Chiefs

Chiefs Twitter Q&A: Wide receivers, wedding guests and U.S. women’s soccer

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes talks training and his goal of getting to the Super Bowl

“We need to take that next step, we need to get to the Super Bowl, that’s the goal,” said Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes during a news conference Monday at the Chiefs' practice facility in Kansas City. Mahomes also discussed offseason training.
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“We need to take that next step, we need to get to the Super Bowl, that’s the goal,” said Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes during a news conference Monday at the Chiefs' practice facility in Kansas City. Mahomes also discussed offseason training.

Welcome back from the holiday weekend.

Honestly, it’s been more like a holiday week. Beginning with the U.S. Women’s National Team win against England on July 2, the patriotic parade of events was never-ending.

Demarcus Robinson’s flight with the Blue Angels. Fireworks. The Air Show. Coco Gauff.

And, of course, the USWNT’s World Cup victory against the Netherlands on Sunday.

It was a heck of a stretch.

I spent Sunday morning surrounded by something like 10,000 of KC’s most enthusiastic soccer fans in the Power and Light District watching the World Cup final. It was incredible, loud and full of energy — special shoutout to 810’s Nate Bukaty and Aly Trost for pumping up the crowd with their emcee duties.

I mostly watched the game from the small TV at The Dubliner’s outside bar. I couldn’t see much of the giant screen from where I was standing beside the stage, but it gave me a great vantage point to watch the crowd. People were crammed everywhere — wall-to-wall on the lower level, ringing the balcony above and filling the stairwells.

On the walk to KC Live from our tailgate at a friend’s apartment, a new acquaintance, A.J., told us what it was like when he watched Game 6 of the Royals’ World Series win from there. He described a chaotic scene with the venue at capacity. He and a couple friends managed to sneak in through a restaurant after making laps around the outside for a while.

As I watched the crowd erupt when the score went final Sunday, I couldn’t help but think what a Super Bowl watch party would be like in downtown KC the next time the Chiefs make the big game.

In the year that I’ve been here, I’ve quickly learned that Kansas City is an incredible sports town, and if it can put on a party for women’s soccer on a hot Sunday morning, a Sunday night Super Bowl would be a rager in the best way. It would be a shoulder-to-shoulder sea of red and yellow. Maybe a couple people would even try to climb the trellis outside of Guy Fieri’s new restaurant for a better view of the giant screen. The noise would be deafening and the adrenaline would be flowing.

But we’re a long way away from that. At the very least, 209 days. The journey to Super Bowl LIV starts in a few short weeks with training camp in St. Joseph.

Until then, you can daydream about watching a Chiefs Super Bowl from the Power and Light District and read my answers to this week’s Twitter Q&A. If you missed it, the questions were curated on July 4, which explains the patriotic flair.

First up: A question via my DMs: Do you think the Chargers’ move and the subsequent Raiders relocation have/will change fan support?

Sure, I think it’ll change some fan support. Some people are fans because of geography, and once a team moves, people who are fans because the team is its “hometown team” might not choose to follow it anymore. Some fans are loyal no matter what, and they’ll keep following the team — especially if it’s been a part of their identity for a long time. But the makeup of the fan base will change over time. Eventually, there will be more Raiders fans based in Las Vegas than Oakland as kids grow up and start their own fan traditions with their families.

There’s a lot of ifs and assumptions in this tweet, but let’s go with it. If Tyreek Hill is suspended two games and the defense is still getting it together early in the season, the Chiefs could be 0-2 entering the game against the Ravens at home. I do tend to think the Chiefs will at least be 1-1, but sure, for argument’s sake, they could be 0-2. If that’s the case and Hill is coming off a suspension for that week, I think the Chiefs would win the home game against Baltimore. From there, KC hits the road against Detroit and then comes back home to play the Colts on Sunday Night Football. I’d predict both to be wins in this scenario. I think that even if the Chiefs start out 0-2, they could rebound to an 11- or 12-win season.

I’m working on a 53-man roster projection to go out later this week, but I don’t have Blake Bell making the team. Maybe he’ll surprise me in training camp, but I just don’t think he’s strong enough to take the TE2 spot from Deon Yelder. I think John Lovett does make the team, and I think he’ll play in eight regular-season games, though most of his appearances will be on special teams.

This question made me laugh out loud. Yes, I think Gehrig Dieter will make the 53-man roster.

Not sure, but I’ll check and get back with you guys!

