Patrick Mahomes' untouchable Kansas City bond (2024)

I. The Kansas City Spirit

Eleven months after the end of World War I, Kansas City held a parade. Thousands marched through downtown. School children lined Grand Boulevard. War veterans donned uniforms and carried flags. It was a soaring exercise in patriotism with a secondary motive: Civic leaders wanted $2 million to help put the city on the map.


“Kansas City is right now at the turn in the road,” a serviceman named H.R. Palmer wrote in an editorial for The Kansas City Star. “Shall it become a great city?”

Palmer, a bookish man in his late 30s, was a newspaperman by trade, a former city editor for The Star who had watched the city boom before the war, growing from a dusty cow-town in the heart of America to a cosmopolitan outpost with big dreams. The locals called the ethos “The Kansas City Spirit” — the belief that something small could become something better if only the people believed — and when Palmer returned home from duty in France in the fall of 1919, he found a Midwestern town thinking grand.

A year earlier, just weeks after the Armistice in Europe, Kansas City’s leaders had chosen to erect a memorial for the soldiers of the Great War. It was not unique then, of course, for a city to dedicate something to those who served. In Kansas City, however, the spirit took hold. The same civic boosters who envisioned a beautiful “City of a Million” viewed the project as the most important in the town’s history. The mission wasn’t just about a memorial, they said. It was a chance to kill the cow-town label and signal Kansas City’s arrival.

“It should be useful … and help in the effort this city must make if it is to forge ahead in the competitive race with other cities,” said B.A. Parson, the president of the chamber of commerce.

As the city planned a parade to kick off its fundraising drive for what would be called the “Liberty Memorial,” Palmer wrote a guest editorial in The Star, appealing to the town’s deep-rooted parochial feelings. In his eyes, the city was at a crossroads, on the precipice of greatness. It couldn’t afford to become “an ugly town.” In another piece, the paper staked its position more bluntly: “Kansas City isn’t a hundred thousand dollar town.”


The appeals worked. The city raised $2 million — the equivalent of $30 million today. A hilltop site was chosen just south of the glistening Union Station train depot. A New York architect was hired. When the site was officially dedicated in 1921, Vice President Calvin Coolidge came to town and hundreds of thousands of Kansas Citians jammed onto the hill to watch the proceedings. From the top, you could see out across all of downtown. According to The Kansas City Star, “there never was such a crowd anywhere.”

And then something funny happened. The memorial went up, towering 217 feet. The crowds dissipated. The city continued to grow, but mostly, it pushed along like always, a plucky cow town in the middle of the country. After a while, a few people in Kansas City even started complaining about Liberty Memorial.

They said it looked like a smokestack.

II. ‘Rubo-phobia’

On a Wednesday last February, three days after the Chiefs won the Super Bowl, Kansas City held another parade. This one had a lot more beer. Thousands of Kansas Citians flooded into the streets of downtown. Players rode double-decker buses down Grand, wearing ski goggles and shotgunning Bud Lights. One well-lubed fan stood atop a horse and grooved. At the end of the parade route, on a stage in front of Union Station, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce took the mic and pointed up toward Liberty Memorial, now almost a century old, where a mass of people in red stood on the same Kansas City hilltop that once held so much promise. “The heart of America!” Kelce screamed, only slightly inebriated.

It was, without hyperbole, one of the biggest parties in Kansas City history, a day of joy and pride and chugging, a moment that seemed impossible for much of the last half-century. “How do you hold up your head higher than when you’re world champions?” says Quinton Lucas, the city’s 36-year-old mayor. Three days earlier, the Chiefs had trailed the San Francisco 49ers by 10 points in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIV. But they had won — and had done so in style — for one reason: They had Patrick Mahomes, and the 49ers did not. On the morning of the parade, Lucas had arrived at the route around 4:30 a.m. Fans were already bundled up, braving the frigid temps and filing onto the hill above Union Station. A few hours later, Mahomes stood in the shadow of the Liberty Memorial, and maybe the same thought dawned on the mass of fans looking up to the world champions, and out toward downtown: We have Patrick Mahomes, and your city doesn’t.


“Stay with me,” Mahomes told the crowd, his raspy voice starting to break. “My voice is already almost gone, and y’all know I don’t have too much already.”

