The chiefs were flexed Sunday night more than any team

On November 23, 1975, the Chiefs spat out a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, but recovered in overtime and defeated Lions 24-21 on Jan Stenerud’s 26-yard basket.

It would be the Chiefs’ last game to win with Len Dawson starting quarterback as he retired at the end of the season. Coincidentally, a legendary broadcaster made the first of his many trips to Arrowhead Stadium that day.

“I did my first game at Arrowhead in 1975, Detroit at KC”, NBC’s Al Michaels stated in a quote provided to The Star. “My broadcast partner was Hank Stram, who had been fired the year before by the Chiefs. I loved the vibe in this building back then and love it just as much now. He never wavered.

Michaels then began working on the “Monday Night Football” games in 1986, then took over “Sunday Night Football” in 2006. This has allowed him to repeatedly call the Chiefs games.

In fact, Michaels had the opportunity to broadcast a few more Chiefs games than he had planned during his time on “Sunday Night Football” thanks to the NFL’s rule for flexible games.

Sunday night’s Chiefs-Broncos game was originally scheduled to start at noon, but it has been moved to prime time. NBC said the Chiefs now have a bizarre record for Andy Reid’s time as a head coach.

Since 2013, the Chiefs have seen a game play four times in prime time, more than any other NFL team. Oddly enough, three of those games were against the Broncos.

Here are the previous schedules:

  • 2018: Chiefs-Bengals replaced Rams-49ers
  • 2016: Chiefs-Broncos replaced Jets-Patriots
  • 2013: Chiefs-Broncos replaced Giants-Packers

Having this weekend’s game adapted to “Sunday Night Football” will give the Broncos a chance to end a long losing streak. The team’s website noted Denver has lost its last six “Sunday Night Football” games dating from 2015.

Moving the Chiefs to prime time seems like a no-brainer for NBC.

Analyst Cris Collinsworth, who will be sneaking up next to Michaels, explained why he likes to call the Chiefs games.

“I’ve always loved playing games at Arrowhead,” Collinsworth said in an NBC quote. “There is a great passion for football in Kansas City that goes back to my friend Lenny Dawson and this great championship team.

“Plus, this KC team is so creative on offense, defense and special teams. They take risks and almost always give you something unexpected. They are the Globe-trotters of football. It’s a fun show, and that’s why they play so many games in prime time. ”

“Sunday Night Football” executive producer Fred Gaudelli had good things to say about the atmosphere at Arrowhead Stadium.

“The crowd at Arrowhead Stadium is both colorful and intuitive,” Gaudelli said in quotes provided to The Star. “They know when their team needs an adrenaline rush and when it can affect visitors. It still provides a great environment around the game.

Gaudelli also said Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is a natural draw for viewers.

“In my career there are a few players that no matter what you do you will stop and watch,” said Gaudelli. “I’m thinking of Brett Favre, Barry Sanders, Peyton Manning etc. Patrick Mahomes is in that category.”

This story was originally published 3 December 2021 8:57 a.m.

Kansas City Star Stories

From World Series coverage to the World Cup, Pete has done a bit of everything since joining The Star in 1997.


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