Once upon a time while raising a household of boys and baseball, football, and wrestling were the only things that seemed to matter, I had a Christmas wish – a wish for a simple white turtleneck with a Chiefs arrowhead emblem on the collar. You see, I had this red corduroy jumper that I frequently wore to work on Fridays before a Chiefs game. I had a couple of white blouses that looked fine with it, but I really wanted that turtleneck to make it an official Chiefs outfit. It wasn’t an expensive piece of clothing; but for some reason, whenever I was out shopping and would see the item for sale, the merchant never had my size. And when the stock was depleted for the year, the item was not restocked. I really felt it could be an inexpensive Christmas present for this devoted mother. So I dropped hint after hint that all I really wanted for Christmas was a Chiefs turtleneck. I wondered if my sons ever heard me.
I kept hoping for that turtleneck through all those winning playoff seasons. Then one Christmas morning, I opened a rather large box to find a woven white varsity-type, over-sized Chiefs sweater. I knew it must have cost much more than the little turtleneck so expressed my gratitude and found a red skirt and a pair of stirrup pants that I could wear with it. (Yes, I said stirrup pants so you’re probably getting the picture about how long ago this might have been.)
I didn’t want to seem ungrateful, but all I really wanted was the white turtleneck with the arrowhead on the collar. As I recall, I wore the sweater a couple of times and then was so disappointed when the Chiefs let Rich Gannon slip away to the dreaded Oakland Raiders that I announced at work I would not wear the sweater again until they acquired an adequate quarterback that could lead us to the Superbowl (which, by the way, Rich did the next season with the Raiders). So while the Chiefs’ management team stood by their man, I stood on my word too. I did allow one of the guys in our office to wear the sweater for a United Way fundraiser office parade since he dressed up as the cheerleader and I dressed up as the player. It was a fun day, and Kansas City fans loved their Chiefs.Eventually, the Chiefs did acquire another quarterback, Trent Green, who led us to many victories; and I proudly wore my sweater. Since his retirement, we’ve been through quarterbacks, running backs, coaches, etc., and have now accepted our losing ways. Long gone are those glory days. I guess the winning years need to be passed around the various cities and teams, but I hope the winning wind blows Kansas City’s way soon or even the die-hard fans may not stick around. A joke surfaced around the various social media in Kansas City on Halloween entitled: Worst Halloween Treat Ever. Two costumed-up kids were leaving a house after trick or treating with one looking down in his bag of goodies saying:
Aw, man … I got Chiefs tickets.
I have never thought much of fair-weathered fans, but I fear I have become one. The decade-old sweater is neatly folded in my armoire, perhaps awaiting another day. I might stop and tan on my way home from work rather than rushing home to watch the Chiefs on Monday Night Football. The Chiefs have moved on, and so have I after all these years.
So if my adult sons happen to read this, just know that a Chiefs turtleneck is no longer on my Christmas wish list. Gourmet coffee, decadent chocolate, or a simple hug with dinner will do. My red corduroy jumper no longer hangs in my closet, so that white turtleneck just doesn’t seem to matter.
And as I say … life continues on.