Last night, the Kansas City Chiefs were forced to play their brand of football in front of the entire nation on Monday Night Football. This morning, with the carnage that is Chiefs football behind him, commissioner Roger Goodell stated simply and solemnly, "never again."
Embracing the rare opportunity to play under the national spotlight, the Kansas City Chiefs wasted no time in taking their first lead in regulation of the entire season, going up 7-0 on a 12 yard TD run by Jamaal Charles. It was an accomplishment so mind-bogglingly bad that we, the viewers, could not comprehend it. For the Chiefs, it was their Super Bowl, and before the true sadness of the their achievement had fully hit, they began to unravel in a style they have worked tirelessly to trademark, teaching the NFL a lesson a lesson it should not soon forget.
Over the course of four quarters and one overtime period, the Chiefs showed us all what it means to play bad football. They recovered a fumble within the Steelers' 10 and left with just a field goal. They scored what would have been a go-ahead touchdown, but were called back for a hold. They recovered what they errantly believed to be a fumble, ran it in for six, danced together in the endzone, drew a flag and extended their opponents' drive. Their roughing the passer penalty led to the Steelers' go-ahead field goal in regulation, and, finally, Matt Cassell thew an overtime interception that capped off the loss. It was a compilation of blunders so regrettable Rex Ryan has backed them defiantly.
"In the spirit of protecting the safety of the players, the innocence of the fans and the integrity of the game, the Chiefs will no longer be required to play primetime games," announced a disillusioned Goodell.
It is a powerful edict, but may have come too late. With the shoulder injury sustained by Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in a game that never should have been, thousands of Pittsburgh fans in attendance are being treated for PTSD.
"They made us watch Byron Leftwich throw the football," said one teary-eyed fan after the game. "I brought my son to the game, for crying out loud."