So, last night Patrick Mahomes led his team to a Super Bowl victory at the very young age of 24. He walked away with Super Bowl MVP honors as well, making him the youngest person ever to win Super Bowl MVP. Just last year he became the youngest person ever to win a regular season MVP as well. He’s set to become the highest paid quarterback in the league. He will likely be earning around 35 to 40 million dollars a year pretty soon. It’s fair to say he has accomplished a great deal for his age. All that success at 24 got me thinking, I wonder how my life accomplishments at 23 compare to his at 24.
Let’s start in high school. Mahomes attended Whitehouse high school where he played football, basketball, and baseball. His senior year he threw for over 4,600 passing yards, 50 touchdowns, ran for 948 yards, and 15 rushing touchdowns. He also threw a no-hitter in baseball, in a game where he recorded 16 strikeouts. He was named 2013-2014 Male Athlete of the Year by Maxpreps. I, on the other hand, played 2 years of JV soccer in high school. I was mainly in charge of cultivating positive vibes, keeping my teammates spirits up, lightening the mood with jokes, and creating a sense of camaraderie among my teammates. Sure, Mahomes put up some nice stats in his day, but in my high school athletic career I was clearly focused on much more important things. They say sports are 90% mental and 10% physical so I would argue my impact on the mental well-being of my team and my teammates is just as impressive, if not more impressive, than Mahomes’ on-the-field stats.
Furthermore, my willingness to sit on the bench allowed other members of my team to feel more involved and contribute. Does that make me a hero? That’s not for me to determine, but if we’re going by the dictionary definition of a hero, then yeah probably. Unlike me, Mahomes chose a much more selfish route. He just HAD to be a starter in 3 different sports. Sounds like one of us actually wanted to see their friends and classmates succeed, and knew the value of putting others needs ahead of your own sometimes.
I mean to be honest, it’s kind of unfair to compare athletic achievements anyway because Mahomes is the son of a former professional athlete so obviously he is going to have an advantage over me in that field. There is no evidence to disprove the notion that if I grew up with a pro-athlete as a parent then I would also go on to be the greatest active football player in the world and win Super Bowls. None.
With that being said, let’s move away from athletics and take a look at some of our other high school achievements. Unfortunately for Mahomes, I wasn’t able to find much outside of athletic accomplishments from his high school days. Wow, sounds like a one trick pony to me. Sorry some of us like to be multi-faceted and have more than just one area of interest, Pat. So while he was out risking potentially serious injuries on the field or court, I was excelling in a variety of different fields. Let’s name a few. Drinking games. I once made 3 people have to do a naked lap in beer pong at the same party, while beating one team 10-0. That’s basically the coolest thing any high school male can do. Social media influencing. I had a fire Twitter account in high school. Don’t believe me? See for yourself:
I developed a unique voice that was far more sophisticated than the average highschooler
I touched on important issues, such as mental health
I used my platform to speak truth to power and go after those in society who were doing wrong
I challenged societal norms
I made astute observations and was able to say so much with so few words
I celebrated the things I loved
And when looking at my tweets it’s clear I was a true alpha-male in the high school eco-system who had a lot going on
I think I’ve established my accomplishments in the social media field and the incredible online presence I was able to cultivate. Let’s take a look at some of the other areas I excelled in at this time. The culinary arts. I learned to master the Wendy’s menu and found all the ways to get the most bang for my buck before the 4 for 4 was even invented. Creative endeavors. I was able to buy a guitar that I never learned how to play and many books that I never read. The important thing is I had the creative drive and spirit to want to buy these things in the first place, that’s more than I can say for Mahomes, who probably just spent his money on Nike clothing and footballs. The fact that I never read those books or played that guitar may lead you to believe I did not have a lot of determination, or was not able to stick with a task. However, around this time I also completed two full 82 game seasons with my NBA 2k13 MyPlayer WITH 12 minute quarters. So, I think it’s safe to say I was a highly motivated.
After reviewing all the success myself and Mahomes had in high school, as an unbiased judge I have to give the advantage to myself. Shane: 1, Mahomes: 0.
It’s time to get serious now though, we’re moving on to college. After a very successful athletic career in high school, Mahomes went to Texas Tech University to play both college football and baseball. Don’t get me wrong, playing two sports at the D1 collegiate level is impressive and I can’t take that away from him. However, I feel obligated to mention that he did quit baseball after his sophomore year, which shines a negative light on his decision making and time-management skills. During Mahomes’ junior year he led all of D1 FBS players in multiple categories. These included passing yards, and passing touchdowns. It was after this record setting junior year that Patrick left college to enter the NFL draft. That’s right, he never graduated. Also, some may consider leaving after your junior year “quitting” college football, which would mean he quit two college sports in 2 consecutive years. I’m not saying that’s how I feel. I’m just saying some may consider that to be true.
