PDA

View Full Version : Has the Arrowhead mystique faded?


mcan
07-20-2001, 12:35 AM
I'm asking at both boards because I really am interested in what people think....

It seems that over the last few years, Arrowhead has been a little less hostile than I remember. Obviously, we aren't winning as much, but I remember when the crowd used to lift the team beyond a crappy performance and propell the team to victory. Obviously things have changed a bit, but I wonder, how much of the problem is our (the fans) responsability to fix?

Chiefs Pantalones
07-20-2001, 12:53 AM
A little bit, but I feel that it will be back and rockin this year!

CG

thinks everyone needs/ed a change every now and then

keg in kc
07-20-2001, 01:05 AM
My answer would be "yes".

My first experience at Arrowhead was opening day 2001 against the Colts, and let me give you the few impressions I can remember:

1) The stadium was not at capacity, there were clearly several thousand empty seats.

2) People booed Elvis coming out of the chute. Love him or hate him, you don't boo any of your starting players before they take a snap opening day. At least let him throw a pick first...

3) People booed our first 6 plays (I booed too, they were 6 rushes up the gut for no gain...). Still, thinking back on it, I don't think booing the offense after the first two series was the most constructive thing I've done...

4) People began leaving at halftime with the scored tied 7-7.

5) The stands were literally clearing-out following the end of the third quarter, with the score tied 14-14. I'd estimate that no less than 20,000 people had left before the start of the fourth quarter, and that's a conservative estimate. A real shame too, because it was a terrific game.

6) The place simply emptied-out after Burris returned a Grbac pick for a touchdown. I thought that was pretty pathetic considering the fact that the team was only down by 10 with more than 12 minutes to go in the game. Arrowhead was less than half full at that point, and quiet, when it should have been the loudest. At that point I thought (I actually thought this at the time) "all that mystique crap is bs, these are the worst football fans I've ever seen."

I went to three more games last season, San Diego, Carolina and Denver. There were progressively fewer people in the stands for each game. Actually, my fiance and I got tickets to the Carolina game for 35 dollars each, seats on the 40 yard line in row 11 field level. That's how empty the stadium was that, and the Bronco game, as great as it was to watch, appeared to be about half empty (we'd bought those tickets in August). Despite that, the game against Denver was probably about the most fun I've ever had watching a football game at any level - the guys at the game were all hardcore fans (like me, I guess ;)) and everyone was into it. Heck, I lost my voice for a week after that game.

But, to answer the question again, I sure didn't see any Arrowhead mystique in my four trips there last season, at least not on the part of the fans - there were big plays by the defense, which I considered part of the mystique (we gave that opening game to Indy...).

I was really disappointed.

mcan
07-20-2001, 01:12 AM
It's a real problem we need to fix right now. Let's start a band wagon or something.

Mark M
07-20-2001, 05:51 AM
I've been going to games for 20 years now, and besides some pretty pathetic times in the early 80's, Arrowhead has been an incredible place to watch a game.

But I think last year was tough due to the fact most fans realized that being down by 10 points with 12 minutes to go, and having Jimmy Raye at the helm of the offense, meant the Chiefs were basically out of it. The team wound up losing 8 straight and that ticked a lot of the bandwagon fans off.

The sad part is that there are thousands of fans who, no matter what the score, would stay for the entire game (FWIW, I've never left a game early ... except for in '97 during the Raiders game ... I couldn't feel my feet it was so damn cold). Many people who currently have season tickets only bought them in the late 80's and early 90's, and only did so because the team was winning again. Once the team starts to lose, they will give up their tickets (as happens in damn near every NFL city) and, hopefully, the real fans will show up.

I've got a feeling that this year the mystique will be back. New coach, new QB, up-tempo offense ... all of the things that bring people to the games.

MM
~~Never boos ... just yells his head off.

Gaz
07-20-2001, 06:59 AM
Yes, it certainly has faded.

