Chiefs fans rewarded for patience
When Norma Cook grew up across the street from Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, having the Kansas City Chiefs as neighbors in her apartment complex was no big deal.
Neither was the Chiefs being in the Super Bowl.
They played in two of the first four.
Last Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of the Chiefs’ 23-7 domination of the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV, the first played in New Orleans.
The owner of the Valley’s semipro football team, the High Desert Phoenix, never imagined she would win a football championship trophy before her favorite team would again.
But she did.
“It’s so exciting to see what has happened to my Chiefs,” Cook exulted. “When I was growing up, I didn’t grasp how great the players were who I just knew as our neighbors. I just knew they were gentle giants who always had time to talk to me.
“Fifty years kind of puts everything into perspective.”
Perhaps the Valley’s No.
1 Chiefs fan set a karmic tone with her Phoenix’s 2017 Pacific Coast Football League championship.
Kansas City drafted quarterback Patrick Mahomes that year.
Now a team that had never hosted an AFC Championship Game in its history is about to host its second straight against the Tennessee Titans Sunday back in Cook’s childhood neighborhood.
The Chiefs are heavy favorites to win their first
AFC title in 50 years.
That they got here in Phoenix-rising-from-theashes fashion in last week’s divisional playoff comeback win over the Houston Texans only makes the whole thing more karmic to Cook.
Falling behind 24-0, they looked like the same old Chefs who always found ways to lose playoff games under jinxed head coach Andy Reid.
The roar back to a record-setting 51-31 victory was big enough to cleanse 50 years of frustration.
Her team’s success these last three years justified Cook’s passion of the past decade with becoming the first female principal owner in Southern California semipro football.
Frustrations reached critical mass in 2016 when she nearly scrapped the whole thing amid a variety of problems.
But Norma Cook could no more give up on semipro football than she could her beloved Chiefs.
With the aid of super promoter Dwayne Simon, the HDP has been to two of the last three PCFC title games.
Coach Sam Vaiana’s fiery sideline passions were rekindled. He returned to Highlang High and helped the Bulldogs reach the CIF state championship game.
A new spring football league has been spawned, the North County Zulus.
And before they played their first game, Demario Richard and his remarkable comeback saga have been invited to a Raiders tryout camp in Las Vegas. Karma?
The Chiefs may be playing catch-up with their No. 1 Valley fan.