Thursday is Halloween. In Christianity, it is the first of a triduum known as Hallowmas. A triduum is a three day period devoted to prayer. Hallowmas, which is specific to that of the dead, begins with Hallow’s Eve, is followed by All Saint’s Day, and ends with All Soul’s Day. Here’s an NFL horror story in honor:
It was Sunday, Jan. 23, 1994. The Kansas City Chiefs were playing for a shot at Super Bowl XXVIII against the Buffalo Bills. It was an eerily cold, cloudy day at Rich Stadium in Orchard Park, NY. Something very ominous was about to happen that would haunt the Chiefs for a long, long time.
Kansas City found themselves in the dark shadows of an unfamiliar place at halftime, trailing the Bills by 14 in their house. The Chiefs had a witch of a quarterback, however. Joe Montana was known for brewing up winning concoctions in the scariest of situations.
On the third play of the 3rd quarter, Buffalo threw a bucket of water at Montana. He went down with a concussion and Kansas City’s chances at winning shriveled to non-existence. They had been burned at the stake.
Backup QB Dave Krieg joined the party, dressed as a jester, and the rest was too gruesome to watch. The Chiefs lost 30-13, but little did they know, they had also been cursed.
The Lamar Hunt trophy, named after the now deceased Chiefs’ founder and owner, has eluded them ever since. They’ve had phantom sightings, but Kansas City has never been back to the AFC championship game. It’s been almost 20 years since the horrifying experience, and they have yet to win a playoff game.
The Chiefs are 18-25-1 against the Bills throughout their history. The Bills have run them screaming out their own house on many occasions, as well. Rich Stadium is now known as Ralph Wilson Stadium. Kansas City went there in week two of last season and left 0-2 after an ugly 35-17 axing. It has since been renovated, and on Jan. 17, 2013 a new entry plaza was unveiled. The door may not creak as much anymore, but to Chiefs fans, it is still the most haunted house of all.
All Soul’s Day is a day spent praying for those in Purgatory, hoping they will be allowed into heaven. It is celebrated annually on Nov. 2, which is the day before the undefeated Chiefs enter their proverbial house of doom to take on the Bills, in hopes of breaking the spell and going 9-0 for only the second time in franchise history.
The Kansas City faithful are asking if this unexpectedly successful season is a trick or treat? The answer will come on Sunday.