In the wake of Tom Brady’s retirement and after LeBron James broke the all-time NBA scoring record, Patrick Mahomes is now emerging as America’s signature next-generation athlete.
Before his son started to become the NFL’s top player, Pat Mahomes saw the 10th pick overall in the 2017 draft as a combination of Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers, with some Steve McNair.
Big Ben had won two Super Bowls, Rodgers had won one, and the late McNair hadn’t won any. All these years later, the humble ring totals of the greats should serve as a reminder to any fan how hard it is to scale the highest mountain even once, let alone multiple times.
But on Sunday night, Pat Mahomes’ son Patrick overcame all formidable obstacles, including a screaming right ankle, to take the forum of an epic Super Bowl fight to win his second championship and authenticate his standing as an all-time great at age 27. On the decisive endgame drive in the Chiefs’ 38-35 win over the Eagles, Mahomes broke the middle for a 26-yard run to the Philadelphia 17, chugging madly in pain.
It was his Willis Reed moment in his own Game 7, a triumph of mind over body, will over weakness. Mahomes kept the ball up on the run and felt like “someone was right behind me the whole time,” he said. As long as they’re showing Super Bowl highlights, they’re showing this game.
Harrison Butker kicked the winning field goal in the closing seconds and that was it. Three nights after Mahomes was named league MVP for a second time, the youngest man to make his third Super Bowl start joined Tom Brady, Joe Montana and Manning as the only quarterbacks with more than one Super Bowl win and more than one regular season MVP award.
Mahomes also ended a streak of nine straight reigning league MVPs who lost in the Super Bowl by being named MVP of the game by coming back 10 points behind at halftime. Of course he did. Mahomes made it possible with three touchdown passes, including two in the fourth quarter after spraining another ankle in a tackle with TJ Edwards late in the first half.
Mahomes struggled to get up and the world suddenly stopped. He hobbled to the touchline and then writhed in pain on the bench. Would he function at a high level in the second half? Would he be able to play at all in the second half?
Yes, Patrick Mahomes taped his ankle and played.
“I’ve been telling you guys all week,” the Chiefs quarterback told the crowd during the post-game ceremony, “there’s nothing that’s going to keep me off this football field.”
His counterpart, Jalen Hurts, put in a great performance and Mahomes still walked away with the trophy. That’s who he is and what he does.
“He wants to be the greatest player of all time,” said Chiefs coach Andy Reid.
Mahomes said he didn’t take a painkiller shot at half-time as he was busy telling his teammates, ‘You’ve got to enjoy the moment. You can’t let the moment overwhelm you.” Mahomes set the ultimate example by refusing to surrender to the adverse circumstances he faced.
“It didn’t feel good,” he said of his ankle, “but I wanted to keep it all out there. …You’re in the Super Bowl. You can worry that it will be healthy in the off-season.”
The truth is, that night in the desert felt way bigger than the records, the stats, and the streaks. In the wake of Brady’s retirement and LeBron James’s ouster of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record in the NBA, Mahomes is now emerging as America’s next-generation preeminent athlete.
The NFL is by far the nation’s most popular sports and television show, and quarterback position controls winning and losing as well as entertainment value. So Mahomes has the platform necessary to be “the man” for the next decade and make the changes, along with the necessary talent. No quarterback has ever done what Mahomes did in his first five years as a starter, which is why he’s so often compared to Brady.
In a GOAT context, given that Brady was winning 70 percent of his Super Bowl appearances, it was a really good idea for Mahomes to win two of his first three. So Mahomes had every reason to hold on to a second title as people kept bringing up a future run at seven.
“Catching Tom is a long road,” Mahomes had said, “and if you talk to me when I’m about 38 and have five or six of them, then I’m going to start talking about trying to catch him.” catch Tom.”
Expect that to happen in 2034. Mahomes’ father, the former Mets volunteer, once told me his son benefited from a childhood spent around professional athletes, including the outfielders he helped shag balls as a 5-year-old at the 2000 World Series between the Mets and the Yankees.
“There aren’t many events bigger than the World Series,” said Pat Mahomes. “So I don’t think now is a moment too much for Patrick.”
Sunday night wasn’t too big for the Super Bowl MVP, even on a good bike. Patrick Mahomes will be back for more and more and more. He is the new and undisputed king of American sports.
– New York Post
https://www.codesports.com.au/nfl/kansas-city-super-bowl-hero-patrick-mahomes-is-the-new-face-of-american-sports/news-story/a5c9aa93bbeab33e90ea5740c9c39ae2?nk=936aafd65b5945675b8088d331a1886c-1676321603 Super Bowl 2023: Patrick Mahomes takes over from LeBron James Tom Brady as the face of US Sports