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Chiefs defeat 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII overtime thriller for second straight title

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Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, center, celebrates with his coaching staff.
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, center, celebrates with his coaching staff after defeating the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
(Brynn Anderson / Associated Press)

Patrick Mahomes finds Mecole Hardman on a three-yard touchdown pass in overtime, lifting the Kansas City Chiefs to a 25-22 win over the San Francisco 49ers.

Patrick Mahomes does it again, leading Chiefs to Super Bowl LVIII win in OT

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes celebrates after defeating the San Francisco 49ers.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes celebrates after defeating the San Francisco 49ers in overtime of Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday.
(Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

LAS VEGAS — Patrick Mahomes did it again.

The Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback brought his team back from several deficits and tossed a touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman with three seconds left in the first quarter of overtime to defeat the San Francisco 49ers, 25-22, on Sunday in Super Bowll LVIII at Allegiant Stadium.

The Chiefs became the first team to win consecutive titles since the New England Patriots achieved the feat in the 2003 and 2004 seasons.

“It means a ton. Just the adversity we dealt with this year and the guys never faltered,” Patrick Mahomes said. “This is awesome. 滨迟’蝉 legendary.”

It marked the second time in four years that the Chiefs’ thwarted the 49ers’ attempt to win their first title since the 1994 season. Four years ago in South Florida, Mahomes led the Chiefs back from a 10-point deficit late in the third quarter to win his first title.

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How many Super Bowls have the Kansas City Chiefs won?

The Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl champions for the third time in five seasons.

After an excruciatingly long wait between their first and second Super Bowl victories, the Chiefs have definitely picked up the pace.

Kansas City won the first of its four Super Bowl championships following the 1969 season, three years after losing to the Green Bay Packers 35-10 in the first AFL-NFL World Championship (now known as Super Bowl I).

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Chiefs defeat 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII on Patrick Mahomes TD pass

Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Wanya Morris celebrates after beating the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII.
(John Locher / Associated Press)

? Chiefs 25, 49ers 22 — FINAL (OT)

Patrick Mahomes connected with Mecole Hardman Jr. on a three-yard touchdown pass to deliver the Chiefs to a thrilling overtime victory for Kansas City’s third Super Bowl title in five years.

Mahomes scrambled for seven yards on fourth down early in the drive and then picked up 19 yards on a third-down scramble up the middle to move the ball into the red zone. Travis Kelce then made a short catch to set up the touchdown.

The Chiefs are the first back-to-back Super Bowl winners since the New England Patriots (2004-05).

Mahomes, who has led Kansas City to each of its last three titles, completed 34 of 46 passes for 333 yards and two touchdowns. Kelce made nine catches for 93 yards.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy completed 23 of 28 passes for 255 yards and a touchdown. Christian McCaffrey rushed for 80 yards in 22 carries and caught eight passes for 80 yards and a touchdown.

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49ers settle for field goal to take lead in overtime

? 49ers 22, Chiefs 19 — 7:22 left in overtime

Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones pressured Brock Purdy into throwing away the ball, forcing the 49ers to settle for a 27-yard field goal by Jake Moody in the opening possession of overtime.

Fullback Kyle Juszczyk made a critical catch, diving at the end of a 13-yard reception to extend the drive. Christian McCaffrey picked up 24 yards on a run-and-catch — the longest play of the game for the 49ers — to also fuel the 13-play 66-yard drive.

Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton nearly intercepted Purdy’s first pass of overtime.

If the Chiefs score a touchdown, they win the game. A defensive stop or turnover would win the game for San Francisco.

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49ers win overtime coin toss

The San Francisco 49ers have won the overtime coin toss and have chosen to receive the ball first.

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How overtime rules work in the Super Bowl

The bulk of the NFL’s playoff overtime rules were implemented in 2010, with one change approved by the league’s competition committee last spring that allows for both teams to possess the ball at least once before a winner can be determined.

The change was made following renewed scrutiny of playoff overtime rules after the Kansas City Chiefs’ AFC divisional playoff win over the Buffalo Bills in January 2022. Prior to the possession rule change, 10 of the 11 playoff games that went to overtime under the post-2010 overtime rule changes were won by the team that received the ball first.

