My experience at Arrowhead

Posted: January 10, 2011 in sports

I left for the Chiefs’ playoff game around 9:30 this morning. Although I sat by myself, I carpooled with several friends. I was grateful for the early departure, because I arrived in my seat only about 10-15 minutes before kickoff.

I’ve attended many sporting events, but I had never been more excited for one than today’s game. The atmosphere was electric, and I was pleasantly surprised that the security/ticket taking process to enter the stadium took no longer than one minute. (I attended a game last year where it probably took me 10-15 minutes to get in, and it was a late season game where the stadium was nearly half empty.)

I didn’t really realize how cold it was (apparently in the low 20s) until the fourth quarter, the stadium began to empty. Apparently the warmth of everyone around me helped (as well as the fact that I was abundantly bundled in several layers).

As the Chiefs began to fall further and further behind, the atmosphere in my section turned nasty. One person near me, who was near an aisle, was angrily ranting about how many people were walking in front of him, and to prove his point, he walked through my row and back. Strong vitriol was directed toward the referees and Ravens players, especially quarterback Joe Flacco (although this isn’t unexpected at any football game) – a drunk guy in front of me yelled that he wanted Flacco to tear his ACL (and about a minute later, apologetically said to everyone around him that he didn’t mean it.) I felt like I was the only sober person around me. The people around me seemed bemused that I was drinking hot chocolate instead of beer, but if I’m going to overpay for a drink when it’s 20 degrees out, I know which sounds better.

As for the game itself? I was obviously disappointed by the result, as well as just how unpoised Matt Cassel seemed at quarterback. I was also disappointed that the team only gave Jamaal Charles nine carries, given that his rushing was the only thing effectively moving the ball for the Chiefs. This was to be a rebuilding year for the Chiefs so I’m really not at all disappointed, but this and the game last weekend against Oakland do leave a sour taste going into the offseason. With uncertainty regarding the NFL’s labor situation, at this point, I just hope there is football to be played next year.

I was very happy to get home, unlayer, and take a long nap. There’s an entire offseason to think about what went wrong, and at that moment, all I wanted to think about was what the insides of my eyelids look like.

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