Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs Football
The Kansas City Chiefs are an American football team affiliated with the NFL. Located in the AFC West, the team was originally known as the Dallas Texans and were charter members of the AFL. The team has won three AFL Championships and one Super Bowl.
In 1959, Lamar Hunt helped form the AFL as an alternative to the NFL. He also did so because he was denied an NFL franchise. Hunt’s team, The Dallas Texans, shared the Cotton Bowl and competed with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.
After three seasons, the team had won an AFL championship, but Hunt realized that Dallas couldn’t sustain two football teams. Therefore, he started looking for a location which he could easily commute to.
Once the move to Kansas City was complete, Hunt wanted to call the team the Kansas City Texans, but a contest was held, and one of the most popular names suggested was the Kansas City Chiefs. Another popular suggestion was the Kansas City Mules.
The newly dubbed team began play in Municipal Stadium in 1963.
Kansas City Chiefs Football – The Early Years
The Chiefs tied for the most playoff appearance by an AFL team, and they also won the most AFL Championships. After losing the first Super Bowl to the Green Bay Packers, the Chiefs rebounded to defeat the Vikings in the final AFL-NFL World Championship in 1969. The team would win 43 games between 1966 and 1969.
During this entire stretch, the team was coached by Hank Stram. Players included quarterback Len Dawson, linebackers Bobby Bell and Willie Lanier, kicker Jan Stenerud, receiver Otis Taylor, linebacker Jim Lynch, running back Mike Garrett and defensive tackle Buck Buchanan.
After making the playoffs in 1971, the Chiefs would not return to the post-season for 15 years. Their best record during this time was 9-7 in 1981. In 1972, the team would move to Arrowhead Stadium.
Back to Their Winning Ways
Carl Peterson was hired as president and general manager in 1989, and Marty Schottenheimer was brought on board as the head coach. Under their new coach, the team made six consecutive playoff appearances and had nine winning seasons. In fact, the Chiefs were the winningest team of the 90s.
Star players during this time included Neil Smith, Will Shields, Derrick Thomas, Christian Okoye, Dale Carter, Deron Cherry, Barry Word and Steve DeBerg.
Prior to the 1993 season, the Chiefs traded for legendary quarterback Joe Montana. The team also added former Raiders running back Marcus Allen. These additions would allow them to advance all the way to the AFC Championship.
After Montana retired in 1995, the Chiefs utilized such quarterbacks as Steve Bono, Rich Gannon and Elvis Grbac. While they still maintained a level of success, the team went 7-9 in 1998. Schottenheimer resigned after the season.
He was replaced by Gunther Cunningham, and the team missed the playoffs the next two seasons. Cunningham supposedly learned about his firing through the Internet.
Super Bowl winner Dick Vermeil was brought in as coach in 2001. With help from players like Priest Holmes, the team went 13-3 in 2003 before losing to the Colts in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Vermeil would not return for the 2006 season. He was replaced with former Jets head coach Herm Edwards. The team responded by returning to the playoffs for the first time in three seasons. They were defeated by the Colts, 23-8, in the wild card round. That same year, owner Lamar Hunt died after battling prostate cancer for a decade.
Prior to the 2007 season, the team would trade quarterback Trent Green to the Dolphins and promote backup Damon Huard. Runner Larry Johnson was injured in week nine, and the team ended the season on a nine game losing streak. They finished with a record of 4-12, the worst since 1978.
The War Chant
Chiefs’ fans are well-known for their use of the War Chant, especially when playing against the Washington Redskins. While it has become a tradition among Chiefs’ faithful, it has also drawn protests on a number of occasions from Native American activists.
Current Stars on the Chiefs
The following players are the most known personalities on the current Kansas City roster:
- Brodie Croyle (QB)
- Damon Huard (QB)
- Larry Johnson (RB)
- Dwayne Bowe (WR)
- Tony Gonzalez (TE)
- Donnie Edwards (LB)
- Jared Allen (DE)
- Patrick Surtain (CB)
- Glenn Dorsey (DT)
- Branden Albert (G)
Hall of Fame
The following Chiefs have been selected to the NFL Hall of Fame: Marcus Allen, Bobby Bell, Buck Buchanan, Len Dawson, Lamar Hunt, Willie Lanier, Marv Levy, Joe Montana, Warren Moon, Jan Stenerud, Hank Stram, Emmitt Thomas and Mike Webster.
The following NFL Kansas City Chiefs’ players have had their numbers retired by the team: Len Dawson (16), Abner Haynes (28), Stone Johnson (33), Mack Lee Hill (36), Willie Lanier (63), Bobby Bell (78) and Buck Buchanan (86).