The range of emotions that accompany being a fan of Patrick Mahomes.
Like many Kansas City Chiefs fans, I woke up on February 3, 2020 in a state of disbelief. Was I dreaming? Was the entire season just an elaborate fantasy I created in my mind to distract from the painstaking path which we’ve followed as Chiefs fans? Was Patrick Mahomes, the Super Bowl MVP himself, just a pipe dream?
The answer, of course, is no. This is not a dream. Our team has the best player in the world under center, and for as long as he is, we will be perennial Super Bowl contenders.
This is all new for most of us. The vast majority of today’s Chiefs fans were not around for the Chiefs teams of the 1960s and subsequently, celebrating a championship is a new feeling. This is the new reality.
But we’re learning.
We’re learning that when you have the best player in the world, everyone looks for a reason to criticize you. We’re learning that it is hard to both feel bad for our heroes of yesteryear, who never won a ring, while also feeling good for our contemporary players. We’re learning that winning one Super Bowl does not eliminate the years of hurt or anguish, but it does make you appreciate the victory that much more. And we’re learning that winning the big game does not quench the thirst for the Lombardi, but instead intensifies the yearning to not just be on top, but to stay on top in perpetuity.
If all goes according to plan, Mahomes will be the Chiefs starting quarterback for the next 10-15 years. And, at his current trajectory, he’ll be the best player in the world for much of that span.
Even for Chiefs fans who remember the 1960s, this is uncharted territory. The Chiefs have never had the best player in the sport at any time in the franchise’s history. Kansas City has never fielded a player who could literally eviscerate a seemingly insurmountable point lead in mere minutes. Our team has never had “the guy” that everyone was talking about, the one every other fan base wishes they had.
For this fan, at least, this is all a little scary. Obviously it’s also very exciting and incredibly rewarding. It also does a great deal to increase overall happiness and satisfaction of fandom. But it is scary to know that the expectation each and every year is to be in the Super Bowl. It is scary to know that in every single game, the other team’s only objective will be dethroning the champs. It is scary to know that this moment in Chiefs history is fleeting, that we only get to have the best player in the world for so long.
In the face of these feelings, we cannot worry about tomorrow. We can’t waste time wondering if they’re putting enough talent around Mahomes to keep us in contention or if they’ll end up paying him too much money to keep us at the top. We can’t worry if the ceiling is near or if the bottom may fall out. None of it matters. What matters is that right now, in this moment, it’s a great time to be a Chiefs fan—and we should all enjoy the ride.
Smile, Chiefs fans. The best player in the world is your quarterback.
Each week, we’ll answer a question or two from readers about our team. These can be about any topic related to the Chiefs, and should be sent via Direct Message (@kthomps58) on Twitter for consideration.
This week’s question comes from Andrew Halverson of Wichita, KS. He asks:
“Who could potentially be cap casualties for the Chiefs in 2021 when the salary cap inevitably goes down?”
Thanks for the question Andrew. I think that there are four possibilities which may occur as a result of decreased NFL revenue in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic, and I don’t think a decreased cap is inevitable.
First, as you point out, the cap could go down. Second, the cap could stay stagnant and the NFL owners take the loss. Third, the cap could go up as the league demands more from networks who stand to make more money as the result of increased viewership. And fourth, what I perceive to be the most likely scenario, the league plays 2021 as an uncapped year (like the 2010 and 1993 season).
In the fourth scenario, there is no salary cap but teams are held in check by certain parameters and threats of future penalties, explained here.
But, to your question about who potential cap cuts would be for the Chiefs, I’ll again deflect a bit. The Chiefs are projected to have $63 million in cap space for 2021, so in all likelihood, a decreased cap would result in them re-signing less of their own 36 free agents, rather than cutting players.
If you forced me to give the most likely cap casualties for Kansas City in 2021, I would say left tackle Eric Fisher (the team would save about $11 million in cap space), and defense end Alex Okafor (the team would save just over $5.5 million in cap space). Given how few players they have under contract with significant contracts, there just are not a lot of options here, but I could see either or both of these happening (whether the cap goes down or not).
Each week’s column will feature a trivia question related to the Kansas City Chiefs. Challenge yourself by coming up with the correct response without looking it up! Enter for a chance to win a Chiefs prize via either Facebook or Twitter Direct/Private Messaging. Must retweet or share the column on your personal page (send a screenshot in the PM/DM), and provide the correct answer via PM/DM, to be eligible. Winner will be chosen at random on Saturday.
Last week’s winner was Naman Nanda who correctly identified Cotton Davidson as the first starting quarterback in franchise history.
This week’s question trivia is:
What is the name of the first home stadium in franchise history, which the team shared with the Dallas Cowboys from 1960-1962?
NFL Story of the Week
The biggest story in the NFL this week, and likely through much of the offseason, is the state of the 2020 season. Will players be allowed contact in practice? Will fans be allowed at any games, and if so, in what capacity? Will games be played at all?
To the last question, it appears that the NFL is reasonably certain they will be playing games this season. One month ago it seemed like missing part of the season was a distinct possibility, but that no longer feels like a significant concern to the league’s power brokers.
On the question of whether or not fans will be allowed in the stadium, Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper indicated this week that he believed at least some fans would be allowed in games. That certainly seems to be the direction this is going, where the NFL will allow teams to sell a limited number of tickets in an effort to maintain social distancing.
To the first point, about what practice, team meetings, et cetera will look like – no one really knows. But, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe weighed in this week and offered some introspection on what a “new normal” might look like.
For the Chiefs, perhaps the most important thing that we know is that regardless of how it all shakes out – Andy Reid is the right person to lead the charge for our team. We should all trust that the team will be well prepared to defend its title, however they must go about it.
Chiefs Fact of the Week
The Chiefs used to have an official trumpeter. Tony DiPardo held the job from 1963 and 2008 and played live music at every game. DiPardo got a Super Bowl ring after Super Bowl IV. He passed away at the age of 98, in 2011.
Chiefs Record of the Week
Former Chiefs defensive back and defensive backs coach, Hall of Famer Emmitt Thomas holds the franchise record for most career interceptions. In his 13-year NFL career from 1966 to 1978, Thomas had 58 interceptions. He finished his career with one more than fellow Chiefs’ Super Bowl Champion and Hall of Famer Johnny Robinson. Daniel Sorensen is the current player with the most career picks as a Chief, with seven.
Random Fact of the Week
Only one NFL team has a plant as its logo: the New Orleans Saints and their fleur-de-lis, which is actually representative of a lily.
Sports Quote of the Week
“A champion is simply someone who did not give up when they wanted to.” -Tom Landry, Dallas Cowboys
Oddball Sport of the Week
Venatio was a Roman sport in which combatants had gladiator type fights with large animals like tigers, bears and lions.