Isiah Pacheco honors Puerto Rico after Super Bowl win
Boricua Isiah Pacheco wins second Super Bowl title
Isiah Pacheco wasted no time paying tribute to his Puerto Rican roots late Sunday night in Las Vegas. Soon after helping the Kansas City Chiefs win their second Super Bowl title in a row, Pacheco donned a Puerto Rican flag over his shoulders.
Pacheco wore the Puerto Rican flag proudly after the Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in overtime at Allegiant Stadium. He kept his Puerto Rican cape on during his postgame media session.
“Represent, man,” he said while interrupting a teammate’s postgame interview on CBS. “You don’t got too many Puerto Ricans doing this thing. Culture, you always got to represent your culture.”
Isiah Pacheco makes history
A year after becoming the first Puerto Rican running back to win a Super Bowl, Isiah Pacheco made more NFL history at Super Bowl LVIII. He is the first running back in NFL history to start and win a Super Bowl in each of his first two seasons in the NFL.
“It feels amazing,” he said. “Knowing how hard I worked putting 100 percent into it day in and day out at practice, this is where it starts. Having adversity throughout my whole career, never being a champion in the favorite sport I love, playing three different sports, giving my all in everything I got in this game right here. You gotta love this.”
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Pacheco also dedicated the victory to his late siblings Celeste Cannon and Travoise Cannon, who were killed when he was a teenager. Travoise Cannon was stabbed to death in January 2016. Celeste Cannon was shot to death at her home in September 2017.
“I dedicate this title to my brother and my sister,” he said. “I lost two of them. So it’s 2 for 2 for you.”
Pacheco was born and raised in Vineland, N.J., by his parents Julio Pacheco, who is Puerto Rican, and Felicia Cannon. Isiah Pacheco was one of the biggest steals of the 2022 NFL draft. The Chiefs picked him in the seventh round with the 251st overall pick of the draft.
With a rugged running style that would make Puerto Rican baseball legends Yadier Molina and Ivan Rodriguez proud, Pacheco has been a major part of the Chiefs’ offense the last two seasons.
He rushed for 59 yards on 18 carries during Super Bow LVIII. Pacheco also caught six passes for 33 yards.
He rebounded well after a costly fumble in the first quarter. The Chiefs were threatening to score in the first quarter. They had first and goal at the 49ers’ 9-yard line. Pacheco had a rare fumble, however, and the 49ers recovered at the 8-yard line.
“There was no hanging the head,” Pacheco said. “It was my first one of the season. I knew there was a lot more game left. Eliminate distraction, hold that ball to get vertical.”
Pacheco’s value to the Chiefs’ offense was on full display in the overtime. Trailing 22-19 after the 49ers scored a field goal on their initial drive in overtime, quarterback Patrick Mahomes methodically marched the Chiefs down the field.
Pacheco touched the ball five times on the winning, 13-play, 75-yard drive. He rushed for three yards on the first play of the drive. Pacheco was stuffed for no gain on 3rd and 1 two plays later. Mahomes then got the first down with an eight-yard run on fourth down.
Then later in the drive, Pacheco caught a four-yard pass to the 49ers’ 37-yard line. After a timeout by San Francisco, Pacheco caught a five-yard pass. Needing only one yard, Mahomes ran for 19 yards to get the Chiefs to the 13-yard line. Pacheco then rushed for three yards on first down.
Two plays later, Mahomes hit Mecole Hardman for the winning three-yard touchdown pass.
“Absolutely,” he said, “it feels special.”
Featured art via @AdanManzano/X
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