Happy Anniversary! A look back at the first year of the Chief in the North Newsletter
1 year and a 100+ articles later, it's been a wild ride. And I believe the best is yet to come.
Time really does fly. No, really, it does. I cannot stress enough how fast it all goes by.
1 year ago today, I published a “preview” article welcoming people to the Chief in North Newsletter. I had no idea how people would respond, but I knew I wanted to do my own thing and try to provide the sort of niche, detailed Chiefs content that would perhaps not fly anywhere else. For example, writing about the greatest Mahomes’ throws that didn’t count. That’s happening again this year, by the way.
1 year, 100+ articles, 8 mailbags, and 3 giveaways later, here we are (by the way, the winners of the year-anniversary giveaway of Super Bowl LIV confetti have been selected and emails are going out!). I think I’ve done what I set out to do here, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing.
I already thanked you all repeatedly, but indulge me the time to do so one more time. I cannot emphasize enough how impossible this site would be without your support. It is incredibly difficult to break through in the sports media world at all, let alone do something on your own. I never, in my wildest dreams, thought I would have this opportunity when I started blogging for SB Nation more than a decade ago. You helped make that happen, and I owe you all a debt of gratitude that I could never repay.
BUT… just because I can’t repay you doesn’t mean I won’t try in the form of providing as much content as humanly possible. And we’re here for a celebration, so I thought it made sense to take a look back on some of the content your support has made possible over the last year!
I took an in-depth look at the leak concept and the different ways that Andy Reid dressed it up. This was one of my very favorite pieces to write in that it pulled the curtain back just a bit on what makes Reid so special.
Before the 2020 season, I wrote about how Tyreek Hill is more than fast, and has a legitimate argument as one of the best receivers in the NFL today. I don’t want to say that I was saying this a year before it became a national talking point, but… well… (pats self vigorously on the back).
I wrote about the best throws that Patrick Mahomes has made that DIDN’T count. There are so many absurd plays (they really top the highlight reel of any other quarterback) that I had to break it into Part 1 and Part 2 in order to do the subject justice.
I looked at the absolute madness that was Patrick Mahomes’ high school highlights. I don’t even know how to describe these other than to say: go read the article. I have no idea how colleges weren’t tripping over themselves trying to get him to commit to their school.
I took on the longstanding (and erroneous) myth that Travis Kelce is a poor blocker by breaking down what the Chiefs ask of him and how he does it well. Mythbusting has been one of the staples of my work, and it was particularly gratifying giving a great player his due.
Patrick Mahomes is a soul crusher who smiles at you, and not enough people talk about his ridiculously competitive (and petty) nature. We looked at all the times that inner assassin has shone through his very congenial surface.
I took the time to examine the way Mahomes uses his unique play style to manipulate defenders into moving where he wants them. This is one of the most overlooked aspects of his game, and one that separates him from any other quarterback in how well and how consistently he operates as a puppeteer.
I charted and broke down every dropback of the best game of Mahomes’ career, his complete devastation of an overmatched Ravens team that would not stop blitzing him for some reason.
In a piece that was somewhat prophetic (there’s that self-patting-on-the-back again!), I wrote early in the season about how pass protection issues were setting up a template to give the Chiefs problems in 2020.
In perhaps my favorite article of all time to write, I broke down (with an assist from Ethan Douglas and Lyndon Reid) how Patrick Mahomes is quantifiably, verifiably better (by leaps and miles) in “clutch” situations than literally any other quarterback in history whose numbers are available. It’s actually not even close. Seriously, if you haven’t read this and only want to read one thing on this list, read that piece.
I took on the (initial) bad narrative that Mahomes struggled in the Super Bowl and demonstrated how his film was typically great in a terrible situation. It was a tough piece to write, but necessary.
I looked at Nick Bolton, Creed Humphrey, Trey Smith, Noah Gray and Cornell Powell (or in other words, pretty much the entire draft) in-depth with a focus on how their skillsets might fit into the Chiefs’ plans.
And finally, I wrote what I believe to be the definitive case for Jamaal Charles to enter the Hall of Fame, taking on and refuting every argument against him and demonstrating how he was historically great at moving the football regardless of situation (seriously… HISTORICALLY great. Like, no one in the last 2 decades is even close).
These are just some of my favorite articles to write over the last year, and I have to make the point again that literally NONE of them could have been written if it weren’t for all of you reading and subscribing!
If you’re looking at all these articles and wondering how you’ve managed to make it this long without subscribing, well hey, better late than never! You can still subscribe, a full year after we started, for 60% off (12 bucks a year) by clicking the link below. It’s so important to me that this is affordable to anyone who wants to read it, and I just can’t bring myself to turn off that “coupon.”
One last time, thanks so much for following along on this journey, and trusting me to provide you with the sort of content you’ll enjoy reading. My hope is that the next year brings even more opportunities to provide you all with content you’ll enjoy!
It’s been a great, great year to be a Chiefs fan and a Chiefs writer. Here’s to another one!