I attended Siena College in Albany, New York. Unlike Mahomes, I did graduate. I completed my degree in 4 years and left with a B.A. in Political Science. Now, a strong argument can be made that I have not used that degree at all since graduation, but still, the fact that I worked to receive it is an achievement in and of itself. Also an achievement that Mahomes cannot say he has. So, if we’re just basing college success off of academics I am the clear winner. But as we all know, college is about much more than just the classroom. Mahomes obviously excelled in athletics during college. I’m not saying my success is the exact same as his but I do feel obligated to mention that I was on the roster for a team that won the co-Ed intramural basketball championship my junior year. Like I said, it’s not the exact same but it’s fairly close. Also, I say on the roster because I managed to not show up to most of the games, however, my name is still in the record books as a champion.
So much of college is about the people you meet and the friendships you make. I found a great group of friends in college. I am still close to them to this day. I like to remain loyal to my true friends. Patrick seems to have gone a different route. In fact, in 2019 when Texas Tech basketball made the final four, who did Patrick go to the game with? Well surely one of his friends who attended that very school with him, right? Wrong. He took his new friend and teammate Travis Kelce.
Clearly, Mahomes either did not make strong bonds with his college friends or he ditched them for “better” friends once he became a professional athlete. It’s sad to see really. Maybe for Mahomes it’s all about surrounding yourself with rich or successful people but that’s not what friendship is about to me. None of my friends are rich or successful and there’s a good chance none of us ever will be. Thats real friendship.
Another important aspect of college is relationships. People meet, people date, people fall in love, and most of the time people break up. Mahomes actually has been dating his current girlfriend, Brittany Matthews since high school, but I’m including it in the college section because they dated long-distance throughout college and managed to stay together.
I have no intention of tarnishing this beautiful relationship. Dating long distance is not easy and they clearly found a way to make it work, so I say good for them. I wish nothing but the best for these two crazy kids. My relationship history throughout college looks very different than Mahomes’. I had multiple different failed relationships in college. Now, this may seem like a point in his favor, however, as we all know we learn much more from our failure than our successes. Therefore, my failed relationships are actually a point in MY favor because they mean I’ve learned more about dating, love, relationships, and life in general than he has because he has been locked into the same solid, stable, and healthy relationship for years.
I like to think I accomplished a great deal during my college years. Sure, I had my struggles, made my mistakes, and faced my hardships just like everyone else. However, I’m proud to say that no matter how many times I fell down, I always got back up.
After reviewing the success Mahomes and I both found in college I’m ready to update the score to: Shane: 2, Mahomes: 0
Which brings us to the last section to evaluate, post-college life. Mahomes was drafted 10th overall in the 2017 NFL draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. He spent his rookie season as Alex Smith’s backup. He’s been a starter now for two seasons and to be fair has achieved great success. He led the NFL in touchdowns in 2018 with 50 and threw for over 5,000 yards. He was named Offensive Player of the Year, Most Valuable Player, and selected to the first-team All Pro. He has made the Pro Bowl twice and is now a Super Bowl champion and Super Bowl MVP. Although, I did bet on the Chiefs last night so if I’m counting that game as a win for him it has to count as a win for me as well. Nevertheless, it’s clear that he is incredibly talented. Many consider him to be the best player in football and I completely agree.
I have had a few different jobs since graduating. I was an intern at a marketing agency, I worked in a restaurant, and I am currently employed as a Client Services Coordinator, I know, sounds fancy. I’m unbiased here so I can admit that, unlike Mahomes, no one would consider me the best in the world at any of those jobs. In fact, I have to admit that when it comes to post college success Mahomes does pretty much beat me in a landslide. There are not many ways I can spin it in my favor. However, I do feel I must point out that Mahomes is one year older than me. He is 24 and I have only been 23 for about 2 full months at this point. Therefore, it’s almost impossible to compare post-college success because by the time I turn 24 I could find the same amount, or a greater amount, of success than Mahomes has found. I cannot see the future though, so we just don’t know yet. So even though I’m going to give this round to Mahomes, I do feel I must include an asterisk. It’s only fair.
Final Score: Shane: 2, Mahomes: 1*
So, it looks like I’m walking away as the winner on this one. I truly wasn’t expecting that but I’m honored. I tried my best to be as unbiased as possible and strictly stick to the facts, which I feel I did. I hope Mahomes doesn’t get too down about this loss because honestly I think he has a lot going for him. He is clearly a very talented man. I see great success in both of our futures, but for now, I win.