Mahomes didn’t need his voice, of course. He’d already said enough. As a first-year starter in 2018, he had thrown 50 touchdown passes, won the NFL MVP award and led the Chiefs to the AFC championship game for the first time in 25 years. For an encore, he had led the franchise to its first Super Bowl title in 50 years — a lifetime, as broadcaster and Kansas City resident Kevin Harlan put it.

Patrick Mahomes' untouchable Kansas City bond (1)

(Super Bowl celebration at the Liberty Memorial: Kyle Rivas / Getty Images)

Kansas City has won championships before. The Royals held their own parade just five years earlier; the Kansas City Monarchs fielded some of the greatest baseball teams ever. Still, the city had never seen something like this: a Hall of Fame coach, a budding dynasty, the greatest quarterback of all time? It seemed preposterous. In part because Mahomes was 24 and three years into his career. In part because this was Kansas City, once a cow town in middle America, and this was a movie. “You never see Kansas City in a movie,” Lucas says.

If you grew up in Kansas City, as Lucas did, you understand this. The city has always been defined in certain ways: By its modest size. By the cities it is not. By its periods of striving, of the need to grow, enlighten and arrive, to prove to others that it is better than you think. Calvin Trillin, the legendary American humorist and Kansas City native, once described the condition as “rubo-phobia” — the fear of being taken for a rube. And yet, while all of this may be true, Kansas Citians have as much pride in their city as anyone. (It is a 100 percent certainty that in no town in the world are more people wearing T-shirts that promote the city in which they live.)

In Kansas City, the last two decades have brought a downtown renaissance, a World Series championship and a GOAT-in-waiting. In his third season, Mahomes might win a second MVP, the Chiefs are Super Bowl favorites, and it’s enough to ponder the future of Kansas City.

A century ago, the city’s leaders thought a monument could help transform the city’s identity. Turns out, all they needed was a quarterback.

III. The Paris of the Plains

Here is a story about Kansas City: Fifty years after the town was founded, and 63 years before professional football came to the heartland, the city landed the Democratic National Convention in the summer of 1900. It was an undeniable coup — national recognition in an era before pro sports captured the country’s imagination — and it was possible because the city banded together to build a great Convention Hall, a magnificent structure of steel and stone that opened in 1899.


Then, on April 4, 1900, the hall burned to the ground, leaving the city in shock.

The convention was set to open July 4. Kansas City had three months. With a challenge before it, construction crews rebuilt the hall in 90 days, the convention came to town, and the secretary of the Democratic National Committee testified that the town “contains a higher degree of public spirit than any other city in the United States.”

Since the beginning, Kansas City has been a city of contradictions, including its natural geographical confusion: Founded in 1850 as the Town of Kansas on the bluffs of the Missouri River, it grew from a modest trading post into a livestock capital, home of the Kansas City Stockyards, an enterprise that naturally straddled the literal state line of Kansas and Missouri. It was a polite Midwestern town home to a criminal underworld, all-night speakeasies and a classic Democratic political machine. (Boss Tom Pendergast pulled the strings from an office on Main Street.) It was so open, so full of vice and booze and 5 a.m. jazz shows, that a visiting journalist once dubbed it “the Paris of the Plains.” (A caveat: The man was from Omaha.) It was a city with affordable real estate and subdivisions so meticulously planned that for decades it gained a reputation as an excellent place to live. (The Country Club Plaza, opened in 1923, is said to be the first shopping center in the world designed with cars in mind.) It also had a history of racist housing codes and covenants that excluded Black families and left the city with a painful legacy of segregation.

Back then, when Kansas City was still young, before the Depression blunted its momentum and football arrived, a reporter from The New Republic visited town, studied the locals and wrote that Kansas City embodied America’s heart. The city had its flaws — he also hated the Liberty Memorial — but it also had its triumphs, its beauty and its delectable barbecue. The people had hearts “as big as their prairies.” They also had “a wholly unnecessary inferiority complex.” (The mood would linger long enough that, by 2013, a local musician and entrepreneur named Kemet Coleman actually started a club, “Phantoms of KC,” to fight the attitude.)

Here is another story about Kansas City: In February 1963, Dallas Texans owner Lamar Hunt came to the Kansas City Club on Baltimore Street, near the northern edge of downtown, where he unveiled a pact. If the people of Kansas City would buy 25,000 season tickets, he would bring the AFL franchise to town. Like the plan to rebuild the great convention hall, the city had just months to complete the project.

The Kansas City spirit took over. Seven years later, the Chiefs won Super Bowl IV. The city had a parade. Then it took another 50 to get back. They could never find the right quarterback.

