I hear it all the time in my Arrowhead Adventures both at Arrowhead and in life.
Preseason football is a big waste of time.
The best seat in the house is right in front of my TV.
The Kansas City Chiefs are terrible.
There was a time when these were fightin’ words, my friends. Or at least the catalyst to a spirited debate. But now they just make me think of a preseason game several years ago.
It was a beautiful August, God’s gift of an evening at the greatest NFL stadium in the world. I had just sat down with the tastiest hotdog and sweetest Dr. Pepper on the face of the earth to catch some early season action. It was relatively quiet, like most preseason games. I could talk to the other folks in my little corner as I sat in my little seat and smelled the smells I had been longing for all year.
I watched with interest.
Suddenly, a little figure emerged from a big, bad herd of bigger, badder players.
It was Jamaal Charles.
He was so little I expected him to get bigger as he ran toward me, but he really didn’t.
A little figure emerged to chase him. Small but bigger than Jamaal. I watched with awe as these two guys ran like I have never seen humans run before or since. Every ounce of energy channeled into efficiency. No wasted movements. Pure, raw explosive power.
Remember Addicts, this was preseason.
Jamaal Charles was established; he had nothing to prove to me or anyone else for that matter. But nobody will ever convince me that he could have run any faster that he did that day. The defensive guy caught him right in the red zone and they both slid toward my seat. They both rolled over and breathed for awhile then slowly got up. Jamaal could have walked over to the rest of his team and his coach, but instead he walked over to his fans and shook his head a little and smiled. He didn’t say the words but he told us he gave us his best.
And we returned his smile and shook our heads and told him we knew he did and that was all that we expected.
As Charles walked back to the sidelines, I imagine he knew how lucky he was to be a member of the best NFL team in the world and to play in the greatest NFL stadium in the world, before the best NFL fans in the world.
And we knew we were lucky too.
We knew that preseason games do indeed, matter. They matter to the players who run like Jamaal did that day.
The best seats are not in front of your big screen TV.
The best seats are at Arrowhead. Even if you sit in that little tiny chair up in each corner.
And the Kansas City Chiefs are not terrible. They are the best.