Super Bowl celebrations turn deadly
Kansas City's police department issued what at the time was meant to be a lighthearted message after the Chiefs won Super Bowl 54 to end the team's 50-year championship drought.
"It's a Super Bowl victory, not the purge," police tweeted, referencing the 2013 horror film where all criminal activity is legalised.
Immediately asked if there'd been any incidents, police replied: "Someone thought there was a free pass on streaking this evening."
Other locals were similarly worried about the outpouring of emotion getting out of hand.
"I had to tell my parents to go to the basement because so many people were shooting off guns," one replied. "Parents are nearly ninety and I'm all the way across the country. Stressed."
"My husband is the optho resident (eye doctor) on call for many of the KC hospitals tonight and would like to reinforce this!" another added.
Philadelphia police chimed in too, remembering how their city was overrun by delirious football fans when the Eagles won the Super Bowl in 2018.
So many fans were climbing up streetpoles officers were forced to apply grease to all of them in an attempt to prevent accidents.
Right? Those poles don't climb themselves...— Philadelphia Police (@PhillyPolice) February 3, 2020
Fourteen hours later the Kansas City cops posted an update. "Overall, we did pretty well, KC," they wrote. "Thanks for keeping it classy!"
But the attached media release still made for wild reading.
"Kansas City celebrated big for last night's Super Bowl victory, and Kansas City Missouri Police were there to ensure everyone could do so safely," it read.
"The Power and Light District had the biggest turn out with an estimated 20,000 people in attendance there. Police made a total of 14 arrests there and ejected 45 people from the district. The Kansas City Fire Department responded to 24 medical incidents during the event at Power and Light. The Westport entertainment district also was packed, and while there were several disturbances, none were serious.
"There were 163 reports of gunfire from 5.30pm February 2 to 1am February 3. Police will be following up on these incidents as celebratory gunfire is extremely dangerous and illegal.
"Police also received a call at 9.17pm in the 9800 block Richmond to assist paramedics on a fireworks accident. The victim was attempting to light commercial-grade fireworks in an improvised mortar when one of them exploded. He suffered a catastrophic head injury and was pronounced dead at an area hospital."
Fourteen arrests and 24 medical incidents at one location - and a man who died essentially blowing his head off with fireworks is doing "pretty well"? My goodness.
There were so many fireworks let off you could see them on the weather radar.
Preparations are now being made for a championship parade scheduled for Thursday (AEDT).
"For the first time in 50 years, our Kansas City Chiefs are bringing home the Vince Lombardi trophy, and we're all excited to celebrate with our players and fans," Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said in a news release.
When the city's baseball team the Royals won the World Series in 2015, an estimated 800,000 people flocked to the victory parade, shattering expectations in a city with a population of about 470,000 and a metropolitan area of about 2 million.
City spokesman Chris Hernandez offered no specifics on the expected crowd size for the Chiefs' celebration, saying only that "we are prepared for a massive crowd of fans wearing red and celebrating a Super Bowl victory that's been 50 years in the making. So please dress warmly and come downtown to enjoy a family- friendly celebration."
But the city is asking fans not to go the airport today to welcome their returning heroes.
Congratulations to the @Chiefs & #KC for winning the Super Bowl! Our goal is to keep things safe & allow people to catch their flights. We ask that fans do NOT show up @KCIAirport. The team will arrive behind the scenes & there will be no opportunity to see them. #ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/SgWMhMpl5p— Kansas City International Airport (@KCIAirport) February 3, 2020