IV. The Quarterback

On Aug. 31, 2017, before anyone knew what Patrick Mahomes might be, he uncorked what might have been the most absurd throw in Chiefs history. At least, to that point. It didn’t count, of course, because it was preseason, and Mahomes was still 21, and he was only starting against the Titans because Alex Smith was resting for Week 1. But it was a throw you don’t forget — daring, athletic, impossible.


Midway through the second quarter, on first and 10 from the 18, Mahomes dropped back into the pocket, surveyed the field, then bolted to his right, keeping his eyes up, toward the secondary. He wasn’t scrambling so much as sprinting, on a straight line to the sideline, and after running halfway across the field — and with a defender in his face — he stepped onto his back foot and flung a pass downfield. The football traveled 55 yards in the air, a spirited heave into the Kansas City night. It dropped into the outstretched arms of receiver Damarcus Robinson, who hit the ground along the sideline. Mahomes took a helmet to the chest.

“Quite a play,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said afterward. You could almost see a smile.

If you talk to enough Chiefs fans, there is a common sentiment about experiencing Mahomes. It is not just that he is the best quarterback in the NFL, though that fact will stun anyone who is familiar with the team’s history. It is that the greatest player at the most important position in sports happens to play in Kansas City — and he also happens to be insanely fun and completely satisfying to watch. “A phenomenon,” says Kay Barnes, a former Kansas City mayor in the early aughts and a Chiefs season-ticket holder.

“You can turn on whatever film you want,” says Kelce, his tight end. “He’s the best player in the National Football League.”

Mahomes has the highest passer rating (108.7) in NFL history among QBs who have started at least three seasons. He is 42-9 as a starter, including the playoffs (a winning percentage that, to this point, exceeds Tom Brady’s). In December, Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers reached 400 touchdown passes in 193 games, the fastest in NFL history. Mahomes is on pace to reach the number in 162 games. Almost two full seasons quicker.

You can go on. When it is third and 10, Mahomes runs for 11. When the defense takes away his right arm, he throws with his left. He is so productive, so electrifying, and just so awesome at playing quarterback, that you need to use three former Kansas City legends to describe what you’re witnessing.

“He’s Len Dawson plus George Brett times Bo Jackson,” says Soren Petro, an afternoon sports radio show host in Kansas City on 810-WHB.

Patrick Mahomes' untouchable Kansas City bond (2)

(Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today Sports)

Dawson was Kansas City’s first franchise quarterback — the only other one to win a Super Bowl. Brett was the Hall of Fame third baseman with the gaudy numbers and clutch moments. Jackson was a living, breathing highlight. Mahomes, who plays quarterback as if he grew up playing shortstop (he did) and studying Rodgers (he did), embodies all three at once. “He plays that game like he’s out in the park,” said Chiefs legend Bobby Bell, a Hall of Fame linebacker who helped the team win Super Bowl IV.


Mahomes has been so good that he has fundamentally changed Petro’s job. Sports talk radio is a space for frustration, for venting and worrying and fetishizing the backup quarterback. On Petro’s show, “The Program,” they had to start a segment called “Nitpick Mondays.”

“The complaints that people have,” Petro says, “they’re almost apologetic when they bring it up.”

The wild thing is that Mahomes didn’t even need to be a prospective GOAT to capture Kansas City. When he was drafted 10th overall in 2017, the Chiefs had not drafted a quarterback in the first round since Todd Blackledge in 1983, and for most of the previous 30 years, the team had run out a succession of former 49ers starters and backups — five in all. Mahomes just needed to be really good. Win the division. Get to a Super Bowl. Finally.

The bar was high, but he did not need to be an evolved version of Aaron Rodgers or the Steph Curry of quarterbacks. And then, one day in practice during his rookie year, he made a throw so mind-bending — no-look, side-arm, through three defenders — that Chiefs general manager Brett Veach still has the clip stored away. “To this day, I share it to everybody,” he said during last year’s Super Bowl week. In three seasons, Mahomes has already piled up a career of those moments. The throw in Denver in 2017, in his first career start. The fourth-down magic against Baltimore in 2018. The run against the Titans in last year’s AFC championship game, which made CBS’ Jim Nantz shout: “Out of this world!”

However good you think Mahomes is, he might be better. He has led the Chiefs to four playoff wins in two seasons, the same number the franchise won in the previous 48 years. In 2020, he went 14-1, tossed 38 touchdowns against six interceptions and posted a career-high completion percentage (66.3). Yet beyond the numbers and moments — beyond the immeasurable fun that is Mahomes on a football field — there is something else going on.

