How Mr. Anderson Became Part of Chiefs Culture


Clint and Sunshine Anderson outside Arrowhead stadium in 2003.

Nate Anderson

   Mr. Anderson, formerly Coach Anderson, in addition to being a history nerd and my father, is also the biggest Kansas City Chiefs fan I’ve ever met. The amount of times I’ve heard a scream from the basement either in despair or celebration is innumerable. So you can imagine how proud he is that he has left a mark on the team and their fan culture.

   Whenever the Chiefs get a first down, someone screams “That’s a Kansas City Chiefs-”, and then someone else finishes with “FIRST DOWN”. Yup, Mr. Anderson and his buddy started that tradition. 

   “Sometime around 1999, me and a friend would always get together and watch Chiefs games. In our living rooms, any time the Chiefs would get a first down, which was a lot, I would stand up in the room and yell, ‘That’s a Kansas City Chiefs….’  and my friend would stand up, give the first down signal and yell, ‘FIRST DOWN.’ 

   Eventually, we were lucky enough to buy season tickets and we continued with our ‘First Down’ chant at every home game. At that time, it was just me and my buddy that would do it.  I’m sure we looked and sounded like idiots. However, as the season continued, more and more people in our section (corner of the upper deck), would join in.  At first it was just a few people in our immediate area.  By midway through the season, our whole section was participating in the chant.  By the end of the season, our section and the sections next to us were joining in.

   We were blown away that at the beginning of the next season, the Chiefs announcer was leading the whole stadium in the chant after every Chiefs first down. It is a tradition that the Chiefs still do today. After every first down, the Chiefs announcer will review the play with something like… “Patrick Mahomes completes a pass for 15 yards to Travis Kelce and that’s good enough for a KANSAS CITY CHIEFS…….”   and the stadium finishes with, ‘FIRST DOWN!’”.

Twenty years later Anderson still feels pride whenever the announcer and fans replicate the chant. It is now an ingrained part of Chiefs culture and lore. All of the players most definitely are aware of the chant. It’s all because my father and his friend decided to be themselves.