"GAME ON"--THE SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AND THE KANSAS CITY CHIEFS SQUARE OFF IN SUPER BOWL LVIII (58) ON FEB. 11 AT 6:30 P.M. (ET/PT) AT ALLEGIANT STADIUM IN LAS VEGAS.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
It's game time. The excitement is growing for Super Bowl LVIII (58) which will feature the Kansas City Chiefs (11-6) and their bold and fearless gunslinger Patrick Mahomes, against the dynamic San Francisco 49ers (12-5) and their young, confident, and poised quarterback Brock Purdy.
This epic showdown--which is a rematch of Super Bowl LIV (54)--kicks off Feb. 11 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada at 6:30 p.m. (ET/PT) and will air on CBS.
This is the first Super Bowl played in Nevada. As of this writing the San Francisco 49ers are favored by two points.
The 49ers advanced to Super Bowl LVIII by mounting a stunning comeback win against the Detroit Lions (34-31). The Kansas City Chiefs knocked out the Baltimore Ravens (17-10).
Now, here we are ready to see who will stand in the end hoisting the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy. There have been some incredible football games played leading up to Super Bowl LVIII.
Hopefully, the big game will offer many thrills and live up to all the hype surrounding it.
While I don't have any skin in the game this year, I'm looking forward to just seeing a hard fought and fun game with razzle dazzle plays to boot. So, will it come down to a field goal, a key tackle, a trick play, or interception to win the game for the 49ers or Chiefs? I'm not sure, but N2Entertainment.net recently spoke with San Francisco 49ers free safety and Hall of Famer, Ronnie Lott to get his take on Super Bowl LVIII. Lott, who spent 10 years with the 49ers, helped them win eight division titles and four Super Bowls: XVI (1981 season), XIX (1984), XXIII (1988), and XXIV (1989).
Lott is one of five players that were on all four 1980s 49ers Super Bowl wins. The other four are quarterback Joe Montana, linebacker Keena Turner, cornerback Eric Wright, and wide receiver Mike Wilson.
In addition, after his stellar career with San Francisco, Lott had stints with The Oakland Raiders (1991), New York Jets (1993), and even briefly with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1995.
As you might expect, Lott is busy with various interview requests and business matters, especially during football season.
So, N2Entertainment.net was thrilled the gridiron great graciously took time from his hectic schedule to chat by phone about Super Bowl LVIII and what the San Francisco 49ers will need to do to walk away victorious.
Here's what the legendary Ronnie Lott had to say.
Q. What's your take on Super Bowl LVIII and which team has the biggest advantage and why?
A. Both the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers have improved. I'll tell you. I really do believe the 49ers have an incredible shot at winning this. I'm not just saying that because I played for them, but San Francisco's offense has more weapons. They are quick and I think it will be interesting to see what Kansas City does to try and slow them down. The 49ers need big plays early and they've got to capitalize on any turnovers.
Q. What is the key to stopping the red-hot Patrick Mahomes?
A. Try to rattle him, put pressure on him and get to him. Patrick Mahomes is one of the greats. He's like Magic Johnson or Steph Curry. He makes other people around him even better. Mahomes' go to guy is Travis Kelce and everyone expects him to be locking in on him and of course he will. But this time Mahomes will pay closer attention to everybody on the field and spread the ball to other players.
Q. After an impressive comeback against the Detroit Lions, Brock Purdy made believers out of doubters that he could step up in a big way. What do you think of Purdy? Do you see shades of a young Joe Montana?
A. Purdy is a young, smart quarterback. He did show people that he could scramble and run faster during the Lions game. Purdy is also good at figuring out situations and making decisions. He does have that commonality with Joe Montana. Great quarterbacks understand where they need to be to create exceptional moments.
Q. You won four Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers. Were you nervous before each of these games and what did you do mentally to prepare for them? Back then you didn't have the barrage of social media and around the clock news cycle like today. How do you think these players can stay focused and be ready?
A. Yeah, there is a lot of pressure with a big game like this. You have friends and family coming to see you. It's all about whether you can rise to the occasion. It's about if you can understand the moment, perform like a superstar in these circumstances, and have everybody see you do your best. Actually, there is even more pressure on the coaches. They will need to get in the groove early. Coach Bill Walsh was good at understanding how important the first 10 plays of the game are and how they set the tone.
Q. Will this be a down and dirty ground game or aerial showdown?
A. That will be up to the coaches, but I know that both coaches will want to take the air out of the ball early and it wouldn't surprise me to see either side coming up with some trick plays.
Q. Are you going to the Super Bowl?
A. No. I'm actually going to a few events in Las Vegas, but not the game itself. I'll tell you why. I'm a superstitious guy. All the 49er games that I didn't go to this year, the team won. (Lots of laughter). So, I'm going to go to those events I have planned and then come back home.
Q. Will we see you in any of the Super Bowl commercials?
A. Actually no. I'm not part of any of the commercials this year.
Q. I interviewed Dan Bunz for Super Bowl LV (55), and we discussed how the NFL has changed since you played. He said that if you were playing today, you'd probably be tossed out of the game. What do you think about how the NFL has evolved and the new rules that have changed the game?
A. Well, the way I played was for that time and moment. When I look at the game now, I thank God it's played the way it is today. You want to keep people as healthy as possible, and the NFL has taken steps to do that. The game is still great and tough. We get lost in the idea of this not being a physical game. I watch some of the games today and I see players get hit and I'm cringing because it's like I felt that hit from home (Lots of laughter). I remember John Madden telling me that I need to protect this game. I understand even more now what he meant. I was truly fortunate to be a part of this incredible game and beside so many great players. I think of Jerry Rice and Joe Montana and the greatness of what they have done. And now this group has an opportunity for their play to be highlighted. You want them to be able to showcase our team. It's always about being a team. I'm incredibly grateful and blessed to still be standing and using my platform to discuss the game that I still love so much. I'm just thankful every day to be able to make plays in different ways now.
Q. Is there anything else you'd like to add?
A. Let's go get this Niners!
Q. Thank you for your time, Mr. Lott.
A. My pleasure. Thank you.
Editor's Note: Whether you're rooting for the Kansas City Chiefs or the San Francisco 49ers, Super Bowl LVIII has all the makings of an exciting and classic game. By chance, if it turns out to be a super bore, well, there are always the commercials to look forward to and of course the Pepsi Half Time show featuring eight-time Grammy Award winning singer and songwriter Usher.
Country music legend Reba McEntire will sing the National Anthem and Grammy Award-winning singer/actress Andra Day will perform the Black National Anthem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing."
So, break out the nachos, wings, pizza, sliders, cupcakes, and all your favorite beverages and kick back and enjoy the BIG game everyone!
Super Bowl LVIII airs at 6:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on CBS and will stream on Paramount+ with a family-oriented broadcast on Nickelodeon.
Note: Some information used in this article was provided by CBS and NFL publicity department. Photo layout courtesy of Alien Ink.