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Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
Sam McDowell

Fans watch Patrick Mahomes have a blast at Chiefs' Super Bowl parade

KANSAS CITY, Mo. _ The quarterback to deliver Kansas City its biggest party in at least four years rode in a double-decker bus down Grand Boulevard over the lunch hour. It had been nearly 50 years since Chiefs players tracked through downtown, half a century since a football team closed down this road.

The MVP chants began as soon as Patrick Mahomes appeared, and he pressed his hand against his ear, begging for more. Quickly, a fan launched a can of beer toward the vehicle, and Mahomes casually reached out his right hand and snatched it from the air. He popped the tab, gulped the liquid in a handful of seconds and smashed it onto the road, like some sort of WWE superstar.

Welcome to the first Super Bowl celebration to hit Kansas City this century.

Welcome to the scene of the man who led them there, the 24-year-old franchise-changing, Super Bowl MVP-winning, fanny pack-wearing, beer-chugging quarterback.

"I came for one reason _ to see that man have the time of his life," said Denice Morrison of Kansas City. "He gave me the time of my life. I wanted to pay it forward _ or pay it back."

Mahomes' cruise lasted less than an hour, his teammates and girlfriend joining him on the 35th bus in a line of 38. The rest of the players on the roster had already come through, the crowd's anticipation building for the main act. The roar for his arrival could be heard from blocks away.

As the bus briefly stopped at 17th Street, outside a gas station and coffee shop, Mahomes grabbed a lime green football and pointed toward fans lined along guard rails. On the other end, 38-year-old Dustin Reed sized up the pass.

Mahomes hit him between the numbers.

"I'm holding the football that Pat Mahomes held," Reed said.

As the vehicle moved on, a crowd ran to swarm Reed.

"Can I touch the football that greatness touched?" one asked.

Reed handed it over, passed it along from fan to fan, when one acted as though he'd run away with it and keep it.


Large chunks of the crowd ignored the usual protocol of a championship parade _ remain in one spot and watch it all coast by. They instead followed Mahomes for 18 blocks in the light snow and sub-freezing temperatures downtown.

"He looked right at me," one boasted.

"He pointed at me," another replied.

Mahomes wore ski goggles and an oversized red jacket. A bright red fanny pack wrapped his waist. A beer can rarely left his hand. He danced and singed. He whipped his arms through the cold air, images reminiscent of his touchdown celebrations to fire up Arrowhead Stadium in that comeback win against the Texans only weeks ago.

He poured one of the beers from the upper deck of the bus, the beverage falling some 10 feet below him, straight into the mouth of Travis Kelce.

The trucks turned right on Pershing Road and into Union Station, the stage for the speeches. Mahomes was the first player to take the microphone, re-telling a story he told in Miami on Super Bowl night. He wanted to return the Lamar Hunt Trophy to the Chiefs' ownership. He wanted to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy for his head coach.

At the end of the celebration, teammates hoisted Mahomes into the air, as "All I Do Is Win" blared over the speakers there. He held a championship belt that Kelce had worn most of the day.

"I'm 38 years old," Reed said as he watched Mahomes. "And I've been waiting 50 years for that guy."

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