Kansas City Chiefs fans dreamed of a quarterback that could lead them to a Super Bowl for decades. With Patrick Mahomes its now just a matter of time.
The date is April 27th, 2017. The first round of the NFL draft is underway and the Buffalo Bills are on the clock with the tenth overall pick. I am anxiously scrolling Twitter hoping to hear rumblings about what the Kansas City Chiefs might be doing with their first-round pick.
Just days before, I had written THIS PIECE begging then-general manager John Dorsey to do what no other Chiefs GM had done in decades: identify his quarterback of choice and go up and get him in the first round of the NFL draft. The Chiefs had been trying to get by with hand-me-down quarterbacks for my entire life as a Chiefs fan, and it was time to actually go get their guy. Suddenly there it was on my Twitter feed. The Chiefs had moved up to the tenth pick in a trade with the Bills.
“This had to be it. They have to finally be getting their quarterback!”
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I set my phone down and began pacing the room. I didn’t want to see who they were taking on Twitter. I wanted to hear the name called at the podium. I hoped it was Patrick Mahomes. That was my favorite guy, but if the Chiefs preferred Deshaun Watson, I would still be thrilled that the Chiefs went up and got the one they wanted. Then the pick was in. Roger Goodell walked to the podium and said the words that I had been hoping to hear.
“With the 10th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select Patrick Mahomes II, quarterback, Texas Tech.”
To be honest, I don’t even remember what words came out of my mouth at that moment. I remember jumping around my living room like a little kid. I was in shock. It really happened. The Chiefs finally invested a first round draft pick in a talented young quarterback. Not only that, they had moved up to ensure they got the quarterback they really wanted instead of waiting for their pick. Not only that, it was the guy that I had been hoping that they would target.
It was a dream come true.
What I didn’t know at that moment, despite how elated I was, was that it was so much better than I ever imagined. Not only had the Chiefs invested in the talented young quarterback that I had been hoping for, but in just two short years, Mahomes was going to prove to be the most talented, most dynamic, most exciting young quarterback that the NFL had seen in years—maybe ever.
The history of the NFL draft is littered with first round quarterback busts. My hope was that the Chiefs would simply avoid the dreaded first round bust and land a guy that could lead their franchise for years to come. I wanted K.C.’s own Philip Rivers (but without the tantrums), Andrew Luck, or Matthew Stafford—a talented young guy that Chiefs coach Andy Reid could groom and maybe, just maybe, build a Super Bowl winning team around. What I didn’t dare dream of was a guy that in his first year starting would put up one of the best statistical seasons in NFL history, a guy that in one season would go toe to toe with the best seasons put up by legendary names like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Dan Marino.
I didn’t dare dream it but that’s exactly what Patrick Mahomes did. In his first season as an NFL starter, he threw for a ridiculous 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns. He completed 66% of his passes with an impressive 8.8 yards per attempt. He only threw 12 interceptions despite his “gunslinger” image and the fact that his defense put pressure on him to have to produce week in and week out. He was named first-team All-Pro at quarterback. He not only made the Pro Bowl but was named its MVP. Then just this past Saturday he completed his sweep of NFL awards by being named both Offensive Player of the Year and the NFL’s MVP.
The only other players to be named MVP at 23 years old or younger are Jim Brown, Walter Payton, and Dan Marino. That’s pretty legendary company to be in.
Awards are nice. Statistics are nice. What really matters in the NFL though is winning and Patrick Mahomes did that too. The Kansas City Chiefs not only were the AFC West champions they were also the top seed in the AFC. Then Mahomes helped the Chiefs end what felt like the longest home playoff losing streak in the history of any major sport when he led the Chiefs to a win over the Indianapolis Colts in Arrowhead. That set up a showdown with the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. We all know how that ended. The Chiefs were a Dee Ford penalty away from making the Super Bowl in Mahomes first year as a starter.
I could end this post right now and you’d have everything you need to make you believe that it’s only a matter of time until Patrick Mahomes leads the Kansas City Chiefs to the Super Bowl. However, the reasons to believe in Mahomes don’t stop with his performance on the field. The man he has shown to be off the field should give KC fans just as much hope and belief.
Yahoo Sports columnist and former Chiefs beat writer Terez Paylor wrote this amazing piece that every Chiefs fan should read. It focuses on Patrick Mahomes inner circle and how they keep him humble and focused. It’s another piece of the puzzle as to how Mahomes has accomplished so much in such a short time. If that piece doesn’t sell you on Mahomes staying focused and bringing a Super Bowl to Kansas City then maybe the closing words of Mahomes MVP acceptance speech will.
“This is just the beginning. We have a long ways to go.”
So I hope Chiefs fans had a nice relaxing Super Bowl Sunday. I hope you were able to sit back and eat some good food and enjoy and debate your favorite commercials with your friends and family while you watched the (snooze-fest of a) game. Something tells me in the years to come that our Super Bowls won’t all be quite as relaxed. Something tells me there will be years where there is a lot of pacing back and forth, stressing about what the Chiefs will do—much like I was watching the draft back in 2017. Hopefully, it all ends with the same excitement I had that night when Roger Goodell called the name Patrick Mahomes and changed the destiny of the Kansas City Chiefs forever.
In the past being a Chiefs fan meant being filled with pessimism and wondering how they were going to mess things up. Now with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, I am no longer wondering if they will ever find a way to get to and win a Super Bowl. For the first time in my life, I am just wondering when they will win one. Here’s to hoping the answer is next year.