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Thread: Is Arrowhead Dying?

  1. #1
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    Part 2 of 2

    SYMPTOMS OF THE ILLNESS

    Bob, a season-ticket holder for 17 years now, lives in the suburbs of Kansas City. He’s been a Chiefs fan for longer than most of the current players have been alive. He admits, Arrowhead has lost the magic. But why?

    It boils down to one word.

    “The fans have no confidence and you can sense that,” he says. “It may be loud at times, but the fans are easily taken out of it by lackluster play. There’s booing, empty seats, people leaving early, season-ticket holders selling their seat to opposing fans - Green Bay especially. It was embarrassing the way their fans took over our stadium.”

    Of course, there’s the usual list of suspects, too. A boring, predictable offense, a defense that’s good, but not dominant enough to inspire anyone, and too many quiet fans complaining about their rowdy brethren (the preferred moniker for this brand of football fan is “wine and cheese,” in case you’re not up on the lingo). But Brandon, a Des Moines, Iowa resident who’s cheered on the red and gold since their arrival in Missouri, saw something particularly disturbing this year.

    “At one game there was obviously many new attendees in the stadium because the entire crowd started the wave while our offense was on the field trying to score,” he laments. “That, to me, showed that many regulars were not in attendance.”

    But sometimes it’s about more than the decibel level, a silly stadium tradition or a particular brand of fan. When a stadium begins to die, there’s something else taking place, and we’re not talking about the swing of the wrecking ball that will surely pulverize Arrowhead to the ground in a few decades.

    This symptom isn’t tangible. You can’t see it or touch it. Doug has definitely felt it, though.

    “Ultimately, it’s about hope for the direction of the team,” he says. “The fan base has lost hope, thus the lethargic stadium.

    “No one has any hope that the situation will get better,” says Mike, whose family has held season tickets for 21 years. “Basically, the fans have just completed a 20-year arc with no discernible progress. We started out with Marty with almost no fans, near the bottom of the league, and we are back.”

    No hope? Who is crushing your dreams, Chiefs fans?

    THE DIAGNOSIS

    Russ, who’s been sitting in season-ticket seats for 14 years now, travels three hours each way from Glenwood, Iowa to attend Chiefs games. He was hurt this year when Packers fan exited Arrowhead Stadium chanting “Go, Pack, Go!” and likens hearing the ever-present rhythms of Tony DiPardo’s TD Pack Band to “Groundhog Day.” He’s tired of watching “boring football.”

    Clearly, Russ is a disgruntled season-ticket holder of the highest magnitude. Who does he blame for his Arrowhead depression?

    “Carl Peterson,” says Russ. “He's in charge. He's the ultimate person to blame from coaching choices, personnel, rising ticket prices, changing parking lot policy and not having premium seating available on a 'standard' seat upgrade.”

    Yes, Peterson is a target for many Chiefs fans. In fact, season-ticket holders across the board mentioned Peterson above all others as the source of their disappointment. But it’s fair to say he’s not alone.

    “The easy answer is Carl, he should shoulder much of the blame, but I also blame Edwards,” says Jason. “Herm doesn't interact with the crowd and try to get them riled up. When Dick Vermeil used to come onto the field he would smile and wave his hands at the crowd. That showed how much he appreciated us. But I also blame Vermeil to some extent. He turned the Chiefs into an old ball club with little left in reserve for the future. He had five years to win, and didn't much care about the roster once his five years were up.”

    It’s not just the men in charge of on-the-field matters, however. Two season-ticket holders singled out the Hunt family for not taking appropriate action, and offensive coordinator Mike Solari took his share of the blame. Clearly, Chiefs fans aren’t happy with a wide variety of high-profile faces that run the Chiefs.

    But here’s the good news – Arrowhead may not be dying. Even if it is, there’s a surefire cure.

    CHICKEN SOUP FOR SECTION 110

    OK, we exaggerated. If Arrowhead was really dying, the lower bowl wouldn’t have been nearly packed to the brim for the Raiders game last weekend. Despite that encouraging scene, everything is far from perfect. Brandon calls Arrowhead’s current state a “coma,” and most of his fellow season-ticket holders agree, at least in spirit.

    “It’s not dead yet,” says Rob, “but fans are beginning to lapse into apathy, due to lack of vision and real progress.”

    “No,” says Bob, refuting the notion of a dying Arrowhead. “The game day experience is not the same that it once was, though.”

    “No, it's just on a hiatus like any other team that looks horrible right now,” says a season-ticket holder who declined to identify himself. “As soon as the Chiefs field a competitive team that’s playoff worthy, the stands will fill back up and Carl can once again raise prices.”

