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Old 01-22-2006, 12:28 PM  
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San Diego newspaper article on Lamar Hunt

http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports...s22nflcol.html

XL matchup could be Super for Hunt

by Jerry McGee, San Diego Union-Tribune

UNION-TRIBUNE
January 22, 2006

SEATTLE Lamar Hunt was like the kid who can't get into the game unless he brings his own football. He brought one, and he brought something with it. He brought a vision.

I am thinking of what a grand day this could be for Hunt. Excuse me if I get emotional, but I desperately want him to have it. Please, let it happen, let there be a Super Bowl XL between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks. Let Hunt have this. Let me have it. And you, if you sat on those cement slabs that passed for seats at Balboa Stadium when professional football as it was played in the AFL was taking its first, tentative steps in our town.

Denver outscoring Pittsburgh today and Seattle getting past Carolina in the NFL's conference championship games would create a Super Bowl matching franchises with origins either in the AFL or in the conference that grew out of it, the AFC.

"Not only that, but two AFC West teams," said Hunt from his Dallas office, adding, "I just wish it could be the Chargers and Chiefs."

With you on that, sir.

I can't decide which delights me the more, that XL in Detroit on Feb. 5 could be an exclusive AFL/AFC-oriented dustup or that it could exclude teams that drew their first breaths in the NFL. I can't forget how the late Pete Rozelle, otherwise a great and gracious man, would sniff haughtily during the periods when Commissioner Joe Foss was going around in behalf of the AFL issuing challenges to Rozelle for a game between the two leagues' champions.

Rozelle's reply would be something like, "First, get a football." Finally, when competition for players was becoming ruinously costly for both the AFL and the NFL, Rozelle relented and there was begun the world's most compelling sports event that is conducted in one day, the Super Bowl. It is a term, incidentally, that was not recognized as official until several years after Hunt came up with it.

There was an AFL because there is a Lamar Hunt, who joined with K.S. "Bud" Adams Jr. in founding it, had a strong voice the strongest, the game's historians say in delivering it into a merger with the NFL, and then came up with the name "Super Bowl."

Hunt is 73. Today he won't be in either Denver or Seattle. In December, he underwent surgery. He says nothing more about it. He does plan to be in Detroit. He is the most soft-spoken of persons, but in conversing with him I could sense the joy he was taking concerning the possibility of an all-AFL Super Bowl.

To be correct about this, in the NFL's address book, the Seahawks are listed as from the NFC West. Gerrymandering, I call it. In 2002, the league, releaguing with the arrival of the Houston Texans as an expansion franchise, jerked the Hawks away from their longtime associates in the AFC West and positioned them, likely to their considerable satisfaction, in the NFC West.

At first, Mike Holmgren says he viewed the transition with distaste. The club was having to sacrifice its two most fevered and financially rewarding rivalries, those against the Chiefs and the Raiders. But how the club has been compensated.

This is the Seahawks' 29th season. Before being banded with the current sad sacks of the NFC West, they had been playoff participants four times in 25 years. As an affiliate of the NFC West, they today are making a third consecutive tournament appearance.

"Part of that is Holmgren," Hunt said, "and the quarterback (Matt Hasselbeck) is not too bad, either."

Indeed, he is an athlete of the highest promise, but the team from the Pacific Northwest still must validate itself, in my thinking. I keep remembering that, exempting Seattle's 13-3 record, teams from the NFC West just went a composite 15-33. Teams from the AFC West were 36-28 and beating up on one another on a weekly basis. Life is difficult when the Chargers, Broncos, Chiefs and Raiders are staging their wars.

Hunt is mindful of how the conference that grew out of the league he thought up is thriving. While he did not have the precise figures, he said AFC teams captured this season's interconference series by four games.

"Last year there was a 20-game margin," Hunt remembered. "AFC teams are stronger now than when the NFC had Troy Aikman, Joe Montana and Steve Young, all pretty stout. That was kind of embarrassing. Now the AFC teams' quarterbacks are stronger."

Hunt has been serving the AFC as its president since the merger of 1970. "A dollar-a-year position?" I wondered.

"I haven't got the dollar yet," he said.

My fervent hope is that his reward will come today. I have to marvel, meantime, concerning what a strange world we have. The only playoff team left that was founded in the NFL is Pittsburgh, which is in the AFC. The Steelers, remember, never did a thing until they came into the AFC.

Then there are the Seahawks excelling in the NFC after so many years of getting kicked around in the AFC.

Have a great day, Lamar.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jerry Magee: (619) 293-1830; jerry.magee@uniontrib.com
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Old 01-22-2006, 12:33 PM   #2
ROYC75 ROYC75 is offline
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Old 01-22-2006, 12:35 PM   #3
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I don't know what better motivation the Chiefs could have than winning it all before Lamar Hunt passes on so he can be there to celebrate it.
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Old 01-22-2006, 12:36 PM   #4
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Have a great day Lamar.
It's not to be.

Likely Presenting the trophy to Pittsburgh.

NFC trophy to Carolina.

Wildcard Superbowl.
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Old 01-22-2006, 12:37 PM   #5
Skip Towne Skip Towne is offline
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Tough luck, Lamar, the Donkeys are going down.
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Old 01-22-2006, 12:38 PM   #6
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Because the Donks hoisting the Lamar Hunt Trophy in the air just screams of good day. NO.
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Old 01-22-2006, 01:14 PM   #7
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Seattle was in the NFC West their first year in the NFL. They have been in the NFC for the last four seasons. They have done about as much in the Playoffs in the NFC as they did when they were in the AFC.
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Old 01-22-2006, 02:47 PM   #8
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I've got to admit I'm liking a Steelers/Panthers Super Bowl. Two teams that came in from out in the cold to thump the home teams, all the way to the big game.
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Old 01-23-2006, 06:38 AM   #9
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Thankfully we didn't have to see any Donkeys touching the trophy.

Whew.
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