Jalen Hurts had to overcome a fumble that gave his opponents a touchdown. Patrick Mahomes had to deal with a bum ankle that he reinjured. They put on record-setting performances in football’s biggest game. And neither of them were white. If this is the outcome of having two Black quarterbacks face each other in the Super Bowl, then the NFL should have done this a long time ago.
Hurts and Mahomes combined to complete 48-of-65 passes, carried the ball 21 times, were responsible for seven touchdowns, accounted for 600 yards of total offense, and put on one helluva show in a game that lived up to the hype. (Also, shoutout to Rihanna — she and her baby bump were amazing.)
Black QBs are on the rise in college football and the NFL
“It was 11 Black quarterbacks that started the season, and we’re fortunate enough to get two in the Super Bowl,” said Doug Williams — the first Black quarterback to ever start, win, and take home a Super Bowl MVP trophy — said leading up to the game. “That’s a thing in itself. But in my estimation, I’m thinking in the next five to ten years, half of the quarterbacks in the National Football League will be Black.”
After Sunday, Williams may be on to something. The plight of Black quarterbacks has been chronicled for decades, as only eight Black men have ever had the honor of starting in sports’ biggest game, and now have a record of 4-7.
And then Chris Berman showed up
But still, some people will find a way to mess up a positive and “progressive” moment like this — during Black History Month — like ESPN’s Chris Berman did when he highlighted how Hurts and Mahomes’ history-making performances took place on (checks notes), Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.
“But, also, of course, two African-American quarterbacks starting against each other in the Super Bowl for the first time, fittingly…February 12th is Abe Lincoln’s birthday.”
I didn’t know this was the moment that Black America was supposed to morph into a gospel choir to sing praises to Lincoln for ending the longest and most cruel system mankind has ever seen, all because he was born 214 years before two Black dudes were going to throw a football in front of around 100 million people on TV.
But, back to the game.
Hurts and Mahomes put on a clinic
It was as if the football gods got together and decided that each man was going to equally get to share the spotlight. In the first half, Hurts was 17-for-22 for 183 pass yards and one touchdown through the air for a passer rating of 116.3, along with two scores on the ground and 63 rushing yards. In the final 30 minutes, Mahomes battled through a high-ankle sprain for a 26-yard scramble and was 13-for-14 for 93 passing yards and two touchdowns in the second half, as he became the first MVP of this century to win the Super Bowl in the same season. Kansas City — aided by a Hurts’ fumble that was returned for a touchdown — was able to score 38 points against the league’s best defense in a game in which they were held to only eight offensive possessions.
Super Bowl LVII had everything fans could want — besides good commercials and a non-slippery field. Greg Olsen also showed why FOX is going to have a decision to make in the coming years when Tom Brady joins the broadcast booth, as the former tight end has proven that Brady is going to have to put in some major work if he wants to take his spot.
But, as the 2022 season has officially concluded, there’s still one member of the Chiefs who would probably describe Sunday as bittersweet. Since taking over as Kansas City’s offensive coordinator, Eric Bieniemy has coached an offense that’s either played in the AFC Championship Game, made it to the Super Bowl, or won two Lombardi trophies since 2018. And yet, on a day in which two Black quarterbacks were celebrated for their talents on the field, the best offensive coordinator in the game — who happens to be Black — still can’t get a head coaching job. Chris Berman probably thinks Abraham Lincoln could get him hired.