Big Storm Brewery co-owner finds ‘man’ he sat next to at Super Bowl

Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
Big Storm co-owner LJ Govoni tweeted photos of himself at Super Bowl LV seated next to a cardboard Kansas City Chiefs fan known only as “Frank,” and asked for help identifying and locating him. (Credit: LJ Govoni)

The co-owner of Southwest Florida-based Big Storm Brewing has found the fan whose cardboard cutout he sat next to at Super Bowl LV in Tampa.

LJ Govoni tweeted photos of himself next to a Kansas City Chiefs fan known only as “Frank,” and asked for help identifying and locating him. Govoni said if he found Frank, he’d offer him a flight to Florida and some Big Storm beer.

It turns out, the fan’s real name is Clayton Whipple and he lives in Iowa. He sent a tweet to Govoni on Tuesday, saying “Hey! It’s Frank! Sorry I was too busy with my middle schoolers to respond earlier. Cheers and Congrats to your bucs man. They were the better team Sunday.”

Govoni and Whipple plan to have their first meeting Tuesday afternoon via Zoom.

In a press release as the search continued, Govoni, a long-time Bucs season ticket holder, said, “It’s been a difficult year and football has, at times, provided us with an escape and a way to bring us together, no matter what team you’re cheering for. In a normal year, maybe Frank would have been at the Super Bowl in-person. So why not at least try and find him, offer him a free flight to Florida when he can come, and show him some Tampa Bay hospitality. That will include Big Storm beer to drown his sorrows after the Bucs destroyed the Chiefs 31-9 in last night’s Super Bowl.”

Govoni says he did talk some trash with cardboard Frank during the game. He also exchanged high-fives and bought him a beer after a Buccaneers touchdown.

“It was fun, but it would be even nicer to meet Frank in person and let him know his cardboard image had an unforgettable evening in Tampa,” Govoni said.

Fans were able to pay $100 for a cardboard cutout of themselves and have it in the stands at Raymond James Stadium for the NFL’s championship game. The NFL capped the number of real-life fans at 22,000 (7,500 of those were health care workers who attended for free), and the number of cutouts was placed at 30,000, making the stands look pretty full.

Govoni and cardboard Whipple sat in section 232 on the Chiefs’ sideline.

Founded in 2012 in Pasco County, Big Storm Brewing has three taprooms in the Sunshine State — Clearwater, Odessa and Cape Coral.

Fans sit among cardboard cutouts before the Super Bowl game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa. (Charlie Riedel/AP)

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