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Clouds Over Kansas City by Ryan Tackeberry

We all remember with a great fondness that epic 2003 season in which our beloved Kansas City Chiefs, for the first time in 35 years, made a strong run at the Super Bowl. With Trent Green leading our troops through a 13-3 regular season posting an astounding 4,039 yards with only 12 interceptions. We also remember, sadly, the gut-wrenching loss to the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the playoffs, but we marched on swearing that it would not be the last time you saw Kansas City within the realms of greatness.

We stand now a far cry from that place of prestige. With a combined record of 36-55 in the years since, it seems that the fire that once burned in the hearts of Chiefs fans and players alike has been extinguished, replaced now with a sort of shame. The once thunderous Arrowhead Stadium has been reduced to nothing more than a light rain, fans that once filled this notoriously rowdy bowl, would now rather watch at home so they can switch the channel when things get ugly. In place of pride we find excuses. Giving reasons why we lost instead figuring out ways to win. It seems to me that if we don’t see that silver lining promised us, we will join the ranks of Lions and Browns fans scattered throughout a mostly empty stadium with paper bags over our heads. Fortunately for the Chiefs loyal, that lining may be closer than expected.

Last week at home the Chiefs squeaked by the heavily favored Steelers with a 27-24 win in overtime. This win breathes new life to the once rotting corpse that has been Kansas City football. With former Patriots back up Matt Cassel at the helm and newly acquired Chris Chambers as his go-to receiver, we now see that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, a new hope for the future. After a shaky start Cassel seems to have found his stride with a meek, yet respectable 55% completion average and only 6 interceptions. The biggest problem now is the offensive line. With an embarrassing 34 sacks in 10 games the big men upfront are causing big problems. This, however, is a problem that can be solved. Strategic picks and trades in the forthcoming off-season could bring a well deserved sigh of relief to young head coach Todd Haley. Filling in for the now absent Larry Johnson is young newcomer Jamaal Charles. Averaging nearly 5 yards a carry, and boasting 313 total rushing yards in only 64 attempts (compared to Johnson’s 377 yards in 132 attempts) Charles promises to be an outlet for offensive leaders Cassel, Bowe, and Chambers to catch their breath. Not forgetting the defensive side of the ball, powerhouses such as Demorrio Williams, Mike Brown, Glen Dorsey, Tamba Hali, and Derrick Johnson are sure to continue smashing heads in the style and manner in which they’ve grown accustomed.

So for those die-hard Chiefs fans wincing with each snap of the ball, look to the future and see the potential in a team who’s seen ups and downs throughout its entire existence. When things get rough, however, keep this in mind: it could always be worse, you could live in Detroit.

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