I raise my glass to the newest of Chiefs and give a toast….
From the varying backgrounds that you come from and the limited knowledge you may have of the Chiefs, we as a rabid fanbase welcome you to what is becoming the next dynasty in the NFL. May your time in Kansas City reciprocate an appreciation for our city as you see what playing at Arrowhead and representing the legends that walked the hallowed grounds before you is all about.
In no other city in this country will you find the rare combination of knowledgeable fans, loyal followers, and the down-to-earth-give-you-the-shirt-off-their-back type of mentality that these people possess. These people you may only know now as the loud, passionate fans that have given the mystique of Arrowhead its prominent place in NFL history. You will soon know by the pride they take in their team, the drive they show in their fandom, and the respect they show for the history of what has made this town, and this team, a unit forged over time.
Every fall, as one walks upon 1 Arrowhead Drive on a given Sunday morning you can find 80,000 frangers (friends+strangers) that come together to show their love and support for something that you were born to do in a city that is as much a part of who they are as to where they live. The sounds of laughter, the smell of BBQ, and a sea of red spans the distance as passionate observers perform their pre-game rituals as if any slight change in their morning routine could affect the outcome of what was to happen.
You would not have been chosen as a Kansas City Chief unless you were born a 'football player'. It’s probably what you always said you’d be as a kid, as a teenager, into your college years, and now that dream has been realized. Out of thousands of players that were available you were chosen over your peers. Your peers will never get to understand the feeling you will experience when you walk out of that tunnel for the first time, hearing thousands of standing fans screaming, "Home of the Chiefs". You will get the same chills that these fans have experienced every fall Sunday since watching Willie Lanier, Buck Buchanan, Len Dawson, Derrick Thomas, Priest Holmes, and now……you. The same cheers that pushed the Nigerian Nightmare to greatness and the same tears that fell when we lost a hero too soon. The same fans that cheered Montana in Denver and Cassel in St. Louis now turn to you.
You now have that same opportunity to join a fraternity of men that through a career, a game, even a single play have solidified their place in Chiefs history. We saw a play like that on Monday Night football last season in front of the entire country, as the smallest player on the field made himself larger than the game for only a moment, Dexter McCluster gave Chief fans a brief instant that will be told to generations of Chiefs fans. He embraced his moment and he will be forever remembered for it.
We salute you for the path you've traveled to bring you to this moment in time. It’s the start of a career that will be chronicled in every story, every post, and through each and every comment of those who want nothing more than for you to succeed. You will struggle, you will succeed, you will be asked to become a better player than maybe you thought you could become. Some will think you are destined to join the ring of honor, others will question whether you have the ability, but a collective group we are…..and we agree that shall you thrive in a city desperately craving what you were brought here to help deliver…..we will stand together to recognize what you have done and what you have given to all those who have waited in hopeful anticipation.....to bring the Lamar Hunt trophy and a Superbowl victory back to Kansas City.
I raise my glass to you.....
An extra thanks to Christoffer for giving me permission to use his work in this post. For anyone who hasn't seen all the work he's done, I recommend going to http://www.chrissembower.com/
What's your toast going to be to the new Chiefs?