Yesterday evening, I was driving home and listening to the Chiefs play the Texans in the AFC Wildcard. At this point in the game a victory for the Chiefs was a forgone conclusion. We were up 30-0 and had just hit the two minute mark. Basically there was a better chance of winning the Powerball that night then the Texans making a comeback (I didn’t win and the Texans didn’t make come back.)
As I pulled in to my driveway, Mitch Holtus (The “Voice of the Chiefs”) was giving the play by play, literally counting down the seconds. Once the game hit the one minute mark, I could hear “the chop” being chanted in the Houston stadium, letting me know the KC Faithful had made the trip down to watch our boys in red. Once the game hit 22 seconds, Holtus started counting it down. Each second that ticked off the clock was a representation of the 22 years of playoff misery for this franchise.
Once the game clock struck zero and Holtus started the celebration in the announcers booth, I reacted in a way I did not expect…I started to cry.
Now let me clarify; I am a diehard Chiefs fan, I am not afraid to show my emotions if the mood calls for it (like a really sad Doctor Who episode), and I am sure I am not the only KC Fan who cried at that moment. However, this show of emotion was different for me. You see, I didn’t cry when the Royals had their amazing run over last 2.5 years (even though I am just as big a Royals fan as I am a Chiefs fan.) I cried because this win brought back a very specific memory from my childhood. It came rushing to the front of my mind like a gunshot, so strong that I could think of nothing else.
The last time KC won a playoff game was on 1/16/94 (against the Houston Oilers no less.) I had just turned eight years old. And that was the day that Grandpa H introduced me to the Kansas City Chiefs. I sat next to him at my grandparents house as Joe Montana and Marcus Allen led the Chiefs to victory that day. I watched the whole game entranced by what I was seeing, asking Grandpa questions about what this player was doing and who that man in the striped shirt was. To this day that is one of my favorite memories; not just of my Grandpa but for my entire life. The way Grandpa talked about KC, the way he laughed at my silly questions (in a grandfatherly way, not in a mean way), and the smile he had when I said I was a Chiefs fan too (not really knowing that meant)…it was as close to perfect a memory could get.
So when KC won a playoff game for the first time since that day in 1994 when I watched their last playoff victory with my Grandpa, I couldn’t help but cry. That victory yesterday meant a lot more to me than just my favorite team finally winning a game in the postseason. That moment let me feel close to my Grandpa H for the first time in years.Yeah, it made me miss him terribly, but I know for a fact that Andy Reid and the boys in Red made my Grandpa smile.
No matter where we are, we are all in Chiefs Kingdom.
Keepin’ it Geeky,