Len Dawson, a Hall of Fame quarterback who played professional football for 19 seasons, has officially been placed into hospice care.
The historic figure’s wife, Linda Dawson, confirmed last week to multiple news outlets that her husband entered a hospice facility in Kansas City. Considering the immeasurable impact Dawson had on both the NFL and the American Football League, fans are sad to be informed of his state.
Although his impact on the entire league is immeasurable, the 87-year-old is most often recognized for being the Kansas City Chiefs’ first-ever starting quarterback. He began leading the franchise in 1962 and helped the team earn three AFL championships. Additionally, he assisted the team in their first-ever Super Bowl victory during Super Bowl IV.
Moreover, he was honored as Super Bowl IV’s Most Valuable Player in the Chiefs’ victory over the Minnesota Vikings and to this day, holds the team’s record for most touchdown passes and passing yards. Up until 2018, he held the record for the Chiefs’ single-season passing touchdown record.
Len Dawson’s impact on the Kansas City Chief franchise
In 1975, Dawson announced that he would be stepping down from professional football. His final stats stand at 2,136 of 3,741 passes for 28,711 yards and 239 touchdowns, and 181 interceptions. To this day, he is recognized as one of the best players to ever see the Kansas City Chiefs.
He was introduced into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1987 and largely paid tribute to Kansas City during his memorable speech. “The people of Kansas City, for those of you who don’t know this place, is some kind of town. The people of Kansas City are tremendous; they have been tremendous to me and my family and to the Kansas City Chiefs,” Dawson said at the time, per Sports Illustrated.
“I am very proud, very proud to be here. This has been the greatest week of my life. Thank you very much,” he included.
In 2017, the current Chiefs head coach Andy Reid also acknowledged the quarterback as one of the best players to grace the franchise. Reid shared the sentiments, “He busted his tail to become one of the best at it and still had all of the respect of the players and the organization.”
Although he retired from the sport, his love for football never dwindled. After his retirement, he began a career in broadcasting and took up a position on the cast of HBO’s “Inside the NFL” show where he served as a co-host for 24 years. Furthermore, he worked as a radio booth analyst from 1984-2017.
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