Las Vegas, known for its championships since 2021, is set to host another major event. The Las Vegas Aces have won the WNBA championship twice in a row, and the Vegas Golden Knights are the current Stanley Cup champions.
This Sunday night, Las Vegas will witness a battle between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium.
This game is a repeat of the 2020 Super Bowl, where the Chiefs defeated San Francisco 31-20, earning Kansas City’s second Lombardi trophy. Both teams are aiming to make NFL history with a win this Sunday.
Brock Purdy, the 49ers quarterback from Queen Creek, is hoping to be the first quarterback picked last in the draft to lead a team to a Super Bowl win.
Purdy, known as “Mr. Irrelevant,” has already made significant strides. He’s a candidate for NFL MVP this season and has set a new 49ers record for passing yards in a season (4,280), surpassing NFL legends Joe Montana (3944) and Steve Young (4170).
At 24, Purdy is the first “Mr. Irrelevant” to play in a Super Bowl. Despite having one of the best seasons in 49ers history, his focus isn’t on his achievements but on helping his team win.
“I want to do what it takes to help my team win and so I think winning at the end of the day in the NFL is probably the biggest and most important thing,” Purdy said.
But Purdy isn’t the only one on the 49ers looking to make history. Kyle Shanahan, son of NFL coaching legend Mike Shanahan, hopes to be part of the first father-son coaching duo to win a Super Bowl.
Mike, known for his offensive strategies, led the Denver Broncos to consecutive Super Bowl victories in 1997-98 during his 20-year career.
Growing up around the Broncos, Kyle learned a lot from his dad and has developed a reputation as an offensive genius, just like his father.
“My dad went to the NFL when I was four years old, so just being around it almost my whole life. You don’t realize how much it helps you until you get in it,” Kyle said. “You just realize that a lot of the stuff you’ve been around and it makes (coaching) a little easier.”
In 2020, Kyle had a chance to join his dad as a Super Bowl champion as the coach of the 49ers, but the Chiefs spoiled his first attempt at making history.
Now back in the Big Game, Kyle hopes to avoid the disappointment he felt after a heartbreaking loss.
“I think any time you get that close and you lose the last game, that’s definitely the hardest,” Kyle said. “But all football games are hard to lose each week. You put so much into them.
“I remember I always saw my dad as a coordinator after those three Super Bowls when he was in Denver and how hard it was on him (when the Broncos lost).”
On the other side, the Chiefs are hoping to extend the dynasty they’ve built over the past five years. With Andy Reid as the play-caller and Patrick Mahomes as the quarterback, the Chiefs have become one of the toughest teams to beat in the postseason.
Since taking over as the starting quarterback in 2018, Mahomes has led the Chiefs to a 14-3 record in the playoffs. During these games, he has thrown for 4,802 yards, scored 39 touchdowns, and made seven interceptions.
If the Chiefs beat the 49ers this Sunday, Mahomes will be the third quarterback in NFL history to win three Super Bowls within five years. Terry Bradshaw achieved this in the 1970s with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Troy Aikman in the 1990s with the Dallas Cowboys, and Tom Brady did it twice from 2002–2005 and 2015–2019.
Mahomes believes that the key to maintaining a winning streak is consistency. He said, “I think the biggest thing about the dynasty is consistency, trying to be consistently great every single year, not getting too big-headed or satisfied with where we were at, but you could continue to do it year in and year out.”
He also added that a team can only be considered a dynasty when people look back at its achievements after it’s all over.
Andy Reid, the coach of the Chiefs, could also make history by winning three Super Bowls in five years. This would make him the second NFL coach to achieve this, after former New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
A win would give Reid his third Lombardi trophy and place him third on the all-time list for most Super Bowl wins by a head coach, behind Belichick (6) and Chuck Noll (4).
Despite the historical significance of this game, Reid is focusing solely on preparing his team for the match against the 49ers this week.
He said, “We’re trying to teach about the 49ers and when you take yourself out of it, this is a team sport, so you focus right in on that group.”
Given the number of championships that have taken place in Las Vegas over the past two years, the city is ready for either the Chiefs or the 49ers to make history this Super Bowl Sunday.
The Super Bowl stage is set at Allegiant Stadium as the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs chase football immortality in Las Vegas. (Image Credit: Perry Knotts/Getty Images)