Leonard Ray Dawson (born June 20, 1935) is a former American football quarterback and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He played 19 seasons for three professional teams, the last 14 seasons with the Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs, and played college football at Purdue University.
Dawson led the Texans/Chiefs to three American Football League Championships (1962, 1966, 1969), and a victory in Super Bowl IV over the Minnesota Vikings, for which he won the game's MVP award. Dawson retired from professional football after the 1975 season, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987. He is former sports director at KMBC-TV in Kansas City and former color analyst for the Chiefs Radio Network. Dawson owned the Chiefs single season passing touchdown record which he set in 1964 with 30 touchdowns. The record stood until November 11, 2018 when Patrick Mahomes threw his 31st touchdown of the 2018 season.
Dawson in 2014
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|Born:||June 20, 1935|
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||190 lb (86 kg)|
|High school:||Alliance (OH)|
|NFL Draft:||1957 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career professional statistics|
Dawson was the ninth of 11 children of Ohio native James and England-born Annie Dawson. He attended Alliance High School in Alliance, Ohio. He was MVP of the football team and was named outstanding Ohio back of the year by the International News Service. A three-sport athlete, Dawson set school records in football and in basketball, and was the first athlete in 13 years to be named first-team all-state in both sports during the same year.
During the recruiting process, Dawson had to choose between Ohio State University in Columbus and Purdue University in Indiana. While he was reluctant to take over Woody Hayes' split-T offense with the Buckeyes, the true reason for his selection of Purdue stemmed from the chemistry he had established with a Boilermaker assistant coach, Hank Stram, beginning a friendship that would last for more than a half century. During three seasons with the Boilermakers, Dawson threw for over 3,000 yards, leading the Big Ten Conference in that category during each campaign. While at Purdue, Dawson was initiated into the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.
As a sophomore in 1954, Dawson put together an outstanding first season as the NCAA's leader in pass efficiency, while also playing defense and serving as the Boilermaker kicker. Blessed with a strong offensive line, he threw four touchdown passes in a 31-0 victory over the University of Missouri, then later engineered a huge upset of the University of Notre Dame, which had entered the contest on a 13-game winning streak.
Despite being a first round pick in the 1957 NFL Draft, Dawson was unable to make an impact with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Following his rookie campaign, his status in the Steel City became even more tenuous when the Steelers acquired future Hall of Famer Bobby Layne early in the 1958 season.
After encountering similar problems in battling Browns' quarterback Milt Plum, Dawson was released, having completed only 21 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns in his five seasons of NFL play.
In that first season, 1962, Dawson led the league in touchdowns and yards per attempt, and was The Sporting News' selection as the AFL MVP. He also led Dallas to the first of three league titles in a thrilling double-overtime victory over the two-time defending champion Oilers in Houston. Dawson ran a ball-control offense in the 20-17 win, and tossed a 28-yard touchdown pass to halfback Abner Haynes. The team then moved north to Kansas City and were renamed The Chiefs in 1963. Dawson was also selected by his peers as a Sporting News 1966 AFL All-League player.
A pinpoint passer, Dawson's mobility helped him flourish in Stram's "moving pocket" offense. He would win 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 football quarterback during that time. In 1966, Dawson led the Chiefs to an 11-2-1 record and a 31-7 win over the Buffalo Bills in the AFL championship game, earning his team the honor of representing the AFL in Super Bowl I, the first championship game between the AFL and their NFL rivals. The NFL champion Green Bay Packers won easily, 35-10, but Dawson had a fairly good performance in the game, completing 16 of 27 passes for 210 yards and one touchdown, with one interception.
While he threw for more than 2,000 yards in each of the previous seven campaigns, Dawson's 1969 season with Kansas City would be his most memorable by making a dramatic comeback from a knee injury suffered in the season's second game. The injury was first feared as season-ending, but after missing five games, Dawson went on to lead the Chiefs to road playoff victories over both the defending champion New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders.
