FanPost

Tampa Bay...A look back and other random thoughts that I had

AP family,

Hi everyone! Just wanted to share with you our experience at Tampa last weekend. It was, with exception to the actual game itself, an amazing experience. We (my father,myself, & my two younger brothers) have never had the chance to attend a Chiefs game together. It was either work or school that had prevented it. Not to mention us being spread all across the country.

We arrived at Tampa stadium at 9:00 am. I was thinking we were running late but, much to my surprise, we were actually one of the first cars to enter the North (tailgating) lot. What I saw next not only shocked me but made me more proud of the Chiefs nation than possibly ever before in my life. As car after car entered and parked in the lot, the red and gold just started taking over. There we were tailgating and suddenly Tampa stadium was turning into Arrowhead south. We chatted with Chiefs fans everywhere as we grilled our steaks,mushrooms, and other fare. It was so unbelievable that I cannot describe with words. We took pictures with many fans and packed up our stuff so we could get inside and locate our seats.

As amazing as the tailgating experience was, I had no idea what was to follow. Before I get into this though, I need to tell you something about myself. I was born and raised in Kansas City in 1970. (I know, I know, I'm dating myself) I have seen many great things at Arrowhead stadium. Undefeated seasons, the MNF Buffalo beat down, Pete Stoyanovich's kick to beat the hated Broncos, Vanover's punt return vs. SD in OT, and (Still the loudest stadium moment I have ever heard in my life) James Hasty's interception return in overtime to beat the Raiders. I have also seen many hearts break inside that stadium as well. Monday night meltdown, 95' Indy playoff game, at which, four of my toes became frost bit thanks, in large part, to a suggestion by a dear friend to place paper towels inside of my shoes to keep my feet warm. Barry, if your reading this, I forgive you. {Note to all: Friends sometimes may mean well but if they are drinking large amounts of alcohol, you may want to question their judgement.} Also, I should have realized that the main purpose of a paper towel is to absorb moisture so,having said that, I was an idiot. Another heart break was the 97' Denver playoff game. There was a different feel about Arrowhead that, to this day, I cannot explain. The decision to start Grbac over Gannon that day has been one that I will never understand. Many, many more but it's hard for me to talk about as I'm sure you all understand. Anyway, I'll continue...

We arrived at our seats with 80 minutes until kickoff. Please don't hate on me for the things I tell you next. We looked onto the field and saw Eric Berry doing individual drills with a coach. Eric Winston was also on the field getting warmed up by running a karaoke drill. Well, upon my younger brother shouting out his name, Winston stopped, walked over to us, shook our hands and thanked us for our support. I thought it was a classy move on his part. Moments later, Scott Pioli came onto the field and took the time to talk with my little brother and sign an autograph. Basically, he said the same thing. He thanked us for our support and mentioned for us not to believe everything we read in the papers.{Another note: At this time, I was reading that he had signed a two year extension and, also, that he was about to be fired so i don't know what he was referring to.} Clark Hunt thanked us for our support as well. I will say that I thought it was nice of them to come over and say Hi. I have pictures and videos but i am not as technically advanced as many of you. The excitement that I saw on my two younger brother's faces, as well as all the other Chief fans, will be something that I remember for a very long time. Not to mention the smile that my dad had on his face as he was sitting in his seat. He had Chief fans coming up and wanting to take pictures with him. And when he asked "Why do you want to take pictures with me?" the response was always the same....."Because we are Chiefs fans" in that "that was a silly question" kind of tone. A very special family moment that I wanted to share with you.

The game itself was not how we wanted it to go. I did notice some things, during the game, that i wanted to share. I take many things in my life for granted and being inside Arrowhead on game days in one of them. Tampa fans, when they are on defense, (and i'm not knocking them in any way) have to be reminded, on third down, to stand up and get loud. Last time I was at Arrowhead, (and I hope it's still the same) we get loud any time our defense is on the field. Also, I don't know if it's because my eyes are getting older but the speed of the game seems to have gotten even faster. I was actually thinking our punter (I hope he gets paid) was going to get injured every time he dropped back. It seemed to me that Tampa was run blitzing most of the game which made me wonder why we weren't taking advantage of crossing routes. I don't know if that is a QB or play calling issue but it is something that any (not just professional) football team should be able to adjust to. The heat had to be a factor as well because, much like the steaks we had earlier, we were cooking inside the stadium. My face is still peeling and its been 7 days. Also, and I know many of you have already commented on this, where is the emotion on this team? I love Romeo as a coordinator, but as a coach, I want someone who will get our team fired up. I watch Sound Fx on the NFL network occasionally, and I see Mike Tomlin looking like he wants to put a jersey on so he can go out there and play himself. We need someone like that. Heck, we deserve someone like that. I am a Pioli supporter but my support will wane if he doesn't recognize and correct these issues. I just have to believe in my heart that he will get this ship righted by addressing the QB and head coach position after, if not before, the season is over. As often the case, it's hard to admit your mistakes but it's something that he must do, and act on, if he truly means what he says about leading this great franchise.

Anyways, I'll get off here but I want you all to know that you guys/gals do a wonderful job on this site. Try to stay positive and keep the faith. I know that's easier said than done. As for us, (my youngest brother & I) we will be there in Pittsburgh, on Nov. 12, to root on our Chiefs and, hopefully, make more fond memories. If anyone else is making the trip, please feel free to let me know. There is nothing better than tailgating with friends and family. Go Chiefs!!!

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

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