KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One Kansas City Chiefs fan left the AFC Divisional game Sunday with the souvenir of a lifetime: A ball launched into the stands by Patrick Mahomes after the Chiefs first postseason touchdown against the Cleveland Browns.
John White was sitting in the upper deck of Arrowhead Stadium when he saw the beautiful brown ball spiraling towards him, as if in slow motion.
“That ball must’ve traveled 50 yards, it felt like, and it spent about 10 minutes in the air. It was such a surreal moment by the time it got up to us,” White said.
“We’re celebrating, the ball’s in the air… and I just had the opportunity not to really move or work for it, and the ball just hits me right in my left hand.”
A cocktail in one hand, White caught the game ball thrown by QB-1 in the other. The moment Mahomes launched the football in celebration has now become a moment in the White family history book. Guys like Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill have caught long bombs from Mahomes, and now White can say he has, too.
“Oh, proud, It just seemed like it was destiny,” White said. “I just felt like it was one of those moments I could kind of cherish and share with my family. We’re kind of a family of football players and stuff, so it was kind of a dream come true.”
Chiefs super fans and budding superstars Braden White, a fourth-grader who plays tight end and receiver, and his brother Troy, who plays at the all-important position of center on the offensive line, were in awe over their new prized possession.
“Once I heard my dad caught it, I went crazy,” Braden said.
The White boys watched the game from home and couldn’t wait to get their hands on their new souvenir when their dad got home.
“I just about made a mistake when I gave it to my boys,” White said. “The very first thing that they wanted to do was shoot outside and play catch with it, and I like chased them down like, ‘Stop, don’t do that!'”
Since the catch, White has had offers to sell the special ball, ranging from a couple hundred dollars to almost a thousand, but he isn’t selling.
“I haven’t really gotten my head around it, but I don’t think you can put a dollar on it,” White said. “That moment and catching a ball from one of the greatest football players of all time.”
White has a special message for the man who made is magic moment.
“I just hope that he bounces back and is healthy, that’s the main thing,” White said. “And I wish him luck for the rest of the playoffs.”
White said he will watch the AFC Championship from his home with his family, and the lucky ball by his side.