KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In Kansas City, if you’re not a Chiefs fan, you stick out like a sore thumb. But one family is proudly donning orange and black in a sea of red.
“When you put your heart into something, you stick with it,” said Cincinnati Bengals football fan John Mockapetris.
Anyone who has seen Mockapetris’ front yard, backyard or basement knows which team he’s backing Sunday.
“I’ve had the season tickets for over 25 years,” he said.
John and his wife, Arlene, originally lived in New England, where they somehow escaped the clutches of Patriots fans.
“Our family gives us such a hard time,” Arlene Mockapetris said. “We get more ribbing from our family that we are Bengals fans because they’re Patriots fans.”
Now, these die-hard Bengals supporters are smack dab in the middle of Chiefs Country. And on Sunday, when the Bengals and Chiefs battle for the AFC Championship title in Kansas City, they’re hoping for a cheese coney and a trophy.
“Last year at the AFC championship, Bengals fans were far outnumbered, obviously, by the number of Kansas City fans that were in the stadium,” John Mockapetris said. “But towards the end of the game, ‘Who Dey’ was definitely loudly heard.”
After watching Cincinnati get closer and closer to its first championship, Mockapetris is betting his bottom dollar on a Bengals AFC win.
“You endure the bad years, you celebrate the good years, and you stick with the team,” he said.
Normally, he’ll fly or drive nearly 1,200 miles to Paycor and back. But this time, the couple says they have friends from Cincinnati coming to Kansas City to visit them. They’re going to the AFC championship game together on Sunday.