Passionate is an understatement to describe football fans that visit Arrowhead Stadium on warm and chilly Sundays to watch their favorite team.
Although Chiefs fans are, and rightfully so, critical of their team during bad times, the fans still show up to Arrowhead Stadium loud and proud. From Morgan Ganem's "Chop It Up" chant before the team runs through the tunnel, to "We're gonna beat the hell out of you! You! You! You-You-You!" chant when the Chiefs score a touchdown or win a game, fans at the stadium are electric and hope to cap their gameday experience off with a victory.
The fans create a very shocking vibe to get Arrowhead Stadium going at the end of The Star-Spangled Banner. At the end of the national anthem of the United States of America, Chiefs fans in the Sea of Red roar in unity. When the guest singer performs the national anthem, the line "and the home of the brave" is taken over by the fans.
Fans have overshadowed the word "brave," the final word of the anthem, and shout "Chiefs" instead. This is used to captivate the crowd and intimidate visiting teams in the loudest stadium the NFL has to offer.
Since the chant began in 1990 under former head coach Marty Schottenheimer, the Kansas City Chiefs have never taken serious heat from the media nor the league's front office. However, through the years, young Chiefs fans in high school and college carry this over at the high school or university they attend.
High school students in the Kansas City area attend football games on Friday nights or basketball games multiple times per week to see their classmates play. Prior to the games, the national anthem is performed and the anthem is taken over by students with "home of the [insert high school mascot.]"
High school administrators in the Kansas City area have taken serious action in making sure their students don't bring the Chiefs chant over to their games.
Lane Green, the district director of athletics from the Olathe Unified School District, made it clear in a presentation that students are not to bring the Chiefs national anthem tradition to their high school games. Other high school administrators have tried to apply this rule by asking their students to remain silent throughout the duration of the anthem. But it is impossible to stop a bleacher full of excited kids from doing so.
The most recent issue regarding the Chiefs chant at the end of the national anthem comes from Lawrence, Kansas. Lawrence is home to the University of Kansas and is located 40 miles west of Kansas City. Chiefs fans who are fans of the three local college teams, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats and Missouri Tigers, bring the Arrowhead atmosphere to their local venues.
Kansas basketball head coach Bill Self is not against the idea of his fans being proud of the team and tradition. But he is strongly against the idea of having that chant be put into action. Self feels the chant is not a way to honor the country and is not something students should be proud of.
While Self has a very valid point, you have to consider if anyone in particular is offended by this.
No group of people are more important in this country than the people who go overseas and serve this country. Like many professional sports teams in this country, the Chiefs have invited members of the military to their games and have provided them with an over-the-top fan experience. Many of these soldiers have entered Arrowhead Stadium with a smile and have left Arrowhead Stadium with a smile.
The people who serve this country have never came out publicly and called out the franchise and its fans for their chant. They have earned a warm welcome from the fans and leave the stadium with plenty of high-fives and "thank you's."
Chiefs fans are not trying to stir drama or be the cause of controversy, nor was it ever their goal to inspire people to carry this chant to another venue. While the chant has expanded, some Jayhawks fans need to realize that the basketball fans that attend Allen Fieldhouse aren't all Chiefs fans.
The fact that fans root for the Chiefs at Kauffman Stadium, Allen Fieldhouse and other venues is eccentric, but not surprising.
When the 10-year anniversary of September 11th fell on a Sunday, it was brought up that the Chiefs should avoid chanting "Chiefs" at the end of the national anthem. Chiefs fans, for the most part, refrained themselves from doing the chant in respect of those who lost their lives 10 years ago on that day. It doesn't appear that Chiefs fans seem to be causing any serious drama, considering they lived up to the request.
The bottom line is, the chant at the end of the national anthem should stay at Arrowhead. Chiefs fans who attend other sporting games and bring up the Chiefs or remix the final words to "home of the [insert mascot]" should avoid doing so.
In fact, it's better if fans in Lawrence remained with "Rock Chalk Jayhawk! KU!" That makes more sense to cheer at a Jayhawks game, doesn't it?