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Ketchup is nasty.
It’s gooey. It’s ooey. It’s overly salty. It’s a not-found-in-nature shade of red that’s impossible to pin down on the HTML color chart. And most importantly, in this writer’s opinion, it has the ability to ruin a perfectly good plate of French fries. I’ll acknowledge that it’s a useful component of a quality turkey meatloaf recipe, but beyond that, thanks, but no thanks.
If Patrick Mahomes reads the above paragraph, he’ll slap my ketchup-hating mouth.
Actually, Mahomes wouldn’t get violent—the Kansas City Chiefs legend-in-the-making is a patently nice dude—but he is one patently nice dude who loves himself some of that ooey-gooey red glop, so we might have words.
We learned of the MVP’s adoration of the tomato-esque* condiment in 2018, in the intro paragraph of an ESPN deep dive:
"The other day, in Mahomes' apartment in the Country Club Plaza neighborhood of Kansas City, his grandfather asked him, 'What's it like to be famous?' For one thing, it means he eats less ketchup. He spent most of his life putting ketchup on everything. He would get bottles of it for his birthday. But now that everyone is watching every move he makes, he is sheepish about ordering ketchup. At a restaurant recently, his mom, Randi, recognized an unfilled desire as he dove into a steak. 'Just ask for it,' Randi said. 'I know you want it.' Patrick wouldn't. So she asked for the ketchup and slipped it to him."
One month and five days after the piece dropped, international ketchup purveyor Hunt’s announced that they’d inked Mahomes to be their brand ambassador. In the press release that accompanied the announcement, he was quoted as saying, “I’ve been a fan of ketchup for as long as I can remember, and the thick, rich flavor of Hunt’s ketchup delivers every time. I’m thrilled to be joining the Hunt’s team.”
Good thing the pigskin-slinger dug the thick, rich flavor, because Hunt’s had its fair share of competitors. “A lot [of companies] called my agent,” Mahomes said. “I got frigging ketchup from everywhere. There were companies I’d never even heard of that were sending me ketchups, and different styles of ketchups. I finally had to give some away, because I had a whole cabinet full of just ketchup from all these different ketchup companies. But I’ve definitely already gotten probably a lifetime supply of Hunt’s ketchup. So I think I’m good there.”
Being that he represents a city known for its barbecue, Mahomes has had to be judicious about discussing when, where, and how he deploys his beloved red glop, so as not to offend the locals. “It’s weird,” he explained, “[but] when I get BBQ from the barbecue joint, I eat it with the barbecue sauce when I’m at the place. But if I get it to go, I’ll put ketchup on it. I don’t know why. That’s kind of how I’ve always been.” **
Mahomes eventually felt comfortable enough with his oddball culinary choice that he was able to confess the true depth of his obsession. “When I was young, I used to eat ketchup sandwiches, just bread and ketchup, every other day. Maybe that’s why I can throw [a football] so far. That might’ve been the trick.” (Now I’m no QB coach or nothin’, but I can guarantee that the foul maroon goop he so adores had exactly zero impact on Mahomes’ ability to connect on bombs with Tyreek Hill.)
In further desecration of all that is good about food, Mahomes has an unfortunate habit of ruining one of the world’s greatest creations. “I don’t think it’s that weird, but I put it on my macaroni and cheese. Some people think that’s disgusting.” ***
In the summer of 2020, Mahomes signed a 10-year contract that could earn him up $503 million. Taking into account income tax and his agent’s commission, come 2030, the reigning Super Bowl MVP would have enough coin to buy himself approximately 178,000,000 bottles of Hunt’s Best Ever Thick & Rich. [Mahomes flex]
That’s enough gooey, ooey, salty, gnarly red glop to ruin all of the macaroni and cheese in the world.
* We say “esque” because we’re not 100% convinced there’re any tomatoes in any ketchup, anywhere.
** Based on his very public stance on ketchup, we’re not 100% convinced Mahomes is being fully forthcoming.
*** He’s right. Some people think that’s disgusting. Like me.