The silence of the loss

Story by Jim Joyner, Sports Editor

There’s something unsettling about 76,404 people standing in silence. This silence is even more unsettling when only 10 minutes before those 76,404 people together made the same amount of noise as an aircraft carrier deck at nearly 140 decibels.

Mixed in with this silence were the scattered cheers of fans from eight hours west in the Rocky Mountains. The unthinkable had just occurred for the Kansas City Chiefs as Bradley Roby picked up Jamaal Charles’ fumble at the 21-yard line and ended all hope for the Kansas City Chiefs fans inside of Arrowhead Stadium and the thousands watching from their living rooms.

For the seventh straight time Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos beat the Chiefs.

Not many games have left me speechless like Thursday night’s game.

There was the playoff game two years ago for the Chiefs at Indianapolis, up 38-10 in the second half, when the Chiefs blew it. I was angry and upset that the Chiefs had missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime (literally, they’ve never won a playoff game in my lifetime), but I wasn’t speechless.

There were the final moments of the seventh game of the World Series last October when Pablo Sandoval caught Salvador Perez’s fly ball in foul territory to seal San Francisco’s championship win over the Royals. That was the sad end to one of the best months of my life as a sports fan. That silence was different.

Thursday night’s silence had a shock factor. Before the fumble, I thought to myself, “the worst thing that can happen now is we go to overtime.” I also weighed the option of whether the Chiefs should take a knee and settle for overtime, but Andy Reid thought differently.

The unthinkable happened and instead of breaking the “broken” Peyton Manning, the Chiefs crumbled at the doorstep of his fortress one more time — one more excruciating, depressing, agonizing time.

But now the task is taking down the best quarterback in the world, in one of the most historic stadiums in the world on Monday Night Football. Aaron Rodgers, Lambeau Field and the Green Bay Packers.

This Monday night we’ll find out if the Chiefs are ready to respond or if they’re ready to crumble.

Chiefs fans must hope that Monday night’s result creates the same silence in Wisconsin that filled Arrowhead Stadium last week after the final Denver touchdown.