It Was Super All The Way

It was super all the way.

I don’t know exactly why, but in my view the Super Bowl left nothing to be desired.

I’m not just talking about the game.

It was everything. From the glitzy setting of Las Vegas, the matchup of the two teams, the buzz that surrounded it all week, maybe even the tight end’s girl friend getting there all the way from Tokyo, you name it, this Super Bowl had a special feeling that delivered.

Then, there’s the game itself.

Could there be a more pulsating, riveting turn of events in the actual contest between the Chiefs and the 49ers?

Maybe you can pinpoint other games and other dramatic moments and finishes, but when you put together the whole package, I doubt it.

In a coin-flip of a battle going in, this one went into overtime, and it was won on a familiar theme that has captured the imagination of the football world.

This game delivered on its promise.

As always, there were mistakes, turnovers, missed opportunities, decisions that are second-guessed, pivotal officials calls, costly penalties and all the things that go into a contest between two evenly matched teams playing with so much at stake.

You have to applaud the Kansas City Chiefs for the way they reversed a negative course during the season and finished with a crescendo.

There have been so many past champions who faced little adversity in taking the crown.

But the Chiefs, in my opinion, accomplished what few winners achieve: sharp reversals of things going wrong which derail many teams, but were fixed to sufficiently come out on top.

Late in the regular year, the Chiefs fell into disarray, losing four of six games, leading observers to lose faith that this team could repeat as Super Bowl champions.

But the inner cohesion of the entire group, led by a head coach, Andy Reid, who has known both sides of the coin, kept the team focused on working to eliminate the bad and turn things around for a stretch run.

And they did.

The Chiefs finished the season with six consecutive victories, most of them difficult games, all but one on the road, an unfamiliar position for a team that had been confident and successful playing before their raucous home fans.

In the playoffs they got it underway with a home win over the Dolphins, who were a threat in every game they played.

What followed, were two rugged and grueling victories at Buffalo and at Baltimore.  The Bills who had strong Super Bowl hopes of their own, and the Ravens who wound up as the top-seed in the AFC.

Facing the likes of quarterbacks Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson on successive weeks, the Chiefs prevailed because of their sterling defensive play.

Whenever anyone talks of the Kansas City Chiefs, they start with their sensational quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

No argument there.

But the reason the Chiefs are world champions is because of their defense.

They set the tone, and made it possible for Mahomes to do his thing, without the burden of having to outscore the opposition.

When Mahomes first words after the Super Bowl was, “this is a microcosm of the season…..” he was right on the money.

The Super Bowl was just that.

With all the back and forth and critical turning points throughout, it really all came down  to the Chiefs defense stopping the 49ers from scoring the winning touchdown near the goal line in overtime, and Mahomes taking the team down the field, trailing by 3, to throw the winning TD pass.

But it took more than that.

Just as it was during the latter stages of the regular season, the Chiefs were unraveling.

The low point to viewers occurred when Isaiah Pacheco lost a fumble when it appeared KC was going in for a score.

What followed was a shot of an enraged Travis Kelce, who was on the sidelines for that turnover, screamed at head coach Reid and nearly shoved him to the ground.

He wanted to be in the game at that stage, and his frustration overflowed, just as it did when the Chiefs were guilty of a couple of personal foul penalties.

But Reid knew what Kelce meant.

And the amazing chemistry of the team took hold, and the Chiefs apparently got it together at halftime, and changed their course the rest of the way.

No easy feat beating the 49ers who controlled the line of scrimmage and the time of possession in the first half.

Their quarterback Brock Purdy, young and unheralded, played a remarkable game under that kind of pressure making plays and not committing a turnover.

But it wasn’t enough.

The Chiefs became the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since the Patriots won in 2004 and 2005.

It sets up a compelling story for the 2024 season.

Can the Kansas City Chiefs become the first team in history to win three straight Super Bowls?

Why can’t they?

When you possess a quarterback in Patrick Mahomes, unlike anyone with his style of using his feet to avoid rushing linemen, quickly sprinting to an open space to gain solid yardage, having the vision to be on the move, then seeing a receiver getting open downfield and  getting him the ball, the Chiefs can accomplish anything.
But they’ll need enough support in the right places to set the stage for their Superman behind center to perform his amazing acts.

I have observed every Super Bowl played.

Witnessed the first, called the NFL-AFL Championship game on TV.

Attended Super Bowls 2 through 10.

I’ve been to 25 of them, and have worked in half that total in various roles from pre-and post game interviews to working play by-play for the NFL’s international broadcasts.

I have seen the pomp, the glitz, the spectacular (some) halftime extravaganzas, and, of course, the games.

But I can’t remember one that had it all, including the halftime show, quite like this one.

And, especially the game.

Yes, the game.

Wasn’t it something?