By KC Command Fan & Correspondent Tyler Derby:
Many of us watch football games, but how many of us ever give a thought to the preparation the team goes through on game-day? For this edition of the Command Center, I was able to talk to several Command players, coaches, and front office staff before their game against the Chicago Rush on April 7th to give the fans an insight into what game day is like for them.
Q: What is your usual game-day routine?
Bubby Gill: I like to wake up and start the day with a hot shower and I always make it a point to have face time with my 2 boys. I also listen to Beats by Dre to pump me up and get my mind right for the game.
Cornelius Dixon: I basically like to relax on game day and get focused for the game. I like to listen to music before the game to get myself ready to play.
JC Neal: I really try to stay loose on game day and stay relaxed. It’s important to find a happy medium, so you don’t get too hyped up or too relaxed, it’s important to find that balance.
Receivers Coach Tod Devoe: Being a coach now, the game-day preparation is definitely different. I basically just have to get myself out of that player’s mindset and focus on the coaching side of things. The hardest thing from transitioning to being a coach is getting over the fact of not being a player anymore and thinking from a different point of view.
Q: Who would you say is the vocal leader of the team?
Cornelius Dixon: Um, probably Diyral Briggs. He is one who will pump us up and give us that extra boost we need to push ourselves.
Command President Pete Likens on his role as Team President
Pete Likens: I deal with a lot of administrative issues behind the scenes during the week and on game-day. There is a lot more of these tasks to do than you would think, so it is important I fulfill those to the best of my ability. Being part of this organization has been very rewarding and something I really enjoy.
I also had the opportunity to talk to Eddie Kennison about what game day was like for him during his NFL days.
Eddie Kennison: When I played, I always arrived to the stadium early on game-day’s (around 8:30). I would go into the locker room and get myself mentally and physically ready for that day’s game. I wanted to make sure my mind was right and I was focused on performing on the field.
Q: How has your experience been so far with the Command?
Eddie Kennison: It’s been absolutely great. I really enjoy the game of football and this allows me to be around the game. I have enjoyed giving the players advice, not just football advice, but advice on being men and professionals off the field as well.
It was a great experience to see how all the players prepare on game day and the routines they go through. One person who often gets overlooked is the equipment manager, and the Command has a great one in Marty Almendarez. He was constantly working on adjusting equipment and helping in any way he could. I was really impressed with his effort and the players also pointed out how vital he is to the team. There really is a lot more that goes on before the game than you would think. So next time you are watching an AFL game, you may think more about the preparation these players put in and not just what happens on the field.
The Command Center is published once a week and focuses on getting to know the players, coaches, and owners and allowing the fans to learn more about these tremendous individuals. It is authored by Tyler Derby, a diehard fan of the Kansas City Command going back to its Brigade days who has followed the Arena Football League for years. It is written by a fan for the fans!!