksonville, but beat Cincinnati and Oakland before going on an epic nine-game losing streak, including a sweep at the hands of Denver, and season-concluding losses to the Lions and Edwards' former team in the Jets. All of those losses came after the bye.

The 2008 season is, of course, still fresh in everyone's memories: One home win against Denver, and one road win against the Raiders. Everything else was a loss, and most of them were not even close, save for the pair of San Diego games, which were both decided by a point. For the record, they got destroyed by Atlanta, Carolina, and Buffalo.

Through 10 games this year, the Chiefs have managed to contend in most every game, save the whooping dropped on them by Philadelphia, which was a 20-point loss, that, in my opinion, signified a lesson from Coach Haley for his players. One that can basically be summed up as "I don't care how bleak things look, this team will run the damn football."

Ultimately, it goes without saying that this run of 58 professional football games has been largely terrible. Not only is the number of losses overwhelming, but there aren't really any significant victories in there. You could make an argument for the final game of 2006, the win against Jacksonville that got the Chiefs into the playoffs, but what's the point, if you're just going to get embarrassed the following week to the eventual champions.

Yes, it's always fun to beat Denver, but nine years without a road win against them really takes the fun out of that.

So there's yesterday's game. Yesterday's overtime victory against the defending champions is, in my opinion, the most important win this club has earned in 58 tries. It's possible that we can look at the 2005 season, and make the stretch even longer, but that was a 10-6 season, so there's at least some positive in that fact alone.

Fifty-eight games, though. Fifty-eight games to get one significant win. I don't care who you are, that's darn brutal right there. Feels great to write about a win that means something, even if that something is on a scale smaller than winning Super Bowls.

(photo courtesy of The Kansas City Star)