Kansas City is celebrating the “World Champion” Chiefs today with a parade and rally.
For the record, the Chiefs are not “World Champions” of anything, even if every vehicle in the parade is displaying the words “World Champions”.
The Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV, which gives them the right to forever be called “Super Bowl LIV champions” and “2019 National Football League champions”, the same way the franchise can refer to itself as “Super Bowl IV champions” and “1969 Professional Football champions” (1969 was the last year before the AFL-NFL merger).
The Chiefs may refer to themselves as “NFL champions” without a qualifying year until they are eliminated from the 2020 playoffs (or fail to qualify). If Kansas City wins Super Bowl LV next February in Tampa, the Chiefs may continue to use NFL champions without the year.
The Patriots lost the right to call themselves NFL champions without a qualifying year when they lost to the Titans in the wild card round. New England can refer to itself as NFL champions of 2001, 2003, 2004, 2014, 2016 and 2018, but must use the qualifying years. And it cannot call itself a “world champion”, period.
No NFL (or AFL) champion has the right to call itself a “world champion”.
The NFL has never had a franchise in a country other than the United States of America. Save for a few exhibitions in the early 1960s, no NFL team has played a team from the only other major league on earth which sponsors gridiron football, the Canadian Football League.
Two of the other major North American sports leagues use “World Champions” when they should not.
The NBA has referred to the winner of its playoff tournament as “World Champions”. At least the league no longer refers to the final round of the playoffs as the “World Championship Series” as it did through 1985.
Major League Baseball has sponsored the World Series since 1903, with two exceptions (1904 and 1994). Every World Series winner I know has referred to itself as a “World Champion”, even though MLB has never had teams in countries other than the USA and Canada. North American champions is also inappropriate since no World Series winner has played a champion from Mexico, Cuba or another country.
The Associated Press expressly forbids its publications from using “World Champions” to refer to teams. It is SUPER BOWL champions, WORLD SERIES champions and NBA champions.
Baseball and basketball can easily determine a world champion the way FIFA does with the Champions League.
The National Hockey League has it right. Gary Bettman and his predecessor, John Ziegler, never refers to the winner of the Stanley Cup Finals as the “World Champions” of hockey. That team is the STANLEY CUP champion or the NHL champion.
Here’s something to keep in mind about the NHL. A team can win the Stanley Cup X number of times. However, a team cannot win Y Stanley Cups. There is only one Stanley Cup, and unlike the Vince Lombardi, Larry O’Brien and Commissioner’s trophies, a new one is not made each year.
Therefore, the Blues are attempting to win the Stanley Cup for the second time, not their second Stanley Cup. Got it?
Back to football.
There are two world champions of football. They are the French Men’s National Team and the United States Women’s National Team. France won the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and the USA won the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
Every Super Bowl ring is a FRAUD, since every one says “World Champions”.