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Chiefs vs. 49ers: Reasons to root for (and against) each Super Bowl team as a Steelers fan

Can’t make up your mind on who to root for in Super Bowl LVIII? We’re here to help.

Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs catches a second quarter pass for a 48-yard touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 16, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

Happy Super Bowl week to all who celebrate.

While it isn’t hard to get swept into the festivities that come with the big game each year, as Steelers fans it can be rough to watch yet another Super Bowl that Pittsburgh wasn’t ever that close to getting to. Beyond that, this year’s matchup isn’t particularly captivating. If not the Steelers, we could’ve at least gotten something interesting like Lions vs. Bills. Instead, we get a matchup between two teams that repeatedly appear in the playoffs and even played against each other in the Super Bowl just four years ago.

With no fun teams to pull for or even an easy villain like the Ravens to root against, it feels harder than usual to care about this year’s Super Bowl. As a result, I’ve compiled a guide with reasons not just to root for each team, but also reasons to root against if hating is more of your thing. Feel free to peruse the list below to find your best reason to care about Super Bowl LVIII as Sunday approaches.

Root for the Chiefs if...

You dislike Tom Brady. I have yet to meet a Steeler fan who didn’t despise Brady. The future Hall of Famer crushed the dreams of several Steelers teams in the playoffs, going undefeated in the postseason against Pittsburgh over his career. Additionally, there was Spygate and Deflategate, and worst of all, Brady was the primary reason why the Patriots were able to tie Pittsburgh’s NFL-record six Super Bowls. To rub salt in the wound, he’s widely considered the greatest to ever do it — and with numbers like his, it’s hard to argue.

But Patrick Mahomes’ rapid ascent to NFL success has started to breach the argument that the Chiefs’ quarterback could start to challenge Brady for the title of GOAT. He doesn’t have enough Super Bowl victories yet, but Mahomes is a flashier player who has a surprisingly good shot at matching Brady’s numbers if he plays long enough. Long story short, if you want Mahomes to dethrone Brady as the greatest of all time, or at least make it more of a debate, root for the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII.

You’re a Swiftie. Look, I wouldn’t consider myself a big Taylor Swift fan, but I’m willing to bet that there are plenty of Steelers fans who are. And credit where it’s due — the pop star has been putting up ‘72 Dolphins numbers this year, with her ongoing Eras Tour, two Grammy wins, a new album announcement, and now a chance at a Travis Kelce Super Bowl. We’re talking a level of celebrity dominance we haven’t seen in years, and a Super Bowl victory would take that to new heights (pun somewhat intended). If you’re a fan of both the NFL and Taylor Swift, why not root for those worlds to continue to merge?

Root against the Chiefs if...

You’re tired of the Taylor Swift coverage. On the flip side, the Taylor Swift/Travis Kelce situation and the nonstop coverage it dictates is getting old. While the broadcast cutting to Swift occasionally at Chiefs games is a little annoying at worst, the constant outrage is far more tiresome. Beyond that, the barrage of related content shoved down our throats by the NFL and other media sources is getting a little ridiculous at this point. A Chiefs loss wouldn’t stop it by any means, but it might damper the hype back down to a more tolerable level.

You’re tired of the Chiefs. Don’t forget that the Chiefs were NFL royalty long before the Taylor Swift story. Over the past few seasons they’ve had the consensus best quarterback and tight end in the NFL, won two Super Bowls, and appeared in four of the last five AFC Championships. Kansas City is a dynasty at this point, and their continued postseason dominance has made the AFC playoffs feel a little one-note ever since Mahomes became their starter. Even this year’s Super Bowl matchup is déjà vu from 2020. But maybe this time the Chiefs don’t have to emerge as the winners once again.

Root for the 49ers if...

You want former Steelers to get a ring. Both Super Bowl teams have former Steelers on their practice squad, but only San Francisco has some on their active roster. Both Javon Hargrave and Ray-Ray McCloud are set to suit up for San Francisco on Sunday. While McCloud was never disliked during his time in Pittsburgh, Hargrave was a fan-favorite who many still wish donned the black and gold. He’s been a great player in this league for a while now and is definitely deserving of a Super Bowl win.

You want to ease the pain from Week 1. A bit of a stretch here... The Steelers’ Week 1 loss to the 49ers was an absolute shellacking. It still hurts no matter what, but at least a 49ers win on Sunday means the Steelers can say they got blown out by the eventual Super Bowl champions.

Root against the 49ers if...

You’re tired of the Brock Purdy discourse. Absolutely no one in the NFL mediasphere can seem to agree on an evaluation of 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy. Some still think he’s below average while others see him as the leading MVP candidate. As for myself, I see him as a very good quarterback who is still a tier or two behind the league’s elite. But Purdy winning a Super Bowl — and possibly winning Super Bowl MVP as quarterbacks tend to do — would douse the entire argument in gasoline. NFL Twitter/X might implode. I like Brock Purdy. He seems like a good dude. But I’m not sure if anyone is ready for the screaming matches that will occur online if he and the 49ers win the Super Bowl.

You care about Lombardi Trophy counts. This might be the reason that matters the most to Steelers fans. The 49ers currently have five Lombardi Trophies — just one away from matching the NFL-best number held by the Steelers and Patriots. Ever since New England tied with Pittsburgh, the record hasn’t felt quite as sacred, but the 49ers matching the number would signify another NFL team catching up to the Steelers’ storied legacy, and further point out Pittsburgh’s recent struggles to win in the postseason.

While a Chiefs Super Bowl win wouldn’t exactly help the Steelers either, Kansas City currently has only three Lombardi Trophies, still a comfortable distance from the Steelers’ six.

Who will you be rooting for or against in Super Bowl LVIII? And why? Let us know in the comments below.