© 2014 Aaron Atkinson

Two Great Games

This morning I’m a little groggy. I haven’t slept much the last couple of nights. They’ve been pretty exciting.

Growing up in Ontario I’ve always been a Toronto Blue Jays fan. But it’s been 20 years since they were good. I’m also a Maple Leafs fan. It’s been even longer since they were good.

Thanks to an idle Thanksgiving Thursday evening when I was a boy, I’ve long been a Green Bay Packers fan. When I flipped on the television twenty-some years ago and saw a young Brett Favre dismantle Barry Sanders and the woeful Detroit Lions, it was the beginning of a life-long fanship. The Packers have been good for as long as I’ve followed them, and they stand out as they only good team of which I’ve been a long-time fan.

The Jays, Leafs and Packers. Those are my teams. But I also believe there’s generally merit to rooting for the home team, and as such, in the decade that I’ve lived in Kansas City, I’ve grown rather fond of the all-too-often down-on-their-luck Chiefs and the Royals.

My grogginess this morning started 36 hours ago when the Kansas City hosted the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football. Not only did the sold out stadium set a new world record for noise, but the underdog Chiefs dismantled Brady, Belichick and the Patriots, handing them one of their worst losses in years. There’s always something exciting about Monday Night Football, but to host the game in town and to beat that team in such a landslide win made for an especially memorable night.

Last night the Royals hosted the Oakland As in a winner-take-all playoff game. After the Chiefs win on Monday, hosting a baseball playoff game for the first time in almost 30 years on Tuesday was almost surreal. If you would have asked me on Sunday what I thought the odds were of both the Chiefs and the Royals winning their games, I would have said almost zero. From early in their game, the Chiefs were a near no-doubter, but after going down by four runs late in the game, the Royals looked to be in deep trouble. And then the unthinkable happened – despite missed opportunities, coaching blunders, and a deep hole to dig out of – the Royals manufactured a late-game, high-drama, extra-inning, come from behind win in the wee hours of the morning.

Even with the long yawns and the bags under my eyes, today is, without a doubt, one of the best days in a very long time to be a Kansas City sports fan.


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