The reason, IMO, is our recent sad Defense. The Arrowhead mystique arose from the crushing of QBs and pounding of RBs. The dominant Chiefs D was what gave Arrowhead that mystique. Every team knew that the crowd would get into the game, screaming and pounding and making it impossible to hear. Then DT would get the sack or Hasty the interception and the Enemy would be swarmed under, their will broken. And the crowd would go wild, exploding into the Voice of the Beast.

Ah, good times, good times…

Until we get that dominating, QB-crushing, RB-stuffing Defense back, the Arrowhead mystique will remain MIA.

I agree that the Offense the last couple of years was unimagininative [don't you just adore understatement?], but that was not the driver in losing the mystique. Teams were no longer intimidated by the Chiefs D. That was the beginning of the end.

xoxo~
Gaz
Sorry to see the R&G coasting on its reputation.

Mark M
07-20-2001, 07:25 AM
Gaz--
Excellent point. Guess I never really looked at it that way. I was seeing it as the offense would depress the crowd so much, everyone just shut up.

One of the best times I ever had at Arrowhead was the game against San Fran several years back. When Young was in the endzone it was so incredibly loud that A. Davis couldn't hear the whistle ... Davis drilled Young in the back. AD always called that the "$7,500 Hit." He even had a pic of it above his fireplace when he was living in KC. Said it was the best time he ever had playing football.

Here's another thought: Anyone think that the death of DT had anything to do with it? Think about it ... there really wasn't anyone else on D that was really exciting to watch. I'm hoping that Donnie, Maz and Hicks change that.

MM
~~KC lost it's yell leader ... and that may have made a difference.

shakesthecat
07-20-2001, 07:33 AM
Most definitely.
There is no comparison between the crowds of 10 years ago and last years.
Anyone who was at the Colts game will attest to what Mark said.
Of course, it's hard to get excited about a team that goes 0-4 in preseason, and looks like crap doing it. It set the tone for the whole year.

But not only was our "D" a big reason for the crowd mayhem of yester year, Special Teams were also a factor. I never understood why we got rid of Bennie Thompson. We need a couple freaks like him.

But IMHO, the biggest reason for the recent trend in crowd lameness, directly coinsides with the decision to stop doing the Tomahawk Chop. The site and sound of 79,000+ people chopping and chanting in unison, is something I'll never forget. I'm just a small town boy, but I can't see how that is offensive to anyone.
Or maybe I just don't care. :D

I'm not going to make any predictions yet, but I have a feeling this year our ship may be headed in the right direction again.

KCTitus
07-20-2001, 07:44 AM
Shakes: I have to agree with the preseason setting the tone. It's hard to get up for a game when the team looks so listless and pathetic.

With the exception of the STL game, I cant think of a game where the team came out and played with passion or emotion. That fuels the crowd which in turn fuels the players--it's a vicious cycle.

stevieray
07-20-2001, 08:07 AM
If you HAVE to ask this question...I think it gives you your answer right there.

Arrowhead losing it's punch, while the Donx's new stadium...Man, I can hear it already.

My contempt for the donx is evening out with the Oakland Gannon's.

shakesthecat
07-20-2001, 08:27 AM
stevieray,
I don't think the actual stadium has anything to do with it.
Have you seen Denvers new stadium? In terms of asthetic beauty, Arrowhead still kicks its arse. And it's as functional as the day it was built.

Come October 7th at about 5:00 pm mountain time, the only sounds you'll hear coming from the Diaphragm, will be tear drops and crickets.:D

Put a quality product on the field, and fans will respond.
Put a team that's unmotivated, unfocused, unprepared. A lot of folks would just as soon stay home.

I believe the later is a thing of the past.

Man, I'm ready for this year!

Phobia
07-20-2001, 08:31 AM
Hell yeah, it has faded. However, I think the PLAYERS set the tone for the fans. When you sit and watch players half assing it during warmups and exerting ZERO emotion leading up to kickoff, it's pretty depressing.

