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The Arrowheads Abroad Travel Across the Pond for Monday Night Football

Posted Oct 2, 2017

Over 20 fans from the United Kingdom made their way to Kansas City this weekend

A pair of kingdoms united this weekend ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs’ bout with the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football.

Arriving into town on Friday afternoon was a collection of 21 Chiefs fans from the United Kingdom eager to cheer on their team in person.  

For some of them, it’s their first time ever visiting the United States.

“It’s the trip of a lifetime,” said Brad Symcox, a native of Newcastle, England. “This is my first time to Kansas City and also my first time to America. Some of the lads and I were joking around this morning about how we just couldn’t believe it when we saw the skyline. We’re actually here.”

The travel party is part of an organization called Arrowheads Abroad, which brings together fans from around the world that share a common interest in the Chiefs.

“Around four or five years ago, I wanted to meet other Chiefs fans,” said Tom Childs, the group’s founder. “I started a Twitter page, and that grew into a website and then into a Facebook page. In 2013, we had our first meeting at a bar in London, and it’s grown and grown since and now here we are in Kansas City.”

Actually experiencing a game in person is a departure from the group’s normal routine, which involves streaming games online and getting together for the occasional watch party.

“We plan two weeks a year, typically in London, where we go to a sports bar and get a screen devoted to us,” Childs said. “In terms of week-to-week, a lot of it is at home on our own with GamePass. We’ll all talk to each other on Facebook and Twitter during the game, so we’re all interacting.”

Several members of the trip had never met prior to arriving in Kansas City.

“Everyone is from all walks of life,” Symcox said. “Last night, we were having a chat about how long each of us has been a fan and how we got into it. It’s just been a really good time.”

Each fan had their own reasons for adopting the Chiefs, such as a simple fondness for the color scheme.

“My favorite soccer team is Arsenal, and they wear red and white,” Childs said. “I wanted to find a team that wore red and white, and the Chiefs happened to be the best team that wore it at the time. It’s then that I decided that the Chiefs were my team.”

For others, it was courtesy of a friend. 

“I had a friend from high school that was a Chiefs fan,” said David Barnett, who lives in Manchester, England. “I had no idea what the NFL was or what football was at that point. We starting playing fantasy football and he said we should watch a game, so we watched the one against the Broncos on Thanksgiving night. I watched that one and have been hooked ever since.”

And for some, just lucky coincidence.

“I watched a television program on Marcus Allen and just developed a general interest in him,” Symcox said. “I know he was a Raider too, but I noticed at the end of the program it showed him playing on the Chiefs. I looked into them and their history, where they started from and the players they’d had and it just sold it to me.”

Though their reasons differ, it’s a common interest in the Chiefs that brought them thousands of miles from home for a weekend in Kansas City.

That includes a sampling of as many barbecue restaurants as possible.

“The food here is absolutely amazing. It’s just fantastic,” Symcox said. “We’re going to try as many barbecue joints as we can.”

In addition to the food, the group visited the National World War I Museum at the Liberty Memorial and had a chance to tour Arrowhead Stadium.

For almost everyone in the group, it was their first time seeing Arrowhead in person.

“The Chiefs have been brilliant, taking care of us and everything,” Symcox said. “It’s something that a lot of us have always dreamed of doing.”

They’ll experience Arrowhead in action on Monday night, as the group was invited to hold the flag on the field during the National Anthem prior to kickoff.

What began as a simple fascination for many will finally come to life.

“I’m expecting big things,” Symcox said. “It’s Monday Night Football at Arrowhead Stadium…I just don’t think you can have a better experience as a Chiefs fan.”

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