KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs Kingdom has always played its own playbook. So, when the franchise came up with an off-the-wall idea to celebrate touchdowns with a mascot riding a horse, it’s no surprise that it worked and the fans went crazy for it.
Bob “Warpaint” Johnson rode the horse until retiring in 1989. Johnson legally changed his name while running for office, and yes, he won. Before his time in the legislature, he helped Chiefs fans celebrate big plays.
“I started in 1963, and I went just about 20 years as the only rider. I wore out three horses,” Johnson told FOX4.
He said owner Lamar Hunt and coach Hank Stram came up with the idea of an Indian complete with headdress riding around after every touchdown.
“And I took Warpaint to the first Super Bowl in Los Angeles Coliseum and rode him around there. But we couldn`t take them when we went to New Orleans because they didn`t have any sidelines, but I sat on the bench with the team,” Johnson recalled.
“I rode every game, and I seen every game either in person or on television all through up until now.”
Through the NFL Alumni Association, he stays in touch with guys like Lenny Dawson and Ed Budde. Committed to his craft, sometimes he’d ride bareback in freezing temperatures to watch his buddies play football.
“And I only had a pair of pants on and a T-shirt to ride that horse, no saddle. And we had some cold games, so one of the coaches got this coat and gave it to me,” he said.
And of course, Johnson wore that coat like the guys wear their Super Bowl rings. They’re proud of what they started and what today’s team is going to carry on.