They watched the Chiefs wide receiver emerge from a car in the middle of the Kansas City intersection with a fake skeleton in his arms.
New Super Bowl winner Ihmir Smith-Marsette snuck into the offices of Reactor Design, a graphic design agency,
Wednesday and handed over the skeleton, which hadn’t been seen since he disappeared with it during the Super Bowl parade last week.
“Skelly!” the Chiefs fans exclaimed.
Fans and owners of the skeleton had searched far and wide for it on social media, even posting a GoFundMe fundraiser.
Now the bag of bones was back. But where he had been all this time remains a mystery.
“I don’t think anyone really knows what happened,” said Clifton Alexander, owner of Reactor Design and Skelly, with a laugh.
The skeleton was captured by a group of parade-goers near 19th Street and Grand Boulevard that included Mallory Mong, a student at the University of Kansas from Overland Park who joined the festivities with her father, Grant Mong, and Alexander , a family friend.
The skeleton caught the eye of Smith-Marsette, who walked over to see it.
The broad receiver promised to bring the skeleton back, then scurried away with the bones in the air. He was passed from player to player and was even spotted atop one of the Chiefs double-decker buses.
After the festivities ended, Mallory Mong tagged Smith-Marsette on Twitter and asked, “Where’s my skeleton??”
He replied on Twitter: “He’s still somewhere celebrating the parade, he’s probably dead from all the holidays.”
But exactly one week later, the skeleton was reunited with its owner. Smith-Marsette told Alexander she circulated a “most wanted” poster with the likeness of the skeleton to track him down.
Chiefs fan Grant Mong takes a photo with Ihmir Smith-Marsette after the Chiefs wide receiver returned “Skelly,” a fake skeleton that made the rounds during the 2023 Super Bowl parade.
“Hahahah had fun with me but glad I got him home safely… who knows maybe I will see him again in a year,” Smith-Marsette tweeted after the handover.
Alexander said their meeting was quick, but he was tickled to learn that Smith-Marsette’s family in New Jersey had even heard of the shenanigans and urged him to find the skeleton and return it.
Alexander was also keen to clear the air of any ill will: “None of us ever saw it as anything negative. It was all fun and games.
Skelly is back home, but with better eyesight than before. You have been promoted from the basement to a prominent window. His shoulder blade now bears the Smith-Marsette signature, and a Super Bowl baseball cap shields his eyes from the sun as he stares out at Grand Avenue.
“Skelly,” a fake skeleton that made its rounds with Chiefs players during the 2023 Super Bowl parade, was returned to Reactor Design by Chiefs wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette.
What about next year’s Super Bowl parade, if Kansas City is lucky enough to celebrate three in five years?
Alexander said he hopes to level up this year’s antics with a 12-foot-tall skeleton, like the ones sold on Halloween.
But most of all she hopes to continue to help spread the joy.
As for Skelly, she recently developed a selfless bone.
After the skeleton was lost to the mob, Mallory Mong set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise $100, somewhat in jest, calling it the “Missing Chiefs Skeleton.”
Alexander said they are working with Smith-Marsette to determine where to donate the money. All $110 of it.
Contributed by Lisa Gutierrez of The Star.
Grant Mong, Missouri Highway Patrol Trooper Clump and Casey Kapple pose for a photo with “Bones,” a skeleton owned by Clifton Alexander at Wednesday’s Chiefs Super Bowl Parade. February 15, 2023.