OLATHE, Kan. — Carl Parker what many would call a die-hard Kansas City Chiefs fan and described the team as an "everyday joy."
"Some people call me 'CH'... like the sugar,” joked Parker, 78, who never misses a game.
Parker lives at Olathe's Anthology Senior Living and was able to keep a family tradition alive amid the COVID-19 pandemic, when his family gathered at the facility to watch Chiefs take on the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship game.
"He just makes a room light up,” Laura Parker, Carl's niece-in-law, said. “He walks in and his priority is to make sure everyone in that room is smiling and that's really really important to have in this time of our lives that we're in right now."
A question about his knowledge of star Quarterback Patrick Mahomes drew this quick response.
"He’s got a good cereal,” Carl said as the room filled with laughter.
"Whenever we're watching a game with Uncle CH, sometimes... we love him to death! But sometimes, he is more of a commentary,” Laura said smiling - looking right at Carl.
For the Parkers, Chiefs games have helped pull them through hard times. When they're apart during a game, the phone is guaranteed to ring when the Chiefs score.
"We had some pretty rough years and my family has never given up on the Chiefs... and he's never given up on anything,” Jamie Parker, Carl’s nephew, said.
Laura confirmed Jamie's sentiment.
"If something doesn't go right, then Uncle CH is just always telling us, 'OK, this is what we're going to do. This is how we're going to do it'” Laura said.
So the moment that put Patrick Mahomes in the NFL’s concussion protocol hit the die-hard fan hard.
“When I saw that tackle that they made that day, tears shot outta my eyes,” Carl said.
And his family confirmed -- It’s that serious for him.
They live for the moments when there’s a play -- everyone is screaming and jumping about.
"His love for the Chiefs right now is kind of like a driving force or a driving purpose for him,” Laura said.
According to Anthology Senior Living, all of its residents have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.