So as of today, one of the 5 greatest quarterbacks of all time will be free to ‘attempt’ (a word that can’t be used strongly enough) to add a few more years to his first ballot Hall of Fame career. My team, the Kansas City Chiefs, is one of the teams considered to have a realistic chance at giving Peyton Manning a couple more years to see if he still has it. Young defense on the rise, solid above average skill players on offense, we definitely have more than some other teams to offer someone who wants to win now (which Peyton is obviously going to want to do.) I’ve heard skepticism about if it’s in the Chiefs’ best interest to bring Peyton on for a couple of years. My counter to that is simple: how quickly you forget…
In my lifetime as a Chiefs fan, the ‘good times’ are few and far between. There have been no Super Bowl championships. As a matter of fact, I’ve watched all three of my division rivals (the Raiders, the Broncos and the Chargers, THE CHARGERS!) at least make it to Super Bowl Sunday. My memories are of Lin Elliott. My memories are of Priest Holmes getting the Bo Jackson injury. My memories are Herm Edwards screaming ‘WE CAN BUILD ON THIS!!!’ (OK that last one has provided plenty of amusement but you see my point…)
Now do you want to know what my single greatest memory as a Chiefs fan is? It’s not one of those 2 or 3 playoff victories or that year we needed 8 dominoes to fall on the last day and they all fell and we snuck in the playoffs. It was October of 94, Monday Night Football, Chiefs at Mile High. The Original Denver Broncos Quarterback I Couldn’t Stand, John Elway had led his team down the field in the 4th Quarter as he always does, and it looked like I stayed up late for nothing (again). But this time we had Joe Montana. Well past his prime, his best days behind him, playing mostly to prove the San Francisco 49ers shouldn’t have pushed him out the door even though he was coming off an injury that everyone had a right to feel had ended his career. When Joe took us down the field and got us the win in Denver (which we never did in those days), I think I was pumping my fist and yelling as loud as he was. Going to school the next day and bragging about it to my friends who turned off the game early only made it sweeter (we didn’t have the internet in those days kids).
Joe took us to an AFC Championship Game too of course, but beating one of our worst rivals on their turf is the memory that I hold closest. You get a chance to get a player who has ‘It’, and maybe gives you a 2 to 3 year window to get to the Super Bowl, you do it. You just do it. That’s how I feel.
In the absence of a high quality video of the Monday Night Miracle, I instead offer this clip, which in also one of the greatest moments of my childhood as a Kansas City Sports Fan:
Now Stick That In Your Pipe and Smoke It!