“I got my mail today; this economy sucks.
A bunch of bills I can’t pay; I guess they’re sh*t out of luck.
But there was one from an old friend; brought back memories.
A black and white from way back when; was hard to believe …
That was us riding dirt roads,
Shooting buckshot at signs.
Drinking beer we just stole;
Passing jugs full of shine.
And even them girls,
Was one of them boys.
Singing old country gold,
‘Til we all lost our voice.
That was us.
Every once in a while, we’ll catch a game or a race.
But catching up on old times? Turns into hell that we raised.
We’ll start retelling stories, and lies we’ve rehearsed,
About the girls we made out with, and how badass we were …
That was us down in Panama,
Crusing the strip.
In the bed of my truck,
Tossing beads and talking sh*t.
Playing pong and flip cup.
We never lose senior year;
We tore them son b*tches up.
That was us.
That was us …
And we'll always remember, those of us that we miss.
We'll always be brothers, and we'll never forget ...
But that was us that we carried, with tears in our eyes.
When the rest of us are buried? We're throwing down in the sky!
So raise a glass to the memories, that won't ever die!
Here's to friends! Here's to family! Here's to one helluva time!
Because that was us!
Here's to us! ...”
Well, that was lovely.
On a nearly ninety degree, bright sunny Sunday, the Chiefs looked like chumps at first, giving up a touchdown to the Rams not even three minutes and seven plays into the game. The Rams then befuddled and stymied everything the Chiefs were doing, in an attempt to respond. For the first twenty nine minutes and fifty some odd seconds on Sunday, this was an unquestioned, unmitigated debacle, and the Chiefs of Week One had shown up, not the Chiefs of Weeks Two through Seven.
And then, Cairo Santos nailed a fifty three yard field goal, with one second left on the clock. Any kick from that distance is a crapshoot, and given the wind (which was swirling but generally was moving east to west), and given the fact that it’s Cairo Santos, I didn’t think there was a prayer of that thing being accurate.
And then, Knile Davis takes the second half kickoff, and with some brilliant blocking, takes off down the Chiefs sideline, and nobody was catching him.
And then, Travis Kelce puts on a sick move*, to jumpstart another scoring drive, to push the margin to 20-7, and all but end the game.
And then, after trading a couple punts, Dwayne Bowe makes an incredible catch near midfield, and barely three minutes later, the Chiefs are in the end zone, the lead grows to 27-7, and the celebration began.
There were three moments yesterday that I absolutely loved, that if you weren’t there, or weren’t paying close attention to the broadcast, you probably missed. All three were just random “sure, that happened” moments that you don’t see coming in advance, but simply enjoy the hell out of them, when they occur.
The first was after the Chiefs first touchdown. Jeff Triplette, who in the interest of full disclosure is quite probably the second worse crew chief The League has ever employed (don’t worry Phil Luckett, your status is quite secure as the worst crew chief ever), has to stop the game before Cairo Santos’ extra point attempt.
The reason? Streamers had floated onto the field, and had attached themselves exactly where Dusty C was expecting the snap. I loved that. This last month – really, last six weeks – has been one non-stop celebration of this city we love and call home, and the sports teams that unite all of us. It’s been an incredible six weeks, if you aren’t from Kansas City. Those streamers landing where they did, and somehow the wind being unable to lift them or move them or dislodge them from that exact spot, in that exact moment, in that exact situation?
Hey, I’m the one who believes there is no such thing as coincidence.
The other two moments, I’ll get into inside the recap.
Which, since given the recap of Chiefs 34, Rams 7 is why you came here in the first place, I guess should begin, right about now.
(*: I got the juke move out of sequence. Sue me.)
* I got to the Second Parents house a little bit after five on Saturday. The original plan for the pre-party had been to watch Game Four of the World Series, while enjoying some individually made fresh pizzas and some cold beer. But go figure, that didn’t materialize as expected. Instead, we headed down to everyone’s favorite Lounge, because we had three friends in from Omaha for this game (Jeff, Paula, and Paula’s sister Mickey) who wanted to see what the Daily Double was all about.
