An estimated million fans—almost double the city’s population—descended upon Kansas City for last week’s Super Bowl parade, celebrating the Chiefs’ second championship in four years. Drinks were flowing with nobody letting their hair down more than quarterback Patrick Mahomes, whose afternoon of drunken debauchery included a memorable trip to the Port-A-John followed by pawning off the Lombardi Trophy on an unsuspecting—but nonetheless appreciative—fan along the parade route.
While social media seemed to enjoy Mahomes cutting loose, a segment of the fan base apparently didn’t appreciate his overindulgence, complaining of players’ excessive alcohol consumption in indignant letters to the Kansas City Star.
“I am not opposed to drinking nor naive enough to think our football players don’t drink. However, it is completely unnecessary to let Chiefs players drink during the Super Bowl parade. It should not have been allowed by coach Andy Reid and the team’s ownership for some very good reasons,” said Janet Hensel of Liberty, Missouri, dismissing Mahomes and his teammates’ behavior as drunken buffoonery while casting them as poor role models. “If the Chiefs cannot go a few hours without alcohol, the organization has a problem. I, for one, was sickened to see this for the second time. Some Chiefs even bragged through social media about how drunk they were afterward. I am ashamed that players I cheered for could barely walk after they got off the bus.”
This seems like an overreaction to what many would consider harmless fun, a well-deserved reprieve for players and coaches after months of burning the candle at both ends. Mahomes isn’t the first player and surely won’t be the last to throw a few back at his team’s Super Bowl parade. Even Tom Brady, a notorious wet blanket known for disguising his personality behind corny Twitter musings (usually shilling a product or promoting one of his various side hustles) and the occasional manufactured drama on his weekly podcast, was overserved at the Bucs’ Super Bowl festivities two years ago in Tampa, embracing his “Tequila Tom” alter ego by throwing the Lombardi overboard in a reckless display of liquid courage. Mahomes’ recent Coors binge and its accompanying backlash begs the question, if the Chiefs can’t celebrate after winning the Super Bowl, when can they?
“I was surprised and dismayed to see that Patrick Mahomes and other players were drinking alcohol again. I felt that way three years ago, and I thought there would have been enough negative feedback from the parents of children and teenagers voicing their concerns to the Chiefs’ administration that it wouldn’t be repeated,” lamented Skip Stogsdill of Overland Park under the heading “Not in Public.” “Next time there’s a victory parade, please imbibe your alcohol privately and discreetly. Impressionable young people deserve better role models than what you’ve displayed twice.”
While a recent incident involving Andy Reid’s son, former Chiefs staffer Britt Reid (currently serving a three-year prison sentence for injuring a five-year-old girl in a drunk driving accident), illustrates the dangers and lasting damage caused by alcohol abuse, isn’t it Mahomes’ right, as an adult, to celebrate how he chooses, as long as he does so responsibly without it affecting his job performance?
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