The Kansas City Chiefs Are Looking to Bring K.C. Title, Can Anybody Join Them?
When Major League Baseball expansion moved into Missouri in 1969 and birthed the Kansas City Royals, the team name offered two different ideas: nominally, the franchise was named in homage to the American Royal, the annual local event begun in 1899 featuring horse shows, rodeos, livestock shows, parades, pageants, and barbeque competitions. Cosmologically, the Royals were named within the family of regal team names in the city: the NFL’s Chiefs, the former Kansas City Kings of the NBA, and the most-renowned of all Negro League teams, the Kansas City Monarchs. With such imperial lineage, could championship titles not abound?
The Chiefs Won AFL Championships, but 50 Year Later Can the Chiefs Do it in the NFL?
The Chiefs are the oldest of Kansas City’s sports franchises and while most of their success had been in the first generation of the AFL and the early post-merger NFL, they have taken over
the mindspace of KC fans with the dynamic play of quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs were founded as a charter member of the AFL by Lamar Hunt as the Dallas Texans in 1960.
Even after winning the AFL championship in 1962, Hunt could not compete in the market with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and moved to Kansas City to become the Chiefs. Kansas City hoisted its first professional sports championship trophy in 1966 when the Chiefs, under coach Hank Stram and led by quarterback Len Dawson, won the AFL championship. Standouts on defense included a trio of Hall of Famers, Buck Buchanan, Bobby Bell, and Johnny Robinson. The team lost to the Green Bay Packers two weeks later in what would become known as Super Bowl I.
Kansas City would take revenge three years later, winning not only the AFL championship, but also defeating the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV, the final pre-merger AFL-NFL Championship game. The 1969 Chiefs’ squad had added defensive stars Curly Culp and Emmitt Thomas, as well as kicker Jan Stenerud, and survived an injury to Dawson, who returned in time for the post season.
Those were the first and only championships for the Chiefs. Following a playoff appearance in 1971, the Chiefs suffered a 15-year postseason drought. Through the next 35 years, the Chiefs would have their successes among shortcomings; notable players include linebacker Derrick Thomas, running back Christian Okoye, and tight end Tony Gonzalez.
The 1993 squad lost to the Bills for a chance to return to the Super Bowl. Andy Reid was named head coach in 2013 and brought the Chiefs to the playoffs in all but his second season. In 2018, second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes took over the reins and led the team to the AFC Championship game while securing the MVP award.
Mahomes has not been as dominant this season, his second year as starter—and he has been supplanted as the wunderkind by Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson—but Kansas City has won their division and is poised to make noise in the playoffs. The odds of a Kansas City Chiefs’ NFL Championship are +800.
The Brief History of the Kansas City Kings
Through their all too brief stay in Kansas City, the NBA franchise featured stars like Nate “Tiny” Archibald, Otis Birdsong, and Ernie Grunfeld. The team that had been the Rochester and then Cincinnati Royals adopted the name Kings upon arriving in the Paris of the Plains in 1972, and departed as the Sacramento Kings in 1985.
The only championship in franchise history was the 1951 championship won in Rochester. Baseball’s Athletics had an equally short and far less successful layover in Cowtown on their way from Philadelphia to settling in Oakland. The Kansas City A’s never even broke .500. Kansas City has never hosted a major league hockey franchise.
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After Early Success as an Expansion Team, the K.C. Royals Faced a Long Drought
Arriving on the scene in 1969, it only took the Royals eight years to become a powerhouse. With talent like Amos Otis, Hal McRae, and John Mayberry, and rising superstars in George Brett, Frank White, David Cone, and Bret Saberhagen, the team made it to the American League Championship series for three straight years in the late 70s, only to be vanquished by the Yankees each time. In 1980, they broke through, but lost the World Series to the Phillies.
Five years later, they returned to the Fall Classic and defeated their Show Me state neighbors, the St. Louis Cardinals, in the I-70 Series. Yet, it was a swift and long fall from the top for the Blue Crew, as the team spent almost three decades as an AL doormat, never winning as many as 85 games and never sniffing the postseason.
Rebuilding from rock bottom, their young and hungry players made the World Series in 2014, but lost to the Giants. The Royals finally tasted the sweet victory of another championship in 2015, defeating the Mets, behind Salvador Perez, Alex Gordon, Eric Hosmer, Yordano Ventura, and Wade Davis. Since then, the Royals have slid back to their losing ways, dropping more than 100 games in each of the last two seasons.
Mike Matheny takes over as skipper for the rebuilding club with lots of young players and lots of questions. The odds for a 2020 Kansas City Royals World Series championship are +10000. The odds for a Kansas City Title Town double play parlay of the Chiefs and Royals is +90800.