The Kansas City Chiefs will take on the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII on Sunday at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, and one of the organization’s most recognizable faces will be on the sideline cheering the team on as they look to capture another Vince Lombardi Trophy.
No, Patrick Mahomes is set to play the game even despite a high-ankle sprain that caused him to hobble at time during the AFC Championship against the Cincinnati Bengals.
We are talking about Gracie Hunt.
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Hunt is the daughter of Clark Hunt, the organization’s CEO, and the granddaughter of Lamar Hunt, who founded the organization in 1960 when it was originally called the Dallas Texans with the American Football League, which later merged with the NFL. The Lamar Hunt Trophy is given to the winner of the AFC Championship. The Chiefs have won three of those.
Gracie Hunt can be seen at Chiefs games regularly – whether they are playing at Arrowhead Stadium or going on the road and dominating their opponent that way. Additionally, she founded the nonprofit Breaking Barriers Through Sports, serves on the Texas and Kansas Special Olympics Boards, was Miss Kansas USA 2021 and is working toward her master's degree in sports management at the University of Kansas after receiving her bachelor's degree in sports management and broadcast journalism at SMU.
She also helps lead the fans in cheering on their favorite team on Red Friday.
For Red Friday, the Chiefs community comes together to cheer on the organization and give back to those in need. Fans have helped raise more than $3.5 million to help Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City over the last few years. However, this week’s event is ever so important.
“Red Friday was developed probably when we brought in our president, Mark Donovan, years ago and we did a lot of new fun things,” Hunt told Fox News Digital in recent interview. “And now Red Friday is something that all Chiefs Kingdom celebrates before home games. But frankly, we celebrate it before every Sunday during the regular season now. And this Red Friday is going to be the most exciting Red Friday because it’s Super Bowl Red Friday.”
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Hunt praised the fans for how well they travel. The Chiefs have played in Super Bowls in Miami, Tampa, Florida, and Glendale, Arizona, and they have shown cities what a red sea really looks like.
“The fans are incredible,” she said. “Chiefs Kingdom travels so well and as the week has gone on, the red and gold has just flooded Arizona. I don’t know what the predominant color was looking around before this week, but it’s definitely not that anymore. And just seeing the fans everyone is just so excited for the game.”
As the Chiefs enter the Super Bowl, fans cannot help but look at how things are different from last year on and off the field. And it starts with Mahomes.
The 2021 season failed to live up to expectations for Mahomes. He was named to the Pro Bowl but was not a finalist for the NFL MVP or the Offensive Player of the Year. Additionally, he did not make any All-Pro teams. He threw for 3,839 passing yards, 37 touchdown passes and a career-high 13 interceptions.
Off the field, his family was routinely criticized over incidents with fans or going back and forth on social media. His brother, Jackson, is a major social media influencer who boasts more than 1 million followers on TikTok, while his wife, Brittany, also has over 1 million followers on Instagram, runs her own business and is a co-owner of the National Women’s Soccer League’s KC Current.
While social media harassment and bullying have come for them both, Hunt pushed back on the critics and strongly defended the Mahomes family.
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“I think Patrick Mahomes has a wonderful family – from Brittany to Jackson,” Hunt told Fox News Digital. “They are wonderful people and we are so blessed to have them as part of our organization and are huge rocks in Patrick’s life. I do think that we live in a culture that’s often quick to criticize and slow to forgive. But I think we need to be one that’s quick to forgive and slow to criticize.”
With the drama and outside noise toned down, Mahomes led the Chiefs to the best record in the AFC and back to the Super Bowl. He led the league with 5,250 passing yards and 41 touchdown passes and is poised to win a second NFL MVP award.
Hunt said the expectation now is to win the whole darn thing.
“Be great,” she said. “We all expect greatness and the guys expect greatness from each other and from themselves. That’s the standard coach Reid has set that Mark Donovan has set and that my father has set for the organization and for Patrick. I know that he views this as an opportunity to further his legacy.”
She added that she expected to finish the season how it began – in Arizona at State Farm Stadium and with a “W.”
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“Let’s run it back baby! We started the season in Arizona. We’re finishing the season here in Arizona. It’s a bookend season and we’re ready for it.”