By Matt Derrick
The shortest speech at Kansas City’s Super Bowl rally Wednesday had the most significant pledge. Leave it up to head coach Andy Reid to set the bar high for the Chiefs coming off the franchise’s first championship in 50 years.
“So listen, one more thing is next year we’re coming right back here,” Reid told the throng of red-clad fans crowding around Union Station. “One more time, baby. One more time.”
Downtown Kansas City turned into a sea of red, with hundreds of thousands jamming the parade route down Grand Street and crowding between Union Station and the Liberty Memorial. Chiefs chairman CEO Clark Hunt said his late father Lamar one wrote that the parade following Super Bowl IV was the best moment of his life. The younger Hunt understood that sentiment on Wednesday.
“That parade is something I will never forget,” he said. “To share that joy together was one of the highlights of my life.”
Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes said the win achieved the two goals he set for himself in 2018.
“When I became the starter for Kansas City, the first thing I wanted to do was bring the Lamar Hunt Trophy back to Kansas City, back to this organization,” Mahomes said. “And the second most important thing I wanted to do was get the Lombardi Trophy for the great coach of all time, Andy Reid.”
Safety Tyrann Mathieu gave credit to his teammates and rattled off the names of the defensive coaching staff for making him feel welcomed and happy in Kansas City.
“I truly feel like when I came to Kansas City, each and every last one of these guys on the stage really gave me some hope, some encouragement, some confidence to really go out there and play fearless, be who I am,” Mathieu said.
Tight end Travis Kelce naturally delivered the keynote address of the day, a profanity-peppered rant perhaps largely fueled by his beverage choice of the day. “I’m wearing about half the beers I’ve been trying to drink, baby,” he said.
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Kelce had high expectations to meet after this brother Jason stole the show at the rally for the Philadelphia Eagles following the team’s Super Bowl LII victory. But it was Kelce’s most personal moment that stood out, expressing a sentiment many of the players felt after Wednesday’s parade.
“This is the most beautiful scene I’ve ever witnessed in my life,” Kelce said. “I love this city to death. I promise you from here to the end I cherish every moment with you all, and I promise you everybody feels the exact same way.”
Wide receiver Tyreek Hill agreed.
“Chiefs Kingdom, man, thank you, you’ve all been real special all freaking year,” Hill told the crowd. “The amount of respect, the amount of love you all give us is tremendous, man. That’s what makes us go out there and ball each and every day.”
Kelce delivered some breaking news about touchdown celebrations at Arrowhead Stadium next season inspired by this year’s championship run – after running it past team president Mark Donovan.
“He made sure it was OK with the (Hunt) family, everybody involved,” Kelce said. “Because of this season, because of you all, every single touchdown, every single point we score at Arrowhead is going to end with the anthem and you all got to help say it right here one last time for 2019-2020 world champions.
“You’ve gotta fight for your right to party.”
Hill concluded the rally in backing up his head coach’s pledge to bring another Super Bowl title back to Kansas City next season.
“Go ahead and plan for it because we’re going each and every day,” Hill said. “We’ve got the best running back, we’ve got the MVP quarterback, we’ve got swagger Kelce, we’ve got the Honey Badger, we’ve got Frank the Tank, black Elvis, we’ve got all of that. And most importantly we’ve got Andy mother freaking Reid, man.”
Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com and a contributor for Sports Radio 810 WHB. Follow him on Twitter @mattderrick.