When I saw this question on the @KCChiefs_UK tweet recently, I began to think back to when my love of the Kansas City Chiefs all started.
As a football fan in England, Newcastle United is my chosen club with which I have followed through a few ups, and many downs over the years. But I remember my experience of going to my first game and being welcomed by the Newcastle fans and the fuss they made of me going to my first game. I felt like I was part of something special, like being part of a family.
So why the Chiefs? Well, having only recently discovered my love of the NFL in the last 5 years I faced the same problem that any fan in England has faced … “Which NFL team do I choose?”. I’ve watched the last 5 Superbowls and promised myself on each occasion that the winning team at the end will be my team. Glory hunting? dream chaser? call it what you will, but my method was simple, let the final result decide my fate, let it decide my team. I could’ve been sat here today talking about being a Saints, Packers, Patriots, Seahawks, Ravens or Giants fan, but every time I never seemed to trust my method. I was still a ‘Free Agent’.
I was sat watching TV late one night, flicking through the sports channels until I came across a documentary series called “NFL: A Sporting Life”. “Worth a watch” I thought. The documentary was about Marcus Allen and his switch from the Raiders to the Chiefs. It was a story detailing Allen’s struggle at the Raiders even though he was regarded as a top player and his need to find a team that would welcome him with open arms and rekindle his form after falling out with the Raiders owners… Enter the Chiefs!
Allen became an instant hit with the Chiefs fans and was voted the NFL comeback player of the year, he even got his revenge on the Raiders by helping the Chiefs beat them that season whilst leading a charge of wining more games than any other NFL team during his time there …. I got the bug! … “Who are these Chiefs?” … I needed to know more!
So the next few nights I tuned in to watch the programme “NFL: A Sporting Life” and I found a documentary about the late and great Derrick Thomas. What a player, Thomas had it all but the thing that got me most was the love of the fans, from his legendary playing days, til the time of his death … but what amazed me most was that the love didn’t stop there! Thomas is mentioned in almost every breath by the Chiefs fans. The outpouring of love and support by the fans really came through as I watched the programme. It was very emotional to say the least.
It was decided …. “I am a Chief!”
From then on I didn’t look back, I would stay up late to watch games, I bought myself a cheap Eric Berry Jersey as I couldn’t afford the new one, but I love it, it’s my first and will always be treasured. I bought the jersey before Berry got diagnosed with cancer, and seeing the Chiefs fans rally round to share their support for Berry and the team with their shirts “Be Bold, Be Brave, Be Berry” really brought it home for me. THIS is the Kansas City Chiefs, THIS is the family …. THIS is where I belong!