The first Super Bowl that I can actually remember was Super Bowl XXXVII when the Buccaneers crushed the Raiders. And honestly, most of my memories about the actual game involve being confused why we were watching a football game when the Redskins weren’t playing. But my clearest memory from that day was watching the Caps put up a 7-spot on the New York Rangers, and hearing Joe Benninati make a joke about Peter Bondra kicking the extra point on Super Bowl Sunday after he scored the Caps 7th goal.
Since then, I’ve always associated Super Bowl Sunday with the Caps playing in the afternoon, and apparently so has the NHL, since, starting in 2008, the league decided to make the unofficial tradition official. Sunday’s game will be the 30th time the Caps have played on Super Sunday.
The Caps history of playing on Super Bowl Sunday actually goes all the way back to the first year of the team’s existence. On the same day as Super Bowl IX, the Caps got absolutely lit up by the Canadiens, 7-2. Funny enough, the Habs actually put up more points that day than the Minnesota Vikings did.
While the Caps don’t generally play well in afternoon games, they do play well on Super Bowl Sunday matinee games. Overall they are 17-10-2 the day of the Big Game, including 8 straight wins, spanning Super Bowls XXXII-XLV (there were 6 Super Bowls during that time frame where they didn’t play).
My favorite weird fact about the Caps Super Bowl Sunday history, is that when the Caps win, the NFC has won 11 to the AFC’s 6, but when the Caps lose, the NFC and AFC have split the games about evenly. This is clearly a causal relationship.
In the “Rock the Red” era of the Caps, they have had several amazing games. For instance, in 2010, when the Caps took on the Penguins the day of Super Bowl XLIV, an overtime thriller which saw an Ovechkin hat trick, as well as two goals from Sidney Crosby.
In 2018, the Caps lost 4-3 to the Vegas Golden Knights in what we could never have predicted at the time would be a preview of that year’s Stanley Cup Finals.
Looking ahead to this year’s Super Bowl Matinee, the Caps will be taking on the Penguins for the first time this season. This will be the 7th time they have played the Pens on Super Bowl Sunday, more than any other opponent. In the 6 previous meetings, the Caps have won 3, lost 2 and tied once.
Ovechkin is currently red hot, with 11 goals in his last 5 games. Overshadowed by Ovechkin’s hunt for 700 was Carlson becoming the Caps leader in career assists by a defenseman. The Penguin’s superstar Crosby has also been on a heater of late, since returning from an injury. Last night he had the OT winner in Philly.
As for the actual football game, it should be a pretty good matchup between the Chiefs and 49ers. Mahomes is a talented young QB, but it will be interesting to see how he stacks up against one of the best defenses in the league. On the other side of the ball, Jimmy Garoppolo is someone who a lot of people have doubted, but who has, at least this year, shown he can be a leader when it matters most.
Personally, I’m rooting for the Chiefs to win. As a DC sports fan, I can sympathize with a city that hasn’t won a title in a long time, and it’s been a long time since they were even in a Super Bowl, let alone won one. Plus, it’s kind of my tradition at this point to always root for the AFC team, at least until the Skins make it back.
The Chiefs are also my pick to win the game. I think Mahomes is just too good, and I don’t see the 49ers stopping him.
I asked the other guys at Chirpin’ DMV who they are rooting for, as well as who they think will actually pull it off, and here’s what they said:
Honestly doesn’t matter who. Both teams are awesome and fun to watch on both sides of the ball. No hate towards either team or any of the players, both teams have some real awesome dudes on it
Pick to win:
Chiefs and the over, high scoring
Would love to see the Chiefs win because their offense is so much better to watch than the 49ers
Pick to win:
I think the 49ers win because their defense makes some huge stops and their offense runs all over the Chiefs D. Also taking the over.
I’m with Brando here. I’d like to see the Chiefs for Andy Reid’s sake but really neither of these teams bother me enough to root super hard over the other.
Pick to win:
I think the 49ers win. Defense wins championships. And the Chiefs have started out slow in the past couple of games. Don’t think they can do that and get away with it in this one. Still not sure about the over/under
So there you have it folks. Tomorrow should be a fun day for sports. Hopefully the Caps will come out with the win, and hopefully the Super Bowl isn’t a complete blowout.