I have been a lifelong fan of two sports teams: the Kansas City Royals and the Kansas City Chiefs. As a very very young child, the Royals were great, good enough to win the World Series in 1985. After that, they fell into an oblivion from which they have not yet recovered.
As a slightly older child, the Chiefs were great. I grew up with the likes of Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith and Nick Lowery and Deron Cherry and Tony Richardson and Tony Gonzalez and Christian Okoye and imports like Joe Montana and Marcus Allen. They never made it to the Super Bowl during my lifetime (in fact, never even won a playoff game), but they were a fun team to watch.
For the past several years, the Chiefs have fallen into the same oblivion that swallowed my beloved Royals.
But guess what? The 2011 Kansas City Chiefs are heading to the playoffs!
I couldn't be more thrilled. This is a gutsy, exciting team, and they've fought hard and played good, fundamental football to get there.
As much as I hate to say it, a lot of the credit should go to Todd Haley and Scott Pioli, a pair of gentlemen I was not too happy with last season. They arrogantly shoved their way into Kansas City, burned a lot of bridges and made a lot of enemies, fast.
But humbly, I will tip my hat to these two men and say "Thank you." They have done an amazing job turning this team around.
Who knows how deep the Chiefs will get into the postseason.
But they're there. And Kansas City is right there with them.