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Wichitan & Former Chiefs Player Celebrates Team's Second Super Bowl Win

Carla Eckels
Former Kansas City Chiefs player Jeff Smith watches the victory of Super Bowl LVI with friends and family.

The Kansas City Chiefs pulled out a victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV, and Wichitan and former Chiefs running back Jeff Smith is savoring the win.

Smith was all smiles in his west Wichita home Sunday night as he spun an official Chiefs football and watched the victory unfold on his big screen.

"It’s the best thing that has ever happened because it’s been 50 years since we’ve been back to the Super Bowl,” Smith said. "I’m happy for Andy Reid, the coach, and I’m just happy for the players.”

Credit Courtesy photo
Jeff Smith was number 42 when he played for the Chiefs. He was a running back, punt returner and kickoff returner.

Smith says this game was tight but he’s glad the Chiefs persevered in the fourth quarter.

"I’m just ecstatic that we were able to able to overcome adversity and finally win another Super Bowl,” he said.

Smith remembers the exhilaration of watching the Chiefs win the Super Bowl in 1970 with his dad by his side when he was 7 years old.

Smith was a running back and returned kickoffs and punts for the Chiefs in 1985 and 1986. Before that, he was a standout player at the University of Nebraska and Wichita Southeast High School.

“I went to a playoff game in 1986, so I know it’s very difficult to make it to a Super Bowl, so I’m very happy for them,” he said. "Kansas City needed a great quarterback and Patrick Mahomes came in and changed the whole organization.”

Mahomes, 24, won the Super Bowl's Most Valuable Player award, becoming the second-youngest quarterback to do so.

Smith says the Chiefs are a young team, and he anticipates more Super Bowl victories in the future.

Carla Eckels is director of cultural diversity and the host of Soulsations. Follow her on Twitter @Eckels. To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Carla Eckels is Director of Organizational Culture at KMUW. She produces and hosts the R&B and gospel show Soulsations and brings stories of race and culture to The Range with the monthly segment In the Mix. Carla was inducted into The Kansas African American Museum's Trailblazers Hall of Fame in 2020 for her work in broadcast/journalism.