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49ers and Chiefs open Super Bowl week with media circus fit for Las Vegas


LAS VEGAS — Chefs running back Isiah Pacheco answered the question about whether he preferred hard tacos or soft tacos (he loves quesadillas) and then looked up.

“Oh Blues, where are you going?” Pacheco shouted.

Pacheco was talking to three painted members of the Blue Man Group, a popular tourist trio.

From weird to weird, Monday night final match media availability for 49ers And chefs I felt very much like I was in Vegas. Bruce Buffer took the stage, NFL RedZone host Scott Hanson and a troupe of dancers dressed in Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band outfits. Nick Bosa and Travis Kelce have made wrestling names for themselves (respectfully the Bear and the Big Yeti). A German media member asked Chiefs coach Andy Reid about the cheeseburger. George Kittle sorted his teammates into Harry Potter houses.

There were questions covering every topic, asked by reporters of all ages from around the world. Each player and coach was friendly and praised their opponent as they shared the stage at the 50-yard line. And like most things in Las Vegas, it was an event: Thousands of fans paid to see the theater and buy merchandise and concessions.

At hyper-modern Allegiant Stadium, 11 players for the Chiefs and 11 more for the 49ers spent an hour at the individual podium as their teammates and coaches milled about among hundreds of reporters. 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy did this: spongebob impression. Kansas City star quarterback Patrick Mahomes compared himself to Steph Curry. Travis Kelce was booed for a reason.

“Amazing,” Kelce answered one of dozens of questions about his ultra-famous girlfriend, Taylor Swift, who made history by winning her fourth Grammy for Album of the Year.

“He is rewriting history himself. I told him I had to keep up my end of the bargain and come home with some equipment.

Kelce’s relationship with Swift made him the star of the circus; A large media crowd had gathered in front of his podium 30 minutes before the start of attendance.

But the 49ers have plenty of stars of their own. That’s how they got here: by surrounding Purdy, the final pick of the 2022 draft, with a great supporting cast that includes Christian McCaffrey, Trent Williams, Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Fred Warner and Bosa.

As the Chiefs expired and the 49ers took the field for their turn, many notable names shared the stage for interviews. Mahomes and Purdy, Kelce and Kittle, McCaffrey and Pacheco. Warner and Chiefs pass rusher Chris Jones egged on the crowd. To their right, coaches Kyle Shanahan and Andy Reid fielded questions. There was laughter, handshakes and hugs. There will be blocks, kicks and holds at the end of the week.

“It still feels like a dream,” said Williams, an 11-time Pro Bowler who played in his first Super Bowl.

Williams had never seen such mayhem before Monday night. Bosa, a rookie on the Super Bowl LIV team that lost to Kansas City, has experience in the bright lights.

“This is great,” Bosa said. “I think it’s hard to top Miami, and I think they might have gotten to the top, too.”

Bosa wasn’t safe from some of the more pointless questions. When asked which celebrity he most wanted in his team, he said he would choose Kevin Parker of Tame Impala fame to play shooter.

There was much less acrobatics than in the Cirque de Soleil show, and less laughter than in Carrot Top. But for three hours the crowd looked busy and much of the field was so packed that the only way to move was to brush the shoulders.

Chiefs rookie standout Rashee Rice said the night’s media frenzy may have helped him mentally prepare for Sunday’s game.

“I never knew it would happen like this,” Rice said at the podium. “But I’ve gotten a little bit of an idea of ​​what the game will be like; no matter what, it’s going to be a sea of ​​red.”

As the event ended at 8 p.m., beloved RedZone host Hanson, who hosted the event, urged fans to stay hydrated and pace themselves. After all, the week is just beginning.


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