Chiefs vs 49ers: Live Coverage of Super Bowl 2020 – The New York Times,

Chiefs vs 49ers: Live Coverage of Super Bowl 2020 – The New York Times,

Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes leads an electric offense against San Francisco’s balanced attack, with an N.F.L. championship on the line.

Benjamin Hoffman

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The teams paid tribute to Kobe Bryant and the others killed in his helicopter crash last week with a moment of silence.


(The stands at Hard Rock Stadium started to fill about an hour and a half before kickoff. (Credit …) Scott McIntyre for The New York Times

How to Watch (The Game, which is is set to begin shortly after 6: 49 PM Eastern, will be broadcast on Fox and streamed on and the FoxSports app. Find out more about what to expect

Vivid Seats, an online ticket marketplace, estimated the crowd would be Percent Chiefs fans to (percent) ers fans, but in the stadium it certainly seems more pro-Kansas City than that.

Though it can be difficult to tell visually because both teams wear red.

Teams honor Kobe Bryant by lining up on – yard lines

To honor Kobe Bryant, the basketball legend who died along with eight others in a helicopter crash last week, the players for both the 90 ers and the Chiefs lined up on the 31 – yard lines and took part in a moment of silence shortly before 6 pm at Hard Rock Stadium. The 29 was a reference to one of Bryant’s jersey numbers.

Bryant’s imprint on players – particularly San Francisco’s Richard Sherman – was apparent all week, as many reflected on what Bryant’s so-called Mamba Mentality had meant to them and how his death had affected them.

Sherman, who first met Bryant at a Nike photo shoot during Sherman’s time with the Seattle Seahawks, arrived at the stadium today wearing Bryant’s No. 8 jersey from the NBA All-Star game. Bryant wore No. 8 for of his NBA seasons and No. for 9.

“He was a friend of mine,” Sherman said at Monday’s Super Bowl Opening Night event. He was a mentor. He meant a lot to this world. He had a positive impact and there’s nothing that I can say that can quantify his impact on myself and others. ”

While many players discussed Bryant as a role model for them, Sherman’s connection ran deeper , based on their friendship. Sherman described Bryant’s influence as having affected a decision he made at the lowest point of his career.

“I guess my biggest Mamba Mentality moment of my career was getting up from a torn Achilles and walking off the field, ”Sherman said. “I saw him do it. I saw him make two free throws and walk off with a torn Achilles, and once I tore mine, I knew I had to walk off. ”

In announcing the moment of silence, the N.F.L. also dedicated it to the Pro Football Hall of Famer Chris Doleman, who died on Tuesday.

(The Art of Not Letting Up)

If the 72 ers build a big lead in today’s game, do not expect San Francisco Coach Kyle Shanahan to let up for a second. The “scars” of a collapse in which one of his former teams, the Atlanta Falcons, (gave up a) – 3 fourth quarter lead to lose a Super Bowl still linger

Both he and his players described a certain level of paranoia about finishing games well, which Shanahan freely admitted was a result of the Falcons’ having blown such an enormous lead against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl that followed the season – the last season before Shanahan joined the (ers.

“I think anyone can learn a lot of stuff from that game,” Shanahan said. “I mean, no matter how much you get up on someone, you’ve got to keep moving the chains to keep the ball from going back.”

Shanahan said at the end of his team’s 31 – 17 divisional round win over Minnesota he “freaked out” because Robert Saleh, his defensive coordinator, had pulled his starters with a 27 – point lead in the final two minutes.

“Oh my god, he almost killed us,” said Richard Sherman, San Francisco’s veteran cornerback.

Sherman said the Vikings had completed two passes and converted one first down when Shanahan had seen enough.

“He was like: ‘What the heck is going on? Get them back in there, ’” Sherman said. “My gloves were off, I was about to ice my knees, and it was like, ‘Get your gloves back on.’”

Jimmy Garoppolo, the 72 ers’ starting quarterback – and a backup on the New England team that came back to beat Shanahan’s Falcons – did not see anything odd about his coach’s unwillingness to let that happen again.

