Tuesday, December 30, 2008

So, now what?

As you've no doubt read below, heard on the airwaves or had transmitted directly to your brain via super-secret government technology, Mr. Shanahan is no longer the Head Coach, General Manager, Executive Vice-President, Grand Vizier, Potentate and Assistant Night Crew Chief of the Denver Broncos.

Other people will sing his praises and catalogue his failures. I'll focus, as an Anglerfish does upon its victim, on the present. Followed immediately by the future.

Who takes the power? Pat Bowlen has hired exactly two coaches in his tenure: Shanahan and Wade Phillips. We can't read into what he might do, because we simply don't have any past experience upon which to base a guess. Will he prefer a defense-minded head man? Someone to carry on the recent trend of offense first? Will he choose to hire a General Manager and a Head Coach separately, and invest them with individual spheres of influence? Or will he go for the big name and crown another king?

What about the scheme? We run a zone-blocking offense--what if the next guy wants 340 pound guards mashing it up in a power system? Jeremy Bates evidently turned down overtures from Lane Kiffin to join his staff at Tennessee. Did he know something? Or is he dialing Knoxville with sweaty palms at this second?

We can presume that the vast majority, if not the totality, of the current coaching staff is history. But what about the Goodmans in charge of personnel, and the supposed cap wizard from Atlanta, Brian Xanders? Bowlen just shelled out the cash to hire these guys. In Xanders' case, there was even a little hoopla. Are they all out the door already?

The Goodmans have to get a little benefit here--indeed, an early guess at GM would be the lawyerly younger version Pat already has in his employ--but if a Pioli-sized name gets into the personnel mix, the whole family is history.

And Cowher? If he's coaching, if he's into it, if has Marty Schottenheimer picking the players (a thought that doesn't scare me quite as much as it ought), he could, in my mind, be persuaded to come to Denver. But I can't say I think that he should, for a variety of reasons, which I'll enumerate numerically forthwith:

1. He's too obvious. A defense/special teams-minded guy, a blue collar guy, a large-chinned guy who would instantly make the great unwashed of Bronco Universe swoon with pride and expectation--no. Something is wrong there.

2. He's overrated. His record (149-90) doesn't exactly crush Shanahan's (136-86). He went to two Super Bowls in 15 years and lost one. He had a stretch (1998-2000) that was as bad or worse than anything Tan Mike experienced.

So what's my suggestion, all three of you call out electronically. I don't really have one. I'm too stunned, still. Much depends on how the front office is structured, whether they go back to a traditional GM alignment, etc. My preference would be to wed a firebreathing young D coordinator to a badass talent evaluator ala Pioli, or even Floyd Reese. But really, all any of us can do right now is wait, see, and hope to fucking Christ that Wade Phillips' name doesn't get mentioned.

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Tradition-al Side Effects: Now What?

Now that the first massive wave of the Shanahan firing has crashed, it's time to investigate what will become of the once-proud AFC West in 2009. I mean, this changes everything. We already know that Denver has fired The Rat. We also know that former Chiefs GM Carl Peterson stepped down, and it's possible that his successor may wish to go in another coaching direction. We also know that Al Davis fired Lane Kiffin early in the season, and appointed Tom Cable as interim. The rumor coves are splashing with hints that Davis is interviewing other coaching prospects to replace Cable. And frankly, if the Chiefs had been able to not lose by one point to the Chargers in either of their meetings this year, or if Denver had hung on showed up to play the Chargers Sunday night, Norv Turner could very well be on the outs. And frankly, an early post-season San Diego exit could still spell his demise. The options for this division are pretty wide open right now, and we'll investigate a few after the jump.

We'll switch it up a bit and go with letters...

A) Let's say that the new Chiefs GM goes with a new head coach, and that the Chargers have little to no post-season success in the coming weeks, culminating in Turner's firing. Regardless of whether or not the Raiders replace Cable, that would mean that all head coaching positions in one division change in the same season. Has that ever happened? (Editor's Note: I'll leave it up to the more professional sports bloggers to do the research on that one, but I'm guessing that it hasn't.)

B) Let's go ahead and throw the Cowher possibilties out there:

It's possible that Denver could go after the Chin, be it in a GM form, a head-coaching position, or some combination, even though Cecil's uncle is saying not to anticipate the middle option. It's also possible that he return to Kansas City; his name hasn't been crossed off of Bob Gretz's list.

I have to think that a Cowher signing with either club would make fans of the other team shudder. Maybe.

C) There's another possibility that could rear its ugly head...

This one's far from likely from a Denver perspective. That is, I think it's safe to say that the Denver Broncos Football Club and Marty Schottenheimer have a mutually exclusive agreement to permanently hate one another. But I could be wrong. It's not impossible to envision the "Mar-ty! Mar-ty! Mar-ty! chants from within the confines of InVesCo. I know I'd certainly join in.

D) There's the possibility of either club signing Phil Savage. There's also the possibility of mass suicide in BroncoCountry or ChiefsNation, depending on the color of ink in which that deal is penned.

