AA interview: Arrowheads Abroad

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On Nov. 1, the Kansas City Chiefs will play a regular-season game for the first time outside of the United States. The Chiefs will be hosting the Detroit Lions at Wembley Stadium in London, England, in front of a growing fan base.

While many are upset that Kansas City is giving up a true home game to play at a neutral site, there is a faction of Chiefs fans who are delighted, and rightfully so. Over in England, Kansas City has a burgeoning following, showcased by the website, Arrowheads Aboard. We sat down with Tom Childs of the site to ask a few questions:

Q: Will Wembley Stadium be a home-field advantage for the Chiefs, or do you think the fans will be pretty split?

A: The NFLUK tries its hardest to make Wembley a home away from home. It makes sure all of the ‘home’ teams’ normal traditions are stuck to and spend months planning these events. Everyone in the UK has their own team so sometimes supporting the home team is impossible. For example, the Raiders were the ‘home’ team last season. There was no way I was cheering them on, I even made sure I sang the last line of the national anthem correctly. But the majority do get behind the team that has given up a ‘true’ home game for us. It’s our way of showing gratitude.

However I have a strong opinion that the Chiefs will get that best home atmosphere to date. The UK fans will fall in love with the Tomahawk Chop, that I can guarantee. If the NFL can educate the casual UK fans about the Chiefs record crowd noise then they will want to replicate it.

Q: You have a following of UK Chiefs fans. How have the Chiefs developed a fan base over there?

A: Everyone has their own reasons for supporting the Chiefs. Mine, for example, is because they wear the same colours as my soccer team; Arsenal. Unfortunately, the Chiefs aren’t very well supported. Up until Arrowheads Abroad I had never met another a Chiefs fans. That is the beauty of the internet and social media, it makes the world a much smaller place. I am pleased to say that Arrowheads Abroad now has over 350 UK members, all of which will be heading to Wembley.

Q: How excited are the fans in London for the Chiefs finally coming over?

A: When the games was announced back in November, UK fans was most excited about this game. They realize that the Chiefs and Lions are both on the up and it should make an exciting tie. This is probably the hardest game to call  that Wembley has had since the Steelers vs Vikings two years ago.

Next: Could England support an NFL team?