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The NFL is steeped in history and tradition.

And when thinking about storied NFL franchises, the Kansas City Chiefs are rich in both areas.

From the AFC championship trophy bearing the name of Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt, to the Super Bowl (a term that Hunt himself coined), it’s hard to ignore the organization’s contributions to the league.

Without Hunt, the NFL as we know it today might not exist.


In the early 1960s, Hunt, who was just 26 at the time, founded the Dallas Texans and formed the American Football League. The AFL would become a direct competitor with the NFL.

Hunt moved the Texans to Kansas City in 1963 and renamed the team the Chiefs. Success followed: The Chiefs represented the AFL in Super Bowl I against the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, another storied franchise.

The Chiefs lost that 1967 game 35-10 but redeemed themselves following the 1969 campaign. Led by head coach Hank Stram and quarterback Len Dawson, the Chiefs defeated the heavily favored Minnesota Vikings 23-7 in Super Bowl LIV. The game produced Stram’s famous “65 toss power trap” call, a play that lives forever in Chiefs lore.

The Chiefs were the last AFL team to win a Super Bowl. The AFL and NFL merged following Super Bowl LIV and eventually produced the multi-billion-dollar NFL that we know today.

Hunt left a lasting mark, and his son Clark Hunt Jr. continues in his footsteps now as the Chiefs’ current CEO and chairman.


Stram, a U.S. Army Air Forces veteran who served in World War II, guided the Chiefs to two Super Bowl appearances before the NFL-AFL merger. Regarded as a play-calling guru, Stram remains the franchise’s winningest head coach, at 124-76-10. He was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

After Stram left in 1974, the Chiefs were mired in mediocrity for 14 seasons. They finished with a winning record only twice during that time, and made the postseason once.

Enter Marty Schottenheimer.

Schottenheimer was hired in 1989 and immediately made the Chiefs relevant again. He led them to nine straight winning seasons and six straight postseason appearances from 1990-95.

Under Schottenheimer, the Chiefs became famous for playing “Martyball,” a conservative approach built around hard-nosed running on offense and stout defensive play. Schottenheimer, who garnered NFL Coach of the Year honors in 2004, resigned in 1998, leaving behind a career mark in KC of 101-58-1.

Dick Vermeil joined the Chiefs in 2001 after a short retirement from football. Vermeil brought the right credentials: He was a Super Bowl-winning coach with the St. Louis Rams and had led the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl XV appearance.

For five seasons under Vermeil, the Chiefs’ offense kept the scoreboard operators busy. They ranked first in scoring twice (2002-03), second in 2004 and sixth in 2005 before Vermeil’s second retirement from football. Vermeil went 44-36, with one postseason appearance, as head coach of the Chiefs.


Every powerhouse team gets contributions from a leading cast of powerhouse players, and the Chiefs are no different.

The Chiefs boast 18 Hall of Famers, most of whom spent most of their careers in Kansas City: quarterbacks Len Dawson, Joe Montana and Warren Moon; running back Marcus Allen; tight end Tony Gonzalez; offensive linemen Willie Roaf, Will Shields and Mike Webster; defensive linemen Curley Culp and Buck Buchanan; linebackers Derrick Thomas, Willie Lanier and Bobby Bell; cornerbacks Emmitt Thomas and Ty Law; safety Johnny Robinson; and kickers Jan Stenerud and Morten Anderson.


With two straight Super Bowl appearances, including a win in Super Bowl LIV, the Chiefs are set up well for the future under general manager Brett Veach, head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Reid, who joined the Chiefs in 2013, has skyrocketed to second place on the franchise’s all-time winningest head coaches list, at 105-39. Known affectionately as “Big Red” to his players, Reid has guided the Chiefs to seven postseason appearances in the past eight seasons, including five straight AFC West divisional titles.

Mahomes, who turns 26 in September, has emerged as a face of the NFL in recent years and already has a Super Bowl MVP and NFL MVP awards. All that with just three seasons under his belt as a full-time starter.

The Chiefs are also loaded with talent on both side of the ball. Mahomes has All-Pro wide receiver Tyreek Hill and All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce. On defense, the Chiefs have All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu and Pro Bowl defensive tackle Chris Jones.