E) There's also the Scott Polian factor. Mr. Gretz informed the Tubes this morning that the Chiefs had been given permission to chat with him. Editorially speaking, if this guy's the top candidate, I'm saddened and embarrassed to say that running the corral in Denver is probably a more attractive gig for a largely desired guy like Polian. Can't hide from the truth.

F) Perhaps the most intriguing option would be this, though: We pool our talents. That's right. First, from Oakland...well, actually, we'll take nothing from Oakland. Next though, we take a slice of Turner's guruing abilities at coordinator of offensive unitologies, and perhaps we peel a lineman or a receiver out of the deal. We put Herm in that position he's never held -- it's called defensive coordinator -- and we meld Shanahan, Cowher and Marty into a many-faced, powerless-yet-all-powerful three-headed monster and take over the world league, an NFL-fearing AFC Westron, if you will.

It could happen.

But seriously, one thing needs to happen first and foremost, and that is this:

This guy

needs a job. And this guy

has one to give.

Make it happen, Patsy. Make. It. Happen. Then the Chiefs can get Pioli and Cowher, and turn the next decade of my existence into one giant orgasm. That would of course include a plethora of Lombardis and Bronco sweeps whilst getting there. Let's just say that that would give me

a raging clue.
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Tradition Tuesday: Shana-Canned!

When I started the day, early this morning, I kept coming back to the notion that there would be little to nothing to write about today with regard to The Tradition -- if you're just tuning in, the backbone of the rough focus
of this blog is the rivalry between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos -- given that all three legs of the Iron Triangle are bummed and blue about the results of the 2008 NFL season. As the day wore on, the sentiment kept coming back to me that there was nothing. Well, that kept true until I got in my car, tuned in to the TalkRadios, and began driving home. And it was at that moment that I learned that the Denver Broncos have fired Mike Shanahan. Much, much more will come of this in the hours ahead, but for now I can only say "Oh, glorious day..."

(Update: Now they're saying that Shanny and the team have agreed to part ways.)

Allegedly, Shanahan was asked to give up his "GM" duties to which he responded "no way."
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Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday Mainstay: The Waiting Game

There is some activity swarming in and out of various NFL franchises today, and perhaps the Kansas City Chiefs are somewhere in that swirling mix. Perhaps. The pessimist in me, however, doubts it. Rumors suggest that Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt is traveling around, interviewing folks, thinning down his broad list of general manager candidates. Other clubs appear to be moving faster, which, on the surface, appears to put the Chiefs behind in the race for improvement. I'd like to think that's not true. I'd like to think that Hunt will make an impressive hire just like the Glass family did with the Dayton Moore on the other side of the Truman Sports Complex. I'm nervous, though, that the opposite might be true. A few details after the jump.

Among today's head coach firings, two are no surprise.

1) The Cleveland Browns, who have also fired General Manager Phil Savage, announced that Head Coach Romeo Crennel would not be retained. Crennel, over the course of four seasons, went 24-40, a winning percentage of .375.

2) In Detroit, Rod Marinelli has been relieved of his duties. Over three seasons, Marinelli went 10-38, which translates to .208. An 0-16 season never helps that.

3) And the most surprising is the fact that, Eric Mangini's been fired in New York. Through three campaigns, he went 23-26 for .469, which includes one playoff loss.

We've examined winning percentages of Herman Edwards compared to other Chiefs' coaches in franchise history, and we know that, at the time of that post, Herm ranked seventh of 10 in Chiefs history. Having concluded yesterday's season, Edwards' winning percentage in Kansas City has fallen to .312, dropping him to eighth, and leaving him only ahead of Frank Gansz and Tom Bettis.

Now, let's compare Edwards' "success" to those who've been fired today:

1) Mangini with the Jets: .469
2) Crennel with the Browns: .375
3) Edwards with the Chiefs: .312
4) Marinelli with the Lions: .208

So, Edwards has edged out Rod Marinelli, a coach who spent time under general manager Matt Millen, arguably the worst GM in NFL history, and his club just produced the first winless season ever. The Lions have, more or less, been a joke for as long as I can remember, save for a few Barry Sanders seasons.

The point, though, is that the Jets have decided that Edwards' successor in New York, a guy with over 150 percentage points in winning, is not good enough to be given a fourth year. Romeo Crennel, a coach with also a better winning percentage with his most recent team, has been fired, and that club canned his boss too.

There, then, is Herman Edwards' accomplishment: being better than Rod Marinelli and the Detroit Lions under similar tenures.

The Chiefs need to get a move on. The Patriots have given the Browns permission to speak with Scott Pioli, and Bill Cowher has declined Cleveland's offer.

I don't know who the right guy(s) for the job is/are. I do know that I hope Mr. Hunt is moving swiftly, as it appears his NFL counterparts are not wasting anytime.
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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Everything, Now, Have I Seen

Well, the Dallas Cowboys got absolutely destroyed today. The Detroit Lions made history by going winless in a 16-game campaign, and shortly, the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers will square off for an 8-8 record/division bragging rights. In my eyes, though, the real news of the day took place in Ohio, where the 2-13 Chiefs met the 3-11-1 Cincinnati Bengals.

