Column – You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!

From Arrowhead Stadium

Go ahead, I dare you. Sit down with a piece of paper and a pen and try to come up with a story that will top what went down Sunday at Lambeau Field South on a relatively balmy December afternoon.

Only a writer of fiction would come up with the idea of a struggling team with a new head coach, playing the team with the best record in the league, and doing it on their home field which had been invaded by a heathen horde of cheese wearing yokels from up north.

And only a fertile imagination could paint that plot and then have the struggling team come out and not only punch the giant in the nose, but end up beating them in a fashion that left little doubt on this one day which was the best team on the field.

“We were beaten today,” said Packers coach Mike McCarthy after his team lost its unbeaten season with a 19-14 decision. “The Kansas City Chiefs outplayed us.”

Think about that last line for a second: “the Kansas City Chiefs outplayed us.”

The 2011 Kansas City Chiefs outplayed the defending Super Bowl champions with that perfect record – you just can’t make stuff like that up!

This is not an attempt to blow a torpedo into the Chiefs well-earned victory over the Packers. As we learned long ago, anything is possible in sports and especially football where the sheer number of bodies involved in every play – coaches, players, and officials – makes odd twists and turns an every-game matter. And then there’s the ball, with pointy ends and a blown-up middle that takes funny bounces all the time.

On 10 Sunday afternoons where the Chiefs and Packers would face each other, Green Bay would win nine of the 10 games. They didn’t win 19 games in a row, a Super Bowl title and the first 13 games of this season because of luck, or bounces and odd twists and turns. Talent strung those victories into a long string of pearls.

Then there’s on any given Sunday, and the given was December 18 at Arrowhead Stadium. That’s why it would be quite silly to make what happened against Green Bay anything more than a wonderful afternoon where enough things went right for the lesser team to beat the better team.

Do not read a lot into what went down beyond that. It was in no fashion a validation or indictment of the 2011 Chiefs. It was a single, shocking Sunday where prayers were answered and somehow the pieces fell together. The Chiefs roster has the same problems that it did before the game – there’s not enough talent. On this Sunday, they were able to overcome that defect. Kyle Orton is not the second coming of Len Dawson, or even Trent Green. On this Sunday, he did everything the coaches wanted and most importantly, he did not turn the ball over.

A football team and its season is not one snapshot perfectly framed and in total focus. It’s a string of snapshots that when put end-to-end creates a picture of a season and how a team reached the record it holds.

The most important matter to come out of the day would be the strengthened chances of Romeo Crennel keeping the head coaching job once the calendar turns to next year. The “I told you so” looks worn by Clark Hunt and Scott Pioli in the post-game locker room were a pretty good indication of that.

The most incredible matter from the day is that the Chiefs remain eligible for the AFC playoffs. Don’t ask how, but it’s true.

When the 2011 season is completed, the Chiefs will naturally gravitate to the vivid picture of victory from December 18, where despite the screaming support their visiting opponent received, they stopped history in its tracks.

It’s just one of those days that you can’t make these things up.

14 Responses to “Column – You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!”

  • December 18, 2011  - Johnfromwichita says:

    WOW. It’s fun again. Beautiful afternoon in December. Lots of fans in green. Most probably can’t find Wisconisn on a map (in baseball they’re Yankee fans) but that’s OK. The ones before the game were a little proud but after the game they were pretty good. Vicking fans are prety good too. Worst are Chicago. But if you’re 13-1 it’s easy to be gracious

  • December 18, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    Thanks Bob, better take than the last one.
    The players played harder for Romeo than any time under Haley this year.

    The only resemblance of Haley today was his boy Hoffman messing up on Special teams. 12 men on the missed FG and only 10 on the punt that required a Time out, plus the usual penalties on 2 returns and roughing the kicker. Hoffman needs to join Haley in the unemployment line.

    You are correct in that we still have holes to fill (3 O-lineman) and depth to add.
    At least we don’t have to address QB for a while. If we sign Orton we will have 2 very good Qb’s.

  • December 18, 2011  - johnfromfairfax says:

    Yeah but today belonged to the Chiefs and their fans everywhere. The feeling hasn’t changed since Len Dawson was under center and led the team to a winning Sunday. You really can’t make it up. This is how fun it is. Al Michaels is talking about a Kansas City / Philadelphia Super Bowl on TV as I type this. He’s not serious but it’s still good stuff!

