Leaven Blog

“Wonder of wonders . . . “

by Todd Habiger

I tell myself I don’t believe in destiny and I don’t believe in fate in matters of sports.

Then the Chiefs happened.

I tell myself that God has better things to do than decide who wins a football game.

But things sure seemed to fall right into place for the Chiefs this year. In the 100th year of the NFL on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the team and on the 50th anniversary of their last Super Bowl win, the Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl Champions.

God doesn’t care about football or round numbers but it sure felt like something was helping the Chiefs along the way.

The Chiefs road to the Super Bowl was magical. Everything came together perfectly starting with the Miami Dolphins upset of the New England Patriots to give the Chiefs a first-round bye and a home playoff game.

Miami Dolphins. Miami, home of the Super Bowl. An early divine message? No, I don’t believe in that.

Then came the come-from-behind win against the Texans that saw the Chiefs rally from 24 points down. That coupled with the loss of the No. 1-seed Baltimore the day before gave the Chiefs home field in the AFC Championship game.

Providence? No!

I don’t believe in sports miracles. Yet names like the Hail Mary, the Immaculate Reception and the Miracle on Ice live in sports lore forever.

God doesn’t care, yet we like to assign some divine meaning to sports.

Sometimes in spite of ourselves!

I’ve literally waited all my life to see the Chiefs play in a Super Bowl. I was born in July 1969. Six months later, the Chiefs would win their first Super Bowl. Since then, there has been a lot of losing (in the 70s and 80s) and heartbreak (in the 90s and 2000s).

Since the days of Marty Schottenheimer, the Chiefs have been mostly good, but not quite good enough. The Chiefs could never come through with the big win in the games that mattered the most.

Then they drafted Patrick Mahomes and everything changed. In 2018, in his first season as a starter, Mahomes mesmerized us with his talent, throwing for 50 touchdowns and 5,000 yards leading the Chiefs to the AFC Championship Game. He was simply magical.

Suddenly it didn’t seem like the Super Bowl was as far away as it had seemed in past years.

The run to the Super Bowl was fun, but for three-and-a half quarters the game was miserable.

I admit, I had given up hope in the fourth quarter after Mahomes threw his second interception. The knot in my stomach got a little tighter. I resigned myself that it wasn’t the Chiefs’ year — again. I wrote on my Facebook page: We need some magic.

Soon after I posted that, the comeback began. A big play to Tyreek Hill. A touchdown to Travis Kelce. Suddenly the Chiefs are down by three. A defensive stand. A big play to Sammy Watkins and a touchdown by Damian Williams and suddenly, just like that, the Chiefs are ahead.

A big fourth down stop by Frank Clark followed by a game-clinching touchdown run by Williams and just as quickly as I had fallen into despair, I was jumping up and down shedding tears of joy.

Was God trolling me? Did he provide a miracle?


I don’t believe in sports miracles.

I think?

About the author

Todd Habiger

Todd has been the production manager for The Leaven since 1995. Under his direction The Leaven has won multiple design awards from the Catholic Press Association. Prior to working at The Leaven, Todd was an award-winning writer for The Catholic Key newspaper in Kansas City, Mo. Todd is married to Lori Wood Habiger, a former Leaven employee herself. They have two children — Paige and Connor, and one dog — Joli.

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