Imaged edited by Brett Gering
Kansas City Chiefs fans have shaped Arrowhead Stadium into a breathing temple of tradition.
In the week prior to Arrowhead's 2010 wild-card clash, then-Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator (and former Chiefs mastermind) Al Saunders told BaltimoreRavens.com, "The fans go there to be participants, not spectators. They take pride in being part of the game. It is loud. I mean, it...is...loud."
In the minutes prior to kickoff, opposing players pan around a red sea of hostility with a look that says, "I didn't sign up for this."
But in the past decade, the Chiefs' road to success has generally ended in detours, forcing fans to make a nostalgic U-turn down memory lane.
As a result, that same brand of hostility has gradually become color-blind.
Typically, if you're a Kansas Citian who has become a parent within the last 10 years, you either echo "earmuffs!" (NSFW) on Sundays or have a child that cusses like a drunken sailor arguing why Walker, Texas Ranger is the most underrated show of all time.
Throughout the past six seasons, the Chiefs have lost 70 percent of their regular-season contests.
So, the next time a four-letter scream slips and your child asks why the vein in your forehead looks like it binged on Popeye's spinach, spin a globe and explain that the blue symbolizes how often the Chiefs fail.
Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com.
The City of Fountains is forever linked to two voices.
Nationally, Wilbert Harrison carved the words "Kansas City, here I come" into a branch of musical history.
But locally, Mitch Holthus has immortalized six syllables: "Touchdown, Kansas City!"
Every time it gushes over radio waves, fans react like grown kids unwrapping Christmas presents a day early, and Arrowhead Stadium takes on the title of world's loudest mosh pit.
Before home games kick off, the national anthem reverberates throughout the crowd, and a shade under 80,000 noisemakers scream, "And the home...of the...Chiefs!"
At that moment, Arrowhead Stadium seems more like a Roman coliseum.
Away teams' returning veterans cast a "Bing! Want to get away?" expression. Naive rookies look around with a DeAndre Jordan dunk face.
It's not just another away game.
The cheer simultaneously places a welcome mat and pulls it from underneath visitors' feet.
In the wake of signing Alex Smith, Kansas City's newly appointed regime unloaded Matt Cassel.
Due to dead money, the breakup resulted in a $3.95 million surgery to remove an annual thorn from the side of Chiefs fans. And it was worth every penny.
During his four-year incumbency, unlucky No. 7 constantly lobbed passes that ended with fans looking like they clicked "reply all" to an office email.
Switowski (NSFW) could explain string theory quicker than Matt Cassel could read an NFL defense.
"Are you kidding me, Cassel?"—often littered with four-letter words and other variances—was a rhetorical cry for help, which eventually led to a far greater movement.
Throughout much of his tenure with the team, general manager Scott Pioli served as the root of fans' disgust. He was Public Enemy Numero Uno; the Bill Lumbergh to fans' "case of the Sundays."
In 2012, "Fire Pioli!" took on a life of its own.
The weekly hash tag spiraled into a war cry for oppressed vigilantes formerly known as Chiefs loyalists. By Week 17, it graduated to an automated response for everything wrong in the world.
Flat tire? "Fire Pioli!"
Too much salt on your fries? "Fire Pioli!"
Slipped while scrolling through Facebook and gave your ex's "Since You've Been Gone" video a thumbs-up? "Damn you, Scott Pioli!"
January 4, 2013: the stuff that dreams are made of.
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