On Wednesday, Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson passed away. During his first five seasons in the professional football league, Dawson was a backup quarterback who was seldom employed. However, he went on to lead Kansas City to its first Super Bowl triumph. He was 87.
His family sent a statement to the media announcing his passing. Dawson had only just been admitted to the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas, for hospice care.
Lenny the Cool was Dawson’s nickname throughout his 19-year career as a professional baseball player, 13 of which were spent in Kansas City. He played the game with little discernible passion despite being a slim 6 foot 1 and 190 pounds, which was on the smaller side even for his period. However, he was a precision quarterback who looked immune to pressure and a six-time All-Star in the old American Football League. He played in the AFL.
Dawson was once referred to as “the most accurate passer in pro football” by Hank Stram, the longtime head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. It was Stram who gave Dawson the opportunity to start in the A.F.L. after his unsuccessful stints with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns of the National Football League.
His comeback from a catastrophic knee injury to lead the Kansas City Chiefs to a surprise win against the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV in January 1970 will be the thing that people remember him for the most. This was the team’s sole Super Bowl triumph up to the year 2020.
NBC had reported that the federal authorities wanted Dawson, Joe Namath of the Jets, and several other professional football players to appear before a federal grand jury in connection with a series of arrests made on New Year’s Day of reputed gamblers in a nationwide sports betting ring. The arrests were made in connection with an investigation into a sports betting ring that operated across the country.
Dawson, who seemed unconcerned by the headlines, finished off the scoring in the Super Bowl by connecting with receiver Otis Taylor on a play that resulted in a touchdown run of 46 yards during the third quarter. This play occurred despite the presence of a blitz. He was awarded the Most Valuable Player award for the game, and President Richard M. Nixon gave him a phone call to congratulate him on his achievement. The NBC story makes no allegations of impropriety against any of the athletes it mentions.
In the 1969 Super Bowl, Namath led the New York Jets of the American Football League to a surprise win against the Baltimore Colts by a score of 16-7. This shocking outcome served as a precursor to the Chiefs’ eventual triumph in the championship game, which bolstered the league’s reputation in the lead-up to the conclusion of the AFL-NFL merger.
The ninth of James and Annie Dawson’s 11 children, Leonard Ray Dawson was born on June 25, 1935 in Alliance, Ohio. He was the ninth of a total of 11 children. His father had a career in the manufacturing industry.
After excelling as a quarterback for Purdue when Stram was an assistant coach for the Boilermakers, he was taken by the Steelers in the first round of the 1957 National Football League draught. Stram was the head coach of the Boilermakers. However, throughout his time with them (three seasons) and the Cleveland Browns (two seasons), he served only as a backup quarterback.
In 1962, the third season of the American Football League, Dawson led the Houston Texans to their first AFL title by leading them to a 20-17 win against the Houston Oilers in double overtime. He was selected as the best player in the league for the year. Lamar Hunt, the owner of the Texans, relocated the team to Kansas City for the 1963 season and renamed it the Chiefs. Dawson led the Chiefs to an American Football League championship in 1966, despite the fact that they were defeated by the Green Bay Packers by a score of 35-10 in the first Super Bowl.
Dawson’s career stats include 239 touchdown passes and 28,711 passing yards until he called it quits following the 1975 season. He finished first in the AFL in passing completion % six times and led the league in touchdown passes four times. In 1987, he was chosen for induction into the Hall of Fame.
Linda, who was his second wife, is one of his surviving family members. Together with his first wife, Jackie, who passed away in 1978, he was a father to two children: Lisa Anne and Len Jr. There was a delay in the availability of complete information about survivors.
Dawson worked as a television broadcaster for NBC and HBO in addition to his lifelong role as a radio commentator for Kansas City games. In 2012, he was honoured with the Pete Rozelle Award for Achievement in Radio and Television by the Hall of Fame.
He chuckled to himself as he recalled the early days of his career in broadcasting, when he covered sports for KMBC radio and television in Kansas City in the evenings while he was still actively playing for the team.