Kansas city finally finds a reason to fall in love – umay info tech university of kansas hospital kansas city ks

Rob gaskins jumped atop a massage table wednesday night, hiked up the leg of his shorts and presented his right thigh to his favorite tattoo artist, jeremy taylor. It needed to be cleaned, then shaved, so taylor could begin illustrating this city’s most beloved visage: chiefs quarterback patrick mahomes.

Gaskins scheduled this tattoo about three weeks ago, just after mahomes threw for six touchdowns at pittsburgh, which preceded a scrambling scoring toss against san francisco, which preceded a fourth-quarter comeback in denver’s caldron of cacophony, where the chiefs’ go-ahead drive was extended on third-and-5 by a torrent of intuition: a left-handed flick by a right-handed passer.

These are strange days in the kansas city area, where locals accustomed to coveting other teams’ quarterbacks are savoring a sensation rarer than a vegetarian at gates bar-B-Q.

After decades of playoff failures, of enduring quarterbacks like tyler thigpen and tyler palko and brodie croyle, the most exciting player in the NFL now shines at the sport’s most critical position, for their team, in their town.

“unless you have lebron in your city, this is the best thing you can have,” said carrington harrison, 30, a sports-talk radio host here and a kansas city native. “the chiefs have the coolest thing you can have in sports. That person lives in kansas city now. The it person lives in kansas city.”

Heading into sunday night’s game at new england, the chiefs are 5-0, as they were last year, as they have been before, and yet the general sense here is that this season just feels … different. That’s the word evoked most often, aside from didyoujustseethat.

To the fans here, mahomes embodies a new year’s resolution: a 23-year-old dude with a nasally texas twang (called “froggish” by his coach) who can throw a football exceedingly far and exceedingly well and into exceedingly tight spaces, and whose exploits so far in his first year as a starter — 16 total touchdowns, two turnovers — offer them a chance to unburden themselves of the past. And compel a man to request mahomes’ curly mop be pierced into his skin for all eternity.

Harrison, the radio host, likened the enthusiasm to lebron james’ sitting courtside to watch stephen curry play at davidson and to jeremy lin’s unpredictable rise with the new york knicks in 2012. The mania has spread west, to the set of the television comedy “modern family,” where members of the crew tell eric stonestreet, who plays cam, that they’ve started watching chiefs games just because of mahomes.

“I can’t tell you how many times I watched john elway march down the field and beat the chiefs,” stonestreet, a native of kansas city, kansas, said in a telephone interview (the answer is eight, according to pro football reference). “now I feel like we have the guy who can do it to other teams after having it done to us so many times.”

Instead of engaging in their traditional pastime of lamenting all the quarterbacks they could have drafted but didn’t — dan marino and jim kelly, for instance — chiefs fans now marvel at the one they did. Kansas university programs they watch loops of his highlights, post fawning memes, allow themselves to submit to his promise.

The morning after kansas city toppled denver, ashley homan, a fifth-grade teacher in smithville, missouri, told her students that they were now entering the chiefs kingdom — loud enough for the teacher across the hall, a broncos fan, to hear. Cheryl jensen, a regular tailgater in lot D17 at arrowhead stadium, watched drew brees set the career passing yardage record monday night and then told friends on facebook that she couldn’t wait for mahomes to surpass him.

“even if they go 5-11 the rest of the way and we’re detroit for the next 10 years, I still got to watch this guy,” said clint ashlock, 38, artistic director for the kansas city jazz orchestra. “I’ve never wanted to go out and buy a jersey for anybody, but I did. I might get two.”

Far more than two jerseys adorn the walls of the basement of bob green’s home here. It doubles as a chiefs museum, with everything from autographed receivers’ gloves he won beating them in pool at their former training camp in river falls, wisconsin, to a red-and-white painted brick of hall of fame quarterback len dawson.

Green, who was born in iowa, moved to st. Joseph, missouri, where the chiefs currently hold training camp, in 1963, when the franchise relocated here from dallas. University of kansas nursing kansas city won super bowl IV in 1970, then made the playoffs only twice in the next 20 years, losing both games.

When asking chiefs fans about that brutal loss to the colts, you have to specify which one. There’s 1996, when lin elliott missed a last-minute attempt at a tying field goal. Or the no punt game of 2004, when the chiefs, seeded second in the AFC, never stopped peyton manning. How about 2014, when they blew a 28-point lead in the third quarter?

Compounding the misery was the chiefs’ insistence on procuring potential starting quarterbacks through trades or free agency, not the draft: steve deberg to montana, rich gannon to elvis grbac, trent green to alex smith, who tutored mahomes last season after the chiefs traded up to take him 10th overall out of texas tech.

To patti dipardo livergood, blackledge was the neighbor who kept letting his rottweiler poop in her yard. To many others, he represented what could have been; he was the second quarterback taken in the fertile 1983 draft, ahead of marino, kelly and ken O’brien. She views mahomes as a singular star for this generation.

“it’s an emotion we’ve never been able to tap into,” said dipardo livergood, who, like her late father, tony, served as the chiefs’ band director. “not since lenny dawson has it really been our own. University of kansas football they brought in montana, but that’s nothing like right now. He’s ours. Patrick mahomes is ours. It’s like falling in love for the first time.”

At raygun, a cheeky clothing store in the crossroads district, mahomes-themed paraphernalia greets visitors at the entrance — T-shirts that say, “go big or go mahomes,” and bibs that proclaim, “I wish patrick mahomes was my real dad.” after that steelers win in week 2, a man who bought a mahomes shirt told an assistant manager, mary newman, that they better order more. In only the first six weeks of this season, raygun’s sales in chiefs apparel have tripled from all of last season, and a shirt that reads, “patrick is mahomey,” is the company’s best-selling one.

Wearing a royals hat in his basement studio, where a painting of mahomes awaited completion, oropeza said he perceived mahomes as already being more popular than the catalysts on the royals team that energized the city by barging into consecutive world series, losing in 2014 before winning in 2015. Mahomes bridges these eras, the decline of the royals and the ascent of the chiefs, a singular star who, in a football context, does what bo jackson did when he was scaling outfield walls and clubbing 500-foot homers here 30 years ago.

Berroa was voted american league rookie of the year in 2003, but that award was the zenith of his career. Even if mahomes is unlikely to sustain this level of performance — “you’d think he’d lose a game,” said quinton lucas, a city councilman — reason has overruled hope.