As a prelude to the start of training camp, Netflix presented ‘The Quarterback’ to die-hard NFL fans on their streaming platform. The eight-part series featured Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, Minnesota Vikings Quarterback, Kirk Cousins, and Atlanta Falcons Quarterback, Marcus Mariota. It was unique access and showed, Mahomes, to be what we always thought he’d be away from the game.
What struck me most about the Netflix series, ‘The Quarterback’ was the remarkable access the NFL, and the three teams involved gave its Producer, Peyton Manning. It’s one thing to put a microphone on a player during a game, but it’s another to have cameras follow you in the training room, in your home, and with your family on off days for nearly six months.
What struck me about the Mahomes portion of the show, was the night after the Jaguars game, you know the one where he bent his ankle, cussed on the sidelines to get an X-Ray, then came back for the second half and delivered a key win against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the divisional round.
After the game, he got treatment, went home where his posse was around to discuss the game, and Mahomes expressed his desire to face the Cincinnati Bengals over the Buffalo Bills in the AFC title game. A few moments later, he was off camera reading a bedtime story to his daughter, Sterling.
Of all the moments in the series and trust me there were many especially the workouts with, Bobby Stroup, that singular moment told me all I needed to know about Patrick Mahomes. In the wake of a gut-wrenching, and potentially season-ending game, where he was in obvious pain he delivered the goods on the field, yet he still managed to put his little girl to bed that same night.
I’ve said this to so many people that have asked me about Mahomes and the stretch of NFL football he has played in five starting seasons, be thankful every Sunday that he’s your quarterback.
Sure, I can count five straight AFC Title games in Kansas City, not a single road playoff game in his career, three Super Bowl appearances, two Lombardi Trophies, and two NFL MVP nods, but the man has a passion and drive unparallel to any other player of his generation.
He is the Michael Jordan of the NBA and the Wayne Gretzky of the NHL. He may not catch the Super Bowl trophy case of his mentor, Tom Brady, but he’ll get darn close. Yet, despite that choice to build a dynasty and leave his mark on the NFL, he’s going to do it with fire on the field, centered around a humbleness that is refreshing to witness.
Sure, we heard plenty of ‘F-bombs on the show, but the moments with his wife, Brittany, and his children, were the center of the story. Mahomes stated emphatically that without his wife at his side from High School to the present day, he might not have accomplished the greatest five-year run of any NFL Quarterback to date.
Growing up as a child and being a Chiefs fan, I had a unique perspective from the Hank Stram, Len Dawson, and Bobby Bell eras. Each was a family friend to my parents, but later in life Len and Bobby were friends in my life. They always preached family first and football second.
Nowadays those two spectrums still exist, but in many cases, as shown by not only Mahomes but Kirk Cousins and Marcus Mariota, they are also hard to find.
Mahomes willingness to open the pandora box of his private life, in the manner he did for the series, stresses how lucky as a Chiefs fan, that he’s, my quarterback. Within the Chiefs Kingdom, many feel the same way, others criticize aspects of his private life that our none of our business. As a trade-off our loyalty to Mahomes, and what he gives all of us, it needs to stay that way.
In summary, as we have all witnessed, Mahomes rounded work ethic, drive, and ability to separate away from the game to focus on his family, go to the heart of this young man who has captivated the NFL, and set a new standard that quarterbacks’ years from now will try to duplicate, but likely won’t come close.