Are you a diehard football fan who knows every single player’s name and number by heart? Are you watching for the halftime show? Voracious for a Taylor Swift sighting? Just there for the snacks? We’ve got you covered with our betchy 2024 Super Bowl cheat sheet.
No matter what type of viewer you are, your Super Bowl Sunday experience will probably be enhanced with some basic knowledge of our cast of characters. From key players to what to expect from the halftime performance and everything in between, we’ve got your ultimate guide to *THE* Big Game, which airs Sunday, February 11 at 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS. (You can also stream it on CBS or Paramount+)
Remind me… who’s playing?
Super Bowl LVIII is between AFC Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, and NFC Champions, The San Francisco 49ers.
This isn’t either team’s first rodeo in the Super Bowl. The Chiefs have played in six Super Bowls, with four appearances occurring in the past five years.
The 49ers have gone to the Super Bowl seven times and won it five times. Their last Super Bowl win was in 1994, so it’s been a MINUTE.
In food terms (maybe I’m hungry as I write this), I feel like the Chiefs are the equivalent of mashed potatoes: midwestern and a crowd-pleaser. Meanwhile, the 49ers are a $15 salad: into wearing Patagonia vests and into innovation.
What’s the vibe around this match-up?
The reality is that both of these teams weren’t necessarily who football fans wanted to see in the Super Bowl, given they’ve both won multiple rings. Many in the sports world would have preferred a match up between the Detroit Lions and the Baltimore Ravens play.
Instead, we’re getting the equivalent of two popular kids in school winning awards for the third year in a row.
Who are the key Chiefs players?
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is *VERY* good. He’s led the Chiefs to two Super Bowl wins, has been the NFL’s MVP two times, and was named the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2018.
Fun fact: He played college football *and* college baseball before ultimately ending his baseball career to pursue football.
He married his high school sweetheart, Brittany Mahomes, in 2022, and they have two children together. My favorite piece of information about their relationship is that Patrick proposed in a suite at Arrowhead Stadium on the day he received his Super Bowl LIV championship ring.
So, I guess you could say he put two rings on it?
You know I couldn’t write a Super Bowl preview without mentioning Mr. Travis Kelce.
Kelce is the Chiefs star tight end, known as one of the best tight ends in NFL history.
He’s a nine-time Pro Bowler and holds the NFL record for most consecutive and most overall seasons with 1,000 yards receiving by a tight end.
And, as you probably know, he’s dating Ms. Taylor Alison Swift. Not only do I think Tay will make it to the game from Tokyo in time, but I think Kelce will score a touchdown with a new Swift-themed celebration. Pretending he’s strumming a guitar? Doing the “Vigilante Shit” chair moment during the Eras Tour? Some Mikael Arellano Bejewelled fingers, perhaps? The possibilities are endless!
What about the 49ers?
49ers quarterback Brock Purdy—who dresses like a guy who works in finance and spends his off days golfing—is the comeback kid.
Purdy was the final pick for the 49ers in the 2022 NFL Draft, and during his 2022 rookie season, he was the third-string quarterback. Unfortunately, the 49ers starting quarterback at the time, Trey Lance, suffered a season-ending injury two games into the season.
I’ll spare you all the football details, but then their backup quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, suffered a foot injury in Week 13, meaning Purdy was promoted and was named the starting quarterback for the rest of the 2022 season.
In a lot of ways, Purdy is an underdog! He has never played in a Super Bowl, so the pressure is on.
He’s currently engaged to Jenna Brandt, whom he met while attending Iowa State University. Young! Love!
Not only is 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey very good at football, but he’s also a nepo baby. His father, Ed, was a wide receiver for the New York Giants, Denver Broncos, and the 49ers!
My favorite fun fact about McCaffrey is that he is engaged to Olivia Culpo. I’m guessing we’ll be seeing her at the game on Sunday…
Can we talk about the (non-football) performances?!
Why yes, of course we can.
In addition to Usher’s highly anticipated halftime show performance. Music legend Reba McEntire will be performing the National Anthem. As a redhead, I am very much here for this.
Andra Day will sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and Gwen Stefani will perform at the Super Bowl 2024 TikTok Tailgate.
I’m looking forward to these performances because if the game is boring, at least I know there is a possibility that I can see Usher shirtless while eating nachos.