Here’s a breakdown of the playoff overtime rules:

  • A coin flip determines which team receives the opening kickoff.
  • Each team will have the opportunity to possess the ball at least once before a winner is determined.
  • Teams play 15-minute periods until there’s a winner.
  • If the score is tied after each team’s first possession, the next score by either team (touchdown, field goal or safety) will win the game.
  • There are no coach challenges, with all reviews being initiated by the replay official.
  • Each team gets three timeouts per half (two overtime periods).
  • If there is no winner after the fourth overtime period, there will be another coin toss before play resumes.
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Harrison Butker kicks field goal to send game into overtime

? 49ers 19, Chiefs 19 — END OF REGULATION

Patrick Mahomes orchestrated yet another memorable fourth-quarter drive, but the Chiefs had to settle for a game-tying field goal to send the game into overtime.

Harrison Butker kicked a 29-yard field goal in the final seconds of regulation to tie the game.

Travis Kelce set up the field goal after making a 22-yard catch to put the ball on San Francisco 11 with 10 seconds left.

It is only the second time a Super Bowl has gone into overtime. The Patriots defeated the Falcons in overtime in Super Bowl LI.

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49ers take late lead on Jake Moody’s 53-yard field goal

? 49ers 19, Chiefs 16 — 1:53 left in the fourth quarter

Rookie Jake Moody kicked a 53-yard field goal after the 49ers failed to convert on third, Brock Purdy throwing an incomplete pass.

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs have two timeouts left to win it or force overtime.

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Chiefs tie game on a 24-yard field goal by Harrison Butker

? 49ers 16, Chiefs 16 — 5:46 left in the fourth quarter

The Chiefs had to settle for a 24-yard field goal by Harrison Butker after a drive that appeared destined for the end zone faltered in the red zone.

Javon Hargrave sacked Patrick Mahomes on third down to end the 12-play, 69-yard drive. A 25-yard reception by Justin Watson and catches of 16 and 13 yards by Travis Kelce powered the drive.

Both teams have two timeouts left.

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49ers retake lead on Brock Purdy TD pass to Jauan Jennings

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy scrambles against the Kansas City Chiefs.
(Eric Gay / Associated Press)

? 49ers 16, Chiefs 13 — 11:22 left in the fourth quarter

The 49ers went back to Christian McCaffrey and their running game to rejuvenate their stale offense, and it worked.

After a trio of three and outs to start the second half, Kyle Shanahan’s offense finally found some life, with 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy connecting with wide receiver Jauan Jennings on a 10-yard pass to put San Francisco back into the lead.

Three plays earlier, tight end George Kittle converted on fourth down off a short pass to keep what ultimately would be a 12-play, 75-yard drive alive. Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk fueled the drive with a 20-yard catch.

It wasn’t all bad news for the Chiefs — they blocked Jake Moody’s extra-point attempt to keep it a three-point game.

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Chiefs take lead after botched 49ers punt return

? Chiefs 13, 49ers 10 — 2:28 left in the third quarter

A botched punt return by the 49ers led to the Chiefs capitalizing with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes to wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling to give Kansas City it’s first lead of the game.

On a Chiefs punt, the ball hit the back of Darrell Luter Jr.’s leg and Kansas City’s Jaylen Watson recovered it at the San Francisco 16. One play later, Kansas City took the lead.

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Chiefs’ Harrison Butker kicks Super Bowl-record 57-yard field goal

Harrison Butker kicks a field goal for the Chiefs against the 49ers in the first half.
(Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

? 49ers 10, Chiefs 6 — 5:01 left in the third quarter

Kansas City’s Harrison Butker kicked a 57-yard field goal, breaking the Super Bowl record 55-yarder Jake Moody kicked for the 49ers in the second quarter, to cut into San Francisco’s lead.

The field goal came at the end of a nine-play, 47-yard drive that included a 22-yard run by quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

San Francisco wide receiver Deebo Samuel returned to the game on the ensuing possession.

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San Francisco’s Deebo Samuel questionable to return

? 49ers 10, Chiefs 3 — 7:10 left in the third quarter

Standout San Francisco playmaker Deebo Samuel went down with a left leg injury on the 49ers’ second possession of the third quarter. The wide receiver walked off the field and went into the sideline medical tent. The team listed him as questionable to return.

