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Cheifs Chatter

Have we taken the tailgating experience a bit too far?


by Greg Hall
Landmark columnist

Carl Peterson held a special press conference this week to inform Chiefs’ fans that the security at Arrowhead Stadium for the Sunday game against the Giants would be at an all-time high. He asked Chiefs fans to end their parking lot tailgating parties early and file into the stadium prepared to wait in long lines while security checks purses, diaper bags and bulky clothing.

A funny thing happened on our way to the stadium over the past decade - we made the decision somewhere along the line to stop off at Sam’s Club and bring half of the store’s inventory with us to the game. When did it change from just grabbing a jacket and maybe your binoculars to having to rent a U-Haul and take up three parking spots just to fit your gameday gear into Arrowhead?

Some of the items the Chiefs are asking fans to refrain from bringing are coolers of any size and shape, cans, containers of any kind, thermos bottles, video cameras, flammable liquids, air horns, poles and weapons of any kind. I did not make this list up.

Can someone tell me why the Chiefs have to remind us not to bring in any poles, weapons or flammable liquids? When did “Honey, are you sure you have the tickets,” turn into “Harold, don’t forget the 357 and the gasoline!”

I like football and the NFL as much as any American male and even as much as most of the residents of Raytown…but haven’t we taken this tailgating experience just a bit past GO here in the Heartland? Why should a three-hour game take 10 hours of our Sunday?

When you have to pack a tent, a horse trough full of ice, a big screen television, your davenport, a grill big enough to BBQ Osama bin Laden and three of his camels, a picnic table and half the items in your garage into your vehicle just to take in the Chiefs gameday experience, maybe it’s time to rethink our priorities.

Having security do a body scan of 80,000 Chiefs fans prior to their entrance into Arrowhead on Sunday is going to create a bottleneck the size of the Grandview Triangle - especially considering the size of many of those Chiefs’ fans’ bodies. I would suggest that we all go to the game naked and speed up the process considerably but having seen Belly Boy’s naked torso the past 10 years, I’m not so sure I can’t just wait in line an extra hour or two.

One item we can all bring to Arrowhead that won’t add any bulk to our tailgate goodies but still carries a lot of weight is our voices. Use yours proudly when it comes time to sing our national anthem. One more thing you might consider doing is singing the final word of our anthem as it was written.

Now, maybe more than ever, we live in the home of the brave.