Sterling Holmes details how a single kickoff from Dante Hall cemented his Chiefs fandom.
It was the X-Factor, Dante Hall.
Maybe that’s not the answer or player most would say got them into becoming a die-hard Kansas City Chiefs fan, but Hall did it for me. I used to go to Chiefs games about once every other year or so with my dad, and it was always such an amazing atmosphere. However, one return changed me from Chiefs fan to lifelong member of Chiefs Kingdom.
We had just got into the game and were walking down the aisle to our seats as the ball was in the air on the kickoff. Hall reeled it in and, after making the entire defense miss in a blink of an eye, the Chiefs scored. We hadn’t even sat down yet. I’m not sure why that moment stands out so vividly in my mind, but it captured the explosiveness and intensity of Arrowhead. The fans were celebrating and doing the tomahawk chop while “Rock and Roll Part 2” blared over the speakers. I can still hear “we’re gonna beat the hell outta you.” That passion and excitement for Chiefs football was born that day and will always be remembered. As a kid, sometimes only one play or act can mold your opinion on something and for me, it was a X-Factor return.
The explosiveness of Chiefs football didn’t stop there. As a kid, for better or worse, you tend to focus on offense and the Chiefs had that. From Priest Holmes to Eddie Kennison to the greatest offensive line in NFL history, the Chiefs were an exciting team to watch. I loved seeing Priest jump over the O-line into the end zone looking like a super hero. Even after him, Larry Johnson and his diamond cutters celebration had every kid in the neighborhood trying to emulate him. While the Chiefs lacked postseason success, it didn’t matter. It was an exciting era that blossomed my fandom and shaped it to what it is now.
While I won’t get into whether they should or shouldn’t bring back Gary Glitter for the post-touchdown song, I will say that having something that every fan knows and sings together at the top of their lungs is special. It may not seem like a big deal, but it’s something that expands on your fandom, something you will always remember. To this day when I hear that song, I think of Chiefs football. The electricity of Arrowhead is something that I’m not sure any other football stadium or field has. It makes Hall of Fame quarterbacks turn into Charmin Ultra-Soft. The intensity makes Derek Carr play like JaMarcus Russell. You can’t fake it or duplicate it, but the fans are what makes Arrowhead so unique.
I grew up in Kansas City, so I was always bound to be a Chiefs fan, but all of the culminating factors turned me into someone who is so passionate he wants to write about them and talk about them on the radio. I lived in Philly for three years and Eagles fans are about as crazy and passionate as you’ll find. From chants to little kids flipping off Eli Manning, they love their team, but it still just isn’t the same as Chiefs Kingdom. (By the way, if you live in the Philly area, a great Chiefs bar called Big Charlie’s Saloon in South Philly will treat you right.)
It all started with a kickoff. That’s how my Chiefs fandom started as kid which in turn exploded into what it is now. I now have a Dante Hall signed baseball of all things that is next to the Chiefs Super Bowl newspaper. From a kickoff to Super Bowl champs, I have been there and will continue my fandom the rest of my life.