AVENTURA, Fla. – Patrick Mahomes didn’t have the average childhood and it’s helped him become an amazing quarterback that has the Kansas City Chiefs one-win from capturing their first Super Bowl in 50 years.
Mahomes got to be around Major League Baseball clubhouses while his father, journeyman pitcher Pat Mahomes, bounced around from team to team. But Patrick Mahomes didn’t just shag flyballs and take BP with professional ball players. He watched and learned from some of the game’s all-time greats, including former Yankees Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. It showed Mahomes how hard he had to work to be a pro.
“It’s definitely an advantage because I got to see a lot of things that not a lot of kids got to see,” Mahomes said. “I got to see players like Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter and how hard they trained when they were at the top of the game and they were really dominating the sport. And I got to see other guys and how they trained just as hard, and it really was just a grind.
“You don’t see that as a little kid. You see the guys performing and being great. But you don’t understand how much hard work it takes. That instilled in me at a young age that I’m going to work hard if I’m going to be where I want to be.”
Mahomes is at the top of his game and at the top of his sport, and he’s only 24 years old.
He has only been a starting quarterback for two seasons, and he’s already got one NFL MVP Award and is playing in his first Super Bowl on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. The way the Chiefs are built and because of Mahomes, this could be the first of many trips.
“Obviously, I want to be back in my career,” Mahomes said. “But I’m going to take advantage of this opportunity.”
Right from the start, no moment was too big for him, and that comes from his upbringing and his preparation.
His coaches and teammates marvel at how Mahomes studies, works, processes things and remembers everything that’s thrown at him. Combine that with his incredible skills, arm strength and ability to make plays off schedule and Mahomes has all the makings of a special, sublime player.
“When I started playing with him, it’s like I restarted my entire career,” All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce said. “It was like football was new. It was an exciting feeling. I never felt that before playing the game. He just gives you that confidence and that ability you know what we can go out there and beat anybody.”
He’s proven it in these playoffs. Mahomes led the Chiefs back from a 24-0 hole to the Texans in the AFC Divisional Round and erased a 10-point deficit against the Titans in the conference championship. And neither game was close at the end.
Now Mahomes could be the quarterback who finally gets Andy Reid his first Super Bowl title as a head coach.
Reid can tell Mahomes’ upbringing has prepared him for this moment. But his “photographic memory” and some God-given gifts also set him apart.
“He’s got great vision on the field,” Reid saud. “He can see, which becomes important for quarterbacks, in particular the way he does things. He utilizes all his receivers. I tell the guys there’s a never a dead route. There’s no clearing routes. Everybody’s alive because of his vision. He’ll see you and shoot you, and you better be ready. I like the way he goes about his business. He still has plenty of room to grow, which is exciting.”
That also could be scary for the rest of the NFL, considering what Mahomes has done already. And he's only 24.