The skinny is multi-faceted, so let's not waste any time.

1) Cincinnati played without their "marquee" players; Carson Palmer, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and Chad Johnson were inactive.

2) Cedric Benson was the leading rusher of the contest, and Larry Johnson carried the ball as if he simply didn't care. Arrowhead Pride has discovered that perhaps he doesn't.

3) The Bengals put up 100+ more total yards than the Chiefs.

4) Herman Edwards has now been outbloached by Tony Dungy, Lovie Smith, Romeo Crennell, and Marvin Lewis, which of course leaves only Mike Singletary and Mike Tomlin.

5) The Chiefs have now demonstrated every possible type of terrible football in this 2008 campaign, and I couldn't be happier to call it a season.

9/7 @ New England: Both starting QBs go down; Pats receivers catch gooder.
9/14 vs. Oakland: KC gets downright embarrassed in their home opener.
9/21 @ Atlanta: Herm and company get a glimpse of what good teams look like.
10/5 @ Carolina: See above; include a dash of cluelessness.
10/19 vs. Tennessee: Domination 101 was in session; Jeff Fisher your instructor.
10/26 @ NY Jets: Chiefs threaten to win; Favre conducts last-minute TD drive.
11/2 vs Tampa Bay: KC leads all day, but lets Garcia and crew hang around.
11/9 @ San Diego: Chiefs tie the game at the end, go for two and the win, but don't.
11/16 vs. New Orleans: KC hangs with Saints offense, but not for four full quarters.
11/23 vs Buffalo: The Chiefs give up more than 50 points to a bad team.
12/7 @ Denver: Once again, KC comes up short at InVesCo Field.
12/14 vs San Diego: A twisted combo of the Jets and first Chargers game.
12/21 vs Miami: KC drops the Frigid Bowl, again with a sloppy ending.
12/28 @ Cincinnati: The Chiefs don't show, don't care, look absolutely pathetic.

So there you have it -- your 2-14 2008 Kansas City Chiefs. Simply. Amazing.
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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Now where was I?

So you were just sitting there in your apartment in the alley next to the Circle K thinking about the House of Georges and wondering, what the heck ever happened to that one Cecil dude who used to post here? Did he give up on sports and become a Cistercian monk? Attempt an around-the-world tour by sea kayak? Find his job disappear in the recession and, facing the grim spectre of homelessness, burn his house down for the insurance cash?

Hah, no, my friends, thanks for your concern, but none of that happened--my insurance wouldn't cover it, those pencil-pushing Mussolinis haven't heard the last of me--I've actually been holed up in a Chinese cave drinking mulled wine since the end of the Buffalo game. But I've recovered and am back to offer you, oh Broncos-lovin' fools, a hearty cupful of Hope, Barry O. style, for the incipient New Year.

Although that hope will not take form in a prediction of Denver victory. There's just no way. Even the Christmas spirit--er, spirits in my case--can't make me ignore this particular oncoming bus accident.

Not only are the Chargers a more talented team, not only is their offense starting to look as it did late last year, not only are they playing at home, in the dark, where they're 3-1, but the Broncos are wearing a toilet seat of hardened, enameled Suck around their collective necks.

All there is to it. This team has no heart, no consistency, an inability to seize opportunity, safeties who couldn't play for a team of head-injured kids in the backyard of Stonymoor Special House and practice squad scrubs at tailback. The kicker doesn't vote, Mike Shanahan has evidently decided that he can show up to work in a breakaway leather cop outfit and not get fired, our most feared pass rusher is none other than Gary Coleman and Invesco Field was built on the bones of the poor, their blood as mortar.

So I expect San Diego to crank out an all-timer tomorrow, something along the AFLian lines of 56-7 or 48-3. I expect Matt Wilhelm to depants Cutler during the 3d Quarter to a hearty guffaw by the Line Judge. I expect Philip Rivers to go 20 for 20 and have enough time in the pocket to soberly contemplate his own mortality. I expect LaDainain Tomlinson to score 5 touchdowns, the last of which will come as he swims into the end zone on his elbows and knees. I expect those noble, most assuredly not-Raider-fan fans of the San Diego squad to hurl light bulbs and used syringes onto the field between plays, at least one of which will give our long snapper Hepatitis A.

The hope I mentioned earlier? That's coming in April. It's time to prep for the draft, thank fucking heavens, the one day of the professional football calendar where no one loses...except the Raiders.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Friday Funnies: The Denver Broncos Are the Gift That Keeps On Giving

Welcome back to the series of Tubes, beloved House of Georges readership. We talk a lot of Chiefs/Broncos football around here, and in two short days, Kansas City will be playing to not win the game once more, thus securing their worst record in franchise history, while Denver plans on begging the Colts to come to town for a cut-that-meat clinic of epic proportions.

