As a Denver Bronco fan living in the middle of Chiefs country, todays game brings a slight bit of nervousness to me. Bronco fans who are fortunate enough to live in the Rocky Mountain Region undoubtedly consider the Oakland Raiders the Broncos biggest rivalry. Having lived in
Colorado for a brief time, I truly understand the rivalry between the Raiders and Broncos but Bronco fans in the Midwest probably consider the Chiefs the biggest rivalry. Scratch that – maybe not the biggest rivalry; when Denver travels to Kansas City, this is one of the games we Midwestern Bronco fans want the Broncos to win most.
Friday evening I visited with another Denver Bronco season ticket holder who lives in Chiefs country and we discussed the upcoming game between the Chiefs and Broncos. Both of us are die-hard Bronco fans and we both agreed that it is difficult for us to truly enjoy the game when the Broncos visit Arrowhead. Not only is this a three hour football game, it is a moment in time that will allow us bragging rights for a short time. If the Broncos lose, unfortunately Chief fans will have the bragging rights and as we have experienced in the past, some of those fans make it down right difficult for Bronco fans – especially Bronco fans who are dedicated…. the fair weather fans don’t have to worry. Understanding that jabbing each other about favorite football teams is all done in good, clean fun, I still want the Broncos to win so the Midwest region of Bronco Nation has the upper hand.
As I noted earlier, I am always a bit nervous when this game occurs because I just don’t know what to expect. For starters, Arrowhead Stadium is always packed and as much as we want to beat the Chiefs, Kansas City fans feel the same way about Denver. Because of the teams and fans
involved, the excitement thermometer is always a bit higher come kickoff. This week the storyline once again includes Tim Tebow and how he will react to the Kansas City crowd. Fortunately, Tebow has proven that playing on the road doesn’t bother him much. Arrowhead, however, is not Miami or is it the Black Hole of Oakland Coliseum….. it is different; at times it is levels above most NFL stadiums. The Broncos must weather the storm of the home crowd and then settle into their game plan.
Another cause for my nervousness is not knowing which team is going to show up….. for either side. Will we see the Broncos that played well in Oakland or will Kansas City cause enough distractions to cause the team that played against Detroit to resurface? Kansas City has to have some doubt as well. Last week, the Chiefs were definitely outplayed and the mismatch allowed the Dolphins to get their first win of the season. Looking back on the last couple of games, the Chiefs have been as two-sided as the Denver Broncos. Kansas City escaped the San Diego game thanks to the gift wrapped present in the form of a botched center-quarterback exchange given to them by Philip Rivers as the fourth quarter came to an end. Prior to that, the Chiefs travelled to Oakland and threw the Raiders into their own black hole, beating the Black-and-Silver 28-0.
On one hand I should be thankful that despite the Chiefs one game lead over the Broncos, the teams are fairly balanced. Does home field advantage truly give the Chiefs an advantage for this game? That is a difficult question to answer. Miami was not impacted by Arrowhead and the Broncos have proven in years past that they can go to Arrowhead and win. Most of the variables have changed obviously from years past so this team is presented with a brand new challenge.
A win on Sunday will be great for us Bronco fans that live in Chiefs country. A loss today may be a bit more difficult to swallow for Bronco fans in the heart of Chiefs country than it is for the Bronco fans in Colorado. Hopefully, John Fox and the entire team will step up and leave Missouri today with a victory so dealing with a loss will not be required.