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Chiefs go nowhere on their second possession of the second half

Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco is tackled by San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa and defensive end Chase Young.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco, right, is tackled by San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97) and defensive end Chase Young during the second half.
(Abbie Parr / Associated Press)

? 49ers 10, Chiefs 3 — 10:45 left in the third quarter

Starting from their one-yard line, the Chiefs went three and out and punted on their second possession of the second half. The 49ers take over at their 36-yard line.

The Chiefs have had 16 consecutive drives without a touchdown, the longest stretch of Patrick Mahomes’ career.

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Patrick Mahomes throws interception on opening drive of second half

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes eludes San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes eludes San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa during the first half.
(Julio Cortez / Associated Press)

? 49ers 10, Chiefs 3 — 13:30 left in the third quarter

San Francisco rookie safety Ji’Ayir Brown intercepted a deep pass from Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes on the Chiefs’ opening possession of the second half.

Mahomes threw over the head of his intended target, tight end Travis Kelce.

Brock Purdy and the 49ers took over at the Kansas City 44 but went three and out on the possession. Still they managed to down the ensuing punt at the one-yard line.

San Francisco linebacker Dre Greenlaw will not return after sustaining an Achilles injury in the first half.

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Harrison Butker field goal puts Chiefs on the board before halftime

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes looks to pass against the San Francisco 49ers in the second quarter.
(Abbie Parr / Associated Press)

? 49ers 10, Chiefs 3 — HALFTIME

Harrison Butker kicked a 28-yard field goal with 20 seconds left in the second quarter to give the Chiefs some momentum going into halftime.

Patrick Mahomes’ 21-yard pass to tight end Justin Watson was the key play in a drive that started at the 25-yard line.

But the 49ers defense mostly controlled Mahomes and the Chiefs with pressure from a defensive front that lost linebacker Dre Greenlaw because of an Achilles injury. Defensive end Nick Bosa and linemen Arik Armstead and Chase Young led the 49ers charge.

Quarterback Brock Purdy has completed 10 of 15 passes for 123 yards for the 49ers.

Christian McCaffrey has rushed for 33 yards in nine carries and has five receptions for 47 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown on a pass from receiver Jauan Jennings.

Jake Moody kicked a Super Bowl-record 55-yard field goal.

Mahomes has completed 11 of 13 passes for 123 yards, including one for 52 yards to receiver Mecole Hardman.

Tight end Jason Kelce has only one catch for one yard.

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49ers extend their lead on Christian McCaffrey touchdown catch

San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey celebrates after scoring on a 21-yard touchdown catch.
San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey celebrates after scoring on a 21-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter.
(Frank Franklin II / Associated Press)

? 49ers 10, Chiefs 0 — 4:32 left in the second quarter

The 49ers broke out some razzle-dazzle.

Quarterback Brock Purdy threw the ball to his left to receiver Jauan Jennings, who caught the ball behind the line of scrimmage. With a defender closing in, Jennings passed the ball across the field to running back Christian McCaffrey, who caught it and raced 21 yards for a touchdown.

McCaffrey has rushed for 27 yards in eight carries and has five receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown.

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Kansas City fumbles away the ball; Travis Kelce shouts at Andy Reid

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce shouts at coach Andy Reid during the second quarter.
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce shouts at coach Andy Reid during the second quarter after a Kansas City fumble by Isiah Pacheco.
(Jamie Squire / Getty Images)

? 49ers 3, Chiefs 0 — 11:59 left in the second quarter

Talk about your quick changes in momentum.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes made a play that perhaps only he can make. He rolled left, and then threw a long pass to the right side to Mecole Hardman for a 53-yard gain that gave the Chiefs first and goal at the nine yard line.

But two plays later, running back Isiah Pacheco fumbled and the 49ers defensive tackle Javon Hargrave recovered the ball.

After the play, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce was spotted shouting at Andy Reid, bumping into the Kansas City coach on the sideline. Kelce was not on the field during fumble play.

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Jake Moody kicks longest field goal in Super Bowl history

San Francisco 49ers kicker Jake Moody
(Scot Tucker / Associated Press)

? 49ers 3, Chiefs 0 — 14:48 left in the second quarter

Rookie Jake Moody kicked a 55-yard field goal — the longest field goal in Super Bowl history — to give the 49ers the lead.

