For the first time in Super Bowl history, two Black quarterbacks faced each other on the NFL’s biggest stage as Patrick Mahomes, and the Kansas City Chiefs defeated Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles by the score of 38 to 35 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
On February 9th, it was announced that Patrick Mahomes won the Associated Press’ Most Valuable Player award, and Jalen Hurts was the runner-up. Three days later, the two African American quarterbacks were set to face off once again, but this time they would compete for the NFL’s ultimate trophy.
During the two-week period leading up to the championship game, the most noteworthy football topic was the historic clash between two Black quarterbacks. Most fans were aware of the significance, but some were wondering why the subject was such a dominant storyline?
In the early days of the NFL, the quarterback was labeled the most important player on the team, and Blacks weren’t receiving the opportunity to play quarterback based on the racial stereotype that they weren’t intelligent enough to fill the role because it’s a ‘thinking’ position. Black quarterbacks coming out of college would change positions in order to secure a roster spot in the NFL.
For those Black college football players who were determined to play the quarterback position as a professional, the other alternative was to travel up north and play in the CFL (Canadian Football League). During the 1970s three percent of Black quarterbacks in the NFL threw at least 100 passes in a season.
In September 1979, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Doug Williams and the Chicago Bears Vince Evans, became the first Black quarterbacks to face each other in an NFL game. Nine years later, as the starter for the Washington Redskins, Doug Williams became the first Black quarterback to win the Super Bowl.
Fast forward thirty-five years later, you have Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts participating in a historic event. As the 57th installment of the Super Bowl kicked off, Jalen Hurts marched his team down the field, and he capped the drive off with a 1-yard touchdown run.
Mahomes responded as he drove the Chiefs down the field and finished their drive with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce. With the score tied 14-14 in the 2nd quarter, Hurts led the Eagles on drives ending in a touchdown and a field goal.
The Eagles were flying high as they went to the locker room with a 24-14 lead over the Chiefs. Megastar singer Rihanna grasped the spotlight during halftime as she took command of the stage with a 13-minute performance of her greatest hits.
When the game resumed, the Chiefs closed the 10-point gap courtesy of a 1-yard Isiah Pacheco touchdown run. After the Eagles responded with a field goal, Patrick Mahomes threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Kadarius Toney, and a 4-yard touchdown pass to Skyy Moore as the Chiefs took a 35-27 lead.
Jalen Hurts rose to the challenge as he scored on a two-yard touchdown run, and he tied the game by scoring on the two-point conversion. With 5 minutes and 15 seconds left to go in the game, Mahomes led a calculated time-consuming drive, and with only eleven seconds remaining, Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker kicked the game-winning field goal.
With the victory, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs won their second Super Bowl within a four-year span. Mahomes showed resiliency as he played through the reaggravated ankle sprain he suffered in the 2nd quarter. He went on to lead his team to victory, and he also collected the Super Bowl’s Most Valuable Player award as he threw for 182 yards and three touchdowns.
Jalen Hurts passed for 304 yards, threw for one touchdown, rushed for 70 yards, and an additional three touchdowns. Hurts had an outstanding Super Bowl debut, but unfortunately, he and his team fell short of winning their second Super Bowl in franchise history.
Super Bowl LVII was historic, entertaining, and filled with high drama. The date of February 12, 2023, will go down in history as the first time two Black NFL quarterbacks faced each other in the Super Bowl. February 12th will forever commemorate the first time, but hopefully, we can get a repeat of this feat in the near future.
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