For the first time in the history of the National Football League, two Black quarterbacks, Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs and Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles will start in Super LVII Bowl this weekend.
And Mahomes and Hurts are also the first pair of quarterbacks from the state of Texas to face each other in the Super Bowl as well. Mahomes, a native of Tyler, and Hurts, a native of Houston, will lead their teams Sunday and both are Most Valuable Player candidates as well.
The Mahomes vs. Hurts matchup is also the youngest quarterback duo to ever face off in a Super Bowl at 51 years, and 337 days combined, according to ESPN.
Mahomes graduated from Texas Tech University and was also awarded the Super Bowl MVP for his performance, becoming the second Black quarterback to win the award, and the youngest overall to do so as well. Hurts played in a college football national championship for Alabama but transferred to the University of Oklahoma, where he played his senior season before graduating.
On Thursday, Mahomes was awarded the NFL Most Valuable Player Award for the 2022-23 season at the NFL Honors in Phoenix, the host city of this years Super Bowl, while Hurts finished second in the balloting.
Hurts and Mahomes were both injured prior to their conference championship wins, and will likely play in the big game still nursing those injuries. But both men will compete to secure one more victory, but either way, the state of Texas will be a winner.
Young, Gifted and Black
The historic event occurs during Black History Month and marks the 10th & 11th times a Black quarterback has started the championship game, making a total of eight Black starters in the 57-year history of the event.
“It’s amazing — especially being Black History Month as well,” Eagles cornerback Darius Slay said. “I’m thankful for this moment, to be a part of this. This is crazy with two Black quarterbacks in the Super Bowl, one of the biggest games in the world.”
Mahomes is an otherworldly talent, becoming the Chief’s starter in 2018, leading the league with 50 touchdown passes in his first full year in the position. The following year, Mahomes led Kansas City to a Super Bowl championship. This season he has thrown for 5,250 yards and 41 touchdowns and a third appearance in the game in his five seasons.
The road to Super Bowl starter has been tougher for Hurts. He was Carson Wentz’s backup in 2020, with an 8-7 record with just 16 touchdowns in 2021. However, this year was his breakout season, which saw him lead the team to a 14-1 record in his 15 starts with 3,700 yards passing and 22 touchdowns through the air combined with 760 yards on the ground and 13 rushing touchdowns.
Adding to the Legacy
Although there were Black quarterbacks in the past in the NFL, Washington’s Doug Williams was the first Black quarterback to start in the championship, winning Super Bowl XXII in the 1986-87 season.
It would be another thirteen years before the second Black quarterback, Tennessee Titans Steve McNair, would start in the big game.
The other Black quarterbacks to start the big game were Philadelphia Eagles Donovan McNabb, San Francisco 49er’s Colin Kaepernick, Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson, and Carolina Panthers Cam Newton.
History in the Making
Regardless of which man leads his team to victory, history will be made. Both franchises have had recent success, but both also went decades between Super Bowl appearances.
The Kansas City Chiefs (16-3) will try to win their third Super Bowl in franchise history when they square off against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. The Chiefs won Super Bowls IV in the 1969-70 season and again for the 2019-20 seasons, Super Bowl LIV.
Meanwhile, the Eagles (16-3) will look to win the franchise’s second Lombardi Trophy, after winning their first in the 2017-18 season.
The game will be broadcast on Fox at 5:30 pm Central time live from State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, and oddsmakers favor the Eagles over the Chiefs by 1.5 points.