Category Archives: KC Chiefs

Monday Night Football

If you don’t follow sports, or if you’re not in the US and just don’t follow US pro football, you may or may not know that last night’s Monday Night Football game was an instant classic, being labeled by many as one of the greatest regular season games in history. But you might not care, so feel free to ignore today’s rant!

“I’m out of the office at 2:30, go to NoHo, Red Line to 7th Street/Metro Center, Metro Line to USC – should be there about 4:30” – 11/18/2018 text message to The Younger Daughter

“No battle plan ever survives first contact with the enemy” – Helmuth von Moltke, 19th century head of the Prussian army

It was much closer to 3:00 before I left the office. The freeway onramp at DeSoto was blocked by an accident. I tried to get to the Winnetka onramp, only to find a few thousand other folks had the same idea. It took twenty minutes or so to work my way through the side streets down to the Reseda onramp. Free sailing until I got to the Universal Studios Metro station, only to find ALL the parking spots full with dozens of Rams and Chiefs fans circling the lot in gridlock. I bailed and drove ten minutes out to the NoHo Metro station (which has a much larger lot), only to find ALL the parking spots full with dozens and dozens of Rams and Chiefs fans circling the lot in gridlock. I went to the NoHo Metro station overflow lot, only to find ALL the parking spots full with…

I started cruising the streets of North Hollywood, looking for street parking. All of it was metered, most for one or two hours max. (How much is a parking ticket compared to what I paid for the tickets that I was going to miss using? Would they just give me a ticket or tow me?)

I finally found a spot about eight blocks from the Metro station with a four-hour limit. So-so neighborhood judging by the graffiti and piles of dog poop, but any port in a storm, eh?

Got to the Red Line and on a train to Metro Center with no problems. A couple of Chiefs fans on the train, but LOTS of Rams fans. Let the friendly banter begin.

The Expo line train from Metro Center to USC was packed. Then they let us out to start the cattle herd to the Coliseum.

Fighting through those crowds, only to get to a twenty-minute-plus wait to get screened through security at the gate.

Finally at my seat with The Younger Daughter and The Fiance! “Should be there about 4:30,” he said in ignorance. The time stamp on the photo is 5:36.

But we were there!

There’s a lot of construction going on at the LA Coliseum. And it was absolutely packed.

We were in the end zone, about halfway up, so our seats didn’t suck, but weren’t fantastic either.

At half time, the ESPN guys were doing their report from right down in front of us. You can also get a good feel for how many Chiefs fans (dressed in red) there were compared to the Rams fans. Unlike the games we’ve seen at the Chargers’ stadium (where it’s literally more Chiefs fans than Chargers fans) here the Chiefs fans were in the distinct minority.

Also at halftime we got a three-song “concert” from The Chain Smokers – who I have never, ever heard of. But the fireworks were nice.

As I said at the top, the game was an instant classic, being labeled by many as one of the greatest regular season games in history. It was something like the third highest scoring regular season game in history, and by far the highest scoring Monday Night Football game. The crowd was on its feet and just electric all night.

In the end, my beloved Chiefs fell to defeat, 54-51, in large part due to far, far too many penalties and three touchdowns for the Rams off of Chiefs’ fumbles and interceptions. We made more mistakes than they did. But we never, ever gave up. Even with all of those mistakes, we were driving with less than a minute less and could have easily tied it and sent it to overtime or won it outright in regulation.

It was utterly fantastic, and we were there.

It was a freakin’ adventure.

And if you think those crowds in the stadium and on the Metro trains were bad coming in (when the crowd arrived spaced out over four hours or so), you can’t even imagine how bad they were when 100,000 people all leave the game at the same time at the end. It took almost three hours to get home.

Worth. Every. Bit. Of. Effort!!

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Filed under KC Chiefs, Los Angeles, Photography, Sports

Calming Clouds

Barring a disaster, I am currently in the process of losing my voice while screaming my lungs out at the LA Coliseum while my beloved Kansas City Chiefs (9-1 on the season) are stomping on and defeating the Los Angeles Rams (9-1 on the season). It should be one hell of a game. Rest assured, I’m not typing this from the stands. But I figure it’s likely that I won’t have much time to post anything Monday night, so I’m setting this up in advance.

