Kansas City Chiefs facts, from Eric Bieniemy’s devotion to their All-Pro picks to Andy Reid’s postseason record and more you might not know
Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt is credited with inventing the term “Super Bowl” in the ’60s to determine the winner of the NFL-AFL championship game. But Hunt, who died in 2006, said it was his daughter Sharron who figured it out while playing with a Wham-O Super Ball in 1966 at the age of 7.
“Super Ball” became “Super Bowl”, which Hunt didn’t like because it sounded too simplistic. But it was definitely a lot better than Commissioner Pete Rozelle’s idea.
He wanted to call it “The Big One”.
The Eagles and Chiefs have only played each other nine times (KC is 5-4 in the series). While we all know their head coach and their superstar quarterback, here are 25 other things to think about ahead of The Big One, ahem, Super Bowl LVII.
There are numerous Chiefs-Eagles connections because of Kansas City coach Andy Reid. General manager Brett Veach’s first NFL job was as Reid’s assistant from 2007 to 2009. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo also broke into the NFL under Reid in 1999, the same year offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy played for the Eagles.
Bieniemy spent the entire 2020 season – from training camp to the Super Bowl, according to Sports Illustrated — at a hotel that isolates his son Eric III from possible COVID-19 exposure. Eric has cerebral palsy and breathing problems, and contracting the disease could have been fatal.
“He’s the heart and soul and core of our family.” Bieniemy told the Kansas City Star in 2018 when his son was 23. “He’s the one who makes us go. If he’s fine, we’re fine. And if he’s not, we’re down. It gives you a whole different perspective on things, on what is important.”
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In Super Bowl I, which Kansas City lost to Green Bay, 35-10, each player on the losing team received $7,500 — about $67,000 today, adjusted for inflation. (Winners received $15,000.) This year, winners receive $157,000 and losers receive $82,000.
Kansas City is 2-2 in the Super Bowl. The Eagles are 1-2.
I wonder if Haason Reddick noticed that ESPN analyst Rex Ryan earlier this week named Kansas City’s Chris Jones the league’s best defensive player this year? Jones had 15½ sacks, the second-highest total for a defensive tackle in the past 20 years. (Aaron Donald had 20½ sacks for the Los Angeles Rams in 2018.)
In October, Houston (Miss.) High School retired the jerseys by two former sports greats: Jones and Terry Catledge, the 76ers’ first-round draft pick in 1985.
However, Ryan noted that Reddick and the Eagles’ pass rush are “historic” in having produced the third-highest sack count (78) in NFL history including the postseason. Kansas City allowed just 26 sacks on 651 pass attempts during the regular season and three of 80 attempts this postseason.
Three players received 49 out of a possible 50 votes for this season’s first-team All-Pro: San Francisco’s Nick Bosa, whom the Eagles just beat, and Patrick Mahomes and Chris Jones, who they will play on Feb. 12.
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Travis Kelce and player Tommy Townsend were also first-team All-Pro for the Chiefs. Left guard Joe Thuney and center Creed Humphrey were called up to the second team. The Eagles All-Pros are Lane Johnson and Jason Kelce on the first team, with Jalen Hurts, AJ Brown, Haason Reddick and James Bradberry on the second team.
Humphrey was the center of hurts in 2019 at the University of Oklahoma. Both were team captains when the Sooners went 12-2 to the College Football Playoffs.
Tuney, the left guard who was with the Patriots from 2016-20, will be playing in his fourth Super Bowl. He’s won two, and he was on the field blocking Fletcher Cox when Tom Brady’s Hail Mary finally fell to the ground at the end of Supe LII as the Eagles beat New England. His last name is pronounced TOO-nee.
Townsend was second in the league in average yards per punt at 50.4, behind Ryan Stonehouse of Tennessee (53.1). Five of Townsend’s eight postseason punts were shot down within the 20. However, none of the eight hit a television camera.
The Chiefs went 14-3 throughout the season despite minus 3 sales margin. The Eagles had the same record, being plus-8 in TOs. KC is plus-4 in the playoffs and his offense hasn’t turned it around. Ditto for the Eagles (up-4, no offensive turnovers).
Kansas City has been 55-3 since 2018 when his opponents score 27 points or less.
Reid didn’t win a Super Bowl here but his tenure as Eagles coach (1999-2012) sparked a revival of the Birds franchise. His 140 wins are by far the most in team history. Greasy Neale (66) is second.
Reid was a lineman who played sparingly at BYU but was coached by offensive innovators LaVell Edwards and Doug Scovil. Scovil later became the Eagles’ assistant coach, helping build Randall Cunningham before the coach died of a heart attack in 1989. Ten years later, Reid was named the Eagles’ head coach.
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Reid’s 21 playoff wins (vs. 16 losses) are second only to Bill Belichick’s 31 (13 losses). Reid is 1-2 in the Super Bowl. Reid’s 37 postseason games are also second to Belichick. A Super Bowl loss would tie Reid with Don Shula for most playoff losses.
Patrick Mahomes won his only game against the Eagles, Throw for five touchdowns in Week 4 last year.
Mahomes’ father was a big league pitcher for 11 years, mostly in the American League. Pat Mahomes played in five games against the Phillies, including a win at Veterans Stadium in 1999 when Patrick was 3 years old.
Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker hit a 62-yard field goal against Buffalo in Week 6, the longest in the NFL this season. He’s scored all five extra points and all five field goals this postseason, including two 50-yarders in the divisional round win over Jacksonville and a 45-yarder against Cincinnati in the AFC championship game.
Norma Hunt, widow of Lamar Hunt, is the only known woman to have attended all 56 Super Bowls.
The Chiefs traded star wide receiver Tyreek Hill and still led the league in total offense (413.6 ypg), passing offense (308.8 ypg), and scoring (29.2 ppg).
With Hill gone, tight end Travis Kelce made an appearance with 110 receptions and 12 touchdowns on 152 goals – all career highs for the 33-year-old future Hall of Famer. He has 21 catches and three touchdowns in two postseason games. The guy is a monster.
Travis is 23 months younger than Eagles center Jason Kelce, who should also be in the Hall of Fame. This will be the first time brothers have played each other in a Super Bowl. Should be something special.
Sources: Inquirer Research, Pro-Football-Reference.com