The new Arrowhead Pride takes me back to the days of the Kansas City Star Chiefs forums.
You see, around 2007-2008... The fine folks at the Star decided to make some drastic changes to their format. Prior to the changes, those forums were flooded with Chiefs fans. It was no Arrowhead Pride in terms of eye candy. However, it was a hub for Chiefs fans to congregate and discuss the Chiefs.
It was Chiefly familiar, members were comfortable with the layout and even though it was loaded with immature commenters, disgusting words filled to the brim with racism and posts that only said, "This comment has been deleted."
On the internet for Chiefs fans, it was simply a place to call home.
Then the new format came and everything was different. Some might even think the new layout back then was better. Despite the new format and obvious emphasis by the Star to improve the overall fan experience... No one cared. The fans hated the changes, ultimately scattered, and the forums were left a shell of their former self.
One die-hard Chiefs fan I used to know on there, even went as far as to create a similar forum that still runs today, here (click if you want to get an idea of what the KC Star forums format looked like.) That said, it wasn't the same feel and even though it still runs, most fans went searching for new options for filling that burning desire to talk Kansas City Chiefs football.
In my case, that was how I found Arrowhead Pride. Prior to the shut down... I had found Arrowhead Pride through links from the Kansas City Star. It wasn't love at first sight, because I was loyal to my old home. Though when that home was blatantly stripped away by supposed improvements for the benefit of the fans. I had no choice but to find a new Chiefs home on the web. It really sucked.
Wow, what a new home I found.
Arrowhead Pride was the best. It was the Star forums on HGH, steroids and Dwayne Bowe's diuretics combined. The fan interaction, the slick black and red format, the humor, the moderation... For a Chiefs fan like myself that never shuts up... It was internet heaven.
I absolutely loved AP. It has made me a much better writer and I'd like to believe that I have made some good unseen friends over the years since registering back in the day. The layout was fantastic, the writing opportunities were incredible.
Years ago, if you had told me that I would be writing front page news for a Chiefs website every Saturday in 2011 for thousands of Chiefs fans to dissect. I probably would have given you some smart-ass retort, followed with a yeah right. But, that is exactly what happened and I owe the Thormans for that experience. Thank you, Joel and Chris.
Right now, I'm not writing this to bash on the new format. I respect what SB Nation is trying to accomplish as a business. I get that Chris and Joel are still the ones working their butts off to bring us up to date Chiefs news. I get that I can still write fan posts and share my Chiefs opinions with Chiefs Nation. I get that a lot of the same members are still around. I get that a lot of us were excited about the changes before they were made.
But, I miss the football fish. I miss the colors, I miss the feel. The thrill is gone and it really sucks. Just like it sucked when I lost my last Chiefs home that I still occasionally mourn.
Writing this piece isn't going to bring back the football fish. I get that too. Personally, I just feel SB Nation is doing us a disservice by forcing something that used to be about, "Pro Quality, Fan Perspective" into something that tries to be only pro quality without the fan aspect.
I've suggested that AP might add a retro button, to view the new look with the old skin, but I'm not sure that would even do the trick. It's sad...
The old Arrowhead Pride is dead and I am starting to accept that. This time around I probably won't go hunting for a new home. I love AP too much for that, but I will let it be known how much I will miss it.
RIP old friend.
Now, back to the pretty colors and pristine pictures. I'm sure there is some Chiefs talk to be had.
Geaux Chiefs! And thanks for the ear, new AP.