Chiefs’ fans, I’m back! Last year I told you what “Rookies to Look For”, prior to the start of the season. I also told you that “Defense Wins Championships.” This year I will teach you a bit of Chiefs history, and yet again what rookies to keep your eye on. All of the youngsters that I informed you of had outstanding rookie seasons in the National Football League. Throughout all of this, one thing still remains; “the young boys are taking over.” I will continue to utter that phrase as long as this generation change is taking place. This fact is obvious in the 2008 roster of the Kansas City Chiefs, as they were the youngest team in the NFL last year.
Examine the Chiefs front office and head coach beginning with the Chairman of the Board, Clark Hunt, the General Manager, Scott Pioli, and head coach, Todd Haley. All of whom were under the auspices of the leadership of the past generation. In addition to this, examine our roster beginning with Kolby Smith, Dwayne Bowe, Bernard Pollard, Jarrad Paige, Glenn Dorsey, and Brandon Flowers. We have cleaned house of everyone from the past generation (and the rest of Dick Vermeils’ crew), and now ladies and gentlemen I present to you the New Kansas City Chiefs!
Chiefs’ fans across this great country should be jumping for joy. Especially, if the phrase “history repeats itself” has any truth to it. First, let me remind the Chiefs Nation of the 1969 and 1989 record setting NFL seasons, and then let me tell you about the record setting NFL 2009 season. These three seasons are in 20 year intervals (a generation), and serve as examples of Kansas City Chiefs history.
It may seem odd to others why a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs would be so excited about the upcoming 2009 NFL season. Especially, after the Chiefs had such a depressing 2008 season by going a timid 2-14. And we can’t forget that the odds makers of Las Vegas have the Chiefs and the Lions at 100-1 odds to win the Super Bowl. Despite these facts, Chiefs fans everywhere have a lot to be happy about. My purpose with this article is to give our faithful a sufficient amount of hope and promise that we all need to function following such a dismal year as Chiefs fans.
I will begin discussing Chiefs history with the 1969 NFL season. This season was the 10th regular season of the American Football League, and the last one before the merger of the AFL-NFL. To honor the AFL’s 10th season, a special anniversary logo was designed and each Kansas City Chiefs player wore a patch on his jersey with the logo during Super Bowl IV, the final AFL-NFL World Championship Game prior to the merger of the two leagues. The season ended when the Chiefs defeated our rival, the Oakland Raiders, in the final AFL Championship Game, then went on to defeat the National Football League’s Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV.
We won that championship with a coach that had won “Coach of the Year” the year before, with an MVP Quarterback, who was rumored to have a gambling problem at the time, and a run stopping defense. The Chiefs defense led the league in fewest rushing yards, fewest passing yards and fewest total yards.
Twenty years later, we were ending one era with Commissioner Pete Rozelle, and beginning a new era with Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, and the Chiefs also began a new administration. On December 19, 1988, the Kansas City Chiefs named a former USFL executive, Carl Peterson, as the club’s General Manager. Following Peterson, on January 24, 1989, Marty Schottenheimer was named the 7th Head Coach in Chiefs history. The Peterson era began when the Chiefs drafted the “Great One,” LB Derrick Thomas with the 4th overall pick in the 1989 NFL draft. Derrick Thomas, who was recently elected into the NFL’s 2009 Class of the Hall of Fame, became the cornerstone of the Chiefs organization as they went on to become the winningest team in the NFL during the 1990′s. Moreover, the Kansas City Chiefs also went on to set a record for the most consecutive playoff appearances in team history.
In like fashion, and another 20 years later, as we were ending another era with Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, and beginning a new era with a new (and current) Commissioner, Mr. Roger Goodell, the Chiefs began again to build a new administration. It began in 2005 when Clark Hunt was named Chairman of the Board, partly due to the declining health of the club’s founder, and his father, the great Lamar Hunt. The next generation just continued to file in and on January 14, 2009, the Kansas City Chiefs named Scott Pioli, a three-time Super Bowl winner with the New England Patriots, as the club’s new General Manager, and President of Player Personnel. Following the hiring of Pioli, the Chiefs then hired the former Jacksonville University golf coach, Todd Haley, on February 6, 2009, as the eleventh head coach in team history. In addition to being a college golf coach, Haley was the offensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals, and helped to lead them to their first Super Bowl in franchise history.
Prior to a record setting decade of winning, and the hiring of a new General Manager and coach, the Chiefs drafted a defensive lineman, Neil Smith, and a cornerback, Kevin Porter. AFTERWARDS, CAME THE “GREAT ONE” WITH THE 4TH OVERALL PICK IN THE 1989 NFL DRAFT. In like manner, the Chiefs last year drafted a defensive lineman, Glenn Dorsey, and a cornerback, Brandon Flowers or Brandon Carr, prior to hiring a new General Manager and coach. And this time WE HOPE FOR THE “GREAT ONE, JR.” WITH THE 5TH OVERALL PICK IN THE 2009 NFL DRAFT.
The anticipation for the Chiefs to hire an aggressive defensive coordinator is very high because he will be the key ingredient to this new administration. Just like the 1969 Super Bowl champs, the 2009 Chiefs should have a run stopping, jaw breaking defense. Remember, defense wins championships! It is rumored that we will draft a LB (Aaron Curry – LB – Wake Forest) with our first pick. The Chief gods know that we need an heir to the “Great One.” For a moment there I think that all Chiefs fans thought that Derrick Johnson was the heir to the throne, but to no avail. The Kansas City Chiefs are $33 million under the salary cap, therefore we should be able to get attract additional defensive veteran talent from around the league. We could also land Anquan Boldin to help Mr. Haley properly display his wondrous offense, and to also help free up Dwayne Bowe, of course.
Finally, we have all the pieces in place to do well this year, not to mention history, and fate. Our new and younger ruling class has been taught by “the best that ever did it.” We have the young Chairman of the Board, taught by his dad. We have the young General Manager, winner of the George Young NFL Executive of the Year Award twice. We have the young head coach, taught by the “Big Tuna.” We have a fierce group of young players, some of which will become the new faces of the NFL. With this, upon signing the contract, a player should feel apart of the affluent heritage of the Kansas City Chiefs, and immediately undertake his duty to perform on a higher level.
Now, with Mike Shanahan gone, welcome the new leaders, of the new AFC West Division. Ladies and Gentlemen, the New Kansas City Chiefs!! All we need to do now is begin to wear our black jerseys!