The 2011 season was like a bad day. Ever had one, a bad day? You’re irritated, back hurts, and coffee gets spilled on the shirt. You can’t find the keys, you’re late and traffic won’t move.

The 2011 season was like a bad day. Ever had one, a bad day? You’re irritated, back hurts, and coffee gets spilled on the shirt. You can’t find the keys, you’re late and traffic won’t move.

You trample through it, but can’t wait for it to be over.

The NFL lockout didn’t detour each team, but it didn’t help the Chiefs. Before 2011 began, Kansas City looked upside-down. The hits kept coming. The Chiefs didn’t have one season-ending injury, but four.
Yeah, 2011 wasn’t fair.

Give a kid the option, he’ll reach for the biggest candy. That’s human nature. Who goes to Quick Trip to fill a tea cup? That’s me, if I had the option of a full cup, half filled, or a quarter cup I’d take the full one. That’s what I see, but what seemed like a forgettable season maybe wasn’t.

The Chiefs concluded better, missed repeating as AFC West champs by one game, but it’s how the Chiefs completed 2011 that makes 2012 look promising.

I’m not talking numbers, stats, or new management – not speaking about that. Hard times help fill cups.

Adversity, that’s what happened in 2011. Wasn’t enjoyable, or exciting to watch, but I think the Chiefs will improve because of it.

Researchers say those who experience hardship frequently report positive changes. Afterwards people see a need for others.

Do a Google search; look up Joe Posnanski’s story on Scott Pioli dating back to Dec. 2010. Besides being recommended reading for Chiefs fans, I saw how 2011 fit Pioli’s plan.

You don’t play a season like 2011 on purpose, but the unexpected taught the players about team, leadership, and how to handle a tough circumstance. Let’s face it, what happened to Kansas City last season couldn’t have been much rougher.

Hardship is a great teacher; it finds qualities you didn’t know were there.

Kendrick Lewis has known baptism by fire in Kansas City. Lewis and Eric Berry played as rookies in 2010, but last season Berry was lost early. Lewis had to play without Berry. Lewis struggled, but found his feet.
Instead of sinking, Lewis swam. Berry should be back in 2012, and Lewis is improved because of 2011. The true value of last season will be if each player took something from it and grew.

You could say Stanford Routt learned plenty being planted into the No. 1 position in Oakland after Nnamdi Asomugha signed a large contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. Now Routt brings that exposure to Kansas City.

Togetherness, 2011 taught that.

Back to the Posnanski story. Pioli spoke about his home, the village of Washingtonville and its 6,000 people. Folks in the community pulled together giving his father work, Pioli’s first lesson in team-building. Pioli’s dad worked as many as three jobs, a class in leadership.

That concept, the idea of being there for each other is what drives Pioli and Romeo Crennel’s thinking; it’s at the core of their method. It’s the sort of thought that both Pioli and Crennel want to instill. By accident, but that’s what happened in 2011.

I saw it. It showed, especially how the Chiefs came together to finish the season. Not everyone perceived it, but 2011 helped.

Mistakes and difficult situations have aided me the most. Didn’t like them, but that’s where wisdom starts; hopefully 2011 developed the Chiefs and showed the importance of team.

The Chiefs aren’t ranked as high as the Denver Broncos or San Diego Chargers in ESPN’s early power rankings, but that’s OK.

If you can appreciate it, the Chiefs were helped by a lousy season. Kansas City is on the right track.
The Chiefs learned you don’t quit, that was the most important message of all.
Good day, Chiefs fans!