He then capped his year with MVP accolades in Super Bowl IV, the last game ever played by an American Football League team. In the game, Dawson paced the Chiefs to a win over the NFL's heavily favored Minnesota Vikings by completing 12 of 17 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown, with 1 interception, and rushing for 11 yards. The performance was especially notable given the fact that he had been linked to a gambling investigation (by an unrelated gentleman who was named Donald Dawson) in the days leading up to the game.
With the league's absorption into the National Football League in 1970, Dawson earned one final honor from the league as a member of the second team All-time All-AFL Team. He is also a member of the Chiefs' Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He would earn Pro Bowl honors following the 1971 NFL season, then ended his career in 1975, having completed 2,136 of 3,741 passes for 28,711 yards and 239 touchdowns, with 181 interceptions. He also gained 1,293 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns on the ground. On November 1, 1970, the Chiefs led the Oakland Raiders 17-14 late in the fourth quarter. Facing third and long, a run by Dawson apparently sealed victory for the Chiefs, but as Dawson lay on the ground, he was speared by Raiders’ defensive end Ben Davidson, who dove into Dawson with his helmet, provoking Chiefs’ receiver Otis Taylor to attack Davidson. After a bench-clearing brawl, offsetting penalties were called, nullifying the first down under the rules in effect at that time. The Chiefs were obliged to punt, and the Raiders tied the game on a George Blanda field goal with eight seconds to play. Taylor’s retaliation against Davidson not only cost the Chiefs a win, but Oakland won the AFC West with a season record of 8-4-2, while Kansas City finished 7-5-2 and out of the playoffs.
Dawson announced his retirement in May 1976, shortly before turning 41.
In 1966, while still playing for the Chiefs, Dawson became sports director at KMBC-TV in Kansas City. On March 16, 2009, Dawson announced he would step down from anchoring on a nightly basis. He will still report for KMBC during the Chiefs football season and will fill in when other anchors are on leave. From 1985 to 2017, Dawson was the color analyst for the Chiefs radio broadcast team.
In 1987, Dawson was recognized for his play with the Chiefs with his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In 2012, Dawson was honored with the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award for his longtime contributions as a sports broadcaster.
Today, Len works at KMBC, a Kansas City news station, as a sports anchor.
Dawson was married to his high school sweetheart, Jackie, in 1954; they were married 24 years, until her death in 1978 at age 42 (she had suffered a stroke the previous year). They have two grown children, Lisa Anne and Len Jr. Dawson is married to his second wife, Linda, and they live in Kansas City.
The 1954 Purdue Boilermakers football team was an American football team that represented Purdue University during the 1954 Big Ten Conference football season. In their eighth season under head coach Stu Holcomb, the Boilermakers compiled a 5–3–1 record, finished in approximately sixth place in the Big Ten Conference with a 3–3 record against conference opponents, and outscored all opponents by a combined total of about 165 to 134.Notable players on the 1954 Purdue team included quarterback Len Dawson, guard Tom Bettis, and end John Kerr.1955 Purdue Boilermakers football team
The 1955 Purdue Boilermakers football team was an American football team that represented Purdue University during the 1955 Big Ten Conference football season. In their ninth and final season under head coach Stu Holcomb, the Boilermakers compiled a 5–3–1 record, finished in fourth place in the Big Ten Conference with a 4–2–1 record against conference opponents, and outscored all opponents by a combined total of 113 to 103.Notable players on the 1955 Purdue team included quarterback Len Dawson, end Lamar Lundy, tackle Joe Krupa, and back Bill Murakowski.1956 Purdue Boilermakers football team
The 1956 Purdue Boilermakers football team was an American football team that represented Purdue University during the 1956 Big Ten Conference football season. In their first year under head coach Jack Mollenkopf, the Boilermakers compiled a 3–4–2 record, finished in a tie for seventh place in the Big Ten Conference with a 1–4–2 record against conference opponents, and outscored all opponents by a combined total of 139 to 122.Notable players on the 1956 Purdue team include quarterback Len Dawson, fullback Mel Dillard, and end Lamar Lundy.1968 Kansas City Chiefs season
The 1968 Kansas City Chiefs season was the 9th season for the Kansas City Chiefs as a professional AFL franchise; They finished with a 12–2 record, resulting in a tie for first place in the AFL Western Division with the Oakland Raiders, before the Raiders won the championship in a tiebreaker playoff, defeating the Chiefs 41–6. A location in Eastern Jackson County was chosen as the site and groundbreaking ceremonies took place in July with plans calling for a unique rolling roof design.
