WATCH: Kansas City Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes Pay Tribute to Late Len Dawson on First Play of Game

by Patrick Norton

Len Dawson passed away on Wednesday morning at the age of 87. After a life well-lived, the former Kansas City Chiefs quarterback breathed his final breath in hospice care. Dawson doubled as a sports newscaster for KMBC while playing in Kansas City.

The station broke the news of Dawson’s passing first, providing an eloquent statement. KMBC’s release said, “He was a wonderful husband, father, brother and friend. Len was always grateful and many times overwhelmed by the countless bonds he made during his football and broadcast careers. He loved Kansas City and no matter where his travels took him, he could not wait to return home.”

On Thursday night, the Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes paid homage to the late quarterback with a heart-wrenching tribute on the first offensive play of the team’s final preseason match.

Dawson infamously deployed the “choir huddle” where his teammates would appear one side and the quarterback would share the play from the other. Mahomes perfected the tribute before running back to the sideline with the team’s plan to eliminate his participation in the organization’s final exhibition.

Fans understanding of the tribute greeted the memorialization of Dawson with thunderous applause. And while emotions grew in the wake of Dawson’s passing, his legacy receives a tremendous farewell. Additionally, the team announced Kansas City’s helmets would sport a No. 16 decal honoring the Hall of Famer.

Social Tributes Continue to Pour In for Len Dawson

The Chiefs aren’t the only football community grieving the loss of the quarterback. Dawson represented a different era of the game off in the distance of the rearview mirror. While a reminder of a grittier game, Dawson played the right way and with plenty of class.

Super 70’s Sports – a Twitter account dedicated to highlighting the lost treasures of the old days – posted an infamous photo of Dawson at halftime. The quarterback inhales a cigarette with a bottle of Fresca at his feet, allowing fans to reminisce of a simpler time.

However, one of the cooler off-field tributes comes from Mahomes. While the quarterback is heading for NFL greatness with the Chiefs, Mahomes made sure to acknowledge the loss of the first quarterback to bring a Super Bowl championship to Kansas City.