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What A Super Bowl Win Sounded Like Around Kansas City

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Every day, we try to find some joy to bring you among the impeachment and coronavirus and 2020 campaign coverage. And today we thought, where better to look for joy than Kansas City?

(CHEERING)

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

You may have heard that last night, the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years. That is five-zero.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MITCH HOLTHUS: The Kansas City Chiefs are champions of Super Bowl 54. Final score - Kansas City 31, San Francisco 20.

SHAPIRO: Rebecca Perdieu was one of many thousands - hundreds of thousands - of people in the Kansas City area who tuned in from both sides of the Missouri-Kansas state line.

REBECCA PERDIEU: It was red, red, red all the way. We were a little nervous - a little nervous. Oh, my gosh. You know what? We pulled it off in the end, and I'm so excited. I'm so proud of our team, and I'm so proud of our community. Go, Chiefs.

(CHEERING)

KELLY: Nationally, the TV ratings for the game were up slightly overall over last year's game. In Kansas City, the ratings were extraordinary. In the final 15 minutes of the game, when the Chiefs were staging their comeback over the 49ers, of all the people in Kansas City watching TV, 97% of them were watching their Chiefs.

SHAPIRO: And what a moment to be tuned in.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Three, two, one.

(CHEERING)

SHAPIRO: Thousands of fans packed in the Power & Light bar district in downtown KC to watch as the Chiefs rolled up 21 points in the fourth quarter to snatch victory from San Francisco. Ricardo Nevarez was among them.

RICARDO NEVAREZ: You know, it got tough, but we didn't give up. We never do. We always fight. It's not over till the whistle blows at the end. We are so resilient. We're so strong. It's incredible.

KELLY: Lashon Mack watched the game at 18th & Vine, a historic district in Kansas City where black-owned businesses thrived in the early 1900s. She is a local jewelry designer, and she is hoping the Super Bowl win will lift KC's economy.

LASHON MACK: Kansas City needs this. It needs to generate all the extra money, all the extra notoriety, the people coming to town knowing that Kansas City is the [expletive]. Can I say that on the line?

(SOUNDBITE OF FIREWORKS)

KELLY: The Chiefs sealed the win with a touchdown around 9 p.m. local time. That is when the radars of the National Weather Service began to pick something up - signals like a cloud stretching 50 miles from Leavenworth to Harrisonville. It was the many fireworks set off by fans in celebration.

SHAPIRO: The Super Bowl victory parade, the first in Kansas City since Richard Nixon was president, is set for Wednesday.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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