Kansas City has been on a roll for the past two months or so…
First the Huffington Post ranked KC number one as one of “the coolest cities to visit right now”; then the wild-card Royals swept through the postseason playoffs to win the American League pennant—and then came oh-so-close to winning the World Series in the seventh game here; then, after losing their first two games of the season, the long-beleaguered KC Chiefs bounced back and won seven out of eight games—most recently beating Super Bowl champ Seattle Seahawks to tie Denver for first place atop the AFC West.
The Huffington Post survey called Kansas City the most exciting “it” city in the United States, citing KC’s food, Midwestern hospitality and music as reasons to visit the metro area. “Get to the Green Lady Lounge for some jazz, eat awesome BBQ at Q39, and don’t forget to check out the historic City Market,” Huffington Post associate lifestyle editor Carly Ledbetter wrote. “The food is amazing, nearly everything is affordable, and the people are nice.”
The Royals seemed unstoppable as they swept through eight straight games to win the pennant, with brilliant, acrobatic defensive play all the way along. The Royals’ 10 to 0 win against the San Francisco Giants was the biggest World Series win since the Royals beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1985 World Series. Last month’s heartbreaking seventh game came down to the last batter.
Now KC eyes are turned to the Chiefs, hoping they’ll maintain Kansas City’s momentum. Once upon a time, the Chiefs were a perennial pro-football powerhouse—at least while part of the American Football League (AFL)—who played in Super Bowl I and won Super Bowl IV. The first AFL-NFL World Championship Game, later known as Super Bowl I was played on January 15, 1967, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with NFL champions Green Bay Packers beating AFL champions Kansas City Chiefs, 35-10.
Three seasons later, the Chiefs became the second AFL team (after the Joe Namath-led New York Jets) to defeat an franchise in an AFL–NFL World Championship Game, when they beat the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV on January 13, 1970. Unfortunately, that game remains the Chiefs’ last Super Bowl win or appearance.
So if the Chiefs are Super Bowl bound again this season, and if Kansas City keeps looking like a happening place to live on the national scene (even without even any mountains or beaches to brag about), maybe Kansas Citians can finally learn to play it cool.
We can get over our low-esteem; eschew our fervent boosterism (this article, for example); play up our local pleasures to out-of-towners; glory in our booming, born-again downtown, and just relax and enjoy the ride in one of the nation’s most stylish cities. Maybe that downtown streetcar line isn’t such a bad idea after all either.