"I guess the magnitude of the moment got to me," the Kansas City Chiefs player said
The moment Mecole Hardman caught the game-winning touchdown pass to end Sunday night’s Super Bowl is one that Kansas City Chiefs fans will never forget. But not Hardman — who was too stunned to realize what he and his teammates had just done in the moment.
Hardman, the Chiefs’ unlikely hero, didn’t appear to celebrate the catch at first. He caught the three-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who then broke the news to Hardman when he ran over to celebrate.
“I threw a touchdown to this dude to end the game, and he looked at me,” Mahomes, 28, 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.”
Hardman later laughed about the incident during an early morning appearance on the Today show on Monday.
“I don’t remember none of it,” Hardman said. “When I caught the pass, I blacked out for a second. I guess the magnitude of the moment got to me. All I remember is Pat running to me like, ‘You’re a champion!’ I’m like, ‘Oh! We won? Bet!’ But I don’t remember nothing after I caught the ball.”
The Georgia native played his first four NFL seasons with the Chiefs, winning two Super Bowls with the team. He was even named to the 2019 Pro Bowl in his rookie year.
But, at the beginning of this past season, the Chiefs traded Hardman to the New York Jets, where he struggled with just one reception in five games.
Hardman was then traded back to the Chiefs and slowly got back to his old ways, just in time for the playoffs. He hadn’t scored a touchdown since 2022, before Mahomes tossed the game-winning pass to him in overtime.
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
Despite the ups and downs throughout the year, Hardman told Today he wouldn’t have “had it any other way” after the weekend's storybook ending.
“It feels great,” he said. “It’s an indescribable feeling.”
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.