Much has and will be made of the age gap between Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes leading up to Super Bowl LV on Sunday. Rather than do a deep dive on how age will factor into their on field results I thought it would be fun to do a side to side comparison of how different their worlds looked over the course of Brady’s previous 9 Super Bowl appearances over the last 20 years.
Super Bowl XXXVI- Patriots v. St.Louis Rams, 20-17
While Tom Brady was winning his first of 6 rings in 2001, Patrick Mahomes was the ripe old age of 5 years old. Yeah you read that right. I can imagine that after a day of Spongebob or The Fairly Odd Parents, or watching a bullpen session for his dad, little Patrick might not have been awake to watch the confetti fall on Brady and the Patriots.
Super Bowl XXXVIII- Patriots v. Carolina Panthers, 32-29
Having finished his homework early that day at the age of 8 I’m sure that young Patrick was actually allowed to stay up to watch Brady claim his second Super Bowl victory over Carolina in 2003. It’s highly likely that he’d also had an afternoon of playing football himself or involved in a Little League Baseball game or practice.
Super Bowl XXXIX- Patriots v. Philadelphia Eagles, 24-21
Only a year later not much has probably changed in the Mahomes household other than the difficulty of the tests at school that young Patrick was studying for. I mean, how much could change in a year?
Super Bowl XLII- Patriots v. New York Giants, 14-17
Finally a substantial break between Super Bowl appearances for the GOAT. It would be forgone conclusion after a 16-0 season in 2007 that teenage Patrick would see Tommy win his 4th ring. But he would, along with the rest of the country, be stunned as Eli Manning and the Giants came out victorious. The big topic in the halls of his local middle school the next day would be how the Giants played spoiler to an otherwise perfect season for the Patriots.
Super Bowl XLVI- Patriots v. New York Giants, 17-21
After another long break between appearances the Mahomes family would settle in to see if Brady and Belichick would be able to have revenge in their rematch with Eli and the Giants. Spoiler alert: They wouldn’t. As Brady would be handed his second Super Bowl loss, the Mahomes family would likely be discussing whether high school sophomore Patrick would focus on football or baseball in college.
Super Bowl XLIX- Patriots v. Seahawks, 28-24
News flash: Patrick picked football. Although he would still dabble in baseball when he entered Texas Tech in 2014. He was good enough that the Detroit Tigers drafted him and now have drafted more Super Bowl starters than their next door neighbors, the Detroit Lions. As he was poised to enter the next phase of his life and career, Patrick would sit in awe with the rest of us as Pete Carroll decided to not go full beast mode and let Russ cook right into a pick at the goal line that would give Brady his fourth ring and first Super Bowl victory in a decade.
Super Bowl LI- Patriots v. Atlanta Falcons, 34-28
Now in his junior year of college, Patrick and his Texas Tech teammates would surely be in the weight room the Monday following the 2016 Super Bowl. They were probably discussing whether Brady and the Pats mounted the most memorable comeback to date or Matt Ryan and the Falcons blew the biggest lead to start a second half in Super Bowl history. It would be a late night as the game was decided in the Patriots favor in overtime. But Patrick was a seasoned college student at this point and was used to not a lot of sleep.
Super Bowl LII- Patriots v. Philadelphia Eagles, 33-41
Only months before he would be selected 10th overall by the Kansas City Chiefs, Mahomes tuned in to watch Brady and the Patriots be handed their 3rd Super Bowl loss by first time Super Bowl Champions Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles. The Philly special would be the talk of pre-draft workouts the next day. As would the celebrations of the city of Philly and it’s fans.
Super Bowl LIII- Patriots v. Los Angeles Rams, 13-3
Now a pro and the starter for the Chiefs, Patrick would watch a rather disappointing Super Bowl as Brady picked up his sixth and final ring with the Patriots after losing to them in the AFC Championship game. I’m sure he was already looking forward to the potential re-match at some point as soon as the final whistle blew.
Super Bowl LV- Sunday February 7th, 6:30 pm
It’s Baby Goat against the GOAT as the Bucs host the Chiefs on Sunday night, and there are sure to be immeasurable storylines about this meeting and the so called “changing of the guard”. One thing that will be most interesting to watch is how 18 years of being able to study Tom Brady will play into both the game and player that Patrick Mahomes becomes. And if he’ll be the chosen one to break Brady’s records one day.
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