Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Buffalo's stadium haunted for KC
By Adam Teicher
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- I addressed the issue of trap game regarding the Kansas City Chiefs last week and I haven’t changed my mind. I still believe that if the 3-5 Bills are to beat the 8-0 Chiefs on Sunday in Buffalo, it will be because they earned it and not because the Chiefs are looking ahead to the looming matchups against the Denver Broncos.
But there’s another issue at play here, the Chiefs’ historic lack of success in Buffalo. The Chiefs haven’t won in Buffalo since 1986 and their losing streak covers four regular-season and two playoff losses.
I’ve talked to a few former Chiefs players who never liked playing in Buffalo. They couldn’t put their finger on the reason why, whether it was the annoying winds that consistently swirl around at Ralph Wilson Stadium or whatever.
No matter the reason, they all felt like the place was haunted. The Chiefs certainly have played like the place was haunted. They were blown out in the playoffs in Buffalo following the 1991 season.
They brought quarterback Joe Montana with them for the AFC Championship game following the 1993 season. Didn’t matter. One of the greatest players in Chiefs history, Derrick Thomas, was benched on running downs during that lopsided loss because the Bills were successfully picking on him.
The Chiefs went back in 1994 with Montana on Halloween eve and lost by five touchdowns. They finished the season in Buffalo in 1996 when a win would have put them in the playoffs. They lost and stayed home for the holidays.
The Chiefs next went to Buffalo in 2005 with their high-scoring offense. They managed just a field goal in another defeat.
The Chiefs tried a different tack in last year’s trip to Buffalo. They took one of their worst teams ever and got crushed, of course.
None of this has to mean much to this year’s Chiefs, who have done a nice job of breaking some of these hexes already this season. The Chiefs, who traditionally fail when they play in Florida, dominated the season-opener in Jacksonville. They beat the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium for the first time since 2006.
So history probably won’t matter. But if the Chiefs are struggling on Sunday, look closely through the beer cups and hot dog wrappers blowing around. You might see the ghosts of Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas playing for the Bills.