Cedric GoldenAustin American-Statesman
- Niners coach Kyle Shanahan became the second Texas ex to coach a team to multiple Super Bowl appearances, joining Dallas Cowboys legend Tom Landry, who coached in five, winning two.
- Texas ex Charles Omenihu, now with the Kansas City Chiefs, made a pivotal play in the AFC title game with a strip sack of Lamar Jackson. He will miss the Super Bowl with a torn ACL.
- Shanahan's appearance in the Super Bowl will make the 19th straight year a Texas ex will participate in the NFL's biggest showcase.
Three days before San Francisco’s NFC title matchup against Detroit, a reporter had an interesting query to head coach Kyle Shanahan about the 49ers' home field advantage: “How important is the 12th Man going to be on Sunday?”
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It’s a question that’s asked in various forms to coaches before most every football game played on the planet, but the phrasing didn’t sit well with Shanahan.
“We don’t call them the 12th Man here,” he answered.
Shanahan is a Texas Longhorn, tried and true. Any mention of the 12th Man was sure to make the hairs on the back of his neck stand at attention. Though he's one of the best coaches in the NFL, the mere mention of anything A&M-related will obviously come with a pointed response from the former Texas wideout.
The reporters chuckled at his answer because they know his history.
On Sunday, his Niners roared back from a 24-7 halftime deficit and turned back the upset-minded Lions 34-31 to earn their second Super Bowl trip in five seasons. Ironically, the win came in a coaching matchup with formerA&M tight end Dan Campbell.
Shanahan and defensive end Charles Omenihu extended Texas’ streak of alumni reaching the Super Bowl to 19 straight seasons.
Shanahan was a backup receiver for Texas in the early 2000s —the same era as star pass catchersRoy Williams, Sloane Thomas and B.J. Johnson — and took copious notes while playing for head coach Mack Brown. He caught 14 passes for 127 yards in 2001 and 2002 and then took a graduate assistant’s gig with UCLA in 2003.
Six jobs and 20 years later, the man they called “Shanno” back in college has the Niners in an eighth Super Bowl, tied with four other franchises for the second-most in league history behind New England’s 11.
During his time at Texas, Shanahan struck up lifelong friendships with teammates Bo Scaife, Rod Babers, Chris Simms and Montrell Flowers. They formed a brotherhood called “The Wood” based off a 1999 romantic comedy of the same name. They even got matching tattoos of a “W” to make it official.
Scaife, who played six seasons with the Tennessee Titans, was at Shanahan’s side as he received congratulations on the field after the game.
Shanahan, the son of two-time Super Bowl winner Mike Shanahan, just became the second Texas ex to lead a team to multiple Super Bowl appearances, joining late Hall of Famer Tom Landry, whose Dallas Cowboys played in five under his watch, winning over Miami and Denver but losing to the Baltimore Colts and twice to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
This year's Super Bowl a sexy rematch from the finale, which the Chiefs won 31-20. With a win, Shanahan would join Bill Walsh and George Seifert as coaches to lead the franchise to Super Bowl titles.By my count, only four other franchises have had three different coaches win Super Bowls: Green Bay, Dallas, Pittsburgh and the Baltimore Colts/Ravens.
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Shanahan could make all kinds of history on Feb. 11, but it won’t be easy against the Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who's playing in his fourth Super Bowl in five seasons.
“Since we met them in ’19, it seems like they’ve been there every year since,” Shanahan told reporters. “We’ve been trying really hard to get back to that moment. We’ve been close a a number of times. This time we got it done and we’ll spend these next two weeks to prepare and make sure it’s a hell of a game.”
Charles Omenihu made a huge impact
A big day for the Chiefs: Omenihu made one of the biggest defensive plays of the AFC championship game for the Chiefs when his second-quarter sack of Lamar Jackson produced a fumble recovery which lead to Kansas City’s second touchdown. He won't be playing in the Super Bowl, but his impact won't be forgotten.
More: New positions? New defensive scheme? New-look Longhorns beat Big 12 newcomer Cincinnati
Omenihu joined the Chiefs as a free agent this after the 49ers released him following his January 2023 arrest on misdemeanor domestic violence charges.
More: Chiefs Charles Omenihu injury update: Texas alum to miss Super Bowl with torn ACL
He signed a two-year deal worth $16 million and emerged as a dependable edge presence with 4.5 sacks in pass rushing situations after serving a six-game suspension to start the season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
He exited Sunday’s game with a knee injury and it was announced Monday that he will miss the Super Bowl with a torn ACL.
