AILSA CAMBIO, HOST:
It’s a big day in Kansas City, where scores of fans have turned out to celebrate their team’s Super Bowl win.
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MITCH HOLTHUS: For the second time in four seasons, there is a red and gold reflection on the Lombardi Trophy – a big red reflection. Your champions, Super Bowl LVII, the Kansas City Chiefs.
BELLAMY PAILTHORP, HIGHLIGHTS: Frank Morris of member station KCUR was in the midst of the victory parade.
FRANK MORRIS, HIGHLIGHTS: Downtown Kansas City was crowded today and nearly everyone was wearing red. Mindy Jacoby (ph) is here dressed for bed.
Are those pajamas?
MINDY JACOBY: Yes, and they’re hot. And they’re fuzzy, and they’re fantastic.
MORRIS: So what brings you here in your pajamas?
JACOBY: The Chiefs (laughter).
MORRIS: Nearby, Nicole Moore (ph) stands out in shiny earflaps, lots of red, and Chiefs written in big shiny gold letters on her shirt.
NICOLE MOORE: Yeah. Yeah. I wanted the bling. I want to be seen. I want you to think, you know?
MORRIS: Like everyone here, Moore has a favorite player. The of him is Travis Kelce.
MOORE: I love Kelce all day – Kelce. I love Mahomes, but I’m a fan of Kelce.
MORRIS: Mahomes, of course, is Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and NFL Most Valuable Player Patrick Mahomes. And it’s, you know, pretty popular around here.
DAMANI WHITE: I love Patrick Mahomes. Yeah, he, like, was an inspiration to me. Yes, I love it. I just love him.
MORRIS: Eight-year-old Damani White (photo), is here with a ball hoping for an autograph. Paula Villavicencio (ph) also idolizes Mahomes.
PAULA VILLAVICENCIO: Patrick Mahomes, I think, meets everything, even for his generosity. Like, on the field, he’s really uplifting to the team and, how-yet, how, then he brings so much inspiration to, like, everyone else who sees him.
MORRIS: Mahomes isn’t just a fantastic athlete. He plays through the pain and pulls off the most incredible plays and heart-pounding victories. He is also, by all accounts, a very respectable guy, one who has bought an interest in all three of Kansas City’s other professional sports teams. And just like that, Kansas City’s hero passes…
SETH NAVARRO: That’s Mahomes, baby. Wow, Mahomes.
MORRIS: …He wears glasses, he looks very loose and cool.
NAVARRO: Oh, my God, I saw Mahomes. Yes, I have seen Mahomes. I wanted to touch Mahomes is what I wanted to do.
MORRIS: Seth Navarro (ph), who wears a Chiefs jersey with Mahomes’ number 15 on it and a big bunch of red-and-gold Mardi Gras beads, says Mahomes is a game changer.
What do you think it means for the city?
NAVARRO: Hope – hope and just the fact that we really matter. For example, Kansas City is on the maps.
NAVARRO: I mean, we’re, like, the center of the NFL world right now. So, like, yeah, it just brought us… it brought us hope. It gave us meaning. It brought us purpose.
MORRIS: And a lot of people think that Patrick Mahomes will bring Kansas City more Super Bowl victories.
For NPR News, I’m Frank Morris from Kansas City. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.