SportsTampa Bay’s Big Game


Social media helps brewery co-owner find cardboard cutout Chiefs fan he sat next to at Super Bowl

The Chiefs fan got a free trip to Florida
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Posted at 10:27 PM, Feb 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 13:57:39-05

CLEARWATER, Fla. — The co-owner of Big Storm Brewery used social media to find a "fan" who sat next to him at the Super Bowl.

LJ Govoni tweeted photos of himself next to a Kansas City Chiefs fan cutout on Sunday.

"We're sitting in Section 232, Row DD, Seats 1-4 so on seat 5 of me is a cutout that I'm affectionately starting to call Frank," said LJ Govoni. "In my mind, Frank is a middle school math teacher that coaches JV basketball in his hometown."

RELATED: Big Storm Brewery co-owner wants to find Chiefs cut-out fan who sat next to him at Super Bowl

In less than 48 hours, Govoni located the man who purchased the cutout that sat next to him at the game.

His real name is not Frank, it's Clayton Whipple. He lives in Iowa and works in IT.

Whipple is a lifelong Kansas City fan and is married with two children.

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Clayton Whipple and his family

He bought a cardboard cutout for $100. The NFL said the money goes to charity and the stadium looked packed because of the 30,000 cardboard cutouts. The cutouts provided physical distance between pods of fans.

Whipple said he heard from a friend about the social media search to find him.

"I got a message earlier this morning from a friend who sent me the article on the story. I'm like 'wait, what's going on? What's happening?' I saw all this and it has been fun to catch up on today," said Whipple.

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Govoni and Whipple met for the first time in a Zoom call on Tuesday. He offered Whipple and his family a free trip to Florida.

"Clayton, here's what we got for you, we're going to fly you down probably from Tampa International, schedule is to be determined," said Govoni.

Whipple brought in his wife and two sons into the room so Govoni could meet them over the Zoom call.

"I appreciate this. That's awesome. Definitely look forward to coming down there and checking out your brewery. It looks amazing," said Whipple.

Govoni said he wanted to spread a message about "unity."

"So as the game went on and I trash-talked this cardboard cutout and also shared popcorn, chicken wings and beer with....the idea was I want to find this guy to show that people from different teams, literally, can come together and be friends," said Govoni.