Great Read on Herm Edwards' "Luck"

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by LaTunaNostra, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. LaTunaNostra

    LaTunaNostra He Made the Difference

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    This Posnanski is a lively columnist, btw.

    Kansas City Chiefs
    Posted on Mon, Jan. 01, 2007email thisprint thisreprint or license this
    Edwards makes it OK
    The Kansas City Star

    LOS ANGELES | Yes, you see that dateline correctly. Yes, it means that when the miracle was happening, I was 34,000 feet off the ground listening to the man next to me snore. Yes it means that during the luckiest sports break to happen in Kansas City since a certain umpire called a certain runner safe, I was eating stale pretzels and watching some airline movie where Nick Nolte plays a crazy person. That’s method acting.

    Let’s be honest: I didn’t think there was any chance that the Chiefs would make the playoffs. No chance. That’s why I hopped on the flight to the Rose Bowl in the first place. And my doubts were not just because of the crazy odds — the Chiefs had to win, three other teams playing for their playoff lives had to lose, the earth had to swallow Mike Shanahan, nickels had to turn into dimes, Tim Allen had to win an Oscar for his Santa Clause reprise and so on. No, I didn’t think this was going to happen because remarkably good things like this never seem to happen in Kansas City sports.

    And that’s why, in my mind, there’s no doubt who made this miracle happen.

    All the credit in the world must go to Herm Edwards.

    There are a lot of things you can say about Edwards. He is passionate, and he is cautious. He is inspiring, and he is not always the best with the game clock. He’s an amazing speaker, but sometimes when he finishes talking you realize he really didn’t say anything at all.

    Above everything else, though, he is one word. Herm Edwards is lucky.

    You think I’m kidding. But I’m not. Herm Edwards is one lucky son of a gun, and he has been just about all of his natural born life. Sure, it was Herm Edwards who, at a college all-star game, became friends with a young quarterback from Minnesota named Tony Dungy, a relationship that would shape his life. Yes, it was Herm Edwards who recovered the fumble in the last seconds and returned it for a touchdown in the Miracle of the Meadowlands. Yes, it was Herm Edwards who was the master of the interception, who always seemed to be in the right place at the right time.

    And as a coach? Lucky? Wow. Take a look: 2001: First year as Jets coach. New York makes the playoffs on the last day in Oakland when Jets kicker John Hall makes a last-minute, 53-yard field goal. This was after a terrible snap, by the way.

    2002: New York makes the playoffs on the last day by winning and then having a New England team playing for nothing come from back from an 11-point deficit in the final 5 minutes to beat Miami in overtime.

    2004: New York needs only to beat St. Louis in the final game of the season to make the playoffs. The Jets lose that game, but a Pittsburgh Steelers team playing for nothing (and playing its third-string quarterback) went into Buffalo and won to send the Jets to the playoffs again.

    The man is just lucky, and he wears that luck everywhere he goes. What is his favorite saying, after all? “It’s OK!” he says, stretching out the Oh-kayyyyyyyy. “It will be OK! We’ll be OK!” He says things will be OK because he believes it — because in Edwards’ life things do turn out OK in the end. His life is like a Perry Mason episode. No matter how bad it looks, the real murderer confesses and he walks away with the girl.

    Now we’ve seen it. Well, you saw it. I’ve seen the replays. The Chiefs hold on to beat Jacksonville, thanks to three touchdowns from Larry Johnson, who now has carried the football so many times they are legally married in 21 states. OK, that’s one.

    A New England team playing for nothing pounds Tennessee. That’s two. A Pittsburgh team playing for nothing beats Cincinnati in a wild overtime game, one where Pittsburgh’s Jeff Reed made the tying field goal with 1 minute left and Cincinnati’s Shayne Graham misses a 39-yard, game-winning field goal with 8 seconds left.

    You’ve got to be kidding me here. Anyway, that’s three.

    And then finally, four, the coup de grace, the wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, San Francisco’s Joe Nedney makes a 36-yard field goal in overtime that lifts San Francisco — the same San Francisco team the Chiefs blasted 41-0 — over Denver in Denver. This was the one game that even Chiefs president/CEO/general manager/happy guy Carl Peterson dared not dream about.

    “We’re not counting ourselves out,” he had said earlier in the week. “But obviously, it would take something strange.”

    Lots of strange things happened. Why? This stuff just wouldn’t have happened had Gunther Cunningham been coach. No offense, Gun’s a good man, but he’s not charmed like Herm Edwards. Few are.

    Now, the Chiefs have a chance to go to Indianapolis and break that city’s heart for a change. When you look at that Colts’ run defense — one of the worst in NFL history — you know it’s not impossible.

    Yes, finally, the Chiefs were lucky. It’s Herm. I’m telling you. Of course, there are people who don’t honestly believe one person is any luckier than others. Some of those people will be watching the playoffs on television.

    To reach Joe Posnanski, call (816) 234-4361 or send e-mail to For previous columns, go to

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