On Friday, August 9th, 1963, the Kansas City Chiefs played their first game as the Kansas City Chiefs. It was an exhibition game against the Buffalo Bills. It was played at Municipal Stadium in front of a home crowd of 5,700 or so fans. My Dad and I were among the crowd that saw the Chiefs beat the Bills by a score of 17-13.
I was 14 years old back then. I was getting ready for my freshman year at St. John Baptist de la Salle Academy. John Kennedy was president and Vietnam was some little country halfway around the world that I'd barely heard of. I had recently discovered girls but they had yet to discover me.
My Dad and I had been to Municipal Stadium before to watch the KC Athletics play baseball. The root beer was always the best and the coldest and the hot dogs were gourmet deluxe in my opinion especially when garnished with mustard and relish...and shared with my father. Now we were there to watch professional football and you know what the hot dogs and the root beer were just as good. I was hooked and have been a fan ever since that night.
I remember the contest to name the new football team. The two most popular names were the Royals and the Mules. My Dad and I favored the name Monarchs in honor of the Negro League Team. Dad had played exhibition games against them in the 1930's and always had a great deal of respect for their talent. The name Chiefs was chosen to honor Mayor H. Roe Bartle who had worked hard to bring the franchise to Kansas City. His nickname was "Chief". It didn't really what the name was, I was hooked although I am glad that Mules didn't win.
Tonight, August 9th, 2013 marks the beginning of the 50th season of the Kansas City Chiefs and the 50th year of my fandom. It hasn't been easy these last few years especially last season. But I believe that we've weathered the storm and that great things are ahead of us.
Here's to the next 50 years...GO CHIEFS!