How Normal Fans Turn Into Diehards

The full story behind the team rivalries of Barnes and Beierman

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Lauren Spakowski

Mr. Barnes (Chiefs fan) and Ms. Beierman (49ers fan) face off against each other for Super Bowl 54.

Lauren Spakowski, Co-editor-in-chief of Talon Yearbook

Whether you are a sports fan or not, you know about the rivalries that can occur within the competition: fans from one team bullying another and betting on who is going to win the game. Although that is only one part of what really goes on, having a rival with another team is just for fun. For the 2020 Super Bowl, the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers went head-to-head to win the Lombardi Trophy, ending in a Chiefs victory after 50 plus years. In our school, we had our own little competition between two teachers: Mr. Barnes and Ms. Beierman.

Barnes and Beierman are both teachers in the 400 hallway and are super fans for their teams. 

Like most sports fans, Mr. Barnes grew up watching the Chiefs play from when he was a kid in Kansas City. 

I honestly don’t know why I have a blind devotion. It’s insane. It’s almost like an illness. My wife finds it a little obsessive. I don’t know where it comes from.”

— Mr. Barnes

“I grew up there. My family moved from Oklahoma to Kansas City area when I was four so I spent the majority of my first 24 years there. Ever since then I’ve taken a liking towards the teams in Kansas City much like everyone else has in St. Louis,” Barnes said. 

Barnes is known to be animated when he watches football games. This year especially,he stayed at his house with his family so he could be comfortable doing what he does. 

“I made a comment that this was quite possibly the best night of my life, the night that they won it. I was beaming from ear to ear, I was so happy, it was just pure joy,” Barnes said. “And my wife goes ‘Are you kidding me, what about the night we got married or when the twins were born?’ I looked at my wife dead in the eyes and I told her ‘Babe, I stand by my statement.’” 

Unlike Barnes, Beierman did not grow up in where her team is from, San Francisco, but was adopted into it. 

“I actually married into the 49ers family. My husband’s cousin played for them back in the 80s so when we started dating they were big 49ers fans so I kind of started getting sucked into it,” Beierman said.  

I actually married into the 49ers family. My husband’s cousin played for them back in the 80s so when we started dating they were big 49ers fans so I kind of started getting sucked into it. ”

— Ms. Beierman

Over the years, both teachers have proven how dedicated they are to their teams; and if you saw them in the hallways during the week of the Super Bowl, it was very clear. Beierman travels every year to a different stadium across the U.S. to go watch a game, and has her entire basement decked out in 49ers gear. Barnes doesn’t know why he is so dedicated to the Chiefs- he just is. 

“I honestly don’t know why I have a blind devotion. It’s insane. It’s almost like an illness. My wife finds it a little obsessive. I don’t know where it comes from,” Barnes said. 

Aside from the dedication to the teams from these diehard fans, the experience of the game was unlike anything for Beierman and her family. She watched the game with her husband’s family and her kids. 

“His father (her husband) passed away this summer so this season was extremely emotional because it brought his family kinda together so every Sunday they would pretty much be over there so I think it really helped bring the family together and it made the season more fun and his passing a little bit easier,” Beierman said.