Local Residents, Business Owners, Community Leaders and Outside Experts Decide the Early Fate Of America’s Favorite Game
Rick Langenberg, Trevor Phipps and John Jones
The big game is right around the corner and Teller County/Ute Pass residents, business owners, politicians and a few outside experts are getting into the swing of Super Bowl LVIII in style.
Tickets are now going for $10,000 a pop, and by the time you read this, the price will probably escalate to close to $20,000 for the grand duel at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
Yes, we are not going to lie. The final showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers isn’t what many wanted or desired. Nope, we are not talking about the demise of the Denver Broncos, as that is becoming an annual ritual here in Colorado.
Most area fans had their hearts ripped out with the meltdown of the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship bout, after a 17-point lead at halftime. Call it what you want, “Chokes-ville 2024,” “Bad Luck,” “Meltdown in Detroit”, or just overly aggressive play calling by coach Dan Campbell or great coaching by 49ers-Guru Kyle Shanahan, or whatever.
The second half almost evoked memories of the Dener Broncos’ disastrous showing in the 2014 Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks, when Russ Wilson was the terror of the league, and the Broncos, who were heavy favorites, came out looking like the worst high school team in Colorado. We know how that ended with a 43-8 walloping. Or in golf circles, comparisons could be drawn when Aussie links star Greg Norman blew a convincing, almost unbeatable lead in the 1996 Masters, a sad outing that every golf player in America related to. (Had Greg won the Masters, maybe he wouldn’t have turned into such a greedy, skumbag jerk in running the Saudi-bloodstained LIV Golf league.)
But that said, the 49ers and Chiefs showdown should be a great one. Parity became the theme of the 2023 regular season, with virtually all teams displaying some signs of weakness, with no signature powerhouses stepping forward. In the next few days, you will hear the names of Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Brock Purdy for every waking hour and then probably at night. And of course, the Taylor Swift/Kelce saga will continue nonstop. Maybe, Taylor will sing us a song to soothe our pre-Super Bowl LVIII pain. Yes, the pundits are going to unleash their rhetoric with daily bombings, so there is little hope for an escape.
Without any further delays, we are going to let the pre-story be told by TMJ readers, community idols, would-be sports stars and whatever. Usually, their predictions are more right-on than the so-called experts.
In any case, enjoy this Sunday’s great game, and if you don’t have plans, make sure to check out the action at a local bar/eatery/sports hub or casino.
Enjoy Super Bowl LVIII!
Joe Theismann, former star NFL quarterback, television commentator and former Canadian League practice companion with Charlie Chambers
“This will be one of the best Super Bowls ever played. I love what’s happening with Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce and thinks it’s just a genuine love affair and I am truly happy for them and loves the way they are handling the whole thing.”
That said Joe doesn’t believe the Taylor/Travis saga won’t take away from the game, which he sees as a one-point thriller. He likes the 49ers But says it all depends on if the 49er’s defense can stop KC running back Isiah Pacheco. Also, he believes that “Patrick Mahomes is the best QB in the NFL and can be the X factor in this.”
49ers 31, Chiefs 30
John Freeman, Owner of The Creek Restaurant
“I don’t want the 49ers or the Chiefs to win. 49ers by 3.”
49ers 34, Chiefs 31
Dan Williams, Teller County Commissioner
“I will have to go with the Kansas City Chiefs by two touchdowns. They are America’s team. They are peaking at just the right time.”
Chiefs 28, 49ers 14
Derek Gray, Annoying Chiefs Fan
“Both have great defenses. Both have great offense, but Mahomes has much more postseason experience than Purdy, giving the advantage to the Chiefs.”
Chiefs 24, 49ers 20
Mike Perini, Public Relations and Promotions Guru
“Their secret play call coach for this game: Taylor Swift.” Listen to Mike, the owner of Perini & Associates. He has had some prime predictions in the past.
Kansas City Chiefs 27, San Francisco 49ers 24
Aaron Vassalotti, Woodland Park City Manager
“I pick the Chiefs, because of Patrick Mahomes.”
Chiefs 30, 49ers 27
Chris Deisler, Woodland Park Police Chief
“Ok- as a Steelers fan I don’t like either, but let’s go Niners because they want revenge from 2020 and sometimes that’s all it takes.”
