Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Lenny Has "Matriculated the Ball to Heaven"

Len Dawson passed away this morning at the age of 87. As one person at Instapundit put it, he has "matriculated the ball into Heaven." 

That famous line (video above) by Chiefs' coach Hank Stram (the first person ever to be mic'd during a NFL game) was spoken during Super Bowl IV, which the Chiefs won 23-7. Len was MVP. Not only did he win the game, he cooly and professionally handled utterly false charges of gambling that were thrown at him the week before the game in an attempt to influence the outcome. 

If you wish to see the highlights of that amazing game, in which the Chiefs were a huge underdog, they are cued up here (the NFL won't let me embed them). I highly recommend this version because it is pure football (no politics or political correctness) and they are narrated by John "frozen tundra of Lambeau Field" Facenda. 

But Len wasn't just a Hall of Fame quarterback, he was terrific man. Just read these testimonial comments about him published in the Kansas City Star. 

As I mentioned when it was announced that he had entered hospice care, I met Lenny for the first time when I was doing the weather for KMBC Radio and he was doing sports for KMBC TV and Radio (photo from that era below). We remained friendly throughout our lives. 

My Dad was a Chiefs' Red Coater for decades.
Among other civic duties, the Red Coaters welcomed the Chiefs onto the field before every home game and, if I recall correctly, before the start of Super Bowl IV in New Orleans. 

I lost my Dad in January 2020. I am certain that Dad, Hank Stram, and Lamar Hunt were at the gates of Heaven this morning to welcome Len. 

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