Chiefs Dangerously Close To Becoming Bengals

There's not much to talk about as the Chiefs take on the Bengals tomorrow in an utterly meaningless game between two horribly run organizations. We could sit here and whine about why the Chiefs absolutely, positively must lose to ensure a higher draft choice, but what's the point of a higher draft choice if you blow it, anyway?

That's what has brought us to this point. The Chiefs have drafted and misjudged talent so horribly over the last decade that they have now become the laughingstock of the NFL. Some of you might not want to believe it, but the Bengals – the sad-sack, not-so-lovable, perennial losers of the NFL – won't view the Chiefs with much envy today. They're in the same boat.

Let's look at the last 10 years of both franchises and see just how similar they've become.

Since 1999, the Bengals have 61 wins, one winning season and one playoff appearance (a first-round exit). They've gone through three head coaches, put up some gaudy offensive numbers at times, but generally failed because of terrible defense.

Since 1999, the Chiefs have 75 wins, four winning seasons and two playoff appearances (both first-round exits). They've gone through three head coaches, put up some gaudy offensive numbers at times, but generally failed because of terrible defense.

Want more? The Bengals' first head coach to begin this awful period was a coordinator from the previous regime (Bruce Coslet) who never again worked as a head coach. The Chiefs' first head coach to begin this awful period was a coordinator from the previous regime (Gunther Cunningham) who never again worked as a head coach. The second head coach, in both cases, is an old guy named Dick (Vermeil and Dick LeBeau were born within a year of each other). The third head coach, in both cases, is a minority hire with a background in defense (Herm Edwards and Marvin Lewis) who previously served an internship with the Chiefs.

Now here's a scary thought – in the last five years, the Bengals have more wins than the Chiefs.

About the only difference between the Bengals and Chiefs over the last decade or so is the fact Cincinnati somehow found a way to milk their hard-working local taxpayers out of enough money to finance a brand new, state-of-the-art stadium.

The Chiefs will arrive at that point soon enough, sort of. Kansas City gets a renovated 36-year old stadium. But hey, when you have three playoff wins in 39 years, you should be grateful your franchise isn't playing in a parking lot. However, it would be a shame if Arrowhead was completely torn down with only two playoff wins in its entire history, so we have to consider the positive aspect of this, too.

So what are the Chiefs doing to avoid becoming a mirror image of their striped, eastern counterparts? The good news is that Carl Peterson's resignation moves Kansas City one step closer to NFL relevancy, one step further away from teams like the Bengals.

Fun fact – if you thought Peterson was bad, consider Cincinnati's situation. According to the staff directory on the Bengals' website, the team doesn't even have a general manager. Instead, their meddling comes straight from the top, in the form of owner Mike Brown.

If you think people in Kansas City hate Carl Peterson, you ain't heard nothing yet. The lengths Bengals fans have gone to protest Brown's inept management and arrogance is astounding. In fact, the effort is so incredible, we Chiefs fans should be ashamed. Comparatively, we were sitting on our hands the last 10 years.

I'm not going to list every act of protest against Brown, but suffice it to say attendance boycotts have been organized, planes bearing anti-Brown messages have flown over Cincinnati, thousands of dollars have been raised, and t-shirts have been sold in defiance of NFL tyranny.

Unfortunately for Bengals fans, Brown is notoriously frugal. Despite the fact that Marvin Lewis has failed horribly in managing his team's egos and fixing Cincy's defense, he'll probably be back next season as head coach. He has one year left on his contract. Brown won't fire him.

The Bengals are stuck with Lewis. But that doesn't mean the Chiefs have to be stuck with Herm Edwards, who also has one year left on his contract.

Edwards, like Lewis, has failed horribly in managing his team's egos and fixing its defense. We don't need to recount all the distractions borne of Tony Gonzalez's Tradegate and Larry Johnson's off-the-field brouhaha. Of course now that he forced Carl Peterson into resigning via winning two of his last 24 games, Edwards wrote last week in his Monterey County Herald column that a new GM will be "another distraction."

If that's going to be a problem for him, maybe Herm should just resign. It would save Clark Hunt about $3 million, and it would save the Chiefs another wasted year spent inching closer toward the Bengals and NFL irrelevancy.

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