Sports

Featured on TIME’s 100 Most Influential List, Patrick Mahomes discusses Taylor Swift, his GOAT status, and how long he plans to play

Patrick Mahomes discusses his future, his past, and the dynasty-building present in a new interview with TIME Magazine.

For the second consecutive year and the third time since 2020, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been named to the TIME100 list, highlighting TIME Magazine‘s 100 most influential people of the year. Mahomes is the second member of the list to get a spot on the magazine’s cover, with a tribute written by former baseball star Alex Rodriguez.

In his interview with TIME, Mahomes discussed a wide variety of topics, starting with the Chiefs’ breakdown on Christmas Day, the jolt of new fandom from Taylor Swift fans, and his status in the NFL’s “GOAT” debate. Perhaps most relevant for Chiefs fans, however: how long does Mahomes plan on playing football?

“I’ve looked, if I played until Tom [Brady]’s age, my daughter would be 19, 20 years old,” Mahomes said, as written by Sean Gregory of TIME. “I would love to play that long. At the same time, I want to be there for my daughter. If I can do that, I’ll continue to play. But if I feel like it’s taking away from my family time, that’s when I’ll know it’s time to go.”

“Tom’s skewed people’s brains on how hard that is to do because of how well he took care of his body,” Mahomes said. “So I’m about to make sure that I get rid of this dad bod if I want to play to 45.”

Speaking of Brady, legacy, and his path to all-time NFL immortality, Mahomes told TIME he’s “nowhere near” greatest-of-all-time status.

“You have to build a consistency of a career,” Mahomes said. “You see that in any sport. I’ve had a great run. I think I’ve done a great job so far. But it’s hard to take away from what Tom did for so long, what Peyton Manning did, or Aaron Rodgers. There are so many guys, they were at such a high level for such a long time. In order to be in that conversation, you have to do that on a year-to-year basis. You can’t take it for granted that you did it the year before.”

Still, Mahomes isn’t making his exit plans anytime soon as he and the Chiefs attempt to secure the league’s first-ever three-peat.

“At the end of my time, I just want to say that I didn’t leave anything out there,” Mahomes said. “My family and football are the first things I want to be great at. If I can go out there and say that I gave everything I had on the football field, expectations are what they are and whatever is going to happen is going to happen. And I can be satisfied with that.”

What about the off-the-field fireworks that came with Swift’s addition to Chiefs Kingdom? Mahomes said he was officially introduced to Swift after the Chiefs’ blowout win over the Chicago Bears, though Mahomes said Swift remembered meeting him briefly at the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville.

“I’ve met a lot of famous people now in my life,” Mahomes said. “Taylor’s probably the most down-to-earth person that’s been on that stage for that long. […] She’s never not working. Even when she’s taking her downtime, she’s working on something. Shooting a music video or singing a song or writing a song. You can see it by how she talks. Even when she’s talking about football, when she’s learning it, you can see her business mind putting it together. It’s almost like she’s trying to become a coach. ‘Why can’t you try this, this, and this?’ She’s asking the right questions.”

Did the Chiefs ever tire of an international spotlight — going “from a nationwide team that was kind of global to a full global worldwide team,” in Mahomes’s words?

“We just embraced it,” Mahomes said. “We like having that visibility. At the end of the day, football has always been this bruising sport. We want to make it fun, where kids grow up and play football and show their personality and be who they are. This year really magnified that.”

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