Superbowl LVIII

Written by: Jaylin Hardin | Sports Editor

This year, the Super Bowl featured a repeated matchup from 2020: the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers. When these two teams last met in the Super Bowl, the Chiefs walked away with the championship — which was repeated this year. 

When fans were placing their predictions and bets, the majority of the odds were in favor of the Chiefs. The defending champions had stats and matchup history to support them. For the last 30 years, teams wearing their white jerseys have won the Superbowl, even when the odds were not in their favor. The only exception to this was the Chiefs in the 2020 Super Bowl, where they wore their red home jerseys and won — the color matchup, like everything else, was repeated this year: the Chiefs in red and the 49ers in white. 

The opening ceremony included performances of “America the Beautiful” and “The Star Spangled Banner,” by Post Malone and Reba McEntire respectively, which were ASL interpreted by Anjel Piñero and Daniel Durant. The colors were presented and accompanied by members of the United States Navy. 

The game itself started off with the Chiefs deferring the coin toss to the 49ers, setting the Chiefs to receive in the second half. Kickoff went off without a hitch, but on the 49ers’ drive, they fumbled, and the Chiefs recovered for their first possession barely three minutes into the game. 

The first quarter was a series of possession changes and flags; the 49ers with two for a false start and holding call, and the Chiefs with an offsides call. For the 49ers, defensive lineman, Chase Young, and linebacker, Randy Gregory, both had sacks in the first quarter. 

The second quarter saw the first score of the game: a 49ers 55-yard field goal put the score at three and zero. During the Chief’s first possession of the second quarter, they fumbled and the 49ers recovered. Almost immediately after, the Chiefs received a personal foul call against them for a horse collar tackle. 

The first injury of the game happened to San Francisco linebacker, Dre Greenlaw, who wasn’t even on the field at the time. He was on the sidelines celebrating and slipped and fell, injuring his Achilles tendon. 

The Chiefs received an intentional grounding penalty, which caused a loss of the down. This resulted in a punt to the 49ers and another personal foul on the Chiefs. At this point in the game, the Chiefs were getting aggressive: with two personal fouls and Travis Kelce yelling at Kansas City head coach, Andy Reid. Two more penalties were called, one on the 49ers and the other on the Chiefs.

A trick play by the Niners led to the first touchdown of the game, which was shortly followed with a field goal by the Chiefs. At the end of the half, the 49ers led 10-3. 

The Apple Music half time show boasted Usher, who had not initially announced who would be performing with him. Throughout the performance, he brought Alicia Keys,, H.E.R., Lil John and Ludacris onto the stage. Each artist had their moment in the spotlight, as well as several performers who appeared in shows in the Vegas casinos. 

The third quarter was a run of turnovers, low scores and more injuries for the 49ers, leading to the expectation that  the game would be slow play for its final quarter. When the Chiefs blocked an extra point, the game picked up speed, and both teams scored two more field goals, resulting in a tie game and an overtime period. 

In postseason overtime, teams have fifteen minutes and a possession to score — three additional timeouts are also given to each of the teams. The 49ers had possession first and managed to score a field goal, with half of the overtime quarter still left. Most of the Chiefs’ drive was spent regaining yardage from losing yards in plays. 

And, in the most jaw-dropping, insanely stupid play with six seconds left on the clock, the Chiefs scored to win 25-22.

Viewers in Western’s Arbor Park’s Sequoia Commons at the Super Bowl watch party had mixed reactions to the final play of the game. Supporters of the 49ers ended the game with yells of anger or even falling to the floor in the fetal position, while Chiefs fans celebrated with one another. 

During post-game interviews, no player said they would be going to Disney World, as is tradition, but the team will still parade through the Magic Kingdom in the near future. 

Another long-standing tradition in the NFL is for the winning team to dump Gatorade on their head coach and for fans to bet on what color the Gatorade will be each year. For the second year in a row the Chiefs opted for purple colored Gatorade. 

And for those fans who say Taylor Swift ruined football? The pop star was shown thirteen times throughout the entire four hour broadcast. Once during the opening ceremony and twelve times during the game itself. These thirteen times she was shown were when either Kelce or Patrick Mahomes did well in a play, as she was sitting with Mahomes’ wife, Brittany.

NFL play resumes for the 2024-2025 season on Sept. 6. 

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