It’s taken forty-five years, but I’m finally getting the opportunity of watching both the Chiefs and Royals play in the postseason in the same calendar year. Incredible! I certainly had no reason to think it would happen in my lifetime.
I began as a cub reporter in Kansas City television in 1970, a year after the Royals were hatched. The Chiefs had just won Super Bowl IV. It was shortly thereafter the Chief’s began a steady decline from respectability. They went 15 years without a playoff appearance. Meanwhile, the Royals became competitive right away and advanced to the playoffs seven times in ten years and went to the World Series twice in the 1980’s.
In the 1990’s, the Chiefs came roaring back with “Marty Ball” making the playoffs 6 out of 7 years. That’s about the time the Royals went into the tank. Their playoff drought lasted nearly 30 years before a sudden rebirth with back to back World Series appearances. The Royals pretty much own this town right now!
While the Chiefs are hot, many have taken a wait and see attitude and for good reason. Since Marty departed, the Chiefs are on their sixth Head Coach and their third General Manager. At last, it looks like the Hunt family has it figured out. While Andy Reid appears to be the right man as Head Coach for this team, I’ll reserve judgement on General Manager John Dorsey.
The good news, the Chiefs are back in the playoffs on the heels of a 9 game winning streak. I’m still trying to figure out how good this team is. Is that 1-5 start an aberration? What they have done since losing to the Minnesota Vikings has never been accomplished before in the NFL. No team has had five straight losses backed up with 9 consecutive wins.
The schedule has flipped from the early stumbles and that’s why I view this current streak with some skepticism. Seven of the nine wins have come against teams with losing records.
I want to believe this team is capable of doing some damage in the postseason but here again, I’m not sure. My memory is still vivid from the most recent playoff game. I watched the Chiefs blow a 4 touchdown lead in the second half against the Colts. Most recently, I watched the lowly Cleveland Browns shutout the Chiefs in the second half. We’ve all grown tired of hearing that the Chiefs have lost an NFL record 8 straight playoff games dating back to 1993. It’s a dubious mark they must erase. They’re running out of excuses.
It’s exciting to be a fan in Kansas City. The Royals have stepped up and made our city proud. Now, it’s time for the Chiefs to deliver. They owe us one!