In the month of October, many NFL fans saw the color pink permeate the sidelines of all games from the towels the players wore, to their shoes and gloves. Even the officials’ flags were pink. This was, of course, to promote “Breast Cancer Awareness” month and it’s something the NFL does every year. Since the calendar has rolled from October into November, the pink has been replaced with olive drab and digi-camo. This is in support of the NFL’s “Salute to Service” initiative, where the league recognizes the service of the nation’s Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. As part of this initiative, members of all NFL franchises make visits to military bases around the world to conduct “meet and greets” and show their support.
The Kansas City Chiefs are no different.
For the past two days, eight members of the Chiefs Cheerleaders (follow them on Twitter @chiefscheer) spent time with the Airmen and Soldiers of Joint Base San Antonio, visiting both Lackland Air Force Base and Ft. Sam Houston. Alison, Beth, Brett, Brooke, Christina, Hayley, Krystal, and Liz made the trip south to meet the troops, put on a “cheer clinic” for the military kids and then conduct a meet and greet. Quite the whirlwind tour.
Of course, being the Addict that I am, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet my favorite Chiefs gals. So, I decked my daughters Isabel (3) and Adelyn (4 months) in their Chiefs gear and drove the 30 miles south to Lackland AFB.
As I was standing in line to meet the KC beauties, I overheard the following conversation:
“So what, were the Cowboys cheerleaders booked?”
“I don’t know man, must have been.”
That’s where I cut into the conversation. I quickly informed the two young men who had quite obviously just graduated Basic Military Training judging by their haircuts and up-right, rigid posture that when there’s only one undefeated team in the league, that’s the team whose cheerleaders you get. Not some mediocre squad like Dallas.
The young man turned around to rebutt this, but saw that I was quite a bit older than him and likely outranked him by a lot (you see, that matters in the military) and that I was fully decked out in my Chiefs gear (Alex Smith jersey and Chiefs hat) and wisely turned back around with nothing more than a “yes, sir.”
As we were nearly to the front of the line, another passerby couldn’t resist. Seeing the line of Chiefs fans, he hollered out:
You see, it’s not just hacks like that guy from the Denver Post. They’re all like that.
I quickly informed that young man that he could yell “Go Broncos” all he liked. That didn’t change the fact that Manning would be watching most of the game from his back, because his “girly little ankles” weren’t going to hold up under the weight of Tamba Hali, Justin Houston and Dontari Poe bearing down on him all night.
That got quite the look of satisfaction from the crowd, and that young man moved on as well.
My daughters and I finally made it to the front of the line and got a chance to meet these wonderful young ladies. My daughter couldn’t wait to meet the cheerleaders. In fact, it’s pretty much all she’s talked about for the last two days. She actually does a pretty convincing Mitch Holthus impression as well.
This was her practicing in the aisle while we were waiting in line:
As we moved from table to table, the girls were great! They were geniuinely happy to be there and meeting the servicemen and women who came to say hi. They loved my girls and took turns holding them for pictures.
I love when celebreties conduct events like this. As a member of the U.S. Air Force for nearly 18 years, it makes me happy when folks like these cheerleaders, or players or whomever come out and show their appreciation by signing some stuff and taking some pictures. It means more to us — and by “us” I mean service members — than the visitors could possibly know.
But the best news I got during the whole visit was when one of the girls told me that she reads Arrowhead Addict religiously and often sends the other members of the Chiefs Cheerleaders team links to the articles here. That made my day! I mean, it’s one thing for you Addicts to read, and you do by the tens of thousands per day, believe it or not. But when members of the Chiefs organization tell me that they not only recognize me as a writer at this site, but that they read every day really made my day.
So ladies, while you were here to salute the military service and say “thanks” I would return that with a “thank you” of my own for making my daughter’s day and visiting the troops here in San Antonio!