The countdown to Super Bowl LVIII is officially underway as the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers took the stage at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Monday as part of the annual "Opening Night" celebration.
The festivities included media availability for every player on both teams, providing reporters from every corner of the globe with an opportunity to interview members of each squad.
Head Coach Andy Reid and several players, including defensive lineman Chris Jones, linebacker Nick Bolton, quarterback Patrick Mahomes, tight end Travis Kelce, tailback Isiah Pacheco, kicker Harrison Butker, cornerback Trent McDuffie, safety Justin Reid, offensive guard Trey Smith and wide receiver Rashee Rice, answered questions from podiums throughout the event. The rest of the team spent the session mingling with the hundreds of media members on the stadium floor.
"Opening Night" is also often known for its unique flare, to say the least, and Monday's event was no different. Pacheco, for example, posed for photos with the "Blue Man Group" at his podium before asking for someone to save him. Elsewhere, Kelce was asked to reveal what his "wrestler name" would be, to which the All-Pro tight end responded, "The Big Yeti." Perhaps the oddest interaction of the night, however, when Guillermo Rodriguez from "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" asked Trey Smith to autograph his bare stomach. Smith, of course, obliged.
There were plenty of wholesome moments during the event as well, highlighted by Mahomes' interview with 11-year-old sports journalist Jeremiah, who asked the two-time MVP to build his ultimate fantasy football team made up of all-time players.
Additionally, Coach Reid, Mahomes, Kelce, Jones, Butker and punter Tommy Townsend participated in a group interview alongside members of the 49ers before the Chiefs called it a night. While on stage, Mahomes, Kelce and Jones made sure to have some fun with a vocal 49ers' – and possibly Raiders' – crowd in the stands.
"We're playing a great 49ers team, but we're going to go out there, play our best football and see what happens," Mahomes said on-stage. "I appreciate it, Niners Nation. We're here."
Moving forward, the Chiefs will meet with the media on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week amidst their preparation for Super Bowl LVIII. Nothing will ever quite capture the spirit of "Opening Night" though, which is truly an event of its own.