Recap: Kansas City Chiefs talk during Super Bowl Opening Night in Arizona

The countdown to Sunday’s Kansas City Chiefs-Philadelphia Eagles showdown is on, and one of game week’s most time-honored (and unscripted) traditions kicks things up a notch Monday evening:

Opening Night at Super Bowl LVII.

We’re following the action here, with how to watch and other details about tonight’s event below. So check back from time to time and enjoy the show.

L’Jarius Sneed injury update

Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed made an appearance at Opening Night, signaling some good news with regard to the concussion he sustained against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Here’s what he said Monday night.

Patrick Mahomes on ankle: Better than last game

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes spoke to the media about his ankle injury. He sustained a high-ankle sprain against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Divisional Round.

Monday night, the QB said his ankle is in a better position than at this time before the game against the Bengals.

Travis Kelce focused on the Chiefs

Asked questions about the so-called Kelce Bowl, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said he’s thinking primarily about how to get another win for KC.

He also talked about Patrick Mahomes’ focus and how much the QB has been preparing for the game.

Chiefs-Eagles connections

The history between the Chiefs, specifically Andy Reid, and the Eagles is a big topic of discussion in Monday’s broadcast. Andy Reid spent 14 years with the Eagles before coming to Kansas City a decade ago.

The Star’s Jesse Newell talked to Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie about a previous Super Bowl and his support for KC back then:

Extended applause for Patrick Mahomes

It didn’t take long for Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes to bring down the house. In fact, all that panel moderator Sal Paolantonio had to do on the ESPN2 broadcast was say Mahomes’ name.

Paolantonio was asking questions of Philly QB Jalen Hurts, Mahomes, Eagles defender Brandon Graham and Chiefs D-lineman Chris Jones.

When the host got to Mahomes for his thoughts on being one of two Black starting quarterbacks in a Super Bowl for the first time, Mahomes had to pause because of the applause that continued for a while after he was introduced.

Just watch:

Kelce brothers on stage

Travis and Jason Kelce discussed their brotherly bond on stage during media night. Mother Donna Kelce joined them and brought some home cooking with her.

Donna Kelce greets her sons, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce, left, and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce during the Super Bowl Opening Night event in Phoenix.
Donna Kelce greets her sons, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce, left, and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce during the Super Bowl Opening Night event in Phoenix.

Nick Sirianni’s favorite KC BBQ

Philadelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni doesn’t mind talking Kansas City barbecue as he prepares to meet the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII.

He shared some fond memories and shouted out one restaurant in particular Monday night.

Hurts draws a crowd

Philly quarterback Jalen Hurts was a top attraction during his time at the podium. The Eagles were going first, followed later by the Chiefs.

Media gathered at his podium riser ahead of time, and pelted him with questions once he arrived to his seat.

Hurts talked about the pertinent topics of the day, and at one point fielded a few questions from a girl in attendance as a kid reporter. Her questions were good and Hurts was happy to oblige with thoughtful answers.

Made for TV (on ESPN2, FS1 and NFL Network)

You’ll remember from past Super Bowls — including two involving the Chiefs in just the past several years — that this made-for-TV event sends representatives from each team to a podium for quick thoughts on any number of topics.

Some questions they’ll field will pertain to the big game at hand. Other queries will veer a bit more off-course, perhaps drilling players or coaches on their predictions for Sunday’s game, favorite football memories or thoughts on the Chinese spy balloon. At one time, back when this event was even more off the rails, you might see a mock marriage proposal or two.

In sum, these Monday night sessions generally promise to be both football-informative and at least a tad silly. While each team has scheduled interview time for 11 people (their respective head coach and 10 players), other players will be available for comment, too, as they mill about the floor at the Footprint Center — home of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns — in downtown Phoenix.

As we said at the top: a made-for-TV spectacle. And the only scheduled public appearance for the players before their matchup on Sunday.

Where is Kansas City?

Among the first random questions of the night: What state is Kansas City in? An Eagles player got some grief for his answer.

Donna Kelce

Among the most visible crossovers between the two teams is Donna Kelce, the mother of Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Eagles offensive lineman Jason Kelce. She was featured on the broadcast early in the night.

The lineups

The Eagles are up first tonight at the Footprint Center. Here is their scheduled order at the podium during Philly’s allotted hour of 7-8 p.m. Central Time:

1. Nick Sirianni

2. Jalen Hurts

3. A.J. Brown

4. Jason Kelce

5. Lane Johnson

6. Jordan Mailata

7. Haason Reddick

8. Brandon Graham

9. Fletcher Cox

10. Darius Slay

11. Miles Sanders

And here is the Chiefs’ lineup during KC’s designated interview window of 8-9 p.m. Central:

1. Andy Reid

2. Patrick Mahomes

3. Travis Kelce

4. Chris Jones

5. Frank Clark

6. Orlando Brown

7. JuJu Smith-Schuster

8. Isiah Pacheco

9. Nick Bolton

10. L’Jarius Sneed

11. Jerick McKinnon

How to watch Super Bowl Opening Night on TV

Three major media entities hold broadcast rights for Super Bowl Opening Night: ESPN, FOX and the NFL Network. And all three will broadcast portions in real-time on Monday evening.

Coverage started at 7 p.m. and was set to continue until at least 10 p.m. Central Time.

Each of the three viewing options presented its own lineup of hosts and guests.

Back from a COVID pause

Tonight’s Opening Night show will be the first to take place in the familiar “live” setting since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

The last two Opening Nights were held virtually because of COVID concerns. In fact, the last Super Bowl Opening Night to take place in-person, with fans in attendance, was the one in Miami ahead of Super Bowl LIV, in which the Chiefs would rally to beat the San Francisco 49ers in early February 2020.

This year, fans in Phoenix have been able to purchase tickets ($20 each) for Monday’s Opening Night at the Footprint Center.

Other Super Bowl news and analysis

Kelce Bowl 2023: Donna Kelce won’t do Super Bowl coin toss but says NFL made right choice for the honor

Chiefs history: As Chiefs arrive for Super Bowl, it’s about right here, right now to make history

Officiating analysis: Here’s the concern with Carl Cheffers reffing Super Bowl LVII with Chiefs-Eagles

Chiefs departure: Check out the scene on Chiefs’ plane as they departed to Arizona for Super Bowl LVII

Super Bowl odds: Why one sportsbook struggled to choose an opening favorite