Fifty years ago in 1970, I can recall the Kansas City Chiefs winning the Super Bowl over the Minnesota Vikings.
I’m an old-school guy and love the sentimentality behind this year’s game. You already know the storybook script here. If you need a reference, think about the Jets’ 51-year streak.
Those were the then offensive-innovative Chiefs under the stirring head coach Hank Stram and the calming presence of quarterback Len Dawson. It was Stram with the rolled-up play sheet in his hand, and Dawson having his teammates face him in a then en vogue huddle.
Six-foot-three lanky Otis Taylor was part of a new breed of receiver, and Ed Podolak was a workhorse running back.
Their defense had their share of stars with defensive tackle Buck Buchanan, linebacker Bobby Bell, cornerback Emmett Thomas, and safety Johnny Robinson.
A veteran Minnesota team was a heavy 13-point favorite in the Chiefs’ 23-7 victory. Kansas City had all the making of a short-run dynasty, but it never materialized.
The Vikings had journeyman quarterback Joe Kapp, a grind-it-out running game behind a veteran offensive line, and the tenacious “Purple People Easters” defense filled with all-pros and some Hall of Famers.
Needless to say, the Vikings never won their big prize, but they had a nice run with three more Super Bowl appearances.
Fifty years later, the Chiefs could be in the same situation Sunday evening in Miami.
Minnesota won’t be there, but an upstart San Francisco team will be.
Veteran Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid isn’t Hank Stram, but he is the guy America will likely root for. I was in Philadelphia during his run there and admittedly wasn’t a fan of his postseason flops there.
Last season, I believed Reid would finally get to the Promised Land against New England in the championship game. His team remarkably scored 31 second-half points and appeared on the doorstep when an offsides penalty shut the door on Reid.
The fatherly 61-year-old with 207 career wins and destined Hall of Fame coach appears to be further on the threshold this time around.
His offense is one of the league’s all-time best with its quick-strike accuracy behind Patrick Mahomes, arguably the league’s best young and overall quarterback.
Defensive coordinator and former Giants’ defensive boss Steve Spagnuolo has his unit playing better over the last six weeks. Just look at what they did to Tennessee’s Derrick Henry in the second half of that
San Francisco is a near mirror image of Kansas City with a budding team on both sides of the ball.
The 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo is in the same class as Mahomes as a young star in the league and rookie defensive end Nick Bosa and veteran cornerback Richard Sherman have stirred their newfound elixir to perfection. Ironically, it’s 25 years since San Francisco won their last crown.
Somehow, though, I’m feeling Chiefs on this one.
A Kansas City victory ends a 50-year drought and brings a good-feel ending to the season.
If you remember 1970, you know what I’m talking about.
Let’s hope it’s a good game with plenty of storylines in a 30-27 Chiefs’ victory.
Around here, it should be good to watch Kansas City break their long streak, and only hope the Jets can
break their 50-plus one soon.