by Aubrey Bruce, For New Pittsburgh Courier
First and foremost, this article is about the participants of Super Bowl LIV and it has many layers. If your scalpel is not at the ready, I suggest that you read the all of the other regurgitated journalistic banter at your “googling” disposal.
The game itself was played this past Sunday, Feb. 2. The entertainment glamour was provided by J-Lo and Shakira. It was more than a halftime show, it was a sexy, sensuous and Latino-themed spectacle that made me envious that I was not a native Puerto Rican.
The glory was provided by Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes made sure that in the end, all of the smack-talkers got smacked and all of the naysayers got played. It took the Chiefs until the last six minutes and some change to tomahawk and karate chop the San Francisco 49ers into submission by the score of 31-20. But alas, this victory was in the making more than 20 years ago.
From a personnel perspective, Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid had this plan on his blackboard more than two decades ago. Mahomes provided the final brushstrokes for this more-than-two-decades masterpiece. Before Lamar Jackson, before Deshaun Watson, Before Dak Prescott, before Vince Young, Andy Reid was the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, when in the 1999 NFL Draft, he chose Syracuse quarterback Donovan McNabb as the third pick in the first round. Reid was prophetic. Reid has almost always leaned toward a mobile dual-threat QB. Ladies and gents, he visualized in his mind’s eye that linebackers and defensive linemen were getting faster and quicker and that the era of the robotic and slow-footed signal-caller was quickly becoming passé. He was roundly criticized by many with the same age-old criticism that when threatened, Black quarterbacks would always rely on their legs rather than their arms. They would always be more instinctive and improvisational than intellectual and cerebral when it came to directing an NFL offense.
Reid put that myth to rest. Why? Well, because during his time with the Eagles, McNabb led the team to eight playoff appearances (2000–2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009), five NFC East division championships (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2006) and five NFC Championship games (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2008). All without cheating (allegedly) but in Super Bowl XXXIX the Patriots defeated the Eagles by the score of 24–21. The game was played on Feb. 6, 2005. 2005? That was in the heart of “cheatgate,” “spygate,” “Belicheat” can’t wait and never will have a clean slate.
Were Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb cheated out of a Super Bowl victory? I say yeah, because this was after New England stole (allegedly) a Super Bowl from the St. Louis Rams. The Eagles lost by a field goal and many people claimed that McNabb choked. Well, it’s easy to choke when the opposition knows what plays you are going to call before you call them. The first year that the cheaters (allegedly) won in Super Bowl XXXVI, the Patriots defeated the Rams by the score of 20–17. It was New England’s first Super Bowl championship.
The San Francisco 49ers were ordained to win Super Bowl LIV partially based on the fact that the Niners supposedly had Jimmy Garoppolo, a former apple of Bill “Belicheat’s” eye, leading them as well as a “legion of doom and gloom” defense poised and supposedly ready to protect Jimmy and his offense from all challengers. However, the apple from the tree of Belicheat wasn’t quite ripe or ready to compete against Patrick Mahomes, the red, ripe, fat, juicy and glistening apple on the Andy Reid tree of excellence waiting for harvest. The football gods have decided that Andy Reid was not going to be denied and cheated twice by the master alchemist or his protégé.