It was developing into one of those perfect days to hold an opening game at Arrowhead, and my girlfriend and I had high hopes as we sped north to Kansas City.
My trunk was stuffed with all the gear we would need for a first class opening day tailgate.
I chose my Joe Delaney jersey to start the season with. Number 37 always elicits comments from fellow Chiefs fans about the selflessness of a hero that never had a chance to show us what he could do.
A perfect way to start a perfect season.
I could tell it was going to be a packed house as we made our way through the gates of the greatest NFL stadium. After a much awaited parking lot cook out, we made our way toward the sea of red I consider my favorite place to be in the world.
We caught up with old friends in my section, and introduced ourselves to new ones as we watched Dwayne Bowe go through his usual rituals in our little corner of the stadium.
I marveled at the sheer size of Dontari Poe and wondered how Peyton Manning would hold up to an 18 mph hit from such a wrecking machine. In my mind, I pictured Manning’s helmet landing in my lap as I waved it at the camera.
The Stealth welcomed us to the 2012 season, and what looked like a full house appeared to ready itself to spring that world famous “Arrowhead Advantage” into action.
But that weapon would never be a factor this day.
A thunderous roar welcomed Tony Gonzalez back to Arrowhead. Fond memories of his days in Kansas City were relived by his many fans.
I even heard some cheers from the my Kansas City brethren when good old number 88 caught a pass.
And I didn’t hear that victory cry when he missed one.
Understandable for sure. If Tony G is not the greatest tight end ever to play the game, he certainly should be in the conversation. Tony gave the best years of his NFL career to Kansas City, and has no postseason wins to show for it. That is loyalty.
Years ago I watched from my seat in Soldier Field as Tony was the only player from either side to run out and help a parachutist tangled in his gear as he flailed helplessly during a pregame warm up.
A class act all the way.
Blame who you will, folks, but Tony Gonzalez is no longer a Kansas City Chief.
He stood in our way to victory.
Sure the Falcons are a Super Bowl-level team. But so were the Packers last year. So were the Steelers when we took them out a couple of seasons ago.
The difference between those games and Sunday? Quite a few I am sure. But the glaring difference in my mind was the Arrowhead crowd.
Any high school coach will tell you player distraction can be costly. This Arrowhead Adventurer will tell you that fan distraction can be costly as well.
Do we have an ownership in place that does all that can be done to bring the best talent to Kansas City? I have my doubts.
Do we have the quarterback in place to lead us to that elusive Super Bowl victory? Time will tell.
But this fact I am sure of.
A small market team like the Chiefs with an ownership that does not exactly have a reputation for throwing money at its problems must use every weapon in its arsenal to secure victory.
The Kansas City Chiefs once held the proud title of the highest home game winning percentage.
Not always because we had the best players. Not always because we had the best coaching staff in place or spent the most money.
We had the highest home game winning percentage due because we had the best fans.
And we still do.
But if the Kansas City Chiefs are going to reach the Super Bowl in 2012, those fans are going to have to give it their all.
We simply didn’t give it our all Sunday.
I was as guilty as everyone else. I casually chatted with my buddy Matt about muskie fishing, 5k runs, and anything else that came to mind while my beloved team slowly eroded in the third quarter. My hands were not bloody and bruised from pounding on the seat in front of me as we made that long, quiet trip home.
Arrowhead was not the loudest stadium in the NFL Sunday, despite the fact that there were plenty of Chiefs fans in attendance to accomplish that.
Matt Ryan didn’t shake his head in frustration like I have seen Peyton Manning and Phillip Rivers do in years past.
Communication wasn’t a problem for him that warm, sunny September day.
Some good football teams lost Sunday. The Kansas City Chiefs are one of those teams.
I truly believe we have the pieces in place to be Super Bowl contenders.
Some very good quarterbacks will be coming to Arrowhead in the coming weeks that are going to do everything in their power to make sure that doesn’t happen.
And we, as fans, are in charge of making sure those very good quarterback ears bleed.
If you are on the fence about attending a Kansas City Chiefs game this year and can afford it, go.
If you are like me, blessed to be able to attend every game, don’t just come but show up.
Let’s make sure that Phil Rivers throws his usual little tantrum as the cries from the Arrowhead crowd reach dangerous levels Sept 30.
Let’s make sure that the opposing fans and players know they are in for a battle in the harshest NFL conditions in the league.
I am not convinced the owners of the Kansas City Chiefs are doing everything possible to secure red and gold another Super Bowl victory.
I am totally convinced that we, as fans, are going to have to.