I still yelled and cheered during the Bills game last year (damn, that was a cold one), but I think my volume level was impacted because our players were not UP for that game.

Phil
- thinking this year will be different.....

shakesthecat
07-20-2001, 08:40 AM
KPhobia,
Boy, you need to come back home for a little toughin' up. Apparently, living in Texas has made you soft. If you thought the Buffalo game was cold, you would have died at the Denver game.
:D

Luzap
07-20-2001, 08:53 AM
It's not that anybody here has said anything that's not true but, there is another over riding factor to the KC fans apathy...

The Press

The Whitlocks of the world have been on an anti Carl, anti Grbac bandwagon for several years now.

Unfortunately, many of the local fans will believe things if they hear them often enough (I don't know how many DOZENS of times I've heard a fan say, "Grbac is terrible!" I would ask them why and they wouldn't have an answer). Did you know he went to the Pro Bowl? ~ no.

If you have a media campaign being waged against your GM and your starting QB it WILL effect fan loyalty and enthusiasm.

Remember, this all started as a personal vendetta by Whitlock when he was thrown out of the Chiefs locker room and denied furthrt access to the team by Carl.

Luz
very disapointed that the kc fans have let a few propagandists spoil something very special...

Phobia
07-20-2001, 08:54 AM
LOL - yeah but I've ALWAYS been soft when it comes to cold weather. It's just that I'm in my element in Texas now.

Anything below 40 is COLD to me and always has been. :D

Multi1
07-20-2001, 09:07 AM
There seems to be some confusion over the Arrowhead mistique. First of all, if you were a fan in the 70's and 80's, you will remember that there were so few fans at the game the stadium was only half full. There were no teams that really stood out. When Marty showed up, things turned around. You could no longer walk up to the ticket windows and buy a ticket.

We have been spoiled by decent teams of the 90's that we forget that to have a rabid croud, you need players word their weight. Give this year and next a chance and see what happens.

The talent is there this year (as in last year), but now we have someone that knows how to motivate and coach.

Gunther was a great defensive coordinator, he is not a head coach. This may seem silly, but head coaches should not cry when their players play a good game and impress him. There is a time in life to cry, anything associated with a football game does not qualify in my book.

Baby Lee
07-20-2001, 09:09 AM
Luz - I'm feeling you on the press vendetta angle, but when it comes to the noise level and excitement at Arrowhead, I'm feeling Gaz's POV more.

I'm getting a little dizzy now thinking back on the 'bookends' and the havoc they'd visit on opposing O's [glad I'm sitting down]. Defensive efforts like the annihilation of Ryan Leaf, or the 7 sack performance against the 'Hawks [albeit a loss], or watching Horseface lose the ball to a DT swat, or Jeffie George throw it to the wrong team, or even the shutdown on the Ravens a couple of years ago [even though it was away], make one forget all about Fatlock and Keitz and all the other naysayers.
Defensive efforts like the 'Gannon scares us' displays of the past coupl'a years, or the 'did anyone see Ricky Watters come runnin' by here?? Oh there he is, restin' in the endzone' embroglios will shut you up tout-suite.

Baby Lee
07-20-2001, 09:11 AM
head coaches should not cry when their players play a good game and impress him.

I think introductions are in order;

TomCash. . . Dick Vermiel.
Dick Vermeil . . . TomCash.

JohninGpt
07-20-2001, 10:29 AM
Faded or not, I have only been to two games in recent years, the 1999 Lions game and the 2000 donx game. The only game I remember before that was Lenny and the Chiefs against Broadway Joe and the Jets. To me, being unaccustomed to the Arrowhead atmospere (except what I've seen on TV, of course), it was still an incredible experience.
And yes Shakes the Denver game was incredibly cold, especially for someone who has spent the last thirteen years on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and various tropical islands (Guam, Phillipines, Okinawa, etc...). Peppermint Schnapps made it bearible...and then rather silly.

