Chiefs Football: A season in context

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Dec 28, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston (50) celebrates after a sack against the San Diego Chargers in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Now, Eric Berry has recovered to such an extent that he was named the best Safety in the league this week as rated by Pro Football Focus. Berry’s re-ascension comes 3 short years after tragedy at Arrowhead: the horror of Jovan Belcher’s story which culminated on December 1, 2012.

I’ve often wondered how it could be that one human would devolve emotionally to the point that they would “take” life… their own and another’s… instead of giving it? Additionally, nothing is done in a vacuum so a breakdown like that can also feel like our own failure. But we shouldn’t let that happen.

Take Pat Tillman. After the events of 9/11, Tillman was so inspired to help that he left the profession he loved, pro football, enlisted and served as an Army Ranger, fighting and dying in the mountains of Afghanistan. At first it was believed he died by enemy fire but later it was revealed his death was the result of what we now call, “friendly-fire.” Hmm. Friendly fire? Our culture is so eager to be positive and life-affirming at times that we even label being shot by one of our own as… “friendly.”

The game of football is a mirror. When an opposing player goes down on the field of play and lies in stillness… with a crowd who was just booing that player now waiting with hope, for life to return… we all cheer when that player gets up off the ground and can walk away, or ride away in many cases.

We cheer life. We celebrate it openly. We can not be brought to our knees by those who choose not to live life this way.

So, let’s give credit where credit is due: NFL football fans are the coalescence of the American dream. Especially K.C. fans. This year’s Kansas City Chiefs fans know the true pendulum of victory and defeat. Many of our fans are also K.C. Royals fans who know, after 30 years of suffering, what it means to be triumphant to the point of vanquishing those decades of fears.

And who is it that we cheer for? The very first hire by Andy Reid and John Dorsey of this regime… is a Muslim: Husain Abdullah. I cheer louder for him than I do for many others because he is “different” than many of us in his beliefs.

After spending the better part of the last four decades in the teaching profession, I can clearly say I respect the rights and religion of all the students who I have taught. If you get to know people personally, that can happen with little effort. I recall one year when the parents of two students from Pakistan invited me for dinner at their house as a show of respect. In their culture, teachers were the highest of the high on the social ladder.

Don’t think for one minute that football is not a spiritual endeavor. I can’t tell you how many people whom I have met that describe themselves as more spiritual than religious. Why is that important to note here? Because one sanctuary is no better than another.

Am I equating Arrowhead to a Temple of faith? In a certain sense… yes. If a Temple is a place where people go to experience the best that life has to offer… is Arrowhead Stadium so far off?

There’s no heresy intended here.

No impiety here, none at all. By the way, you may not write-off your weekly contributions to the K.C. Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium’s weekly Sunday ceremonies.

What hast thou wrought, Addict fans? Anybody else here think this is the greatest country ever… and being a Kansas City Chiefs fan is just a damn privilege?