Moody’s kick completed a drive that featured several big completions by quarterback Brock Purdy, including a 17-yard strike to Chris Conley and a 19-yard pass to Ray-Ray McCloud III on consecutive plays.

Purdy has completed eight of 11 passes for 105 yards.

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San Francisco threatening to score as first quarter ends

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy scrambles during the first quarter.
(Doug Benc / Associated Press)

? Chiefs 0, 49ers 0 — End of the first quarter

The 49ers are threatening to score as the game moves into the second quarter, but neither team could sustain a drive in the first quarter.

The 49ers were plagued by a fumble from running back Christian McCaffrey and multiple penalties.

The Chiefs ran only seven plays and were forced to punt twice. Nick Bosa, Javon Hargrave, Chase Young and Randy Gregory pressured Mahomes.

Brock Purdy has completed eight of 10 passes for 105 yards.

McCaffrey has rushed for 20 yards in three carries and has six receptions for 22 yards.

Mahomes has completed three of three passes for nine yards.

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Christian McCaffrey fumbles and Chiefs recover

San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey carries the ball during the first quarter.
(Julio Cortez / Associated Press)

? Chiefs 0, 49ers 0 — 12:15 left in the first quarter

Well, what looked like a fast start for the 49ers turned into a disaster for coach Kyle Shanahan.

Christian McCaffrey had caught a short pass for an 11-yard gain and then used second effort to gain 11 yards on a rushing play.

But on the next play, McCaffrey fumbled and Chiefs defensive end George Karlaftis recovered the ball.

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Chiefs win coin toss; 49ers will receive

The Kansas City Chiefs called heads and won the opening coin toss. They elected to kickoff and will receive the ball to open the second half.

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Which NFL team was the last to win back-to-back Super Bowls?

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes warms up before Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday.
(Julio Cortez / Associated Press)

Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs have a chance to make Super Bowl history Sunday — or at least recent Super Bowl history.

Eight teams have won back-to-back Super Bowl titles, but no team has pulled off the feat in 19 years, since Tom Brady and the New England Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers 32-29 in Super Bowl XXXVIII following the 2003 season, then knocked off the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 in Super Bowl XXXIX a year later.

A handful of teams have had a chance at consecutive titles in the ensuing years but couldn’t pull it off.

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Wrong-way columnist makes his Super Bowl LVIII pick, and the winner will be...

Allegiant Stadium during NFL football Super Bowl 58 opening night Monday, Feb. 5, 2024 in Las Vegas.
Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas
(Adam Hunger / Associated Press)

I hate the tomahawk chop.

The Kansas City Chiefs fans will fill the Super Bowl on Sunday with the most racist, senseless cheer in sports, rooting for their team by portraying Native Americans as bloodthirsty savages. 滨迟’蝉 crude, it’s wrong, and it’s stunning that the NFL continues to allow it.

I’m sick of Taylor Swift.

The TV networks actually don’t show her all that much — it’s less than a minute per game — but it feels so phony when they do. The weird cheerleading, the awkward high-fives, the stilted hugs, all of it looks like something choreographed for the dancers in a Swift song. Her fling with Travis Kelce feels less like a serious romance than a marketing ploy, and we’re all suckers for buying it.

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What’s the ‘real’ Taylor Swift like? Travis Kelce’s dad talks about life around the pop superstar

Taylor Swift in a bejeweled body suit and a necklace smiling and standing on a dark stage
Taylor Swift performs as part of the “Eras Tour” at the Tokyo Dome on Wednesday.
(Toru Hanai / Associated Press)

LAS VEGAS — Once again, Ed Kelce has a vested interest in the Super Bowl — his son Travis is an All-Pro tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs — but this one feels so much different than last year.

There’s the cyclone of interest surrounding Taylor Swift, of course, Travis Kelce’s superstar girlfriend. That has changed everything.

But then there’s this year’s matchup between Kansas City and San Francisco. It was so much different last year when Travis was facing his older brother, Jason, and the Philadelphia Eagles. That was emotional for everyone involved.

“I know who I’m rooting for this year,” said Ed, patriarch of the family. “Last year, I had no favorites.”

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Taylor Swift’s lucky number is 13. Is that a good or bad number for the Chiefs?

