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Father and Daughter Share Special 20-Year Bond over Chiefs

Football is family

The relationship between father and daughter can be one of the most treasured relationships.

And the comraderie found in sports, whether amongst players or fans, is seen around the world.

Combine the two, and there's something pretty special.

Almost 20 years ago, Eric Vaughan introduced his daughter, Victoria, to the Kansas City Chiefs when they attended their first game together in 1998.

She was two.

Fast forward to last Friday night's preseason game against the 49ers, and they were back reliving that moment before Victoria starts her senior year at Oklahoma Baptist University.

Eric explained due to traveling and living in different areas for work, they haven't been able to attend 20 years of Chiefs games, but it is the tradition in their family to be Chiefs fans.

Eric was born and raised in Kansas City, and has been a Chiefs fan since he was born.

"This really got entrenched in me though back when Steve Fuller was the quarterback in the late 70s," Eric said.

And he remembers a specific incident with his dad following a Broncos game that year.

Eric, his father, the neighbor and the neighbor's son were coming home from the Broncos game, which the Chiefs had lost.

Eric had been making fun of the way the Chiefs had played when his dad pulled the car over on I-435 and told him to get out.

"I thought I was in trouble, so I exited the passenger side of the car, shut the door and was expecting him to come out and give me a verbal lashing or maybe even a spanking, and he didn't," Eric said.

Instead, he drove off.

Don't worry, his dad pulled back over about a block up the road and honked for him to get back in the car.

"When I got back in the car he said, 'Son, we're Chiefs fans. We're always going to be Chiefs fans. You were born in Kansas City, do you know what that makes you?' And I said, 'A Chiefs fan?' And he said, 'Absolutely.'

"So I've been a Chiefs fan my whole life and even more so after that day," Eric said.

And that passion has carried on to the next generation of the Vaughan family.

"Honestly getting to go back after 20 years is probably my favorite memory because the way my dad raised us, we have always been Chiefs fans," Victoria said.  "We've never really had any other choice."

Celebrating the Chiefs has created a special bond for Eric and Victoria where they can relive those experiences and memories, talk through games and just have that father-daughter time.

"I don't have a son, so when you don't have son you kind of think, oh am I going to get to have those sports moments? Am I going to get to have those times together with them?" Eric said. "And Victoria has been awesome at that, and she loves those teams, so that's been a real bonding moment between father and daughter."

While Victoria joked that she never stood a chance at not being a Chiefs fan, it's created a shared interest between her and her dad.

"It's something that we can connect on because we're very different, obviously. He's a big ol' macho man and I'm a girl," Victoria laughed. "But being able to set that aside and actually put time into being interested in things that he's interested in, and then over the years, that have grown into a love for those things. It's just a way for me to connect with my dad and to keep up that bond as I get older."

And for Victoria, the love of the Chiefs will, undoubtedly, continue on through the family.

"My love for that will never die because of my dad and those things being instilled in me in a very young age. I'm not going to give that up anytime soon," Victoria said. "I think I'll be dragging my family to games, whether they like it or not, or at least watching on TV."

What has Eric enjoyed the most over all his years as a Chiefs fan? Through celebrating the wins and suffering through the losses?

It all comes back to the opportunity to share something special with his daughter.

"We have a very close relationship anyway, but it's very uncommon that a teenager can look at her father and say, 'Dad, you're one of my best friends.'

"Celebrating the Chiefs, being a Chiefs fan and a Kansas City fan has helped in the process of bringing the two of us together with commonality and things that we can engage in together, where not only that father-daughter love relationship builds, but that friendship builds and continue on.

"That's what I think is one of the greatest things," Eric said.

Like they say, football is family.

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