As a season ticket holder in Fort Smith, Arkansas, I have ample opportunity to do some serious reflection on the boys in the Red and Gold.
My game day experience begins at 4 a.m. as I roll out of my driveway for the four hour and fifteen minute (exactly) drive to Arrowhead. After all, one must be at the parking lot the minute they open to truly enjoy the greatest stadium in the NFL and the best fans in the world.
Which brings me to my subject. Sunday provided what is undoubtedly one of the greatest feelings in the world–the tremendous joy of walking out of Arrowhead with the chant of “Chiefs, Chiefs, Chiefs…” ringing in your ears.
However, after the game, I saw some examples of what can only be described as “poor winners”. Yes, I know it was the Raiders. Yes, I know that I despise the Silver and Black as much as anyone. Yes, I know that to beat Al Davis is incomparable. But, please, we are the Chiefs, we are the classiest fans in the world. Getting in someone’s face and screaming at them, especially after we could have just as easily have lost, is poor class, poor sportsmanship and just poor.
My buddy who went with me to the game is a Raider fan. Has been for many years. He had never been to Arrowhead and he was ready to see how the best fans anywhere can rock the stadium for their team. We had a leisurely 292 mile drive, fired up the grill (Italian chicken and sweet & sour porkchops) and luxuriated in perfect football weather. He was prepared for some ribbing, as would anyone wearing enemy colors in an opposing camp, but some of the things said bordered on the personal. Completely unnecessary. Just completely unnecessary.
I have been in many stadiums in suport of my teams, especially the Arkansas Razorbacks, and I have always maintained that visiting fans should be treated with the utmost courtesy and respect. After all, they are doing exactly what we do–they are supporting their team. They are showing loyalty and devotion the same as we are. No one, even a Raider or Bronco, should worry about safety or verbal abuse while simply supporting their team.
Interestingly enough, two years ago at the Raider game a visiting fan was extremely complimentary of the fans at Arrowhead and how it was one of the best places he had visited. A compliment! From a Raider! Will miracles never cease!
Anyway, back to showing class and winning with grace. Tell them good game, respect them for showing such loyalty that they would travel, appreciate the action on the field. Show class. Make people want to remember the Arrowhead experience for being the loudest, the most knowledgeable and the most loyal fans in the world. Not for being jerks.