New Thinking

New blogging

Question Marks

Ivan Carter read my blog! Ivan Carter read my blog!

But when he stopped by, he left some questions that are worth re-addressing.

I should admit that nothing is certain. The defense could still stink. The offense could finally rattle and wheeze and grind to a halt. Having a dominant team is as much luck as it is skill, but when the memories of specific plays fade, what lingers is the memory of the wins. Or the collapses, like in the Chiefs' previous two seasons.

Perhaps I should also explain again the nature of my fandom. I love the Chiefs! Heck, that's nothing special. Bunches of people do, or they wouldn't have among the best attendence numbers every year since the Derrick Thomas era started. But I see lots of people who demand of their favorite team, and so they complain when the team doesn't draft the player they want, or sign the right free agent, or let a player go, or call the wrong play, or don't fire/hire coaches according to the fans' whim. I'm not that kind of fan. I don't accept everything the team does...I didn't approve of signing Chester McGlockton. I didn't like the signing of Dan Williams after he sat out a year. I wanted Kimble Anders to get another decent crack at tailback. I wanted Gunther Cunningham to have another year. I was openly critical of the trade for Trent Green. Sometimes I've been proven correct, other times I've turned out to be horribly wrong.

The point is, I enjoy watching the live sex chat games. I'm not an expert. I've never developed a game plan. I've never had to call plays with a 40-second clock running. I've never played football since junior high.

But I do understand that football is the true team sport, where one person making a minor mistake blows the play, but a team acting in concert for a whole series is unstoppable. I do understand that football is the ultimate in strategy, where you can lose badly even if you clearly have the better teams, if you call the wrong plays at the wrong times. While I love the drama, the suberb physical performances, the truly amazing moments that make you doubt your eyes, I'm smart enough to not let the drama fool me. I listen to the experts. Most of the time.

The thing is, even among experts, you have agendas. You have people trying to make a name for themselves, and the easiest way to seem smart is to criticize everything and remind people of the few times you eventually turn out correct. Aside from the personal goals affecting the process, you have people with different loyalties, different backgrounds, different pet peeves and interests. The result is that you can get multiple opinions on any topic.

The trick is knowing who to listen to, and what to listen to.

That's a good portion of what I try to do. The other portion is to try to find the silver lining, the optimistic angle, the possible positive result. It may be naive, but it's better than giving up on a game because we give up an easy touchdown in the first corner. I've seen lots of fans do that...and sadly, not a few "professional" writers.

I will watch the games. But I haven't lived within several hundred miles of the KC or River Falls areas in nearly 30 years, so I can't see what's happening on the practice field. So feel free to disregard my opinions. But I've got some viewpoints worth noting, so I hope everyone who loves or hates the Chiefs will come back and talk to me about it. Just be civil, okay? And try to use the proper names for our opponents. I won't ban you or anything if you don't...I just like to try to take the high road.

So. Down to business. Mr. Carter said:

Love what they have done on D but man, those corners still scare me especially in light of the fact that the Chiefs still don't have a scary pass rushing DE ala DT or Neil Smith. Better get through those first four games until Warfield is back. Should be an interesting season.

I'm kind of wondering about the plural on "corners". Is Surtain possibly a liability? I've heard no indications that anyone has doubts. Of course, the guy who plays opposite him is absolutely undetermined for the first four jasminlive games, at least.

I think that's not our biggest area of concern, actually. Until I hear otherwise, I'm going to assume that Surtain is still a legitimate #1 corner, who can shut down a #1 receiver. That's why I'm not so certain that people should be that worried because we face Laveranues Coles, Randy Moss, Ashley Lelie, and (maybe) Terrel Owens in the first four weeks. Simply put, our #2 corner isn't going to be the one defending those guys much. Our #2 corner is supposed to cover/shut down the #2 receiver. Now, if you want to start talking about difficulties in covering Jerry Porter, Rod Smith, and Wayne Chrebet, you might get more traction with me...

But McLeon struggled as the front seven struggled. If our front seven are good to go, he should be more than adequate, as well. CBs often look good or bad depending on how long they have to cover someone...and if they are distracted by having to worry about a runner breaking into the secondary, which we did in every game Maslowski didn't play at full speed. I think our front seven is vastly improved no matter how you slice it; as a result, I think our #2 CB will not lose games for us, whether it is Warfield or McLeon. And if either Hodge or Perkins can build on an impressive OTA performance to take the starting job away from McLeon, we'll be even better off. Sure, unheralded rookie CBs rarely pick things up rapidly enough to start the season...but if anyone can, it's probably Hodge. I've never heard anyone knock his cover skills; everything I've read is that he wasn't the total package in college. But I've also heard he is coachable and learns fast. And if the front 7 do their job, cover skills may be all he needs.

