Given the excruciatingly painful process of waiting for exciting or relevant Chiefs news I have decided to share with you all, just why I love sports so damn much. One of the reasons I have decided to do this is because I have noticed a lot of changes in my behavior recently. It started right around the time I joined Arrowhead Pride. I have always been pretty obsessed with the Kansas City Chiefs. I would spend plenty of time reading the Kansas City Star and trolling ESPN looking for articles. However, it wasn’t until I joined AP that I started interacting with an entire community of Chiefs fans. I had never posted on message boards before because I found the discussions happening there to be childish and hostile. I did not feel anything positive would come from me expressing my opinion there.
Arrowhead pride changed all that. I entered a community where my thoughts and commentary would be read and respected. This positive environment encouraged me to share more and thus my interest in the Chiefs and the other sports I follow has grown. I spend almost 100% of my NFL reading time on Arrowhead Pride now. I used to visit KC Star, Bob Gretz.com and other Chiefs sites daily and now I rarely find myself there. My first stop is always AP. If I see nothing of interest on AP I know that nothing of interest has happened. I feel a part of a community at AP and in a larger scope; I feel more a part of the global sports community.
There are all kinds of sports fans. You have your Fair Weather Fans, your Front Runner Fans, your Casual Fans and your Die Hards. I realized recently that I certainly have become and most identify with the Die Hard fans. I know a few in NYC. I met them at the Village Pour House, a great bar where Chiefs fans congregate on Sundays here in the Big Apple. Well I should say, a place where Chiefs fans used to congregate. The bar used to reserve the entire back room, with five TV’s for us. Suddenly, the Chiefs hit a losing streak and no one wanted to show up to the bar anymore. All through the 4-12 season there were a core group of about 3 or 4 of us who were always there. Eventually the bar got frustrated with the fact that 5 televisions were reserved for 4 people and they basically did away with the Chiefs room. We were knocked down to one TV although the bar, being super cool, still plays the sound from the Chiefs game for us and reserves the same television for us every week.
I have become great friends with the guys at the Pour House. We all bleed Red and Gold and have shed quite a bit of blood and tears watching the Chiefs play over the last 2 years. Before I found the Pour House I would go to another bar to watch the Chiefs. I was always by myself and I didn’t know a single other Chiefs fan in NYC. Now, win or lose, going to the Pour House to watch the Chiefs play is my favorite part of living in here. I had finally found a place, a group of guys that understand me. I found group of guys that love to watch sports, to watch Chiefs football. Of course we all hate the losing. It is painful, frustrating and infuriating. We shell out money week after week, pitcher after pitcher and leave disappointed. We leave asking ourselves why we keep putting ourselves through it.
Then Mark Bradley throws a touchdown pass to Tyler Thigpen! Suddenly we are jumping around like the Chiefs won the Super Bowl. Then D-Bowe makes some sort of freakish, ridiculous catch and we are buying a round of shots. Or the Chiefs tied a game late and decided to go for two and we all collectively held our breath. Sure on most of those days we left disappointed. We also left a little happy. We had hope. We stood outside and smoked before the next game discussing how and why we thought we might win this one.
This is why I love sports. I love it for the way my shoulders shoot up next to my ears and my pulse speeds up every time the Chiefs QB lets go of a pass. I love the way a group of grown men or woman can suddenly turn into a pack of crazies because their third string QB just caught a TD pass from their newly acquired, rejected WR. I love the way I get miserable during a day when the Chiefs news is slow so I write an article about how much I love sports. I love that you guys will read it and understand where I am coming from.
A couple of weeks ago my buddies and I congregated at the Pour House to watch day two of the draft. One of my friends whose name also happens to be Patrick Allen (he is on AP as "The Other Patrick Allen" though he does not post nearly enough) informed us that he was moving to Canada. He is an engineer and had requested a transfer so he could get on to a new job. He told us he would be leaving town in a couple of weeks and he was glad we all got to hang out and talk Chiefs one last time. I was extremely upset over this news and in my mind lamented the fact that he was leaving. Though he is my friend and I obviously want what is best for him I will greatly miss his presence on Sundays this season. The news of his leaving lead to immediate talk of how we could still watch the games together. I suggested he get a web cam so I could bring a computer to the bar and still have him with us on Sundays. We spoke of flights to Canada and meet ups at Arrowhead.
Last night I got into bed pleased, as I had just watched my Cleveland Cavaliers stomp the Atlanta Hawks. Somewhere around 2 AM I rose to use the bathroom and unload some of the celebratory beer I drank during the game. When I returned to bed I saw that my phone was lit up on the nightstand. I flipped it open and saw a text from The Other Patrick Allen. It read, "Hey fellas. It’s Patrick. I made it to Canada. This is my new number. I’m working on the web cam for next season. Go Chiefs!"
I smiled and got back into bed and was then hit with a rush of sadness. I tossed and turned for about an hour afterward not thinking about anything in particular. I was losing sleep over the loss of the company of a friend; of someone I was able to share my passion for the Kansas City Chiefs with. While it seems somewhat silly to me it also makes sense. I love sports. I love the Chiefs, win or lose. There is something incredibly gratifying about being a part of this brotherhood. There is something gratifying of walking down the street with my Tribe hat on and seeing a fellow Clevelander in his Indians hat, a total stranger and exchanging a nod or a knowing look. Neither of us stops but really a whole conversation has taken place. If a meeting like this happened today the nod, or in the case of the Indians, might be a headshake to mean "lousy bullpen."
I feel very lucky to share this understanding with fellow Die Hards. And if there were ever a loyal group of die-hard sports fans on the planet, they are at Arrowhead Pride.com. A group of people who understand looking forward to season. There is always hope in the foggy future that is next season. As these slow news days drag by I encourage you all to consider all the wonderful friendships and moments being a part of the sports brotherhood has brought you. I encourage you to share some of them below. Thanks for listening to some of mine.
So to my friend Patrick I say, "good luck next season!"
To Carl Peterson I say, "good riddance."
And to my friends here at Arrowhead Pride I say, "GO CHIEFS!"