For a week in January, I had the unique experience of living in Kansas City as an outsider
For a week in January, I had the unique experience of living in Kansas City as an outsider.
As has been mentioned in this space, I am an Ohio native and a diehard fan of the Cleveland Browns. I’ve lived all over and usually brought my adopted town some good luck—I’ve cheered on local teams in Super Bowls featuring the Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks and the Kansas City Chiefs—but I’m a Browns fan first and last.
So, for a week preceding our playoff matchup, I stuck out wearing my Browns mask and Browns stocking hat around town.“You visiting or something?” asked the clerk at my preferred grocery store, about six blocks from my house. “If you live here, why aren’t you rooting for the Chiefs?”
“You really need to take that flag down, I find it very offensive,” texted my neighbor, before clarifying that she was “just kidding.”
This is an issue about home—specifically, about nine stunning houses in the city—and that week of living as an outsider reminded me why we’re all so lucky to call this city our own, whether it’s in one of these gorgeous abodes or something more modest. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Kansas City has the nicest people anywhere.
I’d be hesitant to take my five-year-old daughter to a home game in Cleveland, where fans can be a bit… boorish. But I never had any doubt about bringing her to Arrowhead in a Baker Mayfield jersey—well, aside from the six hundred and fifty bucks it cost me for her upper deck seat.
The fans around me in section 303 weren’t only affable, despite watching KC’s star quarterback leave with a concussion. They went out of their way to give my daughter hand warmers and high-fives. You can tell a lot about the character of a city when Chad Henne is under center with a five-point lead and eleven minutes on the clock. KC came through. The level of hospitality and kindness those Chiefs fans showed is really special and something to take immense pride in, right alongside our vast cultural amenities and, of course, the amazing architecture glimpsed in our cover package.
The Browns will be back at Arrowhead next year, and I’m already looking forward to showing off this city to my friends and family.