    That’s right – season-ticket holders have no problem opening their wallets for a winner. Winning is the pill that can restore Arrowhead to its former vitality. Forget about the coming renovations. They’re nice, say season-ticket holders, but won’t mean squat without a balanced team within.

    “Renovations? I don't know,” says Brandon. “It depends on whether personal seat licenses are instituted. If so, the regular fan base of die-hards may not be able to afford to continue to be season-ticket holders. If this happens, wine and cheese crowds will take over for good.”

    “Only one thing will help,” says Bob. “Put a competitive team on the field, one that is capable of winning a playoff game or two, and the magic will come back.”

    THE INVOICE OF FRUSTRATION

    OK, I think the point has been made. Chiefs fans - and we’re talking about the “real fans,” mind you, not the “teachers” who will exchange the quarters and dimes they found in their couch cushions for upper-deck seats this weekend – are fed up. Arrowhead looks green around the gills (even without Packer fans inside) these days, and it might just honestly be better if it puked everything up and got it over with.

    Stupid medical analogies aside, just how much happiness CAN money buy? Say, the money that Bob, Rob, Jason, Mike, Shane, Russ and all the other dedicated fans poured into the Arrowhead Stadium coffers over the last 5, 10, 15 and yes, even 23 years?

    Well, we’re not going to name dollar amounts. Let’s just say if you put all the money our veteran band of season-ticket holders spent on the Chiefs in 2007 into one big pile, it wouldn’t pay for a used Maybach 62, but it might pay for the retractable electro-transparent partition screen upgrade (and as Dave Barry might say, we are not making this up).

    What did that money buy them? Did the scattered, dozen or so fans that we’ve just profiled get their money’s worth this year?

    “No,” says Doug.

    “Not even close,” says Brandon.

    “Not when I must pay full price for pre-season tickets and can't even give them away,” says Dave. “The greed of the Chiefs is getting significantly worse in every aspect of fan appreciation.”

    “No,” says Shane, “because the Chiefs are losing.”

    “No,” say Mike, Bob, Rob, Darrin, and Jason.

    “Ah, no,” says Russ (who, by the way, really hates those parking lot attendants, not to mention the Wolfpack Club). “I'll continue to spend though. I've got a certain group of friends that I only get to see on gameday.”

    “That's what makes it worth it - friendships with other fans.”

    http://kan.scout.com/a.z?s=115&p=2&c=706800




  2. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tornadospotter View Post
    I am willing to be a tax break for you! Just send me your tickets, I am a willing person of need.
    I understand that... I took my daughter to her first game against the bengals...she is 7 though and I told her, she may hear things that she normally doesnt, but once we got in there... it was cool and so was everyone around us. I do not want to make other people change however, just because I want to take my kids. I do not think arrowhead is a place for kids all the time, they wanted to see a game - I let them, I let them know what to expect, now they need to wait till they are older.

  3. #12
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    Go ahead, jump ship.... I will be there to take your tickets... I will always be a fan, not a bored fan either- if you are all so freakin bored with the Chiefs then... why are you here posting and not out doing something less boring>???? Don't get me wrong, I know its over, but I still love my team.

  4. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tammietailgator View Post
    I understand that... I took my daughter to her first game against the bengals...she is 7 though and I told her, she may hear things that she normally doesnt, but once we got in there... it was cool and so was everyone around us. I do not want to make other people change however, just because I want to take my kids. I do not think arrowhead is a place for kids all the time, they wanted to see a game - I let them, I let them know what to expect, now they need to wait till they are older.
    A guy two rows in front of us was letting some f-bombs fly today. The guy sitting in front of us let two go while alking to the other guy. He turned aound and saw the family with two small children that were sitting next to me and apologized. I thought that was realy cool. There are a couple of yiunger guys who have season tickets that are on the other side of where that family was at. If they stick to drinking beer, they're pretty cool. If they start drinking harder stuff, that's when you have to watch out. It really is iffy for smaller children. I think that, if they're old enough to understand that they are going to be exposed to that type of language but that it's not acceptable for them, then they'll be okay for the most part.
    Everything happens for a reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tammietailgator View Post
    Go ahead, jump ship.... I will be there to take your tickets... I will always be a fan, not a bored fan either- if you are all so freakin bored with the Chiefs then... why are you here posting and not out doing something less boring>???? Don't get me wrong, I know its over, but I still love my team.
    I'm with ya! I've been lucky enough to only miss going to two games so far this season. I love the road trip, the tailgating, getting to watch some live football, having a team to cheer for, etc. Absolutely love it.

    If someone sees it as an inconvenience, I just think that it's 8 days out of 365.
    Everything happens for a reason.

