Edit: This post was originally written September 5, 2008 in Chicago. It was updated for the first time since then on September 8, 2017. I still own the grill pan that I reference in 2006 but have not used it. since then. I have transferred from an apartment to a condo to an apartment to a house to an apartment to an apartment to a house.
This morning I woke up and felt the instinctive urge to be in Kansas City. The weather was rainy, and a bit chilly, and as if the weather was taking it's cues from the NFL, fall had arrived. And nothing seemed more perfect than getting some barbecue and walking into Arrowhead.
Alas, I'm not in Kansas City. In fact, neither are the Chiefs. And I won't be eating any barbecue. But, like birds migrating south, I can feel it inside me: football is back.
I have fond memories of every Chief's opening day since senior year (the dovetail of the Chiefs being good, fantasy football's introduction to our lives, and our football rituals in our apartment.)
2004 at Broncos
Priest Holmes was still tearing it up. LJ had just been drafted and didn't get to see any action. This was a Sunday night game and I remember being pumped all day. Plummer even threw a left handed interception. Good times. Except for Quentin Griffin went for 156 and 3 tds. This season he tore his ACL and is now in the CFL. Denver 34-24.
2005 vs Jets
This was the first Chief's game I saw in Chicago, and I remember watching it at what was then Brittany's apartment, which is now our apartment. The Jets fumbled like 7 times, and both Holmes and Johnson had monster games. The Chief's should have had a shutout, but allowed a garbage time TD. Good game. Chiefs 27-7.
2006 vs Bengals
Ah, the beginning of the Herm Edwards era. This was the first football game post-wedding. I was trying out, for the first time, grilling a raw burger on my cast-iron grill pan. And I had the Chiefs game on Tivo. Well, my cast-iron pan burned the outside of the meat, and left the inside raw. Our apartment filled with smoke, and it was about the worst burger I've ever tried to eat. When the apartment got smoky, I paused the game. Then later, on fast forward I see that Trent Green just got knocked out. It was not a good day. And I haven't used the grill pan since. Bengals 23-10.
2007 at Texans
This had another ominous start. I knew the game wasn't going to be on tv in Chicago, so I went to the sports bar a few blocks away (The Hunt Club) to watch it on Sunday Ticket. I get there a couple minutes before noon, order a soda, and peruse the menu. Then at noon the games come on, and I can't find the Chiefs/Texans. They have about 10 tv's, and that is the only game not on. I go up to the bar to ask if they can change one, and they said that it's all pre-set. So I pay for the soda and leave. It was probably better off not watching. The freaking Texans beat the Chiefs and it wasn't close. This was not a good day either. Texans 20-3.
2008 at Patriots
So over the last 4 years, the Chiefs are 1-3 in opening day games. And now they get to play on the road at a team that was 10 seconds away from being 19-0. Um...great. Oh well. At least I won't fill the apartment with smoke. Update: Down goes Brady. Down goes Croyle. And still the Chiefs almost won. But not quite. Chiefs lose to Cassel's Pats 17-10.
2009 at Ravens
This was my first Chiefs season in Oak Park. Cassel was on the team but was injured. I had hope. The Chiefs lost 38-24. Croyle fell to 0-9 as a starter. They would finish 4-12 this year.
2010 vs Chargers
This was incredible. I was living in Oak Park but didn't get ESPN, so I came over to Burnsy's apartment on Milwaukee and we watched it together. Awesome game, win 21-14. And as it turns out, the game did ignite a run to the playoffs! I'll always remember this one.
2011 vs Bills
I don't remember this one. This was my first season living in Denver and I had just become a father about 10 days before. I had to look it up. The Bills beat the Chiefs 41-7 and Eric Berry tore his ACL and was out for the year. This is my only recollection.
2012 vs Falcons
I don't remember this one either. Man. Parenting. This was the first game in our Denver house. Also the Chiefs were real bad. They went 2-14 this year and got beat by the Falcons 40-24 on opening day.
2013 at Jaguars
This one was fun. I remember this one. I was watching at home in Denver with 2 babies. The Chiefs rolled the Jags 28-2. I wrote down these thoughts. This was the start of the Andy Reid/Alex Smith era. Funny how the Chiefs instantly got a whole lot better.
2014 vs Titans
I actually don't remember this one either. A shitty loss to the Titans where Alex Smith was throwing picks and Derrick Johnson was lost for the year. 26-10 Titans.
2015 at Texans
This one I remember! This one was awesome. We were living in Denver and I watched this game over at the Verrettes house on Salford. It featured one of my favorite Kelce highlights ever. Fun fact: I was very high on the Chiefs this year. They proceeded to go on a 5 game losing streak after this, then win all their games and their first playoff game in 22 years. Weird year. Chiefs 27-20.
2016 vs Chargers
Another great one! I was really pissed that the Broncos had lucked into a win on opening night. I have really high hopes for the Chiefs following their playoff win. And they're down 24-3 against the shitty Chargers, a division rival, at home. Christ. And then Alex Smith leads the biggest Chiefs comeback in franchise history. I remember this was the first NFL Sunday in the group Whatsapp chat and it was the last one that I was watching in Denver (thought I didn't know it at the time). Another big win that would lead to a playoff berth. Chiefs 33-27 in OT.
2017 at Patriots
Oh man. Three good starts in a row. 4 out of 5 in the Reid/Smith era. This was my first game living in Kansas City, first in the new man cave in the new house. To go into Foxboro and beat the champs on primetime national TV? Chiefs 42-27. Holy shit.