The 1968 Chiefs boasted one of the finest defenses ever assembled by the club, allowing an AFL record (and still franchise-low) 170 points, or 12.1 points per game. The nucleus of the defensive unit was clearly in its prime, producing six AFL All-Stars, including all three of the squad's linebackers.
Offensively, quarterback Len Dawson led the AFL in passing for the fourth time. Guard Ed Budde won the AFL Offensive Player of the Week award for the October 20 game against the Raiders. It was the first time the award was given to an interior lineman.
The Chiefs began the season with a 7–1 record and rattled off five straight victories to close the regular season at 12–2, sharing the division crown with the Raiders and setting up their playoff on December 22, in which the Raiders advanced to the AFL Championship Game against the New York Jets. The loss to Oakland was a major event in the Chiefs' rivalry with the Raiders, one of the NFL's most storied feuds.1969 Kansas City Chiefs season
The 1969 Kansas City Chiefs season was the team's 10th, their 7th in Kansas City, and also their final season in the American Football League. It resulted in an 11–3 record and a 23–7 victory in Super Bowl IV over the NFL's heavily favored Minnesota Vikings. The team beat their rivals, the Oakland Raiders in the final AFL Championship Game, claiming their third AFL Championship in franchise history. The Chiefs were coached by Hank Stram, led by quarterback Len Dawson and a powerful defense led by Bobby Bell, Willie Lanier, Buck Buchanan, Emmitt Thomas, Johnny Robinson and Curley Culp. The Chiefs' defense became the fourth defense in the history of pro football to lead its league in fewest rushing yards, fewest passing yards and fewest total yards. The Chiefs were the second AFL team to win the Super Bowl and last AFL team to do so before the AFL-NFL Merger in the following season.
The season was marred not only by an injury to quarterback Len Dawson but also controversy surrounding Dawson and his purported involvement in a sports gambling ring. Back-up quarterback Mike Livingston and the Chiefs' stellar defense led the Chiefs back to the Super Bowl, this time, to win it all.
Along with owner Lamar Hunt, nine future Hall of Famers were members of the 1969 Chiefs, including QB Len Dawson, LBs Willie Lanier and Bobby Bell, DT Buck Buchanan, DT Curley Culp, CB Emmitt Thomas, S Johnny Robinson, K Jan Stenerud, and Coach Hank Stram.
In 2006, the 1969 Kansas City Chiefs were ranked as the 18th greatest Super Bowl champions on the NFL Network's documentary America's Game: The Super Bowl Champions.In 2007, ESPN.com ranked the 1969 Chiefs as the seventh-greatest defense in NFL history, noting "Hank Stram's 'Triple Stack' defense, which gave the linebackers lots of room to roam, was superb, holding five opponents to fewer than 10 points and giving up an average of less than two touchdowns a game.... Then they got serious. Against the [defending] Super Bowl champion Jets in the AFL divisional playoff game at Shea Stadium, the Chiefs held on for a 13–6 victory, thanks to a remarkable three-play goal line stand that stifled the Jets on the one. After losing twice to the Raiders during the regular season, the Chiefs allowed a single touchdown, in the first quarter, to win the AFL title over Oakland 17–7. The Chiefs defense then stifled the Vikings in the Super Bowl, allowing only two rushing first downs and picking off three passes in the fourth quarter to win 23–7. Total points against the Chiefs in the playoffs: 20." Kansas City is the only team in the Super Bowl era to win the title without allowing as much as 10 points in any postseason game.1972 Kansas City Chiefs season
The 1972 Kansas City Chiefs season was the franchise's 3rd season in the National Football League, the 10th as the Kansas City Chiefs, and the 13th overall. It would begin with the Chiefs moving into the newly constructed Arrowhead Stadium and ended with an 8–6 record and second-place finish in the AFC West.
