Let me start by saying that Arrowhead Stadium rocks!

Despite the fact that you will read both good and bad in my Game Day report, I am the first to say that going to a game at Arrowhead is an experience that EVERY fan of the NFL should be so lucky as to experience! It's a great stadium with fans who come to have a good time! The sound system is excellent and the music adds tremendously to the game spirit. Arrowhead ROCKS! No doubt about it.

The gates opened at noon for a 3:00 game. We pulled off the Interstate around 11:45 and were immediately at a complete standstill in a line of traffic. Fans were out of their vehicles, laughing, joking, (drinking) - the tailgate party was well underway right there on the highway. Why let the perfect day go to waste waiting in traffic?!? (Only in KC!)

By 12:30 we'd made it inside the gates and thanks to our experienced driver (my brother-in-law, a Chiefs season ticket holder and avid supporter) we quickly found a perfect spot for tailgating! We were parked just inside the gate on the grassy area with nothing but trees and rolling hills behind us! First order of business was getting the bbq grill fired up. Once that was done, we pulled out the lawn chairs and soaked up the Kansas sun! The threat of rain was gone and it was a beautiful day with temps in the mid to upper 70's!

The entire parking lot was abuzz with activity! Fans were playing catch football directly behind us. Fans on one side of us had pulled the bench seat out of their vehicle and used it as a couch in front of their grill! Fans on the other side of us joined with their friends and set up a lawn table, complete with a Chiefs umbrella! All decked in team jerseys and t-shirts, they were quite a sight to see! Looking across the parking lot, I saw more flags than I've seen in my life, all Chiefs, of course! Huge flags on poles attached to full sized vans. Medium sized flags and wind socks attached to mini vans. Mini flags hanging out the majority of car windows. Most cars were adorned with Chiefs logos either in the form of large magnets slapped on the side of the vehicles, or window clings or, more times than not, BOTH! Jam boxes were blaring, either with music or pre-game sports shows. Smoke from the grills filled the parking lot and the aroma was outstanding! People were laughing and joking around, having a great time! I was pleased to be one of them, as tailgating at Arrowhead is an experience to be enjoyed!

I looked up at the cloudless, blue sky and noticed an interesting 'contrail'. Smoke signals? (tee hee!) No, a skywriter was spelling out 'WIN'. (You won't see that in a dome!) Other planes were flying overhead with trailing banners advertising local merchants. It seemed as though everyone in Kansas City wanted somehow to belong to this team!

Soon the coals were ready for cooking and shortly thereafter, we devoured our delicious lunch of burgers and brats, baked beans, chips and cake. That seemed typical fare for the day, though I'm sure you could have found plenty of other choices throughout the enormous parking lot! Despite the number of fans tailgating (must have been 69,999 of the 70,000 fans in attendance at the game), I was surprised that the parking lot was kept so clean. Grills were left out to cool but otherwise, trash was virtually non-existent. I was impressed.

The stadium opened at 1:00. It was well after 1:30 when we finally headed towards the gate. Tailgating is fun, but it is time consuming! (No complaints, though!) While we were very aware up to this point in time that we were the outsiders (wearing our Seahawks jerseys but keeping very quiet), I was unprepared for the mean-spirited taunting we received as we walked towards the stadium. We were booed, we were hissed, we heard more 'Seahawks suck' chants than I care to remember...the typical razzing you'd expect in 'enemy territory' except with a certain disrespectful tone that felt very uncomfortable. I've been to Arrowhead before but I'd never experienced this degree of taunting. It wasn't done in the spirit of competitiveness and in retrospect, it was perhaps a compliment -- a sign that we were considered legitimate contenders. Their insecurities were blatantly obvious!!

I tried not to take it personally, instead smiling and holding my head high. I am, after all, PROUD TO BE A FAN OF THE SEAHAWKS! However, I didn't enjoy hearing fans tell us we didn't belong there or that we deserved a rash of the 'f-word' because we 'had the nerve' to come to their stadium. And I didn't really appreciate the 'Kiss my ---' song that was sung to us by more than a dozen [drunken] fans.

As we went through the turnstiles, I asked the ticket-takers if there were many Seahawks fans inside. They said they'd only seen a handful. We were lightheartedly harassed by security, all in good fun.

We immediately headed for the tunnel where the Seahawks enter the field. There was one other Seahawks fan in the vicinity though we were unable to get near enough to speak with him. We had just missed Chris Warren, we were told, who signed many autographs for Chiefs fans. I was standing next to a little boy who was a fan of the Vikings and he was eagerly anticipating the arrival of Warren Moon, with hopes of obtaining an autograph. I told him I'd try to help him, with the aid of my #12 Seahawks jersey!! As players entered the field, I tried to call them by name and wish them a good game. I received a favorable, albeit brief, response from many players (a brief smile, a nod of the head, a thumbs-up, etc.) and even Coach Erickson grinned as he saw two lone Seahawk fans in the sea of red. The players are my heroes and it was a thrill to be seeing them again in person! I did not see any of them sign autographs with the exception of Brian Blades who signed for two Chiefs fans. I was unable to help the little boy with the Moon autograph, as Warren sprinted onto the field. The players seemed pumped for the game, a welcome relief from my memory of the game at Arrowhead last year. I felt confident that this was a game we could win!

