Everyone knows how great Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and Philadelphia Eagles’ Jalen Hurts are, but how many know the story of their respective upbringings?
ESPN analyst Ryan Clark brought up a topic that virtually no one is talking about ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs–Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl matchup: Fathers.
Clark recently went on an episode of “Get Up” to commend the fathers of the quarterbacks playing in the Super Bowl this year: Patrick Mahomes’ dad, Patrick Mahomes Sr., and Jalen Hurts’ dad, Averion Hurts Sr.
In yet another of Clark’s thought-provoking takes, he addressed the media’s tendency to fixate on the stories of the “absent black father” and how the two quarterbacks (and their fathers) set to face each other in Super Bowl LVII are changing that narrative.
Patrick Mahomes Sr., a former baseball player, was active in Mahomes’ athletic development as a child and, “taught [Mahomes] how to lead,” as Clark put it.
Mahomes Sr. played for a handful of MLB teams back in his day, enjoying a successful 11-year career before hanging up his cleats. He coached Mahomes’ youth baseball team all those years ago and made a strong impression on his son as Mahomes grew to become an elite NFL quarterback.
Averion Hurts Sr. is a lifelong high school football coach who coached both his sons, Jalen Hurts and Averion Hurts Jr., before they started their illustrious college careers.
ESPN’s Ryan Clark praises Patrick Mahomes’ and Jalen Hurts’ fathers ahead of Super Bowl
Clark makes the connection between how the players were raised by their fathers and how they now lead locker rooms, and one only needs to look at each quarterback’s most recent game to get a glimpse of their leadership qualities.
In the AFC Championship, Patrick Mahomes led his team to victory on one leg for most of the game, still able to contort his body to make wizardly accurate throws while keeping morale and energy as high as possible.
Not to mention this past year, Mahomes was nominated by the Chiefs for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, one of the league’s highest individual honors which recognizes a player for his outstanding community service activities off the field.
In the NFC Championship, Hurts helped thrash the San Francisco 49ers 31-7 by playing a turnover-free game and taking whatever the defense gave him.
His press conferences are littered with inspirational quotes that reveal his undeniable work ethic and competitive mentality, two attributes that are arguably learned and engrained from a young age.
As cliché as it is, Mahomes and Hurts likely wouldn’t be the quarterbacks or locker room leaders they are today without their supportive fathers. That doesn’t take anything away from their individual talents and abilities; rather, it paints the two players as well-rounded and wholesome role models for the next generation of superstar athletes.