V. The Voice

Mahomes has the most fascinating voice in the NFL. It’s gravelly. It cracks. The twang hits you when you least expect it. Backup quarterback Chad Henne once invoked Kermit the Frog, which would be true if Kermit were from Texas. The voice is also magical. In three seasons, Mahomes has become the master of the hard count, drawing opponents offside. (“It’s something that I’ve kind of embraced,” he said in 2018.) His voice is different. It surprises people.

Last summer, he learned just how powerful it could be.


In early June, as the country roiled in the wake of George Floyd’s death, a collection of NFL stars came together to make a statement to commissioner Roger Goodell. The group included Deshaun Watson, Michael Thomas and Odell Beckham Jr. After thinking it over, Mahomes joined in, reading a portion of a prepared script: “Black Lives Matter,” he said, looking into the camera. The next day, Goodell responded. In a 180-degree turn from the league’s previous stance on player protests, Goodell echoed Mahomes’ voice. “We, the National Football League, believe Black Lives Matter.”

Just days earlier, protestors in Kansas City had gathered at a park on the Country Club Plaza, the historic shopping district, where a potent mix of frustration, anger, politics and history had pushed a normally staid city to a boiling point. The previous year, the city had wrestled with a way to honor Martin Luther King Jr. (The city council decided to rename the historic Paseo Boulevard for King before voters overturned the decision.) As the summer’s racial reckoning reached Kansas City streets, the town debated what to do with a parkway and fountain named for J.C. Nichols, a famed real estate developer whose discriminatory housing covenants and neighborhood associations had aggravated racial disparities and entrenched segregation.

Into the maw stepped Mahomes, who had charmed the city during his first years with a laid-back persona, a good-natured humility and a tendency to say the right thing.

“As a Black person in Kansas City,” says Lucas, the mayor, “I was touched to have his voice in that conversation.”

Mahomes did not stop there. In September, he helped soothe division over the Paseo/MLK naming controversy by pledging up to $1 million to renovate Kansas City’s MLK Square Park. In November, he spent more than six figures on new voting machines as Arrowhead Stadium became a polling location for the first time. And earlier in the fall, he and the Texans’ Watson organized a moment of unity for equality on the NFL’s opening night at Arrowhead Stadium. That the moment was met with isolated booing, amplified on national television, underscored the need for the activism, and in a postgame press conference, Mahomes seemed undeterred.

“I hope our fans will support us,” he said, wearing a Monarchs jersey.

Patrick Mahomes' untouchable Kansas City bond (3)

(Jamie Squire / Getty Images)

Kansas City’s latest reckoning is not its first. More than a half-century ago, Lucile Bluford, a Black newspaper editor at the Kansas City Call, shed light on local police brutality. Last month the Kansas City Star apologized to the city’s Black community for decades of racist coverage. Mahomes, though, is different in one sense. He is the best player in the NFL and one of its most marketable. (The city has not had a Black superstar with such a national platform since perhaps Jackson in the late 1980s.) He is just learning how to use his voice.


“Kansas City bought into this,” says Bell, the franchise legend and former Super Bowl champ. “I tell people this all the time. It’s been a long time. It’s a first for here.”

When Bell joined the Chiefs in 1963, the AFL had no Black quarterbacks, the Plaza had no Black business owners, and he couldn’t buy a home in the Kansas City suburbs. Nobody would sell to a Black man, not even a Chiefs star. Bell wouldn’t take no for an answer, pushing to integrate an affluent inner-ring neighborhood once planned by Nichols. More than a half-century later, Bell is 80 and retired. He watched with pride last summer as Mahomes, the best quarterback in football, took up the mantle, joining the conversation for equality.

“A long time ago they said you couldn’t even play,” Bell says. “And guess what? He’s playing and he’s the No. 1 guy.”

Last summer, as Bell watched Mahomes speak out, activists, local organizers and protestors spent nights at the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain, pressing local police officials for reforms. That the fountain was a magnet for protesters was no accident. In the first half of the 20th century, Nichols had built new neighborhoods, helped plant the Liberty Memorial and designed the Plaza (with its Moorish Revival Architecture that echoes Seville, Spain). His practices, however, had disastrous consequences. He pioneered the use of automatically renewing discriminatory covenants and was a leader in creating the Federal Housing Administration, which declined to insure loans in nonwhite areas across the U.S., in a practice known as redlining. Two Kansas Cities arose from the racist policies and disinvestment, one separated by the “Troost Wall,” named for the street that divided Black and White, and still leaves scars.