  6. #15
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    true.... I just told my daughter what she might hear is not what mommy and daddy would say. She knew what to expect and that there are smarter ways to voice your opinion, but all in all, she will hear it and I have no right to tell someone with a ticket to watch their mouths... even though I would like to

  7. #16
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    right on... if you bring your family - then I will let you know when I am going with mine.... we can have some family friendly tailgating!!

  8. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tammietailgator View Post
    true.... I just told my daughter what she might hear is not what mommy and daddy would say. She knew what to expect and that there are smarter ways to voice your opinion, but all in all, she will hear it and I have no right to tell someone with a ticket to watch their mouths... even though I would like to
    I came very close to saying something to the two younger guys once, and the children I knew were hearing it weren't even mine! They usually get mouthy when their upset at Herm, the refs, players, etc though, and I didn't want to cause problems with angry drunk people.
    Everything happens for a reason.

  9. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by springchief View Post
    I have been a season ticket holder for 4 years and I have to say that I agree with much of this article.

    People at the game are either:
    1 - bored
    2 - cheering for the other team
    3 - too drunk to care

    I admit that I am #1.
    So bored, in fact, that I donated all 4 of my tickets for today to a silent auction last week and they went for only $125 TOTAL - for FOUR tickets. So much for trying to help a good cause.

    We are seriously considering giving up our tickets next year, or at least splitting them with someone.

    It is crazy to spend that much when 20% of the cost of the season tickets goes to PRE-SEASON games.

    Thankfully we can donate them now and at least get a tax break! Otherwise, it is like every 5 years paying for a whole season we don't even go to! (do the math - its true)

    Are we considering giving them up because the Chiefs are struggling? Yes, that is part of it, but a BIG part of it is that is isn't a very "family-friendly" place to go anymore. My son, who is 5, wants to go to a game and there is NO WAY I'll take him out there to learn a barrage of 4 letter words and to watch drunk fan after drunk fan get carried out by cops.

    I get so pissed each week when I look around and see everyone looking away from the field to watch some drunk idiot fighting with another drunk idiot. Seriously, people, if you can't hold your liquor, don't drink! We are there to watch a GAME not WWF in the stands. grrrrrrrrrr

    We drive 3 hours each way to come watch the Chiefs... besides the 6 hours in the car and making arrangements for a baby sitter and coordinating where to stay and making sure that SOMEONE wants to go and sit in our extra 2 seats (oh and its a bonus if they actually want to PAY for their seats!) when we finally get there, it is BORING!

    It just doesn't seem worth it anymore.

    Yeah, Arrowhead needs a shot to the heart because, if I am feeling this way and I consider myself to be a very loyal fan, I can only imagine how the bandwagon fans are feeling right now.
    Those fans are only able to get their tickets because Arrowhead is losing it's fan base.

    The whole organization is going down the drain.

    This is starting to look like the Philly fans.
    http://arrowheadjunkies.com/pictures/PhotoShop/sig_pics/NFL_Players/kansas_city_chiefs/tyson.jackson/062009/tyson.jackson.500.png

  10. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tammietailgator View Post
    true.... I just told my daughter what she might hear is not what mommy and daddy would say. She knew what to expect and that there are smarter ways to voice your opinion, but all in all, she will hear it and I have no right to tell someone with a ticket to watch their mouths... even though I would like to
    This is really sad, I know football is different then Baseball, but I took my daughter to a St Louis Cardinals game and I had no worries at all. I didn't have to shield her from fights, I didn't have to worry about what she would hear, but then again I was in the upper area of the stands.

    I did however take her to a Cubs/Cardinals game in St Louis and with that big rivalry if there was going to be problems I feel it would have been during that game.

    I am really sorry to hear that Arrowhead is that kind of place that you have to worry about taking kids. Even though it is football it should be a good place to take a family.




  11. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bryonc View Post
    This is really sad, I know football is different then Baseball, but I took my daughter to a St Louis Cardinals game and I had no worries at all. I didn't have to shield her from fights, I didn't have to worry about what she would hear, but then again I was in the upper area of the stands.

    I did however take her to a Cubs/Cardinals game in St Louis and with that big rivalry if there was going to be problems I feel it would have been during that game.

    I am really sorry to hear that Arrowhead is that kind of place that you have to worry about taking kids. Even though it is football it should be a good place to take a family.
    If you get your tickets randomly don't take your kids.

    Buy tickets from season ticket holders that can't make it to the game.

    Otherwise opposing teams fans will get the tickets (Green Bay).

    If you can't do that, then buy your tickets from a Chiefs fan.

    Buying tickets from the outlets will get you screwed.

    http://arrowheadjunkies.com/pictures/PhotoShop/sig_pics/NFL_Players/kansas_city_chiefs/tyson.jackson/062009/tyson.jackson.500.png

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