Kansas basketball coach Bill Self greeted the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs during his pre-KU-Baylor press conference Thursday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse.
“I actually think it’s great that they won. It’s great for them,” said Self of the Chiefs, who outscored the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 on Sunday night and were honored with a save in KC on Wednesday.
“I don’t know them all that well, but I definitely got to know Andy (Reid, coach) and Travis (Kelce, tight end) a little bit and those are better people than they actually are at their concert. I mean, they’re classy… classy,” Self exclaimed. “We’re all very happy for them. It means a lot to our students and everyone in our area when the Chiefs do well.”
Self, who has made it a habit to attend a game or two in KC for most of his 20 seasons as KU hoops coach, said KC’s NFL team tends to bring together area sports fans.
“There’s one thing in our community, … whether you’re a guy from K-State or Missouri or KU, there’s a certain division,” Self said. “I don’t think there is any division when we talk about the Chiefs. I mean, bosses are THE organization as far as – and royals too – but bosses to me, there’s absolutely no one who supports an institution that would argue that they don’t like bosses if they’re from around here. So I think that’s great.
Self did not include attending Wednesday’s parade as part of his busy schedule.
“I’m really big on (about) parades,” she said with a smile, “but I didn’t even think about enduring the cold or participating in them yesterday after a pretty long night on Tuesday.”
The Jayhawks returned to Lawrence early Wednesday morning from Stillwater, Oklahoma, where KU stumbled Oklahoma State 87-76 Tuesday night.
KU senior forward Jalen Wilson, who hails from Denton, Texas, was also happy for the Chiefs.
“I didn’t go to the parade, but it’s great to see those kids (on TV),” Wilson said of the Chiefs being honored. “I thought our save (after winning the national title in 2022) was great. Then I watched theirs on TV. That was a whole other level. So now we’re just trying to match what they do.
KC’s Kelce witnessed KU’s recent home win against Kansas State. He received a standing ovation when he was introduced during the game and visited the KU locker room to talk to the players after the game.
“Seeing Travis come to our game not too long ago, … him talking to us about winning another championship,” Wilson began, “… we’re a team that wants to get to our second championship and win. For him to come and talk about it, show his personality on the pitch (raising his fist at the student section of KU when he was sitting courtside) and in the locker room was really cool.
“I don’t know if I’ve met another NFL player, but for a guy of his caliber and stats to come to a game was really cool and I appreciate him doing it. (Winning the Super Bowl) is very important to the city.”
Wilson and the Jayhawks will face Baylor on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. at Allen Fieldhouse.