Saturday is all about Chiefs watch parties.
There will be hundreds in the Kansas City area for the Chiefs’ divisional playoff game at New England, including one in a quiet neighborhood in Shawnee. The couple at this particular house watches all the Chiefs games, but one person doesn’t always root for them.
You see, Cheryl Conard-Walker is a Chiefs fan, but her spouse, Pam Walker, is a Broncos fan.
Yes, they live under the same roof.
While greeting a visitor on Friday, Conard-Walker wore a Chiefs visor, a Chiefs jersey, Chiefs pants and Chiefs Crocs. In the kitchen of their home, Walker wore a Broncos visor, Broncos jersey, Broncos pants and Broncos Crocks.
They showed off paintings of quarterbacks Alex Smith and Peyton Manning that were done by Walker’s nephew. They each had incense holders of the Chiefs and Broncos. Outside, the flagpole had Chiefs and Broncos flags.
How exactly does this house stand?
“I’m proud of the Chiefs this year,” Walker said, “but we don’t let our football come between us — only on game day.”
It doesn’t take long to understand that this a friendly and funny rivalry.
“I tormented her really bad when Peyton went out with an injury,” Conard-Walker said. “ ‘Aw, poor Peyton can’t play football. His feet hurt.’ ”
Walker laughed and answered: “How rude is that? I get this kind of grief all the time, so that makes me an even stronger Broncos fan.”
She explained how she loved the current Broncos’ logo much more than the old one.
“She likes,” Conard-Walker said, “those donkeys on her helmet.”
The couple broke up laughing again.
You get the picture right?
They are fans of different teams, but it’s not nasty in way.
They have something in common: Neither one likes the Steelers. Or the Patriots.
Walker will be in the unusual role of cheering for the Chiefs on Saturday.
“I’m good with that,” she said. “Isn’t that amazing? I like their quarterback, but if they’re playing each other, sorry. It all changes.”
Pressed a bit further, Walker fell back on her roots, having grown up in Wyandotte County (Conard-Walker’s childhood was spent not far from the Truman Sports Complex).
“Here’s the deal,” Walker begins. “Since the Royals did so well and everything turned blue in the city and the Chiefs have been so long, waiting for it to happen, it would be cool to see that happen. Just once. I don’t hate the Chiefs, but I might dislike them when my Chiefs friends start calling my Broncos ‘donkeys.’ I get that a lot.”
And that’s just from her wife.
If the Chiefs and Broncos are playing on Jan. 24 for the right to go to the Super Bowl, both agree it will be pandemonium.
“It’ll be fun,” Conard-Walker said. “I mean it’ll be fun!”
You can bet on that.