Loyalty renewed with success

I was done with this year?s Kansas City Chiefs. I was so done that I went on a written tirade and publicly declared the team left for dead after losing a home game to the Chicago Bears.

Sitting at 1-5 with another season headed for a high draft pick, I was gearing up for basketball season and hoping 2016 would be a better year for my favorite sports team, but all of that changed.

The Kansas City Chiefs, the 2015 Kansas City Chiefs, won nine games in a row and just claimed a spot in the playoffs after beating the Cleveland Browns 17-13.

I was gifted tickets for Christmas to the game by my parents, and if you would have told me I was going to be excited for December football just a few months ago, I would have laughed, but there Lindsey and I were, sitting in the stands and yelling as loud as we could at Johnny Manziel (Maybe they call him Johnny Football because he’s good at soccer. I don’t get the hype.) hoping for a false start or something so the Chiefs could finish the game out late.

The ride has been strange, entertaining and intensely improbable. Only one team started a season as poorly as the Chiefs and made the playoffs in the history of the league, so I don’t think I was all that unjustified in my write-off earlier.

To think that I thought we were destined for a top five pick then and now I am anxiously awaiting a playoff game is a little crazy. We listened to Kansas City sports talk radio for a good portion of our visit, and people are talking about the Super Bowl over the airwaves.

I think we should focus on winning a playoff game for the first time since 1993 (I was 8 years old) first, but who am I to kill the buzz this team is getting?

Alex Smith isn’t going to Canton, Ohio, but he can get the job done, especially with our defense playing the way it is even without two of our best players rushing the quarterback.

Why not Kansas City?

I certainly can’t think of a reason as even those who doubt the offense in the playoffs have to tell me how our team is worse than anything quarterbacked by Brian Hoyer, AJ McCarron, Brock Osweiler, and Ryan Fitzpatrick. If that is the case, the Chiefs might just be the second best team in the AFC right now next to the Patriots.

With the Royals winning and the Chiefs seemingly unstoppable right now, I am starting to think something magical is happening up north in K.C.

I won’t be surprised if it is another one-and-done appearance in the playoffs as that is what I am accustomed to now, but for the first time in awhile, I am excited about our chances and think we have a shot at something special.

Rarely will I dedicate my space in tribute to pro football, but when the Chiefs win nine in a row and have a chance at the division after a 1-5 start, I figured you all would indulge me.

No matter what happens next, enjoy the season and the ride the last three months has been. Kansas City is the envy of the sports world right now, and that hasn’t happened in my lifetime.

Joey Young is a majority owner and publisher of the Free Press and Kansas Publishing Ventures.