Three hours, plenty of pitchers, a few vodka tonics (gee, wonder who consumed those), and a couple rounds of shots, as the Royals imploded in the sixth inning to cough up a three-run lead (en route to an 11-4 defeat), that we finally got around to making those pizzas.
And let me tell you, this was a great idea. Everyone had their own crust, and you could make whatever you wanted. I went with Italian sausage, pepperoni, green pepper, red pepper, red onion, and decided to bake the oregano and pepper flakes and parmesan cheese right into the sucker, rather than adding them as a flavor enhancer after the pizza’s already made. It was a great call. That was one epically good pizza.
* After a Weller and Diet Coke nightcap or three, it was off to bed. About five, everyone started getting up, and getting ready. Normally we load up The Bus as much as possible the night before – get the generator and heavy coolers on, so that you don’t have to get up early and do it the morning of the game. Yeah, this was not a typical tailgate. So for the better part of an hour, Jeff and I were lugging coolers and the generator and trying to do this in the dark, while still pushing a .20 from the night before’s residual alcohol balance. Somehow we pulled it off.
Nine people rode out yesterday – myself, Susan, Russ and Mona, Jaimmie and Anthony, and the three from Omaha. We got to the early-in gate about 6:45, and began the descent down the hill to our spot. Go figure – Roger and his folks were already there. By 7:10ish, the Mixology List kicked off with the traditional opening number of “Penny Lover”. My co-worker Deneece got there a little after 8am, and folks, here’s the good news, especially for those of you who desire to park by us to tailgate, but don’t have a Red Reserve pass. You ready?
Your crazy drunk uncle Stevo has found the loophole, in the new ridiculous, insane parking set-up. If the set-up stays as it is (and it’s been like this for all three regular season home games so far), getting you past the parking nazis and onto the grass north of G30, is once again doable exactly like how it used to be. No need to meet you at the gate and hand you an invalid Red Reserve pass anymore! I have to admit, I was pretty proud of myself.
Ron and Ryan and the Springfield folks arrived, just as James and Deneece were backing in.
* How you knew this day might be special? Every freaking person was there with at least two hours to spare, before kickoff. Usually somebody arrives at 10:40 and is p*ssed that we’ve run out of some food item, or somebody oversleeps, shows up as we’re breaking down, and has to spend ten minutes issuing embarrassing apologies for their unacceptable sleeping error. Not yesterday. Everyone there with two hours to spare.
* Another way you knew this day might be special? “The Voice of Reason” and his dad usually arrive between 9 and 9:30. Never before, in the (hang on, carry the six…) nearly ten years since we ceased being roommates and began arriving separately, Gregg has never parked behind us. He’s always a solid ten, fifteen rows farther down, down by Boomer’s Aunt Jamie and their group. Folks? I had to do a double take about 9:45 on Sunday. Gregg and Gordon were approaching our group … from behind.
Lot G was filled to the exits before 10am.
I’ve been going to games in that stadium for as long as I have conscious memory. I ain’t NEVER seen that before. Not even for arguably the best home game of the last fifteen years, the showdown between 4-0 denver and 4-0 KC back in 2003. The game where there were no tickets to be had, because nobody was selling them, and not only was nobody selling them, every ticket got used, despise NASCAR dropping the checkered flag thirty miles away at the exact moment of kickoff.
My way of saying: not even that glorious October Sunday eleven years ago, saw Lot G completely full more than two hours before kickoff, for a noon game.
* As detailed in the picks commentary, I lost my wallet last weekend, and so I had to head down to the ticket office, to get a new Season Ticket card. In case you need any further proof this day was going to be special, actual conversation with me and ticket agent dude:
(stevo) Hi. Listen, I called the Chiefs on Tuesday and explained that I’d lost my Season Ticket card, and they told me it’d be available at the ticket office this morning.
(ticket agent dude) OK. Can I see your valid state ID please? Assuming you’ve gotten one?
