As one of only a handful of Chief fans in a 400-mile radius, I’ve been asked to give some reasons why K.C. will win the Super Bowl.
I’ve been a fervent follower of the Chiefs since the ‘60s, when I first saw Hank Stram’s innovations on offense, the Len Dawson-to-Otis Taylor (my all-time favorite player) combination, and a defense that I rank third in history behind the Steel Curtain and the ’85 Bears.
Reason 1: Patrick Mahomes. If someone had the number-one pick to start a team and didn’t pick Patrick, one would question either that person’s football knowledge or that person’s sanity. Best on the planet.
Reason 2: Andy Reid. A great coach and classy person. Just needs a ring to totally complete his Hall-of-Fame résumé. His record when having two weeks to prepare is one of the best ever. Like Stram in the ‘60s, Big Red’s offensive innovations are unmatched.
Reason 3: Mahomes/Reid connection. One of those perfect fits, like Russell/Auerbach, Knight/Buckner, Jackson/Jordan, Brady/Belichick, Layne/Bradley (nine men’s league championships).
Reason 4: Other Chiefs gained real confidence when they won when Patrick was out with injury.
Reason 5: Defense. Most improved defense in the league. Chris Jones being back 100% is crucial. The Honey Badger has added much-needed swagger.
Reason 6: The city deserves it. It’s been 50 years since the last one. Maybe the best fan base in the whole league. I went to a game in ’75 and once again in the early 2000s. The tailgating and energy in the stadium are second to none. I have a great friend who lives in Kansas City and she said the excitement is at a level that can’t be measured.
Reason 7: The Omen. As a coach, I’m not one who is overly superstitious. I went through 15 years of that stuff when I was an assistant boys coach at Boyd County under Roger Zornes. In ’90 when we won the region, I counted 30 things we had to do before every game. After that I told myself — no more.
But I do believe in omens. One I vividly recall was on the morning of our region softball championship game when I was head coach at Boyd County. I woke up to a bright sunny morning and when I opened my eyes, I found about a foot-long blackbird was on top of the wardrobe closet in my bedroom and was just staring at me. Needless to say, we lost.
However, a few weeks ago, my wife, Laura, noticed the Roman numerals for this year’s Super Bowl. She knows I always wore the number 5 in basketball and she always wore 4. She told me to check it out — “54!!” That put my mind at ease.
These seven factors are why the title will come back to K.C. for the first time since 1970, when the Chiefs defeated my dear friend Art McCullough’s Minnesota Vikings.
BILL BRADLEY is the girls basketball coach at Ashland. He teaches at Holy Family.