I can’t tell you how long my buddy Dennis and I had been waiting for this day.
I have heard the figure 2% mentioned by the NFL when it comes to the percentage of fans that actually attend games. I’m sure it’s a much smaller percentage that attend non-game events.
I can tell you that over 98% of Chiefs fans are missing a lot.
So much more goes on with the Kansas City Chiefs than just the games.t Te Hunt family has always made sure of that. The NFL Draft day party at Arrowhead is no exception.
It’s held in the practice facility right next to the stadium, and tickets are a mere ten bucks. I thought I had a great time last year. The 2009 draft party was one of the best times I’ve had at Arrowhead, games included.
Last year they gave away tickets at the door. Parking was no problem, and Dennis and I were able to sit near the front row when Clark Hunt came out.
This year no free tickets, they were actually being scalped, and this year you needed a parking pass to gain access. The line was all the way to the parking lot to get in the front door. Smoke curled its way up to the heavens as tailgaters grilled. Footballs hurled through the sky. Uncountable numbers of ladies caught our gaze and smiled. As close to a home game parking lot as you can get. Better than most of the games last year, actually. This draft day party boasted the largest attendance of any draft party in Arrowhead history. Optimism was in the air.
When we finally got to the door we started searching for the cheerleaders. They willingly allow photos with children, but its apparently discouraged with adults, as we are talking skin to skin contact with the most beautifully tanned, moisturized shoulders you might be able to imagine. They regularly refuse. You’ve got to work out a game plan utilizing an experienced wingman and a carefully delivered sales pitch in sequence with microsecond timing. We’ve got our operation down, good luck with yours! Our secret is as carefully guarded as the Colonel’s recipe. Bring a current calendar so you can weed out the “second string” girls. If you get the photo op, do NOT mess up their hair.
In between cheerleader interactions, we stopped to listen to Mr. Pioli who indicated that he had not planned to attend but saw the number of cars on the lot and “knew it couldn’t be for the Royals game”. The place erupted with laughter, he turned beet red, and explained he meant because of all the red jerseys. Sure it was.
Clark Hunt came out on stage, but I’d seen him before and quickly lost interest. I’ve got the attention span of a hamster with the distractions I faced Saturday. Oh well.
Crane suggested to me that I like the cheerleaders more than the game itself, and I’ve been accused of that by my section peers. If you’ve more important Chiefs related interests, you will find tables and tables filled with the most hardcore Chiefs analysts that you will run across. Pull up a chair, spread out your draft guides, and let the debates begin.
Actual players are there, set up to sign autographs, and the line regularly exceeds a couple of hundred, it usually curls around the facility.
Amazingly cheap Chiefs gear being liquidated from last year’s inventory is sold in the back of the place.
A full bar, food, and the easy to overlook vendor girls (the Vault “sisters”) with booths outside in the 80 degree sunshine were personal favorites of mine this year, and I snagged a photo op with them as well.
I talked to many of the fans about Tony and Larry, most thought it was time for Tony to move on — the L.J. supporters were even fewer — though none had a negative word to say about number 88.
Fierce debates erupted when our first-round pick was announced, I heard more than once that LSU hasn’t proven itself when it comes to sending its talent upwards.
The place gradually began too empty and I felt a mixture of optimism for the 2009 season as well as a sadness that another draft day party was over. We made our way to the car heading downtown to the Midland Theater and offered “Cable Guy” invitations and extra tickets we didn’t have to ladies we knew wouldn’t go.
As I looked around for the last time I noticed the age range of the fans is incredible. It struck me that most things fade as the clock spins. Golf skills diminish, batting skills fade, bowling skills rust.
Being a Chiefs fan never does.