Reid tells pa­rade-go­ers Chiefs will win again

Kansas City braves cold weather to cel­e­brate vic­tory

Antelope Valley Press - - SPORTS - By MAR­GARET STAFFORD and HEATHER HOLLINGSWO­RTH

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hun­dreds of thou­sands of Kansas City Chiefs fans braved sub-freez­ing wind chills on Wed­nes­day to cel­e­brate the team’s first Su­per Bowl vic­tory in 50 years, and if Coach Andy Reid is to be be­lieved, they’ll be back for an en­core next year.

Fans lined the 2-mile (3.2-kilo­me­ter) pa­rade route to thank their foot­ball he­roes for bring­ing the Lom­bardi Tro­phy back to Kansas City and end­ing a Su­per Bowl drought that be­gan af­ter the Chiefs won Su­per Bowl IV in 1970.

Reid thanked the fans for their con­tin­ued sup­port and for at­tend­ing the pa­rade.

“Next year, we’re com­ing right back here,” Reid said in a brief speech. “One more time baby, one more time.”

Quar­ter­back Pa­trick Ma­homes, the Su­per Bowl MVP who has cap­tured the fans’ de­vo­tion in only his third NFL sea­son, strug­gled with a strained voice but said the cham­pi­onship ful­filled two goals he set when he be­came the team’s starter.

First, he said, he wanted to bring the La­mar Hunt tro­phy for win­ning the AFC cham­pi­onship back to Kansas City. The late La­mar Hunt and the Hunt fam­ily founded the team as the Dal­las Tex­ans in 1960 be­fore mov­ing the team to Kansas City in 1963 and chang­ing the name.

“The sec­ond most im­por­tant thing I wanted to do was get the Lom­bardi Tro­phy for the great­est coach of all time, Andy Reid,” he

said.

Hunt’s son, Clark Hunt, said his fa­ther told him be­fore he died in 2006 that the pa­rade and cel­e­bra­tion af­ter the 1970 Su­per Bowl was the best day of his life be­cause of the joy of the fans.

“Thank you for giv­ing my dad and I some the best days of our lives,” he told the fans. “We love you.”

Tyreek Hill, the speed­ster wide re­ceiver, also promised fans the team would be back for more Su­per Bowl pa­rades. He told the fans that their sup­port and love fu­eled the team’s suc­cess.

“That’s what makes us ball ev­ery­day,” Hill said. “Get your tick­ets, you are go­ing to be in this same spot next year.”

Dur­ing the pa­rade, sev­eral play­ers, in­clud­ing Chris Jones, Tyrann Mathieu and Travis Kelce, got off their dou­ble-decker buses to high-five fans and dance down the street. Reid left his bus to show The Lom­bardi Tro­phy to fans along the route. Other play­ers sprayed fans with cham­pagne and some, in­clud­ing Ma­homes, chugged beer. At one point, Ma­homes was seen pour­ing a beer from the top of a dou­ble-decker bus into the mouth of Kelce, who was in the street.

The event was nearly marred about three hours be­fore the pa­rade be­gan, when an im­paired driver broke through a bar­rier and sped along the pa­rade route. Stop Sticks were thrown and pa­trol ve­hi­cles put the car into a forced spin, stop­ping it near a crowd of fans. The driver and an­other per­son were ar­rested at gun­point, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials and video footage of the in­ci­dent.

No one was in­jured. Po­lice said in a news re­lease the driver is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion for im­pair­ment. No weapons were found in the ve­hi­cle and there were no in­di­ca­tions of ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­ity, said po­lice, who were try­ing to de­ter­mine the sus­pect’s mo­tive.

Mayor Quin­ton Lu­cas told WDAF-TV he was proud of the quick re­sponse of of­fi­cers, who were cheered by fans who wit­nessed the in­ci­dent.

“We have even more he­roes to cheer to­day,” Lu­cas said.

Some fans slept overnight and oth­ers be­gan ar­riv­ing in down­town Kansas City in the early hours Wed­nes­day to re­serve choice view­ing spots.

“This is so awe­some,” said Shauntel Lyons, 40, of Kansas City, who was a Chiefs cheer­leader from 2003 to 2005. “I learned so many great lessons from my time with the team. To see them bring home that tro­phy af­ter 50 years is so grat­i­fy­ing. I’m just glad to be part of it.”

Fans bun­dled up for chilly con­di­tions but the fore­cast for 2 to 3 inches of snow did not ma­te­ri­al­ize, with only light snow fall­ing in­ter­mit­tently.

Wind chills in the teens didn’t de­ter fans like Dana

Reynolds, of Holt, who has been a Chiefs fan for more than 30 years. She and oth­ers ar­rived at 5 a.m. and were tak­ing shel­ter un­der a canopy, com­plete with elec­tric hand warmers, food and every­thing needed to sur­vive the hours-long wait.

“We want to cel­e­brate the Chiefs sea­son and bring the city to­gether,” she said. “It’s been worth the wait. What Andy Reid and this team have done for the city is amaz­ing.”

The Kansas Leg­is­la­ture took the day off to cel­e­brate and their Mis­souri coun­ter­parts sched­uled a light work­day. Many area busi­nesses also planned to close or open on a re­duced sched­ule. At Chil­dren’s Mercy Kansas City, the emer­gency room at the main down­town hospi­tal was open, but ap­point­ments and some surg­eries were resched­uled or moved.

The Chiefs Su­per Bowl win came five years af­ter the city’s Kansas City Roy­als base­ball team won a World Se­ries. An es­ti­mated 800,000 peo­ple flocked to that vic­tory pa­rade, shat­ter­ing ex­pec­ta­tions in a city with a pop­u­la­tion of about 470,000 and a metropoli­tan area of about 2 mil­lion. There was no im­me­di­ate es­ti­mate of the crowd size of Wed­nes­day’s rally.

As­so­ci­ated Press

CHEER Kansas City Chiefs quar­ter­back Pa­trick Ma­homes cheers with the crowd dur­ing a pa­rade through down­town Kansas City, Mo. on Wed­nes­day to cel­e­brate the City Chiefs vic­tory in the NFL’s Su­per Bowl 54.

As­so­ci­ated Press

DOUSED Kansas City Chiefs’ Jor­dan Lu­cas sprays fans with cham­pagne dur­ing a pa­rade through down­town Kansas City, on Wed­nes­day.

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