Jalen Hurts vividly remembers the frosty reception he received from the Philadelphia fans after he was drafted 53rd overall by the Eagles in 2020.

It was then the Channelview product leaned on his faith and Bible verse John 13:7.

“You may not know now, but later you will understand,” Hurts said. “Hopefully, people understand.”

Indeed, the Eagles fans have to as not even three years since the boos could be heard and the disrespect felt, Hurts has delivered them to the pinnacle of sports, which is Super Bowl LVII where a historic matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs awaits.

The Eagles and Chief’s Feb. 12 clash on the sports world’s biggest stage will feature two Black quarterbacks – Patrick Mahomes and Hurts — going head-to-head for the first time in Super Bowl history. It may be a game between two dynamic young quarterbacks to many, but to the Black community this is more affirmation at a position that it took decades for Black men to get a real opportunity to play.

Even today, 35 years since Doug Williams made the breakthrough as the first Black quarterback to play in and win a Super Bowl, Black quarterbacks are still usually met with doubt and disdain as Hurts was during the 2020 NFL Draft. Only one Black quarterback has ever been taken with the No.1 overall pick and their are still some franchises that have never had a Black quarterback start on a regular basis.

What’s interesting is Hurts wasn’t the first Black quarterback drafted by the Eagles and met with outrage from the Philadelphia fans. That distinction belongs to Donovan McNabb, who not only led them to Super Bowl XXXIX but had a stellar career there.

“My first year here, they probably didn’t even want to draft me here,” the 24-year-old Hurts recalled just minutes after leading the NFL’s best team this season to the win over San Francisco in the NFC Championship game. “It was probably one of those things, but it always handles itself.”

Indeed it has for both quarterbacks.

In just his third NFL season, Hurts is taking the Eagles to the Super Bowl. He and Mahomes have more in common than being two Black quarterbacks from Texas who both once starred for Big 12 programs. Both were initially met with skepticism from their respective fan bases and have now seemingly overachieved and as a result are now both beloved.

Mahomes, 27, has arguably emerged as one of the most talented quarterbacks the league has ever seen, able to create magic throwing the football, and has now led the Chiefs to three Super Bowl appearances in the last four seasons during a stretch where they have dominated the AFC. The East Texas product and former Texas Tech standout bravely led the Chiefs back to the Super Bowl on a bum ankle with a gutsy performance in the AFC Championship win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Now both quarterbacks have a chance at history when they meet in Arizona. Hurts, who starred at both Alabama and Oklahoma, can become just the fourth Black quarterback to win a Super Bowl. Mahomes has a shot at becoming the first Black quarterback to repeat as a Super Bowl champion after winning it all in Super Bowl LIV and taking home MVP honors for his efforts.

Either way, the two will play on the shoulders of the Black quarterbacks who’ve played on the game’s biggest stage before them. There was Williams’s barrier-breaking MVP performance followed 26 years later by Steve McNair, then McNabb, Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson and Cam Newton.

But to his credit, instead of putting this game into perspective, Hurts is most concerned at this point with leading the Eagles to victory to cap what has been a nearly flawless season.

“It’s not a time of reflection. It’s really hard for me to do that,” Hurts said to the media. “I try to do what you guys say, enjoy the moment, but my joy comes from winning. I know the job isn’t done.”