For Kansas City Chiefs fans, the emotional connection runs deeper than football.
Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner is a prime example of that. Faulkner has her own news show covering political topics called The Faulkner Focus and she’s also co-anchor of Outnumbered, a daytime news and talk show she co-hosts with Emily Compagno. Her Kansas City roots run deep, as she had her first big break in the broadcasting world here in Kansas City, having spent eight years in the nineties as a lead news anchor for WDAF-TV. At that time she became a beloved Chiefs fan and never wavered even after migrating to New Jersey twenty years ago.
Not only has Faulkner faithfully cheered on the Chiefs every year, but she even had the opportunity to sing the national anthem at a preseason game against Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1999. She also attended Super Bowl LIV last year when the Chiefs secured a victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
We spoke with Faulkner about her Kansas City memories, her football-embedded history and her plans for this year’s Super Bowl.
What was your path to becoming a Chiefs fan?
I’m heavily into football, I always have been. I grew up in a football household. When I moved to Kansas City as a reporter, I worked on the weekends, and sometimes part of my job would be to cover sports. While I was a fan to start with, I think I became an even bigger fan. When you go on the road with a team and you see major press from all over the world covering these championship games, you suddenly realize how special it is. No matter how much you root for somebody, it is the game itself that drives such joy and comradery.
When the day came for me to sing the anthem, they marched me out to the middle of the field, and the stands were packed. It came from a different place when I started to sing, and people were cheering and they sang the last line for me, and instead of “home of the brave,” they sang “home of the Chiefs”. It was then I got to thinking, “This is it. I am a real hardcore Chiefs fan.” I mean, it runs deep. It’s not like I’m just going to cover them for Fox Sports; my heart is really in it for them, and it doesn’t matter who the quarterback is. But it doesn’t hurt that it’s Patrick Mahomes, of course.
How was your experience attending last year’s Super Bowl?
I got invited by my boss last year, and when he asked I cried. I couldn’t believe it. I’m so glad I went—it was so special. I had anxiety, it was almost like Andy Reid was looking at me, and if something went wrong they were going to come find me. My good friend Nick [Lowry] was my seat buddy, and we were both in tears. We just couldn’t believe it. From the moment they took the field, I was nervous for them. The pressure was on and that game had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. It wasn’t until I got confetti in my mouth from cheering so loudly that I realized this was real. I was always a fan, but it’s different when you get to go see them in a game like this.
What are some of your favorite memories from Kansas City?
I have such fond memories of the friendships. One of my best girlfriends was born and raised with me, and we were together last year’s Super Bowl weekend. We had so much fun in the city and we could never agree on barbecue because I was a Gates girl, and she was like “how could you not want KC Masterpiece.”
The news stories stood out too, with the floods in the early 90s and the Oklahoma City bombing that I traveled to. We were there within four hours of the bombing, and it’s where I did my first national live shots.
I have a lot of memories in Kansas City that have to do with growing up and becoming a young woman and a better journalist and setting some really good roots there. Covering the Chiefs was a part of that. My heart was in it because I covered them more than I covered anything.
Did FNC give you a hard time about being a Chiefs fan?
People are from all over the place and they love who they love. We do have an inordinate amount of Patriots fans. Almost my entire staff from The Faulkner Focus is from the Boston area. They lost Tom Brady last year and they didn’t believe me when I said that he was going back to the Super Bowl this year. It’s going to be a heck of a game, and I can’t wait.
What will the Chiefs have to do to run it back this year?
I think the defense has to be able to play as well as they did against the Bills. It’s going to take a total team effort.
How are you spending this Super Bowl Sunday?
I’ll be at home with my husband, Tony, my oldest daughter, Bella, and my youngest daughter, Danika. We have our AFC championship gear to wear. I have a whole spread planned. It’s just the four of us, and you would think that the entire team of the Chiefs is going to be there, there’s going to be so much food. I may even put barbecue sauce on my eggs because that’s how we do it in the south. You have to live and breathe football that whole day.