9-year-old boy learns hard lesson after raising money for Super Bowl trip to see Chiefs


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — We all want to go to the Super Bowl, right? One 9-year-old saved all year but learned the hard way it wasn’t going to happen.

Kobe Eyerly is a huge Kansas City Chiefs fan. He said he’s loved the team his entire life. It’s something the whole family enjoys together. Kobe and his dad, Gabe Eyerly, watch the Chiefs every week together and always get into the action.

“We do that together every week, and it’s our thing,” his dad Gabe said.

Gabe Eyerly is from the Kansas City metro but now lives in Utah. He never lost his love of the Chiefs, though, and instilled that in his children. His wife, Leslie Eyerly, said it’s a big part of their family traditions.

When the Chiefs clinched the AFC Championship on Sunday, Gabe and Leslie said they were talking to their family about the Super Bowl while their kids were celebrating. They were talking about how tickets for the game were not only highly expensive because of the pandemic, but tickets were starting near $10,000 a piece. 

The couple said they looked over to the couch and saw 9-year-old Kobe in tears.

“I looked over and just saw him crying,” Leslie said.

Kobe’s parents knew he had been saving his money. Leslie said normally he spends it as soon as he gets it, but this year he’d been putting it away and hadn’t told them what he was saving for. 

“I had been saving up to bring my dad to the Super Bowl,” Kobe said.

“He was really struggling to decide what he wanted to spend this money on, and I didn’t know that that’s what he had been planning,” Leslie said.

With tears in his eyes, he told his dad the $50 he earned was supposed to take them to Tampa. 

“I got just choked up in the idea. You know, like my wife said, it’s kind of funny. It’s a 9-year-old idea of what money is, right?” Gabe said.

His parents had to break it to him that hard work does help you earn toward your goals, but sometimes even the things you want the most are out of reach.

“How genuine a 9-year-old’s heart is, right?” Gabe said. “Understanding money is one thing, but in his world, it was all the money he had, and the willingness to do that is pretty special.”

Now the family is talking about what’s realistic and a way for Kobe to put his money toward his favorite team. They are planning to visit Kansas City in the fall to see a Chiefs regular season game. Kobe said he will keep saving for the trip this year.

“It would be amazing to just watch those players in real life,” Kobe said.

His favorite player is Patrick Mahomes, along with Tyreek Hill. Kobe said if he were able to talk to them, he would want to know what it’s like to play on the team.

Gabe said his son learned a number of lessons from his experience but knowing how special their game time is for them both makes a dad’s heart feel good.

“The Super Bowl is something special, and maybe something we put on a bucket list, but spending time together and watching those is just important for us,” Gabe said.

The Eyerlys plan to enjoy this year’s Super Bowl at home together.

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