Archive for Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Fly Route

December 29, 2005

Brace yourselves, Chiefs fans, the ride's almost over.

Five years of the Dick Vermeil era may well come to an end Sunday after the Chiefs face off against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Not that Vermeil has let anything slip. When asked about a report at his Tuesday press conference indicating he'd be gone, the coach known for his cushy relationships with players and his emotional, tear-filled outbursts snapped at the reporters.

"That's bull----," he said.

Ah, thanks coach. Nothing like cussing at the media to get your point across.

Vermeil may have thought he was throwing a curveball, but in his s-bomb filled tirades of the last few weeks, I think he's been letting America in on his decision.

He's frustrated. He's angry. He's tired and he doesn't want to take it any more.

Asked the week before what good having the league's No. 1 offense over the last few years had brought the Chiefs -- a stat Vermeil throws around champagne on New Year's Eve -- he again snapped.

"What's going on with this offense over the last few years has not gone on anywhere else in the National Football League," he roared back.

I think Vermeil will retire and I think that's a good thing for the Chiefs.

Look, it hasn't worked.

It worked in St. Louis. The Rams were just good enough on defense that their super-powered offense was able to win the Super Bowl. It was so close, in fact that the game was only over when the Tennessee Titans' Kevin Dyson was tackled one-yard short of the goal line as time expired.

The Chiefs haven't even been that good on defense though in any of Vermeil's five years in town.

Vermeil has been great at winning during the regular season. His teams have looked fantastic at times in each of the last five years, never more so than through most of the 2003 season.

They were great toward the end of the 2004 season and have been very good at times this season.

But all of those statements come with the qualifier "at times" and "toward the end". The one consistency Vermeil has brought to Kansas City is the total lack thereof.

Again, maybe this no where more evident than in the 2003 campaign. After a red-hot 9-0 start, Kansas City stumbled to the finish, losing four of their last eight games and falling in their first playoff game to the up-and-coming Indianapolis Colts.

The Chiefs haven't sniffed the playoffs since -- and no, I don't count this season's "well, if Pittsburgh loses and San Diego loses and California falls into the ocean ..." as a sniff.

It was a fun experiment, Vermeil's gunslinger style offense. It filled Arrowhead and it kept the Chiefs near the center of NFL talk at all times, but in the end, it was an empty promise.

Vermeil's time came, and now it has gone, and if you don't believe me, walk up and ask him.

On second thought, I'd e-mail him that question.

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