On Saturday, August 11, we’ll have the third annual Arrowhead Pride Hawaiian Shirt Day during Kansas City Chiefs training camp at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri.
So what, exactly, is Hawaiian Shirt Day? Simply stated, it’s a day we choose to visit Chiefs training camp while wearing Hawaiian shirts — which, of course, is to celebrate Andy Reid’s love of this particular attire.
But it’s also an opportunity to get to know other members of the Arrowhead Pride community.
The latter is the part that I love the most — probably because I have some experience with it. In the late ‘90s, I ran a newsletter and website centered on a community that had sprung up around America Online (AOL) Kansas City “chat rooms.” We would organize all kinds of get-togethers. Often, it would be at a bar on a Friday or Saturday night. For years, there was a Wednesday lunch. And in the summer months, there was a Sunday afternoon volleyball game.
It was great fun to really get to know the people you had met while passing the time chatting about everything — and nothing — in the chat rooms. At these events, I made many good friends whom I still cherish today.
Hawaiian Shirt Day started small, of course. In 2016, it was only me, Brsrkr, ta2tony21, Kdub64 and ChiefBearcat. It was the first time I had ever met any of them, and I liked all of them immediately.
It was especially gratifying to meet Brsrkr. If you’ve been around the AP comment threads for a while, you might know that Jason and I have sometimes crossed swords about one thing or another. It was extremely cool to shake hands with him, and recognize that whatever our differences, we will always have one thing in common: our love for the Chiefs.
That, my Chiefs brothers and sisters, is what we’re all about.
In 2017, our group grew a bit. From left to right, that’s 01lowbird, ArrowSpread, Pete Sweeney (albeit out of costume), Gary McKenzie, me, ChiefBearcat, ta2tony21, sunny D and Kdub64. Former AP writer BJ Kissel stopped by, too, but he had to attend to his training camp duties with the Chiefs and missed out on the photo.
That year, I really enjoyed getting to know sunny D. Lee and I had both traveled to Indianapolis for the playoff game against the Colts and had hoped to meet up there. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out (Maybe if we had, it would have been enough good Chiefs karma for Dwayne Bowe to get his feet in bounds — amirite?).
So it was great to spend time talking to him, and we have become good friends.
Lee also contributed the best comment to the AP FanShot about the day:
Commenting about the Chiefs while actually together at camp...
Was just like the blog, but without the GIFs.
We turned Tony green.
Super_G had a flip chart with lot of tables and graphs.
Best part was the water balloon fight between the pro-Alex vs. anti-Alex sides.
So why should you, dear reader, join us for the Third Annual Hawaiian Shirt Day on August 11?
First, you’ll get to watch Patrick Mahomes and your beloved Chiefs prepare for the 2018 season. What’s not to like about that?
Second, the whole AP staff will be there (For the record, Pete has told the staff that Hawaiian shirts aren’t mandatory. But I’m working on him!).
Third, as I hope I’ve shown you, it’ll be fun. Even if you’re just a lurker on AP, show your solidarity with our community by getting that Hawaiian shirt out of the closet and sitting with us (If you don’t have one, no problem. I buy a new one for the event every year, and as it turns out, at this time of year they’re on closeout in a lot of places!).
Then just show up. We’ll be... uhhh... easy to find.