Sunday at 3:30 pm on Fox the Kansas City Chiefs will play the Philadelphia Eagles in the highly anticipated Super Bowl 57 at State Farm Arena in Arizona. Last year our L.A. Rams won Super Bowl 56 and wishfully predicted they’d become the 8th NFL team to win back to back Super Bowls. Their wish (and mine) didn’t exactly come true as they lost more games, 12, in the season following winning a Super Bowl than any other team in NFL history. (Ouch!)

Performing at Super Bowl 57 halftime will be Rihanna the second best-selling female singer of all time having sold 250 million records. Madonna is #1 having sold 300 million records. (Google “Madonna’s 2023 Grammy speech which she delivered wearing braids, a tight black suit and fishnet gloves and, with beau-coup Botox, was almost unrecognizable.)

Sunday’s Super Bowl is expected to attract one-hundred million viewers. Given big crowds at viewing parties, bars and restaurants, which Nielsen TV Ratings don’t count, the actual number is likely to be 1/3 of the entire country. (Keep in mind, this summer’s soccer World Cup had a combined audience of 3.572 billion, or one-half of the entire planet!)

I actually attended Super Bowl I in 1967 at the L.A. Coliseum where the most expensive tickets were $12 and parking was $2. The highest priced tickets for Super Bowl 57 are approximately $25,000 and parking can be as high as $200. (For the GOP I’m sure this “inflation” will be attributed to Joe Biden.)

The game might wind up being among the most exciting ever and will definitely be historic. First of all, the Chiefs, the slight underdogs, possess the league’s most potent offense and the Eagles are the league’s most dominant defense. Philly quarterback Jalen Hurts, who is 25, has 18 wins and 1 loss in his last 19 starts (Not too shabby.) Super confident Hurts aims to add to his amazing NFL single-season rushing touchdown total by a quarterback (15) on the game’s biggest stage.

The Chiefs’ QB, Patrick Mahomes, who is 27, is another extraordinary athlete. The son of a former major league baseball pitcher, Mahomes played both baseball and football in college before focusing solely on football which turned out to be a brilliant financial move as I will elaborate shortly.

In 2018 Mahomes threw for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns with only 12 interceptions and was the NFL Offensive Player of the Year. He joined Peyton Manning as the only QB’s in NFL history to throw 50 TD’s and 5,000 yards in a single season.

In 2019, Mahomes led the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl appearance in 50 years where they defeated the 49ers. As for that “brilliant financial move” in 2020, Mahomes signed a 10-year contract extension worth $503 million, making it the third largest known contract in sporting history. He also led the Chiefs to their second consecutive Super Bowl though they lost to the Buccaneers. This year is Mahomes’ third Super Bowl appearance in 5 years. (Also not too shabby.)

With 70% of the NFL composed of African American players, it’s fitting that the Super Bowl is played during Black History Month. That brings me to the historic nature of this year’s game as, for the first time ever, both starting quarterbacks are African American.

To put it mildly, the NFL doesn’t exactly have the best racial resume. The first black starting Super Bowl QB was Doug Williams in 1988 who played for the Washington Redskins. It was Super Bowl 22 against the Denver Broncos which Williams’ team won handily, 42-10. He was named the Super Bowl MVP after breaking two Super Bowl passing records, 340 yards total, and four touchdowns in a single quarter.

The sad fact was many team owners, general managers, and even coaches felt blacks didn’t have the leadership skills to be a quarterback. Yes, they were tremendous athletes, fast, strong and incredibly athletic but they believed, to put it bluntly, the QB position required a higher I.Q. they apparently believed blacks didn’t possess.

It wasn’t until the 1960’s when franchises began regularly employing African Americans QB’s. The truth is this same racism exists even to this day for the selection of coaches. And in the 102-year NFL history there has never been a black owner.

On a lighter note, there’s another historical factor to Sunday’s Super Bowl as brothers from opposing teams will face each other. Travis Kelce plays for the Chiefs while Jason is an Eagle. Until kickoff, the two have been acting like the gridiron Smothers Brothers, joking, “Mom always liked you best.”

I hope we all enjoy a thrilling Super Bowl, appreciate the profound history of this particular one, and have enough buffalo wings in case the game goes into overtime.

For a lark, Jack suggests you Google “Who invented buffalo wings?” If he’s not too busy eating some, he can be reached at: