KANSAS CITY, Mo (WDAF) — While looking forward to big Chiefs wins, FOX4 is also looking back on Kansas City Chiefs history. As the players have evolved, so has the group on the field who cheers for them.
“I got these earrings many, many years ago when I was a Chiefs cheerleader,” Lorraine Guastella Vaughan said, showing off her big, round earrings with a Chiefs helmet in the center. “Fifty-four years ago I was a Chiefs cheerleader.”
From 1965-1969, Vaughn was a fixture on the sideline of Municipal Stadium. Her squad was much smaller than the ones today, focused on athleticism instead of dancing.
“There were six of us that were regulars, and then we had two subs, and we cheered with guys, which was really neat,” Vaughan said. “We did all the lifts. We did pyramids, round-offs, aerials and it was wonderful.”
She shared the field with famous Chiefs like Hank Stram, Len Dawson, Fred Arbanas and Jim Lynch, as well as Kansas City jazz legend Marilyn Maye who sang at halftime.
“I remember having to hold her mink stole, and it was so cute because she would always say, ‘Now young lady, don’t you dare get that in the mud,'” Vaughan recalled.
Back then, Chiefs cheerleaders didn’t get paid and had to cover their own expenses when traveling to away games.
So when they found out that Lamar Hunt was scheduled to be a guest on the Night Beat radio show with Walt Bodine, her squad elected Vaughn to call in. Pretending to be a fan, she told the Chiefs owner how hard they work — for no money.
“And he says, ‘Young lady, is that true?'” Vaughan said of Hunt’s reaction. “I said, well I said, ‘Sir, I’m sorry but I am a Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader, and I had to do this. I drew the short straw.’ But we needed to get the point across to him how hard we worked for him, how much we care and do you ever think about that?”
Shortly after that, Chiefs cheerleaders began getting paid.
Cherishing her past, Vaughan is now looking forward to the Chiefs future and her favorite player she calls, “Our little Patrick Mahomes, our saving grace.”
“I know they are going to fight to the finish,” Vaughan said of the Chiefs quest to win the Super Bowl.
To get to the Super Bowl, the Chiefs need to get past the Tennessee Titans first. Lorraine predicts the Chiefs will beat the Titans but said they’re a tough team, so she thinks it will be a close game.