The Kansas City Chiefs Puppet Lady, who is often shown on the big screen during games, has two more reasons to smile — she was inducted into the Ford Hall of Fans this year and this week she purchased Arrowhead Stadium Seat No. 9 in Sedalia.
Janel Carbajo, of Spring Hill, Kansas, is a die-hard Chiefs fan. She and her husband, Tom, have been season ticket holders for more than 32 years. Carbajo is known in the Chiefs Kingdom as the Chiefs Puppet Lady because for decades she has brought helmeted puppets to the games — one representing the Chiefs and one representing the opposing team.
Earlier this year, Carbajo was one of three inducted into the Ford Hall of Fans in the Pro Football Hall of Fame at Canton, Ohio. This honor granted her a chance to go to the Super Bowl and also the opportunity to place her Chiefs memorabilia in the Hall of Fans, leading her to an unplanned meeting with Tom Knight, of Sedalia, this week. Knight was selling stadium seat No. 9 — the actual seat Carbajo used to sit in at Arrowhead.
“I’ve been a Chiefs fan my whole life,” Carbajo said by phone earlier this week. “I can remember the first Super Bowl. I was about 8-years-old and I can vaguely remember sitting and watching it with my dad.
“As far as a season ticket holder, my husband and I have been married 32 years,” she continued. “And, he had the tickets a year before we were married.”
Carbajo added she’s been bringing puppets to the games for almost 30 years. The puppets were originally used to occupy the couple’s small daughter, Kelsey Carbajo, during the game. The idea grew over the years and so did the Puppet Lady’s fame.
“We noticed we started to get on the big screen a lot because they thought it was funny and cute,” she said. “So, then we acquired another (puppet) …”
Since some of Carbajo’s puppets and memorabilia are to be placed in the Hall of Fans for several months, she and her husband began looking for the stadium seat she always sat in at Arrowhead. Little did they know they didn’t have to drive far to find it.
“My husband was in search of some unique items to possibly put in the case at Canton, Ohio,” Carbajo said. “And he got on Marketplace and found Tom Knight, and Tom set us up with the stadium chair, the actual chair I sat in at Arrowhead.”
Knight said by phone on Friday he owns a business, Stadium Hollywood in Kansas City, with Ray Malone.
“His company took all the seats out of Arrowhead and Kauffman Stadium in the year 2000, and we sell them,” he explained. “That was the reason I was able to acquire it.
“We had some seats on the internet and her husband inquired about them,” he continued. “And we were able to track down the seat for her, she was plenty excited.”
He added Janel’s husband is wanting to buy two additional seats if possible.
As the Carbajos drove back from Branson last Sunday, they stopped in Sedalia to pick up the chair at Ragar Banners and to meet Knight and the business’ owner, Myrna Ragar.
“We stopped in Sedalia and met Myrna, she’s such a sweet lady,” Carbajo said. “It was so much fun, we spent a lot of time just chatting and visiting …”
She added finding the chair to add to her Chiefs collection was extremely “special.”