Kansas City’s first star: Lenny the Cool

Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 7:06 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - So many of us Kansas Citians mourning the loss of Len Dawson never actually watched him play football.

We’ve seen the grainy Super Bowl highlights from 50 years ago, but the iconic legacy of Len Dawson has really stood the test of the time because of the way he represented us.

Here in Kansas City, our heroes are like royalty. Unlike teams in New York or L.A., who can seemingly buy fan favorites every other year, Kansas City has known life without a national star and doesn’t take their time for granted.

And, Dawson was this city’s first true star.

When every parent in Kansas City tells their kid the story of the Chiefs, it’s a tale synonymous with Lenny the Cool.

Beyond just the coolest picture ever, Dawson was Kansas City. He was the face of the franchise and the national voice of the team for decades. He was the connection between generations of fans.

But, he still always stayed true to his humble roots and made everyone in town feel appreciated, not forgotten.

A life that started as a quarterback with unmatched swagger, poise and leadership... Evolved into a TV broadcaster for millions across the country and a comforting voice on the radio for Chiefs games.

Now, the Pro Football Hall of Fame flies their flag at half staff in Dawson’s honor.

Perhaps a more fitting example of his legacy began 47 years ago, however.

Dawson retired from the Chiefs in 1975 and no one has ever worn the number 16 since.

When it comes to leaving a lasting legacy, you won’t find any cooler than Lenny the Cool.

Additional coverage:

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‘He was all class’: Local broadcasters remember Len Dawson

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