What is pain? Watching the former Kansas City bell cow, Jamaal Charles, enter Arrowhead Stadium adorned in enemy fatigues was enough to give Chiefs fans a serious case of the Monday’s. Worse was the touching piece of writing Jamaal released to Kansas City fans prior to the game, illustrating his love of the city and nostalgia for games gone by. This heartfelt break-up letter stung the hearts of Red and Gold faithful harder than the slimy stingray that took Steve Irwin from us all back in ’06. Even more painful were the boos heard from the stands as our former leading man took the field Monday night.
Look at this photograph. (Damn you, Nickelback)
The scars on Jamaal’s knees didn’t come from some unfortunate snowboarding accident. They aren’t a new wave of tattoo/scarifications that all the kids are talking about. Those scars came from shattering career-rushing records that had been established by former greats such as Priest Holmes, Larry Johnson, and Christian Okoye. From fumbling in the final seconds of a key divisional matchup and costing his team a game. From fighting through the depth chart and scraping as many carries as he could from the aforementioned Larry Johnson to carve his name on the ring of honor at Arrowhead. That’s pain, folks. None of that pain deserves to be booed.
We won, sure. Enjoy the W’s and lament the L’s. Fine. But, nothing about Jamaal’s return to the homeland felt good. It didn’t feel good seeing the new jersey and number, it didn’t feel good seeing him as the backup. It didn’t even feel good when young boy Marcus Peters ripped the ball from Jamaal’s grasp in the early minutes of Monday Night’s victory. No, it only made fans of Jamaal feel worse. Like watching your brat of a sister getting dumped in public, you love her. No matter what, her pain is yours.
We, as Chiefs fans, are lucky to have seen premier running backs walk through the hallowed halls of Arrowhead Stadium. We’ve witnessed the halfback passes from Marcus Allen, the wrecking ball Christian Okoye and the undrafted, undisputed human-machine that was Priest Holmes. Jamaal Charles offered us more. Jamaal became the focal point of horrid Chiefs teams and carried them through otherwise dreadful regular season campaigns.
Monday night’s heckling aside, when Jamaal walks through those doors again it’ll be to hang his number on that ring. That ring that we’re so proud of. That ring, because WE couldn’t win the OTHER Ring during the 9 seasons he bled for us. Don’t boo this man. Respect him and the Kingdom he helped build.