We're half-way through the 2012 season and while the Kansas City Chiefs sit with a miserable 1-7 record, the biggest battle for the rest of the season for this team and organization will be avoiding fan apathy. And I don't see it setting in anytime soon.
This isn't a declaration of any sorts on how fans should feel about how this team has performed this season. They've sucked. We're all running out of ways to write and describe the amount of suck we've seen. But even through all this suckness, Chiefs fans still go to their favorite outlets (Arrowhead Pride being the best) after each game and throughout the week to describe their point of view on the suckness they saw that particular day. Whatever the outlet may be people are still engaging with this team.
Some fans have decided to join together as a group to promote their unhappiness with the organization. Which by definition seems to be the exact opposite of apathy. We DO care and we DO want a winning team. Even if fans don't always agree on the methods or opinions of other fans the point is we all still care. Which matters more than anything else.
For those of you on twitter I'm sure you've even seen the "I don't care anymore" or "I'm not going to watch anymore" comments before fifteen more angry tweets follow describing how apathetic they are going to be.
You check out game threads here on Arrowhead Pride or on the AP facebook site, people still care. I know from checking out the numbers on Chop Talk that people still care.
It's sometimes difficult for me to understand the daily interactions of a lot of fans that live in the Kansas City area because I've been out in San Diego. I don't hear the daily sports radio talk or the water cooler discussions with people that might not follow the team as closely as those that have AP bookmarked on every device they own. I have AP, twitter and friends that I talk to that fill me in on what the hot topic of the day has been.
I had an opportunity to come back to Kansas City last week and go to the Oakland Raiders game with a couple of close friends. We got to tailgate for hours before the game and I spent a good chunk of that time walking around tailgates and talking Chiefs with hundreds of fans that still care. Even as we looked up in the sky and laughed about banners flying around and what it all means. It was obvious that this team, although struggling and disappointing in so many ways, still has a backing of fans that would rather spend their free time organizing and collaborating ways to get their point across than to go drink cider out in Louisburg.
As I sat there in Arrowhead watching the team struggle to our hated rival, I realized that I'm still going to walk away from Arrowhead with a positive experience in that I had a great time with some great friends. Even met some new ones wandering around tailgates and while the majority of that positive experience was before the game and then just cheering the very few positive things that happened during the game. I couldn't say that I didn't have a good time. I still had knots in my stomach after watching that game because we had played so poorly, but being there in person is an experience all in its' own.
I can say the same thing about the game out here in San Diego that I attended just a few days ago. It was tough stomaching two performances that ended the way they had in just a short amount of time. But despite how it ended we were in that game up until the 4th quarter and I had a great time meeting lots of Chiefs fans out in the parking lot before that game.
We were trying to figure out how much we'd celebrate the Chiefs taking a lead if it ever happened, it didn't, but even a field goal would have had us erupting as if we had won the Super Bowl. Sounds sad but it was a group of Chiefs fans engaging with one another about the team that they care about.
An acquaintance from Kansas City that was out here in San Diego for the game and I even sat down on Friday for 90 minutes during lunch time to talk about the Chiefs, among other things. We’re both very much engaged with this team as it is but I’m sure it’s not a lot different than a lot of people around Kansas City and across the country that love this team as well.
I’m still going to talk about this team, support this team, discuss and engage with other fans about this team because it’s my team. I’m going to watch this team because it’s my team. When I feel someone isn’t doing a good job as a member of this team or organization I’ll write and talk about it because it’s my team. When my wife and I move back to Kansas City in three weeks I’ll spend our hard-earned money to go to Arrowhead, I’ll wear red and I’ll cheer like hell for this team because it’s my team. Life is about where you’ve been, what you’ve done and who you’ve done it with. Arrowhead has always been a big part of that for me and 8 bad games this season isn’t going to change that.