The Chiefs introduced the newly completed Arrowhead Stadium to the general public. The last original member of the 1960 Dallas Texans team departed on July 12 when safety Johnny Robinson announced his retirement at training camp. Meanwhile, starting quarterback Len Dawson ended speculation about his retirement by signing a two-year contract. Franchise owner Lamar Hunt became the first AFL figure to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on July 29.After two different construction strikes and a myriad of other delays, Arrowhead Stadium was officially dedicated on August 12, when the Chiefs registered a 24–14 preseason victory against the St. Louis Cardinals. Running back Ed Podolak scored the first touchdown in the facility. Regular season ticket prices for the team's first season at Arrowhead were USD$8 for box seats and $7 for reserved seating.On September 17, the Chiefs lost a 20–10 decision against Miami (the first win in Miami's perfect season) in the first official game at the new Arrowhead Stadium, in front of a crowd of 79,829. A standing-room-only crowd of 82,094 was in attendance for a 27–14 victory against Oakland on November 5, the largest “in-house” attendance total for an NFL contest in Arrowhead's history. After a 5–3 start, a three-game losing streak effectively eliminated the club from playoff contention. An 8–6 record was only good enough for a second-place finish in the AFC West behind Oakland. Linebacker Willie Lanier became the first Chiefs player to receive the prestigious NFL Man of the Year Award in the offseason.In week six, the Chiefs dropped a shocking 21–20 decision at home to the lowly Philadelphia Eagles, who entered the game 0–5 and would win only once more (also a one-point victory over the Houston Oilers, who finished 1–13). It would be the only time the Chiefs and Eagles met until 1992, and Kansas City would never visit Philadelphia before 1998.1973 Kansas City Chiefs season
The 1973 Kansas City Chiefs season was the franchise's 4th season in the National Football League, the 11th as the Kansas City Chiefs, and the 14th overall. they finished with a 7–5–2 record and missed the playoffs for the 2nd straight year.
The defense kept the club in contention thanks to a nucleus that still included the bulk of the squad's Super Bowl IV starters. Quarterback Mike Livingston started in a 23–13 Opening Day loss against the Los Angeles Rams on September 16, but Len Dawson returned to rally the club for three consecutive wins to get the club off to a 3–1 start for a third consecutive year. The aging Len Dawson made his final start of the year in a 23–14 loss at Buffalo on October 29 and was replaced for the remainder of the year by Livingston, beginning a string of three straight seasons in which both players split time at the position.Livingston led the club to another three straight wins, putting the team in first place in mid-November with a 6–3–1 record. A 1–2–1 ledger over the season’s final month ended the club’s post-season aspirations as the team finished the year in a second-place tie with Denver at 7–5–2. Len Dawson became the second Chiefs player in as many years to win the NFL Man of the Year Award. Following Super Bowl VIII, The AFC-NFC Pro Bowl was held at Arrowhead Stadium on January 20 with the AFC claiming a 15–13 win thanks to five field goals from Miami placekicker Garo Yepremian.1974 Kansas City Chiefs season
The 1974 Kansas City Chiefs season was the franchise's 5th season in the National Football League, the 12th as the Kansas City Chiefs, and the 15th overall, it ended with a 5–9 record and the Chiefs missed the playoffs for the 3rd straight year and third-place finish in the AFC West, Hank Stram was fired after the season and was replaced by Paul Wiggin in 1975.
