If I said I’ve been a Chiefs fan my entire life I’d unfortunately be lying. This is the story of how I was a Dallas Cowboys fan first. Starter jacket and all.
I’ll never forget it was 5th grade and I had a huge crush on a boy in the 6th grade. He was a Dallas Cowboys fan. I was head over heels for this one. Oh how I still remember his first and last name, and how I would say it– quickly, last after first, always together, because of how unique it was. I remember what he looked like, and that perfect hair of his that was slicked back like Nick Carter’s and how he asked me to couple skate with him one day at the skating rink and how it just about made my life when he held my hand as we skated around the rink. And then there was that time his sister invited me to her house for a sleepover for her birthday. Older brother was there! For a little bit, at least. I thought my heart would explode when I got to sit next to him for pizza dinner.
I asked my dad for a Cowboys starter jacket (or, as we called it back then, a “parka”) that year for Christmas. He had one. So naturally, if I wanted him to like me back, I had to have one! That 10 year old girl-in-love brain.
My dad, likely baffled that I had any interest in football as a 5th grade girl who loved only, and I do mean only, the Backstreet Boys (and so interested that I’d ask for a jacket, of all things, for my one and only Christmas gift) had a unique response. Dad, being a die hard Chiefs fan, gave me a candy cane for Christmas. Around it he had wrapped a $100 bill. He told me he couldn’t, in good faith (or whatever it is dad’s say to their 10 year old daughters who ask for a football starter jacket for Christmas), buy me a Cowboys jacket. But if I still wanted it I could by it with that money. I bought that jacket. It was so expensive. My best friend got a Raider’s jacket. We rocked those things that year and thought we were so cool because we knew football. Mom, Dad…. whatever happened to my jacket?
I did love that jacket and if I remember correctly I wore it faithfully that next year too. I felt so confident in my sports knowledge back then. That year the Cowboys had the dream team — Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Deion Sanders, Michael Irvin. What a time that was to fall in love with football!
I never got the boy (can you get a boy at 10 years old?) and my crush faded. At some point my interest in the Dallas Cowboys diminished, too. But, oddly enough, I still have a vague interest in them despite having absolutely no interest in them, if that makes any sense at all. Childhood memories and connections die hard?
It was some time after my crush on the boy and my interest in the Dallas Cowboys ended that I discovered it was actually fun to like the team my dad loved. And it was fun to root for the Chiefs just like my older brother did. And it was fun to like the Chiefs because my little brother at that time didn’t, and I could make fun of him (Sorry, Tyler, but you were a Raider fan when you were little!) And so, I began to like the Chiefs. Sports is a huge deal in our family. The rest is history.
Two weeks ago Ben and I drove 12 hours in a snow storm to watch the Kansas City Chiefs play the Indianapolis Colts at home at Arrowhead Stadium in the playoffs. The drive from Denver to Kansas City is only supposed to take about 8.5 to 9 hours but a snow storm rolled in and we were stuck driving 40 mph on the highway for a miserable 12 hours in which we watched cars drive off the road, slip, slide and wiggle on the road, and even turn in circles. It was a dangerous ride and we were exhausted, but incredibly thankful, to have pulled into our home for the weekend just before midnight. We had a big day ahead of us.
It ended up snowing… a lot. We took Copper on our trip. We stayed at an awesome Airbnb. We ate drool worthy KC BBQ. And most importantly… THE CHIEFS WON A PLAYOFF GAME.
What a trip!