Stationed in Iraq in 2005, Dewey would return from a 12-hour shift and watch his Kansas City Chiefs play live — Sunday afternoon in Kansas, but Monday in the Middle East. Dewey, Ottawa, who served in the U.S. Air Force, said he stayed true to his favorite team, despite the time difference.
“It was pretty different,” he said. “We were watching Sunday and Monday night games on Monday and Tuesday mornings.”
Dewey, along with many other Chiefs fans, said he’s had something to cheer about this season. The team is in the midst of an unexpected turnaround after finishing dead last in the National Football League in 2012 with a 2-14 record. Despite a 27-17 loss Sunday night against the division rival Denver Broncos, the Chiefs still hold a 9-1 record and a realistic shot at earning the team’s first playoff berth since 2010.
Football and family
Proof fans are excited about what’s happening in Kansas City came Oct. 13 when they set the world record for the loudest outdoor sports stadium at Arrowhead Stadium in a 24-7 win over the Oakland Raiders. Crowd noise reached 137.5 decibels, topping the previous mark of 136.6 decibels set by Seahawk fans during a game earlier this season at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. Crystal Davis-Taylor, rural Ottawa, was at Arrowhead that day and said she’s glad to see enthusiasm from fellow Chiefs fans.
“Last year was really disheartening, but we still watched every Sunday,” Davis-Taylor said. “This year, we went to the record-breaking game, and I actually wore ear plugs. It is great to see [the team] doing well, and the city deserves it. Kansas City is a great place to live and grow up, and it is giving a lot of good things to the city.”
The team’s turnaround also has revitalized the Sunday family atmosphere, Davis-Taylor said. Things can get pretty loud at the home she shares with her husband, Chris Taylor, she said.
Dewey agreed that Sundays are reserved for family and Chiefs football.
“My wife usually makes snacks for the game,” Dewey said. “After church on Sunday, we plan our day around the game. If it is a noon game, we usually order pizza, and if it is a 3 p.m. game, we usually go out to lunch.”
The Chiefs are making the most of their first winning season in three years, and though they have key additions on the offensive side, the defense is what has fans excited.
“[The defense] is amazing,” Davis-Taylor said. “They just work so well together. They are a solid unit.”
“I think that they’ve been slowly rebuilding and getting close to where they need to be,” he said. “We have a great defense, and I think the offense is coming along.”
Kansas City boasts the second-ranked scoring defense, giving up an average of just 13.8 points through 10 games. Many of the team’s dominating defensive players have had an impact on fans as well. Dewey said his favorite player is second-year nose tackle Dontari Poe.
“I think he’s made a big difference on defense,” he said. “He’s made a great addition to [linebacker] Derrick Johnson, and gave the defense the extra kick they needed to be where they are now.”
Davis-Taylor’s favorite player is eight-year veteran outside linebacker Tamba Hali, who has nine sacks thus far this season for the Chiefs.
“I just think he has a great attitude and he’s really fun to watch,” she said.
Arguably the biggest acquisition in the offseason for the Chiefs was the hiring of former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid. Dewey joined in on the buzz surrounding the team after the hiring, he said.
“I was very glad Andy was going to coach,” Dewey said. “Every team he has coached he has been very motivated.”
Motivation has been key for the Chiefs this year, he said, and will be a big factor when the team gets another shot against the Broncos Dec. 1 on the Chiefs’ home turf.
Davis-Taylor said she’s confident fellow fans will help her team avenge Sunday’s loss on national television.
“I think that Denver has one coming to them,” she said. “Having been there for the Raiders game, I don’t think any team really knows what fans can do [at Arrowhead]. It is amazing.”
As far as how the rest of the season will turn out, Davis-Taylor said her hopes are high, but a lot of football remains to be played.
“Hopefully we won’t be in one playoff game and blow it like we have been before,” she said. “I would like to say that they are going to the Super Bowl, but the season isn’t over yet.”