Technically, this post has nothing to do with Shannon Sharpe, but stick a frank in that mitt, and I'll bet he's real skilled at giving the baby batter a jostling. Anyway, it's Friday. You ain't got no job, and you ain't got sh-- to do, so why not join us after the jump, and have a chuckle at the expense of the perhaps 2008 AFC West Champs. Come on. You've already got horse lips. Let's throw in a stoned lineman and a pouty lil' laser-rocket arm. It'll be fun. Promise.

Courtesy of Deadspin, we get a snippet from the Whale's Vagina, that stellar place known as SignOnSanDiego. According to Matt Wilhelm, Jay Cutler is a punk, along with other things that are "unfit for...radio." He also took some other liberties to plug his favorite AFC West signal-caller:

"Philip Rivers is not only one of the best football players I've ever met in my entire life. He is one of the best people off the field," Wilhelm said. "... He'a family man. He's in church every sunday. That's it. That's all you really get is golly and darn. Never a swear word. Never anything rude and crude as I mentioned have been said by one person. It never comes out of Philip's mouth."

Now, I'm not going to say I disagree, or think that Wilhelm is a liar, but I have seen a tiny shred of evidence to the contrary. Just sayin'.

Mr. Wilhelm, in calling Mr. Cutler one of the league's biggest crybabies, took a shot at Tony Gonzalez, too, saying that the two hold a tie-breaker in the whining category. Riiiigggghhht.

Then there's this tidbit from LarryBrownSports that claims recently retired Bronco Matt Lepsis has admitted to burnin' some bush, figuratively speaking. Though the story says Lepsis never admitted which drug(s) he used, he did say this:

“The first thing I did when I woke up in the morning was get high, and I would try to stay that way all day long...”

There is a nicer, holiday-cheerier side to this Denver squad, however. As Kissing Suzy Kolber's Big Daddy Drew reports, the Broncos have given the San Diego Chargers a "seasonal" gift:

From: Denver Broncos
To: San Diego Chargers
Gift: The AFC West

In discussing Sunday's game between the two clubs, BDD reports that "Neither of these flaming shitheaps deserve to make the playoffs, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t stage a fucking awesome game they last time they met. And it doesn’t mean that one of them – the Chargers – couldn't end up winning a playoff game or two once they get in. And they could do it all at the expense of leaving out an 11-5 Patriot team. I think the playoff system should be rejiggered so that this happens every year. I get a Thunderstik in my pants just thinking about it."

Mmmm. Flaming shitheaps. He also suspects that Denver head coach Mike Shanahan may be withholding something from the injury report: "Jay Cutler (asphyxia)." And finally, he's added Shanahan to his "Fire This Asshole" list of coaches that, in his opinion, need to be canned.

Other related miscellany:

Apparently, JJ McCartney, the Voice of the Ogallala Indians for over a 20th of a century, agrees, and he'd like to add that "If you blindly pay allegiance to Mike Shanahan, then I think you expose yourself as a Kool-aid-drinking lemming."

The Big Lead is predicting a Whale's Vagina victory by the score of 41-34.

HercRockFromTheSun agrees with the alleged injury-report shenanigans.

Oh, well. At least there's Eddie "KC" Royal...

Oh, and a Broncos roundup would be ridonculously incomplete, if we didn't drop in on Predominantly Orange. This week's jewel of insight looks like this:

"It comes down to this. A playoff team will be decided as the Broncos face the Chargers in San Diego. This entire season could be extended or it could be put into the record books for all to look back on in disgust."

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Tidbits

Happy Holidays from the House of Georges. Enjoy some quick-and-lazy bullet points after the jump.

* Ed Hochuli won't be there on Sunday. Not physically anyway.

* The headline "Broncos on brink of collossal collapse" is some nice nutmeg for that eggnog.

* Evidence of more RBBAWB going on in Denver's backfield.

* Other Denver roster action.

* As Cecil once said, "Strength of schedule is a retarded stat."

* Arrowhead Pride's been doing a phenomenal job researching potential Chiefs GM candidates. Examine their work here.

* Last but not least, This Old Chief over at Arrowhead Addict is feeling some brief, but genuine cheer.
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tradition Tuesday: Even in the Wildest of Week 17s, I Imagine It Would Behoove One to Ax Somebody

The rough focus of this blog is the rivalry between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos. We foolishly attend games at one another's stadiums each year, a gig we've had going for eight strong seasons. And by "strong," I mean consecutive. When we're not partaking of said elegance, we're busy bringing you The Tradition, our weekly state-of-the-rivalry address.

I'd be lying if didn't admit the inspiration that the Kissing Suzy Kolber clan has given me over the last two and-a-half years, and given how spanktacular things haven't been in the AFC West these last two seasons, their efforts regarding my division foes continue to stack up each week. While I've likely put together a lot of "work" here that was inspired by the blogkkaksters over yonder, I've never quite lifted an idea of theirs with the deliberance (Editor's Note: Patent pending.) that I will display this very morning. The reason for such is two-fold: I am an uninventive sloth with no sense of originality; and 60 percent of the time, it's damn funny stuff all the time. That said, kudos, as always, to them, and good luck, tho' I wishes it upon myself, to me.