(stevo) (does not immediately try to punch ticket agent dude in the nuts)
(stevo) Sure, here you go. (Hands over temporary paper ID.)
I didn’t go postal hearing the words “valid state ID”! Yay me! Even better? The ticket agent dude made a note on my account, to actually spell my last name correctly (which the Chiefs have never done)!
So you’re damned right I decided to go look for my brick**. I mean, if ever there was a day I was gonna find that bastard again, it had to be yesterday, right?
I got nothing. I found The Voice of Reason’s, I found Russ and Mona’s, I found Monty’s, I found Susan’s, I even found the late Bill Williams’ brick. (Rest in peace sir. This Super Bowl is gonna suck without chatting with you at halftime.) But I can’t locate mine to save my life. Truly sad.
(*: in case anyone ever goes searching for it, mine has my name on line one, “RIP 37 58 RCW” on line two, and “Go Chiefs Go” on line three.)
* So, if the streamers refusing to leave the ground was the first awesome, memorable moment I recount, this next retell is awesome, memorable moment number two.
Gregg and Gordon and I are talking, it’s a little before ten. I think we were discussing the Royals. Anyway, Jasson and his daughter arrive. (Sign I’m getting damned old: I didn’t recognize it was Ashton. I just figured he was stepping out on the wife with some young attractive blonde. The lesson? As always, I’m the dumbest kid in the room, always.)
Somehow, we get off on the “48 Hours” episode that Jasson starred in a couple years ago, and he starts telling us the real story, of how they caught the dude who tried to murder Marti. (Sorry, I forget her last name, but the episode is available in all its greatness by clicking on this link. At least until CBS has it yanked.) Let me simply say, Jasson’s version was so damned funny, we laughed for a solid fifteen straight minutes as the real story was revealed. (Note: the CBS program on what happened, sadly cleans up the truth. A lot.)
And that’s also why I chose the theme I did. Because that?
And that, yesterday, and every day for the rest of my and G's and Jasson's lives?
* Worst moment of tailgating? Without question. I was over talking to Deneece and James and Jerry and the son of Deneece’s I hadn’t met until yesterday (I’d met Matt already, and let’s just say Brandon and I have enjoyed a medicinally legal product a time or three together.) They notice that 13 is lacking a beer bottle or can. As Jerry notes, “this beer doesn’t drink itself”. I point out that I usually am a vodka tonic person; I just hadn’t had the time to make one yet.
So James goes “hey, we have some Smirnoff concoctions in this cooler”, and he hands me this gigantic 40 oz can. So gigantic, 13 couldn’t even fit over it. And trust me, I tried.
That? Should have been the sign, the “listen, you clueless dolt, this sh*t is nasty!” sign. I mean, when 13 is staging a Coozie Revolt over going onto a can, you have to listen to the Coozie. He knows what’s good and what isn’t.
It was a Smirnoff something, in a black can, with a fruit punch flavor.
I took a drink of it.
I set it down on the table.
(deneece) How is it?
(stevo) (long pause). I’ve had worse. I’ve definitely had better.
(deneece) What does it taste like?
(stevo) It tastes like Robitussin mixed with Hawaiian Punch.
(deneece) (expletive!) That is awful.
(james) You don’t have to finish it.
(stevo) No, no – you never leave a wounded soldier on the battlefield. Once you start? You finish.
(deneece) Well, Brandon likes these things.
(stevo) Your son needs to learn what quality alcohol tastes like.
(deneece) In his defense, he was probably stoned when he bought it.
Why, you ask, was this the worst moment?
Because I am embarrassed to admit … I left the wounded soldier on the battlefield to die. I made it through about 2/3 of the can, and literally needed to vomit, it was so nasty. So I went to the port-a-potty, did what needed to be done, and dumped the rest of the can down the urinal.
* I had my first cigar in forever yesterday. A Cohiba, which is a stunning choice for me, but every cigar Jerry had was a lighter one. (I prefer something more along the lines of Macanudo Maduro or the CAO Brazilia.) It was good. It was damned good.
