Card: ProSet 1990 Super Bowl MVP
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Work
Sent: 12/15 Received: 12/31 (16 days)
Failure: 2013, C/o Work
Len Dawson saw a storied NFL career that stretched from the late 50s to the mid 70s. After putting together a strong career at Perdue, Dawson was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers with their #1 pick in 1957. Unable to dislodge Bobby Layne from the starter position, Dawson was traded to the Cleveland Browns in 1960 where he also faced an uphill battle for the starting position under center.
He’d join the rival American Football League in 1962, where he’d become the unquestioned starter of the Dallas Texans. Power plugged into the Texans offense, Dawson immediately turned the franchise into contenders going toe to toe with the Houston Oilers and winning the AFL Championship. Soon thereafter the Texans moved to Kansas City and Len went on to record numerous accolades including league single-game and season records including career touchdowns with 182 for the American Football League.
The AFL had never earned the respect of the NFL brass. They felt that the AFL played an inferior kind of ball- even though Joe Namath led the Jets to victory the previous year in Super Bowl III. While the Chiefs appeared to be snake bitten all season long- with injuries to Len or just plain bad luck, they made the playoffs, after not even winning their division. The Chiefs then dethroned the Jets on their home field in the first round, and then beat the Raiders on the road in Oakland – after not even beating them during the regular season. The hard fought victory, didn’t bring the Chiefs any respect. In fact, most media and sports writers had predicted that the Minnesota Vikings were going to roll Kansas City in Super Bowl IV.
Instead, KC which had become used to the underdog role, relished in victory, smothering the Vikings 23-7. Dawson paced the Chiefs throwing for 142 yards and a TD on 12 of 17 passing, earning himself MVP honors- all while under duress of a gambling probe that was proven unfounded. Dawson avenged himself for his previous loss to the NFL, when the Chiefs lost to the Packers in Super Bowl I.
Len played an additional 5 more seasons retiring after the 1975 season- after 19 seasons.
Len is incredibly popular in Kansas City Chiefs’ lore. He had his number retired and was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame. Dawson has done color commentary and insider reporting in the NFL for many years. In 1987 Len was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He also worked as a sports anchor for many years in Kansas City.
8/24/22- Len Dawson was moved to hospice in the last few days, where he passed away at the age of 87.