The Kansas City Chiefs’ regular season is upon us — with the team’s 2021 goal to take it back after losing Super Bowl LV to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Chiefs will host nine regular-season games at Arrowhead Stadium — and the other eight will come on the road.
For the games you will attend at Arrowhead, let’s face it, you’re a Chiefs fan, making you a bonafide tailgating expert. But what about “homegating?” Sometimes watching from the comfort of your own home is better than going to the game, especially when it requires a long road trip.
We’ll go through some tips to make the most of your “homegating” experience in this post.
Plan ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead.
In recent years, the Chiefs have become so good that they have been scheduled for fewer and fewer games at Noon Arrowhead Time. But that acknowledged, there are still seven on the calendar this year (Week 3, Week 4, Week 6, Week 7, Week 13, Week 14 and Week 17). For those days, in particular, planning is paramount for the “homegate.”
Get your grocery (and grilling) shopping done and assign your guests items to bring, so you have options. Use that time in the morning to get that smoker started early, spruce up the house for guests to arrive — or if all that is done, roll out of bed with everything ready around 11 a.m.
Know your time and channels.
As mentioned, there are seven games in the upcoming season in which the Chiefs are scheduled for noon CT — but they are also in the late-afternoon slot and primetime five times apiece. With different game times come different television channels, so be sure to bookmark this link.
The advice is this — go into game day aware of what you plan to put on pregame, be it ESPN, NFL Network or KSHB 41 (home of the Chiefs) — and know when it is time to switch the television over to take in the game. Some folks like to turn down the volume on their sets and listen to Mitch Holthus. Mitch and the Chiefs Radio Network is available on 106.5 FM The Wolf.
Have all of this information ready, so there is no thinking about it on Sunday.
Take the party outside.
Your party won’t be the same as a tailgate. That’s obvious — you’re at your home and not Arrowhead Stadium. But if feasible, have a clean and prepared outdoor area where you can do all the things you might have done at the stadium from the comfort of your own home — that includes the obvious — a grill — but also a place for lawn chairs, a spot for playing catch and having a table ready for party games.
Find yourself something to play music on and make a Chiefs’ party playlist (on that one, “Fight for your Right” by the Beastie Boys is a must).
Tips from the pros
We tapped into our Twitter following of 175,000-plus Chiefs fans to compile three pro tips to know ahead of your “homegating” experience.
Pro tip No. 1: Grab your favorite local Kansas City beverage.
AP reader Michael Taylor suggests “Boulevard Tank 7,” but the great thing about Kansas City is there are plenty of great breweries to choose from. Go local with the brew.
Pro tip No. 2: No grill? No problem. Cater out.
You may be fortunate enough to have the perfect grill situation, but Kansas City has some excellent takeout options if you don't. Here are a few from our readers:
Beef nachos and wings from the peanut on main.— J.C. (@SinkerDFS) August 24, 2021
Gates barbecue, Go chicken Go, and Sharks for wings and fish— Druid0409 (@mrdee0409) August 24, 2021
Fish Market, Liberty Bend— Will Puhr (@PuhrWill) August 24, 2021
Pro tip No. 3: Lean into the superstitions.
If you’re a Chiefs fan, that probably means you have a thing that you have to do. Here is one from one of our contributors, Rocky Magaña, and AP reader Nace Mace.
I smoke ribs before every game. Drink whiskey and PBR. And I have an open bag of Dill Pickle flavored chips that sit in front of the TV. We never eat them, but we’ve had them there every game since week 1 2019. Superstitions are only weird if they don’t work, and we won SB LIV. https://t.co/SKt7rF4nzv— Rocky Magaña (@RockyMagana) August 25, 2021