Kansas City, Here I (Don't) Come

Cold rain, sleet and/or snow couldn't stop our intrepid columnist from treking to Kansas City to watch the Denver Broncos take on the Chiefs this Sunday. Read on to find out what stopped him in his tracks, as well as his prognostication on the outcome of the game.

It started out as a dare. The dare was that I couldn't possibly go to an AFC West foe's home stadium and emerge alive (I have a slight tendency to start fights with, well, pretty much anyone I meet), which I think is completely preposterous. I was fully planning on making the trip to KC to watch the Denver Broncos give a second-helping of whoop-ass to the Chiefs, and was actually looking forward to the jeering (and the snide comments, and probably a punch to the face), and then the phone call came in.

Apparently, the concert tickets that I was unable to secure for the night of the game were secured for me by my short, blonde soul mate and delivered to me as a Christmas gift.

Figures.

I really wanted to go to KC. I wanted Barbeque, I wanted snow.

I wanted victory. A Denver win on Sunday? Yeah, that sure puts us in the driver's seat in the AFC West. Plus we'd all get to watch as KC fans everywhere throw up their hands and start the official "next year" countdown. A loss? Nothing really lost, except a two-game advantage being reduced to one, and the faint (and horrible) breath of the Chiefs and their fans getting slightly closer to the back of our neck.

Five years ago, the choice would have been easy: Broncos at Kansas City, or The Fray at The Boulder Theater? Five years ago, I don't even think twice about packing up the car and heading east. Five years ago, I figure there'll be other concerts.

But that's what happens when you throw in the short, blonde one. All bets are off. You just don't say no.

So I will not be going to Kansas City. But if anyone is, if you wouldn't mind stopping by Gates and picking me up some brisket? That would be swell. As one of the Chiefs fans said on a post this week, "We may not always be good at football, but we're always good at Barbeque." It was the one thing said on those boards by KC fans that was both relevant and true.

This is not to say that I won't be watching the game on TV come Sunday. Honestly, it would take a crane (or a promise of beer and shots at the bar) to get me off the couch.

Those who read this column regularly know one thing for sure about me: I generally don't over exaggerate, don't start fights the Broncos can't finish, and never spout my mouth off before a game (lest I be forced to return and [gasp] apologize). No, I seem to pick ‘em pretty close, and this will be no exception.

If typical Kansas City-in-December weather shows up, this is going to be a long, cold contest. Icicles-in-the-nostrils cold. Frightened-turtle cold. Might get snow, according to the forecast, which is precisely how I like to watch football. There's a reason the greatest sport in the world is also played in the elements - snow and rain and cold and sleet and hail makes this game fun to watch.

Passing game? Won't see much success outside of a big play or two from each team.

Running game? Kansas City's Larry Johnson will have a good day, something around 75 yards and a touch or two. Before you KC fans get all high and mighty and start e-mailing me about how great L.J. is and how he's going to run wild over our defense, just settle down. Remember what kind of yardage your backs got the last time these two teams played. Remember how the Broncos defense shut you down completely. Now tell me how L.J. is going to "run wild." Explain it to me. No cursing, please.

Denver's two-and-sometimes-three-headed monster running the ball will have a huge game. Mostly, I see this game replicating the one at Mile High earlier in the season, with Jake Plummer passing just enough to offset the running game, and the bootleg working to perfection when it needs to. I see Mike Anderson going for 105 yards, Tatum Bell going for 75 (45 of which will be on a big touchdown run), and Ron Dayne (or "Ro" as I call him) going for 30. You might stop one runner. But you won't stop all of these orange-clad assassins.

I've read numerous threads claiming that Kansas City needs this game more than Denver, so they're going to be more motivated. I've read that Champ Bailey's comments on MNF in week three (which were echoed by Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil, by the way) are now being used as motivation and that KC will be fired up and roll over the Broncos. I've heard that the discrepancy in talent on these two teams is not that great, certainly not as great as the 30-10 Broncos win would indicate.

I don't buy any of this. Denver needs this game to have a shot at home field and a bye in the first round, and will be plenty fired up. Division rival games fire everyone up. They also need to attempt to win every game out to have a shot at catching the Colts, should they falter (and they will).

I know, Kansas City has only lost once in the last whatever years at home in December. I know this. I don't need to hear about it again (but I will). It won't matter. This Chiefs team lost three weeks ago to a horrendous Buffalo team, 14-3. THREE POINTS! They then beat the Texans (only the worst team in football) and the Patriots (only the worst division-leader in football) and think that they're going to roll over a smart, fast, defensive Denver squad.

Wishing is fine. I regularly wish for a date with the short, blonde one. But you shouldn't bet the farm.

Broncos 27, Chiefs 17. Book it.

Sam DeWitt, a.k.a. TheRealMoose, is a sports writer living in Denver with his dog, Bailey. His columns appear on BroncosUpdate.com regularly, and he spends his time commuting from his home to his favorite coffee shop in Lowry. Sam can be reached via email at bumoose@gmail.com.



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