The Chiefs are Super Bowl Champs

 

I’ve waited my whole life to say, THE CHIEFS ARE SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS. Sunday night was one of the best sports moments of my life, added to a shortlist in my memory bank that also includes the 2015 Royals. What a privilege it’s been to have watched two of my favorite teams win world championships in a five-year span.

I’ve been a Chiefs fan for as long as I can remember. When I was a child, my grandpa taught me to watch the game. So even though I didn’t watch much television when I was young, each week I soaked up every minute of Monday Night Football before my bedtime—which came, to my dismay, around halftime. It’s a school night, after all.

For a brief period of time, I cheered simultaneously for the Chiefs and the Broncos until a die-hard Kansas City fan warned me of the error of my ways. In my defense, Elway was so fun to watch in the late 1990s.

I went to my first Chiefs game in 1999, and over the past 20 years, I’ve attended a handful of games. I’ve watched many quarterbacks come and go. So I can honestly say it’s been a thrill these last two years to have a quarterback who’s the envy of the nation. Am I biased? Probably.

Victory is sweetest after years of endured heartbreak. Remember when Mahomes never touched the ball in overtime versus the Patriots in the AFC Championship last year? Or that loss to the Colts in the 2013 AFC Wild Card Game after blowing a 38-10 lead? How about that time Marcus Mariota threw a touchdown pass to himself in the 2018 AFC Wild Card to lead the Titans to a come-from-behind victory? Believe me, it’s not easy being on the receiving end of what the Chiefs did to so many playoff contenders this year.

Then there are the highlights that are fun to remember. Remember when the Chiefs stunned Houston in the divisional round by erasing a 24-0 deficit to win, 51-31? Or how Kansas City trailed by 10 a few times before defeating the Titans in the AFC championship? And finally, capping it all by scoring 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to defeat San Francisco in the Super Bowl, 31-20.

I think what made the big game so special was the sense of community. Everywhere I looked, I saw the signs. Fans sporting jerseys Sunday morning in church. Kansas City’s Union Station lit in red. Social media posts and tweets. Friends gathering for parties, the sharing of food and conversation (admittedly I’m the antisocial one who actually wants to watch the game), the texts I received across time zones as it became apparent the Chiefs were going to win.

For a brief moment in time, so many of us were united on the same team. In a world that can be so divisive, that’s a great feeling.

For the last seven years, I’ve been a part of the Hillsboro Free Press team. My role has changed some over the years, from sports editor to freelance sports writer. But my passion for, and enjoyment of, covering sports in Marion County hasn’t changed, nor has my gratefulness to those who have given me this opportunity to write and supported and believed in me along the way.

I suppose in a way I’m burying the lede a bit here, but with this issue of the newspaper, the time has come for me to step away. Thanks for trusting me, for reading my words and for letting me know from time to time that you read them, too. I’m so grateful to have been part of the team.

My name may show up here from time to time for a special feature or column; we’ll see how it goes. It’s hard to take the sports out of the girl. But for now, I say, “Go Chiefs!” and whisper, “Is it baseball season yet?”

1999 Chiefs fan Janae