On the eve of the highly anticipated playoff game with the Indianapolis Colts, the Chiefs are saying goodbye to one of their longtime members.
Jackson County Deputy Sheriff Martin Hendrickson, known to many as Red, never suited up or played football for the Chiefs, but he is as much a member of the squad.
He has retired from the department and spent years keeping the players safe.
For decades Hendrickson has been a familiar face on the sidelines of Arrowhead Stadium.
"Great years, great years and fun years of watching them win a lot, but it was a slow build," he said.
It was a slow build 30 years in the making and Hendrickson was an eyewitness to all of it. In 1984, he was assigned to protect the punters and kickers during the game. It was a cool gig with plenty of perks, although, at that time, team victories were few and far between.
"When I started in the early 80s, they weren't a very good team. We would go out in the parking lot after the game and that's when I got to know Baldi [Rich Baldinger] and (John) Alt," Hendrickson said.
Alt, an offensive tackle who played 12 years with the Chiefs, along with former punter Louis Aguilar and Baldinger, a guard, all formed a special bond by their gridiron connection.
"They were friends. They've become friends over the years and that's become a blessing to me too," Hendrickson said.
He has made plans to stay in touch with longtime season ticket holders who will continue to cheer on their squad as they make their run toward the Super Bowl.
Hendrickson says a lot has changed over the years in terms of football and penalties. For example, anytime the decibel level was too loud, the team would get a 5-yard penalty.
Arrowhead temporarily was the world's loudest stadium, having set a noise record of 137.5 decibels in October of this season. The Seattle Seahawks beat that in December when their fans recorded a record of 137.6 decibels.
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