By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Patriots fans are used to what Chiefs fans are going through right now. When you have the best quarterback in the league and perhaps the best team, and you're threatening to win a Super Bowl and there's a chance you'll get there multiple times, people are going to root for you to lose. And others are going to have scorching takes on your guy, and perhaps cross the line in the process.
Did Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio cross the line with his Mahomes take that lit social media on fire on Wednesday? I suppose you can make the case that he advocated for the 49ers to try and injure Mahomes and take him out of the game when they face the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV. He literally said that's not what he's trying to say, but one could argue that he's just couching a veiled threat of violence and injury.
There's no question that Florio is saying the 49ers should get physical with Mahomes, particularly if he escapes the pocket and becomes a runner. It's a reasonable take. Football is inherently violent. You can't just expect the other team to let Mahomes run and throw all over them. And Florio was at least careful enough to clarify that he's not calling for a career-threatening injury, or a hit that would inspire Adam Schefter to tweet "Assault."
Here's the full comment, via PFT Live:
“You know what? At a certain level I think that — and I want to be careful here because I’m not suggesting that they try to knock him out of the game. That’s not what I’m saying. But at a certain point, you trade the risk of 15 yards, if you can send a message. And football is still a physical, violent game. If you can hit him, even if it’s close to the sideline, even if he’s maybe started into his slide. When the championship is riding on it, I think it’s a different analysis. And yeah we may give up 15 yards or half the distance to the goal line. I mean, that’s the thing, Peter. If someone had blown up Patrick Mahomes inside the five, big deal. If goes from the four to the two. Big deal. So, again, I’m not saying that that should be part of the deliberate effort. But the Super Bowl is riding on it. And if this guy’s gonna think he can run through the defense without any physical consequence, they need to dispel him of that notion the first time he tries.”
The point, here, is not that there's absolutely nothing wrong with what Florio said. It's possible he just covered his ass at the beginning of his statement because he knew full well that people were going to take it a certain way. He said what he said and that's on him.
The point is that Chiefs fans should get used to this. If you get what you want, which is annual trips to the AFC Championship Game and multiple Lombardi Trophies for Mahomes, then people are going to get sick of the Chiefs over time. Eventually the rest of the country is going to hate you. Some people will say they don't hate the Chiefs, just their fans. Can you handle that?
Mahomes is the face of the NFL now. He's clearly the best quarterback in the league with the way he's played in these playoffs. The Chiefs will be in the Super Bowl conversation every year as long as he's around. It's been a long time (forever?) since Chiefs fans have had the player who the rest of the country is going to want to lose, or even just take a hard hit.
People are inevitably going to say things like what Florio said. It's no use getting all worked up because a talking head or a fan of another team wishes Mahomes gets his ass kicked. Patriots fans have dealt with this with Tom Brady for at least 15 years. Mahomes is now going to be the one with a big ol' bullseye on his back.
You know what else is coming for Mahomes? Flags. Lots of roughing the passer flags whenever someone grazes his helmet. The last thing the league wants is for Mahomes to tear his ACL. So you better go delete all those old tweets about Brady getting all the calls, because Mahomes is that guy now, too.
Not so fun when the shoe's on the other foot, is it?
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].