Kansas City squashes the Rams

So you want to talk football? Let’s talk. How about them Chiefs? I have been a Kansas City Chiefs fan now for about 12 years, as well as everybody in my family, especially my grandpa who used to do security for the Chiefs as a member of the Kansas City Police Department. I have to say that the mighty Chiefs took it to the Rams this past Sunday, turning their blue and gold uniforms into black and blue.

Going into Sunday’s game, I had all the confidence in the world that my Chiefs would beat the hell out of the Rams. C’mon. The Rams have only played four games on grass in the past two seasons; their record was 2-2 in those games. Plus, the Rams gave up 31 points to the lowly Chargers and 29 to the beat up Falcons. To say the Chiefs would win, was an easy prediction.

You might recall the last big game that the Rams played outdoor and on grass, in conditions close to those of Arrowhead. They played at Adelphia Stadium in Nashville against the Titans. The Rams were humiliated in that contest, they fell behind by 21 points in the first quarter as well, like they did last Sunday against the Chiefs.

The difference in the game was obviously Marshall Faulk’s inability to run well on natural grass, the way the game should be played. The beautiful green grass of Arrowhead Stadium, trimmed and grown by the grass god himself, George Toma, is in no way the nice, tear-a- ligament artificial turf of the TWA Dome.

The second winning element of the game was the attendance of the greatest football fans in the world. The sea of red drowned out the blue and gold of the fortunate Rams fans who paid $500 or more for tickets. But wait, it’s like that every game since1989. St. Louis, imagine 72,000 screaming fans, cheering for the team that boasts the best winning percentage in the nineties. Oh, wait, I forgot: the Rams have only been in Missouri for four years now, and the Dome only holds 58,300.

St. Louis football fans don’t know what real football is. I will make an exception for the football Cardinals fans who had to endure the pain of watching them during their losing seasons. I mean, they were the St. Louis Browns of football. At least they played outside. The Rams first three years here were terrible, with talks of lynching Dick Vermiel and Tony Banks; the next year, wala! A Super Bowl Champion team is born.

It was too easy, home field advantage throughout the playoffs without having to go outdoors to play a game. I bet Kurt Warner felt right at home in the arena-football like setting that domes provide. I have to like Warner though, we both worked at Hy-Vee grocery stores.

Rams fans, you need to endure the roller coaster rides of your team going 13-3, and then having those hopes of a Super Bowl shattered at the last minute, leaving you in a state of disgust and denial. You haven’t experienced that yet. Only three years of losing football and then bam, a Lombardi trophy in the lobby of your team’s front office. Rams fans, I guess, can be called snobbish; they aren’t as hardcore as Chiefs fans, and they don’t cheer as loud as Chiefs fans. Plus, KC has the best tailgating in the NFL.

Sure, the Rams owned the Chiefs in the pre-season, beating them twice for a big aluminum trophy that they call the Governor’s Cup. OK, you can have your Governor’s Cup; we’ll take a regular season victory that stops a team’s undefeated season. `72 Dolphins, you can breathe now, your undefeated season is now well preserved.

The Chiefs, however, have been in Kansas City for 38 years, after moving from Dallas. They were and still are the team of the Midwest. We have more Hall of Famers than the Rams, and we earned our Super Bowl trophy, back when domes didn’t exist and Super Bowls weren’t played in warm-climate areas of the United States.

The bottom line is that everybody is calling the Chiefs’ trounce of the Rams a fluke. They are calling the Ram’s loss an off day. Well, it was no fluke, and yes, the Rams endured an off day, mainly due to the Chiefs’ great defense. The Chiefs have had the best defense in the NFL for the past 10 years, leading the league in the plus/minus turnover ratio percentage (forcing four on the Rams Sunday), as well as claiming the second-best pass rusher in the history of the NFL, Derrick Thomas, R.I.P.

The biggest play of the game in my mind, was the blocked punt that rookie Mike Cloud returned for a touchdown in the first quarter, making the score 20-0. The Chiefs haven’t blocked a punt since Albert Lewis and Deron Cherry were playing strong safety for the Chiefs in the early nineties. After the blocked punt and going up 20-0, I was having dreams of the Chiefs being the lead story in every major paper and ESPN.

I liked what the Chiefs did in Sunday’s game: pass, pass and pass, then run. The Chiefs’ Kimble Anders racked up 102 yards rushing (94 in the fourth quarter) to preserve the Chiefs’ 20- point lead and victory. This was Ander’s first 100-plus-yard rushing game since he injured his Achilles tendon last season, not bad for a team who is looked down upon for having a running back by committee. Marshall Faulk had an outstanding 67 yards on 17 carries, period.

The Chiefs also had more total offense racking up 468 yards to the Rams’ 428. The first time that any opponent has outdone the Rams yard-wise this year. That’s what happens when you play in the best division, the AFC West, and play tough teams. What more do you expect from an old-fashioned, hard-nosed, pound-you-in-your-face AFL team?

To end my tirade, the Chiefs could easily be 6-1 as well. A tough last minute loss to the dreaded Oakland Raiders and the meek Tennessee Titans kept the Chiefs from looking good on paper; instead, the Chiefs looked good against the mighty Rams.

Final notes: in 1991, when Steve Deberg injured his pinky on his throwing hand, the team trainers put a pin in his finger and wrapped it up with an Ace bandage. Deberg never played better in his life, taking the Chiefs to the wildcard playoffs and ultimately losing on a missed field goal by Nick Lowery, giving the Miami Dolphins the victory. Rams fans, if Deberg can do it, so can your famed quarterback.

The last time the Chiefs scored 50 points, I wasn’t even born yet; the year was 1967 and the Chiefs were still in Municipal Stadium in downtown Kansas City. Thanks to St. Louis teams, my favorite numbers are now 1985 and 54.