Chris Foshee sat down at his desk Monday morning and tried to think of a clever way to cover up the sign for the roller coaster named “Patriot.”
Foshee, communications manager at the “Worlds of Fun” amusement park in Kansas City, pulled up some pictures for inspiration with the hopes of finding something that would trigger an idea.
He knew it couldn’t stay as it was – for the sake of solidarity with the home team – but even after hours of brainstorming, he was still unsure of what change to make.
Suddenly, the idea he had been searching for came to him, and he knew what he had to do. He drafted a proof for the park’s sign shop, and that idea quickly became a reality.
The next day, there it was: “Patriot” had been turned to “Patrick,” a reference to Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Not only was the Patriot no more, but the Patrick had taken over. Both “Worlds of Fun” and the Chiefs were founded by Lamar Hunt, and the Chiefs are searching for their first Lamar Hunt Trophy ever, so Foshee is glad he thought to swap the letters.
“We thought we’d have a little fun with it,” Foshee told Boston.com. “It’s not too much of a stretch to change it to Patrick. It’s just two letters, so we thought we would do that. The name change is pretty fitting, considering the ride’s high-flying, just like Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense. It throws you for a couple loops, too, like our defense has been doing.”
Ever since the altered sign surfaced Tuesday, football fans and media outlets all over have taken notice. ESPN’s NFL Live and NPR both mentioned it, and the Sunday Night Football on NBC Twitter account provided perhaps the best reaction.
“Is this the Patriot?” they wrote. The response? “No, this is Patrick,” a reference to a popular episode in season 2 of “SpongeBob SquarePants,” where Patrick Star takes a job answering phones at The Krusty Krab.
"Is this the Patriot?"
"NO. THIS IS PATRICK." pic.twitter.com/bQCJvCdprX
— SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) January 17, 2019
Patrick receives multiple phone calls with customers asking him if this is the Krusty Krab. “No, this is Patrick,” he responds, hanging up in disgust. “I’m not a Krusty Krab,” he mutters to himself, before SpongeBob strolls by and reminds him that’s the name of the restaurant.
It wasn’t Foshee’s intention to elicit a SpongeBob reference, but he’s glad he did, because it’s helped the photo spread even more.
“Believe me, we’ve definitely seen our fair share of SpongeBob GIFs and memes,” Foshee said. “I didn’t even think about it until after I posted it and started seeing them come in. I haven’t watched SpongeBob in forever, so I actually had to look up the clip that they’re referring to. I didn’t realize it was as popular as it was. That’s definitely an added bonus.”
Excuse me, is this The Patriot? pic.twitter.com/qZMkPzYTfH
— Ben Jammin (@JediGovna713) January 17, 2019
Like football fans around the world, Foshee is looking forward to Sunday’s matchup. He’s excited for the game, but his mind is already racing, crafting plans for the Super Bowl.
He’s hoping to strike gold again, but for now, he’s glad this idea came to fruition and put a smile on so many faces.
“It’s kind of cool for it to take off, for sure,” Foshee said. “I didn’t really expect it to catch on as quickly as it did, to be honest.