I slept just three hours on the eve of the pre-season opener for the Kansas City Chiefs. When 6am arrived, I was ready to spring out of bed and into a hot, steamy shower. I dressed quickly and darted out of my dimly lit apartment. For once I was on time for work and excited to settle into my 8-by-10 cubicle. I’d planned to spend the entire day perusing Chiefs-related websites. I freely admit that Fridays tend to be my least productive workdays. Why should the first official Red Friday, for the Chiefs 2012 campaign, have been any different? I’ll spare you the details of a monotonous workday and my errand-running afterward. You want to know about my gameday experience, and I’m anxious to share.
So here are my Top 10 thoughts (a la Letterman) on my Arrowhead experience:
10. The Kansas City Rumble Drumline is awful. I’m not sure whose idea it was to add them to the stadium presentation, but it just doesn’t cut it. The drummers are talented, but their routines are utterly uninspired. Their performances don’t translate particularly well to the jumbotron either. The natural sound delays (no fault of the stadium’s staff) render the visual useless. Tony DiPardo is sorely missed at One Arrowhead Drive.
9. Did anyone get a load of the kid who lifted his shirt and rubbed his nipples on the ordinarily family-friendly FanCam? The crew is obviously still in pre-season form as they never bothered to cut away from the boy. That was a golden moment. Pure comedy gold.
8. Paying just $10 to park outside the stadium, just north of I-70, was delightful. If ever you need some post-game entertainment, watching inebriated fans trying to climb the hill at the northeast edge of the parking lot ought to do the trick.
7. Steve Maneri was impressive with 69 receiving yards. Surprisingly, that led all Chiefs pass-catchers. It’s the pre-season though so Chiefs fans will have to curb their enthusiasm. Lest he become the Jesse Haynes of 2012.
6. As a longtime Hip Hop aficionado, I was pleased to hear seminal 90’s acts: Onyx, Lords of the Underground and Public Enemy pumped through the stadium’s PA after big defensive plays. Though there was a moment where a Ludacris lyric made my skin crawl. It wasn’t for any personal reasons, but I couldn’t help but to think about all of the kids in attendance. Let’s just say it detailed an encounter with an exotic dancer and her hindquarters.
5. Remember the sixth-round draft pick I said would contibute in 2012? He led all Chiefs RB’s with 65 rushing yards on Friday night. He punctuated his pre-season debut with a 7-yard touchdown scamper. It’s early, but my prediction’s on track.
4. Brady Quinn and Ricky Stanzi were unimpressive to say the least. Backup QB was believed to be one of the most hotly-contested position battles coming into training camp. Despite having split 3.5 quarters, there were only 9 completions between them. Tyler Palko is not amused.
3. Think Eric Winston will be a difference-maker along Kansas City’s offensive line? Watch the Peyton Hillis 28-yard run thrice then thank your lucky stars for Barry Richardson’s incompetence and for salary cap casualties.
2. Anthony Toribio was rock solid against the Cardinals. He made a case for continuing to run with the first team (at least for another week). Toribio was strong at the point. He collapsed the pocket on a pass play and stuffed Cardinals Runningback Alfonso Smith on a run. Seemed as though the Chiefs Linebackers were clean and able to make plays with Toribio helping to absorb blockers.
1. Brian Daboll got the offense rolling. The Chiefs found paydirt on back-to-back offensive series. Can you recall the last time that happened in a pre-season game (or any other game for that matter)? I didn’t see the vertical attack-style offense that Daboll’s been boasting about all off-season, but schemes are typically pretty vanilla this time of the year. I’ll reserve judgment for the next two or three weeks.