In a new piece of news, Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson, who spent his first five pro football seasons as a seldom-used backup but led Kansas City to its first Super Bowl championship, died Wednesday and it turned out that he was 87 years old.
His family announced his death in a statement. Dawson recently entered hospice care at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas.
Dawson played 19 seasons professionally, 13 of which were in Kansas City. He was known as Lenny the Cool. A slender 6 foot 1 and 190 pounds too small for his era, he played with a less visible spirit.
He was an accurate passer who was impervious to pressure and was a six-time All-Star in the old American Football League. The longtime coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, Hank Straum, coached Dawson in the AFL. After his unhappy times with the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns, he was once called the most accurate passer in pro football.
Dawson was a quiet man who set an example. Kansas City guard Ed Budde once said that I never heard him raise his voice when you do something wrong he gives you that look and you know you were in better shape.
He is best remembered for his impressive 23–7 win over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV in January 1970, recovering from a serious knee injury, the team’s only Super Bowl championship as of 2020.
As that game ended, Dawson faced pressure to prove he was in prime shape after missing five mid-season games due to his bad knee, but another burden cast a shadow on him.
NBC reported that federal officials wanted Joe Namath of the Dawson Jets and several other pro football players to appear before a federal grand jury in connection with the arrests of eminent gamblers on New Year’s Day at a nationwide sports betting ring.
The Justice Department did not confirm the report, but Dawson denied any connection to gambling, telling reporters that he had an informal acquaintance with one of those arrested.
Dawson closed out the Super Bowl scoring by combining with receiver Otis Taylor on a 46-yard third-quarter touchdown play in front of the Blitz. He was named the game’s Most Valuable Player and received congratulations from President Richard M. Nixon. The call came
Players quoted in NBC never accused of wrongdoing. Namath took the jets of A.F.L. A spectacular 16-7 win over the Baltimore Colts in the 1969 Super Bowl.
This upset was the prelude to the Chiefs’ championship victory that cemented the credibility of the league before the completion of the AFL-NFL.
Dawson told The Times-Picayune of New Orleans much later that we weren’t ready for prime-time AFLs and that we made it two in a row.
Leonard Ray Dawson was born in Alliance Ohio on June 25, 1935, the ninth of 11 children to James and Annie Dawson.
He became a star quarterback for Purdue when Strom, an assistant coach with the Boilermakers, was then selected by the Steelers in the 1957 NFL first round. He was backup in his three seasons with them and two seasons with the Cleveland Browns.
Considering quitting football after the 1961 season, Strum, who had become head coach of the Dallas Texans, one of the AFL’s eight original teams, originally said, “If you ever go free , then tell me I’ll put you on my team.” Dawson once told The Springfield News-Leader of Missouri.
Dawson asked Brown to exempt him, and the Texans claimed him. Dawson Texans for their first AFL. In 1962, he was named the league’s Player of the Year in the championship league’s third season with a 20–17 victory over the Houston Oilers in double overtime.
Texans owner Lamar Hunt moved the team to Kansas City for the 1963 season, renamed it the Chiefs, and Dawson renamed the team the AFL. title in 1966, although they lost 35–10 to the Green Bay Packers in the first Super Bowl.
You would never have heard of my name if it weren’t for the hiring of Hank Strom Dawson for Lamar Hunt, once The Kansas City star Dawson retired after the 1975 season with 239 career touchdowns and 28,711 throws Happened.
He did A.F.L. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987; Dawson was a longtime radio analyst for the Kansas City Games and a television broadcaster for NBC and HBO. The Hall of Fame honored him with its Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award in 2012.