Leftridge: Chiefs Lose, How They’re Like Breaking Bad (Hear Me Out)

coverwaltI was going to sit down and write about the Chiefs’ loss. How it makes me feel. How it ripped my heart out and shat all over it, unceremoniously. How it’s not surprising, but it’s no less disheartening. How we can prepare ourselves for the worse, and still, sometimes, that worse just kicks you in the fucking teeth and then pisses in the empty gum-sockets where you used to have some chompers.

Because that’s what this felt like.

But I breathed. It was hard, but I did.

And I watched a couple of episodes—okay, four—of Breaking Bad, because I’m one of the world’s 18 assholes who didn’t watch it as it happened. I’m catching up now, thanks to Netflix, mostly, but also the recent marathon on AMC that shared the last 8 episodes.

I didn’t want to start season five for the LONGEST time, because Netflix only had half of it, and the last eight episodes were out there, floating around. I didn’t want to see the first eight episodes of season five but be stuck without the last eight. That seemed torturous.

So I waited. And waited. And when Netflix never unveiled the final eight episodes, I caught a break in the form of an AMC marathon. So here I am. Almost entirely finished. Two episodes left.

I watched four after the Chiefs gut-punch—episodes 11, 12, 13 and 14.

It didn’t make me feel better—I’m mourning the loss of one of the best television series ever AND the predictable playoff exit of my football team—but it put things in focus. Things like, “This Chiefs’ season is Breaking Bad.

Please allow me to indulge this insanity for a moment.

pinkmansmithFirst, Alex Smith is Jesse Pinkman.

With the exception of Jamaal Charles, Smith is the only person on this team worth rooting for. He’s the only one with a heart. He’s not flashy, he’s not going to be the MVP, but he’s the only one who makes decisions that you agree with, almost without fault. He now holds the Chiefs record for touchdowns in a playoff game. And he did it without throwing an interception. He did it while throwing for almost 400 yards. He was nearly infallible. He wasn’t without a mistake—he was strip-sacked during the Colts comeback—but Jesus Christ, what more could you have asked?

Jesse? Jesse was the soul of everything. He started off with limited expectations and quickly ingratiated himself as the indisputable heart of the operation. Yeah, he wanted money and attention (the right kind, mostly), but he did it without sacrificing his principles. He was a team player, first and foremost—absent of glory and greed—and he only betrayed his loyalty when he realized it was for the greater good.

On the other hand, you’ve got Walt.

Walter White will forever remain one of Hollywood’s greatest villains. He started off as a normal, unassuming science teacher. A family man. And then, boom—the big C. Rather than let the diagnosis define him, he decided to do the only respectable thing in the world—become a world class meth cook in order to build up a shit-ton of money to care for the fam after his demise. It was almost admirable.

You know, like how the Chiefs defense started off with pedestrian expectations, went hog-fucking-wild-for a quarter of the season, became the best in the biz. Just as we were amazed by Walt’s business acumen, we marveled over the vaunted Chiefs defense.

And then the wheels fell off.

whiteThe Chiefs became predictable schematically and easy to plan against; Walt got greedy as his legend grew.

By the end, it was easy to hate both.

Walt was an insufferable asshole driven by little more than ego and greed, and the Chiefs defense was a porous, embarrassing replication of the squad who held opponents in check for much of the meaty part of the season. Even in the end—with Walt’s desire to protect his wife Skylar from legal maneuverings, and with Justin Houston’s reemergence opposite Tamba Hali on the defensive line—we realized it was too little, too late.

Deep down, there was nothing to like about either.

The same can be said for coach Andy Reid and attorney Saul Goodman.

They were both fixers, initially. Reid was brought in to clear the chili-dog farts of the Crennel Regime and Goodman was there to solve any and every goddamn problem one might imagine. But they were both riddled with faults.

The knock against Goodman was, and always HAS been simple: he’s a shyster, a snake-oil salesman, a greasy, disgusting excuse for a human but someone you’d be insane to NOT want on your side. Reid was more likeable, but the concerns were not dissimilar.

saulHe’ll tell you what you want to hear, he’ll be your best friend, but eventually, his inability to handle things under pressure (clock management, specifically) will lead to his undoing; he’ll call a timeout immediately after the two minute warning, he’ll leave Andrew Luck’s Geico Caveman face to take the lead. Kinda like how Saul tried to be everything to everyone, working simultaneously with Walt and with Jesse when it was fast becoming obvious that the sides were splintering, and fast.

I could probably go on, but I won’t.

It isn’t worth it. The Chiefs season is over. It’s never coming back. All we can do is move on. Pitchers and catchers report in 38 days, thank God. I’ve got two episodes of Breaking Bad left, and then I can start it over.

Life goes on.


And so forth.

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7 Responses to Leftridge: Chiefs Lose, How They’re Like Breaking Bad (Hear Me Out)

  1. Orphan of the Road says:

    Since I told you so at the start of the Red Headed-bromance, I got history with Andy. Fifteen-years now into this relation ship and all I get is, gotta do a better job, time’s yours. WTF. Of all the dying cities of America why did you pick this town to land in. I may not regret it today. But someday I would look back and say, I told you so.

    Even Taylor Swift knew the score on Reid.


  2. balbonis moleskine says:

    The grantland style “why professional sports team is like widespread pop culture phenomenon” article drops about once a week over there and is equally unreadable.

    The Detroit Lions are just like Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games, amirite? Because they have to fight every week for their survival and everybody expects them to be eliminated very early!!

    • Sorry you didn’t like my article, Mike. Email me with some suggestions and I’ll work on coming up with some stuff that you’ll enjoy.

      • balbonis moleskine says:

        You know more about the Royals than I. Vegas Insider just came out with thd first odds to win the world series and al pennant. Royals are 30 to 1 and 15 to 1 respectively.

        Too generous?

  3. Kerouac says:

    [ cue Maureen McGovern ] “There’s got to be a morning after”, kcinderella’s adventure now fini…

    • Orphan of the Road says:

      Props to the Chargers for putting the Bungle back in Cinncy. I know in the end they will only rip out your hearts too. So go get ’em!

      Cue The Beau Brummels,

      I hate to say it
      But I told you so
      Don’t mind my preaching to you
      I said don’t trust him
      Baby, now you know
      You don’t learn everything
      There is to know in school

  4. harley says:

    lefty…stay to the craigslist and other comedy work. The rest of your
    work is pretty bad.
    I don’t watch breaking bad…but you’re sounding like glaza.
    it wasa great season…tons of fun…drinking…tailgating…all great except forhaving
    to read glazas unfounded and funny analysis of sports for his beloved friend and
    editor and partner hearne.
    for those sad sacks who today are upset…move on….this is Kansas city….
    and we can pick out the con men real easy…its a beautiful city with great
    people (except for two who I wont mention)….a positive/forward thinking/
    loyal/dignified city where good people live.
    life goes on …can’t wait til 2014 and the draft….yeeehaaaaa!
    keep the faith
    your friend

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