NFL

Cranky Kansas City Chiefs Get Their Storybook Super Bowl Ending

user avatar Author: Editors Desk Source: WSJ:
February 12, 2024 at 08:59
Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift embrace after the Chiefs’ win in Super Bowl LVIII. EZRA SHAW/GETTY IMAGES
Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift embrace after the Chiefs’ win in Super Bowl LVIII. EZRA SHAW/GETTY IMAGES

A third ring in five seasons doesn’t come easy, but further confirms a dynasty and a quarterback for the ages

America’s tin foil paranoiacs warned us that this NFL season was being covertly scripted toward a high-profile finish—the Kansas City Chiefs defending as Super Bowl champions, Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce winning their third rings as government plant Taylor Swift joined the celebration in a moment the deep state would milk to tilt democracy.

This suspicion sounded hilariously legit—right up there with a Hollywood-filmed moon landing and an 89-year-old Elvis running a small bait shop near Lake Erie. 

And yet here we are, under a crescent moon in Las Vegas, a tumultuous Kansas City season climaxing in a storybook comeback ending, the Chiefs overtime winners over San Francisco, 25-22. 

Kansas City are back-to-back Super Bowl champs, winners of three of the last five, a sturdy entry among the NFL’s shortlist of dynasties. Mahomes earned that third ring, as well as a third Super Bowl MVP, and there was Kelce, waiting until after the ceremony to plant an Alfred Eisenstaedt Times Square kiss upon the world’s biggest pop star. 

Score one for the tin foil paranoiacs! 

(I’ll check back later about democracy.)
 

 Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy. PHOTO: ASHLEY LANDIS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy. PHOTO: ASHLEY LANDIS/ASSOCIATED PRESS

This sluggish Super Bowl played out like Kansas City’s season in miniature—inconsistent, irritable, veering on implosion, and then, somehow, ending in joy. 

It was a game marked by the miscues of a tormented champion which didn’t wake up until late, when it mattered. 

It was a game in which Mahomes feuded with an agitated teammate, a nervous Swift chugged and slammed a drink on the jumbotron camera, and an angry Kelce lashed out on the sideline at Kansas City head coach Andy Reid, nearly toppling him over—the kind of tantrum that usually gets a player benched, maybe for the season. 

“I was just telling him I loved him,” Kelce joked later, after hugging it out with his longtime coach.  

“He caught me off balance, I wasn’t watching—it was a cheap shot,” a gracious Reid said, cleaning up the ugly lowlight for his fiery tight end. “He was really coming over to go ‘Just put me in, I’ll score, I’ll score.’ That’s really what it was.”

It had been that kind of year. A month and a half ago, on Christmas Day, the Chiefs suffered a mortifying home loss to a Raiders team which had fired its head coach midseason. Mahomes was beset by dropped passes, Kelce chucked a helmet in frustration, and the ragged Chiefs looked nowhere near competent, much less repeat champs.  

Slotted as underdogs, they rallied. Kansas City handled Miami in the notorious wild-card “Peacock” game, then knocked off Buffalo and Baltimore in successive weekends on the road. The mistakes and the dropsies started disappearing and all that playoff experience took over. Amateur air-traffic controllers rushed to explain the concept of time zones and how Swift could return from touring Japan to reach Vegas.
 

 Travis Kelce lashed out at head coach Andy Reid in the first half. PHOTO: JAMIE SQUIRE/GETTY IMAGES
Travis Kelce lashed out at head coach Andy Reid in the first half. PHOTO: JAMIE SQUIRE/GETTY IMAGES


Our best tin foil hats assembled. Was it all preordained? 

I say: Let ’em have the moment. Enjoy the conspiracy! When they get a chance, please tell me where Bigfoot is hiding, if the moon is made of green mozzarella and whether or not the NBA utilized a frozen envelope in the 1985 draft lottery.

In the meantime, let’s dig into the historic stuff, the legacy debate, the What It All Means—because this is now the ritual, having to deliver an immediate ranking to every human endeavor, instead of slowly absorbing what we all just watched.

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