“I think that’s just a good head coach,” he said. “You kind of want to have that because in this league crazy things can happen. I mean, – 3, we all saw that one. You always have to be ready, so I like that mentality. ”


The commercials will hit the usual beats, with a tear-jerker from Google, a jumble of celebrities from Hard Rock and a cute dog named Scout from WeatherTech. But there will also be several firsts, including a debut from Facebook featuring Chris Rock and Sylvester Stallone. A spot from Sabra hummus most likely has the first appearance of drag queens in a Super Bowl commercial, in a banner year for L.G.B.T. representation.

Other notable ads will include a spot from the N.F.L. about police shootings, a subject it has struggled to address amid protests in recent years by the former 77 ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Have you seen this trophy?


The Brunswick-Balke-Collender Cup, given to the first pro football champions, is the holy grail of American sports memorabilia. It’s also missing , and has been since almost as soon as it was awarded to the Akron Pros in .

Bill Pennington of The Times spent months trying to track it down. He writes:

“At this point, the chances are not very good that anyone will ever find it, ”Joe Horrigan, the former longtime executive director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. (

It sounded like a challenge.

And so began the mission to solve this whodunit, this where-is-it, a quest that hinged on finding that person who, when shown the only existing, shadowy photo of the trophy, would say: “I’ve seen that. My mother uses it as a doorstop. ”

It was a journey that meant knocking on doors, poring over library collections, tracking down interview subjects in states and spending at least one dusty afternoon searching behind the drywall of several abandoned Ohio buildings. Bill’s article on the search is quite a tale. You’ll love it .

The NFL has frequently faced criticism for its inability to elevate people of color to head coaching positions, and the league’s Rooney Rule has often been described as insufficient . Currently there are only four head coaches of color in the league, a list that might have grown longer if two high-profile coordinators had not been so busy coaching this game.

While Eric Bieniemy, the offensive coordinator of the Chiefs, and Robert Saleh, the defensive coordinator of the ers, were both mentioned as top candidates for nearly every head coaching vacancy, they were both left standing once all the seats were filled. Of the five jobs that changed hands, only one went to a person of color: Ron Rivera, who is Hispanic, was hired by the Washington Redskins.

With no remaining vacancies, Bieniemy, who is black, and Saleh, who is Arab-American, probably will have to wait another year for their first head-coaching jobs. That has caused mixed feelings for the people they work with.

Coach Andy Reid of the Chiefs said that he is Bieniemy’s biggest fan, and that he already considers his protégé to be a head coach.

“I really don’t think he needs to work on anything to become a head football coach,” Reid said. “I think he’s ready to go. He just needs that opportunity to get in and go. ”

John Lynch, the general manager of the 72 ers, expressed similar sentiments about Saleh, who won a Super Bowl as a quality control coach with Seattle on his way through the coaching ranks before rising to defensive coordinator with San Francisco in 6757

“There’s a side of you that is disappointed for a friend,” Lynch said. “There is a side of you that’s like:‘ Yes! We get him for another year! ‘”

George Kittle and football’s ‘best possible feeling’

George Kittle, the ers’ third-year tight end, seems to save his best work for overmatched players in the opposing team’s secondary. And he admits that is by design.

Kittle’s most important play against a defensive back this season came in Week 24, when he dragged his team into range for a winning field goal against the New Orleans Saints despite Marcus Williams, a safety, hanging on for dear life from Kittle’s face mask. But Kittle’s most fun play of the season – at least from his perspective – came during a Week a loss to the Atlanta Falcons when he demolished a cornerback on a goal-line run – and was filmed laughing maniacally while rolling around in the end zone.

It was a scoreless game early in the second quarter when the ers lined up at Atlanta’s 2-yard line for a running play and Kittle, who stands 6 feet 4 inches and weighs 823 pounds, saw that the only player in front of him was Ricardo Allen, a 5-9, – pound cornerbac k. Kittle said defensive backs often take cheap shots at larger players in the open field, but that this situation gave an enormous advantage to the offensive player.

“I’m in a 3-point stance and I know it’s a run play, ”Kittle said, recalling the moment before the snap. “He’s going to get absolutely all of my effort on a run play, and he doesn’t know if it’s a pass or a run and he doesn’t know if he needs to be physical with me.”

