D.A.: Mahomes' Knee And The Tortured Existence Of Chiefs Fans

The Sports Gods have not been kind to the Chiefs, D.A. writes, but maybe this time they'll have some compassion

Damon Amendolara
October 18, 2019 - 12:45 pm
Patrick Mahomes Chiefs

USA Today Images

This was the year of redemption, the moment the mountain was climbed. This was the next logical step in the progression of one of the most captivating stars we've seen in decades. 

It was certainly not the year for this. 

"This" is Patrick Mahomes' injury suffered on Thursday night in Denver, a dislocated kneecap on a 4th-down plunge. The most anticipated MRI in the history of Kansas City will disclose the severity of the damage. Is the ligament damaged, and his season over? The follow-up to last year's magic carpet ride was not supposed to include surgery and crutches

The life of a Chiefs fan, however, is littered with broken dreams. From Lenexa to Raytown, St. Joe to Overland Park, pain is what defines this fan base, one of the best we have in sports. A Sunday at Arrowhead is a religious experience, a spiritual combination of smoked meat and pigskin passion. The army of Neil Smith jerseys and Zubaz pants runs deep, and most of them are faded from hundreds of washings since the '90s.  The joy in the parking lots that dot the hills under I-70 camouflages a sinking fear. The fear that this all ends in heartbreak yet again. 

The Chiefs haven't won a Super Bowl in 50 years. They haven't even been back since. The Chiefs went more than a generation without a playoff win at home until last year. Most of those postseason exits were of the gruesome train-wreck variety. There's the Lin Elliott death. And the Howard Griffith death. And the No Punt Death. And the Larry Johnson, Matt Cassel, and Colts Comeback deaths. It is a haunted house of mummies and skeletons tattooed on the hearts of Midwesterners from all over the region. And it's happening again. 

Last January's AFC Championship Game was also a death, a Dee Ford-offside slow motion car crash. But this year was the obvious next step in the process, an all-galaxy quarterback taking his mastery of the league to the Super Bowl. The Chiefs began the season 4-0, all seemed fine, even without a sturdy defense and dependable running game. But a gimpy ankle was looming overhead of this scarred fan base, and the savior didn't quite look like a savior the past two weeks. 

Maybe Mahomes should have never been sneaking the football with a compromised ankle, carrying the risk of getting crushed by all that weight of big bodies in the trenches. But Tom Brady's 42-year-old kneecaps do that every week, and he never seems to be worse for it. Maybe this will all turn out just to be a dramatic turn in the NFL Films' season review video, one where the Chiefs ultimately win the Super Bowl and deliver the city from its football pain. The music gets dark, the cart drives onto the field, Mahomes limps into the locker room... (fade to black). "But the young star proved he was no mere mortal," the announcer growls, and the Chiefs end with confetti floating over top. 

That would be the right thing for the Sports Gods to do, to finally reward some of the best fans ever with what they deserve. And to give the country what it loves, which is watching a humble, dynamic, wondrous Mahomes doing the impossible instead of another depressing, soulless, gluttonous Patriots title. The Sports Gods have not been kind to Chiefs fans, and today feels like the latest chapter. But sometimes the Sports Gods are good (see Nationals, Washington), and maybe they'll have compassion. In Kansas City, they sure do owe 'em one. 

Damon Amendolara, known by his fans as D.A., hosts “The D.A. Show,” from 9:00AM-12:00PM, ET, across the country on the nation’s largest 24/7 major-market radio network. “The D.A. Show” is known for its unique perspective on sports, tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, colorful listener interaction, and candid interviews with athletes and coaches. Amendolara also appears regularly on NFL Network as part of the “NFL Top 10” documentary film series, CBS television and SNY TV. He is a Syracuse University grad and native of Warwick, N.Y.