Seeing as how the Kansas City Chiefs have featured prominently in recent Super Bowls, most football-savvy Twins Territory denizens know that the eponymously-named father of Chiefs star QB Patrick Mahomes played professional baseball—as a SP for the Twins (& others) no less!
Well, the signal-caller opposing Mahomes on Sunday—Brock Purdy—can at least hold his own in a “my Dad is better than your Dad” competition. Though never reaching The Show, Shawn Purdy carved out an 8-year MiLB career (1991-1998) in the Angels, Giants, and Braves organizations as a hurler.
Speaking of fathers and sons, Purdy’s head coach and play-caller on the San Francisco 49ers—Kyle Shanahan—was born in Minneapolis. Why? Because his father—Mike Shanahan—was embarking upon the early stages of a coaching career (1979 offensive coordinator for the U of M Gopher football squad) that would ultimately net him a few fingers-worth of NFL-level jewelry.
A related paternal oddity: playing running back on the ’79 Golden Gophers was Marion Barber Jr., who would of course later produce star Gopher/NFL RB Marion Barber III.
Last year, I caused a bit of a stir around these parts by proclaiming that the NFL may have eclipsed MLB as my favorite sport. With the 2023 Minnesota Twins & Minnesota Vikings seasons now in the books, I can confidently say that the needle has swung back into the diamond direction.
I have no doubt that 2022’s Purple resurgence (13-4) and the Twins’ September collapse vs. 2023’s Purple collapse and Twins’ October resurgence had at least something to do with this—but it wasn’t just momentum. With the implementation of MLB’s new rules—especially the pitch clock—my enthusiasm for watching & enjoying individual baseball contests took a noticeable tick upwards.
So, odd MN familial reflections aside, enjoy Super Bowl LVIII whether you are looking forward to the X’s & O’s, halftime show (Usher—likely featuring less exposed body parts than two decades ago), commercials, Swift-ian spectacle, or simply hurdling the “next obstacle out of the way” before baseball re-emerges from hibernation.