Dec 2, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; A Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader rides in on Warpaint before the game with the Carolina Panthers at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won the game 27-21. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Sleeping Giant Awakens


 

For Arrowhead Addicts like myself, nothing is more exciting than the beginning of a new season for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Some seasons begin with frustration, some with hope, some with a mixture of both.

This season for me brings an optimism that I have not felt in longer than I care to remember.

When it comes to preseason games, I’ve never understood those who barely pay attention.

“Preseason is glorified practice” I’m told. “Preseason is a waste of time”.

Training camp is taken much more seriously than a preseason game by most.

Yet the  first preseason game is the official start of the year for your Arrowhead Adventurer.

My heart skips a beat as I breathlessly wait for my first view of that sleeping giant, as our Kansas City Chiefs’ bus slips through the gates of Arrowhead.

I fight my way through the crowd at the gate to get to those two little seats I call my own.

Though I have seen it countless times in decades of trips to the greatest NFL stadium in the world, I still marvel at how green the green is and how red the red of that awakening giant is.

The incredible times I have had at Arrowhead always flood back and make me smile.

At preseason games I’ve fallen asleep with a plate of a stranger’s hot wings on my lap under the stars. I’ve ridden around the lots in the back of a 4×4 with a crowd of rowdy fans I met an hour earlier, shouting and waving our jerseys at nothing in particular just happy to be alive  for another season. I’ve played camel-back jousting with improvised  weapons made from stolen Rams signs.

Once I looked at the rings of Saturn as the planet just peeked over the corner of the stadium from a telescope perched high on an RV roof.

I once played hide and seek with a bunch of fans that had driven down from Omaha, and it was great fun especially with a decent buzz going. I can remember two sets of long beautiful smooth Nebraska legs giggling as they wandered around a 4×4 my buddy and I were hiding under,  pretending not to see us then scaring the crap out of us from the other  side.

Oh the stories I could tell are endless.

The stories Arrowhead can tell us are endless too.

I close my eyes as I sit in my little seat for the first time of the new season and imagine the battles fought on that grass.

Careers are at risk. Lives are at risk.

Lives like the life of Stone Johnson.

An Olympic sprinter in the 1960 Olympic games, he suffered a broken vertebra in a preseason game against the Houston Oilers and died 23 days later, parents at his side.

At the age of 23 he was robbed of the opportunity to play in the greatest NFL stadium in the world in a regular season game.

Even though he was never on the regular season roster, Lamar Hunt made sure his jersey was retired.

The Kansas City Chiefs take care of their own.

The first preseason game I will attend will be on August 29th when the Green Bay Packers come to town.

I hope you will consider attending too.

If you can make it get there early.

Stretch out on the parking lot and watch the sun go down.

Take a nap.

There is no feeling in the world like waking up to a cool evening August breeze in the parking lot of the greatest NFL stadium in the world.

See you there!

 

 

 

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  • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

    Nothing like a column from the Arrowhead Adventurer. Thanks for always reminding us of what matters, Randy!

    • Randy5k

      Thanks for allowing me to share my experiences with the world Patrick. . And thanks Addicts for listening.

  • Jason Seibel

    How do you know when football is really almost here? When the Arrowhead Adventurer posts his first article of the year! Damn, it’s so close I can taste it!!!

    • Randy5k

      I can taste it too Jason. The stuff I grill at home tastes like crap compared to when I grill it at good old Arrowhead.

  • Chris Tarrants

    Great memories shared! One of my favorites was in 2003, getting ready for the raider game. I had received a brisket sandwich from some guy I didn’t know but who really knew how to smoke a good piece of meat when this lady pulled in on a Harley with her ” guy friend” I didn’t think much of it at first until I realized the bikini I thought she had on was red war paint for a bra! Let me remind you that was my senior year of high school and an 18 year old seeing her make shift bra on a morning when it might have been 40 outside I damn near choked on my brisket, I can still taste the brisket and if I close my eyes I can still see the 3d war paint

    • Randy5k

      Wowee thanks for sharing THAT Chris. Memories you will NEVER get sitting in front of the boob tube.

      • Chris Tarrants

        Exactly! Oh and to top off that day Morton Anderson kicked the game winning field goal with just a few seconds left to beat dem rrrraders!

        • Randy5k

          Nothing like hearing that “boot” and watching a game winner clear the uprights at Arrowhead. Nothing close. I sat and watched us kick the game winner in overtime against the Bills. It was so windy I was shocked at how much that ball curved before it went through. Unbelievable .

          I wasn’t at your game. I’m glad you were and shared that with us.

  • Andrew Kulha

    I enjoyed this. Can’t wait for my first time at Arrowhead.

    • Randy5k

      Thanks Andrew. We are so glad to have you aboard !

  • mitch

    Randy, Thanks for jogging my memory into thinking of all the great times I have had within Arrowhead and it’s parking lots. 3 seats in the front row and I am in Alaska only able to make a game or two a year. Damn I miss that grand ol’ lady we call the “Home of the Chiefs”. KCFIRECHIEF