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BALL FIVE: We should have seen Tampa Bay Super Bowl win coming

Looking back at the Super Bowl on Sunday, it’s a wonder no one saw it coming.
While I thought the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were going to win the game, I did not think they were going to blow the Kansas City Chiefs away in a one-sided 31-9 game.
Because when I don’t have a dog in the fight I cheer for drama, I was hoping the Chiefs would take a four-point lead with a couple minutes left and see if the G.O.A.T. Tom Brady could lead the Bucs to a game-winning touchdown.
As it turned out, Brady did almost all of his important work before the halftime intermission. It was the Tampa Bay defense that was the real star of the game.
Monday, I had sports heads talking in the background while I worked. They were full of excuses for the Chiefs, quarterback Patrick Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid.
No one, at least when I was noticing what was being said, brought up two important factors.
The first was the unfortunate auto accident Reid’s son, Britt (Chiefs’ outside linebacker coach), caused on Thursday. I won’t go into the details here, just the fact that it happened.
Off-field incidents have happened during Super Bowl week a number of times in the past and every time it led to the team involved losing the game. If you remember back far enough, you’ll remember the Cincinnati running back who went off on a cocaine tangent, the Raiders player who disappeared, the Cowboys player who went off on a cocaine-fueled rant, the Falcons player who got caught with a prostitute. There are more, but I think you get the picture.
When something non-football related happens to your team prior to the game, a degree of concentration on the most important thing is lost. And your team loses.
Hearing the news of the accident on Friday morning is when I knew the Bucs were going to win the game.
The second reason, and I can’t believe no one remembered, is Reid’s history in big games. Before winning the Super Bowl last year, Reid was best known for his failures in the postseason. If you remember, he lost three straight NFC championships before finally getting to lose to the Patriots in the 2005 Super Bowl. He then went 2-4 with another NFC championship loss in Philadelphia before the Eagles’ brass decided enough was enough and let him go.
While he did turn the Chiefs into a winning football team in a hurry, making the playoffs in 2013, that year was best known for blowing a 28-point lead in the third quarter and losing 45-44 to the Colts in the playoffs. The next four years featured playoff seasons that came up short, including losing at home three years in a row.
They finally broke through last year and the Chiefs gave Reid his first Super Bowl championship. Just like that, all those years of not being able to win big games were forgotten. They were forgotten even though his Super Bowl-winning team was one of the sloppiest teams ever to win the title. Last year’s Chiefs could have lost to the Texans in the divisional round had Houston not choked and blown a 20-point lead. In the AFC championship, Tennessee had the game in hand early only to choke and fall apart. And then the Super Bowl. The 49ers were in complete control until falling apart. The Chiefs’ win was just as much about the 49ers choking as it was the Chiefs coming back.
Sports has always been a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately kind of world, but it usually comes to light when a coach or player does not deliver like they did in the past.
This time it was that same thought process that made people think Reid and the Chiefs were an unstoppable force. History should have let everyone know. They were not going to win a second straight title.

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