BIGGER THAN FOOTBALL
N.Y. Giants at Kansas City: September 23, 2001
It isn’t often that a loss makes any top-10 list, but the final score was meaningless in this game. September 23, 2001 was about more than football.
NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue had suspended play following terrorist attacks that took down the World Trade Towers, struck the Pentagon and downed a plane in rural Pennsylvania. This was the first Sunday of NFL football in the post-9/11 world and the Chiefs were hosting the New York Giants. An overwhelming sense of patriotism reigned above everything else.
On this Sunday, the opponent was treated as if it were the home team. Chiefs fans gave Giants players a standing ovation during pre-game introductions and Arrowhead’s familiar “Home of the CHIEFS” was left off the end of the National Anthem.
Tagliabue delivered a pregame address and Chiefs fans passed around a fireman’s boot for donations, collecting what is believed to be the largest single-day outpouring of spontaneous support by a group of fans and a pro sports team.
“It was an emotional day,” Chiefs Head Coach Dick Vermeil said. “It was for me and I’m sure for a lot of guys. You had to feel it and be touched by it. I was and I’m pretty sure most of the people on the sideline and our fans were. It was a very sincere tribute by the National Football League and the kind of people who are in the league.”
In all, Chiefs fans donated $220,706.94 in cash and checks to relief efforts in New York City related to the tragic attacks on the World Trade Center.
Chiefs players, coaches, staff and the Hunt Family matched that total to bring the total one day donation to $451,413.88.
The money was used to benefit various authorized causes for the families of the New York City police and fire departments, emergency medical technicians and Port Authority employees who were either injured or lost their lives in the terrorist attack.
“We are very proud to have been able to help in this extraordinary cause,” Chiefs Founder Lamar Hunt said following the game. “Our players, our coaches and our staff responded as we knew they would and the Chiefs organization then combined with those groups to match the phenomenal fan response.
“We are disappointed we didn’t win the football game against the Giants but are very, very proud that we were able to reach out across half a continent to help the New York relief efforts.”
The Giants later took out a half-page “thank you” ad in the Kansas City Star.
FROM THE VAULT: GAME NOTES (9/23/01)
Game Captains: FB Tony Richardson (offense), DE Duane Clemons (defense) and S Jason Belser (special teams).
Starting Streaks/Games Played: G Will Shields started his 129th consecutive game for the Chiefs which is the longest active streak of any player on the Chiefs roster. LB Marvcus Patton has now played in 178 consecutive NFL games. C
Back-to-Back Three Takeaway Days: The Chiefs defense has registered three takeaways in the first two games of 2001. The last time KC’s defense recorded three or more turnovers in back-to-back games were victories vs. St. Louis (10/22/00) and at Seattle (10/29/00). Kansas City is now 2 in the takeaway/giveaway column on the year.
Three-INT Day: Kansas City registered three INTs vs. the Giants, marking the first time the Chiefs had accumulated three INTs in a game since doing so at Seattle (10/29/00). CB Eric Warfield recorded his second INT of the season and the fifth of his career in the second quarter off Kerry Collins. CB Ray Crockett’s INT of Kerry Collins in the first quarter was his first as a member of the Chiefs and the 34th pickoff of his career. LB Glenn Cadrez registered an INT off of Kerry Collins in the third quarter, his first INT as a member of the Chiefs, his third career INT and his first since a contest at Seattle (10/11/98) as a member of the Broncos.
Other Chiefs Defensive Notes: In the second half, Kansas City held the Giants scoreless and permitted New York just 92 total yards of total offense. The Chiefs defense has now allowed just three touchdowns in eight quarters of play this season.
Giants Get NFC Victory at Arrowhead, Snap KC’s TD Streaks: New York’s victory snapped a string of 12 consecutive Kansas City victories at Arrowhead vs. NFC opponents. The Giants also did not permit the Chiefs to score a touchdown, snapping a streak of 64 consecutive games scoring a TD, the second-longest string in Chiefs history (96 straight games from 1963-70 is the franchise record for consecutive games with a TD).
The last time Kansas City did not score a touchdown in a game was a 19-3 loss at Denver (8/31/97). The Giants also snapped a streak of 55 straight games at Arrowhead in which the Chiefs had scored at least one touchdown. The last time held without a TD at Arrowhead was KC’s last home loss to an NFC team, a 16-0 defeat vs. the L.A. Rams (9/25/94).
Fassel Wins Arrowhead Debut: Dating back to ’94, Kansas City is now 16-2 in games against head coaches who are making their first regular season appearance at Arrowhead Stadium. Giants head coach Jim Fassel became the first coach to win his his Arrowhead coaching debut since Lindy Infante guided the Colts to a 24-19 win on 12/15/96.
Thomas’ Receiving Day: In his first NFL start, WR Chris Thomas tied his career highs for both receptions (4) and receiving yards (62). His previous career day came on a four-catch, 62-yard day vs. San Diego (12/6/98) as a member of the Redskins when QB Trent Green was Washington’s quarterback.
Edwards Sack: LB Donnie Edwards recorded his first sack of the season (-7.0 yards) and the 14th of his career in the third quarter against Kerry Collins.
Chiefs First Downs: Kansas City had 11 first downs vs. the Giants, the club’s lowest total since getting 10 at San Diego (11/26/00) and the fewest in a home game since getting 11 vs. San Diego (10/31/99).
Rushing Yardage: The Giants outgained Kansas City by just one yard on the ground (89 to 88) as Kansas City more than doubled its rushing output from its intial game with 35 yards vs. Oakland (9/6). It marked the first time the Chiefs did not tally at least 100 rushing yards in consecutive home games since producing 92 ground yards vs. the N.Y. Jets (11/1/98) and 72 yards vs. Pittsburgh (10/26/98).
Injuries: WR Marvin Minnis (mild head trauma), DE Monty Beisel (right AC contusion) and OT John Tait (left calf contusion).