One thing that shouldn't be lost amid the chaos of the Chiefs reaction to last night's game that Dante wrote about:
... is that there is absolutely nothing new about this. Not in Kansas City anyway. For underneath all of Patrick Mahomes' marketable, audience-pleasing, broad appeal and Andy Reid's likeable doofish charm, when they're sharing burgers with Jake from State Farm lie the hearts of two privileged, entitled whiners who believe the world owes them the benefit of every call. Even when they openly admit a Chiefs' player was in the wrong. This act of theirs is as fresh as Season One of Yellowstone, because they were pitching the exact same fits back in 2018 under remarkably similar circumstances.
Let's set the Way Back Machine five years to the AFC championship game, at Kansas City. With the Chiefs leading 28-24 and a minute left in regulation, disaster struck for New England. More specifically, disaster came out of Tom Brady's hand, bounced off Rob Gronkowski's and ended up in the arms of Chavarius Ward:
Only to be called back because Dee Ford was most definitely, positively, measurably, blatantly, in no uncertain terms, and by any definition, offsides:
With new life, Brady hit Gronk for 25 yards. Rex Burkhead took it in for the go-ahead score. Kansas City pushed it to overtime with a field goal. The Patriots won the toss and proceeded to convert three 3rd & 10s on the only possession they'd need to win the game and go to Super Bowl LIII.
And if Andy Reid's comments after last night's loss sounded familiar, it's because he's practiced this speech before. Here was him now:
"Usually I get a warning before something like that happens. … It's a bit embarrassing in the National Football League for that to take place. … I’ve been in the league for a long time. Haven’t had one like that.”
This was him five years ago:
“Normally you’re warned and the coach is warned if somebody is doing that before they throw it in a game of that magnitude. But they did. He didn’t waste any time doing it. He didn’t wait until the interception to throw it. He had his hand on the flag right from the get-go.’’
Of course Dee Ford agreed that the officials owed him the benefit of the doubt:
"They said I was in the neutral zone. I've got to see the ball. I've got to see the ball. Especially at that time in that game and what was at stake, I've got to see that ball."
In other words, he was totally in the right to line up in the neutral zone. And if that gives him a competitive advantage that makes it somewhere between hard and impossible to block him, that's just tough luck for the Patriots offensive linemen. I guess. According to Reid and Ford, it was the official's fault for not showing him where to line up like it's the first day of Pop Warner practice.
And they were joined by a Greek chorus of the football world agreeing with what a miscarriage of justice it was:
So there's nothing new about any of this.
The Chiefs organization has arguably had the benefit or more squishy DPI and Roughing the passer calls than any in football over the last half decade or so. But still they have long been convinced that not only does the league need to call things differently in high leverage moments in big games, but warn them when they're committing a pre-snap penalty. And when the officials don't, it's they're fault. Not the guy who's incapable of locating the ball, drawing an imaginary parallel line from there to the sidelines, and then lining up behind it.
As such, they'll never achieve the dynasty status everyone wants to prematurely bestow upon them. True winners just want things called fairly. Rules enforced the way they're written. No extra consideration. No special treatment. No subjective judgement based on who you are or how big the moment is. No help from the officials beyond calling it like they see it. And in a real, capital D Dynasty, everyone is accountable for their mistakes.
Still, it was a fun run while it lasted, KC.