While the club's sparkling new facility at Arrowhead Stadium was drawing rave reviews, the Chiefs roster was beginning to show its age. The result was the team's first losing season in 11 years as the club was unable to string together consecutive victories during the year, a first in franchise history. Many of the club's key players were entering the twilight of their careers: Len Dawson was 39, Jim Tyrer was 35, Bobby Bell, Buck Buchanan, and Ed Budde were 34, Dave Hill was 33 and Otis Taylor was 32.One of the year's few bright spots in the 5–9 season was cornerback Emmitt Thomas, who led the league with a franchise-record 12 interceptions. The final game of the 1974 campaign marked the final time all seven of Kansas City's Pro Football Hall of Fame players from the club's AFL champion era took the field together with coach Hank Stram. Including owner Lamar Hunt and seven future Minnesota Vikings Hall of Famers, an amazing total of 16 Hall of Fame inductees were involved in that 1974 season finale game. That 35–15 loss against Minnesota provided an anticlimactic conclusion to Hank Stram's illustrious coaching career in Kansas City. Three days later, Stram, the only head coach in franchise history was relieved of his duties on December 27 after compiling a 124–76–10 regular season record with the club.1975 Kansas City Chiefs season
The 1975 Kansas City Chiefs season was the franchise's 6th season in the National Football League, the 13th as the Kansas City Chiefs, and the 16th overall, it ended with a second consecutive 5–9 record and the Chiefs missed the playoffs for the 4th straight year.
San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Paul Wiggin was named the second head coach in franchise history on January 23. A former Pro Bowl defensive end for the Cleveland Browns, Wiggin inherited the unenviable task of rebuilding a squad whose pool of talent had been largely depleted due to age and a number of ill-fated trades that had left the club devoid of first-round draft choices in 1973 and 1975. After an 0–3 start to the season, Wiggin directed the Chiefs to three straight wins, beginning with a convincing 42–10 victory against the Raiders on October 12. The highlight of the season was a 34–31 upset win at Dallas on Monday Night Football. The club could not maintain the early success; Owning a 5–5 record heading into the homestretch of the season, injuries to a number of key players crippled the team. The team dropped its final four contests of the year to finish at 5–9 for the second consecutive season. The regular season finale at Oakland marked the final games in the Hall of Fame careers of Len Dawson and Buck Buchanan.History of Kansas City Chiefs quarterbacks
31 quarterbacks have started for the National Football League's Kansas City Chiefs since their franchise began. The team has also had numerous backup quarterbacks that have stolen the spotlight from the starters.Under Len Dawson, the Texans/Chiefs won three American Football League championships and appeared in two Super Bowl championship games. Dawson was named Most Valuable Player following the Chiefs' victory in Super Bowl IV. Dawson played a total of 13 seasons with Kansas City and retired with many franchise records. Despite never having success in developing and drafting a quality quarterback of their own, the Chiefs have achieved success under many veteran quarterbacks, including Dave Krieg, Joe Montana, Elvis Grbac, Trent Green and Alex Smith. The Chiefs have often relied on veteran leadership at the position.List of Fiesta Bowl broadcasters
Television network, play-by-play and color commentator(s) for the Fiesta Bowl. The Fiesta Bowl began in 1971, but was considered a “minor bowl” until the January 1, 1982 game between Penn State–USC. Since then, the Fiesta Bowl has been considered a major bowl.
