Chiefs football is back, and Jamie Waier might be the most excited fan in town. The basement of her Jefferson City home tells a story of long-time superfandom — the walls adorned with autographs, homemade signs and photos.
Right after she graduated high school, Waier’s cheerleading coach encouraged her to audition to be a Chiefs cheerleader. “I made it to semi-finals, but I didn’t make it past,” she said. Waier went on to have knee surgery soon after. “I was determined to audition again, even with screws in my knee,” she said. At 23 years old, six months after having her daughter, Waier decided to give it one more shot. “I felt like I wasn’t going to be happy unless I tried one more time,” she said. That year, Waier made it to finals. “It’s one of my fondest memories related to the Chiefs that’s not actually football,” she said. “I learned a lot about myself in that process.”
Waier has remained a Chiefs fan all her life and has gathered some pretty amazing stories to tell over the years. HER sat down with Waier in her Chiefs fan cave to talk about traditions, her favorite football eras and her #2 team.
How long have you been a Chiefs fan?
I have been a Chiefs fan since I was probably about 4 years old. I grew up watching football with my dad, so as a child, it was just what we did on Sundays. Dad would cook on the grill, and we would turn football on. He never liked the TV announcers, and because we lived in Kansas City we were able to listen to Mitch Holthus, so I grew up listening to the games on the radio but watching them on TV. My love for football really grew when I was probably in junior high school because that’s when I really started to understand.
I have been a season ticket holder going on my fourth year. When I really started to understand and love football, I always wanted to have season tickets, and I always wanted to go to a Chiefs game. With season tickets, there aren’t a ton of perks, but it’s just the fact that I know I get to be at Arrowhead every home game for the entire football season. When people tell you there is nothing like being at a football game at Arrowhead Stadium, it’s really true.
Do you have a special Chiefs tradition?
We grew up doing Super Bowl parties every year, even if the Chiefs weren’t in it. My birthday is in January, so before they elongated the season, the Super Bowl was actually closer to my birthday, and my cousin’s birthday is the week after mine. We always felt really special because we felt like the Super Bowl parties were birthday parties for us too, which was pretty fun.
It is a tradition to grill on football Sunday. If I am not at Arrowhead Stadium grilling in the parking lot, tailgating, we are grilling at home. That’s probably my longest-standing and biggest tradition.
Do you have a favorite Chiefs-related memory?
Boy, do I ever. January 19, 2020, we won the AFC Championship, and we hadn’t won and gone to the Super Bowl in 50 years. That was my birthday. When we were watching the divisional playoff game with my cousin on the phone, and as it became more evident that we were going to go to the championship game, my cousin said, “What’s your budget?” I said, “What do you mean?” and he replied, “We’re going to that game. It’s on your birthday. What’s your budget?”
That for me was a once-in-a-lifetime experience — for me to be there and for them to win the AFC Championship game on my birthday. I always say it was the best birthday party ever. I even made a sign that said, “Celebrating my birthday with 70,000 of my Mahomies.”
What’s your favorite Chiefs era?
The ‘90s because we had decent football. The Marty Schottenheimer era is probably my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, this era that we’re currently in is fantastic, but the nostalgia for me of the ‘90s and watching players like Derrick Thomas and Deron Cherry and all of these older names that I looked up to as football players really stick out to me. I think that’s when I really became a super, super, diehard fan. The era we’re currently in is obviously phenomenal for all of us Chiefs fans, but there’s something about that nostalgia of ‘90s football.
If you had to root for another team, which one would it be?
The Green Bay Packers. That’s my other favorite team, and I get “booed” a lot for it, but my dad is from Wisconsin. When we weren’t rooting for the Chiefs, we were rooting for the Packers. Is my love for the Packers as much for the Chiefs? No. When we play each other, I’ll root for the Chiefs over the Packers any day, but when we weren’t watching the Chiefs, we were watching the Packers. I was a big Brett Favre fan.
What is your most prized Chiefs collector’s item?
It’s really hard to say what my most prized item is because we have had the opportunity to have a lot of autographs from a lot of cool players. I would say, if it isn’t my autographed Travis Kelce mini helmet, it’s probably my Nick Lowery autographed poster because he was one of my dad’s favorite players. I had the opportunity to not only meet him but to be in his suite for the infamous Chiefs vs. Bills, 13-seconds game. It’s a hard question because, for me, everything is pretty prized.