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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim, Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

History in the making: Super Bowl LVII featured two Black quarterbacks for the first time

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GRAPHIC: GABRIELLA GUZZARDO ’23/THE HAWK

Super Bowl LVII was the first super bowl to feature two Black, starting quarterbacks. Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs and Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles started the big game for their respective teams in Glendale, Arizona.

It is no surprise that these two quarterbacks made it to the Super Bowl. Both players led their teams to the No. 1 seed of their respective conferences in the regular season, and after a bye week in the first round of the playoffs, continued their success to the championship game. 

Mahomes, who won Most Valuable Player (MVP) honors for the season, has been in a league of his own in the position. Mahomes led the NFL in passing yards, passing touchdowns and yards per attempt. With a sprained ankle after their divisional round game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Mahomes battled to win the next two games despite the injury. 

Hurts has also performed well this season. Through the first 15 weeks, Hurts had the highest odds to win the MVP award, but after sustaining a sprained shoulder in Week 15, Hurts was forced to sit out Weeks 16 and 17 of the regular season. His dual threat ability with passing and rushing has led to his success, posting 22 passing touchdowns and 13 rushing touchdowns this season. The third-year quarterback has transcended his original projections, finishing second in the NFL QB Index for the season. 

The extraordinary seasons displayed by these two quarterbacks led to the monumental occasion of the first matchup between Black starting quarterbacks in the Super Bowl.

The quarterback position entails barnone leadership and supreme talent to succeed. Aside from the center snapping the ball, the quarterback is the only player that is guaranteed to receive every offensive snap of the game. The matchup highlights a power dynamic in the NFL that has been present for its entire history. 

In 2023, 57.5% of the players in the NFL were Black, but only 34% of starting quarterbacks in Week 1 were Black. Currently, there are no Black owners in the NFL and only three Black head coaches, showing a disparity in Black leadership in the most prominent league in American sports. 

Mahomes and Hurts both elevated their legacies this season by showcasing that they are here to stay and will continue having success. 

For the NFL, Super Bowl LVII will not be the only time there is a “first” of this magnitude, and with the unbelievable plays of Mahomes and Hurts, this game could catapult change in the league for years to come. 

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