Chiefs Kingdom mourns the loss of the Hunt family matriarch, Norma Hunt

AFC Championship - Tennessee Titans v Kansas City Chiefs
AFC Championship - Tennessee Titans v Kansas City Chiefs / David Eulitt/GettyImages

On Sunday, the Hunt family announced the passing of matriarch Norma Hunt. She's known to Kansas City Chiefs faithful as the widow of team founder Lamar Hunt and the mother of current chairman and CEO Clark Hunt. While the cause of death has not been announced, we can say is that this is a massive loss for the Kingdom and for the NFL-at-large.

One of Norma's most well-documented exploits is that she's attended all 57 of the league championship games her husband coined the "Super Bowl." In fact, she's the only woman to have done so. Lamar passed away in mid-December of 2006, but they were fortunate to have attended 40 of those Super Bowls together. It's fitting that the last of which, was a 38-35 victory for her beloved Kansas City Chiefs.

It's impossible to tell the story of the National Football League without the legacy of the Hunt family. As a former schoolteacher and hostess for the Dallas Texans, she and Lamar wed in 1964. Three years ago, Norma had this to say about her husband, the value of the AFL-NFL merger, and the trajectory of the Super Bowl:

"In 1966, (at) the press conference for the merger between the American Football League and the National Football League, he said, 'I believe that this game will become one of the most important sporting events in America.' And later, after going to many Super Bowls — we saw 40 together. He said, 'You know, I didn't know the whole truth. It's so much more amazing than I could ever have dreamed.' He loved every bit of it. He loved sports, period. He especially loved football and this team. It was just the greatest privilege to have been able. We played in Super Bowl I but did not win, but we won Super Bowl IV so he knew the joy. This is the epitome of shared joy. "

Norma Hunt

Norma was the connective tissue between the two great leaders of the Kansas City Chiefs organization. She was also a lover of sports in her own right according to the Hunt family. During the course of her life, she was part and parcel of the Hunt family's interests in Major League Soccer, the North American Soccer League, World Championship Tennis and the National Basketball Association (with the Chicago Bulls). Norma even deserves partial credit for the naming of the NFL's Super Bowl. It was her who purchased a Super Ball for her kids and that served as Lamar's inspiration for the name he gave to arguably the biggest game in all of professional sports.

In the wake of Norma Hunt's passing, there's no better time to look back at some of the wonderful contributions she and her family have made to both the cities of Kansas City and Dallas. That legacy extends beyond the sports world. The Hunt family under the auspices of Lamar's company Mid-America Enterprises, also founded Worlds of Fun, a 235-acre entertainment complex, in Kansas City. The family later added Oceans of Fun the world's largest water park when it opened in 1982. It was adjacent to Worlds of Fun and stayed under family control until 1995 when it was sold to Cedar Fair.

Norma was profiled in the NFL Films documentary "A Lifetime of Sundays" back in 2019. The project was part of celebrating the league's 100th year and featured the stories of four prominent women owners of the NFL: Virginia Halas McCaskey (Chicago Bears), Martha Ford (Detroit Lions), Patricia Rooney (Pittsburgh Steelers) and Norma Hunt (Kansas City Chiefs).

In the documentary, Norma serves as a great historian of some of the most seminal moments in team history. The NFL has suffered a great loss, but Norma Hunt leaves behind a largely unparalleled legacy as the "First Lady of Football." Chiefs Kingdom is lucky to be following an organization helmed by one of the foundational families of the sport. One can only pray that provides some solace in the loss of one of its iconic members.