Last night was truly one of the best NFL games of 2021. A lot on the line in the absolute gridlock that is the AFC playoff picture. Two complete teams exchanging haymakers all night. Lead changes all over the place. Second guessable decisions by both coaches. A performance for the ages by Travis Kelce. As a matter of fact it almost had it all.
I say almost because there was one thing absent from this one. I didn't hear it in the postgame, so I thought I'd wait until this morning and check the reactions after the nation had had a chance to sleep on it. And all I'm hearing nothing.
Where is all the righteous indignation over the overtime rules?
Kansas City won the flip. They put on a drive. They got in the end zone for the win. The Chargers never got to touch the ball. America, land that I love, was denied our sovereign, God-given birthright to see Justin Herbert get a chance to answer the Chiefs touchdown. So I expected to wake up today to howls of outrage over this grave injustice. But instead?
Funny how that works. Because it was just over three years ago now that the Chiefs were in a very similar situation. Except they lost the coin flip. They also couldn't make a stop. They subsequently lost without ever gaining possession in overtime. And it was treated as a national tragedy.
In case you haven't yet caught on to what I'm talking about, I'm referring to the 2018 AFC championship game. Which played out the same way as last night's game. But drew a response that was 180 degrees different.
Even the No. 1 recruiter in college football today was demanding changes be made:
So when the Chiefs lose, the coin flip was being called unfair. The very thing we use as a metaphor for even-handed fairness was considered an advantage that favored only the Patriots and the rule had to go. No one was asking that the Chiefs get Patrick Mahomes the ball the old fashioned way, by making a stop. The Patriots faced three 3rd & 10s in OT and converted them all. But it was the damned binary results of the coin spinning in the air that was the reason the country was being cursed with New England spoiling everyone's party on yet another Super Bowl Sunday.
But today? The unanimous response is, "Great game!" and discussions about how the Chiefs are the team no one wants to face going forward. It's so blatantly hypocritical as to be laughable. But in the words of the great Tedy Bruschi: