November has been a great month!
It started, of course, with the dominant performance and crushing win over the Lions at Wembley. But in my case, I was lucky enough to follow this up with a family holiday to New York. I took in all the usual tourist sights, but I was aware that there was a small matter of an away game at Mile High Stadium taking place while I was in the States. Asking around on a few Chiefs fan groups on Facebook, it appeared that John Brown Smokehouse (@JohnBrownSmoke) was the place to meet for the game, and that it also offered me the chance to try some of KC’s famous Burnt Ends.
So, after a bit of time checking the subway map, we headed to Long Island City (a suburb just across the East River from Manhattan), and found our venue. The first task to sort out was the pre-game food, and although the pulled pork and the brisket looked tempting, we stuck to the plan of having Burnt Ends and we were glad we did. I’ve seen them described as “meat flavoured marshmallows”, and that was spot on – they were incredibly tender and smoky. We sat down to eat, and said hi to the guy in the Len Dawson jersey at the table next to ours – he turned out to be called Jason (@JLinnick) and to my surprise he was well aware of the UK fan group as he follows us on Twitter! I hadn’t expected anyone to have heard of us, but then the next person I chatted to was Evan (@kansandhaus) – not only had he heard of us, but he had been over to London for the Wembley game and had been to our Hallowe’en bash beforehand. Our ‘KingdomsUnite’ hashtag was feeling as true here in New York as it had back in London.
As well as KC barbecue food, there was also Boulevard Beer available on tap, so I felt I had to sample some to keep the experience authentic… at the bar I found myself speaking to Josh, the owner of the John Brown Smokehouse and a KC native – and also to his friend Richard (@cwotd) from Fort Scott. Both guys are musicians as well as Chiefs fans, and both were still revelling in the Royals’ recent World Series win – there was a fair amount of blue to be seen around the place as well as Chiefs red.
On to the game itself – well, as you all know we helped Peyton Manning celebrate his record-breaking day: when there weren’t enough Broncos wide receivers available, our boys helped out by catching passes for him! With such a crushing performance, the bar was rocking to shouts of “That’s a Chiefs… FIRST DOWN” when we had the ball, and “Three and Out!” on the rare occasions when Denver had it. The Arrowhead Chop was seen more than once, and Manning’s benching was cheered loudly. Even the garbage time scores set up by Brock Osweiler couldn’t dampen the mood.
At the end of the game, the regulars that I had been chatting to were good enough to pose for a victory formation picture for me. I can’t thank them enough for the welcome they gave us – if you ever find yourself in New York, I’d recommend taking the very short trip to visit them for great food and drink, but I would especially urge you to get there for a Chiefs game day. Watching the match with lots of other Chiefs fans is a rare experience for us fans here in the UK, and so my day was a huge treat!