As I write this, I understand the frustration of the fan base. I too am a frustrated fan, but I want to remember just a few things that lead away from the current frustration and to take the time to refresh a different light on our current situation at Arrowhead. (Atmittedly it's tough to swallow our odds for the remainder of the season.)
My husband and I moved away from Kansas City six years ago when he joined the Army. In the past six years he's been deployed twice accounting for half of our marriage. One of the few things that made him feel like he wasn't in Iraq or Afghanistan were the few times he got to watch the Chiefs play ball. Regardless of a win or a loss, for those 3 hours he stayed awake, tired and worn out, he felt at home. And if for no other reason that right there, knowing that those 3 hours took his mind off of his circumstances, I thank the Chiefs and our fans.
But it's more than that as I read about fair weather fans that makes me want to take a trip back to the days when we lived in Kansas City and I was blessed enough to go to the games.
My first game was with my father. I remember having on a #58 jersey, the smell of the tailgate, the people slinging the ball around in the parking lot, the music and the noise of the stadium as the song "Start Me Up" signaled the start of the clock. Following my first game, I attended 47 games to follow. I was even at the game when we lost to the Colt's in the playoffs. (Still hurts). But what I remember the most is that feeling, that undeniable sense of being a part of something special. Watching the defense raise their arms and we, the 13th man, rose with them and yelled our ever loving hearts out. We even created penalties for the Chiefs for being that loud, and the players took the 5 yards with pride.
Being a fan hasn't always been easy (the game when we were beat by Jerome Bettis single handedly sucked), and I can assume every fan in the NFL has experienced or has said those exact words (everyone has a "Bettis" game). But there's nothing like seeing the colors of your team hit the field, the roar of the crowd, and the bond you make with those you've watched the games with. For me, that's my father as I attended 48 games with him. Nothing can take those moments away.
I also remember the devestation that rocked the fas of KC with the new of D. Thomas. How full Arrowhead was at his memorial and how the city banded together. May you be sacking angels DT. ;)
So as I understand the frustration of our young and injured team with a rough schedule ahead of them, I saw glimpses of hope last night in the loss to the Steelers. It's the first time I've seen Kyle Orton smile in…I don't know when. Sometimes a change in atmosphere can do wonders for a QB and an offense can be reborn. The defense looked lights out phenomenal and played with their hearts on their sleeves. Fans who cheered (and okay booed Palko) for the home team. Do we have a long ways to go. Sure. Do we have some adjustments to make. Absolutely. But one thing is for damn sure…
We are the home of the CHIEFS!
(no matter how far from home some fans are)