Fade Into Pink

Temperatures are dropping, leaves are changing colors and that can only mean one thing – football is here. A couple weeks ago, I stepped outside for an evening stroll with my dog and I had to stop for a minute to take a deep breath to soak up the cool fall air. That breath took me right to Arrowhead, smelling the burning coals and hearing the sizzle of the barbecue only Chiefs fans can cook up.

Football season is my favorite time of year. In my opinion, there is nothing better than a trip out to the stadium – three hours early, of course – to tailgate and get psyched up for the game with fellow Chiefs fans. Arrowhead has long been voted one of the best tailgating stadiums in the NFL, and the thick cloud of smoke rising over the parking lot just before game time says it all.

Although sitting around a small grill in my oversized canvas chair is pretty close to my idea of perfection, there is one thing about the Arrowhead experience that gets to me. As I'm hanging out with the boys, talking about the impending kickoff and how the Chiefs will perform, I can't help but notice one thing – the emergence of pink.

As a die hard Chiefs fan, I show up to the games rockin' my Tony Gonzalez jersey and doing my part to contribute to the Red Sea. At recent games, I'm starting to see females sport more and more pink jerseys with the numbers of their favorite players. While it's great to see my fellow women getting into the game, I just don't understand the pink. Some males still think that football is a man's game, and the companies marketing the pink sports gear support that fact.

Marketing companies nationwide have hit the jackpot in their latest pitch to women. After all, who cares what the team colors are – women will buy anything pink, right? Apparently so, because ladies can get about any sports gear they want in their favorite pink hue. From the Chiefs to the Jayhawks and even the Yankees, women in stadiums everywhere are opting to support their team in pink. I just don't understand the appeal.

I appreciate that women want to look feminine, and pink is the ultimate in feminine. I just think pink has its place, and it's not in the Red Sea. Arrowhead is known for being extremely loud and extremely red, and this slow fade into pink is disturbing. Nothing says "I'm here to party and look at the football players in tight uniforms" like a pink jersey with the number 82 on it.

It's hard enough to get males to see that I do understand what's going on in the game, and I can even hold my own in an argument. There is nothing more satisfying to me than getting into a discussion about football with a man and not only making my case, but also proving him wrong. The look on men's faces when they realize I have a valid point is priceless. I believe that if I were trying to plead my case while wearing a pink jersey, my credibility would be lost.

The good news is there are options for my fellow female Chiefs fans. Clothing companies are not all falling into the pink trap. Many, such as Reebok, are making fitted jerseys, tight shirts and sexy tops for those who do not want to be stuck wearing a baggy, oversized jersey made for a man. I actually purchased one myself a couple years ago, only to show up at the game to see the cheerleaders wearing the same fitted red shirt. I may not have pulled it off like they did, but at least I knew it was in style!

I'm all for looking feminine and sexy at a game, but sometimes certain things supersede my need for vanity. Sporting my red at Arrowhead is one of those things. Taking in a Chiefs game and experiencing the noise and atmosphere only the Red Sea can provide is something I hope everyone has a chance to do. There is just something about pulling into the stadium and setting eyes on the Chiefs colors that gets my adrenaline pumping. Seeing pink scattered throughout the crowd kills the buzz a bit.

While I'm sure there is nothing more intimidating for a team than to come into Kansas City greeted by a bunch of pink jerseys, that's not what Arrowhead is about. Arrowhead is about an insane decibel level, crazy fans and a sea of red. Some commentators have recently said Arrowhead is losing its mystique and it's not what it once was, and the flashes of pink in the stands are doing nothing to help the cause. I say it's time to bring the fear of playing in Kansas City back – it's time for the ladies to ditch the pink and escalate back into red.

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