ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Patrick Mahomes spent this past offseason riding horses through the surf and throwing passes on the beach, swapping jokes with Jimmy Kimmel and hob-knobbing with celebrities on the red carpet.
He’s the cover boy for this year’s Madden video game. The Texas Tech die-hard who followed his alma mater all the way to the Final Four. The sports fan that suddenly pops up at the Stanley Cup Final, then makes sure to congratulate the St. Louis Blues on his uber-popular social media channels.
Mahomes also is the face of the Kansas City Chiefs, the reigning NFL MVP and without question the biggest star to land in the City of Fountains since George Brett was playing third base for the Royals.
“He’s a rock star,” Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said.
One that was largely undiscovered just a year ago.
Mahomes was anointed the starter last offseason, when the Chiefs shipped Alex Smith to the Redskins, but his arrival at training camp came with plenty of question marks: Could his big arm buck the trend of Red Raider quarterbacks flaming out in the NFL?
He answered all those questions in the season opener against the Chargers. Mahomes threw four touchdown passes without a pick.
He threw six touchdown passes the next week in Pittsburgh. Three more against San Francisco. And he led the Chiefs to a 5-0 start before a road loss to New England, only to rebound with four more wins.
Mahomes wound up shattering the franchise records.
He finally led the Chiefs to a home playoff win, their first in nearly two decades.
That nickname of “Showtime?” Sounds about perfect.
Mahomes admits he had fun this past offseason. But he’s also glad to be back on the practice field — his happy place — where he is surrounded by teammates all working toward the same goal.
“Obviously when you first come to training camp you expect to win the Super Bowl,” Mahomes said, “so coming in with that same mentality of, ‘We’re going into each and every day getting better and making sure we’re getting better each day,’ because in order to get to that lofty goal of the Super Bowl, you have to make sure that you maximize each and every opportunity that you have.”