Omenihu was a real feel-good story for the Chiefs this season, providing a needed pass rush to complement All-pro tackle Chris Jones. He has found a home in KC.
Dan Campbell's gamble cost the Lions
Detroit defied the odds: For anyone who has played blackjack in Vegas, Campbell would be the worst person to have playing the third-base position at a full table because he’s too risky for his own good. Dan "Gamble" is the guy who would hit a hard 18 because the dealer is showing a face card of he might split 10s with the full knowledge that only one hand beats 20.
While there are those who say his high-risk play-calling is the reason the Lions came within one win of playing in the franchise’s first Super Bowl, everything has limits. Turning down a field goal and a chance to go up 27-10 to make it a three-possession game in the second half is something that’s hard to explain even if there was the opportunity to put the Niners away. And that fourth-down stop opened the door for an epic comeback and should give Campbell plenty to think about this offseason.
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Concepts in the Article:
- Kyle Shanahan: Kyle Shanahan is the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, a professional football team in the NFL. He is a former Texas Longhorn and has led the 49ers to multiple Super Bowl appearances.
- Texas ex: The term "Texas ex" refers to individuals who have attended or graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. The article mentions several Texas exes, including Kyle Shanahan and Charles Omenihu.
- Super Bowl: The Super Bowl is the championship game of the National Football League (NFL) played annually between the champions of the league's two conferences, the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC).
- 12th Man: The 12th Man is a term often used to refer to the fans of a football team who provide support and create a home field advantage. In the article, Kyle Shanahan clarifies that the term is not used for the San Francisco 49ers.
- Charles Omenihu: Charles Omenihu is a professional football player who currently plays for the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL. He is a former Texas Longhorn and made a pivotal play in the AFC title game.
- Mack Brown: Mack Brown is a former head coach of the Texas Longhorns football team. Kyle Shanahan played for him during his time at the University of Texas.
- Super Bowl history: The article mentions various Super Bowl-related facts, such as the number of Super Bowl appearances by different coaches and teams.
Kyle Shanahan is the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, a professional football team in the NFL. He is a former Texas Longhorn and has led the 49ers to multiple Super Bowl appearances. Shanahan played as a backup receiver for Texas in the early 2000s and took notes while playing for head coach Mack Brown. He has a deep connection to his alma mater and has formed lifelong friendships with his former teammates. Shanahan's appearance in the Super Bowl continues the streak of Texas exes participating in the NFL's biggest showcase for the 19th straight year [].
Texas Exes and Super Bowl:
The term "Texas ex" refers to individuals who have attended or graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. The article mentions that Kyle Shanahan and Charles Omenihu are both Texas exes. Shanahan's appearance in the Super Bowl makes him the second Texas ex to lead a team to multiple Super Bowl appearances, joining the late Hall of Famer Tom Landry, who coached the Dallas Cowboys to five Super Bowl appearances. This year's Super Bowl is a rematch from a previous finale, which the Kansas City Chiefs won 31-20. With a win, Shanahan would join Bill Walsh and George Seifert as coaches to lead the franchise to Super Bowl titles. The article also mentions that only four other franchises have had three different coaches win Super Bowls: Green Bay, Dallas, Pittsburgh, and the Baltimore Colts/Ravens [].
The 12th Man:
The term "12th Man" is often used to refer to the fans of a football team who provide support and create a home field advantage. In the article, a reporter asked Kyle Shanahan about the importance of the 12th Man in the 49ers' home field advantage. However, Shanahan clarified that they don't call them the 12th Man. The term "12th Man" is closely associated with Texas A&M University, and Shanahan, being a Texas Longhorn, had a pointed response to anything A&M-related [].
Charles Omenihu is a professional football player who currently plays for the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL. He is a former Texas Longhorn. In the AFC title game, Omenihu made a pivotal play with a strip sack of Lamar Jackson, which led to a fumble recovery and Kansas City's second touchdown. Unfortunately, Omenihu will miss the Super Bowl due to a torn ACL [].
Super Bowl History:
The article mentions various facts related to Super Bowl history. It states that Kyle Shanahan has led the San Francisco 49ers to their eighth Super Bowl appearance, tying them with four other franchises for the second-most in league history, behind the New England Patriots' 11 appearances. It also mentions that only four other franchises have had three different coaches win Super Bowls: Green Bay, Dallas, Pittsburgh, and the Baltimore Colts/Ravens [].
In summary, the article discusses Kyle Shanahan's connection to the University of Texas as a Texas ex and his success as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. It also mentions the concept of the 12th Man, Charles Omenihu's impact in the AFC title game, and various facts related to Super Bowl history.