I remember the first time my daughter yelled, “TOUCHDOWN KANSAS CITY.” I remember the time I said touchdown, and my son threw his arms up, giving the official referee signal. Those were both huge parenting wins in my book.
I moved to Kansas City when I was 11. Ironically, it was the year the St. Louis Rams won the Super Bowl. My dad and I became Chiefs fans pretty quickly. I learned about the magic of Arrowhead Stadium and the loyalty of a town that loves its football team.
If you know anything about the Chiefs, you know our team struggled for many years. We were under a playoff curse, and each time we made it to the postseason, Chiefs fans felt heartbreak. It was rough. But that pain didn’t stop Chiefs Kingdom from packing Arrowhead and remaining tried and true to our team.
When I met my husband, I warned him that my mood on Sunday afternoons would solely hinge upon the Chiefs game outcome. I’m not sure he took me seriously, but he got a glimpse a few weeks into dating. We were watching the game when he got up and left the room. When he came back, I wasn’t there. He found me outside on the front porch, pouting. My boys lost again.
The Chiefs have had some remarkable talent over the years. From Derrick Thomas to Tony Gonzalez, to Trent Green, to Eric Berry, just to name a few. And, as much as I love the current roster, none compare to the one and only Hall of Fame Quarterback Len Dawson. I got the chance to work with Len for three and half years at KMBC-TV, right out of college, which felt like a dream. Len told me about Super Bowl I and IV, the Chiefs’ only Super Bowl appearances until last year. Len threw an interception in the first Super Bowl, and the team eventually lost. However, they were redeemed three years later, winning Super Bowl IV. Thinking about the day Len brought in his Super Bowl ring still melts my heart.
When we moved to St. Charles, we knew we were in enemy territory but found small pockets of Chiefs fans. While the Rams were still in town, we had to go to sports bars to see most of the games. I have proudly worn my Chiefs gear around the city since day one!
When my daughter was born in 2016, there was no doubt she would be raised wearing red and gold. She happily sported her Chiefs onesies for Red Friday and wore Travis Kelce’s number on her first jersey. My son followed suit in 2018, wearing the same jersey, and eventually was Andy Reid for Halloween.
At first, my kids would play during the games if they weren’t napping, but it slowly turned into family time. My daughter calls every Chiefs opponent “the bad team” and loves to do her touchdown dance. Both kids scream, “TOUCHDOWN KANSAS CITY,” at the top of their lungs. My daughter and I now have matching jerseys for our favorite player, Patrick Mahomes. She gets so excited when she sees him on commercials. She is starting to understand the difference between offense and defense, which is good because we used to hear, “why isn’t Patrick on the field” 500 times a game.
Last year’s postseason accomplishments were amazing, and I loved sharing them with my kids. Having a strong team and watching them win the Super Bowl for the first time in my life was magical. I’m hoping for a consecutive win!
The bond my dad and I formed as Chiefs fans is great. We’ve gone to Arrowhead many times and text during every game if we can’t watch it together. It’s a unique tie we have, and I know my kids now have that, too. Chiefs football is a time-honored tradition, no matter how good our team is. It also teaches lessons about leadership, teamwork, respect, and loyalty.
Considering the caliber of team that we have in the Chiefs now, I don’t expect my kids to suffer as much disappointment as I did. If they do, they also know support is what Kansas City fans do best. And, as every Chiefs fan knows, “O’er the land of the free, and the home of the CHIEFS!”