It was 4th and 6 with 1:26 left in the AFC Championship game. The Tennessee Titans were down 24-35. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill received the snap, but Kansas City Chiefs’ defensive end Frank Clark barreled after him. Clark tripped up Tannehill, sending him straight down to the ground.
In this moment, it dawned on Chiefs fans everywhere. Kansas City is heading to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1969.
Cheers erupted, strangers embraced, and flights were booked to Miami.
Roughly 50 miles down the road from Arrowhead Stadium, KU students had just gotten back from winter break, and many were celebrating as well.
Bailey Blood, a first-year graduate student and die-hard Chiefs fan, had confidence from day one that the Chiefs would take it all the way.
“The Chiefs’ comeback against the Titans was so insane and I just felt like there’s no way anyone is going to beat the Chiefs," Blood said. "I felt that same confidence about the game with the Titans. I was a little nervous about being able to stop Derrick Henry, but once the Chiefs got their first touchdown I knew that they were going to keep the momentum."
Some students explained how utterly surprised they were that the Chiefs were able to secure the win.
“I was a little bit shocked honestly," sophomore Garrett Martin said. "I grew up watching the Chiefs and we’ve always been bad, so the fact that we’re finally going to the Super Bowl is crazy to me.”
Martin also gave a hot take on a prediction for the score of the Super Bowl.
“Chiefs by a million," Martin said.
Payton Enzbrenner, a sophomore from Topeka, said she thought that the outcome of the game was “surreal.”
“Being a Chiefs fan for so long, I’m so glad that we’re finally getting the chance to go to the Super Bowl," Enzbrenner said. "I think the score in Miami will be 35-24, Chiefs."
While other students didn’t watch the AFC Championship game, they’re still excited for what’s to come for Kansas City.
Sophomore Ben Krebs didn’t get the chance to watch the game, but said he was excited because “it’s been 50 years in the making.”
“I didn’t get to watch it, but I’m so psyched," junior Paige Humphreys said. "We’re getting the opportunity to go to the Super Bowl. I wasn’t sure if this would ever happen for the Chiefs, but I’m so glad it is."
The Kansas City Chiefs will face the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 54 Feb. 3 at 5:30 p.m. CST.