Opinion: I Almost Got Choked At The Super Bowl, Here’s What Happened

The author, Las Vegas first-year Seiji McSwain, poses in front of the Super Bowl LVIII logo while wearing a Detroit Lions jersey. McSwain wore a Lions jersey to represent where he comes from and show off his fandom (Photo by Seiji McSwain).

The Super Bowl is an event that every football fan wants to watch in person. Luckily, I was blessed with the opportunity to do so on Feb. 11. 

For those unaware, the Super Bowl is the championship game of the NFL, where the AFC champions go against the NFC champions. This year, the matchup was between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion, the San Francisco 49ers.

Unless you were a Chiefs or 49ers fan, it seemed like the NFL fandom didn’t care for this game at all. The 49ers are known as a team that usually holds one of the winning spots because they’ve either made it to the NFC championship or Super Bowl in their last seven trips to the postseason. 

However, opinions varied on the Chiefs taking the second spot, with most of the hate stemming from Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift’s relationship. Swift’s presence at the games has caused the cameras to show her every time Travis Kelce has a big play, something many fans have had problems with.

I wasn’t the most excited to see these two teams go head-to-head, because, in my opinion, the Lions are simply the best team in the league. However, it was still a must-watch because I am still a very big football fan, the tickets were very expensive and, in my case, a gift from a family member.

Lines, Food and Jerseys

I was lucky enough that my ticket granted me access to a special tailgate section with mini-games, free food and other events to occupy fans. Since I got to the stadium earlier than most, the line to get in wasn’t long. The tailgate section I was in allowed for photo-ops with different displays and mini-games. The food was also excellent: The jalapeño mac and cheese was my favorite. On the other hand, I’d say the hot chicken sandwich was my least favorite; it lacked the spiciness that was supposed to make it “hot.”

As a Lions fan, I had to represent Detroit, so I wore my jersey. Walking around the tailgate section and later, the stadium, there were many Lions fans and fans of other teams telling me they had been rooting for the Lions to win. My responses were either “Go Lions!” or “Hopefully next season.” 

Most of the Lions fans I interacted with told me that they bought their tickets during the NFC championship game when the Lions were up at halftime. Even when the Lions lost, they felt they still needed to go to rep Detroit – something I can respect.

The Game, Halftime and Then the Game Again

As a former Vegas resident, it was a familiar sight to see 49ers fans near my seat. This added to the hype around kick-off since the 49ers got the ball first. The kick-off was electric, the stadium shaking from all the cheering fans waiting to see if their team would win the Super Bowl. Their excitement is what had me going from golf claps to full-on cheers every time something happened on the field.

At halftime, the score was 10-3 in the 49ers favor. It appeared that a lot of 49ers fans were very hopeful that their team would win. However, Chiefs fans had hope in their quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. At this point, I wasn’t as involved with the game due to me not being emotionally connected to either team, but I was still hoping the Chiefs could do something in the next half to come back. I was rooting for the Chiefs to win because the 49ers beat the Lions and destroyed their hopes of going to the first franchise Super Bowl.

While we waited to see if those hopes were misplaced or not, Usher’s halftime performance delivered in many ways. I know many people were disgruntled by the performance, but I enjoyed it. As a big Alicia Keys fan, I was hyped when they revealed her under that curtain. All the songs were wonderfully performed, and it was a great start for the second half.

The third quarter of the game was decent, with both teams going back and forth. Things didn’t get interesting until the fourth quarter. 

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the 49ers were up by three points with a score of 13-10. Everyone in the stadium was practically on the edge of their seats trying to see if the 49ers could pull out a win or if the Chiefs would make a comeback. After trading field goals, it came down to the last drive led by Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce. With about 19 seconds left, Travis Kelce caught a 22-yard pass that allowed the Chiefs to kick the game-tying field goal. With that, the game went into overtime.

Overtime

This was the second-ever Super Bowl to make it into overtime. The last time this happened was Super Bowl LI (51) in 2017 when Tom Brady and the Patriots came back from a 28-3 deficit and beat the Atlanta Falcons. 

I was very excited to be watching something that had only been done once before. A game like this going into overtime added to the suspense in the stadium as the momentum shifted in the stadium. 49ers fans looked nervous as Chiefs fans had a new look of hope in their eyes; 49ers fans started anxiously scratching their heads as Chiefs fans were cheering and pacing back and forth.

I went to the restroom before overtime started, and the nightmarish line caused me to miss the coin toss. Luckily, I was able to make it back to my seat by the time overtime started. The 49ers had won the coin toss and chosen to receive the ball first. 

Looking back, it was a controversial move, because the 49ers didn’t know about the new postseason overtime rules: both teams are allowed a possession. 

This was a bad move for the 49ers; if the Chiefs had scored either a touchdown or field goal first, the 49ers might have won the game. 

The 49ers’ drive ended with a field goal. This allowed the Chiefs to try and respond with a field goal, or even better, a touchdown. 

As most know by now, the Chiefs marched down the field and scored a touchdown, resulting in the third Super Bowl win in five years for the franchise. 

Chiefs fans were going crazy after the win. I almost got choked out by someone next to me who was celebrating particularly hard. 

Hopes for the Future

Unfortunately, I still don’t know what the feeling is like when your favorite team wins a Super Bowl – maybe next season.

Overall, as a first-time attendee, going to a Super Bowl is worth the money. If you are a fan of one of the game’s teams or a die-hard football fan, the Super Bowl appeals to both audiences. 

My expectations were shattered; I thought this would be a boring game with two good teams, but the emotions from fans of each team and the game going into overtime added so much more to the atmosphere of what was already an intense experience – I mean, it’s the Super Bowl. 

If I had the opportunity to see another Super Bowl, I would gladly accept the offer.

Next season’s Super Bowl will be held in New Orleans. If given the opportunity, I recommend attending, as the NFL delivered an exceptional experience for all fans this time around. Here’s hoping they maintain that atmosphere for next year.

Check out our Instagram for a more general look into my experience at the Super Bowl.

About Seiji McSwain 8 Articles
Seiji McSwain is a first-year student from Las Vegas, Nevada and is a Sport Communication major at Albion College. He writes about any sports topics relating to the NFL, NBA, NCAA, Albion College sports and news about sports journalism. He enjoys watching sports, listening to music and video editing. Contact Seiji via email at sdm13@albion.edu

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