Unless you grew up in the Midwest listening to Kansas City Chiefs games on the radio, you probably don’t know Mitch Holthus by name — though you’ve probably heard his voice at some point. For 26 years, Holthus, the play-by-play personality of the Chiefs Radio Network, has been announcing touchdowns the exact same way, his gravelly voice announcing, “Touchdown! Kansas City!”
“It’s like four staccato notes,” Holthus explains. “It’s like taking a snare drum, and hitting three beats: ‘KAN-SAS-CITY.’”
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) January 22, 2020
— Matt Flener KMBC (@MattFlenerKMBC) January 28, 2020
Holthus’ signature call has gotten a lot of work in the past two seasons, as quarterback Patrick Mahomes, head coach Andy Reid and the Chiefs offense have racked up 121 touchdowns, 24 regular-season wins, and now their first Super Bowl appearance in 50 years.
Holthus discusses this achievement, and the long drought behind it, as part of a divine providence. Holthus believes he senses God’s work in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl run.
“What it has meant to me, what I’m learning, is seeing God’s favor,” Holthus told Sports Spectrum this week. “I had a couple texts from brothers in the Lord who have said exactly that. Now, God doesn’t care who wins and God is a God of waiting, and we’re blessed in waiting, but it has been waiting. But now I see His hand in a lot of things, whether we win this thing or not.”
Holthus grew up in rural Kansas, was raised in a faith-based home, but like most followers of Jesus who grow up Christian, Holthus had to learn what a personal relationship with Christ truly means.
“Near the end of my undergraduate days (at Kansas State), I was trying to decide what’s next,” Holthus said. “I’d been distracted with a lot of things, and came to the point of realizing, ‘No, I want my life to count for the Lord, to use it and the blessings He’s given me, to make an eternal impact and have an eternal perspective.’”
Holthus is on the elder board for Christ Community Church in Kansas City, a position he felt deeply called to make time for, despite his announcing job and other gigs often taking 60-70 hours of his week.
“It’s not always a lot of fun,” Holthus said, “but it’s made me look at Titus, what is an elder supposed to do, and realizing how the Church needs people to invest in it. So I’m learning something new every day.”
Like always, Holthus will be behind the mic for the Chiefs Radio Network when K.C. faces the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in Super Bowl LIV in Miami, and he feels optimistic he’ll have a lot of staccato drumbeat touchdown calls for a game he is confident the Chiefs will win. But in that, Holthus is conscious of the bigger calling he has as a follower of Jesus.
Holthus quotes activist and evangelist Christine Caine when describing his mindset heading in to this Sunday, saying, “Make sure the light shining in you is brighter than the light that shines on you.”
“We live in challenging times and times where a lot of faith messages are misunderstood or ignored,” Holthus says. “We’re entering a new realm that’s going to require courage, discernment and wisdom. To anyone who reads this, I need your prayers.”
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