Editor’s Note: This is a dispatch from our Red Kingdom Road Trip. We’re connecting with Chiefs fans across the country ahead of the Super Bowl — share your story with us using this form. Read more from our journey to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl here on KansasCity.com, in our newsletters, or on The Star’s Instagram.
After packing up our Ford Explorer at the Kansas City Star’s office Sunday morning, we stopped by Union Station to snap a few quick photos before we hit the road.
Nearly immediately after we propped up our lifesize Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift cutouts against the car, a young girl bounded over, excited to take a picture with Taylor. Then, a couple wanted a photo. Then another one.
As we explained that we were driving to Vegas to catch the Super Bowl, everyone was excited, wishing us a safe drive. It was an ideal, quintessentially KC send-off.
Red Kingdom Road Trip
We’re hitting the road to tell the stories of Chiefs fans on the way to Vegas and beyond. Follow along!
A few hours later, we landed at our first stop in Sedgwick, Kansas, to meet Dennis Basye, a superfan whose house and yard are decked out with Chiefs memorabilia. Dennis’ son, friends and neighbors came out to join the fun, and it was incredibly sweet to see how excited everyone was about Dennis, our trip and the big game.
Arrowhead…. in Sedgwick, Kansas?
Right off the main street in Sedgwick, Kansas, a small town near Wichita, there’s a small football field that looks a lot like GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.
The yard lines, each about a foot apart, are meticulously painted around the Kansas City Chiefs’ signature logo in the middle. Mini goalposts cap off the ends.
Standing in front of what many would describe as a Chiefs fan’s dream house is 72-year-old Dennis Basye, covered head to toe in red and gold. Dennis, a lifelong Kansas resident who’s been rooting for the Chiefs since he was a freshman in high school, was the first stop on our Red Kingdom Road Trip to Las Vegas — and he certainly didn’t disappoint.
Dennis’ “Chiefs Kingdom” didn’t come to life until recently. He began building everything on his own five years ago — his career in construction helped, he said. Every piece is customized by hand, from the decked-out, red 1965 Chevrolet firetruck to the “Kelce Bowl” sign he painted last year.
And he’s not done yet, either. Next year, he plans on building a 20-foot-tall Chiefs nutcracker.
So many people were stopping by the house, Dennis and his son Travis Basye started keeping a guest book last year.
“It’s my dad, you know. He’s 72 years old and this is his way of having fun and enjoying life now,” Travis said. “I just like to sit and watch. It’s his legacy, and the attention he’s getting from it has been fun, too. I’ll definitely carry it on.”
Every time the Chiefs score a touchdown, Dennis blares a loud siren that echoes through the neighborhood. This Sunday, as the Chiefs head to their fourth Super Bowl in five years, he’s ready to sound off.
“I rode up and down that roller coaster for 50 years, and now that we got a wonderful coach and players, I’m not going to stop now,” Dennis said.
Join the Red Kingdom Road Trip
We want to highlight how much fans across the country love the Chiefs, because we know how much they mean to Kansas City. So, help us find you along the way to the Super Bowl. Share your story here.
Guymon, Oklahoma, on Monday, Feb. 5
Amarillo, Texas, on Monday, Feb. 5
Lubbock, Texas, on Tuesday, Feb. 6
Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Wednesday, Feb. 7
Scottsdale, Arizona, on Thursday, Feb. 8
Sedona, Arizona, on Friday, Feb. 9
Flagstaff, Arizona, on Friday, Feb. 9
Las Vegas, Nevada, on Friday, Feb. 9