It was 2008. The wind was rustling, the air brisk and heavy. A young, insulin-pack laden, pig-faced Indiana boy, graced with an arm strength greater than Marino, Montana, and Elway combined fondled his imaginary six-shooter, his eye on a prize...

(breeze picks up a bit; music spills out of nearby saloon)

"I'm gonna rope this baby

in easier than some Santa Claus 'tang on a Saturday night..."

"Not so fas-- (leg snaps and crumbles as he goes to stand from his saloon-porch table) Oww!" (fastens stretcher out of two chairs; lays down)


"Hey now, Phil. That's not very n--"



(whispers to self) "Geez. Dunno what he's so mad about."


(earth rumbles; glasses fall from Croyle's table, shatter; Rivers and Cutler clutch nearby support beams)

"SILENCE, you pathetic bait-for-Eli fuck stain! How dare you interrupt my workout with your visions of grandeur?! You shall suffer the consequences..." (adjusts scoreboard of already decided contest, then instantly vanishes to write letter of apology to saloon owner for broken glasses)


"Hey, guys. What was that noise? Is everybody ok--" (dislocates, wrist, elbow and shoulder with interrogatory shrug) "Ouch!" (scampers at snail's pace back into saloon)

(peeks head out of saloon doors) "Yo, WonderBreads. Either uh y'all got a match?"

Cutler and Rivers: "SHADDUP!"

"Dudes! Y'all gots to see this. Check it out..."

(slowly, diligently removes killing instrument for Marmalard/Cutlerfucker slaying from within skeleton)

"Y'all are never gonna believe it. Somebody showed me this. I's laughin' for days."

(saloon side door flies open; Edwards emerges in sweater vest)

"Tyler! Hey, Tyler. It's Herman. Your head coach, Herman. You know that new fly sound you was talkin' about? Well, listen to THIS."

(mix tape hits Thigpen in temple, dropping him in the dust; weapon of destruction clanks upon a stone, shimmers in the AFC sun; Rivers spies it, makes way toward it while observing Cutler enjoying some Cool Ranch Doritos)

(tumbleweeds whip by; music inside resumes)...
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Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday Morning Palindrome Postage: 12-22-08

Typically, I'd take this opportunity to congratulate Old No. 7 on hammering out, not only a weekend post, not only one of two weekend posts, but also sliding in to score post number 1000 here in this House of Georges. I'd then try and make a pun about this being 1001, but I'd probably be ridiculed somewhere in the commentary. So instead, I'll stick to some things that I know. Like, the fact that it's freaking cold out. Yesterday's loss to the Dolphins was 10 degrees at kickoff with a windchill of -12, making it the second-coldest game ever played at Arrowhead Stadium. Miami has never fondled the skins of pig in such chilly weather.

I knew this was coming, though. I predicted it in the RealLife Tubes back in June. Mild winter in 2007, topped with mild '08 summer equals a giant heap of frozen frickin' tundra. And like so many contests of this delectable season, Tyler Thigpen and the Kansas City Chiefs took to the literally frozen blades of grass and pretended like they were going to win for most of an American football game. And then didn't.

It's ridiculously sad and painfully true that 2007's 4-12 record looks pretty good from here. I mean, aside from the fact that it doesn't, that is. I've said before that I want to win every week, no matter what, but when it comes down to the difference between winning two games versus three or four, it's like picking your slice of pizza based on size. Yeah. That one's an eighth of an inch thinner, so it won't fill you up as much. Mmm-hmm. Funny thing is, folks've been making such commotion over these last two losses as if they really mean something. It's true that next week, both Missouri clubs will Indian leg-wrestle for the two slot in the draft, and the Chiefs will finish with one of their worst records in franchise history, and barring a six-sack day in Ohio, they will set a new all-time mark for the lowest in a season.

The point, though -- and I can now say I've learned this from experience -- is that the losses just stopped hurting. I type that with a straight face and honest meaning. They really do, and they really did. I think it was somewhere around the Saints game. That loss really pissed me off. The Chiefs were really in position to win it on a couple of occasions, but couldn't keep their act together. Then the Buffalo Bills come to town and score 14 touchdowns and some field goals, and yeah -- I was embarrassed to my inner core, but it didn't really hurt. It was nice to beat the Raiders for victory number two, and it would've been awesome to win in Denver, but I'm able to say that every year, lucky guy that I am. Somehow, though, it didn't surprise me that we lost to the Chargers by one point again, at the end of the game again last week, and I never expected us to beat Miami. Hell, they've played to win the game at least 10 times this year, and've nestled themselves into first place in the AFC East.

