Being a fan of a sports team requires an insane amount of dedication and resilience. Often this even requires some illusion. Above all, fans want to believe in their guys – that they are better than everyone else.
That’s the beauty of sport – in the offseason, hope is eternal. A true football fan has the ability to convince himself that an undrafted free agent will rack up a thousand receiving yards and win the Pro Bowl in his first year.
This is above all true of Kansas City Chiefs fans.
Perhaps more than other fanbases, Chiefs fans believe in their players’ ability to exceed expectations. The relationship Kansas City has with its professional athletes (and their teams) is special. It’s more than a game for KC. It’s a community.
It doesn’t matter where you were born, how you speak or what you look like. When you play for the Chiefs, you’re adopted like a native son of the city.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes was born in Texas. Tight end Travis Kelce is from Ohio. But you can’t show me a Chiefs fan who doesn’t consider them Kansas Citians.
These are our guys.
That’s what makes it so difficult when a player (like Tony Gonzalez or Tyreek Hill) decides to leave. They were one of us – and now they want to go out?
Sometimes it’s hard to understand, but that’s football’s business. Not every gamer wants to stay in the family forever.
That’s part of the reason choosing a Chiefs jersey can be quite a minefield. Every season, the instinct is to go out and grab the hottest new rookie jersey. But a few years later, Chiefs fans may find themselves packing Jon Baldwin and Peyton Hillis jerseys to drop off at Goodwill. Everyone wants their jersey to stand the test of time, but no one knows what the future holds.
Since joining arrowhead prideit’s one of the most subjective things I’ve written about.
From the entire pantheon of Chiefs legends, it’s nearly impossible to extract five “correct” answers. A big part of why we choose a certain player’s shirt has to do with our own history – and who we were when that player came into our lives.
So… spoiler alert: I will be wrong. Nonetheless, here is my list of the top five Chiefs jerseys:
5. Your childhood hero’s jersey – or your favorite Chiefs player
There’s no better way to reconnect with the pure love of the game you felt as a child than to wear your favorite player’s jersey.
Each fan can name the player they liked first. Depending on a fan’s age (and their age when they first fell in love with the Chiefs), the specific player can vary widely. If you were a kid like me, chances are it was a player someone in your family (your dad, mom, brother, uncle, etc.) already loved. They could have talked to the player until they were larger than life – and bulletproof.
For me, this player was running back Christian Okoye.
When I was a small child, Okoye seemed like the tallest and most powerful human being on the planet – a veritable freight train that could pick off would-be attackers like flies bouncing off its sturdy steel frame as he howled on the tracks.
If you asked me, at age 8, the name of the greatest football player of all time, I would naively and without hesitation declare, “The Nigerian Nightmare”. It was – and to this day still is – the best nickname in the history of professional sports.
Okoye was my favorite, but yours may be completely different. Maybe it was Derrick Thomas, Willie Lanier, Priest Holmes or Jamaal Charles.
4. An AFL Chiefs shirt
Maya Angelou once wrote, “If you don’t know where you came from, you don’t know where you are going.”
The best way to prepare for the future is to learn from the past. Most people view this idea as learning from your mistakes, but you can also learn from your victories.
The Chiefs have been a winning franchise from the start, winning both an AFL championship and a Super Bowl in their first decade.
What better way to celebrate our team’s history than wearing the jersey of a 1960s Chiefs player?
Besides the joy of rocking some pretty old-school sons, wearing an older player’s jersey also gives younger fans the chance to connect with fans of a previous generation, learning first-hand what it’s like. was just watching these legends play.
Besides, you can’t tell me that Cool Lenny did not watch fly like an apple pie when he wore this all-white long-sleeved jersey.
3. A custom kicker or inside offensive lineman jersey
When I suggest people buy a kicker’s jersey or an inside offensive lineman’s jersey, I’m just being a little sarcastic.
As you enter Arrowhead Stadium, you are overwhelmed with the number of Mahomes and Kelce shirts flooding the stands. So you can break the monotony by sporting a personalized jersey from a player who doesn’t always get the love he deserves.
Some of the nicer names to put on the back of a jersey right now are inside kickers and linemen.
Here are some ideas:
- Harrison Butker: ButtKicker.com
- Humphrey Creed: #CreedIsGood
- Trey Smith: crosby killer
2. Andy Reid’s Number 64 BYU Jersey
OK… so that’s cheating. It’s not a Chiefs jersey.
But just imagine being in a hounding group of friends in Arrowhead. Through the haze of smoke and fire, a figure suddenly emerges from cornhole sets and middle-aged men still learning to spiral – like Ray Kinsella learning from Shoeless Joe Jackson in field of dreams.
At first, the group is surprised by the sight, as the shirt they see does not belong to any of the teams playing that day. At first, they may even think it’s one of the These guys. (You know who I’m talking about: the person who only owns one sports jersey, so they wear it to every sporting event, even if it’s the San Jose Sharks hockey jersey).
The group starts making fun of the person wearing the weird jersey, but then the realization sets in: they have already seen this shirt. They just don’t remember where they saw it. Then they see it’s a BYU jersey – the one that says “Reid” on the back.
As the person moves through the rows of other hookers, they receive a royal welcome. You see Ron Kopp Jr. and Kristian Gumminger, who happen to be there — giving them a high-five and handing them ice cold beers from their coolers. They take pictures and tweet them for everyone to see. Pete Sweeney sees it and retweets the photo.
The next thing you know, NFL Network Peter Schrager personality asks them to be a guest on “Good Morning Football”.
Man… you wouldn’t like to be the person carrying this Jersey?
1. Patrick Mahomes Jersey
Some people might call it a basic selection. After all, a lot of people already own a Mahomes jersey, right?
But these people are wrong.
There is nothing basic to wear the jersey of the Chiefs’ greatest player of all time. In the 1990s, every Chicago Bulls fan had a Michael Jordan jersey. They might have had a Scottie Pippin jersey too – but you can be sure they had a number 23 in their closet first.
Even if Mahomes never throws another pass as long as he lives, he’s already done enough to make sure you’ll never be mocked for strutting the aisles of Arrowhead with his name on your back. Heck… while you’re at it, why not add some extra swag by making it a Pro Bowl jersey?
It’s actually a scientific fact that you feel fresher and more confident when you wear a Mahomes jersey.
You do not believe me ? Buy one – and see for yourself.
Which of these jerseys would you own?
Childhood Head Heroes
AFL Chiefs player
Custom kicker or offensive lineman
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