KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Did you know before the Chiefs came to Kansas City their cheerleading squad was already in the works?
The legacy began with an idea. An alternate cheerleader at Kansas University wrote Lamar Hunt at 21-years-old, and the rest is history.
In 1963, Randy Neil heard KC was getting a football team from Texas. He was working out in his grandmother’s garden, and something compelled him to go back into the house and compose a letter to Chiefs founder, Lamar Hunt.
He asked him if he needed a squad when they arrived, and he was shocked when weeks later he found a letter in his mailbox.
“Chills just started going right down my whole body. I was blown away,” Neil said. “One line in the note that stands out is ‘go to it.’ And then he said, ‘See us when we get to our offices,’ because they hadn’t even established an office. They hadn’t even established a name yet for what the team was going to be there.”
Neil got a squad together, designed uniforms, and they practiced cheers.
“We’re going to have to finance this ourselves,” Neil said. “Moms are going to have to make uniforms, etc. And we had no problem doing that in those days. Everybody seemed to be able to, which was nice.”
A pep rally at Ward Parkway Center got the attention of high school senior Mike Nauman who decided to join the squad.
“We made a sacrifice of giving our time and our effort,” Nauman said. “But it’s like most things where you volunteer in it and give your commitment to something you believe in — you get more back. And you know, the cheerleading squad was, it was just great.”
Nauman stayed with the squad a few years but eventually left his cheering days in the past. Neil went on to become an author and founded the International Cheerleading Foundation.
“I don’t know. Some of the things that have happened have been just absolutely stellar,” Neil said. “I feel extremely fortunate that I’ve been able to live the life I have. And it’s all because Lamar Lamar said, ‘Go to it.’ That’s, that’s really something cool.”
They cheered with a purpose for a team with purpose that was stronger than he knew.
To learn more about the history of the Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleaders, you can find more details here.