ChiefsAholic ESPN Credit: ESPN

If you’re an NFL fan, you likely have some sort of working knowledge regarding the Kansas City Chiefs superfan known as “ChiefsAholic.”

You probably know he wears a werewolf costume. And you’re presumably aware that he’s been involved in some bank robberies and has a lawyer who makes forced football puns. But unless you’re a Chiefs fan or have been following the story more extensively than most, that’s likely where your familiarity ends.

But for those interested in learning more about the subject, there is now a mini-documentary that can help you accomplish just that. On Saturday, ESPN released Where Wolf, a 41-minute entry into its “SC Featured “series, which tells the story of how one man went from a Chiefs superfan to an alleged serial bank robber and wanted fugitive.

And it’s freaking wild.

I stumbled upon Where Wolf while killing time watching SportsCenter on Sunday morning, which included a 12-minute version of the feature. The segment I saw was well done and the story itself was so crazy that it left me wanting more. Fortunately, the Worldwide Leader had me covered, as the video I watched was merely a mini-version of the full mini-documentary.

Even though I was concerned I had already seen all of the good parts, I carved out some time to watch the 41-minute version later that day. To my pleasant surprise, the full version was so entertaining that it didn’t matter that I had already seen the shortened one earlier.

Simply put, this story is so insane that every small detail matters. And the 41-minute version is full of them.

I don’t want to spoil too much for anyone interested in watching it (you can find the full version on ESPN’s YouTube page here). But if you’re under the impression (as I was) that this was merely an NFL superfan who also happened to be involved in a bank robbery or two, you’re in for several surprises.

The story is a modern one in many ways and examines the real-life consequences of social media and gambling addictions, among other issues in society. It also doesn’t paint ChiefsAholic as a sympathetic figure nor does it go out of its way to villainize him. It simply states the facts — some known, many new — of what happened and let’s the viewers make their own judgments.

Directed and produced by Martin Khodabakhshian, the feature relies heavily on reenactments and is so cinematic that it often feels like it belongs on a movie theater screen more than it does a YouTube page. The feature is impeccably reported by Elizabeth Merrill and David Purdum and while they are featured on-screen — sometimes in a way that feels dramatized — it doesn’t overshadow or detract from the larger story.

ChiefsAholic — real name Xaviar Babudar — doesn’t participate on-screen, but he does answer questions via written statements. To compensate, the filmmakers interviewed a variety of connected characters, including multiple Chiefs fans who know Babudar personally, law enforcement involved in his case and his aforementioned football pun-loving lawyer.

In a world where many are justifiably concerned about the state of sports journalism — at ESPN or elsewhere — this is one of the best pieces of it I can remember in recent memory. It took a subject that most were likely only vaguely familiar with and shed a light on the almost unfathomable full story, doing so in a way that was both responsible and entertaining. I can’t recommend it enough.

You can watch the full version of Where Wolf in the video player below.


About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.