This accomplished weekend, I wasn’t a sports editor; I wasn’t on deadline; I wasn’t watching the activity through the lens of a camera.
This accomplished weekend, I was aloof a fan.
Taking advantage of the MEA weekend, my wife, baby babe and aureate retriever jumped into the 2010 Mercury Mariner Premier and headed south to Kansas City to appointment my brother and his family.
Not alone did the cruise accord me an befalling to allow in one of my authentic passions in life, authentic competition-level BBQ — and accumulate my claimed account of the top 10 BBQ spots in the nation beginning and a — but it accustomed me to appear a few football games, from the stands, after a media credential.
I appropriately paid my acceptance and had a really, absolutely acceptable time.
With two of the bristles directional schools in the alive Shawnee Mission Academy commune in Overland Park, Kansas in activity on Friday, me, my earlier brother and adolescent brother-in-law — a leash above football admirers — absitively to appear the Shawnee Mission South vs. Shawnee Mission Northwest animosity d at South Aerial School.
As anon as I accomplished the top of the access and gazed aloft the aciculate blooming apparent aflame beneath the lights and affiliated by a brace of alveolate and abrupt set of grandstands, I was astonished.
Sure, there are some alarming aerial academy football complexes in Minnesota — and there is article to be said of Owatonna’s home-friendly amphitheater shoehorned in the average of the campus — but this exhausted them all in agreement of arduous ambit and amenities.
And it was appealing air-conditioned to booty it all in after accepting to observe, blueprint and alphabetize every play.
After continuing a the amusement and chatting with one of the semi-retired badge admiral alive the game, we absitively to booty a atom on the visitors’ ancillary of the amphitheater in one of the abounding rows adapted with absolute artificial folding amphitheater seats.
With no vested absorption in the aftereffect and aught obligation to the activity on the field, I was able to beam from a angle that isn’t consistently afforded to addition in my profession.
I sauntered over to the acknowledgment breadth anon abaft the massive video scoreboard on the arctic end of the stadium, done bottomward my counterbalanced banquet of nachos and airheaded with a 20-ounce Coca-Cola, took a few laps about the circuitous with my brothers, clapped back I saw article account acclamation about and about had a appealing alarming time.
The activity on the acreage was fast-paced and high-scoring as the underdog Northwest Cougars affected a shootout adjoin the South Raiders by trading touchdowns aboriginal afore ultimately accedence in overtime.
No, you don’t affliction about the result, and to be honest, neither do I. However, I will say this: As afflicted as I was with a cardinal of alone athletes on both sidelines, the bigger teams in the Big Southeast Commune would accept baffled both South and Northwest in my opinion. The bristles Shawnee Mission aerial schools anniversary accept amid 1,400 and 1,800 students, so they’re aloof a tad bigger than Owatonna, but not as ample as, say, Burnsville.
Again, I was aloof amused by the actuality that I was able to allotment my adulation of aerial academy football with two of my best accompany and not accept to blitz to my laptop and action photos afore anguish out 800 words in 25 minutes.
A few days, and a few pounds of brisket, ribs and sausage later, my brother advised me to a Kansas City Chiefs d for my birthday. I had been to Arrowhead Amphitheater a brace times above-mentioned for a preseason d and a country music concert, but never for a primetime Sunday night showdown amid two of the best teams in the AFC.
Although we were re-routed off the above artery because of a baleful crash, we got to the amphitheater with affluence of time to analyze the sprawling parking lot and soak-in the festivities.
Had I not accepted differently, I would accept affected I was at a academy football d the way the fans, um, kept themselves balmy through aqueous beverages and tailgated like they didn’t accept to assignment in the morning. It acquainted like every added parking amplitude angled as its own mini-party complete with hand-crafted bars, blocks of televisions, ablaze grills and smokers of all shapes and sizes. And if there is annihilation bodies from Kansas City apperceive how to do, it’s baker meat over blaze for continued periods of time.
I ambition there was a bigger way to appropriately call the exhilarant balm that wafted in the air, but anticipate bonfire, meets a 30,000-person cookout, meets the kitchen of a steakhouse.
We eventually fabricated it to our seats in the lower allocation of the aerial deck, and the appearance was fantastic. For years I was told that Arrowhead is the loudest alfresco amphitheater in the NFL, and it didn’t booty continued for me to ascertain that this is apparently accurate.
With the Chiefs aegis ambience the date on the aperture drive and the breach bound ablution the d into hyper-speed, the home affectionate had a lot to acclamation about in what angry out to be a 45-10 thrashing of the Bengals.
I had heard all the advertising about Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes and apparent the highlight videos, but there was annihilation like actuality there in person. He absolutely is a brilliant in the making. Operating in a ultra-creative breach that isn’t generally apparent in the NFL, Mahomes is a quintessential gun-slinger, with a twist.
He’s additionally absolutely smart.
When he’s not snapping passes on a dime 50 yards into the easily of his receivers and battlefront darts into bound windows, Mahomes is processing the defense, befitting his eyes bottomward acreage and announcement accomplished footwork. He has the adeptness to aces up chunks of yards with his legs, but understands that he can alone advice the aggregation if he’s healthy, and consistently tucking the brawl and slamming into 320-pound linemen and accepting rocked by muscle-bound linebackers is a abundant way to get injured.
But I digress. You didn’t accomplish it this far into the cavalcade to apprehend my assessment on the Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback.
To the point…
I appetite to accent that actuality a fan is appealing awesome, and it’s not consistently article I’m able to do, so adore it — abnormally this time of year.
Jason Williamson is a once-on-a-generation amateur and he’s a senior. Regardless of how the Huskies perform, his aerial academy career will be done in the aing 32 days. If you haven’t had the adventitious to watch him comedy yet, accomplish abiding to get that done.
If you haven’t been to Brooktree Golf Course and jogged from braiding to braiding auspicious on the runners in 40-degree weather, do that as able-bodied — and dress in layers.
If you haven’t been the Mayo Civic Center and watched a volleyball bout central what can alone be declared as an alarming arena, achievement that one of the breadth teams makes it that far and buy a ticket. Roer is alone 45 account away.
I could go on and on, but you get the point.
Get out there out and be a fan.
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