The 54th Super Bowl will feature the Kansas City Chiefs against the San Francisco 49ers, and if the Chiefs are to win the Lombardi Trophy quarterback Patrick Mahomes will need to be firing on all cylinders. Mahomes was born in Tyler, Texas and is the son of former MLB player Patrick Mahomes Senior – the quarterback shares the same name as his father. Mahomes was born with the athletic gene, and if you have caught any of his games during his time as a starter for the Chiefs, Mahomes is definitely not short on athletic ability. The star pivot has an uncanny ability to contort his body in a variety of ways to deliver the football – both while looking and not looking as he is well-known for his “no-look” side-arm passes to open receivers.
Mahomes grew up watching his father and spending much time in MLB locker rooms, throwing baseballs to Hall of Famers like Derek Jeter. In high school the young quarterback played three sports: football, baseball, and basketball. He excelled in each, but he was outstanding in both baseball and football. In his senior year, he played well enough in both that Mahomes was drafted by the Detroit Tigers and also received a scholarship to play quarterback for Texas Tech. Mahomes decided to play football and while his father was surprised by the decision, he knew his son had what it took to excel in whatever he chose.
In Mahomes first year as a Red Raider, the star sat on the bench before taking over the starting role in his second year. Under the tutelage of then head coach Kliff Kingsbury, Mahomes found great success as he set NCAA single-game records and was awarded the Sammy Baugh Trophy as the Nation’s top passer. Mahomes decided to forego his last year of college eligibility and enter the NFL draft in 2017. It turned out to be a wise decision for the young athlete as he was selected 10th overall by the Chiefs and signed a four-year contract worth $16.42 million.
In his first NFL season Mahomes backed up the Chiefs then starter, Alex Smith, who was traded the following off-season as Mahomes took over the starting role. Mahomes has not looked back since as he has shown that he has what it takes to be a long-time franchise quarterback in the NFL. Head Coach Andy Reid has been a steadying voice for the young star and has provided the structure and system necessary for the quarterback to thrive. It also helps when you have one of the best (if not the best) tight end in the league, Travis Kelce, along with the fastest player in the league, receiver Tyreek Hill. This past season, Mahomes had a 66% completion percentage, threw for over 4000 yards, and passed for 26 touchdowns with only 5 interceptions – all while compiling an 11-3 record as he missed part of the season due to injury. The Chiefs are in good hands with Mahomes at the helm, and if the team is to win their first Super Bowl since 1969, they will need to rely on him to make game winning plays in big moments.
If Mahomes is to lead the Chiefs to victory, he will be the third black quarterback to win the Lombardi Trophy – joining Doug Williams and Russell Wilson. History will be made during the 54th edition of the Super Bowl, and Mahomes will hope to be on the right side of history come Sunday night.
Sebastian Farkas is a Fourth Year Honours Politics Student and Sports and Wellness Editor of the Athenaeum.