NEW ORLEANS, LA – JANUARY 11: Len Dawson #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs huddles up with his offense against the Minnesota Vikings during Super Bowl IV on January 11, 1970 at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Chiefs won the Super Bowl 23-7. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
1. Chiefs win Super Bowl (1969)
The 1960s were peculiar to say the least and for so many reasons. Looking back, they were especially incredible from a sports nut’s standpoint. You had the beginning of UCLA’s basketball dynasty, you had Cassius Clay’s prophetic victories (which were the equivalent of Babe Ruth’s pointing to where he would hit a homer)… and you had Joe Namath promising a victory in Super Bowl III and then delivering. Also, as the 60s came to a close, the question loomed: are AFL teams good enough to hang with NFL teams?
In Super Bowl IV, the Kansas City Chiefs answered that question with a resounding yes.
The Minnesota Vikings were the bridesmaids of the era. Their defensive line of Carl Eller, Alan Page, Jim Marshall and Gary Larsen were one of the best in the history of the game and at that time were known as the Purple People Eaters (a name borrowed from a 1950’s hit song). Most publications touted that the “Purple People Eaters” would devour the hapless Chiefs. However, by game’s end, the only thing Minnesota swallowed was their pride.
Once the game began, you couldn’t help but cheer for a team as diverse in their play calling as anyone had ever seen. Plus, the Chiefs had a cast of characters that were as interesting a collection as you’d ever hope to find in Len Dawson, Warren McVea, Fred Arbanas, Ed Podolak, Jarrell Wilson, Jan Stenerud, Wendell Hayes, Jim Kearney, Jim Lynch, Willie Lanier, Buck Buchanan, Emmitt Thomas, Bobby Bell and Curly Culp to name a few.
The signature moment was receiver Otis Taylor catching his 46-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline, not only evading the corner who was on him but his juke on the safety before finishing his sprint to the end zone. Instantly, Otis Taylor became a household name.
However, not until years later did the win’s significance become clear.