“I was ashamed to say what my address was,” said Coleman, the local musician and community builder who grew up near 75th and Troost. “I would even lie and say I lived on Ward Parkway.”

Lucas was born on the East Side, to a single mother, and still lives near the Historic 18th and Vine district, where famous jazz musicians once played. As a child, he earned a scholarship to the prestigious Barstow Academy. Lucas was around Black friends and family at home and White friends at school, which made him a believer in moderation for Kansas City, and he doesn’t mean politically.

“We’re one of those places where we try to see more commonality than we do difference and see that there’s no shame in that,” he says.


Lucas said he has seen the same spirit in Mahomes, who, as as a native of East Texas with a White mother and Black father, walked through different worlds, too. He saw it in the Goodell video, he said, and in the moment of unity.

“In a sense,” Lucas says, “he was saying, ‘I have a voice and I’m not ashamed in using it.’”

VI. The Identity

A few years before Lucas became mayor, he traveled to Italy for vacation. Tired of wine one night, he stumbled into an Irish pub in Florence frequented by military members from a nearby base. One was from a Kansas City suburb. Upon meeting Lucas, he rolled up his sleeves and displayed a tattoo of the Chiefs on one arm and a silhouette of the downtown skyline on the other. It was almost too on the nose: sport and city, closely linked.

This relationship exists in other places, of course, but in some ways, Kansas City is different. Austin can fall back on live music as a representation of the city. Atlanta has rap legends and entertainment moguls. Memphis has the blues. New Orleans has Bourbon Street and history and a spirit of perseverance. Denver has the mountains — even when the Broncos are down. Kansas City has … well, people can’t get too excited about relatively affordable real estate or having a pleasant quality of life (although city leadership tried mighty hard; a slogan in the mid-’70s was practical: “One of the last livable cities left”).

Kansas Citians have the Chiefs and the Royals — and lately, Sporting KC — teams to build an identity around, to evolve with, to feel elated and angry about. When former Chiefs general manager Carl Peterson arrived in 1989, the culture felt like college: tailgating, families and a desire to belong. Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt even built an apartment inside Arrowhead stadium, complete with curated antiques. “Kansas City was the perfect fit,” Peterson said.

If any quarterback could understand the essence of a town — and then complement it perfectly — it is Mahomes. He wore jean shorts to a local NASCAR race. He was self-conscious about his love of ketchup (until the endorsem*nts rolled in). He enjoyed the pace and embraced the culture, history and barbecue.

“We do feel pride and feel excitement and anticipation, and his growing reputation of never giving up,” said Barnes, the former mayor. “There’s a whole message there … as far as, ‘We can do this.’”


Barnes, 82, was one of 6,000 people at old Municipal Stadium in August 1963 for the Chiefs’ first exhibition game. When she purchased season tickets in her 20s, Sundays meant afternoons at the game and then piling into a car to celebrate at a friend’s house. As she waded into Kansas City’s mostly male political circles, Barnes often talked sports to break the ice. That was how she fit into the boys’ club. That was how you fit in with any group in town. In 1970, Barnes remembers water levels falling throughout the region during halftime of the Chiefs’ Super Bowl win. People were getting up to use the bathroom at the exact same time.

Patrick Mahomes' untouchable Kansas City bond (4)

From left, Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt, Otis Taylor, coach Hank Stram and Len Dawson at Kansas City rally celebrating 1970 Super Bowl victory (Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images)

Kansas City has always acted in lockstep with its football team. In the late ‘70s, when the losing seasons piled up and the population of downtown shriveled from 30,000 to just 6,000, a boy named Aaron Dontez Yates started going to games with his uncle Ike. Yates lived in the Wayne Miner public housing complex. He loved the Arrowhead atmosphere and art and later adopted a different persona for his budding music career: Tech N9ne

By the 1990s, the Chiefs were rising again and Tech N9ne seemed on a traditional track to rap stardom. Major labels, however, were skeptical of his eclectic style, so the famous producer Quincy Jones offered some simple advice: “Rap what you know, and people will forever feel you.” Tech N9ne, more than anything, knew Kansas City. On a random Sunday in the ’90s, he was angry about a football game. He jotted his feelings on paper, and they became a signature line in a career that influenced the Soundcloud rap generation and made him one of the highest-paid independent artists in hip-hop.

