Patrick Mahomes joins G.O.A.T. Club with Chiefs Super Bowl win ... and he’s only just begun | Opinion

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I.D. him at the door. Card him. He is going to seem much too young to be let in. It’s too soon, right? But admission here isn’t about age or timetable, and you cannot buy your way in. By consensus of talent and accomplishment and in context of history ... you arrive.

Patrick Mahomes did that Sunday night, for all time.

The G.O.A.T. Club has a new member today.

If there were a ceremony Tom Brady and Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky and the others on sports’ highest tier would have been in Vegas in tuxes, waiting to unclasp the red velvet rope and welcome him in.

The Kansas City Chiefs’ 25-22 comeback victory against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 58 marked Mahomes’ third Super Bowl triumph at just age 28. Only Tom Brady (seven), Terry Bradshaw (four), Joe Montana (four) and Troy Aikman (three) have as many. And Mahomes is only now entering his prime.

This was his best — the championship most his. Because nobody believed he could make it happen.

Mahomes had an underwhelming (for him) regular season. His receivers led the NFL in dropped passes. Even Travis Kelce seemed less than his best. The Chiefs were winning with defense.

They were were underdogs. After steamrolling the Miami Dolphins in frigid K.C., they were dogs to Buffalo, to Baltimore and then again to San Fran on Sunday.

“Just know the Kansas City Chiefs are never underdogs,” Mahomes said Sunday night, with confidence — and defiance —- earned. “Just know that.”

It was this team’s fourth Super Bowl appearance in five years and third championship — the first back-to-back champs since Brady’s Patriots in 2003-04.

Mahomes was asked, “Is this a dynasty?”

His four words should chill the rest of the NFL.

“The start of one,” he said.

It is because quarterback is the most important position in all of sports, you are lucky or blessed to have the just right one, and this Super Bowl was the latest proof exactly what that can mean.

The Niners dominated early, led by 10 points. It seemed their game, their year. Mahomes, mortal, struggling, had thrown six total passes deep into the second half. They had Pavarotti, but they weren’t letting him sing.

Then Mahomes put the game, the league and the city of Kansas City all on his shoulders and lifted.

He would lead K.C. from behind four times. He would complete 33 of 46 passes for 333 yards and two touchdowns to overcome an early interception. And he would run for 66 yards and key late first downs (as a million other fans including Dolphins wished their QB was a dual threat like that).

There was zero doubt he would be voted a third Super Bowl MVP trophy, joining only Brady (five) and Montana (three) in that club.

Now the instant odds for the 2024 NFL season have the Chiefs as Super Bowl favorites out front to win an historic third straight at 5-1 odds, ahead of the 49ers at 6-1 and Detroit Lions at 7-1. The Dolphins are tied for eighth at 18-1, behind AFC East rival Buffalo at 14-1.

As life isn’t fair, nobody said sports was, either.

Miami and Dolfans spent 20 years under the thumb of New England’s Brady/Bill Belichick dominance. Then that finally ends, and the Dolphins are as good as they have been in a long time ... and then Josh Allen emerges to lift Buffalo.

And overriding all of it and for the foreseeable future, the Mahomes-led Chiefs are a now a dynasty — “The start of one,” he would correct.

It takes a lot to have Super Bowl night be about you, to own it.

Clatter and conversation are shushed quiet at a million Super Bowl parties as the next TV commercial comes on. “The DunKings” — hilarious. Schwarzenegger and DeVito back together. A dog befriends a Budwesier Clydesdale. All is good and pass the tuna dip.

Halftime turns Vegas into the House Of Usher for a guest star-studded performance. And Usher along with Lil’ Jon and Ludacris have “Yeah!” sounding fresh as ever and America partying like it’s 2004.

Taylor Swift up in a suite shown cheering boyfriend Travis and every Chiefs good moment as if it was a surprise she couldn’t quite believe. (No matter the number, I’d have played the prop-bet ‘over’ on camera shots of Taylor during the game.)

Rising above the cacophony of distractions and all of the ancillary bombast, in the middle of the emerald rectangle at the center of a stadium, Patrick Mahomes was elevating, lifting to a place where athletes become eternal.

The G.O.A.T. Club.

Let him in.