Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press
If you like trash-talking, chatter, chest-thumping, smirks, smart-asses and no expletives given, then Super Bowl LIV is your Super Bowl.
The last time the Super Bowl had so many good talkers and potential storylines as this year was maybe 34 years ago, when the Chicago Bears stormed New Orleans for Super Bowl XX. That team had quarterback Jim McMahon, who mooned a helicopter and urinated outside a bar. A false story circulated that McMahon had called the women of New Orleans an offensive name. He got death threats and wore a different number in practice because he feared snipers targeting him.
It was wild.
The Bears also made a pre-Super Bowl rap song that remains one of the greatest moments in championship history.
They were wild.
Super Bowl week is usually an overinflated bore, but this one might be different. No, it won’t reach the level of McMahon-dom. It also won’t be like the Joe Namath guarantee, another tremendous pre-Super Bowl moment.
Still, this one might a lot of fun, and not just because of the electric talents on the field. It also features some of the most flamboyant personalities in football. And many of them have big social media presences. Richard Sherman and Tyrann Mathieu alone have a combined 3 million Twitter followers.
In many ways, this could be uncharted territory for the NFL. I’ve been told by someone in the league office that both teams’ coaching staffs are concerned that the pregame talking could potentially get out of hand.
Shyness won’t be lacking. Let’s take a look at some of the people who could become storylines on their own in the next week or so:
Niners DL Dee Ford: Ford played for Kansas City last year and became famous (infamous?) during the AFC Championship Game when he lined up offside on a play during which Tom Brady was intercepted. The Chiefs were winning 28-24 at the time, but they ended up losing in overtime.
After the 49ers beat the Packers in the NFC title game this year, Ford told Jarrett Bell of USA Today that there’s “no love lost” between him and the Chiefs.
Niners DB Richard Sherman: A personal note: To me, Sherman is one of the most intelligent and consequential players of his generation. He is also possibly the biggest talker and tweeter in the NFL. And he owns what is still one of the best postgame and pre-Super Bowl moments of all time. He’s bound to make things interesting.
Chiefs TE Travis Kelce: He’s low-key one of the greatest trash-talkers in the NFL. He once trash-talked Brady and was fined for an obscene gesture in a game in 2014 against the Broncos.
Bleacher Report@BleacherReportI learned one thing since I got here. YOU GOTTA FIGHT, FOR YOUR RIGHT, TO PAAARTTAYYY”
Travis Kelce in the Super Bowl is gonna be amazing
Niners OL Joe Staley: Some teammates have said he’s the biggest trash-talker in the San Francisco locker room. Staley agreed.
Niners DL Nick Bosa: Absolutely eviscerated Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, and in doing so, demonstrated he had a long memory.
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes: Not a trash-talker, but he will be a constant presence all week. Not just because he’s outstanding in every way, but also because he’s a tremendously friendly and smart player who will charm a lot of people.
Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill: Intense trash-talker…with a criminal history.
Chiefs DL Frank Clark: Also an intense trash-talker…with a criminal history.
Niners QB Jimmy Garoppolo: Once said he was better than Tom Brady. He doesn’t lack confidence, and you could see bursts of it during the week.
Chiefs DB Tyrann Mathieu: One of the best and most prolific social media users. An extremely intelligent and fearless player and person.
Tyrann Mathieu@Mathieu_Era damn Sam you might make a play too lol https://t.co/eEpxLKsqRh
Chiefs DL Terrell Suggs: One of the more notorious trash-talkers in the history of the league. He’s trash-talked players from the Steelers to Brady to everyone in between.
Put all these personalities together and you have the ingredients for one of the most entertaining Super Bowl weeks we’ve seen in years.
It could be better than the game itself.
Mike Freeman covers the NFL for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter: @mikefreemanNFL.
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press