Bishop Chiefs-bury


Freshman Gisele French, former student Sophia Ostlund, and sophomores Maisy Rader and Shea Hanna pose during the chiefs parade in downtown Lawrence.

Catharine Richards

When the Kansas City Chiefs last won the super bowl in 1970, no Seabury students were alive. Richard Nixon was president, the Vietnam War raged, and the Beatles had only recently broken up. Mr. Knudson was only 78. But last week, after decades of heartbreak and disappointment for Chiefs fans, the team beat the San Francisco 49ers in a thrilling comeback victory. The game and its aftermath affected everybody in the Kansas City area, even students at a certain college-preparatory school with no football team of its own.

Some Seabury Chiefs fans had waited since childhood for another win. Faculty member Ron Young, a longtime fan, actually missed that first victory in 1970. “When the Chiefs won Super Bowl IV,” says Young,  “I was at a friend’s house playing football out in the wheat field with his brothers and sister. We had a great time. When I got home, my brothers told me about how great the game was.” Without the internet, Young was unable to watch the full game: “For the next several weeks, I would look for replays on TV” Fortunately, highlights from the game were broadcast several days later. 

This time around, Young did not miss a thing. During the game, his initial nervousness gave way to “total relief.” The experience was particularly thrilling for a longtime fan. “When Williams headed down the sideline for the final touchdown,” he says, “I yelled up to my wife that I was headed to Rally House to pick up a Super Bowl shirt. They didn’t have those in 1970!”

Faculty member Eric Nelson, though not a lifetime Chiefs fan, was similarly excited. “I was completely pumped up,” says Nelson. “I feel that it’s great for our region. I think Kansas doesn’t get enough credit in professional sports, and Missouri for that matter.”

The immediate aftermath of victory was, in some more-densely populated parts of Lawrence, joyous pandemonium. Chiefs fans, including Nelson, stormed Massachusetts Street to revel. Nelson, who rushed downtown as soon as he could, says, “It was mayhem,” describing a scene “reminiscent of the 2008 KU National Championship,” referring to the similar pandemonium following the KU basketball team’s 2008 victory in the NCAA tournament. “It wasn’t quite as big, but it was just as fun,” he says. “There were people up in the trees and on the traffic lights and everybody was in a really good mood.” Although Nelson left before midnight, the spontaneous party raged on until much later and a low roar was audible in central Lawrence for hours after the game. Many climbed trees, light posts, and buildings during the celebration.

Although the cheering died down eventually, it resumed the following Wednesday, when thousands of Chiefs fans filled the streets in downtown Kansas City for a victory parade. Although Seabury did not cancel classes, as some area schools did, many students attended the parade. Describing the crowd, one attendee, seventh-grader Eliza Brockhoff, says “[people were] really excited and tipsy. There were people who were throwing a football across the street and the police were even getting in on it, so when someone’s pass didn’t make it across, they would pick it up and give it back to people.” Some fans waited for hours in the cold for the parade to begin, some arriving as early as four o’clock in the morning, but the Brockhoffs planned ahead, booking a hotel room along the parade route in advance to try and avoid the cold.

Freshman Gracia Greenhoot also attended the parade and experienced the fans’ humorous antics. For example, says Greenhoot, “this dude that was wearing a devil suit crawled up into one of the trees and was about to fall right when the players came.” While the fans had plenty of time beforehand to build excitement, the true show started with the arrival of the players. “Everyone was screaming [when they saw the players],” says Greenhoot. Seeing their favorite players, like quarterback Patrick Mahomes, was certainly a highlight for those in the crowd. Overall the atmosphere was positive and the crowd was excited to cheer on the Super Bowl champions from their city. Brockhoff says she and her family “were kind of near this apartment building and [people] were throwing confetti off the roof, so that was really cool.”

Celebrating sports teams is truly a way to bring people together. Like the Royals winning the World Series in 2015 or the Jayhawks in 2008, the Chiefs Super Bowl victory has created fond memories and great shared experiences for Kansas City-area sports fans.


Eliza Brockhoff (7th): “Really excited and tipsy. There were people who were throwing a football across the street and the police were even getting in on it, so when someone’s pass didn’t make it across they would pick it up and give it back to people. My brother threw it and he threw very well.”

“We had a hotel room along the parade route because my dad was smart and got a room right after they won the AFC Championship. We were also watching it on TV while we were in the hotel room and there were people who had been out since four o’clock in the morning. But it was pretty cold”

“I really liked right before the parade started because of the football, but we were kind of near this apartment building and they were throwing confetti off the roof, so that was really cool.”

“We were hiking up a lot of steps to get to the World War I museum and we were near Union Station and you could not find a square foot without a piece of trash. It was kind of sad. There was a lot of trash, and also a bunch of gloves that people had left behind and several blankets.”