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Chiefs Kingdom goes global for Super Bowl LIV

Posted at 4:37 PM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 18:49:50-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — Ask and you shall receive.

In the six days since 41 Action News put the call out for Chiefs fans to show just how big the Kingdom really is, the station has been inundated with responses.

More than 450 submissions – and counting – have come in, representing dozens of countries on multiple continents, proving Chiefs Kingdom is not just at Arrowhead.

From Cremona, Italy, where Gianluca Poltz and his wife Elodie Cassuto root for the Chiefs and manage the “Chiefs Kingdom Italia” fan site, to the United Kingdom where Scottish-born Clive Weldon has cheered on the Chiefs since first seeing Marcus Allen take on the Raiders in 1993. All the way to Bengaluru, India, where Bill Schickler will watch Super Bowl LIV.

"I'm probably the biggest Chiefs fan in Bengaluru, India, right now,” Schickler said. “If not the only one.”

Anna Upman, a Lee’s Summit native who is studying abroad in Banja Luka, Bosnia, said the Super Bowl isn’t well-known in Bosnia.

Hector Hernandez, from Guadalajara, Mexico, said when he arrived in Mexico, he thought he was the only Chiefs fan in the country.

Yet among all the different countries one mantra remains – Chiefs football brings people together. Even if it means watching the Superbowl at 9:30 a.m., like Shayla Roland plans to do in Melbourne, Australia.

"It's on a Monday, so now I have to call in a sicky *laughs* to watch the game!” said Roland, who originally is from Kansas.

Chiefs Kingdom runs so deep, fans like Roland are recruiting in their new countries.

"There's not many Chiefs I'm trying to get them on board,” she said.

But her fandom was instilled in high school when she watched the team with her father.

"It was like a big thing to bond with my father,” Roland said. "It's a family thing though like once you're a ... once dad's a chiefs fan everyone's a Chiefs fan, you know?”

The sport is allowing families to keep their traditions alive and well even when loved ones are overseas.

As for the ones who are already fans, they go hard for the Kingdom, according to Hernandez.

"It's actually amazing because all of these people that I've met that are Chiefs fans they tell me they're from the '80s, from the early '90s like myself,” Hernandez said. “Some of them go back to the '70s and I'm like wow, they're real die hard Chiefs fans.”

Even those who are not from the Midwest. Shickler said he originally is from Los Angeles, but became a Chiefs fan when Marty Schottenheimer joined the team in 1988.

Hernandez, who hails from Northern California and has never visited Kansas City, “fell in love” in the mid-1990s.

“[I] started seeing other players like James H. and Marcus Allen, and I just fell in love with the team,” Hernandez said.

Upman said her family is filled with Chiefs fans. Her three older brothers play football and one is a coach.

"Every single time there's a touchdown, my brother will send me a text saying, ‘Touchdown,’ and I have to respond, ‘Kansas City, and if I don't, he'll call me," Upman said. "I actually looked at the map this morning and I was amazed at how far it was I figured I'd be one of the only people in Europe and then I went and looked through it and I was like, ‘Wow, there's a lot of people repping from everywhere.’"