The Chiefs have a lot to prove, and a lot to live up to. This is one of those things you can probably say most any season of most any NFL team. It’s just the way these things work. It’s the construct we’ve all created around professional sports.
But for the Chiefs, these Chiefs, that seems particularly true.
This is the third year that Andy Reid, Alex Smith and John Dorsey have been together. They have been in one playoff game, and it turned into a disaster, one more chapter in the story of a franchise that’s gone more than two decades since its last playoff win.
The Chiefs are a local obsession, but mostly a national afterthought. People in Kansas City think a lot about the Broncos or Patriots, but not much about the Bengals. The Chiefs’ history, particularly in the last 20 years, is much closer to the Bengals than the Broncos.
They have a real chance to change all of that this year, of course. Alex Smith has never been in the same system for three years, and never had this much talent around him. Justin Houston is at the height of his powers. Jamaal Charles is still one of the league’s best playmakers. Derrick Johnson is back. Eric Berry, too. Travis Kelce is a star waiting to happen. On and on.
Again, we can probably say this most any season about most any team, but it sure feels like a big moment for this franchise. Go forward and win a playoff game. Or go backward and back into a familiar cycle.
This is all a somewhat rambling and pointless intro to the annual Totally Official Don’t Kill The Mellinger Chiefs Over-Under Challenge.
The rules are same as always, and so is this: an enormous thanks to Grant and Challenge Builder for making sure as many of you maniacs who want to do this can do it. Grant has always done this for free, because he is a hero, but has asked that if anyone is interested in acquiring the software used to create this contest to contact him at email@example.com.
Anyway, the rules are the same, but a quick review:
All disputes (even my own mistakes) will be settled by me. I won’t be a jerk about it. Probably not, anyway.
Deadline for entries is set at noon on Sunday, so kickoff of the opener against the Texans.
Winner gets a gift card to Joe’s Kansas City, or, if they’re the kind of person who starts the wave, a different restaurant of their choice.
Good luck. Here are the numbers. If you are having trouble viewing them on your mobile device, please tap here):