The Road to Super Bowl LV
The Super Bowl is this Sunday if you did not already know. Super Bowl Sunday is more than the big game which this year features the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The day is one of which enjoying eating, the halftime show, and the wonderful commercials. This year things are going to be a little different due to the pandemic, and we may not be able to get together like we usually do but we can still have fun.
Normally, the Monday of Super Bowl week features Super Bowl Opening Night with hundreds of media members and fans. These events like so many others have been forced to go online due to COVID-19.
As a member of the media, this meant that I would not be able to get any face-to-face time with the players, but that everything would be done over Zoom. This would ensure that the players are able to stay healthy before the most important game in their lives.
Media was sent a schedule and you would have to access a room with that coach/player in order to ask your questions. If it was usually for us to ask questions this way, the players were just as amused by their surroundings. Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes was stationed in the back of the team’s public relations department, sitting in front of a screen and staring into the camera. Mahomes stated that “that they must have shipped this camera in, I’ve never seen it before”.
Many questions to Mahomes centered around his return to the Super Bowl and him going up against Tom Brady, they were still time for some fun questions. Mahomes was asked what both his and tight end Travis Kelce’s spirit animals would be.
“I would like to be a wolf,” Mahomes answered. “As a wolf, I can run around with my pack, and be a leader and someone that continues to attack and continues to lead as much as possible.”
His explanation for Kelce’s was a bit different. “I bet he’d be a giraffe,” Mahomes thought. “He’s just out there, grazing around the field, trying to make something happen, find different things he can run around and do things with, and he’s always a good time.”
The difference in having Zoom interviews as opposed to traditional interviewing was a frequent topic for both teams.
The Tampa Bay Bucs Tight End Rob Gronkowski, the three-time champion tight-end who came out of retirement to reunite with Tom Brady, stated that he is just sitting here in a room by himself. There’s no one around so the juices aren’t flowing as much as if you were in a room with media people going crazy asking questions, fans cheering, music going. But the juices are still flowing. It is still Super Bowl week but it’s totally different.
Tampa Bay Bucs Quarterback, Tom Brady, who is playing in his tenth Super Bowl and going for record seventh ring took a selfie of himself in order to capture the unique moment and posted on social media. If anyone knows the advantages of being at home it is Brady, He talked about being happy to sleep in his own bed and eating at home. The 43-year old talked about how it was great not to have to pack his clothes and other stuff to travel.
Brady was also asked if he would like another title to eclipse Michael Jordan’s total number of championships. In true Brady fashion, he responded by saying that all the championships meant something to him, and are different and unique in their own way. Brady did stress that it just would be cool to accomplish this feat.
While the Brady-Mahomes matchup has been discussed continually all week, there is another intriguing matchup for the ages. Kansas City’s Travis Kelce is considered the best tight end in the NFL, a title Tampa Bay’s Rob Gronkowski held for most of his tenure with the New England Patriots. The 31-year-old Kelce is the only tight end in NFL history with five 1,000-yard receiving seasons. The six-time Pro Bowl selection also accumulated a tight end-record 1,416 receiving yards this season.
Rob Gronkowski stated that “One thing that is very intriguing about Travis Kelce, and I’ve never really seen this with any other player in the NFL ever before, is that Kelce gets better every single year that I’ve seen him play in the NFL. That’s just respecting right there.” Kelce also spoke about Gronkowski holding the postseason record for tight ends of 1,206 receiving yards.
Kelce was more than happy to answer the fun questions. Kelce wasn’t too pleased with being compared to a giraffe. After being suspended in disbelief, he eventually told the media that Mahomes has “a little frog in him” as a shot back at his quarterback. Kelce also answered the question himself, saying he’d be a tiger based on his high school mascot. He also discussed bragging right in his own family. His brother has Jason Kelce, who is with the Philadelphia Eagles, also has one Super Bowl title to his name, winning this one Travis would get to hold it over his brother who is two years older. Sibling rivalry never gets old.
Kansas City’s Andy Reid and Tampa Buc’s Bruce Arians were praised by their players. Brady reflected on the fact that nobody would say a bad thing about B.A. he’s just so endearing to everyone and I think everyone wants to win for him. Kelce believes his coach is like a father-figure kind of role in the building and it’s because everyone loves him so much.
While so much has been different this week, one thing is certain when those players take the field on Sunday, they leave everything on the field because you don’t want to look back years later and have any regrets on how you played.