Who will Win? Mike Prisuta’s Super Bowl Pick
Prisuta compares his pick for the winning quarterback to a rock and roll legend.
The question of the week: Will it be the 49ers or the Chiefs?
I’m picking Springsteen.
That’s how I’ve taken to referencing Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes ever since his first NFL game that mattered, Dec. 31, 2017. It was a meaningless Week 17 start at Denver at the conclusion of Mahomes’ rookie season, the first game he played let alone started. I can’t remember if I watched it live or perused a recording. I can’t imagine why I would have done either at the time.
But I did, and it was a revelation.
And I distinctly remember thinking, this is how Jon Landau must have felt the first time he saw Bruce Springsteen (trust me, there’s a correlation).
As legend has it, that occurred on May 9, 1974, at the Harvard Square Theatre, in Cambridge, Mass.
That’s where Landau, a music critic for Rolling Stone among other outlets, came up with the inspiration for a review that first appeared in The Real Paper in Boston on May 22, 1974:
“I saw rock and roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen.”
The rest is history.
Mahomes is on the verge of making his, an occurrence the truly inspired have seen coming for a while now.
The leaders of that pack are then-Chiefs co-Director of Player Personnel Brett Veach (now KC’s GM), then-General Manager John Dorsey and current head coach Andy Reid.
They targeted Mahomes in a draft in which Mitchell Trubisky and Deshaun Watson were the headliners among the quarterbacks available.
They traded up from No. 27 overall to No. 10 (sending Buffalo first- and third-round picks in 2017 and a first-rounder in 2018) to ensure Mahomes wouldn’t slip from their grasp.
They saw where the game was headed, and the type of quarterback necessary to lead the way.
Because of such vision, a Lombardi Trophy is in Kansas City’s sights.
Mahomes isn’t just one of the new-wave quarterbacks that are changing the game, he’s the prototype.
He has the arm talent and accuracy.
He has the mobility and escapability in the pocket.
He has the athleticism to likewise dictate the game with his legs, and the perspective to realize when he should and shouldn’t.
He has an instinct and an improvisational quality he seemingly relies upon at just the right time.
And, as the son of former Major League pitcher Pat Mahomes (he spent 11 years with the Twins, Red Sox, Mets, Rangers, Cubs and Pirates), Patrick Mahomes has a comfort about him in the crucible of pressure, expectation and scrutiny that either forge in steel or melts NFL QBs.
He’s also the reigning NFL MVP, that rarest of breeds who understands what he can do and when he should do it well enough to play a game that’s always fearless but never reckless.
Mahomes isn’t the first of his kind, but he’s better than any of his predecessors or contemporaries.
He’s the perfect quarterback to combat the 49ers’ relentless pass rush.
They’ll get to him at times on Sunday, but they won’t get to him every time.
And when the 49ers don’t get there, Mahomes will make them pay.
That, more than any matchup or statistic, more than any scheme or adjustment, is what’s destined to decide Super Bowl LIV.
Cue the confetti.
If you’ve been paying close attention, you might have seen that coming.