Have you ever seen the film “Let it Ride” starring Richard Dreyfuss as a down-on-his-luck taxicab driver who gets lucky at the horse track? Great flick – one of the forgotten gems from the 1980s. Anyway, there’s this one scene where Dreyfuss’ character is sitting in this absolute dump of a bar and looks at all the lowlifes around him, and he realizes that he has become one of the losers he hates. He runs to a stall in the men’s room, kneels down in front of the toilet, and prays that just once he gets lucky, to win the money to get him out of there, that he doesn’t belong in a bar full of losers at ten in the morning. It’s the promise that alcoholics and addicts all around the world make. Just once, he says, just once, and it will change my life forever.
That’s exactly what I feel like as a Kansas City Chiefs fan. We’ve managed to squeak into the playoffs this year by some sort of miracle and we’re playing one of the best teams in the division in the Indianapolis Colts, the team that beat us the two out of the last three times we were in the playoffs. All week long the local sports shows have talked about how lousy Indy’s run defense is and how great our running offense is, but it’s the talk of people who are trying to convince themselves of something that won’t happen. The Colts are playoff juggernauts, year after year, while we’re just happy to be there.
But I’m still wishing. Kansas City shouldn’t be among the Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans of the world. Just once, we could win, and we could have some hope and respect and a taste of a football victory that truly matters. It’s the wish that addicts make, but it’s the only one I have.