Taylor Swift wears a Travis Kelce No. 87 jacket as she arrives at Arrowhead Stadium.
Taylor Swift wears a Travis Kelce No. 87 jacket as she arrives at Arrowhead Stadium for a playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins on Jan. 13.
(Ed Zurga / Associated Press)

Taylor Swift’s lucky number is 13, will this mean the Kansas City Chiefs will defeat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII? Look at our stats below to find out why.

By the numbers:

  • Super Bowl 58, 5+8 = 13
  • Pop Vocal Album of the Year was her 13th Grammy Award.
  • The Chiefs’ opponent are the 49ers. 4 + 9 = 13
  • The date of the Super Bowl is Februuary 11. 2 + 11 = 13
  • The 49ers finished the NFL season as the No. 1 seed in the NFC, while the Chiefs finished as the number 3 seed in the AFC. The numbers next to each other are 13.
  • This is her 13th appearance supporting the Kansas City Chiefs.

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Nothing irrelevant about the Patrick Mahomes vs. Brock Purdy Super Bowl showdown

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy side by side.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, left, and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy.
(Associated Press)

LAS VEGAS — Talk about a couple of one-armed bandits.

On one side, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, a two-time NFL and Super Bowl most valuable player.

On the other, San Francisco’s Brock Purdy, the onetime “Mr. Irrelevant” who finished this season with a league-best passer rating of 113.0.

Both will be on display on the NFL’s biggest stage Sunday in a Super Bowl rematch from the 2019 season, when the Chiefs overcame a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to claim the Lombardi Trophy.

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57 Super Bowls changed lives of winning QBs ... and there are only 34 of them

Clockwise from bottom left: Tom Brady, Joe Montana, Troy Aikman, Terry Bradshaw
(Tim Hubbard / photo illustration; Associated Press photos)

The conversation occurred in the immediate aftermath of Super Bowl XXVII, when Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman was riding with his agent from the Rose Bowl back to the team hotel in Santa Monica.

“Do you know what just happened?” Leigh Steinberg asked his exhausted client.

“Yeah,” Aikman said, “we just won the game.”

“No,” the agent corrected him. “When you entered the game you were Troy Aikman, very good quarterback. You left the game as Troy Aikman, superstar, name in lights.”

There have been 57 Super Bowls and 34 starting quarterbacks who presided over winning teams. They are members of the most exclusive club in sports.

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Taylor Swift has arrived at the Super Bowl

Pop superstar Taylor Swift has arrived at Allegiant Stadium ahead of Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. She walked into the stadium alongside Ice Spice and Blake Lively.

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Upon further review: ‘In the world of officiating, Jim Tunney is Babe Ruth’

Former NFL referee Jim Tunney sits in front of a portrait of himself in his Pebble Beach home.
Former NFL referee Jim Tunney in his Pebble Beach home.
(Sam Farmer / Los Angeles Times)

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Jim Tunney has seen both ends of the spectrum.

He was the NFL’s youngest game official when he was hired as a 30-year-old field judge in 1960, and now is the oldest living retired referee, three weeks removed from his 95th birthday.

Tunney, a graduate of Occidental College, was on the field in stripes for some of the most memorable games in NFL history, among them the “Ice Bowl,” a frigid game between Dallas and Green Bay; “The Catch,” when Joe Montana’s pass to Dwight Clark toppled the Cowboys and sent the San Francisco 49ers to their first Super Bowl; and “The Fumble,” when Denver beat Cleveland in the AFC championship game. He refereed three Super Bowls.

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Chiefs players arrive at Allegiant Stadium ahead of Super Bowl

It might not be the most anticipated arrival at the Super Bowl (yes, Taylor Swift will be attending the game), but the Chiefs have arrived at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

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Steve Young explains how 49ers QB Brock Purdy can run off with Super Bowl title

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy throws in practice Wednesday.
(John Locher / Associated Press)

LAS VEGAS — Nearly three decades ago, quarterback Steve Young passed for a record six touchdowns as the San Francisco 49ers won the last of their five Super Bowl championships.

Lost in the stat sheet of that 49ers’ rout of the Chargers was that Young, one of the preeminent mobile quarterbacks of his generation, also rushed for 49 yards.