Nine, ten years ago, you were guaranteed on an evening like yesterday or Saturday was? I’d be on the back deck, watching some television show, enjoying a Maduro or Brazilia. It was nice to flash back to those days yesterday.
* Broke down the tailgate a little after 11am. There was a group of Rams fans two spots down (or east of Roger’s bus, if you will), and as I was taking down the speakers, got to witness a wedding proposal between two of those Rams fans. It’s a miracle I didn’t march over there and start a fight. There’s only two proposals that have ever happened in our area there at Arrowhead, and it didn’t involve a Rams fan of any way, shape, form or kind.
But I was nice, and just kept my distance. Twenty five year old me is p*ssed, at thirty seven year old me, over the maturity shown in that spot.
But I mean, seriously. If you need any further proof St. Louis fans are the world’s worst? Who travels to a road game, to make a wedding proposal? There was nothing magical about that spot (like with the two proposals in our tailgating group over the years). Nothing special happened there for those people from St. Louis, to lead the dude to think “yeah, I gotta propose right there”. If I ever meet the future Mrs. Stevo, you can be damned certain that unless I meet her in St. Louis, I’m not proposing in St. Louis. And even then, I wouldn’t propose in St. Louis. You know why? Because that would mean having to go to St. Louis! Who actually wants to do that!
* Best moment of tailgating … had to be Jasson’s story time. But the coolest moment was when some random who came with Ryan approached me, asked if I was the dude who put together the Mixology list, and after confirming that yes, it’s my brainchild, he and his girlfriend said that it was the coolest mix they’d ever heard at a tailgate. That’s why I do it folks, is for you. (And because I’m a selfish narcissist at times who demands recognition for the greatness that is me.)
Seventy two songs played out of 226 that were loaded for the game. That’s not too shabby. And that’s also why every week, when I solicit input from those of you showing up, for what you want to hear, that why I also note “there’s no guarantee your choice(s) will play”. You had a 1 in 3 chance on Sunday. Unless it’s hellacious weather, denver might be closer to a 1 in 2 chance, the tailgate should be that epic. And long.
* Relief moment of the week: I made a promise to a couple friends that, as my wedding gift to them, if there was ever a week they couldn’t afford a Chiefs game, and/or didn’t come by tickets, that I’d front the purchase price. That’s what I do for a friend: guarantee he and she will see every game this season. Anyone could give them a blender. I give gifts that truly matter.
My plan for this week was to buy them at the ticket office, since I had to go down there anyways to get my new Season Ticket card.
The cheapest ticket available at the ticket office at 8:30am on Sunday morning?
Sweet. Merciful. Jesus.
I expected that the $30 tickets would be gone, and I figured the $49 and $54 were probably scarce. I was prepared to pay $80 / ticket. But $156? Uuh, no.
So I headed back up to the tailgate, and figured one of two things would occur. Either (a) I’d get lucky, and somebody would be selling off a pair with no clue that, you know, nothing was available, or (b) I’d hand $200 to The Voice of Reason and let him work his magic.
Your winner? (A). Some dude came walking by as I was talking with somebody, selling two in 320 row 11, at $35 / ticket. Face value? $54 / ticket. Sold!
* Headed down around 11:15am. So, in the interest of fairness, if I’m going to rip the Chiefs a new one over how asinine the parking setup now is, I have to credit them for how quick and professional the security screening is. A few years ago, when the NFL mandated patdowns and wanding began, it would take 30-40 minutes to get through security. It took less than five on Sunday, and the line at Gate H was back to the street when I got there.
* I sat in my old seat yesterday. Sadly, Chris wasn’t there, but Shelby and Nancy were, and hallelujah, the dude a couple rows in front of me whose personalized jersey is number 69, was there too:
(There’s classy, and then there’s classy. Image credit: me, via my iPhone 5c.)
* As always, for the game lookback and thoughts, I refer to nfl.com’s GameCenter dealie, to ensure accuracy of down, distance, and time, of the events of the game.
