For almost the entire 1990′s and every year since, Arrowhead Stadium has been known throughout the entire NFL as one of, it not the most intimidating and hardest places to win for opposing teams. Back when the late Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith were tearing apart AFC West foes almost by themselves, the reputation of Arrowhead Stadium was growing by leaps and bounds. The sellouts and dedication of the great fans of the Kansas City Chiefs turned Arrowhead into a place that was always compared to the same noise level of standing next to a jet taking off. A third and long situation for the visiting team always meant that Arrowhead’s volume was on the way up to a painfully loud level. That is what Arrowhead has been known as, and that is why what has happened this season at Arrowhead is such a surprise and failure.
The home opener against the Minnesota Vikings was not that much of a surprise. The Chiefs winning on opening day is almost as expected as the sun coming up tomorrow, but even in a happy ending like that was, there were those who said that something was missing at the stadium, a feeling of something just not being right. The second home game showed that indeed there was a missing piece to Arrowhead, intimidation! The Jacksonville Jaguars came into Arrowhead and pushed the Chiefs around all day, leaving the proud and loud Chief fans searching for something to cheer about. The next home game was against the Cincinnati Bengals, and this served as a revenge game for the 2006 season opening loss to Cincy, the one where future Chiefs Hall of Fame quarterback Trent Green suffered a severe concussion. The Chiefs beat the Bengals in what could be called the loudest crowd of the season at home. Again, despite the win, the stadium did not restore the missing feeling.
The last three games at Arrowhead have proven the fact that Arrowhead not only needs the improvements that are being done to it with actual construction, but also a re-building of the old intimidation and fear that used to be given to the teams that dared entered the stadium looking for a win. Three consecutive Arrowhead losses against a solid Green Bay Packer team, an average Denver Bronco team and a horrible Oakland Raider team which provided the biggest embarrassing loss at Arrowhead in recent memory. The crowd volume is half of what it used to be, the team is nowhere near the defensive powerhouse it was in the 90′s, or the offensive juggernaut it was in that past four or five years. The Chiefs have failed to produce a balanced team in any year since the Super Bowl winning year. The product on the field is the sole reason that the feeling in the stands has fallen off, and that falls into the lap of General Manager and CEO Carl Peterson again.
Carl needs to take the first step in doing “what’s best for the franchise” and remove himself from the General Manager title. I don’t believe there is anyone that would argue that Carl is one heck of a business man and should remain as the CEO, because he has turned the Chiefs into a team that is close to being worth a billion dollars. Carl does however need to replace himself as the General Manager with someone that can find talent on a higher level, and scout the young college players better. Carl has hit a homerun with some college players and free agents, but there have also been too many blown draft choices and waste of money free agents coming through Arrowhead in Peterson’s time here as the General Manager. The great fans that the Chiefs have are becoming less interested in paying for tickets that increase every year despite showing little if any improvement on the field.
The magic of Arrowhead is clearly not the same as it has been in years past, but the dedication of the fans is still there, and the Chiefs are not going anywhere anytime soon either. There is time to get the momentum swung back to the side of old Arrowhead. The stadium that could shake the roof off any other stadium when the Chiefs fans really get going, and the tradition that has become the blueprint of what other teams want their stadium and fans to become. We have a great thing in our stadium, and we need to make sure we remember it every trip there. The Chiefs have two chances to make sure that there is no losing home record for the year, and it starts this weekend against the Sandy Eggo Chargers. Let’s see if we can capture some of the old Arrowhead magic on a chilly December day this weekend, and send the California boys home with another loss. Be loud and proud Kansas City!