The 10 Super Bowl storylines you’ll hear (over and over) before 49ers play Chiefs

The 10 Super Bowl storylines you’ll hear (over and over) before 49ers play Chiefs

SANTA CLARA – Super Bowl hype is here. And there. Are you ready for it, as the girlfriend of a certain 49ers opponent might sing?

That girlfriend, of course, is Taylor Swift, who has combined with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce to make the NFL’s hottest duet this season, all due respect to Brock Purdy’s on-field chemistry with Brandon Aiyuk.

An eternity exists between now and Super Bowl LVIII kickoff at 3:30 p.m. inside Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium, where the 49ers will face the Chiefs.

The major storyline: Are the 49ers salivating over the chance to avenge their loss four years ago to the Chiefs, when a 10-point, fourth-quarter lead wasn’t enough to prevent a 31-20 defeat in Super Bowl LIV?

That is not the only overplayed or obvious angle that reporters will drill players and coaches with ad nauseum over the coming days.

To assist their preparation, here are 10 storylines they will be asked to address until the national anthem is sung by Reba McEntire, Post Malone, Andra Day (and hopefully an Elvis impersonator):

1. Brock Purdy wins … over doubters

You’ve already heard enough all season – and the last two months of last season – how some national pundits frown on Brock Purdy’s star power. It’s all stale baloney. Those hot takes have cooled. See: Purdy’s playoff comebacks the past two games.

2. Brandon Aiyuk, doghouse to penthouse

Kyle Shanahan hates revisiting the 2021 season that opened with Brandon Aiyuk on the bench and perceived to be in his doghouse until a bye-week recalibration. Aiyuk blossomed into an AP Second-Team All-Pro this season. He is poised for a contract extension that could embed him in 49ers’receiving lore, with Sunday’s 51-yard tide-turning catch his entry card.

3. Shanahan and McCaffrey, The Sequel

The last time the 49ers won the Super Bowl was January 1995 with Mike Shanahan as their offensive coordinator and Ed McCaffrey as a complementary wide receiver. Now this Lombardi Trophy drought could end with Mike’s son, Kyle, deploying Ed’s son, Christian, as the offensive catalyst who’s scored in each of his six career playoff games.

4. Jet Chip Wasp

Every member of the 2019 49ers – and former Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward – will be asked what it was like on the field at Super Bowl LIV when the Chiefs called “2-3 Jet Chip Wasp.” That is when the 49ers surrendered a 44-yard completion from Patrick Mahomes to Tyreek Hill on third-and-15 down to the 49ers’ 21-yard line, setting up a touchdown that pulled the Chiefs within 20-17 with 6:13 to go.

5. Sin City’s Sex Symbol

A Super Bowl in Sin City? That demands a sex symbol, and look no further than 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa, who went viral last fall upon revealing himself as an underwear model for Kim Kardashian’s co-owned company, SKIMS. Bosa, otherwise will be asked countless more times whether he was held by Eric Fisher on Jet Chip Wasp.

6. Comeback Kings

Wait, Shanahan’s offense supposedly wasn’t capable of producing a fourth-quarter comeback. That may have been true from 2017-2023, but the 49ers have rallied in both their playoff wins. We’re old enough to remember that the stigma of Shanahan teams was they couldn’t hold fourth-quarter leads in championship games. Oh yeah, that storyline will resurface repeatedly these coming days.

7. Prop-bet advice

The NFL frowns upon gambling. (Wink, wink.) You can be sure that when players will be awkwardly asked for all sorts of advice in terms of Super Bowl prop bets. Monday night, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., the 49ers players and coaches have their first media availability in Las Vegas, where they’ll follow the Chiefs’ hour-long session inside Allegiant Stadium on Super Bowl Opening Night. The 49ers are favored by 1 ½ points, by the way. NFL employees are forbidden from entering sportsbooks, by the way.

8. Tight ends unite

When tight end George Kittle and Travis Kelce aren’t swapping spots as AP First-Team All-Pro, they’re leading their position to well-earned notoriety. They also co-founded Tight End University in 2021 as a summer seminar for their position-mates.

9. Wives and girlfriends galore

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Players’ private lives are off-limits, right? Ha! This is the Super Bowl, where media credentials aren’t restricted to the X’s-and-O’s crowd. Will Kristin Juszczyk, wife of 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk, design another game-day outfit for Swift, Kelce’s girlfriend? Surely other wives and girlfriends will share the spotlight. After all, McCaffrey’s fiancé, Olivia Culpo, was Miss Universe 2012 and wields 5.4 million Instagram followers.

10. Long-shot luck

When they last met in the Super Bowl, the 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo infamously overthrew Emmanuel Sanders on a potential winning touchdown pass with 1 1/2 minutes. When the 49ers last played, Purdy famously overthrew Aiyuk, only to have the ball ricochet off a cornerback’s facemask and into Aiyuk’s hands for that critical, 51-yard catch, which Aiyuk attributed to a ladybug landing on his shoe pregame. Is Ladybug Luck with the 49ers? Is Purdy’s surgically repaired arm more treasured than any slot-machine arm on The Strip.

Yes, all deep thoughts will all seem shallow enough by the time kickoff arrives. Enjoy the show, and remember, there’s a two-drink minimum.