When the season’s schedule was first announced I thought it was fantastic that I would have a chance to see the Chiefs in person twice, once when they play the Chargers (they’re in the same division, so this happens every year – there are pictures on this site from the past several years’ visits) and once when they played the Rams in Los Angeles. Then the league announced that the Rams game would be played in Mexico City as part of their international expansion program. I was not going to go to Mexico City to see that game. However, the gods have conspired on my behalf, the field at Azteca Stadium was ripped to shreds by a couple of concerts, heavy rain, and some soccer games, and last week on an emergency basis the NFL moved the game back to Los Angeles.

So I will get to see the Chiefs live against the Rams. But it won’t be just twice this year – you’ll be hearing more about it, but for the holidays we get to see two more games. As shitty as 2018 has been in many ways, seeing the Chiefs live four times, especially considering how well they’re playing, might be one of the few highlights.

Anyway, while I’m screaming myself hoarse, you’re invited to enjoy some calming clouds that were over our construction site on Saturday when we had our Key Ceremony. They were stunning to look at and also kept the temps down to a reasonable level while we handed out the keys and other gifts to the latest veterans moving into our homes in Santa Clarita. (See our website if you want to see more details about that.)

Go Chiefs!

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Filed under Homes4Families, KC Chiefs, Photography, Sports, Weather

NFL Kickoff 2018

I do have a fondness for many different sports and my pro sports loyalties tend to vary. My NFL passions stretch all the way back to my childhood in Kansas City – I’m a huge Chiefs fan.

It turns out that this year in Week One of the NFL season my beloved Chiefs are playing the San Diego Los Angeles Chargers, so it’s not that hard to get tickets. So we did.

The Chargers’ current home field and situation is odd. It’s their second year in Los Angeles after abandoning leaving San Diego and their new stadium in Los Angeles (which is actually the Rams’ stadium but the Chargers will be sharing it) won’t be built until 2020 – maybe. So while the Rams abandoned St. Louis and are playing in the LA Coliseum for a few years (a historic site which has hosted two Olympics, countless USC football games, and seats 93,607) the Chargers are in a much newer and much smaller stadium (only seats 27,000 max, but has a half dozen sections tarped off with ad banners because they weren’t even close to selling out the place) designed for LA Galaxy soccer matches.

It was a nice day for a game – upper 80’s but with a breeze and we were in the shade for most of the game (stupid spinning planet!).

You notice several things at a live game, first of which is that when television is in a commercial break everyone stands around for about three minutes and fans who are unused to going to live games are wondering why nothing’s happening.

You also miss all of those graphics that you see on television, like the yellow line that’s superimposed on the image to show where the first down marker is. You have to do it old school and actually look at the yard markers that the sideline officials move around! How…archaic!!

The simple fact is that the Chargers aren’t drawing many Chargers fans. This shouldn’t be shocking, seeing as how a great many of the San Diego fans (who had been loyal for decades) are neither happy nor forgiving  about the team’s departure, and LA fans don’t consider the Chargers to be their team at all. Football fans in LA are starting to re-attach themselves to the Rams (who moved from here to St. Louis in 1995 before moving back in 2016) except for those who are still Raiders fans (a very non-trivial number of fans BTW).

Despite all of the pissing and moaning about how the great city of Los Angeles should have two NFL teams after going decades without having any, the Chargers are not that second team right now. They might never be. Looking at the end zone during the game you can see almost half of the fans wearing Chiefs’ red, not Chargers’ blue.

That got much worse late in the game when a couple of Chargers turnovers gave the Chiefs a big lead. The Chargers fans for the most part bailed early, leaving the remaining crowd about 90% or more dressed in red and cheering for the Chiefs.

