Ketchup-loving Patrick Mahomes offered free Heinz for life if he throws 57 TD passes

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With 31 touchdown passes through 10 games, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is on pace for 50 for the season. For his or any other NFL team, that’ll more than cut the mustard, but it won’t be quite enough to get the ketchup.

Free ketchup for life, that is, from the folks at Heinz, if Mahomes can reach 57 touchdown passes this season. They made the offer Thursday in light of the recent revelation that the second-year player is second to none in his love of the tomato-based condiment.

In fact, Mahomes prefers his steak with ketchup on it, a fact that may well be causing some consternation in Kansas City, where he is otherwise, and understandably, adored. We know this about him thanks to an ESPN feature in which the subject came up in relation to the quarterback’s newfound fame.

With more eyes on him than ever, Mahomes told ESPN’s Seth Wickersham, he has become self-conscious about his passion for ketchup. He said that after he was served a steak recently while dining out with his mother and began to eat it without his customary topping, she took it upon herself to ask for some ketchup and, as Wickersham put it, “slipped it” to him.

That quirk about Mahomes began to go viral this week, at which point Heinz jumped in with its offer on Twitter. The company may have made such a display of generosity in the, ahem, anticipation (old enough of a reference for ya?) that he won’t break Peyton Manning’s NFL record of 55 touchdown passes, but at this point, it’s probably best not to underestimate Mahomes’s capacity for an unprecedented performance.

Asked Thursday whether he would be interested in such an arrangement, Mahomes replied (via ESPN): “I’m not opposed to it. If it happens and I get ketchup for life, I’ll be sure to share it with some of the offensive linemen.”

“I don’t think it’s that weird, but I put it on my macaroni and cheese,” he added. “People seem to think that’s a weird thing. Some people think that’s disgusting, but it’s good to me.”

Let the record show that this author finds absolutely nothing wrong with putting ketchup on mac and cheese, even if his own fondness for the condiment doesn’t extend so far as pouring it over steak. President Trump, for what it’s worth, is apparently another high-profile fan of steak with ketchup.

The association with Heinz and the number 57 originated with the company founder’s arbitrary selection of the number (per Snopes) to tout his burgeoning line of culinary products. If Mahomes does reach that number of touchdowns, the only shame will be that it won’t come at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, where the company is based, as the Chiefs have already played there this season. Mahomes threw for a whopping six scores in a 42-37 win, during which K.C. jumped to a 21-0 lead, forcing the Steelers into, ahem again, catch-up mode.

What’s nice for Mahomes is that if he happens to spill some ketchup on his red Chiefs uniform, it will hardly be noticeable. Unfortunately for the 23-year-old, he has only drawn even more attention to his restaurant outings, if only to see what else gets slathered in his beloved condiment.

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