Being born a Chiefs fan, I would often stare at the TV in confusion as the major sports shows would go on and on gushing over the big market teams such as Dallas, New England etc.
I didn’t understand why these teams were being constantly talked about why my Chiefs, then powered by Trent Green and Co. were being swept under the rug as an afterthought. As I grew older, I came to realize that the larger market teams with past Super Bowl glory and flashy quarterbacks were put in the spotlight first and that your respect in this league was earned, not given.
Since the Chiefs glory days of their last Super Bowl victory in 1969, they have for the most part flown under the radar as an underdog team and that stigma still lies with them today as many analyst haven’t given the Chiefs much of a shot this year. Heck, most of them picked their division foe, the Oakland Raiders who hadn’t had a winning season in 14 years to come out on top of the AFC West.
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They had some playoff success last year, winning their first playoff game in over two decades, but that wasn’t enough to make people take notice. The time is now for the Chiefs to turn heads across the league as they will be hosting a Pittsburgh Steelers franchise which has a decorated showcase of Super Bowl trophies and is known as one of the more feared teams in the NFL. The Chiefs are not a flashy team. they’re are a “roll your sleeves up,” get the job done, balanced team.
They may lack the flash and fireworks the casual fan desires to see , but they have the toughness, grit and mental fortitude to hang with you until the end and come out on top against the best teams this league has to offer.
It’s only fitting that a historically underdog team is consisted of many underdogs. Daniel Sorensen, Charcandrick West, Albert Wilson, Demetrius Harris, Justin March-Lillard and Cairo Santos are all formerly undrafted free agent players. Key players such as Ron Parker, Spencer Ware and Terrance Mitchell were picked up as free agents after their former teams no longer felt their services were needed.
Ramik Wilson, a former fourth round pick out of Georgia was cut earlier in the season and signed to the practice squad only to be brought back to play a major role and play it well, Rakeem Nunez-Roaches was a sixth round pick who is now thriving as a starting defensive end. There’s a lot of chipped shoulders on this team who are hungry for respect.
Like the Chiefs as a whole, nobody talked or expected much out of the Chiefs’ gritty underdogs who have all had an impact on the 12-4 season. The playoffs not only presents and opportunity for the team to gain some much deserved respect, it also presents an opportunity for each of these formerly shunned players to be born as stars on the league’s biggest stage.
This is the playoffs, this is what you put all the blood sweat and tears in for. Here’s for the underdogs to shake off their labels, prove the naysayers wrong and be born as heroes!