KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- In Lubbock, Texas on the High Plains, temperatures can drop into the teens during the late fall with a blustery wind and nothing breaking its bite. That's where Patrick Mahomes cut his teeth throwing a football in the cold in college.
“It doesn't get to zero, but it does get really cold in the teens whenever these winds come through,” Mahomes said during an appearance with Sports Radio 810 WHB's Kevin Kietzman Tuesday afternoon. “Lubbock is a very flat place and so when the winds come through and those little arctic blasts come through it does get very cold.”
The weather for Sunday evening's AFC title game at Arrowhead Stadium, however, should serve as a whole new ball game for Mahomes. The forecast from the National Weather Service has temperatures plunging below zero Sunday morning with a high of 9 shortly before kickoff.
Unlike Tom Brady, the New England Patriots passer on the opposite sideline well known for wearing a glove in cold weather, Mahomes plans for now to brave the elements bare handed.
“I have thrown with a glove,” Mahomes said. “I've never really felt the cold affecting me too much that I needed to put a glove on. I guess we'll see as this week goes on.”
The Texas Tech Red Raiders didn't have an indoor facility when Mahomes played in Lubbock, so the team always practiced outdoors. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid prefers to keep his team outside so long as a wet field doesn't create unsafe conditions for his players.
“This year coach Reid's kept us outside all year long, you get to practice on all those cold days,” Mahomes said. “During the week there's been some cold days this year, it's just kind of we've gotten lucky on game day. Coach Reid's kept us outside, and I think that's going to help prepare us for a cold Sunday that we're going to get this week.”
The club expects to practice outdoors as much as possible this week, but temperatures in the 30s don't compare with a high in the single digits. Mahomes, however, believes that technique matters more than comfort when throwing a football.
“If you throw spirals and you have the right fundamentals, the ball will cut through the wind and it'll cut through the cold,” Mahomes said. “It doesn't matter where you're at, as long as you're throwing the ball the right way you should be able to still do the same thing if it's 70 and sunny or it's zero degrees outside.
For now, Mahomes plans to remain true with what took him to this point.
“I'm sure I'll be outside a couple of days this week, but right now I'm just going to stick with what I've been doing and keeping no gloves on and having a nice little hand warmer to keep my hands warm in between snaps,” Mahomes said.