Hail to the Chief!
The Kansas City Chiefs have a long and rich tradition of football with a stable ownership, quality facilities, and a large, passionate fan-base. The club honors their past heroes with a team Hall-of-Fame: The Chiefs have the second highest number of club HOF’ers next to the Green Bay packers. Twelve players and two head coaches are in the NFL’s Hall of Fame. Arrowhead Stadium has just been renovated and has the 4th largest seating capacity of NFL stadiums (approx. 77,000). Dating back to the Chiefs’ home opener in 1991, the Chiefs had 156 consecutive sellout games until the final home game of the 2009 season. This was accomplished in the 6th smallest media market of all NFL teams. The tailgating scene at Arrowhead is reportedly one of the very best, college or pro. And, their uniforms have that quality, traditional look.
For all of these reasons, and more, I was thrilled to see that Eric Berry was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs—first round, and fifth pick overall. Eric will ply his trade in a City (and region) that truly cares about its football team. And, he’s going to a club that (1) desperately needs a safety, and (2) has a defensive backfield coach in Emmitt Thomas that excelled at the corner—Thomas is in the Chiefs’ Hall of Fame after playing for the Chiefs from 1966-78 under the legendary Hank Stram. Also, Thomas resides in Suwanee, Georgia, so Thomas and Berry will have more in common than their playing positions.
I live in the Oakland area, and the Chiefs are a long-time, bitter rival of the Raiders. And, because the Raiders rarely sell out their home games (for very good reasons), I won’t get to see one of the two Chief-Raider games played every year because of the NFL’s silly blackout rule. Perhaps I can infiltrate the Oakland Coliseum for a peek. But I can assure you I won’t be wearing red—watching football in Al Davis’ hell-hole is not a friendly (borderline dangerous) place for anyone dressed in anything by black, silver, and white.
Otherwise, I think I’ll be watching the Chiefs on TV every chance I get. I can’t wait for the first Monday Night Football game of the 2010 season: San Diego at Kansas City. Oh, and for you Vols back in Tennessee, the Chiefs host the Tennessee Titans the day after Christmas for a noon-time tilt.
Here’s to Eric Berry and the Chiefs: may you form a beautiful partnership and become champions.