It’s crazy how different the world can look from one day to the next. One Sunday I hit the snooze two or three times then finally crawl out of bed and pour coffee down my throat.
The next one I’m awake before the buzz checking Addict before I head to KC.
Some days are just brighter than others. Especially when the Chiefs seem to be putting things together.
This one was one of the good ones, and I headed out to my buddies car. I’ve known him since about the sixth grade, the Chiefs games are an opportunity for us to see each other and catch up once a year. I know a lot of season ticket holders do that as well.
Nearly every car we passed on the way had a Chiefs flag or a Chiefs magnet on the door and we waved and laughed with every one. Some were elaborately decorated with Chiefs schemes. My favorite Chiefs themed van is one that has a Delaney and Thomas memorial on the rear doors. That guy works at the post office down the street from my house. I’ve never talked to him but we wave and smile like we are best friends. I had not seen this many cars bound for Arrowhead in a long time and it made me and my buddy laugh with excitement.
When we made our way through the parking lot I talked to quite a few fans standing outside on the ramps and then headed into my section for some more dialog. I don’t believe it had been announced but we had a Stealth flyover before the game. If you haven’t experienced that yet, well that alone is worth the price of admission. It’s simply incredible to see.
The Arrowhead Opinion:
Mark Bradley is looking like a great deal right now. Larry Johnson is oddly kind of neutral as far as his contributions and what we should do with him. By games end it was felt that Larry didn’t seem motivated. Dwayne Bowe went from zero to hero in my section faster than Tony made his rebound with the fans. He is thought of as one of the best players we have right now and an all around great guy. We can use all of that we can get. And of course Tony is a team hero again, not hard to find someone who feels he is the bright spot on the team. We talked about how outrageous it is that a team’s general manager is afraid to show his face on the field. Before the game, Clark Hunt was down on the field shaking some boy scouts hands. None of us saw Carl Peterson anywhere. Everybody I talked to is ready to see him go. Thiggy is such a welcome addition but nobody seems to agree on if it will last or if the spread will hold up.
Opinions of Herm varied dramatically, some are still ready for him to go while others thought he was the one we needed at the helm next year. Chan Gailey is still kind of neutral as well, nobody seemed to want to see him go at this point though I knew that could change as quickly as the wind in the upper decks. We tried to decide if any teams in the NFL currently operated without a GM but nobody really knew. Gunther Cunningham didn’t come up today. The crowd yelled the loudest when the tight ends took the field.
Right before the start, a group of seven or eight Saints fans claimed the empty center of the section next to us and began to loudly taunt all of us. By the end of the first quarter it really began to start heating up to the point where I thought we might see it go past words, and even I was starting to get riled.
A guy in a Chiefs jacket, a very big guy, slowly worked his was down the stairs, pointing at the group and working his way towards them.
We weren’t sure what was up, when he worked his way into the middle of the group and began shaking all of their hands and knuckle punching. They were soon joined by several others Chiefs and Saints fans who good naturedly went back and forth in their celebration for the rest of the game. It was a fun thing to see and says so much about what Arrowhead is all about and I had to make my way over there for awhile.
On the way home I got to thinking about how much more a trip to Arrowhead is than just watching the game, so I thought Id give you some idea of what the fans do to get the most out of the day. Not crazy about making the trip during a losing season? Here is what your missing, lets call them…
“Things to do at Arrowhead, when they’re dead”
1. Peanut poker : Each person tosses a peanut shell on the ground. Carefully watch the preoccupied fans as they cruise by and take in the action.. The person whose shell gets stepped on first wins. Sounds tame, but it’s not; it’s crazy fun and only gets better as you sip that Arrowhead beer. Great when there is a rain break and at halftime. The stakes vary from none to who knows what.
2. Arrowhead Survivor. This one is pretty extreme, make sure you get a doctors approval first. It really demonstrates the generosity of the Arrowhead fans. You and your buddy simply show up to Arrowhead with no food. Nothing. Nada. No money either. Nothing but lint and a ticket. And since you haven’t eaten in 24 hours, you’ve got a hunger burnin’ like the fire of Moses. Park the car near the biggest group of weenie roastin’ tailgaters you can find and separate. Meet at your seats in two hours. That’s it , nothing more. Don’t worry you will both know the winner though Ive never seen anything but a tie. Never lost a game yet. Never won one either. I haven’t played this in years but still keep in touch with some of the kind folks I met this way. A couple of tips: Spruce up , you’re begging for food and beer but you’re not a beggar.
Sample and move on , don’t gorge. Courteously thank your hosts explaining that you got separated from your “crew” or tell them what your up to, they will love it.
3. Explain the superiority’s of the Chiefs to a tailgater wearing the opposing teams jersey. Exaggerated gestures are called for here. Check the gathering crowds reaction as you deliver your verbal arrows.
Make sure your buddy is ready for the “OOOOH YOU GOT DOGGED BUD….YOU GOT DOGGED!!!” exclamations after you deliver your hammer point home. Punch the air repeatedly and knuckle punch and high five the gathering crowd. React to the rebuttals as if they are the stupidest words ever uttered by a human being.
Finally, shake hands and proclaim that “we both suck”. Only way to do it right now. Don’t let the debate get out of hand , or you will win a free ride in the security golf cart. Trust me you don’t want that. I been there.
I wouldn’t try this when the Raiders come to town. They don’t have the temperament for it. (see free golf cart ride)
4. Call for Herm Erwards‘ head loudly from the stands. Scream it at him he’s right down there. Damn right he can hear you. Time it right though, before the game is perfect. If you’re not sitting on the home side, by all means sneak over there. Again check the crowds appreciation after your deliveries, it’s rewarding and might get you a phone number. Don’t worry it’s your right, all included in the price of your ticket. Used to be much more fun with Carl, but he wont show his face on the field anymore the woozy. Practice this the week before the game in an open field or basement, or you will be picking your tonsils up off the field. One of the great things about watching live! If you have a sweet offensive scheme, let him know about it! Watch through binoculars, at times you can actually see his reactions. Make this short though or the dreaded golf cart might appear. Cut the bottom out of an empty cup, makes a great megaphone and easily disposed of should security have some questions for you.
You know its been said that no matter how much you read about something you will never learn anything important about it until you stand in front of it and drink it all in. I can tell you that is absolutely true about Arrowhead.
No matter how many games you see on TV or how big your HD TV might be at home you can never smell the Arrowhead smells and see the Arrowhead sights unless you buy that ticket and make the trip out.
It’s easy to second guess and form opinions about what you see on the television, but in person you can actually feel and understand sometimes why somebody did what they did. You see things as they are. Each game you see in person is a little part of a bigger history.
And the fans. Well put simply they are instant friends. The best in the league. The best in sports in my opinion. Always willing to listen , always ready with a smile, always ready to high five or Chiefs chop or chant with you and trade email addresses.
That’s why it’s always so sad to leave Arrowhead after the game. One of the best things about Arrowhead is the people, the worst thing is that you only see them at the games.
The atmosphere at the stadium was fun today, everyone was in a good mood, but the competitive edge just didn’t seem to be there. Nobody seemed angry or disappointed after the game, and there were many “see you next week” comments, it just seemed like the fans are ready to finish up the year with some great tailgating and move onto the draft. Some of it was the cold weather I’m sure, some of it was the fact that most of us there actually like the Saints, and some of us are just tired of losing.
Well that’s what’s happening at Arrowhead, Ill be heading up again next week and will talk to you then. Go Chiefs!!!