Just Wait Until Next Year!

Now that's a phrase that every real KC Chiefs fan can relate to. We didn't make the make the playoffs this year, but just you wait ‘til next year and we're going all the way to the top! Even the best in the organization always believe that next year will be the stellar year because the talent we possess as a football team could not possibly be held back next year.

Next year, all of the hard work, all of the suffering, all of the sacrifice and all of the sweat is going to pay off and pay off big time! There's nothing to hold us back from winning it all! Nothing except bad draft picks, untimely personnel changes, salary cap issues, injury situations and any of a multitude of other dilemmas that always rear their serpent-like heads to the surface, will destroy the hopes of every dreamy-eyed KC Chiefs fan in the entire nation, just as they have for the last 30-something years in a row. Anticipation loses much of its flavor and leaves a really bad taste in your mouth when your wait takes generations to fulfill itself.

This is about the oldest premise in the world, though. If you lose at something and you're competitive about it and your enemy is verbally hack-sawing you in two, what better retort than "wait until next year", basically telling your foe that you'll be back and he'd better watch out because things will be different then. There's no way you're losing next time.

That's because anything is possible in the future. The moon might fall out of the sky. There might be a plague of locusts in the greater KC area. Icicles 7 feet long could appear out of the sky and start skewering people. The future presents a very interesting persona. You are able to predict the best of the best and be left with months and months and months to see what happens in the end. The only reason to even blather the phrase, "wait ‘til next year", is to review the previous season and estimate what and how much it will take to produce a championship team.

Though every sports team goes through change in the off-season, the teams that excel in the following season are the ones that saw clearly what the shortfalls and weaknesses of their team were. They possess the foresight to predict what will be successful in the future. To me, the ability to turn potentiality into real life through one's vision is the most remarkable talent of all, in any field, sports aside.

Like investing for example. The guys with the real money are the ones who predicted the future correctly. That's all off-season is really. Trying to get a glimpse of the future and having the experience to recognize it.

The Chiefs need this kind of a crew now. In the past 34 years, somehow, through some unintentional whisk of fate, their predictions have, most of the time, come up a little short on results. Like choosing Todd Blackledge over John Elway or Dan Marino. But how were they to know? How were the scouts and coaches supposed to forecast the downfall of the QB they chose as opposed to the ones they didn't? How does one affect the free will of another?

That is the essential question. Isn't that part of the hierarchy that makes up every board of directors or every council of leaders? Normal grunts like us don't have the wherewithal to see into the future. That's why we are grunts. The bosses are the ones given the sordid task of knowing who the best is and who is going to crumple. What if this worked in the real world like it works in football?

Suppose you are the manager of a retail store and you're responsible for ordering inventory to see that the store has all of the critical goods that are needed to keep operating within a certain profit margin. If you ordered far too little or far too much inventory for the store, how long do you think your job will still be your job? Not long.

The owner would certainly hire someone else with the experience to anticipate what is needed and in what quantities it's needed so the store keeps moving. What if your job is to estimate a budget for a certain organization in the coming year, and you estimate way too low what that budget is going to be. Why would the people running it even think about giving you another chance to screw the process up? They wouldn't.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out, as it were. These are the straight hard facts that most workers in this day and age are accustomed to slaving under. Why doesn't it work that way in sports?? Year after year after year, that elusive goal of superstardom is always just a fingertip away and will definitely be realized next year if not this one. You can always say the defense was bad this year but next year we'll fix it and be winners. Or, the cornerbacks in particular were the problem and we're looking at that.

The offense is always ripe for the picking when choosing culprits. And don't forget the coaches. Their heads could roll as easily as their charges. The fact is that if a team knows they have the old phrase, "wait ‘til next year" to fall back on, do they really possess the motivation to get it done this year?

We've accepted this whole catch phrase thing as reality, but I for one am tired of waiting for next year.

I want this team to win THIS year in 2005. I might be dead next year and what the hell good is waiting until then going to do? In light of all the natural and unnatural disasters that are pummeling this world, it does seem fairly irrelevant to feel this way about a professional sports team, but I do.

The fact is that in any other facet of life, if the chosen representatives are unable to get their assigned duties completed on-time and correctly, they're out. Gone! Sayonara!

I believe that instead of letting egos and preconceived notions take control of the direction of the team, let's do whatever is necessary to win. We, as fans, have done a pretty damn good job with our own conceptions of what it takes to support our team. During the height of KC Chiefs football season around November, take a look around this city and you will notice that about 1 in 6 people is wearing some kind of Chiefs paraphernalia and are proud of it. Dozens of businesses have sunk money into the idea that Chiefs football is popular enough to sustain them. Hell, this city has practically gotten down on its knees to prop up our beloved team and ensure they have the necessary "love" to succeed. That's more than you can say about the majority of sports franchises.

But how many losing seasons can one metropolis stand? It's hard to say, but always remember: chance favors the prepared mind. The time has come for football in KC to jump over the obstacles it is used to encountering and propel itself to the stars. Of course, if circumstances continue as they have, and things remain the same, we will no doubt be looking forward to the coming season.

Otherwise, hockey and arena football are coming in just down the road. Then, if we have to "wait ‘til next year" our stay is liable to be of epic and disastrous proportions.

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