The Kansas City Chiefs are one of the charter AFL teams, when they were the Dallas Texans. In their 55 seasons, they’ve won 3 AFL Championships, 1 Super Bowl (IV), 8 Division titles, and made the playoffs 18 times (3 in the last 6 seasons).
Kansas City has one of the most rabid fans bases. Chiefs fans have helped the team have the 2nd highest attendance rate over the last decade, despite being in the sixth smallest media market amongst NFL teams. Those fans have helped make Arrowhead the loudest outdoor stadium in the world, accruing to the Guinness World Records. And several former Chiefs they have cheered on, also have some very impressive records. The following four are the ones I’ve chosen to be on Kansas City’s Mount Rushmore.
- No owners, unless they were also coaches, and their place on this list is based on their contributions as coach. No General Managers or Personnel executives. Just those who directly affected the games on Sunday. I will make a separate list for those contributors soon.
- Key contributors to the team’s history and success, not just fan favorites or box office draws.
- Can you tell the franchise’s story without them? If no, they’re on the list.
Len Dawson (1962-1975) played 19 seasons in the NFL, but his most notable years came with this franchise. He is the team’s career leader in wins (93), passing yards (28,507) and touchdown passes (237). Dawson won 3 AFL Championships (1962, 1966, 1969) and Super Bowl IV, taking home the games’ MVP award. Dawson is a 6-time AFL All-Star, Pro Bowl and 4-time All-AFL selection, and he won the AFL MVP in 1962.
Tony Gonzalez (1997-2008) arguably the greatest tight end in Pro Football history, is the Chiefs all-time leader in catches (916), receiving yards (10,940), receiving touchdowns (76) and holds several team records. As a 10-time Pro Bowl and 9-time All-Pro Selection in his time in Kansas City, before moving on to Atlanta for his final four seasons, Gonzalez holds twenty-five NFL records. He is a member of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, and is the first tight end to ever catch 1,000 passes, have the most pro bowl selections by a tight end, and is 2nd all-time in receptions, 5th all-time in receiving yards, and 6th all-time in receiving touchdowns. In 2010, NFL.com ranked him 45th on their “100 Greatest Players” list.
Derrick Thomas (1989-1999) was a sack artist and the most feared pass rusher in the NFL during his 11-year career. Thomas is the Chiefs all-time sack leader (126.5), 1st in recovered fumbles for touchdowns (4), safeties (3), forced fumbles (41), fumbles recovered (19), and 3rd in total tackles (601). The 9-time Pro Bowl and 6-time All-Pro selection is a member of the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team. He holds the NFL single game record for sacks (7). The Chiefs retired his jersey number 58, and he was posthumously elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.
Hank Stram (1960-1974) is the franchise’s all-time leader in coaching victories (124) and led them to 3 AFL Championships (1962, 1966, 1969), the most in AFL history, and their only Super Bowl victory (IV). Stram is the first coach in the team’s history going back to when they were the Dallas Texans, before moving to Kansas City in 1963. Coach Stram never used an offensive/defensive coordinator or special teams coach in his time on the sideline. The 1968 AFL Coach of the Year winner is a member of the Chiefs Hall of Fame, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003.
There you have it, “Chiefs Kingdom.” Let me know what you think.