I wish I knew where to begin, but I really don’t. My mind is still reeling from what I witnessed Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium, where Patrick Mahomes once again proved that he is the best quarterback in the universe.
I just wonder where he hides his Superman cape while he is performing miracles with his arm and legs.
But, before I say much more about Sunday’s 35-24 AFC Championship win against Tennessee, I have to take a 50-year trip back to my home in Independence where my love affair with the Chiefs began.
I sat in my home on Queen Ridge Drive in 1970 and watched coach Hank Stram’s Kansas City Chiefs upset the heavily favored Minnesota Vikings 23-7 on an 18-inch black-and-white television that graced the corner of our living room.
My brothers and I were jumping up and down, high-fiving, hugging and basically going crazy throughout the game. Then, when Otis Taylor broke one tackle and stiff-armed Earsell Mackbee on game-changing 46-yard touchdown reception, I knew my team was going to be a Super Bowl champion.
I thought back to that game Sunday, as I sat in the press box and watched Clark Hunt, the son of late Chiefs CEO and AFL founder Lamar Hunt, accept the trophy that featured his father's name.
When Mahomes took off on an improbable touchdown run that gave the Chiefs a 21-17 lead, I thought back to the memorable Taylor touchdown.
The kid is perhaps the most special NFL player on the planet and he has been embraced by a community unlike any other in Kansas City sports history. We’ve been blessed to have George Brett, Frank White, Tom Watson and many other hometown heroes, but we’ve never had a treasure like Mahomes.
When asked about his touchdown run, in true Mahomes fashion, he shifted the spotlight to his coaches and teammates. It’s like Crash Davis, the memorable Kevin Costner character from “Bull Durham,” writes his weekly script because, like his skill set, it is too good to be true.
“They were playing kind of a version of two-man or 11-double I would say, where they were doubling Tyreek (Hill) with his speed and (Travis) Kelce obviously with the things he did last week,” Mahomes explained.
“So, with them playing like that, the line kind of got them put back and all together with the D-line, so I broke it. I was thinking about running out of bounds but as I got to the sideline, I realized I could cut up and I was running down the sideline and I knew we had two timeouts so I was like I might as well cut it back. So, I cut it back and luckily I was able to hang onto the ball and get in the end zone.”
There was no luck involved. Pure Mahomes magic, but no luck.
After the victory, as confetti showered the field and 80,000 fans – including my son Sean, who called the game “The greatest day of my life” – another magical moment transpired.
After Mahomes, Clark Hunt, coach Andy Reid and defensive back Tyrann Mathieu addressed those on hand and a nationally televised audience, Travis Kelce grabbed the microphone from Jim Nantz.
I’m sure the CBS folks with their fingers on the seven-second pause button were holding their collective breath, but the best tight end in the NFL, with a personality as big and bright his on-field talent, shouted, “It’s been seven years coming baby. I’ve learned since coming here YOU’VE GOTTA FIGHT, FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PARRRRRRRTY!” – quoting the popular Beastie Boys song that is played before Chiefs kickoffs.
That’s when tears filled my eyes and I knew this was reality, and not some moment I have been dreaming about for the past five decades.
The only way it would be better would be if I could find a way to get to Miami to watch Mahomes and Co. take care of the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV in person.
However, I’ll be just fine at my home in Grain Valley, with my three dogs – Marley, Weezer and Darla – sitting on my lap alongside Sean and my understanding wife Stacy watching on a television that is a bit bigger than 18 inches. And hey, it’s even color!
– Bill Althaus is a sports writer and columnist for The Examiner. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 816-350-6333. Follow him on Twitter: @AlthausEJC