View Full Version : Another winner from Eileen Weir on KCChiefs.com

11-10-2005, 12:20 PM
It's been awhile since anyone on the official website has told us that normal people go to Chiefs games for the entertainment value, not because they want to see the team win. Thank God she has reminded us again...

Nov 10, 2005, 8:46:48 AM by Eileen Weir

In nearly every conversation over the past forty-eight hours I’ve talked about the Chiefs. I have become consumed, obsessed, crazed, fanatic, totally unproductive and giddy with left-over joy. During one moment of sanity it occurred to me, “Some people live this way. How do they do it?”

So, I went directly to the source of die-hard fans, those who live and perish with each Chiefs thrilling victory and crushing defeat. I had lunch with my friend Monty Short and we talked about the lives of die hard fans. I figured he’d know. He is Arrowman, after all, Hall of Fame Chiefs Fan.

“I’m not die-hard,” Arrowman disclosed. Huh?

Well, as it turns out, according to a report issued by Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management which looked at the key business success factors in the NBA, only 27% of NBA customers consider themselves “die-hard.” Comparatively, the number of NFL fans identifying themselves as die-hard is a mere 14%. The vast majority of fans in fact are categorized as “entertainment-seeking fans,” that is, they enjoy the experience of the game, the socialization opportunities it presents, or the prestige associated with owning season tickets. Further evidence of this was a recent report that showed 87% of NBA season ticket holders renew based on in-game atmosphere and entertainment, not team performance.

What is die-hard anyway? It seems rather undignified and not really a name many fans would covet. It implies face-painting, rowdiness, and even rudeness in the stands and an interior design of team colors prominent at home. True die-hards are presumed to travel with the team, attend every road game, recite player and team stats from memory, dissect film in their spare time, and regard every other team and opponent the mortal enemy. Who wants to be that?

I consider Monte a huge Chiefs fan, enthusiastically boosting the team, dressing outrageously for every home game, tailgating with a mammoth contingent in the Arrowhead parking lot. He and I share a Chiefs ethic: When the team is playing, home or away, we are not available for any other engagement. Period. We both prefer to watch the game at home. Alone. Football-watching parties and bars are too distracting. Some consider our shared value system to be pretty intense.

Where Arrowman draws the line is at the personal contact. He isn’t a collector, only solicits autographs from players and past-players in order to donate signed items to local charities, and has no ambition to forge personal contacts with Chiefs personnel. That, he says, is what separates him from the die-hards. Add “stalker” to the list of qualities assigned to die-hard fans. Appealing, isn’t it?