The first time I visited Arrowhead, it felt like Travis Barker shrunk, climbed into my head, twirled a drumstick and tried to exorcise demons from my eardrums. (Still a better plot than Ant-Man. [“Freeze, you unhyphenated swine!”])
To the seasoned Chiefs fan, first-timers stick out like a sore thumb.
Every home game, “and the home…of the…Chiefs!” echoes, and there’s always that one guy/girl who turns around with a wide-eyed, “I’ll awkwardly laugh this off because I’m clearly surrounded by 78,000 animals with no regar—is that a jet?” look. It happens to the best of us.
However, it’s always interesting to see how outsiders—people with open-ended expectations—react, and that’s never more true than with fans from overseas.
A UK resident, Tom Childs of Arrowheads Abroad, recently wrote about his Week 15 experience at the Raiders-Chiefs game. He noted the ear-bleeding noise, general hospitality and, of course, the food, adding:
"I honestly think I could write a short book on how much better American food is better than the British counterpart. Or somehow the best cider I have ever tried was brewed in Cincinnati and not Somerset. …Kansas City is by far the friendliest place I have ever been to. Not once did I not feel welcome. It didn’t matter who I spoke to the conversation would start the same ‘Hello, how are you?’ and would also end in an equally polite manner ‘Goodbye, you have a great day’. Little things I know but it’s the little things like manners that leave a lasting impression."
It sounds like Childs had an awesome experience, which is no surprise.
What is surprising is realizing that, as a Chiefs fan, you basically grew up in a cult. A foreign perspective puts it all into view; wearing the same colors, reciting the same chants, animal sacrifices (those ribs, though…)—a loud, friendly, shotgunning cult, but definitely a cult.
Regardless, Childs reflected on his day as it drew to a close:
"The noise will always be the thing that sticks in my mind, it was truly deafening. I was told the day after that it was a tame atmosphere. God help my little ears if I was ever to visit on a record breaking night. Ear plugs please! As we all know the Chiefs dismantled the Raiders and the final chapter of my day was complete."