The country will be split on Super Bowl Sunday over which side to root for, but for Oklahoma football fans, there a multiple reasons to favor the Kansas City Chiefs.
Aside from the obvious geographic proximity (Kansas City is nearly 1,300 miles closer to Norman, Oklahoma, than San Francisco) there are other telltale signs that make it easier for Sooner fans to feel closer to the Chiefs.
- In 1907, the Oklahoma Territory was joined with the Indian Territory within the same region to form a union that became the state of Oklahoma. The Kansas City professional football franchise originated in 1960 in Dallas, Texas, as one of the founding teams of the American Football League. In Dallas, the team was known as the Texans. When owner Lamar Hunt relocated the team to Kansas City, Missouri, in 1963, he held a fan contest to name the team. The name “Chiefs” was the most popular suggestion. But the fan contest was not the only reason the team name became the Chiefs. Mayor H. Roe Bartle had a major part in championing the team’s move to Kansas City. Some 35 years earlier, Bartle had founded a Native American honor society known as The Tribe of Mic-O-Say within the Boy Scouts of America organization. Because of that, Bartle was given the nickname “The Chief.”
- If not identical, the Chiefs’ team colors of red and gold, are strikingly similar to OU’s. Both teams give prominence to the color red and wear red home jerseys and red helmets.
- Kansas City’s lead running back this season is former Oklahoma player Damien Williams. Williams came to the Sooners as a junior-college transfer and played two seasons, in 2012 and 13. He rushed for close to 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns his junior season and also caught 34 passes for another 320 yards that same season. His numbers tailed off some in 2013 in a season marred with disciplinary issues. He has been with two teams (Miami and Kansas City) in six NFL seasons. This season for Kansas City, Williams has 498 rushing yards, 213 receiving yards and a combined seven touchdowns in 11 games.
- Blake “Belldozer” Bell is in his fifth NFL season and first with Kansas City. Bell was recruited as a quarterback at OU and played that position until switching to tight end his senior year. He acquired the “Belldozer” nickname because of his frequent use, due to his size and strength, in short-yardage run situations. A native of Wichita, Kansas, Bell is a backup tight end for the Chiefs and may be playing for the team he grew up rooting for as a kid.
- Another former Oklahoma player, James Winchester (2010-11), is the long-snapper for the Chiefs.
- Oklahoma basketball sophomore forward Jamal Bieniemy is the nephew of Kansas City Chief offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.
- The Sooners have won three of their record 12 Big 12 championships (2004 over Colorado, 2006 over Nebraska and 2008 over Missouri) at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, home of the Chiefs.
What more reason do you need to root for Kansas City in Super Bowl LIV, especially if you are a diehard fan of Oklahoma football?