Chiefs Football: A season in context

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‘Tis the season to be… you know how it goes. In many respects there is nothing quite like this time of year, especially if you’re an American who likes colorful outdoor lighting, sidewalk choirs singing songs of joy, rediscovering your adventurous side by sampling a slice of Aunt Helen’s fruit cake, a growing appreciation for ordering a gift online which will arrive at your doorstep fully wrapped so you can simply shuttle it off to Aunt Helen, and of course jolly old, roly-poly, jelly-bean strangers in red flannel PJ’s breaking and entering via the flue… whether you’ve got one or not.

It’s hard not to be a pigskin pragmatist in the year 2015. On the field, our own Kansas City Chiefs have figured out how to make their Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde season look like a dopey duck school boy with a crush on a girl… a different girl… each month, then come out smelling like a rose.

Outside of football, it’s difficult to not be effected, and affected, by other worldly events swirling around us like vultures attempting to steal the meat of our joy. It’s difficult to not be a fully functioning, deeply feeling and fairly caring human as we stand on the sidelines and watch as a few dark-hearted souls reap fear through their futile acts which have resulted in the fatalities of our countrymen.

But, Arrowhead is a sanctuary of solace, satisfaction and jubilation for we do not use this time to hide from our grief so much as to shine a light on what great joy it is to be living in the land of the free… while wholly expressing that freedom through the force of our voices… when we cheer together. Simply cheer together.


It’s not a concept which everyone gets or understands.

Look at the Chiefs Cheerleaders. I know, I know… you look at them plenty. Now, look at what they really provide, which we may take for granted. They leap, they dance, they get us out of our seats… yes they bring beauty… but they also “lead” us in the process of thinking and acting in positive ways when the chips are down.

Cheerleaders can remind us that a game… is like life itself.

This year, the Chiefs have had their downs-and-their-ups. At the moment the ups are outweighing the downs. Yes, right now they are up, and while that feels incredible for a great many fans who tune in and keep track of what’s going on with their local team, let’s not lose sight of the reality that this team also lost five straight games this year.

Why? Why should we think about that? Because football is after all… life. It’s the good, the bad, the ugly… and the glorious celebration that can feel equally euphoric during the Christmas season… as it does every single Sunday in the Fall.

One of the great reasons I have enjoyed being a football fan… as well as a fan of many other sports… is the stories behind the characters who make up the teams that I follow. These are not just “characters” as in a book or a movie, they are often real life heros, angles, and individuals who have a peculiar story that should be known and appreciated.

One of those people who I admire is Eric Berry. After his personal winning battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Berry said, “Fear nothing, attack everything, that’s how I kind of did the thing.” Then before his press conference ended, one which included his parents, Berry spoke passionately about his admiration for news person Robin Roberts and the way SHE dealt with her ongoing chemotherapy sessions. Berry said, “She did it ten straight days… just to be able to see her sit up and do what she’s doing, after “that” it was like man… I can’t complain about nothing.

Inspirational? Sure, and would you want to deal with it in any other way? We Americans like a challenge. Musician Dave Mason once sang, “A man needs a challenge, or a man couldn’t be.”

That’s why I choose to make an organization team sport like football a big part of my life: inspiration. Not so much to find a hero… but to witness the encouragement and motivation to be that in my own life… for someone else.

This is where we differ from those who would take another’s life. Instead, we would save that life and sacrifice our own and hope to be a positive influence. At least that’s out great intention.

Next: Has Eric Berry Returned to Pro Bowl Form on the Field?