It has been often and well said that one of the reasons that adult men love sports is that they are taken back to their childhood so quickly and easily. Probably so. There is, however, that point when our analysis of sporting events causes us to miss the obvious happening in front of us.
Such an event happened this past Monday night. There was a moment in the game when Patrick Mahomes, quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs, made a play that befuddled the announcers in the press box, but which caused me to almost immediately jump off my couch. I had practiced the same move with my brothers multiple times in the front yard as we threw a football back and forth.
With three minutes left in the 4th quarter, the Chiefs faced a 3rd and 5. Trailing at this point, a play was an absolute necessity to keep the Chiefs hopes of winning alive. Mahomes was flushed from the pocket and ran to his left. Noticing his predicament, his running back turned and began to run parallel to Mahomes, hoping for a pass. The rush and the surrounding players made a throw almost impossible and yet Mahomes managed to get the throw off and secured the 1st down, continuing the drive.
No one else was in the room and yet I blurted out immediately, “he threw that with his left hand!” Patrick Mahomes is right-handed. Running to his left, he had quickly moved the ball to his left hand and heaved it to his running back just a few yards in front of him.
The reaction from the announcers was a little slower to come. In fact, they didn’t observe that he had thrown it with his left hand until they watched the replay and saw the play from another angle. I definitely understand. These are folks who have played professional football and it’s probably a little odd to see a quarterback make a play with their opposite hand.
It wasn’t odd for me. My younger brother could catch anything I could throw and we had done and practiced this play on multiple occasions – and may have even tried it out on a few unsuspecting brother-in-laws – and I saw it for what it was immediately.
Folks, I don’t ever want to lose the joy of recognizing a touch football play in an NFL game. I surely don’t want to lose the joy of seeing others act in power, love, and kindness, because I am too busy analyzing their behavior from the booth of my own self-righteousness.