So even though I'm not certain that I realized it before this moment, I checked out on this season some time ago. When losses stop hurting, you as a fan have parted with your investment in the campaign. I'm sure there are fans that disagree, and to them I'll ask what the point is in caring. What does it matter if you score a win now? You buildin' a momentum clubhouse? 'Cause guys deserve it? Perhaps you think the fans do? Forget it. There is no deserve in winning. There're no sympathy victories, no pity parade, none of any of that. The Chiefs are perhaps "heading in the right direction," but the road they're taking to get there is called Awful Avenue.

So what do you do? Look west says I. Look west. Now, if I were a Broncos fan (Editor's Note: Thank you, Tom Cruise for not making me a Broncos fan.), I'd be weeping with the likes of Shannon Sharpe and Tom Jackson (Note: Mo' like Freddy Jackson) as they unsuccesfully try to break down this game, this stretch for Denver without bias. But I ain't. I's an Irish-Catholic, God-fearing Chiefs fan who is always there, waiting and ready with a box of Morton, all Pavlovian at the site of wounds like the ones the Buffalo Bills created yesterday. Therefore, I'm obligated, based on my faith and my DNA, to say "Thanks, God. You did some darn fine work, there."

Come 3:15 Central next Sunday, we'll be watching to see who's gonna call this game, and we'll be listening for the HochuliGate reference over/under, and some of us will be hoping for the San Diego fans to a) learn a little bit about football, b) purchase some tickets, c) attend the game in its entirety, d) remember the Alamo, e) at least try to make some noise -- wait, when Cutlerfucker has the ball, non Marmalard, and f) win this damn division. I'm well aware that that is a massive list, that in all likelihood, the Denver Broncos will pull the covers off this bed of feces they've been sleeping in since the Chiefs came to town, and rebound, securing themselves a post-season slot. Frankly, I don't give a damn who wins the game because the winner will only get hosed in the playoffs and officially send the entire AFC West away with its suitcase of shame.

In essence, this all makes me a cynical slimeball of a bitter, mean jerk. But you know, something's gotta take the place of pain via losses. Something.
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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Two Out Of Three Is Actually Really Bad

Well, that was another fun-filled day of football. And by fun-filled I mean reminiscent of the time I washed my asshole out with soap and liquid hot magma.

The Broncos lost to a pretty damn lousy Buffalo club, which makes four losses in the last five home games--the lone exception being The Tradition. Meanwhile, out amidst the methlabs and dead babies of Florida's Gulf Coast, San Diego went ahead and took Tampa to the woodshed. So in my three-legged grand prediction of collapse, two of the three necessary elements have fallen into alignment. All that is left to complete this epic tragedy is a simple loss to the Chargers in Southern California next Sunday.

At least CBS confirmed my worst fears--until this point, no team has held a three-game division lead with three weeks to play and then failed to make the playoffs. In the entire history of professional football. So this choke job could come with a little history, which is always nice.

I'm sure Banky has just rubbed his dick sore with excitement over these happenings, and he doesn't even remember what transpired at Arrowhead today (yet another blown lead in front of a crowd of hundreds). But no matter. Were the tables turned, I'd be giddy with anticipation myself. It's not often you get to see a team implode in a manner that no one has ever seen before.

I did like how, for the second consecutive week, Jay Cutler threw a dozen interceptions and the opposing team was only able to corral two of them.

Once the whisky wears off and I put down the revolver, I'm sure you'll receive more rational analysis of the AFC West. Hoo boy, I'll bet you can't wait.
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Saturday, December 20, 2008


Thursday night's Indy-Jacksonville game marked the beginning of Week 16 of the NFL season. It's certainly crunch time, as few playoff spots have been decided and numerous teams still entertain January dreams.

Say what you will about the wretched AFC West and the decidedly un-first-place scent coming from its current leader. These are the facts: The Denver Broncos are 8-6 and hold a two-game edge over the Chargers with two games to play. On its face, that data ought to make a Broncos fan like me feel pretty darn chipper. Alls my club has to do is win one of its remaining games, or else witness a single loss from San Diego over that span, and we're in. Simple, right?

Um, no. These were the exact same circumstances the Broncos faced last weekend, only it was a three-game lead with three to play. For fifty-nine plus minutes Kansas City led San Diego at Arrowhead, and had that margin held the remainder of the regular season would have been moot. In a grand feat of treachery, however, the Mighty Braves of the Missouri River Valley buttfucked the playoff hopes of the Broncos with a collapse so incredible it caused GM Carl Peterson to self-immolate.

And then Denver itself drew a loaded pistol in Carolina, took dead aim at its own foot, and fired with impressive accuracy. So now the lead is two games, two weeks to play. What possibly could go wrong?

I'll tell you what, asshole. The Broncos could lose a game they should win (a skill they've displayed quite a bit this season) at home against Buffalo. The Chargers could win at Tampa. Then we could take it all up again next Sunday at Qualcomm and watch San Diego emerge victorious. Those are the three things that need to happen for the Denver Broncos to blow this seemingly unblowable lead. Any one of them in isolation is possible. All three in sequence is far-fetched but eminently imaginable.