That’s an interesting point. I think the franchise will still be named the Chiefs, but I do think that a lot of the racially insensitive things around the franchise’s fandom will be phased out — like wearing headdresses at games and the tomahawk chop etc. The franchise’s name isn’t as problematic as the Redskins’, which has been labeled in Dictionary.com as “slang: disparaging and offensive,” but the chop and the cultural appropriation involved in other fan traditions do veer into racial insensitivity. I think if those traditions are minimized, the team name could still remain in 20 years.

By the way, the Chiefs were named as a part of a fan contest to name the team when Lamar Hunt moved the franchise to Kansas City from Dallas in 1963. KC’s mayor at the time, H. Roe Bartle, was nicknamed ‘The Chief’ through his years as a Boy Scout executive. Roe Bartle was a major factor in wooing Hunt to KC, contributing to his nickname being frequently submitted in the fan contest and being ultimately selected as the team name.

At the time of writing this (full disclosure: it’s Sunday night and I’m seven episodes into a Law and Order: SVU marathon with my husband), the Royals have 30 wins. Patrick Mahomes had 50 touchdowns last season. It’s gonna be a close one, but I think the Royals end up with more wins than Mahomes’ TD throws.

The city is at a 10. I’m at about a 6 because I’m really enjoying spending time with my family this summer. But once we get through training camp, I’ll be at a 10.

That’s a good question, and I think the hires are pretty similar and could have similar results. Both coaches were pretty darn successful in their prime, but can they recapture that and connect with a much younger generation now that they’re in their 70s? I think only time will tell. They’re both doing things now to connect with players in a way that’s really important to the success of the team. Things like being active on social media, being around at social and athletic events etc. They’re both also working with pretty depleted rosters, so replenishing the coffers is going to be a major emphasis for both. I’m not incredibly up-to-date on Kansas recruiting, but it seems like the 2020 class is looking pretty promising. Brown is doing well with his 2020 class, too, including commitments from a couple 4-stars recently.

The Sausage, hands down. Although, fun fact, if I had been a boy, my name would’ve been Walker. That’s right, I would’ve been named after Walker, Texas Ranger. It was also my paternal great-grandmother’s maiden name, but my mom also loved Walker, Texas Ranger. So I’m pretty sure both influences would’ve contributed to the name.

There’s so many possibilities here. It’s also especially cruel to answer this question while I’m about 1,000 miles away from the closet Cookout. For my entree, I’m going with Patrick Mahomes. He’s the essential part of the team, and the entree — probably chicken strips if I’m doing the ordering — is the centerpiece of the tray.

I usually order fried okra (when it’s in season) and a quesadilla for my sides. I’m going with Tyrann Mathieu and Frank Clark as the sides in a Chiefs tray. The sides are what makes Cookout different from other restaurants. Seriously, where else can you get a quesadilla or a corndog as a side!? Clark and Mathieu will be the primary forces in making this team extra special. Defense kept the Chiefs out of the Super Bowl last year, but this year, Clark and Mathieu have the power to push KC to the next level.

And any tray isn’t complete without a shake. My favorite is the chocolate chip cheesecake. You know what completes this Chiefs tray? Harrison Butker. Like the milkshake, Butker isn’t always necessary. Sometimes the offense can do it all by themselves, just like the entree and the sides can carry a meal. But it’s always nice to boost the meal with a shake, just like it’s a big bonus to have a kicker with a good leg to add an extra point or a field goal in clutch situations.

I’m going with Chris Jones. Patrick Mahomes would be cool, but he’s too high profile. True story, our wedding DJ asked me about Mahomes during our reception. Sometimes you just can’t escape work. Jones isn’t quite a household name (yet), and he’s pretty funny. I think he’d be the life of the party without overshadowing you on your big day. I don’t think his dance skills come close to matching Travis Kelce’s, but maybe he could throw in a few Stone Cold beer chugs to get things going. He can leave the Bane mask at home though. Not trying to turn a wedding into the Dark Knight Rises.

Gravy is my least favorite food, and gravy on Twinkies sounds disgusting. If I’m trying to maintain my figure, I’m probably going to eat nothing but pizza drenched in ranch dressing. Those calories taste way better.

And that’s the tea.

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Brooke Pryor covers the Kansas City Chiefs for the Kansas City Star, where she works to give readers a deeper understanding of the franchise and the NFL through daily stories, game coverage, and player profiles. She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and grew up in Winston-Salem, N.C.
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