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A collection of Melchizedek Priesthood holders — including football professionals, family and friends — gathered for the baby blessing of Griffin Kole Ellett on Feb. 12, 2023, a few hours prior to Super Bowl LVII. From left, Kansas City Chiefs Coach Andy Reid; Mark Shill; Chad Lewis; Howard McKeon; Porter Ellett, father; Baby Griffin Kole Ellett; Jan Ellett; Weston Taylor; RB Weston; Alex Whittingham; Spencer Reid; and Matt Bushman. (Photo courtesy of Howard McKeon)

Chiefs Coach Andy Reid’s title-winning Super Bowl Sunday began with a baby blessing

Hours before the big game, the Latter-day Saint coach and several others linked to the NFL champions joined in blessing the infant son of assistant coach Porter Ellett

By Jason Swensen

18 Feb 2023

So what does a storied NFL coach do in the hours leading up to the Super Bowl?

If you’re Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, you take part in a baby blessing.

 

Last Sunday, Reid coached Kansas City to their second Super Bowl title in four years. But earlier that same day, he donned a dark suit, white shirt and tie and joined several other Latter-day Saints from his staff/team to participate in the baby blessing of Griffin Kole Ellett — the infant son of  Chiefs offensive quality control coach Porter Ellett.

 

Besides Coach Reid and several members of Baby Griffin’s family, a host of other football “pros”  attended the blessing: Former BYU/Philadelphia Eagles tight end Chad Lewis; Chiefs’ defensive quality control coach Alex Whittingham, a former Utah Ute; BYU football’s assistant strength & conditioning coach Spencer Reid; and a pair of former BYU/Chiefs’ practice squad players, Zayne Anderson and Matt Bushman.

 

The Sunday morning service was held in the Chiefs’ team hotel in Phoenix. Several hours later, the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 in to claim the NFL title.

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Carlie Ellett holds the Super Bowl LVII trophy after the championship game on Feb. 12, 2023. Her husband, Chiefs’ offensive quality control coach Porter Ellett with son, Brigham, on his shoulders, is at left. Carlie Ellett’s father, Howard McKeon is at right. (Photo courtesy of Howard McKeon)

Baby Griffin’s maternal grandfather, Howard McKeon, has five grandchildren — and each of their baby blessings are treasured family highlights. 

“This one was just unique because it happened to be on Super Bowl Sunday,” he told Church Ball Magazine. “It was a great experience.”

 

The Chiefs' Latter-day Saint contingent traditionally congregate for Sunday worship services before both home and away games. Porter Ellett asked Coach Reid if he could bless his newborn son during the Sunday service prior to Super Bowl LVII. It was a practical request. Most of Ellett’s immediate family members and in-laws were in Phoenix for the big game.

 

Coach Reid was open to the baby blessing request, but said Ellett would first need to seek permission from the proper priesthood authorities, according to McKeon. Ellett received the okay from his home ward bishop in Missouri, along with the local bishop in Phoenix who presides over the area where the Chiefs team hotel was located. A bishopric counselor from Ellett’s home ward watched the priesthood ordinance performance from Missouri via Zoom.

 

Several dozen people attended the Super Bowl pregame worship service, which was organized by Porter Ellett. Coach Reid’s wife, Tammy Reid, offered the invocation. The blessing of Griffin Kole Ellett was followed by the administration of the sacrament. Chad Lewis — BYU’s associate athletic director and Matt Bushman’s father-in-law — offered the closing prayer.

 

“We had a large group encircled about my little grandson Griffin, and Porter gave a beautiful blessing,” said McKeon, who serves in the Washington D.C. YSA South stake presidency.

 

It was heartwarming, added McKeon, to witness Coach Reid and several of his fellow coaches and players all coming together as priesthood holders on the same day as the most important pro football game of the year.

Prior to the baby blessing, McKeon told Coach Reid that it was kind of him to attend the service just hours before kickoff.

“Well, where else would I be?,” quipped the good-natured coaching legend.

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