Dream job: Welsch relishes working for Super Bowl champion Chiefs


Nathan Welsch, formerly of Monticello, poses with the Lombardi Trophy at the Hunt Sports Group offices in Dallas, Tex. Welsch is Communications Coordinator for the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. (Photos submitted)

Nathan and Amy Welsch pose near the field in Arrowhead Stadium prior to the AFC Championship Game in Kansas City.

Nathan Welsch (right) holds the AFC champion’s Lamar Hunt Trophy with Clark Hunt, part owner, chairman and CEO of the Kansas City Chiefs.
By: 
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     Since childhood, Nathan Welsch had dreamed of attending the Super Bowl.

     He not only attended it, he was there as an employee of the National Football League champion Kansas City Chiefs.

     Welsch has worked as Communications Coordinator for the Dallas-based Hunt Sports Group, which owns the Chiefs, since October 2012. He works closely with Chiefs CEO and chairman Clark Hunt.

     So when the Chiefs rallied from a 20-10 fourth quarter deficit to beat the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 and win their first-ever Super Bowl title, Welsch was there.

     “I don’t know that I’ve fully wrapped my head around all of it yet,” said Welsch, 31.

     Welsch watched it all as the Chiefs went through a harrowing run to the title, having to make several comebacks before finally being able to hoist the Lombardi Trophy, which goes to the Super Bowl champ.

     The biggest comeback was from an early 24-0 deficit against Houston in the divisional round.

     “My thought was, well, maybe it’s just not our day,” Welsch said. “I was just hoping we could get within 10 points by halftime, totally reasonable with the reigning MVP (Patrick Mahomes) at quarterback. To actually enter halftime up 28-24? Yeah, that didn’t cross my mind as a possibility.”

     Kansas City went on to win 51-31, then defeated the Tennessee Titans 35-24 in the AFC Championship Game (after trailing 17-7 in the second quarter) to reach the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years.

     Welsch and his wife Amy got the chance to celebrate the AFC title on the field.

     “That was maybe my favorite moment of the whole playoff run,” Welsch said. “Being on the field with the stands packed full of fans cheering, confetti flying around, players right next to you with everyone singing along to music that was blaring. It was truly exhilarating chaos.”

     Welsch’s job changed as the Chiefs advanced deeper into the postseason.

     “My duties varied week by week throughout the playoffs,” Welsch said. “For the divisional game against Houston, we could mostly operate as if it is a typical home game. For the AFC Championship against Tennessee, a little more went into the week leading up to it; this is because there is the trophy presentation immediately following the game.

     “During those first two games, I handled a lot of Clark Hunt’s media requests in Dallas. Local news stations would come in and interview him for their nightly sports segments.”

     Working with ubiquitous ticket requests was a big part of Welsch’s duties during the playoffs and before the Super Bowl.

     “I worked closely with our ticketing folks in Kansas City. As you can imagine, everyone is trying to get their hands on tickets,” he said.

     “The real hurdle was with the Super Bowl. There are a lot of parties people want access to. Credentials are still physical items; not electronic, unfortunately. So there are a lot of logistics behind that. It’s a non-stop grind for those two weeks, getting everyone situated and putting out fires.

     “I’m sure Clark is happy he’s not having to be on the phone with me at all hours of the night for the foreseeable future.”

     Nathan and Amy arrived in Miami the day before the big game.

     “The closer we got to Super Bowl Sunday, the less crazy things were for us,” Welsch said. “I would say Friday was when we could finally take a deep breath and start to enjoy things. There were still plenty of fires to put out leading up to game day, but mostly everything was in place.”

     Before entering their hotel, he said, the couple was part of a routine security stop in which drug dogs sniffed their luggage before they were able to check in.

     On Sunday, Nathan and Amy took a shuttle from the hotel to Hard Rock Stadium, site of the game, and attended a credentialed Chiefs tailgate party.

     “Game day was actually the first day where I didn’t have any specific work responsibilities come up, which was nice,” Welsch said. “We were really about to enjoy the whole experience.”

     Welsch said he wasn’t enjoying it a whole lot when the 49ers took a 20-10 lead into the fourth quarter. But the Chiefs rallied to win the championship, and the organization’s celebration began.

     “After taking in the trophy ceremony (from the stands), we rushed out of the stadium and hopped back on the shuttle to the team hotel for the victory party,” Welsch said.

     The party, he said, included staff, family members, some players, business associates and friends.

     “There was a stage that Flo Rida and Pitbull performed on with a dance floor in front of it,” he said. “There were open bars, food, ice sculptures, lots of different picture-taking opportunities, and of course lots of champagne.”

     Celebrities who attended included actors Paul Rudd and Eric Stonestreet, and NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer.

     It was all part of a season and a Super Bowl Welsch will never forget.

     “It’s such a special experience to be part of an organization that won the Super Bowl,” Welsch said. “It’s special to see the Hunt family hoist not only the Lombardi Trophy but also the Lamar Hunt Trophy (for the AFC champion).

     “Also, for all the people who work so hard for the organization, putting in countless hours. And then for the fans.

     “I wasn’t sure how I was going to get there, but to be part of an organization that wins it all is a story I look forward to sharing with my kids one day.”

 

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