I sat breathlessley with my buds Patrick and Merlin as we waited for the 2011 Kansas CIty Chiefs schedule to be posted. For me, the player-owner disagreement was momentarily forgotten.
Three prime time games, Patrick announced! Two Monday night games! The league had confidence in the Kansas City Chiefs once again it would seem. As I breathlessly scrolled down the regular season schedule on NFL.com my mind wandered.
Only one September home game, hmmmm. The guaranteed warmth of the Chiefs vs Bills would be reserved for my girlfriend and I. The October Vikings matchup would go to the most loyal of buds who made the trek with me in the hard to be a fan months of 2008.
The Monday night game vs Chargers made my mind wander to the Monday night game last year when my girlfriend and I became one with the thousands upon thousands of thrilled KC fans feeling the warmth of Gods gift of hope surge through our veins as a game proven Matt Cassel waved from the sidelines. How far the team had come.
The Dolphins trek to Arrowhead made me remember the last time the Dolphins came to KC, the coldest home game on record. I drove home from that game questioning my will to make the trek for another season. Within weeks of that lonely drive home both Carl Peterson and Herm Edwards would be a memory.
The Steelers match-up took me back to their last visit as well, when I marveled at Big Bens size from my seats behind the uprights, and yelled until my voice failed as we sent them home with a loss, a loss Grigsby’s squeeky, always optomistic voice predicted to the minions as we edged toward the gates of Arrowhead that fine Sunday morning. A voice that will be missed and will never be replaced.
KC’s trip to Soldier Field reminded me of my experiences in Chicago with my buddy Chuck, as we sat in the section where that nut jumped from the stands and caught a field goal and watched Tony Gonzalez help the paratroopers to their feet in the pregame ceremonies.
The Packers matchup took me back to the last time they came to KC in the regular season. A still respected Brett Favre snatched a two touchdown lead from us in a matter of minutes. The craziest game I have ever attended at Arrowhead, our arrival at the front gates an hour before game time got us to our seats at the beginning of the second quarter. It was so insane nobody even scanned our tickets, we just walked in.
The season wind up Raiders and Broncos reminded me of bad times at Arrowhead for some reason, and I quickly focused on the positives once again.
Phone calls and texts to friends spread the excitment, as we all checked our calendars for conflicts. I was thrilled to find that for once none of the games interferred with my muskie fishing tourney schedudle.
Its going to be a tough fight, and I must agree with Patrick. An 8-8 season will be proof of progress with this schedule.
I slept soundly for the first time I could remember since my wreck about a month ago. What a wonderful thing it is to be a KC Chiefs fan. For that night I set aside the reality that it could all be taken away.