Monday, July 04, 2005

An architect passes on

This doesn't have anything to do with Canadian Football really, though in a way perhaps the football stylings of Hank Stram certainly had a resemblance to some of the finer points of the Canadian game. Stram the coach best known for his days on the sidelines with the Kansas City Chiefs, passed away today at the age of 82.

Stram joined the fledgling AFL in the sixties and crafted a football team that provided many a thrilling moment as football came into its own in America. His Chiefs changed some of the dynamics of the game providing for much more offence and some stellar defensive schemes.

In 1966 Stram took his Chiefs into battle in Super Bowl I taking on the legendary Green Bay Packers, the Chiefs lost that one but gained some grudging respect from the more established NFL His 1970 Chiefs brought the AFL brand to a higher plain. by winning the Super Bowl with a convincing 23-7 victory over Minnesota in the fourth inter league championship match up, giving the upstart AFL the credibility it needed. In fact Strams teams of the late sixties were awesome machines to watch, mixing traditional football ideas with some revolutionary plans that thrilled crowds across North America.

Len Dawson the Hall of fame QB who found success with the Chiefs credited Stram with many of the innovations that we enjoy in football today. While many rightfully point to Lombardi and Landry as pillars of the NFL, one should never forget the name of Stram, a guy that brought much to the table. His foundation of skills in the sixties has carried through over forty years and the success of the NFL owes a lot to the love of the game that Stram gave game in and game out!

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