Patrick Mahomes adds to legend with Super Bowl performance worthy of championship belt he rocked after it

GLENDAL, Arizona. A replica of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt was in a black cloth bag hanging on a chair in front of Patrick Mahomes’ locker.

It was, perhaps, the only thing that could attract the attention of Mahomes and temporarily knock him out of the euphoria of another Super Bowl victory – Kansas City 38, Philadelphia 35.

What to give to a person who has everything, including two Vince Lombardi trophies at the age of 27?

Mahomes gleefully unzipped and pulled out a belt emblazoned with two Chiefs logos. He examined it proudly, then slung it over his shoulder, pads still on. It was here, amid the cigar smoke of victory, that he proudly posed for photographs before taking her to the defense locker room so the guys there could dance and celebrate with her.

“Ugh, I need a Coors Light,” he told no one in particular, even as they brought in champagne. He certainly got his beer. Whatever the champion wanted, he got.

There were bigger and stronger players in Sunday’s Super Bowl. There were also faster and more elusive ones. However, no one was cooler than #15, who saw his ankle bruise as his legend got bigger.

“This man,” said Kadarius Tony, wide receiver and Chiefs player, “is a true warrior.”

The right ankle that had haunted him throughout those playoffs flared up again after a tackle late in the second quarter. By halftime, Mahomes winced at every clumsy step, and the scoreboard showed: Philadelphia – 24, Chiefs – 14. Kansas City played only 20 games and made this list only thanks to a goal from Nick Bolton.

In the dressing room at halftime, Mahomes decided to take a walk and let everyone know that he was going to be all right, he would be working his hardest. “This guy will go 100 percent,” Bolton said. “If he can play, let him play. This is his mindset.”

Mahomes said he was not given injections or took painkillers. His teammates said he was simply demanding that everyone “bring energy”. They knew better than to wonder if he would do it.

By the end of the fourth quarter the game was 35-35. Mahomes had already thrown three touchdowns in the second half, but the Eagles proved resilient. Now Mahomes had the ball and Philadelphia had his heart ready for his throat. It’s the scariest scene in the league, Patrick with the ball and a chance to win, somehow, somehow.

On this occasion, he rolled back to his 47-yard line and then moved forward as the rush crashed around him, sprained ankle be damned. Just like that, the unlikely became unstoppable, and he took off.

He crossed 50 and turned it on.

Mahomes has never been this fast, but you need to be faster than the guy chasing you; in this case, it’s Phildelphia linemen Javon Hargrave and Haason Reddick. It went 45, 40, 35, 30 and then 20. Eventually he was knocked down, but with 2:45 left the game turned into a chess game and Kansas City had all the pieces, all the leverage, not to mention king.

Seven plays later, Harrison Butker scored the game-winning field goal.

Heroes were all over the field in red and white – Tony’s punt return from 65 yards, Isaiah Pacheco’s furious run, Andy Reid’s and Eric Biniemi’s playing calls.

But, as always, in Kansas City everything goes through number 15. Two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, that 26-yard run, masterful timing.

The WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt is a perfect fit for Patrick Mahomes, especially after his daring performance at Super Bowl LVII.  (Photo by Cooper Neil/Getty Images)
The WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt is a perfect fit for Patrick Mahomes, especially after his daring performance at Super Bowl LVII. (Photo by Cooper Neil/Getty Images)

Tom Brady has retired, and this time almost certainly for good. Aaron Rodgers is not far behind. Now the NFL is the Mahomes league. He runs this city like Rihanna put it on halftime. Five years as a starter, five AFC Championship games, three Super Bowl appearances and two titles, the only current QB with more than one. Won two league MVPs, two Super Bowl MVPs and now the WWE Championship after perhaps the toughest performance of his career.

Mahomes was asked if the Chieftains were a dynasty, and like any good wrestler, he dismissed that suggestion.

“I wouldn’t say ‘dynasty’ just yet,” he smiled. “We’re not done yet.”

Salary cap issues allegedly left the Chiefs vulnerable this season. Tyreke Hill was in Miami. All runners were injured. Painfully young was the team, 10 newcomers in the deuce.

“However, we had Patrick Mahomes,” Binemi said.

In many ways, it was. Mahomes threw over only 182 yards and rushed to only 44, but that didn’t paint the full picture. He and the line of attack escaped the bag.

“He’s a dog,” Kansas City quarterback Chris Jones said before making a reference to Michael Jordan. “Next year, you’ll all be thinking, ‘Is this his game with the flu?’ Pat is a once-in-a-generation player.”

While the Chiefs were entertaining themselves in the locker room after the game, Mahomes took several rounds to make sure he hugged or acknowledged every last teammate, coach, support staff, or family member of team owner Clark Hunt. Offensive line. Protective field. Coaches. Analysts. Whatever.

They responded as if it was a compliment from an older brother. They took pictures with him, FaceTimed him with mom or dad, or just videotaped their hugs. They are all equal, a family of 53, a championship of 53, but Mahomes remains Mahomes.

“The coolest son of a bitch you’ve ever met, man,” said Chiefs’ Travis Kelsey.

A champion among champions, now with a belt to prove it.


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