Super Bowl LVII was a momentous occasion for multiple reasons.
Patrick Mahomes entered the history books for a quarterback his age, Jalen Hurts displayed his rising stock on the biggest stage and the Kansas City Chiefs cemented their place as the NFL’s next dynasty with a 38-35 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
But it was also a historic moment for much more than that as it was the first Super Bowl in which two Black quarterbacks faced off. For a league where the majority of the players are Black, it was a sign of the on-field progression which has been made over recent years.
A day after Mahomes became the first Black quarterback to win multiple Super Bowl titles and almost exactly 35 years after Doug Williams became the first Black quarterback to start and win a Super Bowl, the 27-year-old superstar spoke about coming head-to-head with Hurts and possibly inspiring those to come.
“It was a special moment. I was glad that the game went the way it went, even though it made me a little nervous at the end,” Mahomes told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “But Jalen played his tail off, man. All respect to him.
“It showed that the Black quarterback, like we’ve always been able to do, can go out and have success on the world stage in the biggest game of them all. We’re standing on the shoulders of Doug Williams, Warren Moon, Shack Harris, all these greats and the guys that didn’t get the chances, they gave us this platform, and hopefully, we can inspire some kids to follow their dream and be a quarterback in the future whenever we’re sitting on the couch watching the Super Bowl.”
A warrior performance
Despite having just finished the sixth year of his career, Mahomes is now in rarefied territory.
He became the only quarterback in NFL history to win two league MVP awards and two Super Bowls in the first six years of his career.
But beyond the accolades and the statistics, the game at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona was a triumph for Mahomes and the Chiefs’ resilience.
At halftime, Kansas City trailed the Eagles by 10 points and just moments before Rihanna wowed the world, Mahomes looked to have reaggravated a serious high ankle sprain suffered weeks before.
In the final 30 minutes though, with everything against the Chiefs, they were able to mount a huge comeback as Mahomes displayed grit and brilliance in the three-point victory.
Mahomes said there was a combination of factors which allowed him to overcome his ankle issues and lead his team.
“First off, I think the rest definitely helped it. I was able to do the mobility stuff in the locker room and get the tape the way I wanted it to get to that second half,” the quarterback explained to Tapper – a noted Eagles fan.
“Whenever you get back out there, you let the adrenaline and your mental, your mind really just take over. You’ve got to leave it on the football field. We’ve got a long offseason to let it rest and get back to 100% next year. I was able to do what I needed to do on the football field.”
Mahomes credits an important halftime break for providing the bedrock for the turnaround.
“First off, we had great halftime adjustments by the coaches,” he said. “I think some guys stepped up and talked and said, ‘Let’s leave it all on the field and see what happens at the end of 30 minutes.’ The guys responded. Everybody stepped up. Offensive line, everybody stepped up. We were able to find a way to win against a great football team.”
As is tradition, Mahomes and the Chiefs celebrated their Super Bowl victory with a trip to Disneyland.
With the trajectory he’s on, it might not be the last time we’ll see Mahomes there.