View Full Version : Merrill: Chiefs in the playoffs

01-01-2007, 02:36 AM
Decent article from Merrill


Chiefs wonder about ‘outside forces’ as they get a little help and new life
The Kansas City Star

Herm Edwards went home, kept the TV off and played with his little girl Gabrielle on the floor. If the last piece fell into place Sunday night, and if slim-to-none turned into an improbable playoff berth, somebody would call.

Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt had to watch. He wondered whether outside forces were at work. It started with a field goal that hooked right in Cincinnati, was kept alive with Kansas City’s wild 35-30 win over Jacksonville and ended with another field goal in another time zone at Denver.

The Chiefs are going to the playoffs for the first time since 2003, and nobody — not the players, the Arrowhead Stadium employees who huddled around the TVs or the soggy collection of about 60,000 fans — thought it would happen.

Some of them still aren’t sure it actually happened.

With the season still in doubt, president/general manager Carl Peterson took off on a plane to a bowl game and was flying over Denver when the pilot told him the Broncos’ game had gone to overtime. It was that kind of a day. But Hunt passed by a TV about 3 o’clock Sunday, when the Bengals missed that field goal, and began to believe.

“I’ve had some people in the locker room,” Hunt said, “suggest that maybe my father had a hand in that.”

Eighteen days after the club lost founder Lamar Hunt to cancer, two weeks after Kansas City limped home from San Diego after its third straight loss, the Chiefs hastily made plans to play at Indianapolis at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The locker-cleaning that was planned for this morning would wait. And one of the worst months in Chiefs history ended with a few gifts from some AFC rivals.

Edwards arrived at the stadium early Sunday and told his team it couldn’t control the outside factors, whether the Steelers could beat the Bengals, the Patriots could beat the Titans and the 49ers could beat the Broncos. He didn’t even tell them that all those teams would have to do it on the road.

The only thing the Chiefs could control was a 60-minute tug-of-war that was played through rain, then snow, and was rife with drama and fisticuffs and boos and controversy.

“It was just that kind of game,” guard Brian Waters said. “We knew it was going to be physical. That was just two teams that were really frustrated about their situation and wanted to win the game.”

The day was a microcosm of Kansas City’s 9-7 season. The Chiefs seemed to be at their best when things looked the worst. Trent Green had three turnovers and was booed. The defense bent, twisted and nearly broke.

They couldn’t even rest after an 18-point second-half lead because another backup quarterback — this time an unknown named Quinn Gray — was running and passing at will. No, it wasn’t over until Jaguars defensive end Bobby McCray was called for being offside with 1:16 to play, and Green could take a knee and run the clock out.

And then it wasn’t really over, anyway.

Larry Johnson ran for 138 yards and three touchdowns and broke an NFL record with 416 carries on a season, and when he slipped out of the locker room late Sunday, he no doubt thought he’d be in for a long winter’s rest.

Green thought the same thing. He spent roughly 30 minutes in a rare, candid postgame chat with reporters, and talked about how he was undaunted by the boos and was looking forward to coming back next season. At one point during the conversation, a room next door erupted in hoots and hollers when the 49ers made a play in Denver.

Green stopped for a moment and said he wanted to go watch the game somewhere.

“It’s very frustrating,” he said when asked how tough it would be to not go to the playoffs again. “But if you look at the last two seasons, we’ve done it to ourselves. You can say we played 16 games like everybody else. We don’t have anybody to blame but ourselves.”

For the second straight year, Peterson gave the scoreboard operator the directive not to flash any scores from Cincinnati or Tennessee during the game. He wanted the team to stay focused.

But the press box at Arrowhead turned rowdy in the waning moments, and at one point, PR director Bob Moore had to tell a gaggle of people pressed against a wall and fixed on the Bengals’ game to keep it down.

It almost seemed as if the game on the TV was more intriguing than the one on the field.

“It seemed like we always had the game in our hands,” defensive end Jared Allen said. “They weren’t beating us with plays; it was like schoolyard ball.”

As confident as Allen was with what they did against the Jaguars, he wasn’t so sure about the 49ers. He glanced at the TV after receiver Eddie Kennison grabbed a remote and flipped on all the televisions in the locker room.

“Hopefully we’ll get some blessings from heaven,” Allen said.

The Chiefs had experienced their share of final-week heartache. Last year, they won 10 games but couldn’t get in after the Steelers hung on to beat Detroit.

Edwards wasn’t in Kansas City that day, and he didn’t want to hang around the TV on Sunday night waiting. He feared if he turned on the game, he might change the 49ers’ karma.

But his wife, Lia, was watching in another room, and every time she hollered, he asked, “What are you screaming about now?”

“Then she told me it was in overtime, and I said, ‘Well, we’ve still got a chance,’ ” Edwards said. “Obviously, when I heard her scream at the end, I knew something good had happened.”


