KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City and barbecue go hand in hand, much like tailgating and the Kansas City Chiefs.
For decades, one local family has owned Big T’s Bar B Q, and their family traditions have continued through food and football.
The first Big T’s opened on Longview Road and Blue Ridge Boulevard in 1993. Years later, the owner, Tim Jones, opened another location on Blue Parkway where his father’s restaurant, Oscars BBQ, once was.
"We've been at it about 25 years or so,” Jones said.
Serving customers good food is Jones’ favorite part, along with meeting new people and seeing some familiar faces, including Kansas City Chiefs football players.
But meeting former players isn’t what turned Jones’ family into Chiefs fans. It all started with his father, Oscar Jones, who stuck by the team during the highs and the lows.
"You know, he had those season tickets, and I think there was some point we couldn't even give those tickets away,” Jones said.
The season tickets and barbeque traditions are ones the family still holds today. For decades, the men in the family have followed the Chiefs to one away football game every season.
“This year, for some reason, we ended up going to Cleveland,” Jones said.
Jones said Cleveland was not his first choice, but he was outnumbered. Before the start of each Chiefs season, the relatives meet and go over the football schedule. They take a vote on which away game they’d like to attend that year.
The trips started with only a handful of people many years ago. Today, more than 20 family members go on the trips.
“I don’t really focus on where we’re going, I focus on our family,” Marcell Denmon said.
The football trip is about more than just that.
“It’s a bonding experience. It’s about getting to see new stadiums,” Will Hill said.
This Sunday in Cleveland, the men are excited to be somewhere they’ve never been before. They're also looking forward to seeing the Chiefs face the Browns.
“I want to see the matchup between Baker Mayfield and Patrick Mahomes,” Hill said.
Denmon agreed. “Baker’s nice, I call him Baker Money Mayfield.”
They have some big expectations. All agree that the Chiefs will be coming home with another win.
With the trip to Cleveland, the family can also check another stadium off their list. Over the years, some of the family members have been to more than 15 NFL stadiums. It's a tradition that Jones hopes the family will continue until they reach their goal.
“We’ll go until we get to all the stadiums I guess, or until we can’t do anything anymore,” Jones said.