Tom Bardy is about to play in his 10th Super Bowl. If you think about that, it's actually pretty incredible. And I'm not being facetious. It really is incredible. It's two more than any franchise besides the New England Patriots and obviously they did most of that with Tom Brady. Ten is just such an enormous number. And it's just so big and perfect and we Americans love round numbers, don't we folks?
And that's what Patrick Mahomes is facing next Sunday and beyond. Ten Super Bowl appearances. If anyone ever wants to make an argument that Mahomes is the Greatest Quarterback of All Time, they're going to have to contend with this unreal total. This is only the Kansas City Chiefs' fourth appearance. It's Mahomes' second.
Mahomes is going to continue winning football games at such an absurd pace that it just doesn't seem possible. Even if he goes out there and makes it look easy against the Buccaneers' defense, can you begin to wrap your head around seeing him do it five, six, or seven more times? Because that's what he's going to have to do to have a legitimate GOAT argument.
Most importantly, he needs to win this game or it's a wrap. Mahomes will never catch Brady if Brady beats Mahomes in the Super Bowl. After he already beat him in an AFC Championship. No one will ever be able to say Mahomes is better without immediately hearing that Brady beat him head-to-head. At 43 years-old. I don't like it, but it's the truth.
Is it possible that this is why Brady really went to an NFC team? For the chance to go against the next him? For the opportunity to close his case on the sport's biggest stage? I guess that makes as much sense as anything else.
Mahomes has a unique opportunity to actually face the best guy of all time. This would be like if Brady had faced off against Montana or Elway or Unitas or whichever other guy from grainy black-and-white footage you prefer. If Jordan had joined a team in the West and hung around long enough to meet LeBron in the Finals. That's where Mahomes is. A chance to beat the ghost that will haunt him for the rest of his career.
Of course, there's also the possibility that win or lose, Patrick Mahomes doesn't care about if you have him ranked number one, two, three or ten by the time his career is over. Maybe this only matters to fans and people arguing online and on sports talk shows. Either way, what a conversation it will be.