With recent failures from the KC Chiefs and KC Royals, fans still are angry.
By Dylan Gehlbach
Let’s be honest here; Kansas City sports fans have to be some of the most fed up fans in all of sports. You could say I have a bias, being from around the Kansas City area, but Kansas Citians may have more right to be upset than others with their two professional teams. If you’re wondering why, let me walk you through it.
We’ll start with the obvious: The Kansas City Royals. Among a multitude of depressing facts, here’s what I can come up with. First of all, the Royals haven’t made the postseason since 1985. 27 years. To put that into perspective, the Royals are the only team in the MLB, NFL, and NBA to NOT make it into the postseason in the last 20 years, thanks to the Nationals finally winning their division this year. Over that span they’ve had a winning percentage of .451 with a horrendous winning percentage of .408 since 2001. Not to mention that the organization thought it a good time to give the 2012 season the slogan “Our Time” as the Royals’ first 20 games included a 12-game losing streak and dropping their first 10 home games. The 2012 Royals were never in contention to win the division. I could go on, but I think that’s enough.
The Kansas City Chiefs haven’t been AS bad, but not by much. With three playoff berths since the 1998 season, the Chiefs haven’t won a playoff game since they beat the Houston Oilers 28-20 to make it to the AFC Championship in 1993. There’s also last season, when the Chiefs’ star running back, starting quarterback, tight end, and phenom safety went down, among others, with season-ending injuries within the first few games of a season that favored the Chiefs to win their division.
But that 2011 season may not be as frustrating as this season. Today, the Chiefs lost to fall to a 1-4 record in a season that could’ve (should’ve) been THE season for Kansas City fans. Even with all of this background of decades of mediocrity, we come to a moment today where Kansas City fans actually cheered… but that’s the problem.
On a passing play in the 4th Quarter of Sunday’s 9-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel, under pressure, dumped the ball off to Jamaal Charles and was immediately crushed by two Ravens defenders. And I mean CRUSHED. Charles danced his way to a first down, but many Chiefs fans cheered long before the first down to celebrate the hit that left Cassel staring up at the sky with a concussion.
Earlier in the day, a plane flew over Arrowhead Stadium with a banner calling to bench Cassel. If this doesn’t sum up how fed up Chiefs fans were with Cassel, I don’t know what would.
But even with all of the disappointment this season, the poor play of Cassel, and years upon years of pent-up frustration, cheering for an injured player is completely out of line. This act from the audience at Arrowhead even had players turning on their own fans.
“Boo him all you want. Boo me all you want. Throw me under the bus,” said Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Winston via Arrowhead Pride. “But if you are one of those people, one of those people that were out there cheering or even smiled when he got knocked out, I just want to let you know, and I want everybody to know that I think it’s sickening and disgusting.”
It’s safe to say that the play of Matt Cassel thusfar in the season has been subpar. Before Cassel’s game today he’d had five touchdown passes, seven interceptions, and four fumbles on the year. Today, he added two more interceptions and a fumble, making himself a turnover machine. Cassel hasn’t had a QB rating better than 80 his last three games; to say it’s been a rough stretch would be putting it lightly.
With that said, none of this justifies the cheering that he heard when he was nearly knocked unconscious today. Personally, I wouldn’t cheer if the OPPOSING quarterback was lying on his back after getting nailed by two defenders, much less if it had happened to my own quarterback. If this is from all of the frustration from years of mediocrity in sports, maybe the fans that cheered need to find a new hobby. Obviously they are taking these games a little bit too personally.
After all, we’re not watching a fight to the death out there. As Winston puts it, “Were are not gladiators and this is not the Roman Coliseum. This is a game.”