The 2024 Super Bowl is the talk of the town for more reasons than one. It’s a rematch between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, two of the most successful teams in the modern era of the NFL. The Chiefs have won the Division Championships eight consecutive seasons since 2016, leading to two Super Bowl wins in the last five years. The 49ers have similarly played in two Super Bowls in recent years, but haven’t won one since 1994.
In many ways, people are now likening the Chiefs to the New England Patriots, once the most-hated team in the NFL, mostly because of Tom Brady's cringe persona coupled with his support of Trump’s America, in addition to their winning streak. Now, the Chiefs are statistically the most hated NFL team in America, but why?
People hate the Chiefs in part because of Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce’s affiliations.
When Patrick Mahomes rose to fame, he was a golden boy, poised to take over from Tom Brady’s long reign as the NFL’s best quarterback. He could run the ball almost as well as he could throw it, and his partnership with arguably the best tight end in NFL history, Travis Kelce, only added to the allure.
But Ryan Capalbo alluded to the Chiefs’ hate best in his Belly Up Sports article: “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Now, Patrick and Travis are the villains.
Patrick has gained a reputation for lack of sportsmanship and extra whininess when it comes to calls made by the refs. Because the refs more often than not rule in the Chiefs’ favor (which we can see by their winning streak), Patrick’s complaints seem incredibly off-color. And that’s not where it ends. After a loss against the Bills this season, Patrick reluctantly shook QB Josh Allen’s hand without even saying, “Good game.” That’s not what we learned in elementary school!
In addition, Patrick’s wife, Brittany Mahomes, has garnered hate for her social media presence, in which she frequently complains about calls against the Chiefs. Add to that her literally spewing champagne onto fans from her private suite in the cold, and there’s fair enough reason to dislike the Mahomes couple.
But that’s not all. Patrick’s brother, Jackson, has garnered his own hate through lame TikTok dance videos trying to capitalize on his brother’s fame and hard work. In doing so, he’s turned into a bit of a “diva,” also dumping water on Ravens fans. Jackson faced allegations of sexual assault. The prosecutors ended up dropping three felony charges against him. However, he still faces a misdemeanor battery charge from the alleged incident in 2023. A jury trial is slated for March 25, 2024.
Plus, Patrick’s partnership with seemingly every brand under the sun has led fans to believe that he “sold out,” but who can blame him? He’s young, successful, and may not even be at the peak of his career yet.
Travis Kelce, on the other hand, has a different sort of reputation from Patrick. He’s also partnered with almost every brand imaginable, and it’s clear that he’s getting a major PR push from his publicists.
His relationship with Taylor Swift has singlehandedly taken over the NFL to the point that commentators and cameramen are more focused on her presence at the games than the actual gameplay. Naturally, this upsets tried and true NFL fans who love the sport over all else, as the Chiefs seem to play into capitalism, social media power, and trending fads. Plus, Travis’s cockiness, as evidenced on his podcast, New Heights, doesn’t help his case.
The biggest reason people hate the Chiefs is because they keep winning.
All of the little drama with Brittany Mahomes, Taylor Swift, Jackson Mahomes, and their two NFL stars on the Chiefs aside, people hate the Chiefs simply because they’re winning. It’s boring when one team stays at the top of the NFL or any sport for that matter. Sports are fun when there’s an underdog to root for, and the Chiefs consistently make it so that teams we love, such as the Ravens, can’t get ahead.
Add Patrick’s youth and health at just 28 years old, and it seems inevitable that the Chiefs will continue their winning trajectory. Plus, now that Taylor Swift is associated with the Chiefs, she’s bringing in millions of fans (and dollars) to the NFL, which means that if there's any sort of collusion or corruption, the Chiefs would be a league favorite. All of this is just fuel to the fire of hate that the Chiefs are likely to get as long as they’re on top.