Editorials

Here’s secret ingredient that put Patrick Mahomes, Simone Biles on front of cereal boxes

Taste testing Patrick Mahomes’ new cereal ‘Mahomes Magic Crunch’

We had a few of our summer interns try out Patrick Mahomes' new cereal 'Mahomes Magic Crunch,' which is now available in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa HyVee stores starting Thursday August 1, 2019.
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We had a few of our summer interns try out Patrick Mahomes' new cereal 'Mahomes Magic Crunch,' which is now available in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa HyVee stores starting Thursday August 1, 2019.

Kansas City Chiefs superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes is as beloved by this region as anyone in recent memory. In a few short years, he’s grown to near Tom Watson stature. And not only is the football player’s name and likeness on Mahomes Magic Crunch cereal boxes, but the Hy-Vee chain selling the stuff can’t keep it in stores.

Meanwhile, four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles, in Kansas City this weekend for the U.S. Gymnastics Championships at the Sprint Center, also vaulted to the cover of a cereal box.

A select few of us will ever make it there. But it’s a surprisingly vital and profound question for all of society: How does one get on the front of a cereal box?

Talent, certainly, much of which comes from a winning genetic lottery ticket. But then there’s work ethic, discipline, focus and maybe some luck along the way.

Yet, almost invariably, you don’t get to the summit or stay there long without good character.

Mahomes and other luminaries who ascended to the top of their professions with grace and humility should be looked up to for more than their amazing abilities and accomplishments. They should be viewed as examples of character to be emulated in life and in any endeavor.

We overdo hero worship in this country, no doubt. But perhaps worse, we also undervalue virtue. So much is made of what a free people can do, and so little is made of what they should do.

Building your abilities on a solid foundation of character is how you move from good to great — in sports, the performing arts or any of life’s undertakings.

Former Dallas Cowboys great Tony Romo definitely sees it in Mahomes.

“He’s one of the best things to happen in the NFL in a long time,” Romo said recently. “I mean that for multiple reasons. One, I think everyone can see his talent, his ability. It’s rare. It really is special. But also, just him as a person, and a kid. … He really is a very genuine, nice kid.”

While Mahomes’ limited-edition cereal has stirred up even more interest in what is arguably the most anticipated season in Chiefs history, there’s a serious side to the fun, and one that further reveals his character: The cereal is expected to raise $25,000 for his new 15 and the Mahomies Foundation aimed at bettering the lives of under-served kids in Kansas City.

Biles is one of the best examples of the impact of character in the sporting world. After enduring chronic parental substance abuse as a child, she landed in foster care before being adopted and homeschooled by her grandparents. Then, on her already arduous climb to the pinnacle of her sport, she became one of some 250 victims of former USA Gymnastics national team doctor and serial child molester Larry Nassar.

Now an Olympic champion and an athlete without peer, Biles is also a courageous survivor who has used her platform to inspire and empower others.

Character is also what has taken Quinton Lucas from the clenches of poverty and hopelessness on Kansas City’s East Side to an Ivy League education, and now to mayor of his hometown.

It also lies at the heart of solving this city’s and this nation’s endemic bane of violence.

Patrick Mahomes, Simone Biles and other elite athletes are surrounded by others with talent. Why do they, and not the others, make it onto the outside of a cereal box?

Mostly because of the magic inside.

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