The student news site of Naperville North High School

The North Star

The student news site of Naperville North High School

The North Star

The student news site of Naperville North High School

The North Star

Who should you root for in this year’s Super Bowl?

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Photo by NFL

It’s that time of year again. The most-watched sporting event in America returns with a rematch of the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, the same teams from the 2020 Super Bowl. Even with the elimination of the fan-favorite Detroit Lions and Houston Texans, don’t be fooled:this coveted game still has a lot of promise. Whether you’re rooting for “Mr. Irrelevant” quarterback Brock Purdy and the 49ers, or you’re hopping on the Chiefs bandwagon for the Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift duo, each team has some good reasons to root for them.

San Francisco 49ers: Zach

If you need a break from the incessant media attention towards the Kansas City Chiefs and still want someone to root for in the Super Bowl, the 49ers happen to be the other choice; but don’t be fooled, they didn’t get here by luck. With an impressive regular season record of 12-5 and an overall standing of 14-5, the 49ers enter the Super Bowl as a force to be reckoned with. Boasting an unrivaled nine Pro Bowlers, the most in the NFL, and five first-team All-Pros, they have a legitimate shot at being this year’s winners, even more so than they did the last time they were in the Super Bowl, with Jimmy Garrappollo at quarterback. This time around, they are stacked with talent from star players like running back Christian McCaffrey, tight end George Kittle and the surprisingly excellent quarterback Brock Purdy, who was the very last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. 

For a more objective view, a remarkable 21-point comeback against the Lions served as a testament to their ability to overcome adversity under the strategic guidance of head coach Kyle Shanahan and defensive coordinator Steve Wilks. Statistically, the 49ers ranked among the NFL’s elite, with the fourth-best offense and a defense that excelled in both passing and rushing categories. Their prowess on both sides of the ball solidified their status as a formidable opponent for any other team.

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Their rivalry with the Green Bay Packers, a perennial playoff nemesis, added an extra layer of intensity to the 49ers’ Super Bowl run this year. Since 2020, with three playoff wins against the Packers, it gives an incentive to many Chicago Bears fans to root for them, as they are historically the ones to put an end to the rival Packers season.

Kansas City Chiefs: Quinn

If you’re a fan of fun, explosive, high-powered football, we have the team for you. The Kansas City Chiefs, led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, have once again found themselves in the Super Bowl. The young QB has been unprecedentedly talented, reaching the big game for the third time in just four years. With the help of his favorite target and future hall-of-fame tight end Travis Kelce and their coach Andy Reid, the Chiefs are attempting to secure their fourth franchise championship. 

Unlike previous years when the Chiefs were known for their offensive firepower first and foremost, this year’s Chiefs are coming into the Super Bowl with one of the league’s premier defenses. Headlined by defensive linemen Chris Jones and George Karlaftis, the Chiefs came into the playoffs with the second most sacks in the NFL with 57, only behind the Baltimore Ravens at 60. Speaking of those Ravens, the Chiefs’ defense held the Ravens’ offense to 10 points. That offense, led by the MVP-presumptive Lamar Jackson hadn’t scored that few points all season. 

The Chiefs had a notably difficult postseason schedule on paper, yet none of their opponents gave them much of a challenge. In the wild card round, Mahomes and the Chiefs took on the Miami Dolphins in one of the coldest NFL games on record. On a night so cold that according to USA Today, sent ten people to the hospital, Kansas City dominated Miami 26-7. In the Divisional Round against the Buffalo Bills, it wasn’t just Mahomes that won them the game, but the Chiefs’ young star of a running back, Isaiah Pacheco. With 97 yards and one touchdown on only 15 carries, he was efficient and effective. Kansas City would ultimately end up winning the game 27-24 due to a series of defensive stands to end the game. Finally, in the AFC Championship, the Chiefs took on the #1 seed Ravens, humiliating them 17-10 in Baltimore en route to the Super Bowl. 

Yet the real reason I want the Chiefs to win isn’t because I’m a massive fan of Mahomes or Swift, but because I hate the 49ers so much. I’ve been a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan for the last five years. I’ve seen some incredible teams headed by our quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love. We’ve had awesome coaching and great roster construction. But every single time we come within reach of the Super Bowl, the 49ers break my heart. Whether it be in the 2019 NFC Championship, the 2021 NFC Divisional Round or this year’s Divisional Round, the Packers can’t escape them. I would enjoy nothing more than to watch their fans walk out of these playoffs the same way that the Packers did this year: empty-handed. 

Our Picks

Quinn

As much as I need the Chiefs to win, I still believe the 49ers can and will win this game. Christian McCaffery is just too good. 

Final Score: 31-28, 49ers

Zach

I hate the Packers and the 49ers beating them each year is my Super Bowl. Plus the Chiefs are annoying, so go Niners.

Final Score: 27-23, 49ers

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About the Contributors
Zach Aigner, Staff Writer
Zach Aigner is a junior at Naperville North and is excited to begin his first year with The North Star. He is looking forward to exploring journalism through sports at the school and through stories about the area. In addition to The North Star, Zach also plays football for the Naperville North Huskies.  
Quinn Miller, Staff Writer
Quinn Miller is a junior at Naperville North and is excited to start his first year with The North Star. He is looking forward to exploring the world of journalism both inside and outside of school. Outside of The North Star, Quinn plays saxophone with Naperville North’s Jazz Ensemble and Hot Brockets.

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