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Fair to say that Patrick Mahomes doesn't really half-ass anything.
Six years before he led his team to a 31-20 victory in Super Bowl LIV, the three-sport Whitehouse High School athlete (a star quarterback, he also played basketball and baseball) was just another 18-year-old trying to dream up an Insta-worthy promposal for his cheerleader girlfriend of more than two years.
He'd done the whole scrawl-prom?-all-over-her-car thing for her senior year in 2013, "SCARING the crap out of me," Brittany Matthews shared on her feed at the time. And gone "cute and simple" with a cookie cake invite to his winter formal later that year. So for 2014's big dance, he landed on a golf theme, teeing up his ask with a homemade sign and enough balls to spell out his simple query.
Madly in love, as evidenced by the number of times they used social media to brag on one another's accomplishments, the teens truly thought they had what it took to go the distance.
Never mind that he was set to lead the Texas Tech University Red Raiders, some 450 miles from where she was already playing soccer at the University of Texas-Tyler. "This boy has my whole heart!" she explained in one November 2013 snap. "So freaking proud of youu! I love you so much!"
Where countless idealistic college freshman have failed, Mahomes and his high school sweetheart have cruised to an easy victory.
Some seven months after the Kansas City Chiefs QB snagged his (perhaps, first) world championship, he turned up at Arrowhead Stadium to get his ring and give away another. "On a day that was meant to celebrate you, you turned it into celebrating us," Matthews proclaimed of the Sept. 1 proposal that saw him upgrading his teenage machinations to a plan more befitting his status as the NFL's new wunderkind.
A lit-up marquee and a suite dripping with flowers and candlelight replaced handwritten signs and Mrs. Fields confections, tickets to prom swapped out for a behemoth of an emerald-cut diamond with as many carat as they'd spent years together. The words he "looked into my eyes and said to me at this moment" forever etched in her mind, "you made this day perfect," Matthews wrote, "you took my entire breath away and I could not have imagined anything better."
Except maybe that other little surprise that the 25-year-olds, born just 17 days apart in 1995, had been growing, their reveal coming exactly four weeks later with Matthews posting, "Mom & Dad, taking a small detour to the wedding."
After welcoming baby girl Sterling Skye Mahomes Feb. 21, the couple have put a pin in wedding planning (and not to mention that whole global pandemic thing making guests lists extra tricky). But their future has been set for the better part of a decade.
Toasting to "a lifetime" with him on their seventh anniversary in March 2019, a full year and a half before their engagement, Matthews addressed those concerned about the speed at which they were making their way down the aisle. "To everyone that's gonna ask when we are getting married," she said, "the answer is whenever we want."
These are two people, after all, with a history of making things happen for themselves.
As Mahomes was cementing his reputation as a gunslinger, becoming the Red Raiders' third leading passer in program history and topping the nation in total offense his final two years, his girlfriend was racking up her own victories on the pitch. Signing on to play soccer at the University of Texas satellite campus "because it was close to home and I knew a few girls that played here that loved it and told me I need to join the family," she scored a record-setting 18 goals her senior year, making her an exciting prospect for professional leagues worldwide.
Weeks after Mahomes was selected 10th in the 2017 NFL draft, cutting his college career a year short, Matthews signed a contract of her own with Iceleand's UMF Afturelding/Fram ("I could never pass up such an amazing experience to go do what I love," she explained), leading local station KLTV to dub the 21-year-olds "the power couple of East Texas."
And after a year navigating some 3,000 miles worth of long distance that saw Matthews win a championship and Mahomes secure his spot as starting QB, they decided to stake their claim in western Missouri.
Joining Mahomes in his Kansas City digs, Matthews made use of her kinesiology degree, founding at-home workout brand Brittany Lynne Fitness. Explaining her transition away from professional sports, she explained on her site, "By the end of my first season, I truly began to fall in love with being in the gym more than being on the soccer field. Playing sports my whole life got me into fitness and playing in college taught me about strength training, wellness and maintaining peak fitness to perform at an elite level."
She's learned a bit about marketing as well. Between her Insta workouts, her partnership with clothing line Balance Athletica and game day style that regularly earns her upwards of 100,000 double-taps, she's built up a dedicated fanbase, one loyal enough to even give her pups Steel and Silver a follow.
And while Mahomes has been putting together championship seasons, becoming the youngest Super Bowl MVP, signing record-breaking multimillion-dollar contracts and snapping up baseball teams, Matthews has been making her own money moves, joining an ownership group that's bringing a professional women's soccer team to the area. "I have a true level of appreciation for what these incredible women do on a daily basis," she said in a statement. "We have the greatest fans and community here in KC and I can't wait to huddle around this team."
First, of course, she has some business to take care of with her own squad.
With their careers cemented, the two had already put down roots in Kansas City's upscale Mission Hills neighborhood back in 2019, their nearly $2 million, three-bedroom spread "the first home that either of us have ever owned," Mahomes shared in a Bleacher Report video. "Renting a house wasn't for us, we wanted our own place." (Plus that 10-year, $477 million contract extension isn't going to spend itself.)
Eager to be done with their college-era roots, Mahomes adorably marveled at "just being able to nail stuff into the wall and not have to get, like, sticky tabs—like you can do whatever you want with the home now."
So they gutted the entire thing, creating a room for Mahomes to house his impressive shoe collection (something he "literally wanted my whole entire life") and more than enough extra space for a nursery or two. "We're tryin' to be here for a long, long time," he explained of their adopted city. "That was the biggest thing of getting the house is we plan on being here for 20 years-plus."
In other words, long enough to see their eldest daughter graduate high school and perhaps attend a few proms of her own.
"Hopefully right after the Super Bowl, I'm able to bring a little girl into this world," Mahomes told Kansas City radio show The Drive in December, giving a sense of their parenting timeline. "And get to become a dad in the offseason and get to see that process as well."
And as they face what might be their most challenging job yet, they're each confident they've found the right teammate to tackle it with.
Noting the "negativity and hate" that the stressors of 2020 brought out in a New Year's post, Matthews shared that navigating it alongside her love of nearly nine years "made things a little easier." No matter the situation they find themselves in, she continued, "He's my better half and just the greatest."
This story was originally published on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021 at 6 a.m. PT.