* Chiefs win the toss, choose to defer, and defend the East End Zone. This is a decision that would be gigantic – in a positive way – about eighty minutes of real time later.
* And right off the bat, the Rams pick on the Chiefs leaky secondary. On a 3rd and 1, Austin Davis airs it out for Kenny Britt, who was a solid three yards behind Ron Parker (who eventually made the tackle after a gain of nearly 45 yards). Three plays later, Austin Davis hits a tight end wide, wide open in the front of the end zone on another third down play. Rams 7, Chiefs 0, right off the bat.
* I’ll give the Rams fans this: they showed up in large numbers. That’s all I’ll give them. Of the approximately twenty of those assholes in my immediate viewing area, I saw the following jerseys:
* 80 bruce.
* 81 holt.
* 13 warner.
* 8 bulger.
* 1 stl rams.
* 29 dickerson***.
* 28 faulk.
* 36 bettis****.
* 76 pace.
* 11 everett.
Ten jerseys. Nine players, one personalized / customized for the owner. Care to guess how many of those nine players were dressed in uniform on the Rams sideline Sunday?
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I HATE st. louis.
(**: Eric Dickerson didn’t even play in St. Louis. He was an ex-Rams in October 1987. The Rams moved to the appropriately named the loo in 1995. Having said that, I also saw a sweet-ass Dickerson throwback t-shirt that I actually have looked for online today. If I find it and it’s under $30, I’ll probably buy it, I liked it that much.)
(***: Jerome Bettis hated the Rams so much he demanded a trade out (to the Steelers, after the 1995 season). Your saint louis Rams everyone!!!!)
* the Chiefs take over, and on 3rd down, Alex Smith throws a quick hitter to DeAnthony Thomas, that he immediately turns upfield and turns into 17 yards and a first down. I kind of smiled watching it; it reminded me of Al Saunders’ guaranteed quick hit play, Trent Green down the line of scrimmage to Dante Hall that was a guaranteed first down every time it was called.
Unfortunately, the Chiefs stall out on the next series of downs, and punt. It would be a recurring theme in the first half yesterday: punt.
* the Rams take over at their own 17, and on second down from the 20, Austin Davis picks on Ron Parker yet again, airing it out with the target being Kenny Britt. This time, Mr. Parker’s ready, and picks off Mr. Davis at the Chiefs 21.
Plays like this? I wish the Chiefs would try more often. Ron Parker got a ten yard return before being tackled. The Chiefs started at their 31. The play was run from the Rams 20. In essence, on 2nd and long, the Rams “punted” sixty yards downfield, only instead of a punt, everything was in play – potential catch, potential pass interference, potential illegal contact or holding. I have never understood why more teams don’t air it out, on 2nd and 3rd and long, because what’s the downside? A sixty yard “punt” disguised as an interception?
Creative risk-taking. The Rams did it yesterday. Good for them. I wish the Chiefs would do that more often than they rarely, rarely do.
* the Chiefs and Rams trade three-and-out punts, before a DAT return puts the Chiefs in business near midfield. And on first down, the pocket breaks down, and Alex Smith scrambles right, only to be clobbered from behind and fumble the ball. Thankfully, it bounces out of bounds before anyone can recover it.
On third down, the Chiefs throw short, and draw the flag against the Rams for illegal contact.
There are those who will b*tch about Alex Smith not being a “franchise quarterback”, but more of a “game manager”. And if you’re one of those, then so be it.
But I know this: if “Fat” Andy Reid taps you to lead his squad?
You’re not a placeholder, or a manager.
And Alex Smith showed that yesterday. 24/28 for 226, granted with no touchdowns (but also no interceptions).
What doesn’t show up in those stats, is the fact that once again, the Chiefs converted on at least 50% of their third downs (yesterday at exactly 50%, 6 of 12). You can count on two fingers, the number of quarterbacks converting 3rd downs, at a higher percentage, than Alex Smith.
Those two fingers?
