by: Tanner Funk
Not so long ago, the Kansas City Royals won the AL Pennant in 2014 and 2015 and won the World Series in 2015. This was a moment that Kansas City sports fans will never forget, and it will always be one of my favorite sports moments. During that stretch, my father would always say repeatedly,” enjoy this moment and enjoy the ride because you never know when this will come to an end.” I thought I fully understood my father’s wisdom and I tried my best to follow this advice. Now, seven years later and two 100-loss seasons endured, I realize now I never fully embraced just how special those two amazing years were.
Now, as Chiefs fans, we have had the extraordinary honor of watching the best player on planet Earth play quarterback for us for the past 5 years. It’s also amazing to think there is a good chance we will be able to watch him play for the Chiefs for another 15-plus years. Mahomes has been vocal about playing until 45 if he can do it. Imagining Mahomes still throwing touchdown passes as a Chief when my 8-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son are in college is incredible to think about. We all have our favorite Mahomes moments and memories over the past 5 years and it’s amazing to think what else he may have in store for us as his amazing career goes on. This is a “fat and happy” time for all Chiefs fans, and I fully hope all of us are aware and appreciative of this moment.
With all that being said, I sometimes wonder if we are all fully understanding, appreciating, and fully enjoying every moment of this time as Chiefs fans. I certainly lump myself into this category as well. I recently had a conversation with a Patriots fan who has a love for Boston sports like no other. He loves sharing his favorite moments and will tell me more Tom Brady stories than you can possibly imagine. He left me with this comment just the other day: “I hope you all realize just how special this time is as a Chiefs fan. I never thought I would see the day when Brady would win a Super Bowl with another team and see my Patriots not even make the playoffs with a no-name at quarterback. Enjoy the ride with your Superman quarterback. It will go by in a blink of an eye.
This comment truly made me pause and fully reflect on a wide variety of different things as a Chiefs fan. It just seems like yesterday when Mahomes was in his first year as a starter and won the NFL MVP. That was back in 2018. Three years have quickly gone by and it’s unbelievable to think about how much has changed for us as Chiefs fans. We have experienced nothing but winning, hosted four straight AFC Championship games, went to two Super Bowls, and finally brought home the Lombardi trophy and had a parade to remember for a lifetime. All of this would have been inconceivable to Chiefs fans no more than seven or eight years ago. All we knew as Chiefs fans were heartache, what ifs, if only, what could have been, and always watching other fans celebrate the victories we never thought we would ever be able to enjoy. My times have changed.
Sure, it’s taken more than Mahomes magic for all of this to happen. We have a hall of fame coach, the best general manager in the NFL, the best tight end in NFL history, and some good fortune along the way that never shined on us in previous years. But everything changed for us on draft night 2017 when the Chiefs took the gamble of the millennium and traded up to pick a raw quarterback who many thoughts had no chance of being successful in the NFL. Way too many teams have also taken this gamble in the past and they have failed miserably. Thankfully, fortunately, incredibly enough, it worked out for the Chiefs and our soon to be Superman quarterback. Now we get to sit back and enjoy many more jaw dropping amazing play performances in the years to come. It should never get old as Chiefs to check out his statistics after a game and his end of year projections. Keep in mind Matt Cassel and Brody Croyle were once our quarterbacks. Oh, how perspective can help you savor special moments.
This also has made me think a lot more about my life, the decisions I have made, and finally, whether I am truly enjoying the moment when the sun is shining brightest. Sports is the ultimate life analogy and I sometimes wonder if we can apply more sports analogies to our own lives. I have often reflected on moments in my life and have thought to myself, “goodness, I thought I knew how great that moment was, but I really had no idea how special it really was till now…after it was over.” This is something I am trying to change as I get older. We all have been through so much in the past few years and not all of it has been good. We are not promised anything. Nothing. Not even tomorrow. So, my advice to all of us as Chiefs fans and fellow humans is to savor every moment we have, live life to the fullest each day, fully and completely enjoy the great moments when we have them, savor the sweetness of every sweet moment, take some chances, take some risks, believe in yourself even when nobody else does, and trust your instincts. Know it might not always work out. Failures are inevitable. But, sometimes, like the Chiefs found out in 2017, you might get a Patrick Mahomes. Enjoy every moment Chiefs fans. We ain’t seen nothin’ yet!