Singer Melissa Etheridge explains her Chiefs love on the night she sings the national anthem
Think us everyday folks are the only ones excited about the Chiefs this postseason? Think again.
While Boston-bred celebs like Mark Wahlberg poke fun at MVP candidate Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City’s own celebrities have been on the job as well, on social media, drumming up enthusiasm for the hometown team during its playoff run.
In recording studios, on TV sets, between their own sports practices and many places in between, Kansas City’s celebs are as feverish as anyone.
The fervor seemed to officially kick into high gear on Jan. 11, the day before the Chiefs’ AFC divisional game against the Indianapolis Colts, when the @Chiefs Twitter account shared a mashup video of local celebrities like Mayor Sly James, Royals pitcher Danny Duffy, rock stars Melissa Etheridge and David Cook, Big Slick Celebrity Weekend hosts David Koechner, Rob Riggle and Eric Stonestreet and more, gearing up for the monumental win.
But don’t assume these famous fans only recently got on the Chiefs bandwagon. For most, the fandom has been strong — and evident — for some time.
On Instagram, “Saturday Night Live” star and Lee’s Summit native Heidi Gardner shared some adorable throwback photos of herself in full Chiefs gear as a kid.
“The last time the Chiefs played in the AFC Championship, my friends and I rewrote the lyrics to Frosty the Snowman and called it Frosty Montana and we got to sing it on Mix 93.3 a couple days before the game,” Gardner told The Star on Friday.
Gardner’s got stories for days. Like the time when, for a school assignment on whom she would pick to be her parents, Gardner chose Chiefs defensive lineman Neil Smith and Janet Jackson. Or the time when she staked out Houston’s on the Plaza with her mom after a home game (the restaurant was a well-known Chiefs hangout in the ’90s after games) and may or may not have stolen some uneaten food after the players left (“I mean, a Derrick Thomas, mint condition, french fry?! That could go for a lot the next day at school!”).
Koechner, meanwhile, reminisced about the day he proposed to his wife, Leigh, before a Chiefs game in 1998.
Before the playoffs began, Riggle made his own tweet to thank the Chiefs for “an amazing regular season that I’ll never forget” and told the rest of the country’s NFL fans that there was still “room on the bandwagon.”
Naturally, things began to hit a fever pitch after the Chiefs defeated the Colts. Following that game, Clint Bowyer, a NASCAR driver and Emporia native, was hype to say the least.
Like, really hype.
And like so many of us around these parts, both Bowyer and Stonestreet couldn’t believe that such an awesome thing (and that defense) was happening to the Chiefs.
This week, Etheridge, who is one of the team’s most loyal celebrities, was announced as the singer of the national anthem for Sunday’s AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots.
On social media, Etheridge, a Leavenworth native, has become known for her vocal Chiefs support.
Things even got a bit territorial and defensive after sports commentator Colin Cowherd went on record to say the expected frigid temperatures would silence Chiefs fans at Arrowhead stadium, notorious for being one of the loudest sports venues in the country.
Even celebs like KCK’s Kalen Allen of the “The Ellen Show,” who admittedly possess little knowledge about sports, are getting excited for the Chiefs and preparing themselves for the possibility of needing to make last minute travel plans to Atlanta.
If you’re looking for a respite from all the frenetic energy, however, maybe take a page from Gardner’s fanbook.
“I’m definitely interesting to watch a game with,” she says. “Instead of yelling at the screen like most sports fans do, I take a gentler approach and say, ‘I love you, Chiefs. I believe in you, Chiefs. You’re all cuties and I love you.’ I guess I just think someone’s gotta give them some sweetness when everything around them is so intense.”