The Game Before the Money Radio Show remembered legendary quarterback Len Dawson and went over the pinnacle of his career, Super Bowl IV. The show airs on the SportsMap Radio Network on Saturday mornings at 11 am Eastern, 8 Pacific and is hosted by football historian Jackson Michael.
Little Known Facts About Super Bowl IV
A few things aren’t covered much about Super Bowl IV and that season for the Chiefs. Len Dawson missed a month of that year with a knee injury.
Kansas City actually finished second in their division. They beat the New York Jets in a playoff and then defeated the Oakland Raiders in the AFL Championship Game. That was the only year that the AFL had a four-team playoff structure, and many AFL fans thought that the third-best team was the team that made the Super Bowl. Many people felt the Jets and Raiders were better than the Chiefs. In some aspects, the Kansas City Chiefs were the first wildcard team to win the Super Bowl. (Although the term “wildcard” wasn’t adopted yet until after the 1970 AFL-NFL merger).
The night before Super Bowl IV, Len Dawson was kept awake by stomach cramps.
Kansas City Chiefs Beat Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV
An important part of the Kansas City game plan that day was to neutralize Minnesota’s great defensive line, known as the Purple People Eaters. Part of that plan was to double-team defensive ends Carl Eller and Jim Marshall. They had two blockers on each of them.Embed from Getty Images
Now, if you watch a lot of NFL films like I did as a kid, the “65 Toss Power Trap” play is the most famous play of that game, and the Chiefs scored a touchdown on that play call. But the unsung play call of that game was the “52 Reverse Go”. That was a reverse run by Frank Pitts that Dawson called to get two key first downs. Both first downs led to scores. The second was followed by Otis Taylor’s famous touchdown that made it 23-7 in favor of the Chiefs.Embed from Getty Images
Len Dawson’s Legendary Career With Kansas City Chiefs
President Nixon called the winning locker room after the Super Bowl and congratulated Len Dawson. Dawson characteristically gave credit to his teammates. Super Bowl IV was likely the pinnacle of Dawson’s career. Dawson never returned to the Super Bowl. He retired after the 1975 season and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, not too far from his hometown of Alliance, Ohio. He was inducted as part of the 1987 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.
Len Dawson is the Chiefs career record holder in passing yards and passing touchdowns.
Hear More on The Game Before the Money Podcast:
Looking for a great NFL history book? Check out The Game Before the Money: Voices of the Men Who Built the NFL available at — Amazon.com – Barnes and Noble – University of Nebraska Press
Like sports history? Listen to The Game Before the Money Podcast! Most episodes include stories from legendary football stars.