When the players returned to the locker room prior to the game, we headed for our seats. The tunnel was located opposite our seats, so we had quite a walk. We arrived just as the band came onto the field for the National Anthem. Even this is a tradition for the Chiefs. Towards the end of the anthem, the Chiefs fans start singing along. As the chorus grew louder, I felt proud to be a part of the Arrowhead Experience! And in the Chiefs tradition, the anthem ends with the words, "...the land of the free, and the home of the....CHIEFS!!!!" At that point, they start the music. Loud. Blaring. PAR-TY!!!!

A kickoff in Arrowhead is a great celebration! Fans jump to their feet and start clapping and cheering! The 'Start Me Up' song blasts across the stadium and gets the adrenalin flowing! And it's not limited to the opening kickoff. They have this routine for every kickoff! It's awesome!

Now I know that people say the Kingdome is loud. Personally I don't think it holds a candle to Arrowhead. Fortunately, we were able to hold the Chiefs on their first possession for which I was thankful as it quieted the crowd. Soon Joey Galloway scored on a 41 yard pass from Warren Moon...beeeeeeautiful...right on our end of the field and I was so proud!! Forgetting that I was in enemy territory, I was on my feet, jumping, clapping, yelling, smiling!! SO HAPPY! Then I remembered where I was, humbling sitting back down! When we scored the extra point, I was again on my feet, shouting, "GO SEAHAWKS" - and to my surprise, two ladies a couple of rows in front of us turned around and showed us their Seahawks shirts!! FRIENDS! A welcome surprise!

Another tradition at Arrowhead is to sing "We're gonna beat the hell out of you, you, you, youyouyou." It's very cool to see the fans all joining together in these traditions as everyone participates, but with the Hawks ahead on the scoreboard, each chorus of 'you' felt like a dagger, and fans behind us proceeded to jab us with each 'you' that was sung. It took a great deal of restraint to keep from popping them, as they had been extremely discourteous to us from the moment we took our seats. In fact, one lady refused to sit by me, asking to switch places with her husband. I found him to be very kind and wasn't in the least bit disturbed by the move! In fact, he and I got along quite well, thank you very much!! The taunting continued, from petty stuff such as, "Is Seattle even a city? Is Washington in the USA?" (very creative, eh?) to the obscene gestures and comments. I simply turned the volume on my radio a bit louder to tune them out.

When the Chiefs scored, another party began! Fireworks went off, smoke bombs exploded and confetti flew! The entire stadium came to life with a deafening roar! Music again blared, fans clapped, and we were jabbed in the back once again as they sang, 'We're gonna beat the hell out of you, you, you, youyouyou.' (Boy, that was annoying!)

The Seahawks defense was tough and the interception by Darryl Williams was terrific! I happened to look up right after the interception and saw a plane with a trailing banner that read: Williams Gooooooo! I had to chuckle! What timing! [The remainder of the banner said: d Chili, as in Williams Gooooood Chili!]

It was a well played game in which officiating was pretty much clean. I might dispute the pass interference call on Bennie Blades but I think we might have gotten by without a tripping call early in the game. And in reviewing the tape, immediately following the kickoff from Joey Galloway's touchdown, Tamarick Vanover lost the ball on the return, it was recovered by Seattle, but overturned because there was an inadvertent whistle. The ball was declared dead and went back to the Chiefs. Grrr... (I've watched this time and time again on tape and it seems quite clear to me that it was a fumble that was recovered by the Hawks.)

We had some spectacular receptions in addition to Joey's touchdown, including a 54 yard touchdown pass to James McKnight who was returning to the game for the first time after an injury, and a 50 yard reception by Mike Pritchard! No one can complain about the performance of Warren Moon! He's awesome and we are fortunate to be able to say he's one of us!

Bennie Blades played tough! He picked off a pass as well as getting a sack! I was hoping he'd have a couple more awesome plays to earn him a chance to be the AFC defensive player of the week! The Seahawks had been honored for two weeks in a row with this title, and I was hoping for three!! I'll still give him top honors!

It was an intense game, with chances on both sides of the ball to break out into the lead. It could have gone either way. Both teams had a lot of players walking off the field with injuries; it is my fondest hope that all injuries are minor.

I wasn't so sure my heart would withstand overtime! I turned around to the fans who had been so disrespectful to us and told them that no matter how the game turned out, it was a great game and they could be proud. They looked at me with shock, but eventually agreed and returned the gesture of sportsmanship. In the end, they won.

We came into the stadium subjected to a lot of taunting. We left the stadium with respect and honor. MANY Chiefs fans stopped to congratulate us on a game well played. (And it was!) We received many high-fives from the opponent and it felt very good, particularly in light of our, um....'welcoming' party. As we approached our vehicle to leave and were packing up the bbq grill, Chiefs fans stopped to chat with us about the game, adding to the excitement of Game Day at Arrowhead. As vehicles passed by us while exiting the parking lot, many shouted "Good Game" and "Hey Seahawks!" and other positive expressions showing support to us. It restored my faith in the fans from Kansas City and I appreciated their kind words VERY much. That's the way it should be.

It was a solemn three hour drive home. I wanted to win so badly! I knew this would be a tough game to win but I believed in our Seahawks and really felt we could do it! I am still extremely proud of our players, as they gave the fans their money's worth today! We've come a loooooong way since the Denver game and we're making giant improvements in each game! I believe we can win many of our upcoming games and I like what I see! It's an exciting time for Seahawk fans! We held our own in Arrowhead and for that we can be proud!

Goooooooo Seahawks!!

FastCounter by bCentral