I know this is Super Bowl weekend, but I’ve got to vent about the Baseball Hall of Fame voting. Again, two very deserving candidates in Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, got ignored despite credentials which should have kicked down the doors eight years ago because of their alleged involvement with steroids. I have a feeling that if they been friendlier with the media, they’d be in Cooperstown.
As for those who got in, we have Derek Jeter, deserving I’ll admit, but I get the feeling that, if he was a NBA player, a scout would say he was selfish and a defensive liability. He was both, because he would not give up shortstop to Alex Rodriquez, despite being the inferior defensive player. Larry Walker, who spent his best years in offense-inflating Coors field, also got in on his last year of ballot eligibility.
Now, to the Super Bowl, featuring the Kansas City Chiefs in their first appearance in the game in 50 years and the San Francisco 49ers, hoping for their fifth victory in six tries. In many ways, this game will be a legacy of the late Bill Walsh, since both coaches, Andy Reid and Kyle Shanahan, respectively, are second-generation branches from Walsh’s coaching tree, being assistants to direct Walsh lieutenants Mike Holmgren and Mike Shanahan.
Both coaches have young quarterbacks in Patrick Mahomes II and Jimmy Garappolo. The former is the most prodigious young passer I’ve seen since Dan Marino, with all due respect to Lamar Jackson. I only hope he’s not one loss and done at the SB like Marino was.
The latter is still more of a work in progress and has been kept under wraps for most of the playoffs as the team has focused more on the running game, including the out of nowhere emergence of six times cut undrafted rookie Raheem Mostert, who had 220 yards and four touchdowns rushing in the NFC Championship Game.
Defensively, the 49ers boast pass rusher Nick Bosa, the NFL’s reigning Rookie of the Year. San Francisco’s defense also includes veteran cornerback Richard Sherman, whose interception late in the NFC Championship Game sealed his third trip to the Super Bowl. Led by Bosa and Sherman, the 49ers’ defense allowed just 30 points while forcing five turnovers in their playoff wins over the Vikings and Packers.
If the 49ers have to pass, they do have Deebo Samuel, Emmanuel Sanders and George Kittle to catch the football. Sanders is a solid receiver, while Kittle is the best al-around tight end in the NFC.
One of Mahomes’ favorite targets over the past two years has been All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce, who caught three touchdown passes in the Chiefs’ divisional round victory over the Texans. Add Kelce to Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman and DeMarcus Robinson, and you have a formidable passing team.
Kansas City’s defense, one of the league’s worst run defenses 10 weeks into the regular season, has seen vast improvement over the team’s eight-game winning streak. Led by safety Tyrann Mathieu and linemen Frank Clark and Chris Jones, the Chiefs held Titans running back Derrick Henry to just 69 yards rushing in Kansas City’s 35-24 victory in the AFC Championship Game.
I’m going to go with Kansas City to win, 38-30.
Jeff Harvey is a freelance reporter for the Princeton Times. Contact him at email@example.com