The Arrowhead Advantage


Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Todd Haley and his players may not allow themselves to so much as utter the “p” word, but I have been and will be saying it as much as any conversation permits.  The Chiefs are in the playoffs!  Kansas City will host a home playoff game!  Playoffs baby!  For us hardcore fans, it seems like a lifetime since we have said that.  So feel free Addicts, there is no ban on that word here, use it as many times as you like.  You have earned it.

There is one reason that the Chiefs clenched the AFC West this year and earned the right to host a playoff game: The Arrowhead Advantage.  Being undefeated at home gets you to .500 if my math is correct, and you can win less than half of your games away to make it into the playoffs as a rule.  The Chiefs have the best home field advantage in the NFL, and this is why we are AFC West Champions.

After the jump we will review my top five reasons that the Chiefs have the best home field advantage in the NFL.

1)      Arrowhead is the loudest stadium (indoor or outdoor) in the league.  Suck on that Seattle.

2)      We have an outdoor stadium in a colder climate that affects visiting warm climate and dome teams’ abilities to perform without being so cold that both teams are at a disadvantage.

3)      An awesome renovation supported by the tax payers has given Kansas City a new stadium with a name still relevant to the team because of the lack of lame corporate sponsorship.  Do you think “The Edward James, Reliant, Tostido, Playstation, Kotex Advantage” would yield the same results?  I think not.

4)      Kansas City Chiefs fans are the best in the NFL.  I spoke with a convert that came to work on my cable this week.  He has been to games in ten stadiums, but after the Broncos game this year is now an Arrowhead Addict.  He said hands down that game was the best experience of his life.  Word.

5)      These factors plus an improved team and coaching staff have created a place where no one can win except the Red and Gold.

Unbeaten at home.  This is what home field advantage is all about.  The Falcons lost a game at home Monday, and although they still may clench home field advantage throughout the playoffs for the NFC, I think losing that one game in their house will be their undoing.  I am counting them out as Super Bowl contenders now.

Impromptu discussion topic: How would you feel if by some chance the Chiefs beat Tony G and the Falcons in the Super Bowl?

Psychologically for a team going into a stadium knowing that no one has won there all year (or years in regards to the Patriots), an edge is automatically given to the home team.  I may be wrong, but look at what the magic of that first game against the Chargers at Arrowhead this year did for the Chiefs.  To make it even more sweet, we have NEVER lost in the New Arrowhead in the regular season.

So we get to the meat and potatoes of this setup.  It is quintessential for the Chiefs to not rest any starters and win this Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.  I know this is a popular subject on this site, but for me it goes way beyond beating the Raiders or staying in rhythm.  The Chiefs have to win to maintain the mentality that NO ONE goes into Kansas City and wins except them.  The previous years are dead and gone, and this is a new stadium, a new team, and a rejuvenated fan base.

Now enter the naysayers that point out that Cassel, Bowe, Charles, Hali, etc. could be injured and it’s not worth the risk of playing them.  All I have to say is that they could get injured in practice as well.  Heck, they could twist their ankle playing Xbox Kinect.  Maybe we should place them in suspended animation so we know, without a doubt, that they will be in pristine condition for the game.  We could put them in a cryogenic state, and thaw them out before the game.

Beyond my personal opinion that there is not a lot of evidence to support resting starters at the end of the season after clenching a playoff spot, I think the players want to play.  Aside from that, based on Todd Haley’s comments they have not abandoned their goal of winning three games this quarter (go ahead and cringe KCO), so he wants them to play.  But, perhaps most importantly, they owe it to the fans paying for tickets and losing their voices each week to go and beat the Raiders and be the only AFC West team to do so this year.  These are all the cherries on top of the undefeated at home sundae and carrying that swagger into a home playoff game.  Go Chiefs!  I will see you all at the game.

So what do you think Addicts?  Do you agree that we should play our hearts out against the Raiders and deal with any injuries that may occur, or do you think we should sit our playmakers and forfeit this next game?