Listening to some of the Chargers fans and season seat holders seated around us (our immediate area was at least 50% dressed in red) it sounds like this is normal for EVERY Chargers home game. In two weeks when they play the 49ers, all of the seats occupied today by Chiefs fans will be filled with 49ers fans. Then Raiders fans. Then Titans fans. Then Cardinals fans…

Again my “MBA brain” went to looking at this as a case study in marketing. It’s one of those “what NOT to do” scenarios.

But we had fun and we’re off to a 1-0 start! We have tickets to a game much later in the season on the road (a story for later) – I suspect I’ll be looking back fondly on the weather today. It won’t be anywhere that warm (or dry, most likely) for that game.

 

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Filed under KC Chiefs, Panorama, Photography, Sports

A First Time For Everything

I hate the ads in Facebook and Twitter with the white hot, fiery passion of a thousand blazing suns. I routinely and automatically, even reflexively, delete and block every ad. Even companies or products or people I support and like get blocked if they start spamming and advertising my feeds.

Every.

Single.

Time.

Never an exception.

Until tonight.

This might finally be the thing stupid enough, tacky enough, tasteless enough, and NEEDED enough to make me break my rules for the first time.

I’m trying to remain strong.

But…

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Filed under Art, KC Chiefs

No Context For You – November 19th

Regards pretty much nothing, after my beloved Angels missed the playoffs for the third season in a row, I was pleased to see my beloved Kings start off hot and have the best record in the NHL after a month or so, and my beloved Chiefs were the last undefeated team in the NFL when they were 5-0.

The Kings have now lost five of six and the Chiefs have now lost 4 of 5 and I just want to know…

…when do pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in Arizona?

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Filed under KC Chiefs, LA Angels, LA Kings, Photography, Sports

Sunday Football

In the fall in the United States on Sundays, there’s a thing called the National Football League. In this part of the world, the team formerly known as the San Diego Chargers have now moved to Los Angeles. My childhood loyalties are to the Kansas City Chiefs, a fierce rival of the Chargers.

The Chargers are in an unenviable position where the people of San Diego hate them for leaving and the people of Los Angeles couldn’t care less about them. They don’t have a home stadium here – their eventual home will be shared with another team (the transplanted Los Angeles Rams, who used to be the St Louis Rams, after previously being the Los Angeles Rams) and for the moment the Chargers are playing in Stubhub Center on the college campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills.

Stubhub Center is lovely and new and no doubt a high end soccer stadium by US standards. By NFL standards, it’s not even a decent minor league stadium. It seats 36,000 max, while almost all other NFL stadiums start in the 60,000+ range and from there get really BIG.

We got there about two hours before game time, were surprised that we could get into the stadium that early, so we sat in the shade and chilled. It was lovely.

The other thing about being a transplant team is that you don’t have a legion of loyal fans. Look at any other NFL stadium, you’ll see a sea of fans wearing the home team colors, jerseys, and paraphernalia. The Chiefs wear red, the Chargers powder blue – see what the crowd looked like during the game?

The game itself was exciting as the Chiefs took off to an early 14-0 lead after several HUGE Chargers mistakes.

The Chargers made a game of it, but the Chiefs pulled away at the end, despite playing a bit sloppy and making way too many penalties.

With a late touchdown to put it away, my beloved Chiefs won 24-10. We’re now 3-0 on the season, the final undefeated team in the American Conference.

Many thanks to my son for the surprise visit from overseas and the tickets, and to my daughter’s boyfriend (a Chargers fan) for putting up with us all.

Oh, by the way, I probably won’t be speaking much tomorrow. Or maybe Tuesday. I did a lot of screaming today…

 

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Filed under KC Chiefs, Photography, Sports

Small & Zippy

I got my first good test of my new car out on the open freeway today. I see why the cruise control is there. Finding myself being small and zippy, even with a little four-cylinder engine, after fifteen years driving a battleship-sized “soccer mom-mobile,” it’s easy to find yourself cruising at… Well, let’s say it was far enough above the posted speed limit to give decent odds on getting my second speeding ticket sooner rather than later.

Here she is:

File Jan 16, 19 36 50 small

I have, of course, named her “Hissy.”

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Filed under Castle Willett, KC Chiefs, Paul