According to a Washington Square Journal report, one of the most insane comebacks in American sports history — when the Kansas City Chiefs, on the cusp of certain defeat, were thrust into victory by rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes to defeat the San Francisco 49ers, who were, until the last 10 minutes of the game, all but assured victory in the 2020 Super Bowl — also may have saved lives.
Yes, you heard that right. A Super Bowl upset victory, one for the books as one of the most intense and exhilarating Super Bowls in American history, might have saved thousands of San Franciscans from contracting COVID-19. But how is that possible?
By the time Super Bowl Sunday rolled around, and super-fans packed the Miami, Florida Hard Rock Stadium, San Francisco had already confirmed its first few cases of COVID-19, and at least one confirmed case of community transmission from a man who had been to Wuhan, China and passed the illness to his wife. Hospital workers were already setting up triage centers in San Francisco in order to assist the first wave of patients that they thought might be hitting the hospital soon. In one hospital, doctors worked overnight to set up a room just for COVID-19 patients, too busy to watch the game, per WSJ.
And, somehow, miraculously, largely due to Chief’s quarterback and Texas Tech football alum Patrick Mahomes’ absolutely bananas football prowess, the Super Bowl win led to a Super Bowl parade and celebration that wasn’t held in San Francisco. At the time of Super Bowl Sunday, there were only a handful of confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the United States. Had the celebrations been held in San Francisco, one of the first communities that had a confirmed case of person-to-person transmission, that might have been a different story much earlier.
A densely packed Super Bowl parade would have made a wonderful, high-risk situation for the virus to pass around to hundreds of thousands of Californians. Just how many? To put it in perspective, nearly 500,000 to 1.5 million fans showed up to the last three Golden State Warriors victory parades.
Instead, the celebrations were held in Kansas City, Missouri, where the first case of COVID-19 wouldn’t be diagnosed until March 18, just one month ago and weeks after the parade. Mny public health experts think that had a Super Bowl parade happened in San Francisco, the situation there would be much worse than it currently is. One expert suggested that it would be like what Mardi Gras did to New Orleans, which is experiencing a severe COVID-19 outbreak.
So, is it safe to say Mahomes is not just a football god, but also a public health savior? It might be!