LAS VEGAS - Mecole Hardman didn't immediately know he had made the game-ending touchdown catch in the Super Bowl to give the Kansas City Chiefs their second straight championship.
No, it took a minute for the moment to hit the Chiefs wide receiver.
"I blacked out man," Hardman said after making the catch. "I forgot we actually won the game."
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) of the Kansas City Chiefs throws a touchdown pass to wide receiver Mecole Hardman Jr. (12) against the San Francisco 49ers during overtime of Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Ne
Chiefs quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes sprinted after him in the end zone and shared the good news.
"I threw a touchdown to this dude to end the game, and he looked at me," Mahomes said. "He had no idea. I said, ‘Dude, we just won the Super Bowl.’ He had no idea. He didn’t even celebrate at the beginning."
With the title in hand, the 25-year-old Hardman said: "It’s time to celebrate now."
Mecole Hardman Jr. (12 )of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates with Patrick Mahomes (15) after scoring the game-winning touchdown in overtime to defeat the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 during Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024 in L
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Hardman, a former Georgia Bulldog, had three catches for 57 yards.
Mahomes said it's never clear who the hero will be, so why not Hardman — who was drafted in 2019 and spent four years with the Chiefs before signing as a free agent with the New York Jets this season. He only caught one pass with the Jets before returning to Kansas City.
"He’s always ready for the moment," Mahomes said. "He’s someone that continues to practice hard and get better. We are bouncing around a lot of guys all year long."