OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Former Chiefs players are optimistic the current team will win the AFC Championship Sunday. The New England Patriots will play the Chiefs in Arrowhead Sunday at 5:40 p.m. The winner advances to the Super Bowl.
Tim Grunhard and Danan Hughes played together on the 1993 team which was the last to appear in an AFC Championship game. That team lost in Buffalo, New York, to the Bills.
Friday morning, Danan Hughes joined the 610 Sports Radio team at The Jewish Community Center for a Red Friday pep rally. Former players and current cheerleaders signed autographs, former general manager Carl Peterson even made an appearance.
At the event, Hughes said the current Chiefs team doesn’t let pressure get to it.
“They don't know what they don't know yet. They're still young guys, they're still having fun,” Hughes said. “You watch the TD celebrations, you watch the antics on the sidelines, you watch them at practicing their celebrations in practice. That's what is so refreshing about this team, they're a bunch of young kids out there having fun and I think that is going to bode well for them on Sunday.”
Sunday’s game is the first AFC Championship in Arrowhead Stadium. Grunhard, a retired offensive lineman, said he always dreamed of playing this game in Kansas City.
“This is really, really important for the organization. There are generations of fans who have been waiting for this game,” Grunhard said. “Not to put a lot of pressure on these guys, but this is what you work for, this is what it's all about.”
Grunhard admitted New England has the more experienced quarterback with Tom Brady. But he said Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes never stops impressing him.
“I call him the creator. Any time he gets outside the pocket, he's able to create plays, he's able to do things other guys can't do,” Grunhard pointed out. “He's one of those enigmas. He doesn't let pressure get to him. You saw that with the Colts game.”
Hughes has a reputation for predicting the outcomes of games that earned him the nickname “Nostra-Daman.” He predicts a Chiefs win.
“28-17 Chiefs. Going to the Super Bowl, baby!”
The last time the Patriots played at Arrowhead, the Chiefs won. But the Patriots beat the Chiefs in New England this season.