Training camp starts today, and football is around the corner.
Five years ago about this time I’d be readying myself for another shitty season of fumbles, injuries, and all-around, worst-in-the-league football.
A sad level the once proud Kansas City Chiefs football program had reached.
Ticket sales calls for mouthwatering seats I would have killed for in the nineties did not even interest me. The most interesting thing on the field were the cheerleaders (God bless em’).
The most interesting player was Tony G. The greatest hope was Larry Johnson. Herm Edwards was…ENOUGH OF THIS!
Today is a new day and 2012 brings a new team with new hope! Real hope, I must say.
Training camp moved to St. Joe! An hour from good old Arrowhead, where they belong.
As I said a couple of weeks ago, training camp will be hot, humid, and dusty. You will, at times, think you’re going to pass out. You might question the sanity of fighting the elements and making the drive.
Well thank goodness you read my posts!
Without further delay, my updated 2012 training camp tips! Enjoy!
1. Camp is free. Parking isn’t. Parking is usually five bucks or so.
2 Drinks are very expensive. Drink a lot before you go in the gate if you’re on a budget. Same deal on the food. Bring a cooler loaded with food, water, whatever. You have to leave it in the car though. You can go in and out as much as you want (but it’s a pretty good hike). Avoid alcohol unless you like sitting in the ER with a a tube of saline solution in your arm.
3. It will be one of the hottest, most humid experiences you have ever been through. Take a hike or two each day, a couple of days before you go to get used to the conditions. This is no joke folks, do it.
4. I have had no problems getting my camera in. Take yours and you will get some great photos. Make sure your lens isn’t too long or they will stop you at the gate.
5. They say no video, but most cameras have that option now. Shoot away.
6. Watch Arrowhead Addict for updates on the practice schedule. They are often cancelled with little notice. Weather can really screw things up too. You will need to be flexible.
7. Keep your eye out for updates on the actual practices. Some are much more interesting than others. Again, these announcements are often given with little notice so check AA often.
8. Volunteer to be an on-site reporter with your favorite Kansas City Chiefs website, Arrowhead Addict. I have participated in previous years and it’s an experience you will not forget. It really makes you feel like you’re part of the AA family, (an even bigger part than you are now!).
9. If you are a hardcore fan (you’re an Addict after all!), use one of those hand-held recorders or a recorder phone apps to take notes of what you see. Pour through them when you get home. Associate your notes with your photos. Refer to them throughout the season. Feed your addiction to the greatest NFL team in the world.
10. Gear is important. Take a very light breathable rain jacket. If you don’t have one and don’t have the coin to get one, get one of those dollar ponchos at a local store. They are better than nothing, and you will actually bring it without much thought.
11. Take a very good pair of sunglasses.
12. Take sunscreen (I love those packages that have a little pad soaked in sunscreen), but do what works for you.
13. Same thing for bug repellant (again I love the little tear-open packages). For some reason you will have to look for these in sporting goods stores, department stores don’t carry them.
14. Extra batteries are a must. Cell phone, camera, whatever runs on juice. Dead batteries can ruin your day.
15. Wear cargo shorts that have lots of pockets to carry all this crap.
16. Take a Sharpie. Most days the players are hard to access. Season ticket holders day is the exception, so be ready to meet the players!
17. If you do see an opportunity for an autograph, put your jersey on backwards. That way you can turn around and the player can sign the front of your jersey on your back! (I’m a genius.)
18. If you get an autograph on your jersey, your hat, whatever, and you value it, take it off and place it immediately in the trunk of your car to preserve it for posterity.
18. If you decide to take on the role of AA reporter, tell the people you meet what you’re up to! Get their opinions, their hopes, their fears! Capture the mood of the damn place, it’s your job!
19. Sure there will be girls. Hot girls. And you’re going to be sweating like a somebody in somewhere. Your clothes are going to be soaked. Maybe you can carry it off, maybe you can’t. Don’t be disappointed if interest is not shown, that’s all I’m sayin’. (Girls, don’t worry about how you look, we don’t care. You’re a girl that loves football. You have the power. End of story.)
20. There will be a player or two on stationery bikes by the crowd control ropes due to injuries. They won’t talk to you. At first. Keep at it. Scout security. This is a juggling act. You will get good at it throughout the day. If you see Tyson Jackson on a stationery bike, prepare yourself. He is one of the biggest human beings you shall ever see.
Above all, have FUN. Don’t try and see or do everything. Find some shade, relax every 30 minutes or so and compare notes with your buds and all the other fans looking for the same opportunity to compare notes with you.
FOOTBALL SEASON IS HERE! SEE YOU AT CAMP!