By: Aly Trost
That’s how long fans all across Chiefs Kingdom had waited to see their beloved Kansas City Chiefs make it to a Super Bowl. 50 years of waiting and hoping for something that felt as though it might never come.
However, that all changed last season when Patrick Mahomes, in his first season as a starting NFL quarterback, validated the hope that Chiefs fans had held on to for the last 50 years and made it all, in a way, feel like it was worth the wait on February 2nd, 2020.
That’s how early Chiefs fans started lining up outside of the Kansas City Power & Light District to claim their spots for the Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Fransisco 49ers Super Bowl LIV watch party — a game that wouldn’t take place for nearly 12 more hours.
It was the most beautiful sea of red I’ve ever seen — only second to the ones on display at Arrowhead Stadium from August through January.
With all of KC Live Block! Full by 10 a.m., and the NFL on FOX cameras getting set to put Kansas City and its fans on display during the Super Bowl broadcast, the party got started early. “The Chop” rang loud and proud more times than I can count, while “M-V-P” and “AN-DY REID” chants led by myself and my co-host Nate Bukaty roused an already lively crowd.
Throughout the day, fans took the stage to participate in various contests and competitions — from limbo to ketchup eating, a Chiefs roster “spelling bee,” best Patrick Mahomes impression and everything in-between, time ticked away effortlessly with THE game approaching quickly and fans showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Confidence. Anxiety. Joy. Fear.
The range of 20,000 people’s emotions mixed throughout the air like the drinks being consumed by the crowd. Finally, it was time for fate to be answered: game time.
The story of the next 60 minutes is one you already know the ending to. The Chiefs became Super Bowl LIV champions in a thrilling come from behind, 30-21 victory over the 49ers at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, FL.
What you don’t know, and couldn’t understand unless you were there, is the feeling that overcame the Power & Light District. Tears, the biggest smiles you’ve ever seen, deafening yells…I still get chills thinking about it.
That night, tens of thousands got to experience a night they’ll never forget. A night spent alongside new friends, family and strangers who all shared in the exact same elation as they witnessed history being made by a team they loved in a city that holds so much meaning in their hearts.
Champagne drenched the crowd repeatedly, while songs like “We Are the Champions” by Queen and “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)” by the Beastie Boys blasted through the speakers. The real party had just begun.
Time slipped away as more Chiefs fans flocked to the scene and local restaurants opened their doors to the masses — keeping the festivities going well into the night and, for many, all the way up until Wednesday: the day of the highly anticipated Chiefs parade.
From the north most point of Grand Blvd. all the way down to Union Station, fans flooded the streets to cheer on their champions: The Kansas City Chiefs.
Former Chiefs legends like former offensive lineman Tim Grunhard, wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and even super fan and famous actor Paul Rudd were amongst the hundreds of thousands of fans who braved the cold to partake in the momentous event.
Red double-decker buses carting ownership, coaches, staff, players, as well as their friends and families, rolled down Grand with a few lucky fans getting on the receiving end of a couple of footballs thrown perfectly into the crowd by none other than Patrick Mahomes.
As the brigade made its way to Union Station for the victory rally, a few Chiefs took the streets to high five fans, sign autographs and get the crowd going — an unforgettable scene and example of just how much these players love their fans.
Just as we saw at the watch party on Super Bowl Sunday, a sea of red, even grander, took over Union Station as CEO & Chairman Clark Hunt, as well as players, head coach Andy Reid and others addressed the fans.
And while it took 50 long, painstaking years to get to that glorious moment, there’s one thing that is for certain: the Chiefs and all of the Kingdom did exactly what tight end Travis Kelce famously said after the AFC Championship win, Super Bowl win and with the mic in his hand at the post-parade victory rally:
They fought for their right…to PARTY!