“I’m mad ‘cause the Chiefs lost/I’m pissed off.”

“A lot of people felt the same,” he says.

While Tech wrote lyrics, a teenage Lucas was filling his own notebook. He mused about Martyball, about the three missed field goals of Lin Elliott, and the other heartbreaking defeats. Being a fan was hard, but the Chiefs were Kansas City. “You got this kind of vibe,” Lucas said, “that was, ‘You know what, we’ll make it someday and I’ll be there.’ ”

When Mahomes led a comeback in Miami, Lucas was there. So were Tech N9ne and Bobby Bell. Paul Rudd, the actor and beloved son of the Kansas City metro, shed tears in a stadium suite with his son.


Like many places across America, Kansas City is changing. The city is getting younger. The skyline is becoming more crowded. The local T-shirt economy is still exploding. (Native son Jason Sudeikis even brought Kansas City’s heart and love of barbecue T-shirts to his hit show “Ted Lasso.”) Propelled by Barnes’ leadership in the early aughts, downtown has grown at a faster rate than all but four other downtowns since 2000. There are art galleries, thriving neighborhoods, college basketball games and, as the boozy Chiefs parade illustrated, sometimes a little old-fashioned vice.

Twenty years ago nobody would have pictured a Chiefs Super Bowl victory helmed by the most talented quarterback in the world. And nobody would have imagined the revived city that got to celebrate it. With Mahomes, anything feels possible.

VII. The Comeback

It was late in Las Vegas on the night of Nov. 22, and everyone knew what was about to happen. Maybe that’s what made it so strange. The Chiefs trailed the Raiders, 31-28, with 1 minute 43 seconds left. One timeout left. Ball at the 25-yard line. Mahomes stood in shotgun formation and tried to think simple: Be who you are.

There was a time when Kansas City would have expected heartbreak. Maybe something epic. Not anymore. It’s hard to say when this changed for sure. Maybe it was last January, when the Chiefs, the No. 2 seed in the AFC, trailed the Texans, 24-0, in the divisional round and won by 20. Maybe it was a few weeks later, after Mahomes called for “2-3 Jet Chip Wasp,” the 44-yard yard strike to Tyreek Hill that swung Super Bowl LIV. Maybe it was all the moments put together, but one thing was for certain: As Mahomes began a drive in Las Vegas, everybody knew what was coming.

Patrick Mahomes' untouchable Kansas City bond (5)

(Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today Sports)

Around that time, Petro, the afternoon radio host, began searching for a way to quantify Mahomes’ preternatural ability to lead a comeback. As he and his show mates crunched the numbers, they found something staggering: Since the start of 2018, NFL teams were 68-356-1 after trailing by 10 points. If you fall behind by 10, you lose 94 percent of the time. Pretty simple. In the same span, Mahomes had trailed by 10 in nine different games. He was 8-1.

In Las Vegas, the deficit was only three. Not 10. This made the ending predictable in a way that Kansas City has never been predictable. Mahomes needed just seven plays to travel 75 yards. On the final play, he stepped up in the pocket and threw a 21-yard strike to Kelce.

“I’d take him over everybody,” Reid says. “And I’m lucky to have him. As we are as a football team. As we are as a city.”


Back in Kansas City, the playoffs begin Sunday. There are no guarantees in life, and there is no certainty in football, but there is at least one truth in this postseason: Kansas City has Mahomes, and your team doesn’t.

If the Chiefs can win three more games, there will be one more guarantee: Party under the Liberty Memorial.

(Illustration: Adrian Guzman / The Athletic/ Getty Images)

Patrick Mahomes' untouchable Kansas City bond (2024)


What is Mahomes' contract with Kansas City? ›

Mahomes inked a 10-year, $450 million extension with the Chiefs during the 2020 offseason. The three-time Super Bowl MVP and the team reworked the deal last September so that Mahomes would make $208.1 million from 2023-26.

Why did Mahomes restructure their contract? ›

The two-time MVP has agreed to restructure his contract in order to clear an additional $21.6 million worth of salary-cap space for the Chiefs, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Mahomes became the highest-paid player in the NFL when he signed a 10-year extension worth $450 million during the 2020 offseason.

What does Mahomes have on his upper left arm? ›

Mahomes wore a WHOOP device on his upper arm under an arm sleeve every game during the 2020 season, and sometimes his high scores correlated with his play.

