Immediately after Todd Haley was fired, one thought crossed my mind. I couldn’t wait to see what the future would hold for the Chiefs. So on Christmas Eve Eve I realized I shouldn’t wait, when I could simply finish that time machine I tried to make for my 4th grade science fair project. I always figured this was something I could flesh out in an afternoon, so why not now?
I delved deep into my parents basement, past broken garden gnomes and leather gimp suits, until I found a small canopy lined with a thick layer of dust and dead bugs. I swept it off, and there it was just as I left it…. The Time-inator! I sucked at naming things then.
The time machine was crudely fashioned from a SEGA Nomad, an old UHF TV receiver, the electronic brain of a Furby, and a mostly broken alarm clock stapled to a Chiefs helmet with Christmas light strings spliced in as the wiring between them, all to be powered by a calculator’s solar cell. Some macaroni art was also hot glued to the blank spots, but those were for decoration… well mostly. I initially planned on them being an emergency food ration as well, in case I traveled to a time when food sucked.
I pulled out the napkin that I drew the schematics on and immediately realized my problem. The SEGA Nomad just wasn’t powerful enough to get the job done. If I replaced that hunk of junk with my old Droid phone, it would be a piece of cake to get this thing working.
I cleaned everything up with rubbing alcohol and an air duster before reconnecting the pieces together and adding my stupid old phone with its broken touch screen. As I tightened the final bolt, a flash of light appeared before my eyes.
It was me! Only a more on-fire me. Yes, this guy, who looked incredulously like me was totally on fire. I wasn’t on fire at the time, but he was. So, maybe it wasn’t me. The me I know wasn’t on fire last I saw him.
I helped put him out with my least good and most stained quilt. I waited for the screams to subside before I tried speaking to him / me / it.
Me: Who are you?
Stranger: Gah! You musn’t know my name! It could disrupt the Space-Time Continuum!
Me: How would me knowing something mess up all of existence?
Stranger: Um…. I don’t know. I thought it sounded good at the time though. Good enough I put it in the owner’s manual whenever I built a FUCKING TIME MACHINE!!!
Me: Point taken.
Stranger: Ah, so there it is! That’s your time machine.
Me: You betcha… So, Dave, how’d you get the time machine to work?
Stranger: First, you have to strap on the helmet, then you set yourself on fire and run at least 8.8 mph towards a wall.
Me: Aha! You answered to Dave, me!
Stranger: D’uh…. that’s because I’m a different Dave. Dave, um…
Totally Not Me Guy’s eyes darted around before stopping on my shoddy pile of predominately empty late 80s cassette tape cases.
Stranger: Dave Diamond!
Me: Riiiiiigggghhttt…. I thought I wasn’t supposed to know know your name?
Dave Diamond: Oh, shit, you’re right. Why don’t you just call me Dude Man?
Me: Dude Man?
Dude Man: [Nodding] Dude Man, dude.
Me: Dude Man Dude?
Dude Man Dude: No, just Dude Man.
Me: Look, whatever, Dude, you’ve been to the future, you’ve got to tell me…
Dude: [Interrupting] Man.
Man: Dude Maaaaannnn.
Me: Oh, for the love of… did you travel through time or what?
A sobering look shot across Dude Man’s face. His eyes sternly cast down on my time amalgamation. He placed both hands firmly on it and picked it up off the table.
Dude Man: It must be… DESTROYED!
Me: What? Why?
Dude Man: You ever see the movie Butterfly Effect?
Me: I dunno. Part of it. It was on HBO and I caught the middle. I thought it had a kind of cool premise, but I just couldn’t take Kelso seriously.
Dude Man: Anyways, look. Jumping ahead in time changed things.
Me: How so?
Dude Man: The first time I went forward in time, I watched the Chiefs hire Romeo Crennel, cut Matt Cassel, re-sign Kyle Orton, and drafted Brandon Weeden in the 4th round of the draft.
Me: The Oklahoma State guy?
Dude Man: Yeah, he’s supposed to compete with Stanzi for the role of primary backup.
Me: Isn’t he 30 or something?
Dude Man: He’s actually a month younger than you.
Me: 28? Why would you even bother?
Dude Man: Is it worse than signing a veteran free agent that’s the same age?
Me: That’s… a really good point actually.
Dude Man: Right. I mean, it wasn’t the perfect scenario, but it wasn’t too bad. After I was done, I thought I’d go back, see if there was anything I missed…. only….
Me: Only what?
Dude Man: Only everything had changed. It’s like I wasn’t in the same place at all!
Me: No way!
Dude Man: And that’s when… Anyways, do you have anything to eat? I’m famished.
I watched as Dude Man horfed down half of a package of ham without bothering to make a sandwich out of it and washed it down by chugging some milk straight from the carton. Any doubt that this was my future self was erased.
Me: Come on, tell me more.
Dude Man: Alright, I’m getting to it. [Finishing off the gallon.]
