PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The city of brotherly love is known for having diehard Eagles fans, but there are also some Kansas City Chiefs fans who live among us.
Group of Chiefs fans meet at Big Charlie’s Saloon in South Philadelphia.
But how did a South Philadelphia bar turn into a haven for Chiefs supporters.
The story begins more than 50 years ago when the father of the bar owner bet on the Chiefs to win the 1970 Super Bowl. He told his son that if the Chiefs won, he would buy him a new bike.
This is exactly what happened and Paul, the owner, has never forgotten what his father gave him. So when he took over the bar in 1983, he set out to turn it into a Chiefs sanctuary in the heart of Eagles country.
“This is an Eagles town, but this is a Kansas City Chiefs corner,” said Chiefs fan Michael Puggi.
On the corner of 11th and McKean Streets is Big Charlie’s Saloon, a South Philly sports bar with a cheeky Kansas City bent.
“We just go to the Chiefs. We’re not worried about any other team. We’re Chiefs, that’s it,” Puggi said.
For 40 years, Big Charlie’s has been a safe haven for Chiefs fans in South Philly.
What started with 10 diehard Chiefs grew to about 150 regular fans. Not to mention the thousands who have visited from out of town over the years.
“We have people from Baltimore, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, and they just come because they want to be bosses. They want to watch the game with us,” Puggi said.
It’s hard to blame them. The reaction inside the sports bar was excited to be on Kansas City’s game-winning kick to send their team back to the Super Bowl for the third time in four years.
“It’s unbelievable. It’s thrilling. They’re really crazy. They’re crazy. They’re screaming, whatever’s going on,” said manager Laura Sessa.
But, for these fans, this year’s Super Bowl will undoubtedly be different because to capture the Lombardi trophy they will have to defeat the team they have indirectly avoided for decades.
“They have the best team, but I think we have the best player. You know, we’ll see what Andy Reid can do with a week off and we’ll go from there,” Puggi added.
The last two times the Chiefs have made it to the Super Bowl, Big Charlie’s has thrown a huge block party with outdoor TVs, DJs, and fireworks.
This year they decided to call the party back out of respect for the city and all the Eagles fans in the neighborhood.
They are planning to host a private party with about 60-80 regulars all inside.
Win or lose, they’ll be here to cheer on their bosses inside enemy territory.