When asked recently to write about my favorite things at Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp, my first thought was meeting visitors who, in some cases, traveled hundreds of miles to St. Joseph just for this special three-week event.
A recent Facebook poll showed lots of our attendees are coming from Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Texas, and even Denver, Colorado. It’s always interesting talking to fans from different areas and hearing about what they like to do while in town, and then telling them a bit more about our community they might not already know.
But, Training Camp means different things to different people. So I took this question to our social media community and asked,
Fans, what is YOUR favorite thing about Chiefs Training Camp?”
The most repeated answer was the ability to get up close and personal with the team. Seating at camp is right next to the action and many players feed off the crowd’s energy, which always provides a great show for the fans. How many times can you say you sat 20 feet from Jaamal Charles running a play or Alex Smith throwing the ball? It’s not every day you can actually hear the players talking and coaches instructing. It’s really an awesome experience for a die-hard fan.
The next answer was pretty obvious, too. Autographs. After every practice, Coach Reid allows different groups of players to approach the fans and sign autographs. Some kids, (and grown men,) have every single teammate’s signature from attending camp over the past four years. This year, there will be three days during which the entire team will be made available for autograph signing; Saturday, July 26, Saturday, August 2, and Saturday, August 9.
Another answer was meeting other die-hard Chiefs fans. Chief’s kingdom is bursting with interesting characters and expert fans. Some fans come to camp with full tailgating gear. Other fans are dressed in head to toe Chiefs attire and face paint. Many fans use camp as an excuse to break out their custom “Chiefs-mobile,” including vans and buses outfitted with booming stereo-systems, custom barbecue grills, and flying football flags, which add to the electric atmosphere. Wherever you look it’s a sea of red and yellow and everyone shares the same football passion.
One fan told us that her favorite thing about camp was seeing the excitement in her kids faces when they laid eyes on their favorite player. You don’t truly appreciate the magic of camp until you see it with child-like eyes. These men are not only players but heroes to some kids. They’re magical, mythical creatures. And after the kids get up close enough to get an autograph and maybe a photo, they also think of them as their friends. That’s exactly why Chiefs Kingdom continues to grow.
Finally, and perhaps the most important favorite thing about camp was given to us in one, simple, short sentence. “Training Camp means we’re getting closer to the official football season!” We couldn’t agree more!
If you have any questions about camp or are looking for additional information on parking, logistics, special events or what you can see and do after camp, check out stjomo.com/kcchiefs. Also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the most up to date info during camp. #KCChiefsInStJo.