In the wake of the Kansas City Chiefs’ 26-23 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, there has been a bit of chatter about the number of Vikings fans who were in the stadium for the game.
There were enough of them that they could make themselves heard — and even start up some Viking fan chants. But speaking to reporters after the game, several Chiefs players said it added to their motivation.
“Minnesota [fans] kind of pissed me off by doing that in our stadium,” said defensive tackle Chris Jones. “You’re not going to come into Arrowhead and do that. We had to respond big.”
“Oh yeah,” said offensive lineman Andrew Wylie, who came back from his own injury on Sunday to start in place of injured right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. “We got the chop going, but those guys are flapping their wings or whatever. We saw that they had a lot of guys here. It just adds fuel to the fire.”
It has been suggested in some quarters that the number of Minnesota fans at Arrowhead on Sunday is a negative reflection on Chiefs fans — that they should be ashamed of themselves for selling their tickets to opposing fans.
That suggestion is even being made by some Chiefs players.
I love #chiefskingdom but we gotta keep them opposing fans up outta our house. They was way too deep in there the last two weeks— Charvarius Ward (@itslilmooney) November 3, 2019
The argument is that such a thing would never have happened during Arrowhead Stadium’s glory days in the early 1990s.
And on one level, that’s true: you didn’t see very many fans of opposing teams.
But there are some important differences. In those days, if fans couldn’t make it to a particular game, they often gave their tickets to friends or family members who tended to be Chiefs fans; there weren’t a lot of ways to sell their tickets — and the methods that did exist were largely local. That meant that buyers tended to be Chiefs fans, too.
That’s not the case today. Fans can easily sell their tickets through multiple online ticket exchanges — and there’s no way for them to know who’s buying them. Especially when an opposing team is based within a relatively short distance of Kansas City, that means you’re going to see opposing fans in Arrowhead — sometimes in significant numbers.
My sister — who happened to be returning from on overseas trip on Saturday afternoon — noticed it on her connecting flight.
So what that means is that it comes down to the same battle that takes place on the field: may the best
team fans win. All it takes — if we may coin a phrase — is a little Arrowhead Pride.
“The crowd was phenomenal,” said head coach Andy Reid. “There was a lot of purple and they just voiced them out; the whole thing [of] clapping over the head and all that, I think our PA guy did a nice job of cranking up the Arrowhead Pride there.”
And a little Arrowhead Pride goes a long way.
“You saw how excited the crowd was,” said Jones. “I love their energy. I haven’t been out in over a month. I haven’t been out there to enjoy the crowd and enjoy my brothers. Especially for me, my emotions were bottled up. It was an emotional game for me.”