2008, my first post as an AA staffer. The site and the team have come a long way since then! What really caught my attention about this post is the crowd opinions about players in the news at the time such as Larry Johnson, Dwayne Bowe, and of course Tony G. We played Tampa, and it was Ryan Sims return to Arrowhead, I could smell him from my seats in the upper level. The post drew a lot of negative comments regarding the opinions about the players, but it turned out to me prophetic as we approach the 2010 season. I thought it would be fun to take a gander at AA and the Chiefs back in 2008 and see how you think things turned out!
Pulling into Stadium Drive from my favorite BBQ joint seemed much different than the last home game. There were tailgaters. Lots of tailgaters. Hadn’t seen that in awhile. The air was filled with BBQ smells, footballs being tossed, and something else I hadn’t seen in a very long time. Optimism.
The weather was fantastic and plenty of female fans were taking advantage of summer tops. Life was looking good.
This was going to be a different day, a good day, and my buddy and I were excited about it.
As we sat on the lot taking in the sights and smells, a father showed his young daughter proper arm positioning as they played catch. The folks next to us, a mix of both Bucs and Chiefs fans boiled shrimp and played tailgate toss. The folks behind us played music and danced.
I didn’t feel the doom I had felt at the previous home game.
As we walked to our seats across the parking lot, it was difficult to navigate through the construction and cars but we finally made it to the gates.
I spoke to some of my regular pals when I got to our seats and we talked about the team and the most recent player news, mainly Larry Johnson. My friend in the next row, David’s, overwhelming opinion was not surprisingly that it’s time for LJ to pack his bags and go, and that the old Penn State curse had reared its head once again…Dwayne Bowe‘s departure was also discussed and there is growing opinion that we might be better off without him as well.
Whatever your personal opinion on Tony Gonzalez, he is back in the good graces of the Red Sea patrons,
There were a couple of Bucs fans in our section, all very friendly and polite. They didn’t seem to have much of a presence in the place. I heard very little if any cheering when the plays went their way the entire game.
By halftime everyone was thrilled.
During the halftime break, we all discussed the fact that nobody really had a favorite Chiefs player any more. The question required thought from everyone I asked. Not sure if that’s the sad state of affairs of the team or the rebuilding plan. We discussed with reverence the ring of fame that circles the stadium and wondered out loud what Mack Lee Hill and Joe Delaney could have accomplished had they been given a longer time on earth.
The Old School Jersey post had me looking around and I saw some very obscure ones, though nobody had my Okoye jersey on. I wore it during the Denver game and I kind of hoped it would bring us luck again today. It almost did.
Late in the third quarter two groups of three or four very attractive and friendly female Chiefs fans claimed the empy seats next to me after making an unconvincing effort to pretend that their tickets were actually in our section. That made the high fives and smiles much more enjoyable for everyone around us. They may have been cheerleaders because they demonstrated cheerleader moves during key points in the latter half of the game. We never got a wave going but our sections chop made it around the place a couple of times. The crowd noise through the game was nearly old school Arrowhead. Loud and excited. No negativity on this beautiful day to be heard.
It occurred to me that is a big reason the stadium looks so empty on tv, the fans move to the empty seats they find below and the cameras then tend to focus on the empty upper sections.
Midway through the fourth quarter I asked regulars Mike and his wife if they thought we could win. Their answer, “no but at least we aren’t shut out”. It seemed unreasonably pessimistic at the time but turned out to be very prophetic.
We watched a crane work its way to the south end of the parking lot and it occurred to me that the stadium is undergoing exactly what we are putting the team through. A total rebuild. It’s a huge pain in the ass to navigate the stadium right now but hopefully in the end it will be worth it. I sure hope the same holds true for the team.
As we left the stadium for the parking lot the crowd was noticeably quiet but overall remained optimistic. The Bucs fans came out of the woodwork including one with a large very realistic schooner on his head, complete with sails and jolly roger flapping in the wind. Lots of comments as we passed by but nothing particularly offensive. I heard much worse from teams in our division after a loss. The comments were delivered in very good-natured tones. Much different from when the Raiders come calling.
I realized I didn’t have much of a voice left.
It was a disappointing outcome, but I think we all had to admit that the team performed at a much higher level than we had hoped.
If you haven’t made it to Arrowhead lately because of the losing streak we are on, I have to say that I think you really need to give it a chance again.
The tickets are cheaper than they have ever been, gas is cheaper than it’s been in a long time.
Thousands of Chiefs fans are just itching to talk shop with you no matter what your outlook or opinions.
The beer at the refreshment stands is cold.
The BBQ in KC is fantastic and the food in the parking lot , always enthusiastically shared with strangers, is even better.
You know its not the old Arrowhead right now, but I can tell you from my experiences at other stadiums this year it’s still one of the best in the league. And with Thiggy’s performances lately and some other new faces on the field I truly believe the old Arrowhead is on its way back. It might be hard for some to believe but I cant wait fo the Saints game in two weeks. Hope to see you there!