No free ride for Super Bowl MVP Mahomes
We all know that when the Super Bowl MVP is asked about his plans after the biggest game of his football life, there can be only one answer: “I’m going to Disney World!” Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes dutifully and gratefully repeated those words on Sunday night.
What about the traditional free car that each MVP receives? In case you weren’t aware, that practice is long gone, the tradition supposedly ended in 2016 when Hyundai took over as the official car brand of the Super Bowl and stopped giving away a car.
The last MVP to be awarded a free vehicle was New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, following Super Bowl LI (51), and he didn’t even keep it. He immediately gave his new Chevrolet Colorado to teammate Malcom Butler, who saved the Patriots’ Super Bowl victory that year with an interception in the closing moments.
It all started when Green Bay Hall of Famer Bart Starr received a Chevrolet Corvette as MVP of Super Bowl I in 1967. Dallas Hall of Fame QB Roger Staubach was given a Dodge Charger after he was named MVP of Super Bowl VI in 1972, but according to a 2016 NFL Films video, he asked Dodge for something “a little less sporty.”
“Instead of getting a Dodge Charger, I asked them for a station wagon,” Staubach told NFL Films. “Ol’ Staubach, he must be a lot of fun… [but] we had three kids. I didn’t need a Dodge Charger.”
Sadly, the free rides weren’t always that cool. Four years later, Lynn Swann, MVP of Super Bowl X in 1976, received an AMC Pacer X. There was a string of Subarus, Buicks, and others. By the time Super Bowl XXXIV rolled around in 2000, MVP Kurt Warner scored a Ford truck.
“It [was] pretty cool, especially for me at the time,” said Warner, who was in his second year in the league. “I had struggled and driven so many different kinds of cars. And then to have somebody come and say, ‘We’re going to give you a car,’ it was the coolest thing. It was nicer than the apartment we were living in at the time.”
While the majority of Super Bowl MVPs trade in their swag wagon for something they really want, XXXV MVP Ray Lewis told NFL Films that he’ll never sell the GMC Denali he was given for being named MVP the year after Warner. “That truck still sits in my driveway right now… [It] meant a lot to me because it’s a reflection of all of the raw emotions that was going on. The moment you see it, whew. It takes you right back to those raw emotions. That’s why that truck will be with me forever.”
Two decades later, Mahomes won’t be driving a new car home from Miami this week. But don’t cry for the Chiefs’ quarterback; he won a 2019 Genesis G70 last year for being named MVP of the 2019 NFL Pro Bowl. We’re guessing that prior to Sunday, he would have gladly traded it for a Super victory—and a trip to Disney.