Kansas City, Mo. – The caller couldn’t even get a question out of Doug Williams on Sunday night before he made his feelings clear — loudly and repeatedly.
Following the Philadelphia Eagles’ 31-7 upset of the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, the Kansas City Chiefs cruised to a 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game.
For Williams, the first black quarterback to win the game’s MVP award starting in the Super Bowl, those results meant that something he wanted to witness finally happened: For the first time in NFL history, two black quarterbacks led their teams to the Super Bowl in the same season.
The Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts will square off on the league’s biggest stage in Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona.
Williams seemed pleased, to say the least.
“That’s what I was talking about! Yeah! Yeah! We got two black quarterbacks in the Super Bowl!” Williams yelled into the phone. “Man, after Jalen won earlier, I was pulling for Patrick. I was sitting here on pins and needles wondering if it was going to happen.
“Now I have a smile on my face, but my eyes are watering too. I’m talking, but I don’t think I can explain what it means. We’ve come this far. It’s been tough, many obstacles, but we did it. Two black quarterbacks in the Super Bowl!” “
It is a journey of more than 100 years.
For most of the NFL’s history, team owners were as interested in allowing black men to play quarterback as they were in paying capital gains taxes. The whites who ran the league — and there was no way to sugarcoat this — believed that black men lacked the intelligence and leadership skills to succeed in professional sports’ most important position.
Of course, they were all racist myths – Williams took a sledgehammer During his iconic performance For Washington’s NFL franchise.
After Williams was overtaken in 1988, Russell Wilson, while playing for the Seattle Seahawks, became the second African-American passer to win a Super Bowl title, accomplishing the feat 26 years later. Then in Super Bowl LIV in 2020, he became the third black quarterback to join the exclusive club while leading the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl championship in 50 years.
Other Black signal callers have started in the Super Bowl. However, the two have never met before in the NFL’s signature event.
Representation is important. On Feb. 12 at State Farm Stadium, Mahomes and the Hurts will represent — for the culture.
“Whenever you take big steps and do things that have never been accomplished before, everything that we’ve been through, all the obstacles … man, yeah, it means a lot to all of us,” Williams said. “It’s been a long, hard road, so, yeah, there’s a lot of emotion.
“When you have two black quarterbacks coming to this level, guys leading two great teams, you can’t deny what we can do. You can’t deny that we’ve gotten to this point, against all odds, that we know we can be. It’s going to be those two guys. Want … man.”
Those two, actually.
Mahomes will win the Associated Press NFL MVP award for the second time in five seasons. He has only been the Chiefs’ starter for five seasons.
A generational talent, Mahomes became the youngest quarterback in NFL history to win a Super Bowl title, a Super Bowl MVP award and a league MVP award in 2020 at the age of 24.
This season, Mahomes, now 27, led the NFL in passing yards, passing touchdowns and total QPR. After suffering a high ankle sprain in the Chiefs’ divisional-round win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Mahomes played through pain in helping the Chiefs beat the Bengals for the first time in the teams’ last four games.
On third-and-4 on Cincinnati’s 47-yard line late in the fourth quarter, Mahomes broke out of the pocket and gained nine yards before going out of bounds with eight seconds left on the game clock. As Mahomes was out of bounds, Bengals defensive end Joseph Ossey sacked the five-time Pro Bowler.
Ozai was flagged for a 15-yard penalty. Chiefs kicker Harrison Budger kicked a 45-yard field goal with three seconds left.
Again, Mahomes (326 passing yards, two passing touchdowns) found a way for Kansas City, which has made the AFC Championship Game every season since he became the Chiefs’ starting quarterback. For the third time in the past four seasons, Mahomes will lead the Chiefs to the Super Bowl.
In both individual and team accomplishments, Mahomes went on a streak to become one of the all-time greats.
In just his second full season as a starter, Hurts, 24, has emerged as the leader of the NFC’s best team and one of the league’s best offensive players. He had a rushing touchdown Sunday in the Eagles’ win at Lincoln Financial Field.
Heavily criticized by league watchers after faltering as a passer at times before this season, the first-time Pro Bowler has proved his doubters wrong by brilliantly winning in the pocket throughout the Eagles’ run to Super Bowl LVII. Don’t be surprised if Mahomes and Hurts, who continue to be a force in the Eagles’ running game, finish first and second, respectively, in the AP MVP voting.
Also, never forget: When interviewed by reporters during the 2020 NFL Combine, Hurts was asked if he would consider switching positions. It’s fair to assume the Eagles are happy Hurts is still playing quarterback.
“Both of them are great people,” Williams said. “Patrick came out [to support an event Williams has a key role in organizing], I texted with Jalen all year. To see those guys being the first two to do it and the guys they are, it doesn’t make me happy.
As the phone conversation drew to a close, Williams was asked to predict the outcome of the Chiefs-Eagles matchup. He will not go there.
“No,” Williams said, his comment punctuated by a hearty laugh. “I’m going to enjoy it tonight and be happy for Patrick and Jalen.”
But before hanging up, Williams delivered one final gem.
“Besides, there are two black quarterbacks in the Super Bowl,” Williams said. “No matter what, I can’t lose.”