Keeping the Faith

Everyone's different when it comes to faith. Some people lose it within themselves, and others lose them in other people. This week Chiefs fans have been wrestling with the faith of their defense after their fourth-quarter collapse a week ago.

With five games in the books this season, it appears Romeo Crennel has raised the faith and hopes for this once fledgeling Chiefs defense. Despite the most recent setback the Gospel of Chiefs fans haven't lost their faith. After all they've been rooting for Chiefs defenses for decades.

My father Bill, a lifelong die-hard Chiefs fan, was born just a hop skip and a jump away from the original home of the Chiefs, Municipal Stadium.

In 1963 just three days before my dads third birthday, the Chiefs logged their first victory in front of just 5,721 fans. Week in and week out though my father cheered the Chiefs on. And to this day, he still does it every Sunday.

And regardless, if his earliest memory at Municipal Stadium was cheering in the stands with my Great-Grandmother and her recreation bowling league shirt. Or sitting next to some of the players wives as a youth or catching the Chiefs game at a local watering hole with his friends, my dad's entire life has been immersed in this franchise.

In 1969 during the celebratory parade after Super Bowl IV, the team marched down my Grandparent's street just a few feet from their front porch. And to hear my dad talk about it now, he still has that youthful awe look in his face when he remembered that glorious day.

Four decades later, that young boy is now a grown man, who like many lifelong fans, is still waiting for ticker tape parade in Kansas City.

And to win another championship, the 2010, 2011 or 2012 version, has to take the same approach as the glory teams of the late 60‘s. They have to maintain that hard-nosed defense style that was the hallmark of their Super Bowl victory.

In 2010, Crennel hopes this defense will ultimately carry the Red Kingdom back to the top of the mountain. If he can, then the patients of the fans all these years, will be paid back in full.

Last Sunday, leading by ten points midway through the fourth quarter, the feeling was very different. Not since the days of Marty Schottenheimer has a Chiefs defense been capable of putting their foot down on opposing offenses throats in the final quarters of close games. And multiple times this season, the Chiefs defense has made crucial goal line stands that have led to victory. However in Houston, the gas just ran out of the tank.

Sure it was a disappointing loss. But this was not a regression. Instead it was a learning experience for Crennel's young defense. And more important, though the loss still stings, how his unit rebounds Sunday against Jacksonville, will be instrumental in his rebuilding process.

But in order for this defense to fulfill their resurgence, they need all of their players on the field. Last years biggest draft prize, defensive end Tyson Jackson, is set to return to action.

Last week he was healthy but he wasn't active. That was a coaching decision.

Former Kansas City Chiefs Bill Maas was on the local radio spewing that Jackson wasn't dedicated enough to come back sooner from his knee injury. Initially reports indicated he'd miss only two games but that wasn't the case. And we're not likely going to know if it was because the injury was more severe than reported.

But say what you want about the injury, the Chiefs need a healthy Jackson to improve the defensive line. Sure it's played very well in his absence but he's a former first round pick. And Crennel knows he has to play.

In fact, the coach spoke about Jackson's upcoming return. At the onset of his return to the active roster, he expects him to get spot play. That means he's going to back -up Shaun Smith.

Regardless of how much Jackson plays, they must shut down the Jags powerhouse runner Maurice Jones-Drew. If they can contain him, then all the pressure of this offense will fall on journeyman quarterback, Todd Bauman. When that happens, then Chiefs cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Brandon Flowers could have a field day against the Jaguars third string quarterback.

So whatever happens on Sunday, Chiefs fans better keep the faith in their defense. After all without them, this team wouldn't be 3-2 and atop the AFC West.

But for the few like my father, it never left. On Sunday, he's battling his own fight. He won't be at the game. Nor able to watch it from home. Instead he'll be lying in a hospital bed, showing his unrelenting faith in his beloved Chiefs.

So at his hospital bed on Saturday, I asked him if the Chiefs will win. "Of course!" he responded. "They should have won the last two weeks!"

And it was the first time in days, he showed that much vigor. It was something that his family was gleed to see. Because, whenever he talks about the Chiefs, you can see that even in his condition, he's never going to lose his faith in them. Top Stories