KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Just when we thought beating the Las Vegas Raiders was only another win for the Kansas City Chiefs, special teams player Armani Watts sent a reminder of what it means after the teams faced one another last month.
Watts tweeted that the Chiefs wouldn't need to take a victory lap of Las Vegas' Allegiant Stadium after their 41-14 win, a broad-sided swipe at the Raiders, who felt compelled to circle Arrowhead Stadium in their team buses after a 2020 victory in Kansas City.
The rivalry between the Chiefs and Raiders, who meet again Sunday in Kansas City (1 p.m. ET, CBS), may not be what it used to be. The games were often for supremacy in the standings and many times punctuated by fights and other extracurricular activities.
But the teams still have their moments when facing one another, and last year was a classic for the rivalry. The Raiders won at Arrowhead for the first time since 2012 and then toured the stadium parking lot on the way to the airport. The Chiefs later won the first game between the teams in Las Vegas but only after scoring the winning touchdown in the game's final minute.
"There's a different attitude and different mentality to these games against the Raiders," quarterback Patrick Mahomes said.
That's what led Jon Gruden, then coaching the Raiders, to order their buses to take a trip around Arrowhead after last year's game. He later said the combination of beating the Chiefs in Arrowhead plus a comment from one of the bus drivers got him sufficiently motivated to make such a move.
We don't need no victory lap on to the next 💪🏽— Armani Watts (KCP) (@ArmaniWatts23) November 15, 2021
The owner of the company that arranges the Raiders' bus transportation in Kansas City told ESPN he wasn't present to hear what might have been said by the offending bus driver. He said it was his understanding -- after talking to the driver -- that the driver wished Gruden the best of luck for the rest of the season except for when the Chiefs come out there to play.
Whatever was said or not said, the Chiefs weren't happy with the Raiders' victory lap. Coach Andy Reid made an issue of it before the teams met for last season's rematch, saying, "They won the game, so they can do anything they want to do, [but] that's not our style."
Judging from Watts' tweet, the subject is still a touchy one for the Chiefs, at least in some corners of their locker room.
The Chiefs and Raiders have a history with bus-related incidents in Kansas City. In 1996, a Raiders kicker named Cole Ford commandeered a team bus following a team practice session in Kansas City the day before a game at Arrowhead.
He eventually got the team back to its hotel, but not before -- according to accounts in the San Francisco Chronicle and The Athletic -- clipping a stop sign and hitting at least one tree.
That type of incident could happen in any city and in any rivalry, but it's probably not a coincidence it happened between the Chiefs and Raiders. Offensive tackle Orlando Brown, in his first season with the Chiefs after a trade from the Baltimore Ravens, is no stranger to heated rivalries. The Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers have one of the most intense battles in the NFL.
But he said before last month's game in Las Vegas that he was looking forward to his first Chiefs-Raiders game.
"Every level, no matter high school, college, little league, you've got your rivalry games," Brown said. "When you look into rivalry games, digging too deep and too far into them, I feel like you kind of ride the emotional roller-coaster when you get out there so I'm approaching it just like any other Sunday."