Super Bowl parades are tailor-made for Chiefs Kingdom

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - FEBRUARY 15: A general view of fans during the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl LVII victory parade on February 15, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - FEBRUARY 15: A general view of fans during the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl LVII victory parade on February 15, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images) /

Kansas City is on fire today as the Chiefs’ victory parade ensues.

There are a few ingredients that go into making a Super Bowl parade successful. You need a passionate fanbase, players who are incredibly endearing to the city, an owner that spares no expense to put on a great party, and a city that is prepared and willing to rage on a Wednesday afternoon.

Kansas City is the perfect incubator for the ideal victory parade to flourish.

While the 2020 version of the Chiefs Super Bowl parade released 50 years of pent-up frustration, wiped away football-induced inferiority complexes, and bridged the gap between generations of Chiefs fans who finally could relate to being champions, this year’s affair felt different. This felt more like something that we’re going to continue to get more and more accustomed to as a city.

It didn’t stop Chiefs Kingdom from getting after it early. Why should we be surprised by this? Seasoned Chiefs fans can tell you almost exactly to the minute when they expect the gates to open at Arrowhead during regular season and postseason games. Why is that impressive? Because the gates never open when they say they’re going to – traffic backs up so far onto the roads leading into Arrowhead that the stadium staff has to open them early. If it’s a big game, people will be there hours before the gates are set to open. Same with victory parades.

Chiefs Kingdom is, indeed, built differently. This is a fan base that has been hardened by mediocrity in perpetuity for so, so long. Prior to the Andy Reid era and even into the first half of the Hall of Fame coach’s tenure in K.C., we as a fan base experienced heartbreak after heartbreak. Lin Elliott. John Elway. Peyton Manning and the “No Punt” game. Andrew Luck and the Colts’ incredible comeback from 28 points down. The Steelers’ defeat of the Chiefs with only field goals. Marcus Mariota’s touchdown pass to himself. That’s when the Chiefs made the playoffs. There were many, many seasons where that seemed like something we’d never see again.

While the emotional scar tissue from those moments sometimes comes back around in short spurts, they represent a time in Chiefs Kingdom that is becoming more and more of a distant memory. Patrick Mahomes has delivered us from football oppression. Travis Kelce, Chris Jones, Nick Bolton, and others have given us a reason to stand confidently in the NFL fandom arena and know that our team is as likely as any to walk away from any season at the top of the mountain.

The juxtaposition of those two paragraphs is exactly why Kansas City is tailor-made for the pageantry and pandemonium that ensues during a championship parade. Torture us, beat us down for decades, then give us the gift of the ultimate football messiah in the form of Patrick Lavon Mahomes II.

Then, insert a couple of deep playoff runs, two of which have (so far) capped off in Super Bowl championships, and you get scenes like this.

The feeling of the parade on Wednesday—the players, fans, front office, and other team leadership—was not “we’re lucky to be here”. It was more of an attitude of “this is where we expect to be”.

With the fifth youngest roster in the NFL, double-digit picks in this April’s Draft, and a salary cap that continues to climb as Brett Veach masterfully keeps the Chiefs under it year after year you have to wonder: how many of these will we end up seeing? There’s a chance this was the last one, and if it was it was a hell of a way to end the season. But there’s a better chance that we’re just getting started.

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