COMMENTARY | It’s a new era in the Chiefs Kingdom with owner and CEO Clark Hunt getting rid of the leaders of the team after a dismal 2012 season that saw the Chiefs finish at 2-14. The Chiefs now have a new general manager, a new head coach and a new starting quarterback. Hunt has made the changes to try and field a better product in 2013.
Fans I have spoken with are somewhat guarded in their excitement about Hunt hiring former Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid as their thirteenth head coach. The fans who have followed the Chiefs over the past decade or longer have about seen it all and yearn to win at least a playoff game. The Chiefs last won a playoff game in January 1993.
Fortunately, these long-time fans still have a hatred for American Football Conference (AFC) rivals Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers. Now it’s time for some of the fans who have jumped ship and sold their tickets to the opponent’s fans to wake up and smell the barbecue coming from the parking lots surrounding Arrowhead stadium. It’s pretty incredible to see Arrowhead’s sea of red dotted with Broncos orange, Raiders silver or Chargers gold on game day. Kansas City is fortunate to have an NFL team.
As for Chiefs coaches, the best coach in regards to getting them to the Super Bowl was Hank Stram. Stram took the Chiefs to the Super Bowl I in 1967 and won Super Bowl IV in 1970. According to Pro-Football-Reference.com, Stram won at a .620 percentage in the regular season and .625 in the playoffs, and Marty Schottenheimer coached the Chiefs at a .634 pace. As many Chiefs fans (and others) know, Schottenheimer did terrible in the post season (he was 3-7 with the Chiefs in the postseason).
The question most observers have on their minds is how will new head coach Andy Reid do at the helm of the Chiefs? Will he be more like Stram or will Reid tease the Chiefs Kingdom with great regular seasons and terrible postseasons like Schottenheimer did?
Andy Reid is one up on Schottenheimer, as he did take the Eagles to the Super Bowl in 2004 (losing to the Patriots). Reid won at a .585 percentage for the Eagles in the regular season, and he was 10-9 in the post-season. He took the Eagles to the playoffs nine times out of 14 years.
In comparison, Pro-Football-Reference.com shows Bill Belichick has .692 winning record in the playoffs and Bill Walsh has a .714 playoff winning percentage.
The Chiefs starting quarterback will be Alex Smith, another castaway from San Francisco. As for the quarterbacks employed by the Chiefs, it seems they get the leftovers from other teams. Maybe one of these years they will draft a good one. They released Matt Cassel, whom they obtained from the Patriots. Smith follows other 49ers quarterbacks (Joe Montana, Steve Bono and Elvis Grbac) who have played for the Chiefs.
The 2013 Chiefs should be about six wins better than the 2012 edition giving them an 8-8 record. That would be a good first year for Reid, but this is the age of instant gratification in the NFL, and the Chiefs really need an 8-8 season or better to give fans hope for a brighter future. They need to get their magic back at Arrowhead and make it, once again, the place teams fear.
J. Michael Brown was born in Missouri in 1959 one year before the Kansas City Chiefs were “established.” He’s followed the Chiefs from the Hank Stram/Lenny Dawson era until present. The author of two books, Brown lives in Montana, and when he is not reading about or watching his Chiefs, he writes daily columns for his blog, TheWesternWord.com.