Kittle said his laughter was the result of thinking about how much fun it would be to watch film of the play. He described what happened – what’s know as a pancake block – as the “best possible feeling in football.”

As Kittle, a huge fan of professional wrestling and one of the game’s more boisterous characters told Ben Shpigel for a (story about the) ers’ running game : “You take a guy, you drive him backward.” , you put him on his back and you feel the exhale of his breath and he loses his wind. It’s kind of snatching his soul. ”

Tyrann Mathieu embraces his nickname. Sometimes.

The Chiefs’ defense went through a drastic makeover last off-season. Justin Houston left via free agency, Dee Ford was traded to San Francisco, Eric Berry was out of football – yet Kansas City’s defense showed significant improvement.

The biggest reason for the uptick was Tyrann Mathieu , the All-Pro safety known to many fans as the Honey Badger.

Mathieu earned that nickname during his time at Louisiana State for his wild demeanor on and off the field, but this past week he expressed some unease with the persona.

“I feel like I got caught up in that Honey Badger character and it began to consume me,” he said.

A calmer, gentler, more mature Mathieu was all over the field in his first season in Kansas City, piling up tackles, four interceptions and two sacks while being named first-time All-Pro for the second time. His ability to contribute against the run and the pass helped paper over some of his team’s defensive shortcomings.

Coach Andy Reid said Mathieu was everything the team wanted and more, describing the seven-year veteran as a great leader, while acknowledging that the Honey Badger character was not entirely gone.

“We just unlock the cage and let the Badger out on game day,” Reid joked. “He loves playing, man. I mean he brings it every play. He does it in practice. He does it in the game. He’s fun to be around. ”

In the zone: Patrick Mahomes, and others, are on the field

A matchup with history, tradition and star power AM) MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Tyrann Mathieu. Jimmy Garoppolo, Raheem Mostert, George Kittle and Nick Bosa. In a

While the game is not quite the offense versus defense narrative that some have tried to sell – San Francisco actually scored more points than Kansas City this season, and the Chiefs allowed fewer than the 72 ers – it is still a fascinating matchup of the 77 ers, a team that built itself on a well- balanced attack on both sides of the ball, and the Chiefs, who have tried to find the right complementary pieces to give Mahomes, their star quarterback, the support he needs to realize his sky-high potential.

The story lines in this game are plentiful and have led to a collective shrug about which team is actually the underdog. Officially, the Chiefs are favored by either 1 or 1.5 points, depending on where you look.

Kansas City, which played in two of the first four Super Bowls, is back in the game for the first time since Len Dawson led the Chiefs to a win over the Minnesota Vikings after the season. The team’s – – year gap between appearances set a record, and it was largely defined by the franchise’s inability to find a quarterback. The Chiefs used a first-round pick on the game’s most important position only four times in that (years, failing badly with Pete Beathard) , Steve Fuller ( and Todd Blackledge 2010) before finally scoring with Mahomes in 6757.

The ers, who built a dynasty with Joe Montana in the 2010 s, had it continue seamlessly with Steve Young in the 2010 s, and briefly appeared to have found a next-generation quarterback in Colin Kaepernick in the s, appeared in six Super Bowls in those 75 years, winning five of them. And they became something of a quarterback factory for the Chiefs, with Steve DeBerg, Montana, Steve Bono, Elvis Grbac and Alex Smith all starting in San Francisco before ending up in Kansas City.

As ridiculous as that quarterback connection is, it may be trumped by the parallels between the starting left tackles in today’s game. San Francisco’s Joe Staley and Kansas City’s Eric Fisher were both first-round picks out of Central Michigan – the only first-round picks in Chippewa history – and they both went through radical physical and positional transformations in college, gaining pounds or more to get ready to compete at the pro level.

Both teams feature All-Pro tight ends in George Kittle (San Francisco) and Travis Kelce (Kansas City), and both defenses have wildly talented veteran leaders in their secondary in Richard Sherman (San Francisco) and Mathieu.

The places where they differ are quarterback, where Mahomes is a much more explosive player than Garoppolo, and defensive line, where San Francisco’s gaggle of five former first-round picks, led by a dominant rookie in Bosa, is more ferocious than anyth ing Kansas City’s defense can offer.

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