Has Patrick Mahomes ever been an underdog? ›

Mahomes and the Chiefs were also underdogs against the Eagles in last year's Super Bowl, and they've been underdogs nine times in the regular season. Mahomes is 79-22 straight-up as a favorite, so his . 782 straight-up winning percentage when favored is only slightly better than his .

Who is the highest paid quarterback in the NFL? ›

Top 10 Highest-Paid NFL Quarterbacks for 2024
  • Joe Burrow's $275 million deal makes him the league's highest-paid player by average annual salary at $55 million.
  • Burrow's deal is still nearly $200 million less than the 10-year, $450 million contract given to Patrick Mahomes.
5 days ago

Who is the highest paid player in the NFL? ›

The Cincinnati Bengals' Joe Burrow is the highest paid player in the NFL. The San Francisco 49ers' Nick Bosa is the highest paid defensive player in the league.

Who is the richest former NFL player? ›

Former National Football League (NFL) player and executive Jerry Richardson was the richest NFL player of all time as of January 2023, with a net worth of around two billion U.S. dollars.

Who has the biggest contract in the NFL? ›

1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (10 years, $450M) Mahomes laps the field in these rankings with the enormous 10-year pact he signed with the Chiefs prior to the 2020-21 season.

What did Chiefs give up to get Mahomes? ›

Perhaps you remember that deal because the Chiefs selected quarterback Patrick Mahomes on that fateful day. The Chiefs moved up to 10th overall by sending their first-round pick that year (27th overall) to Buffalo, along with a 2017 third-round choice (No. 91 overall) and KC's 2018 first-round pick.

Why does Patrick Mahomes talk the way he does? ›

Patrick Mahomes is comfortable with his voice

"I've gotten used to it, it's like the joke that keeps giving. "I've heard it all, jokes about Kermit the Frog or about smoking cigarettes. "It's unique, so maybe I'll get a deal from having that unique voice."

Is Mahomes better than Brady? ›

Mahomes Wins Consecutive Super Bowl MVPs

His three Super Bowl rings are the most of any active quarterback. Mahomes is also the first QB since Brady to win back-to-back championships and the second player ever with back-to-back Super Bowl MVPs — something Brady never accomplished.

What is the symbol on Patrick Mahomes sweatshirt? ›

Mahomes posted a video on Twitter explaining the design visually. The logo design consists of: Interlocking “PM” initials. A gladiator representing a “winning mindset”

What Joe Burrow told Patrick Mahomes? ›

It was all love between Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes after the AFC title game went final. When the two stars met at midfield for the postgame handshake, among other pleasantries, Burrow told Mahomes to “go win it.”

Has Patrick Mahomes ever not thrown a touchdown? ›

Patrick Mahomes has played in 7 games with exactly 0 passing touchdowns.

Was Patrick Mahomes good at baseball? ›

Ironically, it was baseball that always seemed to take center stage. In 2014, while playing for Whitehouse High School, Mahomes showed his big league potential as a pitcher, striking out 16 in a no-hitter and generating reported speeds of 93mph, according to ESPN.

How long is Travis Kelce's contract with the Chiefs? ›

“Chiefs forever!” The contract extension for the Pro Bowl tight end adds two years and $34.25 million to the two years remaining on his old contract. He now has $17 million in fully guaranteed money in 2024 and is signed through 2027 when he'll be 38.

How much does Travis Kelce make in 2024? ›

What is Travis Kelce's salary? Travis Kelce's salary is $14 million for 2024, according to the details of the 2022 contract he signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, but that's about to go up, considering his two-year extension with the team will earn him $34.3 million or just over $17 million per year.

How much does Travis Kelce make a year? ›

Kelce signed a four-year, $57.25 million extension in 2020, which pays him an annual average value of $14.3 million. In the 2023 season, Kelce earned $11,250,000 in base salary. Kelce's salary ranked 30th among base salaries in the NFL in 2023.


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Name: Kieth Sipes

Birthday: 2001-04-14

Address: Suite 492 62479 Champlin Loop, South Catrice, MS 57271

Phone: +9663362133320

Job: District Sales Analyst

Hobby: Digital arts, Dance, Ghost hunting, Worldbuilding, Kayaking, Table tennis, 3D printing

Introduction: My name is Kieth Sipes, I am a zany, rich, courageous, powerful, faithful, jolly, excited person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.