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!