On Sunday, 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy will lead the 49ers against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium.

In the NFC championship game, Purdy engineered a dramatic comeback victory over the Detroit Lions, passing for a touchdown but perhaps more importantly setting up two touchdowns with timely scrambles that helped him finish with 48 yards rushing.

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Super Bowl: Patrick Mahomes’ respect for Matthew Stafford is as big as Texas

The Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes (left) talks with the Rams' Matthew Stafford before a game in 2022.
The Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, left, says he adapted some of his throwing skills by watching Matthew Stafford, another Texas legend.
(David Eulitt / Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS — Patrick Mahomes grew up in Texas and enjoyed watching NFL quarterbacks such as Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford.

And what was it about Stafford — who two years ago led the Rams to a Super Bowl title — that impressed the young Mahomes, who is aiming to lead the Kansas City Chiefs to a third Super Bowl championship in five years?

“First off, he’s a Texas guy, so I mean, always love the Texas quarterbacks are out there having success,” Mahomes said Tuesday as he continued preparations for Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII. “Everybody talks about the sidearm throws and the no-look passes — I mean that’s from watching guys like Matthew Stafford play that I’ve been able to do it.

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Taylor Swift has driven some far-right pundits to do the unthinkable: Cheer for San Francisco

A red MAGA hat with a SF Niners logo patched on it. Sunglasses under the hat show Taylor Swift mirrored in the lenses.
(Los Angeles Times photo illustration; photos by Associated Press, Unsplash)

As America’s two favorite pastimes — football and intricate political conspiracy theories — collide in the run-up to Super Bowl LVIII, a strange thing has happened.

Several conservative commentators announced that they plan to root for San Francisco, a city that has long served as a bête noire to far-right America, with politicians and media outlets alike usually vilifying it as an acrid emblem of progressivism run amok.

The nascent 49ers fans declaring their unlikely allegiance are hardly driven by Bay Area devotion or Candlestick Park nostalgia. Rather, they are vocally sticking it to Taylor Swift, the nation’s biggest pop star and new-ish girlfriend of Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, who will be facing off against the 49ers on Sunday.

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Brock Purdy reached Super Bowl in second year. Joe Montana, Steve Young never made it that soon

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy smiles while speaking to reporters during Super Bowl Opening Night.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy
(Matt York / Associated Press)

Brock Purdy is the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII.

In other words, the 24-year-old is a pretty relevant guy these days.

So is Purdy ready to ditch the nickname he shares with every other guy who has the dubious distinction of being the very last player selected in the NFL draft in a given year?

“Do I think it’s time to pick a new nickname?” Purdy said in response to a reporter’s question Monday during Super Bowl opening night at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. “I’m OK with Mr. Irrelevant. 滨迟’蝉 all good.”

Purdy played four years at Iowa State, where he passed for 12,170 yards and 81 touchdowns — both school records — with only 33 passes intercepted, which isn’t even in the top five for most-ever at the school. Yet, he was still available in the seventh round of the 2022 draft, and the 49ers took him with the 262nd and final pick.

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Jim Nantz and the Super Bowl: Tales from a broadcasting legend

VIDEO | 01:17
Jim Nantz talks about the day he was hired at CBS

Broadcaster Jim Nantz shares a special part of his memorabilia collection that goes back to the day he was hired by CBS.

BALTIMORE — Everything, everywhere, all at once.

That’s pretty much the job description of CBS announcer Jim Nantz, who will call Super Bowl LVIII from Las Vegas with color analyst Tony Romo at his side.

Even after retiring from his March Madness duties, Nantz still has a frenetic schedule in which NFL games roll right into the PGA Tour.

“People say, ‘Are you enjoying being semi-retired?’” said Nantz, 64. “I’m down to like 40 weeks of travel. … 滨迟’蝉 not like I’m on a beach somewhere.”

He was decidedly not on the beach the day before the AFC championship game in Baltimore, even though millions of viewers surely thought he was. Instead, he was in a cramped trailer beneath M&T Bank Stadium remotely calling the Farmers Insurance Open in La Jolla.

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Why the 49ers traded for Christian McCaffrey: ‘Do you want him to go to L.A.?’

San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey warms up during practice on Wednesday.
(John Locher / Associated Press)

LAS VEGAS — Christian McCaffrey will play for the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday — partly because the 49ers did not want the star running back to play for the Rams.

