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Kansas City Chiefs fans in L.A. find each other at Jalapeno Pete's

Chiefs fans Los Angeles
Posted at 4:37 PM, Feb 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-11 12:06:15-05

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — A gathering of Kansas City Chiefs fans is something Chris Wedding doesn't take for granted.

"If you're in Kansas City and wearing a Chiefs jersey, chances are people will just pass right by you because, of course, you're a chiefs fan," Wedding, a Lee's Summit native who's lived in Los Angeles for 20 years, said. "But out here when you see another Chiefs fan, you go nuts."

Wedding has chased that feeling. 10 years ago he started a Chiefs fan chapter in L.A. that meets to watch games at a bar called Jalapeno Pete's in Studio City, California.

"(There are) well over 3,000 fans in the area, which is great," Wedding said.

He's met a lot of them, and that prompted him to expand his California Kingdom to more than a half-dozen bars in the L.A. area.

He did so at the right time: before the 2019 season that led to the Chiefs' first Super Bowl title in 50 years.

"All those chapters had the best year of their life right away, which is great because when we started 10 years ago, we were 1-15 as a team," Wedding said.

Actually, the Chiefs were 2-14 that year, but who's counting? Well, aside from Toni Farina.

"We've got 500 members," Farina, who heads up the Manhattan Beach Chiefs fan chapter, said.

"I wanted a place to watch the game with other people," Farina, another Lee' Summit native who has lived on the West Coast for 30 years, said. "And then I heard about Chris here at Jalapeno Pete's and was like 'Well yeah!'"

Daniel Bandy is from Orange County, played college football at Arizona State and has lived only one year of his life in the KC area, but he's a huge Chiefs fan and is the leader of the Huntington Beach chapter.

"We had well over 250 people at the bar," Bandy said in reference to the Super Bowl LIV watch party.

That also sounds like Stan's Barbecue in Seattle, owned by Raytown native Stan Phillips.

"We opened it up and it's been 18 years of die-hard Chiefs fans coming in,"Phillips said.

These West Coasters have found that you can carve out a slice of home almost anywhere.

"It is family. It's not a sense of family. It is family," Bandy said. "We call each other brother and sister. We introduce each other that way."

The only thing better than these watch parties is, well, an 80,000-person watch party. In other words, a trip back home to GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.

"I want to take my wife. She hasn't been to a game yet," Wedding said.

After all the times she's watched the Chiefs with Wedding, he said she's earned it.

"She's had to come out here with me to all these games all the time so she deserves a trip to Arrowhead, too," Wedding said.