Me: Mom was right, I am a procrastinator.
Dude Man: Shut up… Geez. Anyway, I get there and everything is different. Pioli instead decides he wants to hire the next big thing, find them before anyone else can, so he digs deep. He ends up hiring Pat Fitzgerald from Northwestern.
Dude Man: Exactly. He’s only 37, used to play linebacker at Northwestern, but he did take them from being a Big Ten punchline to 5 consecutive bowl eligible seasons. They’re right on the verge of being a Big 20 powerhouse.
Me: No they aren’t… Wait? Big 20?
Dude Man: Oh, right, past… Sorry.
Me: This doesn’t sound right.
Dude Man: I know. I thought so too. So, I traveled through time again, only this time I hit a fly before I hit the wall, so when I arrived I was the fly instead, right next to my own drooling, helmet wearing body!
Dude Man: Tell me about it. I was a fly. We were at 1 Arrowhead Drive just as they were interviewing candidates, so I buzzed into Scott’s office.
Me: You were a fly on the wall during the interview process?
Dude Man: Heh… I never thought of it like that. That’s kinda funny. Anyway, Frank Gansz walks in and…
Dude Man: Sr. I think.
Me: What the fuck? He’s been dead for over two years!
Dude Man: Oh, maybe it was Jr. then. Anyway, Frank Gansz Jr. shuffles over to Pioli’s desk and starts begging him for the job. He says he doesn’t even want to get paid. Pioli responds that Gansz would have to pay him for the job.
Me: Ha! Good one, Scott!
Dude Man: Gansz then proceeds to empty the contents of his wallet out on the table; $17, a paper clip, and a car wash token. Clark and Scott are stunned, but they don’t bite. Instead, Clark opts to be the ultimate cheap ass and not hire anyone at all!
Me: Wait…. then who’s the coach?
Dude Man: He fires everyone, including most of the support staff and instead lets the players coach themselves. He called it a new era in social engineering.
Me: He let the inmates run the asylum?
Dude Man: Oh yeah, it was chaos. It didn’t take three days before the place was smoldering ruins. That’s when I used a candy bar to lure my body to the fire so I could try to travel through time and get my body back in the process.
Me: How did you lift the candy bar?
Dude Man: Science.
Me: Oh, okay.
Dude Man: So, I’m back in my old body in a new time and space, when — OH, I remember why I thought it was Frank Gansz Sr.
Dude Man: Scott Pioli dug up Frank Gansz Sr.’s body and propped up his body at the podium to play the role of head coach.
Me: Why would he do that? I mean Gansz was a good special teams coach, but he kinda sucked as a – WAIT A MINUTE! He dug up a body to be his coach?! That’s fucked.
Dude Man: Yep. Just let everyone think he was alive.
Me: He pulled a Weekend At Bernie’s with his coach?
Dude Man: For reals, yo.
Me: That’s just sick. I’ve lost a whole slew of respect for future Bizarro world Scott Pioli.
Dude Man: Me too, I think. It wasn’t long at all before this big manly clean cut dude came up and offered to just take the job.
Dude Man: Yeah, he was some Eastern European body builder guy. Anyways, the guy works all hours of the night, does extra work, he was a machine.
Me: Wow, that sounds pretty good.
Dude Man: No, literally, this guy was a machine.
Dude Man: He was a robot assassin sent back from the future into the past to kill the savior of humanity who led an uprising against their machine masters in their future.
Me: So why did he want to be the Chiefs coach?
Dude Man: Apparently he didn’t know the guy’s name, but the messiah was the next Chiefs starting QB before the Robot Revolt.
Me: Wow, that sounds crazy. Are you they didn’t mean Tim Tebow out in Denver?
Dude Man: No, I am not. Either way, they apparently used your time travel device, OUR time travel device to travel back in time. You should set this thing on fire and piss on the ashes for good measure.
Dude Man handed me my helmet. I looked at my creation with the same odd mixture of regret and disappointment that my parents look at me with. It had so much potential to change the world, but therein lies the problem. It was too powerful, and with great power comes great responsibility, and screw responsibility.
Me: Alright, but how will you get back to your time?
Dude Man: Duh, I have my own helmet.
Me: No, really, I’m not even sure your reality exists any more. How’s the continuity work in all of this?
Dude Man: Oh crap! You’re probably right. What could I do in this timeline with no legitimate paperwork or identification? I’ve always wanted to become a drifter!
Dude Man: Just remember that humanity is counting you to do the right thing.
Me: So, do you think the Chiefs are going to hire Romeo Crennel long-term then?
Dude Man: Fuck if I know. I’m not a fortune teller. So long.
The stranger for no reason left through the window when there was a perfectly good unlocked door 5 feet away and scurried off into the dreary mists. The dumbass didn’t even wear a coat. He’ll probably freeze to death. Merry Christmas! Go Chiefs!