John
Nothing like post game bellyflops down a snowbank in the parking lot.

shakesthecat
07-20-2001, 10:47 AM
JohninGpt,
You would have felt right at home in our group, we had jambalaya served in 3 levels of heat.
Between that, alcohol, and the 30,000 BTU heater a group of off-duty KC police had in a tent next to us, I was quite toasty.

Come to think of it, they were too.

milkman
07-20-2001, 11:27 AM
As far as I'm concerned, the Arrowhead "mystique" was only an illusion that was easily shattered any time Marty's Chiefs went into the postseason against even a marginally good opponent.

gh4chiefs
07-20-2001, 12:01 PM
I think Skates made a good point in post #7. As silly as it may seem, it just doesn't seem the same when the crowd is not doing the war chant and the tomahawk chop. I remember at a game last year the TD Pack Band actually started playing the war chant music (my name for it, not sure what the actual name is). And the crowd began to get into it and the war chant and the chop began and it actually FELT like Arrowhead, the first time in a long time. Unfortunately somebody must have had a cow and told the band to knock if off because it was short lived.

It sucks when this stupid political correctness BS has to control every aspect of our lives. Skates was right, if somebody is offended by a chop or a "war chant" then maybe they need look in the mirror, get a life, a thicker skin and lighten up.

shakesthecat
07-20-2001, 01:21 PM
Skates? That's kinda funny.
I bet my co-workers call me that on Friday afternoons.

gh4chiefs
07-20-2001, 03:02 PM
Oops! My bad. Sorry!

Hoover
07-20-2001, 03:06 PM
Well, to be honest with you its because the Chiefs have sucked.

I think with the Goonthar gone, Arrowhead will be back. The last two years fans just hope for a win. In years past they expected a win.


Hoover

Packfan
07-20-2001, 03:06 PM
In the past, the Chiefs defense kept them in the game. And when the defense needed to make a play, the crowd became deafening and first and ten usually became 1 and 15 (false starts) and then suddenly all three downs are passing downs and DT timed the snap count and made a play.

Last year, Chester's timing was off, the Chiefs seemed to be playing catch-up, Grbac had that unflattering streak where he threw picks for TDs and then the Chiefs went on the road and got crushed by Oakland - San Fran- and San Diego thus eliminating them for the post season once again. That took the fans out and then you get the now-shows and the rest is history.

Winning changes everything. If the Chiefs win, Arrowhead is the best homefield advantage in the NFL.

ChiTown
07-20-2001, 03:12 PM
That almost sounded like a compliment to the Chiefs;)

Chi
~Knows PackFan's word's are typically covered with cheddar

mcan
07-21-2001, 03:52 PM
I know this is pretty shameless, moving my post back to the first page, but I wanted to thank everyone for their response. But the big question still remains. Are the players there to motivate the fans or vice versa? My take would be that (if we go to the games) we have a responsability to yell and screem and carry our team. Not just a responsability but a duty, a privaledge. Look at Iowa, they don't even have a team. They have to root for the Bears!!!! Even if we are losing we still have to be there for the guys. Like if Donnie misses a tackle, Marvcus picks him up and gets him going again. Or like the Tim Grunhard sound bites (come on guys... Let's go.... yadda yadda) If we really want to consider ourselves the 12th man on the field, then we are really doggin it out there. If last year was any indication, we should be cut and a (free agent) fan base should be brought in. WE WERE THE CANCER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (well one of the cancers anyway)


Lets stop this right now and go out there and kick some butt this year. No excuses. I don't care if it's cold, I don't care if your "feet hurt", I don't care..... We have a job to do and we have been slackin' off. If our "teammates" need us (like they did last year) then we need to be there for em. You say they let us down, I say, we let them down.

Sorry, that's kinda what I have been getting at.

"Ask not what your football team can do for you, ask... I'll shut up now"