Last Day as a Fan

With 9/11 still fresh in the hearts of all Americans, Kansas City and the NFL honored those lost in that tragedy. For the fans who bleed the Red and Gold, they gave us something even better. A win over the New York Jets opening day. For this fan, it marked a very special event. One I won't soon forget.

As the Kansas City Chiefs were putting the finishing touches on a 27-7 win over the New York Jets this past Sunday, I sat contently in my seat and watched the fans leaving the game, happy and talking amicably amongst one another. I caught snippets of what was being said, and it mostly things along the lines of, "Nice defense", but through all the voices I heard one lone voice remark, ‘It's too bad they don't play here again next Sunday.' Next Sunday. It hit me then that this would be the last time for a while that I would be able to sit in the stands and watch a game as a fan. The week before, my publisher (CI) informed me that Warpaint was short a press credential for this particular game, and that if I wanted to watch the game, it would have to be from the stands. Not only would I have to watch the game from the stands, I would have to watch from Section 306. For those who don't know it or never been to Arrowhead, that's WAY up in section 306.

For days, I complained. I was wondering how was I going to write, and whining incessantly about how I need to begin my articles from the press box. How was I supposed to see the game from way up there anyway?

Isn't the press box air conditioned?

Yeah, it was bad.

Still my publisher did give me a pair of tickets, so I invited my girlfriend, who absolutely hates football, to join me for what would be her first football game. After all, misery loves company. To my extreme surprise, she accepted the invitation.

So, with girlfriend in tow, I went down to Arrowhead to watch the game. I tailgated with some friends, and gave the scattered Jets fans a little grief. After my fourth plate of barbecue, and my second adult beverage, we noticed that everyone was heading into the stadium and we probably should too. Not wanting to appear as outsider, we followed suit. Thus the long trek to our seats began. Once up there, our backs against the concrete, we immediately started chatting it up with our neighbors.

Arrowhead was electric to say the least. You could feel the anticipation building as the clock neared 12:00, building into a frenzy once the Red Coaters lined up for the players entrance. When the Chiefs came out of the tunnel, the crowd absolutely erupted, and I was right there with everyone else screaming like my life depended on it. During the National Anthem, I belted out, "Chiiiieeeeeeefffffsss!!!" right along with everyone else.

Throughout the game, I screamed and hollered, yelled out at every first down, and generally had a blast. The seats were perfect, I could see everything unfold, even yelling out, "Run!" or "Pass!" to the defense at times, you know, just to help them out. I danced, laughed and cursed for three hours, and had the most fun I've had watching football in a long, long time.

I glanced over at the press box a view times, feeling pity for the poor souls who were crammed in there, sitting like little robots, typing furiously into their laptops. Sure they get perks from being the press box, but they weren't having nearly as much fun as I. You don't get to cheer in the press box. You don't get to have a beer and make crude references to the other fans. You don't high five total strangers, who have become your family for three hours.

You also don't get to enjoy the Chiefs from the box. You get to observe a football game with the purpose of reporting on it later. For one game, I got the opportunity to see a game with the world's greatest fans. I've seen a lot of games, the details of which all seem to run together.

However, this is one game I will never forget. Top Stories