Wednesday, Feb. 14, is Valentine’s Day, but for Don Hale, Super Bowl Sunday is the day when his heart will be on the line.
Which team he will be rooting for is evident from the lineup in front of his house on South 3rd — Coach Andy Reid, K.C. Wolf, Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Chris Jones.
The five metal Chiefs figures were Christmas gifts from Don’s wife, Hope Hale. The gift is more meaningful because Hope, who is from Warrensburg, is not a big sports fan, Don said.
Hope bought the figures at Creative Pallet in Warsaw, wrapped them in large bags designed for bicycles and put them under the Christmas tree. They were a big hit when Don unwrapped them.
“I was surprised,” Don said. “I didn’t have a clue. It was the best Christmas present I’ve ever got.”
Don is originally from California, but has been a Chiefs fan for 30 years, he said. He moved to Missouri in 1985, and lived outside of town, then moved into Clinton, where he raised a family. Don works as a union carpenter for the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.
“I didn’t have a television until 1990, but have watched the Chiefs on television since that year,” he said.
Hope has also bought Don commemorative NFL footballs from Super Bowl wins, she said, and combs through boxes at thrift stores for photographs of former Chiefs’ players.
Don’s prediction for Super Bowl LVIII: the Chiefs to win it by 10 points.
Don said he’s not a season ticket holder, but has gone to games in person, including an away game he and Hope went to last month.
“We went out to the game in California, to watch the Chargers and the Chiefs play at SoFi Stadium,” he said, “Mahomes and Travis didn’t play, but we saw both him and Travis. It was an exciting game.”
Mahomes is his favorite player, Don said, because he is a great quarterback.
Creative Pallet in Warsaw has lots of ways for people to show the Chiefs love, owner Kimberly Pearcy said.
“We are big Chiefs fans,” Kimberly said. “We have a whole room of it.”
Hope Hale said she has started to get into Chiefs football, as has their grandson, Zandon Clear. Zandon, who is almost 4 years old, stays with them a lot of the time.
“He has some Chiefswear,” she said. “He’s comes out here and throws the football around. I think he’ll be the next Mahomes.”
Hope doesn’t know what Don has planned to reciprocate for Valentine’s Day, but he usually does something, she said. One year, they went to Las Vegas for Valentine’s Day and had a great time sightseeing in the area, she said.
Don said that on Christmas Day, when he was putting the Chiefs figures up, people in cars slowed down and waved when they saw what he was doing. Where will Coach Reid, K.C. Wolf, Mahomes, Kelce and Jones spend the rest of the winter?
“I’ll probably put them away in my attic after the game is over,”Don said, “and put them up again when football season starts next fall.”
Kimberly Pearcy, owner of Creative Pallet at 216 W. Main in Warsaw, said they order Chiefs fan products and make some of it. In addition to metal figures of the team and “Go Chiefs” signs for your yard or den, they have Chiefs ornaments, earrings, hats and other accessories. More merchandise will be arriving next week before the big game, Kimberly said, which is Sunday, Feb. 11 at 5:30 p.m. against the San Francisco 49ers.
What do they sell more figures of, Patrick Mahomes or Travis Kelce?
“It’s honestly a toss-up,” Kimberly said. “They sell about the same.”
The game, which is at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, will feature a halftime performance by Usher, an R & B and pop singer/songwriter. Reba McEntire will sing the national anthem, Post Malone will sing “America the Beautiful,” and Andra Day will sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
Chiefs fans will lift their voices and chant the Tomahawk Chop, and in the fourth quarter, call for the Chiefs to “put the hammer down.”
Creative Pallet is open in Warsaw Thursday through Saturday, or check out the Creative Pallet facebook.