Pro football talk has recently started a segment in which they build a Mt. Rushmore for each franchise in the NFL. They’ve made their way through the NFC and are now onto the AFC. The articles are interesting and have brought me to the question, who would I put on the Chiefs mountain of pride? The Raiders and Chiefs Mt. Rushmore’s will be posted on Monday, June 24th so I’m trying to get a jump before they make their decisions.
Pro Football Talk is approaching the list with only players in mind. Personally I don’t think that is a great idea. Yes it simplifies the choices, but there are way too many important coaches and owners who deserve to represent their respected franchise. With all of this in mind, here is my personal Kansas City Chiefs Mt. Rushmore.
My first head to be built on the mountain would be none other than Chiefs founder and former owner, Lamar Hunt. Mr. Hunt revolutionized the beloved NFL we know today. He was an original owner and founder of the historic AFL and also coined the term “Super Bowl.” His name is forever engraved on the AFC Championship Trophy, award given to the winner of the AFC Championship game, and was one of the greatest Kansas Citians’ to walk the earth. He was an original founder to Worlds of Fun, the local theme park in north Kansas City, and also brought the MLS to KC with the Wizards, which is now known as Sporting Kansas City. You could seriously make an argument for him having a face on the NFL’s all time Mt. Rushmore and this selection is a no-brainer.
The next head I would have representing would be former head coach, Hank Stram. Stram revolutionized football and some of the things he did first are staples in every current teams’ playbook. He was the first to run the I-formation offense and also the two-tight end formations. He also created the “triple stack defense,” a defense, in which line backers would disguise themselves behind defensive lineman, constantly causing confusion for opposing offense’s. Stram also had a huge hand in bringing African American players into professional football. He would recruit players from the deep south from all black schools. He drafted players like Willie Lanier, Bobby Bell, Buck Buchanon and Emmit Thomas, all of which are Hall Of Fame players. Coach Stram is also the only coach in franchise history to win a Super Bowl title for the Chiefs. The audio he has from Super Bowl IV is legendary and he himself was inducted into the pro football Hall of Fame in 2003. Hank Stram definitely has an argument for his head to be on this monument and I think he should be there.
The third head to represent the Chiefs is former Quarterback, Len Dawson. Known as a pinpoint passer, Dawson’s mobility also helped him flourish in Hank Stram’s “moving pocket” offense. Dawson won four AFL passing titles and was selected as a league All-Star six times, ending the 10-year run of the league as its highest-rated career passer. From 1962 to 1969, Dawson threw more touchdown passes (182) than any other professional quarterback during that time. In 1966, Dawson lead the Chiefs as the AFL representative in Super Bowl I, the first championship game between the AFL and their NFL rivals. The NFL champion Green Bay Packers won, 35-10. Three years later, the Chiefs bounced back. Dawson missed most of the 1969 regular season with a knee injury, but made a historic comeback in the post season. Dawson led the Chiefs to Super Bowl IV, and helped to pull off the upset over the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, and was named the game’s MVP. Dawson is also a broadcasting legend. To this day he is sports director at KMBC-TV in Kansas City and is also the color analyst for the Chiefs Radio Network. He was inducted into the Hall Of Fame in 1987. Len Dawson recently turned 78 and is still passionate about Kansas City and it’s people. He definitely has earned a spot on the mountain.
The fourth and final head to make the mountain is the Chiefs newest Hall Of Fame member, Derrick Thomas. Through the late 80’s and all of the 90’s, Derrick Thomas (DT) was one of the most feared players to face in the entire NFL. He posted a game against Seattle in which he recorded 7 sacks, a record that still stands today. Along with former New York Giants linebacker, Lawrence Taylor, Thomas helped revolutionize the outside linebacker position we know today. DT stepped on the scene and immediately became a star. He earned defensive rookie of the year, (1989) and was the first Chiefs rookie to make a pro-bowl since Bobby Bell. He was a 9-time All-Pro selection and finished his 10 year career with 126.5 sacks which is the 12th highest amount in NFL history. He is only one of 25 players to hit the 100 sack mark and was inducted into the Hall Of Fame in 2009. Thomas tragically passed away on February 8, 2000 after he developed a blood clot from a car accident that had left him paralyzed from the chest down. Thomas being inducted into the Hall Of Fame in 2009 truly closed the chapter of the 90’s for most Kansas City fans. He was one of the greats and deserves his place on the Chiefs legendary mountain.
Well there you have it, Chiefs fans. This is just my opinion and obviously everyone will differ. It will be interesting to see who Pro Football Talk will place on their rendition of the Chiefs Mt. Rushmore and we’ll make sure to post who they placed. So what do you think Kingdom? Who would you place on the Chiefs’ Mt. Rushmore?