On Sunday, Feb. 2 Miami Gardens welcomes the top teams in the National Football League (NFL) to face off in the 54th annual Super Bowl to cap off the league’s 100th year.
The Kansas City Chiefs square up against the San Francisco 49ers after both teams fended off some tough competition in the postseason.
The high octane offense of the Chiefs, led by Quarterback Patrick Mahomes (the league MVP in his rookie 2018 season), went 12-4 in the regular season, becoming the second seed in the American Football Conference (AFC).
The Chiefs beat the Houston Texans in a 51-point affair on Jan. 12 after facing a 24 point deficit. Coach Andy Reid’s team then secured the AFC Championship and a spot in the Super Bowl after defeating the red-hot Tennesse Titans 35-24 the following week. This comes after the Titans were able to knock off two frontrunners in the division, the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens.
Formally known as the Dallas Texans, the Chiefs make their third Super Bowl appearance at Hard Rock Stadium, after a 50-year drought. Their last appearance was a win in Super Bowl IV beating the Minnesota Vikings 23-7 in 1970.
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On the other side will be the 49ers, a team familiar with the grand stage holding the Lombardi Trophy for the victor.
This will be the 49ers seventh trip to the Super Bowl, going 5-1 in their previous six appearances. If victorious, they will be tied with the Patriots and the Pittsburg Steelers as the team with the most Super Bowl wins in history.
The team had a relatively easy path to the Super Bowl, earning a first-round bye and then beating the Minnesota Vikings 27-10 on Jan. 11. The dominant defense then held off a last-minute comeback from the Green Bay Packers to capture the NFC Championship in a 37-20 victory the following week.
Now the domineering 49ers defense faces the excellent offense of the Chiefs, and the Sinclair faithful are anticipating the showdown.
“As an owner of the Green Bay Packers, I don’t care who wins this game,” Steve Dintaman, head coach of the Sinclair baseball team said. “As long as it’s not the 9ers.”
“Honestly, I’m not rooting for anybody, I just want to see a good game,” Trendale Perkins, head coach of the Sinclair women’s basketball team, said. “If you twisted my arm I would say KC.”
Of note is the manner in which the Patriots crumpled toward the end of the season. In head coach Bill Bellichek’s 20th season helming the team, the Pats lost three of their last five games of the regular season, including a 24-27 loss to the 5-11 Miami Dolphins in week 17.
Due to that loss, the Patriots played in the Wild Card round on Jan. 4, losing 13-20 to the Titans. It was their first home playoff loss since 2012, the first time the team failed to reach the divisional round since 2009, their first missed AFC Championship game since 2010 and the first time since 2015 the team has missed appearing at the Super Bowl.
“I’m not a big fan of either team, I’m just glad the Patriots aren’t in the Super Bowl and I don’t have to hear my family and friends b**** about it,” Steffany Dominguez, a student at Wright State University, said.
Outside of the game, Demi Lovato will be singing the national anthem before the beginning of the contest, and Christine Sun Kim will provide a signed rendition of it using American Sign Language (ASL).
The pageantry continues as Jennifer Lopez and Shakira perform the halftime show, following in the footsteps of artists such as U2, Michael Jackson and Beyonce. The two singers have sold more than 300 million records combined, but are performing in their first Super Bowl.
“Hmmm. Bruno Mars might have been the best,” Dintaman said, debating which halftime show stands above the rest. “Bringing the Red Hot Chili Peppers out made it even better.”
“The best halftime show in my eyes was Prince a few years back,” Perkins said.
The Super Bowl starts at 6:30 p.m. on Fox this Sunday, Feb. 2, and millions of people will be watching the festivities, tweeting during the game, and chowing down on copious amounts of food, even if they’re just in it for the commercials.
“My family traditionally hangs at home to watch the game and we feast on a plethora of appetizers you would find at any sports bar,” Perkins said. “Give me some chips, homemade guacamole and a cream soda and I’m loving life.”