I researched for at least six, maybe nine hard minutes to find the biggest collapses in NFL history. I found lots of single-game examples--the Oilers blowing a 35-3 halftime lead against the Bills in the 1992 AFC Playoffs, as well as Herm's masterpiece last week. I found teams that started hot, like the '87 Chargers beginning 8-1 then losing their last six to miss the playoffs. Or the '78 Redskins, who started 6-0 but lost their last five and missed as well. But I was not able to find the example I was looking for: An NFL team leading its division by three games with three weeks to play and coming up empty-handed. It may, in fact, be unprecedented.

Due to the sheer number of games, this phenomenon is much more prevalent in baseball. The list of teams that have blown big leads late is long and memorable: the '78 Red Sox, the '51 Dodgers, the '64 Phillies, the '95 Angels, both the '07 and '08 Mets, and my personal favorite, the 1987 Blue Jays. Toronto led the AL East by 3 1/2 games with seven to play, and they lost every single one of those games. Ouch.

I also can't let slide a few memorable choke jobs in playoff series, such as the 1982 and 1986 Angels (managed, like the '64 Phils, by Gene Mauch). There was also a team that wears pinstripes that fell apart one year, maybe '04?

And let's not forget the Portland Trail Blazers blowing a 15-point fourth quarter lead over the Lakers in Game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference Finals. Or the 1942 Red Wings and 1975 Pittsburgh Penguins joining the Yankees as the only teams in any sport ever to blow 3-0 leads in best-of-7 series. Or Jean Van de Velde gagging the 1999 British Open in spectacular style, making Greg Norman, Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia look clutch.

In my humble opinion, that's the company these Broncos risk joining should they fail to close this deal. At least, at the very least, they get to tussle with Buffalo on Sunday instead of a real NFL franchise.

And why is it that every team in Buffalo has to align itself with the mighty land mammal itself? The NFL team is the Bills, nice pun, and it uses a buffalo as its mascot. The hockey team is the Sabres, yet as prominent as the sword on the sweater is the buffalo (or banana slug, if you prefer new school). The University of Buffalo uses the Bulls, and the new Triple-A affiliate of the Mets has adopted Buffalo Bisons as their nicknames nickname. This is completely retarded--the plural of Bison is Bison. Perhaps the genius in charge of that name matriculated at the University of Colorado (which ought to be UC but goes by CU), home of the Buffaloes (when the plural of Buffalo is, um, Buffalo).

Hopefully this sort of backwards logic, combined Buffalo's crippling proximity to Canada and affiliation with the chokin' Mets, will trump the Denver Broncos' dance with collapsing history Sunday.
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Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Fiction Fix: "There's a Maniac Loose Out There"

When the week 16s of the NFL seasons roll along, teams can typically be broken down into three categories: 1) in, 2) out, and 3) bubble. While the first two are self-explanatory, it is the last that's most intriguing. There are sub-categories of this third section: the control-their-own-destiny kind, and the hoping-for-the-inevitable variety. This Sunday, two AFC teams will embody one of each said sub-category. The Denver Broncos plan to reign in their fate with a home win -- sure to be chock full of mom's original recipes -- over the hot-and-cold Buffalo Bills, their key to a division title and a playoff berth. Down in Florida, however, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host Marmalard and the Norv Turner-led San Diego Super Chargers. Marm' an Co. are a special variety of category three, a perpetual hybrid of both sub-categories: they need to win out, and they're banking on a Bills win to do so. I've already voiced how I'd like to see this all go down, and sure -- it could be conceived as childish, ridonculous, even. The beauty, though, is that I don't care; I know that no matter who claims the throne of the West, that club will get annihilated in the post-season, and I will take joy in said maiming. As with any game, however, there are some x-factors to consider, and we'll look at them after the jump.

Kurt Vonnegut needs no introduction. He was one of the best writers in contemporary American fiction. Before his death in April of last year, he published more than a dozen novels and nearly as many short-story and essay collections. Today's excerption comes form one of those, and it is called Wampeters Foma & Granfalloons, which was first published by Dell Publishing in 1965. The CyberNets have a plethora of information on Mr. Vonnegut, but if you need to look it up, you likely aren't interested in this feature, or still reading this anyway. Without further ado...

"Jack the Ripper used to get compliments on the way he dissected...'It is stated that some...skill seems to have been displayed...' said the London Times...

It couldn't have taken too long to do...

...The details are horrible and pitiful and sickening..."

There are of course two sides to every football team and game.

"My nineteen-year-old daughter Edith knows...

...She met him during a crazy summer she spent on her own...knew him well enough to receive and decline an invitation he evidently extended to many girls: 'Come and see my marijuana patch.'

There really was a marijuana patch for girls to see...a modest one...

...I myself have spoken to a few young people about the...scene, have put this question to them:" How have the Broncos managed to win eight football games this year?

"The answer, invariably: 'Speed.'"

