The Pops Chronicles: Superbowl thoughts and predictions

Although my heart and soul belongs to the New York Giants and have lived and died with them throughout every football Sunday since 1963; my secret favorite team has been the Kansas City Chiefs. Finally, I decided to come out of the AFL football closet and loudly proclaim that the Chiefs are my secret favorite team!

After the New York Giants lost the NFL Championship to the Chicago Bears in 1963 the wilderness era began for the Giants, I remained a loyal fan never missing a game or a play no matter how hopeless it was. It was during that time I discovered from the corner my eye the Kansas City Chiefs.

The new League on the Block…the American Football League

In 1960 the newly formed AFL signed a 5-year television contract worth $2,125,000 with ABC. This upstart innovative league was starting to garner support and provide the NFL with competition. At first, I was skeptical. The Chiefs caught my eye.  Wow!  On the field they seemed to be everything the conservative Giants weren’t, with a wide-open offense and featured great players like; Len Dawson, Willie Lanier, Otis Taylor, and Emmitt Thomas to name a few. Suddenly, on January 15, 1967, they were invited to play in a Championship Game (retroactively known as Super Bowl I) against the NFL Champs the Green Bay Packers coached by ex-Giant Vince Lombardi and lost 35-7. The NFL briefly affirmed its superiority over the AFL with the victory. Things quickly changed in Super Bowl III a young brash and flamboyant Quarterback named Joe Namath, guaranteed a Jets victory and got it by beating the Baltimore colts 16-7. Then a year later Hank Stram and his Chiefs returned to the Superbowl to soundly defeat the NFL Minnesota Vikings 23-7 and that was the last time the Chiefs went to the Superbowl.

The longest game ever Christmas Day 1971

Miami Dolphins 27 Kansas City Chiefs 24

This was a game that the Chiefs were heavily favored to win with 11 All-Pro players in their line-up. The game was played on Christmas Day in 1971 at Kansas City Municipal Stadium and was the last Chiefs game played in that venue. Arrowhead Stadium opened the next season. The game went into double overtime and the Dolphins won with a Garo Yepremian 37-yard field goal after 82 minutes of play. The Chiefs lost the game by missing two field goals and one was blocked. Jan Stenerud (Hall of Famer), missed one of these kicks with less than a minute left in the 4th quarter. The ball sailed wide right from the 31-yard line. This was a difficult and painful loss and began a decline that would end in the late 1980’s. NFL Films was able to assemble footage of this game and create an excellent film called “The Longest Game Ever”.  In preparation for this year’s Superbowl LIV I decided to watch it. It is available on youtube as, 1971 AFC Divisional KC vs. Miami.

Marv Levy Era

I further bonded with the Kansas City Chiefs when Lamar Hunt hired Marv Levy. After a successful career coaching the Montreal Alouettes to multiple Grey Cups, he returns to the NFL as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. He resurrected the run-heavy Wing -T- offense in his tenure as coach. He improved the Chiefs and lay the groundwork for some future success. He was fired at the end of the 1982 strike-shortened season going 3-6. He went on to coach the Buffalo bills for 12 years taking them to the playoffs 8 times and to the Superbowl 4 times. Marv Levy was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall Fame in 2001. Wing -T -1978 Kansas City Chiefs Highlights are on youtube.

Chiefs draft McGill Redman player: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

In 2014 Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was drafted by the Chiefs in the 6th round NFL draft from McGill University. For obvious reason, this completed my secret bond with the Chiefs.

Superbowl LIV Predictions

I urge Andy Reid to throw an unexpected wrinkle into the game plan and use the old Wing -T formation and give the 49ers taste of their own medicine!! I will be loudly cheering and supporting the Chiefs while drinking my own medicine a very red Blood Orange Cosmo made famous in Lidia’s KC Restaurant. My pick for Superbowl LIV: Chiefs win 27-24


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