Chiefs Memories Of Decibels Past
Greetings Addicts! First off, let me introduce myself. My name is Tony Nation. I’m a native of Wichita, KS and for as long as I can remember; I’ve bled the red and gold of our beloved Chiefs. Some members of the Chiefs’ Nation know me as “SuperChief.” Part of my Arrowhead experience each game during the season involves donning my alter-ego, complete with cape and mask (but we’ll get to that a little later.)
As we all know, the experience at Arrowhead is second to none. From the moment that you approach the parking lot, you can sense the excitement and friendship. When you get into the lot, the tailgating fog and smell will make anyone’s mouth water. When you step out of your car, truck or even bus (complete with Jacuzzi) you are greeted to tens of thousands of dedicated Chiefs fans, all ready to be your best friend (for those is red and gold) or good-natured enemy (if you’re in any other color.) Even every day disagreements tend to melt away once you arrive at the complex. Jayhawks and Tigers fans even bury the hatchet in order to support one common goal.
The magic is never complete, however, until you walk through that tunnel from the concourse and take your seat among the 70,000-80,000 rabid Chiefs faithful. The Tomahawk Chop will forever give me chills and it takes a special talent to get everyone in the stadium to yell “FIRST DOWN” in unison. When the Chiefs are on defense, every fan knows that they can have an impact on the game by getting as loud and boisterous as possible. Young NFL quarterbacks have commented that they were not prepared to handle the noise on their first trip to Arrowhead. Phillip Rivers still has issues when he comes to town. The Star, ESPN, Sports Illustrated and many other media outlets have compared the noise in Kansas City to an airliner flying directly overhead.
I can remember my first Chiefs game like it was yesterday. I had the amazing luck to be able to go to Arrowhead on Veterans Day in 1990. Dave Kreig and the Seahawks were in town. Of course, I had been glued to my television set on Sunday afternoons or Monday nights for as long as I could remember. However, even with warnings from my dad that it would be loud, I was not prepared for the thundering roar that came when the Chiefs took the field. As the game progressed, things seemed to get even louder. Every time that Kreig was taken down and the sack total got larger, everyone seemed to realize that they were in for a magical afternoon. I remember at one point in the fourth quarter that my younger brother was covering his ears because of the noise. We all know that the day ended with our boys coming up one point short. But I knew that Arrowhead was magical place and I could not wait to go back.
Another fond memory of my times at Arrowhead was December 1, 2002. This was the first time that I attended a game with my friend Brian. We were 29 rows up in the upper deck and it was cold outside. However neither the Chiefs nor the Arrowhead faithful let us down that day. Trent Green and company ran over the Cardinals. The Chiefs scored 49 and the Cardinals managed not a single point. During the second quarter it was definitely looking like a blowout. However the fans at Arrowhead would not let up. In order to hear Brian (who was sitting right next to me) he had to yell directly in my ear. I remember him saying “I can’t hear myself think!” Since that game, we have been nearly inseparable at Chiefs games. We’ve made the pilgrimage from Wichita too many times to count since that day. A few years later, Brian even purchased a limo to transport us to and from games.
One of the most special memories I have at Arrowhead was on December 20, 2009. It was Coach Haley’s first year with the Chiefs and we were taking on the Browns. About a week before the game, Brian called me up and let me know about a contest that was being held before the game to name the next Chiefs’ “Super fan.” I had been going to games for a couple of seasons as SuperChief so I thought that I should give it a try. I send in a picture and a short summary about the “origins” of SuperChief. The Thursday before the game I received an email from the Chiefs letting me know that I was a finalist in the contest and to show up at the KCFX stage before the game. Some of the most passionate fans I’ve ever met were in that contest. There was a Chiefs priest, a newborn baby, Santa Claus, a family with custom head dresses and many more rabid fans. The current super fans were the judges. I was up on stage in front of X-Factor, Red Extreme and First Down Elvis (among many others.) The winners were announced at halftime of the game so all of the finalists and current super fans were able to go down on the field during the second quarter. I was able to shake the hand of a few players and I was just awestruck when I was down on the sidelines. Not only was the sea of red just amazing to look at, but even though there were only about 60,000 fans at the game, whenever the Chiefs scored or the Browns had the ball, it was just deafening. I finally understood how difficult it has to be on the field for an opposing team. Three of us were separated from the group and we walked out on the field for the final announcement. When it finally came, I was named the winner and the newest Chiefs’ super fan! I received a round of applause from the faithful that weren’t out getting a hot dog. As long as I live, I will never forget that experience.
One of the discussions that Brian and I have had in recent years has to do with the fans at Arrowhead. Over the last few seasons, we haven’t sold out as much as we did in the 90’s and there have been games where the fans haven’t had the same magic as in recent years. We haven’t been the only people to notice. We have spoken to other season ticket holders and they seem to agree. There was even an article in the KC Star before that Browns game in 2009 due to the television blackout. Now the Chiefs may have not been as successful as they were in the 90’s, but we cannot afford to lose the magic of 80,000 screaming fans.
Chiefs’ fans are in for a very exciting season. Our roster is solid from top to bottom. The Chiefs are one of the most talented teams in the NFL and should be the favorites coming into this season. If this team is able to gel, they can grab that first playoff win since 1993 and make a run for the Super Bowl. However, in order for the team to realize that level of success, they need our help! There are plenty of season tickets still available; I picked mine up just last week. We need to sell out every game. We need to be loud. We need to be rowdy. We need to be passionate. We need to be heard on the other side of town!
Chiefs fans, it’s time to make our impact. We must band together and make Arrowhead shake once more. The fans in Kansas City always have and always will be the greatest and most impactful in the NFL. Let’s make this season one to remember and help our boys in red and gold make it all the way to the Super Bowl!