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Why does Patrick Mahomes say ‘White 80’ and ‘Blue 80’ before Chiefs snaps?


Patrick Mahomes is carving out a Hall of Fame career before our very eyes.

The Kansas City Chiefs star’s legacy grows by the game and now he stands on the verge of yet another Super Bowl appearance – his fourth in six years as a starter.


Mahomes is two wins away from winning his third Super Bowl ringCredit: Getty

The iconic quarterback faces Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game on Sunday.

Throughout the game fans might notice Mahomes yelling before the snap – here’s what it all means.

Why does Patrick Mahomes say ‘White 80’ and ‘Blue 80’?

What the quarterback yells before the snap is known as the cadence and it’s incredibly important for a quarterback to orchestrate a team’s offense.

The cadence is usually made up of a series of phrases or familiar set of words that let the offense know what play to run while also trying to catch defenses off guard.

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott’s “Here we go!” cadence became a particular talking point this season.

One of the most common cadences heard from QBs – and one Mahomes may well use in Sunday’s clash with the Ravens – is ‘White 80’.

Essentially, ‘White 80’ means ‘get ready to go’.

'White 80' and 'Blue 80' are just two of the cadences Mahomes has been known to use


‘White 80’ and ‘Blue 80’ are just two of the cadences Mahomes has been known to useCredit: Getty
Cadences are a crucial part to running a successful offense


Cadences are a crucial part to running a successful offenseCredit: Getty

Mahomes will shout the phrase to tell his center when to snap the ball and to let the offense know he is ready to start the game.

It helps everyone get in the correct position and lets the offense know that the signal caller is happy with any late changes to the line of scrimmage or play call.

Buffalo Bills fans throw snowballs at Patrick Mahomes as Kansas City Chiefs QB attempts to reach a kid in stands wearing his jersey

Another common snap cadence Mahomes has been known to use is ‘Blue 80’.

‘Blue 80’ is usually a signal to notify teammates that the QB is about to attempt a deep pass.

This is particularly relevant for wide receivers who can ready themselves for whatever route they’re about to run.

It’s often used on big plays, Hail Marys and game-winning drives when a long throw is needed for extensive yardage.

Timing is everything in gridiron football and a perfectly timed snap cadence like ‘Blue 80’ can make all the difference in a wideout making a catch or not.

Some players may even throw in numbers – e.g. “blue 32, blue 32 set hit” – which refers to the coverage, in this case, coverage 2.

However, quarterbacks’ snap cadences not only change from game to game, but within games too.

"Banana," "squash," "Go Blue," "Rolex," "Awww Eddie!" and "can can”are other common Mahomes cadences


“Banana,” “squash,” “Go Blue,” “Rolex,” “Awww Eddie!” and “can can”are other common Mahomes cadencesCredit: Getty

This is done to confuse the opposition who otherwise might work out what the cadences mean and be able to counter.

‘White 80’ and ‘Blue 80’ are just two examples of snap cadences, but there are countless other quirky phrases that a quarterback might use ahead of a play.

‘Banana,’ ‘squash,’ ‘Go Blue,’ ‘Rolex,’ ‘Awww Eddie!’ and ‘can can’ are just some of the pre-snap cadences fans think they’ve heard Mahomes say over the years.

These could mean any number of things and are purposefully cryptic so rival teams can’t work them out.

Other times quarterbacks might just scrap the cadences altogether and point to their helmet to signal that they intend to change the original play.

There really is no rhyme or reason to cadences for those on the outside, but as long as the QB and his offensive unit are on the same page, that’s all that matters.

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