It is hard to imagine anyone has had a better 12 months than Patrick Mahomes.
The Chiefs quarterback won his first Super Bowl a year ago, earning MVP honors in the comeback win over the 49ers. In July, he signed a 10-year, $450 million contract extension with the Chiefs. He fulfilled one of his dreams and became a minority owner of the Kansas City Royals after the ink dried on his new contract. In September, he got engaged to longtime girlfriend Brittany Matthews and now the two are expecting their first child, due this month. On Sunday, Mahomes will play in the Super Bowl again, with a chance to win his second Lombardi Trophy at 25.
Not a bad year. But Mahomes said Monday that he was not immune to what was going on in the world and the country, even as he had plenty of personal successes.
“It’s full of ups and downs,” Mahomes said. “That’s the biggest thing. Obviously, winning the Super Bowl, amazing. Being able to celebrate that first championship in 50 years in the Chiefs Kingdom, the parade and all that was awesome. Then, we got hit with the pandemic. I think as a country and the world, we all strive to keep each other safe and keep ourselves safe. Then, all the social justice and things going on in that realm, as a nation we’ve had to find ways to strive and make ourselves better there.
“Now, back into the football season and back in another Super Bowl, it’s full of ups and downs. I’ve just realized I can control what I can control and that is to be the best person, the best player and the best person in the community that I can be every single day.”
Much of the focus of this week leading up to Super Bowl 2021 will be the matchup between Mahomes and Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. The legacy of Brady is already secure with six Super Bowl titles. Mahomes has a chance to bolster his legacy and establish himself as already on a path to being an all-time great with a win Sunday.
Many of the questions Mahomes got during Monday’s virtual media session centered on Brady. He was asked if the head-to-head matchup motivates him, knowing this could be the final time they play each other.
“If you’re not fired up to play in the Super Bowl, then I don’t know what else can get you any more fired up,” Mahomes said. “To be able to play in the Super Bowl and try to repeat is enough in its own. They said the last game that we played was going to be the last time we played. I’m sure he’ll have something to say about that, trying to make Super Bowls, and I’ll be trying to make more, too.”
As for being one of the all-time greats, Mahomes said he has a long way to go.
“It’s obviously really exciting to hear but you understand that you’re really far away,” Mahomes said. “There’s so much stuff that can happen in this league and in this game that all I can focus on is trying to do whatever I can to win the next game that I play in. It’s going to be a good opportunity for me to get to play against Tom, an all-time great, the GOAT, everything like that. At the end of the day, all I can do is prepare myself to play the best football I can every single day I get the opportunity to.”
Could he imagine playing until he is 43 like Brady?
“I want to play as long as they let me,” Mahomes said.
Right now, Mahomes is focused on Sunday. He has a chance to get another ring and add to his amazing year. Then, he’ll get ready for fatherhood.
“After Sunday, hopefully we win and I can celebrate with my teammates as much as possible,” Mahomes said. “After that, I’m preparing to be a dad. It’s going to be special to have a baby girl and to be there and be a part of it and do whatever I can to be the best dad I possibly can.”