At the conclusion of our item regarding Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes winning his second career Super Bowl MVP award, I borrowed a line from Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman.
“I’m just getting warmed up.”
Mahomes, who was drinking something other than John Daniels on Wednesday but was in the same condition, offered up a variation of that sentiment at the victory celebration.
“This is just the beginning.”
The longer version went like this: “I just wanna let ya’ll know that this is just the beginning. We ain’t done yet.”
They definitely ain’t done yet. Mahomes, in five seasons as a starter, has already become a first-ballot Hall of Famer. To the extent that they ever start the “Upper Room” suggested by Deion Sanders, Mahomes has punched a ticket.
He has been to three Super Bowls in five years. If Dee Ford hadn’t jumped offside in the 2018 AFC Championship, it would be four. If the Chiefs hadn’t gotten a little too greedy (or felt compelled to engineer a pre-halftime touchdown for a former receiver who was a little too needy), it would be five.
And if coach Andy Reid hadn’t been quite as loyal to Alex Smith, Mahomes would have been deployed during an offensive funk in the 2017 season. And it could be six.
Here’s what should scare fans of every other team, for the foreseeable future. Mahomes is only 27. If he’s in his prime, he’s only in the front end of it. He’ll only get better.
With each season, he’ll have seen more. Experienced more. Understood more. Learned more. At some point, he’ll land in a sweet spot where he still has his physical skills — and he acquires the mind of a season offensive coordinator.
Even when he can’t run around like he does, buying just enough time to do something both effective and memorable, he’ll still have that glorious shortstop arm that can fire a ball from any arm angle, any body position.
Sorry, but get used to this. They won’t win it all every year, but in five more years they could have another two or three. Five after that, another two or three.
The chase for seven is likely to become a very real thing. And it should scare Tom Brady enough to change his mind and to try (again) to get the 49ers to give him a chance.
But even if Brady gets to eight, that may not be enough.
Remember this. Brady went a full 10 years between No. 3 and No. 4. Ten years from now, Mahomes may have already caught the GOAT.
The rest of us can either complain about it, or we can enjoy the closest thing the NFL has ever had to Michael Jordan, a player with unparalleled team achievements and unprecedented skills that change the way kids everywhere play the game.
That’s the best news. There will be more guys like him in the future, assuming others will unlock in themselves the kind of performances we’ve seen from Mahomes.
Hopefully, there will be. In the event that he’s truly a once-in-a-century talent, it’s all the more reason to sit back, enjoy the ride, and accept that he’s likely going to give your favorite team fits in the future, like he probably already has in the past.