How Patrick Mahomes Made West Texas Chiefs Country
You'd think football fans in West Texas and Lubbock would be fans of the Dallas Cowboys. And normally you'd be right. Yet every once in a while a special personality comes along that changes everything. At Texas Tech, in Lubbock, that personality is none other than Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
I spent six years on the radio in Lubbock and witnessed the love affair between Texas Tech fans and Patrick Mahomes firsthand. Here's the thing, Texas Tech wasn't a great football team when I was there. And frankly, they're still not a great football team, to be honest.
And the fans, well they're a fickle bunch, welcoming every new coach as the savior of the Texas Tech football program, just to offer him a ride to the airport two and a half years later after Tech Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt shows him the door.
I personally think as the college experience has become more of a lifestyle, than a place to get an education, Tech loses out to Texas and Texas A&M. Why go to Lubbock, five hours from anywhere? Where the only Interstate leads to Amarillo, a city that's less attractive than Lubbock. When you can go to Texas in Austin. Or be an Aggie and party in College Station.
Don't get me wrong I enjoyed living in Lubbock and started to put roots down there before the radio gods rudely decided it was time for me to move somewhere else. Yet, I was 39 when I got there. Not an 18-year-old college freshman away from home for the first time and ready to get my party on.
So when Patrick Mahomes showed up and started making waves, he and hometown coach Kliff Kingsbury ignited the fan base. And for a couple of years, the Texas Tech faithful were all in on the Mahomes and Kingsbury Show.
At Tech during his junior year, the last he'd play, Mahomes was the nation's leading passer according to the Red Raiders website. He started all 12 games that year. And led the country with 5,052 passing yards in just 12 games. He joined an elite group of Texas Tech football alumni to lead the country in passing yards.
And that was his last year. As a sophomore, he started all 13 games. Threw 52 touchdowns and just 19 interceptions in his first 17 starts. And led the country with 393 yards of total offense per game. Most importantly though, he gave the Red Raider faithful something to cheer about. He gave them hope, that maybe the program would turn the corner. And in the process became one of Texas Tech's favorite personalities.
Do Texas Tech fans dirty and they'll hate your guts forever. However, give them something to cheer about, be a good guy, and they'll root for your success. And they'll be loyal. So it's not surprising that on Sunday afternoons in Lubbock, the Kansas City Chiefs is must-watch football.
He recently attended the Baylor/Texas Tech basketball game in Lubbock, and the fan response was amazing. You can the video of it here from Lubbock TV station KCBD. And not only did he show up, but he also stayed and motivated the team and the fans. No, the love affair between Mahomes and Texas Tech isn't waning anytime soon. Hopefully, his love affair with the Chiefs will be just as enduring.