The Kansas City Chiefs appeared in the first Super Bowl and won Super Bowl IV. The Chiefs last played in the Super Bowl in 1970, which makes it 50 years between their last appearance and their upcoming one after Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid secured a berth in Super Bowl LIV. Only the San Francisco 49ers stand in the Chiefs way of winning the franchise’s second championship a half-century after their first one.

Super Bowl Kansas City Chiefs 50 years
Kansas City Chiefs QB Len Dawson drops back to pass against the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl I at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. (Image: Getty)

The Chiefs original owner, Lamar Hunt, is credited with giving the Super Bowl its name. The league named the winner of the AFC Championship trophy after Lamar Hunt.

It took 50 years, but the Chiefs finally hoisted the Lamar Hunt Trophy after they defeated the Tennessee Titans in the AFC title game. Hunt’s son, and current team owner, Clark Hunt finally held the trophy that bore his father’s name. It also meant that the Chiefs advanced to their first Super Bowl since the Chiefs magical season in 1969.

Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl Appearances
I Green Bay Packers 35, Kansas City Chiefs 10
IV Kansas City Chiefs 23, Minnesota Vikings 7
LIV Kansas City vs. San Francisco 49ers

The Chiefs lost in the inaugural Super Bowl to Vince Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers. Head coach Hank Stram’s triple-stack defense held the Vikings in check during the Chiefs first and only championship win in Super Bowl IV.

Only a Fool Would Say That

Lamar Hunt started the AFL with eight businessmen that naysayers dubbed the “The Foolish Club,” because everyone thought they were absurd to create a league to rival the NFL. Hunt, who was 26 at the time, was quickly written off as nothing more than an oil baron’s son.

Hunt owned a franchise in his hometown of Dallas called the Dallas Texans. It lost money in the first year, but Hunt was determined to make it work. Hunt moved the team to Kansas City in 1963 and renamed the franchise the “Chiefs” because, as Hunt joked, “The Kansas City Texans doesn’t sound right.”

Super Bowl IV Champs

In 1969, the Chiefs went 11-3 in the regular season. Stram utilized the triple-stack defense with a crew of unstoppable linebackers led by Bobby Bell.

The 1969 season had a few twists and turns. Quarterback Len Dawson went down with a knee injury. His backup injured an ankle, and the Chiefs were down to an inexperienced third-stringer from SMU named Mike Livingston. Stram’s defense and Livingston strung together a winning streak, and held the line long enough for Dawson to return to action.

In the playoffs, the Chiefs knocked out the defending Super Bowl champs, Joe Namath and the NY Jets. The Chiefs defeated the Oakland Raiders in the AFL Championship, and then beat down the Minnesota Vikings to win Super Bowl IV.

Bad Beat with Montana

After an auspicious start, the Chiefs franchise hit the skids in the 1980s. Hunt sought to revitalize the team. He hired Marty Schottenheimer and lured Hall of Famer Joe Montana to finish out his career in Kansas City with a $10 million contract. They also added Marcus Allen to the backfield.

In Montana’s first year, the Chiefs went 11-5. He worked his fourth quarter magic in the playoffs to beat the Houston Oilers with a comeback victory. The Chiefs lost to the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship after Montana suffered a concussion and got knocked out of the game.

The 1990s were tough in Kansas City. They were constantly outdone by John Elway and the Denver Broncos. They had the same problem with Peyton Manning in the early 2000s.

In 2013, Clark Hunt hired Andy Reid to revitalize the franchise once again. Once the team drafted Patrick Mahomes, their new history began to write itself.

Reid + Mahomes = Super Bowl Win?

Andy Reid won 207 regular season games and holds the dubious honor of the most wins by a coach without a Super Bowl title. Now that he has Mahomes leading the offense, he’s one win away from the elusive Super Bowl trophy.

Reid had one previous chance with the Philadelphia Eagles, but they lost to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX. The Patriots kept him out of the Super Bowl last year, by defeating the Chiefs in overtime in the AFC Championship. This year, Reid didn’t squander another opportunity to win the Lamar Hunt Trophy and return to the Super Bowl.

“Everybody in our locker room wants to win this Super Bowl, win one more game, for our coach,” said Mahomes. “The best thing about playing for Coach Reid is he lets you be who you are. He lets you play the way you want to play.”

The big knock against Reid is that he can’t win big games. Now, 50 years after their first win, the Chiefs return to the Super Bowl with a chance to win a title for one of the most fervent fan bases in American sports. A win would also let Reid exorcise any demons, and finally get over the Super Bowl hump.

The Kansas City Chiefs are currently a 1-point favorite over the San Francisco 49ers in the upcoming 2020 Super Bowl.

Here is a complete list of Super Bowl champions. Have you looked at our dedicated page for the NFL playoffs and the 2020 Super Bowl?

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