Could Mounting Distractions From Harrison Butker and Others, Derail Kansas City Chiefs’ 3-Peat Bid?

Kicker Harrison Butker's ill-advised commencement address was the latest of many Kansas City Chiefs distractions this offseason.

The NFL schedule release did nothing to change how the betting public views the Kansas City Chiefs.

They’re still the favorites to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, and oddsmakers make them a virtual tie with the San Francisco 49ers to win it all.

But there is reason for concern in Arrowhead. Many of their biggest players can’t seem to stay out of the headlines for the wrong reasons.

Kansas City Chiefs’ Offseason From Hell

There were two new developments on this front in recent days.

First came the divisive comments by kicker Harrison Butker at a conservative Catholic Kansas college’s commencement that drew a distancing response from the NFL.

And the other? Rookie wide receiver Xavier Worthy had his car stolen overnight from his apartment complex.

Certainly, these alone would be small blips on the radar. But combined with the other issues surrounding the club these days, it’s fair to wonder if their juju might be off in 2024.

Butker’s comments — in which he obliquely took aim at a number of popular tradcon targets, including women who prioritize their careers over being housewives — ignited a firestorm not usually directed at kickers.

“Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity. His views are not those of the NFL as an organization,” NFL senior vice president Jonathan Beane, the league’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, said in a statement distributed to the media. “The NFL is steadfast in our commitment to inclusion, which only makes our league stronger.”

If there is good news for the Chiefs, the Butker firestorm will die down quickly. That’s how things work in the modern-day outrage spin cycle.

A far bigger concern, both from a PR and competitive standpoint, is Rashee Rice’s mounting legal issues.

This offseason, Rice has been arrested on aggravated assault charges stemming from his high-speed drag race on a Texas highway that caused a six-car wreck. A month later, he was booked on charges that he assaulted someone at a Dallas nightclub.

The NFL has yet to hand down any punishment. The sense throughout the league is that Rice will face a weeks-long suspension to open the season.

The Chiefs’ off-field circus doesn’t end there.

The team has been tabloid fodder ever since tight end Travis Kelce and mega-star Taylor Swift began dating. That media attention would reach a fever pitch should they decide to get married.

And while the Mahomes Family antics aren’t as pronounced as they were a couple of years ago, you never know when Patrick’s dad or brother are going to get into trouble again.

For the record, distractions are usually overrated, and odds are Andy Reid is as good as it gets when it comes to blocking out the nonsense.

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But there’s a reason no NFL team has ever won three consecutive Super Bowls. It’s insanely hard, even in the best circumstances. It’s certainly reasonable to wonder if, at some point, their luck will run out.

If it does, it’ll be fair to ask if the outside noise finally became too loud to overcome.

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