Jed York, the 49ers chief operating officer, last week told Bay Area reporters that although the cost of acquiring McCaffrey from the Carolina Panthers in a 2022 trade was steep, the 49ers had to make the move.

The 49ers gave up second-, third- and fourth-round draft picks in the 2023 draft and a fifth-round pick this year. Coach Kyle Shanahan apparently needed convincing from York and general manager John Lynch that although McCaffrey was not a quarterback or pass rusher, the cost was worth it.

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Rams players marvel at the Super Bowl spectacle

Allegiant Stadium is Las Vegas.
Allegiant Stadium is Las Vegas will play host to Super Bowl LVIII between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
(Matt York / Associated Press)

LAS VEGAS — The Rams did not make the Super Bowl this season, but several of their young players got exposed to the NFL’s biggest event.

Along with receiver Puka Nacua and Kobie Turner, who were finalists for rookie awards at NFL Honors, running back Kyren Williams and rookie offensive lineman Steve Avila did radio, television and digital interviews along Radio Row in the days leading up to Sunday’s game between the defending-champion Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium.

Williams, a second-year pro who rushed for more than 1,000 yards and made the Pro Bowl, marveled at the fanfare and hype that is part of the lead-up to the game.

“Definitely something I’m not used to,” Williams said. “Something I didn’t even know happened. I guess I’m at the stage of my career where I’ve got to get used to things like this, but it’s definitely fun for the first time being able to see all this behind-the-scenes stuff of how the Super Bowl works… all the players that are here that I’m able to meet, so it’s definitely cool.”

Avila, who started every game at left guard, also enjoyed the experience.

“I was a little nervous,” he said. “I’m not a rookie anymore, but it’s the first time doing this stuff. I always see things as opportunities.”

Like Nacua and Turner, Williams and Avila said the next time they attend a Super Bowl, they plan to be playing in it.

The Rams are coming off a season in which they finished 10-7 and made the playoffs.

“Our future is bright with the Rams,” Williams said. “We’ve got the right guys in the locker room so I’m excited for what we’ve got to come.”

Avila, a second-round draft pick, said he was enjoying counseling former teammates from Texas Christian about what to expect in the draft process.

And he is looking forward to next season.

“I know what to expect now,” Avila said. “滨迟’蝉 not so much scary territory as camp was last year, like ‘What’s happening next?’ I’m excited for that, excited for next year.”

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Usher brings romance to the biggest stage in America: The Super Bowl

Usher Raymond IV in Los Angeles.
Usher Raymond IV in Los Angeles
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

You can see galaxies in Usher Raymond IV’s eyes.

They twinkle as he speaks, no matter how little lighting there is in a room. His deep gaze, soft and curious, makes you wonder what he sees in your humanity, whether it’s beauty, intelligence, kindness, warmth or something else. You have to consider when is the last time someone has looked into your eyes with such attentiveness. You could fall into his dimples when he smiles. His voice is rich and velvety. His hugs are warm. He is a deep sigh of dreaminess personified.

It comes naturally to a man who has made romance part of his legacy for three decades and done soul searching on how he thinks about love. He’s intentional in so many things he does, including lighting a candle in the home theater of a lavish Beverly Hills home “for the vibe” before opening up about who he is as a human and an artist.

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Super surprising: 49ers, Chiefs have shared six quarterbacks. Remember these switches?

Steve Young (8), Steve Bono (13) and Joe Montana, center, were all on the 49ers in 1987.
(Paul Sakuma / Associated Press)

The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs share more than the color red.

They share quarterbacks, too, with six of them over the years playing for both franchises.

For the second time in four years, the 49ers and Chiefs will meet in the Super Bowl after both teams won their conference championship games Sunday.

Hall of Famer Joe Montana famously played for both clubs, but so did Alex Smith, Elvis Grbac, Steve Bono, Steve DeBerg and Bob Gagliano.

Of those, only the journeyman Gagliano played for the Chiefs before two stints with the 49ers. Everyone else was on the West Coast before heading to the heartland.

