Date: December 22, 2004
I have never won a game in Denver, and it’s very discouraging since that’s one of our biggest rivals. Going back a few years, when I was at Baltimore, we played Denver in the first round of the playoffs and it was like “Who is Denver? Who are these guys?” We were just going to go in, play them and beat them, and that was that. But when I came to Kansas City, Denver is like this monster football team and all anyone ever talks about is how nobody can beat them and how they’re so difficult to run the ball on, and they have such a great offensive line where it doesn’t matter who is running the ball, that back is going to gain over 1,500 yards.
I didn’t understand what the big deal was at first, but when you look at the history and the whole build up and excitement of what the fans make it to be, the game is built up to be so big, and that’s one of the reasons why it’s so difficult to win. When they come here, it’s difficult for them to win in Arrowhead. When we go there, it’s difficult for us to win in Invesco Field.
I don’t know what it is, it’s a mystery to me, really, but it’s almost like when I was in high school and we went to go play Odessa. They have that movie, “Friday Night Lights”, and Odessa is the team they talk about in the movie. And sure enough, we had them down 14-7 at halftime and there was no way we were going to lose that game. These guys were a joke. But all of a sudden, that mojo-magic came into play. I think they put the whammy on us because next thing you know the score was 27-14 and they were kicking our butt.
It’s the same way with the Denver Broncos. It’s a huge rivalry, everybody gets excited about it, the fans can’t wait for that. I’m sure they circle it in red on their calendars, and people pay outrageous prices just to see that game in person. I love it because a rivalry like that, not too many teams have them, and if they did, the league has changed so much, that a lot of that has been lost. But in this division, with the Broncos and Raider versus the Chiefs, it’s going to be a die-hard game.
Speaking of the Raiders, this week we’re playing the Raiders on Christmas, and I’m really glad it’s a home game. Going out to Oakland, you see some of the craziest things that you just don’t see in other stadiums. They call it the Black Hole, and it really is like that. I remember the first time I pulled up into Oakland and there were like four or five beer cans immediately thrown at the bus. They hit the side of the window and you’re jolted because you weren’t expecting that. Next thing you know, beer is spilling down the side of the window and you’re like “These people are crazy.” When we pulled in, the bus driver actually had to pull us extra close, and even under this one part of the stadium just to keep us out of harms way.
From there, you walk out through the tunnel and into the locker room and they have these old, old lockers. There’s no space, there’s no room, and everybody is on top of each other trying to get dressed. And then when you finally get ready and run out onto the field, the fans start throwing batteries at you. It’s ridiculous. Beer cans and bottles as you pull up, batteries as you run out. The whole time you’re in Oakland, things are flying at you. They actually have policemen standing behind us on the sidelines trying to deflect all of the stuff being thrown at us during the game. I remember this one time, someone on our team got hit with a battery, so we don’t even take a chance anymore. If you look at our sidelines when we’re in Oakland, every player is wearing his helmet. It’s the only stadium where you need your helmet to protect you when you’re not even playing.
And it’s like every Sunday is Halloween in Oakland or something. Everybody has a costume and face paint, and they actually do a really good job of putting all of their outfits together so the entire stadium is filled with silver and black. The thing is, it really gets me excited to play there for some reason. I’m just glad I’m a player. I would hate to be a Chiefs fan and try to sit up there with all these guys with these shoulder pads and spikes and skulls. I know these guys are ready to fight, and I don’t think our fans come equipped with props.
I was pretty shocked when I saw the schedule and saw that we actually had a game on Christmas day. Who plays on Christmas day? It’s going to be a great game, but again, who plays on Christmas? Everybody is getting up and gathering around the Christmas tree and giving gifts and we’ll be in the dressing room. I just hope the gift we get comes after 60 minutes of football with a W.
That’s a lot better than a coppertop any day.
I might not be able to play in the game on Sunday, but I’ve had a chance to play a lot of video games lately. Here are the five games on rotation in my PS2 and Xbox:
Madden NFL 2005: The best football game ever made.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005: Everybody is thrilled with how you can change the golf courses around. Tiger Proofing has added a whole new dimension.
Halo 2: Any time I can shoot aliens and save the world, I’m happy.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: This game is crazy. That’s all I can say.
Namco Museum: I love playing the old school games, especially Galaga.