When it comes to Patrick Mahomes, it’s rare to find anyone any time soon rivaling the level of accomplishments the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback has accumulated in his three years playing professionally. It’s certainly a lot of pressure to maintain this impressive run of form, considering the remarkable talent other QBs possess.
When discussing that very topic on Saturday’s season premiere of HBO’s “The Shop,” the 24-year-old explained that while he didn’t feel any added pressure as a black quarterback in his first two seasons in the league, this past campaign he certainly wanted to perform at the top of his game.
“I didn’t feel any added pressure until this year.I don’t know what it was about this year. It could have been Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson — and how we kind of elevated our games, doing our thing — but growing up, my dad played baseball. There’s every race. Domnicans, Venezuelans — no matter what it is, it’s everybody there. So I didn’t know any different. I just thought it was, ‘the best player played.’ So I didn’t watch football like that.
“I think this year, seeing how much it meant for us to go out there and show that we can do this — that we could be at the top of the league — and it wasn’t just running, just scrambling or doing all that different stuff. We were just mentally dominating the game.”
It wasn’t until after he saw the growing, positive attention behind his competitors that it started to sink in, according to the reigning Super Bowl MVP. Even then, it still took time.
“I started realizing it after I played either Deshaun or Lamar. They had a little special on SportCenter, and I could see how much it was impacting not only me, but the kids below me. And the guys that came before me — Doug Williams and all those guys — I knew their stories, but it hadn’t impacted me as much as it did until I realized that I couldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for guys like that coming before me and laying the foundation for me to come out and play.”
Considering he has shattered any preconceived notions and surpassed expectations, there’s no doubt Mahomes isn’t inspiring a rising quarterback to be at his level, if not better, by the time he enters the league.
Mahomes Reveals His Two Childhood Idols
Speaking of role models, Mahomes also revealed on “The Shop” the two athletes he looked up to as a child. While they’re both accomplished in their own regard, neither of them ever threw a football professionally in their storied careers.
“Growing up, I saw guys like Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter. [I saw] they were at the top of the game and how much work they put in. I think that instilled in me at a young age that it’s not about the top. It’s about the process of getting there — and the process of every day, staying there. I have this same process that I go through every single week [and] every single day — to prepare myself for each and every game — and it didn’t change from when I was a year one rookie (and not playing) to now. I’m doing the same exact stuff.”
As they say, real recognize real. It’s great to see the Texas native champion those who came before him and in the same breath, highlight the successes of his challengers while always looking to strengthen his own form.