The NFL has taken over Miami. Super Bowl Week 2020 is finally here.
The festivities started Monday which featured all the flair one would expect from a South Florida party. Kansas City chiefs coach Andy Reid rocked his best floral shirt. Players from both sides rocked white-on-white attire that felt befitting of a South Beach club.
It was Miami, and it was awesome.
Now, of course, there's a game to be played. A Vince Lombardi Trophy to hoist and a champion to crown.
The matchup between the Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers looks exquisite on paper, and there's enough on talent on both sides that it could be even better in practice. Before diving deeper into the upcoming collision, though, we'll examine the biggest buzz from opening night after laying out the latest line from Caesars Sportsbook and peering into our crystal ball for a final score prediction.
Super Bowl 54
Teams: San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Time: Sunday, Feb. 2 at 6:30 p.m. ET
Location: Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Latest Line: Chiefs -1 | O/U 54.5
Score Prediction: 49ers 28, Chiefs 24
Tom Brady Gives Advice To His Former Backup
Before Jimmy Garoppolo became the starting quarterback of the Super Bowl-bound 49ers, he bided his time as a clipboard-carrier behind Tom Brady on the New England Patriots.
They were the team that drafted the Eastern Illinois product 62nd overall in 2014, and they rostered him through October 2017, when they sent him to the 49ers for a 2018 second-round pick.
Garoppolo made 17 appearances and two starts for the Patriots, but he was normally just Brady's backup, a gig that netted him two Super Bowl rings and perhaps valuable insight in paving a way to the champion's podium. Brady reached out and supplied further advice to his former understudy.
"He shot me a text," Garoppolo told reporters. "Just 'good luck' and everything like that. Just go handle business. It wasn't too complicated or anything. Just go win."
If anyone can make winning a Super Bowl sound so simple, it's Brady, who has picked up six championship victories during his legendary career. Perhaps the prolific passer even provided some pointers on conquering the Chiefs, whom the Pats ousted in last year's AFC Championship Game en route to their latest Super Bowl triumph.
Patrick Mahomes' First Championship Thoughts Weren't About Football
Some athletes are so incredibly gifted that they can seemingly conquer any sport of their choosing. Patrick Mahomes, the NFL's reigning MVP, is one of those players.
Before he was wowing the football world with unstoppable aerial assaults, he was plotting to take over the diamond.
"Definitely World Series. When I was young it was all baseball," Mahomes said on which championship he dreamed of playing in as a youngster. "I knew I wanted to be a professional athlete, but I thought basketball would be my second choice. Football was kind of the third one that I kind of came on late."
Mahomes seems to be a rapid learner. The 10th overall pick in 2017, he was a 5,000-yard, 50-touchdown passer and MVP by his second NFL season (first as a starter).
It seems he found his true calling, though it's easy to wonder what his rocket arm might've accomplished had he stuck to baseball.
"The fastest that I got up to was 96 in the state tournament," Mahomes said of his fastball. "So, I could throw it pretty hard. I'm not going to say I had great control, but I could throw it hard for sure."
Richard Sherman Was Removed From 49ers' Draft Board
In a different universe, Richard Sherman could've had a short commute to the NFL after finishing his collegiate career at Stanford.
The standout cornerback was the 154th pick of the 2011 draft—reason No. 1,000,000 to keep an eye on sleeper prospects—but the 49ers could've stopped his slide earlier.
As Sherman relayed to reporters, the Niners liked him more than most teams, but then-head coach Jim Harbaugh had other ideas:
"They may put me in the dictionary right next to irony at some point in time after this story's all written. But at the end of the day I'm a football player, I'm here to help my team win. If it's the San Francisco 49ers or whatever team I'm playing on, that's all I care about. Jed (York) had a funny story about when I was coming out because they had a higher draft grade on me than most teams, and Harbaugh came and took me off the draft board, and he was really upset about that. But I'll let you guys ask him about the rest of it."
The 49ers selected four players before Sherman was taken, including defensive back Chris Culliver. None of the four—which also included Aldon Smith, Colin Kaepernick and Kendall Hunter—is on an active NFL roster.
So, Sherman instead spent his first seven seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. He made four Pro Bowls during that time and helped the team win the Super Bowl in 2014, after they ousted Harbaugh's 49ers in the NFC championship.