The first half of the Super Bowl was frustrating and very weird. The San Francisco 49ers seemed pumped and prepared to play, but torpedoed a couple of early drives with penalties and a bad fumble. The reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs, who are supposed to be the more experienced big-game performers, looked nervous and tentative and then ruined their first and only good scoring opportunity with an immediate fumble of their own. It wasn’t until the ninth drive of the game, inside the half’s final five minutes, that either team found the end zone, and even that was a little bit weird!
There appeared to be 1,000 uncalled penalties on the offense during the nine seconds that it took for this play to be completed, but at least something had happened.
Before this big play, in the moments following the game’s only other big play, we had Travis Kelce, a man who has less reason to be unhappy than just about anyone else on the planet, losing his mind directly into the face of Andy Reid. Pat Mahomes uncorked a deep ball toward a double-covered receiver inside 49ers territory; San Francisco’s safety appeared to lose track of the ball and give up on the play, allowing the pass to drop into the arms of Mecole Hardman Jr., directly behind him. It was Kansas City’s first serious play of any sort; naturally, on the very next snap, Isiah Pacheco had the ball punched loose for a lost fumble. Kelce blamed Reid:
Some Defector editors spent a portion of the first half workshopping ways of suiting Kansas City’s name to their performance in the game so far. Here are some choices:
Cram-it Shitty Griefs
Suckass Pity Heaves
Can’t Score Shitty Cease
Mucus Spitty Sneeze
Possibly Kelce was shouting one or more of these into his coach’s face, for motivation.
The most bizarre event of the first half was an awful injury suffered by 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw. Greenlaw was bouncing up and down on the sidelines during a punt in the second quarter, and then began to jog out onto the field for a Chiefs possession; his foot appeared to slip or catch on the painted sideline, and he immediately tumbled to the ground in agony. Within a few minutes Greenlaw was carted off the field, and he was very quickly ruled out with an Achilles injury.
Both teams are on the board. It’s a one-score game. The power has not gone out. Still: Weird game!