A lot has changed since 1970. While disco isn’t making a comeback anytime soon, one thing has made a return: the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. The last appearance for Kansas City was Super Bowl IV against the Minnesota Vikings. The Chiefs were victorious over their northern NFL opponents by a score of 23-7, and superfan Paul Grindstaff Jr., 63, was there for it all.
“I was in eighth grade; I remember that game well. I wasn’t nervous because I remember thinking the Chiefs were the better team,” Grindstaff Jr. said. “The Chiefs had just beat the Raiders in the AFL championship a week or so before, and in those days, beating the Raiders was actually more important.”
Grindstaff Jr., now a Farmington, Missouri, retiree, was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. so gravitating towards the Chiefs was easy for him. His Chiefs fandom originated from his father, who was a big football fan at the time.
“I remember some of Super Bowl I when the Packers beat the Chiefs,” Grindstaff Jr. said. “My parents took me to the KC airport to see the team after they earned their spot in the Super Bowl. I got some autographs from some players there and instantly became a fan.”
Chief’s fandom runs in the family for the Grindstaffs, and like Grindstaff Jr.’s dad did during his childhood, Paul carried on the tradition to his son Paul Grindstaff III.
Grindstaff III has been a Chiefs fan since he can remember, and he knows how special it is that he gets to share these memories with his father.
“It’s just been a part of me my whole life. It has been such a huge part of connecting with my dad,” Grindstaff III said. “To be able to carry such great memories with your father and a legendary sports team like the Chiefs? It’s priceless.
“I remember the playoff game against the (Indianapolis) Colts in ‘96, we were standing on two inches of ice. But it being a playoff game, you were so excited you never felt it.”
While there’s plenty of Chiefs stories between these two generations of Grindstaffs, both know how much this specific year’s postseason run means for Chiefs fans.
“The biggest was just 13 days ago because of what it means for the team and the city,” Grindstaff III said. It’s the first time, and could be the last time I’ll get to see the Chiefs win an AFC Championship game at home with my dad.”
Even though none of the family is making the trip down to Miami this weekend, there’s no question that the Grindstaffs will be rooting for their Chiefs.
“Our plans are to watch the game at home, obviously make some snacks, have a few beverages and enjoy a Chiefs victory,” Grindstaff Jr. said.
Grindstaff Jr. said he wasn’t one for playoff traditions or rituals, except for one.
“I’ve seen every playoff game at Arrowhead and up until this year, my playoff tradition has been watching the Chiefs lose in the most unexpected and insane ways,” Grindstaff Jr. said. “I hope we’ve started a new tradition this year with (Patrick) Mahomes (II).”
In terms of Super Bowl LIV in Miami, Grindstaff Jr. said he isn’t wavering.
“I think we’re going to win even though San Francisco is very good,” Grindstaff Jr. said. “If we can score first and not get behind on the defensive side, we should be okay.”
Grindstaff Jr. said he is simply just excited to see his team in contention for a title once again. He also knows that this Super Bowl could be the first of many.
“I hope we win, but as long as it’s a close game, even if we do lose, I’ll have a smile on my face Monday,” Grindstaff Jr. said.
If Mahomes and company do raise the Lombardi Trophy in Miami on Sunday night, there will certainly be plenty of celebrating in the Grindstaff family.
“I think I would be speechless,” Grindstaff III said.
“If we win, I’ll establish a new world record for celebrating a Super Bowl win,” Grindstaff Jr. said.