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Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs: First-half open thread

Divisional Round - Baltimore Ravens v Buffalo Bills Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills play the Kansas City Chiefs tonight for the right to go to Super Bowl LV. Before we talk about tonight, though, let’s go back in time for a moment.

It’s 1994. I’m seven; I’ll be eight in April. My dad is 34; he’ll be 35 in May. We’re settling in to watch the Bills play for their fourth straight Super Bowl appearance. All we’ve heard about all week is how Buffalo’s quarterback, Jim Kelly, is good, but Joe Montana of the Kansas City Chiefs is the greatest of all time. I am a bundle of nervous energy and I am clearly annoying my father, but he is putting up with it—probably because it’s pretty awesome that family can stick together and watch these games.

We know how that one turned out. The Bills won 30-13 before falling to the Dallas Cowboys by the same score two weeks later in Super Bowl XXVIII. The Bills haven’t been back to an AFC Championship Game in between then and today, while this game is the third consecutive AFC Title contest to be held in Arrowhead Stadium.

Today, I’m 34; I’ll be 35 in April. My dad is...well, older...but I’m lucky to be able to watch every game with him still. He’ll settle in on my couch instead of the one in the living room where I grew up. Joining us will be my sons, who are six and three. Hopefully, they’ll be able to experience the same kind of feeling I did 27 years ago.

For tonight’s production, the actors may have changed, but the wardrobe remains the same. Neither Patrick Mahomes nor Josh Allen were alive for that January contest, but the ghosts of AFC and AFL greats loom large in this one. From the man for whom the AFC Champion’s trophy is named, Lamar Hunt, to the fellow member of the “Foolish Club,” Ralph C. Wilson, whose franchise won that trophy four times in a row, a Bills-Chiefs matchup is a great one steeped in tradition.

Stefon Diggs is here. So is Tyreek Hill. Travis Kelce is ready to roll, and Matt Milano is back to try to slow him down. Clyde Edwards-Helaire set career highs in carries and yards in Week 6. Cole Beasley caught a touchdown pass in that meeting. The stage is set, and the winner advances to the Super Bowl.

This is your first-half thread, ladies and gentlemen. If you want the traditional experience, be sure to set your comments to appear with the “oldest” on top. Enjoy the game wherever you are and with whomever you’re watching it. Go Bills!