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Trio of Super Fans Named Finalists for Induction into Ford Hall of Fans at HOF

Trio of Super Fans Named Finalists for Induction into Ford Hall of Fans at HOF

01/28/2020
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The Ford Hall of Fans exhibit at the Pro Football Hall of Fame is about to get a little rowdier.

Kansas City Chiefs fan Janel Renee Carbajo, Denver Broncos fan Rob Garner and Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan Keith Kunzig were voted as finalists, and now await word to see who will join the ranks of pro football’s most dedicated fanatics.

The three were selected as finalists after a month-long online fan polling. All three have won a trip to Super Bowl LIV in Miami, where they will take part in much of the festivities leading up to the game, including attending the Merlin Olsen Super Bowl Luncheon and participating in Ford Chalk Talk featuring Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Kelly and Warren Sapp.

Carbajo, Garner and Kunzig will wait anxiously in their Miami hotel rooms later this week for the famous knock from Pro Football Hall of Fame President & CEO David Baker. The recipient of that knock will join the Ford Hall of Fans at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“All three of the finalists for the Ford Hall of Fans share a passion for their team, community and pro football,” Baker said. “Ford aligns with our desire to honor pro football’s greatest super fans who make this game such a part of the country’s fabric because it represents values like commitment integrity, courage, respect and excellence.”

Carbajo, 58, of Spring Hill, Kansas, is known among Chiefs faithful as “The Puppet Lady.” The assortment of props she brings to every home game at Arrowhead Stadium include two punching hand puppets, one dressed as a Chief, the other as that week’s opponent. The retired school teacher is a 31-year Chiefs season-ticket holder. When not rooting on the Chiefs, Carbajo sings with her worship team at Grace Community Church, is a member of the Festival Choral Society and volunteers for teamsmile.org, providing free dental care to underserved children.

Garner, 40, is a firefighter in his hometown of Fort Collins, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. His game-day outfit consists of full firefighter gear, including custom Broncos suspenders and helmet. “Rescue Rob” arrives to every home game driving his Bronco Orange 1976 Ford fire engine, which serves as tailgate central. A 10-year Broncos season-ticket holder, Garner also drives the vehicle to charity events, including fundraisers for Children’s Hospital, Denver Rescue Mission and Ronald McDonald House.

Kunzig, 52, of Largo, Florida, is known among Buccaneers faithful as “Big Nasty.” A season-ticket holder for 30 years, Kunzig brings his character to life with full face paint, patched-out jersey, giant Super Bowl trophy belt and the loudest voice in Raymond James Stadium. He has extended the persona to promote the “Drugs Are Nasty” program, and he hosts the “Nasty for a Day” special tailgate experience at all Bucs home games as a way to raise money in the fight against drug abuse. His “Big Nasty Christmas Party” provides clothes, toys and food for local families in need.  

The Ford Hall of Fans is the automaker’s way of celebrating the passion fans bring to the various worlds of sports. Last year, the company debuted the Ford Hall of Fans at the Pro Football Hall of Fame when Miami Dolphins fan Roger Avila, Pittsburgh Steelers fan Rick Holman and Chicago Bears fan Don Wachter were all inducted.

“It’s a thrill to connect in this unique way with these die-hard fans,” said Jim Peters, Ford brand content and alliances marketing manager. “Their passion is contagious, and the Ford Hall of Fans at the Pro Football Hall of Fame is a great way to celebrate that passion.”

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