Chief Concerns: Jordan Clark
Here we are again, Chiefs’ fans!
Welcome to another edition of Arrowhead Critiques, where we get to watch videos of our Warriors in Red and pretend that we are diligently working behind the soft glow of our monitors!
I have a real treat this week for all of you who remember one of the greatest Chiefs of all time. Many argue the SINGLE greatest Chief of all time.
For those of you who missed the opening edition, each video is graded on a scale of 1-5 Arrowheads in five different subjects. Those grades are averaged for a final overall rating, again, out of a possible 5 Arrowheads. Here is a look at those five subjects:
- Audio (includes music, field sound effects, background commentary)
- Visual (including game footage, still photo montages, and special effects)
- Editing (How well the Audio and Visual aspects are synced, and “wasted” time avoided)
- Time (Video isn’t too long causing boredom or too short and unsatisfying)
- “Knock Your Socks Off Factor” (This will be the overall “pump” received by watching each video)
OK, now that we are all on the same wave length, here is this week’s material.
Matthew Monroe is back this week with a brand new tribute to Derrick Thomas.
“You gotta forget it Derrick. Listen to me. Look at me, young man. You gotta forget it. Derrick, let me tell you something. Do you understand what I’m telling you? Look at me Derrick, You’ve got to forget it. If you don’t forget it, it’ll gnaw at ya, it’ll take away your ability to do what you need to do in the Overtime.” -Marty Schottenheimer
It wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t always beautiful. It was bold, however, and it ALWAYS came from the deepest parts of the heart. Those were Marty’s words, and even more so, Derrick’s passion for the game, the team, and the fans. That is why the opening scene of this video is so powerful. It catches Derrick in a rare moment vulnerability, sitting on the sidelines with a look of self-doubt while the Red Sea roars and Marty speaks these words from a knee.
To me, knowing the entire story of our franchise’s most loved linebacker, I heard these words being spoken to Derrick, now. I imagined him hearing Marty’s heartfelt message even after he had passed, telling him that it was alright. It was not his fault. Making sure that he doesn’t dwell on what happened that night, because he still has a job to do.
After all, the linebackers wearing red today still need guidance. And I know that I’m not the only one that sees ghosts running around in our defensive backfield from time-to-time.
Once the music kicks in and Creed’s 2001 hit, “My Sacrifice” begins to play the soft guitar intro, I immediately wanted to shut the computer off, take a shower, and call it a day. Luckily for me, I stuck it out and rediscovered just how much DT meant to our community. Listening to the lyrics (even though they sung by a man who sounds like he is forever doomed to have Andy Reid standing on his pinky toe) brought the feeling that I was actually sitting with Derrick, trying to find the words to tell him how much I’ve missed him and how everything just seems more bearable when he is on our field.
Now, the 1-800-COLLECT commercial with DT and Neil Smith just cracks me up every time I see it. It is just hysterical, to me. I think that it was cleverly used during lull in the guitar solo to help illustrate Derrick’s boyish, goofball mentality and the relationship that he held with his teammates.
I truly despise Creed’s music. Sadly, I cannot say that it took away from the overall feel to this video. The tempo is steady at a pace that will not overwhelm a viewer with action, but it isn’t slow enough to quite put them to sleep either. It helps create the exact mood that it is designed to.
As I noted above, the opening scene with Derrick sitting on his helmet and Marty coming over to talk to him, is incredibly powerful and really sets the tone for the entire video.
When Creed’s guitar intro begins there is a close-up of Derrick warming up with no pads and a backwards baseball cap. He turns his head and looks up and past the camera and stares into the sky. He always had the most intense stare when he was on the field. Focused.
The first play that is shown is a tipped ball that Derrick picks off and returns into the Red Zone. After that is roughly 55 seconds of various celebrations with teammates, hugs, fist pumps, and preplay close-ups. Which, surprisingly didn’t take away from the video as much as I originally thought. It helped build a bit of an emotional attachment to the video. For those of us who remember Derrick, it isn’t all that hard to create that attachment, though.
At the 1:15 mark we see the first sack of the video, then follow a few more field introductions, close-ups, and the iconic view of Derrick sitting in the middle of the field, in the pouring rain during a timeout.
After all of that, we reach the 1:50 point and the plays begin to pile up. Total, there are 21 plays shown, resulting in 15 sacks (3 of which are John Elway…Nice!), 5 forced fumbles and the interception that we talked about earlier. The video quality was actually pretty decent considering the time frame that the original shots were taken. A little blurry and fuzzy, but not terrible.
This video even came with an intermission! From the 3:10-3:40 points there is one of my favorite commercials of all time, where Derrick plays a joke on Neil Smith by telling him that his mother called him without using 1-800-COLLECT. Neil is going ballistic in the locker room while Derrick explains his pregame ritual to the camera. This segment seems a little distracting at first, but ultimately, I think that it was an interesting way to show Derrick’s “human” side. This seemed to be an ongoing theme throughout the entire video.
Following the intermission, there are clips of Derrick playing ball with kids, and more of a celebrating defense. There are seven more plays shown to wrap up the action, including, 4 more sacks (2 more on Elway!!). The finally comes as Derrick runs onto the field in a pregame introduction, shots of Arrowhead faithful going wild in support for their favorite son, and Derrick standing midfield, arms up, helmet in hand. The stadium lights shine over him as the picture fades to black leaving only the words, “Derrick Thomas 1967-2000″.
The meshing of the audio and video in this video was done quite well. Most clips were shown in slow motion, and there were equal parts of down time as well as action. This tactic was used well to match the tempo of the song, as well as establishing and maintaining the desired mood of the overall experience.
There were a few plays that seemed like they were cut off too early, and one quick clip of Derrick in an Alabama uniform that seemed to have no purpose being there. Overall, it was a decently edited video.
Coming in at just a shade under five and a half minutes, this video isn’t overwhelmingly long, but the slow pace seems to make it feel closer to 7-8 minutes. There was some great content, and a lot of the idle periods were understandable, but ratio of action-V-no action was too far off balance to award the full 5 Arrowheads.
As I stated earlier, this is not a video that will overwhelm its viewers with feelings of enthusiasm and excitement. Nor is it something that will prepare them to go screaming into the night wearing a loin cloth, face paint, and Chiefs dreadlocks. It is, however, a great video to help us take a few minutes out of or day-to-day routines and realize that in Kansas City, we’re about more than just the game. Sure, we love Raider-bashing, Donkey-kicking, and Bolt-hating. But when it comes down to it, we love being a part of OUR team. OUR community. OUR family. There were few men that showed that same love to the extent that Derrick Thomas did. For that reason, I graded this subject a little differently. I graded it based on the fact that before I analyzed this video I was having a terrible week, after watching it a few times over and thinking about the impact that Derrick’s life had on so many people, I am again filled with hope and optimism for the future. How could anyone argue with that?
So, with all of the subjects tallied, this week’s video finishes the day with a total score of 3.8 ARROWHEADS!!
A big “Thank you” goes out to Matthew Monroe, again, for providing us with our last two videos. Remember Chiefs Fans, you can submit your own videos or any of your all-time favorites directly to me by emailing them to;
Email your submissions to email@example.com.
Thanks for stopping by, and keep an eye out for the next edition of ARROWHEAD CRITIQUES!!
Till next time, stay loud Kingdom!!