With little more than 48 hours to go until one of the most highly anticipated showdowns in the history of the AFC West, our hype-meter just blew a gasket.
By JEFF ROSEN
The Kansas City Star
Today's bulletin board material comes from the Denver Post's Mark Kiszla.
In this morning's edition, the Post sports columnist, who happens to be a Mizzou grad, tackles Sunday night's Chiefs-Broncos game with all the subtlety of a middle linebacker, calling out the Chiefs as, among other things, "frauds" and "ankle biters."
This is how Kiszla's column starts out:
"The Broncos can do the rest of the NFL a favor and expose Kansas City as a fraud hiding behind its 9-0 record.
"The Chiefs do not have what it takes to win the Super Bowl."
He goes on to call the Chiefs a "cute story," but little more than "an inconvenience to serious championship contenders."
Ah, to troll a fan base.
As you can imagine, social media reaction to Kiszla's column was swift and sure in KC. Not long after I'd posted a link to the column on Twitter, I got a reply saying, effectively, that Kiszla's piece should be pasted in every Chiefs locker this weekend.
Let's read a little further, shall we?
"Truth is: The last time the Chiefs were spotted in Denver," Kiszla writes, "all those legend-in-the-making defenders including Eric Berry, Justin Houston, Dontari Poe and Tamba Hali walked off the field in defeat after being torched for 38 points during one of those wintry, 35-degree days that supposedly reduces (Peyton) Manning to a quivering, shivering shell of a quarterback."
Kiszla goes on to scoff at the notion the Chiefs have a blueprint resembling the one that built Baltimore into a Super Bowl champion at the turn of the millennium. "Kansas City is experimenting with a championship formula that works maybe once a decade in the NFL. A stout defense that can create its own offense. A nondescript quarterback that considers a long pass as anything traveling 5 yards down the field."
One of the hidden gems in Kiszla's column is his equation of the Chiefs' storyline this season to that of Denver's dalliance with Tim Tebow: "Football is an emotional game. The Chiefs are riding high with a chest-thumping joy that feels like magic. It reminds me a little of the smiles caused in Denver back in the day by Tim Tebow. "The only trouble with magic?" Kiszla asks. "It goes poof and is gone."
After all that windup, though, the piece ends with at least some respect to Kansas City and its mastery of the art of tailgating.
Kiszla says the Chiefs could win Sunday if their defensive front can rattle Manning and his bum ankle(s) ... but he also makes it clear that he doesn't really see that happening: "This game has 31-13 written all over it. Broncos win. Chiefs go in a tailspin."
He also doesn't let the column conclude without one final dig at Chiefs Nation. "... I do know how to spell Chiefs: F-R-A-U-D."