NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs hope to cap off January’s NFL playoffs with a trip to the Super Bowl.
If they do, they’ll be the second Kansas City football team to make a trip to Florida for a championship game.
The Kansas City Bulldogs, winners of three of the past four titles in the Midwest Football Alliance, will play in the USA Bowl XIII National Championship January 18th in Daytona Beach.
They earned the spot as one of the best of more than 1,200 minor league/semi-pro/amateur football teams in America. Still, semi-pro football is a long way from the NFL in its following.
“We’ve been to places and people say, ‘Who are the Kansas City Bulldogs?’ We don’t like to hear that,” said Dorsey Golston III, a 36-year old safety.
The Midwest Football Alliance consists of six teams based in Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa, though the team played an expanded schedule versus teams in Wisconsin, Colorado and Minnesota to earn this year’s berth in the USA Bowl.
The Bulldogs have plenty of talent, like wide receiver/computer analyst Travae Jones.
“When I’m not out here catching footballs, I’m cranking away at the numbers and trying to figure out how to serve the community,” Jones said of his day job.
But don’t let the job fool you. He’s been in training camp with the Chiefs and most recently went up against J.J. Watt and the Texans in their 2018 training camp.
“He is an animal. His work ethic is stupendous,” Jones said of Watt.
He’s hoping for another shot at the NFL, or perhaps XFL or the Indoor Football League.
The Midwest Football Alliance hasn’t made all the changes of the NFL.
“We play old school rules. You are going to get hit going over the middle. There ain’t no flags for that,” Golston said.
They aren’t playing for the money. In fact, they pay to play, and play through injuries, like Fred Dantzler’s three knee surgeries.
“You are going to feel some bumps and bruises. When I wake up Sunday morning, it still feels like I got hit by a truck to this day, but it’s a beautiful thing,” the center said.
Most of the players know there likely will be no bigger game left for them than the USA Bowl in January vs. the Cincinnati Chiefs.
They will be playing “to defend our city” as the motto says on team gear and to protect the game they love for future generations.
“The love has never changed. That’s why I’m still out here playing, still out here training,” Jones said.
“I really believe in football. I believe strongly it helps you with life skills, how to get over things, how to persevere,” team owner and safety Tyrone Groves said.
“We are going to have that Kansas City Bulldogs across our chest, and we are going down there to represent our city and hopefully we go down there and represent well,” Coach Ron Cherry said.
Even as they prepare for the USA Bowl they’re already looking ahead to next season. The Bulldogs will have tryouts Saturday, Dec. 21 at the Blue Springs Fieldhouse at 5:30 p.m.