What the Chiefs History and Network Monitoring Have in Common.
The date was January 7, 1996. The temperature was 0 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill of negative 15 degrees at kickoff. The location: Arrowhead stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. It was the Divisional round of the NFL playoffs on the AFC side. My father had decided that I was old enough to join him and his two brothers on this trip. There are a few things that 6-year-old me remembers from that game.
The first and most obvious was the bitter cold. I remember being taken to the heated bathrooms several times throughout the game in order to warm up. We sat right next to where the team ran out on the field, so I remember how cool I thought it was to get to watch NFL players just feet from where we were sitting. I also remember Jim Kelly being introduced at halftime for some reason, and Chiefs fans were not overly receptive of him. He had just beat them in the AFC Championship two years prior, something I was too young to comprehend at the time. Finally, I remember the field goal that was missed at the end that would’ve sent the game into overtime. The Chiefs kicker at that time, Lin Elliot, missed three field goals in all that day and would end up becoming one of the most infamous players in Kansas City Chiefs history. The Chiefs ended up losing that game 10-7. I did not really understand the significance of that game at the time, I just knew the Chiefs had lost and I was supposed to feel some sort of way about that. Little did I know that this would be my first taste of disappointment in what would become a lifelong passion. I’ve attended Arrowhead Stadium several times since then and almost all of those trips have ended up with similar (or worse) results for the home team.
Fast forward 24 years and countless heartbreaking playoff losses later, the Chiefs are in the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years and the first time in my lifetime. The temperature was around 70 degrees with no windchill in my dad’s shop. We also replaced those cold, hard, plastic stadium seats with a nice warm comfortable couch. My father and two uncles sitting beside me again just like they had all those years ago. The Chiefs once again struggled for the first three quarters and it looked as though they were headed for yet another heartbreaking postseason loss. The Chiefs, down 20-10 with only 7 minutes and 13 seconds left were facing a 3rd down with 15 yards to go. It was bleak, but then THE play happened. A 44-yard pass got the Chiefs back in business and the rest, as they say, is history. After the game there was nothing but hugs and tears of joy. Washed away was all the heartache and disappointment from the 50 years prior. All that mattered in that moment was that the Chiefs, and by extension – we, were world champions.
Heartache and disappointment can be common for service providers who are trying to staff and run their own Network Operations Center. Technicians being woke up and dispatched in the middle of the night when the problem is minor and could wait until morning usually convey the same dismay you might get when you watch your favorite team miss a game-tying field goal… Or three. If these issues sound familiar and you feel like you’re facing an uphill battle, a look into Nex-Tech’s outsourced NOC may be the 44-yard bomb on 3rd & 15 your team needs. Nex-Tech provides fully staffed 24x7 network monitoring and can lessen the burden on after-hours employees. One technician that works for a company that Nex-Tech’s NOC provides support for said, “At least if I’m getting called out in the middle of the night, I know it’s for good reason.”