KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs are days away from defending their Super Bowl title, with fans back in the City of Fountains ready for the final stop in the "Run it Back" season.
Kevin Ritz, his brother Danny Ritz and Joe Klebba are part of a passionate Lot G tailgating group, but the season ticket holders deferred their plans to 2021 out of pandemic concerns. It's upended their normal routine.
"It's somewhat become part of my identity with Kansas City," Klebba said, known in this large tailgate group as 'The Godfather.' "I feel kind of lost on the weekends, you know I'm used to getting the tailgate ready on Saturdays and heading out on Sundays and seeing everybody, and so I just miss the interactions."
Kevin Ritz said Arrowhead experiences are like "church on Sundays."
"I wake up on Sunday morning sometimes, of a home game during this year, like 6:30 and my heart rate's up and I don't know why, and I think my body just thinks it's time to get ready to go out and tailgate, so not having that certainly throws off my rhythm on Sundays," he said.
Kevin and Danny host the "State Your Line" podcast, a Kansas City-focused show that has been produced from the Arrowhead parking lots in the past.
"What Kevin and I found was that the amount of civic pride that Kansas Citians have is unlimited and we wanted to put on a show where we just talked about Kansas City and how much we liked it," Danny said.
Despite an unprecedented season, this trio is ready for Super Bowl Sunday.
"I will be ecstatic, I will cry again, I will jump into the arms of my friends who I'm watching the game with, it will be less of a soul-releasing burden this year, and more of a more of a pure excitement type of feeling," Danny Ritz said, asked what a win would mean.
"When Mitch Holthus said, we planted our flag on football's highest summit, our flag is still there, and so we belong up there, so this feeling of, we are here, we expected to be here, we expect to win is completely different," Kevin Ritz said.
Klebba leads the pregame tailgate speech in honor of former Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil.
"With this roster returning 20 of 22 starters before the season, this is the expectation, so anything less than a Super Bowl victory at this point is not up to par," he said.
Klebba's final thoughts?
"Let's run it back. Let's go to work."