The Bucs and Gruden Keep Kansas City Broodin'

Let's dispense with the niceties, shall we? It's time to address the posture of the defense, or lack of it, on this otherwise championship caliber football team. Against the Bucs, the Chiefs looked as though they were suckered on many plays. Take the bootlegs for example.

At the snap of the ball, the Bucs offense would often block to the left and the Chiefs, assuming the ball was going that way, would bite and leave the Buccaneers' backs and ends wide open in the right flat.

A mistake, to be sure. A giant mistake if you're secondary lacks the speed to catch up. Three bootlegs, naked or clothed, made up almost all of the entire first drive, some 80 yards. Maybe it was that the Bucs just kept the Chiefs defense off-balance through well-devised, well-laid plans. Maybe it was that the Chiefs lack a true on-field leader when it comes to the defense.

Maybe it was that the Chiefs and their obvious weaknesses were exposed and exploited by the Buccaneers early in this game. I opt for the leader thing. KC has a powerhouse offense, that's a given.

With the likes of Priest Holmes, Trent Green and a host of others, they're usually ready and willing to steamroll teams that square off on them. But there is no one on the defense that really fits the criteria of a leader. No player has stepped up and grabbed control of their destiny. The opening is definitely there. KC is begging for a wild man to head this defense in the right direction. An example that other players can turn to in time of need (missed tackles, blown coverage, etc.).

Who will it be? Fujita? Mitchell? Allen? "Some things are known, some things are unknown. In between there are doors". A very appropriate saying from a great writer, William Blake, describes exactly the situation the KC defense is in right now. Will some defensive player please step through the door and begin a new revolution for our sagging D?

And how about that offense?

They were precise in the first half but lacked any real luster in the second half. My God, what great catches from Tony Gonzalez, best tight end in the league. Of course, my opinion is somewhat biased, mainly because I love the Chiefs and Tony G. Can that guy extend or what? Eight catches for 120 yards plus two touchdowns against a pretty tough defense.

One that was waiting in ambush for him. You know you're damn good when the defense of the opposing team is aware of your position, and you score triumphantly anyway. That is the true mark of a professional; getting your job done against the odds. Being a Saint among the rest of the sinners.

Saints are people who generally have done miraculous things in their lifetime and are recognized much later for their good deeds. By invoking the name of the Saint whenever there is trouble, they are called upon to help us out. St. Elmo protects sailors. St. Anthony is prayed to whenever something precious is lost. St. Jude looks after lost causes.

But, wait, don't you have to be canonized in order to be a Saint? What better place to be canonized in than Tampa Bay? After all, they have lots of cannons that overlook the playing field. After last Sunday's loss to the Bucs, it seems that many of the Chiefs will become Saints when the time is right. They certainly got "cannonized" in Florida. Let's just hope the Chiefs bring their own set of cannons with them to the Superdome.

Rarely is it that I complain about the officiating in football games, but some of the calls in this KC loss were so bad, these officials should be demoted to bathroom flunkies and forced to hand out towels to anyone with wet hands.

The bad thing is this-the rules are made for these white-hated, game killing critics to interpret and that pretty much leaves the consequences open to their opinion and their opinion is unquestionable most of the time. How can you have a penalty of 15 yards, in a bruising, brutal, unforgiving game like football, for "hands to the face"?

Hands to the face?

What a complete barrel of hooey that is. If you can't put your hands in your man's face, does that mean when you tackle him you have to be gentle? You have to help him to the ground so he doesn't get hurt? That will be next. What about unnecessary roughness?

That's a misnomer if I ever heard one.

A phrase that completely contradicts itself. Everything in the game of football is about roughness. Wearing pads so as not to get hurt. Helmets, mouthpieces, padding around the goalpost, it's all designed to keep a player safe while he is exposed to 250 pound bodies in flight intending to plant them in the ground or disarm them.

Whichever comes first? Unnecessary roughness? That's like penalizing a soldier for unnecessary bloodshed or flagging a trucker for unnecessary driving or red-tagging a golfer for unnecessary swinging. It's ridiculous. I say let these smoke-blowing, body hurling demons play this game like it should be played and make the refs be in charge of picking up the stadium afterwards.

They will probably be guilty of unnecessary roughness themselves. Roughing the fans who drop too many popcorn cups, or maybe they'll suffer "hands to the ground" to pick up used hot dog wrappers. Who knows, maybe one or more of them will be subject to a large fine for removing his hat on the field he is picking up trash from. Better that then letting them decide which team wins or loses simply by their whims.


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