Okay, so we lack a Neil Smith or Derrick Thomas on the DL. Well, Neil Smith without DT was really Neil Smith. He had a sub-par rookie season, and while he was a solid contributer at Denver, he hardly was a "force". DT made Neil Smith, I think.

So what does KC have? Eric Hicks is adequate. Ryan Sims is mediocre. John Browning is average. Lionel Dalton played well. Junior Siavii could break out this year. Carlos Hall has a decent rush. If Ryan Sims plays to his potential, we could have a darn good DL as his drawing of doubleteams would free up other DL players. But where I think our best potential is, is in Jared Allen. He was 1 sack away from tying DT's rookie record...and had two (?) sacks called back for penalties by teammates in the final game. Now, despite having rookie numbers similar to DTs, it would be ridiculous to predict he could ever be a force like DT. He's never going to get 7 sacks in one game, I don't think. He's never going to force opposing teams to game plan to try and slow him down. But he should improve on last year's totals, because he'll have a full season, and he'll be coming off of a full off-season in the Chiefs' strength and conditioning program. I expect him to be bigger, stronger, and faster.

But if we have a DT on our defense, it's probably going to be Derrick Johnson. As long as we get him signed early enough to get some good training in during camp. And instead of being an amazing pass rusher, he's probably going to be an amazing tackler, an amazing pass defender, and a decent pass rusher.

And then he's going to be paired with Sammy Knight, a guy who creates mad amounts of turnovers. Not to mention that the MLB who wins between Kawika Mitchell, Mike Maslowski, Rich Scanlon, and Boomer Grigsby is going to be no slouch on hitting and taking over the middle.

In fact, the guy that worries me the most is the LB I haven't mentioned yet: Kendrell Bell.

He can be very, very good. If his injury troubles are behind him. And that's a significant if. With him healthy and at the top of the game, we have a scary-good weapon. If he's hobbled, well, we wasted his livejasmin contract.

But at the end of last season, would you have considered a season-ending injury by Julian Battle to be a cause for alarm? Of course not. Three months ago, who would you have bet would have been more likely to have a season-ending injury? Injury-prone Bell or young Battle? No one expected to lose Kris Wilson and Mark Boerigter for the entire year to injuries last pre-season. No one expected that a RB not name Priest Holmes could nearly salvage our season. No one expected that the leading TD-catching TE in the league would not be TG. The unexpected is what makes the game interesting, so I'm not going to write Bell off as a liability until he actually is out due to injury. And even if he does, it sounds like Keyaron Fox is hitting his stride this year, and becoming the better-than-mere-starter-quality LB we hoped he could become when he was drafted.

Bottom line: with the end of a disappointing season staring us in the face, the Chiefs went out and got some of the best possible people to shore up the defense. We have clear upgrades at most positions, and the three weakest positions (#2 CB, MLB, and Safety) should see pretty strong competition that should ensure whoever gets the job will be more than adequate.

...now if we can just have guys step it up at DT...!

Arrowhead Stadium: Move 'Em Out!

I've never been to see a game at Arrowhead Stadium; that probably affects my viewpoint.

Bottom line: The Chiefs are very good for Kansas City. They get tons of free advertising every week in every game. The least the county could do is keep their stadium up to the minimum standards.

Had they invested a little extra money, KC could have hosted at least one Superbowl in the last 10 years...maybe two.

The Chiefs should move, but stay in the area. If the New York Jets and Giants can both play in New Jersey, the Kansas City Chiefs can play in the Kansas side of the Kansas City Metroplex. I have no problem with that.

UPDATE: From the comments:

First, the tax-payers always have a choice. See: Cleveland Browns. They also have to deal with the consequences. See: Baltimore Ravens winning a Superbowl with a team that used to belong to Cleveland.

Second, sports franchises tend to bring in lots of revenue, making it a bargain for the tax-payers. "Why should the tax-payers pay?" is just a variation of leftist class warfare, expecting that The People should get stuff for free. That's not how the world works. Because, leading right into the next point,

Third, taxpayers should pay simply due to the simple law of Supply and Demand. Enough taxpayers want a sports franchise in their area that there naturally develops a cost to retain it. If nobody cared that much about sports, the demand would evaporate and there would be no need for taxpayers to fund it.

Fourth, "why can't a franchise that can afford to pay millions of dollars to its players fund its own needs?" is an illusion. There is a minimum cost to remain competitive, and a maximum price that can be put on the entertainment. Thus, every dollar the Chiefs pay to renovate the stadium is one less dollar that can be dedicated toward being competitive.

Understand this: the franchise is going to make its money. Fans can pay for it through taxes, or pay for it through having ticket/parking/concession prices so high that only the ultra-rich can afford it, and pay-per-view TV so the average can't watch it at home. How does that serve anyone.

