“Do you ever feel / like a plastic bag / drifting through the wind / waiting to start again?” Katy Perry asks in her ubiquitous radio hit “Firework.” It’s easy to imagine the Kansas City Chiefs, after yet another demoralizing loss, listening to this in the locker room and nodding sullenly like, “Yes, Katy, it’s as if you wrote that line especially for us.”
But she didn’t. A team of old guys wrote it while she texted and ate cotton candy in the corner. The only things people seem to be writing for the Chiefs these days are obituaries. The team is historically bad, having not held a lead in regulation through their first eight games, then finally scrounging one in their ninth, only to blow it on Pop Warner uh-ohs.
Their weaknesses have been obvious all season, but it seems like the ones coach Romeo Crennel is keen on correcting are the really, really obvious ones. Specifically: Don’t hold end-zone dance parties and get called for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The big man expressed his disappointment in the Kansas City Star that in Monday night’s game against the Steelers, several Chiefs players earned a 15-yard penalty for a group celebration on an overruled touchdown.
“We had some penalties that were really uncharacteristic of the guys on this team,” Crennel said. “They were celebrating and dancing and those kinds of things. With the record we have, we really can’t afford to be dancing or anything like that.”
He then promised to eliminate those kinds of mistakes in the future, presumably by eating any player who dares to wiggle his hips.
I understand his sentiment, but by slapping a moratorium on dancing, all you’re doing is taking air out of a tire that’s already deflated. The Chiefs are losers. Even if they play the rest of the season mistake-free, they’ll still be losers in the standings. So why not be lovable losers?
No one’s expecting the Chiefs to suddenly morph into this rigidly disciplined buzz-cut platoon of Johnny Unitas infantrymen, so why not have a little fun with the last stretch of games and let the players endear themselves to the fans by being goofballs?
If they’re fun to watch, the fans won’t go into the offseason grudgingly, meaning there’ll be positive energy to build off of next season when Jamaal Charles is restored to full explosiveness, when the pass rushing is more synchronized, and when they’ll maybe have a shiny new No. 1 pick to strut as a savior/scapegoat.
It’s time to be lovable losers, Chiefs. And though no course of action is foolproof, I’m confident that if you adhere to the following battle plan, you’ll become the clear favorite to win the AFC West title of our hearts:
1. Brady Quinn should immediately start saying his R’s as W’s. As in, “My name is Bwady Quinn and I want to be your fwiend.” Not many linebackers could bring themselves to concuss something that adorable.
2. Employ Grimace from McDonald’s to stand behind Crennel when he’s looking grumpy. As evidenced, it’d be pretty tough not to smile at that.
3. Run this play: Quinn drops back into the pocket. He waits … waits … waits … keeps waiting … until finally someone sacks the crap out of him. But hold on a sec. Dozens of puppies scurry from his jersey and helmet, and it turns out the real Quinn is standing in the end zone with the football. It was a trick, and the crowd couldn’t love it more.
4. Ask Dontari Poe to legally change his last name to Pooh. The ladies would think it was really cute, and the merchandising opportunities would be infinite.
5. Have everyone act just as terrified of horses as Eric Berry, because it’s pretty entertaining. Would make for great Week 16 and 17 matchups against the Broncos and Colts.
6. Hire Donovan McNabb’s mom to hang out on the sideline, ladling out big ol’ servings of Chunky Soup to all of the hungry players.
7. Have touchdown celebrations that initially seem unsportsmanlike but then all of a sudden are incredibly touching. Like, Dwayne Bowe scores, and it looks like he’s gonna pull a cell phone or something from the upright padding, but it turns out he hid a soldier there before the game, and he carries the soldier over to reunite with his family as a surprise.
Losing isn’t so rough when everyone loves you all the same. It’s time for the Chiefs to be lovable, to be fireworks. To make the fans go, “Oh, oh, oh,” or maybe something a little less catatonic and weird. Katy Perry believes in them. All they have to do is believe in themselves.