Belong to Tony Romo (57%) and Drew Brees (51%).
You can count on a third finger (and I’d strongly suggest it should be the middle one) the only other starter to convert at least 50% of his third down attempts so far this season. (That someone is Phyllis Rivers.) And really, you tell me, who you’d rather have:
Romo: 54/94 (57%, through 7 games, entering tonight).
Brees: 43/84 (51% through 7 games; Saints have had their bye).
Smith: 47/93 (50% through 7 games; Chiefs have had their bye).
Rivers: 57/113 (50% through 8 games; Chargers have not had their bye).
Alleged all-time great peyton manning? 47% (43/92 through 7 games; donkeys have had their bye). Andrew Luck? 45% (48/107 through 8 games; Colts have not had their bye). I could keep going, but folks, the bottom line is that when you have to deliver?
Alex Smith delivers.
Just like on this drive yesterday, when he draws the illegal contact, then on the ensuing 3rd down, hits a perfect pass to Travis Kelce, who takes it to the half inch line (and I’d argue, he was in. Or as I texted: “team tito prays this is reviewed”, since I started Kelce yesterday.)
And on 1st and goal at the half inch line, Jamaal Charles did what Jamaal Charles does, and crossed the white line, to tie the game at 7, early in the 2nd quarter.
This is the extra point attempt, where the streamers refused to move.
* Should probably note, the Chiefs calling timeout after Kelce’s catch, was indefensible. Every potential scoring play, is reviewable by the booth. If the booth didn’t see enough indisputable visual evidence after thirty seconds to buzz Jeff Triplette, then the call that Kelce was tackled at the one was probably right.
Then again, Jeff Triplette and buzzed go together, about as well as Stevo and buzzed. It wouldn’t stun me in the least to learn the replay official did buzz Triplette, and he was too, uuh, buzzed, to realize it.
* After holding on 3rd and 1 near midfield, the Chiefs force a punt, and on the very next play, Alex Smith is sacked, stripped, and fumbles again … only this time, the Rams recover. To say I was irate, is an understatement.
To say the Rams shanking – badly – a 37 yard field goal attempt convinced me the Chiefs were going to win this game? Undersells things.
I mean, that field goal wasn’t within five yards of the goalpost. I used to sit in 109 fifteen years ago (which is the section behind the goalpost, in the East End Zone; Jasson still sits there). That wind is a b*tch to deal with. The Rams kicker, couldn’t deal with it.
* 2:36 left in the first half, Chiefs face 3rd and 6 at midfield. Alex Smith drops, throws, and Dwayne Bowe makes an amazing catch, to gain the first down. From my vantage point (which granted, was from Mr. Smith’s POV, albeit forty yards away), it looked like D Bowe simply reached around the corner, and stole the pass literally over the corner’s head, to gain the first and positive yardage.
According to the official box score, Dwayne Bowe was targeted six times yesterday.
He had six catches, for 64 yards.
* Cairo Santos nails a 53 yarder as time nearly expires in the first half, and the Chiefs lead 10-7. This is why I mentioned, that the Chiefs choosing the East End Zone to defend, was so huge. The Rams kicking into the East End Zone? Five yards wide right from 37 yards out. The Chiefs kicking into the West End Zone? Perfectly drilled from 53 yards out.
Sometimes, the little things decide a game.
For a solid twenty minutes after Cairo Santos split the uprights, that’s what I thought.
* Halftime. Good freaking God. And I only use “freaking” instead of “f*cking”, because kids were involved. That was an abortion of a performance. (Pause). Yeah, it probably would have been less offensive to use “f*cking”, as opposed to “abortion”, to describe something with kids involved.
But that was atrocious. It was 200 breast cancer survivors, “cheering” with a bunch of kid cheerleaders, waving pink towels everywhere. All that was missing was the late, great Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA … and you can decide if the D is for Democrat, or Drunk), to re-enact a typical Tuesday in the Kennedy Compound.
That performance left a lot to be desired. A lot. I was so damned bored I borrowed the dude in front of me’s binoculars and started scouring the stadium, to see if I recognized anyone.