49ers 31, Chiefs 28
Kevin Persing, Owner of Persing Plumbing
“I’m picking the 49ers because as a Broncos fan, I cannot root for the Chiefs.”
49ers 37, Chiefs 27
Frank Connors, Woodland Park City Council Member
“I predict the Chiefs and Taylor to beat the 49ers by 7 points. Just Shake it off 49er fans!
Chiefs 24, 49ers 17
Tanner Coy, Owner of Tweeds Fine Furnishings
“As strong as the 49ers are this year, its’ hard to bet against the Chiefs. I think the game will be hard fought with the Chiefs earning the victory.”
Chiefs 27, 49ers 24
Deb Idleman, Owner of Be About Travel
“I prefer Brock Purdy over Patrick Mahomes. He’s one of the youngest with so much talent. Looking forward to a great game with better advertising than last year. Hopefully not too much TS (Taylor Swift) coverage that takes away from the game.”
49ers 27, Chiefs 24
Erik Stone, Teller County Commission Chairman
“Over/Under on camera cuts to Taylor Swift is 14.5.”
49ers 31, Chiefs 27
Dennis Zerull, Host of This Week in the Bear Cave Podcast
“Tough choice for the Super Bowl this year as I either cheer for a city (San Fransicko)- that hosts Communist Dictators or I cheer for Trailer Swift’s Nanny, Travis Kelce… I’m going with Kansas City in hopes of never seeing Trailer Swift on an NFL camera again this season. I hope Kelce retires.”
Kansas City 28, San Francisco 21
David Rusterholtz, Woodland Park School District Board of Education Director
“I will say the 49ers beat Kansas City. My first reason is because it’s fun to vote for an underdog and cheer them on. I really don’t care for either one of the teams so I am picking the 49ers.”
49ers 20, Chiefs 17
Jason Mikesell, Teller County Sheriff
I’m going with San Francisco because I like the underdog.”
49ers 38, Chiefs 17
Melissa Trenary, Cripple Creek City Council Member
“I’ll take the 49ers by 10. Why? Because Taylor’s plane will be late getting in and she will miss the game. Travis Kelce will be heartbroken and drop at least five passes from Mahomes, allowing the 49ers to cruise right on thru to victory.”
49ers 34, Chiefs 24
Rick Bowers, Owner of Thai Good Eats
“I would say 49ers by 7.
49ers 17, Chiefs 10
Hilary LaBarre, Mayor of Woodland Park
“I think the only statistic people care about is whether Taylor Swift will be in attendance or not. That’s the real high stake gamble for Super Bowl 2024.”
Lynn Phipps, Town Mom
“The 49ers are going to win. Because I’m from California and I like them.”
49ers 38, Chiefs 21
Kellie Case, Mayor Pro Tem of Woodland Park
“I am not a football fan but I would pick Kansas City. And because they typically have a better team and I don’t know much about the 49ers. My daughter said that the football players are much cuter on Kansas City than they are on the 49ers.”
Kansas City 32, San Francisco 18
Renee Bunting, Public Relations Officer for the Teller County Sheriff’s Office
“I’m going for the underdogs. It’s like a Cinderella story!”
49ers 38, Chiefs 33
Trevor Phipps, Sports Writer and TMJ Bail Bonds Man
As many know my second favorite team is the 49ers and I usually end up cheering them on once the Broncos miss the playoffs. But this year, I extremely hope the 49ers can seek out revenge after their loss in 2020 (which my Chief fan friends still harass me about to this day). And when I take my personal bias away, I really do think they will come out on top this time. The 49ers have a better quarterback now with Brock Purdy. And Colorado native running back Christian McCaffrey is on fire this year. He is another key player that wasn’t on the team the last time the Niners faced the Chiefs in the big game four years ago. So for this year, I am hoping that my Niners wipe the field with the Chiefs to shut up my large number of Kansas City fan friends whom I question why they live in Colorado every day. And, I hope that the camera pans to see Taylor Swift cry when the Chiefs are losing by more than 20 points. I hope she is so distraught she writes her next hit song about how she felt after the devastating game and mentions my San Francisco team for publicity. It could be good for both Swifties and Niners fans!”