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Travis Kelce wants to match Taylor Swift’s Grammys win with a Super Bowl title

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce smiles during Super Bowl LVIII opening night.
(Godofredo A. Vásquez / Associated Press)

LAS VEGAS — Travis Kelce routinely draws a crowd of reporters and cameras on the so-called opening night of the Super Bowl.

But this year is next level for the Kansas City Chiefs tight end.

Kelce’s relationship with pop superstar Taylor Swift is arguably the dominant storyline as the Chiefs prepare for Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium.

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Former USC star Sam Darnold has backup plan with the 49ers ahead of Super Bowl LVIII

San Francisco quarterbacks Brock Purdy (13) and Sam Darnold (14) work out side by side in practice.
San Francisco starting quarterback Brock Purdy (13) and backup Sam Darnold (14) work out side by side in practice ahead of Super Bowl LVIII.
(Tony Avelar / Associated Press)

LAS VEGAS — During the San Francisco 49ers’ run to Super Bowl LVIII, Sam Darnold’s one-play-away mentality as a backup quarterback came to life.

In consecutive late-season games, starter Brock Purdy left because of injuries, bringing on Darnold, the former USC star and No. 3 pick by the New York Jets in the 2018 draft.

Now, with the 49ers facing the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium, Darnold could be one play away from performing on the NFL’s biggest stage.

“As a backup you have no idea what’s going to happen,” Darnold said. “Obviously, we want Brock to stay healthy and stay on the field. But if my time does come, I’m very confident in myself to be able to go out there and do my job.”

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Taylor Swift-Travis Kelce is the cliché queen-football star romance that America loves

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift embrace on the field after the AFC championship game.
(Julio Cortez / Associated Press)

The Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers have become secondary characters in the game they’ll be playing Sunday, which at this point might as well be rebranded as the Taylor Swift Bowl.

There are people who are upset about how much Swift has been shown on television this season cheering on her boyfriend, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, which, in turn, has upset others who wonder how anyone could be offended by the pop star’s presence.

The debate over whether Swift positively or negatively influences football was for the most part settled when Apex Marketing Group estimated she had generated $331 million in brand value for the Chiefs and the NFL.

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Super Bowl LVIII matchups, analysis and prediction

Los Angeles Times NFL writer Sam Farmer breaks down the Super Bowl LVIII matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Sunday and will be televised by CBS (Channel 2 in the Los Angeles area):

49ers pass offense vs. Chiefs pass defense

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel starts to run a route.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel is difficult to tackle after he makes a catch.
(Godofredo A. Vásquez / Associated Press)

The 49ers are all about precision and play calling, which presents a different challenge than the Chiefs saw from AFC championship game opponent Baltimore, whose quarterback, Lamar Jackson could break a big play at any time.

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Latest Super Bowl odds: Who’s the favorite?

A fan walks by a Super Bowl figurine outside the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas on Saturday.
(John Locher / Associated Press)

The opening line settled at 49ers -1.5 in the Super Bowl against the Chiefs (consensus picks by Caesars, MGM, DraftKings and FanDuel). The line later moved to a consensus 49ers -2 before settling at 49ers -1.5 early Sunday.

The consensus for Super Bowl total points on Sunday was 47.5. The money line has fluctuated in recent days, with the consensus standing at 49ers -126 and Chiefs +107.

Here are the latest gambling odds and prop bets for Super Bowl LVIII:

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Super Bowl LVIII: Start time, teams, betting odds and halftime show

Super Bowl LVIII will be played at 3:30 p.m. PST on Sunday, Feb. 11. It will take place at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, the home of the Raiders.

Here’s everything you need to know about the game.

Who will be playing in the Super Bowl?

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy and offensive tackle Trent Williams, right, celebrate after a touchdown.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy and offensive tackle Trent Williams, right, celebrate after a touchdown during a 34-31 comeback win over the Detroit Lions in the NFC championship game.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

The Kansas City Chiefs will play the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII. The Chiefs defeated the Baltimore Ravens 17-10 in the AFC championship game and the 49ers rallied from a 17-point deficit to defeat the Detroit Lions 34-31 for the NFC title.

From Sam Farmer: 滨迟’蝉 Super Bowl LIV all over again, as the Kansas City Chiefs will play the San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas. That’s a Super Bowl rematch from four years ago, when the Chiefs overcame a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to knock off the 49ers in Miami.

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