From the FanPosts -Joel
I have been a longtime reader, rare commenter, and this will be my first post. Please, Bear with me.
I'd read about the open auditions for the Chiefs Flag Warrior positions on Arrowhead Pride, and decided that I wanted to try-out before I had finished reading the article. "Wait, I could have the opportunity to lead the team onto the field, run in a formation on the field after the Chiefs score, help with getting the crowd amped up, and you are going to pay me? Who wouldn’t try out? I wanted to make sure that I had a friend for support in the tryout, so I asked my good friend, Jeff. Jeff and I are entering our final year of law school, and agreed that this would definitely be the best non-legal job to carry out over the next few months. His reaction was similar to mine, and we e-mailed the contact on the website.
I received a reply to my e-mail within two hours. The e-mail contained an application as an attachment. The application was standard fare; clothing sizes, why I would want the position, describe a life lesson, and my availability for the Chiefs home games. I filled it out, and sent it in. I then waited for a reply...
I run three times a week, and average a pace of 4:57 per mile, so the act of running was not something that concerned me, but the constant warnings that the flag would 12’ by 6’ did. As part of a "training" regimen I decided to sprint a total of four miles per day while carrying a shovel at a ninety-degree angle from the ground. I ran throughout my neighborhood carrying a shovel straight out from my body. I did this not to look crazy, but to make sure that my arms could actually remain straight as I sprinted. The arms remained straight, and I felt prepared. Also, my neighbors are now a little bit more concerned about my mental health, and my wife no longer takes me seriously, but the day of the audition finally came.
The auditions took place on the practice field from 7-9 pm on Friday, July 12th. After I signed in, I stretched, and ran end zone to end zone to warm up. I began to feel the giddy like I was a child. Previous flag warriors have to try out again if they wish to return, and I believe four had come to reclaim their place. We were told that they would hire 6-8 flag warriors, and then told us more about the position and what it entailed.
We were then split into two groups and had to learn two different running formation drillss.
- The formation for leading the team out on the field
- The formation for a field goal
We would run both formations as part of the tryout, and were given three warm ups prior to being judged.
Leading the Team to Battle
This drill took the longest to learn, and was also the most exhausting. A group of four lines up two by two (two in front two in back) from one end zone, the four run down the middle of the field to the opposite 40-yard line where the two by two’s split off to the left and right. The runner on the rear stops and waves their flag on the numbered portion of the 40-yard line, and the front-runner continues back to the other 40-yard line to wave their flag. This drill caused problems for almost everyone. I asked Jeff for clarification probably 3 times, but the field goal drill was a lot easier.
The field goal drill consisted of two flag warriors running at one another from the opposite sides of the endzone, waving their flags five times, and then running back at one another again. Symmetry and matching each other’s speed was very important in this drill.
Once the drills were complete, each applicant had to interview with three separate interviewers for 2 minutes each. It was like speed dating, but you and the other party actually have something in common. After the interviews were dismissed I went home, and celebrated with delicious pizza my wife made.
We were told at the auditions that we would know by the next week whether we made the team or not. The anticipation was starting to take its toll, and my wife reminded me of the three-day rule in dating. Then it happened. I received the e-mail the next week, while I was brewing a batch of beer...
Neither Jeff or I made the team.
Applying for legal jobs has made me rather numb to rejection; so luckily, this experience dampened the blow when I learned I didn't make the team. Every person who auditioned looked great out there, and for the first time I actually believed it when I read that making the determination as to who to hire was difficult.
The experience as a whole was amazing. Every guy that auditioned was cool, and so were the women running the tryouts. Honestly, It was a lot of fun, and I fully plan to apply again next year. Just being able to run on the practice field was something that made my week, and I hope the guys that did make the team are preparing themselves to run a marathon every Sunday. Perhaps I should continue to use the shovel to train for next year.