Jeff Herr, a finalist in the 2011 Big Gig Contest on 610 Sports Radio, was born and raised in Kansas City. Following the Chiefs, Royals, and Jayhawks all his life has led him to blog about all three extensively at the-jeff-report.blogspot.com. He has also spent time covering the Royals for the blog site kingsofkauffman.com as well as serving for a period as the lead editor of throughthephog.com a blog covering the Kansas Jayhawks. When not writing about the local sports scene, he pays the bills by serving as an accountant.
Jeff Herr: What To Be Thankful For As a Chiefs Fan
by Jeff Herr,posted Nov 28 2011 4:37PM
With the tough loss to the Steelers last night putting the Chiefs at 4-7 on the year, there is plenty of negativity to go around. That being the case, I’m going to go a different route and give some things Chiefs fans should be thankful for. After all, this seems appropriate based on the holiday weekend we all just enjoyed.
From a historical perspective there are plenty of things to be thankful for. First and foremost, I am thankful the Chiefs have won a Super Bowl. I know we live in a “what have you done for me lately” society and the Super Bowl victory was over 40 years ago. However, plenty of other fanbases would gladly take the Chiefs situation in this regard. Ask fans in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Jacksonville, San Diego, Houston, Tennessee, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Carolina, Atlanta, Detroit, Minnesota, Arizona, and Seattle if they would like just one Super Bowl victory, their answer is going to most likely be yes.
Fans should also be thankful that we have an owner who brought the team to Kansas City and is committed to keeping it here. Cities like Las Angeles, Orlando, and Memphis among others would all love a football team. The Chiefs have one that is here for the foreseeable future. Most of the fanbase has taken it for granted because it has been here so long, but it very well couldn’t be and we should all be thankful the team remains in our fair city.
On to the current state of this team and what there is to be thankful for. Fans should all be thankful that the current team we have is not who we start next year with. By that I mean we still have premiere players on this team. The Chiefs have elite players on both sides of the ball as well as solid players that have barely seen any time this year because of injuries. With these players in the game, this season takes a bit of a different turn.
Kansas City fans should be thankful that the Chiefs have roughly $27M in cap space. Chiefs fans have cried out this year about why the team hasn’t spent more money in the offseason. The depth issue is something that went unaddressed and the Chiefs are now seeing why that’s a problem. The Chiefs need to fix their depth issue in the offseason but at least they have money to do it. They would be in a much worse position if they had this team with no extra money to spend. It remains to be seen whether the Chiefs will spend more in 2012, but at least they have the resources if they choose to do so.
Chiefs fans should be thankful for the elite players on this team. Jamaal Charles is a top 5 running back, and even if he only comes back at 85%, still remains a top 10 running back. Tamba Hali is an elite pass rusher. Hali has seven sacks on the season and is consistently able to get pressure on the QB and disrupt the play. Eric Berry is an elite safety. As a rookie Berry was voted a top 100 player in the NFL by his peers. It’s clear to everyone that he is going to be a superstar in this league. We will be able to see Berry grow as a player and become a lynchpin of this defense for years to come. Brandon Flowers might not be quite elite but is a top tier cornerback. He has lapses and gets beat, but such is the nature of the position. Thirty two other teams would jump at the chance to have Flowers start for them.
This may seem like a small issue, but the Chiefs have a team full of players you can root for. They might be somewhat devoid of talent as of this moment, but they are players you can get behind. The Chiefs haven’t had an off-field incident of note since Larry Johnson tweeted his last words in Kansas City. Dwayne Bowe made some suspect comments but that is the worst we have seen. Whether they like it or not, these players are role models for young children and people of the KC community. Players like Hali, Flowers, and Berry among others are players and human beings that Kansas City fans can easily cheer for.
Most importantly, Chiefs fans should be thankful for each other. Kansas City is home to one of the most dedicated fanbases in the country. The Chiefs have teetered on the plane of mediocrity for the last 20 years and this town still gets out and gets behind their team. As a city KC continues to look through the football world with red, Chiefs colored glasses. The fans show up each and every week to support this team. The weather in this town can get rough, the Chiefs can be playing poorly, but more often than not fans come out and support. Few other cities would put up with what fans have in this city for the last 20 years and still turn out in droves.
This is not to say that we should be positive about the Chiefs right now overall. The organization has issues which come as no surprise to anybody. There is a lot of work to be done. Sweeping changes will have to be made not only with the team but with the direction of this franchise. No longer should mediocrity be acceptable to anybody involved, especially the fans. Fans should maintain pressure on this organization to fix the issues it has. Until that happens this is simply a reminder that there are things that can make this fanbase optimistic about this organization. There are reasons to believe that with the right moves this team could be something special, and we can all be thankful for that.
Jeff Herr: What To Be Thankful For As a Chiefs Fan
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They can also be thankful that the Chiefs have fans of the devotion and quality of your grandfather Haake. Upon Haake's death, a senior member of the Chiefs organization paid his respects in person to one of the Chiefs most loyal fans (buried with a Chiefs tie around his neck)