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German KU graduate student-turned-Chiefs fan predicts great experience for all in Frankfurt

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Posted at 6:00 AM, Oct 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-31 17:12:56-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jens Evers grew up in Telgte, Germany, a small town just outside Münster and about three hours north of Frankfurt, where the Kansas City Chiefs are set to take on the Miami Dolphins this Sunday.  

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I wanted to learn more about the community and fan base abroad, so what better way than to pull up a chair at Johnny's Tavern in north Lawrence to hear from a local-turned-Chiefs fan?!

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Evers is a graduate student at the University of Kansas who "wanted to do a study abroad in the U.S." through an exchange program with his home university and the English department.

"Watched and I followed football before I came here, probably since, I want to say, probably regularly since about 2012-2013, or something like that," Evers said. "So I've been watching games. I used to have NFL Game Pass back in Germany, but I didn't necessarily have a favorite team.”  

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When it comes to the sport and its popularity there, Evers said fans are hungry for more.

“I just kind of thought it was about time that they had more games in Germany because, I mean, the fan base is, you know, NFL fan base is just as passionate, if not maybe more passionate, than those in the UK," he said. "I think, especially like over the last 10 years, especially last five years, I think football has been growing so much, and more games have been broadcast on German TV and it's just really been picking up. I think people are just kind of intrigued by the combination, like the physicality but also the strategy. That's kind of something that also drew me in ... it's just a fascinating unique combination of it.”  

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Now, like many fellow KU students, he watches games at Johnny's Tavern. Every location opens at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 5, for the big game.

“We're doing a bunch of drink specials and we're doing breakfast pizza, do a rug BLT and classic breakfast, so it should be a lot of fun," said Spencer Renfro, managing partner for Johnny's Tavern in north Lawrence. "Some eggs and bacon flowing. It'll definitely smell delicious in here, that's for sure."

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With the time difference, Evers said the early wake-up call is the reverse of his football-watching norm.

“It’s a different feeling now having to get up early for a game. I was used to staying up late for football games with the time difference back in Germany, now it's reverse — it's getting up early," Evers laughed.

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And for any Chiefs Kingdom members making the trek to his home country this week, Evers assured me they're in for a treat.

“I think they'll have a great time in Frankfurt, in Germany and I think Germans will like having them there," Evers said. "I think it's gonna be, again, like pretty unique stadium atmosphere in that, probably, it might be a bit like the Draft where people from so many different teams will be in attendance wearing their jerseys. Just being excited that the world champions are there and that they get to witness the NFL at home.”  

The Chiefs-Dolphins matchup can be seen locally on KSHB 41 at 8:30 a.m. CT.