Chiefs fans are hoping for a Taylor Swift appearance at victory parade. But her schedule is tight
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Stacey Stauch has one question on her mind as the Kansas City Chiefs prepare to celebrate their third Super Bowl title in five seasons with a parade.
“We’re all wondering: Will Taylor show up?” the paralegal said during a trip to the Chiefs-bedecked Union Station, where Wednesday’s parade will end. Joining Stauch was her 11-year-old daughter, Rilynn, and two of Rilynn’s friends.
As commentators carefully compared rushing totals during the Chiefs’ come-from-behind, 25-22 overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night, Rilynn was doing her own calculations. How many times did the CBS broadcast cut to Taylor Swift as her boyfriend Travis Kelce made several key plays?
Rilynn, who counted 13 shots of Swift, dreams of catching a glimpse of the pop superstar and Kelce during the parade festivities, which coincide with Valentine’s Day. And she just might have talked her mom into taking her.
“I think everyone will go crazy,” said Rilynn, who wore a “Karma is My Tight End” T-shirt. That’s a reference to Swift changing a lyric in her song “Karma” from “Karma is the guy on the screen” to “Karma is the guy on the Chiefs” during a concert in Buenos Aires. She also owns a “Go Taylor’s Boyfriend” T-shirt.
Swift has not commented on her plans. But it would be a tight scheduling feat. She has to be in Melbourne, Australia, which is 17 hours ahead of Kansas City, by 6 p.m. Friday for the first of three scheduled concerts on her Eras Tour. And the flight itself takes about 17 hours.
School cancellation announcements began just minutes after Kelce, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs became the first team since Tom Brady and the New England Patriots two decades ago to defend their title.
“LET’S HAVE A PARADE WEDNESDAY!!!” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, after the nail-biter ended, the post coming not long after he commented, “Take them heart pills.”
Unseasonably warm temperatures in the 60s Fahrenheit (15-20 Celsius) — and the possibility, remote though it might be, of a Swift appearance — are expected to boost attendance. Businesses along the parade path are turning the day into a viewing party for their workers.
Crews already are blocking off streets at Union Station, where the 2-mile (3.22-kilometer) route will conclude with speeches. By midday Monday, the stage where the team will deliver its speeches was partially constructed, a giant Chiefs’ flag waving outside.
Earlier this month, the Kansas City Council authorized the Greater Kansas City Sports Commission to spend nearly $1 million on the festivities. Besides Valentine’s Day. the parade also coincides with Ash Wednesday, which is the traditional start of Lent.
The Rev. Poese Vatikani is hoping to make it, although Ash Wednesday duties could complicate his plans.
He had a conversion of sorts when he moved from Honolulu to Missouri. A former 49ers fan, he adopted the Chiefs, even donning a Mahomes wig on the pulpit Sunday, his congregation a sea of red.
“This is how life is. Do not give up,” the senior pastor at Carrollton United Methodist Church said, sharing his plans for a sermon about the win, as he stopped at Union Station to take pictures with his wife, Doris Vatikani, on Monday. Both were decked out in red. Doris, who celebrated the victory with a hula dance, wore a flower behind her ear.
After decades without a championship, the city is gaining experience with victory parades. Five seasons ago, the Chiefs defeated the 49ers for the team’s first Super Bowl championship in 50 years. That followed the Kansas City Royals winning the World Series in 2015, the city’s first baseball championship in 30 years. That year, fans abandoned their cars on the side of the highway so they could walk to the celebration.
Then, last year, the Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 and prophetically vowed they would be back for more.
The latest victory parade will start at 11 a.m. and last about 90 minutes. But if past years are a guide, getting a prime spot will be no easy feat. Fans often sleep overnight or arrive before sunrise.
Heather Smith, 39, braved it last year. And she is pondering doing so again after letting her 9-year-old son stay up late to watch the nailbiter of a finish. On Monday, she pulled him and his 6-year-old sister out of school, taking them to Union Station to pose in front of a Chiefs sign.
“It was just really fun,” said Smith, who moved to Kansas City from Minnesota just as the wave of championships began. “We tried to hold the kids up as much as we could so they could see. But it was just cool to be a part of it. It’s been really cool the the last nine years to be down here between the Royals and the Chiefs.”
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl
Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.