KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Chiefs were back in preseason action Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium against the San Francisco 49ers.
For some Chiefs fans, the main event was in the parking lot before the game.
If you’ve been to a Chiefs game in Kansas City before, you’ve probably seen Ty Rowton, also known as the ‘X-Factor.’
“It stands for weather, elements, players, coaching, injuries, all that, I represent the greatest x-factor in the whole wide world, all 80,000 screaming Chiefs fans in there and the millions around the world,” Rowton explained.
Saturday, Rowton was joined by dozens of Chiefs fans at a special tailgate in Lot C before the game.
“This is the only time we come to a game,” Kellie Manley said.
Kellie Manley’s daughter, Ada is one of Rowton’s angels.
“I call them God’s greatest gift, they’re living angels, they’re battling disabilities, cancer, so many illnesses and stuff, but man these kids show nothing but love,” Rowton said.
The game day tradition started with Rowton’s daughter Jenna 8 years ago.
“My daughter has a rare condition, arthrogryposis, where she didn’t have water in the womb, so her arms and legs didn’t develop, she’s in a wheelchair, most amazing girl ever,” Rowton said.
Each season, Jenna wanted to cheer on the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium with her friends. Rowton made it happen by collecting unused preseason tickets from season ticket holders nationwide.
“Those guys don’t fly in for a preseason game, it cost too much, so they can’t get rid of their tickets so they donate them to me and their parking,” Rowton explained.
Whether it was tossing the football around, or painting Chiefs signs for the game, friends and family at the tailgate said Saturday’s game day experience is one their kids will never forget.
“She loves getting away for the day and having a blast and putting all of her pain and everything behind her,” Manley said about her daughter.