Allow me to be clear from the very first sentence of this story. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the beautiful flavors of ketchup.
Ketchup, that ubiquitous red condiment, is the sugary nectar of life. It instantly improves nearly every dish it's laid upon, from Fourth of July hot dogs to sweet potato freedom fries. It's America's favorite sauce and the base of other favorite sauces like BBQ and spicy mayo.
When combined with mustard's vinegary bite and mayo's creaminess, ketchup shines as the cornerstone of any cheeseburger.
Ketchup is great, but it's only one flavor.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is a one flavor type of guy. When he was a kid, he used to eat ketchup sandwiches: two pieces of white bread smothered with Heinz. Ketchup is great, but that is an abomination. Mahomes openly admits his childhood snack belongs on "Fear Factor," but that doesn't stop him from putting ketchup on his medium-rare steaks today.
Mahomes has been A-1 since day one about his tomato gravy. Why does he love ketchup so much?
Patrick Mahomes: Hunt's Ketchup Brand Ambassador
In the late 1800s, when Heinz began making ketchup on the east coast in Pennsylvania, Hunt Brothers Fruit Packaging Company was founded on the west coast in California. Hunt's, as it would grow into, made ketchup to rival Heinz's blend. Their rivalry continues today.
(The Heinz company sponsors the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Hunt Family owns the Kansas City Chiefs, but don't jump to any conclusions. "Hunt" is a relatively common last name. The Hunts who own the Chiefs aren't the same Hunts who hock ketchup. It's just a fun, if not somewhat confusing, coincidence.)
The Hunt family who owns the Chiefs helped found the NFL. The Hunt family who sponsors Patrick Mahomes helped create the ketchup wars. Both Hunt families want to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both Hunt families place their trust in Patrick Mahomes.
— Hunt?s Tomatoes & Ketchup (@HuntsChef) February 14, 2019
Per ESPN, the ketchup-loving touchdown-scorer inked an endorsement deal with Hunt's Ketchup in 2018. Mahomes's affinity for putting ketchup on the steak was trending after revealing some of his eating preferences to KCSP 610 Sports Radio. (Mahomes also puts ketchup on mac and cheese, which is objectively less offensive.)
Mahomes's palate preferences and resulting sponsorship created much fanfare and has been joked about in State Farm Commercials alongside Aaron Rodgers. Mayor of Flavortown, Guy Fieri, commented on the habit, saying he had no problem with the culinary faux pas. Then again, look at Fieri's choices in facial hair.
— The Ringer (@ringer) September 9, 2020
Why Does Patrick Mahomes Love Ketchup?
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) November 24, 2020
Great question. He puts it on pretty much everything.
Mahomes has stated he squirts ketchup on his steak, mac and cheese, eggs and ham. Mmm, nothing like some red eggs and ham! He didn't stop there, however.
Last year, Mahomes said he puts the condiment on Thanksgiving turkey. For many fans, this latest revelation has proven a bridge too far. Mahomes is a pioneer on the cutting edge of ketchup abuse. He's so far gone, not even his most loyal fans are willing to defend him anymore.
"There's just certain things I put ketchup on that people don't like. You don't have to put it on everything, but it does add a little flavor to certain things people won't try it on," he told CBS Sports.
I think the short answer for why he loves it so much is that it just tastes good (great? incredible?) to him.
Mahomes seems destined to wind up homeless, insane and alone with a bottle of ketchup in a Missouri alleyway, spreading his favorite condiment on fingernails and cockroaches alike.
It's a good thing he's usually busy throwing footballs.
Patrick Mahomes Career
Hey, maybe ketchup is the secret sauce to his success.
Patrick Lavon Mahomes II is an NFL MVP quarterback, a former first-round pick and Hunt's Ketchup sponsored athlete. The QB was raised as a dual-threat athlete in Tyler, Texas, excelling in baseball and football. His father, Pat Mahomes, was an MLB pitcher, and Patrick was drafted into the MLB by the Detroit Tigers.
But young Mahomes was a stand-out QB at Whitehouse High School. After thinking over the decision with friends and his mother, Randi Mahomes, Patrick Mahomes decided to pursue college football at Texas Tech instead.
Mahomes played football and baseball as a Texas Tech Raider. Still, he chose to focus only on football after his sophomore season. Under head coach Kliff Kingsbury (now with the Arizona Cardinals), Mahomes gave us a glimpse of greatness in 2016. He set the NCAA records for most single-game passing yards and total offense, both against rival and NCAA powerhouse Oklahoma.
Like a pass leaving his right arm, Mahomes's NFL stock rocketed. Foregoing his senior season, Mahomes declared for the NFL draft.
The Kansas City Chiefs picked up Mahomes with the 10th overall pick of the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Head coach Andy Reid decided Mahomes would learn from the bench behind Alex Smith for Mahomes's rookie season. Mahomes became the starting Chiefs quarterback his second season, earning All-Pro, his first Pro Bowl and an AP Offensive Player of the Year. The Chiefs lost to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship that season.
But they knew they'd be back.
After a season of rolling over everyone, KC went deeper into the playoffs than any Kansas City team since 1970. After downsizing the Titans for the conference title, the Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV.
Though certainly a team effort alongside Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, Mahomes stood out and earned the Super Bowl MVP award. Mahomes has hardly slowed down since.
The Chiefs had another great year in 2020 despite the COVD-19 pandemic. They again made it to Super Bowl LV, where they again fell to the soft hands of TB12, this time captaining the Tampa Brady Buccaneers. NFL fans expect the Chiefs Dynasty to continue in 2021 and beyond, even with teams like Urban Meyer's Jacksonville Jaguars on the rise.
Off the gridiron and onto the grill, Mahomes' love of ketchup is becoming well known. Will it help him capture more Super Bowl titles? Only time will tell.
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