Pat Mahomes was on the sidelines the night Tom Brady welcomed his son Patrick to Foxborough, Mass.
That was the night of Oct. 14, 2018, when Patrick Mahomes and his undefeated Chiefs were first interested in changing the balance of power in the AFC, if not the NFL.
“I was there the first meeting they had, and Tom came out and tried to intimidate him,” Pat Mahomes told Serby Says. “He intimidated me, I was sitting on the sideline there watching in the pregame.
“Patrick always comes over and gives me a hug. Brady came out, he’s looking right at him staring him down, letting him know that it was his house. And that you don’t know what you’re about to be into.”
Brady did more than stare at young Mahomes.
“He just came out and looked at him and screamed a few words that we can’t put in this interview,” Pat Mahomes said.
“I was like, ‘God, this guy’s 41 years old and he still had that kind of intensity.’ I thought it was very impressive.”
What did his son think?
“He didn’t say anything,” Pat Mahomes said. “Patrick doesn’t care, he’s always even-keeled, nothing seems to bother him, he just goes out and plays the game.”
But Patrick, for whatever reason, wasn’t playing his game in the first half.
“But Patrick was able to finally stabilize himself at the halftime and started playing his game,” Pat Mahomes said.
Indeed, his son was intercepted twice in the first half before throwing four touchdown passes in the second half. A 75-yard TD pass to Tyreek Hall tied the game with 3:03 remaining. Brady then proceeded to engineer a seven-play, 65-yard field goal drive for the 43-40 win as time expired.
“The greatest thing about that whole thing was after the game was over he sprinted over, he gave Patrick a handshake and a hug,” Pat Mahomes said.
“I asked him what he said to him, he said, ‘I’ve had tough losses before, you’re gonna be the future of the NFL and just keep on doing what you’re doing.’ ”
In the 2019 AFC Championship game, the GOAT was forced to reach deep down into his reservoir of greatness to overcome Patrick Mahomes’ magic, 37-31 in overtime on his way to his sixth Super Bowl crown. Afterward, Patrick Mahomes explained it this way to Jimmy Kimmel:
“When I was kind of in the locker room — I was about to walk out, actually — he got the security to let him in, and he just kind of said, ‘Man, you had a heckuva season.’ … He just said, ‘Man, you have to keep grinding.’ He said he loved the way that I played. It was awesome for him to do that.”
When they clash on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, Mahomes will be the defending Super Bowl champion, and Brady will be the 43-year-old GOAT, now with the Buccaneers, who from time to time — most recently on Monday night against the Rams — has looked the way a 43-year-old quarterback should be expected to look.
Think about what we have seen this season from Brady:
He lost track of the downs against the Bears.
He threw an illegal forward pass against the Rams.
He is 0-19 on deep passes in his past four games.
Patrick Mahomes is just 25, and even with Andy Reid by his side, the odds are prohibitive that he will win as many as the four Super Bowls that Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana did, much less Brady’s six. But if anyone can, it is him.
“For me it’s about coming in day in and day out and trying to better myself and find a way to win championships here in Kansas City,” Mahomes said Monday on his KCSP Sports Radio show, “and hopefully I can win a lot of ’em, and try to catch the amount of titles and championship games that he’s been in.”
In the meantime, if Brady is the GOAT, Patrick Mahomes is the GOTT … Greatest of This Time.
It is not terribly surprising to his father.
Pat Mahomes was a Mets relief pitcher in 1999 and 2000, and though he wasn’t on the World Series roster for the Subway Series, he got to bring 5-year-old Patrick to Shea Stadium to shag fly balls in center field.
“I actually had the clubhouse manager make him a uniform and I would take him out and the coaches were like, ‘You got to stay out there with him the whole time,’ this and that,” Pat said. “I was like, ‘Well, if he gets hit by a ball, he won’t do it again.’ And [pitcher] Mike Hampton would sit out there with him when I wasn’t out there and he actually caught his first fly ball off a big leaguer off of Robin Ventura, and it’s a memory that I was so glad that I was able to be a part of, and he will never forget it to this day.”
Pat was never far away.
“I was right beside him. I’d play a game with him, he always loved playing games, 100 points if he caught a fly ball, 50 points if he caught it off one hop, and 25 points if it hopped more than one time,” Pat said.
The following season, Pat Mahomes was with the Texas Rangers, and his son got to observe the relentless work ethic of Alex Rodriguez.
“When he caught that ball off Robin Ventura’s bat when he was 5, I said, ‘This kid’s a little different. He’s a little different,’ ” Pat said. “Five-year-olds don’t catch balls off big-leaguers bats. I knew that he had a chance, and I just wanted to make sure that he didn’t make some of the same mistakes I made when I was going through it at a young age.”
Pat Mahomes was a 6-foot-1, 175-pound drop-back quarterback in Texas and drew offers from Southern Mississippi, Louisiana Tech, Texas A&M, Baylor and SMU.
“I was All-State and everything, but I had a big problem with football — my problem was I didn’t like to get hit,” Pat said. “I was sliding way back then before they had the quarterback rules.”
He was drafted in the sixth round in 1988 by the Twins. He made his MLB debut in 1992. He enjoyed an 11-year MLB career.
“I tried to be like an assassin,” Pat said. “I just wanted to go at guys. Two things can happen: Either the guy’s gonna get you or you’re gonna get him, but I just wanted to make sure I threw the ball over the plate and give a chance for players to make plays.”
Pat, who turned 50 in August, thought his son would follow him into baseball. Road trips would feature sleepless nights, the father pitching a plastic baseball to a boy swinging a plastic bat. Years later, the Diamondbacks pursued Patrick as an outfielder.
“I always thought he’d be a baseball player,” Pat said. “When he was 17 or 18, draft day came and he decided to turn down an offer which would have made him a lot of money and he said, ‘Dad, I love football, I want to try it out, I think I’ll be pretty good at it.’ And that’s when we switched and went to football, but I always knew he was gonna be a professional athlete.”
Patrick could throw a 96 mph fastball, but there was something about playing quarterback at Whitehouse (Texas) High School.
“He threw a touchdown when he was in high school left-handed,” Pat said. “He was getting sacked and he threw it left-handed, and he threw it to his best friend Ryan Cheatham, he threw him a touchdown left-handed. I asked him after the game I said, ‘What made you even try that?’ and he goes, ‘Dad, I’m just trying to make a play.’ ”
The boy’s been making them ever since. Can you imagine how much fun it is for his parents, who separated when he was six, to watch?
“I’ve said it ever since he was 6, 7 years old,” Pat said, “he doesn’t care about the stats, he doesn’t care about the fame and the popularity, all he cares about is winning ballgames, and it doesn’t matter how it’s done.”
Patrick said during his radio spot that he would love to play at Brady’s age.
“That would be a hell of an accomplishment,” Pat said. “I know Patrick loves to play, no matter what sport it is, but he grinds every day, and I’m glad that he’s my son and he’s learned the right way and he goes about it the right way.”
Patrick may be the 10-year, $450 million man, but he displays such joie de vivre with a football in his hands and a game to win that everyone gets the sense that he would play the game for nothing. The GOAT versus the future GOAT on Sunday?
“He’s got a long way to go,” Pat Mahomes said. “He’s off to a great start, he’s doing things that he needs to do, but to get in that conversation, you gotta have longevity and consistent productivity.
“Like I said, he’s off to a great start. We’ll see how it finishes.”
Most likely, with one of them — maybe even both of them — winning another championship.