I bought into a $5 poll for this Sunday’s Super Bowl match-up between the 49ers and Chiefs, but that’s the only skin, as they say, I have in the biggest professional football game in the history of mankind (for this year, anyway).
Oh, sure, I’ll be pulling for whatever two numbers I get (I have yet to find that out, but my aunt won on “6” and “8” way back in Super Bowl XIX between the 49ers and Dolphins, so it might actually be my birthright to come out victorious no matter my draw), but I don’t really care, otherwise.
That’s a good thing.
For the first time since the Broncos took on the Panthers in Super Bowl 50, the Patriots aren’t in this game.
Therefore, I can just sit back and not root for whomever is taking on the Patriots. I don’t have to get disgusted with stupid calls at the goal line (Pete Carroll) or blown 25-point leads (2016 Atlanta Falcons). It will be fun to just enjoy a Super Bowl without engaging in a little schadenfreude.
I ain’t got no beef with Patrick Mahomes. I would likely have one with Jimmy Garoppolo, but he was traded to San Francisco from the Patriots two years ago, a transaction that almost guaranteed New England’s eventual regression into the same post-Super Bowl malaise we all have to suffer through. That’s a welcomed relief, too, because I was beginning to wonder if Bill Belichick was an actual vampire and not just someone who acted like one at news conferences.
I’d like to see Andy Reid finally get a ring after all these years. But, at the same time, watching the 49ers go from 2-14 to the king of the hill in just one year would be pretty cool, as well.
I know, I know, San Francisco would tie the Steelers with six Lombardi trophies with a victory in Super Bowl LIV; I suppose I could be “angry” at the 49ers because of that possibility, but as the quotation marks suggest, it would just be contrived.
In other words, I just don’t care. The Patriots beat that out of me by winning three more Super Bowls since 2014 and tying Pittsburgh a year ago.
What’s the point of worrying about yet another fan base walking around wearing “Got six?” t-shirts?
There are so many potentially great story-lines with this Super Bowl.
I mentioned Reid and him perhaps finally reaching the Promised Land after so many years of coming up short.
Of course, there’s Mahomes, who is already the new golden boy of NFL quarterbacks. But what if he comes up short? That would certainly take a bit of the shine off of that gold (losses in the Super Bowl always do). Anyway, to borrow from Robert Duvall in the movie The Natural, whether Mahomes wins or loses on Sunday, it’s going to make for a great story.
And if Garoppolo goes on to win a Super Bowl just two years after being traded away by a reportedly reluctant Belichick in order to appease a reportedly insecure and threatened Tom Brady, that would be a story that would continue to have life for years.
As for the fan bases, there doesn’t appear to be much that is really all that objectionable about either. On one hand, you have the 49ers fans whose team used to be the gold standard for NFL success in the 1980s and early-to-mid-’90s before soon regressing into one of the laughingstocks of football—a label the 49ers have worn for a good bit of the last 25 years. On the other hand, there are the Chiefs fans, many of whom weren’t even alive the last time their team was in this game.
No matter the outcome on Sunday, I’m sure I can find a way to be happy for either fan base.
It’s nice, this deal about not having to root against the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Although, if someone keeps me from winning my football poll, that might be a whole different article altogether.