Rise of the Chiefs

The Chiefs have started the season as one of the best teams in the league and are sitting on a 5-0 record that only 2 other teams in the league can boast. On top of which Chiefs fans are showing so much pride that they will be attempting to break the loudest crowd roar in an outdoor stadium that was previously broken by the Seahawks fans last month,

But things haven’t always been so rosy for Kansas City. In fact it was only last season that they finished with a 2-14 record which was the worst in the league.

Really though the record isn’t the only issues this team were having and in fact some of the pieces they added this season are also bouncing back from some horrible situations. When you look at everything this team has been through over the last year, you begin to realise as a neutral fan it is very easy to root for this team.

So let’s have a look at a season that will go down as probably one of the worst in Chiefs history and why it is incredible that this team has turned their fortunes round.

Firstly in 2012, the team’s record got the fans on their back in a big bad way. In one game where Matt Cassel, the QB at the time, went down injured the fans started to cheer after a run of disappointing performances, which in turn got Eric Winston shouting back at fans calling it “100% sickening”. The animosity towards Matt Cassel had been obvious and Arrowhead was no longer the fierce away game it had been for most teams to go to.

As bad as the results had been they were nothing compared to the tragedy of Jovan Belcher. Belcher had apparently been out partying before he turned up at home to get into an argument with his girlfriend, which could be heard by his mother who was staying with them looking after their 3 month old daughter. According to the mother the argument was getting pretty heated before she heard a gunshot. When she entered her son’s room she found Belcher standing over his dead girlfriend’s body. Belcher fled the scene and turned up at the Chiefs facility where he chatted to Romeo Crennel before making his way to the parking lot with a gun to his head and killing himself in front of the Head Coach. Needless to say this would have affected the locker room but still they handled the whole situation with dignity and continued the season in the face of what must have been a harrowing experience. While the Chiefs had a bad season, there were some future pieces to the franchise that were also having a pretty bad time.

Alex Smith had been considered a let-down for the Niners, until Jim Harbaugh turned up. In Harbaugh’s first season he re-secured the starting job and went the whole season with a passer rating of 90.7 and only 5 interceptions. When the 2012 season started he was the no. 1 QB with a bullet, until he went down injured and Kaepernick stepped in and stepped up in a big bad way. Kaepernick brought something different to the Niners, he brought a different edge to the run game and could throw downfield, in short he was much more dynamic than Smith had been with his safe and sensible play. This was the last time Smith played as a starter for the Niners, as Kaepernick led them to a Superbowl and showed what the Niners could be in the future. In the Off-season, Smith was traded to the Chiefs for a 2nd round Pick.

Andy Reid had the unforgiving job of being the head coach of an Eagles team that a lot of people thought should be winning superbowls. In 2011 this team was dubbed the ‘dream team’, as they made moves through the off-season to instil a win now attitude. The experiment failed and Andy Reid was seen as the reason. Off the field the year had started with personal tragedy for Reid as his son, Garrett Reid was found dead from a heroin overdose after a long running battle with drugs. Andy Reid carried on his coaching duties and was truly inspiring as a leader. However when the season came to an end and the Eagles hadn’t made the playoffs, Reid was let go and promptly picked up by the Chiefs.

So that’s brings us to today. With a Chiefs team that has battled adversity, both on and off the field. When you look at this team and think about everything they went through last season, you have to think they should be proud of the way they handled themselves and to have the ability to improve from being the worst team in the league, to now one of the best, with fans so proud they want to shout it from the stands. No matter what happens at the end of the season, the Chiefs can be proud of everything they have accomplished and the fans can be proud of their team.

Main Image: AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Featured Image: Jamie Squire/Getty Images