Friends, we’re in for a fun Super Bowl.
Sure, the conference championships were, by and large, a letdown … but that’s only because the two best teams took care of business with little real resistance. Kansas City topped Tennessee with ease despite once again falling behind early, while San Francisco annihilated Green Bay from the jump.
Sunday’s 6:30 p.m. ET contest sets up one of the most purely enjoyable Super Bowls we’ve had in quite some time. The daredevil artistry of Patrick Mahomes, the shutdown defense of San Francisco, the getting-a-break-at-last stories of Andy Reid and Raheem Mostert: this is a Super Bowl that checks all the boxes for a potential classic.
Consider what we’ve got coming up:
1. Two teams nobody really hates. Sure, it’s fun to have a team to root against, like the Patriots or (once upon a time) the Cowboys, but there’s always the possibility that they’ll actually win and put a pall over the party. Obviously, the Chiefs and Niners have rivals, but nobody really loathes either of them. Not until they win a few of these in a row, anyway.
2. Two shock-and-awe offenses. All due respect to defense-first teams like the 2012 Ravens or 2015 Broncos, but nobody’s much interested in a grinding trench battle on Super Bowl Sunday. We want length-of-the-field heaves and locomotive-speed runs that break the ankles of half a dozen defenders. And both the Chiefs and Niners can throw up points by the armload.
3. Likeable stars. Sure, the 49ers have Jimmy Garoppolo, who’s succeeding despite the phenomenal burden of being so damn handsome. But the Niners also have George Kittle, the bone-rattling tight end who’s like Gronk with 40-percent less Axe Body Spray. On the other side of the field, there’s Mahomes, who’s already one of the faces of the league. He could establish himself as one of its premier players, too, with a victory in two weeks.
4. Fresh faces. This is only the second Super Bowl in the last 17 years that doesn’t feature Peyton Manning, Tom Brady or Ben Roethlisberger. And after watching the Patriots grump their way through a week’s worth of press conferences for four of the last five years, it’s going to be a pleasure hearing from new voices like KC’s Travis Kelce and San Fran’s Deebo Samuel, among many others.
5. Great storylines. Yes, we’ll get all we can stand of “storylines” over the next two weeks, but even so, we’ve got some good ones here: San Francisco’s Kyle Shanahan trying to live up to his father’s Super Bowl example (and redeem himself for his Falcons debacle three years ago), Andy Reid trying to cap off an epic career with the Super Bowl victory he needs and deserves, and more.
6. Joe Montana. Think the ex-Niner/ex-Chief will be an in-demand interview subject these next two weeks?
Granted, there’s no guarantee that two fun teams = fun Super Bowl. We thought the Rams were going to bring some life to the game last year, and the stench from their performance is only just now fading. But with BetMGM installing KC as only a 1.5-point favorite, we’ve got a great chance for a fine game … and if you think you know who’s going to win, think again.
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