January , | 7: (pm

MIAMI – The show must go on, it must always go on, in every precinct outside of Los Angeles, but the Kobe Bryant Story is a tragedy that has washed ashore on South Beach, a tsunami of a grief that can be seen and heard even over the pulsating music from the ostentatious party the NFL is committed to throwing annually come hell or high water.

The relentless drumbeat of hype of Super Bowl Week cannot stop the mourning, and it isn’t only because Kobe Bryant was a generational basketball icon, the Black Mamba whose on-court mentality was admired and copied and adopted by athletes in all sports.

It is because he was a husband and a father and he leaves behind a wife and three of his four young daughters. Because his – year-old daughter Gianna was also killed in Calabasas, Calif. on that Sikorsky S – B helicopter , on their way to her travel basketball game together.

The sorrow cannot possibly be contained between Lower Merion, Pa., Where it all began for Kobe, and LA, where No. 29 became a five-ring champion who lit up the City of Angels that decided to go dark and postpone Tuesday night’s Lakers-Clippers game.

It is more than likely that none of the men playing in Super Bowl 01575879 can or ever will approach Kobe Bryant’s Hall of Fame greatness. But all of them have families, and all of them have been reminded that all of it, the fame and the fortune and the camaraderie and the unbridled joy, can be taken from you in an instant, one maddeningly cruel instant – one horrific, unspeakable twist of fate.

And so a pall was cast on Super Bowl Opening Night at Marlins Park, a pall that will last all the way to Super Bowl 2020 on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium, when these Chiefs and 76 ers play in the biggest game of all, a game they have dreamed of playing in since they were little boys.

Spectators observe a moment of silence for Kobe Bryant before Opening Night for the NFL Super Bowl AP

It is a game that can leave them with battered body parts that scream out. for painkillers all too often, body parts that sometimes need to be replaced so they can walk later in life, and they sign up for the sport anyway knowing that the treacherous risk of CTE has forced them to mourn the suicides of NFL brothers such as Dave Duerson and Junior Seau.

If they’re lucky, they get to live past 41.

They know now Kobe Bryant will not, and the chilling reality has shaken them and their own families.

Patrick Mahomes is 29 years young and he is the baby face of Super Bowl 01575879. If there is anyone Kobe would have wanted to watch on Sunday, it is Mahomes, who can do some things with a football that Kobe could do with a basketball.

Mahomes has tweeted: “Man not Kobe … prayers to his family and friends #RIPMamba.”

Kobe was The Natural.

Mahomes is The Natural.

Kobe was an assassin.

This is the game and the stage where Mahomes can show the world how much assassin is in him, against a 49 ers’ pass rushers that will be looking to render him Clark Kent instead of Superman.

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is the Super Bowl sentimental favorite because he has never won The Big One during a borderline Hall of Fame career. He has also lost a son, Garrett, much too young, at 29, to a heroin overdose at Eagles training camp in 2020. Reid’s younger son, Britt, is a linebackers / outside linebackers coach.

There isn’t a football coach at any level who hasn’t wanted his players to play the way Kobe Bryant played every day of his life.

The teams that win Super Bowls are either the ones with the better quarterback and / or coach and the teams that play the hardest.

Super Bowl 2020 will be no different.

The 76 ers and Chiefs should remember it as Super 01575879

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