49ers 45, Chiefs 10
Jim Huthmaker, Woodland Park business owner
“I am going to favor the Chiefs by 10 points. I am just a real Patrick Mahomes fan. But I have to admit, I was really impressed by the San Francisco quarterback (Brock Purdy) and the way he has performed after being the last pick of the 2022 NFL draft. What he did was amazing.” Despite all the nice words, Jim, the co-owner of Righteous Grounds Coffee Roasters, contends he is a Pittsburgh Steelers fan at heart, and knows a great playoff team when he sees one. He sees a lot of comparisons between the Chiefs and the Steeler heyday of the 1970s. Long-live the Steel Curtain.
KC Chiefs 27, San Fran 49ers 17
David Powell, Woodland Park business owner and area fitness buff
“The Kansas City Chiefs will win by a touchdown. They have been there before many times, and Patrick Mahomes is just really good.” That said, Dr. Dave, owner of Powell Chiropractic, admits some regret over the collapse of the Detroit Lions. “I am just really sorry the Lions didn’t win.” Get in line, Dave, as fans around the nation and Teller County feel the same way. Let’s not lie about it, the second half for the Lions in their debacle against San Fran was a complete meltdown .
Sara Hutchison, Woodland Park bar and grill owner
“The San Francisco 49ers will beat the KC Chiefs by 3 points. I just believe they are the better team, no real reasons.” Sara, the owner of Over Ice, contends the early game predictions, favoring the 49ers by two and a half points, are pretty accurate. Plus, she along with a few other hearty fans admit, they were shocked by the 49ers amazing comeback against the Detroit Lions.
Brittney Giltner, Woodland Park Bartender and Pub Host
“The KC Chiefs will win by 10 points. I just love the Chiefs.” Brittney believes they will teach the 49ers a few lessons in pain and suffering. Brittney, the personable operator behind the Over Ice bar, similar to all Chief fans, contends that you just can’t underestimate the talents of King Patrick. Agree completely.
Butch Graham, Teller County Celebrity and former business owner and mini-Golf Scorekeeper for TMJ News
“The San Francisco 49ers will win by 3. I hate the Chiefs. What can you say about Brock Purdy, Mr. Irrelevant? He has become the story for this year’s Super Bowl.”
Rick Langenberg, TMJ Editor
“KC by four. It will come down to the final drive, and KC will win because they have the ball last. Patrick Mahomes is just too good in the playoffs. That year (2021) they got slaughtered against Tom Brady and Tampa Bay in Super Bowl LV actually helped mold Patrick into a great championship quarterback. He learned well from this disastrous defeat. As much as I am getting weary of the antics of Taylor Swift (can she just sing a pro-Chiefs song and be done with coming to the games) and Patrick Mahomes’ State Farm commercials, you can’t argue with success. It’s hard to believe the Denver Broncos beat the Chiefs during mid-season. That seems like a light-year away.”
KC Chiefs 28, San Fran 49ers 24
Charlie Chambers, Film Producer, Actor and Acclaimed TMJ Outdoor Expert.
“Even though I’ve been a Chiefs fan all of my life, this one won’t be a walk in the park for the Chiefs. With a powerful offense and a more than capable defense, the 49ers will look to avenge the Super Bowl loss from 2019. However, with the way Mahomes has played this postseason, the Chiefs will be tough to beat.” Charlie used to practice with Joe Theismann in the Canadian semi-pro league, (no, we are not making this up), so take this pick seriously. Charlie knows his football.
Chiefs 24, 49ers 21
Susan Brainer, Cincinnati Bengals fan and star golfer and future player on the Women’s Senior Tour.
“The Kansas City Chiefs will win by 10 points. Patrick Mahomes is just really good and they are going to attack real early in the game.” If these attacks resemble what happened against Baltimore, Sue, the sister of Editor Rick, contends the 49ers are going to dig themselves into a hole that even Coach Kyle Shanahan won’t be able to rally his team towards an ample escape route.
David Brainer, Cincinnati Bengals fan and future management consultant for LIV Golf. The San Francisco 49ers will win by 7
“Their defense is better than Kansas City.” Moreover, Dave says you can’t say enough about the multi-varied talents of 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, with his ability to run, pass and cause havoc for defenses.