Sidewalk Symposium: Super Bowl predictions

Students share their thoughts and plans for the biggest NFL game of the year

After a rocky January for the NFL, the momentous NFL holy day is finally upon us: Super Bowl Sunday.

On Jan. 29, the Philadelphia Eagles breezed past the San Francisco 49ers in a 31-7 game and clenched their second-ever NFC championship title of the NFC East. The Eagles are matched up against the AFC West Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, who won in a much closer game against the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC championship game Super Bowl LVII. The game will be held in State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on Feb. 12 at 5:30 p.m. CT, and the Apple Music Halftime Show will showcase Rihanna.

This is the Chiefs’ third appearance at the big game in four years and, the second of which with quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Although they are experienced, some regular season difficulties, including Mahomes’ recent ankle injury, may set the Chiefs back. The Eagles are returning to the Super Bowl five years after their first win, after a relatively straightforward and dominant regular season. Under the onfield leadership of Jalen Hurts in his first Super Bowl appearance, the Eagles are set up well, but we’ll see if a lack of experience will affect their performance.

With such tight odds, the Trinitonian asked some students their thoughts on the biggest game of the year.

ALEC EWE, first-year mathematical finance major (Abby Power)

Alec Ewe, first-year mathematical finance major

What team do you think will win? What team do you want to win?
If we’re being honest here, I think the Eagles will win, mostly just because they’ve got a great team right now and Patrick Mahomes’ ankle hasn’t been great lately. But I would much prefer if the Chiefs won, mostly because I strongly dislike the Eagles because they’re big rivals of the [Dallas] Cowboys and I love the Cowboys.
Do you have any plans to watch the Super Bowl?
Yeah, I’m gonna go home [in Austin] and watch it with my parents.
Is it a tradition in your household?
We watched it every year. None of us really ever have strong feelings about it, but it’s just a fun get-together. You know? Just watch and enjoy.
What are your thoughts on the halftime show?
This is a small thing that I have about it, but I’m disappointed that it’s not the Pepsi Halftime Show… It’s been the Pepsi Halftime Show for so long and now it’s the Apple Music Halftime Show, which is weird, but in terms of Rihanna herself, I think it’ll be fine — I don’t think it’s going to be stellar or bad, but fine.
To you, what are some of the determining factors of who will win?
I think a lot of it is just gonna have to do with prep. Both teams are great. Both of them have fantastic coaches and have a really good chance of being able to shut down each other. How that’s gonna look, I don’t know. I mean, the Eagles usually have a great defense, but can they stop the run offense of Kansas? I don’t know. [Isiah] Pacheco [Chiefs running back] has been looking good lately, but it’s hard to tell. So I think it’s actually going to be a pretty even gate when it comes down to it.

Pierce Jackson, sophomore marketing major (Abby Power)

Pierce Jackson, sophomore marketing major and sports management minor
What are your predictions for the Big Game?
I’m a Cowboys fan as sad as it is, so personally, I want the Cthe chiefs to win because I don’t like the Eagles. But the Eagles this year are so talented that I think they’re gonna win this year.
What do you think about Rihanna doing the halftime show?
I’m very excited …I mean she’s [one] of my favorite artists, and I can’t wait to listen to her music and everything else … To have a black artist performing at the Super Bowl for a few years now, it’s becoming pretty common and it’s pretty cool. This is the first Super Bowl where there have been two black starting quarterbacks, so I’m like, oh, this is all happening during Black History [Month]… this is really exciting.
What are you going to do to celebrate/watch the Super Bowl?
I’ll probably join some football players, and we’ll get together have a little watch party, get some food. I’ll pitch in and have a good time [and] just kind of kick it and celebrate a little bit.

Emily Gnecco, first-year political science major (Angelina D’Elia)

Emily Gnecco, first-year political science major
Who do you want to win? Who do you think will win?
As a 49ers40 Niners fan, I would like them both to lose, but I think the Chiefs probably are going to come out on top of this one. Philadelphia definitely had an easier schedule this season and I think that they had a lot of easier opponents. And I think that the Chiefs had more experience in Super Bowls. So I think [the Chiefs] are just going to come in more ready and prepared.
Are you gonna be able to watch the Superbowl? Do you have any plans?
I hope to, I mean, I’ll watch it one way or another but on the plans.