Super Bowl LVII will set the stage for this historic event with Patrick Mahomes in his third Super Bowl appearance with the Kansas City Chiefs, while Jalen Hurts shares the big spotlight for the first time with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Mahomes or Hurts?: the count rises
Throughout the history of the NFL, only seven African-American quarterbacks have suited up for the big event, starting with Doug Williams playing for the Washington Redskins, who was also the first black quarterback to win a Super Bowl. That legacy will be expanded upon this year with the presence of these two young stars who want to leave their mark on the game for posterity.
Of those seven quarterbacks including Doug Williams (Washington in the XXII), Steve McNair (Tennessee Titans in the XXXIV), Donovan McNabb (Philadelphia Eagles in the XXXIX), Kaepernick (San Francisco 49ers in the XLVII), Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks in the XLVIII), Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers in the 50) and Mahomes (Chiefs in the LIV), only three of them as starters managed to lift the Lombardi: Williams, Wilson and Mahomes.
“Within the next five to 10 years, half of the quaterbacks in this league could be black,” Doug Williams said in an interview with The Athletic.
Mahomes, who this season led his team to its third Super Bowl of the last four years while recovering from an ankle injury after beating the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20, has however been harshly challenged by a few as “not being African-American”, but he has been clear on this issue, speaking proudly of his origins.
“I’ve seen how people, on Twitter…said ‘Oh, you’re not full black’, but I’ve always just had confidence and believed in who I am…and I’m proud to be black…and I’m proud to have a white mom too…I’m just proud of who I am,” he said at a news conference.
On February 12 in Glendale, Mahomes and Hurts will help determine whether a 4th black quarterback joins the list of winners with an Eagles victory, or if Mahomes continues to build on his own legacy by adding a second ring.
This one goes for Texas, too
Both players have more in common beyond their 2022 NFL winning seasons and their African-American heritage, as they each got their start in football less than 200 miles apart, in the state of Texas. This will be the first Superbowl matchup between two Texas high school quarterbacks, and also guarantees the state will be the high school home for 4 of the last 6 Superbowl winning QBs.
Jalen Hurts + Patrick Mahomes = Texas High School Football in the @SuperBowl !! @JalenHurts @PatrickMahomes – iconic HS photos from Friday nights in the Lone Star State #txhsfb
QB1s for the world’s biggest stage 🏆@Matt_Stepp817 @dctf @NFL #SuperBowlLVII pic.twitter.com/uD40d0Liox
— Coach John A. Smith 🏀 (@CoachJohnASmith) February 1, 2023
Mahomes, 27, hails from the city of Tyler and played for Whitehouse High School, opting to also stay in the state to don the Texas Tech jersey in college. He went on to lead the Kansas City Chiefs to win Superbowl LIV and awarded as the youngest quarterback to be named Superbowl MVP. Jalen Hurts, 24 born in Houston, played for Channelview HS, and decided to take his talents to the University of Alabama where he was the first freshman starting quarterback for the school in 32 years.
After the team won the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship, he used his final year of eligibility to transfer to Oklahoma, before arriving in Philadelphia and now reaching the biggest stage, by routing the 49ers by 31-7 in the NFC Championship.
No matter who wins on February 12, football fans, the NFL, and the sport, will witness history in the making …and the state of Texas will be part of that as well.