Super Bowl IV – Chiefs and Vikings


The Kansas City Chiefs 13-1 returned to the Super Bowl three years after losing to the Green Bay packers in Super Bowl I. They defeated Oakland, 12-2-1, 17-7 to face the Minnesota Vikings who had dispatched the Cleveland Browns 27-7. This was one of four times the Browns would appear in an NFL or AFC championship game but not be able to advance to the Super Bowl.

Coach Hank Stram led the Chiefs with much the same team that participated in Super Bowl I with Len Dawson at quarterback, Bobby Bell, Willie Lamar, Buck Buchanan, Emmitt Thomas, Johnny Robinson and Curley Culp as well as Hall of Fame kicker and native of Norway Jen Stenerud.

They were owned by AFL co-founder Lamar Hunt one of the famous Hunt Brothers who had wanted to bring football to Texas and had formed the Dallas Texans as one of the original AFL teams but he moved them to Kansas City after three years in Texas where they have remained to this day.

The Minnesota Vikings were making their first Super Bowl appearance, featuring Bud Grant as coach and famous for their defensive line termed the “Purple People Eaters” featuring Carl Eller, Allan Page, Jim Marshall and Gary Larson. They also had running backs Dave Osborn and Bill Brown and wide receivers Gene Washington and John Henderson and kicker Fred Cox.

The game was played in Tulane Stadium in New Orleans on January 11, 1970 with the Vikings favored by thirteen points. Overlooked was that Stram and the Chiefs had Super Bowl experience and that Bud Grant was not Vince Lombardi.

The Vikings were a team that scored a lot of points but in the first half like the year before for the Colts every drive they was stopped by a fumble or interception. In the first half they had a fumble and two interceptions.

The Chiefs took advantage of their kicker, Jan Stenerud, who kicked field goals of 48, 32 and 30 yards and Mike Garrett scored on a five yard run while Minnesota could not get into the end zone and the score at halftime was 16-0 in favor of the Chiefs.

The Vikings came to life in the third quarter and on their first possession drove down field and scored on a Dave Osborn four yard touchdown run to make the score 16-7.

But the Chiefs answered on the next drive on what may have been a key play in the game, Dawson found Otis Taylor who ran down the sidelines for 46 yards into the end zone and the score was 23-7.

That would end up being the final score as Joe Kapp threw two interceptions and backup Gary Couzzo one in the fourth quarter as the Chief’s defense held against the Vikings. The interceptions together with the three fumbles was too much for Minnesota to overcome.

Dawson got the MVP award and Super Bowl IV would prove to be the Chiefs only Super Bowl appearance while Minnesota would be back in 1974, 75 and 77 but would lose each of those games who along with Buffalo are the only teams to lose four Super Bowls.

With that AFL victory the idea of NFL dominance was settled as in the four Super Bowls each league had won two and in 1970 a new alignment took place with some of the established teams mixed with the AFL teams to form the present day AFC an NFC.

By Ron Griffitts

Contributing Columnist

Ron Griffitts a contribution columnist for the Daily Advocate

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