Along with the turkeys, Christmas lights, and the shopping frenzy of late November/early December comes another seasonal hallmark: the posting of the NFL playoff rankings during the televised broadcasts.
You have your three columns: Division Leaders, Wild Card, and, the ever-hopeful, “In the Hunt.” Over the last 17 years, the Bills have become such regular members of the “In the Hunt” club, the players should be issued camo and a tree stand along with their helmets and pads.
“OK, that’s good, now look down at your feet and remember the place where you are at. You’ll need to hit that spot when we come out for pregame,” bellowed the coordinator. How could I forget? I looked down at my feet—32-yard marker on the field of Arrowhead. I looked up into the empty stadium, 3 hours before the Monday Night Football game between Kansas City and Washington. I scanned the faces of my new and old Arrowheads Abroad friends, all scattered about the edges of the United States-shaped flag. We were all grinning, not believing where we were and what we were going to be doing on national TV. This was the beginning of the end of a perfect long weekend that seemed too good to be true, even by Hollywood standards.
It all started on Friday, when they each landed in Kansas City, after at least half a day or more of travel from the UK. The unusually warm weather was as if they had ordered it so they could get the most out of every second they were here.
Right off, many of them began their BBQ odyssey, starting at Char Bar in Westport, which has a great outside patio. Saturday, they toured the National WW1 museum and Liberty Memorial. Several of them also made their way to see the lovely architecture of Union Station, and ambled around a bit in town. Continue reading “Chief Fans Get A New Perspective from UK”→
Two weeks into the 2017 season and the Kansas City Chiefs have won two very different games. One an offensive juggernaut against the current Super Bowl Champions; the other, a nail-biting defensive battle that was up for grabs until the last seconds of the game.
The Chiefs are presenting themselves as a cohesive, focused team whose sum is greater than the total of its players. At times playing to their potential; other times having to fight back by calling upon every bit of reserved spirit left in them. Players drop the ball (literally and figuratively) and their teammates make up the shortcoming.
My mind goes to two players, especially in these first two games—tight end Travis Kelce and quarterback Alex Smith—each having very different moments. Kelce continues to amaze and confound. Providing a third major offensive option to running back Kareem Hunt and wide receiver Tyreek Hill, his presence, and skill are a large part of Kansas City’s success since he joined the team.
However, on the other side of the coin are the immature antics that are racking up unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. While none of them can yet be linked directly to a loss, they have created unnecessary hurdles for his teammates and coaches to overcome.
“It’s happening again—another national game and another national embarrassment,” I thought as the New England Patriots marched down the field and easily scored the first touchdown of the game.
And then RB Kareem Hunt, very talked up in the Kansas City press, fumbled his first NFL carry–the epitome of a facepalm moment.I grimaced as the quarter continued and the Patriots seemed to be on offense again instantly, marching down the field for their second touchdown.When replay showed the catch wasn’t in control and the six points nullified, it gave me a little peace.
Then, the Kansas City Chiefs defense made a spectacular stop on a fourth-and-one play.“Well, at least the defense is looking respectful,” I admitted.Then the Chiefs went 90 yards and scored, tying the game, and holding the Patriots to a field goal on their next score but allowing another touchdown 15 minutes later.Right before the half, KC scored another touchdown.Now the butterflies in my stomach were going to town.
There are a few teams in the NFL that haven’t had it easy nor made it easy on themselves, never meeting their potential and not pulling through in the critical moments like key games and playoffs.The Chiefs are one of those teams.Having not won a Super Bowl in almost 50 years and very rarely making it through to the higher eschelons of the playoffs, they have deservedly earned the adjective “Chiefsiest”—as in last year’s Pittsburgh game was the Chiefsiest thing ever—developing and playing to your potential during the season and then putting on a disappointing performance when least affordable.
But, something happened at Foxborough.The Chiefs started believing in themselves, and kept themselves in the game.Keeping the score within a winning gap through the first half.And Hunt kept getting the ball and atoning; Alex Smith had something to prove, and boy did they both shine.Continue reading “Welcome to the 2017 NFL Season”→