Sports Column: A letter to Matt Cassel


By James Russell

Mr. Cassel,

I was at Arrowhead for this game against the Chargers. Fairly cheap tickets, as it’s all that our family could afford currently, but I was there. I took my 14 year old daughter – something I’d been waiting to do for a long time, as she’d never before been to a Chiefs game.

I can’t say the outcome was what I would have liked, especially as it was her first time seeing you guys play live, but that isn’t what I’m writing to you about. She got to see one of the most beautiful stadiums in the country and interact with one of the best fan bases in the entire NFL.

Or at least I thought our fan base was one of the best, and that brings me to the point of a letter that you, personally, will likely never read: I’m sorry for the conduct of an entire stadium of assholes. I’m sorry Chiefs fans don’t have the capacity to understand that while there seems to be something wrong with the entire team right now – something that not a single person outside of your locker room can truly know the reason for – that making a scapegoat of one of the few players that actually looks to give a shit when things go bad is not right.

We have extremely selective memories, it seems, and for that I also apologize. You had a bad game. There’s no sugar coating that or pretending it didn’t happen, but so did the entire team. The play overall Sunday was inexcusable. We as fans expect to see you guys win, or at the very least remain competitive.

But I heard no ‘boos’ for Charles with his 2 fumbles. I heard no ‘boos’ for the defense when they failed time and again to keep San Diego from spanking them like unruly children. I only heard ‘boos’ for you, and I refuse to accept it as something Chiefs fans of years past would have allowed.

Kansas City has been a long time without a team that we feel is a legitimate powerhouse. We’re approaching nearly 20 years since a playoff win and it’s been over 40 since our last Super Bowl appearance. That can be a pill that gets just that slight bit harder to swallow with each passing season.

But time-grown angst over lack of wins is not an excuse for the way you have been treated in this city. It is undeserved, unwarranted and unreasoning. I remember 2010, even if no one else does, and personally I am sick of how many people lay the current state of an entire franchise at your feet.

Maybe people just need a scapegoat. The media loves to hate you for some inexplicable reason. Or maybe this city is just so frustrated that they will lash out at whoever they’re told to (it’s my personal opinion that Jason Whitlock started this whole mess). Whatever the reason, it’s not a good enough one.

This Sunday I found myself ashamed to be a Chiefs fan, and not because of the numbers on the scoreboard.

Again, even if I am the only one, I apologize on behalf of not only a city, but an entire kingdom, for behavior that belongs in Oakland among the Black Hole dwellers, not here in a city with such a great and rich football tradition.

We have been rude, demeaning, unreasoning and just plain stupid. And, unfortunately, the majority will likely continue to their own shame.

I look forward to you proving these classless assholes wrong.


James Russell


Contact James Russell, sports columnist, at


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