  • December 18, 2011  - pharmer says:

    I think that we saw evidence today that Haley had lost the locker room, at least on the offensive side of the ball. And it was apparently worse than I thought. The O line played much better, the play calling was better, the WRs were running better routes, Jones was hitting the holes harder and the whole team showed us far more effort.(which then shows their previous lack of effort)
    How much of the changes that we saw today were due to Romeo’s input, and how much of it were things that Muir/Zorn wanted to do and couldn’t under Haley? (Getting McClain involved, spreading the ball around, tempo)

  • December 18, 2011  - BigJimInWisconsin says:

    Thanks Romeo and congratulations!
    Welcome to KC Kyle. Great game!
    Tamba, that was awesome.
    Clay Mathews? Did he play?


    Go CHIEFS!

  • December 18, 2011  - JB says:

    Thanks for the geez-fans-take-a-breath reality check. It was fun today for us long suffering Chiefs fans. But the bar has been lowered so much that we are giddy over the prospect of a potential .500 season, It’s like we were in Cleveland…..

  • December 18, 2011  - ED J says:

    JB you chill out this team going 8-8 is much better than this team going 5-11 or 4-12 with all injuries sufferred by this team good momentum going into next yr. IF Orton keeps this up we should bring him back next yr and with so low draft pick try to sign high profile left tackle or guard to beef up that o-line.

  • December 19, 2011  - iwriter says:

    Maybe Bob is right but I saw quarterback who did not lock onto his recievers, was able to run the screen play and was able to hit recievers in stride, was able to make an accurate long pass, and was able to wait til the last possible minute to take a hit so he could make a play. I see very little of that in Cassel… TO me the big question was whether this will last. But for one day we finally had a good nfl quarterback. Remember this team won the superbowl.

    Bob this was far more than just all the stars aligning for a miracle. I saw far more than a defence out there, I saw an imaginative called game that had the Packers defense totally confused . I have not seen such play calling for quite some time…certainly before Haley.

    How do you know that Ortin is not the emergence of Trent Green….trent green did not look like trent green until he got his feet under neath him…Ortin has had only one week of practice yet he made throws that were totally amazing. Certainly Trent Greenesque. He can only get better as he learns his recievers.

    My hope this that Pioli wants to win so much that he swallows his ego and locks into this quarterback and lets Cassel go, as Ortin has shown more than Cassel in just one week of being here.
    You saw the excitment of the players towards Crennel… more excitment than I have seen all season. They played with passion. They have not had that kind of passion in quite a while. So obviously they were responding to the firing of Haley by speaking their feelings on the field. I think the players played like they were routing for this coach…and that can go along way towards winning games. Passion on the field is huge. Look what denver does with that.

    It was not exactly that they were playing Marti ball…because these were the same players that you say are inadequate. But the difference in this game is that we had a quarterback who could exucute the offense and was able to keep our defense rested. And also that the players were motivated. Maybe you are right and never again will the stars align the way the were today. But somehow I think this was a huge win because now this team has learned how to win. And they have a quarterback who can execute the offense…and a coach the players believe in rather than a coach that berates them.

  • December 19, 2011  - Chiefs Pull Upset of the NFL season With 19-14 Victory : says:

    [...] COLUMN: You can’t make this stuff up. [...]

  • December 19, 2011  - RW says:

    Payback, again, for SuperBowl I? Oh, we needed this. We ALL needed this.

  • December 19, 2011  - Rick says:

    Bob, under the circumstances, your obvious desire to poke Chiefs fans in the eye, and to disparage the Chiefs at any and every opportunity, seems really dumb to me. Sure, you’re an obvious Pittsburgh fan, but here’s the deal, they don’t want you, KC pays the bills. Show some respect every once in a while for crying out loud.

  • December 19, 2011  - bCs says:

    Here’s the final act of the movie (for fun, for all you Rocky fans):

    Chiefs beat OAK and DEN
    Chiefs win 2nd Division title in a row at 8-8
    Chiefs win 1st playoff game since 1993
    Chiefs, improbably, indelibly inspired by RAC, win two more and make it to the Super Bowl …

    … and defeat the GB Packers, who are out for blood because of yesterday. Roll credits.


  • December 19, 2011  - Bill Leifer says:

    Very simple. As others have stated, a QB who can read his progressions, not lock onto a single receiver, can throw accurately, and can get the ball to check-down guys when needed. That allows the D to rest a bit. Other than that, it is the same talented, but way too shallow, roster playing for a guy they really like. Keep Cassel as a real legitimate backup QB who can run the offense, add depth, get Moeaki, Charles, and Berry back, be given a schedule of reasonable difficulty by the league, average luck on injuries, and we should easily expect the playoffs next season and beyond.

  • December 19, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    Bill, great post.
    As opposed to the simple minded Cassel haters, having him and Orton is necessary if KC is serious about the playoffs. Palko and a skinny rookie who can’t beat pitiful out is no answer to a back up QB.

    We will have several weapons return to add to Breaston and Baldwin.
    We just need 3 O-lineman.

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