For Kansas City Chiefs fans, Super Bowl overtime win ‘couldn’t have been any sweeter’
After a nerve-racking game that saw tight end Travis Kelce yelling angrily at coach Andy Reid and Taylor Swift anxiously picking her fingernails in a suite, the Kansas City Chiefs prevailed in overtime.
Relief, euphoria and fireworks broke out around the metro after the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers in overtime to win the 2024 Super Bowl.
"I've never been that nervous in a Super Bowl game that we've had," said Gadiid Mohamed, who was walking in Westport after the game.
"I feel like every great quarterback has had their moment where they have made a play in the Super Bowl to win it all," Mohamed said. "And when we were down three, with (Patrick Mahomes) marching down the field, it can't get better than that."
Jillian Jones, Mia Weisbach and Reagan Jones went to the University of Kansas together and witnessed the first Chiefs Super Bowl win in 2020. The trio celebrated the win in Westport and watched fireworks set off from the street.
"I've watched Kansas City my whole life. It's really cool to see them go back-to-back, and be able to experience it as a college student and again as an adult," Jillian Jones said.
"I came down for my first parade when they won for the first time in 50 years, and it's been great to see them become a real dynasty. I love football. I'm so excited to be out here and it's been so cool to win," Reagan Jones said.
The defending Super Bowl champions weren’t favored to win. But they’d also beaten the odds at the Jan. 28 AFC Championship with a 17-10 win over the Baltimore Ravens, the No. 1 seed in the AFC, to make it to the big game. It’s the first time a team has won back-to-back Super Bowl championships since the New England Patriots in 2003 and ‘04.
Brandon Sabisdon, a longtime employee at Woody’s KC in Midtown who stayed after his shift to watch the game, said he wasn’t worried when San Francisco led 10-3 at halftime.
“The first half for us was a little sketchy, but I know we’re a second half team so I have no doubt,” Sabisdon said in the third quarter.
The team’s third Super Bowl win in five years, Sabisdon said, proved to the world “that Kansas City is not just some small town.”
Natalie Klaus and Matt Klaus lived in Kansas City for their whole lives but recently moved down to Little Rock, Arkansas. They drove back up for the game.
"Last year we didn't get to come here and celebrate, but this year we decided that no matter what we have to come home, we have to be with our people, and it couldn't have been any sweeter," Natalie Klaus said. “It's just as good as the first time and it's so sweet to me to be celebrating in Kansas City."
Matt Klaus wasn't sure if their presence in Kansas City had anything to do with the Chiefs win, but didn’t think it hurt.
"We just got to do our part," he said. "Whatever special T-shirts you got, that's what we wore. We just had to be here to do our part. If it helped, it did. We won and here we are."
Natalie Klaus said she hopes this string of Chiefs Super Bowl wins helps cement Kansas City's place on the map.
"I think that a lot of people are starting to understand how wonderful Kansas City is, and are starting to understand that the people from Kansas City have something to say,” she said. “Now you're paying attention, so let me tell you how wonderful Kansas City is. Only now are people starting to pay attention."
More people definitely paid attention thanks to tight tend Travis Kelce's girlfriend.
With the score tied 16-16 with less than three minutes left, the CBS Sports broadcast showed a nervous-looking Taylor Swift picking at her fingernails in a suite at Allegiant Stadium.
The team had a winning percentage of 75% when Swift was at a game, and only 66% when she’s not there.
Sabisdon said Swift made watching the Chiefs “the best of both worlds.”
“I think she’s opened up the Chiefs and football in general to a side that has never considered even watching sports or (being) interested in the Chiefs at all,” he said.
Jillian Jones said she was hooked from the moment she saw the Chiefs win in 2020, but didn't become a big fan until this year. Swift's public interest in the game helped her become a bigger fan.
"This season I promised myself I was going to get into football and it helped that I lived with a die-hard Chiefs fan," she said. "Then with the Taylor Swift of it all, I really got into it. It's been awesome to see the team come together and persevere. Everyone said that they weren't going to go back-to-back and it's been really cool to see them overcome those odds."
Swift and Kelce’s relationship was also good news for Kansas City, as sales of “Swelce”-related merchandise soared at local businesses. Search interest in Kansas City and the local businesses the couple frequents when they’re in town skyrockets each time they visit.
Local 49ers fans gathered for a watch party at the Fox and Hound in Overland Park.
“My heart just hurts. I feel sad. We’re a good team but I guess the better team won tonight,” said Dyonne Asaeli of Belton, who was born in California and watched the game with 10 family members.
“We had the rhythm in the first half," she said. "The Chiefs came back in the second and it was really a ball game there.”
Patrick Mahomes is now the third-winningest quarterback in postseason history, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famers Terry Bradshaw, John Elway and Peyton Manning. Travis Kelce now holds the record for most postseason receptions and is currently tied with Jerry Rice for most postseason games with 100 yards in receptions — each has eight.
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