Here we are in the last week in September, and every sports fan in Kansas City has been pumped up by the performance of the Royals in the home stretch and by the opening success of Chiefs.
ESPN has actually had prime-time lead stories about both the Chiefs and Royals. In recent years, the teams have mostly been the brunt of jokes on the national stage.
Last Sunday at Kauffman stadium, the final game of the regular home season was as good as it can get for home team fans. The game ended with a walk-off grand slam dinger by Justin Maxwell in front of a sellout home crowd.
On the first day of fall it was a lot of fun to have a baseball team still in the playoff picture – though the team is now out of it. The atmosphere was electric. Nearly all of the 31,000-plus fans were on their feet throughout a lot of the game. When that is coupled with the roar that came out of Arrowhead Stadium the previous week following the big victory over the Dallas Cowboys, the stage is set for renewed hope of success for both teams.
In a previous article I chastised Kansas City fans who showed up for home games in clothing that represented the opposing team. I totally cannot accept fair-weather fans. During the final home stand for the Royals, the place was packed with blue. During the Chiefs victory over the Cowboys, a lot of fans were flaunting their Cowboy blue, but I am interested to see if the huge nationally televised Thursday night game with the Eagles that resulted in a Chiefs victory will turn that trend around. It would be wonderful to see nothing but red at Arrowhead from top to bottom.
If you are a true fan, you will be with your team come hell or high water. My whole life I have tried to associate myself with people who are all IN. I even respect people who are all OUT – as long as they are that way every day of the year.
I would never be able to switch allegiance to a Texas franchise and have never made any bones about my lack of adoration for the state. However, I will hand it to the Texans – they believe that their state and their sports teams are the true center of the universe.
I think it is way past time for Kansas City fans to take a stand and make both Kauffman and Arrowhead stadiums the biggest snake pit for visiting teams. Fan atmosphere really can be a difference maker for pro teams. If you have the money, you have every right to attend a game and cheer for whoever you choose. Just don’t turn around and cheer for the local teams just because they have become winners.
I saw one lady the last month of the season wear three different opposing team jerseys while attending games at Kauffman. So guess what? At the final home game of the season, when the Royals were the talk of the town and were working toward a possible playoff berth, she was sporting a Royals jersey. Obviously this lady is NOT all IN.
Good things are happening again on the Kansas City sport scene. It is time for our fans to be all IN.
• I thought The Examiner article of a few weeks ago about concussions was particularly interesting. It stressed, and I couldn’t agree more, that every high school needs to have a certified athletic trainer on staff. The primary concern is the cost. How much is the safety and health of a child worth?
• The Blue Springs vs. Lee’s Summit West high school football game was a true classic. I have been around a long time; I never seen so many great athletes on the field at one time. Titans head coach Royce Boehm said it best, “the game was like Ali vs. Frazier.” It was good stuff.
• I am tired of Ned Yost haters. The guy has won more games than anyone else in decades. Everyone seems to want him to be fired, but no one has an answer for who should be hired.
• My quote of the week comes from a great winner, former Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr: “Anyone can support a team’s winning – it takes no courage. But to stand behind a team, to defend a team when it is down and really needs you, that takes a lot of courage.”
Tim Crone, a William Chrisman High School graduate, is a former activities director and coach for Blue Springs High School and is a host of a weekly radio show, “Off the Wall with Tim Crone,” on KCWJ (1030 AM) 5-6 p.m. every Thursday. He writes a weekly column for The Examiner. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org