How Kansas City was tailor-made for this Chiefs dynasty

Take the sights and sound of Super Bowl 58 out of the equation, the sights and sounds of Kansas City leading up to the Chiefs second consecutive Super Bowl championship and the birth of the NFL's newest dynasty proved the city is tailor made for this.

Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Michael Owens/GettyImages

Kansas City is not a city known globally for its architecture or arts scene, although it is certainly becoming more and more of a recognizable cultural hub in the U.S. You won't see the skyline of Kansas City printed on expensive canvas for sale at any boutiques in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, or London. Instead, the most iconic things about Kansas City are its numerous fountains, its mob ties, its penchant for producing some of the best barbecue in the world, and now its rightful place as the football capital of the world.

Don't tell Kansas Citians that their home is not cut out to be on a national or international stage, though.

While you can discount the size, skyline, or amenities in Kansas City, you cannot take away one thing that the city does better than anyone: its civic pride. On any given weekend, if you walk around the Plaza or downtown KC, if you grab some drinks in Brookside, or if you head down to the suburbs on the Kansas side to hit a Rally House or Scheel's, you'll see Kansas City-themed gear and decor everywhere you go. Kansas City loves Kansas City. And Kansas City loves their Chiefs.

Last weekend, I decided to take a trip downtown to take in the sights and sounds of the city on the brink of turning decades worth of misery into something that no one ever expected. As we drove through the Plaza, we could see Chiefs flags adorning the street lights and fountains dyed red.

Progressing through the Plaza north on Main, we observed Chiefs signs and messages on the exterior of businesses all the way until we reached the high point somewhere around Main and Linwood and looked down onto the city's skyline. As modest (yet to us, iconic) as it may be during the day, at night it is a sight to behold—during a Chiefs playoff run no less.

The sights and sounds of Kansas City leading up to the Chiefs' second consecutive Super Bowl championship and the birth of the NFL's newest dynasty proved the city is tailor-made for this.

The Power and Light building, Town Pavilion, Union Station, and the Kauffman Center—all lit up in Chiefs red. Cars passing by tell you the story of a city enchanted with their football team, fully engulfed in the sense that the moment we are in now is one that we should relish for years to come.

Not many NFL fan bases get to experience what it's like to reach the apex of the football world, let alone be a part of sustained success. Many had their doubts during the regular season, but after the Chiefs handled their business against the Dolphins, Bills, and Ravens, there didn't appear to be a soul in the city who was not prepared for what Super Bowl 58 had to offer.

Union Station truly captured the spirit of the moment. For those who have visited during the holidays, you know what it can be like at Christmas. The Saturday before Super Bowl 58 could only be rivaled by the days leading up to the Yuletide season, except this time the big man in red rocks a generational mustache, not a long white beard.

As you walked in from the parking garages, above you on a perch nestled atop the walkway to the old US Postal Service exhibit were cardboard cutouts of Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Nick Bolton. You could even stand in line close by and get your picture taken with a cutout of the newest Chiefs superfan: a shirtless Jason Kelce.

In the Grand Plaza stood Chiefs-centric displays that would make a grown man laugh like a kid on Christmas morning. Trust me, I speak from experience. Everything from photo-ready Super Bowl 58 props for adults and children, to a life-sized Patrick Mahomes bobblehead, to numerous Taylor and Travis-themed friendship bracelet displays—one of the most recognizable event spaces in the city had been transformed into a full-on temple of football excellence. You couldn't find a single individual in the room, or around the building—hell, in the city—who wasn't swelling with pride over what the Chiefs had the potential to accomplish in the next 24 hours.

In a city that was starved for decades for football success, the sustained excellence that the Chiefs have found in the Patrick Mahomes era has been something that is not only appreciated or lauded, it's adored. It's something that has not only become about bragging rights but has become a part of an entire city's identity. Kansas City has long been on the map for its place in westbound expansion in the US, early trade routes and ports along the Missouri River, as well as its renowned place in basketball and baseball history dating back to the 1800s. But it has never been considered the epicenter of the football world. Until now.

With all of the grandeur and celebration surrounding the Chiefs heading into the Super Bowl, the team could have let the immense pressure of an entire city's devotion and longing for the next level of success crush them. But as they have done time and time again over the last six seasons, they stood and delivered. But they didn't just deliver a victory over the 49ers. They didn't just cement themselves as the NFL's newest dynasty. Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid, and Travis Kelce did not just (somehow) elevate their legacies to the Pantheon of their respective crafts. The Chiefs delivered so much more.

These Chiefs delivered Kansas City the greatest gift that a professional sports team can offer to its home city: They delivered an everlasting sense of pride. They firmly stamped the map with their presence and continued dominance, and in that, they made Kansas City the new football capital of the world. For red-blooded Americans like myself, being both the barbecue and football capital of the world is something that I don't think will fully set in for some time.

Boston has been dubbed "Titletown" due to impressive championship runs by the Red Sox, Celtics, and Patriots over the years. Los Angeles has seen the Lakers achieve prolonged success while the Rams recently sprinkled in some assistance. But it is fitting now that all NFL roads now run through a city with so much heart exuding from the blue-collar, humble people who reside in it. A city that shows so much love to one another is truly cut out to show the type of love and appreciation to a sports franchise that has not only given the city an all-time historical winner but also has given so much back to the community,

Kansas City is so much more than a sports city, though, as we've seen in recent days. Kansas Citians are tough. They band together. They are resilient, and they are proud. The same building that was lit up in preparation for Super Bowl 58 and for the victory parade that followed was also the site of one of the most unfortunate events in K.C.'s history shortly after Travis Kelce wrapped up his incredible rendition of "Friends in Low Places". But the despicable acts of a few do not define the heart of the city or the hearts of its champions. Kansas City's response to the heinous act—uplifting one another in prayer, responding with charity, and rallying for support—shows the championship mindset of this city.

Lombardi Trophies are great, but they do not define the heart of a champion. Resilience, determination, and teamwork were keystone pieces of the Chiefs' third Super Bowl championship in five seasons. As it turns out, those three hallmark traits are also shared by the city in which the franchise resides. The team has truly become a reflection of the city, and in almost every way, Kansas City remains on the rise, even when doubted, disliked, disrespected, or worse.