I'll be totally honest with all of you; I'm at a loss with what to write about this week. I didn't write my usual Thursday spot because of the holiday, which I hope was good for all of you. I've been thinking about what topic I should cover, and I hope you enjoy what I've picked.
Occasionally I'm lucky enough to work behind the scenes for ESPN Monday Night Football. Last week was such a case.
As Kansas City ran out onto the field for warm-ups I was able to speak to a few of them (Thomas Gafford, Dwayne Bowe). They were both very nice and easy-going. I watched more players run by (almost all of them) and couldn't believe how close I was. I couldn't imagine as a kid ever sharing the field with my beloved Chiefs, being within an arms length.
We all know the final score, but it didn't matter since the outcome was predictable. Sure I would've loved to see Kansas City pull off an improbable victory but I knew those chances were slim. Regardless, I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else.
We all want to cheer for a winning team. A team that makes us proud and relieves stress on Sundays. Kansas City is not that team this season due to injuries and bad losses. It's been tough to accept after such a great run last year and the hope that accompanied the beginning of this one.
However, we don't cheer because of the final result, we cheer because it pulls us all together as one collective unit. As Chiefs fans, we watch our team clad in their unchanging red and yellow with arrowheads adorning solid red helmets. We hope each year is our year and we're sorely disappointed when it becomes apparent that it is not.
The Chiefs, through all the losses and heartache, have shown me that they're more important than the scoreboard. They bring families and friends together. Arrowhead Stadium brings people of all different races and religions together because those individuals share a common bond. They're all pulling for something bigger than themselves.
Part of my job enables me to watch the game from the end zone. While I did, I thought about what had transpired in my life that put me in this spot.
I realized my Father is why I cheer. He grew up rooting for Kansas City (even though he hails from New Jersey) and passed that love along to me. I've been deeply invested every Sunday since I was five-years-old as I watched the bottom line waiting for an update on the Chiefs score.
Right before the national anthem, I sent my Dad the following text:
"I wish you were here with me tonight, because I'd never be here without you. No matter what, thanks for rooting on an underdog 42 years ago and staying true."
Tell me, why do you cheer?