KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) – A Chiefs fan and a Bengals fan are working together to bring back the memory of their loved one to the Super Bowl.
The response was overwhelming for a Kansas City widow. Allison Gilbert’s idea of honoring her late husband has gone viral, and now nearly 1,000 others are doing it too.
Her husband, James Martin, was a lifelong Bengals fan, and on Super Bowl Sunday his picture will be at SoFi Stadium. It’s the Bengals’ first shot at the championship since the 1980s.
For Gilbert and Martin, football was serious. They timed their wedding around a game between the Bengals and Chiefs years ago to ensure their friends could enjoy the game together.
“We went to every Chiefs and Bengals game together at Arrowhead,” Gilbert said.
The UMKC communications professor passed away almost a year ago. With the Bengals in the playoffs last month, she had to bring the memory of her late husband back there. So she printed her face on a giant billboard and brought it to Arrowhead Stadium.
“I decided to print that 4-foot nod from his face and bring it to the game,” Gilbert said.
So when the Bengals won, she had another idea.
“I had the idea to see if anyone in Cincinnati would be willing to drag that big head to the Super Bowl,” Gilbert said.
She posted on Facebook to a Bengals fan group, and she found Aaron Denton in Cincinnati, a lifelong fan like her husband.
However, SoFi Stadium doesn’t allow signs, so Denton came up with the idea of putting his face on a shirt. He got the idea from his deceased brother a few years ago. At his celebration of life, they had shirts for him, and he knew it would be a great way to bring Gilbert’s husband’s face into the arena.
Hundreds of people online liked the idea and also wanted one for their loved one.
“I think in four days I had almost 1,000 shirt orders,” Denton said.
Now the couple are reuniting in Los Angeles to find nearly 1,000 people to wear the shirts and leave #nofanleftbehind.
“I want him to know how much he is loved by so many people and how his life, which was a very positive life, continues. After his death, something positive comes out of his death,” Gilbert said.
Denton said he spent about $15,000 out of his own pocket to complete the project, but he said it was worth giving Bengals fans and a member of Chiefs Kingdom some peace.
“I will be very happy to bring joy to him and very happy to bring joy to 800 families in Cincinnati who have been waiting a long time to see our boys again at the Super Bowl,” Denton said. .