The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

Like them or not, the Chiefs are the NFL’s newest dynasty

Patrick Mahomes lifts up the Lombardi trophy after winning his third championship in five years. (Graphic by Marina Martinez)

In the dying seconds of overtime, the first and goal play begins. Patrick Mahomes receives the snap. After rolling out of the pocket, he finds his receiver and lofts the ball to him in the end zone.
With that, the Kansas City Chiefs have sealed their title as super bowl champions – their third time hoisting the Lombardi trophy in the last 5 years and the first team to do so in consecutive seasons since Tom Brady and the New England Patriots did it in 2003 and 2004- a disappointing end for people like me who are growing tired of their seemingly endless prosperity. However, the game had a thrilling conclusion that I surely thought made it an exciting watch.

But scrolling through social media was a different story.

Checking my phone after the game, I saw countless internet users who felt the same as I did to an extreme degree, calling the season and big game scripted, accusing the NFL and the media of giving Mahomes and the Chiefs too much public attention and lamenting about the failure of the San Francisco 49ers to “save” the league from a Chiefs win.

Despite the Chief’s tougher journey to victory and playoff run full of close games, it was displeasing to see them winning another championship. (Graphic by Dawson Sotiriades)

So, why have the Chiefs received so much relentless hate?

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The two primary reasons are their abundance of both recent success and media publicity. Nobody wants to see one team dominate a sport, and the Chiefs have had a stranglehold on the NFL for the last half decade, going to three Super Bowls and four AFC championships since drafting Patrick Mahomes. Him, as well as other elite talents such as Tight End Travis Kelce and Defensive Tackle Chris Jones, have made it increasingly annoying to see the team win with each passing year. It doesn’t help that due to this success, the NFL has promoted and publicized them more than other teams. Not only are their players everywhere in product endorsements and spinoffs (for example, Patrick Mahomes starred in Netflix’s “Quarterback” and in a series of State Farm ads), but football commentators like Chris Collinsworth or Tony Romo seem to rave about Patrick Mahomes’ talent on a weekly basis. If they’re not doing that, then they’re using him as a measuring stick for the success of other quarterbacks with cringe-inducing comments like “That looked a little Mahomey” that give the impression that he and the Chiefs are the golden child of the NFL that can do no wrong.

As if that weren’t enough, Travis Kelce’s recent relationship with Taylor Swift has only increased the attention that the team receives, to the point where I find it nearly impossible to avoid posts relating to the Chiefs on my Instagram or Tiktok feed. Naturally, this level of attention has led some fans to accuse the NFL of showing favoritism towards the team or even scripting games in their favor, and has also resulted in many people complaining about the amount of attention that Taylor Swift receives, even going as far as to say that the NFL is focusing more energy on celebrities than the sport. Additionally, Mahomes has received some hate for his ugly reaction to a controversial game-ending call during the regular season that happened after a game-winning play was called back due to an offsides receiver. This has resulted in him being named a “sore loser” and a “crybaby.” While these labels were true for this case, it’s an isolated incident that shouldn’t reflect him as a whole.

While the Chiefs and Mahomes in particular receive an excessive volume of praise from the NFL, the hard truth is that he deserves it. Through his first seven seasons in the NFL, his accomplishments rival those of even Tom Brady, with as many championships, more total touchdowns (219 to 197), passing yards (28,424 to 26,364), and MVP awards (2 to 1) compared to Brady at the same point in his career. He’s only 28, so imagine what he could do if his career has longevity. The hate Mahomes receives is understandable, but it should not take away from the unprecedented feats that he has accomplished on the field. Yes, seeing sports analysts and commentators singing his praises everywhere is annoying, but they’re doing it for a reason and it’s important to keep in mind that the attention Mahomes receives isn’t even his fault to begin with. Based on comments from his current and former coaches, it’s clear that he is a competitive person who simply wants to win. This kind of drive also explains his reaction to the loss against the Bills earlier this season. While it certainly is not a good look, it’s more of an indication of his desire to win more than anything else.

The Chief’s recent success and subsequent media coverage has been a source of aggravation for many football fans. (Graphic by Dawson Sotiriades)

As for Taylor Swift, the attention she receives is being blown out of proportion. The camera switching to showing the most popular singer in the world for a couple of seconds after a big play does not take away from the experience of watching football. Besides, her presence acts as a net positive for the sport by introducing it to hundreds of thousands of fans both in the U.S. and internationally. An example that is likely also true for many other families is that my mom and siblings were more heavily invested in football and the Super Bowl this season thanks to her being involved in it. For the first time, I can share a passion about sports with my family. This is a very good thing for football.

Despite their recent success, the Chiefs didn’t cruise to victory this season by any means. Mahomes had a down year by his standards with a career high in interceptions and a career low in yards per game, and underperforming pieces like Kadarius Toney and Marquez Valdes-Scantling resulted in them taking a backseat to other championship favorites like the 49ers, Ravens and Eagles and giving fans hope for a super bowl without them making an appearance. However, they compensated with great performances from their defense, which is something they hadn’t been known for in the past, thanks to players like DT Chris Jones and Cornerback L’Jarius Sneed helping lead the way.

Despite the large amount of hate they received (and even doubt due to underperforming players), the Chiefs still managed to capture another championship. They weren’t favorites to do so this year and performed below their standard compared to previous seasons, but still found a way to win. Even as someone fed up with them, it’s hard to look past what that says about the team’s greatness. The best teams don’t just have great performances from their star players, but are also able to be successful in spite of adversity. The Chiefs have proven that they do both. Regardless of your opinion about them, with Patrick Mahomes already having two MVP awards, three rings under his belt and having proven that he can put the team on his back to carry them to victory, there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for the Chiefs’ success, no matter what future seasons have in store.

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