Here’s a free hint, Mr. Goodell and NFL officials. Don’t tell us you care about women’s issues, when you actually don’t. People will tolerate a lot in life, and most people will tolerate a liar. (Of which Roger Goodell should be in the damned Encyclopedia Brittanica 2014 Edition, as the poster child for the word liar.)
But NOBODY tolerates a hypocrite.
Wearing pink socks and waving a pink towel, doesn’t cure the stink on your league, sir.
But clearing you out of Madison Avenue, if you fail to tell anything less than the full and complete truth regarding the Ray Rice debacle next Wednesday and Thursday?
I’m fully in favor of.
* Second half opening kickoff. What a thing of beauty. Knile Davis had great blocking, but man, what a great decision to just dart. He didn’t hesitate, he just took off.
Which led to Russ leaning over at me, after the celebratory high fives and middle fingers pointed at the Rams bench as I informed them “we’re gonna beat the hell outta you!”, noting “you finally saw one!”
Yes, I finally saw one. (“clue” voice) In 132. With my own eyes. By Knile Davis.
* From that point on, there was little doubt about the outcome. That return broke the Rams. It just broke them, and thankfully it broke their fans as well. The next ninety some odd minutes were just further celebration of the last six weeks. A further validation of the greatness of Kansas City.
A moment I’ll always remember, that at best, ranks fourth from yesterday.
A moment I’ll remember … at least until all the beer, vodka, wine, and weed I’ve enjoyed in my life, eventually clears my memory like a crashed hard drive.
* As I noted a few pages ago, I sat in my old seat yesterday. (Which is Section 132, Row 26, Seat 15, for the newbies reading this.)
The first play of the fourth quarter, a Rams defender was hurt, after Jamaal Charles gained ten to set the Chiefs up to seal the game on the next play. (Which was Charles virtually untouched for 36 yards and the six; seven with the extra point, which as I always note, is never a given, when your kicker is named Cairo Santos.)
The dude behind me – an affable, friendly guy who I never got the name of, simply said three words, and clapped -- and it was more pounded, than clapped – his hands, in a nearly silent Arrowhead Stadium.
“Let’s Go Royals!”
(Clap! Clap! Clap Clap Clap!)
Within fifteen seconds, the lower bowl was standing … and shouting. Seats were being pounded.
“Let’s Go Royals!”
(Clap! Clap! Clap Clap Clap!)
I got a text from a buddy watching the game on TV. “Damn that chant is loud!” I got another text from a buddy inside Arrowhead. “Never imagined this could happen!” I got a third chant, from of all people, my mommy, who in the interest of full disclosure, tolerates football, but despises baseball. (College hoops is her sports passion.)
“I almost cried hearing (the chant).”
If anything? I am my mother’s son.
Because it got damned, damned dusty, in Section 132, Row 26, Seat 15, a little after 2:15pm, yesterday.
It got damned, damned dusty.
And the dustiest, if that’s even a word, the dustiest?
Was yet to come.
* Nancy and Shelby checked out with about eight to play. Mona headed out with about six to play. Finally, with about four to play, Russ leans in to Susan and I, and says the magical words, that confirm this was a Chiefs ass-kicking worth celebrating.
“You know, the beer’s cheaper and colder on The Bus!”
* But I had to pee like a race horse from the beers I’d had during the game. (All two of them. Let’s just say, 13 was staring at me with disgust, at how little he got utilized yesterday. #angrycoozie.)
So I stopped off at the collection of port-a-potties across the street from Gate H, did what beer makes me do, and began the walk back to The Bus.
There’s some regulars I always make a point to stop in and at least high five. Did that for each of them. There’s always cars reinventing the exits from Lot G to duck, dodge, and try to avoid. There’s the moment I arrive back at The Bus, and “Dancing On The Ceiling” gets played, to celebrate the win.
All of those things happened, even if Mr. Richie’s classic was heard off my phone without the speakers involved.
