MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — 4:55 p.m.
Chiefs defensive line coach Brendan Daly has a tradition of running the stairs inside the stadium before games, and not even fans trickling into Hard Rock Stadium or the perplexed Super Bowl security staff was stopping him Sunday.
About 3-1/2 hours before kickoff, Daly emerged from the tunnel to dutifully get his exercise in.
Daly started the routine with Patriots assistants Chad O’Shea and Brian Flores — now coach of the Miami Dolphins — when the trio was in New England. And when they reached the Super Bowl each of the past two seasons, they continued to run the stairs before the game.
Daly left the Patriots after last season to join coach Andy Reid’s staff in Kansas City. The tradition continues with the Chiefs.
This is the 11th time that the Miami area has played host to the Super Bowl. The first five were at the now-demolished Orange Bowl in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, and the other six have been in Miami Gardens — inside the building now called Hard Rock Stadium.
Scroll through the list of Super Bowl sites, though, and it might seem like South Florida has a lot of stadiums.
It’s not true, but the confusion can be understandable. Each of the last five Super Bowls in Miami Gardens have been with the stadium bearing a different name: Joe Robbie Stadium in 1995, then Pro Player Stadium in 1999, Dolphin Stadium in 2007, Sun Life Stadium in 2010 and now, Hard Rock.
The stadium has had nine different names in all since opening in 1987. In addition to the five names that it had as a Super Bowl host, there was Pro Player Park, Dolphins Stadium (which immediately preceded Dolphin Stadium), Land Shark Stadium and, for a six-month stretch of 2016, it was called New Miami Stadium.
It was five years ago that the Royals brought home a championship to Kansas City, and now the players who were part of the 2015 World Series team are pulling for the Chiefs to deliver another parade.
“I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it,” longtime outfielder Alex Gordon said. “It’s like looking in a mirror from 2014 and 2015, the way they’ve gone about the playoffs, the way they compete together on the field, having fun, coming from behind in almost every game. It just reminds me what we went through.”
Left-hander Danny Duffy grew up a fan of the Broncos, one of the Chiefs’ bitter enemies. His uncles like them so Duffy just joined the crowd. But he’s gotten to know some of the Chiefs players and he’ll be rooting for them Sunday night.
“They carry the same passion we have for this city. It’s not really something you can articulate,” Duffy said. “If they win it’s going to be really cool to have a different view of how the parade is going to be. I barely got to soak in the parade. It was like, ‘Holy crud!’ Did I just say, ‘Crud’? It would be cool. I think they’re going to win, and I’ll be excited for the parade.”
Game day has arrived, and the caravans carrying the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs have pulled into Hard Rock Stadium.
Kickoff of Super Bowl 54 is 6:30 p.m. Eastern.
Weather for the NFL’s biggest game is expected to be perfect. There is a cloudless blue sky in Miami Gardens, Florida. Forecasters say it’ll be around 61 degrees at kickoff, cooling into the upper 50s as the night goes along.
That’s a few degrees below normal for Miami this time of year. But those conditions almost mirror what the weather was 10 years ago when the game was last played at the Miami Dolphins’ home field.