John Lynch, general manager of the 49ers” I caught him speaking with a TV reporter from behind.

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San Francisco’s “Captain America” has advanced to the championship game. And I have as well.

Knowing that I would have the honor of covering Super Bowl LIV between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs, I knew I had to do a biography on 49ers general manager and Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist John Lynch.

You might be able to deduce why from the byline.

We both grew up in the Chicago region, and this Sunday, we’ll be at Miami Gardens, Florida’s Hard Rock Stadium to witness the Super Bowl. But the resemblances probably stop there.

Opening Night was the first time we saw each other inside Marlins Park.

For those who do not know, Opening Night is a media frenzy where reporters are crammed into tight spaces to conduct interviews with players, coaches, and team executives. They are bombarded with various kinds of inquiries for an hour on end. It sounds loud. It’s almost too chaotic.

I spotted him talking to a TV reporter behind a rope near the stage, so I scrambled around the corner to see if I could talk to him. But by the time I got over there, about 10 other media members got there ahead of me and started asking questions.

I was running out of time. After 10 minutes or so, a team spokesperson said there would be two more questions. I snuck closer to the rope.

And, with the final question, I made my move.

“John Lynch, CNN,” I yelled in the midst of the scrum. “Yes, that’s my real name.”

I showed him my credential with my name on it, and Lynch chuckled.

I then asked what it was like to be in this moment with this team right now. He replied that it was awesome to be here and be in the Super Bowl again. Then, just like that, the 49ers got him out of there.

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