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Mic’d Up Kyle Shanahan Tried to Tip Off Super Bowl Referees About Chiefs’ Penalties

One could argue that all things considered, Super Bowl LVIII was a well-officiated contest. San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, however, would argue with at least one call.

In the first quarter, the 49ers were trying to dig themselves out of a 2nd-and-long and thought they got a first down with an 18-yard pass to George Kittle around midfield. However, the play would be called back due to an offensive holding penalty on Trent Williams, who appeared to tug Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Mike Danna's jersey.

Shanahan was furious about the call and complained to an NFL official about a double standard.

“Hey, I saw the hold, but that’s what they do every time,” Shanahan told the official. “They hold, they tug our guy ‘til Pat [Mahomes] leaves and then they let go. That’s what our guy did, make sure they call it both ways.”

The official either didn’t listen to Shanahan or didn’t agree with him, since the Chiefs didn’t get called for a single offensive hold during the game.

Heading into the Super Bowl, Kansas City led the league with 30 offensive holding penalties in 2023. 49ers pass-rusher Nick Bosa took a not-so-subtle dig at the Chiefs’ offensive line by bluntly pointing out that their tackles “hold a lot,” and team CEO Jed York chimed in, too, to gripe about a holding no-call during San Francisco’s Super Bowl loss to the Chiefs four years ago.

Even with the pregame chatter around penalties, Shanahan’s heated protests may have ultimately fallen on deaf ears, and the Chiefs would go on to win Super Bowl LVIII, 25—22, with relatively little controversy.