Len Dawson was ‘my first sports hero’, says Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt

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Lane Dawson’s death The NFL world touched everyone, but it had a special effect on Clark Hunt, president and CEO of the Kansas City Chiefs, given how close he and his family were to the legendary quarterback.

Dawson joined the Dallas Texans of the American Football League in 1962, and the team moved there until 1963. Kansas City and Chiefs renamed. Clarke’s father, Lamar Hunt and for whom the AFC Championship trophy would be named, was the owner of the team at the time.

Dawson played for the organization from 1962 to 1975 and helped the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl title in Super Bowl IV against the Minnesota Vikings during the 1969 season.

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Len Dawson is introduced to the inaugural Pro Football Hall of Fame Fan Fest Friday, May 2, 2014 at the International Exhibition Center in Cleveland.
(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

On Wednesday, Hunt opened up about the impact Dawson and the quarterback have had on his life. He described the Hall of Famer as his “first sports hero” and offered his condolences to the Dawson family.

Hunt said, “The Chiefs and the City of Kansas City have truly lost an icon. Len Dawson has been associated with the Chiefs organization for more than 60 years and his impact both on and off the field will be remembered by generations of pro football fans. Will be done.” , “Lane was my first sports hero, and he remains someone I have admired and respected throughout my life. His impact on the Kansas City Chiefs and everyone who works for the organization cannot be underestimated. With that, I’m happy to open it up to questions.”

Hunt said that the notion of Dawson being his “first sports hero” never really left him.

Patrick Mayhomes Pays Tribute to NFL Legend Len Dawson Hall of Famer Death

Kansas City Chief Executive Officer Clark Hunt before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Sophie Stadium in Inglewood on Thursday, December 16, 2021.

Kansas City Chief Executive Officer Clark Hunt before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Sophie Stadium in Inglewood on Thursday, December 16, 2021.
(Keith Birmingham/Media NewsGroup/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)

“I think it was largely a coincidence of my age and when Lane was having so much success on the field for the Chiefs he was really synonymous with the early Texans and Chiefs teams that won three AFL championships and the Super Bowl. IV lived.. So it was very easy for a six or seven year old to look up at the lane and say ‘Hey, this is one of my heroes’. You’re absolutely right; that feeling really stayed my whole life, Hunt explained.

“I think 10 or 11 years ago, soon after I took over the leadership of the chiefs, I sat down and interviewed them and how real it was. I was doing an interview about my leadership of the chiefs. Was idealized as a kid. So, it stayed with me, and I think it was true of (really) everyone who came to work for the Chiefs. I remember Scott Pioli telling me that He had a similar experience when he did. His first interview with Lane and the Pro Football Hall of Famer and how amazing it was to interview someone who had accomplished so much on the field as well.”

Hunt said that because Dawson was one of the first celebrities in Kansas City, and he was the first to win a Super Bowl for the organization, it gave the fan base a connection to him.

“He is synonymous with the success of the early Chiefs organization and the early teams that really helped establish the Chiefs and the American Football League. But I think when you step back and think about him in the context of Kansas City, So I think he’s synonymous with someone who cared about the community and was really focused on finding ways to give back,” Hunt said.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, #16, Len Dawson, turns to hand the ball running back to Mike Garrett, #21, during a Super Bowl IV football game on January 11, 1970 in New Orleans.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, #16, Len Dawson, turns to hand the ball running back to Mike Garrett, #21, during a Super Bowl IV football game on January 11, 1970 in New Orleans.
(AP photo/file)

Under head coach Hank Strom, Dawson won the passing title four times and was a league All-Star six times. He led the team to the Super Bowl in 1966, only to lose to the Green Bay Packers. Dawson led the chiefs Super Bowl IV in 1969 and defeated the Minnesota Vikings for the title. He was named the Super Bowl IV MVP.

Dawson played for the Chiefs until the age of 40.

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In 211 career games between his time in the NFL and the AFL, Dawson had 28,711 passing yards and 239 touchdowns. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987.