Mecole Hardman scored a last-second game-winning touchdown in overtime in Super Bowl LVIII that gave the Kansas City Chiefs an NFL dynasty.
Except Hardman had no idea the Chiefs had just won the big game.
Thanks to the NFL’s ever-changing OT rules, many fans still struggle to understand exactly how games end once regulation time expires.
Hardman felt the same way, scoring a touchdown that gave the Chiefs a 25-22 victory over the San Francisco 49ers, but it must be remembered that the game was actually over.
There were only three seconds left on the clock in overtime, so it should have been clear that Kansas City had just won its second straight Super Bowl.
But since San Francisco had already scored in overtime and taken a 22-19 lead, it was understandable that Hardman wasn’t sure if the game was truly over.
“Can I tell a quick and funny story?” Mahomes said on NFL Network, interrupting a live interview. “I threw a touchdown to this guy to end the game and he looked at me and he had no idea.
“I said, ‘Man, we just won the Super Bowl.’ He had no idea. He didn’t even party at first. I’m like, ‘What are we doing?'”
There was another reason Hardman didn’t immediately celebrate his world championship victory.
“I passed out,” he said.
Hardman arrived at the perfect time for the Chiefs.
Drafted by Kansas City in the second round of 2019, he made the Pro Bowl as a rookie.
But Hardman lost his starting spot and joined the New York Jets for the 2023 season.
He joined Kansas City before the trade deadline, catching 14 passes for 118 yards in six games.
As a group, the Chiefs receivers have struggled all season and faced heavy criticism.
But Mahomes’ team came at the perfect time and Hardman had the final answer for Kansas City in overtime.
He only had to wait a little longer than the rest of the team to be sure that the Chiefs were world champions again.