Versailles man recalls Chiefs Super Bowl experience in Miami
Dustin Pryor’s favorite football team is back in the Super Bowl. Just a year ago, the Versailles man got to see them play in it live in Miami.
The Kansas City Chiefs have punched another ticket to the big game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday as they look to defend their Super Bowl title and Pryor is still enjoying the memories of what he witnessed from last year’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.
“It was really awesome and the stadium looked so cool,” he said of Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. “Glad we won last year.”
A GoFundMe page helped make that experience happen when Versailles resident Heidi Rayl saw a picture of Pryor on Facebook from the AFC Championship game against the Tennessee Titans. Pryor, who lives with Down syndrome, has worked at the Versailles Walmart for over 20 years and has taken more than 25 coworkers to their first Chiefs games.
The excitement he expressed in that picture on the day the Chiefs played the Titans was all the inspiration Rayl needed to try and send him to Miami and she set a goal of raising $16,000 for two tickets to the game. The community raised about $20,000.
But, instead of just two tickets, Dustin was presented with five. That is because Walmart reached out to Fox Sports who donated five tickets to the game and Dustin no longer had to choose between taking his father or three brothers.
“I was 10 years old when the Chiefs won their last Super Bowl and the boys were raised as Chiefs fans their whole lives,” Pryor’s father, Chuck, said of Dustin and his brothers, Devon, Ryan and Donnie.
“He (Dustin) has more faith in the Chiefs than anyone. They can be down by 24 or 10,” Chuck added, referring to the deficits the Chiefs faced in the postseason last year on their way to a Super Bowl title.
The money that was raised through the GoFundMe page was used for travel expenses instead and the overall experience was so much more than just a game for the family.
On the plane ride to Miami, former Chiefs player Tamba Hali just happened to be sitting behind them and the family had the privilege of getting a photo with him and former NFL star defensive lineman Neil Smith at the stadium. They also got to enjoy numerous festivities on the day before the game, meet other numerous people and attend a party put on by Leigh Steinberg, the agent of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who was fundraising for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Since that time, the family got a new puppy for Christmas and named it “Kelce” after Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. Dustin said he is excited to see his team try and win another one for the second year in a row and this year’s plans for watching the big game will be a tailgate on Sunday complete with hamburgers and brats at the house.
Dustin also has a score prediction for the game between the Chiefs and Buccaneers and Chuck said he only missed last year’s score by just a few points. Dustin is picking the Chiefs to win it, 38-32.
Michael Losch is the Sports Editor at the Lake Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-346-2132