The last time the Kansas City Chiefs played in the Super Bowl, Jennifer Lopez, the co-headliner for this year’s halftime show, was 5 months old. The Chiefs have had a storied history in pro football: they were a charter member of the American Football League, played in the first Super Bowl in January 1967, and lost the longest game in NFL history.
They have come close to returning to the big game but failed, losing 30-13 to the Buffalo Bills in January 1994 and falling to the New England Patriots in overtime last season.
This year’s team finally won the trophy named for its owner and founder, Lamar Hunt, winning the AFC Championship Game with a 35-24 victory against the Tennessee Titans.
Here are 10 things to know about the Chiefs franchise, past and present:
BEGINNINGS: The team now known as the Chiefs was founded Aug. 14, 1959, as the Dallas Texans. Their first season was 1960, and the franchise moved to Kansas City and changed its name to the Chiefs in 1963. The franchise won AFL titles in 1962, 1966 and 1969.
SMOKIN’: The Chiefs played in the first Super Bowl, then called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game. The Chiefs only trailed 14-10 at the half, but the Green Bay Packers showed some muscle in the second half and rolled to a 35-10 victory at the Los Angeles Coliseum. At halftime, cameras caught quarterback Len Dawson smoking a cigarette and drinking a Fresca.
STEPPING UP TO THE MIC: During the Chiefs’ 23-7 victory in Super Bowl IV, NFL Films put a microphone on Kansas City coach Hank Stram, which turned out to be a brilliant move. Pacing, strutting and cajoling on the sidelines, Stram was the perfect narrator as the Chiefs scored a big upset against the heavily favored Minnesota Vikings. His call of “65 Toss Power Trap,” which resulted in a 5-yard touchdown run, remains an NFL Films Classic.
FAMOUS PLAYERS: The Chiefs have retired 10 uniform numbers: Jan Stenerud (3), Len Dawson (16), Emmitt Thomas (18), Abner Haynes (28), Stone Johnson (33), Mack Lee Hill (36), Derrick Thomas (58), Willie Lanier (63), Bobby Bell (78) and Buck Buchanan (86). Bell, Buchanan, Dawson, Lanier, Stenerud and Stram are all members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
CHRISTMAS CLASSIC: The Chiefs played the longest game in NFL history, hosting the Miami Dolphins in an AFC playoff game on Dec. 25, 1971. It took 82 minutes, 40 seconds to complete, but Miami’s Garo Yepremian kicked a game-winning 37-yard field goal to give the Dolphins a 27-24 victory after 7:40 of the second overtime period. It was the final game played at Municipal Stadium. The loss overshadowed the performance of Kansas City’s Ed Podolak, who scored two touchdowns, rushed for 85 yards, caught eight passes for 110 yards and had 155 return yards on special teams. The two teams met the following season to christen Arrowhead Stadium, and Miami won 20-10.
ONE PIECE MISSING: Coach Andy Reid has more regular-season wins (207), postseason victories (14) and playoff appearances (15) than any other coach who has not won the Super Bowl. Reid is just the 24th head coach in NFL history to appear in at least two Super Bowls. He was the Philadelphia’s coach when the Eagles lost 24-21 to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.
BASEBALL ROOTS: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes was drafted in the 37th round by the Detroit Tigers in 2014. He was a pitcher like his father, Pat Mahomes, who played for six teams in the majors from 1992 to 2003. The elder Mahomes had a 42-39 lifetime mark. Patrick Mahomes also starred in the Junior League Baseball World Series in 2010, when he played for the Tyler, Texas, squad that represented the Southwest United States. The team reached the title game before losing 9-1 to a team from Taipei, Taiwan.
GOOD DECISION: Mahomes’ decision to play football instead of baseball has paid off handsomely. In just 14 games during the 2019 regular season, he threw for 4,031 yards and 26 touchdowns. Mahomes has started 31 games for the Chiefs in the regular season, and Kansas City has never lost a game by more than seven points with the 24-year-old at the helm.
GOOD COMPANY: Mahomes joins Hall of Famers Dan Marino and Kurt Wanter as the only players to win league MVP honors while reaching the Super Bowl by their third season.
OLD MAN: At 37 years, 269 days, punter Dustin Colquitt will be the oldest player to compete in Super Bowl LIV. He was born May 6, 1982.
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