Voice of the Fan – Chiefs won't squeeze it

Voice of the Fan is departing from the normal format this week. So, did you hear the latest controversial Chiefs news? It's dreadful.

Mike Florio of profootballtalk.com, in a stunning exhibit of investigative journalism, has uncovered the dastardly plot going on behind the scenes at One Arrowhead Drive. Apparently the Chiefs are conspiring, skulking in dark corners and trying to prevent their fans from standing up at football games.

Yes, it's true. Just read the chilling words for yourself, straight from KcChiefs.com:

The Kansas City Chiefs are committed to creating a safe, comfortable and enjoyable experience for our fans. When attending a game, the stadium staff will proactively intervene to support an environment where event patrons, their guests and other fans can enjoy the event, free from the following behaviors:

Standing and/or obstructing the view of other fans

Oh, the horror!

Silly introductions aside, let's examine what's really going on here.

First of all, the "no standing" rule has been a part of the Arrowhead Stadium Code of Conduct for years now. This is nothing new.

It's not enforced nearly as strictly as Florio's rant might suggest, however. If you've watched a Chiefs game on television or attended one in person, you see fans standing all the time. It's no big deal. To paraphrase a line from Pirates of the Caribbean, the "no-standing" rule isn't exactly a rule – more like, a guideline.

It's in place because people sitting down at a football game – as the vast majority of the Arrowhead crowd does for extended sections of the action – don't enjoy people blocking their view. If you're out of your seat, moving around during an offensive drive, and generally making a nuisance of yourself, then yes, the "no standing" rule will obviously be enforced.

If you're on your feet, screaming your lungs out with 80,000 other Chiefs fans during a critical third-down play in the fourth quarter, no one is going to come along and force you to sit down. Gunther Cunningham is begging you to stand up at that point. And I'm pretty sure construction crews aren't installing seat bars (ala amusement park rides) for the new Arrowhead Stadium.

Hey, the truth is, Chiefs fans have their own code of conduct. If you bring a large, obstructive sign to the upper deck, and leave it at your seat when you go to the restroom, there's a good chance it's getting pitched over the stadium wall. At least that's the lesson section 324 taught me at my first Chiefs game in 1999.

Now, nothing against Florio. Profootball talk has aided Warpaint Illustrated in the past, and we appreciate that. Personally, I admire the gumption Florio shows almost every day in posting no-holds-barred, opinionated, frank articles. I get goosebumps every time he takes a shot at Mike Shanahan. It makes my day.

But the truth is the truth, and I didn't particularly agree with his assertion that "JOE FAN IS GETTING THE SQUEEZE" in his rant about the Arrowhead Stadium Code of Conduct.

Despite the fact the Chiefs have nabbed millions from taxpayers in their efforts to build a new stadium, I don't think JOE FAN is being squeezed whatsoever. In fact, I think the Chiefs embrace Joe Fan as much as any franchise in the NFL.

Last year when I attended the home opener against the Minnesota Vikings, I sat in the best seat I've ever enjoyed at Arrowhead Stadium. I was right smack dab in the middle of the lower bowl, between the 30s, about halfway up, and in absolute heaven.

I was halfway between Herm Edwards on the sideline in front of me and Carl Peterson in the press box behind. I was surrounded to the left and right by passionate, loud, and often blue-mouthed Chiefs fans. All of them stood up when appropriate, by the way.

Here's my point – the best seat of my life at the greatest football stadium in the world only set me back $92. That's right. I enjoyed a primo Chiefs football experience, about as good as it gets, for less than a Benjamin.

This was no special deal. I didn't grab my ticket from a scalper along the road or in the parking lot. The Chiefs don't give Warpaint Illustrated employees special discounts. I didn't buy my ticket from someone desperate on Ebay.

I bought my ticket about a month before the season opener (as soon as Larry Johnson inked his contract) on ticketmaster.com. That's the same ticketmaster.com linked on the Chiefs' official website.

I haven't looked at the prices for every NFL stadium, but it's a good bet $92 for a grade-A seat at an NFL venue is one of the best deals you'll find anywhere as Joe Fan. You want to sit at Reliant Stadium, in the same spot I sat at Arrowhead? Ninety-two bucks won't begin to cover it. In fact, I spent almost as much for a nosebleed seat at the Texans' stadium in 2005 when the Chiefs visited.

Yes, the Texans have a brand-new, state of the art facility that puts the aging Arrowhead to shame in many ways (atmosphere is not one of them, however). But even teams with old stadiums – Texas Stadium for instance, which is in far worse shape than Arrowhead – have higher ticket prices.

So don't freak out over Mike Florio's "Joe Fan" rant, at least if you're a Chiefs fan. Carl Peterson has spent nearly 20 years embracing "Joe Fan," making Arrowhead Stadium the premier NFL destination for blue-collar, Midwestern football fans. He's not going to leave them standing in the parking lot now. They can come inside for that, at least on third down, if not after touchdowns.

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