Greatness is apparently not enough of an interesting hook on its own anymore. Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs can enter elite company if they win their third championship in five years at Super Bowl 58. And yet, some people are trying to label them a plucky, improbable underdog who has defied the odds at every step of the way.
Although the San Francisco 49ers are the betting favorites in Sunday’s ultimate clash, the Chiefs are by no means “The Little Engine That Could.” Many believe they will successfully defend their crown in Allegiant Stadium, a place they have quickly come to dominate in their matchups versus the Las Vegas Raiders. Feeding into this other narrative just feels silly at this point.
Mahomes thinks so too. “The underdog thing, especially at this moment, I think is a little bit overplayed,” the superstar quarterback told the media Thursday, via 49ers on NBCS. “We’re two great football teams going up against each other. Someone’s got to be the underdog, and they’ve been a great football team all yearlong. So, they deserve to be the favorite in this game.”
Chiefs are not true underdogs; they just woke up
"We're two great football teams going up against each other."
Patrick Mahomes believes the Chiefs' "underdog" narrative is overplayed pic.twitter.com/F81uoGvXcI
— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) February 8, 2024
Now, it makes complete sense for KC to downplay the underdog chatter on camera, but athletes use anything for motivation. The Chiefs are probably rallying around the skepticism they have received throughout the year in the locker room, at least to a degree. Even so, Patrick Mahomes put on a press conference clinic with that classy response.
San Fran weathered their own stretch of hardship (lost three-straight games in October), but Kansas City still looked shaky on Christmas Day (upset home loss to Raiders). The doubt fans and pundits expressed about the team’s chances to repeat was completely justified given its inconsistencies and lack of offensive depth.
It has also been completely invalidated over the last month, with the 49ers now taking on the appearance of the underachiever after uneven showings versus the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions. They are coming off an electric comeback, though, so perhaps both squads will be at full force.
Two titans colliding is a more-than sufficiently exciting narrative for America to sink its teeth into this Super Bowl Sunday. Mahomes’ pursuit of all-time greatness does not need to be spiced up with artificial drama. Las Vegas will be dripping with the real thing.