Starting with the 2010-11 season, ESPN started airing the games, out bidding Fox for the rights to the games.List of Kansas City Chiefs records
This article details statistics relating to the Kansas City Chiefs National Football League (NFL) American football team, including career, single season and games records.List of Kansas City Chiefs starting quarterbacks
The Kansas City Chiefs are a professional American football team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs are a member of the Western Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League (NFL). Originally named the Dallas Texans, the club was founded by Lamar Hunt in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League. In 1963, the team moved to Kansas City, Missouri and were renamed the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs have had 37 different starting quarterbacks in their franchise's history, 21 of which have started at least 10 games. Cotton Davidson was the team's first starting quarterback; he played all 14 games for the Texans in their inaugural 1960 season. Davidson played with the franchise from 1960 to 1962, and was traded in 1963 to the Oakland Raiders. Len Dawson signed with on July 2, 1962 and played for the franchise for 14 seasons. With Dawson as the team's starter, the Texans/Chiefs won three American Football League championships and appeared in two Super Bowl championship games. Dawson was named Most Valuable Player after the Chiefs' victory in Super Bowl IV and retired in 1975 with several franchise records. Three future Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinees played for Kansas City: Dawson, Joe Montana, and Warren Moon. In the 2008 season, the Chiefs started three quarterbacks: Brodie Croyle, Damon Huard, and Tyler Thigpen. After Croyle and Huard were sidelined by injuries, Thigpen played in eleven games, winning one and losing ten. In 2009 and 2010, Matt Cassel started 15 of 16 games each season, while Croyle started the other 2 games.List of NFL on NBC commentator pairings
The first name that's slated is the play-by-play man while the color commentator or commentators are slated second and sideline reporters, if used, are slated last.List of National Football League annual pass completion percentage leaders
This is a list of National Football League quarterbacks who have led the regular season in pass completion percentage each year. The record for completion percentage in a season is held by Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints who completed 74.4% of his passes in 2018. Five quarterbacks have led the NFL in completion percentage in four different seasons (Sammy Baugh, Bart Starr, Joe Montana, Steve Young, Drew Brees), and one player (Len Dawson) achieved the same feat in the AFL. Otto Graham led the AAFC in 1947 and the NFL three times (1953-1955).List of National Football League annual passer rating leaders
This is a list of National Football League quarterbacks who have led the regular season in passer rating each year. The record for highest passer rating in a season is held by Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers who had 122.5 in 2011. Steve Young is the only quarterback to lead the NFL in passer rating in six different seasons. Len Dawson achieved the same feat in the AFL.List of National Football League annual passing touchdowns leaders
This is a list of National Football League quarterbacks who have led the regular season in passing touchdowns each year. The record for touchdown passes in a season is held by Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos who threw 55 in 2013. Six quarterbacks have led the NFL in passing touchdowns in four different seasons (Johnny Unitas, Steve Young, Brett Favre, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady), and one player (Len Dawson) achieved the same feat in the American Football League, the AFL.Ross Fichtner
Ross William Fichtner (born October 26, 1938) is an American football former cornerback in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns and New Orleans Saints. He played college football at Purdue University where he succeeded Len Dawson as the starting quarterback; he twice led the Boilermakers in passing (1957 & 1958) & total offense (1957 & 1958). He played in the Blue-Gray Game following the 1959 season. He is also the father of Randy Fichtner, who was the receivers coach and is currently the offensive co-ordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers.Super Bowl IV
Super Bowl IV, the fourth and final AFL-NFL World Championship Game in professional American football, was played on January 11, 1970, at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana. The American Football League (AFL) champion Kansas City Chiefs defeated the National Football League (NFL) champion Minnesota Vikings by the score of 23–7. This victory by the AFL squared the Super Bowl series with the NFL at two games apiece. The two leagues merged into one after the game.
Despite the AFL's New York Jets winning the previous season's Super Bowl, many sports writers and fans thought it was a fluke and continued to believe that the NFL was still superior to the AFL, and thus fully expected the Vikings to defeat the Chiefs; the Vikings entered the Super Bowl as 12.5 to 13-point favorites. Minnesota posted a 12–2 record during the 1969 NFL season before defeating the Cleveland Browns, 27–7, in the 1969 NFL Championship Game. The Chiefs, who previously appeared in the first Super Bowl, finished the 1969 AFL season at 11–3, and defeated the Oakland Raiders, 17–7, in the 1969 AFL Championship Game.
Under wet conditions, the Chiefs defense dominated Super Bowl IV by limiting the Minnesota offense to only 67 rushing yards, forcing three interceptions, and recovering two fumbles. Kansas City's Len Dawson became the fourth consecutive winning quarterback to be named Super Bowl MVP. He completed 12 of 17 passes for 142 yards and one touchdown, with one interception. Dawson also recorded three rushing attempts for 11 yards.
Super Bowl IV is also notable for NFL Films miking up the Chiefs' Hank Stram during the game, the first time that a head coach had worn a microphone during a Super Bowl.
|Led the league|
|AFL & Super Bowl champion|
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Len Dawson—awards and honors