Sunday, February 01, 2009

Glory Days!

Appropriate title given the evening's halftime entertainment...

Yet for me, the memories that surface today are of a different time...memories of childhood...

At the point of ancience I'm approaching, I remember the celebration of our new found fame as a football town when Lamar Hunt brought the Dallas Texans to Kansas City and renamed them the Chiefs. I remember weekends when everything led up to the game on Sunday and that was the most important place on Earth to be, in front of the TV. I remember Dad putting the largest TV aerial I'd ever seen in our attic with a rotater so he could pull the Topeka stations to watch the games if they were "blacked-out".

I remember watching #16 and his team give their all every week, win or lose in a struggle that seemed impossible at times!

Len Dawson...

From the Pro-Football Hall of Fame's website:

"Although Len Dawson ranks among the elite forward passers of all time with an 82.56 rating compiled over 19 seasons of pro play, he is perhaps best remembered for his courageous performance in leading the Chiefs to a 23-7 upset of the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV. Dawson connected on 12 of 17 passes for 142 yards in the now-historic game, and his 46-yard pass completion to Otis Taylor wrapped up the surprise victory that evened the AFL-NFL portion of the Super Bowl series at two wins each. Dawson was named the game's Most Valuable Player."

I've heard Len speak on more than one occasion of that being the era where you played the game because you loved it, not because you could make a living at it. Bobby Bell, Hall of Fame defensive player in his own right, was a line foreman in the General Motors plant I hired into in the "off season". Len signed on as a sportscaster with the local ABC affiliate to make ends meet. I remember watching the sports report on the evening news while he broadcast with his hair still wet from the locker room shower.

He is still there! All through the years, this gentleman (and I mean that sincerely) has been there, a link from my chidhood to my present. Always involved in the community, in causes, I remember him starting a celebrity Pro-Am golf tournament as a fund raiser for a local children's hospital. Though it's since been taken over by a pro-golfer who can bring in the "big names" when Len brought Alan Hale, Jr. to town (you might know him as "The Skipper" from "Gilligan's Island") that was a huge deal...

This week they've been doing a series of interviews with him concerning the Chiefs and their "glory days" in the lead up to the game that starts in a few hours.

I'm putting two links here, one to a piece with him going through an NFL history of "the big game" (another Lamar Hunt dream, along with the AFL in the beginning, major league soccer and so many other things he had his hands in. It was Lamar that named it "The Superbowl".) and the second to him speaking of his fellow players.

1st video...

2nd video...

(Sorry about the Brinks commercials...especially since my younger son works for ADT!)

There are some other videos from these interviews on their website if any of you are interested. The one I was hoping to find was the one they showed with footage of Len playing, clear back to his Purdue days...All-American 3 years out of 4. It's not there. I don't know whether they couldn't get the rights to share it, or someone just forgot to post it.

Somehow, as I watch tonight, I'll be remembering all of these guys and the days when it was "more than just a game".

May the rest of the weekend be kind and may Monday be even more so!



Jenny Harvey said...

Looking forward to watching the gam over here, long as I can stay awake to 3am.
Thing that fascinates me about US sports is that it is all so wrapped up in ceremony and nostalgia. What with first pitch, and a glass of milk for Indy 500 winner. Its also odd that in a country where commerce is king you wouldn't get sponsorship plastered all over your baseball and football shirts. Unlike over here where every proper football (sorry my religion prevents the use of the word soccer) team has a sponsors name just about everywhere from shirt to socks. Mind you your gmes do stop every 30 secs for ads.
Anyway go Steelers! I'm boycotting Cardinals after the Pope's utterences!

Anonymous said...

Saw football and scrollleddddddd right on through to just say hello!!! Foooootballled out! =)

Green tea said...

Loved the game even though my team lost..Was so hoping Larry Fitzgerald
would get a ring..He is a Minnesota kid..
The Boss was in prime form..and Wow
Jennifer Hudson gave me goose bumps along with tears.

Sassy said...

I only watch the game for the commercials and the half time show. haha

May your week be kind to you!

beckyboop said...

Oh how I wish the Chiefs could have the glory they had back in the Len Dawson days!

I went to one game this year. I had 9th row seats at the 40 yard line. I left early. It was just too depressing.

I am no fair weathered fan. I'm dedicated to my home team. Maybe when we get rid of Carl Peterson things will turn around.

Connie in FL said...

I am not a football fan but I remember those days fondly. I lived in KC when the "new" stadiums were built. You couldn't get close to Blue Ridge Mall on game day for the traffic.

Hawaiianmark said...

Watched the '70 superbowl in Lansing, Mi w/ my dad and mom in a lobby of the MSU dorms.

Dad was studying to get his masters and coaching w/ Duffy Daugherty at MSU.

You bring back some really really cool memories.


Safe winter, and stay warm my friend!

Aloha, HM.

Casdok said...

And may your weekend be kind to you :)

Anonymous said...

Growing up in Sydney in the 50's and 60's, I followed the Balmain Tigers Rugby League team. My favourite was Keith Barnes, a modest fullback who was known as "Golden Boots" for his kicking skills. He displayed true sportsmanship on the field. I remember going to the 1969 Grand Final with my dad to see the Tigers take on South Sydney. The Tigers were very much the underdogs. About halfway through the second half of the game, I looked up to my dad and said "I think we're going to win this." He just nodded in disbelief. We won and it was one of my favourite memories.

In 2005, The Wests Tigers (there having been a merger of clubs) won the National Rugby League competition. My niece's husband played in the winning team - another favourite memory.

westtredneck said...

just wanted to thank you for the encouragement. You are a good person. talk to you later.