I was once a St. Louis Rams fan. My first memory as a Rams fan was in 2004, and from that point until 2015, the Rams were 64-127. Let me say that again: the St. Louis Rams were 64-127 over a 12-year span.
And I was still a fan.
There weren’t many kids my age that cheered on the Rams like I did. I tuned in every Sunday, and I would make my way to a game with my grandpa at least once each season. I got excited once to go to a game because the Rams were playing the Colts, which meant I got to see Peyton Manning. Even through the worst of times, I remained loyal.
Many Raiders fans in Oakland are bound to feel the same way I did at this time last year after finding out their beloved team is moving to Las Vegas. The Raiders will play in Oakland in 2017 and “possibly longer,” according to ESPN before they make the move. Losing an NFL team, or any sports team, absolutely sucks and I hope no fan (or city) ever has to go through it.
I was lucky. I wasn’t in St. Louis this past year after the Rams left. I would’ve hated it. Instead, I was in Kansas City. I found my way to the Chiefs, started this whole writing thing, and boy, am I glad I did.
Chiefs Kingdom is extremely lucky to have an organization like the Chiefs in KC. I get it ... there hasn’t always been a ton of success for the Chiefs, but the Arrowhead experience is often regarded as one of the best NFL fan experiences across the league.
We like to argue just about everything (mostly Alex Smith), but that’s okay. In fact, it’s what’s great about sports. There aren’t many things in life that bring out the passion in people like sports do. I’d much rather argue about the Chiefs QB situation than not have a team at all, and you would, too. Trust me on that.
Do the Chiefs have the historical success like some other NFL franchises? No. But there are plenty of eras to look back on and smile. Nostalgia is huge for sports fans. The Chiefs and Raiders rivalry might lack some of that nostalgia when the team moves to Las Vegas. It might just not feel “right” when the Chiefs are in Vegas and not Oakland.
I’m sure there are Chiefs fans out there who were thrilled to hear that Oakland fans are losing their team based on the pure fact that they hate the Raiders. I just don’t get that. The Raiders in Oakland made the rivalry fun. That fan base in Oakland is unreal, and we just aren’t sure how crazy the fans in Vegas will be.
Kansas Citians often use the Chiefs as a definer of their city in the Midwest. Oakland loves their Raiders, too. There’s no “Black Hole” in Vegas. We’ll just have to see how an NFL team mixes with the town.
Until then, take at least one more year to value the rivalry we have between the Chiefs and Oakland Raiders.