Thanks for the ride, Kansas City.
Those of us in outstate Missouri — Kansas too — who have pulled steadily for the Chiefs through thick and thin were no less thrilled than those who gathered in the Power and Light District on Sunday night to await that fourth-quarter ruling — “The goal on the field stands” — that put the Chiefs ahead in the final minutes of the Super Bowl.
This was not just a Kansas City moment, but a Missouri moment. Kansas too.
Local residents told us of their long-suffering half-century wait, the lean years, the almost-years and the tough playoff losses — the string of losing seasons in the 1970s after two early Super Bowl appearances and one victory, the 2-14 season in 2008 and again in 2012, the many one-and-done playoff appearances in the last 50 years.
Carl Junction resident Jake Dahr spoke for a lot of area residents when he told us about his trip to Arrowhead that ended with an 18-16 divisional round loss to the Pittsburg Steelers in 2017. Making matters worse, his car didn’t start afterward, and so he waited in the cold for five hours for friends to pick him up.
“You could hear the Steelers fans celebrating ... and it’s all foggy and it just looked like the apocalypse,” he said. “Trash was just blowing everywhere, and it was just sad and dark.”
It felt like that at times.
Three years later, Dahr said of the Chiefs’ return to the Super Bowl: “It’s just surreal. I still can’t believe it.”
It felt like that too.
One fan told us he has followed the Chiefs because they represent Midwest values. Toughness. Determination. Optimism. A team that embraces its roots.
We agree with all that.
We hope the ride will continue, but come next season, win or lose, we won’t soon forget what happened last weekend in Miami.