For as thrilling as Eric Berry's official return to Arrowhead Stadium on Sept. 17 was for everybody involved — coaches, teammates, fans — it was obviously more so for Berry, himself.
Berry — who overcame Hodgkin lymphoma to return to football within an eight-month period — can’t even remember running out of the tunnel during the intros.
“I blacked out, I don't even remember it,” Berry said. “It was just so much emotion.”
Berry, who recorded four tackles and played 71 of 73 possible plays, had lots of friends and family at the game, including his parents, James and Carol, and even some of his nurses from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, where he underwent chemotherapy.
“They actually surprised me,” Berry said. “I didn’t know they were coming. Before the game, my parents told me there was a surprise for me. They weren’t going to tell me, but I ended up going to see my family the night before and found out they were here. It was pretty cool, man.”
Needless to say, Berry — who posed in front of the tunnel for several seconds while the crowd's cheers washed over him — allowed himself to soak in the moment.
“At the end of the day, this is an opportunity, it’s a blessing and I’m just thankful for it,” said Berry, a three-time Pro Bowler. “Everything that surrounds the game and everything that is a part of the game, I appreciate it a lot more, even though I did before — now it’s just a whole different level of that.
“I just take everything in and enjoy it — the good, the bad and everything that comes along with the game.”