December 14 1963: Kansas City Chiefs 35 – Boston Patriots 3
The temperature was freezing at the Municipal Stadium, as Hank Stram’s Chiefs welcomed the visiting Patriots. At 9 degrees Fahrenheit, even lower with the wind chill, it was about as cold as it has ever been for a game of football in KC – with the possible exception of the forthcoming game!
The teams had tied a thriller 24-24 in New England, earlier in the season, and Boston hopes might have been raised when they took a 3-0 lead with the only score of the first quarter. But from then on, the Chiefs were red hot on the iciest of days.
Kansas City took the lead with the only score of the second quarter, as quarterback Len Dawson found wide receiver Chris Burford from 14 yards out. Burford played his whole eight year career with the team, starting from the franchise’s first ever game in 1960, and racking up over 5,000 receiving yards and over 50 touchdowns.
After the break, the Chiefs quickly extended their lead as Dawson threw another scoring pass, this time to Fred Arbanas. Tight End Arbanas was another lifelong Chief, who scored 30 touchdowns in a 9 year career. He was the teams’s most productive tight end until the days of Tony Gonzalez.
Next up was a collector’s item – as Dawson took off down the field for a 43 yard rushing score. Len Dawson scored 9 rushing touchdowns, to go with over 200 passing scores, but this one was by far the longest. In fact this rush was for more yards than his other 8 rushing touchdowns combined!
Looking back at Len Dawson as a Hall-of-Famer and Superbowl MVP, it is amazing how slow his career was to take off. Drafted by Pittsburgh, has passed for only 1 touchdown in three seasons as a back up. Then he spent another two years ion Cleveland in the same role, and again only made 1 touchdown pass. Finally, at the age of 27, he was signed up by Hank Stram, made all-Pro in his first season, and didn’t look back from there, staying with the Chiefs for over a decade.
He made his third touchdown pass of the game with a strike to Frank Jackson. Jackson put up some memorable performances for the team, scoring 4 touchdowns in a win against the Broncos in 1961, and then 4 more in a rout of the Charges in 1964.
With the game already comfortably wrapped up, running back Abner Haynes put the icing on the cake with a 36 yard run for the fifth touchdown of the game. Haynes had been the franchise’s first star player, scoring 46 touchdowns in the first three years of the team’s existence. With part-time kicker and part-time full-back Jack Spikes making all five extra points, the Chiefs rounded off a cold day’s work with a 35-3 win!
Elsewhere in the NFL at the time:
In St Louis, visiting Cowboys quarterback Don Meredith scrambled for a 1 yard touchdown to open the scoring – however, the hosts then dominated, and took a 24-14 lead into the final quarter. Dandy Don had the last word though, with 2 TD passes late in the game to give the Dallas Cowboys a 28-24 win over the Cardinals.
Elsewhere in the world:
Britain’s cultural impact on the world was in full effect in December – the Beatles topped the charts with “I Want to hold your Hand” as Beatlemania hit America, and the Daleks made their debut as the most menacing enemies of Dr Who.