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Super Bowl LIV: Open Game Thread

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The Chiefs and 49ers are in Miami to compete for the National Football League championship trophy.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Kansas State
Elijah Lee is one of three former Wildcats playing in the big game.
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time for the ultimate football game of the National Football League, the 54th playing of the Super Bowl.

Yes, this is a college football blog. Normally we don’t spend too much time worrying about guys who get paid to play football. But here we are, making a special appearance today, for a game between two storied franchises of the NFL.

We’re here today because three former Wildcats are in today’s game: Byron Pringle for the Kansas City ChiefsD.J. Reed and Elijah Lee for the San Francisco 49ers. A win today is a win for EMAW, regardless of which team emerges victorious. And we might even get to see more than one Wildcat on the field on the same time, as Pringle and Reed see a lot of their snaps on their respective return units. We are also very aware that a significantly large percentage of Kansas State Wildcats fans are also fans of the Chiefs (there are also a few that are 49ers fans).

The 49ers as a franchise are no strangers to this stage. San Fran has been to six Super Bowls, winning five, and were last on the NFL’s biggest stage as recently as the 2012 season, in what became dubbed the “Harbaugh Bowl” as brothers John (Ravens HC) and Jim (49ers HC) faced off for the big prize (won by the Baltimore Ravens). The 49ers last Super Bowl victory came back in January 1995, defeating the San Diego Chargers, a team that included former Wildcat Andre Coleman. If you want to see more about the 49ers, be sure and check out fellow SB Nation site Niners Nation.

It’s been...a bit longer for the Chiefs. The Chiefs were once a powerhouse of the AFL, and appeared in the very first Super Bowl game in January of 1967, losing to the Green Bay Packers. They also played in the fourth Super Bowl, the final played before the final merger of the NFL and AFL to form the current NFL. That game, played in January of 1970, was both the lone NFL championship for the team, as well as their last appearance at the big game. 50 years late, and the Chiefs have finally returned to the promised land. If you want to see more about the Chiefs, be sure and check out fellow SB nation site Arrowhead Pride.

We’ve got two different styles squaring off tonight in Miami. The Chiefs feature a generally fast-attack offense led by Pat Mahomes and featuring the fastest WR corps in the NFL and one of the best two tight ends in the NFL. They run effectively too, but their bread and butter is using Mahomes’s incredible throwing talents to get the ball to the playmakers all over the field. Oh, and Mahomes can run too, which turned into a game-changer for the Chiefs in the AFC Championship game.

The 49ers feature an offensive attack that should be very interesting for Wildcat fans to watch, as it’s extremely similar to the style that K-State offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham wants to run in Manhattan. The 49ers want to establish the ground game with a stable of running backs, but also feature the other half of top-two TE rankings and some quality receivers of their own. There’s also a lot of interplay between positions with the receivers doing a lot of running via sweeps and jets, and running backs being involved heavily in the passing game.

In case you weren’t aware, tonight’s game will be on your local FOX affiliate (KTMJ (FOX 43) in Manhattan), and it looks like it will be available streaming via the Fox Sports app.

It should be a great game, regardless of who wins.

Go Chiefs. Go 49ers. Go Cats!

Remember, we’re all Wildcats here. Lets try to keep things friendly :-)