It seems impossible to believe, but there was a time when the New England Patriots weren’t hated by everyone.
It was 2002, the Patriots had a huge Super Bowl upset against the St. Louis Rams, everyone loved that they were featured as a team and Robert Kraft’s “We’re All Patriots” didn’t seem to be trolling yet. . Tom Brady hadn’t married a model and wasn’t yet a villain outside of New England. It was a fun story, a sixth-round pick turned Super Bowl MVP.
Right now, it’s hard to hate the Kansas City Chiefs, who won Super Bowl LIV and started their title defense Thursday night against the Houston Texans, a game that can be a game that can be streamed in live on the Yahoo Sports app. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes might be the most loving superstar the NFL has had in a long time. Unlike most football managers, Andy Reid is quite normal and likeable. Kansas City hadn’t won a title in 50 years and unless you live in Denver or Oakland, you probably haven’t held ill will towards the Chiefs in decades.
But the leaders think they’re set up for a dynasty, and everyone turns on a dynasty after a while.
Patrick Mahomes is a big face in the NFL
Mahomes is pretty much the perfect superstar. He didn’t come from a college program that makes anyone’s blood boil and go to an NFL team that anyone has bad feelings about. He amazes us with his ridiculous arm, has a funny story of being the son of a former Major League Baseball pitcher, has an engaging personality, a signature look, and can laugh at himself.
If you hate Mahomes, you just don’t like the sport very much.
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At 24, it looks like the NFL world will be his for the next decade or more. He is perhaps the best start for a player in NFL history, already putting himself on the list of 13 players who have a regular season MVP and a Super Bowl MVP. All other players who have made it are either in the Hall of Fame or in a lock to get there.
If he continues to be this big, people will get tired of him. This is happening, especially in the age of social media. His $503 million contract will draw closer scrutiny. His game will be set apart, as he ages reliving how great a player is. The endless praise for Mahomes – it’s not like there’s much negative to say at this point – will be on everyone’s lips. Consider Brett Favre’s career arc.
Everyone loves Mahomes now. If he continues to be this good and the Chiefs win seven championships, that will change. We all know it will.
Chefs had a season of storytelling
The Chiefs were a big story. They fell painfully short after the 2018 season, losing to the hated Patriots in overtime of the AFC Championship Game. The loss added to the misery of one of the NFL’s big fanbases. Then in 2019 they had huge breaks, from Mahomes’ knee injury in Denver not being too serious to a Miami Dolphins giveaway win over the Patriots in Week 17 to come back in the first round. They had incredible wins in all three playoff games, including the Super Bowl. The championship meant more to Kansas City than any other NFL city.
The good feelings will continue on Thursday. It will be strange for the Chiefs to celebrate their title in a nearly empty Arrowhead Stadium, but it’s 2020. They’ll have what should be a high-scoring game against the Texans, anyone with Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill or Clyde Edwards-Helaire on their fantastic teams will rejoice. Mahomes will do at least one piece that will go viral on social media by the end of the night.
It may be the franchise that will stay in everyone’s good graces forever, no matter how much they earn. Mahomes could be that universally beloved superstar whose legend remains strong long after his retirement, the NFL version of Michael Jordan. That seems unlikely, if they run the NFL the way they want. Fans outside of Kansas City will eventually turn against them. Ask the Patriots.
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