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Hail to the Chiefs


By Chris Oakley




Excerpts from the book Unpacked: The 1966 Kansas City Chiefs And The Game That Forever Changed The Course Of Football History, copyright 2001 University of Missouri


The mood of Packers fans as Vince Lombardi and his players went to the locker room at the end of the first half of Super Bowl I was one of disbelief bordering on shock. By all rights Green Bay should have been running away with the game, yet instead they were clinging to a razor-thin one-point lead and the Kansas City Chiefs were showing signs of mounting a threat to that lead in the second half. And that feeling extended well past the boundaries of the Packers fan community....the entire NFL was thunderstruck at the sight of one of their marquee franchises having such a tough time handling these upstarts who represented their league’s archrivals....

Meanwhile, in his luxury box high above the 50-yard line, Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt was enjoying the way his team was performing so far; they’d taken everything the Packers had thrown at them and dished it right back out to Green Bay. Hunt and his family and friends eagerly anticipated the start of the third quarter-- as did AFL fans all across the country, who were starting to dare to hope that their side could play David to the NFL’s Goliath....


From the 1991 ESPN documentary Hunt For Greatness:

Inside the Kansas City locker room, the atmosphere was loose and relaxed. The Chiefs had shown they could hang with the NFL’s best, and if they kept up the same pace in the second half that they’d played at in the first half they just might pull off an upset. Coach Hank Stram told his men that even if they lost the game they’d already accomplished far more than most of the so-called "experts" up in the press box had expected them to, and if they won they’d be forever enshrined in pro football legend.

At their respective seats in the VIP section of the Los Angeles Coliseum New York Jets owner Leon Hess and Oakland Raiders boss Al Davis, whose own franchises would one day be making Super Bowl appearances, were mentally reviewing the events of the first half with the intense fascination of an archeologist examining an Egyptian tomb. Up until now it had been taken for granted in most quarters that the Green Bay Packers would make short of the Kansas City Chiefs, but KC was proving to be a far more resilient opponent than many had expected...


From the sports section of the January 28th, 1977 edition of the Kansas City Star:

We’re just around the corner from the ten-year anniversary of the Chiefs’ historic Super Bowl I battle with the Green Bay Packers, and while that may seem like a short time to most of us it feels like a lifetime ago to those who remember the pre-AFL days of professional football in America. Those 60 minutes in the Los Angeles Coliseum changed a sport and a country forever...


From the January 31st, 1987 Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal:

Nerves on the Green Bay bench were stretched as tight as piano wire in the final seconds before the kickoff that started the third quarter of Super Bowl I. Everyone on the Packer sidelines from coach Vince Lombardi right on down to the waterboy knew that the slightest mistake on Green Bay’s part could seriously hurt if not doom altogether the Pack’s chance for beating Kansas City.

Sitting beside their radios or in front of their television sets, Packer fans were feeling that same tension. They felt as if they were walking a tightrope while they waited for the opening kickoff of the second half-- and sure enough, disaster would strike not long after that kickoff...


From an article posted at Foxsports.com dated January 29th, 2006:

You could have heard a pin drop on the Green Bay sidelines when Donny Anderson, normally one of the most sure-footed punt returners in the NFL, inexplicably tripped over his own feet just seconds after catching the opening kickoff of the second half. By the time he regained his footing and tried to take the ball up the field, four Kansas City defenders had zeroed on in Anderson and were getting ready to tackle him near the Packers’ 17-yard line....


To Be Continued


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