Enter "Mr. Allen...a retired newspaperman who has" been asked to prognosticate how this game will go down. "He has 1100 pages...so far.

Nowhere in all those pages, he told me, is there the slightest hint of how or why...Nobody can imagine...

...He was polite but uncommunicative. At one point, though,...He said this: 'There's a maniac loose out there.'"

There is of course another factor to this game. A factor that takes the form of a man who "finds the culture of the young...so different from his own that he often sounds like an anthropologist far from home..."

It is quite possible that this man believes that "Among the young,...Authority is despised because of it cruel stupidities in pot busts and slums...

...Participants in the culture commonly refer to themselves as 'freaks.'...

...Freaks are worth money to the businessman...

...Thousands...come...to gawk at them -- and to gawk at all the shameless, happy, homosexuals..."

Well, Mr. Vonnegut's story continues as one that keeps the reader on the proverbial edge of the seat, much like I'm sure this contest Sunday in Denver will do. The thing to remember is that there is a maniac loose out there. According to CBSsportsline.com, he's "ready to make his first start in three weeks" and that he aims to "try to spark a bumbling offense and prove he's capable of shedding the inconsistencies in his game."

That's today's fix. Short but sweet. This Vonnegut delight can be purchased here.
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday Night Warning: Step Away From the Franchise. Step. A-WAY. From the Franchise.

I'm not going to spend much time with this, but the Lone Reader appeared from his unidentifiable vortex earlier this evening, and left me a voicemail message. The contents of said message included his understanding of a rumor suggesting that Marty Schottenheimer was seen arriving at Kansas City International Airport, then going directly to Arrowhead Stadium. Now, the Lone Reader is a Canadian, and he likes to have sex with goats while he looks at his Bud Selig montage, so I'm tempted to ignore his information. The tough part of it, though, is that Chris at Arrowhead Addict suggested the same thing earlier this morning. I'm curious because the AP crew seldom rolls without a source, and that's just what they've done in that post, but the defensive side of my brain promptly conjured up one word, and that word is, "NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" That is all.

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We Are Hot Chicks Wednesday: A-B-C, 1-2-3

Seems like about every winter, I look around, notice it's past mid-December, and I'm Already Behind with Christmas (ABC) shopping. I also notice, on occasion, that my Ass is Bitterly Cold here in the midwest, and that I'm Always Bitching about Chiefs football. Well, at least there's some consistency in my life. Along that same plane is the pre-Christmas cold I seem to frequently get, leaving my body Achy But Chilly. But life goes on, and to aid it in going on, I try to think of positive thoughts, like other As, Bs, and Cs. Or any combination of those letters, really. It's pretty simple, and I'll show you how after the jump.

Aden Bianco

Aden Bianco's a good place to start.

She's also a good place to finish, so I hear.

Audrey Bitoni

I'm a big fan of backup plans, and Audrey Bitoni is certainly a part of my backup winter first aid kit.

She helps me forget about my owies,

my scratchy throat,

my crappy job that doesn't pay enough to buy gifts,

not to mention, my train of thought.

Adrienne Curry

Cooking with curry is good for the sinuses.

Actually, Curry is good for lots of things.

I just can't think of what they are right now.

I just know that this particular blend of Curry

is a natural supplement

of which Mike Cox is a huge fan.

Anna Falchi

Whenever I get motivated to go Christmas shopping, I think of Miss Falchi, and I get distracted.

Actually, I'm distracted right now.

Angelica Bridges

Miss Bridges is a model for clean health and high spirits.

Anna Tatangelo

Anna's dressed up as Santa's helper at my local mall.

Or I might've fantasized about that the other evening.

Autumn Reeser

Autumn Reeser reminds of warmer climates and non-snow-packed roads, two things I haven't seen in some time,

and likely won't for a while.

But I feel the tingling warmth of the fire in the chimney of my mind.

Bella Valentine

Bella's last name is inspiration for the end of February nearing, which of course means the end of freezing winds.

Bree Conden

I've done the "burning up Sunset Beach" before, and it was nice.

And hey, who doesn't dig on some cactii?

I make guava-cactus martinis all winter, and Bree likes them lots, especially 'cause I make hers extra prickily.

Carly Ann Rose

I also spare no expense at continuing to tan all winter,

since, you know, it keeps me tan as a Rose.

Charlotte McKenna

Charlotte reminds me of the bed linens I need to get for my aunt for Christmas,

and the gallery of Miss McKenna my basement could use.

While I'm at it, I'll probably pick up a new hat. For the cold nights.

Christi Shake

Christi, however, helps me recall that I'll need to hang the stockings with something sturdier this year.

Something with a lot more support, that won't give way with extra weight,

or allow the candy to rip from its protective fabric.

It'll have to be something with arching support though, to hide those secret last-minute gifts.

Emma Boughton

When all my prep is done, and I've kicked this cold, I'll think of surfing.

Topless of course.

That's your lesson in letters and digits. Happy holidays to you, and to the proprietors of Gorilla Mask and Daily Niner.
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