01-01-2007, 02:51 AM
Wow that really breaks new ground.

01-01-2007, 02:51 AM
and very little of the second half. Walked the dogs in the snow. Was taking in online up-dates during the 'Doncos' game and refused to watch the game on TV. Mojo can be a real hard pimp................or something, something, something.

The way our luck has gone I figured to get the tri-fecta and lose at Arrowhead. What a Sunday.

keg in kc
01-01-2007, 02:58 AM
It hasn't really hit yet for me. The whole day has been surreal. I thought there was zero realistic chance we'd make it in. During the game, watching the scores, seeing Pissburgh and the Patsies on top, I still never let myself believe it was possible. Then Cinci got ahead with a minute or whatever to go, and I was like "ah well". At that point, NE was only up by 3 or so, as well. So I didn't ever start getting my hopes up...

Then all of a sudden NE is up by 2 TD and Pissburgh ties the game late. Uh oh, I think. Don't get your hopes up, Kyle.

Then Cinci sets up the game-winning field goal. It's over, I think.

They miss, Pissburgh wins the OT toss and then the game.

Oh shit, I think. But I still don't get my hopes up. There's no f*cking way SF is going to win in Dungver...

I watch the first half, up until about 4:30 pm. Hadn't eaten all day, I have a trip coming up, need to do some shopping and get some food. Denver is up 6-0, and I figure it's all but in the books. SF is lucky it's that close. In my truck, I hear the score's 13-0 on a pick.

Well, it was nice to dream, I told myself.

I do my shopping. Get back in my truck. It's now the second half. I'm listening to the game now, find it on the radio, about 5 minutes later I realize that SF is somehow ahead 17-13. I'm boggling...

Don't let yourself get your hopes up, I reiterate...

At home again, I turn the game on and watch. SF is in complete control. I can't believe my eyes. Still, I'm a skeptic. They'll choke late. It's Denver, with an opportunity to knock us out. The football gods live for moments like this. We NEVER get this lucky. We're the f*cking Chiefs. Nothing goes our way.

Then there's the fumble/interception stupid review mistake and I think, ahh, here's where it turns around. Thanks refs. Then Denver scores the TD and I think it's over.

And then we get to overtime. Denver gets the ball and chokes. Gets the ball again and chokes.

So I start thinking, well, maybe Denver won't win, but it looks like they might tie, because SF isn't doing anything.

I watch the seconds tick away thinking this may be one of the most heart-wrenching moments in my brief (8-year) tenure as a Chiefs fan. It would so perfectly personify the kind of TORTURE it is to follow this team. The gods of football would enjoy the joke at our expense. Have EVERYTHING go our way....and then have the Donkeys tie in overtime to eek in.

The two minute warning hit. I learned something then - I didn't realize OT had a two minute warning...

And then the Niners won.

I saw it, I know it. But I haven't celebrated it yet. I texted my girlfriend - a donkey fan - to tell her (no gloating, we're not like that with each other...) and I posted here, but I haven't really FELT it yet. It hasn't sunk in.

I'm almost afraid I'll wake in the morning and find out it wasn't real.

It can't be...

01-01-2007, 03:05 AM
I vote Kegs article better than Merrils.

Somehow I get the feeling she does not even watch the games. She reads the Internet-borrows a bit, reads Jo po-borrows a bit, steals interview soundbites, reads Jwit-borrows a bit. Puts a nice fluffy bow on it and calls it her own.

Hammock Parties
01-01-2007, 03:08 AM
My hopes were up all day. I watched most of the Niners game and got really, really nervous at the end. It was like watching a Chiefs game. I was really into it.

Hammock Parties
01-01-2007, 03:10 AM
I haven't really FELT it yet. It hasn't sunk in.

I'm almost afraid I'll wake in the morning and find out it wasn't real.

It can't be...

I feel exactly the same way. I'm probably going to feel all week like we shouldn't be there, like this is just an extra week of Chiefs football.

01-01-2007, 03:28 AM
Maybe the refs will learn how to blow a whistle by next week-damm they were dumbasses in this game.

01-01-2007, 03:59 AM
i went to the game, got a lil drunker than i thought i was gonna get. i love the chiefs, but i'd given up on the playoffs after cleveland. i remember hearing something on the radio that all had gone right, and only denver was left to lose and we're in, then i passed out. all the way home, then slept till bout 11:00. you can imagine my suprise when i awoke to a text from a buddy saying "denver lost, we're in the playoffs"
still hasn't set in really, looking forward to playing the colts on saturday, but i don't feel like its the playoffs.

01-01-2007, 05:47 AM
I texted my girlfriend - a donkey fan...

Mixed marriages are frowned on around here....