January 31, 2020
Table Tennis Logic – The 49ers / Chiefs Superbowl
(by Steve Hopkins)
It’s no surprise to anyone reading this post that my sport doesn’t make headlines in the US. Because of this, I like to find table tennis angles to most of the big sporting events. And at this time, I’m providing a little analysis of the upcoming Superbowl (LIV) based upon connections to table tennis.
Fans have some strange ways of picking winners in important games across all sports. Some cheer with their heart, having followed a team and developed an attachment over the course of a season. Others pull for underdogs or favorites and rely upon the experts and the betting lines and the resulting buzz. Why not pick a favorite based upon players that enjoy table tennis, or teams that have tables or run charity tournaments?
I’m not suggesting that this pick will has more science behind it than the experts in Las Vegas – and if you’ve read the whole series of table tennis logic picks, you may have noticed that I’m only hitting on about half. Still – watching the game may be more enjoyable for some in our sport, if we know there are connections to our sport. With that in mind, here are some table tennis references to both the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers.
This 2018 article from the CBS owned 247sports.com was titled 49ers will Never Ditch their Ping Pong Tables. It cites head coach Kyle Shanahan in saying that the ping pong tables in the 49ers locker room is more than just a tool for taking breaks from football. In the article, Shanahan says:
“We’re never taking away the ping-pong table. I want guys to hang out here. I really believe that – obviously you’ve got to be talented, you’ve be prepared and everything – but I always feel the tighter team, the closer team has an advantage over the team that’s not as tight. The only way you do that is by hanging here, spending time together. I like to put ping-pong tables in there just so people kick it. They don’t go home right away when they’re done with their stuff.”
*An additional interesting note on the 49ers ping pong tables can be seen in the background of this Jimmy Garoppolo interview.
On the other side of the field, its Patrick Mahomes that is the avid ping pong player. This Kansascity.com article from last December is titled “It’s a hubling experience to play against Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes in Ping Pong”. The article lists a wide range of athletic skills of the quarterback but ends with reference to Mahomes playing table tennis with finesse but also “slamming and serving like 10 feet away from the damn table – making the ball curve”.
Another article about the Chiefs notes that Andy Reid, Chiefs coach, also plays ping pong. In fact, it references Andy Reid playing many years before when he was a player at BYU (sometimes playing against his coach at BYU, LaVell Edwards).