"We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat; they do not exist." --Queen Victoria, during the Boer War, 1899
Spoken like a true tyrant, yes, but a tyrant who knew exactly what it took to win. This is the attitude that wins battles and allows for a group of competitors to come out on the winning side of the scuffle. It never even occurred to the Queen that her country might lose. Her beloved British Isles practically owned the entire known world. How was this accomplished? The belief that defeat could not happen and victory was inevitable because of the tenacity of those loyalists in the midst of the fray. The Chiefs would do well to adopt this philosophy as a whole. Then, when faced with the conception of losing, that posture they have come to embrace will work to the surface and somehow end in victory. All teams are faced with these do or die situations at one time or another but the truly great ones overcome the obstacles and find a way to win. So should the Chiefs. It eventually moves to the point where no matter what they are faced with, the foremost thought in every one's head is that this team will find a way to win. If they believe, it will be so.
"Everything which the enemy least expects will succeed the best." --King Frederick II of Prussia, to his Generals, 1747
King Frederick knew a thing or two about deceit. After all, he was a king and all of those emperor and autocrat types discover very quickly what methods to employ against all enemies so that they will never be deposed and lose their crown. In a nutshell, he realizes that the enemy is aware of most of his tactics and is waiting for them to be used. However, he says, to do things in a manner they are not expecting greatly increases the chances of winning. Just like in football. The other teams know the Chiefs. They know their personnel. They expect certain things at certain times. Because total domination of the opposition is what our home team is looking for, it is best achieved by surprising the enemy and hitting him where and when he least expects it. Remember the Trojan Horse? I know, I know, that was the Greeks, but it's all Greek to the Chiefs. Who would expect the old Statue of Liberty play on 3rd and long?
"He who lives upon hope will die fasting." --Benjamin Franklin, in Poor Richard's Almanac, 1758
Hope is a good thing to have. Hope for the future. Hope for our world, etc. But when it comes to playing football, hope goes right out the window. You can't hope that our team wins because they deserve it. You can't hope the other team fumbles the ball in the last minutes of the game so we can pull off some miracle. You can't hope the other team falls apart and destroys itself so we can take over. You can, of course, but hardly, if ever, does it do any good and rarely does this hope or prayer result in victory for our team.
It mainly results in fewer brain cells and scratchier Adam's apples. The guy on the $100 bill is trying to tell us that only when hope is coupled with hard work, effort, a sound game plan, knowledge of the other team's tendencies and a burning desire to come out on top, will the righteous prevail. We all know the Chiefs are righteous right down to the bone, but that does not guarantee success. Awareness and execution of the other necessary ingredients are what's needed to be more than righteous. Those things are needed to be self-righteous. That's a major piece of a winning attitude.
"Those who aim at great deeds must also suffer greatly." --Marcus Licinius Crassus, Roman General, to his troops before the battle of Carrhae, 60 A.D.
Now we're talking about a guy who did some serious suffering and made thousands of troops suffer right along with him. Not that he was pompous or egotistical or anything of the like, but he let an enemy spy lead his Roman army into the desert near the Euphrates river where his enemy, the Parthians, awaited. Because of their outright hatred for the Romans along with their refusal to let the Romans tell them what to do, this brazen army of some 60,000 soldiers was all too willing to butcher the greater portion of the infamous legionnaires, including Crassus himself, and send his head and hand back to the King of Parthia.
The main gist of this little lesson is to know that nothing comes easy and true success, be it on the battlefield or the football field, and it comes at no small price. There are many paths to supremacy and just as many paths that lead away from it. Principle and virtue will always take one down the right road. Preparation and intensity leading to the game, and refusal to lose during the game are things the KC Chiefs cannot take lightly in the upcoming season.
"Chance favors only the prepared mind." --Louis Pasteur, French Germologist, circa 1850
This is both a famous saying and a motto to live by especially when you're playing professional football. It basically means that at any given moment, in any given situation, for any reason at all, fate will intervene and possibly determine the winner or loser whether they know it or not. It's not always that easily recognized and sometimes never recognized at all, but it happens nonetheless. What could appear to be a very small occurrence during the course of a game usually turns out to be the catalyst in a good or bad series of events. How many times does the momentum in a match swing from one side to the other because of a penalty? Or because of a fumble?
Perhaps due to a lineman stepping on the quarterback's foot causing him to stumble? To some, these are mere flukes. To those whose minds are prepared to recognize them, this is fate entering, saying, "Here I am. Take advantage of me if you can." It is only through tireless thought, practice and desire, however, that chance can be seen. All others are blind to the light. Just like Arnold Palmer once said, "It's a funny thing. The more I practice, the luckier I get." Here's news for all of you. It ain't luck.
"Tomorrow hopes that we have learned something from yesterday." --John Wayne, on the set of True Grit, 1969
For a guy whose real name was Marion Morrison, he probably wished that tomorrow, all the kids would stop teasing him about his name. Most likely, that's why he changed it. But for the KC Chiefs, we all believe that tomorrow will hold the future of a great iconic football team that has not forgotten about the defeats of the past just as it has not forgotten the victories of yore. For they both hold the keys to success now and success down the road. Memories can be difficult to drudge up, but they are necessary evils when it comes to the predictability and predisposition of your opponent and of yourself. If they lean right, go left. If they lean left, go right. If they're in the middle, run them over. Sound advice for sure, but not so easy to execute. C'mon Kansas City, we're behind you all the way!
It's very easy to sit back and give advice to this KC Chiefs team from the position of a spectator and Monday morning quarterback. Everything is easy with 20/20 hindsight. Advice is helpful if it involves common sense. Only they know what's needed and how to go about getting it. It seems like everyone wants to speculate about the outcome of the next season for the Chiefs. Will they win? Will they lose? Who knows?
One thing for sure is that writers will keep writing about it and talkers will keep talking about it. Whether or not it helps is another subject. The fact is, if the time comes when no one is writing about it or talking about it, that's the time to worry.