Patrick Mahomes was 6 1/2 when Tom Brady played in his first Super Bowl. So while Mahomes likely dreamed of playing in a Super Bowl one day, he likely never dreamed he would play against Brady in one.
The GOAT and the Kid meet for a fifth time, this time in the biggest game of the season.
Mahomes seeks his second consecutive title, while Brady wants to add a seventh ring to his already record haul.
“If you’re a young athlete — and you play any sport — and you don’t look up to guys like Tom Brady, then you’re crazy,” Mahomes said Monday, via John Dixon of arrowheadpride.com. “I mean, he’s a guy who’s had success, [yet] year-in and year-out continues to make himself better — to not be satisfied with where he’s at. He’s the type of greatness that you strive to be like and [grow] toward as you grow up. For me, I grew up watching him play. He’s still here playing, and he’s still at the top of the game.”
Brady, 43, said Monday he would consider playing beyond 45 if he continues to play the way he did this year. Mahomes, 25, hopes to play as long as Brady has.
Brady is in his 21st season and Mahomes his fourth.
“I’m going to play as long as they let me,” Mahomes said. “But in order to do that, I’ll have to take care of my body as much as I take care of everything else on the field.”
Mahomes will try to follow in Brady’s cleat marks in every way, with a chance, as Bruce Arians said last week, to outdo Brady. (“What Tom has done is historic, but if there’s another player who could do it, it’s Patrick Mahomes,” Arians said.)
But Mahomes will have to outlast Brady to outdo him.
Mahomes has a 38-8 regular-season record but is 192 victories behind Brady. He is 27 postseason wins behind Brady. He is three Super Bowl MVP awards behind Brady and five Super Bowl rings behind. Brady has eight more Super Bowl appearances.
And Brady isn’t ready to retire.
“As I continue in my career, I’ll still try to do whatever I can to watch the tape on him, because he’s doing it the right way,” Mahomes said. “You can tell by how many Super Bowl championships he has — by the rings on his fingers.”