By Leo Haggerty


The Bucs head out to Arrowhead to take on the AFC West-leading Chiefs.  That means we bring back the Senator, Ed Podolak, not for a recall but for more commentary as only he can provide.  He can get a little sideways, as his picture indicates, but his insights are well worth the read.  Enjoy.

LH : Chiefs HC Andy Reid is 16-2 coming out of the bye week and his teams generally go on a four-to-six week run. Is this coincidence or dumb luck or does Reid know things others coaches don’t about bye weeks?

EP : The numbers tell the tale 16-2 . Coincidence ? Nah ! Dumb luck ? Nope ! But I’ll have what he’s drinking – Please ! Andy’s secret is two fold: 1) Simply stated – “Turkey Time and December” !! Just before all bears go into hibernation for the winter, they celebrate Thanksgiving with a large feast . Andy and his team are no different – EXCEPT, he has a working alarm clock set for early December. With all of the increased caloric intake, AND a patented antidote for Trytophan, Andy and his team use the Bye Week to optimize their nutrition and body battery recharge for 2nd half opponents.  Second, The KC Chiefs Fan Club makes arrangements with the local burger joints to activate their holiday/late night schedules ! AND ,,, Waa-lah – The proof is in the pudding ! (no pun intended) .

LH : I picked KC to make a deep run in the playoffs. Do you think the same thing?

EP : At this time in the season, when matched up against the rest of the league, KC is as good. or better than a Wild Card playoff berth. However, with Oakland wearing their Cinderella (and Fight Cancer) pink accents, accessories, body paint, tattoos, stick’em, and sun shield, they are the most improved team in the AFC. AND ,,, the Raiders are tired of being the Kings of the “Wait Until Next Year Gang”. No doubt about it , in the following order of finish: AFC West: DEN, KC, and OAK, (along with the NFC East) will create a log jam for post season Super Bowl qualifiers .  Take a “Coaches and Player’s Poll”, and they will confirm these three uncontrollable playoff variables:
1) Winning – Conference and Out of Conference games . U want talent and team parity, U got it !
2) Injuries – Overall team conditioning and fitness, Injury Attrition, Draft and Free Agent performance ,
3) The “Why They Play the Game Category” (a.k.a. “Gambler’s Nightmare”): Let’s credit those “Got’ta Get An Edge Gang”, the Award Winning Belichek – Brady led NE Patriots for their well documented past performances i,e. Deflate Gate, Spy Gate, and the “If it ain’t listed as prohibited in the Leagues’ Rules and Regulations – it MUST be a legal interpretation ! legal interpretation(s) . Rah – rah Pats !
Senator Sez: Gim-mee A Break !!!

LH : Is Alex Smith the best QB in the AFC West?

EP : Call in the F.B.I. !! Me thinks U were trying to trap the Senator with a trick question !! Quarterback performance consists of multi-faceted  evaluated elements. My Cracker Jack Staffers tell me at this time, the best overall AFC West QB Rating belongs to Oakland’s Derek (Drive My) Carr at 99.1 (Surprise !); Followed by: SD – Phillip (“Old Man”) Rivers 92.0; KC’s – Alex (“Mr. Smith Goes To Washington”) Smith 90.3 ; and finally DEN’s Trevor (“Another Rookie”) Siemian 85.0 .  Senator Sez: NOTE: Player stats are like flats – they can be “fixed”, or influenced by game day location i.e. Home or Away Statisticians , or a biased sportswriter’s story, or TV/Radio Commentator’s unsubstantiated opinion(s) . Forget the stats, the intangible components in many cases out perform the stats. Things like leadership. drive, determination, smarts, competitive heart, and plain old guts are all characteristics of a WINNER . The Senator’s endorsement goes to SD Chargers Phil Rivers – who has clearly and consistently “done more with less” .

LH : There are 3 seven-win teams (Kansas City and Oakland and Denver) in the AFC West. Is this, far and away, the toughest division in the NFL?

EP : “Wrong – a – mungo” ! Are U pay’in attention, Son ? Not too long ago … in this fact-filled sports article …
[Q2 – 7th line – end:] “U want talent and team parity, U got it” ! Heck boy, if the Senator had any degree of accurate prognostication and/or understanding of this truly wild and wacky football league. why heck !! I’d be the President – not some hot air-filled buffoon ! Ha! Got’cha ! Another one of those booby trap questions !!  Senator Sez: “U could try to fool the wise, old Senator ,,, But you’ll fail miserably !! Again – double HA !