ESPN documentary reveals first comments from ‘ChiefsAholic’ since arrest
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - For the first time since he disappeared due to an arrest, Chiefs Kingdom is hearing from the man previously known as ChiefsAholic.
Well, sort of. Xaviar Babudar, the Chiefs superfan-turned-alleged-serial-bank-robber, shared written comments to ESPN during the network’s documentary Where Wolf: The Search for ChiefsAholic, which premiered Monday on ESPN+.
The documentary details the rise and fall of Babudar via reporting from ESPN’s Elizabeth Merrill and David Purdum. Through questions to Babudar’s attorney Matthew Merryman, ESPN shared written responses from the Chiefs superfan.
“First of all, I’m just another person in the crowd just trying to make and find my way,” Babudar wrote in response to a question asking how he’d describe himself. “I would describe myself as being loyal, loving and dedicated. Especially to my family, faith and sports.”
Babudar was notorious for traveling to every Chiefs game in recent years, often sitting in seats close to the action — and cameras.
“I always just want to give back and help people who are less fortunate, especially kids,” he said. “I guess my childhood kind of formed my desire to help children.”
Merryman refused to share any details of the case with ESPN but said he believed his client is innocent.
“There’s always more to the story,” Merryman said in defense of his client, who was originally arrested for the robbery of the Tulsa Teachers Federal Credit Union on Dec. 16, 2022. Babudar was released on bond in February 2023.
One month later, he removed his ankle monitor and fled prosecution. Investigators eventually located him later in Sacramento, California.
As the documentary shares, Babudar was notorious on social media for sharing large gambling wagers. According to ESPN, Babudar received a $100,000 check in February 2023 after cashing separate wagers on the Chiefs to win Super Bowl LVII and Patrick Mahomes to win NFL MVP.
“I think Xaviar would tell you that he has a gambling addiction,” Merryman said. “I don’t think it’s a healthy relationship with gambling.”
The interview with Merryman was conducted on Sept. 20, 2023. Babudar admitted to ESPN that it would be significantly harder to watch the Chiefs in their attempt to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
“It’s going to be a struggle for sure and that’s putting it lightly,” Babudar said. “Being incarcerated makes it very tough and I do not get a say as to how I can follow the Chiefs this season. I will do my best to catch the games when I can, as I should be able to listen to the television broadcast through a janky 90s-looking battery-powered hand radio.”
The 28-year-old was added to the FBI’s Most Wanted List in June.
Babudar said he can’t put into words the “mental stress and acceptance” of realizing he would no longer be able to attend games after being at every Arrowhead game since 2016.
“As I have said before, you can put the wolf in a cage, but no matter what I am still going to howl for my team!!!” he wrote.
In July, Babudar was arrested and charged in federal court in connection to a string of robberies across the Midwest. He admitted to ESPN that being ChiefsAholic was an obsession and that social media fueled him.
“I wish that I had better control over that aspect especially as it related to social media,” Babudar said. “I am also deeply sorry for the unwanted attention this entire situation has brought on my family, the Chiefs organization, my friends, and all of my supporters across Chiefs Kingdom.”
As the fallout continues, Babudar said he hopes he still has the support of Chiefs Kingdom.
“I just pray for people’s continued support,” Babudar continued. “I believe I will always be a part of Chiefs Kingdom and that I am no better and no worse than any other fan, but I know there will always be room in the Kingdom for me. We are a family and you don’t turn your back on family during hard times.”
You can watch the 40-minute documentary here.
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