I 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.
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.
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.
He’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.