Kansas City Chiefs Team History
1959, a 26-year-old Texan, frustrated by his unsuccessful attempts
to gain a pro football franchise in the National Football League,
embarked on an alternate course that was to drastically change
the face of pro football forever. The young man was Lamar Hunt,
who founded the American Football League that season and served
as the league's first president when its eight new teams began
play in 1960.
Hunt's own team, the Dallas Texans, was located in his hometown
where he would face direct competition from the NFL's newest
expansion team, the Dallas Cowboys. In spite of this opposition
from the established NFL, the Texans quickly made their mark
as one of the new league's strongest teams. In their third season
in 1962, they won the AFL championship with a 20-17 win over
the Houston Oilers in a 77-minute, 54-second, two-overtime game,
the longest pro football game ever played up to that time.
Although the Texans fared well in Dallas, Hunt decided that,
for the good of the league, it would be best to move his franchise
to Kansas City in 1963. There the team was renamed the Chiefs
and it continued to enjoy the success the team had experienced
in Dallas. The Chiefs won a second AFL title in 1966 and was
the first team to represent the AFL in Super Bowl competition.
Kansas City won another title in 1969 and became the only team
in AFL history to win three championships. Although the Minnesota
Vikings were heavily favored in Super Bowl IV, Kansas City upset
the NFL champions 23-7 to complete the AFL vs. NFL portion of
the Super Bowl series tied at two wins each. It was the last
game ever played by an AFL team.
The Texans-Chiefs' 10-season AFL record of 92-50-5 was the best
of any AFL team. Head coach Hank Stram became the only man to
serve as a head coach throughout the AFL's history.
Thanks to Hunt's wise player-procurement policies, his teams
were loaded with potential superstars, including five -- quarterback
Len Dawson, defensive end Buck Buchanan, linebackers Bobby Bell
and Willie Lanier and kicker Jan Stenerud -- who have been elected
to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Hunt himself was the first
Chief elected for his role in forming a new league that caused
pro football to grow from 12 teams to 26 teams in the 1960s.
When they first moved to Kansas City, the Chiefs played in 49,002-seat
Municipal Stadium. But in 1972, they moved into their current
home, 78,097-seat Arrowhead Stadium, considered to be one of
the world's finest.
The Chiefs won the AFC Western Division title in 1971, but their
Christmas Day double-overtime playoff loss to Miami that year
marked their last playoff appearance until the 1986 Chiefs captured
a wild-card playoff berth. The Chiefs were perennial playoff
contenders under coach Marty Schottenheimer from 1989-1998.
In 2001, former Philadelphia Eagles and St. Louis Rams head
coach Dick Vermeil took over the reins as Chiefs head coach.