MIAMI — It's not often that news stops you cold, and when it does it's usually bad, so how's this for something to savor:
The Chiefs won the Super Bowl.
One more time:
The Chiefs won the Super Bowl.
Lets do it in a different way:
The Chiefs, the beloved franchise that for 50 years was exactly good enough to occasionally lift fans' spirits and then crush them in dark comedy, are the NFL's champion with a 31-20 win over the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday.
Everything is different now with Kansas City's most beloved institution. This is a new era now, with playoff failure in the past tense. The NFL's structure demands that every team has a fair shot but for as long as most adults can remember that's meant an up close look at someone else's celebration _ John Elway's, or Peyton Manning's, or Tom Brady's.
Now, the future looks like the rest of the league will watch a lot of the Chiefs' celebrations _ Patrick Mahomes', Travis Kelce's, Tyrann Mathieu's. Andy Reid is no longer the best coach to never win a Super Bowl. Now he's the coach of the planet's best football team.
Kids have been born to parents who wondered if this day would ever come, and the wonder lasted long enough for those kids to have kids of their own. Fifty years. Arrowhead Stadium isn't even that old.
That's long enough for, roughly, all the feelings. All week, Chiefs alumni from Willie Lanier to Neil Smith and everyone in between came to parties and smiled and talked about memories. Some of them regretted not being in uniform when this day came. All felt proud to be part of it, even a small part, a distant part.
This whole week felt a little like a coronation, the streets and beaches in and around Miami filling with far more Mahomes jerseys than Garoppolos. Maybe some of that is geography. Surely most of it is anticipation.
Back home, the living room at Power & Light filled before normal people finished breakfast. It had to be the biggest watch party in the history of Kansas City. Heck, it was the biggest party in Kansas City of any kind since the last parade, outdone only by the next one, happening this week.
There are a hundred reasons to feel good for the Chiefs and their fans. This is the franchise that waited so long for someone like Mahomes, and when the moment came, acted boldly, taking advantage of an infrastructure already built to maximize his superhuman talents.
The Chiefs spent the last 50 years chasing this feeling first with loyalty for those who won the championship after the 1969 season, then various lost causes, then a revival built on terrorizing quarterbacks, then a detour chasing points, then a series of starts and spurts that peaked with playoff heartbreak.
Their breakthrough came largely because of Mahomes, of course, but also a shameless collection of stars on both sides of the ball — Kelce, Chris Jones, Tyreek Hill, Frank Clark, Mitchell Schwartz, Mathieu.
They won games with overwhelming offense, then spent a month or so winning with defense, and spent the first two rounds of these playoffs winning out of a deficit.
They conquered the football world with a beautiful cohesion of not just offense and defense and special teams, but of world-class athletes who respect each other and their coaches, and with a stubborn belief that it was their turn.
They did it, here and finally, updating their franchise's history in vivid color. Tonight, they celebrated. In a few days, the parade. After that, they move forward into a future very different than the past.