Social Media Reacts to Passing of Pro Football Hall of Fame Quarterback Len Dawson

by Patrick Norton

Former Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson died in hospice care at the age of 87 on Wednesday morning. Dawson worked double-duty as a professional quarterback and sports newscaster for Kansas City’s KMBC. The station’s Twitter page broke the news of Dawson’s passing.

Iconic for his play, work ethic and charismatic demeanor, Len Dawson is perhaps most recognizable for an image depicting the quarterback taking a drag from a cigarette with a glass bottle of Sprite at his feet in full uniform during halftime of a game.

KMBC’s statement on Wednesday morning included, “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.”

Len Dawson Memorialization Continues as Tributes Pour in Honoring Football Gem

Dawson reciprocated Kansas City’s love for him, displaying an unwavering passion for the Midwest utopia. But as the quarterback’s journey ends, his legacy lives on through tributes honoring the legend.

A Twitter page dedicated to documenting Kansas City’s organizational history shared an image of Dawson competing against the Green Bay Packers. Dawson and the Chiefs lost the first Super Bowl against the Packers in 1967. However, the quarterback led Kansas City to glory just years later, capturing the Super Bowl IV title against the Minnesota Vikings.

NFL Films’ Twitter page shared a video featuring Dawson’s playoff highlights with interview snippets with the quarterback. The entire two-minute video represents more than just Dawson, but a look at a simpler game. However, the voiceover at the end of the clip glorifies the quarterback’s undying love for the franchise he called home for 14 AFL/NFL seasons.

One fan shared a signed image of Dawson. Huntley Paton said, “I got this autographed photo from him when I was a little kid in Kansas City in the 1960s.”

But while the paper appears crumpled and ink fades, the memory of Len Dawson lives on with fans old enough to remember. Those lucky enough to witness the quarterback play lay claim to an era of football far in the rear view. Len Dawson’s legacy lives on, while the golden age of football withers away.