Mahomes composed amid the Las Vegas Super Bowl hype


For an athlete setting Las Vegas abuzz in a high-octane Super Bowl week, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes cuts a pretty grounded figure.

In this city of hype and excess, the twice Super Bowl champion is chasing a third title this weekend when the Chiefs face the San Francisco 49ers.

He is not about to let the hype derail him.

The 28-year-old says one of the main benefits of experience is that he is better able to handle Super Bowl week.

"The biggest change is knowing what to expect of the week," he said.

"I've grown as a quarterback and as a leader and as a person, but being able to have a game plan for what the Super Bowl week entails, and prepare myself - not play the Super Bowl before the Super Bowl game, that's something I can use to my advantage."

Certainly Mahomes is handling his intense media commitments with aplomb, allowing himself a wry smile when asked about his chances of overhauling Tom Brady's record of seven Super Bowl victories.

"I'm not even close to half way, so I haven't put a lot of thought into it," he said.

"Your goal is to be the best player that you can be. I'm blessed to be around a lot of great players around me.

"Right now, it's doing everything I can to beat a great 49ers team and try to get that third ring.

"If you ask me that question in like 15 years, I'll see if I can get close to seven. But seven seems like a long ways away still."

Another 15 years in such a physically brutal sport would be a tall order, but Mahomes says he is doing all the right things to give him the best chance of a long career.

"Fifteen years seems like a long (time) but Brady did it and some other guys have done it, so I am going to try to see if I can do it as well.

"I don't want to play until I am hurting the team, so if I can go out there and have some success and still love it every single day that's the biggest thing."

For now, though, everything is geared towards one blockbuster game on Sunday (Monday AEDT) - and fear of defeat is proving a stronger motivation than the glory of winning.

"I have lost a Super Bowl and I know how bad that hurts," Mahomes said.

"You want to make sure you stay away from that feeling so even more than hoisting that trophy is when you lose and you're in that locker room and you feel you were that close and you didn't get it.

"I'm almost more addicted to staying away from that feeling than I am about hoisting the trophy."

If successful, the Chiefs would become the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since the New England Patriots in 2004 and 2005, and the eighth overall.