Maybe Fonzie would have been cooler meeting one of the best players in the NFL. But Winkler got a couple of hugs from Mahomes and a brief conversation. In fact Mahomes, who wasn’t even born when Winkler was becoming a classic TV star, seemed just as thrilled meeting Winkler.
Take a look at the video. We’ll explain how it came about that Henry Winkler met Patrick Mahomes just before Sunday Night Football.
So here’s how Winkler got to meet his favorite quarterback. Call Rich Eisen the conduit. Winkler did an interview with Rich Eisen earlier this year. The topic, of course, was sports. And Winkler confessed that Mahomes was his favorite QB. On Eisen’s show, Winkler invited Mahomes to dinner. Then when Mahomes did an interview with Eisen weeks later, the host mentioned Winkler’s dinner invite. It eventually evolved into a game. Mahomes told Winkler that the next time the Chiefs play in Los Angeles, they could meet.
Well, Mahomes’ Chiefs played the LA Chargers at SoFi Stadium Sunday night. There was Winkler on the sidelines. He wore a Kansas City red crew neck. Winkler and his sons Max and Jed and son-in-law Rob Reinis also had seats in a SoFi suite thanks to Mahomes’ hospitality.
In an earlier interview with the Kansas City Star, Henry Winkler said of Patrick Mahomes:
“And now I watch all of these people and it is not that I disparage other players, but when you watch Mr. Mahomes play, there is no nonsense. There is a man who is so concentrated. The finesse, the improvisational nature of his ability — he has captured my imagination.”
Before the Chiefs-Chargers started, Mahomes trotted over to Winkler to give him the jersey. He told the actor: “I appreciate you coming.” Then Mahomes told Winkler that Winkler’s name is on the back of the jersey.
“I appreciate you,” Mahomes stressed again. “Have a great time.”
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce also got into the Fonzie lovefest. He warmed up with a t-shirt that read “Football, Family, Fonzie.” And there was Fonzie on the shirt, wearing a red leather jacket, giving the thumbs up “heeeeeeey.”
And Patrick Mahomes gave Henry Winkler an extra special gift at the end of the game. Mahomes and Kelce combined for the game-winning touchdown, giving the Chiefs the 30-27 victory with 31 seconds to go. Mahomes promised Winkler a dinner at a date to be named later.