Editor’s Note: This is a dispatch from our Red Kingdom Road Trip. We’re connecting with Chiefs fans across the country ahead of the Super Bowl — share your story with us using this form. Read more from our journey to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl here on KansasCity.com, in our newsletters, or on The Star’s Instagram.
Red Kingdom Road Trip
We’re hitting the road to tell the stories of Chiefs fans on the way to Vegas and beyond. Follow along!
Kansas City native William Nealy has been a Chiefs fan since before he was born — literally.
“(My mom) went to watch the Chiefs practice at the old practice grounds, and a lot of the future hall of famers signed a football for her and me (about to be born),” Nealy shared. “Now I watch these games as a middle aged man while video calling with my mom.”
It’s a shared connection that spans more than 6,000 miles: Nealy now lives with his wife and two sons in Tokyo, Japan, and tunes in to whatever streaming platform is showing the faraway games.
And how’s this for a coincidence — Nealy and his family live just a ten-minute walk from the Tokyo Dome, where Taylor Swift is scheduled to perform the night before the Super Bowl. (The Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C., confirmed last week that she should be able to make it back to Vegas for the game.)
“The Chiefs mainly (are) my lifeline to my mom and my hometown,” Nealy told The Star. “Chiefs is pretty much synonymous with family for me.”
Takes dedication to be Chiefs fan in Eagles territory
Lifelong Chiefs fan Mark Harkins of Middletown, Pennsylvania, shared a photo of himself as a child in a replica Chiefs helmet circa 1972 in Augusta, Georgia.
“Back then you couldn’t buy NFL gear in the Sears catalog, so I had to settle for a plain red helmet that my older brother used his model paints to paint a ‘KC Arrowhead’ on the side for me,” Harkins recalled.
“For many years, we laughed about how Christmas dinner in ‘71 was delayed for the end of that famous Chiefs/Dolphins OT game,” he added. “Grandma ALWAYS served dinner right at 6, except for that Christmas. She wanted to see the end of the game!!”
After decades of supporting the Chiefs, he’s excited to see the team’s recent success — despite never having lived in Kansas City himself.
“Being born in 1969, I was 50 when we finally won another Super Bowl,” he recalls. “Staying a fan in Pennsylvania among all the Eagles and Steelers fans finally paid off.”
Join the Red Kingdom Road Trip
We want to highlight how much fans across the country love the Chiefs, because we know how much they mean to Kansas City. So, help us find you along the way to the Super Bowl. Share your story here.
Amarillo, Texas, on Monday, Feb. 5
Lubbock, Texas, on Tuesday, Feb. 6
Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Wednesday, Feb. 7
Scottsdale, Arizona, on Thursday, Feb. 8
Sedona, Arizona, on Friday, Feb. 9
Flagstaff, Arizona, on Friday, Feb. 9
Las Vegas, Nevada, on Friday, Feb. 9