Radio host and former defensive lineman Mike Golic Sr. and his son, Mike Golic Jr, joined FanSided's Sterling Holmes and Special Olympics athlete Malcom Harris-Gowdie on Media Row at Super Bowl LVIII. The father-son duo spoke with the Stacking the Box podcast on behalf of Sugarlands Distilling Company, a craft distillery that just added Birthday Cake Sippin Cream to their portfolio of craft spirits.
“I picked against the Kansas City Chiefs in the last two rounds and I got made to look like a fool," Golic Jr. said. After their three impressive postseason wins, the Chiefs have won over the younger Golic.
"I think the Kansas City Chiefs do win this game," Golic Jr. continued. "I know they’re underdogs going into this one, and if both teams were to play their absolute best game that their roster is capable of, the 49ers would absolutely win that game. I just don’t know if we’ve seen it, and I don’t know if, at this point now, I can just expect them to pull that now when the last few weeks have looked like a little bit more of a struggle. I think the Chiefs are a lot more sure of their identity in the postseason. They have become a ground-and-pound team that’s going to win with defense and let Patrick Mahomes slam the door shut when they need it most, and I think they’re going to get that done again.”
Golic Sr. declined to offer his prediction for the game since he will be providing sideline coverage for the game as a part of Westwood One's Super Bowl broadcast crew. Still, he offered his thoughts on what he believes will be the deciding factor in the game: the defenses.
“I can’t make a pick ... but I do think this game will be decided on the defensive side of the ball," Golic Sr. said. "I know we talk about all the offensive firepower and Pat Mahomes, but I think these defenses have been playing well, maybe San Francisco against the run, not so much in the playoffs, but I think they can shore that up. So I [think] defense is going to control the game.”
The Chiefs defense has powered Kansas City to the precipice of their second consecutive Super Bowl championship. After the Chiefs offense sputtered early in the season, Mahomes said he realized that he just had to play safe and manage the game to secure a victory. During the regular season, the Chiefs defense ranked second in points per game (17.3) and yards per game (289.8). In their three postseason games, Kansas City has allowed just 13.7 points per game and 322.7 yards per game, both second-fewest among all playoff teams. San Francisco's defense ranked third in points per game (17.5) and eighth in yards per game (303.9) during the regular season. The 49ers defense has shown signs of struggle in their two postseason games, however. They've allowed 26.0 points per game and 386.0 yards per game, including a whopping 159 rushing yards per game.
Golic Sr. also brought attention to the pressure that 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch are facing. While San Francisco has made four NFC Championship Game appearances in the last five years, they've failed to hoist a single Lombardi Trophy.
“Kyle and John Lynch I think are both under pressure here," Golic Sr. said. "They have the best roster in the NFL but they haven’t gotten the brass ring yet, they haven’t made it to the top of the mountain, so I think they need to close that deal.”
Shanahan's postseason struggles are well-documented. He was the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons when they infamously blew a 28-3 lead to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. As the 49ers head coach, Shanahan lost to these very same Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV, despite holding a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter. A loss in Super Bowl LVIII would be the third straight Super Bowl loss for Shanahan.
The pair also discussed Golic Sr.'s NFL career, the significance of Notre Dame to the Golic family and — of course — grammy-winning artist Taylor Swift.
Golic Jr. revealed that he's a hardcore Swiftie and assigned a Taylor Swift album to both of the Super Bowl contestants — the Chiefs are in their "Reputation" era and the 49ers are in their "1989" era, Golic Jr. said. Watch the full interview on the Stacking the Box YouTube channel here.