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Kansas City Chiefs
In 1963, Lamar moved the team to Kansas City. They were having a hard time competing for fans in Texas due to the popularity of the Dallas Cowboys. When they arrived in Kansas City, they had become the Kansas City Chiefs that we know and love today. The name "Chiefs" came from the nickname of Mayor H. Roe Bartle as a result of his affiliation with the Boy Scouts and the Tribe of Mic-O-Say. With a competent Len Dawson at Quarterback and the colorful genius of Hank Stram at the helm as head coach, The Chiefs would soon accomplish a feat that has yet to be repeated.
Many of you don't know the origin of the name "Super Bowl". It was a name invented by Lamar Hunt after watching his children playing with the popular toy - the "Super Ball". The Chiefs earned their way into the first Super Bowl in 1967, vs the Green Bay Packers. The Chiefs were defeated 35-10 but gained a lot of respect around the NFL and AFL alike for their prowess. The Chiefs would return to the world's largest stage a few years later when they played the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV. The Chiefs defeated the Vikings 23-7 and won their first and only Super Bowl.
Although many consider Hank Stram to be one of the great NFL coaches, the Chiefs actually FIRED him in 1974. The Chiefs would struggle over the next 13 years to an 81-121-1 record. A flash of greatness came to the Chiefs in 1981 by way of running back Joe Delaney who rushed for 1121 yards and helped the Chiefs attain a 9-7 record. The following year looked very promising with Delaney returning, but an NFL Players Association strike prevented a return performance. Then, to make matters worse, Joe Delaney died during the off-season while trying to rescue several children in a pond in Louisiana.
The Chiefs made the news in 1983 by skipping over Quarterback Dan Marino for a complete bust in Todd Blackledge. The team would make a similar draft day mistake by passing over Emmitt Smith for Percy Snow. The Chiefs remained a miserable excuse for a team for the remainder of the 80's.
In 1988 the Chiefs hired Carl Peterson to take over the CEO duties and Peterson quickly hired Marty Schottenheimer as the new head coach. Many Chiefs fans fondly remember the Schottenheimer days as a time when Kansas City was a running team with a solid defense, playing a very dull form of play that would become known as "MartyBall". This boring play style involved running the ball almost exclusively, and relying on defense to bring home the win. The main reason that this Chiefs era was revered by fans was due to the play of defensive end Neil Smith and linebacker Derrick Thomas, who terrorized opposing quarterbacks and led the Chiefs to the postseason for six years in a row. Under Schottenheimer's rule the Chiefs posted a respectable 101-58-1 record, they had a season with veteran QB Joe Montana and also acquired an aging Marcus Allen from the Oakland Raiders. It was during this time that the Chiefs won their last postseason game vs. the Houston Oilers in 1994.
In the subsequent years the Chiefs returned to the postseason to lose to the Indianapolis Colts, where kicker Lin Elliot made Chiefs history by missing three field goals in the 13-3 loss. The Chiefs made another controversial return to the playoffs vs the Denver Broncos when coach Schottenheimer chose to bench a hot handed Rich Gannon in favor of Elvis Grbac, who performed poorly and the Chiefs lost the game 14-10. After this and a few rumors that Schottenheimer had slept with a player's girlfriend and got her pregnant, Marty resigned from the Kansas City Chiefs organization.
Shortly after this Rich Gannon and star wide receiver Andre Rison went to the Oakland Raiders, Neil Smith went to the Denver Broncos, and Derrick Thomas died from complications from a car accident.
The light came on once again in 2001 when Super Coach Dick Vermeil agreed to come to Kansas City and try to help out. Vermeil, known for his excellent relationship with his players was just what the Chiefs needed to get back on the right track. Vermeil was instantly a pillar of the Kansas City community, speaking at charity events, inviting players and their families over to his house for dinner, and most importantly, winning games. Vermeil signed quarterback Trent Green, who was with Vermeil when he won Super Bowl XXXIV, and also signed running back Priest Holmes. The Vermeil era was a great era during the regular season, but stuttered notoriously during the postseason, and the Chiefs continued their streak - failing to win a single postseason game. Vermeil and Priest Holmes both quietly exited the Chiefs camp, leaving the team with a skeleton crew at quarterback that included Brodie Croyle and a flash in the pan running back in Larry Johnson. Larry Johnson was somewhat successful rushing the ball, but it was later considered by Chiefs fans to be to the credit of the offensive line, which at the time was the best in the NFL. The offensive line was aging quickly and many retired, revealing the lack of rushing ability in Larry Johnson. The Chiefs fans started a petition online to demand the trade of Larry Johnson. The petition received over 15,000 signatures within 72 hours and Johnson was immediately traded.
The Chiefs then sought the defense oriented services of "Buggy Bear" head coach Herm Edwards, called "Buggy Bear" because of his incoherent ramblings during post game interviews. The Herm Edwards era was a dark one indeed.
At Lamar Hunt's request, the Kansas City Chiefs were awarded a Thanksgiving game vs the Denver Broncos. The Chiefs defeated the Broncos 19-10 as Lamar Hunt lost his battle with prostate cancer shortly after. Later in the year the Chiefs fell into the playoffs with a mathematical misnomer and immediately lost to the Colts, again, in round one. On the bright side, Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez broke Shannon Sharpe's NFL record for touchdowns, and the Chiefs acquired a great defensive talent in Jared Allen, which they quickly traded away much like the Kansas City Royals do whenever they get a great player. Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard both sustained season-ending injuries during the same game, leaving unproven rookie Tyler Thigpen at the QB position. The Chiefs went on to a completely forgettable season in 2008, posting up a 2-14 record.
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