LAS VEGAS — In a small side room at the Chiefs’ team hotel on Tuesday, Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt considered the question of how this period in the team’s history might be perceived a generation or two from now.
Even with the franchise about to play in its fourth Super Bowl in five years while seeking to become the first team to repeat in nearly two decades, Hunt prefaced his response by saying “I certainly hope it doesn’t end any time soon.”
“I think how you end up labeling this era of Chiefs football is really for an outside observer,” he continued, smiling and adding, “It’s not for me to say what it was, to label it with the ‘D’ word.”
While how long it goes remains to be seen, any lingering debate or quibbling about whether this remarkable time constitutes the “D” word — dynasty — were quelled on Sunday night at Allegiant Stadium when the Chiefs outlasted the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in just the second Super Bowl to go to overtime.
The Chiefs prevailed on Patrick Mahomes’ 3-yard touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman, establishing another landmark in the Chiefs’ very own Eras Tour.
Emblematic of a regular season that often was a grind and at times made the Chiefs appear vulnerable and splintering, they fell into a 10-0 first-half deficit that featured more airing of grievances in Travis Kelce’s appalling and berserk dash into Chiefs coach Andy Reid.
Also mirroring the season, though, they reset and rallied courtesy of the defense that never rested and four field goals by Harrison Butker — including a Super Bowl record 57-yarder and a 29-yarder with 3 seconds left to send the game into overtime.
And with the considerable help of a stupefying special teams blunder by the 49ers that set up the Chiefs’ vital first touchdown on a pass from Mahomes to Marquez Valdes-Scantling — the picture of redemption this postseason after a dud regular season.
While perhaps none of this recent run could eclipse the sheer thrill of winning Super Bowl LIV after a 50-year drought, the real triumph has been all they’ve achieved since … and it would be hard to top how it went Sunday.
As the air has gotten thinner and thinner on the way to the top in a league predicated on creating parity, the Chiefs fended off so many factors — including their own issues — to achieve something seldom seen in the annals of pro football history.
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