When Kyle Shanahan is coming up with his game plan for defeating the Kansas City Chiefs, he is going to try and take away as many competitive edges as he can from the Chiefs. It doesn’t matter what the advantage is or whether it is real or imagined. If it can help the Chiefs beat his team, he has to plan for it.
So, that must mean that between now and Feb. 2, it will be someone’s job to get a signed Jimmy Garoppolo jersey in the hands of the Pope.
After the Ravens narrowly beat the 49ers during the regular season, Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori brought Pope Francis a custom Ravens jersey signed by Lamar Jackson and head coach John Harbaugh.
The Ravens went on to cruise through the rest of the regular season. But then they fell to Derek Henry and the Titans in the playoffs. Hmm…so, maybe the gift didn’t help ?
Perhaps seeing the flaw in the plan, the Chiefs upped their game a little before facing off against Henry and the Titans themselves. Bishop James Johnston of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph gifted the Pope an autographed Patrick Mahomes jersey.
Well – we all know how the AFC Championship worked out for Mahomes and the Chiefs.
Football players and fans are a superstitious lot. It is not unusual for players to adhere to strict game-day rituals because they believe it ‘works.’
A Chiefs fan left the game against the Texans because he was bad luck. So, for the conference championship, the team set him up to watch the game in style—at home.
Is it silly? Absolutely. But if there is anything that fans or a player feels gives the team an edge, they should do it. It—whatever ‘it’ may be – may not provide any actual advantage. But if the perceived advantage results in a mental boost, even a little one, it’s worth it.
But why a Jimmy Garappolo jersey?
Well, because Lamar Jackson signed the Ravens jersey. The Chiefs jersey was a signed Patrick Mahomes one. Since quarterbacks are typically the leader of the team, it makes sense. But maybe the 49ers should take a different approach and send an autographed Nick Bosa or Richard Sherman jersey.
You know, as a defense against the Pope already having an autographed Mahomes jersey.