Patrick Mahomes' time has come in Super Bowl LIV
Fred Jeter | 1/31/2020, 6 a.m.
For far too long, there was a bigoted suspicion that African-Americans “didn’t have what it takes” to play quarterback on the brightest NFL stage. Doug Williams broke that bigoted myth in 1988. The Kansas City Chiefs’Patrick Mahomes II plans to continue shattering such notions Sunday, Feb. 2, in Miami.
For far too long, there was a bigoted suspicion that African-Americans “didn’t have what it takes” to play quarterback on the brightest NFL stage.
Doug Williams broke that bigoted myth in 1988.
The Kansas City Chiefs’Patrick Mahomes II plans to continue shattering such notions Sunday, Feb. 2, in Miami.
From 1967 to 1987, 41 of 42 starting Super Bowl quarterbacks were Caucasian. The sole exception was the Raiders’ Jim Plunkett, who was of Mexican-American ancestry, who helped the team win Super Bowl XV in 1981 and Super Bowl XVIII in 1984.
Williams became the first black starting quarterback in Super Bowl XXII in 1988 for the Washington NFL team and earned MVP honors leading the team to a victory over the Denver Broncos.
The complexion of the position has notably changed in more recent years. Here is a thumbnail Super Bowl history of African-American quarterbacks in the “Big Game:”
• 1988, Super Bowl XXII: Washington 42, Denver 10. Williams becomes first African-American quarterback to start in the NFL championship game or Super Bowl. He responds with 340 yards passing and four touchdowns and is named MVP.
• 2000, Super Bowl XXXIV: St. Louis Rams 23, Tennessee Titans 16. In a losing effort, Titans quarterback Steve McNair passes for 214 yards and runs for 64 more. The game ended with the Titans on the Rams’ 1-yard line.
• 2005, Super Bowl XXXIX: New England Patriots 24, Philadelphia Eagles: Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb is brilliant, even in defeat, with 305 yards passing and three touchdowns. Upstaging the game somewhat at halftime was former member of The Beatles, Paul McCartney.
• 2013, Super Bowl XLVII: Baltimore Ravens 34, San Francisco 49ers 31. Long before his name was synonymous with controversy, San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick passes for 202 yards and a touchdown and runs for 64 yards and a touchdown in the Super Bowl game.
• 2014, Super Bowl XLVIII: Seattle Seahawks 43, Denver Broncos 8: Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns and records a whopping 123.1 quarterback rating. First cold-weather Super Bowl site: East Ru- therford, N.J.
• 2015, Super Bowl XLIX: New England Patriots 28, Seattle Seahawks 24: Seattle quarterback Wilson’s second Super Bowl trip doesn’t end as well as his first. The former Richmonder is intercepted in the end zone by Malcolm Butler with 26 seconds left.
Now in 2020, it’s Mahomes’ turn to win the Super Bowl quarterbacking for the Chiefs.
Kansas City traded veteran Alex Smith to Washington two years ago to clear an opening for Mahomes. The Chiefs have never regretted the decision. Mahomes was league MVP in 2018.
The 24-year-old Texas Tech alumnus has been scintillating in his two seasons as Kansas City’s starter. In two playoff victories this winter, he passed for 615 yards and eight touchdowns and ran for 125 yards and two touchdowns.
His nickname, “Homes Sweet Mahomes,” is a play on his cool, confident game-day demeanor. Nothing seems to rattle the son of former major league baseball pitcher Pat Mahomes, not even a 24-0 deficit the Chiefs faced against the Houston Texans in the divisional round.
Following the dreadful start, Mahomes rallied the team to a 51-31 victory over the Texans. He followed that with a 35-24 win over the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship.
So much for the undercard.
Now Mahomes enters football’s main event. Only those who may have been living in a cave for decades might doubt him.