But Moment Tres from yesterday I won’t ever forget, was worth waiting for.
It pays to leave early.
* Because for the first time in years, I got to high five The Voice of Reason, as he passed by us on the way back to his car.
And for the first time in years, I beat Ryan back to The Bus.
My high five with Gregg was great. Something about “one down, one to go today!” Everyone was happy.
Gregg’s always been there for me. Ryan’s kind of new in that regard. But trust me when I say, he’s one of those people in life, you never regret knowing. (He also is like me in two other regards: he’ll try any drink once, and he has no desire to ever have a wife. My kind of dude!)
I honestly didn’t see his car was still there. I figured that, like most weeks when it’s a blowout either way, he and his dad Ron and the rest of their crew ducked out to begin the drive back to Springfield.
Oh no. They stayed for every second.
Because when he saw me, and started sprinting towards me to high five and man-hug this win out, I was stunned.
And had a demand to play “Dancing on the Ceiling” placed on me.
* Well, not quite. Some random black dude in a Charles jersey came up to where we were tailgating, and offered to share his joint, just because ... well, I'll be damned if I know why. Nobody there knew him.
Still, I'm not one to pass on grass when appropriate, and beating the Rams by 27 made it appropriate. (I'm also that guy, who (gulp) eight years ago, had random strangers offering me a joint, because I was so irate at a Chiefs loss, I kept kicking the light pole in frustration. (Pause). I should note, I thought I'd posted that classic recap. Apparently not. I'll search the email archives on Tuesday, to try to find it, and put it out there ... because it is a classic "yup, that's Stevo" moment.)
All I can say about the dude's joint -- other than the obvious -- is that the virtual ditch weed in my dugout right now?
Was 500% better, than his.
(But he rolled it in a grape flavored Swisher, right?)
Hell yes he did!
* Oh, and this selfie taken after the win? Should express how great, yesterday was:
(I honestly don't know what awesome-er: how attractive I am, the fact that thirty minutes after the final play, Lot G is still jammed packed ... or that on a nearly 90 degree cloudless day? My t-shirt stayed on. (Pause). You're welcome. Image credit: Deneece, via whatever phone she uses.)
* I guess this is where I’ll choose to almost end the recap – getting to share an emotional experience with the best friend any person in life could ever have, and a dude whose personal family motto is “You Never Even Called Me By My Name” by David Allan Coe. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Not a ton happened afterwards. If you’re Facebook friends with me, there’s pics up under Deneece’s profile from yesterday, and I’m sure Mona will post hers at some point this week.
Postgame, we finished eating what we hadn’t already consumed, the Omaha folks headed home, and Gusser bribed me into watching Game Five at The Double. I lost track after eight vodka tonics. I woke up this morning in “my room” at The Second Parents, we enjoyed some breakfast, and then back to the real world.
* And I choose to close with this.
This was one horrific week for me personally. Dad in the hospital. I lost my wallet and had serious, serious financial struggles this week, as a result. (It’s not cancelling and re-issuing every card that sucks. It’s waiting a damned week to get one, that sucks. You don’t realize how dependent you are on plastic, until you don’t have any on you.) And I also have a … how to put this delicately … a “personal matter” I’m dealing with, I choose to keep mostly silent about, out of respect for the other person, but let me tell you, it’s both frustrating and yet necessary.
Yesterday was one bright, shiny ray of sunshine on this dog’s hairy white ass.
The Chiefs whipped the Rams’ ass yet again. They are 0-6 against the Chiefs in games that count, since Georgia Frontiere whored herself out, to get the Dome Deal – to agree to play in a stadium, our KC tax dollars built. (They lost at home in 1997 and 2010; they lost in KC in 2000, 2002, 2006, and yesterday.)
Which is probably why the “Let’s Go Royals!” chants throughout the day, made me feel as good as they did.
We OWN those bastards on the opposite side of the state.
We OWN them, Chiefs fans.
And Royals fans.
And there isn’t one godd*mned thing they can do or say, to dispute that, at this point ...