Fifth, how is this different than a state/city paying to help build a state-of-the-art facility to entice, say, GM to build a factory in the area? If all things are equal, why should a big-money business choose a worse deal? ...which goes back to supply and demand.

Sixth, one might as well ask why taxpayers should pay for Light Rail or Bus Services or half a million other programs that satisfy ever-smaller percentages of constituents.

Seventh, the taxpayers (through their duly elected leaders) promised to keep the Chiefs in a state-of-the-art facility. They aren't keeping that promise. If they continue to not live up to their promises, the Chiefs should go elsewhere.

Pragmatically speaking, unless a political system is a Political Machine of corruption that ignores popular will (like the US Tammany Hall era or modern Taiwan), the people tend to get what they want, or they vote the bums out of office. If the Jackson County voters don't want to pay for the KC Chiefs to stay there, they won't. And the Chiefs should be, and are, free to move to a different venue.

The Definitive Post on Evolution vs. Intelligent Design

Don't bother arguing about ID with a committed evolutionist.

They are close-minded and refuse to accept that any other viewpoint might be correct.

They claim that ID is not science, in that it is not falsifiable, not replicable, and has no predictive utility. But they fail to note those same objections apply to Evolution Theory as well.

Don't believe me? Read any defense against the Theory of Irreducible Complexity. "It could have worked out this way" is absolutely not falsifiable. A fact conveniently overlooked by supporters of Evolution Theory.

Macro-evolution has never been observed in nature, which kind of destroys any chance of replicating it. And predictiive utility? Go ahead: tell me what the next new species to emerge is, and what its characteristics will be. I dare ya.

Plain simple fact: no genetic trait can appear that isn't already in the genetic code. That's Rule #1 of Evolution Theory. So the only way for speciation to have occurred is by changes in the genetic code, i.e., mutation. Evolution Theory supporters would have you believe that the vast array of species you see before you occurred because enough favorable mutations occurred in an organism still capable of passing on genetic information, and that enough of the offspring received that genetic information to intermingle, be displayed and passed on to succeeding generations...and in sufficient numbers to actually compete with non-mutated versions of that same organism. Which is difficult enough to swallow, except that they also expect you to believe all this happened within the accepted astronomic estimates of the age of the universe, which every computer projection I've seen indicates is pretty much impossible. Allowing for random mutation at a far greater rate than we see occuring in nature (remember the "observable, replicable, and predictive" requirements for something to be "science"?), it would still take much longer than the universe has been in existence for speciation to the extent we observe to occur, by at least a factor of 1000.

Another problem with discussing ID with an Evolution Theory supporter is they fancy they can use their own "common sense" to disprove ID. Aside from the fact that they are usually arguing against a strawman to begin with, they don't allow you to disprove Evolution Theory with your own common sense. Scientists are supposed to be the ones determining what the common man should or should not believe, I guess.

Because that's what is at the heart of Evolution Theory chauvenism. The person arguing against ID has decided that ID is not science. They don't have to listen to the rigorous documentation of ID theory, the peer-reviewed publication in scientific journals, the theories that have been tested and falsified, because they have already decided that ID is not credible, based on the experts they chose to believe because those same experts have also already decided ID is not a credible theory. Circular logic like that is also not scientific.

What, in fact, is the harm of teaching ID theory? Is anyone going to change their lifestyle if they believe ID is true? Are toasters and MP3 players and cars going to stop working? Are people going to stop going to doctors? Is Evolution Theory research going to get less funding?

At worst a generation of kids will grow up believing that ID is a credible theory. It won't make them worse football players, worse lawyers, worse doctors...or even worse scientists. And some of them will see inherent contradictions between Evolution Theory and Intelligent Design, and do some research and experiments. And some will attempt to disprove Evolution Theory. And some will attempt to disprove Intelligent Design. And maybe 100 years from now we'll still be arguing the theories.

Or, if the Evolution Theory supporters are as correct as they think they are, Intelligent Design will be totally disproven. From that point of view, sure: why waste the next 100 years checking it out?

The answer is simple: Because science can learn things even by chasing down blind alleys. Serendipitous results from mistakes and bad assumptions have taught us more than staying within the orthodoxy ever did.

And isn't the "Teach Evolution Theory Only" stance rather condescending, after all? It assumes, "I'm smart enough to look at all information and decide Evolution Theory is correct. But those stupid hicks in Kansas/wherever can't."

Bottom Line: Teaching Intelligent Design as an alternative idea to Evolution Theory as the cause for speciation cannot and does not have any potential harmful results; conversely, increasing debate within the classroom only helps in the refining of theories, ideas, and understanding.