Richard Nixon was president, the Beatles had just broken up and I was a fifth grader at Holy Angels Catholic Grade School in Garnett the last time the Kansas City Chiefs went to Super Bowl IV (Four) in the 1969-70 season.
It’s been a long time watching and waiting for the Chiefs to get back to the Super Bowl. A lot of good Chiefs teams have come and gone over the years without making it back to the big game, but now the Chiefs will play the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV (54).
It’s hard to believe it’s been 50 years!
Back in 1969-70, I knew every Chiefs player because I watched every game. Those were the days when, depending on weather conditions, you might have to adjust your TV antenna on your roof at game time to get good enough reception to watch the games.
That year, the Chiefs beat the Minnesota Vikings 23-7 on a wet field at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans.
Chiefs fans from those days will remember that the Chiefs entered the game 11-3 and underdogs to the Vikings 12-2.
The Chiefs defense prevailed that day, holding the Vikes to 67 yards rushing, intercepting three passes and recovering two fumbles.
Chiefs QB Len Dawson suffered a knee injury in the second game of the season that year and missed six games. The unsung hero of the team was back-up QB Mike Livingston. In Super Bowl IV, Dawson completed 12 of 17 passes for 142 yards and one touchdown and one interception.
The two biggest plays of the game, in my view, were the 48-yard field goal that KC’s Jan Stenerud made in the game (which was a Super Bowl game record length field goal at the time) and the 46-yard touchdown pass from Dawson to Otis Taylor in the third quarter that extended KC’s lead.
Super Bowl IV also marked the first time that an NFL head coach wore a microphone in the game.
Chiefs head coach Hank Stram’s legendary advice to Dawson – “Keep matriculating the ball down the field, Lenny!’’ and Stram’s play call for a rushing TD “65 toss power trap’’ are now part of the Chiefs proud history.
This year’s Chiefs team is just as exciting, of course, as the Super Bowl IV team with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback and all the other star players.
The Holton Recorder’s Super Football Pick ‘Em Contest is under way and should be the most popular one ever with the Chiefs playing in the big game! Check out all the locations where you can make your predictions for the big game and have a chance to win a 40’’ flat-screen color TV!